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Jaguar Land Rover’s Big-Eyed Self-Driving Pod Seeks Our Trust

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Jaguar Land Rover has developed a self-driving pod with “virtual eyes” to work out how much trust pedestrians have in the technology.

Research studies have suggested that up to 63 percent of pedestrians are concerned about how difficult crossing the road will be when driverless cars arrive, so JLR has created a pod that can mimic the eye contact normally made between pedestrian and driver before crossing.

Built for the British brand’s government-supported U.K. Autodrive project, the pods have worked with more than 500 test subjects to help scientists find out how future connected and autonomous vehicles can replicate human behavior and reactions when driving.

Like them or not, autonomous cars are coming

In tests on a fabricated street in Coventry, the pod’s huge virtual eyes will “look” at a pedestrian waiting to use a crossing, signaling that the pod has identified the pedestrian and intends to stop for them.

The engineers and a team of cognitive psychologists then record the person’s trust levels before and after the “eye contact” to find out whether the addition makes drivers confident the car will stop for them.

Pete Bennett, the future mobility research manager at Jaguar Land Rover, said: “It’s second nature to glance at the driver of the approaching vehicle before stepping into the road. Understanding how this translates in tomorrow’s more automated world is important.”

“We want to know if it is beneficial to provide humans with information about a vehicle’s intentions or whether simply letting a pedestrian know it has been recognized is enough to improve confidence.”

Source: Jaguar Land Rover

Source: https://www.motor1.com/news/263884/jlr-autonomous-pod-trust-humans/?utm_source=RSS&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=RSS-category-

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Motul Goes Retro With Classic Line Of Engine Oil For Older Cars

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Without engine oil your car wouldn’t run for seven minutes, never mind seven decades. Furthermore, ask any car enthusiast about oil and odds are each person will vehemently support one brand over another. Now Motul seeks to win the hearts of classic car owners with a new series of oils that tug on retro heartstrings while also offering better blends for specific eras of motoring.

Motul simply calls its new lubricants the Classic Line, but it’s not just new synthetic oil packaged into cool containers. In a press release, the company says all Classic Line oils include an additive package with high-zinc and molybdenum and start with a base synthetic oil. From there, the individual formulas have various detergent levels and other tweaks that are designed to work better with engines from specific eras going back to pre-1950 vehicles.

It starts with straight-weight, low-detergent Classic Oil SAE 30 and SAE 50 for those old cars, back when engine tolerances weren’t as tight as they are today. Classic Oil 20W-50 is designed for muscle cars, hot rods, and collector cars after 1950 where muscular engines with high-lift cams are common. Classic Oil 15W-50 is a revised version of Motul’s 2100 oil designed for both naturally aspirated and forced induction engines with a focus on 1970s engine technology.

Similarly, Motul’s Modern Classic Eighties 10W-40 and Modern Classic Nineties 10W-30 are also aimed at both naturally aspirated and forced-induction mills. The Nineties oil is further tweaked for better protection in high-revving, DOHC engines.

As for the containers, Motul uses its historical logo for the Classic Oils, while the Modern Classics get their own cool containers with retro appeal. In addition to the actual oil, we suspect there are more than a few car-crazy folks out there keen on simply collecting the neat cans.

The new oil lineup from Motul is available now.

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Source: https://www.motor1.com/news/507193/motul-classic-line-engine-oil/?utm_source=RSS&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=RSS-category-technology

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Ford Power-Up Launches To Give Models Over-The-Air Software Updates

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Ford Power-Up is the brand’s newly announced name for its over-the-air software updates. One major implementation of this tech is the introduction of voice-controlled Amazon Alexa that can even control your smart home devices from the vehicle.

The Ford F-150 and Mustang Mach-E with the Sync 4 infotainment system already support Power-Up. The Bronco is the next to get the tech, and the Escape and Super Duty receive the functionality this fall. Ford will make 33 million vehicles with Power-Up capability by 2028.

Upcoming over-the-air updates for the F-150 and Mach-E will include improvements to the navigation system to add destination suggestions and conversational voice command recognition. Plus, the Apple CarPlay system will be able to show turn-by-turn navigation on the instrument cluster.

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Soon, the Mach-E gets an app called Sketch (example above) for its infotainment system. It lets owners draw pictures with their fingers on the screen. It could be a fun way to spend the time while waiting for the EV to charge.

The improved Amazon Alexa capability lets simply speak commands for controlling both the vehicle and other Alexa-enabled devices. Users get three years of free functionality. Afterward, owners have to purchase a subscription to retain the features. Ford isn’t yet disclosing the cost after the initial period.

Power-Up goes far beyond just improving the infotainment software because the Blue Oval can send upgrades to over 110 vehicle modules. The company says it can tweak any of them as long as the change doesn’t require hardware changes. When there’s an upgrade, the installation is generally seamless. In cases where the installation takes longer, owners can schedule a time, like overnight when they aren’t using the vehicle.

As an example, Ford used connected vehicle data to identify an issue with the F-150’s zone lighting. The engineers are also working on an update to fix a problem with the Android Auto connectivity in the F-150 and Mach-E. 

If you want to know more about Power-Up, listen to Motor1.com’s podcast Rambling About Cars tomorrow where we interview Ford Director of Retail Operations Kate Pearce about the tech.

