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Bringing a Great New Dimension to the Autonomous World with FLIR

Monday, February 26th, 2018

FLIR thermal imaging for autonomous vehicles FLIR has always made important tasks safer and easier with the thermal technology that they adapt into their cameras. From being able to see people and objects that couldn’t otherwise be seen, to detecting dangerous leaks to handling repairs hands-free, FLIR has touched all of our lives in ways that we aren’t even aware. While we all know that traditional infrared cameras allow sight in total darkness, bad weather and through such things as smoke and haze, FLIR allows for sight behind walls and in ceilings. And lucky for us, they continually find ways to refine and introduce this technology into new products.

One of their latest projects is venturing into the ever growing world of autonomous vehicles. On display this year is their new Automotive Development Kit (ADK). This sensor kit is targeted towards automotive software developers that are looking to add a different kind of sensor to their projects. Adding temperature sensing to the existing array of sensors already on autonomous vehicles will significantly increase the overall detection capabilities. These sensors are not meant to replace any of the sensors that are currently in use, but to be used in addition to them for an extra level of safety as thermal imaging does not have the same constraints as regular video cameras and sonar detection. Allowing developers to jump right in and discover the possibilities is a perfect way to get things started.

On display at the booth was a demonstration using the ADK hardware. In the demo, you could watch a live video of the path next to the booth, and the sensor and software together were able to identify and track humans as they passed by. This is an essential technology to allow autonomous vehicles to be able to progress from level 4 to level 5, the difference between having a steering wheel and not.

The sensors come in a few different sizes and lengths, with more improvements in the works. If you are a developer and would like more information on how to get a kit, visit their website at flir.com/adk.

Also, check out these cool consumer products that are available on Amazon:
FLIR TG130 Spot Thermal Camera and Protective Case
FLIR ONE Thermal Imaging Camera for Android USB-C (Gen 3)
FLIR Systems FXV101-W Outdoor Wireless HD Video Camera

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.
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More Great Things Are in the Works at Intel

Saturday, February 24th, 2018

Intel autonomous drivingThere is always so much to see inside the Intel booth at CES: the innovation, the creativity, the collaboration. It’s basically a universe all unto itself and it’s so much fun to dive in and explore. While there, we came across this really cool translucent, known as The Inside Autonomous Experience. It is basically demonstrating and representing what people can expect in 2021 in terms of the types of hardware that will be used for the sensors in autonomous vehicles. This display vehicle has a total of 23 sensors on it. There are 11 cameras, 7 radar sensors, 3 LiDAR sensors and 2 ultrasonic sensors. Intel and partners can use the sensors as part of the autonomous experience, and can also collect the data and information on the vehicle to improve performance.

To make it even more awesome, Intel has recently acquired Mobileye, a market leader in advanced driver assistance systems. They are combining forces to make the next level in autonomous driving a reality. Through this partnership they can leverage Mobileye’s hardware and cameras as the eyes of the vehicle and Intel as the brains. This not only frees up both entities to give their attention and expertise to their own portion of the project, but also, when they come together, they can make autonomous driving safer and more affordable. These are two very important factors for moving forward in this industry.

Another great thing that Mobileye has brought to the table is Road Experience Management (REM), which does crowd source mapping among the vehicles on the road that already include Mobileye. There are currently already 20 million vehicles that have this technology already built in. This technology also allows for high definition maps and will allow the vehicles to localize themselves.

When can we expect to see more than an acrylic representation of this wonderful technology? Well, Intel is doing what they do best: using their technical and computing expertise to creatively innovate next level products and then analyze the data to produce a final product that far exceeds our expectations. We can’t wait to see how this project evolves between now and 2021.

To get the latest Intel news and information, please visit their website.

Interview by Allante Sparks of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events.
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Have a Dream to Fly? It’s About to Come True!

Sunday, February 11th, 2018

Volocopter Flying TaxiVolocopter is building the first Verticle Take Off and Landing (VTOL) aircraft in the world that is unmanned and electric. They aim to make our dream of flying come true while, at the same time, helping to ease the mobility problems that modern cities face. It is more than just a design concept. As a matter of fact, it has already been introduced in other parts of the world and made its North American debut here at CES 2018.

