Items tagged with Automobiles

Electric vehicles and hybrid automobiles are all about being friendlier to the environment and saving on gas money, though the latest models are anything but boring or conservative. Automakers have been pushing out increasingly faster, better performing EV and hybrids, and many of them even have a certain sex appeal. To that end, BMW's new i8 Roadster and i8 Coupe are a couple of environmentally friendly (relatively) beauties. These are plug-in hybrids, one with a fixed roof (i8 Coupe) and the other an open-top version (i8 Roadster), the latter of which is a new addition to what BMW claims has been the highest selling plug-in hybrid since the i8's introduction in 2014. Both are based on the LifeDrive... Read more...
Waymo, a division of Google's parent company Alphabet, continues to accelerate its self-driving car efforts by racking up millions of miles on public roads. The official tally now stands at 4 million miles, of which 1 million of those were accumulated in the past six months alone. In the early going, it took a full 18 months for Waymo to log its first million miles. All of this experience adds up and is crucial to making autonomous vehicles safe for everyday use. Image Source: Waymo "With these 4 million miles of experience, we’ve been able to focus on varied and complex driving scenarios. For every situation we encounter on the road, we’re able to amplify and multiply the experience... Read more...
Chevrolet is kicking off the week by crowning a new king, one that is now "stronger than ever," in the 2019 Corvette ZR1. Armed with an exclusive LT5 supercharged engine, Chevrolet blissfully proclaims its newest model Corvette takes the brand's legacy to a new level with the highest power, greatest track performance, and most advanced technology in its production history, and that is saying a lot. "I’ve never driven a Corvette like this before, and nobody else has either, because there’s never been one like this before," said Mark Reuss, executive vice president, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain. "Its unprecedented performance puts all other global supercars on notice... Read more...
Waymo's legal battle with Uber over autonomous driving technology just got a little bit trickier to navigate for the Alphabet-owned company. Adding to a growing list of unfavorable rulings for Waymo, a federal judge in San Francisco threw out key testimony from the company's damages expert, Michael Wagner, making it more difficult to prove allegations that Uber stole trade secrets related to self-driving vehicle technology. The judge also denied a trade-secret theft claim, along with one of the defendants in the case, ultimately making it more difficult for Waymo to prove that Uber engaged in misconduct independent of whether the engineer stole proprietary information from the company.Image Source:... Read more...
Our jaws hit the floor when Dodge announced its Challenger SRT Demon with a 6.2L Hemi Demon V8 engine putting out 810 horses, and even felt the need to point out the specs were not a typo. But if that thing is a demon, then Hennessey's Venom F5 is the devil capable of smoking all other super cars. The Venom V5 with its twin turbo V8 engine delivers nearly twice as much horsepower at 1,600 HP, which Hennessey will use to attempt a speed record. Hennessey wants its Venom F5 to be the first road car capable of achieving more than 300 miles per hour. It is that singular goal that is driving the incredible design of this sexy beast. "We’ve designed F5 to be timeless so that in 25 years it will still... Read more...
Porsche has added a new model to its 911 line and this one is the lightest variant yet. The new Porsche 911 Carrera T (the "T" stands for Touring, not Turbo), which is a tip of the hat to the original 911 T from way back in 1968, checks in at 3,142 pounds, making it 11 pounds lighter than the base 911 Carrera. Combined with a manual transmissions with a shorter constant transaxle ratio and a standard mechanical rear differential lock, Porsche is promising a heightened level of performance and driving pleasure.Shaving 11 pounds is one thing, but what is underneath the hood still matters. In this case, the Porsche 911 Carrera T sports turbocharged, 3.0-liter flat-six engine that puts out 370 horsepower... Read more...
Polestar, the electric performance car spinoff of Volvo, announced its first standalone automobile and it is a beauty. There is also plenty of brawn to go along with the luxurious styling. The Polestar 1, as it is appropriated dubbed, harnesses 600 horses underneath the hood. It will go into production sometime around the middle of 2019, at a new purpose-built production facility in China. "Polestar 1 is the first car to carry the Polestar on the bonnet. A beautiful GT with amazing technology packed into it—a great start for our new Polestar brand. All future cars from Polestar will feature a fully electric drivetrain, delivering on our brand vision of being the new standalone electric performance... Read more...
