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Volkswagen introduces innovative and revolutionary gesture control technology

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“Isn’t it amazing what gestures can do?” that’s the tagline of Volkswagen’s latest ad campaign featuring an impressive stunt dog to promote their Gesture Control technology.

Jumpy the dog, who became famous on YouTube for his impressive tricks and stunts shows how simple gestures can create amazing stories. When Jumpy meets a lonesome man in the park, he accidentally becomes the hero in a personal love story.

This creative campaign from Volkswagen not only helps to demonstrate the simplicity and fun of using their innovative technology, but a new approach in which they aim to revolutionise the operation of vehicles.

No more buttons or switches

Volkswagen has said that soon we’ll be able to control many of our car’s features without using buttons or switches, thanks to Gesture Control.

In fact nearly all of the controls in the Golf R Touch, which was unveiled at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, were either touch-screen or sensor-based.

The interior of the Golf R Touch

The interior of the Golf R Touch

The main reason for this is driven by the need to simplify increasingly complex technology in cars and to reduce driver distractions.

“The development team for the Golf R Touch pursued the goal of producing an interior and infotainment concept that would fulfil seemingly contradictory requirements,” explains Volkswagen. “Despite the continually growing complexity and number of functions, this concept was intended to reduce driver distractions while attaining maximum personalization and intuitive operation in the car.”

Advanced Gesture Control

Using proximity sensors and a 3D camera mounted in the roof lining, Volkswagen’s gesture control technology works by recording and interpreting hand movements to control almost every piece of equipment in the cabin.

For example, if the driver gestures to touch the roof then the car will bring up touchscreen controls for the sunroof. You can then gesture your hand back or forward to slide the roof open or closed. Similar hand-waving can be used to adjust the seats and even the climate control.

The firm claims the system is primarily designed to reduce the increasing array of distractions for the driver and make it more natural to control the technology. The layouts of the central touchscreen and the Active Info Display can be customized quickly, in a similar way to smartphones or tablets. The same applies to the entire colour staging in the interior.

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Cars

Top Gear ‘as entertaining as ever’ according to new series review

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The new series of Top Gear is “as entertaining as ever”, according to an early review.

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The show has been plagued by reports that new hosts Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc are at loggerheads and that members of the audience walked out before the end of taping.

The newly launched show will return to television screens this weekend, featuring the all-new line-up of Evans, Friends star LeBlanc and four other hosts, plus The Stig.

However, the pair appeared to have a “healthy, humorous rivalry” at the first taping of the show open to the public, the Guardian reported.

Early on in the recording Evans admitted to being very nervous and struggled with his lines.

“At one point he had his head in his hands and pretended to beat it on a car bonnet after getting stuck on a piece about the return of The Stig,” the newspaper said.

LeBlanc has previously dismissed claims that he is “at war” with Evans and admitted he had not expected the negativity the show has received prior to airing, or the anger of fans of the original line-up of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May.

The show’s popular Star In A Reasonably Priced Car segment will be replaced with Star In A Rallycross Car in the new series, which will feature a new car and a new track.

The Social Network star Jesse Eisenberg and chef Gordon Ramsay will be the first guests.

The newspaper said: “The new series retains the high-speed hallmarks of the old and – while it may have a lot of work to do to get past the Clarkson purists – it remains as entertaining as ever. Which will be bad news to those who wish it ill.”

Top Gear returns to BBC Two on May 29 at 8pm.

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Business

How to Get the Most Out of Your Work Vehicle

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From sales to all types of trades, there are many occupations that require people to have work vehicles. A work vehicle needs to be reliable for the job, but it can also provide a range of other benefits if utilised properly. Here are a few ways you can get the most out of your car or ute.

Install a Storage Unit Canopy

Kitting out your car with a suitable storage unit will not only protect your tools, it will also use the space more efficiently. Need to lay your hands on a tool quickly? You’ll know exactly where it is stored. Need to make a few stops on the way home? A canopy keeps your tools safely locked away from opportunistic thieves. An affordable storage body like those from XL even work with central locking systems for further protection.

A storage unit also allows for dual-purpose use of your vehicle. With your tools safely put away, you will have room to throw recreational gear in the back. Whether you prefer to take off and go camping, fish or cycle in your downtime, you need space to take your equipment with you.

Turn it into a Mobile Office

If you move around a lot for work, turn your car into your own mobile workspace. Sometimes you need to be able to work on the go. By adding a couple of accessories to your car, you can knock over your administrative work, no matter where you are. Charge your phone, return calls and even take care of some invoicing work – that way you can be up-to-date before you even get home. Keep a charging cord and some notepaper in your car. Most modern vehicles have Bluetooth systems nowadays, however a headset is cheap to buy if you need one.

Advertise While You’re on the Move

Your work vehicle has plenty of space that you can take advantage of. Most signwriters offer magnetic signs that serve as temporary billboards – allowing you to remove any advertising when you are off-duty. If your work vehicle is parked near a job site each day, it’s a great opportunity to catch the eye of passing traffic with a colourful business ad. This leads to brand recognition; meaning your business will be at the forefront of your customers’ minds when they need your services.

Service Your Car Regularly

As with most mechanical items, regular servicing keeps your work vehicle in peak condition. Just as you check and maintain the family car, the work car also needs attention. Do a quick check of the tyres every day. If you are carrying heavy loads, your tyres will show signs of wear more quickly than others. Always check and adjust the tyre pressure to manufacturer’s recommendations as this can make a big difference to your fuel consumption. Top-up fluids when they get low and don’t skimp when it comes to servicing. In the long run, it will save you a lot of money.

These suggestions can help you make the most of the available space your work car offers. What are some other ways you can get more from a work vehicle?

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Cars

The Differences in the New Ford Medium Duty Trucks

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It’s easy for consumers to forget that companies like Ford design vehicles with purposes other than highway driving and puttering around town. But many trucks in the Ford product line are devoted to hard labor: on the job site and in large industrial applications.

The new medium duty Ford trucks have been created for big jobs, and the average person isn’t likely to see one parked in a neighbourhood driveway. But that doesn’t mean that there is any less thought that goes into the design of these big trucks. On the contrary, Ford’s new line of medium duty trucks are designed for comfort, style, and utility, as much as any design made for the average person.

They do this in a number of ways. In the old days, large trucks like these were Function over Fashion. Not only were they not built for looks, they weren’t built for comfort either. These were noisy, smelly, shakey vehicles. Today’s medium duty trucks by Ford are calmer on all counts. 45% quieter than their immediate predecessors, these make hard jobs a lot more tolerable. Just because your work is tough doesn’t mean that you should have to sit in a noisy uncomfortable cab all day.

Ford also makes their medium duty trucks adjustable to the needs of your job. They put all of the basic element of the truck underneath the cab, in order that the back end of the truck can be customized, or chosen from a variety of different options. It’s a vehicle that is able to be perfectly matched to every job, every duty, no matter how long or hard. Look for this versatility in any other manufacturer and you’re likely to be disappointed. Ford brings their long history of excellence to the modern era, where an unprecedented level of craft possibilities makes these trucks new.

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