technology

technology

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

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

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) isn’t exactly the kind of show you go to just to check out what new automotive goodies are ripe to receive our undivided attention. But every so often, an automaker makes waves for one reason or another and at the 2014 CES, Audi is preparing to host a mysterious world premiere that’s leaving a lot of us with more questions than answers.

Could it be an actual car? That’s the million-dollar question right there and one that we’re dying to get the answer to as soon as possible.

But even with the anxiety of not knowing what Audi has up its sleeve at CES 2014, we can take comfort knowing that the German automaker has more presentations for the event, including new assistance systems, a virtual cockpit and an MMI concept that the company proclaims as being capable of making operations "faster, simpler, and safer".

Those presentations are enough for us to keep an eye out on Audi when CES 2014 opens its doors on January 7th, 2014. And we’re not even talking about this mysterious world premiere that we’re just dying to see.

Click past the jump to read more about what Audi showcased at CES 2013 earlier this year

Posted on by Simona  

Starting 2010, Michael Schumacher is the brand ambassador for Mercedes-Benz , and a development partner for Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive. This is the collective name the company has given to the networked assistance systems that relieve driver workload and improve traffic safety.

Today, Mercedes unveiled a cool video with Michael Schumacher testing the safety systems on the 2015 C-Class . While it does not show much about the car, the video confirms the model will get a variety of safety systems, including Collision Prevention Assist Plus, Pre-Safe Brake, Brake Assist Plus, Active Blind Spot Assist and Active Lane Keeping Assist.

Thanks to the new safety systems, the ride in the next C-Class will be more comfortable and considerably safer. All these new systems share the same sensory system that includes a new stereo camera and multi-stage radar sensors.

Of course, all these new system deliver optimal response when the car is driven to speed up to 50 - 70 km/h (30-43 mph), but the Collision Prevention Assist Plus is even active at speeds up to 200 km/h (124 mph) when it can help avoiding crashes by automatic, autonomous partial braking.

We are pretty sure that all these new systems will make the C-Class one of the safest luxury sedans on the market, so we can’t wait testing it!

We all know Google and how heavily we rely upon it for information gathering. Constant updates and improvements keep Google ahead its competition and growing even larger as a search engine. But Google’s latest improvement has car shoppers and gearheads taking note of the new features.

Google’s Knowledge Graph — the information box on the right-hand side of a search results page — now includes info on cars, trucks, vans and SUVs. Pricing, EPA estimated fuel economy, trim levels, and even a vehicle’s direct competition will appear in the search.

“You may already use Google to help you make everyday decisions, like what restaurant to pick for dinner or which movie to go see. Starting today, you can also rely on Google’s Knowledge Graph to research a big decision: cars,” Google wrote in a blog post.

While finding a vehicle’s specs and pricing in a condensed format is definitely helpful for car buyers, seeing its direct competition seems even more important for buyers looking to purchase the vehicle best suited for their specific needs. Buying a car is a huge decision – especially considering it’s the average person’s second-largest purchase following their house – and Google is aiming to help consumers be better informed before walking into a dealership.

We love the idea of quick-n-dirty information being a few mouse-clicks away, however we wince at the thought of not doing further research on a more dedicated website such as you’re truly. Shameless self-plugs aside, having such information readily accessible is appealing and we look forward to having production dates, engine options, and trim levels at a fingertip’s reach.

Click past the jump for videos on Google’s Knowledge Graph

Everyday, thousands of new cars, trucks , vans , and SUVs roll off assembly lines the world over. They represent the newest technology and innovation their respective manufacturer has to offer, and for many buyers, will be the second-largest single purchase they make following their house.

But what happens to a vehicle once its life on the road comes to a stop? The latest infographic from gocompare.com details just how automotive recycling programs are cutting back on unused waste and reintroducing the market with quality recycled materials by shredding the old family sedan for all it’s worth.

Before the recycling process can begin, all fluids are drained, tires are removed, and special equipment like mercury switches and batteries are sent off for separate recycling. The tire-less, dry vehicles are then crushed and ground up. The fist-sized chunks coming from the grinder are then sorted, depending on material. At this point, roughly 15 to 25 percent of the vehicle is considered waste and enters a landfill, with the large remainder headed for further processing.

Plastics and metals are two of the largest reclaimed materials from recycled vehicles. In fact, recycled vehicle plastics save roughly 24 million barrels of oil annually in the U.S. alone. Metals like iron and steel are separated with magnets while copper and aluminum are separated by weight. Car batteries are also a highly recyclable material and can yield up to 97 percent of its original lead content in the process.

Automotive recycling is big business in America with over 12 million vehicles processed annually. Recycling is a $22 billion dollar industry and growing. That growth helps conserve resources and reduce landfill waste while expanding job growth the world over.

Click past the jump to check out the infographic

Here at TopSpeed, we give you the rundown on some pretty expensive equipment. Whether it is a Ferrari , Maserati , Ford or Fiat , all these things cost money. We know caring for that new rig can be nerve-racking with all the rogue shopping carts and distracted drivers looming inches away – not to mention the jealous thieves who’d love to help themselves to your new 911 .

