Video: Discover the meaning of bike control with this crazy rotary-mounted helmet cam

Filed under: Motorsports, Etc., Videos, Motorcycle

Motorcycle Fairy View - video screencap of gymkhana run using helmet-mounted camera

This is the unnamed winner of the third round of the 2013 Dunlop Autoby Cup Motorcycle Gymkhana, and the video of their run is mind-boggling for two different reasons. First, the motorcycle control on display here is extremely impressive, with excellent precision throughout.

Secondly, the videography is great. The rider attached a counterbalanced rotary video rig to the top of his helmet, allowing a free-spinning, constantly changing point of view, that the title of the video calls “Fairy View.” We call it “Trippy View.” Either way, it looks outstanding, and is a far cry from the dime-a-dozen GoPro videos that can be found all over the internet. Now, if we could just figure out how to adapt one of these for a car. Take a look at the full video below, and just try to keep your head on straight.

Continue reading Discover the meaning of bike control with this crazy rotary-mounted helmet cam

Discover the meaning of bike control with this crazy rotary-mounted helmet cam originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 02 Aug 2013 19:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Watch how hackers can take control of your car

Filed under: Government/Legal, Safety, Technology, Videos

Forbes video shows how it is possible to hack into someone else's car and take control - video screencap

When meeting a duo of computer hackers for the very first time, we imagine hearing the words “We want to convince you that we can hurt you – without hurting you,” is bound to release the hounds of anxiety upon your mental makeup. At least, it would ours. And it’s those words, uttered by Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek to Forbes staff reporter Andy Greenberg, that introduce us to the reality that modern-day cars can indeed be hacked.

The next frightening step down the rabbit hole, which is outlined in the video below, involves entering into a Toyota Prius that looks like a science project gone wrong – missing dash, wires hanging down and a laptop computer hiding in the back seat. It’s kind of like being a human marionette puppet with the strings held high above by Dr. Frankenstein’s tech-geeky grandson. In other words, “Are you guys both buckled up?” is no longer a friendly safety-minded reminder, it’s a scared-for-my-life requirement.

See how these two hackers earned a bunch of money from the US government trying to hack into a couple of cars in the video below. And keep your tinfoil hats close by.

Continue reading Watch how hackers can take control of your car

Watch how hackers can take control of your car originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 24 Jul 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Opinion: Is NHTSA out of control?

Filed under: Government/Legal, Recalls, Safety

Recent Rises in Recall Numbers A Cause For Alarm

Preliminary indications suggest there may be an all-time recall record in 2013.

The announcements seem to be coming almost every day, if not more frequently: a million-plus Jeeps, a quarter-million Hondas, another million Toyotas. Last year saw a sharp reversal of the long, downward trend in automotive recalls and while it’s still too early to say where things will wind up when 2013 winds down, preliminary indications from the first half of the year suggest there’ll be another increase, if not an all-time record.

Significantly, automakers recalled roughly the same number of vehicles as they sold in 2012, about 14.5 million, notably with Toyota and Honda, two brands traditionally known for their quality and reliability, at the top of the chart. In fact, those two makers have led the list, in terms of individual vehicles recalled, for the last five years. And they were on track to do the same thing again in 2013 – Honda already targeting about 2 million vehicles for problems ranging from airbags to brakes to switch fires – if it weren’t for a series of big safety campaigns announced by Chrysler over the last month.

The most recent of these actually combined five separate recalls and covered about 840,000 vehicles, but it was dwarfed by the recall of 1.6 million Jeeps announced – reluctantly – in June. And that controversial campaign raises some serious questions about what’s behind the recent rise in the number of recalls.


Paul EisensteinPaul A. Eisenstein is Publisher of TheDetroitBureau.com and a 30-year veteran of the automotive beat. His editorials bring his unique perspective and deep understanding of the auto world to Autoblog readers on a regular basis. This story was reprinted with permission from the author and TheDetroitBureau.com.


Continue reading Is NHTSA out of control?

Is NHTSA out of control? originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 17 Jul 2013 19:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Peugeot family to cede control to GM?

