Posts Tagged ‘automotive’

Something for the weekend? Ford introduces its Drug Driving Suit – not actually as psychedelic as it sounds

November 20, 2015

The Ford Motor Company has created a unique body suit that simulates the effects of driving under the influence of illegal drugs. The aim is to educate young people about the dangers of driving whilst under the influence of drugs.

Ford developed the suit together with scientists from the Meyer-Hentschel Institute in Germany to simulate some of the effects of popular drugs such as cannabis, cocaine, heroin and MDMA (commonly known as Ecstasy). Physical effects include slower reaction time, distorted vision, hand tremors and poor coordination.

Check out the full story of Ford’s Drug Driving Suit on E&T news.

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Road trip

Road trip

Will @TeslaMotors new Model X give #electriccars a major boost – an annotated infographic

November 2, 2015

Tesla’s electric Model X SUV can sprint to 100km/h in 3.2 seconds, features radar and sonar to enable hands-free autopilot driving and can travel 400km on a single charge – at a fuel cost of just €4.

The new Tesla Motors Model X SUV is so packed with headline grabbing features like the “falcon wing” doors, mind-boggling performance and a giant windscreen, that you might forget the fact that it is all electric, too. It might even protect you if biological warfare breaks out.

The Fremont, California-based battery-powered car pioneer led by charismatic entrepreneur Elon Musk has cornered the market for luxury electric vehicles with its current Model S saloon, to the consternation of the German premium manufacturers like Mercedes and BMW. They are fighting back, but promised competitor products which include the Audi e-tron Quattro and Porsche Mission E are still more than two years way. By then Tesla is likely to have its most important car ready for sale, the lower cost Model 3, which is expected to be more of a mass market competitor priced at around $50,000.

Tesla hasn’t yet revealed the base price for the Model X, although that is expected to be close to $80,000. The all-singing all-dancing special versions it has unveiled so far are much pricier. The Signature costs $130,000 and the Founder $142,000.

The stand-out feature of the Model X is the falcon wing doors, reminiscent of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL in the 50s and 60s or the notorious DeLorean. The Model X doors, though, are much more sophisticated. They are double-hinged and open upwards then outwards to allow parking in tight spaces. The giant windscreen stretches up and over the front seat occupants and offers the second row passengers a better view. The performance is more sports-car than SUV with blistering acceleration to 60mph (97km/h), and on to 155mph (250km/h) in unlimited Germany at least.

Tesla claims superior safety too, as unlike regular high-riding SUVs the X is less prone to rolling over because it will be pinned down by the weight of the batteries which are spread under the floor. The big crumple zone will protect passengers too. In conventional SUVs the massive internal combustion engine at the front threatens the occupants in a crash.

The Model X boasts state of the art technology, and then some. The doors open automatically as it detects the driver approaching the car. Each model carries a forward-looking camera, radar and 360-degree sonar sensors enabling advanced autopilot features and bringing the car close to autonomous operation. The current Model S already allows internet driven software changes to take place in the car to download features like Autosteer and Autopark. The 17-inch (43cm) touch screen integrates media, navigation, communications, cabin control and vehicle data, with some voice activation.

CEO Musk, who has five children, points to the family friendly nature of the Model X, which has three rows of seats, the middle ones motorised for ease of entry into the back.

The air filter is so powerful it provides air as clean as in an operating theatre and will keep you safe in a chemical warfare attack, Musk said at the launch of the vehicle. The Model X is about two years late reaching the market. Maybe that’s because the specification was a shade over-ambitious?

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She's a Model and she's looking good

She’s a Model and she’s looking good

Volkswagen Group appoints new CEO in wake of #VWgate – an annotated infographic

September 30, 2015

As you may have heard, Volkswagen has been experiencing the repercussions of a minor work snafu over some diesel emission test fudging, the immediate upshot of which is that a lot of Bavarian bigwigs have been given the heave-ho, including CEO Martin Winterkorn.

In comes 62-year-old Porsche chief Matthias Mueller in his place, as the company struggles to recover from the scandal over its rigging of US vehicle emissions tests and save 72,000 German jobs at its famous Wolfsburg plant.

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Volkswagen's new CEO

Volkswagen’s new CEO

How to cheat at emissions tests the #VWGate way – an annotated infographic

September 28, 2015

As we all know by now, Volkswagen has got itself in to a little hot water (hot CO2?) with the EPA in America, with the revelation that it has been fudging the emissions tests for its diesel vehicles.

