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Alpine has announced that it will be launching the aftermarket's first CarPlay unit for cars this fall. Alpine is calling the CarPlay device a console, not a car stereo. I'm not sure what that means, presumably it will have car stereo functionality like CD player and an FM tuner.
Specifications and features are unconfirmed at this time. The Alpine CarPlay console will reportedly sell for $500 to $700 without installation fees figured in. The device will be the first aftermarket way to add CarPlay support to your car. Some new cars from GM, Ford, and other automakers are expected to come from the factory with CarPlay support this year.
Having goods delivered to me by drone sounds like some technological dream, but Amazon has teased it quite a bit over the last few months with its awesome Prime Air service.
During a letter last year to Amazon's shareholders, CEO Jeff Bezos said that the delivery drone's are in fact real, and are in production. Bezos said: "The Prime Air team is already flight testing our 5th and 6th generation aerial vehicles, and we are in the design phase on generations 7 and 8". It looks like we're one step closer to drone-delivered goods from Amazon.
Land Rover is showing off one of the coolest concept technologies I've seen in a car recently. The tech is called invisible bonnet, bonnet being a hood for those of us in the US. The tech uses a camera in the front of the Land Rover that shoots data to some sort of HUD inside the car.
The result is what appears to be an invisible hood that allows the driver to see through the car to get a look at what is under the vehicle. This could be a great feature to keep Land Rover drivers from getting stuck when off-roading. If you have ever driven off road, you know just because an obstacle makes it past the bumper doesn't mean it will make it past all the hardware under the car.
Land Rover will be showing the new invisible bonnet tech off at the New York International Motors Show. The tech is pure concept right now and there is no word of it coming to a production vehicle. In addition to seeing the surface under the car, the tech will also show the driver the position of the wheels and their angle.
During the Endure Baravia Triathlon in Western Australia, a camera drone was hacked, and then flown into the ground - but before it hit the ground, it reportedly struck an athlete. Some reports have said that the drone crashed near her, and she fell after becoming "startled" by the crashing drone.
Just how was it hacked? The operator of the drone, New Era Photography and Film's Warren Abrams, said that someone had intentionally "channel hopped" the drone, which took control of it, and caused the drone to crash into the ground from the skies above. The bigger issue at hand, is that Abrams' company didn't have the certification to be commercially covering the race in the first place.
Microsoft is really on a path to change, with the latest rumor that it is working on its own in-car entertainment system, something called Windows in the Car. It all starts with a connectivity standard dubbed Mirrorlink.
Nokia's Symbian-powered handsets and Sony's Xperia Z line of devices use the technology, but some of the big car companies like Honda, Toyota and Volkswagen are working on using the tech, as well as aftermarket stereo providers like Alpine and Pioneer. The companies want to use Mirrorlink, are are working on baking it into their respective devices.
When it comes to the interface of the current prototype from Microsoft, it looks like a cut down version of Windows 8, even accompanied by its own app marketplace. Touch capabilities are of course a big part of Windows in the Car, where users can swipe between tiles to control things such as the radio, maps and much more.
Viper is a company that has been making car alarms for years. It has announced a new device called the Viper SmartKey that makes keyless entry truly keyless. The SmartKey system creates a wireless perimeter around the car that responds to your smartphone without having to press any buttons or open an app.
You do need a Viper security or remote start system for the SmartKey to work. The company says SmartKey is compatible with all Viper alarm systems. The SmartKey system itself sells for $149.99. Once installed, the system will lock or unlock the doors without you having to do anything.
All you need to do is have the smartphone on you. SmartKey will unlock the car and turn on the alarm when you approach the car without you doing anything. When you walk away from the car, it will automatically lock and arm the alarm system.
An owner of a Tesla Model S was recently fiddling about with his car after discovering a hidden Ethernet port inside the vehicle. He cobbled together some sort of Ethernet cable and set about sniffing the car's network for fun.
The owner found that the car has a 100 Mbps full duplex Ethernet network with three devices on it. The addresses on the network are in the 192.168.90.0 subnet and includes the center console, dashboard/nav screen and another unknown device.
He found that some of the ports and services were open and that Port 80 was being used to serve a webpage with the image or media for the current song being played. He also notes that the OS is a modified version of Ubuntu.
Rear visibility cameras will be required in all vehicles by May 2018, according to the US Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a ruling that was delayed on numerous occasions.
The agency reported that 73 percent of the vehicles that will be released by 2018 will already have the cameras anyway - but wants to ensure manufacturers will continue to provide the security either way.
"Rear visibility requirements will save lives, and will save many families from the heartache suffered after these tragic incidents occur," said David Friedman, NHTSA Acting Administrator, in a press statement. "We're already recommending this kind of life-saving technology through our NCAP program and encouraging consumers to consider it when buying cars today."
GTC 2014 - As an Australian-based editor of TweakTown, one thing I've always wanted to do is go for a drive in Tesla Motors' Model S electric car. Well, while I was at the GPU Technology Conference in San Jose, California, I took the opportunity to jump in and take a look.
Jonathan Katz, Product Specialist of Tesla Motors, drove the car - and just as we were taking off, I asked if he could wear my Google Glass unit, where he was more than happy to help out. The video above gives you a first-person perspective of the drive itself, something that I don't think has been done before, at least with Google Glass.
It gives you the perfect look at the car, with Katz explaining the various features and functions of the car, of which there is actually many. There were five of us in total in the car, but the backseat did not seem cramped. The 'frunk' as Katz explains (the front trunk, as there is no traditional engine and components under the bonnet is spacious, with the trunk featuring even more space.
One feature that is growing in popularity on many vehicles available today is in-car web connectivity. Several automakers are giving cars the ability to be connected to 4G networks and share that connectivity with people in the car. the idea is to give passengers access to the web and entertainment options while they travel.
Audi is offering a 4G LTE connectivity option in its new 2015 A3 sedan. It is teaming up with AT&T for service for the car and details on the mobile connection plans have been announced. The service will be available with AT&T in North America.
AT&T will offer two plans according to reports. One of the plans is a six-month offering with 5GB of data. The other plan is a 30-month plan that offers 30GB of data. Audi owners that already have an AT&T shared data plan can also add their car as another device. No word on pricing for the AT&T plans for the car at this time.