The man behind PayPal, Tesla and SpaceX, Elon Musk, has just unveiled his plans for the "Hyperloop" transport system that he one day hopes to see passengers take from Los Angeles to San Francisco, faster than the speed of sound.
Musk unveiled a 57-page PDF, which you can read here, which explains that Hyperloop would transport people and cars between cities in aluminum pods that travel up to 800 miles per hour, inside elevated tubes. Musk said he was inspired by the pneumatic tubes that transport mail around some buildings as his inspiration for Hyperloop.
Musk is a big fan of transport, using his billions of dollars he's made from his various ventures such as PayPal to develop the electric car company, Tesla. He didn't stop there, as he also spent money on a private spaceflight company, SpaceX. Musk has said that the Hyperloop would be a "cross between a Concorde and a railgun and an air hockey table."
Google Glass has just received a big injection of confidence from Mercedes-Benz, who are working on a Google Glass project that combines both pedestrian and automotive directions that would take their users from door-to-door.
MBRDNA President and CEO Johann Jungwirth told the Silicon Valley Business that he wants Google Glass to seamlessly transition between walking and in-car navigation. This would actually be quite useful, as you'd be able to wear Glass, with it directing you on where to drive, but to then get out and the navigation to continue... that would be stellar.
We obviously won't see this in any Mercedes-Benz in the near future, because Glass isn't exactly ready for the consumer let alone ready for mass deployment in vehicles.
During Apple's third-quarter earnings call, CEO Tim Cook was asked about iOS in the Car, which was an important part of Apple's presentation at WWDC. The Apple CEO said that iOS in the car was an important "part of the ecosystem", just like the App Store, iTunes, messaging and Siri.
Cook continued: "Having something in the automobile is very important. It's something people want." Cook went on to say that Apple could "do it in a unique way better than anyone else" and that it was a "key focus" for the company. iOS in the Car is expected to really take off next year, where it will be featured in a number of new cars from manufacturers such as Honda, Acura, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Infiniti, Ferrari, Chevrolet, Hyundai, Kia, Volvo, Opel and Jaguar.
Over the last year so, Space X founder Elon Musk has been carefully dropping hints about a transportation project that could change the future of the world. Of course I'm talking about the Hyperloop Transport System that would take passengers on an underground rail ride that would transfer them from Los Angeles to New York City in just 45 minutes.
Today, Musk posted a tweet to his Twitter account that said he intends to publish the alpha designs for the Hyperloop Transport System by August 12. His tweet went on to ask that, once published, everyone supply him with critical feedback. For those who are out of the loop, the Hyperloop System will be comprised of vacuum-sealed tubes underground which will allow a magnetically levitated train to be hurled at high speeds without any wind resistance.
Initial reports suggest that the vehicle would be able to travel at 4,000 mph and since it's underground, it would be crash proof. Theoretically, there can be tunnels that break away from a main trunk tunnel and visit every major city in America. This could effectively mean that someone who resides in the low-cost areas such as Augusta, GA could work in an area with higher wages such as New York City. This would drastically change the economic landscape for America. Until August 12, we're left to speculate as to what really can happen.
Garmin unveils new Heads Up Display for smartphones, reduces need to take eyes off the road for navigation information
Garmin is well known for its products surrounding in-car navigation, and now they are taking things to a whole new level. The company has just unveiled a new Heads Up Display or HUD for smartphones that will project relevant navigation data onto the end users windshield.
Garmin knows the danger presented when it's customers take their eyes off the road for a split second to check their GPS, so the company has invented a way to alleviate such distractions. The HUD unit will attach to a user's smartphone and will project information directly onto the windshield in the driver's line of sight. The information displayed includes: current speed, speed limit, navigation turn arrows, and distance until your next turn.
Users will have to place a small piece of specially treated film onto their windshield which will allow the HUD projection to be seen even in bright sunlight. Garmin's HUD system will be compatible with Bluetooth equipped smartphones which run the company's Garmin Street Pilot and Navigation apps. We should see units hitting retail shelves later this summer at a pricing point of $129.99
Incat, an Australian shipyard, have built what they're calling the world's fastest ship called the Francisco, which is capable of travelling at up to 58 knots, or 67 miles per hour.
How did they achieve this speed? They used two modified jet engines, which power a pair of water jets and makes the Francisco a "high-speed dual-fuel vehicle and passenger ferry". Kim Clifford, Incat Managing Director, said in a statement: "This is certainly the fastest ship in the world. Of course there's a few speed boats that could surpass 58 knots, but nothing that could carry 1,000 passengers and 150 cars, and with an enormous duty-free shop on board."
There's a collaboration project between chipmaker Intel and the National Taiwan University, which could lead to smarter headlights for vehicles that could guide you out of a rainstorm, or communicate between vehicles.
The technology would be capable of knowing what other vehicles around you are up to, whether they're speeding or about to take a turn, or brake, by receiving data from their tail lights. When certain data is received - such as a vehicle ahead of you braking heavily - your car will automatically slow down or accelerate automatically, without you doing a thing.
