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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry



Categories: Technology

XSeed Hybrid Buggy Concept

On: Fri, Feb 10, 2012 at 2:33PM | By: Chris Weiss


XSeed Hybrid Buggy Concept test 2

The Peugeot EX-1 just got a little competition. The EX-1 was one of the few vehicles that we could think of that compares to the new XSeed concept, a small hybrid speedster that's part go-cart or buggy and part car.

The Xseed is the work of designer Marcus Beltrao, according to Ubergizmo. It's just a design, so take the actual design features and hard figures with a grain of salt.


VW Reveals Next-Gen Platform, Bulli Cometh?

On: Thu, Feb 2, 2012 at 11:54AM | By: Chris Salamone


MQB Platform test 2

Volkswagen has just unveiled perhaps the most significant development of 2012: an all-new platform meant to underpin everything from the Up! to the A3 and next European Passat. As the photos show, the MQB platform – short for Modularer Querbaukasten or modular transverse-engine – has an adjustable wheelbase to fit a variety of different vehicle sizes, engines, and transmissions. And best of all, the introduction of a production ready MQB signals one really enticing possibility…

Last year’s Geneva Auto Show included an MQB concept vehicle which effectively stole the show: the Bulli microvan. Since the MQB’s wheelbase can range between 98.2, 101.8, and 103.5 inches, this single platform is capable of underpinning a wide array of glorious new models – including the Up!, Polo, future Audi TT and A1. And you guessed it, the success of Volkswagen’s new MQB platform might herald the much-anticipated second coming of the company’s ultimate camper van.


Volvo Demonstrates Autonomous Road Train Concept

On: Wed, Feb 1, 2012 at 4:25PM | By: Chris Weiss


Volvo Road Train Concept test 2

Players from all over the automotive and technology industries are working on developing autonomous driving systems. Last week, Volvo demonstrated its own take on autonomous driving with its first test of the European Union-supported Safe Road Trains for the Environment program.

The 'road train' tested by Volvo consists of a lead truck and a series of three self-driven cars following it. The vehicles travel at speeds of up to 56 mph with no more than 6 meters (about 20 feet) between them.

Similar to actual trains, road trains would allow vehicle 'drivers' to catch up on work, read the newspaper, eat breakfast, etc. Drivers would turn into passengers and would no longer be required to keep their eyes on the road or operate the vehicle. The system would essentially provide a public transportation-like commute on roadways.


Car Tech: Touchscreen Fabric Coming To Car Interiors Of The Future

On: Mon, Jan 30, 2012 at 10:05AM | By: Chris Weiss


Car Tech: Touchscreen Fabric Coming To Car Interiors Of The Future test 2

If researchers at Montreal's Polytechnic School and BMW have their way, future cars may incorporate touch-sensitive fabrics that allow drivers to control functions by simply tapping or rubbing the interior fabric. BMW has shown some interest in the experimental technology.

According to New Scientist, researchers at the Institute have developed a soft fiber that hosts electrical properties from the copper wire and conductive and insulative polymers weaved in. The idea is that the fiber would be woven into fabric and could create different electrical signals depending on where it's touched.

It still sounds quite rudimentary and experimental, but if it materializes, people could tap or swipe their fingers and hands across the material to perform different electrically based functions. In a car, this could mean tapping your finger against the door fabric to change the level of air conditioning or perhaps gliding your hand backwards on the seat to move it back.


 

Next Audi A8 To Incorporate Autonomous Driving

On: Thu, Jan 19, 2012 at 1:28PM | By: Chris Weiss


Next Audi A8 To Incorporate Autonomous Driving test 2

There's been many a whisper and shout about autonomous driving over the past few years. With the convergence of GPS technology, sensor-based safety systems and on-board computer systems, self-driving vehicles are essentially a matter of when, not if. At least that's the way it looks at the moment--I've seen enough groundbreaking, imminent technologies fail to materialize or disappear after a brief run to have a little cynicism when it comes to such things.

While Google has been doing a lot of the most publicized autonomous-vehicle work, other companies and automakers are researching technologies as well. In fact, Audi plans to use a form of the technology in its next A8.


GM Looks Through 'Windows Of Opportunity'

On: Thu, Jan 19, 2012 at 10:22AM | By: Chris Salamone


WOO App test 2

What are automakers supposed to do as children become so entrenched in media exposure that they appear literally incapable of sitting quietly in the backseat? Surely today’s rear-seat DVD players and quasi-interactive gaming consoles won’t be enough to entertain kids of the future – when road trips will become something of an exercise in punishment. In a stroke of visionary boldness, GM has already pioneered a strategy to combat these rare moments of childhood un-productivity.

