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  1. Open Source Vehicle by Local Motors - SEMA 2010

    by , 11-11-2010 at 12:28 PM

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    Sean Clark from mp3Car talks with Ariel from Local Motors, a company that is pioneering open source and community driven vehicles.

    Building these vehicles is a 4 step process. First is creation; where Local Motors will take input from the community for all of the parts that will combine to create the car. Next is the development stage where the vehicle is put through theoretical testing and different scenarios to make sure its safe. 3rd is build. Users can actually go to the micro factory in Arizona and help build their car in 6 days.

    Finally users can mod the vehicle with and "app store" of car parts. These parts are really easy to create because all the data for the car is open source.

    Updated 11-11-2010 at 02:08 PM by optikalefx

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    Technology Events
  2. Blind Spot Detection System by AutoI - SEMA 2010

    by , 11-10-2010 at 10:45 AM

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    Sean Clark from mp3Car takes a look at the Blind Spot Detection System by AutoI. This system comes in 3 parts. The main unit, the sensors, and then alert bar. There are also optional mirror lights that can be attached to the system.

    What makes this product unique is that the sensors use ultrasound to detect cars between 15 to 20 meters away.

    Updated 11-11-2010 at 01:58 PM by optikalefx

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    Technology Events
  3. Audi TTS Drives itself at SEMA 2010

    by , 11-05-2010 at 02:37 PM

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    On-Air Personality: Sean Clark Videographer: Mike Palotas

    Audi has come up with a really neat concept car that autonomously drives itself on intermediate road courses. The car has 5 antennas, 1 of which is for radio remote control, 2 for ground based GPS and 2 for satellite GPS. The ground GPS helps the car stay within mere centimeters of its path.

    Currently the car uses a pre-programmed path, and it needs the ground based GPS system. But they are working on a way so that the path isn't needed and it can make its own intelligent choices.

    There are 2 computers driving this thing, both core 2 duo machines. One is handling sensor data and the other is controlling the car.

    Updated 10-09-2011 at 06:04 PM by Jensen2000

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  4. 2011 Ford 'Digital' Fiesta Overview - SEMA 2010

    by , 11-05-2010 at 12:00 PM

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    Stephen Jenesen from mp3Car talks with Theresa from L&G. They have modified a 2011 Ford Fiesta to create what they call the "digial fiesta". It is an incorporation of a glossy red, circuit board-esque paint job along with some special hardware.

    This hardware happens to be an iPad, built right into the dash. In order to make room for this they have moved the HVAC up onto the ceiling.

    The goal of this car is bring the social media aspect of life into the vehicle.

    Updated 11-05-2010 at 12:44 PM by optikalefx

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  5. Hardware Review: Mini Touch 700 7" Touchscreen Monitor

    by , 11-04-2010 at 09:31 AM

    What is it?

    The Mini Touch 700 is a first generation 7-inch touchscreen TFT VGA display.

    The Verdict:

    The Mini Touch 700 should definitely be considered when searching for a new 7" VGA display. This new screen packs in most all of the features found on Xenarc and Lilliput units, and goes a step above by ensuring that 800x480 native resolution is available without hassle.



    What's in the box?

    The Mini Touch 700 is boxed with everything you will find included with a Lilliput and more. Included is the 7" Touchscreen, VESA mount, home and car power supplies, cables for USB, VGA, and composite audio/video. Also included are the touchscreen driver cd (uses the same drivers as lillput/xenarcs do), stylus pen, and a nice headrest shroud that the monitor fits right into.


    Description:

    It is always nice when new items are produced that fit directly into the car PC realm, and the Mini Touch 700 is just that. The Mini Touch was designed specifically for use in a car. The creators made sure to include most all of the latest bells and whistles available on competing touchscreen units. The Mini Touch 700 has automatic power-on and automatic backup camera switching (it actually has two different options for auto-switching). It's missing the automatic brightness control via an ambient light sensor that the Xenarc 700TSV has, but there are plenty of software options which overcome this omission.


    Being that the Mini Touch is designed for car PC use, the designers put an emphasis on creating a clear and crisp display, and the Mini Touch shines here. The display uses a true 450 Nit LCD with LED backlight, and the Mini Touch 700 is definitely brighter than competing units.


    With a 500:1 contrast ratio, the screen is as beautiful as you will find in the car PC arena. The designers went above just having a clear display though. Another nod to the effort put into the screen being car PC friendly is the fact that it uses a video chip which allows a true native 800x480 resolution. If your video card drivers support 800x480, the Mini Touch will display in 800x480, no guesswork, no custom driver hacks needed.


    Now with most first-generation devices there are usually problems or bugs that present themselves over the course of time. In my extended testing, which covered roughly 6 months, I had no problems at all with the Mini Touch 700. There was no flickering, no image ghosting, and the unit seemed to have no problem with differences in temperature. My only real gripe with the Mini Touch 700 is the lack of DVI/HDMI. With VGA slowly phasing its way out of the market and more and more touchscreen devices including HDMI, I feel like a new product should factor those options in. Then again, if they included HDMI output in the first-generation, what's to look forward to in the second generation?

    The Positive:

    • Brightness and crisp display, about the best you'll find with analog video
    • Includes most all the features found in competing devices• Included headrest shroud makes it a breeze to fabricate into a dashboard
    • True 800x480 compatibility
    • New product from a new company. Car PCs arent all tablets yet!

    The Negative:

    • No HDMI input option
    • Potentially limited replacement part capability should the need exist.

    The Verdict:

    The Mini Touch 700 should definitely be considered when searching for a new 7" VGA display. This new screen pacts in most all of the features found on Xenarc and Lilliput units, and goes a step above by ensuring that 800x480 native resolution is available without hassle.

    Updated 11-04-2010 at 01:33 PM by Sonicxtacy02

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    Product Reviews