technology

technology

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

For $500, you can buy a lot of things, and if you’re into enjoying your music, that amount will net you a fancy set of new headphones from Bowers & Wilkins and...Maserati ?

You read that right; the Italian automaker is tying up with one of the most well-known headphones brands in the world. The special edition set, called the P5 Maserati Edition Mobile Hi-Fi Headphones is more than just a fancy fashion accessory; it’s got some sick specifications that should justify the insane price tag attached to it.

Bowers & Wilkins took advantage of the setting up the P5 to perform as advertised, thanks to its award-winning technology that features ultra-linear neodymium magnets and highly optimized Mylar diaphragms. For a comfortable and luxurious fit, Maserati was in charge of dressing up the headphones with fine-grain natural leather to go with a deep blue shade and the iconic Maserati Trident emblem incorporated on the sides of the ear cups.

The headphones really fit the lifestyle of those who enjoy their luxury accessories. It’s actual retail price is £330, which is about $540 based on current exchange rates.

Click past the jump to read about the flagship Maserati model, the Quattroporte

Source: MSN
Posted on by Simona  

Do you remember the Performance Data Recorder Chevrolet unveiled for the 2015 Corvette Stingray earlier this year? Now Ferrari announced a similar system called "Telemetry" and draws its inspiration from the company’s Formula 1 experience.

Ferrari ’s "Telemetry" is a real-time telemetry system and will be available on the F12berlinetta , 458 Speciale and LaFerrari . This system will allow the driver to monitor the car’s position and analyze its performance, by recording driving sessions and displaying the main data on the instrument binnacle.

This system will offer performance details like braking points or speed out of corners. In order to offer these details, the system uses the slew of signals coming from the car, like the accelerator and brake pedal angle, gear shifts, rpms and more.

The same system is currently used by Scuderia Ferrari technicians working with Fernando Alonso and Kimi Räikkönen during test sessions and Formula 1 grands prix.

 Audi Sport Quattro Laserlight Concept

When we got our first look at the Audi Sport Quattro Laserlight concept , our nerdy senses started to tingle, as we imagined all the possibilities of these tiny, yet powerful lights making their way into production cars. Well, Audi boss Rupert Stadler confirmed that these lights will indeed make their way into production, like with the 2015 BMW i8 , but not any time in the near future in the U.S. at least.

Unfortunately, we have this little agency called the NHTSA that has to approve all new automotive technology before an automaker can fit it on vehicles, and it has yet to even consider this technology for U.S.-bound vehicles. In fact, the NHTSA still has to make a final ruling on Audi’s LED Matrix Display headlights, which we saw on the upcoming 2015 Audi A8 , so we suggest not holding your breath on the Audi’s Laserlight setup just yet.

What’s more, this also brings into focus the fact that though the i8 will have these lights as an option, they will likely not be made available in the U.S. in time for its release later this year. Talk about a total buzz kill...

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi Sport Quattro Laserlight

It seems like just yesterday we were discussing the debut of the 2014 Corvette Stingray , and now GM is releasing information on the 2015 model year. No, we do not have any hard details on the 2015 Stingray, but GM did reveal the Performance Data Recorder (PDR) , which will be available starting with the 2015 Stingray.

General Motors teamed up with the folks at Cosworth top develop the PDR system, which includes three main components: a 720p camera mounted near the top of the windshield, a self-contained telemetry recorder and an SD memory card slot in the glove box to store the data and video on your own memory card.

The 720p camera eliminates the need to pick up a digital camera capable of withstanding the wear and tear of the track, as it takes high-quality, first-person footage of your track session. There is also a microphone in the cabin, so you can elaborate on what’s going on. You can watch the video either on the eight-inch display in the car when it is parked, or you can upload it to your computer, using the SD card.

The telemetry recorder makes use of a GPS receiver to track the car’s positioning. This is not your standard, choppy, in-dash GPS; rather, this bad-boy operates at 5 hertz — five times faster than a standard GPS — which precisely tracks the Stingray’s positioning and draws a precise driving line that allows you to see how well you tackle turns. Also weaved into this recorder is the Corvette ’s Controller Area Network, allowing it full access to the engine speed, gear selection and steering angle, giving you an in-depth look at how these aspects affect your performance on the track.

There are three overlay modes for the video, with each one displaying only the data you need. The Track Mode displays all of the possible data on the screen, including speed, rpm, G-force, a location-based map and tons of other pertinent info. The Sport Mode reduces the clutter on the screen, but still shows important data, like speed and G-force. Touring Mode only records video and audio, rendering a dash cam useless. The final mode it the Performance Mode, which includes all of the key performance details, including 0-to-60 mph time, quarter-mile time and speed, and 0-to-100-to-0 time.

