PUBG Mobile probably isn’t the first game you’d expect to have an electric vehicle tie-in, but it’s here all the same. Krafton and Tencent Games have rolled out a 1.5 update for the phone-focused shooter that includes a raft of not-so-subtle plugs for Tesla and its cars. Most notably, you can find a Model Y on Erangel that can drive itself when you activate an autopilot mode on the highway —not that far off from the real Autopilot mode.
You’ll also find a Gigafactory on Erangel where you can build the Model Y by activating switches, and self-driving Semi trucks roam around the map dropping supply crates when you damage the vehicles. No, despite the imagery, you can’t drive a Cybertruck or Roadster (not yet, at least).
The additions are part of a larger “technological transformation” for Erangel that includes an overhaul of the buildings and new equipment, including an anti-gravity motorcycle.
As is often the case, you shouldn’t expect these updates in regular PUBG — the battle royale brawler for consoles and PCs has a more realistic atmosphere. The PUBG Mobile update is really a not-so-subtle way for Tesla to advertise its EVs in countries where it doesn’t already have strong word-of-mouth working in its favor.i
Volvo has made no secret of its plans to go green by 2030, first unveiling the XC40 Recharge SUV in 2019, then partnering with the Geely corporation to develop its performance EV Polestar line. And come early next year, the XC will be joined by a sleeker, curvier sibling dubbed the C40 Recharge. The C stands for coupe.
Understand, the XC40 and C40 are very much the same vehicle, at least under the hood. The two — along with the Polestar 2 — all share the same Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) platform that Volvo plans to build its future EV fleet on top of. As such, the C40 and XC40 offer literally identical performance profiles. They share a 78 kWh (75 kWh effective) battery pack which produces 408 HP and 486 lb-ft of torque across all four wheels, giving both cars a 0-60 time of 4.7 seconds, a 112 mph top speed and an estimated 210 miles of range.
And, like its predecessor, the C40 Recharge will do so at rates up to 150kW on an L3 DC charger, enabling it to refill its power cells from basically dead to 80 percent capacity in 40 minutes. The C40 Recharge can also accept power from Level 2 (220V) sources, requiring around 8 hours to fully charge. You can, technically, charge the C40 on a standard 110V outlet — Volvo includes an adapter for doing so standard — but the company is positioning that charging level as more of a trickle-charge, topping-off option than one for actually, fully refilling a completely depleted battery.
As a Volvo rep explained to Engadget on Wednesday, the company envisions drivers using Level 3 DC fast charging stations located along their commutes more as quick recharge points — stopping for 5-10 minutes at a time, grabbing a cup of coffee as they wait — while using an in-home L2 charger to fully replenish the charge overnight, like an drivable cell phone.
On the outside, the C and XC are easily discernible. While the XC40 adheres to the classic tenets of SUV styling, the C actually stands around 3 inches shorter overall and features a broadly curved roofline that falls away into an upturned spoiler — resulting in the coupe designation. I for one am smitten with the styling, especially the Fjord Blue paint scheme, which mimics the color of Sweden’s local waters, as well as the all-glass roof.
The interior is even more impressive. For one thing, you won’t find a speck of leather in there. The floor mats are produced from recycled water bottles, as are the startlingly realistic faux-suede seats. “It’s a very practical, sustainable solution, trying to get us away from traditional luxuries,” Volvo’s design rep told Engadget. “I think our future of luxury is more about the simplicity of something. Not, how many layers of wood and how many buttons you can have, it’s more about the experience.” One unique aspect of that experience are the highlight panels that run throughout the C40 Recharge’s cabin, which depict topographical features of a Swedish national park.
The cabin itself is quite minimalist though you’ll find a host of storage spaces subtly placed around the front seats with slick holders for everything from travel mugs to credit cards. The dashboard consists of the front-and-center Android Auto infotainment system, a series of physical buttons and knobs controlling the audio playback, front and rear defrost, and hazards sit just below. While I personally am a fan of tactile controls, C40 drivers won’t have a whole much use for them on account of the ever-present Android Assistant. You’ll be able to control the stereo, make calls, send texts, adjust the climate controls and even turn on the heated steering wheel. The Assistant’s knack for locating and evaluating charging stations along your route should prove especially helpful to range-wary EV adopters, Volvo reps explained on Wednesday, by not only alerting drivers to where these stations are but also what kind of connections they offer and the status of the vehicle’s battery once it arrives.
