Safety First

Ducati Multistrada V4 is the first motorcycle to feature front and rear radar technology

The radar technology enables adaptive cruise control and blind spot monitoring functionality.

Photo courtesy of Ducati
Traditionally, passenger cars get the tech first then, as the prices lower on the systems, the technology makes its way to motorcycles. It was just this year that it was announced that the Honda Gold Wing would become the first motorcycle to have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The Ducati Multistrada V4, the fourth-generation of one of the most successful vehicles in Ducati history, will be the first motorcycle to feature front and rear radar technology when it debuts November 4.

Ducati Multistrada V4 The new Multistrada will be unveiled in full in November.Photo courtesy of Ducati

The radar systems are designed to be capable of supporting a safe journey while making the driver feel more comfortable on the bike. The system has its roots in a collaboration with the Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering of the Politecnico di Milano that began in 2016 seeing if a car-derived system would work for a vehicle with just two wheels. Then, the company moved to work in close cooperation with Bosch to assist in the development of a two-radar system that is coming to fruition in the V4.

Each radar has compact dimensions (70 x 60 x 28 mm, similar to a modern action camera) and integrates perfectly into the bike, weighing only 190 grams (four-tenths of a pound). They are positioned in front of the controls for the adaptive cruise control. The radar system has its deceleration and acceleration limited in order to ensure the rider can maintain constant control of the vehicle.

The rear radar detects and reports vehicles positioned in the motorcycle's bind spot. The blind spot detection system also signals when vehicles are approaching from behind at high speed.

Ducati Multistrada V4 The radar system weighs less than 1 pound, total.Photo courtesy of Ducati

Also included with the generational redesign of the mode are a new, light, and compact engine that Ducati promises is designed to "meet the needs required for 'adventouring' use without neglecting emotion and sportiness". The motorcycle will also have "record-braking maintenance intervals". Details of the new engine will be revealed on October 15.

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Automotive toys

McLaren and LEGO team up on two new models

The automaker released two LEGO models for the holiday season.

McLaren

McLaren cars are among the quickest and most sought after vehicles on the planet, but not everyone can swallow their six-figure price tags. There's good news, though. Those of us who aren't able to get in the driver's seat can pick up the new LEGO kits and build our own mini-McLarens at home. The automaker partnered with the toy brand to offer two models for the holidays.

McLaren The open-top McLaren Elva in LEGO form.McLaren

McLaren is also offering auto-themed luggage from Tumi and a special line of clothing, but that's not why where here. We're most interested in the LEGO versions of the McLaren Elva and McLaren Senna GTR. However, with hundreds of pieces each, these aren't the simplest of toys. The Senna GTR LEGO replica comes in 830 pieces and features a V8 engine with moving pistons, opening dihedral doors, and a deep blue livery.

The McLaren Elva is *only* 263 pieces and replicates the cleverly designed, super-aerodynamic open-top car. McLaren says that the real car uses aero to shelter its occupants from wind. There is no windshield and no windows on the car, both of which are details that look great in the blocky LEGO format.

McLaren McLaren also worked with Tumi to develop car-themed luggage.McLaren

If you're itching to hand-assemble either McLaren LEGO model at home, the Senna costs $49.99 and the Elva costs $19.99.

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OTA software updates

Tesla rolls back FSD beta before issuing fix

Tesla issued a beta update but quickly pulled it back.

Tesla

Tesla's Full Self-Driving tech is currently in public beta testing, which means that the automaker allows a subset of its owners to download the software to their cars. Over the weekend, Tesla released FSD beta 10.3 and users started reporting issues almost immediately. Since Tesla's PR department is essentially CEO Elon Musk's Twitter account, he took to social media to outline the process to fix problems with the beta.

Tesla FSD Drivers reported issues with vehicle safety systems after updating.Tesla

Musk tweeted that public beta version 10.3 was rolled back to 10.2. "Please note, this is to be expected with beta software," he said. Issues began popping up with Tesla owners on various forums and on social media. Drivers reported that cars shut off active safety features without their input and some noted that their forward collision warnings and automatic emergency braking systems malfunctioned, causing the cars to apply the brakes without any apparent danger in the road ahead.

Tesla FSD A new beta was released this morning with fixes for the problems.Tesla

Early this morning, Musk tweeted again to note that beta version 10.3.1 is rolling out now, which would re-update users to the latest version with fixes. All of this illustrates how FSD is not final and has a way to go before it's ready for showtime. Developing software of any type is difficult work, made even harder by the fact that public roads are so unpredictable at times. So, while Tesla's public beta approach, which puts unproven functions into the hands of everyday drivers, may not be the most palatable for many of us on the roads at the same time, it's certainly netting the company plenty of data to work with.

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