Tesla founder Elon Musk has been hyping up self-driving capabilities of his company's upcoming Model 3 automobile, but if you ask General Motors, the automaker will tell you he is "full of crap." Yes, those were the words GM's director of autonomous vehicle integration Scott Miller threw at Australian journalists in Detroit, which leaves little doubt to how and (and presumably his employer) really feels about Tesla."I think he is full of crap," Miller said. "To think you can see everything you need for a level five autonomous car with cameras and radar, I don't know how you do that."Image Source: TeslaMiller is referring to the rating system introduced by the US Department of Transportation's... Read more...
Creature comforts inside automobiles are becoming increasingly sophisticated, with a larger emphasis placed on the infotainment system. However, drivers should use caution when fiddling around with in-vehicle electronics. There have been numerous reports and studies of the ill effects of distracted driving, and it is no longer mostly relegated to texting. New research commissioned by the American Automobile Association Foundation for Traffic Safety underscores what previous studies have already indicated—that distracted driving is a growing problem. The study points out that it can take around 40 seconds to program a car's navigation system. In a vehicle that is traveling at a speed of just 25... Read more...
Tesla is one of the leading automakers working towards a complete self-driving solution where it will one day be possible to hop in your car, plug in a destination, and let the vehicle do all of the work. That type of end-goal requires a lot of advanced sensors and computing power. To help with the latter, Tesla has tapped Advanced Micro Devices to design purpose-built processors to its specifications.AMD is a fabless operation and does not actually produce processors—that task falls on GlobalFroundries, which has a wafer supply agreement with AMD that runs through 2020. However, AMD designs its chips and is said to have shipped samples to Tesla of its first implementation of a processor infused... Read more...
Move over Tesla, here comes BMW in the fast lane and it has grand aspirations of zooming out in front. The German automaker hopes to have 25 electric vehicle models by the year 2025, a dozen of which will be pure electric instead of hybrid variants. BMW stated its ambitious goal during the Frankfurt Motor Show, where it unveiled its new i Vision Dynamics, a four-door coupe that could give Tesla's Model S a run for its money. The BMW i Vision Dynamics has a range of 373 miles (600 kilometers) with a top speed of 120 miles per hour (200 km/h). It also boasts an acceleration of 0-62 MPH (0-100 km/h) in four seconds. In other words, it offers the speed and acceleration performance of a gas powered... Read more...
It is a tossup whether Samsung is best known for its smartphones, televisions, or semiconductor business, at least for now anyway. Give it some time and Samsung might end up being associated with self-driving cars. The South Korean electronics maker certainly has an interest in autonomous vehicles—what tech company doesn't these days?—which was reinforced by receiving permission from the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to test cars that drive themselves on state roads. Samsung joins a growing list of companies that have obtained permits from the DMV to test autonomous vehicles. Some of the other notable names include automakers GM, Ford, Honda, Nissan, and Tesla, to name a view,... Read more...
Uber, a pioneer in ridesharing, just can't seem to avoid controversy. The latest one involves alleged collusion to drive up prices in certain cities with large populations. If true, it would be another black eye for Uber, which once admitted to (and promised to stop) using special software to evade law enforcement and has been at the center of a sexual harassment scandal. In this instance, researchers at the University of Warwick claim that to have evidence that Uber drivers in London and New York have been manipulating the ridesharing service's mobile app to make it look like there is a shortage of cars in the area. The reason for doing so is to drive up the price of fares, which happens when... Read more...
Gas prices being what they are, we are always encouraged when automakers announce advancements in electrical battery technologies that could one day flip the automobile industry on its head. So it goes with Toyota—the Japanese automaker this week said it is getting close to a breakthrough in electric car battery technology that could see electrical vehicles drive a greater distance before needing a recharge.The new battery type Toyota is working on is a solid electrolyte that would lead to smaller and lighter batteries. In theory, these compact batteries could hold a higher charge than the batteries that are in use by electrical vehicles today. While there is still work to be done, Toyota said... Read more...
Despite cautionary push back from regulators and lawmakers, it is becoming increasingly clear that self-driving cars are the future. Development in the area has been proceeding at a breakneck pace. Even so, one has to wonder when exactly autonomous vehicles will become a reality, versus just a prototype. It could be sooner than you think thanks to a new partnership between Volvo, Autoliv, and NVIDIA. The two automakers have teamed up with NVIDIA to accelerate the advancement of self-driving car technology. As part of that alliance, they have set an ambitious goal of having production vehicles built on NVIDIA's Drive PX car computing platform on roadways by 2021. That gives them just four years... Read more...
