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Technology in Vehicles Posts - Page 7

Lockheed Martin fires 30-kilowatt laser, the highest power ever fired

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.

 

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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.

EU police officials want the ability to remotely disable vehicles

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.

 

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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.

Ford using Oculus Rift to help design new generation of vehicles

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.

 

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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.

Morpheus from The Matrix appears in Kia's Super Bowl commercial

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.

Continue reading 'Morpheus from The Matrix appears in Kia's Super Bowl commercial' (full post)

Tesla Superchargers have you covered from coast-to-coast in the US

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.

 

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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.

BMW Motorrad and Dainese to develop inflatable, wearable airbags

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.

 

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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.

Continue reading 'BMW Motorrad and Dainese to develop inflatable, wearable airbags' (full post)

GPS units in Ford cars allow the company to "know what you're doing"

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.

 

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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.

Continue reading 'GPS units in Ford cars allow the company to "know what you're doing"' (full post)

Google to push Android into Audi, GM, Honda, Hyundai cars

CES 2014 - Google has confirmed it is working with Audi, GM, Honda, Hyundai and NVIDIA to open the Open Automotive Alliance, or OAA, which will see the companies collaborating on innovation in the automotive sector.

 

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Patrick Brady, Director of Android Engineering has said: "In this multi-screen world, switching between our different devices should be easy and seamless. Common platforms allow for one connected experience across our phone, tablet and PC, so we get the right information at the right time, no matter what device we're using. But there's still an important device that isn't yet connected as seamlessly to the other screens in our lives - the car."

 

What this will result in, is better use of in-car controls thanks to the Android OS, with improved hands-free control as a standard, and much more. Brady adds: "Together with our OAA partners, we're working to enable new forms of integration with Android devices, and adapting Android for the car to make driving safer, easier and more enjoyable for everyone. Putting Android in the car will bring drivers apps and services they already know and love, while enabling automakers to more easily deliver cutting-edge technology to their customers."

Continue reading 'Google to push Android into Audi, GM, Honda, Hyundai cars' (full post)

Chevrolet installs 4G LTE capabilities into its upcoming vehicles

CES 2014 - Chevrolet has used the Consumer Electronics Show 2014 in Las Vegas to show announce its lineup of vehicles will feature 4G LTE through its OnStar infotainment system.

 

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This will provide users with quicker access to the mobile hub's apps and services, compared to the slower 3G connectivity. The new system will feature a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot, so that passengers' devices can connect to a single Wi-Fi hotspot. Mary Chan, President of GM's Global Connected Consumer Department, said in a press release:

 

We know that our customers rely on being connected on a daily, if not hourly basis, and they expect to be provided with the information and content they desire with no interruptions. A 4G LTE hotspot that's built into a car's architecture will provide a more consistent and powerful Wi-Fi connection than a smartphone.

 

The new 4G LTE connectivity will be featured in many of Chevrolet's 2015 models, including the Corvette, Impala, Malibu, and Volt. Other models will also feature the faster Internet connectivity, too: Equinox, Silverado, Silverado HD, Spark and Spark EV.

Google and Audi said to be developing next Android in car system

With in-vehicle technology growing at a faster pace than ever before, manufacturers are racing to beat each other to the next big thing. Audi is said to be teaming up with Google to develop the next-generation in-car system that will be based on Android and will control everything from vehicle information to entertainment and more.

 

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The new Android-based system is said to deliver similar functionality of smartphones or tablets, with emphasis on Audi's "Infotainment" initiative. The new system is said to heavily utilize voice commands, and will feature everything from voice controlled navigation, to radio station selection. Google and Audi will develop, improve and implement the in many models over the next five years, but no further details were released about which models will get the new system.

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