Automotive

Car Tech at CES 2016

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Heading into CES 2016 we knew there was going to be a lot of new tech for automotives. True enough, there hasn’t been any shortage of car tech whether it’s already functional or something that could possibly hit the road in the future.

Speaking of the future, that’s exactly what’s written all over the Faraday Future’s (FF) FFZero1 – a concept electric car that looks like something Bruce Wayne would drive when he’s out fighting crime.

The FFZero1 on display is nearly as real as the Batmobile. It’s just a concept car and was used primarily to showcase what FF is potentially capable of.

Something useful

Here’s a perfect example of technology making life easier for people – especially for the non car-savvy drivers. Hyundai went out of its way to build an augmented reality app for owners of its cars. Aptly called Virtual Guide, the app will walkthrough the user on how to perform basic car maintenance tasks.

Fire up Virtual Guide and point it to any part of the car and it’ll show digital dots for certain parts of the car. Tap on the dot to get a step-by-step maintenance walkthrough or how-to use if you’re inside the car.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=kf-wvrfK3-c

It would be really nice if this piece of tech also makes its way onto other car manufacturers. And just imagine what the experience would be like with Microsoft’s augmented reality project Holo Lens.

Taking helping to another level

And since we’re talking about helping, that’s exactly what Ford and drone maker DJI is doing as it’s developing a vehicle-to-drone communication tech to help the United Nations in disaster relief aid.

This should allow responders to drive near a disaster-hit area, park in a safe place and then the car’s driver can launch and pilot the drone to scout and map the area while looking out for survivors all while staying at the driver’s seat.

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Ford imagines the technology can also be used for purposes other than disaster relief saying the agriculture and construction sectors can also benefit from this tech under development.

More from Ford

Ford is also looking into integrating its vehicles with Amazon Echo and Wink. What will it do? Ford sees the possibility of car owners remotely starting and/or unlocking their cars, remotely checking fuel status as well as checking the car’s location. The integration also allows other nifty features like opening the garage door from the car.

What’s here and now for the company? Ford announced all of its cars that will be released this year will be compatible with either Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Ford car owners can pair their smartphones to the car’s dashboard for a smart experience inside the vehicle.

That’s it for now on car tech at CES 2016. Follow us on all our platforms for more updates!

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Apps

Waze gets a new look!

It was long overdue and it’s finally here

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If you frequently take the roads and use Waze as your driving companion, you may have gotten used to how it look — no matter how dated it seemed. That’s changing now as the app is getting an all new look.

The company says the brand refresh “reinforces inclusivity and connection into every journey on the road.” Whatever that means, the revamped Waze app now follows a more flat design and with more expressive cartoony mood indicators.

The new visual language based on roads and maps which will also be seen in multiple places, including the Waze website, emails, and social channels.

“This brand refresh encapsulates that unique Waze experience visually, with a new grid format based on our map, new Moods to capture the infinite array of emotions we all feel while driving and a lively color palette that celebrates the joy that we always try to bring to the road, and the magic of our community and the way we work together for better,” said Waze Head of Creative Jake Shaw.

What do you think? Do you like this new look or do you prefer the old one?

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Automotive

Nissan is making their electric cars better with all-wheel drive

Called the e-4ORCE

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When electric and hybrid vehicles started becoming popular, hardcore automobile enthusiasts steered clear for two main reasons: the lack of EV infrastructure and lack of power in early electric vehicles. Though the former remains a persistent problem today, modern carmakers are doing their best to create better and better powertrains in electric vehicles.

Nissan, for example, is developing a new system for its electric cars in the future. As you might know, Nissan’s contribution to the world of electric travel is the Nissan Leaf. With the upcoming technology that they call “e-4ORCE,” Nissan aims to pack more power into their electric packages. It’s all about improving the driving experience.

Now, you might be wondering about the weird name. Besides being a quirky twist on “force,” the name pertains to the technology’s new all-wheel drive. Previously, the Nissan Leaf subsisted on front-wheel drive.

More technically, e-4ORCE jams in a second electric motor, giving more boost and control to the system’s power. It improves acceleration and braking more efficiently. Handling also gets a bump, allowing drivers to control their vehicle exactly as they want it to do.

Despite the improvements in power, e-4ORCE also works on driver and passenger comfort. Driving is stabler and smoother. In turn, this improves driver confidence regardless of the road conditions.

Nissan first demonstrated this upcoming technology at last year’s CES 2019 using a custom Nissan Leaf e+. In the future, the carmaker hopes to add this technology to more mass-market electric vehicles.

SEE ALSO: Why Nissan’s new infotainment system looks better than others

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Apps

Digital keys lets you unlock your car with an iPhone

No more keys that’ll scratch your phone

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Apple wants to replace physical keys with an iPhone and the brand has announced a new feature at WWDC 2020 to make this possible. Digital keys are stored on your iPhone and can be used to unlock the car with just a single tap. Furthermore, you can share the key with your friends and family via iMessage.

Emily Schubert, Apple senior manager of car experience engineering, demonstrated how a driver can tap the door handle with their iPhone to unlock the sedan. To start the car, just keep the iPhone on the car’s charging pad and you’re good to go.

The technology leverages NFC (Near Field Communication) to interact with the car. The Wallet app is a safe haven for your keys and this is the same app where your Apple Card, as well as other tickets, are stored.

On the automobile side, BMW will be the first marque to introduce it to drivers. The digital key functionality shall feature first in the 2021 BMW 5 series this July. Apple said more cars that work with the system will come to the market next year. For electric cars, the tech giant is also working on its mapping application to show nearby charging points.

While Tesla owners will not be surprised by this announcement, it can bring a monumental change for many since it relies on existing technology and can support cars that are already on the road.

Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering, Craig Federighi, said the tech giant is working on a standard with industry groups to realize a secure, “real” keyless experience by next year.

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