Automotive

Innovation Invasion

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Nothing, not even the fierce Detroit winter can get in the way of the annual exodus of automobile enthusiasts to the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). I love cars, I’ve always been fascinated by them. I can talk confidently about driverless cars and am one hell of a parallel park-er. But if cars were video games, I’d be what you’d call a casual gamer, and maybe that’s why I am here.

To the casual observer, NAIAS 2016 is all about fancy new cars, and for the most part, that’s about right. All the big guns have come out to play with their best foots forward. At least 5 high-end luxury cars were unveiled at the show, and as many concept cars were introduced, teasing a not too distant future in travel.

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Behind the blue oval. The Ford booth at the 2016 North American International Auto Show.

This event sets the stage for the rest of the year and then some. And even sans an in-depth understanding of what makes cars tick, its pretty evident we have a lot to be excited about.

But there’s more to NAIAS 2016 than meets the eye. It is a critical time for the auto industry, fresh from a record breaking year of car sales, it is a time of much potential and growth. But looming in the shadows is a threat of disruption from the technology sector.

With fully automated, driverless cars almost tangible, and players like Apple and Google in the mix, tech companies are poised to change the game forever as automotive manufactures struggle to keep pace with technological innovations.

Which is understandable, its easier to build a smartphone, than it is to build a car. The average car product cycle is 3-5 years, upgrades are almost impossible unless you buy a new car, and most automotive giants are just not as nimble as a tech startup, or a tech giant with the resources to experiment on some crazy idea that may change the world. 

But there is one car company that’s dared to be different. Headquartered not too far from where NAIAS is taking place is the Ford Motor Company, technology savvy, innovation focused, and no longer just a car company anymore.

The self proclaimed mobility company is looking into a host of already existing technological advancements that can make their way into the cars of tomorrow. Beyond driverless cars there’s electrification of vehicles, always-on Internet connectivity, data collection, apps and software, and integration with the Internet of Things.

Smart Home Integration

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Sync 3 brings Amazon Echo and Alexa integration.

As the tech world zeroes in on the smart home, Ford believes cars can and should be part of the equation. Very soon, Ford cars will integrate seamlessly with existing smart hubs like Amazon Echo, a virtual personal assistant built into a cylindrical bluetooth speaker. Amazon Echo responds to voice commands and can control household appliances, answer Internet-based questions, and even online shop for you.   

Soon Amazon Echo will also be able to start your car, and tell you how far more you can drive based on your current fuel levels. Users will also be able to summon Echo remotely from inside their Ford vehicles, so you could for example, ask it to turn on the lights, or open the garage door as you approach.

Wearable Integration

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Soon smartwatches and fitness trackers will integrate better, and smarter with our cars.

Wearables are another growing trend in the consumer tech world and inside Ford’s newly minted Automotive Wearables Experience Lab, scientists are looking into how smartwatches and fitness trackers can best complement the driving experience.

From simple things like receiving alerts on your smartwatch when you leave car doors unlocked or your keys inside. To more high-tech solutions like automatically uploading health and sleep information from your wearable to your car, and having the car adjust safety settings based on its assessment of your current state. If your car thinks you didn’t get enough sleep, Ford’s adaptive cruise control technology can increase the distance between your car and other vehicles to allow more time for your reflexes to kick in case of a traffic incident.

Data Analytics

In its own respect Ford is working to make its own cars smarter. A joint project with IBM hopes to create a platform that will allow researchers to collect data from cars, identify trends and patterns, and use those findings to provide commuters with better transportation decisions. The nitty gritty of this platform is way too geeky, but it should theoretically be able to tell you when taking the subway, or a bicycle is a more time efficient means of getting to work on a particular day. The platform should also benefit what Ford calls Parking Prediction technology to help you find empty parking spots.

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Journalists swarm around the newly announced Ford vehicles after the Ford keynote at the North American International Auto Show.

While as expected, cars were front and center at the North American International Auto Show, Ford was looking beyonds cars. Don’t get me wrong, there were lots of new cars including the new super high-tech Fusion Sedan, the monster F-150 Raptor pickup truck, as well as the first pre-production model of the GT Super Car. 

Instead the message was about doing things differently and driving change. As the motoring world is bracing itself for disruption, Ford is on a bold path to disrupt themselves.

VLOG: Gorilla Glass on a Car

They’re on plenty of smartphones, but have you heard of Gorilla Glass windshields? #FordNAIAS

Posted by GadgetMatch on Wednesday, January 13, 2016

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Automotive

Honda Philippines launches the New Honda Civic Type R

Honda’s ultimate racing machine just got even better!

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Not everyone buys cars for the same reason. And not all cars are created equal. Some cars are for transport, while some are also for going from point A to point B, but with a whole lotta fun! For racing-bred folks, a VTEC kicking in would definitely put-up smiles.

On the July 27, 2021, Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. proudly announced the launch of the New Honda Civic Type R in the country. It boasts a refreshed sporty look that is still quintessentially Civic.

What’s new?

The New Honda Civic Type R features an updated symmetrical design while retaining some of characteristics that gave its predecessor a distinctive look. It now comes equipped with a new front grille design with a thinner grille beam that allows a larger air intake.

Honda knew that if you are going to drive around a Civic Type R, you’d want to squeeze every bit of potential out of it. So, they made improvements on the suspension and brake systems for a more responsive handling. An updated radiator core helps decrease temperature during high-demand driving situations.

Another awesome new feature is the Active Sound Control (ASC), that enhances the cabin sound with engine noise through the audio systems when driving in Sport and +R modes. You’re in a performance car, loud noise is a must (winks).

Driver-assistive functions

Along with the standard safety features such as airbags, Anti-Lock Braking System and more, the New Civic Type R is installed with Honda SENSING for a safer mobility. A monocular camera works in conjunction with wave millimeter radar to monitor and assess the road conditions ahead. Honda’s driver-assistive features include: Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM), and Lane Departure Warning (LDW).

The 2.0 liter VTEC TURBO engine supplies a maximum power output of 310 PS and 400 Nm at peak of torque. Its 6-speed manual transmission is equipped with a ‘rev match control’ system that enables the vehicle to sustain maximum power while changing gears.

Pricing and availability

The New Civic Type R will be available in three colors: Championship White, Racing Blue and Sonic Gray with a price tag of Php 3,210,000.00.

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Automotive

I Took A Ride On a Self-Driving Tractor!

Just like your smartphone, AI powers tractors through the fields

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Unusual in the GadgetMatch YouTube channel is a visit to a big warehouse full of farming vehicles, windmills, and corn fields. But Michael Josh’s visit at John Deere’s booth last CES 2020 and hosting session in CES 2021 made him gain interest in smart farming equipment.

But do you know what do tractors and smartphones have in common? John Deere’s farming machines are in a way like farming robots. Just like smartphones, they also leverage the power of data and AI — or also known as Artificial Intelligence.

But what makes John Deere’s farming vehicles stand out from the rest? Find out more in our latest video!

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Automotive

VanMoof X3 Review: The Tesla of E-Bikes?

Time to ride the future

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In a bustling city full of cars, bikes not only offer an easy passage from several location points, they also reduce your overall carbon footprint.

But what if someone makes bikes even smarter? Dutch-based VanMoof makes the perfect city bike that sports the right balance of high tech and coolness factor. And comes as part of a complete ecosystem that’s sure to make any city biker happy.

This is our review of the VanMoof X3 — which also applies to the VanMoof S3 if you’re planning on buying one.

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