technology

technology

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

Chevrolet has released a new video in which Patrick Herrmann, Technical Manager of Chevrolet Europe, shows how the new variable exhaust in the 2014 Corvette Stingray works and sounds in real-life situations.

Patrick then takes camera crews to his buddy Mario Müller‘s place who gives Harley-Davidson motorcycles the same sort of variable exhaust treatment. Mario calls his aftermarket creation a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde combination for its smooth, quite operation and – with the flick of a switch – vicious, loud roars of American iron.

Remember, the Stingray ’s variable exhaust isn’t just a pretty set of vocal chords, but an additional system that helps produce an extra five horsepower and five pound-feet of torque over the base exhaust system.

Click past the jump to read about the 2014 Corvette Stingray

Source: Autoblog.com
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Sounding like a marriage between a vacuum company and a grocery-store cell phone, Drayson Racing Technology and Qualcomm are preparing the next wave of revolutionary EV technology: induction charging with no cords. As the marquee sponsors and tech suppliers of next year’s all-new electric racing series, dubbed Formula E, these two companies might be some of the most innovative movers and shakers in electric vehicle technology.

The lack of brand recognition for these companies is not really a problem. While they stopped making their own cell phones almost a decade ago, every new Android or iPhone sold brings a payday for Qualcomm. Thousands of inventions, patents and licensing deals mean that Qualcomm is happy to sit behind the scenes, cashing checks and investing in research and development.

Every racing series would like to claim its direct influence of road car technology, but the link is often completely fictional and done for marketing authenticity. Race on Sunday, sell on Monday is the old adage explaining how to convert racing fans into buyers of humdrum production models. The Formula E concept is exciting because almost everything has to be designed and imagined from the ground up.

No 10,000-page rule books, infighting or Bernie gives the new series the freedom to explore and experiment. The challenges of an electric racing series are many, including the fact that most electric cars run out of juice after about 10 minutes of track driving.

Battery swaps at pit stops are a possibility at first, but Drayson and Qualcomm’s vision is an uninterrupted race, using induction battery chargers built into the track concrete itself. There are more than a few enormous engineering challenges to overcome, but the technology could eventually be transferred into highway charging for normal EV models like the Nissan Leaf or Tesla Model S .

Click past the jump for more details on the new technology partnership between Drayson Racing Technologies and Qualcomm’s Halo Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging system.

Google glass is still in its beta testing phase and you can only get one for testing purposes in special cases. In fact, yours truly has applied to receive one to see just how distracting it is while driving, but chances are I’ll never get my hands on one. On the surface, Google Glass looks like an awesome advancement in communication and entertainment, but when we dig a little deeper, some big issues arise.

We love automotive technology here at Topspeed, but at some point technology becomes distracting and Google Glass is right at that boundary. What makes matters worse is that several automakers are looking to integrate Google Glass into their navigation and infotainment system, with the latest being Mercedes-Benz . The problem becomes the fact that while this looks like an easier and safer way to transmit information to drivers, it actually poses some serious safety concerns.

First and foremost, Google Glass displays the information directly in front of one of your eyes, which is very distracting. Another downfall that is well documented is the fact that the prism that displays the information is reportedly "faint," making it tough to see the display in natural light — what we drive in the majority of the time. This could result in a user focusing too much on the screen and not the traffic in front of them, ending in a crash.

Additionally, sudden movements, like bumps on a road, can cause the device to slide down your nose, which causes the faintness of the screen to become worse until the user adjusts it. This could result in the user repeatedly adjusting it, leading to even more distractions.

Lastly, with so many drivers already breaking the cell phone- and video-use laws while driving, do we really need a screen sitting directly in front of the driver? Also, is having a navi screen directly in front of your eyes instead of in you peripheral vision really that much more convenient? The answer to both questions is a "no" in my opinion...

Sure, this is all up for debate and Google Glass is still in beta phase, so things may change when it rolls out in production form. However, unless Google makes some serious safety changes to the existing Glass, I think the NHTSA may want to take a close look at banning its use while driving nationwide, bypassing the state-by-state issues we have on cell phone use.