Volocopter is not just for pilots, it is actually the first of its kind being referred to as an AAT (Autonomous Air Taxi). They are looking for it to become the Uber or taxi service of the airways. It is a helicopter that has been built with Super-Drone Technology. This 18 blade head assembly vehicle is 100% electric and has a 30 minute runtime. It is actually being crafted for the masses to be very affordable and not just for private use. It will pick you up and deliver you to your destination just like a taxi would do. The makers of Volocopter have already had their maiden autonomous flight in Dubai. They also had their first passenger/autonomous flight here in Vegas. It was conducted during the Keynote Speech with Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, right inside the theatre.

Volocopter’s ultimate goal is to have between 50 to 100 copters flying the airways in any city or urban environment in the world within 2 to 3 years. This is one that we are definitely going to keep an eye on for future developments and updates.

Interview by Chase Lowery of PLuGHiTz Live Special Events.
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Enjoy New and Simple Connectivity to Your Car with Raven

Saturday, February 10th, 2018

Raven Driving TechnologyRaven is a connected car product with a new type of technology integration that combines four different technologies into one. They have taken a traditional dashcam, displays, connection to tel-harmonics in the car as well as a built-in security system.

It sits right on top of your dashboard, always in view. You can customize the display from a list of driving information readouts. This ensures that you have the best possible information to help you drive safely. There are an array of sensors and you will be alerted if your car is bumped, broken into or stolen. Raven can alert family/friends if there is a critical event. Simply add them to your Trusted Circle and they will receive vital information to help you in the event of an incident or emergency.

The Alerts are customizable. Raven keeps aware of the driving behaviors of each driver, with alerts such as speeding, curfew, boundary and dangerous driving activities. It also keeps all videos that you can check at any time and also share with one click on social media. You can create driving reports which help with specific travel data for expense reports or insurance purposes. The app also gives you access to live views and vehicle information at any time. You will have the peace of mind of always knowing what is going on with your car, and its drivers.

Pricing begins at $299. You can preorder now and receive a $30 discount. Shipping begins in March 2018. Upon activation, you will be prompted to choose one of their monthly service plans. There is a 30 day risk free test drive available. Learn more by visiting their website.

Interview by Daniele Mendez of The New Product Launchpad.
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Make Your Car Better Without Any Special Tools

Saturday, February 10th, 2018

FenSens car sensorsHave an older vehicle that doesn’t have sensors to assist with obstacle avoidance? FenSens is a license plate holder that is a smart wireless parking sensor. It sends the data directly to your smartphone. With installation time of just 5 minutes with no wires, It’s an affordable UPGRADE for any car. There are platforms for both Android/iOS and the hands free app launches instantly to provide convenient audio, visual, and vibration alerts when objects are dedicated in the path of the sensors. There’s no complex setup or installation fees. FenSens is perfect for all consumer and commercial fleet vehicles not exceeding 30 feet in length. You can use one both on the back and front of your car, to provide maximum protection.

There will soon be a magnetic version that can be attached to other places on the car, or even on your boat. And the company is also working on other add-on tech for vehicles. You can get yours here.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.
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Exciting New Technology for Safer Driving

Tuesday, January 30th, 2018

Hyundai MOBIS Safe Driving TechnologyAll of us have gotten behind the wheel of our cars knowing that we were drowsy. Thanks to Hundai MOBIS, that problem is probably going to be a thing of the past. It is called Departed Driver Rescue and Exit Maneuver or DDREM. This is an intervention system that safely transitions the vehicle from any kind of accident or veering off the road when it detects that the driver is falling asleep.

Since there are over 7000 fatalities from falling asleep at the wheel, this innovation is a wonderful piece of technology to have available for our safety. It places sensors and an infrared camera into the car along with control inputs to help detect that the driver is no longer in control of the car. It then takes over and transitions the vehicle to get back on track and safely pull off the road and come to a safe stop. It will then send an emergency alert to whoever the OEM or the driver has chosen. Hopefully this technology will be available in cars by 2022.

Interview by Marissa Schiereck of The New Product Launchpad.
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Quanergy Engages Future with Unparalleled Technology

Thursday, January 25th, 2018

QuanergyOne of the things that CES does best is encourage new and better developments out of existing tech. This year, Quanergy is showing off their precision technology in Fisker’s new car model (also unveiled at CES 2018), the EMotion. This autonomous vehicle is the first to have LiDAR Sensors built into the vehicle. Up until now, LiDAR Sensors have always been added on to existing vehicles, after the fact, to give them a certain level of autonomy.

