Electric Vehicles & Cars News - Page 73

All the latest electric cars (EV) and ICE cars news covering new and upcoming releases and technologies to hit the market - Page 73.

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NASA green technology could cut airline fuel use in half, save $255 bn

Sean Ridgeley | Jan 5, 2016 11:03 PM CST

NASA's aeronautics department has developed and refined green technology through its Environmentally Responsible Aviation (ERA) project the past six years, and the results are excellent. It says what it's done could "cut airline fuel use in half, pollution by 75 percent and noise to nearly one-eighth of today's levels."

For airlines, this means a potential $255 billion in savings between 2025 and 2050. And before you think the savings won't be passed onto you, airline prices have actually dropped by 50 percent the last three decades.

The project cost NASA $400 million, with an additional $250 million put up by industry partners. Its intent was to explore new vehicle concepts and technologies that would reduce the environmental impact of aviation. One example: a "radical new morphing wing technology that allows an aircraft to seamlessly extend its flaps, leaving no drag-inducing, noise-enhancing gaps for air to flow through" (pictured above). While the rest of the developments are yet to be confirmed as on track for commercialization (they will be discussed at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Sci-Tech Conference in San Diego this week), this one has already been picked up by FlexSys and Aviation Partners of Seattle.

Continue reading: NASA green technology could cut airline fuel use in half, save $255 bn (full post)

ArcaSpace creates first real-life hoverboard, on sale for $20,000

Derek Strickland | Dec 28, 2015 1:43 PM CST

In a milestone that pushes humanity one step closer to science fiction, ArcaSpace has created the world's first real hoverboard.

ArcaSpace creates first real-life hoverboard, on sale for $20,000

Unlike hoverboard "impostors" like the uni-wheeled gyro skateboard or Lexus' SLIDE board, the ArcaBoard actually levitates up to a height of one foot over surfaces. Although the ArcaBoard is an authentic hoverboard, it's very much unlike Marty McFly's 80's kistch sci-fi wonder: as the tech is still in its early stages, the board is quite bulky, weighing it at 180lbs. With that kind of heft, it's more like a floating coffee table rather than a svelte aerodynamic street-hopper.

The ArcaBoard's hovering action is powered by a massive array of 36 high-powered electric fans that generate up to 272 horsepower and 430 lbs of thrust. The board can also hit a top speed of 12.5 miles-per-hour. Sadly the levitating fun will be short-lived as the fan system drains the board's batteries in six minutes flat. Additionally, it takes about six hours or so to get the board charged again, but ArcaSpace also sells a quick-charging ArcaDock for $4,500 that will have you up and levitating again in half an hour.

Continue reading: ArcaSpace creates first real-life hoverboard, on sale for $20,000 (full post)

Tesla CEO says we'll have 'complete autonomy' in vehicles in two years

Anthony Garreffa | Dec 24, 2015 12:23 PM CST

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk was at the Stanford FutureFest recently, where he updated his timeline for the progression of AI.

During the chat, Musk said "If any given year you find your predictions are going further out or coming closer in, that actually one way to think of acceleration [of progress] because otherwise what's the quantitative measure of AI?"

While talking with Fortune's Kirsten Korosec, Musk said "We're going to end up with complete autonomy, and I think we will have complete autonomy in approximately two years". Now, keep in mind that Musk is referring to a "level 4 autonomous vehicle", which The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) describes as a "vehicle designed to perform all safety-critical driving functions and monitor roadway conditions for an entire trip".

Continue reading: Tesla CEO says we'll have 'complete autonomy' in vehicles in two years (full post)

Rumor: Google pairing with Ford to build driverless cars

Sean Ridgeley | Dec 22, 2015 12:31 PM CST

Following Google's discovery driverless cars are a bit too good at driving for their own good, the company is said -- according to three sources aware of the plans -- to be partnering with classic car maker Ford to make new ones. This news is in line with what co-founder Sergey Brin said earlier in the year: it wants manufacturing partners interested in its self-driving technology.

The deal is said to be non-exclusive, meaning it can partner with other companies if it pleases. As well, it's understood Ford will not be liable for any accidents to come out of the venture.

The Ford deal makes sense because the head of Google's self-driving car project, John Krafcik, worked 14 years at the company. Other employees attached to the project have history there, too. More, Ford's previous chief executive Alan Mulally is on the Google board as of 2014. Giving additional credence to the rumor is Ford CEO Mark Fields consistent support of a future where it sells cars as "on-demand services".

Continue reading: Rumor: Google pairing with Ford to build driverless cars (full post)

Driverless cars too lawful, crash rate double that of regular cars

Sean Ridgeley | Dec 18, 2015 3:01 PM CST

Programmers and engineers at Google and the GM-Carnegie Mellon Autonomous Driving Collaborative Research Lab, among other institutions, are finding driverless cars are too good at what they do, and it's causing a crash rate double that of cars with human drivers. That is to say, a robot driver that obeys the law to the letter every time doesn't mesh so well with human drivers that don't do the same. For example, a driverless car will go the speed limit on a busy highway whereas everyone else will be going well above it, or be wanting to, thus increasing the probability of a crash. As well, the reflexes of a driverless car are better, which can catch a human off guard.

Though all crashes have been minor and none of them the fault of a driverless car, researchers are of course debating what to do about the situation. One possibility: programming the vehicles to behave more like humans and better fit into the "social game" (as Google describes it) that is driving, even if that means making them a little less lawful.