Using the included Cosworth Toolbox, which shows your lap times on a Bing satellite map, and allows you to compare each lap corner-by-corner.

GM didn’t reveal the price of the PDR, but it made it pretty clear that this will not be a standard feature. This will simply add to the popularity of the Stingray rolling into the next model year. Hat’s off to GM for really putting all it has into the Stingray!

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Stingray .

BMW i8

The partnership between Toyota and BMW has been reported ad nauseam in the past few months but both companies have remained tight lipped on what kind of collaboration its going to be.

But that’s not the case anymore after a high-ranking BMW exec essentially confirmed and described the collaboration between the two brands. Speaking to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, BMW development chief Dr. Herbert Diess essentially laid out all the cards on the table, detailing what a lot of us have suspected for a while now before throwing out a caveat that gave us a clearer picture of what we can expect with this partnership.

"We have agreed on a joint architecture for a sports car," Diess said, before adding that "there will be two different vehicles that are authentic to the two brands."

So...the Toyota -BMW technological dance will give way to at least two models, one carrying a Toyota badge and one carrying a BMW badge. That’s cool and all, but with that piece of information all but confirmed, the onus now turns on exactly what kind of models these vehicles are going to be under their respective brands.

Could it be that we’re in store for a successor to the Lexus LF-A or the long-awaited return of the Supra ? On the flip side, maybe a new BMW sports car that will be a class above the Z4 , or something along the lines of the new i8 ?

A lot of potential models are in play and its exciting that we’re going into 2014 with all this speculation on what kind of offspring the Toyota and BMW marriage is going to have.

Note: Photo is of the 2015 BMW i8

Click past the jump to read about a car that could be a nice representation of what Toyota and BMW are building towards, the 2015 BMW i8

BMW i3

Everybody has gotten to see the 2015 BMW i3 in all of its glory either in person or here at TopSpeed, but few have actually gotten behind the wheel of this peppy little electric hatchback. That’ll all come to an end when the Consumer Electronics Show kicks off, as BMW will offer test drives of its electric hatchback at CES, starting Tuesday, January 7th at 10:00 a.m. at Silver Lot 3.

In addition to giving prospective buyers the chance to get behind the wheel of the i3, BMW will also reveal official details on its highly automated driving project. Very few details are currently available, but we suspect this will be linked in with the i3 in some manner, maybe a partially automated version of the new model to show off what BMW has in place so far.

Automated driving is the next big step in the automotive world, as Google and GM are already each in the thick of testing their respective automated driving systems. To date, the closest you can come to automated driving is the lane-keeping assistance and adaptive cruise control found on higher end cars. Future driving automation will likely eliminate all human input, with exception to emergency situations where a human has to override a faulty system.

We’ll keep a close eye on what Bimmer is rolling out at CES, and we’ll update you as soon as the details are available.

Click past the jump to see a video of a legally blind man "driving" Google’s automated Prius and to see the full test drive schedule for the i3

Hydrographics is nothing really new, but rarely do we get to see it in action. For the most part, you drop off your rims or other components, come back a few days later to pieces that look like they are brand new. For those of you who have never seen this process, HG Arts — a Barcelona-based company — has released a video showing the process.

Short of giving you a chemistry lesson, this process is completed by laying a polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) film with graphics painted on it into a tub of water and spraying the PVA with a solution that turns it into a bonding liquid that floats on the water. The company then dips your rim, spoiler or whatever other component, into the water. As the component goes deeper into the water, the floating PVA wraps perfectly around the component, adhering the painted graphics to the compoent.

Sure, this technology doesn’t compensate for any damage to the base coat on the rim, but it can take a rather boring rim and spruce it up with a new graphic, like a faux carbon-fiber finish or whatever other graphic you can think of.

Have a look at the above video to see the results.

We all knew from the time BMW introduced the production i8 that it was going to be one of those cars that redefine the way we appreciate our loves. it’s that revolutionary, and not just by way of all the high-tech goodies it comes with.

But since we’re heading down that road, this is as good a time as any to shine the spotlight on one of the most innovative things about the i8 . And no, we’re not talking about those laser lights that will be a first for a production vehicle. We’re talking about the keyfob, an otherwise unglamorous — yet extremely useful — piece of equipment used on a lot of cars these days.

We all know what keyfobs tend to look like: small, clunky and largely rectangular in shape that serve the sole purpose of having built-in authentication mechanisms, but this one’s unlike anything you’ve seen from a gadget like this.

Ordinarily, key fobs don’t do much in the way of cutting edge design. But the i8 keyfob is different in so many levels, it’s hard too imagine not getting caught up on what it can do.