Quanergy is the leading provider of solid state LiDAR sensors and smart sensing solutions. They lead the industry in all six key commercialization areas of price, performance, reliability, size, weight, and power efficiency, while meeting the mass deployment requirements of durability and dependability. The intricate design of their components are not only smaller to better fit into any design, but also more accurate than their larger counterparts.

The Fisker EMotion on display consists of five sensors staged throughout and provide it with an autonomous rating of Level 4. To find out more about Quanergy’s software, technology and product line, check out their website.

Interview by Jacob Cannon of FIRST Looks.
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The Future of Electric Vehicles is Advanced and Luxurious

Friday, March 3rd, 2017

Faraday FutureComing into CES 2017, one of the most anticipated companies on the floor was Faraday Future, the electric car company that had, until the show, not displayed their production model, the FF 91. There was a lot of talk about how important the show was going to be for the company, who had seen executive shake-ups and pauses in production.

All of the questions were put to rest when the company showed off the production model at a press conference before the event. The car’s design is unique and fascinating, but it set itself apart immediately when it raced live at the conference, beating a number of performance-focused cars. Clearly, the car is being compared with its most obvious competitor, Tesla, but the FF 91 seems to sit in a class by itself. While the Tesla models might be comparable to a Toyota, the FF 91 is more like the Lexus, a luxury-focused vehicle.

One of the first things we noticed when we approached the vehicle was the lack of handles, locks and other seemingly traditional car features. All of those physical points of failure have been replaced with more tech-focused security features, such as proximity verification and iris sensors. That seemingly simple attribute is actually a sign of the incredible things to expect from Faraday Future in its own future.

There is currently no firm release date for the vehicle, but with the great collection of features and technology, you might just want to reserve yours now anyway.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the Tech Podcast Network.

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Love the All New Intelligent and Electric Smart Car

Friday, March 3rd, 2017

Mercedes-Benz Smart CarMercedes-Benz has been selling the smart car here in the U.S. for some time now, yet our jaws still tend to drop when we encounter one of the little guys out on the road. Their fun and European design has captivated an entire group of energy conscious drivers who love the extremely low gas mileage.

As their popularity grows, so now will their energy efficiency, as later this year a couple of new models will be added to the line. These new intelligent cars have everything you need, and nothing you don’t, in a cute little package. You’ll love the addition of the sensors and software upgrades which offer amenities like radar based recuperation and lane keep assist. And the new connected car services will also be available through their new app. These services include trunk delivery and car sharing with friends, coworkers or neighbors. Charge time is also improved to 7-8 hours via a regular wall outlet or 90 minutes with the optional 3 phase wall box.

The new Coupe and the ForFour will be available this summer with the jazzy convertible coming later in the year. You can get more information at your local Mercedes dealership or by visit the smart website.

Interview by Marissa Schiereck of The New Product Launchpad for the Tech Podcast Network.

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Blocks Make a Huge Breakthrough for Vehicle Production

Friday, March 3rd, 2017

Divergent 3DCars have basically been manufactured the same way for more than 100 years. The process is extremely expensive, especially considering that there are multi million dollar facilities that basically manufacturer one type of vehicle. Not to mention the process of how so many different parts are also expensively manufactured and then purchased and shipped from vendors all over the world. Everything in the process is costly and not environmentally friendly. In this day and age, we have so much technology, it doesn’t make sense to still be building cars that same old way. It’s time to bring the car manufacturing process into the 21st century.

A group of technologists, auto engineers and environmentalists got together and not only came to the same conclusion, but figured out an incredible, high tech way to do it. Divergent 3D is the result, and it’s amazing. They developed a process to 3D print great looking and fully functional vehicles.

To begin, the looks and features are designed with software and then fined tuned to verify all industry and safety specs are in compliance. Then the printing process begins, not an entire car from the ground up in a single print, but by printing the building blocks that will later be assembled to form vehicles such as electric cars and motorcycles. The final products are as amazing as the process itself. They presented the Blade Supercar as well as a really hot sports motorcycle at their booth and they are both breath taking.

It is also very impressive how this technique is just downright better for the environment. The cars are greener due to the reduced manufacturing process, lighter and safer due to the materials used, and best of all they can be made locally with smaller and more cost effective teams.

We found these vehicles to be extraordinary and can’t wait to watch their progress as this concept takes off. You can learn more by visiting the company’s website.

Interview by Marissa Schiereck of The New Product Launchpad for the Tech Podcast Network.

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