Volvo has yet to officially announce its MSRP for the C40 Recharge so it’ll be interesting to see how it might compare to its expected competition, assuming the C40 ends up being priced roughly around $54,000 like its XC predecessor. For example the Model Y Long Range starts from $52,490 and gets a 100 miles-plus more distance using an equivalently sized battery pack. The Audi Q4 e-tron on the other hand manages to achieve the same range on a surprisingly tiny 52 kWh pack. To be fair though, its 0-60 is 9 seconds flat and they’re only for sale in Europe for the moment. Then you’ve got the ID.4 which starts at $40,000 and boasts 50 miles more range but, in my opinion at least, doesn’t offer quite the same level of refinement that I saw in the C40 Recharge.
The C40 is expected to hit US streets in the first quarter of 2022 but it will not be available for sale through Volvo dealerships. You’ll be able to see them at the dealership, sure, as well as test drive them, pick yours up from there and get it serviced there if you buy one. However the purchase process itself happens exclusively online. You can reserve one today for $500 at the Volvo website.
This is but the second step in Volvo’s efforts to transition to EVs. The company plans to release a new electric model every year until 2025 as part of its larger goal of becoming completely carbon neutral by 2040. Rumored to be coming next: a fully-electric XC90 Recharge.
Tesla’s redesigned Model S and Model X will have a very unconventional and possibly controversial feature: automatic shifting between park, reverse, neutral, and drive (or PRND). There will be an option to change drive modes on the touchscreen, but CEO Elon Musk made the case for automatic shifting on Twitter late Wednesday night.
“Car guesses drive direction based on what obstacles it sees, context & nav map,” Musk tweeted. “After you drive without using a PRND stalk/stick for a few days, it gets very annoying to go back & use a shifter! You can override on touchscreen.”
The vehicle uses its Autopilot sensors to intelligently and automatically determine intended drive modes and select them. For example, if the front of Model S/X is facing a garage wall, it will detect this and automatically shift to Reverse once the driver presses the brake pedal. This eliminates one more step for the drivers of the world’s most intelligent production cars.
That’s just one example, and we’ve asked Tesla for more, though the company reportedly no longer has a PR department and has not responded to questions The Verge sends to its general press line since September 2019.
The general idea behind the decision fits into the larger Silicon Valley ethos that Tesla subscribes to, though, of “eliminating friction.” The consequences of trying to automate PRND won’t be clear until people start taking deliveries of these new cars, which is supposed to happen in a matter of weeks.AUTOMAKERS HAVE TINKERED WITH PRND SELECTORS FOR YEARS, TO SOMETIMES DEADLY EFFECT
Automakers have tinkered with the look and location of drive mode selectors for years, enabled by the rise of automatic transmissions and the ability to change modes via software (also known as “shift by wire”). Many companies have ditched the classic steering wheel stalk in favor of a knob on the dashboard or the center console or separate physical buttons.
When asked whether NHTSA is looking into Tesla’s decision to automate PRND, the agency answered with a fairly stock response: “Manufacturers must certify their vehicles [to] meet applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standards before putting them on the road,” and that it will require vehicles found noncompliant or that contain a safety defect to be recalled and may impose fines if a manufacturer does not recall vehicles in a timely manner.” The agency said it’s in “regular communication with manufacturers to discuss potential safety concerns” and that it reviews consumer complaints and company data to screen for safety risks.
While federal motor vehicle safety standard number 102 spells out the specific sequence of PRND, and number 114 covers some really basic rollaway issues, it does not appear that any others would necessarily preclude Tesla’s automation or the lack of a physical selector. That’s despite NHTSA saying this all the way back in 1999 in a response to BMW about using alternate gear selection methods like touchscreens, keypads, or voice controls:
We are concerned that, as new designs for automatic transmissions that do not use a shift lever come into the market, there is nothing in Standard No. 102 to prevent misshifting in those vehicles.
Xiaomi has announced “Mi Air Charge Technology,” a wireless charging system that the company claims is able to charge devices “within a radius of several meters.” Multiple devices can be charged at 5W at the same time, according to Xiaomi, and physical obstacles apparently don’t reduce charging efficiency.
