Car Manufactures get handy with the Apple Watch

So as you are all probably well aware the Apple Watch is now among us. The latest technology hit from Apple is helping us to tell the time, improve our health and loads of other exciting things..

Mercedes

Now a number of car manufactures have begun to create applications for the Apple Watch, some of which are actually quite clever. Mercedes, BMW and Volkswagen have all already announced their app’s and more car manufactures are sure to follow suit.

The Mercedes app is called the MB Companion and its main feature is navigation. The appliction is designed to integrate with the cars existing navigation system. Meaning the user can type their destination into the Apple Watch or iPhone and when they get into the car it will seamlessly transfer over to the Mercedes navigation system. When they have parked the car the navigations will then seamlessly transfer back across to the initial device… Pretty smart right! The Mercedes MB Companion is expected to be available in the Autumn and will be compatible with the new Mercedes C-Class & S-Class.

Volkswagen also have a smart application for the Apple watch its name is the Volkswagen Car-Net app. With this app the user will be able to lock & unlock their vehicle, check fuel levels and even flash the lights or honk the horn remotely (handy when you can’t find your car in a dimly lit carpark!) Another clever feature of the Volkswagen Car-Net app is the monitoring feature, which allows the Apple Watch user to monitor the car while other family member are driving it, handy if you share with a teenager.

The final manufacture we are looking at is BMW who were actually the very first car manufacture to ever be connected with the Apple Watch way back in September 2014. One of the many features the Apple Watch has is its ability to provide real time information, it can do this on the BMW i3 or i8 electric plug in vehicles. It can also locate the vehicles and monitor heating and air conditioning too this is because of the Bimmer-centric features on the Apple Watch..

These are just some of the features that are available via the Apple Watch and as the technology grows along with its popularity we are destined to only see more!

 

 

Tesla Powerwall

So you might be familiar with electric car company Tesla… we talk about them quite a bit here at ParkYa. They are one of the most popular electric vehicle manufactures in the US and they have recently begun expanding around the world. Well last week they announced a serious game changer but this game changer is not a car… its a energy source and its called the Tesla Powerwall.

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The Tesla Powerwall will see the companies bring its existing battery technology into the home as part of the companies overall vision of making the world use more renewable energy.

The Tesla Powerwall is a home battery that is powered mainly through renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power. Before the Powerwall anyone using solar energy was unable to use it during the night because well there simply was no sun and they were unable to store the energy that was acquired earlier that day, as a result they had to rely on the national grid for power during the nighttime hours, but with now the Powerwall thats all changed.

So, how does it work? Well when the sun is shinning the battery gets charged this is done via installed solar panels which are connected to the Powerwall. When nighttime falls power is taken from the battery which means that the need to draw power from the grid is greatly reduce, resulting in very low energy cost and in some case even profit as the unsued energy can be sold back to the grid.

So what make the Tesla Powerwall so special? Well although there have home batteries before none have been this affordable. The Tesla Powerwall starts at only $3,000! Its so reasonable because unlike the manufactures before Tesla have vast experience in the mass production of these batteries for their electric vehicles.

As you can imagine demand for the Powewall is high with over 38,000 orders already been taken since its launch, meaning Tesla are already sold out until the middle of 2016! When or even if the Powerwall ever makes it to Ireland remains to be seen but one thing is for sure at a price like that its popularity is only set to rise.

To find out more about the Tesla Powerwall check out the Tesla website or watch the video below!

Volkswagen : The Reduce Speed Dial

Volkswagen New Zealand have come up with a genius way to help parents reduce their speed when driving.. by enlisting their children to help.

The idea is that the children create the speed dial visuals which will be displayed in the car and in turn seen by their parents everyday. The children were asked to write all the speed dial numbers as well as a special message which will be visible at a certain speed. The messages are taken via an iPad and then a custom speed dial is created and fitted. It is hoped that these personalised messages will make drivers think twice about speeding!

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Its all part of a bigger experiment that Volkswagen are running. The experiment aims to disrupt driver behaviour at critical moments… that’s why the message only appears at a certain speed, for example at the speed limit of the road the driver most frequently takes.

The company have created four of these custom speed dials which are currently being used by four families in New Zealand. Volkswagen are following their progress closely and so far one family has recored no speed infringements since its installation. Another family managed to reduce their average speed by 19km (from 123km to 104km) and three out of four drivers have reduced their speeding in 100km zones by half!

To read more about this clever idea from Volkswagen check out their website or check the heart warming video below!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gqN2n4VRzY

 

Amazon Prime now delivering to your Audi?

Amazon Prime and Audi are working together on a pilot scheme which will enable them to start delivering right to your Audi.

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The service will be offered on a trail bases in Audi’s native Germany and will only be available to Amazon Prime customers. The service offers to have packages delivered to your car if you will not be at home or in the office to receive them.

So how does it work? Well that’s where it get interesting… The service will see Amazon Prime, Audi and DHL all come together to enable each delivery. The Amazon Prime user will have to give DHL exact instructions to their cars location, once the car has be found a code which has been provided to the delivery driver via Amazon & Audi will give the driver a one time only access to the cars boot. This is done through an Audi feature called Remote Hatch Release.

Amazon and in particular Amazon Prime are constantly looking for more convent ways to deliver their products to their customers, we all remember the drone video last year don’t we! However unlike that attempt this does seem like a valid method, however the idea a stranger having access to their car is not sitting well with people..

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the Poll below.

 

Bosch UX for Automated Driving

Bosch has given us a taste of what the future may hold with their vision of User Experience software for automated driving and it looks pretty amazing…

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Bosch has been developing a particular type of software that will work in conjunction with self driving cars. The software itself is will allow drivers to use self driving technology in the safest and most convenient way possible. The software does this by analysing all the routes available to the driver and then determines the part of the route which most optimal for automated driving.

