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The car they couldn’t see

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If you’ve ever seen a car covered in bizarre swirls, mind‑bending patterns, or crazy squiggles then the chances are you’ve seen a top secret new prototype with a special coating of camouflage stickers.

Designed to deceive industry spies hoping to catch a glimpse of new cars being tested on public roads, these designs create an optical illusion, making it extremely hard for eyes to focus on the outlines.

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Ford’s latest 3D “Brick” camouflage, inspired in part by popular online illusions, uses thousands of seemingly randomly placed black, grey and white cylinders in a chaotic criss-cross pattern. This makes it especially difficult to discern new exterior features in sunlight, whether seen in person or on the millions of photographs and selfies that are posted to the internet.

“Almost everyone has a smartphone now and can share photos instantly – making it easy for anyone, including our rivals, to see vehicles in testing,” said Lars Muehlbauer, manager, Camouflage, Ford of Europe. “The designers create beautiful cars with cool design features. Our job is to keep those features hidden.”

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New vehicles are tested on public roads as part of a rigorous development process. Each new camouflage takes around two months to develop and is then printed on superlight vinyl stickers, which are thinner than a human hair, and that are uniquely applied to each vehicle. Designs are first tested on a closed Ford test track to ensure the camouflage does the job.

“I tried to create a design which is chaotic and that confuses the eyes,” said Marco Porceddu, vehicle prototype engineer, Product Development, Ford of Europe, who developed the new camouflage. “I researched optical illusions on the internet and came up with a shape that could be copied and overlapped thousands of times. This creates both an optical illusion and a 3D effect.”

Designed to withstand extreme temperatures, Ford’s camouflage blends in with winter environments in Europe while sand colours are used in Australia and South America.

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“This camouflage will stand out in almost any environment, but it’s designed to destroy the integrity of the vehicle’s shape, surfaces and colour, delaying your brain’s ability to recognise it, or its key features by sight,” said Martin Stevens, Associate Professor, University of Exeter; who has studied Animal Coloration and Camouflage for almost 15 years. “The optical illusion doesn’t prevent the car being seen, but plays with your ability to measure depth of field and shadows, making it difficult to see shapes and car features. It is a trick used in nature to get away from something or to hide that is equally useful to a car test driver.”

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Car tech rules CES Asia

More than 60 automotive brands will highlight their latest innovations at the Asia edition of CES in Shanghai in June.

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The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) has revealed that vehicle technology show floor space at CES Asia 2019 will double in size and showcase technology advances which make cars safer and more connected. 

More than 60 global auto brands including Audi, Honda, Hyundai, Kia and Nissan will feature their latest innovations in vehicle technology across two major indoor exhibit halls, the event’s largest-ever vehicle tech footprint. CES Asia attendees will experience the latest concept cars and connected vehicles from self-driving to all-electric, making transportation safer and greener. CES Asia will run from 11 to 13 June 2019 at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre Center (SNIEC) in Shanghai, China.

CES Asia show director John T. Kelley said: “Today, every company is a tech company. Traditional automotive manufacturers are joining vehicle tech newcomers to exhibit at CES Asia, the perfect platform that brings together different industries to showcase their latest technologies in self-driving, clean energy and smart navigation features. CES Asia uniquely challenges the traditional auto shows in targeting the world’s largest auto market – China.”

German auto giant Volkswagen will join forces with Beijing-based Mobvoi for their CES Asia debut showcasing the latest development of AI coming to Volkswagen’s future cars. Inceptio Technology is another first-time exhibitor to demonstrate next generation self-driving technologies for trucks and transportation services. Other first-time exhibitors include Denso, FAW Hongqi, Great Wall Motor, Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence, Hyundai Mobis, and Polestar. 3M, Bose, Continental, NIRA Dynamics AB, OnStar, Opus Microsystems, Smart Eye AB and United Automotive Electronic Systems are just a few of the notable exhibitors returning to the automotive show floor at CES Asia 2019.

CES Asia 2019 will focus on AI, 5G, Vehicle Tech, and startups from around the world. The show is expected to feature 550+ exhibiting companies, including more than 125 startups and represents the full technology ecosystem with innovations spanning 20 product categories. For the fourth year in a row, the United States Department of Commerce (USDOC) has granted Trade Fair Certification for CES Asia 2019, a formal federal endorsement of CES Asia as a recognized opportunity to showcase U.S. products and services overseas.

Visit CESAsia.com to register now and find more event details. WeChat registration for CES Asia 2019 is also available now. Follow us on WeChat (ID: CESAsia_II) to register.


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How cars can stop flu

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The car of the future could help win the battle against superbugs – according to Jaguar Land Rover. Future models could help stop the spread of colds and flu thanks to innovative ultraviolet light technology (UV-C) borrowed from the medical industry, where it has been used for more than 70 years. 

By integrating UV-C, Jaguar Land Rover believes it could help to stop bacteria and harmful viruses, known as pathogens, from surviving in the cabin. UV-C is currently widely used for disinfecting water, filtering air and sterilising surfaces by utilising wavelengths of light between 200 – 280 nanometres. 

Exposing pathogens to UV-C within the air conditioning system breaks down the molecular structure of the DNA, neutralising them. Clean air is then released into the cabin. The technology could even help in the fight against drug-resistant superbugs.   

Jaguar Land Rover is exploring UV-C technology as part of its vision to create a tranquil sanctuary inside each of its luxury vehicles. The manufacturer is piloting a wide range of driver and passenger wellbeing features, as it looks towards a self-driving future. 

Dr Steve Iley, Jaguar Land Rover chief medical officer, said: “The average motorist spends as much as 300 hours per year behind the wheel. There is a clear opportunity to better utilise cars for administering preventative healthcare.”

“The implementation of individual wellbeing measures as part of our ‘tranquil sanctuary’ research promises to not only improve quality of life for our customers but in this case, offers clear advantages in reducing pathogen spread – protecting the overall population from the threat of disease; particularly as we move towards shared mobility solutions.” 

Jaguar Land Rover is already actively seeking to neutralise pathogens in its latest generation Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems, available across the range including the all-electric Jaguar I-PACE and Range Rover Sport. The current Four-zone Climate Control and Cabin Air Ionisation system works by using high voltage to create trillions of nano-sized negatively charged particles (ions) coated in water molecules. These ions deactivate pathogens, forming larger particles which are removed from the air as they are brought back into the filter. As well as combatting pathogens, the ions also act upon odour molecules and allergens in a similar way. 

Dr Iley said: “In the colder months infections are spread more easily, it’s reassuring to know that in your car at least, you can be confident that harmful pathogens are being neutralised.”

Recent medical trials* suggest the use of UV-C could be even more effective as it has been shown to cut the transmission of four major superbugs by up to 30%. Researchers focused on four drug-resistant organisms: MRSA, vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), C. difficile and Acinetobacter.

Immunology expert, Dr. Hellmut Münch, CEO at Medical Enzyme Research Association, said: “The rise of superbugs and allergens is one of the largest threats we face as a species today. Investment in immunology is vital in ensuring that our immune systems stay ahead of the race against microorganisms, which are evolving far quicker than traditional pharmaceuticals can keep pace with. It is important that we continue to take an innovative look at how we can adapt our environment to help prevent the spread of the most harmful pathogens – which is why this research is paramount.”

https://tru-d.com/from-duke-health-uvc-light-helps-hospitals-fight-drug-resistant-superbugs/

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