CES auto news

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CES: We demo Audi's Traffic Jam Assistant tech on the road [w/video]

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

Audi A7 with Traffic Jam Assistant

The closer automotive technology comes to making good on the promise of fully driverless vehicles, the better we see just what difficult work reaching that ultimate goal will become. That's because, unlike so many other in-car technologies that need only integration into a vehicle, truly autonomous cars will also insist on involvement with the surrounding environment, fellow motorists, infrastructure in cities and other communities and making it all work without exposing automakers to law-breaking or tremendous possible litigation. Clearly that isn't all about to happen in one go.

At CES in 2012, Audi told us about a debuting technology that would mark a significant step along the path towards self-driving cars: Traffic Jam Assistant. This year, the German automaker invited us out to Las Vegas to see the jam-busting technology in action, on a relatively busy freeway.

The Traffic Jam Assistant (we're pretty sure that name is still in Beta) promises to relieve drivers from the tedium of slow-moving freeways by taking care of braking, acceleration and staying inside of the lane - all with no input from the human behind the wheel. While still a fair step from truly autonomous driving, the goal here is to give a commuter some respite from the mechanical, time-wasting traffic jam paradigm, potentially opening up a space for productivity in the process. (Audi can't come right out and say that TJA will allow you to use your cell phone in traffic, as that's still against the law in many places, but something like that is clearly on the radar... er... LiDAR.)

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Official: You can now order Domino's pizza from your Sync-equipped Ford

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

Domino's Pizza employee looks in pizza oven

The news keeps pouring in from the Consumer Electronics Show now underway in Las Vegas, and the latest comes from Ford which has announced two new apps for its Sync AppLink system.

First up is a cooperative app launched by Ford together with Domino's Pizza that lets drivers of the former order pizza from the latter right from their car. The service allows those with Ford Sync AppLink in their car or truck and are registered with a Domino's Pizza Profile to place an order for their favorite pie using Dearborn's voice-recognition software for either pickup or delivery. Save your information in your Pizza Profile and it'll be sent to your house without even the push of a button, which strikes us as awesome a use of technology as we've ever seen.

The second announcement is the result of a similar collaboration, this time between Ford and Parkopedia. Using a dedicated app, drivers will be able to access Parkopedia's 28-million listed parking spots, find the nearest one and see how much it'll cost them to park there. Easy pizza and pain-free parking? This whole connected car thing just might be worth it after all.

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Report: Audi promises production laser headlights

01/08/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: CES, Government/Legal, Safety, Tech, Audi

Standaufnahme    Farbe: Plasmarot

Audi is showing off new laser headlight technology this week at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show on its Audi Sport Quattro Laserlight Concept, and most intriguingly, the automaker has plans to use the long-range lighting on production vehicles. Audi CEO Rupert Stadler tells Automotive News that this type of headlights will be used on a future production vehicle, although he did not specify any timeframe.

On the concept vehicle, the headlights employ LED low beams, while the high beams use the laserlight technology. Audi says that these lights are not only very small ("a few microns in diameter") they are also able to light the road for almost a third of a mile (1,640 feet), with three times the brightness of an LED highbeam, yet with pinpoint control. These lights have already been confirmed for use in motorsports on the 2014 Audi R18 e-tron Quattro LMP1 racecar, and the tech will eventually trickle down to road-going cars.

In addition to how long this trickle down will take, it's doubtful we'll see these lights in the US anytime soon. Audi is still working with the US Department of Transportation for approval of its LED Matrix Beam headlights, which are already sold in other markets, and the negotiations appear to be taking quite a bit of time. Automotive News also notes that the laser headlights earmarked as options on the 2015 BMW i8 will not be offered in the US, either.

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Official: Audi reveals next-gen TT interior at CES

01/08/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Coupes, Sports/GTs, CES, Tech, Audi, Design/Style, Luxury, Infotainment

Next-gen Audi TT interior at CES 2014

Audi has taken the somewhat unusual step of unveiling much of the interior of its upcoming TT Coupe at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. That's unusual, because they haven't shown us the car yet. Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised - with the proliferation of technology in automobiles these days, it's probably time we start considering them as much electronic devices as transportation devices.

While Audi has long been recognized as a leader in interior design, this new TT features an instrument cluster that is wildly different from what we've become accustomed to from the Four-Ring brand. Audi is calling its fully digital system a "virtual cockpit," and with its 12.3-inch LCD screen situated directly in front of the driver, it does away with the company's traditional Multi-Media Interface (MMI) display in the center stack. Two modes are offered, one classic option with large gauges and another more oriented to infotainment.

