TweakTown
Tech content trusted by users in North America and around the world
6,212 Reviews & Articles | 40,209 News Posts

TweakTown News

Refine News by Category:

Technology in Vehicles Posts - Page 15

California approves $10 million grant to Tesla, will be used for Model X SUV

Tesla have just received a huge grant from the California Energy Commission to the tune of $10 million, which will help the luxury electric car maker expand manufacturing capacity for their upcoming Model X SUV.

 

TweakTown image news/2/6/26169_09_california_approves_10_million_grant_to_tesla_will_be_used_for_model_x_suv.png

 

Tesla's terms of the agreement with Commission will match the $10 million grant, with $50 million if their own money and spend the entire lump sum to keep Model X production rates high when it reaches manufacturing in 2014. This plan involves the hiring of 700 more workers with the manufacturing starts.

 

If there are no problems between now and the production of the Model X SUV, Tesla will be much closer to their goal of producing a truly mainstream electric vehicle. The Model X SUV won't be that goal, but it is definitely getting closer. The new Model X SUV will hopefully fall into the same price range as the Model S, which ranges between $50,000 and $70,000. Tesla's VP of Finance, Mike Taylor, said:

 

Too often we're portrayed in the press as only producing an electric sports car. I think that misses the point of what Tesla Motors is trying to do and why it's important for California. Our mission has always been to aggressively promote electric vehicles for the masses.

Emirates now allows cellphone use on flights

If you were itching to use your phone to make some calls during a flight, you might want to take a look at Dubai-based Emirates, who have just started allowing passengers to use their phones to make calls on its A380 aircraft.

 

TweakTown image news/2/6/26122_01_emirates_now_allows_cellphones_on_flights.jpg

 

The service is compatible with normal phones in conjunction with OnAir, who is the company that provides Wi-Fi service for the airliner. There is a limitation, through Federal Aviation Administration rules, that the phones can't be used over the United States, where the service will cease working within 250 miles of US soil.

 

Emirates have been on the forefront of pushing technology in their aircraft for quite sometime, as they equipped their Airbus fleet with phones and fax machines all the way back in the 90s, and in 2006 the airline even offered in-seat e-mail and text messaging to all passengers. The first call with the new in-flight phone service was made on October 2, and was placed to China, said Emirates.

Continue reading 'Emirates now allows cellphone use on flights' (full post)

Google's Driverless cars get approved in California

It was only last month that Google's self-driving cars hit 300,000 test miles without an accident, and now we're looking at California getting the self-driving cars hitting their roads. California governor, Jerry Brown, signed a new law that will see the cars hit Californian roads.

 

TweakTown image news/2/5/25953_11_google_s_driverless_cars_get_approved_in_california.jpg

 

The new law signed in will see trials of the self-driving cars on California's roadways, with one condition - there has to be a licensed human in the driver's seat to take over in the case of an emergency. Brown said at the signing ceremony at Google's Mountain View-based HQ - "today we are looking at science fiction becoming tomorrow's reality".

 

Google did some modifications to a Toyota Prius, which sports video cameras, radar sensors, a laser rangefinder and detailed maps - using all of this data to drive itself. Google's self-driving vehicles also sport a failsafe mechanism that allows the driver to take control by grabbing the steering wheel or pressing the brakes.

JetBlue announce in-flight Wi-Fi, will launch in Q1 2013

I haven't travelled too much in my life, with my first big international trip being Computex earlier this year. But, I plan on getting onto many more planes in my future, and we're finally seeing the beginning stages of airlines accepting that offering in-flight Wi-Fi is a must.

 

TweakTown image news/2/5/25879_13_jetblue_announce_in_flight_wi_fi_will_launch_in_q1_2013.jpg

 

The Verge are reporting from a memo to crew members that they "obtained", that the company is set to offer in-flight wireless networking early next year, with the memo stating:

 

Customers, especially those traveling for business, with everything else being equal, will choose the airline that offers connectivity, even if the service is spotty or expensive.

 

JetBlue have chosen to go with ViaSat for their in-flight Wi-Fi, ditching the idea of going with an option like Gogo, which the company says is slow and unsatisfactory. The Verge's source states that there will be an initial trial of the service, and after the trial the service will remain free for "basic email and browsing" purposes.

Google's self-driving cars pass learners test, have logged over 300,000 test miles without an accident

Imagine a self-driving car, want to go on that long drive but don't want to sit behind the wheel and concentrate for 8 hours straight? Well, the future is self-driving cars, and search, mobile OS and cloud giant, Google, with their self-driving car project has been a success.

 

TweakTown image news/2/5/25203_06_google_s_self_driving_cars_pass_learners_test_have_logged_over_300_000_test_miles_without_an_accident.jpg

 

The self-driving car project has hit the milestone of 300,000 test miles without an accident. The cars have been spotted in Mountain View around the Google Plex, on highways, and more. Too bad I live in one of the smallest states of Australia, I'd laugh if I saw one of these on the road, but feel jealous all at the same time. Google have talked about the self-driving project, where they've said:

 

Our vehicles, of which about a dozen are on the road at any given time, have now completed more than 300,000 miles of testing. They've covered a wide range of traffic conditions, and there hasn't been a single accident under computer control.

