Cars won't just be driving themselves one day — they will be communicating things like traffic conditions and the weather with everything else around them. Connected cars will be masses of sensors and outpouring radio signals, but if carmakers aren't careful, this data sharing will open itself up to hacks and cyber threats detrimental to your personal safety.
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General Motors announced today that the new Cadillac CT6 will include a "Super Cruise" feature — described by the company as "the industry's first true hands-free driving technology for the highway". The technology is similar to Tesla's Autopilot feature that lets people take their hands off the wheel when they're driving in highway settings. But this type of driver-assistance capability is still new, and it falls in a legal grey area if it's involved in a crash.
Darby Barber is a creative designer at General Motors, currently part of the Chevy trucks team. She joined GM at the beginning of 2016 after graduating from the College of Creative Studies. At 23, she is most likely one of the youngest female automotive designers currently in the industry. And quite possibly the most badass.
Uber is partnering with the car-sharing service Maven (which is owned and operated by General Motors) to let Uber drivers rent GM vehicles on a weekly basis. The business will cost drivers $US179 ($234) plus taxes and fees, and driver will not incur any extra fees for using the car for personal use.
How does your car go around corners without screeching tyres? That's the magic of the differential, a seemingly complex meshing of various gears and splines that delivers separate power to each driven wheel. This pre-World War II video produced by General Motors is actually an incredibly straightforward and informative look at what goes on underneath your car to make it move.
Over the weekend, General Motors went on a bit of a spending spree: as part of the growing suite of self-driving car companies that it has purchased, GM can now call San Francisco-based Cruise Automation its own. The two-year-old startup cost GM — one of the world's oldest, largest, and most storied automotive brands — a cool US$1 billion.
The overriding sense you get from this year's Consumer Electronics Show, wandering the north hall where all the US' major car manufacturers show off their latest cars and what they see as the next five or ten years in personal transportation, is that big, fuel-guzzling vehicles are on their way out. Concept cars are always sleek, but these are sleek and friendly and don't kill the planet at the same time.
Detroit is more than a little worried about the tech-centric future of automobiles, namely the ones that drive themselves. So it's no surprise that GM is investing $US500 million in Lyft to build a network of autonomous cars. Why not just buy the whole company?!
The first time I saw CarPlay in action, I couldn't believe it. You could plug your iPhone into the infotainment system and then get iOS on your dashboard?! It seemed like Apple finally found a way to turn an automobile into a rolling computer like Knight Rider.
It's a terrifying moment the first time a parent hands over the keys to the family car to their teenager. And GM wants to make it slightly less worrisome for those parents with a new feature on the 2016 Malibu called Teen Driver that encourages younger drivers to be safer behind the wheel because it reports back to mum or dad how far they travelled, and how often they broke the speed limit.
GM is already taking technology in cars seriously, but it has plans to take it to the next level, and soon. Yesterday, the company announced that in less than two years its cars will communicate with each other — and hopefully even drive themselves.