Posts tagged cars

Video: Land Rover’s new ‘transparent bonnet’ feature.

Cameras located in the vehicle’s grille capture data used to feed a Head-Up Display, effectively creating a ‘see-through’ view of the terrain through the bonnet and engine bay, breaking new ground in visual driver assistance. The technology, named Transparent Bonnet by its creators, shows how advanced technology will take Land Rover’s unrivalled capability to the next level. 

The technology enables a driver climbing a steep incline or manoeuvring in a confined space to see an augmented reality view capturing not only the terrain in front of the car but also the angle and position of the front wheels.

Lexus release $10,000 bike.
The hand-built Lexus F Sport Roadbike will soon go on sale in Japan, with a limited run of only 100 bikes being sold through Lexus dealers as “a way of demonstrating the company’s knowledge of carbon fiber construction and advanced electronics”.
The bike weighs 15 lb and uses an electronically controlled derailleur, said to be the bike’s biggest advancement.

Shimano’s Di2 9070 electronic shifting system includes a microcontroller, network device, and battery inside an enclosure about the size of a conventional 9V battery, mounted at the base of the handlebar stem. A thin wire inside the frame enables the unit to “talk” to the derailleur, commanding it to upshift or downshift at the will of the rider. “We rely on the rider to decide when to upshift or downshift,” Williamsen told us. “You could think of it as a contemporary manual transmission, like the one in the LFA (supercar).”

Lexus release $10,000 bike.

The hand-built Lexus F Sport Roadbike will soon go on sale in Japan, with a limited run of only 100 bikes being sold through Lexus dealers as “a way of demonstrating the company’s knowledge of carbon fiber construction and advanced electronics”.

The bike weighs 15 lb and uses an electronically controlled derailleur, said to be the bike’s biggest advancement.

Shimano’s Di2 9070 electronic shifting system includes a microcontroller, network device, and battery inside an enclosure about the size of a conventional 9V battery, mounted at the base of the handlebar stem. A thin wire inside the frame enables the unit to “talk” to the derailleur, commanding it to upshift or downshift at the will of the rider. “We rely on the rider to decide when to upshift or downshift,” Williamsen told us. “You could think of it as a contemporary manual transmission, like the one in the LFA (supercar).”

Volvo enters the race for self-driving cars.
Volvo is introducing new features to their cars to assist drivers, with the first features rolling out in the next few years as part of a larger plan to increase driver safety. "Our vision is that no one is killed or injured in a new Volvo by 2020," says a spokesman.
It plans to launch autonomous vehicles in 2014, capable of driving up to 50km/h, which are expected to be most useful in heavy traffic. The technology is similar to Google’s efforts, using lasers, cameras, and sensors.


The key ingredient, according to Volvo, was wireless Internet in all vehicles. By giving each vehicle on the road a common connecting point, cars could create a road train of vehicles talking to one another and mimicking each other’s movements as if they were a team of horses.
"The car of the future will be just like the farmer’s horse," Mr. Eugensson said. "The farmer can steer the horse and carriage but if he falls asleep the horse can still take him back home.
"And if the farmer tries to steer the carriage against a tree or off a cliff, the horse will refuse."

Volvo enters the race for self-driving cars.

Volvo is introducing new features to their cars to assist drivers, with the first features rolling out in the next few years as part of a larger plan to increase driver safety. "Our vision is that no one is killed or injured in a new Volvo by 2020," says a spokesman.

It plans to launch autonomous vehicles in 2014, capable of driving up to 50km/h, which are expected to be most useful in heavy traffic. The technology is similar to Google’s efforts, using lasers, cameras, and sensors.

The key ingredient, according to Volvo, was wireless Internet in all vehicles. By giving each vehicle on the road a common connecting point, cars could create a road train of vehicles talking to one another and mimicking each other’s movements as if they were a team of horses.

"The car of the future will be just like the farmer’s horse," Mr. Eugensson said. "The farmer can steer the horse and carriage but if he falls asleep the horse can still take him back home.

"And if the farmer tries to steer the carriage against a tree or off a cliff, the horse will refuse."

Dutch highways to get glow in the dark lighting.
As part of a plan to create ‘smart highways’ in Southern Holland, snowflakes will be painted onto roads using thermochromatic pigments, which only become visible at freezing temperatures. Other plans include road markings painted on using photoluminescent powders, which would charge in the day and glow for up to 10 hours during the night.

A further plan is to use motion activated lighting to reduce electricity costs. Instead of leaving road lights on all night long, they would only light up ahead of a moving vehicle. Beyond these plans it is hoped to build an electric car lane that would charge vehicles using induction, while the car is in motion.
The new paints will be implemented next year, with the other ideas scheduled before 2015.

