Toyota Next Toyota Toyota Toyota Toyota Toyota Tech improves our lives every day in a million ways beyond simply making things more convenient. Here are the companies and people fighting to make a difference. Toyota Previous Harvard’s tiny, insect-inspired RoboBee X-Wing can fly using solar power InSight’s solar panels get a spring cleaning from Martian winds A giant new solar farm in Texas will harness the sun’s rays to … brew beer? The best solar chargers for your smartphone or tablet The best outdoor speakers for 2019 Toyota 1 of 10 Toyota is continuing to explore the idea of solar-powered cars, with the automaker recently announcing that it’s ready to begin testing its most advanced system to date.The challenge up until now has been to create solar cells capable of offering a vehicle a decent amount of power. After partnering with Sharp, Toyota says it has succeeded in creating high-efficiency solar cells for a version of its Prius plug-in hybrid. Road trials later this month will assess the effectiveness of improvements in cruising range and fuel efficiency offered by its new and advanced solar technology.Toyota included solar cells with its 2016, Japan-only Prius PHV, but its updated technology is more sophisticated in a number of ways. For example, the latest design can charge the vehicle as it’s being driven, whereas before it had to be parked. Toyota Toyota Editors’ Recommendations As you can see from the images at the top, Toyota has installed the panels on many of the car’s surfaces, including the roof, hood, and rear hatch door, to catch as much sunlight as possible. This expanded panel placement has been made possible by the new, thinner cells. At just 0.03mm, the slimmer design makes it possible to place the panels onto curves and other tight spots around the car, maximizing its performance capabilities.We also see improvements in the technology’s ability to convert solar energy, which, at 34% efficiency, is a significant improvement on the 22.5% efficiency of the previous design. Toyota said that by enhancing the efficiency and increasing the amount of space the cells take up on the Prius, it’s been able to improve power generation by almost five times compared to the Prius PHV.The enhancements mean that the new solar cells will be able to generate enough power — if parked in the sun for a day — to give it the vehicle an extra 27 miles of range, about seven times more than before.While its latest effort is a clear improvement on its earlier design, the continuing limitations of the technology mean that for the time being Toyota will continue to consider using it as part of a car’s power supply rather than its sole source of energy.Another automaker interested in incorporating solar cells into its vehicles is Hyundai, while Dutch firm Lightyear wants to launch a car partially powered by solar cells in 2021.Interestingly, the engineering team behind the Lightyear One vehicle finished in first place multiple times in the World Solar Challenge, with its most recent victory in the solar-car race coming in 2017.
No matter what side you landed on when discussing the difficulty of FromSoftware’s action RPG Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, the creators of the game left it pretty clear that gamers would have to come up with their own solution if they wanted something easier. If you were one such gamer, the time is now. A modder has created “Sekiro The Easy” and it is available for download.Twisted Voxel reported on the mod, which changes the player’s abilities, enemy stats, how the world impacts the player, and items. The report says that Sekiro has become the fastest-selling new IP by FromSoftware and, potentially, this new mod will open up the door for players that purchased the game and gave up or have yet to try it out. Here’s the full list of changes the mod puts in place:It does not die by TerrorStrong attack power, high defense strength, and staminaHigh drop-item rateWeapon buff time increaseInfinite Spirit EmblemPrevents damage from fallingInfinite Time of Puppeteer NinjutsuFromSoftware is the game developer behind the Souls games, which are the inspiration for the “souls-like” genre of games. Demon’s Souls and the Dark Souls series are all notorious for their challenging, skill-based action and Sekiro is an original spin on the formula like the PlayStation exclusive Bloodborne from the same developers. Sekiro is significantly faster paced than the other games and requires aggressive gameplay along with quick reaction speeds, which led to discussions about difficulty and accessibility.This mod addresses one of the topics that sprung up around Sekiro but the other is something that would be tough for a modder to do versus the developers themselves. In one of our previous reports, AbleGamers COO and “Trending Gamer” award nominee Steve Spohn broke down why Sekiro needed an equal mode and not simply something that dials down the difficulty.Spohn stated that Sekiro and Dark Souls both can be made more accessible without harming the creator’s intent. A higher degree of difficulty has essentially become a feature in FromSoftware’s Souls games, so the studio’s president, Hidetaka Miyazaki responded by expressing that the studio didn’t want to add an easy mode “because we want to bring everyone to the same level of discussion and the same level of enjoyment.”Creating an equal mode gives players with different input needs a way to experience Sekiro as intended and, hopefully, will be something FromSoftware considered in future games, potentially even in Elden Ring. The best Xbox One games you can get right now The best PS4 games Mortal Kombat 11 players to receive in-game currency as Towers of Time mea culpa The best PS1 games of all time: From Symphony of the Night to Final Fantasy 7 The best save points in video games Editors’ Recommendations
