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Car Tech

  • Hackers take control of car brakes using insurance dongle

    The automotive hacking fraternity has been busy in recent months. The latest exploit has seen a team of security researchers taking over a cars brakes using an internet-enabled device people plug into their cars to save money on insurance. The researchers, from the University California, San Diego have demonstrated that an OBD2 dongle -- which plugs into a car's dashboard and monitors its location, speed, and fuel efficiency -- can be turned against a car and used to run the windscreen wipers and apply the brakes. The exploit makes heavy use of SMS and allows the hackers to send commands...

  • SA car industry leaders see hope in tech’s ability to make vehicles safer

    Leading voices from the motor and transport industry in South Africa have come out in solidarity against the cumulative high risk of vehicle ownership, highlighting the sea change required from leaders in the motor insurance industry. The risk appears to run in multiple directions. On the one hand there are the drivers of the estimated 10 million cars on South Africa’s roads that are financially exposed through a legacy of low insurance penetration; and on the other is an industry that is struggling to keep costs under control, adding the risk of further distancing their customers. These sit outside the...

  • Driving change: is 3D printing transport’s biggest disrupter?

    Transportation is probably the most interesting industries to witness undergoing change. A century-old invention seems like it's finally on the cusp of changing the way we go from point A to B. From the internet and GPS to 3D printing, Driving Change is a four-part series that covers the most powerful technologies moulding 21st century transport as we know it. A lot of things can be 3D printed these days. By using a variety of materials such as plastic, metal, stem cells and even human tissue, complex parts such as replacement joints, consumer clothing and engine parts can be created...

  • This child seat is meant to stop parents from forgetting their kid is in the car

    I'm not a parent, but from what I understand the early years especially involve a state of perpetual chaos combined with near permanent exhaustion. In fact, new parents can sometimes get so frazzled that they forget their infant is in the car with them. And these lapses in memory can sometimes turn fatal, resulting in deaths from heat stroke. Now car seat manufacturer Evenflo is looking to make sure that doesn't happen. It has announced the launch of a new smart car seat that reminds parents when their infant is in the car with them. The seat senses when...

  • Driving Change: how self-driving cars could revolutionise our world

    Transportation is probably the most interesting industries to witness undergoing change. A century-old invention seems like it's finally on the cusp of changing the way we go from point A to B. From the internet and GPS to 3D printing, Driving Change is a four-part series that covers the most powerful technologies moulding 21st century transport as we know it. Self-driving cars are the talk of the day. From Google (latest model pictured above) to the German automakers, who's making the most headway? How is this going to change the way we view ownership and insurance? Back in 1939, industrial designer...

  • 5 innovations that could completely change the face of off-roading

    Off-roading enthusiasts are typically a reserved bunch. They don’t do well with change, and thus generally aren’t fans of new-fangled gadgets. To be fair, there’s a reason for this. When you’re crawling through the muddy middle of nowhere – without cellphone reception and with no manufacturer-approved mechanic for miles – and a component fails, you don’t want it to be something that relies on a complicated electronic system. Instead, you hope it’s something you – a simple (yet ruggedly handsome) man – can fix. With your bare hands. And perhaps some duct tape. Or even a rusty length of chain....

  • Driving change: how tech has unlocked the power of ride-sharing

    Transportation is probably the most interesting industries to witness undergoing change. A century-old invention seems like it's finally on the cusp of changing the way we go from point A to B. From the internet and GPS to 3D printing, Driving Change is a four-part series that covers the most powerful technologies moulding 21st century transport as we know it. Whatever belongings you have that aren't being used while you read this, are being wasted. Think about that for a second. That old pair of running shoes lying in your closet could be on a budding athletes's feet while you...

  • 12 items and and 6 apps that will change the way you drive

    Turn your hatchback into a home entertainment theatre, renovate your sedan into the kitchen you've always dreamed of and keep your car on speed dial for these tricky situations. There are endless add-ons for you vehicle, some plain dangerous, others pure genius but all round upgrades is a must have if you want to survive traffic in the 21st century. You should probably divide these ventures up into apps or downloads that will help you communicate and keep updated with your car. The other section is the whimsical side - where fantasy meets reality on four wheels. Let's begin on...

  • Watch what happens when hackers remotely take over a Jeep

    Hackers remotely taking over cars and causing mayhem in traffic: it's the kind of thing you'd usually write off as the product of an overactive Hollywood writer's imagination. But it looks like it's actually a reality facing us right now. Just ask Wired writer Andy Greenberg, who recently drove a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee while hackers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek took over a variety of the car's functions, including the stereo, air-conditioning, accelerator and brakes. The really scary part is that the duo managed to do so wirelessly, from the comfort of a couch miles away from where...

  • Why smartphone-mimicking dashboards aren’t such a smart idea after all

    We’ve been saying it for ages. Controls for infotainment and other in-cabin functions that are often used while on the move should NOT be buried deep within touchscreen menus. Or indeed be sited on touchscreens at all. Yes, many of the latest smartphone-aping interfaces in cars are rather impressive. Many are even highly intuitive, incorporating the swiping and pinching functions to which technophiles have long been accustomed. And all serve to declutter the dashboard of buttons, leading to an interior design that is generally far more pleasing to the eye. But, in terms of safety and functionality, most of...

  • Driving Change: how data is making our cities move smarter

    Transportation is probably the most interesting industries to witness undergoing change. A century-old invention seems like it's finally on the cusp of changing the way we go from point A to B. From the internet and GPS to 3D printing, Driving Change is a four-part series that covers the most powerful technologies molding 21st century transport as we know it. As any Motorburn reader would tell you, cars are getting freakishly smart these days. These four-wheelers can drive themselves around and even cruise around on the moon if they want to. Yet, for a large part, the ways in which...

  • UXed in 60 seconds: 5 ways Jaguar Land Rover UX is boosting the automotive space

    Our cars already have software from Microsoft, Google, and Apple in them, filtered through touchscreens and sensors. Likewise, the number of cars on the road is also escalating at a fast and furious rate. But the more developed the automotive industry becomes, the more attention and focus drivers should pay to preventing emergencies. It’s much harder to keep attention on the steering wheel when there are so many controllers around you. Still, not all settings are used with the same frequency. For example, tuning to a radio station, regulating air conditioning temperature, or answering an incoming call happens rather often,...

  • Why the difference between self-driving and autonomous vehicles really matters

    According to the Oxford Dictionary, the adjective “autonomous” describes something – in our case, a motor vehicle – that has “the freedom to govern itself or control its own affairs”. Pretty much a “self-driving” car then, right? Well, no – apparently not. A recent article in London’s The Economist states that many automakers are eager to point out that autonomous cars and self-driving vehicles are actually fundamentally different concepts. In fact, we’d go one step further and submit that autonomous cars already exist – and are even fairly widespread – on our roads, while self-driving automobiles quite simply don’t...

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