TweakTown NewsRefine News by Category:
At the 2014 Geneva Motor Show early next month, one of the most interesting concept cars will be shown off by Rinspeed. We will see Tesla Motors' Model S electric car turned into a "living room on wheels".
The concept car is a self-driving car that will also feature a 32-inch 4K monitor and reclining seats for the ultimate in luxury. It gets better, folks: a built-in espresso machine will have you wide-eyed in your luxury autonomous car, and if you're using it for work, the car's "Business-to-Car" platform will make sure you have access to everything you need online, while you're hands aren't on the wheel at all.
Rinspeed, if you're reading this, e-mail me and I'll provide you my shipping details for one of these concept cars.
The $80 million S-512 aircraft from Spike Aerospace will take flight in December of 2018, with the company's very first supersonic private jet specializing in one area: it will have no windows - instead, it will feature a massive live-streaming screen.
Spike Aerospace will be using the latest video recording, live-streaming, and display technology in order to replace the windows with massive, high-definition screens. The exterior of the new supersonic private jet will feature tiny camera that will blast footage back into the cabin, where thin, curved displays lining the interior will show footage from the outside of the jet.
Windows in passenger planes require massive engineering workarounds, something that this new 8-figure aircraft will not require. Spike founder Vik Kachoria, talked with WIRED, where he said: "A few advisers and friends are concerned that there are no windows. But I think that if you give them the screens and give them the visibility, you might be able to get away from that".
Yesterday we posted a news story about a top-secret meeting between Elon Musk and Apple executives, that sparked many rumors about Apple's possible acquisition Tesla Motors, but today a little more light has been shed on the meeting and its topic. Sources tell TweakTown that the meeting was not about an acquisition, but rather a partnership to bring a new-age battery manufacturing facility to the US.
It's no secret that Tesla has been spending millions on new battery research to ultimately invent a new battery to power its Model S and upcoming Model X vehicles, and it appears as if that research is close to paying off. Sources tell us that the recent meeting between Tesla Motors and Apple were to discuss a partnership that would build a next-generation battery manufacturing facility right here in the USA. Not much is known about the type of batteries that may be manufactured, but chances are good that it is based on Lithium technology.
Lockheed Martin has fired the highest powered laser ever tested, with its new 30-kilowatt electric fiber laser. The record-breaking power output was reached by combining many fiber lasers into a single, near-perfect quality beam of light.
This is called Spectrum Beam Combining, which sends beams from multiple fiber laser modules, which each have their own unique wavelength. Combining them all into one super-powerful, high-quality beam. Dr. Ray O. Johnson, Senior VP and CTO of Lockheed Martin says: "Lockheed Martin has opened the aperture for high power, electrically driven laser systems suitable for military applications. Advancements in available laser components, along with the maturity and quality of our innovative beam-combining technology, support our goal of providing lightweight and rugged laser weapon systems for use on military platforms such as aircraft, helicopters, ships and trucks".
The company is aiming for a portable laser solution, with this being a step in that direction. Lockheed Martin received funding from the US Army, which is also working on laser mounted weapons with Boeing.
European Union police officials want the ability to disable a car's engine remotely, from a central control facility. This feature is already available and deployed into some vehicles, such as GM's "Stolen Vehicle Slowdown" service on its 2009 and newer OnStar-featured vehicles.
The EU effort wants to see a standardized, mandated system that would allow police to control cars directly, skipping the car companies having control. The Telegraph is reporting the news, where it suggests that if it is pushed through the EU, we could see it rolled out before 2020. One member of British parliament has been against it, saying that "the price we pay for surrendering our democratic sovereignty is that we are governed by an unaccountable secretive clique".
The Telegraph has its hands on some documents suggesting the technology hasn't been developed yet, but with multiple big name automotive makers developing it on their own, it is only a matter of time.
Automaker Ford is using the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset to aid in development of new cars, including vehicle color, materials, design, and possible modifications. Ford reportedly is using three systems in Detroit, and plans to expand the next-generation engineering platform to new facilities in the near future.
Working inside a 3D program, engineers are able to visualize vehicles while manipulating the environment to make improvements. Ford worked with Vicon, a company specializing in motion-capture technology, which captures engineer position and orientation from installed motion-capture video recorders.
Each system has an estimated cost of about $30,000, making it a fairly affordable design platform that has great potential for Ford - and other automakers will certainly follow Ford's progress.
The Oculus Rift Dev Kit has become popular with immersive driving simulators, as it provides gamers with a unique driving experience. It makes sense auto makers are interested in using the same technology to design prototypes.
Laurence Fishburne has reprised his role from what made him famous, The Matrix, in Kia's commercial for the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl, which airs this Sunday, February 2nd, has Kia asking you which key you'd choose: the red key, or the blue key?
The ad is explained by Kia as "an unsuspecting couple meets Morpheus at a valet stand. He presents them with two choices: a red key or a blue key. Should they choose wisely, they'll never look at luxury-or Kia-the same again". Keen eyed Matrix fans will see many things from the movies, such as the woman in the red dress, Agents, a bending spoon, some of the same sound effects, and much more.
Tesla Superchargers are capable of delivering a 170 mile cruise from a single 30-minute charge, and now these Superchargers are spread out across the United States.
Tesla Motors' new map shows that you can drive from LA to New York - coast to coast across the US, from these Superchargers. You will drive through New Mexico, South Dakota and Wisconsin during this journey, but that is only downside here. Tesla will continue to add Superchargers going into the future, which should allow for a more direct route.
The company has pledged that by next year the entire country will be covered, so that you can visit all states and even parts of Canada without driving miles out of your way for a top up.
If there's one thing about riding motorbikes versus driving a car, it's the safety factor. But, it looks like a new joint development between BMW Motorrad and Dainese might solve this.
The two companies are collaborating on a very innovative motocycle safety clothing for BMW Motorrad. It takes the Dainese D-Air Protect System to start with, and from there, both companies will develop "motorcycle rider equipment with fully integrated inflatable protectors for BMW Motorrad," reports BMW Motorcycle Magazine.
The first product from their joint venture will be the DoubleR RaceAir one-piece leather suit with D-Air racing protectors. This suit is designed exclusively for use on racetracks. The suit will be shown off at the international EICMA motorcycle show in Milan in November. From there, we'll see the companies develop the Dainese D-Air Street System, which is a retrofit solution for BMW Motorrad.
CES 2014 - Ford's Global VP/Marketing and Sales, Jim Farley, had some scary news to share during the Consumer Electronics Show. He talked during a panel about data privacy at CES.
The exec said that thanks to the GPS units installed into Ford's vehicles, the carmaker knows when you're speeding, and where you are when you're doing it. Farley was describing just how much data the company had on its customers, trying to point out that the company uses very little of it, so that he didn't trip privacy meters in customers' heads.
He said: "We know everyone who breaks the law, we know when you're doing it. We have GPS in your car, so we know what you're doing. By the way, we don't supply that data to anyone." He did come up with a good defense - something I agree with - that the data might one day be used to anonymously (or not) to help marketers with traffic-related problems.