Automotive

The Best Car Tech of CES 2018

Exciting times ahead!

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We recently wrapped up CES 2018 (see our top picks) and even though the trade show originally revolved around consumer electronics, a big chunk of what was introduced was directed towards connected cities with a focus on making driving a lot smarter.

The idea of self-driving cars surely isn’t new and has been around for quite some time now. It’s basically the concept of what the future is like in addition to flying cars. At this year’s CES, brands who participated made us realize that this “future” isn’t too far away.

Here are some of the most promising cars and car technology that we’re excited to see in the near future.

Assistance

Multiple brands showed off their new toys left and right. There’s the announcement of Amazon’s Alexa coming to cars for voice assistance and content consumption. Toyota will be the next to adapt voice assistance in addition to BMW, Ford, and Hyundai. Meanwhile, Waze has also been integrated into select infotainment systems.

Nissan, on the other hand, is taking the user-machine a step further by introducing the brain-to-vehicle (B2V) technology. It basically uses a system that could read your brain patterns and signals to better prepare for what you’re about to do next while driving.

Platforms

In terms of services, Ford is slightly stepping out of the shadow of car-making and plans to be the new platform for autonomous vehicles. It has partnered with Lyft, Domino’s Pizza, and Postmates to create an operating system which small to large businesses can use for their unique services.

Speaking of unique services, Toyota unveiled its e-Palette concept vehicle which has all the potential to go big in the future of mobility. It’s envisioned as a self-driving vehicle running on Toyota’s tech and platform that other brands can use for food deliveries, as a moving boutique, or even a mobile hotel that you can rent.

As far as ride-sharing goes, expect it to join the bandwagon as smart cities are developed. During the trade show, car tech company Aptiv was present and was hand-in-hand with Lyft as they demonstrated their self-driving cars to the participants of CES. The public could just hail a ride from the Las Vegas Convention Center using the app and enjoy the view of the Strip to their destination.

Additionally, NVIDIA has also added Uber and Volkswagen to their growing roster of brands that will run on the company’s self-driving computer platform.

Cars

Apart from the new platforms, there were cars — quite a lot, actually. From concept to actual models on display, we got a peek at these vehicles that probably want to take on Tesla.

Derived from Bytes on Wheels, BYTON wants to blur the line between digital and automotive with their electric intelligent SUV concept. The new-gen smart device communicates with users and pedestrians via lights and patterns on its grille and recognizes the driver and passengers by face.

Kia was also present with its very own Niro electric crossover. This concept is basically an electric version of the Niro Hybrid but gets a new grille design. Like BYTON, it is now an interactive panel with a built-in Active Pedestrian Warning System, but what makes this something to look forward to is its range. It can go as far 383km (238 miles) before needing to charge again — beating what the Tesla Model 3 can offer.

Car designer Henrik Fisker gave another shot at making vehicles; this time in the form of the EMotion luxury sedan. The vehicle is a level 4 autonomous car and is equipped with the world’s first Butterfly Doors. Fisker also wants to set standards for other EVs so they made the vehicle last up to 644km (400 miles) on the road.

Meanwhile, Hyundai is continuing its push to go green and introduced the NEXO fuel cell electric vehicle. It has a more efficient engine, is a lot quieter, and maintenance is kept to a minimum. Although the best thing about it is that it emits nothing but water vapor. Features-wise, it has autonomous driving, self-parking, self-retrieval — the whole shebang.

In-vehicle Networking

Software updates are an important aspect of vehicles relying on digital systems. Tesla has somehow established its system already but for other car brands, updating hundreds, even thousands of vehicles across a country, is still not an easy task.

Hyundai and Cisco addressed this and aims to overhaul the process of in-vehicle networking. With the use of Ethernet connectivity and the Automotive Linux platform, they promise to be able to roll out updates remotely and it’s as simple as pushing a button.

 

Automotive

All the essential gadgets you’ll ever need for a glamping trip

Visiting Chile with Nicole Scott of MobileGeeks!

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Traveling is a great deal of fun but packing the right gear can be a headache. So, I called for reinforcements.

