CES auto news

Pages:  1   2   3    ..  

Video: BMW and Samsung team up with Galaxy Gear smartwatch that talks to your i3

01/13/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: CES, Tech, Videos, BMW

bmw samsung galaxy gear

Without a doubt, the most impressive thing that BMW showed at CES this year was a driverless M235i drifting flawlessly around a wet track at Las Vegas Speedway. However, that bit of robotic helmsmanship wasn't the only trick the German company had up its sleeve. Or, more to the point, on its wrist.

Taking a page from rival Mercedes-Benz, BMW demonstrated how a "smartwatch," in this case the Samsung Galaxy Gear, could be made to function usefully with a vehicle, in this case the BMW i3. Calling it a "research application," BMW showed off its BMW i Remote App on the Galaxy Gear; the app gives information about state of battery charge, available range and whether or not all the doors and windows are closed or open. Perhaps more useful still, the watch can be used to send a destination to the i3's navigation unit, adjust the climate control in preparation for a trip and can recognize voice commands. Nifty stuff, if not world-shaking, that could help tech-obsessed luxury buyers take a second look at the upcoming BMW EV.

Take a closer look at the watch in action below, or read thru the BMW press release.

Continue reading BMW and Samsung team up with Galaxy Gear smartwatch that talks to your i3

Read more..

Report: Ford's Farley apologizes for saying Blue Oval tracks customers with GPS

01/11/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: CES, Tech, Ford

Ford

Ford marketing head honcho Jim Farley made waves at CES this week by telling show attendees, "We know everyone who breaks the law, we know when you're doing it." according to a report by Business Insider. Farley continued by saying, "We have GPS in your car, so we know what you're doing. By the way, we don't supply that data to anyone."

Farley has since amended his statement, saying that Ford dose not, in fact, track its customers in their cars "without their approval or consent."

Apparently carried away with a hypothetical notion, Farley was attempting to describe how Ford might be able to employee aggregated user data for things like accurate traffic reporting and pattern spotting. A Ford spokesperson confirmed with Business Insider that its GPS units are not sharing the whereabouts of drivers, though there are a few on-board services that might do so. After opting in to the services (and presumably being made aware of any/all tracking and data collection), Ford's Sync Services Directions and Crew Chief software do, in fact, allow data collection as a means of improving both systems. Farley added that the opt-in data is not shared, even when being tracked.

Read more..

CES: Mercedes showcases interactive technologies present and future

01/10/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: CES, Tech, Mercedes Benz

Mercedes-Benz Pebble Watch

In an age when luxury was all about sheltering the fortunate from the world around them, companies like Mercedes-Benz were satisfied simply to coddle their drivers and passengers in cocoons of leather and wood. But as luxury car buyers increasingly expect their vehicles to connect them with the world around them, Mercedes is increasingly investing in information and entertainment systems that make navigating the world that much easier. It is those technologies which Mercedes had to showcase this year at CES in Las Vegas.

Among those technologies on display at the Mercedes stand was the smartwatch application which the German automaker has developed together with Pebble. The Digital DriveStyle app networks with the vehicle and the driver's iPhone to enable control of the navigation and entertainment systems right from the wearer's wrist, while enabling easy activation of Siri voice command system at the touch of a button.

Mercedes was also keen to showcase its latest Predictive User Experience system that previews how occupants will interact with their vehicle in the future. The systems take into account parameters like weather, time and date together with the driver's ever-evolving usage history to offer suggestions on where the driver would like to go and how he or she should best get there.

It all goes beyond the simple function of transportation and turns the automobile into an advanced transportation device that still coddles the occupants in the height of luxury, but provides the ultimate luxury of reaching your destination without missing a beat. Scope out the pair of press releases below for more information.

Continue reading Mercedes showcases interactive technologies present and future

Read more..

CES: Audi Traffic Light Assist helps you hit every green light

01/10/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: CES, Tech, Audi, Luxury

Audi A6 with Traffic Light Assist

Before taking a ride in Audi's impressive Piloted Driving A7, we took a short spin up and down the Las Vegas strip to check out a smaller, but intriguing piece of Audi driver assistance technology called Traffic Light Assist that promises to help drivers make every green light.

Using both live and predictive data beamed into the vehicle's navigation unit via onboard wifi, TLA doesn't need a single camera to tell you when the light is going to change. Local data sources provide information about traffic light patters, and the in car system uses that data and the motion of the car to predict exactly how long it'll be until the green light goes red.

In practice, the system shows a traffic light icon in the central display (a head-up display would be a nice option), along with a countdown timer that reads the number of seconds before a light changes from red to green. Additionally, the system corrects (nearly instantly in our demo) for changing lanes and resultant changing signals; changing a straight-through traffic lane to a left-turn lane and signal, for instance.

What's more, the stop/start system is integrated with the new software, as well, restarting the engine with a few seconds to go before the light in front of you changes to green. Pretty slick.

