I think that progress with batteries in electric cars are far more important than turning cars into social media platforms. Car purists and environmentalists would rather see more mileage come out of their electric cars than being able to send a Tweet on the move. Here's to hoping that Mercedes get their priorities right.
Peter - http://www.pmwltd.co.uk/
I am not sure if Mercedes Benz coming up with the mbrace2 is really just a gimmick to divert attention away from the fact that it has not made significant improves to the existing cars in terms of engine, safety and efficiency. Having the ability to connect to Facebook and use Google seems like trivial affairs when compared to other serious advancements that can be made, like better braking systems, and more efficient engines.
Lakisha - http://getapproved.com.au
Glad to hear that Mercedes continues focusing on the efficiency of their automobiles in addition to making them more technologically advanced. While a car that can update your Facebook status is certainly pretty cool, a vehicle that uses carbon fiber reinforced plastics to reduce weight while maintaining safety is a win for both consumers and the environment. Thanks for the great write-up, Alexander Wolfe!
For more on CFRP car parts, visit: http://www.facebook.com/plasticcar and www.plastics-car.com
Rob Krebs, Market Innovations, American Chemistry Council
Intense competition and interest in plug-in (PHEV) and pure electric (BEV) cars are driving innovation in battery designs. We're in a very dynamic portion of the development cycle with battery chemistry, nanotechnology, air and fluid cooling systems all changing in an effort to improve safety and energy density. Like solar cell R&D, every day seems to bring another breathless report of a breakthrough technology. It will be interesting to see what designs settle out as the best technologies.
Mercedes foresees collision avoidance technology,weight reductions and range boosts for electric vehicles,real-time automotive diagnostics back to the dealer, allow parents to track what their kids are doing with the car ,road-condition advisories for drivers' planned trips,vision of an accident-free car, number of new features to welcome. Also they said that It will take a long time, if ever, before all-composite cars are common.
Pursuing "an accident-free car" is a noble cause, but accidents will happen and reliable speech recognition in the noisy car atmosphere is a priority for telematics. Drivers should not be satisfied with "digital concierges", but with "intelligent concierges" who listen and react instantaneously to avert accidents. But then some accidents are beyond technology to react. Ask anyone hit by a deer on route 20 in upstate NY. As far as lithium ion being the only battery technology going forward, read this EE Times story: http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4210534/Powering-up-the-global-battery-market
Drones are, in essence, flying autonomous vehicles. Pros and cons surrounding drones today might well foreshadow the debate over the development of self-driving cars. In the context of a strongly regulated aviation industry, "self-flying" drones pose a fresh challenge. How safe is it to fly drones in different environments? Should drones be required for visual line of sight – as are piloted airplanes? Join EE Times' Junko Yoshida as she moderates a panel of drone experts.