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Volvo, Google Working On Android Infotainment System



Volvo Infotainment System

Android Auto connectivity, along with Apple CarPlay, has already become a staple in the auto industry. Volvo is now taking the technology a step further, having entered into a partnership with Google to develop the next generation of its infotainment system.

Slated to launch by 2019, Volvo’s new infotainment system will use an Android operating system and will supposedly revolutionize how Volvo owners interact with their cars.

A large catalog of popular Android apps from Google, Volvo, and third party app developers will offer connected and predictive services in and around the car.

Henrik Green, Senior Vice President Research & Development at Volvo Car Group, stated:

“We are making an important strategic step with the Google partnership. Google’s platform and services will enhance the user experience by enabling more personalization possibilities, while Android will offer increased flexibility from a development perspective.”

Another initiative has Volvo and Google working together to update recent Volvo models with the addition of Google Local Search, a location based service application. The feature will be released through an update to customers with Sensus Navigation.

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Having Fun Driving Reduces Distracted Driving? Mazda Thinks So



2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Clubsport

With distracted driving now reaching epidemic levels, would people be less inclined to be distracted if they drove something more than just an appliance on wheels — something more fun and exciting? Mazda for one seems to think so.

The Japanese automaker plans to counter the wave of automotive technology that’s seemingly making drivers less engaged with a novel new system that monitors the level of driving engagement and rewards you for it.

Mazda on Jan 2, 2018, showing an in-car system that monitors the driver’s engagement with the act of driving, measuring such things as how much they are looking away from the road, fiddling with accessories, and delays in pedal switching. There is nothing new about senors in a car, but the way the company is using them is truly innovative.

Cars equipped with the system will not only log the driver’s engagement level, but also the road’s characteristics, guiding them to roads that have more engaging features.

Is there a better win-win situation than increasing road safety while subtilely coaxing drivers to enjoy their cars more? Let’s hope the system works as intended and sells many cars for Mazda.

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Honda Working On Electric Cars That Can Recharge In 15 Minutes



Honda Urban EV Concept

Other than revealing two retro styled concepts, one of which will enter production,
Honda has been pretty quiet about its future electric car plans. However, a new report claims the company is working on a new lineup of electric vehicles that will only require 15 minutes to recharge.

Most of today’s electric cars, be it a Chevrolet or a Tesla, take nearly twice as long to recharge using a DC Fast Charger.

According to Japanese newspaper Nikkei, Honda’s electric cars, which are expected to have a driving range of up to 150 miles (241 km), will have significantly reduced charging times thanks to a new high capacity battery that is being developed entirely in-house.

Even though fast charging times will definitely enhance the appeal of any electric car, the biggest hurdle is the inability of existing charging networks to provide such charging speeds. Fortunately, government officials in Europe, the United States, and Asia are working with the private sector to build thousands of high-capacity chargers before the next wave of electric cars hits the market, with Europe in particular expected to have 350 kW charging stations up and running by 2020.

Do you find an electric car that has a driving range of 150 miles and can recharge in 15 minutes competitive?

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Lamborghini Goes Full-Electric With Terzo Millennio Concept



Lamborghini Terzo Millennio concept

The Lamborghini of today, with V12-powered supercars, is anything but eco-friendly, but that could change in the future. The company has unveiled the Terzo Millennio, its first full-electric concept car ever.

A collaborative effort between Lamborghini and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Terzo Millennio — means third millennium” in Italian — is so high-tech that it will be years before some of its technology actually shows up in a production model. It doesn’t use the typical battery pack that we see in today’s electric car, instead sourcing energy from supercapacitors and energy storage integrated into the carbon fiber body panels.

The supercapacitators provide rapid recharging capability and send electricity to four electric motors, one in each wheel for an all-wheel drive configuration. The layout frees designers from worrying about drawing a body that fits around a massive, mid-mounted 12-cylinder engine or a big, bulky battery pack, and that’s why the Terzo Millennio looks more futuristic than any Lamborghini to date, concept or otherwise.

The car’s entire body is made with smart composite materials that can hold electricity and detect small cracks, healing itself before those cracks become bigger cracks that comprise its structural rigidity. The chassis is manufactured using Lamborghini’s patented Forged Composites technology.

A virtual co-pilot shows the driver the fastest line around a track is the closest thing the Terzo Millennio offers in the way of autonomous technology.

Lamborghini CEO Stefano Domenicali stated:

“We are inspired by embracing what is impossible today to craft the realities of tomorrow: Lamborghini must always create the dreams of the next generation.”

Domenicali comments suggests that we won’t be seeing the Terzo Millennio anytime soon. However, it could inspire the design of the Aventador’s successor, which is expected to arrive before 2020.

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