There's always the option to manually override this, for those who like to stay in control. Engadget went hands-on with a concept event at a Research @ Intel event in San Francisco where a couple of scooters were used for an example. Read more at the source if you're interested in checking out the video, too.
Sitting on a flight without Internet access feels like torture, sure it's #firstworldproblems, but my entire life is digital. So to hear that JetBlue is pushing through with their Fly-Fi service, it gets me excited for the future of air travel.
Fly-Fi is set to launch sometime before Q3, but this week JetBlue are conducting some tests with one of their Airbus A320s, which will include maneuvering the plane with some pretty unique weight loads, such as the rear center of gravity positioning you can see demonstrated in the picture, above.
Once this testing is done with, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification should come through, before the testing moves into the performance section. If this all goes to plan, passengers of JetBlue on Fly-Fi can expect Internet hooked up through ViaSat-1 from 30,000 feet in the air.
Pandora reaches 2.5 million in-car activationss milestone, will come in one-third of all new vehicles sold this year
Pandora, everyone's favorite Internet radio service, has just cleared 2.5 million in vehicle activations. This milestone comes as Pandora announces it is integrated with 23 car manufacturers and eight third-party stereo brands. The company says that the service will be integrated into one-third of the cars sold this year.
The milestone, while small when compared to the total number of drivers in the US, Australia, and New Zealand, does indicate that more and more drivers are choosing to adopt music streaming services over traditional radio. Spotify and Rdio have been attempting to take some of that market share, but unlike those streaming services, Pandora offers an infinite random playlist which is much more like traditional radio.
Pandora began integrating into automobiles back in December 2010 when it adopted Ford's Sync AppLink technology with its Pandora for Android app. The service is now supported in over 100 different car models from a wide range of manufacturers including: BMW, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Ford, GMC, Honda, Hyundai, Lexus, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, MINI, Nissan, Scion, Suzuki, and Toyota.
Nissan have just unveiled the ZEOD RC (Zero Emissions On-Demand Racing Car) prototype ahead of the LeMans race on Saturday. Nissan have been invited to enter the 186-mph electric race car in the next year's 24-hour LeMans race.
Nissan's ZEOD RC prototype is part technology demo and part publicity stunt for the automaker. The electric car features the same lithium-ion batteries as the Nissan Leaf electric car, with the Japanese company stating the fact that race-car technology finds its way onto street cars. They also said that they will be testing different types and combinations of electric motors and gasoline engines in their ZEOD RC before its wheels hit the LeMans track in 2014.
Andy Palmer, an executive vice president with the company said in a statement that Nissan's zero-emission, on-demand option allows a driver to "switch between electric and petrol-powered drive". He adds that it is the future direction for road cars, where he finished by saying "that will be tested in addition to pure electric power and other new technologies that we still have under development"
Tesla shows off new battery pack swapping technology for its Model S, faster than filling up with gas
Tesla Motors, one of Elon Musk's brainchildren, has just shown off its new battery pack swapping technology. At an event in Hawthorne, California, founder Elon Musk explained that the whole process will take around 90 seconds with the driver never exiting the vehicle for the entire process.
During the demonstration, Musk pitted a motorist at the "fastest gas station in California" against not one, but two Tesla Model S vehicles. The Model S battery packs were changed on stage while the petrol fill up took place on site at the gas station.
In the amount of time it took to fill the traditional gas car, both Model S sedans had their battery packs changed in succession with time to spare. The overall gas fill-up took roughly four minutes, while the battery pack swaps only took about 90 seconds each.
Tesla says that the pack swapping service will become available overtime at every Tesla "Supercharger Station" with each station costing roughly $500,000 to build. The first stations will be built on busy corridors such as California's Interstate 5 and will offer the pack swapping service for free if I understood the video correctly.
Gorilla Glass is everywhere right now, it's what protects some of the best mobile device displays, but it looks like the company could be moving into the automotive industry as soon as next year. Considering over 1.5 billion devices feature the display-protecting technology, it's a smart move.
Why would auto makers want Gorilla Glass technology in their cars? It would make them lighter, which would result in increased fuel economy and better performance - win, win, right? According to Corning's senior vice president, Jeffrey Evenson, who expects at least one high-end manufacturer to bake their Gorilla Glass technology into their cars to replace their windows by next year. Not only will it make the car lighter, but it would also act as a sound deadening material which will reduce road and wind noise.
Computex Taipei 2013 - Acer had something that was probably hands-down the most unique thing I saw at Computex, the Bicyclean. What is the Bicyclean? Well, it's a three-part process to combat the issues of the growing electronic waste problem.
The first step is that it pulverizes and grinds down circuit boards to the consistency of sand, second it extracts ferrous metals using a magnet, then it separates nonmetals from nonferrous metals with an eddy current rotor. It's an impressive concept, and I'd love to see Acer pushing this across the world. Unfortunately, I didn't hop on for a ride!
If you're driving around in an electric vehicle and are looking for a cheap way to charge it at home, Bosch has come to the rescue with their new Power Max range of EV chargers.
