Electric Vehicles & Cars News - Page 76
BMW to make carbon fiber wheels using waste from i3 and i8
BMW is hard at work producing wheels that may eventually replace alloy wheels in performance and fuel-efficient automobiles. The more weight you can remove from a car, the better its performance will be and the better the fuel economy will be. Weight reduction is particularly important in the EV and hybrid realm where less weight means longer driving distance.
BMW working on building a new generation of carbon fiber wheels for its cars. Typically working in carbon fiber is very expensive. BMW is getting around much of the expense by using production cast off material from the i3 and i8 projects, which use carbon fiber in their builds.
Carbon fiber is a good material for making wheels. Carbon fiber wheels are about 30% lighter than aluminum and 50% lighter than steel. BMW is actively looking for more places to use the patents it has in carbon fiber processes. It is also looking at making a full carbon fiber steering wheel, a carbon fiber drive shaft for the X5, and a carbon fiber and plastic compound that is strong and light.
Continue reading: BMW to make carbon fiber wheels using waste from i3 and i8 (full post)
Volvo Roam delivery service heads to MWC 2014
Volvo is a name that usually brings to mind safe, if rather boring cars and SUVs. Volvo has announced that it will be on hand at Mobile World Congress in Spain to show off its new delivery service. That new delivery service is called Roam Delivery.
The idea is that the Roam Delivery service will allow owners of Volvo cars to accept deliveries and drop packages off for pickup directly from their car. The service will use Volvo digital keys and allows the owner of the car to choose their vehicle as the drop off or pick up location. When the order is ready to be delivered, the owner of the car will get a message via text.
The digital key will allow the delivery person access to the vehicle where they can leave what you ordered or pick things up to ship them off. The owner of the car is notified when the car is opened and when it is closed again. The digital key is a onetime use item and ceases to function after the car is closed.
Continue reading: Volvo Roam delivery service heads to MWC 2014 (full post)
RumorTT: Apple / Tesla talks most likely about new battery factory
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.
With backers such as Elon Musk, and record breaking growth on the stock market, one does have to ask why Tesla would need Apple's help, and the answer is quite simple. To minimize risk... Apple has tons of cash just sitting idle in banks, and Tesla knows that they have also been looking at more efficient battery technology. When you really sit back and think about it, Apple is the perfect investor and partner for a new state-of-the-art battery manufacturing facility, and Tesla apparently wants them on board.
Continue reading: RumorTT: Apple / Tesla talks most likely about new battery factory (full post)
Could this laser hologram concept be the stoplight of the future?
While several advances have been made in traffic light technology over the years, nothing has really been done to improve the visual warning motorist get from the systems. As it sits right now, most countries use the standard three-light system for their traffic signals. Red means stop, yellow means prepare to stop / caution, and green means go, but the lights are usually six-inches in diameter and do little to catch the attention of motorist who are not focused on the road.
A concept drawing from artist, Hanyoung lee, is showing us a new way to think about how traffic lights of the future may look. Gone are the small, barely noticeable, three-light setups which have been replaced by a very modern, highly visible hologram system that is based on plasma laser beam technology. Hanyoung Lee's system uses an array of lasers to project a ten-foot tall virtual wall across the street with beams forming silhouettes of crossing pedestrians.
Hanyoung Lee says this his inspiration for this concept is based on the increasing pedestrian deaths that occur at pedestrian crosswalks every year in his home country of Korea. He says that traditional traffic lights are overshadowed by large electronic advertising signs, and the focus is lost at these intersections because the lights are less visible. His design would be impossible to miss due to its size, and wall-like appearance.
Continue reading: Could this laser hologram concept be the stoplight of the future? (full post)
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.
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.
Continue reading: Lockheed Martin fires 30-kilowatt laser, the highest power ever fired (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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
Continue reading: Google and Audi said to be developing next Android in car system (full post)
McLaren to use force field of sound waves, replaces windshield wipers
McLaren's Chief Designer, Frank Stephenson, has teased that a new system will be placed in McLaren's new vehicles, which will replace the ageing windshield wipers with some next-gen wipers.
The new wipers use ultrasound to send 30kHz waves across the vehicle's windshield, which would keep it clear from any debris, even those tiny insect remains that build up on your windshield, even after you've used the wipers over and over. The way it works is by creating a force field that stops rain, snow and insects from even touching the windshield itself.
If McLaren can get this technology working as it has said, I'm sure we'll see most other car makers using McLaren's patent and rolling the technology across vehicles all around the world starting ASAP.
Continue reading: McLaren to use force field of sound waves, replaces windshield wipers (full post)
The Pentagon wants lasers on its fighter jets, pew pew, pew
It looks like The Pentagon wants to have total and utter air superiority (because, you know, the US doesn't already have some of the best military technology known to man) by adding high-powered lasers to its fleet of fighter jets.
The US Air Force has put in a request for information document with the Federal Business Opportunities website, which points to the Department of Defense being interested in getting its hands on weaponry that would be used on next-gen aircraft, years down the road in anti-access and area denial, or A2/AD, environments in order to safeguard particular interests.
The request states: "The Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) is requesting information describing concepts for airborne laser systems for future air dominance platforms. The emphasis of this effort is to identify potential laser systems that could be integrated into a platform that will provide air dominance in the 2030+ highly contested Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) environment."
Continue reading: The Pentagon wants lasers on its fighter jets, pew pew, pew (full post)