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Apple Car is Dead, Apple Now Focused on Self-Driving Car Tech

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Apple Car steering wheel

The rumors of an Apple car can be put to rest. Instead of entering the automotive industry with its very own car, Apple will instead focus on autonomous technology.

In an interview with , head honcho Tim Cook confirmed that the company is developing the computing technology that powers autonomous cars, describing the program as challenging and “the mother of all AI projects.” He sated:

“I think there is a major disruption looming there. It’s a core technology that we view as very important.”

The iPhone maker initially wanted to build its own car and hired more than 1,000 engineers to join the program it called “Project Titan” back in 2014. After two years of development, it saw it best to refocus its efforts on autonomous technology.

The company is still reluctant to announce any product details, though it has received a permit from the California Department of Motor Vehicles to test three self-driving SUVs. Reports claim at least a half-dozen vehicles have been testing the self-driving technology on public roads in and around San Francisco.

Cook pointed out that autonomy is not the only major disruption converging on the automotive industry. noting the significance of electrification and the expansion of ride-sharing services. If Google is anything to go by, Apple may be working on an autonomous system for a driverless fleet of electric taxis.

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Mazda

Having Fun Driving Reduces Distracted Driving? Mazda Thinks So

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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

Honda Working On Electric Cars That Can Recharge In 15 Minutes

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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

Lamborghini Goes Full-Electric With Terzo Millennio Concept

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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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