Dutch highways to get glow in the dark lighting.

As part of a plan to create ‘smart highways’ in Southern Holland, snowflakes will be painted onto roads using thermochromatic pigments, which only become visible at freezing temperatures. Other plans include road markings painted on using photoluminescent powders, which would charge in the day and glow for up to 10 hours during the night.

A further plan is to use motion activated lighting to reduce electricity costs. Instead of leaving road lights on all night long, they would only light up ahead of a moving vehicle. Beyond these plans it is hoped to build an electric car lane that would charge vehicles using induction, while the car is in motion.

The new paints will be implemented next year, with the other ideas scheduled before 2015.

Toyota opens 3.5 hectare car safety test site.
Toyota has shown reporters around the ‘Intelligent Transport System’ site in Japan, where technology to cut down on accidents is being developed. Systems developed at the centre will be trialled on actual roads in 2014, before being put into regular cars.

The cars at the Intelligent Transport System site receive information from sensors and transmitters installed on the streets to minimize the risk of accidents in situations such as missing a red traffic light, cars advancing from blind spots and pedestrians crossing the street. The system also tests cars that transmit such information to each other.
In a test drive for reporters Monday, the presence of a pedestrian triggered a beeping sound in the car and a picture of a person popped up on a screen in front of the driver. A picture of an arrow popped up to indicate an approaching car at an intersection. An electronic female voice said, “It’s a red light,” if the driver was about to ignore a red light.

Toyota opens 3.5 hectare car safety test site.

Toyota has shown reporters around the ‘Intelligent Transport System’ site in Japan, where technology to cut down on accidents is being developed. Systems developed at the centre will be trialled on actual roads in 2014, before being put into regular cars.

The cars at the Intelligent Transport System site receive information from sensors and transmitters installed on the streets to minimize the risk of accidents in situations such as missing a red traffic light, cars advancing from blind spots and pedestrians crossing the street. The system also tests cars that transmit such information to each other.

In a test drive for reporters Monday, the presence of a pedestrian triggered a beeping sound in the car and a picture of a person popped up on a screen in front of the driver. A picture of an arrow popped up to indicate an approaching car at an intersection. An electronic female voice said, “It’s a red light,” if the driver was about to ignore a red light.

Japan planning ‘driverless driving’ for early 2020s.
Japan’s Transport Ministry is about to start a project to create an autopilot system which would take over for cars on expressways.

The ministry envisages an autonomous vehicle system in which, after leaving your home, you enter an interchange of a nearby expressway while manually operating your car.
When pulling into the expressway’s lane exclusively for the autopilot system, you change your driving mode to “automatic driving” and input your destination onto the system. You would take your hands and feet off the steering wheel, gas pedal and brake.
You would return to driving on your own only after reaching an intersection near your destination. Until then, you would leave all driving tasks to the self-steering system, comfortably enjoying whatever activity you like.

The system is hoped to alleviate congestion by keeping vehicles going at a constant speed, while eliminating accidents caused by vehicles veering out of lanes.
A study panel will being initial discussions about the project this month, with an aim to have the system operational in around 10 years.

Japan planning ‘driverless driving’ for early 2020s.

Japan’s Transport Ministry is about to start a project to create an autopilot system which would take over for cars on expressways.

The ministry envisages an autonomous vehicle system in which, after leaving your home, you enter an interchange of a nearby expressway while manually operating your car.

When pulling into the expressway’s lane exclusively for the autopilot system, you change your driving mode to “automatic driving” and input your destination onto the system. You would take your hands and feet off the steering wheel, gas pedal and brake.

You would return to driving on your own only after reaching an intersection near your destination. Until then, you would leave all driving tasks to the self-steering system, comfortably enjoying whatever activity you like.

The system is hoped to alleviate congestion by keeping vehicles going at a constant speed, while eliminating accidents caused by vehicles veering out of lanes.

A study panel will being initial discussions about the project this month, with an aim to have the system operational in around 10 years.

Nissan launches ‘leaf-to-home’ system in Japan.
The system allows owners to use the battery in their Leaf electric vehicle as a backup power supply to their home in an emergency, or as a way to buy and store power at off-peak rates, to feed back into their home at peak times.
The EV Power Supply station is also capable of fully charging the Leaf in only four hours - half the time of an ordinary charger. The cars battery can store up to 24kWh of electricity, which Nissan claims will power the average Japanese home for two full days.
The Leaf-To-Home system goes on sale in Japan in mid-June for ¥333,000 (around US$4240).

Nissan launches ‘leaf-to-home’ system in Japan.

