Microsoft and Bridgestone launch real-time tire damage system

As vehicle diagnostics and real-time safety advisories get smarter, there’s not much your car (assuming it’s a newer model, of course) can’t tell you about what’s going on under the hood. Until now, however, there has been one element of vehicle main...

Owlcam’s new owner more than doubles the price of its annual LTE dashcam fee

Owl launched its LTE-connected dashboard camera back in 2018, giving users a raft of in-car security functions for $99 a year. Now — with very little warning — the company has bumped its yearly subscription fee to $215 a year. And according to Androi...

Amazon’s Echo Auto comes to the UK, Canada and parts of Europe

Amazon launched Echo Auto in the US back in 2018, designed to bring Alexa voice commands to vehicles where they wouldn’t normally be an option. Now, finally, it’s arrived in the UK and Canada, as well as Germany, Italy and Spain (it was previously al...

This AirPods Case Looks Like a Mini Cooper

So you have a pair of fancy and expensive AirPods. You could just carry around them in the standard, nondescript white case that Apple ships them in, or you could dress them up and make them your own. I choose to go with a more personalized look. Being a gearhead, I can think of no better place to store my overpriced earbuds but inside of a tiny car.

elago’s silicone AirPods case is designed to look like a Mini Cooper, and I think they did a damned fine job achieving that goal, capturing the shape of the classic British subcompact. It holds either an AirPods 1 or 2 charging case inside, while still working with wireless or plug-in charging via the cutout in its rear license plate.

Even cooler, the headlights and taillights glow in the dark, with a bluish glow up front, and red in the back. And if some other AirPods case doesn’t see them and rear-ends your AirPods, they’ll be okay since they’ll just bounce off of the rubbery silicone.

The elago Mini Car AirPods case comes in Fire Engine Red, Classic White, or a color I’m particularly keen on, British Racing Green. They’re available now over on Amazon for about 15 bucks each. Beep Beep.

[via The Gadgeteer]

Cyberattack forces Honda to suspend global production for a day

Honda was forced to suspend global production for a day due to a cyberattack that infiltrated the company's internal servers in Tokyo, Financial Times reports. Honda detected the virus on Monday and was forced to send some employees home for the day...

Ford Solar Car “Cocoon” Patent Is Crazy Genius

The idea of using solar panels to give electric cars a little extra boost is nothing new. In fact, the 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid has a solar roof that helps to run its electronics, and can give it a couple of extra miles of driving range each day.

Solar panels aren’t efficient enough at this point to fully charge up an electric car, but the more surface area a solar panel takes up, the more energy it can capture. If you could have a car completely covered with solar panels, it might produce a few more miles a day worth of power, if not more.

Recently, Ford Global Technologies filed a patent application for a unique kind of solar charging panel that basically blankets a car when parked.

The patent application (US 2020/0153383 A1), first reported on by the MachEClub, envisions a roof-mounted carrier that can release a retractable car cover with an embedded solar array. The tarp, made from a shape-memory polymer, would protect the car from the elements, while harnessing energy from the sun.

Since the flexible solar tarp would dramatically increase the surface area compared to a simple roof panel, it could capture much more solar power. The patent application also describes a variant of the invention which could automatically retract when it receives a signal that the driver is ready to retrieve their car from its parking space. It’s kind of a nifty idea, assuming the solar cover could hold up to being opened and closed all the time.

[via MachEClub]

This Formula 1 car-design bridges the gap between race-cars and fighter-jets

What’s the difference between an F1 car and a fighter jet? One of them has weapons.

Essentially, both vehicles are powered by incredibly capable and efficient engines, both focus on pure speed, aerodynamism, and minimal air-drag, resulting in forms that somewhat look similar… barring the presence of wheels on one, and wings on another. Andries van Overbeeke decided to bridge that gap a bit with his F1 car design that sports an almost jet-inspired outer form, with an elongated nose that cuts through the air like hot knife through butter, and a closed cockpit that doesn’t just resemble jet, it also complies with future F1 norms. The car makes use of high-performance metal alloys, with carbon fiber in limited places. Most load-bearing stress-absorbing components are generatively designed, to minimize mass while maximize performance, and by far the most interesting detail is the car’s nose, which comes with a unique hollow drill-shaped air intake that guides air into the car to keep it cool while it drives literally at breakneck speeds!

Designer: Andries van Overbeeke

Automatic to shut down and end support for its car diagnostics dongle

Automatic, the company behind an on-board diagnostics (OBD-II) dongle for cars, announced that it’s shutting down due to COVID-19. The company says customers can toss (or recycle) its adapters, which plugged into vehicles and synced with users’ smart...