It can start the BMW i8, that’s for sure. It can also serve to contain lock/unlock buttons, a trunk opener, and sometimes, its own alarm. But the i8’s keyfob’s function doesn’t just end there. It also contains a high-resolution display screen that’s similar to what you can see on a lot of instrument clusters these days. This screen houses some pretty useful information, especially for a hybrid sports car like the i8.

Based on the photo of the i8 keyfob, you can see the range of the sports car before recharging and re-fueling, pretty important information that will allow you to not overcharge your sports car too much. Look closer and you’ll also notice that all-important information on when the car was last charged and whether or not the key fob itself is connected to the i8. On those important capabilities alone, you can already surmise just how revolutionary this keyfob is. Or, as those familiar with those Japanese toys: a Tamagochi, it is not.

But it doesn’t just end there; the i8 keyfob also has a handful of buttons that can be customized specifically to the needs of the owner. It really is tantamount to a mini smartphone with its own re-programmable functions.

For the price it commands — a replacement key fob will cost at least $1,000 — you’d be wise to keep this small yet incredibly sophisticated piece of technology as close to you as possible.

That, in a nutshell, is how best to describe the BMW i8 key fob: small yet incredibly sophisticated...and really, really expensive.

Click past the jump to read about the 2015 BMW i8

Source: BMW Blog

The constant race for innovation comes in its truest form in the auto industry with companies spending millions of dollars in pursuit of that one breakthrough that can redefine the business.

To its credit, BMW may have come to that road with its laser light technology.

Different from the popular LED lights that have become prevalent in the industry, laser lights are being propped as the next evolution in lighting technology, with promises of being safer and more efficient than their LED counterparts.
BMW is tapping into this new technology, which they will use for the first time on the 2015 i8 hybrid sports car , an appropriate choice if there ever was one because of the i8’s own place as its own technologically savant piece.

So why are laser lights safer and more efficient than LEDs? For starters — and this is going to a new level of geekdom, so strap on and try to keep up — laser lights are safer in a sense that they are more focused on what their shining on, which in this case is the road. What this does is reduce the strain caused to oncoming cars, reducing the possibility of angry drivers flipping you the bird as you pass them.

Light strength is another distinct advantage for laser lights, something BMW alludes to in the video above. Compared to light range of standard LEDs, an LED high beam equipped with laser lights is capable of extending that range to an incredible 600 meters (1,970 feet). By comparison, an LED low beam only has a 100-meter (328 feet) range with the high beam at 300 meters (985 feet). Significant stuff right there.

As far as efficiency is concerned, laser lights draw so little energy that they automatically reduce a car’s energy consumption. Laser lights also have smaller lighting diodes, 100 times smaller than the cells used in LEDs, giving BMW designers more flexibility and leeway in designing their lights setup, specifically the ones you’ll find on the i8.

Unfortunately, laser lights don’t come standard on the i8; instead, BMW is offering them as an option for the high-beam mode on the hybrid sports car.

Still and all, its a technology that we’re going to see and hear about in the coming years. That’s what happens when you’re dealing with something that has the potential to be a technological evolution.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 BMW i8

Posted on by Tushar  
McLaren P1

Imagine driving a car on a rainy day with no windshield wipers. Sure, water-repelling chemicals help a bit, but without wipers, driving could get tricky. Modern automobiles are a result of over 100 years of evolution, and today’s supercars are unlike anything the father of the automobile would’ve dreamed of.

The 21st-century automobile is a complex system of mechanical and electronic parts, but some old bits, like the windshield wipers, are still a part of each and every car that rolls out of its respective factory. Well, McLaren has now embarked on a quest to completely revolutionize the concept of the windshield wiper.

The company plans to replace the mechanical wiper with an invisible force that would make these parts unnecessary. According to McLaren ’s chief designer, Frank Stephenson, McLaren is currently working on a system that will use high-frequency sound waves across the windshield to keep it free of all debris, which is similar to the system used on modern fighter jets today.

Modern supercars do look like road-going fighter jets and use carbon composites and other materials from the aeronautics industry, so why not add more aerospace technology to the mix?

Mechanical wipers cause substantial aerodynamic loses and when it comes to supercars, like the McLaren P1 , engineers spend months on end perfecting its aero-performance.So, the industry would definitely benefit if wipers as we know are replaced by sound waves.

What McLaren in planning, is to use an ultrasonic transducer to emit 30 kHz sound waves to help debris just bounce off the windshield. Of course, this a more simplified explanation and we’re sure it’s much more complicated than that.

There is no word on when this technology may be ready.

Click past the jump to read more about the Mclaren P1 hypercar

Source: CarsUK

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