The system allows owners to use the battery in their Leaf electric vehicle as a backup power supply to their home in an emergency, or as a way to buy and store power at off-peak rates, to feed back into their home at peak times.

The EV Power Supply station is also capable of fully charging the Leaf in only four hours - half the time of an ordinary charger. The cars battery can store up to 24kWh of electricity, which Nissan claims will power the average Japanese home for two full days.

The Leaf-To-Home system goes on sale in Japan in mid-June for ¥333,000 (around US$4240).

US Senate passes bill requiring ‘Black Boxes’ in cars.
Senate Bill 1813 requires all cars from 2015 to have ‘Vehicle Event Data Recorders’ to be installed. According to the bill, the data remains the property of the car’s owner/lessee, unless a court authorizes retrieval, or the information is to be used in an investigation under certain sections of US law. The information can also be used “for the purpose of determining the need for, or facilitating, emergency medical response in response to a motor vehicle crash”.
After the system has been in place for two years, the system will be the subject of a study on the safety impact and the impact on individual privacy.

US Senate passes bill requiring ‘Black Boxes’ in cars.

Senate Bill 1813 requires all cars from 2015 to have ‘Vehicle Event Data Recorders’ to be installed. According to the bill, the data remains the property of the car’s owner/lessee, unless a court authorizes retrieval, or the information is to be used in an investigation under certain sections of US law. The information can also be used “for the purpose of determining the need for, or facilitating, emergency medical response in response to a motor vehicle crash”.

After the system has been in place for two years, the system will be the subject of a study on the safety impact and the impact on individual privacy.

Google in talks with car makers to bring self-driving cars to market.
According to a Google project manager, an announcement on when self-driving cars will be available to the public could be made as early as next year. This comes after it was revealed that Google is “in talks with car manufacturers to see what their level of excitement is and how do we work with them”.
Safety - or perceived risks - are going to be the biggest problem with bringing the technology to market. Google has identified this and says they want to log at least 1 million miles with their test cars before the technology is offered to the public.
Meanwhile MIT’s media lab has been solving another problem the cars would cause - how pedestrians would know an autonomous car had seen them at a crossing. When making eye contact with the driver is no longer an option, MIT came up with the solution of making small lights that swivel in the direction of the pedestrian.

The lights swivel to look at you when the sensors detect you, and blue LEDs flash to indicate the car has seen you. Directional speakers swivel toward you, too, and the car tells you it’s safe to cross. The system can also flash bright white LEDs to get your attention. 
Sonar sensors can detect if a pedestrian is too close to the side of the car. If they do, LEDs in the wheels to turn from green to orange and red—getting redder as you get closer—to warn you, and let you know the car knows you are there.

Google in talks with car makers to bring self-driving cars to market.

According to a Google project manager, an announcement on when self-driving cars will be available to the public could be made as early as next year. This comes after it was revealed that Google is “in talks with car manufacturers to see what their level of excitement is and how do we work with them”.

Safety - or perceived risks - are going to be the biggest problem with bringing the technology to market. Google has identified this and says they want to log at least 1 million miles with their test cars before the technology is offered to the public.

Meanwhile MIT’s media lab has been solving another problem the cars would cause - how pedestrians would know an autonomous car had seen them at a crossing. When making eye contact with the driver is no longer an option, MIT came up with the solution of making small lights that swivel in the direction of the pedestrian.

The lights swivel to look at you when the sensors detect you, and blue LEDs flash to indicate the car has seen you. Directional speakers swivel toward you, too, and the car tells you it’s safe to cross. The system can also flash bright white LEDs to get your attention. 

Sonar sensors can detect if a pedestrian is too close to the side of the car. If they do, LEDs in the wheels to turn from green to orange and red—getting redder as you get closer—to warn you, and let you know the car knows you are there.

Intel Atom processors to feature in new Nissan.
Nissan Motors has chosen Intel’s Atom processor to power its dashboard displays of the new Infiniti LE vehicle, which will begin production in 2013. The car is completely electric, with an estimated 100 mile range.
The entire dashboard display will be digital, showing traditional information such as speed and distance. A second display in the centre will show additional information such as the location of nearby charging stations.
It’s also possible the car will feature wireless charging, which would make it the first car to have a wireless home charging system, but that is still to be confirmed.

Intel Atom processors to feature in new Nissan.

Nissan Motors has chosen Intel’s Atom processor to power its dashboard displays of the new Infiniti LE vehicle, which will begin production in 2013. The car is completely electric, with an estimated 100 mile range.

The entire dashboard display will be digital, showing traditional information such as speed and distance. A second display in the centre will show additional information such as the location of nearby charging stations.

It’s also possible the car will feature wireless charging, which would make it the first car to have a wireless home charging system, but that is still to be confirmed.