For instance, Chrysler saw itself the subject of unwanted headlines last year, after security researchers demonstrated a way to remotely access the onboard systems of select Jeep models.In doing so, the hackers were able to access not only systems like the radio and the HVAC, but even deactivate essential drivetrain components such as the transmission. Chrysler issued a patch for vulnerable versions of its infotainment platform, Uconnect, but the FBI is concerned that drivers of other cars may unknowingly be the next potential victims. “While the identified vulnerabilities have been addressed, it is important that consumers and manufacturers are aware of the possible threats and how an attacker may seek to remotely exploit vulnerabilities in the future,” the agency writes. “Third party aftermarket devices with Internet or cellular access plugged into diagnostics ports could also introduce wireless vulnerabilities.”In the case of the Jeep hack, it was Chrysler’s own software which allowed for the exploit to be carried out. However, with the rise in third-party accessories such as Automatic, Vinli, and others – which generally connect to the car’s OBD-II port, a socket under the dashboard that’s traditionally used by mechanics with special, automaker-approved diagnostic and repair tools – it’s possible that new loopholes could be introduced that manufacturers never envisaged. The FBI warning makes reference to the Chrysler recall, pointing out that the cellular connectivity was patched by blocking the rogue port used by the hackers to inveigle their way into the car’s systems. A USB drive containing new software was mailed to owners of the vehicle, too, though they also had the option of dealers installing the upgrade. Making sure your car is running the latest version of whatever infotainment and other software has been released is of increasing important, the FBI says, and drivers should avoid making any unofficial modifications to such software in the process. Still, that opens up another potential security gap, with the possibility of phishing messages being sent by would-be exploiters, pretending to be official automaker communications, and directing drivers to download a compromised version of the car software. As for third-party dongles, manufacturers are increasingly treating security as just as important as other features offered. Samsung’s recently announced Connect Auto platform, for instance, uses the same KNOX hardware-level encryption as the company’s smartphones, and its Tizen OS will refuse to run modified software that isn’t certified by Samsung itself. Meanwhile the automakers themselves are putting together a centralized hub for information sharing about potential hacks, the Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAC), in the hope of spotting possible exploits sooner rather than later. The NHTSA too is looking at how digital security expectations of cars may need to be better considered in safety regulations. Overall, though, the guidance is to be careful what you plug into your car, be cautious about who you give access to, and to be mindful about manufacturer updates. While new software for your dashboard may not be as exciting as extra horsepower, it could be far more important if it keeps you from getting hacked on the freeway. Story TimelineFiat Chrysler recalls 1.4M vehicles after hacked Jeep incident1.4m Fiat Chrysler radio hack recall may be tip of icebergBMW, Mercedes Benz, Chrysler not immune to OwnStar hackNissan Shuts Down NissanConnect EV App Due To Hacking Exploit Drivers should be cautious of potential car hacks, the FBI has warned today, pointing out that increasingly connected vehicles open the door to futuristic automotive exploits. The PSA, issued by the Federal Bureau of Investigation along with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Department of Transportation (DoT), recognizes that onboard data connections – whether installed by automakers themselves, or via a third-party accessory by the cars’ owners – can be useful, but cautions that we’re unlikely to have heard the last of high-profile hacking incidents.
Back in September, Amazon revealed the Echo Input during its packed-to-the-brim Alexa Day. Out of all of the new devices revealed that day, the Echo Input seemed to be one of the most useful, as it allows you to essentially add Alexa functionality to any speaker. For people with existing home audio setups, then, the Echo Input is a good way to get Alexa functionality without buying a collection of Echo speakers and potentially compromising on sound quality. So, with that in mind, the Echo Input seems like a handy, if somewhat niche, device. Our review, however, found one problem with it: price. Amazon priced the Echo Input at $34.99, and while that certainly isn’t expensive, it put Amazon in this weird position where the Echo Dot is often less expensive than the Input.The Echo Dot is normally priced at $49.99, but Amazon runs enough promotions that it’s fairly easy to get one for much less than that. The Echo Dot obviously doesn’t offer stellar sound quality at that price, but just like the Echo Input, it can be connected to other speakers and grant them Alexa capabilities. At $34.99, the Echo Input becomes a difficult item to sell to people who know they can regularly buy an Echo Dot for less.For the time being, however, Amazon has dropped the Echo Input down to what is probably the perfect price point for it. Amazon is currently running a promotion that shaves $15 off the cost of the Echo Input, bringing it down to $19.99. It’s worth noting that the 3rd-generation Echo Dot is also on sale right now, but only for $29.99, meaning the Echo Input is still the less expensive of the two.So, if you’ve got a sound system setup that could use some smarts, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to take advantage of this Echo Input deal. There’s no official word on how long it’ll last, but Amazon’s sales on its first-party devices tend to be brief (albeit frequent) affairs, so jump on it while you can. Story TimelineAmazon Echo Input brings Alexa to non-smart speakers Disclosure: SlashGear uses affiliate links, If you click on a link in this article and buy something we’ll get a small cut of the sale.
