technology

technology

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

Audi has announced it will be adopting a 48-volt electrical system in its vehicles starting in the near future. The new high-power electrical system is said to give engineers the ability to make sportier, more efficient, and more convenient cars.

“We are using the full bandwidth of electrification in our drive principles strategy,” says Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenbert, a Member of the Board of Management for Technical Devel Devel opment at Audi. “Running part of the vehicle electrical system at 48 volts plays a central role in this. It enables us to make more energy available.”

We’ve already seen two examples of Audi vehicles with the 48-volt system; the RS5 TDI and A6 TDI concepts. Both cars are fitted with an electrically powered compressor that gives extra boost to the engine, helping eliminate turbo lag. The compressor is a separate system than the engine, so there is no parasitic loss.

Boosting power won’t be the only benefit. Audi says the upgraded electrical system will help boost advancements in dynamic chassis control systems.

The 48-volt system will even work while the main engine is powered off. A small bank of lithium-ion batteries will supply the juice. A DC/DC converter then integrates the standard, 12-volt electrical system. What’s more, the battery pack also works in conjunction with a new efficiency-optimized alternator, basically turning the vehicle into a mild hybrid system.

Audi says the new system can save owners 0.4 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers, or roughly 0.105 gallons over 62 miles.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi RS5 TDI Concept

Posted on by Nico DeMattia  

Land Rover has always been on the forefront of off-road technology . It’s a company that prides itself on pushing the bar upward with each new model. For instance, the new Range Rover is quite possibly the best, most advance off-roading production vehicle on the market today, with its all-aluminum body and frame, it has anti-roll bars that disconnect electronically and it can even come with a sonar system that allows you to monitor wading depth. All Land Rovers are highly advanced vehicles, and Land Rover seems to be teasing some new tech for the upcoming Discovery Sport .

The video seems to be tying the history and future of Land Rover with that of the space program, showing numerous Evolution Of Man-style aeronautic images. At the end of the video it even references the partnership between Land Rover and Virgin Galactic, the space program branch of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin empire.

The first bit of interior tech Land Rover teases, is the satellite-image-style navigation system, which could offer an incredibly accurate way of tracking yourself while off-road in dangerous and desolate places, or allow fantastic exploration abilities. The second bit is the set of seven rear seats that seem to have a high range of maneuverability. The last piece of tech Land Rover teases is a large, panoramic moonroof that seems to stretch almost the entire length and width of the roof.

Land Rover doesn’t tease too much, but it is hinting that this new Discovery is on the cutting edge of technology. The Discovery Sport is rumored to use space-grade techniques, borrowed from its Virgin Galactic partner, such as "see-through" view of the road ahead, helping you avoid dangerous terrain while tackling tough terrain, as well as gesture control, which will allow the driver to operate various parts of the vehicle with hand gestures. These are all just rumors, of course, and we’ll see how high-tech the Discovery Sport really is when it debuts September 3rd, 2014. For now we can only speculate as to what kind of tech the Discovery will really have, and hope that a zero-gravity key-fob is one of them.

Jaguar Land Rover has been really working on its in-car technologies these days. Remember all the fancy self-learning software inside those Land Rovers in this video? Well, Jaguar is showcasing its own set of dashboard wizardry in the upcoming 2016 Jaguar XE with this swanky video.

With the help of animated parts exploding outward for detailed views, Jaguar’s Global Connected Car Director, Mike Bell, takes us on a tour of what we can expect from the upcoming luxury car .

The Jaguar XE will be the first of many Jaguars featuring the automaker’s "InControl Touch Infotainment system" that integrates many advanced features through an eight-inch touch screen in the dash and Jaguar’s new Plain Speech Voice Control system. The infotainment software will seamlessly connect with both Apple and Android devices for in-car integration of certain applications. An in-car Wi-Fi hotspot allows multiple devices to access high-speed Internet.

Also present is an optional laser-projected heads-up display system that shows information over the entire width of the windshield including driving directions, vehicle information, and even road sign recognition. Of course a premium audio system will be featured; this one coming from Meridian.

Protecting all this valuable technology and the entire Jaguar XE will be the InControl Protect and InControl Secure systems with the former allowing for SOS emergency and Jaguar Assistance calls to be placed without the need for a cell phone in the car while the latter allows authorities to track the vehicle should it become stolen.

Overall it seems Jaguar Land Rover is working hard on becoming the leader of in-car technology and smart phone integration. We’re looking forward to getting our hands on this gadgetry when it debuts in late 2015.

