Have you ever wanted to say what you mean to a fellow driver but couldn't? If a foul, one-fingered gesture is too limiting, the new Drivemotion Animator can open up your options. It's an electronic device with an LED-light screen that attaches to the rear window via a suction cup, displaying preset or custom messages and animations to get your point across to the driver behind you. The Animator's software is 75 percent complete, and it has a Kickstarter page to help fund bulk purchases of the ma
Hyundai is the second manufacturer after BMW – having put its Flexray ethernet system into the X5 – to pledge to install Ethernet technology in its cars. This isn't a ploy to give you yet another place to work on those regional sales spreadsheets, it's about reducing vehicle complexity while making the cars and their systems more efficient. The Korean manufacturer will be doing so in conjunction with Broadcom, the U.S. firm having created the "one pair Ethernet" (OPEN) special intere
Japan's Renesas Electronics Corp. is moving up the restart date for automotive microchip production at its last inactive plant. The company says it should have operations back up and running at its Naka plant the week of June 15, a couple weeks earlier than its original estimate.
Ask the average auto enthusiast what RIM stands for and they'll probably think of wheels. To gadget freaks, however, it's shorthand for Research In Motion, the Canadian electronics company behind the Blackberry. Those two worlds could be heading on a collision course, however, if the latest corporate acquisition is any indication.
An exhaust-system and heating-solution supplier has reportedly engineered an electronic way to modify the sound coming from a vehicle's tailpipe. The company, Eberspächer, claims the innovation can make diesel-powered vehicles sound sportier and add an audible sound track to near-silent electric vehicles.
In spite of Honda's $2.91 billion Q1 loss, the Japanese marque knows the investment show must go on, and it's reported to be finalizing a stake in Pioneer. The Japanese electronics maker is shutting down its home electronics division, which has been losing money for years, in order to focus on in-car electronics. After approaching Honda to inquire about a tie-up, Honda is looking to put several billion yen into the company for around a 5% stake (a billion yen is about $10 million U.S.). With in-
In the near future, Ford vehicles may fire back a retort if you get cheesed off enough to yell at the car. According to the details of a patent filing, Ford is working on an Emotive Advisory System (EAS) that simulates emotions when interacting with occupants, and may also use an avatar to express itself.
Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (MEC) wants to be able to offer a 1 DIN Blu-ray DVD player in the 2009 fiscal year. The unit, 1/3 the size of an at-home Blue-ray player, will not only fit in a standard dash slot but will also play BD-ROM, BD-R, and BD-RE discs.
Garmin, one of the most well-known satellite navigation device manufacturers, has developed new software that can help motorists save gas. Announced at the 2009 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) happening now in Las Vegas, the software, called ecoRoute, allows any Garmin nüvi user to select an new type of route called "less fuel." Then, using ecoRoute's Fuel Report, Mileage Report and fuel-saving tips, you can focus on fuel conservation en route. The software is customizable, an
FasTrak is an "electronic toll collection system" used in California. Once you set up an account, you get a transponder that simply debits your account balance whenever you pass through a toll booth. The system uses RFID technology to broadcast your account information to the toll booth receivers. According to Hack A Day, the system is anything but secure.
If you're buying an A8 this year, prepare to spend a lot of time getting to know your new MMI system. We have consistently thought that Audi's buttons-and-knob interface is the best, and it looks like they've put an entire NASA team on the job of making it better. A seven-inch TFT screen with 800x400 resolution is now controlled by an 8-position joystick. Moving from one screen to another is done via "elegant crossfades," which sounds a bit PowerPoint-ish, but we'll wait until we see it to judge
We already know that in-car web browsing is on its way. Both BMW and Chrysler have already revealed that the feature is forthcoming in their vehicles, and more automakers are sure to follow. But telematics provider ATX Group is sticking its nose in to ensure that the web we're one day browsing in our cars is safe to use (read: no fun at all). ATX is working with a group called the Connected Vehicle Trade Association to push a standardized method for getting web content into automobiles. ATX is e
The latest gizmo from Japan's Takata will tell you where to go, but not like those verbally abusive digital keychains from the '90s. The Takata CSW steering wheel is designed to interface with sensors in your vehicle and display different messages on an LCD screen in the 12 o'clock position. There are already lights and sirens to let you know if your door is ajar or the washer fluid is low, but the CSW wheel's best trick is that it will talk to the Navigon 7100 navigation system, should you have
Drama in the kitchen is typically the result of some male/female dynamic, but Porsche Design has teamed up with Poggenpohl for a solution that might actually cost less in the long run when you get done factoring in the cost of chiropractor visits to fix your back after nights on the couch. Of course Porsche Design has done everything from hard drives to multihammers, not to mention shoes, watches, and everything in between, so a kitchen isn't such a big stretch. What better place to store that N
If your thing is paying to be verbally upbraided by a celebrity, Navtones has you covered. Novelty of novelties, you can now get celebrity voices for your TomTom satnav. I like the way the celebs will bust your chops if you miss a turn, or give you a verbal dope-slap to pay attention, but it might get old fast. If you've got $12.95 burning a hole in your pocket and a fascination with celebrity culture, Mr. T's dulcet instructional stylings can be yours. You can also choose from Burt Reynolds (no
Not so long ago cars and trucks were rather straightforward. Pretty much everything was mechanical, ignition systems had distributors, fuel systems had carburetors and suspensions had springs and dampers. The speedometer and odometer were driven by a cable that was twisted by a gear in the transmission. On the other hand, modern cars and trucks could not function without without software, and lots of it.