Story Timeline2.27m users installed malware with tainted CCleaner downloadCCleaner hack details emerge, and things are getting serious ShadowHammer seems to be a sophisticated attack, as Kaspersky says that the file was signed with ASUS digital certificates, which gave it the illusion of legitimacy. Beyond that, the compromised utility was stored on ASUS’s update servers and was even the same size as the original file, so it seems these hackers went to pretty specific lengths to make sure their malware wasn’t discovered.Kaspersky said today that it has identified 57,000 of its own users who have downloaded the compromised utility, but it estimates that there are perhaps more than a million machines out there running this software. One particularly interesting thing to note about this attack is that in the vast majority of cases, that malware was sitting dormant on users’ computers. Kaspersky notes that the attack seemed to be targeting an “unknown pool of users” by the MAC addresses associated with their network adapters.In an extensive report published today, Motherboard writes that when malware detected a MAC address it was looking for, it “reached out to a command-and-control server the attackers operated, which then installed additional malware on those machines.” Kaspersky was able to find 600 hashed MAC addresses the malware was seeking, though there may be more targets of this attack.AdChoices广告Even though most people infected with this malware weren’t specifically targeted, this news gives pause because that utility was still loading a backdoor onto many ASUS machines. Kasperky says that it first discovered this attack on January 29 and notified ASUS of its finding on January 31, which was followed by an in-person meeting between the two companies on February 14. Vitaly Kamluk, who led Kaspersky’s research on this attack, told Motherboard that ASUS has been “largely unresponsive” since that February meeting and hasn’t notified customers of the attack.All told, the attack happened between July and November 2018, though Kaspersky says that its investigation is still ongoing. Full results and a technical paper about Kaspersky’s findings will be presented during SAS 2019 in April, so we’ll have to wait until next month for more details. Even though the investigation is still in progress, it’s pretty clear that this supply-chain attack is a big deal. Stay tuned for more. Kasperky Labs today announced the discovery of a wide-ranging supply-chain attack that was used to install a backdoor onto hundreds of thousands of ASUS computers. The hackers responsible for the attack, which Kaspersky is calling ShadowHammer, gained access to the ASUS Live Update Utility and modified it with this backdoor, which means that ASUS was unknowingly distributing the malware to its customers.
In all, Spotify has 217 million monthly active users, so there are around 117 million free users. Spotify was given a small boost by its launch in India back in February, which has helped it pull in an extra 2 million users. India is probably going to be a crucial market for the continued growth of the company moving forward, so it’ll be interesting to see how many new users Spotify can add in the country over the course of the next quarter.Despite these successes, Spotify found itself reporting another loss in Q1. Spotify’s net loss topped out at €142 million ($158.36 million), though the company did say that ad-supported revenue climbed 24% year-over-year to €126 million ($140.51 million). One area that may help with ad-supported revenue in the future is podcasts, which Spotify started supporting in October 2018.Though Spotify’s efforts to attract podcasters are still getting off the ground, the company touted its recent acquisitions of companies like Gimlet, Anchor, and Parcast as laying the ground work for “becoming the world’s #1 audio platform.” Spotify expects revenue from podcasts to “accelerate” as we move through the rest of 2019, so that may be one piece of the puzzle that is reversing these quarterly losses.AdChoices广告By the end of Q2 2019, Spotify expect to land between 222 and 228 million monthly active users, while it expects total premium subscribers to climb to 107-110 million. We’ll see if it can meet those goals, but for now, it has to feel pretty good to be reporting 100 million premium subscribers – even if Spotify is still struggling to turn a profit. Story TimelineSpotify Premium Duo plan enters testing for couples and roommatesWindows 10 Game Bar beta adds Spotify, customization, and moreApple Music tops Spotify in US streaming subscriptions Spotify shared its first round of quarterly financial results for its 2019 fiscal year today, and it announced that total subscribers have passed a major milestone. Spotify now has 100 million paying members, which is a significant jump from the same quarter a year ago, when Premium subscribers topped out at 75 million. So, over the course of a year, Spotify has added 25 million subscribers, which isn’t bad when you consider that Apple Music and YouTube Music have been trying really hard to pull Spotify’s members away.
Story TimelineGalaxy Note 10 could dazzle with a understated holeGalaxy Note 10 5G feature confirmed by VerizonWhy the best Galaxy Note 10 experience won’t reach Verizon On April 27th, 2019, prominent Samsung leaker Ice Universe suggested that the N975 Galaxy Note 10 “Pro 4G” would have a 4500mAh battery and 25W. The “25w” bit from the I.U. tweet suggested that the Galaxy Note 10 would have 25W battery charging – that fast, that powerful.Less than a full day later, I.U. suggested that “the 25W high probability is the wrong message, I take it back, but I can’t say more, I can only say that your expectations are worthwhile.” It’s likely Samsung’s either in the process of deciding whether to use this particular kind of charging capability, or haven’t yet had said discussion. Either way – it seems as though there’s at least SOME consideration going on with regard to the battery in the Galaxy Note 10.One would expect that this COULD have something to do with the Galaxy Note 7 battery and fallout therein. The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G has Samsung’s newest 25W USB-C charger, and can charge up a significant amount rather quick. AdChoices广告Not that it could have anything to do with the way the phone charges, but news of a single S10 5G fire might have Samsung reconsidering the same tech for their next hero phone. That user suggested that the Galaxy S10 5G started to burn “without reasons.” Samsung made a statement suggesting the incident happened due to “external impact.” So how does a smartphone meant to be the best of the best have specifications that aren’t as advanced as its predecessor? Why don’t you ask the Galaxy Note 4 what it thought about the Galaxy Note 3 having a more advanced USB system a full year earlier. It’ll all work out fine in the end, right? The folks at Samsung watching leakers go crazy on the Galaxy Note 10 aren’t having a great day. Or, depending on how the most major info leakers get their info, Samsung’s PR crew might just be having a super fun day. Either way, we’re about to talk about whether the Galaxy Note 10 will surpass the functionality of the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G – and what it’ll mean if it’s a lesser machine.