Bosch are now offering a level 2 home charging system for just $450, which includes 16 amp charging and a 12 foot cord. There are two other options in the range, increasing the amperage up to 30, with a choice of either 18 or 25 foot cables. These two options cost $593 and $749, respectively. They don't include any additional networking features, but they'll get your charging done, cheaply.
Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk has announced that he is in talks with Google to develop driverless technology for Tesla's electric vehicles.
Musk says that he feels that autonomous driving is the next logical step in the evolution of cars, but is hesitant because he believes Google's technology, which currently utilizes sensors over an optical system is, "too expensive," and may prevent Tesla's plans to implement Google's system from coming to fruition.
"We've had some technical discussions with Google about its Light Detection and Ranging, or Lidar, laser tracking system... I think Tesla will most likely develop its own autopilot system for the car, as I think it should be camera-based, not Lidar-based. However, it is also possible that we do something jointly with Google."
Tesla Motors' CEO, Elon Musk, announced last month a partnership with two major banks that would see consumers enjoy the option of in-house financing when purchasing their Model S electric car.
Musk said that consumers could own the Model S electric car for less than $500 per month at the time, but has since revised these figures. Under the new plan, future owners of the Model S would expect the monthly cost to be around $580, which takes into consideration the projected savings from using electricity versus gas, depreciation and a few other factors. Tesla also notes that the cost for business use could be a low as $315 per month.
The new plan also involves an updated resale value guarantee, which states that the resale value on the Model S would be higher than Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Lexus or Mercedes. Tesla have also extended the amount of time an individual can finance a Model S from 63 months to 72 months, through Wells Fargo and US Bank.
New Apple patents depicts iPhone remote unlocker, remote engine starting, and parking locator for automobiles
This morning the United States Patent and Trade Office published a number of patents filed by Apple, two of which related to Apple's aspirations to further integrate into the automobile tech market.
The two patents describe systems that would let you control your car from an iPhone and perform such task as unlocking the doors, starting the engine remotely, and helping you figure out where you parked in that massive parking lot or parking building. The system would pair the phone and car over Bluetooth and would use a mapping system to figure out where the car is parked.
The other interesting patent involves using an iPhone to remotely start your vehicle, which is actually nothing new, but the patent picks up where others left off. Users would be able to set rules on what time periods the car can be remotely started, set a maximum speed limit for teenage drivers, and even limiting the use of the radio, or other so-called infotainment devices while the car is being operated.
Volkswagen has debuted a new vehicle, known as the iBeetle, at the Shanghai Motor Show. This new vehicle was built in conjunction with Apple, meaning that the iBeetle's big selling point is the iPhone integration present. Volkswagen is hoping to boost the popularity of the vehicle more than Apple is hoping to boost the popularity of the iPhone.
The car features a built-in iPhone 5 cradle and offers numerous different functionalities. The Beetle app allows the iPhone to display various gauges, such as a G-meter or compass. The new iBeetle and iBeetle Cabriolet will be put on sale in 2014, likely in the first part of the year.
When I was a kid, all I wanted was a NES - these days, kids have all the fun with iPad's, PCs, 360s, and more. Well, if you're from a well off family, Japanese mech factory Sakakibara Machinery Works could make your kids' dreams a reality.
The mecha manufacturers are making a mech for kids, priced at a whopping $20,000. Sakakibara Machinery Works have built adult-sized mechs before, named "The Landwalker", but these kid-sized mechs are named the Kid's Walker Cyclops. The pint-sized mech features one seat, and a drill - which doesn't look functional.
The Kid's Walker Cyclops is actually the second mech released for kids, with the company unveiling a bigger version a few years ago. The new version is slimmer and looks more streamlined. Imagine turning up to a school yard fight in one of these bad boys?!
The number of teenagers texting whilst driving has doubled since 2010, with every two out of five teenagers texting while driving. The information has come from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association.
The agency found there are more than 600,000 drivers use their cell phone when driving, where around half, or 48.6% of all drivers in the US have admitted to answering a phone call, and one in four admitting to placing a call. There are laws in place within some states in the US for distracted driving or using a mobile device when driving - with 39 states enacting the law. These laws have not been completely effective in preventing accidents.
Around 6% of drivers have claimed they were involved in a crash, and 7% in near-crash situations within the past year. 2% of which admitted to using a mobile phone and 3% specifically sending or reading a tex message.
Audi's Connect Infotainment system utilizes the T-Mobile network for its data needs. The companies have released a joint statement introducing new data plans that bring the price as low as $15 per month. The data plan would have previously set you back $30 per month on a month-to-month basis.
The new plans include unlimited data for $30 per month, a yearly contract, a two-year contract, or a 30 month contract. These will set you back a total of $324, $600, or $450, respectively. Cars are often long-term purchases, so getting a two-year contract probably isn't a problem for most.
One thing that I would like to see is the ability to sell the contract with the car, if for some reason you need to sell the car right away. It's not clear whether or not Audi and T-Mobile currently offer this.
Customers want to have the wireless experience they want when they want it - at home, at work, or in their car. Through our partnership with Audi, customers can now access award-winning in-vehicle service and virtually unlimited data access for as little as $15 per month.