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The UK military are using tiny helicopters, and by tiny, I'm talking just 4-inch by 1-inch in size. They're using them to grab information on conflict activity in Afghanistan.
The tiny helicopters sport even tinier cameras which take pictures and record video, blasting them back down to handlers on the ground. The helicopters are perfect for hovering around a corner or over a wall to spot targets that would otherwise not be seen. Britain is the first country to deploy these drones into conflict situations.
While they may be tiny, they have a very big name - "The Black Hornet", yeah. Seargent Christopher Petherbridge of the UK's Brigade Reconnaissance Force said that The Black Hornet definitely "adds value, especially considering the light weight nature of it". He elaborated with Sky News:
We used it to look for insurgent fire points and check out exposed areas of the ground before crossing. It is very easy to operate and offers amazing capability to the guys on the ground.
Last summer Apple announced that it was working with car manufacturers on a new "Eyes Free" mode for Siri. The new feature would integrate with voice command buttons that are increasingly being found in new car models.
"Eyes Free" would allow users to interact with Siri without ever touching or looking at the device screen. At the time Apple said it was working with BMW, GM, Mercedes, Land Rover, Jaguar, Audi, Toyota, Chrysler and Honda on the initiative. Today it looks like Honda is the first to bring the new feature to market.
From Honda's press release:
American Honda today announced it will integrate support for Siri, the intelligent assistant that helps you get things done just by asking, into its 2013 Honda Accord and Acura RDX and ILX models as a dealer installed option. Later this year, owners with a compatible iPhone running iOS 6 can direct Siri to perform a number of specific tasks while they safely keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel. Using Eyes Free mode, Siri takes hands-free functionality even further and minimizes distractions even more by keeping your iOS device's screen from lighting up.
NEDRA dons the Tesla Model S as the 'world's quickest production electronic vehicle', can run a 1/4 mile in 12 seconds
It looks like the Tesla Model S car is a little faster than most had expected, after it completed a quarter mile sprint in just 12.371 seconds. The trial took place at the Palm Beach International Raceway in Florida.
After the race, the National Electric Drag Racing Association awarded the Tesla Model S with their badge for "the quickest production vehicle" in quarter mile tests. The vehicle managed to reach a 12-second average after multiple spins around the track from its 416HP electric engine.
That's not bad at all for an electric car, and even better considering a single charge will give you 350 miles of driving.
Chevrolet's new Corvette C7 Stingray is making headlines across the net, and now we get a glimpse at the sports car's high-tech 8-inch customizable instrument cluster. In the video below, Autoblog gives us a quick overview of the new dash cluster.
Behind the bright red super car's steering wheel is a high resolution screen that can display three different layouts: sport, touring and race. Sport mode locates the tachometer to the center, while touring slides it to the side to make room for navigation, and race mode morphs the tachometer into a vibrant ascending bar graph.
The modes can be configured to display many different details ranging from g-force to lap times. Dash displays like this have been shown off before, but this new display is certainly something all other high-end sports car makers are sure to be envious of.
Delphi, a company most known for its vehicle based electronics has teamed up with Verizon and released a new device that lets you remotely monitor, track and control your car.
The Bluetooth-enabled "Car Connect" device plugs into your car's OBD2 port. Once drivers install the device, they can then connect to it on their smart phone via a custom app.
The app is available on both Android and iOS allows them to monitor their vehicle's fuel levels, engine temperature, and other vital signs. The app will also notify drivers of any error codes that may prompt them to check their engines. An onboard GPS chip will allow real time vehicle tracking if the car is stolen. The app is also able to unlock and lock the car as well as remotely starting the vehicle from afar.
Kia, the Korean car manufacturer is said to teaming up with Google to offer its Google Maps and Places on the companies UVO eServices in car electronics system.
The new setup will debut in the 2013 Sorento CUV model, which will be arriving in late Q1 of this year. The updated UVO system will allow users to sync up directions and locations from their smart phones, PCs, or the web.
The car will also be able to find you interesting things to visit using Google Places. Existing music management, hands free features, and improved voice recognition will also be taking stage in the improved UVO system.
Nissan Leaf owners just got a huge Christmas present from Nissan. The company has modified its warranty clause for Leave Electric Vehicles, promising to restore battery capacity for any cars that fall below a certain threshold within five years or 60,000 miles.
Executive Vice President Andy Palmer announced the new policy Thursday, telling Leaf owners that Nissan would "repair or replace" any lithium-ion battery that drops below nine out of the 12 available bars - about 70 percent of its original capacity.
The new warranty is set to go into effect in the spring of 2013 and would apply to the 2011, 1012, and 2013 models. At first the coverage will only be available to US markets, but Nissan plans to extend coverage to other markets soon.
Governments and the military use unmanned aerial drones all the time, but there's going to come a day very, very soon where the normal person will be able to hire out one of these drones for use.
Of course, it all starts in Japan with Secom to soon lease out surveillance drones to clients in 2014. The drones will be dispatches out the second a break-in or other similar crimes are detected, where it will jump into the skies and patrol the area. The drone will have a much better chance of getting footage of the event, compared to traditional fixed-place cameras.
The drone will track motion through it's built-in laser, and they should hit rental abilities by April 2014 for around $58 a month. Not too bad at all, if you ask me.
South Korean automaker Hyundai are looking to jump right into the future with some NFC-powered technology for their new vehicles over the coming years. Hyundai's new Connectivity Concept will let drivers control various features in their car through an NFC-powered smartphone.
Allan Rushforth, SVP and COO of Hyundai Motor Europe has said:
Hyundai's Connectivity Concept showcases the brand's philosophy of making tomorrow's technology accessible to a wide range of customers. With this technology, Hyundai is able to harness the all-in-one functionality of existing smartphone technology and integrating it into everyday driving in a seamless fashion. As the technology continually develops there will be capabilities to store driver's seating positions and exterior mirror settings, providing customers with a comfortable and individual driving environment.
If you're someone who likes your privacy, this news won't be good for you. Federal regulators are proposing that all new automobiles sold in the US after September 2014 to come featured with a black box.
These black boxes, or as they're called "event data recorders", record everything a driver does. From the speed the car is going, the number of people in the car, and the location of the car itself at all times. You do have a chance to have your voice heard, where on February 11, the National Transportation Safety Agency will hear your comments on its proposal that will see them pushed into all vehicles.
Congress has donned the agency with the power to set the motor safety rules. The regulators' intentions are for safety - but they can be used for much worse things - such as data collection. During "events", such as a car accident, the black box would record all of the last-minute happenings such as sudden breaking, acceleration, swerving or anything else that might lead up to, or cause an accident.