Ever have nightmares about handing some shady valet character the keys to your ride? Apparently Corvette engineers suffer long, sleepless nights from the thought of their baby being joy-ridden around the parking garage. Well worry no more, as the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray now comes with an upgraded Valet Mode.

Sure, other high performance and luxury nameplates come with a valet mode and the 2014 Stingray did as well, but the 2015 Vette now offers owners some extra reassurance. The valet system now ties in with the Performance Data Recorder to record not only vehicle speed, engine revs and other vital stats, but also records audio and HD video of the driving event while you’re away.

Besides keeping watch over the car, Valet Mode still locks all interior storage spaces and restricts access to the infotainment system via a simple four-digit PIN entered to begin and end the Valet Mode session. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear to limit the Corvette’s performance capabilities, so valet employees still have access to the 6.2-liter’s 460 horsepower, 465 pound-feet of torque, and its 190-mph top speed. It also doesn’t prevent that rookie driver from burning out your clutch while trying to squeeze your Vette between an SUV and minivan in the parking garage.

Check out the humorous video above Chevrolet created to showcase the 2015 Stingray’s new feature.

Posted on by Nico DeMattia  

Ferrari is constantly on the forefront of automotive technology and setting the bar for the rest of the car world. For instance, with the Ferrari FF , the Italian automaker wanted a four-wheel-drive system but conventional systems weren’t good enough so its engineers completely reinvented the wheel and came up with their own. Was it necessary? No, probably not, but stagnation is self-abdication. At least that’s what Ferrari would say. Well Ferrari has done it again, at least it’s trying to. To Ferrari, a conventional electric power steering system just isn’t good enough. Even though any enthusiast lucky enough to drive a 458 Speciale would tell you that the steering is nothing short of perfect, Ferrari isn’t satisfied. Ferrari says that due to slack in the steering box and universal joints creating a slight delay between the driver’s input and what the wheels actually do, the wizards in Maranello are developing a software system that compensates for this and creates a more direct and accurate response. It, supposedly, can also compensate for the front suspension geometry differences, from left to right, which can create a miniscule difference in steering response respectively.

Now this is all well and good, but if Ferrari really wanted precise, accurate steering, why not just go back to hydraulic? Aren’t old school Ferraris, Porsches and BMWs world famous for their telepathic steering feel and response? I know, electric power steering is more efficient and with strict fuel-economy regulations, it makes more sense. But, what about no power steering at all? Ferrari’s baby brother, Alfa Romeo , doesn’t use power steering in its new 4C, and people love it.

Thankfully, Ferrari says that this new software tweak is simple and cheap, and the driver will never notice it working, they will only feel great steering. I understand Ferrari’s need to push the envelope but I feel this is just too much. Added software manipulation cannot be good for the already fading steering feel in sports cars nowadays.

Click past the jump to read more about Ferrari’s future steering system.

Source: EVO
Posted on by Nico DeMattia  

BMW is continuing its plan to make the transition to electric vehicles as simple as possible. The i3 is already a huge step in the right direction, as it introduces a Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic chassis, aluminum sub frames and a small gasoline range extender all at a relatively low price. The main goal is to get people into electric vehicles by taking as much of the compromise out of the equation as possible. Well, BMW i BMW i s now going one step further with the introduction of the i DC Fast Chargers and the ChargeNow DC Fast Program. BMW developed the i DC Fast Charger with the help of Bosch Automotive Service Solutions. The i DC Fast Charger is a small (31-by-19-by-12 inches), 100-pound box that owners can mount to a wall that will charge the battery up to 80 percent in 30 minutes. The i3’s Fast Charger will set you back to the tune of $6,548, which is cheap in comparison to most DC Fast Chargers. A standard charger will “fill up the tank” in about 6 to 8 hours. With that in mind the Fast Charger seems worth the premium, especially considering it’s a slick-looking, smallish unit that will fit nicely in most garages.

ChargeNow DC Fast is a program BMW has developed with the help of NRG eVgo, and will offer unlimited, no cost, 30-minute charging for i3 drivers in California until December 2015. This will help reduce range anxiety considerably on long trips through The Golden State. To access the ChargeNow DC Fast program, i3 owners must equip the DC Fast charger option, and sign up for a ChargeNow Card. Doing so will give owners access to all eVgo DC Fast chargers across California. Even at a price though, the ChargeNow program will help dramatically in the implementation of electric vehicles as primary cars for households. It still takes a bit longer than stopping at a gas station, but if placed properly, these ChargeNow stations can provide some resting time or even some sightseeing on long trips. This in tandem with the i DC Fast Charger in the home and the i3 becomes a very useful and eco-friendly option.