Filed under: Europe, Government/Legal, Hirings/Firings/Layoffs, Plants/Manufacturing, GM, Earnings/Financials, Opel, Peugeot

Peugeot Onyx wheel detail

It’s doom and gloom time, folks – PSA Peugeot-Citroën is seriously on the ropes. According to a report from Reuters, citing those ever-so-mysterious “people familiar with the matter,” suggests that the Peugeot family, which currently owns a 25.4-percent stake in the eponymous automaker and 38.1 percent of voting rights, “has now accepted that they will lose control” of the company. The rumormill churns with the possibility that control of Peugeot and Citroen will be handed over to General Motors, which spent $423 million to obtain seven percent of Peugeot last year.

If GM doesn’t accept control of Peugeot, which would require a cash outlay that GM has already said it isn’t going to spend (at least not without assurances that it will be allowed to shutter factories and lay off workers in France and Germany), analysts predict Peugeot will run out of cash before the end of 2013. Peugeot had previously turned to Dongfeng, a Chinese company it has allied with in the industrial sector, for assistance, but those talks have apparently stalled.

What would GM do with Peugeot if it were to make an additional investment? The answer is murky at best, but previous speculation had pinned a slew of shared platforms between the French automaker and GM’s European arm, Opel, along with the consolidation of workforce and manufacturing capabilities. In other words, plant shutdowns, laid-off workers and the expected monetary savings those actions would bring.

The problem with the above scenario, though, is that the French government, which made a controversial investment of 7 billion euros ($9 billion USD) in the automaker’s finance arm to guarantee its loans, is likely to resist large-scale workforce reductions and plant closures within its borders. Doom and gloom, indeed…

Peugeot family to cede control to GM? originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 27 Jun 2013 17:46:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Toyota USA gains increased design control

Filed under: Etc., Toyota

2011 toyota tundra

2011 Toyota Tundra – Click above for high-res image gallery

The product development cycle at Toyota can be frustrating. More specifically, the process can be frustrating for North American executives who don’t have total control over vehicles specifically marketed to their country. Engineers, developers and executives all have a say, but the final decisions have been made in Japan. Until now.

According to a report from Automotive News, Toyota has changed its product development process for North American vehicles. An example of such a vehicle is the Toyota Tundra. That pickup caters to the desires and needs of the U.S. car-buying public, and now Toyota USA will be given the leeway needed to make sure it meets those desires and needs.

The Japanese automaker says it has always listened to its U.S. counterparts. However, the process was stifled due to the requirement that decisions be finalized in Japan. Now, this process can flow more freely. Expect to see the effects of this change beginning with the next generation of the Tundra.

Toyota USA gains increased design control originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 01 Jun 2011 14:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mercedes-Benz reportedly recalling 136,000 M Class models over cruise control problem

Filed under: SUV, Recalls, Safety, Mercedes-Benz

2000 Mercedes-Benz M-Class

Mercedes-Benz is issuing a recall for its 2000-2002 M-Class and 2000-2004 M-Class AMG models after reports that hitting the brakes may not automatically turn off cruise control. The recall affects 136,751 vehicles built between August 1999 and June 2004.

The recall follows a preliminary investigation the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration started in December, 2010. The root of the problem is reportedly a failed brake lamp switch, which can cause not only the cruise control issue, but also prevent the vehicle being shifted out of park and a failure of the brake lights.

Though the investigation by NHTSA is only a few months old, Daimler AG issued a technical service bulletin in May, 2005 to replace the faulty brake lamp switch. According to Daimler, the problem can be solved by pumping the brakes to disengage cruise, but the automaker admits that it may require an “unusually high” amount of pressure on the pedal.

Mercedes dealers will replace the switch for affected customers when the recall begins in September.

[Source: The Detroit News]

Continue reading Mercedes-Benz reportedly recalling 136,000 M Class models over cruise control problem

Mercedes-Benz reportedly recalling 136,000 M Class models over cruise control problem originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 05 Apr 2011 13:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Nokia Wants To Control Your Car

Filed under: Safety, Technology

And Why That Could Be A Good Thing

Nokia Terminal Mode

Word came down from on high that a handful of automakers, a few consumer electronics manufacturers and two suppliers had joined forces to create the Car Connectivity Consortium. The underlying purpose: to begin standardizing in-vehicle connectivity solutions ranging from Nokia’s awkwardly-named “Terminal Mode” to Near Field Communications (NFC) and wireless charging capabilities.

