Tag Archives: technology
Electric vehicle maker Tesla announced on October 19 that all the cars it will produce—including Model 3—will be equipped with technology that will allow them to go on auto-pilot.
Last year, the company co-founded by Elon Musk introduced the Autopilot system. Although it is far from offering fully-autonomous driving to its cars, the technology already has the elements that will pave way for that goal.
So far, the system allows auto-braking. It will also offer several features that will heighten the safety levels of the car, which is far more than the capability of a human driver.
To achieve such, Tesla equipped its cars with twelve updated ultrasonic sensors. The sensors double the capability of the old system in detecting hard and soft objects within the vicinity of the vehicle. The tech increases the awareness of the driver on the road too especially during heavy rain, dust, fog and in detecting incoming cars using its forward-oriented radar with enhanced processing.
Tesla said the new onboard computer in its cars provides 40 more computing capacity than the previous generation. The upgrade gives Tesla cars a new neural net enhancing their vision, sonar and radar. With that, every direction is seen by system simultaneously, which is far more than what the human senses are capable of.
Tesla reminded that customers will not have to wait for the mentioned technology anymore. The Tesla Model S and Model X have it already. The vehicles are being sold now.
For the meantime, Tesla stated that it will have to conduct more tests with their new system. The calibration would require millions of miles in real-world driving to ensure optimum safety and convenience. As a result, some features of the Autopilot will have to be disabled for the moment like the emergency braking, collision warning, lane assist and active cruise control. Over the air updates will be released to enable the blocked features once Tesla is confident in their new system.
The stop-start technology is nothing new in the world of cars and SUVs. However, Toyota hasn’t introduced the feature yet in its North American vehicles. All that is about to change as the 2017 Toyota Highlander will come equipped with that system.
Simply put, the stop-start technology works by shutting off the engine of the vehicle when it is stationary. Brian Williams of Toyota explained that the integration of the function in their vehicles will allow the Highlander to have a fuel efficiency of one mile per gallon. It will also improve the EPA fuel economy of the SUV.
Even after turning off the engine, the stop-start functionally will still feed electric supply to the vehicle for at least two-minutes during a complete halt or when stopped under a traffic light. The engine is configured to be turned on by default every ignition cycle. Customers can choose to manually shut it off though with a push of a button. The auto stop-start operation is overridden too when the air conditioning unit of the auto is at a maximum or on a grade higher than eight degrees.
Williams revealed that more Toyota models will get the stop-start technology after the Highlander. However, he remained mum though about the specific models that will get it. The report claimed that the larger vehicles of the brand will most probably have it because those are the ones that could benefit more from it. The upcoming 2018 Toyota Sienna is a likely recipient of the system.
Williams estimated that around 85 percent of all 2017 Toyota Highlander SUVs will get the stop-start tech. He added eight percent of the Highlanders that will be sold to customers this year will be the LE trim while seven percent will come from the hybrid variants of the range.
The Lexus UX Concept will make its world debut at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, and it is charged to showcase Lexus’ vision of a compact SUV for the future. The vehicle will apparently represent the company’s new approach in designing and in providing an exceptional driving experience.
The UX concept has a bold and imaginative approach to designing and technologies. It aims to provide customers an immersive driving experience, thanks to the on-board HMI technology that has been designed to offer an “innovative, three-dimensional driver experience.”
The instrument binnacle of the driver has a transparent, hologram-like globe that houses a combination of analog and digital information. The binnacle is both functional and has an unexpected user interface. The center console, on the other hand, features that prominent and faceted crystal structure. Within that, you can find a hologram-style display of air-conditioning and infotainment system that is clearly visible both to the driver and the front passenger.
The new UX concept will also showcase the latest advanced in-vehicle electrical technologies, which include electro-chromatic windows and electrostatic switchgear that is housed under transparent covers. The sideview mirrors have been replaced with e-mirror camera housings. These are far slimmer than the conventional mirror housings on current vehicles.
Drivers may also expect a new audio experience from cars using the UX Concept thanks to the fin motif on the dashboard, the same one that was used on the A pillar. In fact, a removable sound bar was even built into the passenger side of the dashboard, so that everyone can enjoy a one-of-a-kind audio experience.
Stephen Rasmussen, designer at the European Design Centre, ED2, said that the Lexus’ goal is to create a new genre of compact crossover. They want a vehicle that can create an innovative and 3D experience for the user.
Hyundai announced that its Genesis luxury sub-brand is offering an integration with Amazon’s Alexa. The “skill” provided by the service enables the driver to issue certain commands to the car.
Alexa, the voice service of Amazon, lets users access certain capabilities or skills. The said elements allow them to interact with devices like the Amazon Echo, Fire TV, Tap, and Echo Dot. The system is integrated in the Hyundai Genesis Connected Services suite. The technology is available in the Genesis G80 and G90 sedan. The good news is that purchasing the new G90 comes with a gift card for the Amazon Echo.
The owner can simply issue commands directed to his car using the abovementioned compatible Amazon devices for the Alexa. As an alternative when the user is not near an Amazon device, he can still access the feature using a dedicated web portal or using his smartphone app.
When near Amazon devices, dedicated apps or web portal, the user can start the service by saying, “Alexa open Genesis.” Then this can be followed by commands such as “Alexa, tell Genesis to lock my car,” or “Alexa, tell Genesis to start my car at 70 degrees,” and others. The commands will be forwarded to the Genesis G80 or G90. From the car, the user can also control the Amazon devices he has at home.
The partnership of Hyundai and Amazon started yesterday (August 19, 2016). To use the service, the owner should enable the Genesis “skill” using the Alexa app. The app will run the owner through the whole activation, tutorial and customization process.
It was revealed through a report that the Alexa app in the Hyundai Genesis G80 and G90 functions by starting the car, controlling its air conditioning and heating system, operating the locking functions of the doors, and turning on the lights of the auto.