Month: January 2014

Driverless trucks get in shape for US Army convoy duty

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Driverless trucks head down the road in a test of the AMAS program for the Army and Marines.

(Credit: Lockheed Martin)

Google may have the best-known driverless vehicles, but the US Army surely has the largest.

Defense industry heavyweight Lockheed Martin said Thursday that testing has wrapped up on a series of advanced tests in the Autonomous Mobility Appliqué System (AMAS) program for the US Army and US Marine Corps. The testing, Lockheed said, showed that fully autonomous convoys can operate in urban environments and with a mixture of vehicle types.

What challenges did these driverless vehicles face? The trucks had to navigate road intersections, oncoming traffic, stalled and passing vehicles, pedestrians, and traffic circles in test areas both rural and, with less margin for error, urban.

Somewhat like the jury-rigged systems seen on the first generation of robotized cars, the AMAS program for the Pentagon’s ground troops uses standard-issue vehicles outfitted with a kit of gear including a high-performan… [Read more]

    



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For Super Bowl, Jaguar reminds you that Brits are evil

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He'd cut your liver out and saute it.

(Credit: Jaguar/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET)

American advertisers always want you to believe that their core is made of saccharine and honey.

Buy my American brand and your world will be more idyllic than a night spent with Jimmy Stewart.

The Brits, on the other hand, occasionally like to reveal a dark heart below their hardened upper lip.

How touching, then, that Jaguar, a quintessentially British brand now owned by India’s Tata Motors, has decided to admit to its evil underbelly.

In a Super Bowl ad to champion its quite pretty F-Type sports car, Jaguar bares its soul.

Featuring Tom Hiddleston, Mark Strong, and the nasty, nasty Ben Kingsley, the ad posits an important cultural question: “Have you ever noticed that in Hollywood movies, all the villains are played by Brits?”

What follows are the three characters uttering quite forced dialogue that’s vaguely related to cars.

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Shakeup at Mitsubishi? (1/31/14)

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Managing director reportedly will replace Masuko as president; Honda doubles Q3 profit; Ford salutes dealers; ad prediction.

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Oregon Scientific ATC Chameleon action cam is fun, but flawed

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The concept of the Oregon Scientific ATC Chameleon is certainly a good one.

Creating a compelling action cam video is easier — not necessary, but easier — when you have two cameras shooting a subject from two different angles. That, of course, requires buying two cameras and possibly mounts or other accessories for those cameras. And then you’ll need some basic video-editing skills to combine what’s captured, especially if you want to throw both camera views in the video at the same time.

The Chameleon, however, puts two cameras in one body. Each camera can be rotated 180 degrees — one horizontally, one vertically — and has a fish-eye lens covering a 110-degree angle of view. Mount the camera, position the lenses to your liking, and record. When you’re done, you have both camera angles combined into one MP4 file. No editing required.

Oregon Scientific ATC Chameleon puts two cameras in one body (pictures)

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Big, street-legal Little Tikes car is your childhood on steroids

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This ain't your kid's Cozy Coupe.

(Credit: Attitude Autos)

The Little Tikes Cozy Coupe has been a childhood staple for over three decades. Even if you don’t know the name, you know the car. It’s a red plastic vehicle with a tall yellow top, all done up in a rounded design and powered by pedals. The only problem is that you’re too big to fit in one. Unless you know the guys at Attitude Autos in the UK.

Mechanic John Bitmead and his buddies spent five months crafting a full-size, street-legal Cozy Coupe, which is dubbed the Toytown Coupe. It’s red and yellow and runs on gas. You can’t tell by looking at it, but the car started off as a Daewoo Matiz.

Related stories

The Toytown fits two adults, but has no windshield, in keeping with the original version it’s modeled after. That can make it a little daunting to take out on a rainy UK day. Unlike the toy version, the car can get up to 70 mph. The mechanics dedicated … [Read more]

    



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2015 Volvo XC90 Plug-In Hybrid could arrive summer 2015, execs say

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Volvo Concept XC Coupe at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show.

(Credit: Green Car Reports)

(Credit: Green Car Reports)

When the all-new 2015 Volvo XC90 large crossover utility vehicle goes on sale in the spring of 2015, it will be followed by a gasoline plug-in hybrid version.

And, according to Volvo executives, the plug-in Volvo could come as little as three months after the launch of the regular version.

More from Green Car Reports

The timing came from a series of interviews conducted with Volvo’s vice president of powertrain, Derek Crabb; its manager of lifecycle, business, and brand strategy, Art Battaglia; and vice president of corporate communications Dean Shaw during a drive event in Las… [Read more]

    



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VW, Kia Bowl Strategies (1/30/14)

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As one company visits ‘The Matrix,’ another takes engineers to a new level; AutoNation nets $109M; shutdown for Chrysler 200 plant

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