It’s not, of course, our first glimpse of the new Evoque. Land Rover announced it last November, promising a compact distillation of the best of the bigger Range Rovers for a more urban-friendly package. At the same time, though, it also claims to be more environmentally friendly, not to mention more tech savvy. For the US, there’ll be a choice of two engines. The entry-level 2020 Evoque will have the 2.0-liter Ingenium TC I4 P250 gas engine, a four-cylinder turbo with 246 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque. All-wheel drive will be standard. Optional, though, will be the Evoque’s first gas-electric drivetrain. The P300 Ingenium MHEV is a 2.0-liter TC I4 with a 48v Li-Ion battery and an electric motor. It sees horsepower rise to 296 hp, while torque climbs to 295 lb-ft. Like the P250 there’s all-wheel drive as standard, but the mild-hybrid gets Active Driveline torque vectoring, pushing power from the left to the right on the front and rear axles depending on conditions.Either way, you get a 9-speed ZF automatic transmission, and Driveline Disconnect, which can cut power to the rear wheels while cruising so as to boost economy. EPA fuel efficiency ratings haven’t been revealed yet. Adaptive Dynamics is an option, adjusting the variable suspension dampers automatically every 100 milliseconds to suit the road conditions. Terrain Response 2 is also fitted as standard, a new addition to the Evoque. It offers General, ECO, Sand, Grass-Gravel-Snow, and Mud & Ruts driving modes, along with an Auto mode that adjusts the SUV’s settings automatically. An optional Wade Sensing feature uses ultrasonic sensors to see how close to the 23.6-inch maximum wading depth you’re getting. Hill Descent Control, Gradient Release Control, and All-Terrain Progress Control are offered, as is ClearSight Ground View which gives a “transparent hood” view of the front of the car on the dashboard display. Lane Keep Assist and automatic emergency braking are standard, as is a reversing camera. Inside, Range Rover’s InControl Touch Pro Duo infotainment system – which splits its interface over two touchscreens – is an option, along with a 12.3-inch drive display and full-color head-up display. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are offered, and there’s a Smart Settings feature that preemptively adjusts the cabin settings based on observations of the driver’s preferences. 4G LTE with WiFi hotspot support and six USB ports are offered. All in all, it’s a respectable growing-up for Range Rover’s smallest model, cherry-picking the best of the tech from the automaker’s more expensive luxury SUVs. It’ll go on sale in the US from Spring 2019, priced from $42,650 (plus $995 destination), for the 2020 Range Rover Evoque S. Pricing for the SE, First Edition, R-Dynamic S, R-Dynamic SE, and R-Dynamic HSE will be confirmed closer to release. Land Rover has confirmed US launch details for the 2020 Range Rover Evoque, which makes its North American debut at the Chicago Auto Show 2019. The smallest of the automaker’s luxury SUVs, the 2020 Evoque will offer two engines in the US – including an all-new mild-hybrid – and kick off at $42,650. 2020 Range Rover Evoque Gallery
Certainly, it’s fair to say we were skeptical back when we saw the M-Byte SUV Concept at CES 2018. The exterior of the electric truck wasn’t so unbelievable, even if it did lean heavily on common concept fare such as cameras replacing the side mirrors and high-tech LED lights. What was most striking was the interior. Byton’s dashboard is dominated by a huge, 48-inch full-width display, but that’s only the first of numerous screens. The automaker also slung sizable touchscreens from the front headrests, for the second row passengers to use, and even embedded a touchscreen into the center of the steering wheel.At the time, many were skeptical of whether such flamboyance could ever make it to production. Byton, though, wants to prove those naysayers wrong. While the company may not be quite yet ready to fully detail the M-Byte SUV it plans to put into production, it is previewing that car’s cabin. The wraparound dashboard is staying, Byton insists, as is the 8-inch central touchpad. The 7-inch “Driver Tablet” in the middle of the steering wheel is confirmed, too, flanked by physical buttons too. It’s also an opportunity to see how Byton’s custom user interface has developed from concept to production. Conspicuously more sparse than most vehicle infotainment systems, it makes the most of all that display space by giving huge maps room to unfurl. The automaker insists that – despite the ergonomic and safety concerns some voiced about the touchscreen in the steering wheel – it will skirt on the right side of ergonomics rather than being a distraction. Gesture-based interfaces will use sensors pointing at the driver to track hand movement, along with powering features like facial recognition. In all, the automaker says, 90-percent of the concept’s design – including the cabin tech and everything else – is retained for the production M-Byte SUV. It comes as Byton opens a new design studio in Shanghai, which will focus on the Chinese market. The company already has an existing design studio in Munich, Germany, while production will take place in Nanjing, China. Certainly, there’s no shortage of EV startups looking to do a little of what Tesla has achieved. Byton’s aggressive roadmap to launch – which, if all goes to plan, could have M-Byte SUVs on sale in China before the end of the year – certainly makes it notable, though we’re still yet to see if that can pan out in practice. Assuming it does, prepare to field a lot of questions about your dashboard. Electric car startup Byton always promised something unusual for the interior of its production EV, and now it’s doubling-down on that, with a preview of a dashboard that makes your Tesla look low-tech. The Byton M-Byte SUV isn’t set to launch until the end of the year, but the Chinese automaker wants to make it clear that its screen-filled cabin wasn’t just for the concept. Story TimelineChinese EV startup Byton to debut SUV at CES 2018Byton’s Concept EV makes the Model X’s touchscreen look tinyByton K-Byte Concept sees driverless luxury on the road by 2021