The software can also act as a infotainment system and essentially becomes a very convenient tablet computer when automated driving is enabled. When the car is in automated driving mode the driver can catch up on emails, make phone calls and surf the web while the onboard system safely drives the car.

The system also has the ability to learn, it can study the drivers pervious destinations and also offers the driver a sort of performance review. This is done via the touchscreen, after the car has preformed manoeuvre such as overtaking or changing lanes, the driver then rates the cars performance and it adapts as a result.

The car that Bosch use in the mock up is actually the Tesla Model S Electric, a car which will become an autonomous car in its own right in the near future. However it is unlikely that these two companies are actually working together given that the Tesla logo has been digitally removed from the video showcasing the technology below.

You can see what Bosch are imagining in the video below…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2i-t0C7RQWM

Ford Remote Parking And Parking Spotter

Ford and Georgia Tech are currently working together on some new and exciting technologies in the area of parking.

The Translogic team visit the team and even get to demo the Ford remote parking program around the campus. Remote parking works sort of like a virtual valet. The team also get to hear about Ford’s new parking spotter, a new crowd-sourced way of finding parking.

To see the Ford Remote Parking and Parking Spotter in action, check out their video below!

 

Mini Augmented Vision

Next week at the Shangai motor show Mini are due to unveil an impressive new concept; Mini Augmented Vision. What is Mini Augmented Vision we hear you ask? Well it’s essential a pair of goggles that project useful information… Smart goggles if you will!

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The concept is basically a head-up display for your face. Unlike pervious head-up displays which are built into cars, this is a device you take with you wherever, whenever and in whatever car you are driving.

Mini Augmented Vision is capable of displaying various types of useful information including; navigation, speed limits and even parking assistance!! The driver sees this information at the bottom and side of the windscreen, meaning their vision of the road ahead is never impaired. However its most impressive feature has to be X-ray view, which gives the driver the ability to see through the car’s doors and pillars to the road outside. Pretty impressive, right?

Although the Mini Augmented Vision goggles aren’t the most stylish wearable technology, they do have serious potential! Mini are however keen to stress that they are still very much a prototype…so its safe to say we might be waiting a while before we see them behind the wheel! :)

To see Mini Augmented Vision in action, check out the video below!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QARt89_6Jrs

Introducing EyeLock

A car is stolen every 45 seconds in the U.S and it was this fact that inspired New York based technology company Voxx Electronics develop their exciting new technology EyeLock for cars.

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EyeLock is a scanning technology that scans your retina and uses this unique information as a protected password. The company first designed the technology to work with computers and other password protected devices. Then they thought what if this technology could also work as a secure car key, proving unique access and preventing them from being stolen.

So how does it work? Well it works through the use of small infrared cameras which scan your iris, these cameras are placed in the drivers visor. Once the drivers iris has been detected the software then starts the car. Only the driver or other users who have already had their iris pre programmed into the car memory have the ability to start the vehicle. The technology is extremely secure this is due to the fact that there is a one in a trillion chance that any two iris can be the same…so chances of anyone stealing your car while using this technology will be very very slim!

The technology is also expected to be of serious interest to a number of industries particularly the insurance industry, with the possibility of the introduction of a premium based on a driver by driver bases.

The technology is still only in the concept stage, although due of the serious interest in the technology it would not be surprising to see it being offered in the next generation of cars.

To see how EyeKock works check out the video below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFXWfMJqk_8

Volvo Life Paint

Volvo have just introduced an impressive new technology which surprisingly is not for their cars, instead its for cyclist. It’s called Volvo Life Paint and in terms of road safety its a game changer.

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Volvo Life Paint is a specially designed paint which is invisible during the day, but becomes reflective in the glare of car headlights at night. This allows it to glow bright and in turn makes cyclists more visible than ever! The paint is washable and it does not effect the surfaces that it is sprayed on. This means it can be sprayed it on clothes, bags, shoes and helmets. If unwashed the spray will last for about a week.

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Volvo Life Paint is part of Volvo’s 2020 Vision project, a safety project which aims to make it so “No person will be killed or seriously injured, by a new Volvo” come 2020.

Bravo Volvo!

To see Volvo Life Paint in action, check out the video below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfWzeGlaFvI

Introducing Ford’s Intelligent Speed Limiter

Ford has announced a new technology that reads road signs and then automatically slows the vehicle down to avoid speeding. The system is called the Ford Intelligent Speed Limiter and will be available in the new Ford S-Max minivan released this summer.

There are over 35,000 speed cameras across Europe, Ford hopes that the Intelligent Speed Limiter will help Ford customers avoid these cameras and reduce speeding on the roads.

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The system enables the driver to set the vehicle’s maximum speed, this maximum speed is then adjusted based on the information obtained by the vehicle through the traffic sign recognition system. The driver can override the system by pressing firmly down on the accelerator pedal however this action is only temporary.

The system works via a camera which is mounted on the windshield, this camera reads the various road signs and send the information to the on board computer. The system also has the ability to access the car GPS system (provided the car has one) to assist with the speed limit detection on more rural roads where signs may not be present. The speed limit detected is then displayed on the dashboard for the driver.

Ford’s Intelligent Speed Limiter is just one of a number of semi-autonomous technologies the company has introduced in recent years, other include Active Park Assist, Lane Keeping and Collision Warning.

The Ford S-Max will also include Ford’s Pedestrian Detection System which automatically detects both people & oncoming vehicles and if necessary reduces the chance of collision.

To see Ford’s Intelligent Speed Limiter in action, check out the video below!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3qmtEGGlOo