Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Self-Driving Trucks Too?

With self-driving cars in the horizon today, one can't not think of what next to expect. What would we have to make use of our hands for besides occasionally clicking on stuff, seeing that voice commands are also a major part of operating systems and gadgets nowadays.
With autonomous cars and voice command systems that let you summon your car, the use of one's hands in the operation of these gadgets would pretty much be old school. Kind of. Lol!
I guess that's how and what we get to live with in a tech age. Awesome!

Speaking of self-driving, have you heard about driverless trucks? Not until now. Just recently, and by recently I mean last month, a group of self-driving trucks drove across Europe arriving at the Port of Rotterdam.

Wow! You're looking to take our cabbies from behind the wheels and now our truckers too? Way to go!
I'm not a truck driver or anything like that, but I'm concerned for those who would probably be out of job because of this. No offense. Then yet again, I think this technology is awesome for a lot of reasons.
OK tell us what we want to hear already and stop being such a technophobic technophile all at the same time.

Anyways, think of what this would mean for us here in Nigeria If trucks had to drive themselves. OK maybe I'm taking us way into the future but it's necessary cos someone dreamt of it first and others helped out or went on to work at it. It all begins somewhere.
We would start thinking about autonomous cars someday in the future. Or would we? 😗 *whistling*

The trucks can drive nearly 24 hours per day which is very good as that can double the output of the transportation chain by doing the job for less and with less human labour. How economically cool is that?

Looking at our country today, how many young people would be interested in taking a truck driving job? Uhm! Sincerely not me. So who? Hence the usefulness of this technology. Now there's nothing wrong in truck driving and I think it's a noble job. But thank God for technology.

Also look at the safety factor. We know how some truck drivers behave on the road here in Nigeria. Reckless and also cause a lot of accidents and deaths on our highways. And most annoying is that they just don't know the right spot to break down.
Surely you've noticed that they tend to break down in the middle of the road or at some turn or bend.

Also annoying is the fact that they move sometimes at such high speeds and don't let other vehicles overtake them. Literal vehicle-to-vehicle intimidation. Again, I say annoying.

I'm guessing they would require lanes dedicated to these driverless trucks as they move at certain speed range and could obstruct other vehicles and possibly pose a threat to other drivers. Most highway accidents in Nigeria are truck-related or generated and as for the most vehicles that run off course into the bush or cause others to do so? You guessed right. *Trucks*

Then again, truck driving in Nigeria is one job that has been saving lives since the 60's and still is, and I say we don't need this particular technology in this country, at least for the now.
Besides we've got more dire needs to meet and other things to do with what technology we have available to us.

Major supplies of all kinds across the country are made via trucks as cargo trains - which would have been quite efficient in doing this - are not really in use for this purpose over here.

This technology would put more families at risk than it would those on the road with the human driven trucks. Well, I guess we will be happy for yet another wonderful technology for the good of humanity, but let's just save it for the near future hopefully, until certain things are put in right places over here. Awesome technology keep at it but we'd hold on to our manually-driven trucks for now. Auf wiedersehen!

Monday, 6 June 2016

What Auto Makers Are Working On

Automobiles in the tech age are just getting started on features, and different auto manufacturers are bringing something new to us every passing year. With improved braking systems, electrification, motion sensor and auto pilot systems.

Autos in the tech age are getting us to that point where we can say driving a car today is an experience somewhat straight out of a futuristic movie from the 90's or there about. And it's techage-alicious!

Just think about it, a car system that detects the possibility of a collision with another car ahead and applies the brakes, in a situation where the driver doesn't do so quick enough. It's amazing!

Well, this and more is what auto manufacturers are doing or should I say, working on.

Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) system as the name implies, is a system that engages the brakes of a car at any slight detection of a possible collision with another car, in case the driver isn't really quick to do so.

Toyota is among the companies doing so and both Toyota and Lexus have said that they are working on getting nearly every Toyota and Lexus model, a standard AEB system by 2017.

Many models of both brands have the AEB system offered to customers but only on extra payment packages.
The company says that by the end of next year, majority of its models will have the AEB installed at no extra cost, except for the Lexus GS, Toyota 4Runner and Toyota 86.

This move by Toyota, is one that is ahead of Honda which is making Honda sensing system that includes AEB technology which comes as an opt-in feature. Cool!

And speaking of Honda, the company has announced that it is going to expand its "Honda Clarity" line to include an all-electric version as well as a plug-in hybrid next year. It says that the latest Honda Clarity version would be available later this year and yes, it's a fuel-cell automobile. Other versions will be ready next year.

The company's goal is that by the year 2030, it would have sold about two-thirds of its electrified autos, including plug-in hybrids and fuel cells. Interesting!

Volvo also announced that it will have two hybrid versions of every vehicle in its fleet. The company said it intends to do this and also release its first fully electric vehicle by the year 2019. The company's President Hakan Samuelsson, in a press release last month said that the company looks to be at the forefront of the shift to electrification as many other manufacturers already have some hybrid model or the other.

Volvo says that the first vehicle to get electrification will be the XC90 T8 Twin Engine SUV, which will be available soon. The company's goal is to have a million electrified vehicles on the road by the year 2025. Good work Volvo. keep it up!

Now unto the Tesla Model X. Hmmm! You know the Tesla brand right? And you should know about the Tesla Model X with falcon-wing doors, a 200-plus-mile battery range and proximity sensors necessary for safety by prevention of contact with other cars and other features.

Well, owners of the $138,000 sport utility auto, have been complaining about some unexpected malfunctions in the car's system. Owners have been saying that the car's falcon-wing doors wouldn't open, and in some cases, wouldn't shut, the huge infotainment screen in the car repeatedly, had frozen and even windows that wouldn't shut.

It's disturbing! Not like it can't be fixed but imagine having to drive your car with one hand holding the door of your car that wouldn't latch, or you having taking a Uber cab while you have a Tesla X parked in your garage. Hell no! Not exactly a pleasant scenario.

But Tesla Motors says it's working on it and will rectify the issues for every one customer.
And yes, we know they'll come through because, hello, it's Tesla we're talking about here. Like "The Tesla"? Uh uhn! It's a Sure Fix!