technology

technology

  New technologies are everywhere and especially in our cars: ABS, airbags, lane change detection, GPS and more...

When Cooper set out to make the CS5 Touring line of car tires , it didn’t want to create just another tire. It wanted to celebrate what it has built and grown into over the last 100 years. It wanted to create one of its best tires ever. More than that, the company wanted to prove that it could create tires that are world-beating, and every bit as impressive as those from companies like Michelin and Pirelli.

Cooper invited a collection of journalists including myself to come to its tire testing facility in Texas to give these tires a real test . We spent time doing laps in wet and dry to push these slabs of rubber to the breaking point. As there are two models in the lineup, Grand Touring and Ultra Touring, Cooper was even kind enough to round up cars wearing competitor rubber from Pirelli and Hankook to prove just how good the new tire really was.

Cooper threw the gauntlet, handed us the keys to some BMWs and Mustangs , and let us decide who the winner was. Does the CS5 live up to all the hype?

Read on to learn more about the Cooper Tire CS5.

The culture of open-source information just got a massive supporter. Tesla Motors has voluntarily revoked every patent the company previously held in the field of electric-powered vehicles, opening up other companies to use Tesla’s original ideas for free.

The unprecedented move comes as Tesla Motors’ founder and CEO Elon Musk released a statement citing his passion for zero-emissions vehicles and his belief in the growing need for such vehicles. “Given that annual new vehicle production is approaching 100 million per year and the global fleet is approximately 2 billion cars, it is impossible for Tesla to build electric cars fast enough to address the carbon crisis.”

With that, the company is now open to sharing its discoveries and innovations in developing, building, selling, and recharging electric vehicles. Well-established automakers like General Motors, Ford Motor Company, Toyota Motor Corporation, and others will now have free access to Tesla’s once-protected innovations.

Musk further elaborates in his candidly written letter that the electric car industry and eventually the world will benefit from having access to open-sourced and rapidly evolving technology.

Tesla originally held patents on its developments out of fear the large automakers would copy the technology and snuff out Tesla’s small operation. However, now that Tesla has made a such a name for itself and has a well-established (yet still rapidly growing) network of Supercharger recharging stations, that likelihood has diminished. What’s more, Musk points out that out of the 100-million vehicles produced annually, less than one percent of those are zero emissions. Thus far, Tesla’s competition seems noticeably absent.

Click past the jump to read more about Tesla’s giveaway.

BMW and MINI owners who love capturing video of their ultimate driving machines in action now have reason to rejoice. BMW and GoPro have announced the integration of the GoPro’s live wireless video to feed into the car’s infotainment system. In other words, you can watch your GoPro’s live video from your dashboard — in real time.

There are a few caveats though. The BMW or MINI must be a 2012 model or newer, the car also must have the BMW Apps or MINI Connected option, the owner must have an iPhone 4 or newer with the GoPro App installed and running, and the GoPro camera has to be a Wi-Fi-equipped model, such as the HERO3+ or newer. Meet those criteria and you’ll have a front-row seat to watch the rubber burn off your rear tires as you commence to drop the clutch.

The system works by relaying the GoPro’s video signal to your connected iPhone. That signal is then transmitted to the car’s infotainment system through the iPhone USB cable or BMW Accessory snap-in adaptor. The system will also display the camera’s critical information like battery life, Wi-Fi signal strength, and elapsed time. Moreover, the camera’s record and sleep functions can be controlled from the infotainment screen as well.

Unfortunately, the lawyers have seemingly won the battle for safety in this case as the nearly-live video — BMW says a slight lag will be present — cuts out when the car begins to move.

Click past the jump to read more about BMW’s new GoPro Application.

The Ford Lightweight Concept is a unique prototype . It doesn’t have any fancy new headlights or levitating cabins, but it does have new technology that could end up becoming one of the more important advancements in the industry. The "Lightweight Concept" name pretty much says it all. This prototype is all about showcasing advanced lightweight materials that lets future Ford models improve their performance and fuel efficiency, while also dropping the carbon-dioxide emissions.

Weight reduction and improved efficiency are two of the industry’s most important goals, and the Lightweight Concept features Ford at its innovative best. The Lightweight Concept makes use of advanced material applications like aluminum, ultra-high-strength steels, magnesium, and carbon fiber. Each of these materials were incorporated into the design of the vehicle, creating a blueprint that could pave the way for integrating lightweight advancements in future models.

It’s not going to blow anybody away in the same way "normal" concepts would. But that’s not the point with the Lightweight Concept. Rather, this concept is here to show off just how small innovations can lead to huge benefits in the future.

Should Ford reach that point, the company can look back to the Lightweight Concept as the prototype that made it possible to achieve long-term potential lightening solutions.

So don’t sleep on the Lightweight Concept just because it’s essentially a Ford Fusion with fancy and colorful graphics all over the body. This prototype could end up becoming one of the most important Ford has developed in recent years.

Click past the jump to read more about the Ford Lightweight Concept.

The time is drawing nearer to when Apple’s CarPlay finally hits the streets in consumer vehicles. At the company’s recent 2014 Worldwide Developers Conference, USA Today got an up-close look at the new in-dash iOS operating system inside a 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV. This in-car demonstration shows just how familiar the software is to the usual iOS-powered devices.

Interestingly, Chevrolet has not made an official announcement concerning when CarPlay would be introduced into its product lineup. Chevy is listed as a “committed partner” with Apple in bringing the software to market, but the automaker has yet to announce any word on what vehicles will receive the system or what the roll-out timeline looks like.

Though it is possible Chevy will incorporate CarPlay into the Spark and other models late into the 2014 model year, it’s more likely the new technology will debut for 2015. We’re expecting General Motors to make quite the hubbub about the news once things are all confirmed.

