Items tagged with Car

What if your car could power your home? Wait, what? It's true -- Nissan is reportedly saying that their Leaf electric card can actually feed power from its battery pack back into a home, with plenty of juice to run appliances. The new project is called Leaf to Home, and it uses Li-ion batteries as emergency backup for homes. According to Nissan, this functionality would prove most useful if a home were hit by a natural disaster or power outage, and we certainly could see it going over quite well with prospective buyers. According to the company, plans are in motion to commercialize the tech by March of 2012. If you're wondering how it works, here's what we know so far. There's a quick-charge... Read more...
There's a saying that makes it pretty clear: it doesn't matter how you get from point A to point B, just as long as you do indeed get there. But with today's vehicles, that's not perfectly true any longer. The ideal vehicular travel involves high-end stereos, and anymore these days, connectivity. Companies have been trying to figure out ideal ways to make cars connect to the Internet, and it looks like Panasonic is going the route of linking up with a trusted telecom in order to make it happen. Panasonic Automotive Systems of America has teamed up with AT&T in order to explore a number of connected car concepts, with the working agreement meant to create customized products for global automotive... Read more...
We've known that technology and automobiles have been growing closer for some time now, and Toyota is clearly riding that bandwagon for as long as it's going. The company just announced a new cloud computing initiative with Salesforce.com that will result in a new social network service, enabling owners to become "friends" with their cars, and receive heads-up reminders (similar to tweets) for maintenance reminders. Granted, Chevy's OnStar system could already do something similar, but the more the merrier! The deal will mean that Japan gets it first, with electric cars being the first to integrate into the network. Plug-in hybrid vehicle support is on schedule for 2012. The project will be called... Read more...
Internet in cars? What a novel idea! It's actually not as far-fetched as you may have thought; in fact, it's widely offered as a third-party solution from AutoNet by many dealers. But Ford's thinking about something a little different, and a little more first-party. The company that has made the SYNC system famous is getting ready to offer Wi-Fi in the 2012 Focus across the pond, and if the Focus gets Wi-Fi, it's probably only a matter of time before the rest of the fleet gets it. Starting next year, the UK's Focus will be a rolling hotspot, and sure enough, Ford's already saying that the feature will be rolled into other vehicles soon. By using an owners’ existing USB modem or smartphone,... Read more...
Broadband Internet has definitely moved into the wireless world in the past few years, and the next logical step is into the automobile. Some cars already have Internet access, and some are getting it soon. Very soon. Cars like the Ford Focus. What's crazy is that the Focus isn't really a luxury car, but still, Internet is coming to it. This once again proves that the Internet is no longer seen as a luxury, it's seen as vital enough to be an option on a car like the Focus. The wireless connection will enable drivers to control vehicle settings when away from the car, which is part of a strategic approach to make Ford electric car ownership simple, easy and engaging. MyFord Mobile, Ford’s... Read more...
The Internet isn't quite "everywhere" yet, but it's well on the way to being so. Rural broadband projects are hoping to take the Web to new places, and with 4G networks popping up all over the place, mobile connectivity is booming as well. One place where the Internet has only recently found is the automobile. While some cars have been equipped with Internet access in the past, it generally required a bulky modem and expensive data plan. But now, automakers are warming up to the idea of just installed Web connectivity into vehicles from the start, and by integrating that into car features, the selling points for these vehicles are becoming more numerous. Audi and INRIX have announced that they're... Read more...
Cars have been "just cars" for an awfully long time. It's 2012, and we still feel that we're a century or more away from having surroundings like that of The Jetsons. But slowly, cars are becoming more and more advanced. Microsoft's SYNC system started things off a few years ago, and companies have obviously looked at that in order to copy that setup somewhat. Consumers are becoming more and more demanding when it comes to having technology within the vehicle, and while iPod playback and Bluetooth support is a great start, it won't be enough much longer. MOG, which currently hosts an on-demand music service, is now looking to spread their services into the automotive realm. The new platform is... Read more...
