technology

technology

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

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.

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.


Back to top