Audi A7 has to reboot on Tampa Florida Expressway

audiconnecctIn testing a self piloted Audi A7 in Tampa, sensor problems caused the car to halt twice with Florida Gov. Rick Scott in the passenger seat.

For most of the trip on the freeway that can be shut off from real traffic, the Audi A7 worked well and took the heat using an array of sensors and cameras to navigate and pilot the freeway at 40mph while stopping and avoiding other cars

BMW new super chargers & free charging @ NRG eVgo through 2015

nrgevestationAt Plug-In 2014, in San Jose, BMW made two announcements free NRG eVgo charging and a new fast charger.

BMW with NRG eVgo, will offer free charging to BMW i3 drivers at participating eVgo Freedom Station sites equipped with DC Combo Fast Charging in California through 2015.

Cadillac takes wireless charging cue with Powermat in emblematic move

ccadillacwirelessGM announced that Cadillac will add wireless charging of smartphones in the 2015 model ATS sport sedan and coupe launching this fall. The wireless charging will be compatible with Powermat and other in-phone wireless charging technologies, therefore  once inside the car, you place the smartphone on the mat and you don’t have to connect a cord to charge it.

Because people keep their smartphones with them all day and Bluetooth uses a lot of battery juice, wireless charging in cars is an ideal solution.

Traffic lights better programming and connected cars = shorter commute times and better gas mileage with V2I

trafficlightsAugust 6 is 100th anniversary of the traffic light at an intersection in Cleveland, Ohio. Today, traffic lights are controlled by sensors that include proximity sensors with some intelligent sensors using localized software. In the future, traffic lights may make driving safer, reduce commutes, save time and lower emissions.

Researchers at MIT have developed a means of computing optimal timings for city stoplights that can significantly reduce drivers’ average travel times. The software adjusts signal times at intersections distributed across the entire city, with the objective of trying to improve conditions across the entire city, while present systems are timed to local information

Google competitor Baidu working on autonomous self driving car & bike, why?

img_boyThe biggest competitor in the world to Google is China’s search giant Baidu and in their parallel universe research and development labs in China and the Silicon Valley are working on self driving cars and  possibly bikes which may hit the road later this year.

A Baidu rep told Tech in Asia confirmed that Baidu is in the very early stages of development of driverless cars.

BMW ConnectedDrive outage & connected car app disasters

BMWappreviewsAfter our article, yesterday, explaining that BMW’s web/mobile interface has vulnerabilities that could be hacked, a few hours later BMW’s web portal was reported down. A BMW i3 owner in the UK reported that he has been unable to register for BMW’s ConnectedDrive service since July 19, continually receiving error messages. The outage is due to a system update in the UK and Europe. In the meantime BMW’s apps on Google Play have some of the worst user reviews, we’ve seen.

Auto industry bands together to fight cyber attacks on connected cars

autoinnovationAt the Battelle CyberAuto Challenge , The Auto Alliance announced a proactive stance towards automotive cyber security.  Alliance Vice President of Vehicle Safety and Harmonization, Rob Strassburger’s reported that cybersecurity is among the industry’s top priorities and the auto industry is working continuously to enhance vehicle security features.

Volvo XC90 super safe with first run-off road and brake at intersection

volvocx90Volvo claims that the all-new XC90 – due in August – will offer the most comprehensive and technologically sophisticated standard safety package available in the automotive industry with run-off road protection package and auto brake at intersection capability.

Run-off road happens due to driver distraction, fatigue or poor weather conditions. Safe Positioning in a run-off road scenario, detects what is happening and the front safety belts are tightened to keep the occupants in position. The belts are firmly tightened as long as the car is in motion.

Freescale scales ADAS solution for faster development

ADAS-APPLICATIONS-BDFreescale is working  with Neusoft and Green Hills Software for a comprehensive Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) ecosystem to speed up the process of developing ADAS vision systems such as pedestrian detection, traffic sign recognition, collision avoidance and other advanced ADAS capabilities.

They are developed turnkey solutions that address stringent protocols for automotive safety, and are compliant with the ISO 26262 functional safety standard.

President Obama drives and supports connected cars with V2V & V2I

obama_tfhrc02President Obama got into the driver’s seat at the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center in McLean, VA to try out vehicle driving simulation.

“Man, this is so exciting,” he remarked. “I haven’t been on the road in a long time.” After his test drive he said, “It was sort of like ‘Knight Rider.”

The president after a tour of the facility stated that self-driving cars could cut reduce accidents, gas use and commuting times.  He noted that 80% of crashes  could be abated and 3,9 million gallons of gas.

He also thought it was great that as a father of teenager, making driving safer is important to him as well as being good for the economy.

Obama wants Congress to fund more programs of the Federal Highway Trust fund.  He also reported that traffic costs the average driver $800 a year in gas and outdated roads cause businesses to pay $27 billion more in freight costs.

He like that the technology of V2V and V2I helps saves lives, saves money and leads to new jobs in new industries.

He said, “Instead of barely paying our bills in the present, we should be investing in the future.”

He did complain that the driving simulator did not have radio.

The President visited the Human Factors Laboratory and Saxton Transportation Operations Laboratory, and spoke to employees .