A car isn't really a piece of computer hardware. It's made of up lots of them, though, and Chevrolet's Volt holds a special place in the hearts of technology freaks. For years, people have watched the Volt progress from a concept, into a car with a questionable future, into a car that's all-but-ready for release. Now, the final hurdle is upon General Motors. The Chevy Volt is expected to debut on American car lots as a 2011 model, and the biggest question surrounding it was just how good would the gas mileage be. Now we know. The EPA has just revealed the MPG sticker for the 2011 Volt, and it's impressive. The math to figure up these figures is fairly complicated, but the car has received a 93MPG... Read more...
These days, getting funding for a project is rather difficult. A lot more difficult than it once was, that's for sure. But it's pretty clear that Panasonic believes in what Tesla is going after, as they have just set aside $30 million to invest in Tesla. The two companies already have an existing relationship, and it definitely just became stronger. Panasonic purchased $30 million worth of common stick in a private placement at a price of $21.15 per share, and if you were wondering why Panasonic -- a company typically associated with televisions and cameras -- would invest in a car company, here's the deal. Panasonic just so happens to be the world's leading battery maker, and Tesla only makes... Read more...
Sony announced its first in-dash car navigation systems. Powered by TomTom technology, the new Sony XNV-770BT (7-inch widescreen display) and XNV-660BT (6.1-inch widescreen display) A/V navigation systems feature many of TomTom's navigational features such as IQ Routes, Advanced Lane Guidance, Quick GPSfix, and MapShare. The units will have more than 6 million preloaded points of interest. The new systems also offer rear USB-1 wire connectivity so you can hook up your iPod or other digital music player to the unit. SONY AND TOMTOM TEAM UP TO DELIVER PREMIUM IN-DASH A/V NAVIGATION SYSTEMS Two New Models Feature Innovative Navigation Technologies, High-contrast Screens and More SAN DIEGO, Sept.... Read more...
Usually, it's rather difficult for a new operating system to find traction. There's already quite a few options on the market, and people are rarely out searching for new operating systems when the ones available to them seemingly handle their needs quite well already. But MeeGo, which was created out of Intel's Moblin and Nokia's Maemo converging, is a rare find. Unlike a majority of Linux-based systems, MeeGo seems to actually have a chance at mainstream survival, but of course it doesn't hurt to have the world's largest chip maker and world's largest cell phone maker backing the system's existence. For months now, the world has been told that MeeGo was the next big OS for MIDs, UMPCs, smartphones,... Read more...
Hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. Sounds like such basic advice, doesn't it? Be that as it may, the advent of cell phones has disrupted this most fundamental building block to becoming a good driver and you can't drive down to your local grocery story without seeing someone yapping on their iPhone, Nexus One, or other mobile device. We all do it, which isn't comforting in the least. That's where BlueAnt comes in, which just unveiled what it claims is the world's first hands-free, voice-controller Bluetooth car speakerphone. And by "hands-free," BlueAnt really means it. To initiate a call, a driver need only blurt out "BlueAnt Speak To Me" followed by the command to activate the phone's... Read more...
Talk about the comeback of the year. General Motors was on the doorstep of death just last year, and thanks to some debatable funding tossed their way, they're now seemingly back in stride. One thing that has really hampered GM's growth over the years is their inability to really innovate on the technical side. They were consistently falling behind Acura, BMW and even Ford, as the latter teamed with Microsoft to introduce SYNC. But now, GM has not only followed the leader, but possibly taken a huge leap over the rest. Google, aside from Apple or Adobe, may be the hottest tech company on the planet now, and as of today, Google's a GM partner. It's pretty crazy to think about, the the potential... Read more...
It's been a dream of Earth's residents since The Jetsons made us believe it was a possibility: true auto-pilot. It's alive and well in some cases, but not all. Existing commercial airplanes have an auto-pilot button that guides the planes controls based on the route it needs to take, but that's relatively easy. There's no highway to follow, no drunk drivers to watch out for, and no posted speed limits to obey. Doing the same thing in an automobile is definitely more difficult, as you can probably tell given that no auto-pilot car yet exists for the consumer market. But just because there's no car like that yet doesn't mean that researchers aren't working towards that goal. A team at North Carolina... Read more...
Microsoft is into all sorts of things these days. Operating systems are just the tip of the empire, as gaming consoles, MP3 players, search engines, mapping systems, 3D sensing and even energy management are all also in the cards. Wait, energy management? It's no April Fools--Hohm is a legitimate branch of Microsoft, and while few have really paid attention to it thus far, a partnership with one of the world's most recognizable automakers could definitely change that.In order to advance the electric car industry (and probably give some real credence to Hohm, which has yet to land a killer application in the real world), the two have announced a "new solution that will make electric vehicle ownership... Read more...
