Monday, March 26, 2007

VW Passat TDI: Team LUX ready for DARPA Urban Challenge

VW Passat TDI
Team LUX has readied their VW Passat TDI for the DARPA Urban Challenge. Good luck!
Ibeo-led Team LUX, however, is looking to add a dash of style to this year's (now lucrative) competition, as its Volkswagen Passat TDI wagon touts a clean exterior, three "laser scanners" for complete 360-degree perception, and amazingly, not much else. Apparently, the trio of uber-capable modules are all that's needed to keep the car under control, and while we'd typically doubt such bold claims, the 11-member team has quite an impressive resume in the autonomous vehicle department.


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Source: Engadget

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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Play ball with your car!

Basketball Car
Here's something for all the basketball lovers out there. Play ball whereover you go, just make sure to take the car. Nice idea!
The system can be hooked onto standard 2-inch (or 1-1/4-inch with an adapter) trailer hitch receivers on most cars, trucks, SUVs and recreational vehicles. The "fan sized" 44-inch backboard pairs with a solid steel rim, four-piece telescoping pole system — with adjusting angle for "maximum playability" — and a nylon net. The basketball net will wind up 7 feet from the tailgate of your vehicle.


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Source: Inside Line


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Friday, March 23, 2007

The GlobalTop HD100 GPS heads-up display

GlobalTop HD100 GPS
What a cool way to display directions from your GPS! The GlobalTop HD100 GPS is GPS which comes with heads-up display. Wanna have factor 10. And price? just $100.

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Source: Engadget

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Show your mood with this freeway flasher

freeway flasher
This might not be for everybody, but in a sense I like it. Show the others what you think about them, very handy for Sunday's only drivers on the highways...
"How, for instance, can I say 'I'm sorry' or how can I show if I like somebody?" He mulled over the idea for two years then registered an invention with the German patent office for The Flashbox – it initiates automatic light signals by radio.

The hand-sized appliance is connected to the indicator system.

"All you have to do is take the two Flashbox indicator outlets and attach them to the right and left indicator contacts", Frey said. "To prevent them from setting off the signals you have to log the supplied hand-transmitter on to the receiver.

"By pressing a button on the transmitter on the car's keyring the driver transmits an indicator signal to the box. The receiver then transmits the signal to the conventional indicator system - you can then access the signals for:

"Thanks" (left indicator, right indicator, left indicator).
"Warning" (one flash).
"Angry" (both indicators stay on for a particularly long time).
"In love" (he doesn't tell us that one!).



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Source: Motoring


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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Control and track your car from the web

Vehicle Control
Here's a cool tool that let's you control and track your car from the web. Nice!
The world is certainly not lacking devices that allow you to track and control your vehicle from afar. The newest breed of these systems was developed by Inilex, which allows a subscriber/user to do everything from unlock their doors, start their vehicle, sound the alarm, disable the engine or give the location of their ride. The system can be used by logging on to Inilex's website via a PC, calling a toll-free number or using a PDA with access to the internet.


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Source: Autoblog


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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

P2P to power Car2Car communications

Car2Car
A German research project called SmartWeb for Car2Car communications and powered by P2P technology is currently shown at the CeBIT in Hanover.
A German research project on show at hi-tech trade fair Cebit envisions a peer-to-peer network for vehicles on a road passing data back and forth.

Cars or bikes experiencing problems would pass data that would ripple down the chain of vehicles behind them.

Information would be conveyed to drivers via a dashboard screen or through a mobile phone headset.

Dr Anselm Blocher - a researcher at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence who is co-ordinating the project - said the ad hoc communication system could mean that drivers found out about dangers or jams ahead much more quickly than they do now.

For spotting dangers and jams, the system would use data from sensors that were likely to be fitted to cars, bikes and trucks in the future, Dr Blocher added.


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Source: BBC

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Monday, March 19, 2007

Renault: The real benefit of keyless entry



Hilarious video here about the real benefits in life of keyless entry for your car. Enjoy!
Anyone who's lived in a cold climate can appreciate not having to take out a key when the thermometer drops below freezing. Keyless entry is good, but a keycard that stays in your pocket is even better, as demonstrated in this commercial from Renault, which makes the argument painfully obvious.


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Source: Autoblog

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Saturday, March 17, 2007

QTires: No more swapping tires!

QTires
QTires are making swapping tires absolute. Great!
Celsius's Qtires have retractable studs that come out when the weather conditions call for them. I'm not sure exactly how these things work, but apparently they work great as all-weather tires as well as snow tires.


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Source: Gizmodo

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Friday, March 16, 2007

Dashboard gadget holder from Renault

Dashboard gadget holder
Wow, what a cool idea: a gadget holder for your dashboard that actually seems to work. It even has my iPod in the pic!
Unfortunately you have to buy a Renault to get it...
This dashboard tray can definitely hold your gadgets regardless of how reckless your driving is. Renault calls it the "Grass Mat" dashboard, and this mat is actually integrated into their vehicles.


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Source: Gizmodo

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

BMW: Bringing movies to your car!

BMW Car Theater
BMW is planning to bring movies and music to your car, via download to a hard-disk behind your dashboard. A protoype is already working, as spotted here in Geneva! Nice.
As I recently reported, BMW says it has a prototype X5 SUV, developed with the European Space Agency and other consortium partners, with a satellite dish that works the same way as satellite television in your home, except the antenna is attached to the car.