Concept cars like the Bentley EXP 100 GT are eye-catching – and extreme – showcases of blue sky thinking at car companies, but according to the British automaker the huge luxury grand tourer also represents a roadmap of sorts for future production vehicles. While that might seem hard to believe, given features like the vast illuminated, animated grille and 6.5 foot long doors, the reality is that Bentley has used its concept to preview several features it intends to bring to market. Electrification runs deep in Bentley’s futureEver since its beginnings a hundred years ago, Bentley has been associated with huge gas engines. That’s all changing, starting from 2019, with the introduction of a comprehensive electrification plan from the automaker. First up is the Bentayga Hybrid, the gas-electric version of the automaker’s luxury SUV. However that’s just the start. Come 2023, Bentley promises, there’ll be electrified versions of all its cars. Now, “electrification” has become something of a catch-all term in recent years, encompassing everything from 48V mild hybrids through to plug-in hybrids and battery-electric cars along the way. So, I was curious to see just how committed to the technology that Bentley actually was. According to a company spokesman, the answer is that the Bentayga Hybrid system is pretty much the minimum Bentley will be considering. Anything less than its all-electric range – which is rated at 16 miles on the EPA cycle, though the automaker expects more than that in practice – wouldn’t be acceptable, I was told. That means no mild hybridization, using an electric starter-generator but with minimal all-electric range. Come 2025, though, and the first all-electric Bentley will arrive. If it’s anything like the EXP 100 GT, that will mean a potent EV drivetrain: the concept car musters 0-60 mph in under 2.5 seconds, a top speed of 186 mph, and over 1,100 lb-ft of torque. Bentley also envisages it having around 435 miles of range on a single charge. The production EV is unlikely to copy the EXP 100 GT exactly. The centenary concept has four electric motors, for example, one for each wheel. I’d expect Bentley to be a little more conservative in practice, probably sticking to a single motor for each axle. Still, plan on lashings of torque and horsepower.Next-generation seat comfortWith buttery-soft leather, plenty of padding, and both multiple electric adjustment and massage, it’s not like Bentley’s current seats are anything to complain about. What’s in the pipeline – and demonstrated first with the EXP 100 GT – are a set of new seats, however, which could be exponentially more comfortable. Each is made up of numerous pads, which can be individually controlled to provide precise support according to how the occupant is sitting. Lean toward the door, for example, and the seat will ramp up support on that side. Slump down, and it can crank up the lumbar support to match. It sounds far-fetched, but according to Brett Boydell, Head of Interior Design at Bentley, it’s one of the aspects of the concept car that could arrive more imminently. “So the technology that we’re showing on the seats, where we have individual cell technology that adapts to all of your form, that’s actually something we’re developing,” he explained to me. “So that’s very much literally on a roadmap we’re working on right now.”The materials of luxury are changingLeather, wood, and metal. The palette of luxury has been fairly stable for the past few decades, and Bentley has certainly invested in artisans and craftspeople capable of doing magical things with veneers, hides, and stitching. The EXP 100 GT, though, upends some of those expectations. Sustainability is increasingly something Bentley customers are asking about, interiors chief Brett Boydell told me, particularly among the automaker’s younger clientele. That has prompted the company to look further afield than normal, as it comes up with a new array of interior trims. The EXP 100 GT, for example, has artificial leather made from a byproduct of the wine industry. In the concept car it sits alongside traditional leather – albeit with a different treatment, that Bentley also expects to offer on production models – but it paves the way for an eventual vegan interior option for those who want it. Then there’s the wood. Bentley’s team sources it from all over the world, but the Copper Infused Riverwood in the EXP 100 GT comes from closer to home. Preserved for 5,000 years in peat bogs, lakes, and rivers, it’s harvested by The Fenland Black Oak Project, and its color and grain will evolve in unique ways over the years for each car. Previously, it would’ve been burned as waste, but Bentley has snapped up pretty much the whole supply to offer as an exclusive Mulliner trim option in its future production cars. A virtual chauffeurIs the car of the future an anodyne box which soullessly shuttles you from A to B? Bentley isn’t convinced, and while the striking design of the EXP 100 GT is its stake in the ground when it comes to keeping style a key focus in the decades to come, the role of the driver is just as important. The goal, the automaker says, is to give occupants the choice: leave the driverless technology to handle the boring sections, and then take over yourself when the roads get interesting. In autonomous mode, the seats can recline into loungers, and indeed the car’s whole cabin can turn into a ridiculously spacious two-seater configuration. Switch to manual mode, and the steering wheel extends from the front bulkhead, along with pedals and other traditional controls. Bentley’s AI is able to make suggestions as to which sections of road you might be interested in driving manually, and which you may want to leave to the car. Fully autonomous driving is, of course, still some way out from production vehicles. However we can expect more driver assistance from Bentley in its cars, as they gain more abilities on the road. There, it can benefit from semi-autonomous technologies developed by VW Group stablemates like Audi, as we close in on the day where you could effectively leave your human chauffeur at home. Bentley EXP 100 GT Gallery
