technology

technology

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

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.

Hyundai has put in the work to turn the 2015 Genesis sedan into a bonafide contender in the four-door luxury segment normally dominated by the likes of the BMW 5 Series and the Mercedes E Class . But the Genesis is knocking loudly on that door and with all the new safety technology added into the 2015 model.

To prove that its new four-door luxury sedan has all the tools to give BMW and Mercedes something to worry about, Hyundai decided to showcase the 2015 Genesis’ newest safety features in some pretty hairy safety stunts. Hyundai driver Rhys Millen was given the task of driving a Genesis with completely blacked-out windows, which meant that one he was inside the car, his senses of the outside world becomes pretty much eliminated. Millen’s only saving grace was the Genesis’ new safety features.

It’s hard to be impressed whenever an automaker performs a stunt claiming this and that, all while operating under the caveat that said stunts were organized and prepared for. But in this case, we can’t help but admire how Hyundai built up the Genesis’ safety credibility by having Millen drive the car.

Performing stunts without the benefit of seeing anything took a lot of guts, but Millen, who’s no stranger to driving for Hyundai, showed exactly why the 2015 Hyundai Genesis is one luxury car that customers should be very interested in.

Check out the two other videos after the jump.

This Formula One season is looking more and more like a lost cause for every team on the grid not named Mercedes GP. Defending champion Red Bull will likely lose out on the title this year, so in order to pass the time – or at least make it interesting for the four-time champs – the team and its partner Infiniti have taken to launching a new video series called the "A to Z of Formula One."

As the title of the series implies, Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo, Sebastien Buemi, Christian Horner, and Adrian Newey all take turns highlighting key aspects of Formula One tied to each letter of the alphabet.

Some are pretty self-explanatory like (A)erodynamics, (H)elmet, (F)ly-aways, and (I)nterlagos, but other letters represented some pretty interesting aspects of Formula One that are a little more obscure. Items like (C)omputational Fluid Dynamics, (D)rag Reduction System, and (K)inetic Energy Recovery System (or as it’s come to be known now, ERS) are interesting to listen to. What’s more is the excellent way the Red Bull guys explain the complex systems on a level that we all can understand.

The series runs in six different episodes, with the second to sixth episodes after the jump.

More videos after the jump.

This year is shaping up to be a phenomenal time for fans of racing video games. Not only is Forza 5 going strong, but we have rumors of a new Gran Turismo floating around, there is the upcoming Grid Autosport and we even get a new Mario Kart this year. Beyond all these games, there is one new title that has me drooling more than any other, Project CARS.

If you have yet to hear of this game, then crawl out from under your freaking rock and listen up! Project CARS is being developed by Slightly Mad Studios, the crazy team that was responsible for bringing us games like Need For Speed: Shift and Shift 2: Unleashed. This new game is one of the largest and most ambitious racing games ever created. Not only in terms of track and car number, but in terms of visual quality and simulation accuracy. Think of it as a mix of Gran Turismo’s massive quantity of cars and tracks mixed with Forza’s painstaking attention to detail.

With every new screenshot and video that arrives the game looks better and bigger and I get even more excited. If you don’t believe me about the quality, hit the jump and check out this astonishing new trailer. It features open wheel racers, track-day toys, GT3 cars and more, all tearing it up around tracks and city streets the world over from the Nurburgring to London.

Look for this new game to hit PC, Xbox One, PS4 and WiiU later this year.

Aston Martin has a certain knack for creating some of the most beautiful and finely crafted automobiles in the world. They also have a reputation for being eternally on the verge of bankruptcy and utter collapse. Thanks to this constant state of disarray over the years, Aston Martin has gotten really good at pinching pennies and making their engineering dollars go the distance.

If you need proof of the engineering frugality, I give you the VH architecture. If you are unfamiliar with that term, it is simply the platform/backbone that Aston Martin is currently using for all of its cars. Not only are they using the same basic bones for every car, those bones have existed basically since the first Vanquish . That was 2001.

Now while these old bones have been through several revisions to handle Aston’s newest machines like the One-77 and the new Vanquish , the truth is the platform is beginning to show its age. Thankfully, in part to a new partnership with Mercedes-Benz , Aston is finally going to build an all-new platform. This means that every new Aston Martin going forward will be lighter, stiffer and better performing than ever before.

As a bonus, Aston is teaming up with AMG to build an all-new, bespoke V8. Suddenly I am less sad that the AMG 6.2 is dead.

I haven’t even gotten to the best part yet! Aside from the shiny new V-8s, Aston has confirmed to Autoblog that the V-12 is sticking around too. In a world where even Ferrari is looking at turbocharged V-6 power for its fastest cars, seeing the Brits stand up and wave that V-12 middle-finger is refreshing.

Cheers to you, Aston Martin.

Click past the jump to read more about the Aston Martin-Daimler partnership.

Like most Japanese automakers, Nissan has come up with an array of technologies that aim to improve the automobiles in its lineup. The GT-R ’s advanced powertrain and chassis, the Leaf EV and its upcoming autonomous vehicle come to mind.

While the self-driving Nissan is still at least five years away and will probably arrive alongside similar vehicles from Toyota or Ford , the company has just announced a brand-new technology that might become available on production cars in the future.