When Apple released the first bits of information on the iOS in the Car system just yesterday, we saw a long list of premium automakers that have already signed up, like Mercedes and Jaguar . One that was not on the list that we figured was just hung up in the details was BMW . Well, a new report tells us that there was more to Bimmer not being on the list than meets the eye.

A BMW spokesperson said "The upshot is that as we have such an advanced multimedia offer that has been in vehicles in various guises for more than a decade, it would not be that straight forward to start changing all of the architecture of a car as has been implied [by Apple]." So, basically, the changes that BMW would have to make to crowbar in the new Apple system would be way too great to warrant installing the iOS in the Car system.

BMW and Apple have worked together in the past, so it comes as a bit of a surprise that the Bavarian automaker will not support the system for the foreseeable future. Fortunately for Bimmer drivers, BMW’s interfaces are plenty advanced and have a decade-long track record, so there is no worrying about sticking with an outdated or non-functional system. Additionally, BMW will support Apples new Siri Eyes Free system.

We wouldn’t be too surprised to see Apple work its way into BMW sometime in the next five years, or so, but that may take some massaging of the iOS system to appease BMW. Another good reason for BMW breaking down is if iOS in the Car becomes a smash hit, then it would be doing its buyers a disservice by leaving it out.

Stay tuned for more details…

Source: Macnn

As of 2012, for every six PCs sold one Macintosh (AKA “Mac” for you generation Y folks) computer leaves the shelves, not including iPads. While that may seem like a huge gap, that is actually a huge boost over the 56-to-1 ratio of PCs to Macs back in the early 2000s. This is mostly because Macintosh has been marketing to younger generations as the “hip” brand and only us geezers living in the Stone Age still use PCs. It is also partly due to strategic positioning in the market by Mac and hitting niches that PC manufacturers have overlooked.

In the automotive world, however, Mac and PC both have been relatively left out in the cold, as manufacturers have mostly opted for proprietary operating systems for their infotainment systems. This is all about to come to a head in the coming months, as Mac has just announced its new “iOS in the Car” to pair along with its new iOS 7.

The details are still very limited, but Apple has already contracted with list of heavy hitters that includes Mercedes-Benz , Ferrari , Acura , Volvo , Jaguar , Infiniti , Nissan , Chevy , Kia , Opel and Hyundai to roll this new system out. According to reports, this system will link with your iPhone and use a revised Siri system to control GPS, maps, the audio system, hands-free operation, talk-to-text, etc. This system will also use a screen that actually mimics you iPhone’s screen, meaning that the car’s entire OS very well may be a revised version of iOS and not just a simple integration.

This means that Apple will suddenly have a firm grasp on us geezer PC users that happen to buy top-line cars and even some of the entry-level cars, by offering a level of integration that is unseen to date. Additionally, Mac may find a way to integrate laptops and iPads to the system, enticing more premium car buyers to opt for a Mac computer instead of a PC.

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The famed Halda Watch Company of Sweden is introducing a new convertible into the market for high-dollar racing watches. There’s a twist to this beauty’s black titanium frame: it accepts both a gorgeous mechanical movement as well as a high-tech digital chronometer for racing lap times and three-axis g-force readings.

The concept of two watches serving different purposes enhances the authenticity of the product for a realistic racing tie-in. The digital portion, or the Racing Module, is pre-loaded with full maps of the world’s 150 top racetracks, like Suzuka in Japan and Silverstone in England. The digital face is also perfectly useful in real life via reconfigurable display settings to deliver all the critical watch functions plus a few extra, like a super-loud alarm amplifier to be heard over racing engines.

Offered as a single watch or the pair of faces, the new Race Module also clips into Halda’s existing flagship watch, the Space Discovery.

Please click past the jump for the full gadget review of the Halda Race Pilot.

Tech Review: Automatic Link Makes Diagnostics and Driving Data More Streamlined

Car insurance companies are always trying to find some way to better monitor your driving style and habits to help adjust their premiums accordingly. In fact, yours truly fell for the Progressive scam of plugging a small transmitter into the data port on my Mazdaspeed MX-5 with the promise that I could “save up to 30 percent.” Well, this little gadget sensed every time I tapped the brakes a little too hard or pushed my little turbocharged roadster into a corner just a little harder than usual, then it would beep and upload this information to the company.