State Roundup: N.Y.’s Drug Rx Bill Passes Unanimously A selection of state health policy news from Georgia, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Virginia, Maryland, Kansas and Florida.The Associated Press/The Wall Street Journal: N.Y. Lawmakers OK Electronic Drug Prescription Bill New York lawmakers unanimously approved legislation Monday that will require doctors to issue drug prescriptions electronically within three years, meanwhile establishing tighter restrictions on painkillers and other addictive drugs on the state list of controlled substances (6/11).[Albany] Times Union: Drug Oversight Gets Unanimous OK[The measure] will lead to the creation of a real-time database that gives physicians information on a patient’s prescription history before prescribing the most powerful and addictive drugs, and requires pharmacists to provide information for that purpose. The system is meant to sniff out fraud and abuse such as “doctor-shopping,” in which an addict goes to multiple physicians in search of even more powerful narcotics (Seiler, 6/11).Kaiser Health News: Mass. Biggest Insurer Tightens Rules On Some Painkillers In an effort to curb abuse of powerful painkillers, Massachusetts’s largest insurer is going to restrict doctors’ ability to write new prescriptions to 30 days’ worth of pills before a mandatory review by the insurer. Officials at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts say the policy, which begins July 1, will prevent doctors from prescribing 60 days of a painkiller such as OxyContin (Andrews, 6/11).Atlanta Business Chronicle: Out-Of-State Health Insurers Invited To Georgia, None AcceptA state law that takes effect July 1 allows out-of-state health plans to sell insurance to Georgians — but no insurance companies have applied to participate, reports WABE.com. The station says the lack of participation is a surprise to many Republicans in state government who touted the idea as a way to drive down health insurance costs by applying free-market principles (Caldwell, 6/11).Boston Globe: Mass. Poll Shows Concern Over Health CostsFourteen percent of sick adults in Massachusetts were unable to get health care they needed in the past year, according to a poll conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health and others. More than 7 in 10 of those who said they could not get treatment cited financial reasons, saying they could not afford the out-of-pocket costs or their insurer refused to cover the test or treatment (Conaboy, 6/12).WBUR: Quality Of Care: Balance Of Knowledge, CommunicationOur poll, Sick in Massachusetts, finds that 52 percent of those who responded said they are satisfied with the quality of their health care. Dr. Tara Lagu, researcher at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield and assistant professor at Tufts Medical School: … “[I]t’s not that surprising to me that you could identify a ‘high quality doctor’ and then get there and find that they spend the entire visit staring at the computer typing furiously trying to make sure they get everything done in the ten minutes” (Becker, 6/12).The Associated Press/Kansas City Star: Kansas AG Pays $644K To Defend State Abortion LawsThe Kansas attorney general’s office paid outside lawyers more than $644,000 to defend anti-abortion laws enacted last year. The office says it paid more than $328,000 as of Friday to Foulston Siefken, a Wichita firm helping defend a budget provision denying federal dollars for non-abortion services to Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood has filed a federal lawsuit against the measure (6/11).Health News Florida: Fee-For-Service On Way Out?Fee-for-service medical practice is dying, even if the Supreme Court strikes down the entire federal health law, an increasing number of health-business analysts say. The current system — rewarding doctors who run the most tests and operate on the most patients — is inherently inflationary and increases risks to patients, they say. Future rewards will go to doctors who spend their time listening to patients, keeping them healthy and quarterbacking a team of allied health professionals, they predict (Gentry, 6/11).The Connecticut Mirror: Waterbury Hospitals’ Proposed Merger Spurs Hopes And ConcernsThe hopes and tensions underlying the proposed acquisition and merger of Waterbury’s two hospitals were exposed during a public forum in Hartford Monday. While Waterbury’s mayor said the plan could revitalize his struggling city, hospital union members said they felt ignored by the private entity that would acquire the new, merged hospital, and others said they were wary of the influence of the Catholic Church (Merritt, 6/11).Baltimore Sun: Door To Health Care Enrolls More Than 6,700 Since Jan. 2011 LaunchIn its first 16 months, Healthy Howard’s Door to Health Care has enrolled more than 7,000 county residents, helping reduce Howard’s uninsured population. … “The Door,” as it’s often called, was launched in January 2011 as a new component of the county’s Healthy Howard program. It uses a pilot software program to screen applicants for eligibility in multiple health insurance programs (McPherson, 6/11).Modern Healthcare: Lawsuit Challenges State CON LawsA second lawsuit has landed in the federal courts challenging the constitutionality of state certificate-of-need laws that regulate when and how health care providers operate. The latest lawsuit, Colon Health Centers of America v. Bill Hazel was filed in the eastern district of Virginia by a libertarian law firm, on behalf of two out-of-state physician practices that say they cannot overcome the regulatory hurdles the state has established (Carlson, 6/11).The Associated Press: NYC Health Board To Get Big Drink Ban ProposalMayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposal to ban large sugary drinks from New York City eateries is moving forward. The proposal is scheduled to be formally submitted to the city’s board of health Tuesday morning (6/12). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
A selection of health policy stories from South Carolina, Georgia, Minnesota, New York, California, Texas and Massachusetts.The Associated Press: Education, Health Care Among Haley’s TopicsSouth Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley asked legislators in her third State of the State address Wednesday to overhaul how public schools are funded, improve crumbling roads, and make prisons a safer place for those who guard the most violent offenders. She pledged to work to improve residents’ health, especially in rural areas, without expanding Medicaid. For example, she said, next year the state’s Medicaid agency will begin fully reimbursing rural hospitals for uncompensated care (Adcox, 1/17).The Associated Press: SC Medicaid Director Touts Agency SavingsSouth Carolina’s Medicaid director said Thursday his agency’s savings initiatives are allowing tens of millions of dollars to be spent on the state’s many other needs. Under the Department of Health and Human Services’ preliminary budget request last fall, the escalating cost of