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Earlier this week, Samsung’s SDI battery subsidiary announced a new cell designed for use in electric vehicles that will supposedly improve maximum range and possess a cutting-edge quick charge capacity.
Exhibited for the first time at the North American International Auto Show, the battery comes hot on the heels of Tesla and Panasonic’s own ultra-dense “2170 Cell” planned for use on the Model 3.
While Samsung didn’t elaborate on a specific testing platform, it claims the new battery should permit a range of 372 miles on a single charge, with an 80 percent restoration after a 20 minutes quick charge. Read More >
Being on top doesn’t mean a company can take its customer base for granted. Not satisfied with basking in the goodwill generated by the F-150’s best-selling status, Ford Motor Company has unveiled a refreshed 2018 model and a host of new hardware upgrades.
While the upcoming F-150 sports an evolutionary facelift, it’s what’s under the hood that stands to tempt a new range of buyers. Read More >
The Toyota Motor Corporation is a little skeptical of the imminency of self-driving vehicles. It plans on continuing production of designs where human operators are saddled with the bulk of the driving responsibilities for years to come.
The automaker is openly dubious that tech-focused companies like Waymo and Tesla are sufficiently far enough along to hint at delivering self-driving cars. However, Toyota’s problem with handing the keys to a computer has as much to do with leaving companies open to litigation and criticism as it does with the technology simply not yet being ready.
North America expects millions of traffic accidents every year, but is much less willing to accept computer-controlled chaos at even a fraction of that scale. Read More >
A few years after Alexander Graham Bell beat Elisha Gray in patenting the telephone, someone conceptualized the telephonoscope and the world became bedeviled by the notion of seeing someone while you conversed remotely. Video phones appeared in Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1927), Jay Roach’s timeless classic Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997), and just about everywhere in between. They even cropped up in real life. AT&T tested the waters in the 1920s by pairing mechanical television receivers to telephones before blowing half a billion dollars on the Picturephone a few decades later.
Things are different today. You can easily bring up any number of applications on your hand-held device and video chat with people from practically anywhere on the planet. However, we never really got a dedicated video phone in our cars, creating a compellingly retro-futuristic need for such a thing.
Then Volvo announced that it was adding Skype for Business to its 90 Series cars and I began imagining a universe where I would notify besuited men — face-to-face — that I did not have anymore time to talk because I was much too busy driving. It was a perfect fantasy where I told nervous industrialists which robots should build the smaller robots and who to fire all from the comfort of my mobile office — and while looking them right in their terrified eyes. Read More >
Infiniti has had enough of the QX50’s voluptuous curves.
An edgier future awaits the brand’s midsize crossover, as shown by photos of the QX50 “Concept” released ahead of the North American International Auto Show. If this concept looks almost production-ready, that’s because it is.
Borrowing heavily from the earlier QX Sport Inspiration concept, the QX50 Concept’s updated design language isn’t the only way Infiniti plans to lure prospective buyers. Underneath the newly creased sheetmetal beats a very different kind of heart — one two decades in the making. Read More >
Owning a range-topping Cadillac is supposed to be a trouble-free affair, and — barring gremlins — it still can be, so long as your sharp-edged, oddly light CT6 remains unbent and unbroken.
Cadillac’s liberal use of high-strength aluminum in the sedan’s body structure won accolades when the CT6 debuted for the 2016 model year. Body stiffness, curb weight, and fuel economy all benefit from this mingling of metals. However, trouble arises when those carefully bonded metals come apart.
As it turns out, fixing a damaged CT6 could prove difficult for many of the model’s 7,876-plus owners. Read More >
Prepare to kiss a famous displacement goodbye.
Ford’s 5.0-liter “Coyote” V8 has dutifully powered variants of the automaker’s Mustang and F-150 since 2011, instilling the brand’s pony car with the kind of heritage that can only be squeezed from 302 cubic inches.
Well, time (and technology) marches on, and Ford’s lower-shelf V8 is due for a replacement. According to a recent report, the Blue Oval folks aren’t choosing sides when it comes to the best way to squirt gas into the new mill. Read More >
It hasn’t given the plan a green light just yet, but Toyota is seriously considering letting other automakers tap into its engine, transmission and hybrid technology.
The automaker’s powertrain division chief has opened up on his desire to give rivals everything they need to offer customers a cutting-edge, fuel-efficient vehicle. Why should R&D departments muss their hair when they could just buy off-the-shelf gear from Toyota?
Sergio, are you listening?
Read More >
The United States Department of Transportation has proposed a rule that would require vehicle-to-vehicle communication technology in all new cars.
Vehicle-to-vehicle systems allow cars to communicate information to each other that could be used to update drivers about potential accidents, possibly reducing the number of crashes on U.S. roadways. The basic technology uses short-range radios to send and receive vehicle data on location, speed, direction, and braking status. While extremely useful in the application of autonomous driving technology, a lot of the potential safety applications resulting from V2V has not yet been conceived. Read More >
Technology companies need to stop attempting to build cars. This is all getting too convoluted.
Despite working at it longer than anyone else, Google appeared to be pulling out of the race to be the first tech company to produce an autonomous electric vehicle — a familiar fate for those who foray into the automotive world without a surfeit of experience. Apple’s Project Titan suffered a similar fate after multiple postponements to the vehicle’s intended release, strategy disagreements, large-scale layoffs, and the loss of key leadership assigned to the self-driving vehicle’s development.
Building a car is a serious undertaking, so it isn’t surprising that Google had to throw in the towel. The only problem is that, after quitting, Google announced that it was more committed to the goal of producing an autonomous vehicle than ever before. Read More >
We moved past three on the tree. We’ve long since bid farewell to four on the floor. The ZF six-speed automatic transmission that helped to make the 2001 BMW 7 Series seem so forward-thinking at the dawn of the millennium was usurped by a seven-speed unit from Mercedes-Benz a couple of years later, and then by the Lexus LS’s eight-speed automatic in 2007.
Nine-speed automatics are all over the place: in the 2017 Acura MDX I’m driving this week, in numerous Fiat Chrysler Automobiles products, and in ten General Motors models by the end of 2017. Now the most popular line of vehicles in North America, the Ford F-Series, is arriving at dealers near you with ten-speed automatic transmissions.
But when is enough enough? How many gears is too many? Are there diminishing returns as the number of gears in an automatic transmission increases?
GM says nine is enough. Okay, ten is plenty if you insist. Ah, whatever, maybe more would be wonderful. Read More >
(Update: Specifications for the 2.5-liter engine have been added.)
Dynamic Force. It sounds like the name of a military offensive from the early 2000s, but it’s also the name of Toyota’s next-generation gasoline powerplants.
The automaker has revealed the first of a slew of new engines that should power 60 percent of its vehicles within five years. Oh, and there’s new transmissions and hybrid components to go with them. Read More >