Electric Vehicles & Cars News - Page 79
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
Ford is driving toward a more interconnected future
Computex 2012 - We've just finished with the Ford press conference where they've unveiled their Evos concept car, which is fully Internet-connected and intertwined with the cloud. It's also powered by Microsoft's SYNC technology which can do more things than you can poke a stick at.
Ford is committed to be an electronic leader and working with Microsoft in the new Ford Focus. The new Focus features Sync powered by Microsoft, with better fuel economy, newer design safety features and interiors. Sync connects the car with the driver's personal devices and controls those devices via voice. So far Sync is powered in 4 million units all around the world now it will be available in Taiwan with traditional Chinese and Mandarin language support. Ford hope to see this number increase to 9 million by 2015.
Ford is also introducing App Link that controls apps in drivers personal devices and lets the driver control the device via voice.
Continue reading: Ford is driving toward a more interconnected future (full post)
Self-driving cars hit the highways of Europe
The future is here, nearly. After Google's try at an autonomous car driving the streets of Las Vegas, Volvo have done something even more impressive. Volvo were impressive in the way that they platooned three cars behind a lorry for 200 kilometers on a busy Spanish motorway.
Don't know what platoon means outside of a first-person shooter like Battlefield 3? The term "platooning" means, in effect, queueing cars behind e ach other with a lead car as a pace setter. The technique is also known as road-training.
It involved several research partners alongside Volvo, with the latest version of the project codenamed SARTRE (Safe Road Trains for the Environment). The first public road test for the SARTRE took to the roads outside of Barcelona, Spain at the end of last week. The cars travelled at 85 kilometers per hour (roughly 52 miles per hour) at varying distances from each other.
Continue reading: Self-driving cars hit the highways of Europe (full post)
Nuance shows off Dragon Drive, Siri like concept for your car
Voice control is gaining momentum everywhere thanks to Apple's Siri: Samsung's upcoming Galaxy S III is going to feature a Siri alternative. Google has voice search. Now, Nuance, the people behind the Dragon software, is showcasing a new technology to allow for natural language processing. Nuance technology is already seen in Ford's Sync and My Ford Touch.
The current Nuance system recognizes about 10,000 voice commands, but can't cope with anything outside of that pre-programmed library. The new technology being showcased is called Dragon Drive and will use Nuance's cloud-based servers to allow natural language processing, similar to how Apple's Siri works.
The technology is moving forward slowly and starting with an SMS service. The SMS service will allow users to send and receive text messages. As more people get used to the technology and the technology advances, Nuance will bring the technology to services like navigation, traffic updates and music playback.
Continue reading: Nuance shows off Dragon Drive, Siri like concept for your car (full post)
Google is set to test its self-driving cars in Nevada after receiving nation's first license
If you see a car with a red license plate and infinity symbol, steer clear as that car is one of Google's self-driving cars driving itself around. Drivers of Nevada will soon be driving through Las Vegas with the likes of cars that no longer need them. Just do Google a favor, don't honk at any cars with said red license plate.
"It gets honked at more often because it's being safe," said Nevada DMV Director Bruce Breslow. But, after proving itself in test drives through Carson City and Las Vegas, the vehicle has received a license to drive itself around, with a few learners restrictions. The vehicle will be required to have two people in it at all times.
One person is required to sit in the drivers seat to take control in case a glitch occurs. The other person is required to monitor a computer screen which displays its planned route and keeps tabs on traffic lights and road hazards. The driver can stop autonomous mode with a push of the brake pedal or a movement of the steering wheel.
Continue reading: Google is set to test its self-driving cars in Nevada after receiving nation's first license (full post)
RumorTT: Apple to release iPad Mini: orders placed, release date this summer
Rumors about an upcoming Apple iPad Mini refuse to die. This week, rumors are point to Apple releasing another new iPad even though the iPad 3 came out less than a month ago. This new iPad is dubbed the iPad Mini and, pretty obviously, would be smaller than the current generation of iPads.
The current 3rd generation iPad features a 9.7-inch screen and a resolution of 2048 x 1536. The rumors place the new iPad mini with a 7.85-inch screen and a 1024 x 768 display. This is likely so that Apple can sell a version of the iPad at a cheaper price and better compete against the upcoming Windows 8 tablets.
A site is claiming that reports out of China that manufacturers Foxconn and Pegatron both started receiving orders from Apple for the smaller iPad. If you believe this site, the factories will have 6 million iPad Mini units ready to go by Q3 of this year meaning that you could have one in your hands by early- to mid-summer.
Continue reading: RumorTT: Apple to release iPad Mini: orders placed, release date this summer (full post)
Google's awesome self-driving car takes a blind man out to dinner at Taco Bell
Everyone, I'm sure, remembers that little fender bender that Google's self-driving car was involved in in August 2011. The vehicle has now been tested for over 200,000 miles and company employees finally felt it safe to unleash it onto the public roads. The car took Steve Mahan who is the CEO of the Santa Clara Valley Blind Center out to Taco Bell. I guess the car's a cheap date!
There were some legality issues that had to met for this to happen. First, Google had to get permission from the local police department since Mahan doesn't have a drivers license. Second, self-driving cars haven't exactly been approved for use in California. To solve this, the Morgan Hill police placed Sergeant Troy Hoefling in the car with Mahan for the duration of the trip.
In the video, Mahan states:
Continue reading: Google's awesome self-driving car takes a blind man out to dinner at Taco Bell (full post)