Friday, October 28, 2016

OnStar And IBM's Watson Making An Elemental New Pairing

Photo Credit: General Motors


1980s television show Knight Rider gave audiences a likable impression of a vehicle controlled by a computer-based artificial intelligence that had seemed futuristic until recent years. In a new partnership between General Motors and IBM, we really have to wonder if our connected automobiles may evolve into our own personal K.I.T.T. by the end of 2017.

Set to be available on two million General Motors automobiles with OnStar 4G LTE connectivity, enhanced driver management and productivity functions inside a vehicle's cabin will be made possible through the Watson cognitive mobility platform. Becoming OnStar Go, the new connected in-car technology will provide users with a greater level of efficiency as the system adjusts to personal preferences. Working alongside other corpororate partners Mastercard, ExxonMobil, iHeartRadio Parkopedia and Glympse, the Watson-aided OnStar Go can provide services to operators at a near instant. Traffic information including traffic jam avoidance, arrangements for parking or recommendations for dining are some features provided through the service that are familiar to infotainment systems. Mobile payments paying for fuel or even a cup of coffee have also been unleashed with the promise of OnStar Go. Through IBM's Watson, personalization will lead to solutions where the driver and/or occupants of the vehicle will enjoy curated radio station options as well as even recommending the best, proper fuel.

The late 2017 introduction of OnStar Go appears heavily weighted in the United States. No mention of a timetable for the appearance of this type of technology in Canada. Despite the scope OnStar Go will be operating, the system's full capacity in automobiles deeply channels a discussion where we accept a range between contributing data for expanding connected technology and personal privacy.
 
Both OnStar and Watson have already provided some possible concerns in creating a balance using technology. Described as possessing cognitive computing abilities or generically acknowledged as artificial intelligence, Watson has the capacity to learn, generate conclusions and development more effective communications with humans using vast data collection. Watson is first of the first commercially utilized form of cognitive information technology and has several companies and industries looking into its adoption. To date, IBM's Watson is best known for participation on the popular TV quiz show Jeopardy where the advanced computing program proved a tough rival facing human contestants. OnStar technology has already shown the capacity of providing a real-time vehicle data link. Among feats of OnStar is the ability to facilitate communications between a car. Consumers would best define the General Motors' backed solution connection through either the hand-free contact with OnStar personnel and most recently through 4G LTE data. Through OnStar, vehicle's vital systems can also be monitored while the ability to remotely shut down a stolen enabled automobile has also dramatically demonstrated the technology.

Operators or customers will be offered the option to consent OnStar Go's IBM Watson technology to collect data on individual driving habits and preferences. American drivers who will choose to participate with the OnStar Go should set a major tone for allowing the use of cognitive technology in everyday life.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Genovation Welcomes Pre-Orders For 205.6-MPH Electric Corvette

Photo Credit: Business Wire

Does $750,000 US electric car sound costly or is it worth it for the world's fastest street legal all-electric car?

Genovation Cars, a small American company based in the state of Maryland, had spent years creating an electric vehicle for the high-performance market. Converting one of the oldest running nameplates into a green supercar, the seventh generation Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport coupe was transformed into the Genovation GXE, The GXE emerged as record-setter this past July becoming the quickest public road-worthy electric car 205.6-mile per hour (330.881 kilometers per hour) run at Kennedy Space Center in Florida certified by the International Mile Racing Association, On the same week as reports that Audi pulled the plug on its R8 e-tron supercar after a very short construction run, Genovation has started accepting orders for its intended limited production vehicle.

At a cost of $750,000 in the currency of Canada's southern neighbour (translating to approximately $990,239 Canadian dollars), the price of the Genovation GXE equates to roughly 10 times the price of a well-equipped Chevrolet Corvette. The additional price incorporates the  More powerful than a current Corvette ZO6, the GXE's twin electric motor setup delivers a maximum output rated at 660 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque. Technical details of the battery pack was not released but is said to provide the car with enough charge to propel the vehicle for 130 miles. This complete power assembly for the Genovation GXE is positioned for 50/50 weight distribution as well as for a low center of gravity to maximum driving performance and handling.

A rarity on an electric car (also being found less on current performance cars) is the seven-speed conventional manual transmission found in gasoline-powered Corvette. Available through a typical console shifter or with the steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, Genovation Cars explains the gearbox remained to promote a desired level of acceleration for the GXE. The seven-speed transmission also creates a hands-on sports car driving sensation not easily found in present electric vehicles.  

Genovation will produce just 75 examples of the 205.6-mile per hour GXE with each vehicle built to the specific tastes of its owner. Keys for the first Genovation GXE are expected to be passed to buyers by late 2019.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Henrik Fisker Attaches His Name To New All-Electric Plans

Photo Credit: Fisker Inc.

The electrified luxury car marketplace has become the new promised land for 21st century motoring. Long-established companies such BMW, Mercedes-Benz and General Motors have offered vehicles that can operate primarily on electrical power for at least a short distance. However, relatively newer production car builders such as McLaren and Tesla Motors found opportunities to claim a piece of the high-end vehicle segment. Halfway in 2017, a new but familiar Fisker Inc. will rejoin the electrified luxury vehicle market in a completely fresh manner.

Nine years ago, automotive designer Henrik Fisker founded a company that applied the expertise behind the style of the BMW Z8 and Aston Martin DB9 into a radical sedan. Fisker Automotive set out to create a luxury car based on the plug-in hybrid powertrain, First revealing the elegant Fisker Karma in 2008, the vehicle transcended the confides of traditional electric car styling seen at the time. The Karma's four-door coupe posture was enough to make detractors of electrified motoring enchanted by a substantial beauty for a plug-in electric/gasoline hybrid. Presented as a stunning concept, the Fisker Karma transition into production was marred with delays, recalls and a heavy loss caused by a massive natural disaster. With financial ruin occurring with the previous Fisker Automotive company, the namesake founder left as the automaker acquired by a Chinese buyer and has been relaunched as Karma Automotive. The Karma Revero is essentially an updated rebrand of Fisker's plug-in hybrid sedan.

After a few ventures following his departure from the brand that built the Karma, Henrik Fisker formally announced his new business venture appears to go squarely against Tesla Motors.The new company Fisker Inc. is devoted to creating a new all-electric vehicle that will feature a battery providing superior driving range. The proposed new car planned to be unveiled next year will employ a Fisker Nanotech battery said to be game-changing technology boasting impressive performance through high energy capacity and the usage of lightweight construction methods.  “Both the technology and the market are more mature now than when we first started out as pioneers in the electric vehicle industry, and our new vehicle will be the most innovative and cutting-edge electric car ever created.” said Chairman and CEO Henrik Fisker. 

The future Fisker Inc. product is set to compete in a yet-to-be determined niche in the premium car market. With many details still outstanding, it's unclear at this point if the vehicle will be focused as a competitor to the Tesla Model S or the Model 3. However, giving some indications to the vision, Henrik Fisker commented  "If the electric car is to succeed as a mass market vehicle, we need a radical new battery technology and battery pack integration – and our vehicles will have just that. With our game-changing battery technology, now is the time to develop more affordable, mass market vehicles”. 

The first all-electric car from Fisker Inc. is slated to be debut to the public in the second half of 2017.