That’s why our eyes popped wide when we saw the latest product from Globalstar, Inc.: the SPOT Trace. It’s a GPS-based tracking device wrapped in a small but tough box designed to be hidden within anything valuable, like a car, ATV, motorcycle or boat.

The SPOT Trace uses GPS signals to monitor any movement, even down to vibrations, of whatever the device is secured to. Any movement can be automatically sent to a cell phone, via email or text message, to alert of possible theft. The SPOT Trace also has a dock mode for monitoring boats moored in harbor.

Users can set their preferences to receive updates in 2.5, 5, 10, 30, or 60-minute intervals. They can also view their asset’s location 24/7 in real time on Google Maps. Even if the thief tries to flee internationally, the GPS tracker will follow the SPOT Trace almost anywhere in the world. And with an 18-month battery life, the thief’s chances of keeping his loot are dramatically slim.

Perhaps the SPOT Trace’s best feature is its affordability. The unit itself only runs $99 and the yearly GPS subscription costs the same. A hundred bucks seems like a real bargain for some peace of mind knowing that your $100,000 Porsche or $1.5 million yacht is right where you parked it.

Click past the jump to read the press release about the SPOT Trace GPS tracker

Posted on by Simona  

Nissan will unveil a very cool gadget at the upcoming 2013 Tokyo Motor Show , which will open its doors next week. That’s right, Nissan does a lot more than just stamp out cars and truck, folks. The new gadget in question is a head-mounted display that Nissan has dubbed the 3E, and it is set to take on Google Glass.

According to the initial details offered by Nissan, the 3E can be connected to the Internet in real time, allowing the users to overlay acquired information on the glasses, record projected images and communicate with others by sending information to their glasses.

Unfortunately, Nissan stopped short of offering too many details, but we expect it to also display plenty of car-centric information, like speed, fuel consumption and GPS directions. The downside, much like Google Glass, it that it may also be a distraction for drivers , as it will likely also display social media information and phone notifications.

Full details on the 3E will be unveiled next week during its official debut at the Tokyo Motor Show. These fancy techno-glasses will make their debut alongside another futuristic piece of Nissan equipment: the recently revealed BladeGlider concept. The 3E also gets a spot next to a more current Nissan marvel: the GT-R Nismo .

Stay tuned for more information.

Click past the jump to watch the first trailer video of the upcoming Nissan 3E gadget.

Posted on by TB +  

Do you prefer a shabby beach house or high-tech luxury condo with 60 floors of pure ocean views and in-unit garages?

Vacation living just got a lot swankier for car-loving fat-cats across the globe. The new Porsche Design Tower in Miami broke ground this April with a fabulous pre-launch gala showcasing unique features, tech and style of the new Porsche beach-front high-rise.

The Porsche association is the most newsworthy element of this A-list project in Miami’s Sunny Isles, but the building itself is a masterpiece of holistic and conceptual design.

From the drafting tables and wild technology of the Porsche Design think-tank comes this 130-unit oceanfront tower on some of the best beaches in the world. Even the most affordable of the $5-million-plus floor-plans will be enough to feel like king of the Atlantic with 4200 square feet of living space and a glass-walled, two-car garage right next to the living room fireplaces.

No, this is not a timeshare in Boca. This is a fully-staffed, museum-quality building that is both a showpiece for Porsche’s foray into lifestyle design, and a tech-infused beach getaway for some of the world’s richest people.

These residences are not yet complete, but the developer preview renderings are enough to fill your dreams of the ultimate high-rise castle in the sky.

Click past the jump for all the high-res details of the upcoming Porsche Design Tower in Miami, including its automated system of elevators that bring a driver — and his whole Panamera full of groceries — up as high as 60 floors and into his glass condo garage.

Compressed Natural Gas has never gained traction in retail-aimed vehicles, but for large fleet companies and government municipalities, CNG makes a lot of sense.

It is cheaper, easier to transport, and far cleaner than any gasoline and even EV cars that fill their batteries with coal-fired electricity.

Amid a flurry of other green and eco messages touting GM’s improving eco-friendly manufacturing, General Motors CEO Dan Akerson also announced on Wednesday that Chevrolet will be offering the all-new Impala sedan with CNG capabilities.

General Motors is expecting slow initial sales of around 750 to 1,000 units during the first year, but expects the marketplace to become more open to CNG-powered vehicles as time goes by.

There is no word yet on pricing, but other CNG vehicles see an additional $7,500 to $9,500 in costs over its gasoline-powered counterpart.

The move to offer a fleet-targeted CNG Impala an interesting one as GM has tirelessly worked to reposition the more upscale 2014 Impala far away from the mass-production, cash-only/rental-car feel the previous generation of Impalas suffered from. However, the new Impala does offer fleet customers more room and refinement than other vehicles in that market segment.

Click past the jump to read more about the Chevrolet Impala CNG and the standard 2014 model with gasoline engines.


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