Automotive

Volkswagen lied about rebranding its America division to ‘Voltswagen’

The carmaker should just stop lying

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On March 29, Volkswagen’s America division released a press note saying that the company shall be changing its name to ‘Voltswagen.’ The rebranding was to stress its commitment to electric vehicles.

As it turns out, the press release was fake and the carmaker purposely leaked it ahead of April 1, which is universally celebrated as April Fool’s day. Mark Gillies, a company spokesman, confirmed Tuesday that the statement had been a pre-April Fool’s Day joke.

The stunt was supposed to be a marketing campaign for the new electric SUV — ID.4. While the name change may have been deemed a joke, Volkswagen states that the underlining theme was the emphasis on EVs.

However, the joke wasn’t funny for many because the announcement prompted the company’s stock to go up by almost five percent in one day. Following the name change, many investors believed Volkswagen is serious about the EV space and has future potential. Those who fell for the news and invested in the company are now left in limbo.

The joke has received a lot of criticism because this isn’t the first time Volkswagen has lied to the public. The German carmaker was infamously found guilty of Dieselgate, a high-profile scandal wherein the company was caught cheating and manipulating emission tests via dedicated software changes.

In a nutshell, diesel cars were emitting much more pollutants than they should, but regulators were not able to detect this due to special modifications. Volkswagen admitted that about 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide were fitted with deceptive software. The scandal cost the company US$ 35 billion in fines, penalties, and recall of millions of vehicles.

April Fool’s day is a joke and it’s normal to see companies come up with unbelievable or even bizarre ideas to grab the limelight. Although, it’s easy to distinguish between humor and serious news on April 1 since jokes are expected by everyone. Volkswagen’s timing was extremely poor and gave little opportunity for media organizations as well as investors to consider it humor.

The poorly planned publicity stunt could boomerang for the automaker. US securities regulator, the SEC, has often fined companies for fake disclosures that mislead investors. In 2018, Tesla CEO Elon Musk was fined US$ 20 million when he tweeted about turning the company private, without any funding actually lined up. The tweet boosted Tesla’s stock temporarily and created a false market frenzy, prompting a crackdown by regulators.

Automotive

BMW reveals an awesome color-changing car

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Back in the day, cars on television could do so much more than their real-life counterparts. From the gadget-filled sports cars in James Bond to a reforming car with memory metal in CSI, the human imagination has created a lot of impressive cars that haven’t made it to mass production yet. Of course, with technology progressing far beyond what we previously imagined, cars that were formerly just figments of our imagination can now be realized. During CES 2022, we saw one of these cars come to life through BMW’s amazing color-changing car.

A concept version of a known BMW line, the BMW iX Flow uses E Ink technology to change how the car’s exterior looks. The car contains millions of microcapsules as thin as a strand of hair. Much like the E Ink you’ll find inside a Kindle, electricity causes the microcapsules to shift between black or white.

@klwtts

COLOR CHANGING PAINT ⚫️⚪️ #BMW #IX

♬ original sound – The Kilowatts

Since E Ink is relatively limited, the BMW iX Flow can shift only between three colors: black, gray, and white. Drivers can change this with a press of a button.

Now, besides the general badass-ery of having a color-changing car, BMW claims that cycling through the different colors can also help interior temperature. Since white reflects more sunlight, using the color might help cool the vehicle more in sunny situations. Alternatively, using black can help heat the car for passengers.

Unfortunately, BMW can’t promise a timeline for such a vehicle. It’s still just an “advanced research and design” project, even if they already have an actual car with the technology (as shown in this TikTok video).

SEE ALSO: Apple Watch is getting a car crash detection feature

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Automotive

FIRST LOOK: John Deere Autonomous 8R Tractor

Control your tractor within the reach of your fingertips

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Remember when Michael Josh took a ride on a self-driving tractor? Well, it’s not a mere concept anymore.

Freshly unveiled this CES 2022, the John Deere 8R is an autonomous tractor that can be controlled through your phone. You’ll even get notified when there are obstacles in the field or just when your tractor’s tire pressure isn’t enough.

Watch our first look at John Deere’s Fully Autonomous Tractor to learn more.

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Automotive

John Deere unveils a fully autonomous tractor

Controlled all on your phone

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The world’s population isn’t getting any smaller. According to estimates, the world might reach nearly 10 billion people by 2050. As such, the ongoing food shortages might get worse as the decades pass. The intersection between technology and food is now an essential pressure point for the world to address. John Deere, one of the proponents for this intersection, has revealed a fully autonomous tractor to help farmers all over the world.

The new machine, which was revealed during the company’s CES 2022 presentation, combines Deere’s 8R tractor with a set of smart technologies to supplement the company’s power in the field. The new features include a TruSet-enabled chisel plow and a GPS guiding system, among others.

The new tractor will have six pairs of stereo cameras. With the cameras, the vehicle can detect obstacles with a 360-degree field of view. A deep neural network analyzes images and detects whether the vehicle will run into problematic obstacles and can adjust accordingly. The tractor can also operate according to a manually set geofence.

The tractor is easily configurable using Deere’s John Deere Operations Center Mobile app. Farmers can just drop the tractor onto their fields and configure the tractor with simple swipes. They can then leave the field to focus on other tasks while the tractor works. With the app, farmers can change settings, access the tractor’s cameras, and check the vehicle’s status.

SEE ALSO: I Took A Ride On a Self-Driving Tractor!

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