Remember what happened in the Terminator timeline? Well, let me sum it up for you right quick: Humans built AI and Robots, robots and AI became self-aware, Robots and AI determined that humans were a threat. Next thing you know, robots are exterminating humans in the future and humans are hacking said robots to send them into the past to fight other robots that are there to change the past. It’s an all-out, robot-on-human temporal warfare. In the 1980s and 1990s, this all seemed like fun science fiction, but the future is here folks, and Russia is well on its way to building a full-fledged terminator minus the organic, human-like skin, of course.

I mean, seriously, this thing can shoot guns, drive a car, workout, and at one point in the video, you see it using a syringe and a drill to do other somewhat complex tasks. As you can see, it’s not exactly perfect when it comes to using the tools, but it’s pretty damn accurate with a gun and apparently drives pretty well too. According to the video, the robot is being designed as part of a peaceful space mission, but if that’s the case, why has it been programmed to shoot guns? If history has taught us anything, when it comes to war, humans will use whatever technology they have to get an advantage over the enemy. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t put it past Russia to use something like this as a weapon. But, for now, take a look at the video and let us know what you think in the comments section below…

Lexus’ Lane Valet is the Autonomous Tech We Really Need

It might have been a joke, but it’s a damn good idea

So now that April 1st has come and gone, and the world has managed to separate fact from fiction, I want to talk about one April Fool’s joke that shouldn’t be a joke at all: Lexus’ Lane Valet. Obviously, it was a complete joke that was set into motion a bit early, but how many times have you found yourself raging behind the wheel because some inconsiderate, self-righteous, pole smoker in a BMW, Mercedes, or even a Lexus is cruising down the left lane at five mph below the speed limit? Or, how about mom and pop lost on a Sunday drive? Personally, it happens to me all of the time, and it pisses me off. After all, I’m important and have important stuff to do.

Of course, we don’t have anything like Lane Valet, so my method of combatting the situation is to wait for a clearing, zip around the prick who thinks he owns the left lane, and flip the bird out the moonroof on my way through as I proceed on my mission to break the speed limit and get to my destination 1.3 minutes sooner than I would if I had abided by the law. But, that isn’t the point. The point is, get the hell out of the way. I’m sure a lot of you important folks feel the same way.

So, with that said, I say that this technology needs to become a real thing in the near future. It will be perfect for that period of time that falls between the mass introduction of connected cars and when we’re outlawed from driving ourselves anyway. Hell, I would have used the technology three times this morning on my way to the office, so why not? Anyway, check out the video and let me know what you think.

Will the Ford GT’s Drive Modes Stop Owners From Going Full Mustang?

The system includes a V-Max setting for maximum speed!

The Ford GT may be all official and available to customers — with the first allocation already sold out — but FoMoCo is still rolling out information about the supercar as buyers await delivery. We’ve already learned about the tremendous technology behind the new GT, such as the industry-first gorilla glass windshield and the carbon-fiber wheels, and now it’s time to have a closer look at the car’s driving modes. The GT will come with five, each prepared for different driving scenarios.

Much like any vehicle out there, the American supercar starts off in Normal mode. Conceived for everyday driving, the Normal mode sets the ground clearance at 120 mm, while throttle and transmission calibrations are set up for standard driving. Traction and stability control systems cannot be adjusted, while the rear wing deploys automatically for aero assistance at 90 mph, returning to its normal position at 81 mph. The wing still deploys as an airbrake if sensors detect aggressive braking. Finally, the driver can soften the suspension by adjusting compression and rebound in the dampers at the press of a button.

In the Wet setting, which is obviously recommended for wet tarmac and rainy conditions, the ride height and other systems remain in their default, Normal-mode setup. However, throttle control is adjusted to limit the induction of slipping and sliding, thus enabling greater stability. The comfort suspension can also be activated in this mode.

Then there’s Sport mode, yet another feature that’s rather common for modern vehicles. When using this setting, the driver gets a more responsive throttle calibration and the anti-lag system kicks in. Developed for the Le Mans-winning GT race car, the anti-lag keeps the turbo spinning at all time to provide boost on demand. The normal ground clearance remains in place here too, but the comfort feature is deactivated, while AdvanceTrac stability and traction control become driver-adjustable allowing three additional settings. The Sport mode also allows more slip, yaw, and oversteer, while gear changes are made quicker and the clutch disengages more rapidly for enhanced acceleration.

Setting the Ford GT apart from most performance cars are the Track and V-Max mode, but more on those after the jump.

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Would You Let Elon Musk Connect Your Brain to a Computer?