Click past the jump to read more about BMW’s new i DC Fast Chargers And ChargeNow DC Fast Programs.

If you thought the new era of F1 with small, hybrid, turbocharged cars was a bad idea, listen up. Not only have Mercedes and Audi revealed new engines and cars that are using an electrified turbo system similar in function to the new F1 cars, Ferrari has jumped into the mix now too. According to a new report from 4 Wheel News, Ferrari is working on a new engine that features both a supercharger and an electronic turbo.

Now if you are a Ferrari purist, please put down the gun/torch/big stick and listen. The report clearly states that Ferrari’s high-end, V-12 cars will remain, and that the V-12 engines powering them will also remain naturally aspirated.

The supercharger will help provide lots of power with a small footprint, and the instant torque and boost from the electric turbocharger will reduce lag in the forced-induction system and help cut emissions and increase fuel economy.

We don’t have any information on what size or configuration the engine will come in, but considering the main goal of this engine is to cut emissions, I wouldn’t be surprised to see smaller V-8. A de-bored version of the California T’s 3.8-liter down to 3.6-liter wouldn’t be improbable. Ferrari could also go for a V-6 configuration. Whatever it chooses, expect power outputs to still be well above the 500-horsepower mark.

It is still a Ferrari after all.

Click past the jump to read more about Ferrari’s future supercharged engine.

Source: 4wheelsnews

It appears that the future of gaming may be upon us and it wears the name “4K.” With four times the numbers of pixels on the screen, all your games are supposed to look extra crisp and all those little details will stand out in the distance. Imagine how much better a game like Forza Motorsports or Gran Turismo would be if they looked even better.

Two of the latest and greatest racing games out right now, Grid Autosport and Next Car Game, both are 4K ready, and I wanted to see if there really was a big difference in how it feels to play a racing game with a setup like this.

I was able to snag a 4K resolution monitor from the fine folks at Asus, and I got to work. With the cost of 4K monitors still high, is this something anyone should consider?

Check out the future of gaming in 4K after the break.

When it comes to driving, there are two things I can’t live without. A nice pair of lightweight shoes and my sunglasses. The shoes are there to assist with speed and feeling when driving a car quickly, and the sunglasses are there for basically everything else.

Your eyes are easily your most important sense for driving, and with large collections of LCD screens everywhere in the cabin, ultra-gloss metallic paints reflecting glare at every chance, your eyes are constantly being attacked. Rather than simply use a standard tint to help protect your eyes, a new premium lens has been released called Unity. Unity lenses promise the best of polarization technology, along with new performance features like outdoor, blue-light protection.

Unity says that their lenses block 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays, provide enhanced clarity and contrast, plus they will reduce eye fatigue. Thanks to that fancy blue-light filter, they will apparently also help prevent macular degeneration over time.

I have spent the last several years wearing a set of polarized Oakleys and felt like nothing in the world could beat them. Unity took up that gauntlet and set me up with a few glasses in different styles with slightly different tints so I could test their claims against my go-to Oakley sunglasses.

Are all these fancy buzz words and medical claims legitimate, or is Unity just one more name cast into the world of sunglasses trying to grab your attention?

Read on to see if the Unity lenses stand up to their marketing claims.

Jaguar Land Rover is touting its new self-learning technology system integrated into and between the driver’s smartphone and a so-equipped Jaguar or Land Rover vehicle. The system works by learning intimate information about the driver, like schedule patterns, radio and climate control preferences, and even phone call patterns in order to accurately predict what task the driver might want to do next.

For example, the driver’s phone communicates with the driver’s shiny, new Range Rover that it’s Tuesday morning and little Johnny will need to attend soccer practice at the country club at 9 a.m. The Range Rover then figures out the best route for the journey, checks for any traffic obstructions, and then messages the driver the optimal time to leave for practice.

On the way to little Johnny’s soccer practice, the radio knows to play Johnny’s favorite radio station. Once he’s left the vehicle, the radio automatically changes to the driver’s preferred radio selection. But lets say practice runs long and dad will be 10 minutes late to work. No worries, as his Range Rover will message his boss alerting him of the delay.

Of course, this sort of technology seems rather interesting. It’s currently perhaps the ultimate way to be connected to the grid. Integration of smartphones and calendar events to personal preferences in the car is automatic. It might be the future, but boy, is it invasive.

Currently there’s no word on when this technology will become available in Jaguar Land Rover products, but from the look of things, it’s not far off.

Click past the jump for the full press release


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