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No matter whether you want them or not, driverless cars are coming, and they're coming quick. Ernest Moniz, the current Energy Secretary, is unleashing a $16 billion package from the Department of Energy that will push for driverless vehicles.
Moniz was in Detroit meeting with auto suppliers, where he said in an interview: "there was discussion about advanced traffic-management systems (and) autonomous driving". Moniz said that companies are looking into driverless cars, with the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing loan being a massive incentive.
This is thanks to the Department of Energy upgrading the criteria in which auto companies quality for loans, where it now includes driverless carmakers. With a bunch of money left in the DoE's loan guarantee program, there's much to go around to these companies to get driverless cars on the road. The last time we saw money handed out like this was when the government wanted to see automakers manufacturing fuel efficient, or hybrid vehicles - Tesla Motors being the example here, which borrowed $500 million, paying it off in full recently.
Google and other automakers have been testing autonomous vehicles around the country in an effort to get the tech ready for mainstream use in the coming years. While several states already have rules in place to allow the testing of autonomous vehicles on the road, California didn't, at least not until recently.
The California DMV has announced new rules that will allow the use of autonomous vehicles on the road. The new rules go into effect on September 16, 2014. The new rules say that a manufacturer that wants to test an autonomous vehicle has to apply for a testing permit.
Google has been working on self-driving cars for years now and it looks like the company is close to making the tech commercially viable. Google has been demonstrating the cars in California and the founder of Google X has said that it is "very actively" working on the technology with a major goal in sight.
Google wants the tech to be available for drivers in the next three years. Sergey Brin has said in the past that the tech for driverless cars could be available by 2017. One of the goals behind the autonomous car tech Google is working on is to make the cars safer for everyone on the road.
The current fastest train in the world is the Shanghai Maglev Train, which is capable of hitting speeds of 260 miles per hour (430 kmph), making it the world's fastest passenger-carrying train. But this could all change with the "Super-Maglev".
Chinese researchers at the Applied Superconductivity Laboratory of Southwest Jiaotong University claim that they have a new concept train that is based on magnetic levitation (Maglev) technology, which could transport passengers at three times the speed of a passenger airplane. The new "Super-Maglev" is a new concept train that is encased in a vacuum tube, which removes the speed limitations that air resistance puts on the regular Maglev trains.
If the project ends up being successful, a working prototype will be created as the new standard for the future evacuation tube transportation (ETT). Dr. Deng Zigang, who has been developing this technology for the last few years said: "ETT systems might allow HTS Maglev trains to attain speeds in a new order of magnitude, such as super-high 3,000 km (1,800 miles) per hour, which could be applied to some military or space launch systems". This new system could eventually link China with the United States, Canada and Russia - which would truly change the world.
Self-driving cars are the future of automotive transportation, and today one of the largest vehicle manufacturers in the world has announced that it's self-driving car program has entered the public road testing phase. Volvo announced this morning that it has begun road-testing its self-driving cars on public roads, and is happy to report that the cars can now handle most of the roadway duties autonomously.
"The test cars are now able to handle lane following, speed adaption and merging traffic all by themselves," said Erik Coelingh, a technical specialist at Volvo. "This is an important step towards our aim that the final 'Drive Me' cars will be able to drive the whole test route in highly autonomous mode."
PAPAGO! has mostly been known for its GoSafe Dash Camera line, but the company is looking to branch out into new territory with its latest product. The all new GoSafe Tire Pressure Monitoring System has been design to give users real-time data feedback on the air-pressure levels in their vehicles tires right onto the screen of their smartphone or tablet.
The GoSafe TPMS is designed to be user installed thanks to its innovative tire pressure monitors that screw right onto the valve stem easily and effortlessly. Users can then download the GoSafe TPMS app and connect it with the TPMS control box and see the tire pressure in real-time right on their smartphone.
"With the PAPAGO! GoSafe TPMS 500BT you now have the power to check your tire pressure as much as you would like, or every two weeks like you are supposed to. Easy to install, this device will ensure that you are driving your car with optimal tire pressure and keeping you safer on the road," PAPAGO said in a release. "Simply take out your smart mobile device open the APP, GoSafe TPMS, that comes with the device and inspect the accurate status of your tire pressure."
Google has been working on autonomous vehicles for years now in an effort to create cars that can drive to and from locations without human intervention. Early in the program, city driving was a challenge for Google, but the search giant now says that things that would have stumped it two years ago are easy.
Google says that it has logged thousands of miles with its autonomous fleet driving on city streets in Mountain View, California. Google also notes that a mile of driving in the city is more complex than a mile of driving in the highway.
Ford is getting ready to launch the all-new 2015 Ford Mustang soon and this is one of the most significant redesign of the Pony car since it was introduced. For the first time, all models of the Mustang will have independent rear suspension. Ford is also giving the car some new tech on the inside as well.
We know that the Mustang GT will have launch control to help people launch the car without excess wheel spin. We also know that the car will have the first factory line lock in the industry. A line lock is a feature that locks the front brakes of the car so the driver can do a burnout.
Next year is going to be a big year for both the automotive market, and more specifically, Toyota. The Japanese giant will be offering up a new hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicle in 2015.
The new car will be a mid-sized saloon, something the company compares to its current Avensis, and will feature a high-density fuel stack that will be capable of 500 miles from a single tank of fuel. But, according to Toyota's European President Didier Leroy, fuel cell technology will take a while to become common: "To help that happen we will bring a reasonable number of cars to Europe. The volume will be limited, but they will be visible on the streets".
Toyota has teamed up with BMW to boost its fuel cell research and development, where Toyota Europe's second in command saying the company would pioneer the technology, pointing to Toyota's position in the widespread adoption of hybrid drivetrains. He said: "There is of course a long way to go, as with any game-changing technology, but remember the same was said about hybrid only 10 years ago. Toyota is ready to back and lead this change, so we will be pioneering fuel cell step-by-step".
He continued, saying that hydrogen fuel is easy to store, and that it's better at capturing renewable energies than batteries, and that it can be produced anywhere. He finished with: "Taking these facts into account reinforces how Toyota is convinced fuel cell can deliver our ultimate goal of zero emissions and sustainable transport".
Pioneer has announced that it will be among the first car audio names to bring support for Apple CarPlay to the aftermarket. Rather than having to buy a new car stereo to get CarPlay support, some existing Apple receivers will get CarPlay support via a firmware update. The updated firmware will be offered for five of the 2014 NEX in-dash multimedia receivers.
All five of those receivers have large LCD screens. CarPlay will add Siri voice control to the mix to let the driver use their phone while keeping eyes on the road. The five models that support CarPlay include the AVIC-8000NEX, 7000NEX, 6000NEX, 5000NEX, and 4000NEX.