I spoke with Nicole Scott, all-around traveler and co-founder of MobileGeeks, and asked her what her travel essentials are.

Nicole is always on the road which means she does everything while she’s traveling. She walked us through her last trip to Chile where she went glamping in the desert. These are her must-haves.

Some wheels to get there

The destination is the Atacama Desert, the driest on the planet. To get to the glamping spot, you need a ride.

For the few minutes drive from San Pedro to Atacama Loft & Glamp, the Audi Q8 is Nicole’s vehicle of choice. The Q8 has a host of smart features, and most importantly…

… it has wireless charging built in!

A phone to take photos with

In this area, there’s barely any reception. But these days, phones are still useful even without cell signal.

Nicole brought along her HTC U12+ for photo-taking purposes.

Working on the go

Since she’s always moving, Nicole is used to working on the go. She brings her Microsoft Surface Book everywhere. 

An external battery pack is also a must-have — this means an extra two hours of laptop time without having to plug into an actual electric socket.

Part of her setup is working with a mouse — Nicole shoots and edits, too. Her weapon of choice? The Microsoft Surface Arc.

Now, enough about work!

Adding some background music

A good pair of headphones is always a great idea when traveling, or when you’re horseback riding through the desert like Nicole.

These TaoTronics Bluetooth earphones are her favorite because they have great sound quality despite being pretty affordable.

Taking time to meditate with the scenery

Nicole always has her Fitbit Versa on her and on trips like this, it proves pretty useful.

She uses the Relax function to take time out of her day and enjoy the beautiful desert sights with breathing exercises.

Watch Nicole’s full video here:

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Automotive

Honda offers limited edition City, BR-V, and Odyssey

Comes with a major discount, too

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Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. is proud to introduce limited edition variants of the new City, BR-V, and Odyssey. These souped-up models offer additional features, safety systems, and even discounts.

Adding to its slew of features, the new Honda City 1.5 Sport CVT has two new front tweeters for improved audio and entertainment experience. It is also equipped with new front, side, and rear under spoilers for a sportier look while a Sport Edition Emblem has been added to set it apart from the basic model.

This limited edition variant will be available for a suggested retail price of PhP 898,000 and will come in Modern Steel Metallic, Taffeta White, and Ruby Red Pearl.

The second best-selling model in the Philippines following the Honda City, the seven-seater BR-V 1.5 Touring CVT boasts fuel efficiency and new exterior features. This includes a tailgate spoiler, daytime running lights, shark fin antenna, and parking sensors to make backing up easier and safer.

It will be available for PhP 1,058,000 in Modern Steel Metallic color, Taffeta White, and Lunar Silver Metallic.

Last but definitely not the least, the luxury seven-seater minivan Odyssey EX-V CVT gets an exclusive variant with only 45 units available for sale. This package includes full leather interior, cradle captain seats with ottoman, and a lineup of driver assistive technology features.

For PhP 2,428,000, it will be available in Platinum White Pearl, Crystal Black Pearl, and Super Platinum Metallic.

To further sweeten the deal, Honda Philippines is offering to slash off PhP 50,000 to encourage customers to take advantage of the offer. Interested buyers may place reservations at any of the 38 Honda dealerships in the country.

SEE ALSO: New Honda Civic Type R arrives in PH

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Automotive

Ford Ranger Raptor now up for pre-orders

Be one of the first to own it

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Ford’s factory-built performance truck is now up for pre-orders at dealerships in the Philippines.

Launched earlier this year at a grand event in Thailand, the Ranger Raptor combines Ford Performance DNA with the Ranger’s tough constitution. It’s thought to be a motocross bike, snowmobile, and an ATV rolled into one macho pickup truck.

With a capable diesel engine, terrain management system, and a host of safety features, Ford’s truck is a promising package for the rough riders. Color palettes include Lightning Blue, Race Red, Shadow Black, Frozen White, and Conquer Grey.

Those who want to get first dibs on the Ranger Raptor can pre-order now by contacting or visiting any Ford dealer in the country. Pricing is still undisclosed but will be revealed closer to its launch date in the third quarter of this year.

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