Medicaid would have eaten up every dollar of additional revenue currently projected to come into state coffers next fiscal year. But Gov. Nikki Haley’s executive budget proposal recommends spending an additional $156 million. That’s about $40 million less on the government health care program for the poor and disabled than that initial request (Adcox, 1/17).The Associated Press: Deal Cautious With Third-Year PlansGov. Nathan Deal presented Georgia lawmakers with a wide-ranging but cautious agenda Thursday, asking the new General Assembly not to divert from the path set during the Republican governor’s first two years in office. The governor urged lawmakers to ratify his plan for an appointed state health policy board to assess fees on Georgia hospitals as a way to avert steep cuts to the Medicaid health insurance program for low-income residents, most of them children or disabled adults. That plan would replace a direct tax that expires at the end of the current fiscal year (Barrow, 1/17). Georgia Health News: Provider Fee Bill Sails Through SenateThe state Senate passed legislation Thursday that would facilitate the renewal of the hospital provider fee, after soundly rejecting a bid to tie the bill’s approval to Georgia expanding its Medicaid program. As envisioned by the 2010 federal health reform law, Medicaid expansion would add more than 600,000 lower-income Georgians to the program. Senate Democrats offered the amendment to allow the provider fee to fund expansion of the Medicaid program. The amendment failed on a party-line vote, 36-18 (Miller, 1/17).Pioneer Press: MinnesotaCare: Legislators Ask Feds To Preserve Health Insurance ProgramA bipartisan group of legislators is asking the federal government to help Minnesota tap funds that could preserve and improve the MinnesotaCare health insurance program. MinnesotaCare was created by the Legislature in 1992 as a way to provide coverage to lower-income people who don’t get health insurance through their jobs (Snowbeck, 1/17).The New York Times: Audit, Citing Mismanagement Finds SUNY Downstate In Dire Fiscal StraitsAs SUNY Downstate Medical Center bled money over the past few years, 15 of the hospital’s top administrators were paid taxpayer-financed salaries over $200,000, while nearly 500 lower-paid employees were sent layoff notices, according to a state comptroller’s audit released on Thursday (Hartocollis, 1/17).Los Angeles Times: California Ranks Low In Providing Special-Needs Care To ChildrenCalifornia children with special healthcare needs receive worse care than those in most other states, according to an analysis by the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health. The foundation ranked California 46th in effective coordination of medical care and 50th for referrals to specialty care (Gorman, 1/17).The Texas Tribune: Lawmakers Look To Medical Parole To Cut Prison CostsAs lawmakers deal with rising costs to provide health care for prison inmates around the state, some are looking to cut costs by re-examining a program that releases inmates who are deemed the oldest, sickest and most expensive. State Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, filed HB 512 this week, a bill that would change state laws governing which prison inmates are reviewed by the Board of Pardons and Paroles for release under a program called Medically Recommended Intensive Supervision (Chammah, 1/18).Boston Globe: Longtime Advocate To Lead Mass. AARPA former state representative and secretary of the Executive Office of Elder Affairs has been tapped to lead the Massachusetts office of AARP, the state’s largest advocacy organization for older people. AARP announced Thursday that Michael E. Festa, 58, a longtime Melrose lawyer and resident, will take over as director on Tuesday. Festa said in a phone interview that one of his top priorities will be to make sure the voices of 800,000 Massachusetts members are heard in Washington, particularly on the issue of protecting the future of Social Security. AARP figures show that Social Security accounts for 56 percent of the typical older Massachusetts resident’s income (Lazar, 1/17). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. State Highlights: Trying To Save Care For Poor With Medicaid Budget Deals
Reston-based contractor Maximus said this week that it will acquire information technology contractor Acentia for $300 million cash as it seeks to expand more into the federal space. The deal signals a concerted step into the federal health IT market for a company better known for processing Medicare claims for state governments and running call centers for state health exchanges. (Gregg, 3/10) And now, Apple will enroll you in a clinical trial. In a surprise announcement that overshadowed the presentation of its new Apple Watch — for the health care industry, at least — the Silicon Valley giant on Monday unveiled a new biomedical platform called ResearchKit. The platform … will allow any iPhone user to enroll in tests of new drugs and therapies by downloading apps from hospitals and providers who are recruiting patients.(Gold, 3/10) Politico: Accompanying Apple Watch, A Medical Surprise This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Enroll In Clinical Trials Through Your IPhone In a surprise announcement Monday, Apple unveiled a biomedical platform called ResearchKit that will allow any iPhone user to enroll in tests of new drugs and therapies by downloading apps from hospitals and providers who are recruiting patients. Meanwhile, Reston-based Maximus announces plans to acquire information technology contractor Acentia. The Washington Post: Maximus, Seeking To Expand Into Health IT Market, Acquires Acentia