Besides electronics, the actual hard parts of the interior also show plenty of new thinking. With the removal of the central screen, Audi has been able to streamline its instrument panel to resemble a wing of sorts, with jet-like HVAC vents that house their own controls. Two more points for controls are presented to the driver, with buttons on the flat-bottom steering wheel and another set on the center tunnel.

Take a look at the images of the next Audi TT's interior, then read all about it in the press release below.

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Official: Kia previews next-gen infotainment systems at CES

01/07/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: CES, Tech, Kia

Kia at CES 2014

While improving its quality, appeal and market share in recent years, Kia has made tremendous strides in transportation technology as well, and aims to further that at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas with new telematics and infotainment systems.

Among the new tech Kia will be displaying at CES this year will be several future advancements to its UVO system. The User-Centered Driver (UCD) concept centers around a widescreen head-up display that projects vital data such as speed, navigation directions and traffic information across 18 inches above the instrument cluster, joined by a 12.3-inch TFT display that presents the information in a 3D view, wireless mobile charging and hand-gesture recognition.

The In-Vehicle Information (IVI) concept uses a multi-display system (based around a 20-inch multi-touch center-console display) that synchronizes with a tablet or smartphone to interface with the concierge service, social networking, parking assist and smart radio functions. The system also enables vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication and HD wireless connectivity.

A separate display previews how UVO will work with upcoming electric vehicles. Kia will also showcase the Cub concept at CES, marking the North American debut of the concept car that debuted at the Seoul and Shanghai Motor Shows last year. Like what you've read so far? There's plenty more in the press below, so jump right in to keep reading.

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Official: Chevy announces broad deployment of 4G LTE with OnStar [w/videos]

01/07/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: CES, Tech, Videos, Chevrolet, Infotainment

Chevrolet AppShop and OnStar 4G LTE

The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is rapidly becoming a major stage on which automakers show off their latest and greatest goodies designed to make the lives of drivers easier and more colorful. For Chevrolet, that means it is unveiling a bunch of new smartphone-like technologies for its cars.

As a start to this week's event, the Bowtie brand and General Motors' OnStar have teamed with AT&T to offer 4G LTE connectivity on its 2015 Corvette, Impala, Malibu and Volt models as an optional extra. The as-yet unpriced option will be available later on the Equinox, Silverado and Silverado HD and on both gas and electric versions of the Spark, while our Canadian friends will gain internet access on the Trax. As for other models, like the Traverse, Cruze, Sonic and Camaro, OnStar 4G LTE will likely be added at a later date.

Internet connections are great and all, but they're a bit pointless if there's nothing to surf. That's why Chevy is also announcing a new AppShop on vehicles with the MyLink system and 4G LTE. Customers will be offered a range of apps that as of this writing include iHeartRadio, Priceline, The Weather Channel, NPR, Slacker Radio, TuneIn Radio (already offered on some MyLink-equipped vehicles), Cityseeker, Eventseeker, Glympse and Kaliki.

"The built-in 4G LTE connection will allow our vehicles to be updated with the latest software and apps," said GM's Global Connected Consumer president, Mary Chan. "This means that the driver's vehicle infotainment systems can keep getting better after purchase as customers can continue to add on and customize their features."

Scroll down for a better look at OnStar 4G LTE - you can watch a video of OnStar's press conference (hosted by tech personality Morgan Webb) and a hands-on video with Slashgear, as well as check out the official press release from Chevrolet.

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Official: Ford bringing C-Max Solar Energi Concept to CES [w/video]

01/02/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Concept Cars, Hybrids/Alternative, CES, Videos, Ford, Electric

Ford C-Max Solar Energi Concept

Solar energy might not be enough to power a usable electric vehicle on its own, but that doesn't mean it can't lend a helping hand. And that's what Ford has in store for the Consumer Electronics Show opening next week in Las Vegas.

Ford has essentially taken its C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid and fitted it with the latest in solar panel technology developed by SunPower, acting like a magnifying glass to capture as much of the sun's energy as possible. So you get the benefit of an electric vehicle, with the range assurance of a hybrid, without needing to draw from the grid.

Ford estimates that a day of charging in the sunshine will give the C-Max Solar Energi concept the same full charge as the production PHEV, with a total range of 620 miles - 21 of which can be run on electric power alone. Otherwise the vehicle - which remains a concept for the time being - is identical to the existing C-Max Energi. The top-selling model in Ford's growing hybrid and electric vehicle portfolio helps put Ford just behind Toyota among the top seller of hybrids in America. Scope out the images in the gallery above and the video clip and press release below for a closer look.

