Items tagged with vehicles

Is there anything scarier than the thought of a hacker remotely taking control of your vehicle's steering and braking functions as you barrel down the highway? Well sure, being eaten alive by flesh eating zombies like an episode of The Walking Dead would cause most people to soil their undergarments, but losing control of your vehicle certainly ranks right up there. And unlike the zombie scenario, these remote vehicle hacks are really happening. The newest threat is an exploit that exists in car infotainment systems that could allow an attacker to take complete control of a vehicle's brakes and... Read more...
It's a pretty big deal that Ford is mass producing carbon fiber wheels for its Shelby GT350R Mustang. How so? For one, never before has a major automobile manufacturer offered carbon fiber wheels as standard equipment -- you'd have to enter the supercar scene, where only Koenigsegg has offered optional carbon fiber wheels. And secondly, there's actual rocket science involved. We're not making that up. Ford provided some details on its carbon fiber wheels, which involves using a plasma arc gun to liquefy a ceramic material. This is then sprayed on the front wheels. Critical points around... Read more...
Google this week confirmed plans to take its autonomous car project into new territory to see how its self-driving cars handle and react to different challenges than the ones they've already been exposed to. The new location is Austin, Texas, an area that's been friendly to Google's projects, such as its fiber Internet and TV service. Testing has already begun in Austin with a single white Lexus RX 450h SUV. Unlike California and other states that have laws on the books for self-driving vehicles, Austin and Texas as a whole have no such regulations regarding autonomous vehicles, meaning Google... Read more...
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has grown tired of waiting on future technologies to help curb the dangers of distracted driving and is recommending that currently available collision avoidance systems be a standard feature on all new passenger and commercial vehicles. From the NTSB's standpoint, consumers don't pay extra for seatbelts, nor should they be charged for technology that can help prevent an accident from occurring in the first place. NTSB's recommendation is part of a special report that was issued this week. In it, the government organization points out that rear-end... Read more...
The automobile industry is changing right before our very eyes. We have companies like Chevrolet building insanely powerful modern-day muscle cars; Ford and others getting fancy with newfangled technology integrations; Tesla pushing new and used sales of electric vehicles; and of course companies like Google ready to hit the road with self-driving cars. Take your pick on which is the most interesting, but if you ask Nissan, the company might tell you that autonomous technology is where it's at.More than just a passing interest from the sidelines, Nissan's Chief Executive Office Carlo Ghosn indicated... Read more...
Summer is fast approaching, and that means swimming pools, backyard barbeques, vacations, and self-driving cars. Wait, what? That last one is being added to the list as Google gears up to unleash a few of the prototype autonomous vehicles it's been testing onto public roads in Mountain View, California, where the search is headquartered. Safety drivers will be inside the self-driving vehicles, and each prototype car is capped 25 miles per hour, a speed that Google calls "neighborhood friendly." Whether that brings you comfort or not depends on how you feel about self-driving vehicles and recent... Read more...
There was a lot of buzz in the media yesterday when it was revealed that four of the 50 self-driving cars deployed in California had been involved in accidents since hitting the streets last September. Three of those automobiles were using sensors provided by Google, though only two of the four accidents occurred when the self-driving cars were in control. None of the accidents were the fault of the self-driving cars or their drivers, though the lack of details made available to the public didn't sit well with those keeping a close eye on the program. To set the record straight, Chris Urmson, director... Read more...
Google and others are investing in a future where automobiles are fully automated, getting us from point A to point B on their own. We're at a very early stage in what could be a revolution in the auto industry, though it doesn't bode well that around 8 percent of the self-driving cars motoring around California have been involved in accidents in the past six months.There are nearly 50 self-driving vehicles deployed in California. The state issued permits for companies to test them on public roads back in September, and of those vehicles being evaluated, four of them have been in accidents. Two... Read more...
As wearable tech concepts go, the idea of a "smart helmet' — a motorcycle helmet equipped to deliver usable information to its wearer via heads-up visuals projected onto the visor, such as GPS data — really is quite smart, allowing riders to keep their eyes on the road. And even smarter? Configuring said helmet to respond to voice commands, allowing riders to keep their hands firmly on the handlebars. So all of this considered, the LiveMap helmet is indeed one wicked smart piece of wearable tech. The brainchild of a group of Russian engineers, the lightweight Android-based LiveMap helmet is fitted... Read more...
Word to the wise -- you may want to cover your keyboard with some plastic wrap or other protective layer before reading on, lest you short it out with your drool. It's hard not to work up a slobber when reading about Audi's forthcoming R8 Competition, a limited edition supercar of sorts that was shown off at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show. Only 60 of these audacious automobiles will make it into the U.S. Each one will sport a 5.2-liter V10 engine that's been finely tuned and tweaked to deliver a remarkable 570 horsepower, which is enough to go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in a mere 3.2 seconds and... Read more...
By now you've likely already heard that actor Paul Walker perished in a car accident over the holiday weekend. On the off chance this is the first you're hearing about it, a quick recap is that Walker went on a joyride with his friend and financial adviser, Roger Rodas, while attending a charity event for Walker's organization Reach Out Worldwide. The 'Fast And Furious' star was a passenger in his red Porsche Carrera GT, while Rodas, a former race car driver, manned the wheel. Speed was obviously a factor, as pictures from the scene show the car was nearly ripped in half by a tree before a fire... Read more...
Cars have already learned how to drive themselves courtesy of Google, and now Toyota is testing a technology that will allow automobiles to communicate with one another. Does anyone else see this as a possible premise for a sci-fi movie, one in which tons of steel and metal rise up against mankind? Perhaps Michael Bay can direct the flick. Lest we get carried away, Toyota isn't grooming vehicles into becoming sentient beings. The idea is to make driving safer by outfitting vehicles with sensors that allow them to send and receive data to transmitters installed on streets, using that information... Read more...
Could the choice of font used in your vehicle's front dash kill you? Potentially yes, say researchers. That sort of claim is going to require some explanation, so let's hop - err, drive - to it. The conclusion was reached thanks to the joint study conducted by AgeLab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Monotype Imaging Holding Inc., a typeface vendor. The goal was to see if certain fonts could require more time than others to read and comprehend. The test utilized two different typefaces - one, a flat, "grotesque" font, the other more "humanist". I admit that I figured the "grotesque"... Read more...
Comedians often make cracks at banks for including Braille on drive-through ATMs (there are number of valid reasons why they do this), but given the progress made by researchers at The National Federation of the Blind and Virginia Tech, don't assume that the driver in front of you isn't actually visually impaired. While it may seem an unlikely scenario, the researchers are ever closer to developing a car for the blind, and in fact plan to demonstrate a prototype vehicle next year that will help those who can't see be able to drive. That's because it will come equipped with technology called "nonvisual... Read more...