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Car Tech

  • Euro NCAP now test’s how well your car’s pedestrian detection tech works

    Car makers are investing plenty of time and money into technologies that not only make the occupants of their vehicles safer but those around them too. That's why Euro NCAP, a European safety organisation and recognised authority on car safety has begun testing the performance of pedestrian detection technologies. According to the organisation, the "tests will make it simpler for consumers and manufacturers to find out which systems work best". Euro NCAP says it will test vehicles’ response to pedestrians in simulations of the three most common urban scenarios: adults walking and running into the vehicle’s path and a child...

  • BMW i Remote app review: is it essential to the i3 experience?

    Making the switch from a petrol- or diesel-powered car to an electric one requires a significant shift in mind-set. You see, with an electric vehicle, refuelling is not nearly as simple as popping down to the closest petrol station when the needle nudges “empty”. In fact, it takes quite a bit more forethought than that. Even with a wall-mounted charging station nestling reassuringly in your garage, you still need to keep a beady eye on the battery’s status – particularly since public charging stations are few and far between in South Africa. And that’s where the BMW i Remote app...

  • Ford looks to the gecko for inspiration in its cars

    This is pretty cool. US auto giant Ford has teamed up with Proctor&Gamble to explore potential applications of biomimicry technology. The two companies are particularly interested in ways to copy the mechanics of gecko toe pads. The lizard’s toe pads allow it to stick to most surfaces without liquids or surface tension. The reptile can then easily release itself, leaving no residue. Consider, too, that a typical mature gecko weighing 2.5 ounces is capable of supporting 133kgs. According to Ford senior technical leader for plastics and sustainability research Debbie Mielewski, the gecko could inspire a host of adhesive...

  • What the water-injected M4 GTS means for BMWs of the future

    The folks over at Bayerische Motoren Werke certainly know how to celebrate a milestone. No, we’re not talking about the little office party they threw when Lukas in accounts found out his wife was pregnant. We are, instead, alluding to the Munich-based automaker’s penchant for dreaming up tasty high-performance special edition models to mark its various achievements. The latest in a drool-worthy line that includes the M3 CSL, M3 GTS, and M3 CRT? None other than the 2016 BMW M4 GTS, which will serve to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the M3 (yes, this famed moniker has been around since...

  • If this company has its way, hydrogen fuel cell tech will go mainstream by 2020

    Both Toyota and Honda are hedging their bets on fuel-cell powered vehicles. But if Intelligent Energy, a European-based energy tech company, has its way then the technology could find its way into the cars of a lot more manufacturers in the very near future. The company this week announced that it will lead a European industry working group to develop and deliver its fuel cell technology to the mass automotive market. The project is called VolumetriQ and together with the likes of BMW and Daimler, will see Intelligent Energy aim to develop fuel cell stacks that can be manufactured...

  • Thinking of buying a dashcam? 6 things to keep in mind

    Brutal road rage brawls. Spectacular meteor explosions. Gut-churning car crashes. You’ve seen the countless crazy videos on YouTube. And you want in on the road-recording action. Yes, the humble dashboard camera is gaining popularity all around the globe. No longer is this piece of on-board surveillance equipment unique to countries notorious for crash-for-cash insurance scams (we’re looking at you, Russia). These days, many more motorists utilise dashcams as “protection” devices, since footage can help prove liability in the case of a crash (depending on that country’s regulations) or challenge apparent traffic violations, for example. Of course, they’re also rather useful for...

  • Here’s how Ford’s in-car entertainment systems have evolved through the decades

    With all the tech packed into our cars these days, it's difficult to believe that cars have only had radios since around 1930, before which the thrill of driving around in something powered by controlled by a series of controlled explosions was presumably entertainment enough. As the below infographic from Ford shows, things didn't really progress that quickly from there -- especially in South Africa. FM radio was only introduced in the 1960s and drivers were only really given the option of choosing their own music with the introduction of the 8track in 1970. Casette tapes and CDs followed...

  • Turns out the internet really is making us better at buying cars

    You might not be able to buy a new car online with same ease as you can pretty much any other product, but it turns out that the internet is actually helping us make better decisions when it comes to buying cars. For one, the internet means that potential buyers have on-demand access to reams of data like the car’s specifications, price, available discounts, quality and performance, on-demand. That information in turn gives buyers greater bargaining power. Online classified sites specifically focusing on motor vehicles offer consumers in the market for a new car a repository of thousands of pre-owned...

  • People aren’t even using all the fancy car tech they pay for

    Cars have never just been four wheels that exist as a means for getting you from one place to another. But now more than ever, they resemble the gadgets we carry around in our pockets far more than they do a horseless carriage. And now, it turns out, we use as small a fraction of the tech packed into them as we do of the very expensive devices we carry around with us on a daily basis. According to the 2015 Drive Report survey by J.D. Power, as many as 20% of drivers haven't used half the technological features...

  • Puma, BMW team up to create smart driving suit

    This is pretty cool. Puma has teamed up with BMW to create a driving suit that uses Bluetooth technology to control the connection between the car, the suit and the driver’s helmet. The suit, created for the recently launched CSL 3.0 Hommage R car, is meant to offer an insight into how data can be transferred and displayed. When the driver’s gloves touch the steering wheel, the suit lights up, indicating that it's connected to car. Once that's happened, information is displayed on the visor of the helmet, essentially allowing it to act as a second information...

  • Hack my ride: why getting your door open matters more than cutting your brakes

    Over the past few weeks there have been a number of stories around hackers finding major security vulnerabilities in cars made by major vehicle manufacturers. Some, like Tesla, have worked with the hackers involved to fix those vulnerabilities while others have been less open to collaboration. So far the hackers behind these exploits have been good enough to share them with the manufacturers concerned, but it's only a matter of time before that changes and a new kind of security war kicks off. It was bound to happen too. Our cars, more than ever, are gadgets and they come...

  • These guys are promising to revolutionise the battery…in your existing car

    Anyone who's ever had their car battery go flat on them will know just how vital a piece of equipment is. It's a little troubling then that most of the advances in the space have been incremental, rather than big leaps forward. When it comes to new cars, that's slowly changing. But what about the battery in your existing car? Well that's where a company called Ohm comes in. The startup has developed a battery which it says is longer-lasting, kinder to the environment, and never needs jump-starting. According to the company, its battery can last twice as long...

  • What do drivers actually want when it comes to connecting their cars and smartphones?

    The cars that roll off factory floors today are as much personal devices as they are ways for us to get around on a daily basis. Despite being loaded with tech (and are equally vulnerable to hackers) though, people still feel the need to use smartphones while driving. But exactly what do we do with our smartphones while driving? A new study, conducted by IHS Automotive, aimed to find out just that. More than 4 000 vehicle owners who intend on purchasing a new vehicle within the next 36 months were surveyed, representing four key automotive markets -- the...

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