Category: Gizmology

By on January 5, 2016

Partnership

Ford CEO Mark Fields just wrapped up his Consumer Electronics Show keynote speech Tuesday morning and mentioned the word “Google” exactly zero times. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

So, um, where does that leave the current planned partnership between the global automaker and Google to build self-driving cars and let them roam free at a 1,000-acre North Carolina ranch?

Not dead, maybe — just not fully baked, apparently.

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By on January 5, 2016

Fusion Hybrid Research Vehicle at Mcity

It certainly sounds like Ford is close to selling a self-driving Fusion real soon.

That, Matthias Müller finally comes to the U.S. to ask “You mad, bro?” Nissan has no love for Takata, and business is hot south of the border … after the break!

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By on January 4, 2016

General Motors President Dan Ammann (center) with Lyft Inc. co-f

General Motors announced Monday that it would invest $500 million in ride-sharing service Lyft to help boost the automaker’s business in car-sharing companies and perhaps rental cars.

The automaker announced that the investment — roughly half of Lyft’s latest round of fundraising — would buy the automaker seat on the ride-sharing company’s board of directors. Lyft, which is based in San Francisco, is valued around $4.5 billion, which is significantly less than the $62 billion valuation for rival Uber, according to the New York Times.

GM said the companies would partner on rentals for the car-sharing company, connectivity and autonomous technology.

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By on January 4, 2016

2016 Chevrolet Malibu

“What do I gotta do to get you to drive out of here in a brand-new 2016 Chevrolet Malibu today?”

That, Ford and Google are moving to the country, Hyundai halts in China and Volvo’s wagon spied in some guy’s garage … after the break! Read More >

By on January 2, 2016

Image courtesy of kenwood.eu

According to automotive experts, the in-dash CD player’s days may be numbered in new cars. Also, water is wet, and orange juice made from oranges.

The Telegraph reports that roughly one-third of new cars sold in the UK by the end of the decade will have a CD player, with many of those physical media players being optional extras.

About 3 out of 4 new cars come with some sort of USB connectivity as standard, according to the newspaper, which means there are many people who are opting for a USB connector AND CD player in their car today. Wait, why? Read More >

By on December 31, 2015

tdiengine

Volkswagen’s emissions cheating program closely follows a set of parameters that are very similar to those defined by the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), an engineer said this week.

The cheat exists in the ECU’s “main mode,” said Felix Domke, and triggers a normal dosage of urea and other exhaust controls to bring NOx emissions to within acceptable levels.

Domke presented his findings of an unpacked Volkswagen ECU to the 32nd Chaos Communication Congress in Germany.

His findings are mostly in line with what the automaker has already admitted: its 11 million cars worldwide cheated emissions tests by using two different modes for operation, and that its cars could pollute up to 40 times the legal limit of nitrogen oxides when running normally.

But Domke, who said he owns a Volkswagen Sharan equipped with a 2-liter diesel engine, said his own observations showed a severe change in the ECU’s behavior when it exceeded the bounds of what it considered was an emissions test — more than what’s been reported so far.

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By on December 28, 2015

BMW Gesture Control

BMW’s latest and greatest infotainment system doesn’t need knobs, man. The automaker announced Monday that it would show off its concept for infotainment next month, dubbed “AirTouch.”

The system, which improves upon the one-finger wagging, waving and gesticulating already in its new 7-Series sedan, would use sensors between the dash and rearview mirror to interpret what your five fingers were looking for.

Was that a phone call that you wanted to make? Did you want the BMW to switch to radio? Activate navigation to direct you home? Oh, you were just waving at that guy. Gotcha.

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By on December 22, 2015

Google-Self-Driving-Prototype-high-res

The fine, fine reporters at Yahoo Autos have learned that Ford and Google will announce next month a joint project to build self-driving cars.

According to the report, Google and Ford would spin off a separate company for the project, and Google would still shop around its technology to other automakers.

Both Ford and Google wouldn’t comment on Yahoo’s report, which said three sources familiar with the plans divulged the relationship ahead of their announcement at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next month. Read More >

By on December 21, 2015

2014-Corvette-stingray-red

The fine, fine folks over at Car & Driver spotted a trademark filing made by General Motors for “Corvette E-Ray,” which probably means they’re going to ruin the Corvette soon.

The trademark filing was made on Dec. 16, according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, about three weeks after General Motors applied for a patent for a “Hybrid Powertrain and Modular Rear Drive Unit.”

Wait, what … so you’re saying hybrid, mid-engine brown manual Corvette could be real? Kill my mind. Read More >

By on December 16, 2015

2015 Ford F-150

Ford will have a rear-wheel drive, hybrid F-150 truck by the end of the decade, Ford CEO Mark Fields told NPR on Tuesday.

“Well, we do have plans to have a rear-wheel drive hybrid truck but the end of the decade. So yes, we’re working on electrified F-series, and it’s really around a conventional hybrid,” Fields said during an interview.

The automaker announced earlier this month that it would invest $4.5 billion in electrification and will unveil a refreshed hybrid Fusion at the North American International Auto Show next month as part of that plan. The hybridized, full-size pickup will arrive by 2020, although the automaker doesn’t plan on total market domination for the truck — at least right now.

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