SlashGear Interviews

Mercedes’ autonomous path sees cars, cabs, and trucks converging

Mercedes’ autonomous path sees cars, cabs, and trucks converging

Mercedes expects its Level 4/5 autonomous cars to be on the road as soon as 2020, but for now the automaker's vehicles are being purposefully held back from becoming too self-sufficient. That's the state of play according to according to Ola Källenius, at least, Member of the Board of Management responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. Speaking at the launch of the company's most advanced model in Zurich, Switzerland, he described the two strategies that are running in parallel to allow drivers to kick back even though they're at the wheel.

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Why Cadillac Super Cruise out-Autopilots Tesla’s autonomous tech

Why Cadillac Super Cruise out-Autopilots Tesla’s autonomous tech

Cadillac's Super Cruise may be a practically invisible change on the 2018 CT6, but the semi-autonomous driving system is actually one of the biggest announcements at the New York International Auto Show. It's intended to take control of the luxury sedan on the roads where drivers get most bored, highways and freeways, and though it may only be Level 2 autonomy, it wraps up a number of hands-off technologies that could give drivers the confidence that rival systems lack. I caught up with Barry Walkup, Super Cruise Chief engineer at Cadillac, to find out why.

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For Zero Motorcycles, a Tesla-sized opportunity to redefine EVs

For Zero Motorcycles, a Tesla-sized opportunity to redefine EVs

Zero Motorcycles may not be the first electric vehicle company that comes to mind when you think of California transportation start-ups, but there's more to the firm than just Tesla on two wheels. Founded back in 2006 in Santa Cruz, CA, the trajectory from passion project to internationally respected bike company has been a rapid one. With a new CEO at the handlebars, and more attention than ever on EVs and the future of transportation, I stopped by to take a tour of the production line and find out more.

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Recoil 4: Why BJ Baldwin took this 850HP Trophy Truck to Cuba

Recoil 4: Why BJ Baldwin took this 850HP Trophy Truck to Cuba

Cuba probably isn't the first place you'd expect to find a million-dollar monster truck, but that only served as encouragement for professional racer BJ Baldwin. For "Recoil 4", the latest in the off-road driver's stunt videos, he took his 6,000 pound truck on a high-speed run around the country, thundering through tight city streets and achieving a record-setting 191 foot residential jump, among other stunts. With "Recoil 4" now released online, I caught up with Baldwin to find out why Cuba, what went wrong, and whether he broke anything other than records along the way.

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Inside Cadillac’s early bet on Vehicle-to-Vehicle tech

Inside Cadillac’s early bet on Vehicle-to-Vehicle tech

Until now, the only way one car could communicate with another was if the driver leaned on the horn or made imaginative hand-signals to their fellow motorists. With the arrival of the 2017 Cadillac CTS, though, all of a sudden the vehicle itself gets chatty. Making V2V, or Vehicle-to-Vehicle, communication a standard feature, it promises not only an increase in on-road safety but to pave the way to new semi-autonomous and self-driving features. The big question is, with Vehicle-to... well, anything still in its infancy, why is Cadillac making the jump now?

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Toyota’s Concept-i designers talk AI co-pilots and self-driving style

Toyota’s Concept-i designers talk AI co-pilots and self-driving style

Toyota's Concept-i autonomous car winks at you, remembers the minutiae of your interests, and suggests detours to hang out with your friends: all in the name of getting you to trust its self-driving talents. Revealed at CES 2017 in Las Vegas, CA. this week, on the one hand it's a striking design study intended to explore the new possibilities unlocked when you're liberated from the tyranny of everyday driving. At the same time, though, it addresses a more fundamental issue, around trust in technology and the fear of the expert. I caught up with Ian Cartabiano, lead designer at the Toyota CALTY studio, and William Chergosky, interior lead designer, to find out why Concept-i is so important.

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Ford’s high-risk electrification plan is all-or-nothing

Ford’s high-risk electrification plan is all-or-nothing

Ford's seven-strong electrified vehicle announcement at CES 2017 this morning is the Detroit automaker's biggest commitment to EVs to-date, and there are no half-measures. On the cards - and, indeed, on the roads within the next few years - will be hybrid versions of some of the blue oval's biggest nameplates. It's a strategy that's markedly different from that taken by many of Ford's rivals, which have focused on a few halo hybrid and EV products amid the rest of their mainstream range. I caught up with Hau Thai-Tang, Ford group vice president of Purchasing and the automaker's "executive electrified vehicle champion" to find out more.

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Meet Kuri, the Bosch-backed ‘bot aiming to crack home robotics

Meet Kuri, the Bosch-backed ‘bot aiming to crack home robotics

Gently I stroke the top of the robot's head and, with a delighted bloop, he comes alive, eyes smiling as he looks up at me. I may be a cynical British tech journalist but I still catch myself grinning in response, and anyway, I can't blame myself too much for anthropomorphizing the latest attempt at a robotic family companion to grace CES. Kuri's creators, Mayfield Robotics, have put personality front and center in their efforts to crack a surprisingly stubborn segment.

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How Sense with Voice will save your sleep with big data

How Sense with Voice will save your sleep with big data

If logging your runs is the current peak of the quantified self, then sleep is the next big frontier, and Hello is pitching its new sleep tracker as the centerpiece of that. Sense with Voice builds on the original no-wearable design with new voice controls, smart home integration, and a growing amount of behind-the-scenes data courtesy of the company's new Chief Scientist, Professor Matthew Walker, who I caught up with ahead of today's launch. Turns out, there's more to bad sleep than just nightmares.

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How Gorilla Glass 5 made surviving everyday phone drops the priority

How Gorilla Glass 5 made surviving everyday phone drops the priority

It's a fact of life that, as smartphones have got bigger, slimmer, and more slippery, you're increasingly likely to drop them while playing Pokemon GO and smash the display. Corning can't stop you from getting over-excited at the sight of a wild Pikachu, but it does have a new version of its toughened glass, Gorilla Glass 5, which promises even greater resilience to being dropped on the next generation of smartphones and other devices.

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What Qualcomm has to say about Quick Charge on USB Type-C

What Qualcomm has to say about Quick Charge on USB Type-C

Google's Benson Leung called out the LG G5 and the HTC 10 this past due to their USB-C cords, both of which break official USB-C spec rules. Why? Qualcomm's Quick Charge technology. The cords do not fit the standard specifications for USB Type-C (or USB-C, however you want to say it) as set by the USB Implementers Forum. Today we've got a detailed set of answers from Qualcomm on why they're not worried about fitting this spec as defended by Leung - and why you shouldn't either.

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Meta on why AR vs VR will be a non-issue

Meta on why AR vs VR will be a non-issue

The near future will decide whether the newest generation of developers decide to create apps and games for VR or AR. What's the next big platform? What will most early adopters grab hold of first? According to the Augmented Reality headset group Meta, it's not a matter of which platform will take off first, but which platform will be easiest for the everyday user to use.

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