Xiaomi says the technology will also work with smartwatches and fitness bracelets. Another goal is to make “living rooms truly wireless,” with speakers, lamps, and smart home devices all being powered by the same remote system. A Xiaomi representative confirms to The Verge, however, that no commercial products will include the technology this year, and declined to provide a timeframe for release.
Here’s how Mi Air Charge Technology works, in Xiaomi’s words:
The core technology of Xiaomi’s remote charging lies in space positioning and energy transmission. Xiaomi’s self-developed isolated charging pile has five phase interference antennas built in, which can accurately detect the location of the smartphone. A phase control array composed of 144 antennas transmits millimeter-wide waves directly to the phone through beamforming.
On the smartphone side, Xiaomi has also developed a miniaturized antenna array with built-in “beacon antenna” and “receiving antenna array”. Beacon antenna broadcasts position information with low power consumption. The receiving antenna array composed of 14 antennas converts the millimeter wave signal emitted by the charging pile into electric energy through the rectifier circuit, to turn the sci-fi charging experience into reality.
Needless to say, you should be skeptical about the prospects of this technology making it to market until evidence suggests otherwise. Companies like Energous have been making announcements about “truly wireless charging” at CES and beyond for several years, but the technology is yet to gain serious traction. Xiaomi has demonstrated wireless charging engineering breakthroughs in the past, however, and has the advantage of owning a huge hardware ecosystem that it could theoretically leverage.
Samsung today surprised the media by droping an invitation to their virtual presentation of their new flagships.
At January 14 Sumsung plans to hold the Unpacked 2021 press conference, meaning that we will see their new 5G phones and accessories.
The keynote will start at 10 EST time, around 5pm Cyprus time. All of the latest Samsung Galaxy S21 leaks point to the three new phones – the S21, Galaxy S21 Plus and Galaxy S21 Ultra
Of course, Samsung’s event invite doesn’t name any of the phones we mentioned. It bills this invite for its semi-annual Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2021 showcase, with the tagline ‘Welcome to Everyday Epic’. But the event invite image clearly shows the recently leaked rear camera module in an opaque cube.
The specs are all confirmed by daily articles found on the net ahead from the official launch. We know that the tech giant is going to unvail three phones with three screen sizes – 6.2, 6.7 and 6.9 all with 120Hz adaptive displays and smaller bottom bezel.
The Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus rear cameras seem to be getting special treatment, according to several renders of the refined camera module. All with three lenses – presumed to be a 12MP main, 12MP ultra-wide and 64MP telephoto – appear in a flatter module this year, resulting in a slightly less pronounced camera bump.
A twist or two
In a twist, the Galaxy S21 Ultra may also include an S Pen, the stylus that’s previously been exclusive to Samsung’s Galaxy Note series. If true, that would be a big reason to buy the most expensive version of the phone – and less of a reason to wait for a new Samsung Galaxy Note 21 presumably will launch in August 2021.
This weekend we also got insight into a novel accessory that Samsung may launch on January 14: a Tile-like Bluetooth tracker called Samsung Galaxy SmartTag. It may be helpful for finding items like keys, backpacks and luggage that constantly go MIA. If the SmartTag tracker does get announced, Samsung will beat to market the yet-to-be-revealed Apple AirTag tracker that’s been rumored for more than a year.Advertisement
Sony’s latest PlayStation 5 update seems to have fixed one of the biggest issues with cross-gen games on the console: making it clearer when players have the PlayStation 4 version of a game installed and notifying them when there’s a PS5 version available to download.
The feature, spotted by Twitter user Tidux, aims to clarify one of the more frustratingly complex parts of the PlayStation 5. Because the console offers backwards compatibility for all PS4 games — including ones that offer free next-gen PS5 updates, like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla or Destiny 2 — it’s pretty easy to accidentally install the older version of the game.
Microsoft has taken a simpler approach to the system, with its Smart Delivery program that will automatically install (or update) a game to the best version for a console. While Sony’s method isn’t quite as easy, it’ll at least make it clearer to players when they have the wrong version installed.
The new feature will likely be particularly helpful in the future, as more developers continue to release PS5-optimized versions of their PS4 titles. Under the current system, there’s no great way for players to know when there’s a PS5 version of a game available. But with the new update, anyone who owns Control: Ultimate Edition and has the PS4 version installed, for example, will be notified when the next-gen version is released on February 2nd.