How does this happen? Vehicle certification requires new car models to go for a 20-minute simulated drive on a “rolling road” while hooked up to test equipment. The car’s computer then quietly optimises the engine performance to run cleanest during the test.

E&T news has been reporting on the latest VW-gate news, including the likelihood that more car manufacturers are involved in similar practices.

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Diesel test cheats

Diesel test cheats

 

 

#GenevaMotorShow – star cars on show from #Ferrari and more – three annotated infographics

February 26, 2015

Once again, the world’s automotive manufacturers will shortly be zipping around the picturesque roads of Geneva, casting narcissistic glances at the reflections of their new super cars as they cruise by the placid, mirror-like surface of the adjacent eponymous Lake.

Yes, ’tis time again for the Geneva Motor Show, when many otherwise perfectly sane, grown-up individuals lose their heads and bandy together in huddled groups, to stand slack-jawed and drooling in awe at the latest strategically shaped and painted hunks of metal before them.

Over 220 exhibitors will be showing around 900 cars at the 2015 Geneva International Motor Show, roughly 100 of which will be world and European premieres. To make matters worse, over 11,000 media representatives are expected to visit the show. That’s a lot of journalists, which in turn means a lot of media coverage. There’s no escaping it: next week, by hook or by crook, the Geneva Motor Show will be all up in your aerodynamically crafted chrome grille.

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Geneva Motor Show 2015

Geneva Motor Show 2015

 

Ferrari 458: zippy

Ferrari 458: zippy

 

Ferrari 488 GTB: bungle

Ferrari 488 GTB: bungle

#Fiat500X subcompact crossover aimed at American market – an annotated infographic

December 19, 2014

Having previously pumped up the fashionista’s preferred runaround of choice, the Fiat 500, to produce the oddly unremarkable 500L, Fiat has now launched the funkier-looking 500X.

This subcompact crossover loses more of the 500’s diminutive cute appeal, replacing it instead with sleek muscle and overall capacity in a move to capture more of the burgeoning SUV market.

With small and mid-sized SUVs currently among the hottest-selling vehicles worldwide, this is arguably Fiat’s first model designed with the North American market in mind. They don’t much care for small cars, them Yanks, you see. Automotive manufacturers are thus obliged to pump designs up a bit. Enter the Fiat 500X.

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Fiat 500X

Fiat 500X

@AeroMobil Flying car to debut at #Pioneers14 Vienna Festival for inventors – an annotated infographic

October 27, 2014

Good news: mankind has officially achieved 50 per cent of its 1970s vision of the future, with the news that a flying car will be demonstrated at the Pioneers Festival in Vienna this week.

The AeroMobil 3.0 “Flying Roadster” is a prototype flying car which combines the performance of a sports car with the qualities of an ultralight aircraft. It can be refueled at a regular filling station and take off from a 200-metre-long field.

So, we have the flying cars: all we need now is food in pill form.

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AeroMobil 3.0: up, up and away

AeroMobil 3.0: up, up and away

#FrankfurtMotorShow hot highlights – an annotated graphic

September 13, 2013

Star cars at the Frankfurt Motor Show: Jaguar, Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Bugatti, Audi and, umm, Fiat. Drive safe, now!

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Frankfurt Motor Show highlights

Frankfurt Motor Show highlights

Big trucks and luxury cars at #DetroitMotorShow – an annotated graphic

January 30, 2013

According to that hazy collection of commentators, know-it-alls and obsessive-compulsives collectively known as “industry experts”, in this case automotive industry experts, 2013 has been deemed the year of the truck and the luxury car at the Detroit Motor Show.

Some very shiny, powerful and expensive machines were on show – Ferrari 458 Spyder, Chevrolet Corvette, we’re looking at you – so it’s reassuring to know that the gas-guzzling petrolheads of the world haven’t been forgotten in these days of diminishing fossil fuels and accelerating climate change.

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Detroit Motor Show

Detroit Motor Show

 

Nissan car factories in Mexico – an annotated graphic

March 2, 2012

Nissan is to invest close to $2 billion to build a third factory in Mexico, taking the Japanese car maker’s  total capacity to more than one million vehicles. Nissan built approximately 600,000 vehicles in Mexicon last year.

Back in the UK, the Nissan car plant in Sunderland set a new production record in 2011, building a total of 480,485 vehicles, as reported by E&T recently.

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Mexico auto industry: new Nissan factory

Mexico auto industry: new Nissan factory


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