Elon Musk is quite the ambitious fellow. In addition to spearheading things like recreational space travel and, here on Earth, self-driving vehicle technology, it is being reported that Musk is exploring the streaming music business through Tesla, the electric vehicle company he co-founded and is still very much a part of. On the surface it seems like an odd pairing, but perhaps this could turn into a brilliant play. More on that in a moment, but first let's talk about the report. Citing unnamed "music industry sources," Recode claims Tesla has been in discussions with every single major music label about licensing a proprietary streaming music service that the automaker would bundle with its... Read more...
Up until now, one of the worst kept secrets in the tech industry was Apple's involvement in an autonomous vehicle program. Job listings and occasional leaks made it unofficially clear that Apple was cooking something up in the self-driving car space, and now Apple boss Tim Cook has come out and confirmed what we knew all along—Apple is invested in self-driving technology"We're focusing on autonomous systems," Cook told Bloomberg in an interview earlier this month. "It's a core technology that we view as important. Cook added that autonomous vehicle technology is "sort of the mother of all AI projects" and "probably one of the most difficult AI projects actually to work on."That is true from a... Read more...
The lead lawyer for Uber has threatened to fire Anthony Levandowski, one of the company's top self-driving car engineers, if he refuses to cooperate with an ongoing investigation into accusations that he stole trade secrets from Waymo, the autonomous vehicle division of Google's parent company Alphabet. Levandowski previously worked for Waymo before joining Uber. His path to Uber came by way of an acquisition. After departing Waymo, Levandowski co-founded Otto in January 2016. Just seven months later, his company was acquired by Uber for around $680 million. Since then, Alphabet has filed a lawsuit against Uber alleging the theft of nearly around 14,000 files amounting to nearly 10 gigabytes... Read more...
Toyota is tapping NVIDIA to deliver the necessary artificial intelligence hardware that will power the automaker's autonomous driving systems. In doing so, Toyota joins a growing and impressive list of automotive partners that have teamed up with NVIDIA to push the autonomous vehicle category forward, a category that Toyota has spent more than two decades researching and developing. The Japanese automaker will use NVIDIA's Drive PX computer platform to power advanced autonomous driving systems that will be introduced in future vehicles. It is a joint collaboration in which engineering teams from both companies have already started developing software on NVIDIA's AI platform. "Toyota has worked... Read more...
The world is changing, folks. That has always been the case, of course, but every so often comes along a game changing technology that underscores the changing landscape. Around 20 years ago it was the Internet, which had begun going mainstream. And today? Self-driving cars point to a different future than the one we live in today. Google is one of the driving forces, and through its Waymo program, it is offering up free rides in its autonomous vans in Phoenix, Arizona. Phoenix residents are some of the first to participate in Waymo's early rider program. It is a trial of Waymo's self-driving vehicles and as an early rider, Phoenix residents can hitch rides in autonomous vans to go to work, to... Read more...
Dodge turned a lot of heads (even Jay Leno's) when it rolled out its 707-horsepower Charger SRT Hellcat and Challenger SRT Hellcat in 2014, two of the most powerful muscle cars ever. Now three years later the automaker has outdone itself. The company's 2018 Challenger SRT Demon is, as it sounds, hellaciously fast and wicked powerful, serving up 840 horses and 770 pounds-feet of torque from its supercharged 6.2L Hemi Demon V8 engine. That is not a typo—with 840 horsepower at its command, the Challenger SRT Demon is the most powerful V8 production car engine ever produced, Dodge notes. With so much power underneath the hood, it should come as no surprise that Dodge was able to break a few records.... Read more...
A new report by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) found that pedestrian fatalities in 2016 were the highest they've ever been in the past two decades. States reported 2,660 pedestrian deaths in the first six months of 2016, up from 2,486 in the same time period the previous year. While the numbers are still being tallied, GHSA estimates the full year total to be around 6,000 pedestrian fatalities, and it believes smartphones may be playing a role. "Potential factors contributing to this spike include a better economy, an increase in walking as a primary mode of transportation, and distraction due to growing use of smartphone technology," GHSA said.Image Source: Flickr (Daria Nepriakhina)If... Read more...
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