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Dec
17

Ready for the World’s First Brain-Powered Car?

Author JoeC    Category News, Technology     Tags

drivingThe age of tomorrow is here, it seems.

Futuristic automotive innovations may no longer be the stuff of science fiction. With inventions like self-driving vehicles already on the horizon from companies like Toyota, Nissan, and Tesla, other sci-fi-esque vehicle technology may be right around the corner, too.

From Gas-Powered to Brain-Powered

No, it isn’t a 1960s episode of The Jetsons. This is 2015, and the reality of a vehicle that is powered directly by a person’s brain may be much closer than we think.

A prototype of an automobile that is controlled by the brain signals of its driver has reportedly been developed by a team at Nankai University in China. The development team members are innovating technology that utilizes brain signals to make a vehicle stop, move forward and backward, and lock and unlock.

The project began due to a desire to enable physically handicapped people to drive. With the right technology, those who can’t operate an automobile with their arms, legs, hands, and feet could, with the existence of a brain-powered vehicle, roll out on the highway under the power of their minds.

How It Works

A member of the research team for the project reports that headgear worn by the driver is made up of 16 electroencephalogram sensors that perceive brain activity. Once brain signals are sent out, a computer then analyzes and interprets those signals, translating them into the appropriate commands for the vehicle.

The Future of Automobiles

The automotive industry is abuzz with innovation these days, with smart vehicles on the horizon from Google within the next five years and self-driving automobiles slated to show up from Toyota and Nissan by 2020.

The brain-powering technology from the team at Nankai University is most definitely still in the development stages. At this point, the test cars from Great Wall Motors can only drive in a straight line at the brain’s behest.

At present, no plans are in effect to manufacture this technology and make it available to the masses. But, down the road, brain-powered cars just might become the next big thing in the automotive world.

Jul
29

Check Out the Innovative New Lexus Heartbeat Car

Author JoeC    Category Technology     Tags

lexus heartbeat carThere’s no doubting that the 2015 Lexus RC F Coupe is one serious performance car, boasting a naturally aspirated, 5L V8 engine that produces 467 hp and 389 lb-ft of torque, enabling you to get to 60 mph in around 4.4 seconds. But the forward-thinking engineers at Lexus have done something very special with a one-off RC F—they gave it a heartbeat. Let’s take a closer look.

How Exactly Does the Lexus Heartbeat Car Work?

The “heartbeat car” RC F coupe monitors the driver’s heartbeat and, using that data, sends an electric signal to the performance car’s body panels. These panels have been done over in electro-luminescent paint by Luminor, and, by means of Lexus’s new heartbeat-reading technology, pulse in rhythm with the driver’s heartbeat.

According to Lexus, this heartbeat technology is supposed to prove how thrilling it is to drive a 2015 RC F Coupe, as indeed it must be. Starting at MSRP $62,400, the RC F was designed specifically for driving fans who like an intense ride.

Its available Torque Vectoring Differential gives drivers that needed control boost, while the dynamic gauge cluster is in full-color LCD to deliver info to you in as clear and commanding a way as possible. The Lexus Enform presents drivers with top-of-the-line connectivity and entertainment technology. The cockpit and high-back seats simulate the cockpit of a real race-car.

And then, of course, there’s the heartbeat. While only available on a one-off RC F coupe, the data-regulated heartbeat confirms Lexus’s commitment to innovation and progressive car design.

Lexus Pushes Car Tech Forward One Step at a Time

Lexus is clearly one of the best innovators out there, and the Lexus heartbeat car is no exception. They have proven over and over again that they are the leading innovators of future automotive technology. This kind of driver-integration is only the beginning of the next evolution of automotive realization, so you can expect to see a lot more from Lexus soon.

To keep up to date on all the latest breakthroughs in car technology, keep tuned to the For Car Fans blog.