Audi set up a trial of the system in a A6 sedan around the Las Vegas Strip, and it worked pretty flawlessly for us. The only time it was tripped up was when we pulled off into a casino driveway to change drivers; here the navigation system still placed us on the neighboring road. Of course, this is an issue that crops up with navigation systems themselves, too, not specific to Traffic Light Assist.

Audi has been testing the new technology in Ingolstadt and Berlin in Germany, as well as in Verona, Italy, in addition to the test it set up in Vegas for the purposes of CES. The good news is that, even in this beta form, the implementation of the software was as simple as patching in to the existing A6 CPU. Implementation of Traffic Light Assist on a consumer level would have more to do with getting the proper streams of traffic signal data from cities across the world rather than a problem with installing it in each car. They're working on it.

Read more..

CES: First impressions of Audi's next TT interior and Virtual Cockpit [w/video]

01/09/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Coupes, CES, Tech, Audi, Luxury, Infotainment

audi tt virtual cockpit

Not content to pummel CES show goers with laser lights and self-piloting vehicles, Audi has also pulled the wraps (well, some of the wraps) off the interior of its upcoming next-gen TT. While the car itself wasn't on hand for us to check out, Audi did mock up the cockpit, complete with its all-new Virtual Cockpit central display and the latest iteration of the company's Multi Media Interface (MMI).

Virtual Display is Audi's new brand name for a completely digital reinterpretation of the instrument binnacle, by way of a 12.3-inch TFT screen. Audi tells us that there are two operable modes for Virtual Display: in the standard mode, an average-sized tachometer and speedometer flank a smaller infotainment portion in the center. Infotainment mode, meanwhile, shrinks the gauges to discreet circles and allows the navigation map, audio controls, or whichever system is being operated by the driver, to fill the remaining screen real estate.

2015 Audi TT CockpitThis design, says Audi, allowed engineers to slim down the size of the center console as a whole, without reducing function for the driver. We can say that it looks very impressive as a demonstrator, but we will need some time with it in a moving vehicle before we're convinced it isn't slightly more distracting that a traditional setup.

MMI has also been made over for introduction on the next TT, with the infotainment system's current four buttons and one central rotary dial being replace with a more streamlined interface. There are only two lateral buttons in the new system, while the dial receives a touchpad on its top that functions in much the same way as the squarish touchpad found in current, top-line Audi products. Write out a letter or number with the tip of your finger on the touchpad, and the system will recognize and quickly decode it for whichever function you are attempting. (See the video below for a very short demo of the MMI touchpad.)

Of course, even in this static setup, you can tell that the new TT cabin is build well and designed impeccably. The circular air vents house climate control displays in a nifty integration of form and function, while the metal and leather bits feel both substantial and durable. Bring on the full car, we say.

Continue reading First impressions of Audi's next TT interior and Virtual Cockpit [w/video]

Read more..

CES: Ford C-Max Solar Energi takes a recharging station wherever it goes [UPDATE]

01/09/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Concept Cars, Hybrids/Alternative, CES, Tech, Hatchbacks, Ford, Electric

Ford C-Max Solar Energi Concept CES 2014

Companies ranging in size from small startups to major automakers have been experimenting with solar-powered charging stations for EVs and plug-in hybrids. And, of course, people have been powering vehicles with onboard solar panels for quite some time, too. Still, Ford's new C-Max Solar Energi Concept shows the promise of a truly practical implementation of solar on a production vehicle, and it may not be as far off in the future as we had thought.

As we reported a few days ago, the Solar concept makes use of a "concentrator lens" that focuses sunlight onto the Ford's roof-mounted solar panels mounted atop the charging canopy. The special lens follows the rays of the sun to maximize the amount of charge being fed to the batteries of the car, taking about a day to fully charge the 21-mile, all-electric range of the C-Max Energi. Ford data suggests that combination might be enough to power 75 percent of all trips made by a statistically average driver. In turn, using the sun to power a vehicle could reduce yearly C02 emissions by up to four metric tons when compared with the driver of an average gasoline-powered sedan.

We've got live images of the C-Max Solar Energi Concept, jauntily tilted on its display to best present its signature solar panels, straight from the CES floor.

UPDATE: An earlier version of this story implied that the concentrator used to collect more solar energy is built into the car. It is in fact built into the solar-panel-covered canopy.

Continue reading Ford C-Max Solar Energi takes a recharging station wherever it goes [UPDATE]

Read more..

CES: Audi gets into tablet market with Android-powered Smart Display

01/08/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: CES, Tech, Audi, Infotainment

audi smart display tablet

Relatively small in newsworthiness compared with laser-equipped hybrids and all-new cockpit concepts, Audi has also announced a branded, Android-powered tablet called Smart Display at CES this week.

Audi has partnered with Google for its in-car computing software for years now, so it's hardly surprising to hear that its first foray into the world of tablets runs a Google OS (which one is still unclear), and has Android guts. Sorry, iPad users. The 10.2-inch tablet wears a lovely aluminum chassis that seems right in line with Audi's typical industrial design, and is packed with Nvidia's Tegra T40 processor.