Alpine Electronics and Nokia are working together to bring a new technology called Terminal Mode to car infotainment systems. By integrating a smartphone with in-car electronics, the companies will bring services such as navigation, music, weather reports, and application stores to the car. When appropriate safety measures are in place and the phone is connected to the car, users will be able to use these services through high-resolution screens and audio systems that are embedded in the car. Terminal Mode helps pave the way for a standardized interface between smartphones and automotive infotainment systems. By connecting a smartphone with a car, information such as fuel levels and engine status... Read more...
Just a few years back, car stereos were fairly lackluster from the factory. To get any sort of serious audio within the automobile, you had to turn to complicated aftermarket installs. At some point between then and now, automakers have seemingly figured out that consumers are demanding more right from the showroom floor, and with Ford integrating SYNC into nearly every car it makes, General Motors had to step up and do something.That something is Pause and Play, which is a unique new feature that is built into the High Navigation Radio in the Chevrolet Equinox, Buick LaCrosse, GMC Terrain and Cadillac SRX as well as the Cadillac CTS Jukebox and Navigation radio. Basically, the feature allows... Read more...
Ford and General Motors have both made clear that they recognize just how important Wi-Fi has become to the general public. So important, in fact, that some folks expect to find Internet connectivity within the new vehicle that they buy. It's fairly safe to say at this point that the next big Internet battleground, at least in America, is the automobile. We have Internet at home, we have it on the road thanks to WWAN modules, but having it in the car is still a luxury that's only afforded to few.According to iSuppli, we're about to see a new revolution in the Wi-Fi space at CES, and sure enough, it'll be based around the car. Visteon is expected to steal the show with a connect car demonstrator... Read more...
Electric vehicles sound fantastic in theory, but there's still the issue of charging the vehicles. Energy, even the kind not found in traditional fuel pumps, requires fossil fuels or a green alternative to make, and burning loads of coal in place of petrol doesn't exactly sound like a great compromise. Toyota seems to agree, with the automotive giant recently announcing that it had developed a solar charging station for plug-in hybrid automobiles and purely electric cars. Essentially, this kind of charging solution really would enable an electric vehicle to cause a serious impact for good; not only would it avoid or lessen its use of petrol, but the energy used to recharge its batteries would... Read more...
Navigation systems have been a luxury add-on option to many vehicles for some time now. With the exception of the Suzuki SX4 however, a built-in navigation system with a new car generally cost at least $1,000 if not much more. Given the plethora of personal navigation devices from the likes of Garmin and TomTom, as well as the many options available for a wireless phone, there are plenty of people who don't see the need to spend this type of money for an in-dash system. This could change, however, as Nissan plans to offer a $400 navigation system in some of its 2010 MY products. While a $400 price tag may seem a bit steep in some people's eyes, consider that this is the same price as Ford's LCD-less... Read more...
Electric vehicles may not be in the exact same playing field as USB drives, mainboards and SSDs, but there's still something whiz-bang-y about 'em that makes us drool. With Chevy's Volt inching towards production and a couple of other all-electric vehicles already leaking out to the wealthy, where are we common folk expected to fulfill our own fantasies of driving around on the open road without using a drop of fuel? JARI, we guess.The Japan Automobile Research Institute has developed and revealed the C·ta, which is being described as a "lightweight three-seater electric vehicle whose body is made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP). " There's no doubt that there is some question over... Read more...
Here comes still more technology based on fish. As opposed to the earlier tech, autonomous robotic fish built to detect pollution, Nissan has developed a system that emulates schooling behavior of fish to avoid auto collisions.Nissan's new "EPORO" robot car concept is designed to travel in a group of "cars" while avoiding obstacles (including other cars). The technology is designed to mimic the behavioral patterns of a school of fish.The EPORO technology is an update to the Biomimetic Car Robot Drive "BR23C" concept which was designed to mimic bees. Why did Nissan switch from bees to fish? The answer is simple: while both bees and fish have excellent collision-avoidance abilities, bees tend to... Read more...
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