Off-Label Drug Communication Restrictions To Be Discussed At FDA Meetings Pharmaceutical companies want regulators to loosen strict limits currently in place on what information they can provide to doctors about unapproved uses of prescription medications. Stat: FDA To Hold Long-Awaited Meeting To Review Off-Label Marketing This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday announced in the Federal Register that the agency will hold a public hearing in November to gather input about how companies communicate about their products. Specifically, the agency will focus on how companies discuss off-label uses of their products, the notice says. The FDA regulates how drug and device makers communicate about their products through approved labels, but many of those companies say there’s more information about their products worth sharing to help providers and others provide better care to patients. (McIntire, 8/31) Morning Consult: FDA To Hold Hearing On Updating Pharmaceutical Industry Speech Regulation After years of anticipation, the US Food and Drug Administration will hold a public, two-day meeting in November to review the extent to which so-called off-label information about medicines may be disseminated to physicians. Off-label information is regulatory parlance for materials that describe unapproved uses of a drug. Doctors are, in fact, allowed to prescribe a medicine for an unapproved use, but drug makers have long chafed at restrictions on their ability to distribute such information — reprints of medical studies, for example — and have lobbied Congress and the FDA to loosen regulations. (Silverman, 8/31)
Modern Healthcare: ONC Names Hospitals Using EHR Data Most In Clinical Practice Stat: IBM Halting Sales Of Watson AI Tool For Drug Discovery Citing lackluster financial performance, IBM is halting development and sales of a product that uses its Watson artificial intelligence software to help pharmaceutical companies discover new drugs, according to a person familiar with the company’s internal decision-making. The decision to shut down sales of Watson for Drug Discovery marks the highest-profile retreat in the company’s effort to apply artificial intelligence to various areas of health care. Last year, the company scaled back on the hospital side of its business, and it’s struggled to develop a reliable tool to assist doctors in treating cancer patients. (Ross, 4/18) Ups And Downs Of Artificial Intelligence: IBM Stops Sales, Development Of Watson For Drug Discovery; Hospitals Learn From EHRs While revenue and earnings have been lackluster for Watson for Drug Discovery, other companies are making profits in developing software that improves the clinical trials process for drugs. Also in the news: Hospitals are making improvements by using data from certain electronic health record systems. Hospitals are increasingly using data from electronic health records systems to support quality improvement efforts and to monitor patient safety, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology said Wednesday. Hospitals using Epic, Meditech and Cerner systems reported the highest use of EHR data to inform clinical practice, while those using EHRs from CPSI, MEDHOST or “other” vendors—a category that included developers like athenahealth, eClinicalWorks and GE Healthcare—were most likely to report not using EHR data for these purposes, ONC’s report said. (Cohen, 4/17) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
2 Comments Reddit Comment Share this storyWhat happens to the Raptors brand if Kawhi leaves? Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn Marketing expert Tony Chapman speaks with the Financial Post’s Joe O’Connor about the Raptors brand, how the team makes the fan the hero, and why Canada is the perfect place for Kawhi Leonard. How Hudson’s Bay can avoid becoming the next Sears Email Twitter Join the conversation → June 12, 20194:13 PM EDTLast UpdatedJune 17, 201912:54 PM EDT Filed under News Retail & Marketing Related Stories Facebook More What happens to the Raptors brand if Kawhi leaves? Marketing expert Tony Chapman speaks with Joe O’Connor about the Raptors brand and why Canada is the perfect place for Kawhi Leonard Joe O’Connor
Solving the EV range & efficiency puzzle isn’t easy.Though the EPA rates electric cars quite accurately, the lab can’t account for all conditions. Nor does it try to.More Winter Driving Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on December 25, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Watch This Nokian Winter Tire Test On Tesla Model S: Video Therefore, as winter sets in, we like to turn to these anecdotal stories for a better gauge of expectations.In this particular example, a Hyundai Kona Electric is tested in the cold and the results are as expected. Both range and efficiency drop off as the temperatures drop.What’s unique in this video is that it examines the power draw of electronics and comfort features of the car. So, we’re not really looking at the power draw from driving. Instead, this clip examines those other items that are often used to keep you warm & toasty.Check out the video above for more of the Kona Electric’s efficiency drop in the winter.Be sure to check out our in-depth piece on the Kona Electric’s thermal management system here.Video description:Merry Christmas!Finally edited this video with a day to spare before Christmas. I was curious why the efficiency during winter isn’t as good as summer so wanted to quantify the KW usage of the various electronics and comfort features in the car. This isn’t a conclusive test as to start with the delay in updating the display is unexplained as is the components using the default 200 to 300 watts of energy. Tesla Model 3 Real-World Winter Driving And Range Test: Videos Tesla Model 3 Winter Test: Cold Weather Demands A Long-Range Battery Source: Electric Vehicle News
Watch New Jaguar I-Pace Electrical Storm Ad Toyota Corolla 2019 TV Advert – 60″ Source: Electric Vehicle News Audi E-Tron GT Super Bowl Commercial Is Dreamy: Video Watch Electrify America’s New JetStones Ad Campaign Self-charging hybrid?In a new ad for the 2019 Corolla hybrid, Toyota again decided to take a cheap shot at plug-in electric cars by showing a recharging EV left behind in the dust.Moreover, the conventional hybrid car was called a “self-charging hybrid” to underline that it doesn’t need charging points. With such an approach, we could easily bounce the ball the other way and say that Toyota’s hybrids are just gasoline cars, with a slightly more efficient drivetrain. But those hybrids get left behind when they need to fuel up.More ads Well, all-electric cars are the future. Toyota will feel the effects of its propaganda when it is eventually forced to introduce BEVs to its customers. Those customers will remember these anti-EV ads, we hope.“The start of an exciting new era for the world’s best-selling car.Watch the new UK TV advert for the Toyota Corolla, which demonstrates how the Corolla’s new hybrid powertrain makes it the no-compromise choice of today.” Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on February 13, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News
How much does it cost to lease these two popular electric cars?Source: Electric Vehicle News