Well, after noticing what this gizmo was up to, I quickly unplugged it and overnighted it to Progressive with a thanks-but-no-thanks letter. Well, now more insurance companies are getting into the tracking game with even more technology. In fact, State Farm has taken it a little further by installing an app on your Android 4.0 (or higher) smartphone. According to State Farm this app will collect “basic information about your driving,” but the insurance giant doesn’t offer a bit of info about what it will use this data for.

So, why would you allow your insurance company to track how, when and where you drive? Because they grease your palm, of course; State Farm is offering up a $50 gift card to the first 5,000 volunteers to give up their driving privacy and test the system. In fact, you don’t even have to be a State Farm customer to do this test and get the $50.

We say stay away from this deal and the insurance tracking devices altogether, regardless of how much they choose to offer you in return. Chances are that this information could potentially jack up your car insurance just because you park in a less-than-ideal area semi-frequently or brake a little harder than others. Plus, having your insurance company knowing what you’re up to at any given time is pretty dang scary.

What’s next, health insurance companies strapping devices on us to monitor our food intake and exercise?

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How do you protect your supercar’s paintwork from stone chips? Two possible answers: Either never, ever drive it, or pay thousands to have clear films mounted to protect the trouble spots: nose, hood, rockers and wheel wells. An exciting new product called 3M Paint Defender offers all the benefits of permanent shields in an easy-to-use, crystal-clear spray-on film.

3M invited some auto journalists up to their Minnesota headquarters last week to unveil their latest innovation: a spray-on Paint Defender film that’s perfect for DIY car guys.

Keeping a supercar showroom fresh is a constant struggle, and the exterior paintwork is the hardest piece of the puzzle, right behind the engine and electronics. Buyers will walk right past a supercar with purring mechanicals if it has bad paint. Any visible paint scars from stone chips can be a deal-breaker and can easily knock 15 percent off the car’s total value.

Bad on a $10,000 Toyota but utterly devastating on a $200,000 Carrera GT .

Making things worse, low-slung supercars pick up more road scars and any other type of vehicle.

Click past the jump for the full review and the tech that makes this product one-of-a-kind.

We’ve all been there and done that; you’re cruising down the road and the “Check Engine” light pops on. Then you have three choices. Choice No. 1 is simply ignoring the light and risking damaging important components on your car. Choice No. 2 is taking the car to the shop and pay upward of $100 just to have the light diagnosed. Choice No. 3 is to buy your own scanner for $50-plus and hope that you can sort out the problem.

Well, now there is a product named Automatic Link that takes the place of the standard OBD-II scanner and spits out the code that the check engine light was caused by and a general summary of the code right on your Bluetooth-compatible smartphone.

On top of being a rolling and wireless scanner, it also keeps tab on your driving style, mpg and so much more.

Click past the just to read our review on the Automatic Link

Peugeot RCZ R Concept

Magna Steyr, the same company that gave us the 3-in-1 MILA Coupic Concept last year, is coming back to the Geneva Motor Show and it appears that it’s bringing a modified Peugeot RCZ with it that it apparently has turned into an "exciting coupe concept.”

No details were given on exactly what kind of model this is going to be - no name even - but according to a company press release, the entire objective is to present the RCZ Coupe Concept with what the company calls View Top, an innovative sliding folding roof with integrated glass elements that creates a unique open-air feeling.

The inspiration behind the concept, it appears, is the aforementioned MILA Coupic Concept, a vehicle that turned heads last year for its innovative approach to multi-functionality.

“The inspiration for this concept car stems from Magna Steyr’s MILA concept series, which demonstrates the unique product design and engineering capabilities that we can deliver to customers,” explains Magna Steyr president Günther Apfalter.

“We are excited to take our original View Top design concept and bring it closer to reality by showcasing it as a concept on a sports car production vehicle.”

Suffice to say, we’re more than interested to see what Magna Steyr has up its sleeve. We’re still not quite sure what the concept is going to look like, which makes the whole thing even more interesting.

*Note: Photo is of the Peugeot RCZ R Concept


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