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During the early 1990s, Dean Pomerleau, a researcher at Carnegie Mellon University posited in his PhD thesis how neural networks could facilitate autonomous cars to absorb raw, road images and then output the corresponding controls in real time. “Neural nets”were Pomerleau’s forte which proved a more efficient manner to separate road from non-road images. In 1995 the famed “No Hands Across America” project successfully took shape when Pomerleau and fellow researcher, Todd Jochem, piloted a vehicle from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to San Diego, California for a total of 2,797 miles where all they did was control the speed and braking.

Just a short time later, the Grand Challenge took place, a world-wide spectacle that offered research institutions $1 million if they could construct a self-driving car to navigate an impressive 142 miles through the Mohave Desert. The challenge hit the road in 2004 and of the 15 finalists none were able to make [...]

In 2019 the concept of autonomous, self-driving cars is as new as new can get. The terminology has been in our collective sphere for some time now but the technology behind it is still quite novel. Especially considering that no manufacturer has a fully-functioning, regulated self-driving vehicle on the road yet. It would be akin to knowing about microwaves, hearing about the testing process, seeing them work on isolated YouTube videos, but not being able to physically buy and use one. The sheer temptation of wanting to heatup a plate of chicken casserole would be overwhelming!

Autonomous driving will eventually arrive. We’re not sure when however as we already thought it would have been here by now. But advancements are being made and if we can’t take advantage of it, odds are our kids will. But this two-part post is not about the future, but rather the past. Unbeknownst to many, autonomous, self-driving [...]

We all know virtual reality (VR) by now. However, if you haven’t toyed and tinkered with it yet then it’s simply a term in our popular lexicon. Once you dive in, a world of interactive, computer-generated experiences awaits, all within a simulated environment, incorporating visual and auditory feedback which makes it remarkably like reality – virtually similar.

VR technology commonly employs headsets to insert the user into this alternative reality, and the rest is up to the computer programming. Several industries have been experimenting with VR to not only augment creativity but also increase efficiency. While the auto industry is no exception, it wasn’t until Ford weighed in with their VR experiment that the whole sector really began to stir.

Michael Smith, a design manager at Ford, is a bit of a guru internally at the U.S. manufacturer. Via a virtual reality program known as Gravity Sketch, in just 40 hours [...]

There are plenty of things that have been invented to make our lives easier. Most of them we love and cherish and cannot imagine life without them. But others, while wonderful, are not 100% necessary and in some instances the thing they “replaced” might be the superior option.

Manual vs. automatic shifting is one of those things. Once automatic came around some breathed a sigh of relief. Never having to shift again, oh how lovely! But you know what, shifting is communicating, interacting with your car, and there are cars that were meant to be spoken to. Thankfully, many manufacturers agree and here are some super cars that still come available with a manual gearbox.

Porsche 911 Carrera GTS

At 450 horsepower we can’t imagine this car without a seven-speed manual gearbox. Some argue that 911s have gone soft, but this GTS brings a twin-turbo flat-six with rear and [...]

Ho-hum, another year for the Passport. Perhaps, but Honda is bullish for 2019 with this new and improved model – a model that no longer sits on revamped versions of Isuzu SUVs, but rather a base that is 100% Honda which Honda of course prefers. The Passport is part of a three-headed SUV line-up which starts with the smaller CR-V and ends with the three-row Pilot. The Passport is wedged in the middle, seating 5 comfortably and slated to compete against the Nissan Murano, Chevy Blazer and Ford Edge.

So, what are the big changes for 2019? For one, length. This year’s Passport is 6 inches shorter which allows it to hang on to a sportier flair. There are several black trim elements throughout and a firmer suspension gives the Passport more responsive handling than the Pilot for example. The available trims on the 2019 Passport will be Sport, EX-L, Touring and [...]

Welcome to the University of Toronto. Established way back in 1827 and one of the world’s leading universities, the University of Toronto is now cordially inviting budding engineers to take part in a one-of-a-kind academic experience that up to now is not being offered anywhere else.

Quite an introduction, right? We’ve peaked your interest, so the drumroll please … the “Self-Driving Cars Specialization.”According to the university website, “this specialization gives you a comprehensive understanding of state-of-the-art engineering practices used in the self-driving car industry. You’ll get to interact with real data sets from an autonomous vehicle (AV)―all through hands-on projects using the open source simulator CARLA.”

While this might sound like just another set of engineering courses,the fact that a university is teaching students how to construct a self-driving car in a climate when there are just a handful of private firms engaged in this and the whole industry is shrouded [...]

For many of our readers December to April can be frigid. In fact, we’re experiencing one of the worst cold spells in U.S. history in some parts of the country, and if you find yourself in said part(s), pull up the heater and grab another hot coco because this post is relevant as relevant could be right about now.
Just like in sunny times, during winter months there are several things you should never leave in your car unattended.

Not that your car would be the first place you’d think about leaving your cellphone, but we all make runs to the mall, park outdoors, know we’ll just be running in to buy a handful of things and fishing the phone out of the glovebox isn’t priority number one.
If you’ve parked outside in an unprotected lot, and the temperature inside the car dips below 0 degrees however, that iPhone or Samsung [...]

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) embarked on a longitudinal study (2014 to 2018) on the driving habits of 12,000 drivers in Northern Virginia. Over this four–year period, smartphone use while driving increased 57%. Separate research indicates that risk of death for drivers being distracted by their phones has risen and IIHS estimates that smartphone use could now be responsible for up to 800 fatalities per year.

A senior research scientist at IIHS, David Kidd, went on recordpositing, “the latest data suggest that drivers are using their phones in riskier ways.” Distraction alone accounted for 3,166 fatalities in 2017 (per NHTSA), and researchers like Kidd now believe smartphone use is steadily creeping to occupy a significant amount of those 3,166. Getting back to our initial point, driving can beboring or downright annoying if you’re in a big city with city traffic.Compared in many ways with all the other things we could [...]

We’re all guilty of it, and if you’re not, congratulations. Your adherence to not only the law but natural behavior at this point is laudable. The temptation is ridiculous, it’s always sitting there and ready to interact at the tap of a finger.

Pretty vague, right? Well it shouldn’t be, as that “thing” we’re talking about is a smartphone, and specifically using said phone in the car while driving. I’m more fearful these days of losing my smartphone over losing my wallet. This apparatus is everything, and while we’re super connected, when in the car we still need to drive which means that’s less time for the smartphone. Gasp!

Regulatory bodies knew this was going to be an issue, but accurately correlating a car-related accident to smartphone use and the driver being subsequently distracted as a result is tough. There are so many variables involved – for example, a drunk driver [...]

The Detroit Auto Show brought some sneak peaks at the coming year, and while there were several notable bombs dropped, the Kia Telluride might be the car that keeps most buzzing until its final release come spring. An absolute tank, the new Telluride is Kia’s response to increased demand for SUVs with room for 6 plus passengers. In the case of the Telluride, that number is 8.

A three-row vehicle, the Telluride immediately captures the eye with its rugged looks. A bit of a departure in terms of styling for Kia, this SUV is boxy and bold with a large hood that appears to rise in a 90–degree manner as opposed to a typical car hood that angles down.The headlights are vertically stacked and the whole ride looks to be more off-road than soccer mom.

On the inside the cabin does not stray far from the oversized, exterior theme. An expansive [...]

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