In a world where platforms, devices and vehicle software runs the gamut from bleeding-edge (your smartphone) to bled-out (your two-year old, OEM-supplied navigation system), The Consortium has the potential to meld ease-of-use with constant connectivity. But there’s a problem: two of the biggest names in mobile technology – Apple and Google – aren’t in on the party. So is The Consortium dead before even it issues its next press release?

Continue reading Nokia’s Plan To Control Your Car…

Continue reading Nokia Wants To Control Your Car

Nokia Wants To Control Your Car originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 24 Mar 2011 14:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Lexus LFA launch control makes start lines disappear quickly

Filed under: Coupe, Performance, Videos, Lexus

lexus lfa tachometer

Lexus LFA displays serious control on launch – Click above to watch video after the jump

Today, it’s almost impossible to buy a new supercar without launch control; the 2011 Lexus LFA is no exception. It might not be the fastest, with a zero-to-60 time of “only” 3.7 seconds, yet the LFA remains an impressive rubber-footed beast.

The LFA’s V10 wails towards its 9,500 rpm fuel cutoff like an oni haunting whoever slides behind the wheel. The video posted after the jump focuses on the tachometer as a Lexus LFA bolts from a starting line with the launch control lending its assistance. The driver pushes the car all the way up to 260 km/h (around 163 mph) before letting up on the throttle. Click past the jump to launch into the clip.

[Source: Lexus Enthusiast]

Continue reading Video: Lexus LFA launch control makes start lines disappear quickly

Video: Lexus LFA launch control makes start lines disappear quickly originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 19 Feb 2011 14:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Autoblog witnesses the 2012 Nissan GT-R’s launch control

Filed under: Coupe, Performance, Videos, Nissan

2012 Nissan GT-R launch

2012 Nissan GT-R deftly launches – Click above to watch the video after the break

Smoke ’em if you got ’em. Well, only if you’re really just interested in showing off. In reality, if your tires go up in giant plumes of white smoke, you’re going nowhere fast.

It stands to reason, then, that drivers of the 2012 Nissan GT-R, which once again has an official factory launch control mode, won’t be indulging in any tire-smoking shenanigans. Instead, they will be launching themselves and any passengers they may be carrying into ludicrous speed with nary a hint of wheelspin to contend with.

And we finally have first-hand video evidence that proves the point. We witnessed the 2011 GT-R catapult itself into near orbit using launch control with our own eyes and managed to capture the act on video. Click past the break to see for yourself.

Continue reading Video: Autoblog witnesses the 2012 Nissan GT-R’s launch control

Video: Autoblog witnesses the 2012 Nissan GT-R’s launch control originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 28 Jan 2011 18:43:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Lexus LFA launch control details revealed

Filed under: Coupe, Performance, Lexus

2011 Lexus LFA

2011 Lexus LFA – Click above for high-res image gallery

As any drag racer will tell you, achieving the perfect launch is something of an art form. Or maybe it’s closer to a religion to the people constantly struggling to find exactly the right RPM, clutch technique and number of prayers to the God of the Quarter Mile.

Naturally, having a computer take all the guesswork out of the process (cheating? Not if everyone else is doing it… and they are) makes everything more than a little bit easier. The Lexus LFA is the latest supercar to get the technology here in the States. But how does it work?

Glad you asked. Lexus’ carbon fiber wonder-mobile is finally hitting the streets, and its handy-dandy owner’s manual outlines the launch controll process rather nicely. Nicely, but not exactly easily… as you might expect from a factory-installed technology that is known to be rather stressful on drivetrain components. See what we mean after the break.

Gallery: First Drive: 2011 Lexus LFA

Photos copyright (C)2009 Damon Lavrinc / Weblogs, Inc.

[Source: Lexus Enthusiast]

Continue reading Lexus LFA launch control details revealed

Lexus LFA launch control details revealed originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 27 Jan 2011 15:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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