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Tag Archives: Cars

WTF: Modern Slot Cars Go Insanely Fast

By David Ponce

This is one of those videos you have to watch to understand why I’m so impressed. Simply telling you these modern slot cars go fast means nothing. Fast usually means “pretty darn quick but I still can see what’s going on.” This… this is just mind blowing. The people controlling the cars? Cyborgs, no doubt.

Incidentally, the action starts about one minute in.

VIA [ Geekologie ]

Pimped Out Reaview Mirror Even Does AVIs

By David Ponce

While this is an accident waiting to happen, Chinavision’s “Complete Car Bluetooth Rearview Mirror” certainly has managed to cram everything and the kitchen sink in there. Their replacement mirror features the following: GPS, wireless rear-view parking camera (camera kit included), Bluetooth calling, DVR and yes even a media player. The idea is that in DVR mode it will record what happens inside or out (presumably more than the rearview parking camera can be hooked up to it) while in other modes it can either give you GPS guidance or even play back videos for you. We’re guessing you have to be stopped with parking brake engaged for this particular feature to work, though we’re sure enterprising folk will quickly find a way around that. Everything is displayed on a 4.3 inch, 480 by 272 resolution screen and the internals are powered by a Centrality Atlas 4 Dual-Core 500 MHz processor and 64MB of RAM. Yeah, HD files might be out of the question.

Storage is handled via SD or Micro SD cards, of which two are included (4GB each). It’s $205 for one and prices go down with larger order numbers as this appears to be a wholesaler.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ NewLaunches ]

These Are Rock’em Sock’em Bots On Steroids

By David Ponce

Got $17,000 burning a hole in your wallet? How bout these Rock’em Sock’em inspired “Bionic Bopper Cars”? They are large (400lbs!), manned, motorized cars with “two pneumatic-powered, tire-tread-fisted arms”. The goal? Hit your opponent in the face, of course! Not his actual face mind you, but that of the “robot” he’ll be driving around. To this end, you’re provided with buttons mounted atop two independent joysticks. Each time you score a hit, a front-mounted display in each robot’s mid-section will keep a tally. There’s a protective steel cage to keep the humans inside safe, while a full tank of gas will provide up to 5 hours autonomy. You can use an area as small as 16 square feet and you should place your order by December 1st for Christmas delivery.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Uncrate ]

This Car Wears Its Airbags On The Outside

By David Ponce

Crazy as that headline sounds, that’s pretty much what we’re looking at here. Developed by a Japanese company called Humanix in conjunction with Hiroshima University, the iSAVE-SC1 is supposed to be the world’s safest car. Well… Let’s see now. First off, we’re not entirely sure it fits the description of a car, really, since its top speed is 50km/h. Then, it’s got three wheels. Finally, it’s electric… Quite frankly at this point it sounds more like a glorified golf cart.

Oh and yeah, it has what looks like airbags all over it, ostensibly to soften the blows from a collision. It’s a real product which will go on sale in Japan for US$10,400. Then there is talk of mass-production, though we’re less certain of mass-adoption. We realize that changing energy markets dictate that maybe we should be shifting our ideas and expectations of what our transportation forms ought to look like. And it’s nice to be safe… but have they even looked at it?

VIA [ Techcrunch Gadgets ]

Beamatic Premium Headlights Won’t Blind Other Drivers

By Chris Scott Barr

If you do a lot of driving in the country at night, you can really appreciate the high-beams on your car. They illuminate a much larger area so you can keep an eye out for animals that might run out in front of you. Of course when another car passes by on the road, not only do you have to turn off the high-beams, but your vision is temporarily impaired by their lights shining in your eyes. Now one company thinks they have a solution to both problems.

Valeo SA has developed a new type of headlight that uses on-board cameras to detect other cars on the road, and then blocks the light in their direction. This allows you to keep using your brights, without the other driver getting blinded by your lights. Sounds like a win-win for everyone.

[ Valeo ] VIA [ GearFuse ]

Win A Lemur Monitors: Safe Driver!

By Chris Scott Barr

I’m sure that we have more than a few parents out there that are reading the site. If you have kids who are just starting to drive, then you no doubt worry about how safe they are being. Namely, are they speeding, braking suddenly or just going places that they shouldn’t be? Wouldn’t it be great if you had a device that would tell you all of these things? I’m sure it would be even better if you could get one for free, right?

This week we will be giving away a SafeDriver from Lemur Monitors. This two-part device has a sensor that plugs into the data port of your car, and a key fob that displays the car’s maximum speed, number of sudden stops and distance traveled since the last reset. Don’t worry, you’ll have to enter a PIN to reset it, and the device will alert you if either the sensor or the fob has been tampered with.

So what do you have to do to win? Like many of our contests, US residents can drop a comment below to enter. Next Friday we’ll select a winner at random from the comments left. Good luck!

[ LemurMonitors ]

British Team Constructs Coffee-Powered Car


By Chris Scott Barr

For the coffee drinkers out there, how many cups does it take you to get through a typical workday? For many, loading up on coffee is about the equivalent of putting gas in a car. The longer you want to stay productive, the more you need to ingest. Now what if you actually tried to fuel your car with the stuff? Apparently you can, but you’ll need more than a few cups to get you through the day.

A team at the BBC1 science show Bang Goes The Theory took an old ’88 Volkswagen Scirocco and modified it to run off of coffee grounds. Now before you get too excited about running a car off of a cup of Joe, you’ll have to consider the fact that it’ll take the equivalent of 56 espressos just to travel a single mile. To further break that down, it’ll cost roughly 50 times more than simply using gas. Needless to say, this is one of those projects that was done “because they could” and not because it was practical. The team is also using it to try and raise awareness on using alternative fuels.

[ DailyMail ] VIA [ Dvice ]

[CES 2010] GM Teams Up With OnStar For Chevy Volt App


By Chris Scott Barr

Back in November of last year we saw that GM was working on a mobile app that would talk to your Chevy Volt. While interesting, the app had limited functionality and wasn’t all that exciting. Well GM teamed up with OnStar here at CES to show us just how much has changed in the last couple of months.

With an actual Chevy Volt in the room, the two teamed up to demonstrate the various functions that would be at your fingertips. The app was able to not only tell us how much of a charge the car has and various statistics about recent mileage, but it gives you remote access to a variety of the car’s functions.

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GM Brings WiFi Access To Your New Vehicle


By Chris Scott Barr

There are some people in this world that need to be connected to the internet at all times. Sure, I’m an internet junkie, but I don’t think I’d ever go so far as to install a permanent WiFi hotspot in my car. GM announced that they will soon start offering Autonet, an always-on wireless internet solution for your car.

The device can be installed in your new van, SUV, truck or crossover starting later this month. Installation will set you back $499, while service is going to cost $29 a month with a 1GB cap. There is also a 5GB package, though no price was listed. The WiFi signal will reach up to 150 feet away, so you won’t be limited to using it just in your car. Great, now kids can check their Facebook and watch YouTube on long car rides. All my brother and I had was one GameBoy to fight over.

[ GM ] VI A [ CrunchGear ]