Navigation concept from MIT and Volkswagen projects 3D image on windshield

Filed under: Technology, Videos, Volkswagen

AIDA 2.0

AIDA 2.0 provides a glimpse at our distracted future – Click above to watch video after the jump

If the idea of someone playing with their phone while driving sounds distracting, then wait until you see the latest navigation concept from MIT and Volkswagen. Called the AIDA Project, this technology joint venture between MIT’s SENSEable City Lab and VW stands for Affective, Intelligent Driving Agent.

Using a series of 3D projectors, a large map would take up residence in the unused space on top of the dashboard. Route guidance, destination information, infotainment options and a host of other features would all be controlled via hand gestures that are sensed by the AIDA 2.0 system.

This makes for very cool-looking tech, but we have to think Ray LaHood would plotz if this ever becomes reality. Also, we think the city of Boston may be virtual in the video demonstration due to the lack of middle fingers being tossed around as if they were Dunkin Donuts Munchkins. Check out AIDA 2.0 by clicking past the jump.

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Navigation concept from MIT and Volkswagen projects 3D image on windshield originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 06 May 2011 16:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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BMW M projects that didn’t make it

Filed under: Classics, Performance, BMW, Design/Style

BMW M Projects – Click above for massive high-res image gallery

BMW’s M division comes up with some pretty crazy ideas – things like M3 pickups and M5 cabrios. Even the X6 M could be safely defined as ‘radical.’ And while some make it into production, there are plenty other awesome projects that never see the light of day.

While giving us a preview of the new M5 Concept, the Bavarian skunkworks division also showcased a few of those stillborn projects. One of them was a CSL version of the recently-departed M6 coupe, unburdened of 220 pounds of excess weight, given a power boost and fitted with active aerodynamics and an electronically deployed rear spoiler. But while the prototype was reportedly fully developed, the beancounters in Munich ultimately passed on its production.

The same fate reportedly befell an M8 prototype that would have slotted in above the 850 CSi. That particular coupe that was available packed with a 375-horsepower V12, but the never-was M8 was blessed with a lofty 550 hp from its 12-cylinder engine. After the M8 project was canceled, the engine was retasked for use in another supercar: the McLaren F1.

Another variant of that high-revving V12 – originally bound for Le Mans duty – was also placed in a first-gen X5 prototype with a six-speed manual, 700 horsepower and a 186-mile-per-hour top end. Another rear-drive X5 prototype developed by the M division was in attendance and, naturally, never reached production, along with an M-ified 318ti (hot), E46 M3 wagon (hotter), E39 M5 wagon (hottest) and one horribly overwrought red roadster (above) with a clear connection to the Z1 and Z3 convertible. And as for the E92-based M3 pickup; it was built as a replacement for beheaded and bedded E30 the M crew developed way-back-when to haul parts.

Finally, last year, BMW toyed with shoehorning the V12 engine into the outgoing M5 to replace its V10 and celebrate the model’s 25th anniversary (it was first introduced in 1985), but found the engine bay just a little too tight for the Le Mans-based engine. Sigh.

You can check out all the stillborn Ms in our galleries below.

Gallery: BMW M Projects

Gallery: BMW M Projects

Photos copyright (C)2011 Damon Lavrinc / AOL and BMW

BMW M projects that didn’t make it originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 04 Apr 2011 19:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Foresight 2020: F1 Racing projects the future grand prix racer

Filed under: Concept Cars, Motorsports, Racing

F1 Racing's 2020 projection

F1 Racing’s 2020 projection – Click above for high-res images

Think of what a future F1 race car might look like and you’re likely to conjure up images similar to the Red Bull X1 prototype. But the fact is, in all likelihood, an F1 car nine years from now will look pretty much like the ones we see today. After all, how radically different are contemporary F1 racers from the ones we saw a decade ago?

You can expect some significant changes to come into effect, though, over the coming decade, as the sport grapples with finding the sweet-spot in terms of spectacle, environmental friendliness and the like. Speaking with Renault F1 designer Pat Symonds, F1 Racing magazine came up with their projection. It takes into account such anticipated features as low-profile tires on larger wheels, ground-effect aerodynamics returning to replace the downforce reduced by the standardized rear wing and a beefier Kintetic Energy Recovery System good for a 250 horsepower boost.

Of course all these projections could prove way off by the time 2020 rolls around, but they could prove spot on. We’ll just have to keep watching to find out. In the meantime you can see the only two images which the publication has released, or head to the newsstand to see more.

Gallery: F1 Racing’s 2020 projection

[Source: F1 Racing]

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Foresight 2020: F1 Racing projects the future grand prix racer originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 26 Jan 2011 18:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: CAR projects Michigan will net up to 23,000 new auto jobs in 2011

Filed under: Chrysler, Ford, GM

Ford Explorer assembly line

The fourth quarter of 2010 showed strengthening auto sales, and analysts believe 2011 will reveal further sales growth. That will likely lead to more profit for automakers, and The Detroit News reports that Michigan jobs could follow. The report cites findings by the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) that show up to 23,000 new Michigan jobs in 2011 alone.

That’s a huge number of high wage jobs in a region still burdened with unemployment levels over 10 percent, and a big reason the Mitten State is projected to be a jobs winner is a shift in the competitive landscape. Ford and General Motors are making money in a down auto market and Chrysler was breaking even even before refreshing most of its vehicle lineup. CAR points out that the Detroit Three are also competitive on labor and legacy costs, quality and manufacturing efficiency, which frees up more money for product development.

CAR has reportedly been able to track at least $5.6 billion in announced projects in Michigan over the past 24 months, and the industry continues to recover from the Great Recession; a number that stands a good chance of increasing.

[Source: Detroit News | Image: M. Spencer Green/AFP/Getty]

Report: CAR projects Michigan will net up to 23,000 new auto jobs in 2011 originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 17 Jan 2011 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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NADA projects 11.3% rise in auto sales in 2011

Filed under: Car Buying, Etc.

Shopping for a Hyundai Genesis Coupe

The US Auto Industry may be looking at a 2011 filled with sales gains, if NADA’s forecasters are correct. The National Automobile Dealer’s Association predicts that US auto sales will rise 11.3 percent. That puts total volume just shy of 13 million units.

The reason for the increase? The average age of cars and trucks on the road is approximately 10.3 years. Therefore, the increased sales will be driven by consumer needs rather than desires. Basically, people will have to upgrade their heaps for something shiny and new (and running).

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req. | Image: Kevork Djansezian/Getty]

NADA projects 11.3% rise in auto sales in 2011 originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 09 Jan 2011 12:05:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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