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  • Nvidia’s neural network taught itself to drive cars

    Self-driving cars are quickly becoming one of the hottest things in the automotive industry. But is driving easy enough for a neural network to learn with little human input? Well, Nvidia has done just this. The tech company fed data from the steering wheel and a front-facing camera in the car to "convolutional neural networks" (CNNs). The neural networks then conducted steering commands in reaction to said data. "This powerful end-to-end approach means that with minimum training data from humans, the system learns to steer, with or without lane markings, on both local roads and highways. The system can also operate in areas with unclear visual guidance...

  • These might be the road signs of the future…

    From bus lanes and yield notifications to stop signs and speed limits, road signs haven't changed much over the years, it would seem. But automotive innovation is moving at a rapid pace, so UK-based website Car Keys came up with several road signs we might see in the future... Autonomous cars only Between Google, Tesla and other firms dabbling in this field, it seems like a matter of time until we get lanes for autonomous cars only. Expect these lanes to be the safest - unless a human driver decides to get in on the action. Charging lanes to be a thing? Much like autonomous technology, several firms are experimenting with...

  • How will 2017’s F1 cars look compared to 2016’s racers?

    The F1 season has passed the halfway mark, and several teams are already looking to the 2017 season. Next year brings a raft of rule changes that will change the way cars look in a rather dramatic way. Technical illustrator Giorgio Piola teamed up with Motorsport.com to show off the 2017 cars and how they stacked up to your average 2016 model. So then, how do they compare? Watch the video and read all about the changes below... Wings? Perhaps the biggest visual change is a longer nose with a wider, swept front-wing. This was done in a bid to boost overtaking. The rear wing also...

  • Michael Schumacher: The real King of Spa?

    The Formula One summer break is in full swing, featuring a three week break from the German Grand Prix to the upcoming Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps. The Belgian circuit is widely considered to be one of the greatest racetracks in the world, offering drastic elevation changes, iconic corners (Eau Rouge/Radillon), high-speed sections and notoriously tricky weather. Winning here is thus considered a badge of honour compared to almost all the other races on the calendar - only Monaco can possibly compare. In terms of race victories, Michael Schumacher can stake a claim to being the King of Spa, at six victories. But wins...

  • Hisense, TGN Racing co-develop ‘first 4K racing simulator in Africa’

    Hisense and TGN Racing Simulators are joining forces to build the "first 4K racing simulator in Africa". The rig will be used by professional drivers during practice and training sessions while at Zwartkops Raceway, near Pretoria. "The simulators have been engineered to provide a precise racing environment, each complete with advanced force feedback steering wheels, racing pedals and bucket seats, with some specially imported to South Africa," the press release explains. The rig will also boast three 55-inch 4K screens, to simulate the view from the racing cockpit. "At Hisense we are committed to products that can keep up with the high demands...

  • What innovation really means for business [SPONSORED]

    Innovation, like any good words appropriated too many times for too many purposes, has become something of a cliché, says Adam Oxford of htxt.africa, a company looking to claim back the word by inspiring action. We might understand innovation better “if we could define it a little more clearly”, says Oxford, htxt.africa’s editor in chief. That’s easier said than done, but one simple definition comes from WeThinkCode’s Camille Agon, who believes "innovation is finding solutions to problems". WeThinkCode is a new peer-to- peer tech institution that opened in South Africa in 2016. It aims to identify and train people between the ages of 17 and 35...

  • Is SA ready for the new world of work? [SPONSORED]

    The days of landing a job and staying in a company until retirement are gone. Indeed, for the new workforce, this old-fashioned approach holds little reality, writes Jane Steinacker. Last year, Millenials (roughly defined as those born from the early 1980s) became the largest generation in the workforce. This, says Lee Naik, MD of Accenture Digital, is significant for two reasons. "First, because Millennials will soon become the predominant source of human capital, and, second, because businesses stand to benefit greatly from the technology acumen and talent this generation (also known as 'digital natives') possesses." The greatest workplace disruptor, digital transformation, is changing not just the way...

  • Watch Ayrton Senna’s ‘message’ for Brazil’s Olympians

    Three time F1 World Champion Ayrton Senna may have died over 20 years ago, but he still managed to deliver a 'message' for Brazilians competing at the Olympics. In a partnership between the Ayrton Senna Institute, JWT and Le Cube, a video was produced, chronicling Senna's epic 1991 Brazilian Grand Prix win. In that race, the F1 legend managed to take victory despite being stuck in 5th gear and suffering from shoulder spasms. The video was meant to inspire Brazil's athletes to win at home as well. "Ayrton Senna lost eight times before winning the Brazilian GP, and when he did, it was with...

  • South Africa sees 17% drop in new car sales in July 2016

    According to aggregated sales figures from the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers (NAAMSA), the new vehicle industry sales dropped by 17% this past month. In total, only 44 883 new vehicles were sold in July 2016. "This is the biggest sales decline since 2009, at the height of the global economic recession. Despite the Rand’s recent strength, what we’re experiencing now are the after effects of the currency’s weakness in months prior," said the CEO of WesBank Motor Retail, Simphiwe Nghona in a press release. "This is compounded by distressed household budgets and low economic growth that is also trending downwards." According to the...

  • 3 car innovations that we could see on highways very soon

    Every aspect of our lives is now subject to a digital facelift -- from the watches we wear to the massive processing engines we now carry around in our pockets, the world today would be a virtually unrecognisable place to someone visiting from 2006. Given the rapid technological evolution, vehicle manufacturers are also working hard to up their game and fit out their latest offerings with the types of digital advancements that could keep them ahead of their competitors. With Bluetooth and on-board navigation now somewhat standard offerings in today’s market, what does the next generation of smart cars hold? In...

  • Want to get into endurance racing? WEC now has a feeder series

    Finding a path to Formula One usually means being successful in GP3 and GP2, but what if you want to join the World Endurance Championship (WEC)? The route to the championship has become a lot clearer with news that the Formula V8 3.5 open-wheel series will serve as a feeder series from 2017. The deal will see Formula V8 3.5 races taking place in support of WEC events. "The agreement includes a minimum of three overseas rounds in Mexico, Japan and Bahrain, the last being the final event of the endurance championship, in addition to three of the four European events on the WEC...

  • Ecclestone’s mother-in-law kidnapped for ransom – reports

    Formula One head Bernie Ecclestone's mother-in-law has been kidnapped in Brazil. According to Brazilian magazine Veja and other reports, Aparecida Schunck (67) was kidnapped in Interlagos, with the captors demanding a ransom of 120 million reals (US$36-million). Schunck is the mother of Fabiana Flosi, who met Ecclestone at the 2009 Brazilian Grand Prix and married him in 2012. If paid, the ransom could be the biggest ever paid in Brazil. Unfortunately, the Ecclestone family is no stranger to plots of this nature. In 2012, Martin Peckham was jailed for demanding £200 000 from Ecclestone to prevent daughter Tamara from being kidnapped. Peckham, a dental technician, claimed that he...

  • The new Ford Figo: beware the lag

    When Ford first launched the Figo into the South African market back in 2010, it was pretty clear that it had VW's Polo Vivo firmly in its sights. Even the formula was the same: a cheap, basic car based on an older version of an existing model and rebadged. But after a week in the newest Figo, I'm not so sure that's the case any more. Between the looks, features, and tech, you get the feeling that the current Figo is aimed less at the "I can afford a new car too" market and more at the kind off...

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