Mar
30

Shapeshifting Goodyear Tires Generate Electricity

Author JoeC    Category Technology, Tires     Tags

Based on the current market’s concept vehicles, you might be surprised to find out that many of the older concept cars were a bit more idealistic and fantastical, almost as if the designers let their kids draw the initial sketches. The downside to the current realistic view of things is that very few goodyear tiresorganizations are using their imaginations to innovate, but Goodyear is looking to the old days with electricity-producing triple tube tires that shift shapes. And for good measure, they have tread patterns and hubs that look like they’ve come straight from the comic books.

How Do These Tires Work?

By using thermoelectric and piezoelectric materials embedded in the tread, changes in pressure and temperature on the tires will generate electricity just from rolling the tires down the road. Does it sound too good to be true? The science supports it, but we have no idea what the costs of the tires might be.

The biggest potential for these new tires is their ability in electric cars, calming the fears of drivers who worry that their battery could die due to the currently limited charging potential of electric cars. As of right now, Goodyear anticipates three different driving modes on these tires, and alternating between them can help optimize electricity generation and the charging of your car’s battery. We think it’s just a matter of time before these tires join the already commonplace regenerative braking on many new cars, electric or not.

  • An eco/safety position has maximum pressure in the tires’ three tubes to reduce rolling resistance.
  • A center tube with a higher pressure helps reduce rolling resistance and decrease the risk of hydroplaning.
  • The sporty mode increases the amount of contact your tire has with the road by reducing the overall pressure of the middle tube.

While the promo images released for the tires have Lexus and Toyota emblems on the wheels, you should pay them little mind. While those images surely come from a marketing deal, we think you can trust these tires to be available on any new model.

Bookmark ForCarFans.com for More

If you want to learn more about these innovative new tires or would like to keep up with similar innovations in auto tech, remember to bookmark our site here at For Car Fans and check back regularly.

Jan
11

Ford SYNC 3 Offers Connectivity, Technology for All Drivers

Author JoeC    Category Technology     Tags

Your vehicle needs a fast and responsive communications system to help you get on the road in comfort and style. With the Ford SYNC 3, you have everything you need right at your SYNC 3fingertips with faster operation, easier voice commands, and a simple-to-use interface to help you access entertainment, climate controls, and smartphone capabilities with ease. This third generation of the Ford SYNC offers greater capabilities along with the trusted technology that 10 million Ford drivers already use, and was carefully developed through the input of 22,000 Ford SYNC users via surveys, customer comments, and more. Let’s take a look courtesy of this Indianapolis Ford Dealer!

Simple User Technology

New and improved features of the Ford SYNC 3 include a user-friendly interface that is intuitive and responsive. The screen is designed to show clearly even in bright sunlight, offering you maximum visibility at all hours. The interface itself is simple to operate, allowing even beginners to access vehicle operations intuitively. Quick access tiles allow you to select from three main areas to control all aspects of your drive, including:

  • Navigation with maps, downloadable directions, and a “one box search” function that allows you to search for locations the same way you would use an internet search engine.
  • Streaming audio with connectivity to your mobile music library.
  • Phone integration allowing access to your apps, subscription-free emergency calling, and more.
  • Pinching and swiping recognition similar to that of your mobile device.

What’s more, the voice recognition of the Ford SYNC 3 has been upgraded to use a more natural language technology so that you can speak freely to access your vehicle’s operations. This let’s you access music in fewer steps without toggling through menus. Additionally, the interface understands basic search queries without the need for explicit details allowing you to search for locations by general terms without specifics. With mobile capabilities, you can access Apple’s Siri for an even more comprehensive search experience.

Unique App Access

The new and improved AppLink technology in Ford SYNC allows you to hook up your mobile device for seamless connectivity no matter where you travel. The link is quick to respond to your requests, making navigation and hands-free calling a breeze. Bluetooth and 911 Assist help you reach emergency services in an accident when you need them most, and it can even transmit information about your accident to help rescue technicians. You will also be able to use AppLink to update your vehicle’s software using Wi-Fi, for up-to-date features as long as you travel. There’s almost no limit to the possibilities of the new Ford SYNC 3!