Now BMW claims to have taken a further lead among car OEMs with the development of a multimedia content delivery system that streams video and music via cellular or Wi-Fi connections to a car's console from which it can be viewed or downloaded for later viewing or listening. With a PC-to-car Wi-Fi link, the system allows you to select video or sound files on your PC's hard drive, which you can then transfer wirelessly to the BMW's 20-GB console. The cellular link works the same way except that data can be transferred over longer distances, of course, compared to the limited range of a Wi-Fi connection.


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Source: Autopia

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Alpine iDA-X001 Digital Media Receiver with iPod integration

Alpine iDA-X001 Digital Media Receiver
Have a car? Have an iPod? Then the new Alpine iDA-X001 Digital Media Receiver with a nice iPod integration is a must have for you! Great.
If you’ve been waiting for an Alpine head unit that you can control just like your iPod, this is it. Menus that are navigable exactly like the iPod. All search options just like the iPod, ability to view album art as you would on the iPod and fast song selection as quick as the iPod.

As a “Made for iPod” Apple member, Alpine brings you the best in-vehicle iPod experience. Designed with the iPod lover in mind, the iDA-X001 exceeds all expectations combining the trusted sound you deserve, and easy control and access to all your music through a brand-new interface.

Easy to see even in daylight, the display also features three different viewing modes to meet your preferences:

1. Album art, song name, artist, album, volume bar, date, time.
2. Album art (zoomed in to 200 x 200 pixel), song name.
3. Song name, artist, album, volume bar, date, time.


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Source: Alpine

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

In-dash car PC from Korea

In-dash PC
Please watch this nice looking new in-dash car PC from SNT called IOPS. We really like in-dash car PC's over here, although we would love in-dash car Macs much more.
So, what's the catch here? Well, this thing is running on Windows XP and I don't really want to see a bluescreen in my car.
Thin infotainment system from SNT runs Windows XP, and its main input is the 7″ touchscreen. Of course it does GPS navigation in addition to receiving T-DMB channels - something the U.S. isn’t capable of just yet. IOPS comes with a hard disk drive on which you can record live TV, and then burn them on disc, all from the comfort of your car seat.




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Source: Navigadget

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Saturday, March 10, 2007

General Motors: New smart materials to revolutionize car design

General Motors
General Motors is looking for to revolutionize their car design by using smart materials.
Shape memory alloys and polymers are examples of types of smart materials that GM is developing for use in its products. Smart materials can change their shape, strength, and/or stiffness when heat, stress, a magnetic field or electrical voltage are introduced. Shape memory alloys, and polymers in particular, "remember" their original shape and can return to it, opening new possibilities for many movable vehicle features.

GM is targeting to integrate smart materials technology into its vehicles by 2010.

Actuators and sensors made from these materials have the potential to improve vehicle performance and fuel economy, and enable new comfort and convenience features. These actuators and sensors can provide significant benefits when they are used to replace conventional motorized or hydraulic devices by reducing vehicle mass, component size and complexity and improving design flexibility, functionality and reliability.

A few example applications include:

* An adaptive interior grab handle that automatically presents itself from a folded position to make for an easier, more intuitive entry into the vehicle,
* Active vehicle surfaces, such as air dams and louvers that adjust to govern airflow, improving aerodynamics and performance, and
* Hood, door latch, and glove box releases for more convenient access.


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Source: Technology Daily News via Motor Authority

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Hypermiling: Hack your car mileage

Hypermiling
We found a very interesting article here how to hack your car mileage. A must read!
There's a great article at Mother Jones which profiles Wayne Gerdes, a mileage hacker who's able to get 59MPG in a stock Honda Accord. There are a number of driving hacks which allow hypermilers to increase their milage, ranging from over-inflating tires to extreme drafting behind large vehicles.


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Source: Hackszine

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

BMW: Receiving navigation data straight from Google Maps



BMW drivers can now send data from Google Maps to their on-board naviagtion system. Pretty cool, I have to admit.
Instead of printing out or writing down an address to re-enter in the car, the information is sent directly from your computer to your navigation system. German drivers with Drive Assist-equipped BMWs can send any Google Maps Deutschland business listing straight to their cars, either to contact the business once inside, or to set it as a destination.


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Source: Engadget


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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

No-doze car seat

No-doze car seat
These new no-doze car seats can prevent you from snoozing on the road.
The seat is equipped with a pair of pulse-monitoring pressure sensors in the seat-back and a set of respiration-monitoring sensors underneath. The researchers successfully tested the system in a variety of simulated and actual driving conditions, and they claim it works effectively even when the driver is bundled in layers of clothing.


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Source: Pink Tentacle

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Bentley: Breitling for Bentley Flying B Chronograph

Bentley Flying B Chronograph
Bentley is offering a new Breitling for Bentley Flying B Chronograph. Nice!
Autoblog's Top 10 Car Watches featured the Breitling Flying B, a supremely stylish (and expensive) rectangular-faced wristwatch. The partnership between Breitling and Bentley has now given birth to a variation arguably even more stylish: the Flying B Chronograph.

The chrono features the same elegant shape as its unconventional conventional counterpart, but the face has been redesigned to accommodate the split-second timing sub-dials of the automatic chronograph movement. Its center features the same striking knurled metal finish you'll find on the switchgear of the most exclusive Bentleys (and surrounding the face on the aforementioned standard Flying B), graced with three square dials for timing functions and art-deco mother-of-pearl hour indicators.


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Source: Autoblog

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