Category: Gizmology

By on November 25, 2015


Good news! That “mysterious device” that extends the reach of keyless entry systems so meth heads — um — ICP fans — er — idiots can rummage through your car and borrow your wallet, purse or golf clubs without bringing them back is now on sale!

For 15-percent off for the holiday weekend only, you can have your own Chinese-made codes that totally won’t be used for going through your neighbor’s Prius and stealing his iPod.

The code scanner uses “brute force” or “nerd magic” to pick up key codes and open car doors. The device sells for around $100 on many easily found sites, but for savvy shoppers looking to spend their saved dough on cheap cough syrup, it’s 15-percent off for you!

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By on November 24, 2015


After Tesla is done delivering Founders and Signature editions of its Model X SUV, the company will offer a 70D model later next year with a 220 mile range for $80,000 plus $1,200 for shipping. A 90D, with a range of 257 miles and quicker sprint up to 60 mph, will be offered as well, but the company hasn’t disclosed how much that will cost.

Automotive News reported that the automaker updated its online configurator for potential customers to configure their base cars. A 70D Model X with every option checked tops out around $100,000.

The public Model X page only lists the 90D as deliverable next year, which Automotive News speculated could mean that the company may make the 70D available later in the year or 2017.

Tesla may need to sell 500,000 cars by 2020 to meet projected goals by shareholders.

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By on November 19, 2015


Volvo’s newest concept car is so advanced it doesn’t need sheet metal, wheels, doors, headlights or even an engine, man.

The Volvo Concept 26, unveiled Wednesday at the Los Angeles Auto Show, is the company’s vision for autonomous driving — which, at least publicly, it’s beating many of the big boys to the punch. The vision apparently includes a center-mounted tablet and an automatic 26-inch screen that emerges from the friggin’ dash.

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By on November 15, 2015

Fusion Hybrid Research Vehicle at Mcity

It’s not quite “Vanilla Sky,” but Ford is testing its autonomous vehicle tech at the University of Michigan’s Mcity, a 32-acre fake city with weirdly placed fire hydrants and fake hipster bookstores, and no one around.

The automaker announced Friday that its Fusion Hybrid was managing the testing grounds’ lanes, turns, roads, intersections, lights, without one artificial bumper bent or curbed wheel — allegedly.

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By on November 13, 2015


On Thursday, Google’s autonomous car development team reported that Mountain View, California police pulled over the robot car for traveling too slowly. No ticket was issued.

According to the team’s Google Plus page, officers pulled over the car because they “want to know more about the project.” According to Mountain View police, the officer wanted reminded the car’s human passengers that impeding traffic is against the law. Tomato, potato.

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By on November 6, 2015

East Palo Alto, CA - September 4, 2015:  Toyota announces $50 million in funding partnership with MIT and Stanford University for artificial intelligence research collaboration September 4, 2015 in East Palo Alto, California.   (Photo by Beck Diefenbach)

Toyota will open a new artificial and robotics R&D company to be called Toyota Research Institute, Inc. (TRI) with an initial investment of $1 billion to open two locations in the United States, the automaker announced Friday.

TRI, which will make its headquarters in Palo Alto, California and establish another office in Cambridge, Massachusetts near MIT, will be led by Dr. Gill Pratt, a former academic in the field of engineering and program manager at DARPA.

“The investment is in addition to the $50 million investment over the next five years with MIT and Stanford to establish joint fundamental artificial intelligence research centers at each university,” said the automaker in a release.

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By on November 1, 2015

Lithium air battery

Researchers at the University of Cambridge say they’ve created a lighter, cheaper, longer lithium-oxygen battery that could eventually rival gasoline engines in electric vehicles in terms of range and weight, Automotive News reported.

The scientists announced that they had created a working prototype of an “ultimate battery” that could be up to 10 times more energy-dense than lithium-ion batteries. They said the battery, to date, could be recharged more than 2,000 times.

The lithium-oxygen batteries could eventually replace lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles and offer a range similar to gasoline engines, but researchers say that could be more than a decade away.   Read More >

By on October 28, 2015

Nissan IDS Concept

Nissan unveiled its next Leaf IDS Concept, a semi-autonomous EV complete with a glimpse of Nissan’s coming “Intelligent Drive” features that may be equipped on some of its cars by the end of the decade.

The IDS Concept boasts an autonomous piloted driving mode for conversationalists (the seats rotate inward to invite dialogue!) a movable dash with “Minority Report” pre-cog abilities (probably) and a submarine-style style steering wheel.

But those aren’t the best concept-ish features. Read More >

By on October 23, 2015


Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said Thursday that in the future, self-driving cars may be forced into the moral quandary between saving its driver or saving the public in massive, horrific crashes.

We already know that.

What researchers are now looking at is whether people would be interested in buying cars that would knowingly sacrifice their drivers in order to serve the greater good.

(In our best Richard Dawson voice) “Survey says … “
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By on October 22, 2015

texting behind the wheel of death

Drivers may take nearly 30 seconds to regain their focus back on the road after using a car’s infotainment or hands-free smartphone systems, researchers announced Wednesday.

The two studies, which were conducted by the University of Utah (Go Utes!) for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, concluded that even modern assist programs could dangerously distract drivers for up to 27 seconds after they’re done using them. Researchers noted that vehicles traveled more than 300 yards for 27 seconds at 25 mph. Read More >

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  • Jack Baruth, United States
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