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Official: Audi re-illuminates Sport Quattro with Laserlight concept for CES

01/02/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Concept Cars, Coupes, Hybrids/Alternative, Sports/GTs, CES, Tech, Audi

Audi Sport Quattro Laserlight Concept

Automakers typically spend months working on a concept car, then unveil it at a car show and move on to the next. But Audi has demonstrated a propensity at refining the same concepts and bringing them back for more. Just look at how many time Audi iterated its E-Tron concept, and how many diesel R8s it toyed with. It brought the Italdesign Parcour out of retirement and rechristened it the Audi Nanuk, and it's been doing the same with the Quattro concept for the past several years. The German automaker rolled out the first Quattro concept back in 2010, and followed up with the reborn Sport Quattro concept less than a year ago. And now it's preparing to unveil yet another.

Called the Sport Quattro Laserlight concept, this time it's not as radical a departure from the Sport Quattro concept as that was from the first Quattro concept. In fact, there's really only one vital difference. That'd be the laser headlights "that leave all previous systems in the dark," according to the press release below. The system uses matrix LEDs around the outside of the element as low beams, and lasers on the inside for high beams. Measured in mere microns, the laser diodes are significantly smaller than LEDs, while lighting up the road ahead for nearly half a kilometers (1,640 feet), providing twice the lighting range and three times the brightness of LED high beams.

Otherwise the concept car you see here and which Audi will display at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week is essentially the same as the one it showed in Frankfurt this past September. It's got the same measurements, wearing the same CFRP bodywork, with the same interior and the same 700-horsepower hybrid powertrain, only the yellow exterior has been repainted Plasma Red and the black interior redone in a more low-key Slate Grey, as you can see from the high-res image gallery above.

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Official: Ford bringing C-Max Solar Energi Concept to CES [w/video[

01/02/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Concept Cars, Hybrids/Alternative, CES, Videos, Ford, Electric

Ford C-Max Solar Energi Concept

Solar energy might not be enough to power a usable electric vehicle on its own, but that doesn't mean it can't lend a helping hand. And that's what Ford has in store for the Consumer Electronics Show opening next week in Las Vegas.

Ford has essentially taken its C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid and fitted it with the latest in solar panel technology developed by SunPower, acting like a magnifying glass to capture as much of the sun's energy as possible. So you get the benefit of an electric vehicle, with the range assurance of a hybrid, without needing to draw from the grid.

Ford estimates that a day of charging in the sunshine will give the C-Max Solar Energi concept the same full charge as the production PHEV, with a total range of 620 miles - 21 of which can be run on electric power alone. Otherwise the vehicle - which remains a concept for the time being - is identical to the existing C-Max Energi. The top-selling model in Ford's growing hybrid and electric vehicle portfolio helps put Ford just behind Toyota among the top seller of hybrids in America. Scope out the images in the gallery above and the video clip and press release below for a closer look.

Continue reading Ford bringing C-Max Solar Energi Concept to CES [w/video[

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Official: iON introduces Speed Pro action camera for motor and marine sports [w/video]

01/12/2013   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: CES, Etc., Tech, Videos

Meanwhile, back at the Consumer Electronics Show, iON camera announced its new Speed Pro camera that it says is specifically tailored to high-speed motor and marine sports. Retailing for $299, the Speed Pro offers up to a 170-degree viewing angle and mounts to affix it to cars, motorcycles and boats and other vehicles. Recording at 1080p the field-of-view drops to 127 degrees and the only frame rate option is 30 frames per second. At 960p and 30 fps you get the full 170 degrees, at 720p you can choose 30 fps or 60 fps for its 150-degree field-of-view. Still photos are captured at 5MP and remote control of the camera requires the purchase of the $99 Wi-Fi PODZ.

Alongside the Speed Pro, iOn also announced the $249 Air Pro 2 with an upgraded 14-megapixel sensor and 180-degree lens, and the $349 GPS-equipped iON Adventure with its lens on the side of the body, dual SD card recording and a motion-detecting sensor designed for adventure-seekers that move a little more slowly.

Samples of Speed Pro footage can be found in the two videos below that feature World Rally Championship driver Petter Solberg. Closer to home, you can see them in operation if you visit the Miller Motorsports Park in Salt Lake City, Utah where the iON has been named the exclusive action camera supplier. The press release below lays it all out in words.

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