Chevy will be joined by Ferrari , Volvo , Hyundai , and Mercedes as the first crop of automakers to sell cars with hardware capable of running the iOS software. What’s more, from the video above, it appears the software will also allow owners to access tailored vehicle-specific menus. In the Spark’s case, it has a “My Chevrolet” application on its home screen.

For those with older vehicles, companies like Pioneer are developing CarPlay-compatible head units that work with nearly every vehicle. A 1965 Ford Mustang was on display at Apple’s WWDC to showcase the aftermarket potential.

Click past the jump for more about the 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV

Volkswagen’s new commercial for the Golf GTI might as well be called "notice your environment." The whole concept is pretty unique: get a new Golf GTI, stick around 30 GoPro cameras on it, and then have Tanner Foust do whatever he wants with the sports hatch .

It seemed simple enough, at least until it appeared that we also had a chance to "interact" with the commercial to see multiple views of specific moments in the ad.

So when you’re watching Volkswagen’s "Turbocharge The Everyday" commercial for the Golf GTI, pay attention to the left side of the screen. At certain moments, you’ll be given a choice of different views you can switch to. That’s when the video jumps to another part of the ad, showing the exact same scene from the view of a different GoPro camera.

It admittedly took us a while to get it, but once we did, the commercial became a lot more enjoyable to watch. Watching Tanner Foust do all those burnouts on the Golf GTI didn’t hurt our viewing experience either.

Solar roadways sound like a cool idea, but like with many cool ideas, questions of feasibility are bound to be raised. Harnessing the sun’s bountiful power for use on Earth as a sustainable energy source has already been achieved, but actually using it on the road — or any other trafficked surface for that matter — offers a new twist that could be a game-changer in the name of long-term sustainable growth.

The solar roadways technology is the brainchild of Scott and Julie Brusaw, a couple from Idaho who happen to be engineers. Smart ones at that, too.

After being a awarded a contract by the Federal Highway Administration to build two prototypes of solar roadways, the Brusaws successfully developed intelligent solar panels that generate their own electricity, essentially turning our roads into fully-functional surfaces that are capable of a myriad of functions.

Think of them as "smart roads" that can be reprogrammed to suit their environments, whatever they may be. Whether its melting snow after a blizzard, lighting highways at night to warn of incoming dangers or charging green cars , these solar roadways could end up becoming a key to unlocking a whole new world of sustainability that lowers the cost of energy and reduce our carbon footprint.

Check out the above video and keep an open mind, as some of these ideas seem farfetched, but they are downright interesting and very useful.

Just don’t ask us who much something like this is going to cost...

We have some solid evidence that the Challenger ’s new Hellcat engine will be making a lot more power than people are giving it credit for. What we have here is an exclusive image of the prototype phase of the Hellcat’s intecoolers.

You may be yelling at your monitor right now that many supercharged engines don’t use intercoolers, and you are correct, sort of. When you compress air, it gets hotter. Superchargers traditionally don’t add much boost pressure, so the need for an intercooler is mitigated. The Challenger does have an intercooler system mounted in the front of the car, but the correct term for it in this case is "integral charge cooler."

An integral charge cooler has a very similar function to a normal intercooler, cooling air, but it is integrated into the supercharger system itself. It the last thing the forced air passes through before reaching the engine. This makes sure the air is as cool as possible before combustion to provide the greatest level of power and performance.

This unit here is a water-to-air style cooler, which looks to be larger than most units I have encountered. This suggests that Dodge is likely playing boost levels over the 11 pounds they are quoting, or perhaps an overboost function. As a bonus, even at lower boost levels the cooler air is much more dense, helping the engine to make more power.

Either way, it seems that Dodge still has a few tricks up its sleeve about what the Hellcat is really packing under its hood.

Suddenly Viper -beating horsepower doesn’t seem so unrealistic. Cue the maniacal laughter, folks.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and read more about this integral charge cooler.

The M8 is a funky little computer that BMW Designworks styled, and ASRock manufactures and sells. It’s unique for many reasons, not the least of which is that it’s a barebones kit. This means you only get half the parts, and it is a build-it-yourself style affair. It also features a cool AMOLED screen/control on the front that has been dubbed A-Command.

Before you get too excited, note that this is BMW Designworks, not BMW itself. Much like Porsche Design , BMW Designworks is a separate division that designs products with a certain aesthetic for third-party groups around the world.

Despite that, it still has a super-cool design, and being able to tell your friends you have a BMW computer is pretty awesome, even if it’s not really a BMW. Best of all, it makes a great addition to any car-guy office or study. For bonus points, you can also pick up a BMW Designworks-designed mouse or headset from a company called Thermaltake. If you had a keyboard and monitor from BMW, you could have a whole BMW Design works computer.

AS Rock was kind enough to loan us a test unit of the M8 for a few weeks to test out. Here is what we learned before we sent it back.

The all-new Equus Bass770 is the dream of every classic muscle car fan. It takes retro look, adds a dash of bad-ass a whole heaping load of horsepower. This labor of love is more than a rocking way to cruise town, as Equus is using some of the most advanced construction techniques ever devised to create its prototypes. Mostly it is using various methods of 3D printing to create molds and parts for interior, trim and small body pieces.

WELCOME TO FREAKING FUTURE!

Thanks to these processes, Equus was able to try out new parts and ideas quickly and cheaply. When it comes to prototyping, speed and cost are key. Depending on the size of the part, it can have an entirely new one made in a couple hours.

This type of creation also gives Equus the ability to make small changes quickly. If you make apiece that doesn’t quite fit, adjust the dimensions in your PC file, and reprint a new one in a few hours. Aside form helping Equus create an amazing looking retro slab of awesome, this technology can be expanded to every automaker to help make every car a little bit better.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Equus Bass770.


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