Continue reading 'Google's self-driving cars pass learners test, have logged over 300,000 test miles without an accident' (full post)

Qualcomm jumps in for a ride with Renault, will trial wireless electric car charging

Qualcomm have found a new partnership with French carmaker Renault, where the two companies will begin field trial of its revolutionary wireless electric vehicle charging (WEVC) technology.

 

TweakTown image news/2/5/25018_12_qualcomm_jumps_in_for_a_ride_with_renault_will_trial_wireless_electric_car_charging.jpg

 

If the trial is successful, it could eventually lead to a wider adopton of all-electric vehicles, as well as other potential uses in many different markets. Drawbacks in the way of widespread charging stations have really stopped this type of technology from impacting our day-to-day lives, or making it into vehicles in bigger numbers, but it looks like WEVC could change all of this.

 

Qualcomm's technology uses a concept involving inductive power transfer from tow coils tuned to create a magnetic field to "move" the power from one location to another. In order for the vehicle to be wirelessly charged, it requires a charging mat that gets embedded in the ground, and a receiver to be installed on the underside of the vehicle.

Continue reading 'Qualcomm jumps in for a ride with Renault, will trial wireless electric car charging' (full post)

Qantas set to offer iPads to passengers as in-flight entertainment

Australian airline Qantas are set to provide Apple iPads to use as in-flight entertainment, the move follows a successful test run from late-2011. Qantas would put iPads in their entire Qantas 767 fleet starting from Q4 this year, starting on flights based on Australia's east-coast routes.

 

TweakTown image news/2/4/24955_09_qantas_set_to_offer_ipads_to_passengers_as_in_flight_entertainment.jpg

 

Qantas have 23 Boeing 767-300 aircraft, meaning the company is looking at providing at least 5,000 iPads, without including units for spare tablets in case of one malfunctioning. The in-flight content is set to be provided by Panasonic's eXW solution dubbed Qstreaming. Qstreaming uses an onboard server to stream over 200 hours of on-demand entertainment to the iPads via strategically placed Wi-Fi access points.

 

Part of the test run late last year included the suggestion that Qantas would allow customers to use their own iPads with the service, but the company is still assessing whether or not to allow the option. I don't see why they should hold back, just allow them to download the app itself onto their iPad.

Continue reading 'Qantas set to offer iPads to passengers as in-flight entertainment' (full post)

Boeing 787 Dreamliners to soon receive Android-based entertainment systems

Considering Android is mostly on smart devices such as smartphones and tablets, it does get baked into all sorts of different devices. But, this news is somewhat different. The next device to see Android get its OS is in the Boeing 787 Dreamliner passenger jets.

 

TweakTown image news/2/4/24912_14_boeing_787_dreamliners_to_soon_receive_android_based_entertainment_systems.jpg

 

Two models are destined to be fitted, the first is Panasonic's eX3, and the Thales TopSeries Avant. Details on the Thales model were unveiled alongside a demonstration at the Farnborough International Airshow just recently.

 

The TopSeries Avant model will sport 10- and 17-inch versions, but there's no details on the display type, nor the resolution. Performance-wise, we should find a dual-core, ARM-based processor rocking inside, backed up by 1GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage. The central server will feature 32 cores in either an Intel Xeon, or AMD Opteron-based processor, 128GB of RAM, and 4TB of storage.

Continue reading 'Boeing 787 Dreamliners to soon receive Android-based entertainment systems' (full post)

Micro drones in the future could be scarily small

We know that the US government, and many others, use drones for 'security' purposes, but mostly for spying and intel gathering activities. But, even at the size they are now, they can't really be seen all that well to the unsuspecting eye.

 

TweakTown image news/2/4/24681_01_micro_drones_in_the_future_could_be_scarily_small.jpg

 

What if they could get small enough to fly right next to you without you even noticing? Surely, I jest. But, it's no lie, or trick. Vanessa Alarcon was a college student when she attended a 2007 anti-war protest in Washington, D.C. and heard someone shout "Oh my God, look at those". Alarcon told The Washington Post:

 

I look up and I'm like, 'What the hell is that?' They looked like dragonflies or little helicopters. But I mean, those are not insects.

 

There was a lawyer at the protest at the time who confirmed they did look like dragonflies, but that they "definitely weren't insects". Back in 2006, Flight International reported that the CIA had been developing micro UAV's all the way back in the 1970's, and even had a mock-up in their Langley headquarters since 2003.

Continue reading 'Micro drones in the future could be scarily small' (full post)

FedEx convert some of their delivery vans to the electric side of things

Loved the purr of the FedEx vans just as you were about to get that heavily-anticipated delivery? Well, if you're based in Washington, D.C., you might miss out on the sound of the old FedEx trucks, as the company has just upgraded two of them to electrically-driven motors.

 

TweakTown image news/2/4/24677_03_fedex_convert_some_of_their_delivery_fans_to_the_electric_side_of_things.jpg

 

FedEx are working with gas-to-EV converters, Amp, with two of them already getting the switch, and if the initial testing goes well, the company could upgrade a further 9,000 vans. Amp Electric Vehicles identified fleets such as FedEx's are perfect candidates for the conversion thanks to the shorter daily range requirements, and usual poor gas mileage.

 

Considering the amount of deliveries FedEx would do each and every day, this is a great step toward a greener company, and a greener Earth. Tom Hanks would be proud, as would Wilson.

Latest News Posts

View More News Posts

Forum Activity

View More Forum Posts

Press Releases

View More Press Releases