THE LATEST IN AUTOMOTIVE TECH, TOYS AND GADGETS

Tech

SETTING SAIL

Lexus knows luxury. It knows what materials to use, and what angles to place it at to maximise that ah-factor. Usually, though, all this tech and expertise on the good life is dispensed into its cars. So, when in 2017, it showcased the Lexus Sport Yacht, the world, while taking notice, essentially dismissed it as misguided ambition.

Fast-forward one year, though, and the marque’s sea-going determination realised, albeit less sporty, in the form of the LY 650. The near 20-metre yacht will become only the fourth member – alongside the LS sedan, LC coupe and LX off-roader – to wear the coveted L nameplate signifying its flagship luxury status.

It will be built, serviced and sold by American ship makers, Marquis-Larson.

Image © LEXUS

A DIFFERENT TECH PERSPECTIVE

Tech

When you find conventional 2-D navigation a tad middle-of-the-road, there’s always Augmented Reality.

Well, that’s the idea at least, since Hyundai has recently announced its plan to invest in Swiss start-up WayRay, a company that’s said to specialise in state-of-the-art visual tech like in-car holographic Augmented Reality.

The tech, which Hyundai already plans to roll out in 2020, integrates virtual objects into a driver’s field of view using a smaller projection system than the traditional Heads-Up Display (HUD) and also generates a clearer picture.

The Korean carmaker also said that the technology WayRay offers have no restriction in display-size parameters, meaning it can project crucial driving and environmental information across the entirety of the windscreen.

Image © HYUNDAI MOTORS

FULL CHARGE

Tech

Imagine, for a second, travelling between Pretoria and Cape Town in an electric vehicle.

Not possible right?

Well, if we’re honest, it will likely run out of Eskom volts even before reaching Bloemfontein.

Not if Jaguar can help it, though. The British carmaker recently partnered with GridCars and is now looking to introduce 82 public charging points along SA’s major freeways.

The R30-million infrastructure investment is expected to be operational by the end of November – just in time for the arrival of the Jaguar I-Pace. While vehicles from the Jaguar Land Rover stable will receive a 25% charging discount, the 60 kWh fast-charging stations will accommodate all EVs currently available in South Africa.

A full charge of the I-Pace is expected to cost in the region of R300 – a bargain we’d say.

Image © JAGUAR

UP, UP AND AWAY

Tech

While mainstream companies like Uber and Aston Martin are dabbling with the idea of Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) vehicles, another company, called Samson is instead looking at building on existing modes of transport in its quest to take to the skies.

Its model, called the Switchblade, is the world’s first flying sports car and while it’s still in its pre-production phase it has already received more than 800 orders.

On the ground, the three-wheeled Switchblade is expected to reach a top speed of more than 200 km/h, whereas the airspeed needle can go all the way to 322 km/h.

It only needs a runway of 335 m for take-off and a 488-metre stretch for landing, making it perfect for driving to and flying from the closest airstrip.

Image © SAMSON

FOR FOUR-LEGS

Tech

It’s new, slightly strange, and actually makes a whole lot of sense. It’s the Land Rover Dog-Friendly Pet Pack, and it caters to adventurers of the four-legged variety.

The purpose of the pet pack, says Land Rover, is to not only protect the vehicle but also make travelling for man’s best friend a little less stressful.

The foldable pet access ramp is one such tech example that can help smaller and older dogs into and out of the vehicle eliminating the need to pick them up. Other features include a load space liner, a spill-resistant water bowl and our favourite, the 6.5-litre portable rinse system.

These clever doodads are available in three separate purpose-built packs that include protection, transportation and access varieties, and are available to be specified on any current Land Rover model.

Images © LAND ROVER

Report by DEON VAN DER WALT