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  1. Audi Unveils 'connect' Networking System

    by , 02-15-2011 at 10:34 AM

    Audi announces plans to brand their networking enabled in-vehicle technology as "Audi Connect." Some of this technology is already available in new Audi vehicles including voice recognition commands for navigation, telephone functions, and an optional UMTS module that links the vehicle to the Internet. Up to 8 mobile devices can connect to the internet via the car with the W-LAN hotspot.

    In the near future, Audi Connect will allow expanded voice command controls and the ability to find destinations via Google. Plans are also in the works to allow drivers to use Google Street View in Europe, with the North American market to receive this feature a bit later. Drivers can view destinations from pedestrian viewpoints and pan 360 degrees to help create situational awareness before arriving.

    Further into the future, Audi plans to experiment with vehicle to vehicle communication for more efficient traffic handling and to help with crash avoidance. Audi claims CO2 emissions can be reduced by up to 1/5 if the computer is able to help control the vehicle in heavily trafficked areas.

    Read More at Translogic.
  2. Tech Find: Arduino-powered Jeep Wrangler Controls Many Vehicle Systems

    by , 02-10-2011 at 12:18 PM

    Ed's Jeep Wrangler is specially outfitted with two Arduino boards, one running the "Jeeputer" in a custom fabricated, roof-mounted console, and one running the ignition system of the vehicle. Ed can enter a code into the console-installed keypad and switch the vehicle on. Then, he can use the Jeeputer to start the engine. The Jeeputer controls everything from interior and exterior lights, to Ed's CB radio, navigation device, power inverter, and scanner. The Jeeputer runs a series of relays for aftermarket device control and obtains and interprets data from temperature sensors and photosensors.

    Read More on the EdsJunk Blog.

    Updated 02-10-2011 at 10:27 PM by optikalefx

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  3. Mind, exploding. This week's new products are that hawt.

    by , 02-03-2011 at 04:00 PM

    Updated 02-11-2011 at 03:33 PM by ChasPhillips

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    Products and Technology
  4. Ford CTO Paul Mascarenas on vehicle technology and safety

    by , 01-28-2011 at 11:30 AM

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    For a sneak peak at the future of vehicle technology, check out Rob Wray’s interview with Ford CTO Paul Mascarenas. In it, Mascarenas explains how Ford plans to deal with several of the increasingly complicated issues facing the industry. How will Ford promote the technological gains stemming from vehicle data collection without sacrificing consumer privacy? Will there be an opt-in feature for drivers, similar to the ones we see in the computer software world? Mascarenas also discusses how Ford intends to keep pace with the consumer electronic world as it relates to the driving experience. His open architecture strategy minimizes the amount of hardware installed in the vehicle, ensuring that consumer electronic development will still be able to interface with an aging car or truck. He even discusses already-developed functionality that allows drivers to control non-critical vehicle function with mobile devices.

    Mascarenas also lays out his multi-pronged strategy to tackle the ever-contentious driver distraction issue, in which he argues that Ford has often pre-empted state-based regulation with voluntary or industry-wide standards. While Mascarenas believes that further federal regulation is and will be required, he emphasizes that Ford continues to minimize the amount of time required to make adjustments while driving, and voluntarily pushes for stricter company- and industry-wide driver distraction standards in order to provide the safest driving experience possible.

    Finally, Mascarenas discusses the relationship between the commercial and consumer vehicle technology. Because he views Ford vehicles as tools for business owners, he believes that increased functionality will ultimately increase business productivity. On the other hand, the commercial vehicle world gives Ford the opportunity to develop new technology that will eventually end up in the consumer sector.
  5. A quick flying lesson with the AR Drone, by Parrot

    by , 01-26-2011 at 03:53 PM

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    After goofing around with it at the office last week, we decided to post a quick review of the AR Drone by Parrot. Since shooting the video, I also managed to fracture the Drone's cross-bar, which costs a reasonable $25 to replace. So, while it's not the cheapest or most durable gadget, it is a lot of fun, and definitely less expensive than some other flying hobbies--like building your own model plane from scratch (and then crashing it in the office).

    Updated 02-10-2011 at 10:25 PM by optikalefx

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