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Source: https://www.motor1.com/news/507133/ford-power-up-software-updates/?utm_source=RSS&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=RSS-category-technology

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Tesla’s Heavy Trucking executive sells $6M+ in stocks

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Tesla’s President of Heavy Trucking Jerome M. Guillen sold over $6 million worth of TSLA stock earlier this week, according to a SEC Form 4 filing. Based on Guillen’s recent Form 4 submission, transactions occurred under transaction code M and code S.

Code M means to exercise or the conversion of derivative security receives from the company, like an option. Transaction code S means the sale of securities on an exchange or to another person. 

Based on the Form 4 filing, the Tesla executive acquired 10,000 stock for the price of $55.32, exercising his options under transaction code M. Under transaction code S, Tesla’s President of Heavy Trucking also disposed of 10,000 stocks at market value, ranging from $628.46 to $664.77. Guillen recently sold TSLA shares totaling $6,440,627.

Looking at Guillen’s activity throughout 2021 thus far, a trend emerges over the past few months. In April, he also sold 10,000 TSLA shares for an average price of $697.87 for a total amount of $6,978,659. Guillen executed similar transactions between January and March.

Compared to Guillen’s transactions, Tesla’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Zachary Kirkhorn sold less shares this year. In April 2021, Kirkhorn sold 1,250 shares for an average price of $718, totaling $897,500. While in March, the CFO sold 4,068 TSLA shares for an average of $655.81-$595.08 with a total amount of over $2 million. 

Jerome Guillen’s role in Tesla changed from president of Automotive to president of Heavy Trucking, according to a regulatory filing dated March 11, 2021. The shift in his role suggests that Guillen will have fewer overall responsibilities at Tesla in terms of overseeing the company’s entire automotive business. Instead, his new role suggests that Guillen will be concentrating more on the production of the Tesla Semi, the company’s much-anticipated all-electric Class-8 truck. 

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Tesla’s Heavy Trucking executive sells $6M+ in stocks

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Source: https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-jerome-guillen-sells-tsla-stocks/

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SpaceX’s sootiest Falcon 9 booster yet returns to port after record reuse

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Three days after acing record-breaking tenth launch and landing, SpaceX’s sootiest Falcon 9 rocket booster yet has returned to Port Canaveral to begin the processing of preparing for its eleventh flight.

Almost exactly three years ago, speaking in a conference call focused on the debut of SpaceX’s ultimate “Block 5” Falcon booster upgrade, CEO Elon Musk revealed that Block 5 boosters were “designed to do 10 or more flights with no [scheduled] refurbishment” and “at least 100 flights [with moderate scheduled maintenance.]” Relative to the Space Shuttle, the only other operational orbital-class reusable rocket in history, 10 flights with little to no refurbishment would be an extraordinary achievement

Around 36 months later, albeit a year and a half after Musk anticipated SpaceX might reach that milestones, a Falcon 9 booster has successfully completed ten orbital-class launches and lived to tell the tale.

Falcon 9 B1051 is the first liquid rocket booster ever to complete ten launches and the rocket certainly looks the part. (Richard Angle)

26 months after the booster first took flight in support of Crew Dragon’s March 2019 uncrewed orbital launch debut, Falcon 9 B1051 has narrowly beaten several of flight-proven siblings to become the first liquid rocket booster of any kind to complete ten launches. Just four days prior to that historic tenth flight, Falcon 9 booster B1049 became the second SpaceX rocket (after B1051) to ace nine launches and landings.

SpaceX quickly processed booster B1049 after its own port return and Falcon 9 B1051 narrowly missed greeting its still-vertical sibling by just a few days. Together, over the course of the 19 orbital launches those two Falcon 9 boosters have supported in ~30 months, B1049 and B1051 have collectively delivered more than 260 metric tons (~570,000 lb) of satellites and spacecraft to low Earth orbit (LEO), geostationary transfer orbit (GTO), and the International Space Station (ISS).

Falcon 9 B1051 is pictured in January 2019 before its first launch. (SpaceX)
Two and half years and ten launches later, the booster looks decidedly “flight-proven.” (Richard Angle)

That performance is roughly equivalent to two expendable Saturn V Moon rocket launches for a total launch cost to SpaceX likely less than $500 million, while five of those 19 launches also brought in revenue on the order of $400M to $500M. In effect, even the small handful of commercial launches B1049 and B1051 have completed likely generated enough revenue to wholly amortize the cost of a dozen or more additional launches. SpaceX has still had to pay for propellant, maritime recovery assets, any necessary refurbishment, and the hundreds of satellites both boosters have launched, but Falcon booster reusability still offers an extraordinary return on investment even with that multitude of caveats.

Falcon 9 B1051’s safe return also means that SpaceX should have no trouble turning the booster around as it prepares to push past the ten-flight target behind Block 5’s upgrade. In recent months, multiple SpaceX executives have stated that SpaceX intends to push well beyond that ten-flight goal as boosters with more and more flight experience continue to come back in excellent condition. CEO Elon Musk even indicated that SpaceX may intentionally fly Falcon 9’s fleet-leader (B1051, in this case) until something on the booster fails during a launch or landing. SpaceX’s own Starlink launches offer the perfect opportunity for that kind of pragmatic risk-taking.

Falcon 9 booster B1051’s titanium grid fins have developed a rainbow patina over ten hypersonic reentries. (Richard Angle)
(Richard Angle)
B1051’s aft engine and landing legs section certainly looks like it’s been through 10 launches and hypersonic reentries. (Richard Angle)

SpaceX’s sootiest Falcon 9 booster yet returns to port after record reuse

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Source: https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-sootiest-falcon-9-booster-port-return/

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