General Motors Research and Development issued a challenge to the students of FUTURE LAB (seriously) at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Israel to conceptualize new ways of helping rear seat passengers enjoy a richer riding experience. Their response: smart glass interface technology.


Audi's Ahab Seeks Elusive White Nemesis

On: Tue, Jan 17, 2012 at 1:05PM | By: Chris Salamone


Ahab Screenshot test 2

Just recently Audi released a new ad campaign during the National Football League’s division playoffs. Although originally a 60 second clip, a 30 second version will air nationally. For those of us unwilling to accept a watered down version, the original commercial – in all its glory – is shown below. And ‘tis glorious. Audi’s ‘Ahab’ campaign pays homage to Herman Melville’s epic tale of a devout (aka crazy) sea captain and his precious white whale.

But in the world of Ahab, our winter wonderland tow truck driver, only one white nemesis can lay claim to the man’s fractured mind – coming from the very same manufacturer that offers all-wheel drive in every single model, overcomes 37.5 degree inclines, and shreds enough fresh snow to leave tow trucks lonely for years to come.

Look! Just there, an elusive Quattro beast looms on the horizon. Missed it? Such a pity, perhaps next time.


New Smartphone App Fights Drunk Driving

On: Fri, Jan 13, 2012 at 10:12AM | By: Chris Weiss


BreathalEyes test 2

Need to be entertained in the dwindling hours of work? Smartphone app. Need directions to the bar where your co-workers are gathering for happy hour? Smartphone app. Need to make sure that combination of light appetizers and cheap drinks didn't leave you too inebriated to drive? Smartphone app.

A new smartphone app called BreathalEyes gives you an approximation of your blood alcohol level to prevent you from getting behind the wheel.


Test Track To Be Re-Imagineered

On: Thu, Jan 12, 2012 at 10:47AM | By: Chris Salamone


GM Test Track test 2

Thirteen years ago car enthusiasts everywhere finally found an excuse to visit Walt Disney World without sacrificing too much face. Epcot unveiled a joint-venture ride, between GM and Walt Disney Imagineering, labeled Test Track – which attempted to fulfill every car buff’s mechanical fantasy by weaving through the trials and tribulations of a simulated test track.

Since Test Track originally opened, however, the ride has remained virtually unimproved. Needless to say, both car and testing technologies have improved dramatically since the late 1990s, particularly with regard to GM. And so, GM and Disney have come together, once more, to renew a long-term business relationship towards modernization and a newly-single brand focus.


GM Showcases New Technologies At CES

On: Wed, Jan 11, 2012 at 3:08PM | By: Chris Weiss


GM Showcases New Technologies At CES test 2

GM has used this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to showcase the latest OnStar technologies being developed in its labs. These technologies include third-party apps, in-vehicle computer streaming, and video chat.

GM equipped a Chevy Volt research vehicle with many of the latest OnStar functions. The car is powered by Verizon's 4G LTE mobile network that enables a variety of cutting edge information, entertainment and safety functions. The car follows the original Buick Verizon-OnStar research vehicle, which was introduced at last year's CES show.


2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee To Share Fiat Diesel

On: Fri, Jan 6, 2012 at 11:20AM | By: Chris Salamone


2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee test 2

You can forget about Cummings, in 2013 the Jeep Grand Cherokee will share diesel tech from Chrysler’s Italian counterpart. As usual, this particular diesel engine is already in use in the European variant of the Grand Cherokee and will be coming to America a few years late. On the up side, however, 1100 jobs will be added to the Jefferson North assembly plant in Detroit and Fiat’s 3.0-liter V6 turbo diesel is already widely regarded as a solid performer – with efficiency to boot.

In Europe, the CRD engine produces 237 horsepower and 410 lb.-ft. of torque while sipping a mere 22.8 mpg in the city and 32.7 mpg on the highway. Combined economy is currently 28.3 mpg.

But don’t expect every Euro-spec Grand Cherokee Diesel model to return home. A new 3.0-liter CRD is currently offered in Europe as a low power version – sacrificing performance for efficiency – which survives on 187 horsepower. Considering North America’s lukewarm acceptance of diesel engines, we feel comfortable predicting that a wide Grand Cherokee diesel lineup is unlikely, especially featuring ‘low power’ options. Whatever those are.