Beecham's Tech-Talk

Beecham's Tech-Talk

By: Matthew Beecham

Matthew Beecham interviews automotive component industry specialists to learn more about changing technologies and new innovations.

Interior design and technology – Volvo V90

19 Mar 2018 | Matthew Beecham

Launched at the 2016 Geneva motor show, the Volvo V90 is the latest in a long line of family estates from Sweden. Continuing QUBE/just-auto's review of interior design and technology trends, we take a closer look inside this Scandinavian workhorse.

Pitch perfect - Harman hits the right note on EVs

12 Mar 2018 | Matthew Beecham

Electric vehicles are quiet. Too quiet, say legislators, thereby posing a risk to pedestrians and cyclists. So new legislation is swinging into force next year mandating all hybrid and EVs to generate a certain level of noise when travelling electric at low speeds. We discuss the implications of these new sound regulations and the opportunities they present to OEMs with Harman’s Rajus Augustine, Global Director of Business Development for HALOsonic - Harman’s suite of active noise management technologies.

Car sharing update – who, what and where

27 Feb 2018 | Matthew Beecham

Car sharing schemes allow us to rent cars for a short period on an as-needed basis. Although car sharing has been around since 1950s, it only really came of age in the 1990s with a number of small-scale schemes dotted across Europe and North America. Since then its use has become widespread in the shared economy. Here’s a quick round-up of who is doing what and where.

Take a seat, your car is almost ready to drive you

26 Feb 2018 | Matthew Beecham

Developments in vehicle seating have been taking place much faster than may be apparent on the surface. OEMs are demanding greater differentiation in their seat designs while motorists look for greater functionality and luxury. Continuing just-auto/QUBE’s series of research snapshots, this one focuses on automotive seating developments.

Interior design and technology – Suzuki Vitara

16 Feb 2018 | Matthew Beecham

Since 1988, Suzuki has launched four generations of its Vitara. Fast-forward three decades and the carmaker’s latest incarnation competes head on with the Nissan Juke, Honda HR-V and Kia Soul in the hugely popular crossover SUV segment. Continuing QUBE/just-auto's review of interior design and technology trends, we take a closer look inside this compact SUV.

ZF ramps up R&D spend on autonomous driving technologies

14 Feb 2018 | Matthew Beecham

ZF recently presented its next steps on the road to autonomous driving. Its supercomputer, ProAI, acts as a central control unit within a test vehicle and with this ZF is taking a modular approach to the development of automated driving functions. The goal is a system architecture that can be applied to any vehicle and tailored according to the application, available hardware and desired level of automation. To find out more, we spoke to Torsten Gollewski, Head of Advanced Engineering at ZF and Managing Director of the ZF venture capital company, Zukunft Ventures GmbH.

Voice recognition becomes common parlance

13 Feb 2018 | Matthew Beecham

Carmakers are fast adopting virtual assistants, confirming that speech is becoming the preferred interface for tomorrow’s cockpit. Voice control was king at the most recent CES. Continuing just-auto/QUBE’s series of interviews with automotive specialists, we spoke to Leor Grebler, CEO of Unified Computer Intelligence Corporation. UCIC is a Toronto-based company that helps integrate Alexa into hardware products. They created an Echo-like device on Kickstarter back in 2012 and have been working in voice since then.

Interior design and technology – Kia Stinger

5 Feb 2018 | Matthew Beecham

Inspired by the gran turismos of the 1970s, Kia’s first GT and rear-wheel drive car arrived in showrooms across Britain last month. The Stinger is also the fastest car the Korean automaker has ever put together. Continuing QUBE/just-auto's review of interior design and technology trends, we slip inside a GT S trimmed model to take a closer look.

Larger digital displays in tomorrow’s connected cockpit

5 Feb 2018 | Matthew Beecham

For some time, we have seen cockpit designers working on ways in which to display more information yet make the dash appear less complex. The general approach is to ensure that only the most essential information is displayed while remaining features are available in the background or brought up at will. But the increasing fitment of artificial intelligence (AI), connectivity and voice control suggest that this part of the interior is still in its infancy in terms of development. Continuing just-auto/QUBE's series of research snapshots, this one focuses on the emergence of the digital cockpit.

CES - How Samsung is shaping the future of autonomous driving

29 Jan 2018 | Matthew Beecham

Samsung Electronics recently established the Samsung Automotive Innovation Fund, a $300-million fund focused on connected car and autonomous technologies. In addition to the fund, Harman, a Samsung subsidiary, has established an autonomous/ADAS business unit which works with the Samsung Strategy and Innovation Centre Smart Machines team to develop technologies for safer, smarter, connected vehicles. To learn more, we met with Dave Anderson, director of technology, Smart Machines, Strategy & Innovation Centre, Samsung Electronics.

Suppliers use CES to showcase Level 3-4 autonomous driving technologies

29 Jan 2018 | Matthew Beecham

Self-driving cars have been talked about for decades. The earliest representation of such a car appeared way back at the 1939 World’s Fair where GM depicted electric cars powered by circuits embedded in the roadway and controlled by radio. Fast-forward to the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and autonomous driving looks set to become a reality. Continuing just-auto/QUBE’s series of research snapshots, this one focuses on some of those suppliers exhibiting AV technologies at the CES.

Interior design and technology – Nissan Qashqai

26 Jan 2018 | Matthew Beecham

Launched a decade ago, the Nissan Qashqai started a trend for the compact crossover SUV. Since then, more than 20 rivals now populate this segment with each still trying to carve out its own niche. Continuing QUBE/just-auto's review of interior design and technology trends, we take a closer look inside the second generation Qashqai to see what makes this a popular choice.

CES - Harman VP on cool car audio trends

23 Jan 2018 | Matthew Beecham

Since Harman was acquired by Samsung for US$8bn last year, it has evolved into an even bigger audio powerhouse. During the most recent CES, Harman took over the Hard Rock Hotel in Vegas and filled its conference rooms with the very latest in-car audio equipment. We sat down with Bill Wyman, Harman’s VP of global marketing for Car Audio, to learn more about its showcase and some current trends in the car audio marketplace.

CES - Zenuity on making autonomous driving a reality

18 Jan 2018 | Matthew Beecham

Zenuity was formed a year ago as a joint venture of Volvo and Autoliv. Its mission is to help transform the auto industry into the autonomous age by creating and delivering leading advanced driver assistance, automated driving, and cloud-based automotive software. The company is working on developing universal autonomous driving technology that emphasises safety and security. Continuing just-auto/QUBE’s series of interviews at CES, we met with Dennis Nobelius, Zenuity's president to learn more about the company’s progress to date.

CES - Harman EVP on the next level of car connectivity

17 Jan 2018 | Matthew Beecham

Just under a year ago, Harman International became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics. Focused on connected technologies for automotive, consumer and enterprise markets, the pair have already leveraged their combined teams and resources to drive future mobility forward. They used the most recent CES to reveal a variety of novel connected car solutions that support their joint mission to become the leader in connectivity and autonomous driving: connecting the lives of people, whether at home, on the go, or together in the car. Continuing just-auto/QUBE’s series of interviews at CES, we sat down with Mike Peters, executive vice president and president, Connected Car, Harman to learn more about the company’s showcase.

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