The ambitious wonderboy is at it again

Elon Musk isn’t a bad guy. He can be arrogant at times (can’t we all?) but he’s made huge strides in battery technology, autonomous driving technology, and even getting big hunks of metal (that may eventually carry us to Mars) into space. You would think that a man like Musk, who’s splitting his time between companies like SpaceX and Tesla, would have a full plate, but apparently, his plate isn’t full enough as he has announced a new venture that seeks to interface our brains with computers. The company, which is in the very early stages of creation is called “Neuralink” and looks to implant tiny electrodes in our brains to allow us to connect directly to computers.

The crazy thing is that the whole thing has been pretty well thought out, and has been a concept routinely explored in science fiction as well. If this new company is successful, it would be able to make a direct cortical interface between man and computer, ultimately allowing our thoughts and maybe even memories to be downloaded to a computer, or allow us to control a computer without using anything but our minds. Eventually, the technology could even be used to increase cognitive capabilities that allow us to increase our intelligence and memory. It’s like adding RAM to a computer, really. It might sound a little outlandish but, believe it or not, it’s actually a feasible idea. After all, the human brain is considered to be the most advanced computer in existence thus far, right?

Keep reading for the rest of the story

Apple Wants to Make its Watch Less Distracting for Drivers

The watch really can be distracting at times

Wearable devices like the Samsung Gear and Apple Watch didn’t exactly take off as well as electronic manufacturers expected, but they’ve grabbed enough hearts that they have been blamed for distracted driving from time to time. The Apple Watch, for instance, has been known to notify drivers of upcoming turns even though they are using their iPhone or have it connected to their onboard infotainment system. It’s also be known to tell folks that it’s time to rest while driving, or time to stand up, all the same. There are other notifications that come through as well, all of which can lead to distracted driving very easily since we humans don’t know how to ignore electronic devices to save our lives – literally. But, Apple is looking to fix all of that now, with a new patent that was filed last September and approved just this month.

According to the patent, Apple wants its watch to detect when you’re driving based on motion detection, and then change what alerts are sent to the watch, how many can be sent, and where you receive them. Apple even wants the watch to be able to determine what notifications are too important to ignore when you’re driving as well. This feature could potentially be customized by the user of the watch or even car manufacturers, the latter of which could mean that notifications are sent to CarPlay-enabled receivers or car speakers instead of the watch.

If you have an Apple Watch and have found the alerts to be rather annoying at times, this patent could be the solution to your problem. There’s no telling if or when this feature will make it into Apple’s lineup of mobile devices, but it could come as early as watchOS 4 and iOS 11 later this year.

Will BMW be the First Brand to Offer Level 5 Autonomy?

The brand promises to bring at least one car capable of Level 5 autonomy by 2021

Just of nine months ago, Mobileye landed a deal with BMW to assist in developing Autonomous technology or future BMW cars. Just weeks later, Tesla and Mobileye cut the cord on their partnership. But, all is good in the world of autonomy as Tesla has soldiered on and BMW now claims that it will deliver Level 5 autonomy – in other words, a fully autonomous car – by 2021. Word was given to a panel discussion in Berlin by Elmar Frickenstein, BMW’s Senior Vice President of Autonomous Driving.

“We are on the way to deliver a car in 2021 with Level 3, 4, and Level 5 Autonomy.” But, he also went on to explain that the vehicle, which has yet to be announced, will have different levels of autonomy depending on where it is used. So, much like Tesla’s autopilot, it could offer full autonomous drive on the highway while still requiring human intervention within city areas or areas that haven’t been adequately mapped.

As things sit right now, Level 3 Autonomy still requires a human driver in place in case intervention is needed, but it’s theoretically hands-off when in operation. Level 4 will still require a human inside the vehicle at most times but will be hands-off and mind-off, meaning a car ride will be more about leisure or work than anything. Finally, Level 5 won’t require any human at all and is the endgame for autonomous technology as we know it now. Cars will be able to drive and function all on their own, which means the car can drop you off at work and return home to the wife. Or, it could take the kids to school on Friday while you enjoy sleeping in on your day off. It’s undoubtedly the future of cars at this point, and right now automakers are locked in a race to see who can get there first.

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Godfather of the Lithium-Ion Battery Develops New Battery Technology

Range anxiety and charging times could be a thing of the past

John Goodenough was the head of a team in 1980 that reached a scientific breakthrough that ultimately led to the creation of lithium-ion batteries. It was a big deal at the time, and now just about every battery-powered device in your home uses lithium-ion, and so does your phone and probably any hybrid vehicle you might own as well. But, while lithium-ion batteries do have a higher energy density than other technologies, they also have some serious drawbacks.