"It's a sticky area," says Brandon Schoettle, co-author of the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute's study. "If you program them to not follow the law, how much do you let them break the law?"

Continue reading: Driverless cars too lawful, crash rate double that of regular cars (full post)

Google will make autonomous cars within its Alphabet company in 2016

Anthony Garreffa | Dec 17, 2015 2:26 AM CST

It looks like Google will be making a self-driving unit within its Alphabet company, according to "a person briefed on the company's strategy", reports Bloomberg.

Google's autonomous vehicles have clocked up over 1 million miles (or 1.6 million kilometers) on public roads throughout San Francisco, and Austin, Texas. These cities are where Alphabet (or Google, or whatever) will roll out their autonomous vehicles first, with an Uber-like service. The person that Bloomberg talked with asked not to be identified as "the plans are private". The new autonomous vehicles would be deployed in confined areas at first, such as "campuses, military bases or corporate office parks", according to Bloomberg's source.

One of Google's main goals with autonomous vehicles is to reduce traffic accidents, which claim around 33,000 lives every year in the United States alone. Back in September, Google and Alphabet co-founder Sergey Brin said that self-driving cars would first reach humanity as a form of service, saying that countless people could try the technology, and that having "the vehicle come back to us every day" meant that Google could update the machines at a much higher rate than consumer-owned autonomous cars.

Continue reading: Google will make autonomous cars within its Alphabet company in 2016 (full post)

Volkswagen rumored to unveil an electric concept car at CES 2016

Anthony Garreffa | Dec 12, 2015 3:30 AM CST

After a tumultuous year for Volkswagen, there are rumors that the German carmaker is set to unveil an EV concept at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.

Volkswagen looks to be using a sexy futuristic design, with the electric vehicle sporting an awesome-looking illuminated grille and squinting headlights. We should see the full shape including some vintage cues from the iconic van, something that would include short overhangs, a wide D-pillar, and boxy overall aesthetic.

VW should be using the concept car as a way to push into the future, with Volkswagen's chairman set to unveil the EV during his keynote at CES on January 5, where he will focus on "the latest developments in electromobility as well as the next generation of connectivity".

Continue reading: Volkswagen rumored to unveil an electric concept car at CES 2016 (full post)

Porsche's all-electric 'Mission E' vehicle will be here before 2020

Anthony Garreffa | Dec 7, 2015 12:24 AM CST

Tesla gets all the headlines when it comes to electric vehicles, but Porsche will soon be competing in the all-electric vehicle race with its forthcoming Mission E sedan.

Porsche showed off the four-door Mission E concept vehicle in September, saying that the all-electric vehicle would have the equivalent of 600 horsepower. This will provide the Mission E car with 0-60 mph times of under 3.5 seconds, with a range of more than 310 miles. At these specs, Porsche's Mission E car will be slower than Telsa's more-than-impressive Model S P85D, which is rated at 762 horsepower - enough power to usher in 0-60 mph in less than 2.8 seconds (with Ludicrous mode enabled).

Mission E will feature an 800-volt charger that will charge up the all-electric vehicle to 80% charge in only 15 minutes. This is impressive, considering Tesla's vehicle takes nearly twice as long to get to 80%. Porsche also promises to build its lithium-ion battery pack into the floor of the car, just like Tesla does. Porsche's chairman of the executive board, Oliver Blume, says that the Mission E is the beginning of a new chapter in the history of the sports car. We should expect the first vehicles to roll off the production line before 2020.

Continue reading: Porsche's all-electric 'Mission E' vehicle will be here before 2020 (full post)

Microsoft, Volvo team up to develop autonomous car technology

Michael Hatamoto | Nov 23, 2015 10:24 AM CST

Automaker Volvo and Microsoft have announced they will work together to help develop autonomous car technology, with collected data aimed at delivering "meaningful services."

"Technology will transform when it comes to autonomous cars, connectivity and the car buying process," said Bjorn Annwall, senior VP of marketing at Volvo, in a statement to CNBC. "We believe this will happen it's naturally the tech and automotive industry comes closer to explore this together. We are exploring a number of different collaborations."

Specifics related to how the two companies will work together were not released - but the idea of machine learning and finding a way to promote Volvo vehicles using HoloLens are two likely solutions. Consumers can expect to begin seeing "mixed reality" solutions starting sometime in 2016.

Continue reading: Microsoft, Volvo team up to develop autonomous car technology (full post)

Hyundai hopes to have fully autonomous cars available by 2030

Michael Hatamoto | Nov 23, 2015 9:28 AM CST

Korean automaker Hyundai expects highly autonomous vehicle technologies available by 2020, with full autonomous models available by 2030, according to company senior executives. Over the next five years, almost $10 billion will be invested by Hyundai to bolster its autonomous research efforts.

"Fully-autonomous vehicles are still some way off, and a great deal of research and rigorous product testing will need to be carried out to make the 'self-driving car' a reality," said Lim Tae-won, VP of the Hyundai Motor Central Advanced Research and Engineering Institute. "Kia is still in the early stages of developing its own technologies, and we are confident that the latest innovations - both partially and fully autonomous - will ultimately make driving safer for everyone."

Meanwhile, the Hyundai Genesis self-driving vehicle recently completed a three-kilometer series of test runs in South Korea - marking the first time the vehicle hit public city streets. The vehicle will be showcased next month, with the sedan supporting semi-autonomous solutions.

Continue reading: Hyundai hopes to have fully autonomous cars available by 2030 (full post)