Category: Automotive
Google’s New Futuristic Self Driving Car

If you are a child of the 80′s and you are an extreme techie geek like we are, you undoubtedly remember the fantastically fabulous self driving T-top transam named KITT from the hit series Knight Rider – KITT could not only talk but he could drive himself and jump over other cars if they got in his way. Back in the 80′s KITT was light years ahead of his time, he was the most advanced car on the planet. Fast forward to today and we do finally have cars that can drive themselves, although we are a far cry from one car jumping over another. Yes, you might have guessed, we are talking about the Google self driving car or more specifically the NEW Google self driving car. As yet, it is unnamed, but on Tuesday night, onstage at the Code Conference in California, Sergey Brin revealed what could be a glimpse into our very near future – A self driving car with no steering wheel and no gas pedal, this bad boy consists of 2 seats, a seatbelt, a big screen in the center console and a big red start button. According to test drivers, the screen tells you the weather along with how long until you reach your destination. Of course one can see where this is going, email on the dash, maybe catch up on some candy crush, the sky’s the limit with a big screen in the car. Currently the car tops out at 25MPH and is entirely electrically driven. It even has two motors onboard so that if one should fail, the other can seamlessly take over. Watch as some luck folks get to take this new automotive wonder for a spin:


The tech inside this baby is nothing short of amazing and the software that governing the functioning of the car are even more mind boggling. If you are interested in getting some insight on how the Google car does what it does, watch this interesting walkthrough by one of Google’s test drivers:
One thing is for sure and that is that the self driving car is here to stay, it’s only a matter of time until your car drives you to work while read your email and help the kids with their homework – It’s coming, will you be ready?

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College Student Builds Affordable Self Driving Car

Meet Ionut Budisteanu, he’s a 20 year old College student and whiz kid who is using his talents to change the world and, among other things, build an affordable self driving car, at a time in his life when most of us were partying it up. As he says himself, “I want to do something positive for the world.” After winning the Gordon E Moore grand prize at the 2013 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) for his affordable, self-driving car, it looks as though he has accomplished that already and will continue to innovate. As he says in the video below, he also has a passion for helping the disabled through the use of technology. Cheers to you mate for being our person of the week :-)

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Apple Technology (iOS) Coming to a Car Near you – Carplay

Apple has long been the champion of some of the most innovative tech we have ever seen for consumer use, from the simplicity and elegance of iPad Air, to the portability and convenience of the iPhone 5S, and to the sheer power and incredible performance of the Mac Pro. Apple and Steve Jobs earned an infamous reputation for having the “Next Biggest Thing,” – Well Tim Cook and team have not failed to disappoint because it’s here! Apple’s newest technology is coming to a car near you in the form of a fully interactive infotainment system that mimics iOS called “CarPlay.” CarPlay seen in the video below, will basically bring the power of Apple’s iOS to your car’s dashboard. Siri integration has been streamlined to offer lots of voice command functionality to do things like read and send texts, play music, get directions etc.

Based on this excerpt from an article on the Verge, it looks like there will be support for CarPlay from car manufacturers on a wide scale.

The first cars to support CarPlay will debut at the Geneva Motor Show this week, coming from Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo. They’ll be followed by a very broad range of carmakers: Nissan, Peugeot, Jaguar Land Rover, BMW, and General Motors are among the big names promising to integrate CarPay into their forthcoming vehicles. Ford, which was recently reported to be moving away from Microsoft’s Sync in-car voice commands, is also among the roster of future CarPlay supporters.

Don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to have iOS in my car – it looks sweet!

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Self Driving Cars May be Just Around the Corner

If you are a spoiled child of the 80′s, you know what I am talking about when I say the words, “Turbo Boost,” or “KITT I need you buddy!” – that’s right, I’m talking about and critically acclaimed and all to fabulously awesome (at least in our strange geek brains) 1980′s television gem – Knight Rider. Knight Rider was great because its story lines were all about the little guy taking down the big crooked guys and bringing them swiftly to justice. In Knight Rider’s case, the little guy was a former police officer gone loner after his death was staged to protect him coupled with his oh so stylish black pontiac Trans-Am, which also happened to be his partner and of all things, a talking, self driving car named KITT or Knight industries Two Thousand. KITT may not sound that impressive today, but 30 years ago a hot car that could drive itself and talk to its driver was truly groundbreaking. As with most things we humans can imagine, we often bring them to life with science and technology, KITT is no different :-) With the advent of laser and radar based collision avoidance and guidance systems, self driving cars are just around the corner. The info-graphic below shows us the likely evolution of car tech in the next few years. If Google’s self driving Pryis is any indication, it appears that we are indeed close to braving the open roads entirely hands free :-)

Self-driving cars

 

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It Has Never Been Easier to Own a Tesla Model S

If you’re an automotive buff like we are, chances are you have probably been lusting after and salivating over the the Tesla Model S. The Tesla Model S is. of course, the electric vehicle luxure sedan which can do 0-60mph in just over 4 seconds. While this is highly capable of getting you around at high speeds, it also comes with a pretty hefty price tag putting it out of most people’s reach – that is until today.  Tesla Motors announced today, a new partnership with Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank that will allow customers to finance a Tesla.  The financing option is pretty darn amazing really – buyers with approved credit will have a 10% downpayment on the car, covered by the bank, using a green energy tax credit from uncle Sam (making the downpayment essentially free). After that, the customer need only make the monthly payments, but it gets even cooler – Tesla is giving financiers the option to trade-in or get the cash value equivalent to a Mercades S class at the end of 3 years of owning the car. So you could trade up and get a new Tesla Model with your Model S as a trade-in or you could just walk away with cash – so you still get all the benefits of owning a car but you’re only tied down for 3 years if you want to get a new vehicle in the future.

Here are the details on the financing:

  • US Bank and Wells Fargo have agreed to provide 10% down financing for purchase of a Model S (on approved credit.)
  • The 10% down payment is covered or more than covered by US Federal and state tax credits ranging from $7,500 to $15,000. New Jersey, Washington and DC also have no sales tax for electric vehicles. These advantages are not available when leasing.
  • When considering the savings from using electricity instead of gasoline, depreciation benefits and other factors, the true net out of pocket cost to own a mid-range Model S drops to less than $500 per month.
  • After 36 months, you have the right, but not the obligation to sell your Model S to Tesla for the same residual value percentage as the iconic Mercedes S Class, one of the finest premium sedans in the world, made by Daimler (also a Tesla partner and investor).
  • Not only is Tesla guaranteeing that resale value, but Tesla CEO Elon Musk is personally standing behind that guarantee to give customers absolute peace of mind about the value of the asset they are purchasing.

 

If you’re thinking about owning a Model S, Here is a video of a test drive that will leaving you dying to get one :-)


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