Smart Display is meant to highlight the upcoming cleverness of Audi's newly announced in-car LTE connectivity (by way of continued partnership with AT&T). Users can, in theory, access the Google Play store while on the go, and then download and fiddle with Android-based apps until their very hearts are content. By "users" we mean "passengers" here, and so does Audi, though we're not exactly sure if there are measures in place to keep a driver from tableting while driving.

We don't know when, where, or in concert with which vehicle(s) the company will first offer Smart Display for sale. It could very well be part of an advanced options package, or even sold à la carte to Audi fans everywhere.

Continue reading Audi gets into tablet market with Android-powered Smart Display

Read more..

CES: New Audi Sport Quattro Laserlight geeks out with mad lumens

01/08/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Concept Cars, Coupes, Hybrids/Alternative, Sports/GTs, CES, Tech, Audi, Luxury

Audi Sport Quattro Laserlight concept

It's safe to say that, at least as far as automotive companies go, Audi's Sport Quattro Laserlight concept car is stealing the show here at CES in Las Vegas. The car's 700-horsepower hybrid powertrain and carbon-fiber bodywork mean that it would go like stink if it were ever allowed to turn a wheel, and the shapely coupe stance looks every inch the part of a modern-day super coupe, too. Better yet, the laser-powered headlamps that are the crowning glory of the concept car are actually slated for production at some point in the not-distant future.

We're talking about lasers here, folks. I don't know about you, but if you had told the 10-year-old, Real Genius-watching version of me that there'd one day be a car with lasers for headlights, well, I'd have wanted one of those things, pretty bad.

Anyway, Audi's lasers may not be able to ignite a giant pack of Jiffy Pop from space, but they are set to be the new standard for illumination on the road. The laser lights are nearly three times as bright and beam twice as far as current, top-notch LED high beams and were called "safer, sharper and more efficient" compared with existing technologies. That "safer" part works on two levels: the brighter beams offer far better visibility, naturally, but Audi also tells us that they won't dazzle oncoming drivers like traditional high beams will. That means you can drive with the maximum illumination at all times. Cool stuff, here at CES.

Check out a gallery of the Audi Sport Quattro Laserlight in our attached gallery above, or re-read the official press release below.

Continue reading New Audi Sport Quattro Laserlight geeks out with mad lumens

Read more..

Video: Formula E debuts on Las Vegas Strip

01/08/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Motorsports, CES, Videos, Renault, Electric, Racing

Formula E car debuts on Las Vegas strip

Come September, the world's first electric racing series will kick off with the inaugural FIA Formula E Championship. But while the organizers have shown the Spark-Renault SRT_01E in static form around the world and even taken it to the track for testing, the first time the public has been able to see the car in action didn't come until yesterday.

That's when Lucas di Grassi, the former Formula One driver who's been leading development of the electric single-seater, drove the SRT_01E down the Las Vegas Strip. The car is being built by Spark Racing Technology on a Dallara chassis with batteries developed by Williams, powertrain by McLaren, systems by Renault and tires from Michelin.

Police escorted the electric racer down the Strip from Mandalay Bay to Caesar's in front of the gathered crowds in town for the Consumer Electrics Show, where it was displayed by the series' technology partner Qualcomm. Check out the footage and press release below and the images in the gallery above to see the car in action.

Continue reading Formula E debuts on Las Vegas Strip

Read more..

CES: Ford C-Max Solar Energi takes a recharging station wherever it goes

01/08/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Concept Cars, Hybrids/Alternative, CES, Tech, Hatchbacks, Ford, Electric

Ford C-Max Solar Energi Concept CES 2014

Companies ranging in size from small startups to major automakers have been experimenting with solar-powered charging stations for EVs and plug-in hybrids. And, of course, people have been powering vehicles with onboard solar panels for quite some time, too. Still, Ford's new C-Max Solar Energi Concept shows the promise of a truly practical implementation of solar on a production vehicle, and it may not be as far off in the future as we had thought.

As we reported a few days ago, the Solar concept makes use of a "concentrator lens" that focuses sunlight onto the Ford's roof-mounted solar panels. The special lens follows the rays of the sun to maximize the amount of charge being fed to the batteries of the car, taking about a day to fully charge the 21-mile, all-electric range of the C-Max Energi. Ford data suggests that combination might be enough to power 75 percent of all trips made by a statistically average driver. In turn, using the sun to power a vehicle could reduce yearly C02 emissions by up to four metric tons when compared with the driver of an average gasoline-powered sedan.

We've got live images of the C-Max Solar Energi Concept, jauntily tilted on its display to best present it's signature solar panels, straight from the CES floor.

Continue reading Ford C-Max Solar Energi takes a recharging station wherever it goes

Read more..

Pages:  1   2   3    ..