First, if the demand for lithium continues to grow, it could become very scarce in the near future. Plus, on top of that, they are combustible, take a fair amount of time to charge, and still can’t provide us with the type of energy we need for electric vehicles to really take off. But, Mr. Goodenough – who is now 94 years old – has been working with a team at the University of Texas and has made a new breakthrough in battery technology – the solid-state battery.

So what are the benefits of this potential new technology? Well, the batteries are cheap to make in comparison, don’t require elements like lithium to work, are noncombustible, and are longer lasting. They also charge faster and can perform in subzero weather. That’s huge, considering we’re throwing lithium-ion batteries into cars like the element is going out of style (and, it could, with the demand for hybrid and electric vehicles expected to increase steadily over the foreseeable future). But it could take considerable time before solid-state battery technology actually makes it to the market.

Keep reading for the rest of the story

Source: Bloomberg

The 2018 Ford F-150 Will Have Night Vision!

Get ready to see into the dark (Sort of)

Ford has developed a new nighttime pedestrian detection system and will introduce it on the 2018 F-150 pickup, along with the 2018 Mustang and European-spec 2018 Fiesta. The system is designed to help drivers better detect people walking along the roadside in low-light conditions. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the European Road Safety Observatory show that pedestrians are far likelier to be hit at night. While it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand why, Ford is taking logical steps to help reduce the problem.

The system works by processing information from the bumper-mounted radar system and the windshield-mounted camera. That info is digitally compared against an onboard database of “pedestrian shapes.” Should the system detect what it believes is a person, an audible tone and visual warning light alerts the driver to danger. Should the driver not take action and the system detect an imminent impact, it will autonomously activate the brakes.

The Nighttime Pedestrian Detection System will be an available option for 2018, though it will likely become standard on high trim levels soon after. In the years to come, expect to see such technology incorporated within every vehicle’s autonomous driving system.

Continue reading for more information.

Ford Launches FordHub Just In Time For Super Bowl LI

The Blue Oval looks to the future with a new advert and brand experience studio

Ready the wings, fire up the nachos, and prepare yourself for some daytime drinking. Super Bowl LI is upon us, and whether you’re rooting for the Patriots or the Falcons, this great American pastime is sure to bring plenty of entertaining advertisements during the commercial breaks. As such, just before kickoff, Ford will lead the charge with a new 90-second ad that spotlights a few mobility solutions the brand has in the oven to help make our lives easier. Coinciding with the ad is a new interactive brand experience studio that’s opening up in New York City, which promises a more in-depth look at what Ford imagines the future of transportation will look like.

The studio is called FordHub, and it’s located in the Westfield World Trade Center. Ford hopes the new hub will help it connect with consumers and inspire “imagination and dialogue” about the future of mobility through a variety of activities, exhibits, and interactive displays.

Included is a glimpse at what Ford imagines to be the “City of Tomorrow,” highlighting some of the technologies people might use to get around. There’s also a real-time look at New York’s current transportation status, including traffic info, trains, ferries, and more.

Then there are games like the Last Mile Challenge, which pits attendees against the clock in a virtual race to get from A to B using multiple transportation solutions, and Mustang over Manhattan, wherein participants must virtually build Ford’s famous muscle car on top of the Empire State Building.

Finally, Ford is also announcing the Mobilize New York Challenge, which invites proposals to solve NYC’s transportation problems, with more than $30,000 in cash prizes offered as motivation.

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McLaren Teams Up with BMW to Develop Next-Generation Drivetrains

New development project promises higher output per capacity than currently possible

British sports car manufacturer McLaren has announced a new strategic partnership to design and develop technology for its next generation of powertrains. The new project, which is part of the company’s "Track22" business plan, includes six different partners, including the BMW Group.

Details are scant as of this writing, but McLaren’s brief statement on the matter talks about "new combustion technology that will deliver a higher output per capacity than currently possible." The British brand also aims to further reduce CO2 emissions, while simultaneously increasing engine output.

Supported and partly-funded by the British Government through the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), the collaboration also includes Ricardo, McLaren’s existing engine manufacturing partner. Grainger and Worrall will join in to deliver complex, lightweight casting technology, while Lentus Composite will contribute knowledge in specialist composite structure. Finally, the University of Bath will bring its advanced research and development capabilities in internal combustion engine systems efficiency.

"This is an exciting project that plays to the strengths of all partners. McLaren Automotive has an exceptional reputation for building the world’s finest engines, as showcased by our M838T and its previous category wins in the International Engine of the Year awards. We will continue to independently design and build our own engines, and the benefits of this project will help us accelerate the development of our next generation of powertrain," said Mike Flewitt, CEO of McLaren Automotive.

The result of this collaboration will most likely motivate all future McLarens, including the successor to the P1 supercar and the next-generation Super Series.

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