Vehicle technology news

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New technology is produced every week and this week sees many car manufacturers add new technology to their vehicle line ups. Amongst these are Chrysler, Hyundai and Volvo. Here’s a brief overview of the news stories.

American company, Chrysler, have announced that their 2015 models are to gain a fuel saving Engine Stop-Start (ESS) system. This means that vehicles such as the Jeep Cherokee V6 and some 2015 Chrysler 200 models will gain the tech as soon as December.

This feature will also be offered on the off-road focused Cherokee Trailhawk models but won’t interfere with the operation of the Hill Start Assist, Hill Ascent of Hill Descent Control according to the company. Chrysler have said that the ESS system will be deactivated with repeated idle creep, as you would inch ahead on gridlock for instance, then reactivated if you go above 5mph.

The system has also been made to deactivate for a time after turning the steering wheel more than 90 degrees, as you would for a momentary stop turn. Though models with the feature will include a simple button on the centre console to allow the owner to deactivate the ESS when desired.

Just as with other stop-start systems on the market, the feature will depend on outside temperature, the temperature of the engine, and your use of the climate control system. The Chrysler one includes a high capacity battery, as well as some other electrical improvements

Although EPA ratings with the system have yet to be released, the technology is expected to improve real world fuel economy by up to 3%, with a 3% reduction in CO2 emissions as well.

New Hyundai vehicle  technology to banish speeding fines?

South Korean carmakers, Hyundai, have recently unveiled new radar technology which could signal the end of speeding fines. Company spokesperson, Guido Schenken, revealed that with this new technology the vehicle would automatically slow down should the driver be breaking the speed limit in the vicinity of a camera.

The technology uses an in-built GPS to locate nearby speed cameras and then harnesses the automatic braking system to lower the speed should the vehicle be breaking local limits. The car will first warn the driver of approaching cameras with a beep, similar to the technology used by Coyote Speed Trap Locator software, and only apply the brakes should the person behind the wheel fail to adjust their speed.

The system is unlikley to go down well with certain motoring groups who argue that the cameras are installed to promot safer driving rather than slow traffic at a particular point. Even with the technology, mobile speed cameras will still catch drivers unaware as the technology hasn’t quite mastered the art of tracking these sting operations but it is said to help drivers who may be unfamiliar to an area, and therefore unfamiliar with the location of static cameras.

Hyundai have stated that the new Genesis model which will be equipped with this tech will come to the UK but in limited numbers.

Volvo to fit new Android Auto vehicle  in-car technology

Google have unveiled their latest Android Auto interface, a new piece of software that integrates your Android smart-phone into the car’s infotainment system and Volvo are the latest manufacturer to sign up.

The tech works in a similar way to Apple’s CarPlay, by making standard Android features available within the car but in a simplified form. This sees phone-based apps like Google Maps scaled down to the bare essentials, with access managed through voice and steering wheel controls or directly through the car’s touchscreen.

Android’s director of engineering, Patrick Brady, described the system as combining “ the best of both worlds,” offering “the connected apps and services on your smart-phone with the physical controls that were optimised for driving.”

The technology is set to arrive in vehicles later this year, with companies such as Audi, GM and Honda having already signed up as part of the Open Automotive Alliance, a group of technology and automotive companies working to bring the Android platform to cars. Volvo plan to make the new Android Auto available on the upcoming second generation XC90 following it’s public debut at the Paris Motor Show in October.

On top f this, Volvo has confirmed its portrait touchscreen is designed to allow users to display both its own and Android’s content simultaneously, removing the need to switch between the two.

We’ll keep you updated on more vehicle technology news as it becomes available.

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