This time we’re not talking about a revolutionary engine or a vehicle that runs on alternative fuels, but an innovative paint technology that repels the mud, rain and the dirt automobiles are subjected to each and every day. In short, Nissan claims it has created a self-cleaning car with help from a super-hydrophobic and oleophobic paint.

Dubbed Ultra-Every Dry, the innovation consists of a special coating that creates "a protective layer of air" between the paint and the environment that stops water and dirt from leaving marks on the car’s body. To demonstrate the technology, Nissan used an Euro-spec Note model that had one side coated with the said paint, while the other remained as it came from the factory.

The result is pretty impressive, but it won’t run car washes out of business just yet. The product is still in its testing phase and Nissan says there are currently no plan for the technology to be offered to the public. However, the feature could become available as a "future aftermarket option" at a date that has yet to be unveiled.

Video and more details after the jump.

Ford ’s intentions with the brand-new, sixth-generation Mustang are more than obvious. The more European design, the independent rear suspension and the new tech behind it are there with one purpose, to make it appealing to a global audience.

Sure, the Mustang benefits from a 50-year-long history and its iconic, American charm, but Ford was aware that most non-U.S. costumers that haven’t been touched by the muscle car bug were more likely to choose other offerings, such as a BMW 4 Series, over the ’Stang. Hence the diluted recipe for the 2015 model, one that has been acclaimed and criticized as well since day one.

It’s been a little more than four months since the Blue Oval took the wraps off the new Mustang , but new details around the pony are still to come. While we’re anxiously waiting for Detroit to release final performance numbers and pricing figures, the manufacturer introduced us to yet another brand-new feature that will come with the Mustang: electronic line-lock.

Don’t let the name confuse you, this is no groundbreaking technology set to improve handling or braking, but an electronic burnout-control system that enables the driver to burn rubber without risking damage to the clutch. To put it simple, when activated, the feature gains access to the stability control’s hydraulic control unit and locks the front brakes while releasing the rear brakes. This means the driver can do a burnout without having to worry about finding the perfect balance while keeping one foot on the brake pedal and the other on the throttle.

Now don’t go thinking that this new gimmick, which comes standard on Mustang GT models equipped with manual transmissions, was added so that customers can show off by creating a cloud of smoke in traffic. Ford clearly states that the electronic line-lock is intended for race track use, quoting the drivers’ need to prep their tires before pulling a quarter mile run. On the other hand, the automaker says that "racing the 2015 Mustang will void warranty," a statement that leaves up puzzled to say the least, and is in stark contrast to Chevy’s stance on the Z/28’s warranty and racing .

Ford also claims its electronic line-lock is an industry-first feature, but we know this isn’t entirely true, as BMW offers something similar — it’s called "smokey burnout" — on the new M3 and M4 models.

All told, this electronic burnout trick will be hard to swallow by muscle car purists, but we bet it will find a lot of fans among users that are looking for these kind of technologically advanced features. Now everyone can do a burnout without having to practice or worry about anything...

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Ford Mustang.

Pioneering technology is a phrase that’s being thrown around rather loosely in the auto industry these days. But every so often, it applies to something that could potentially be really groundbreaking. For its part, Land Rover seems to think that it has something groundbreaking with the world’s first Transparent Bonnet concept.

Really, the name of this new technology is pretty self-explanatory. The bonnet, or hood, as we like to call it here, allows what Land Rover explains as a "new level of driver awareness". What that means is the hood provides a "see-through" augmented-reality view of the terrain ahead, making it easier for drivers to navigate around less-than-ideal conditions.

Land Rover accomplished this by putting cameras in the Discover Concept’s grille to capture data that will then be fed to a Head-Up Display inside the cabin of the vehicle. With it, the driver can see an unobstructed "see-through" view of the terrain. It’s never before done in the industry, making it that much more intriguing for everybody, us included.

The Transparent Bonnet concept is expected to be shown at the 2014 New York Auto Show with the Discovery Vision Concept . Rest assured, we’re going to keep a close eye on this new technology and see where Land Rover takes it from here.

To say Tesla is the world’s leading automotive start-up of the last 90 years would be a gross understatement. The company has done extremely well for itself, considering its mere 10-year existence and two-model lineup. Now solely producing its second product — the Model S — Tesla is on the forefront of all-electric car design and manufacturing. The Silicon Valley company can pin the majority of its success on the shoulders of its founder and CEO, Elon Musk.

CBS 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley recently sat down with Musk for an interview about Tesla. “Well, I didn’t really think Tesla would be successful,” Musk answered regarding how he could start a car company and be successful at it. “I thought we would most likely fail. But I thought that we at least could address the false perception that people have that an electric car had to be ugly and slow and boring like a golf cart.” That sort of tenacity seems to be a driving force behind Musk’s inability to think small. “If something’s important enough you should try. Even if you [think] the probable outcome is failure.”

The Model S has shown an electric car can be successful inside the U.S. It’s so successful, in fact, Tesla is having a hard time keeping up with demand, turning out 600 cars each week, despite a few fiery setbacks. Musk is even planning a $5 billion factory to be built within the U.S. for constructing enormous amounts of lithium-ion batteries. With the eventual lowered cost of battery production, Tesla’s next major goal is producing an all-electric car costing roughly $35,000, making the company and its technology open to a far greater number of consumers.

Click past the jump for more info on Elon Musk’s other projects


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