The option appears to only show up for games that include free next-gen upgrades, something that’s left to the discretion of the developer. Games that require a new purchase for “remastered” versions, like Insomniac’s 2018 Spider-Man or Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition, will remain as separate downloads as usual.
NICOSIA, CYPRUS (December 22, 2020) J.L Motorace Ltd, one of the leading distributors in the motorcycle industry has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with tech giant SEGWAY for all Powersport vehicles.
The new Segway ATV and UTV lineup includes the Snarler 570 and Snarler 1000 ATVs, Fugleman 570 and Fugleman 1000 Utility UTVs, and the Villain 1000 Sport UTVs.
Along with the new machines, Segway also has built a smartphone app to track the vehicle’s performance, mileage, speed and more.
“This is a cutting edge technology and design at affordable pricing which we trust superior to anything in the marketplace at this price range,” said Mr. Jack Lambrou, the Founder of J.L Motorace. “We feel that this collaboration comes at a great time giving the maximum value vs price to the end user.”
“We are very glad to work with Motorace in the Cyprus market. After exploring various options, we have concluded that Motorace is the ideal partner to represent our brand on the island. Through their experience in the industry and professional approach we are confident that this is the beginning of a mutually beneficial relationship” posted SEGWAY on their social media channels.
J.L Motorace Ltd is the proud representative of multiple prestigious and world leading brands and has great experience in serving clients at the highest level. The company’s mission is to provide the best available value vs price across all sectors it is involved in.
The Note seems not long for the world, and cheaper folding phones are coming
Samsung’s president of mobile, TM Roh, dropped several hints about the company’s product roadmap in a blog post today. He confirmed Samsung will hold an event in January — presumably for the Galaxy S21. He also implied that S Pen support will come to more phones and that Samsung intends to broaden its line of folding phones with less expensive options.
The hint that’s likely to have the biggest impact on the greatest number of customers is stylus support for Galaxy phones beyond the Note line. That’s been rumored for some time now, but Roh also claims that Samsung intends to “add some of its most well-loved features to other devices in our lineup.”
It may mean that the other half of those rumors will also come to pass: that the Note line itself may soon be coming to an end, at least as a premium flagship in Samsung’s lineup. The Note hasn’t been that differentiated from the regular S line of phones for a while now. The main difference beyond design language has been that silo for the stylus.SAMSUNG WILL HAVE AN EVENT IN JANUARY TO ANNOUNCE NEW PRODUCTS
With S Pen support on Galaxy S phones like the upcoming Galaxy S21 line and Z phones like the Z Fold (and maybe even a Z Flip), Samsung probably figures it’s just as easy to store a stylus in a case as it would be inside a phone.
Roh also confirmed that Samsung will be providing more details in January. That’s when Samsung is expected to unveil the Galaxy S21 line, a month or two ahead of when it usually does.
The S Pen wasn’t the only thing Roh hinted at in the post. He also said that Samsung intends to have a “portfolio of foldables” and that it wants to make the category “more accessible to everyone.” “Accessible,” in this case, is likely a reference to the price of folding phones, which clock in anywhere from $1,300 to $2,000 for a new phone right now. The rumor here is that there will be a Z Fold “Lite” sometime in 2021. If folding phones are ever going to be more than a curiosity, they’ll need to come down significantly in price. That appears to be what Samsung is aiming for.
Roh says that Samsung will put more emphasis on “pro-grade camera and video capabilities” on its phones. That’s not really much of a revelation, but it may mean that Samsung hopes to get back into a camera quality race with Apple and Google — a race Samsung has yet to definitively win. Roh promised an “epic new year” and specifically mentioned using AI to improve image quality. Computational photography is precisely where Samsung has traditionally fallen a little behind its competitors.
He hinted that it would begin to do more with UWB in 2021 as well. Like Apple, he’s promising that your phone will open your car door. Unlike Apple, he’s willing to talk about using it to locate objects and “even your family pet.”
That’s a lot of teases for Samsung’s January event, which we currently expect to happen on the 14th. That’s when we’ll see the Galaxy S21 announced and perhaps a bit more, an earlier start than usual to a new year of phones.