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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Technology

London Set to Take a Lead In EV Charging Infrastructure

On: Wed, Nov 10, 2010 at 4:33PM | By: Chris Weiss

London Set to Take a Lead In EV Charging Infrastructure  test 1-1

Here in the United States, we've heard President Obama's goal of getting a million plug-ins on the road by 2015. It's a good goal, but so far the implementation of a charging infrastructure has been rather slow and piecemeal.

London recently revealed its own plan for plug-in vehicle charging infrastructure, a plan that could serve as a model for Europe and other countries worldwide. The plan calls for the addition of 1,300 EV charging stations around the city by 2013. The U.S. might want to watch closely.

Audi To Offer Robotic Engine Note in Its EVs

On: Fri, Nov 5, 2010 at 10:13AM | By: Chris Weiss

Audi To Offer Robotic Engine Note in Its EVs  test 1-1

Range anxiety isn't the only big issue facing electric vehicle manufacturers. About a year ago, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration released study findings showing that crashes involving pedestrians and cyclists occurred more frequently among hybrid drivers than among gas-powered drivers. While the NHTSA didn't get involved in analyzing the reasons behind the discrepancy, the quiet, "silent killer" nature of the hybrid (and electric vehicle) has been a concern among road safety organizations, organizations for the blind and vehicle manufacturers. Companies like GM, Toyota and Nissan have worked on artificial systems designed to mimic the sound of a gas car and warn pedestrians of approaching vehicles.

For its own future electric vehicles, Audi has decided to take a different route. Instead of a faux engine grumble, the company is borrowing some inspiration from Hollywood.

The New 2011 Ford F-150 Gets 23 MPG Highway

On: Thu, Nov 4, 2010 at 10:13AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

The New 2011 Ford F-150 Gets 23 MPG Highway test 1-1

Ford Motor Company has announced the upcoming launch of the most fuel-efficient full-size pickup truck on the market—the 2011 F-150, equipped with the all-new 3.7-liter V6 engine. Good economy is expected with a base V6, but what about some power? Try 302hp, 278 lb.-ft. of torque . . . from a base V6! It is projected to deliver best-in-class 23 mpg highway, pending EPA certification. Ford’s new Ford 2011 F-150 3.5-liter V6 engine and its new 5.0 V8 are projected to deliver best-in-class, provided EPA certification comes through.

Wireless Vehicle Charging System Launches In London

On: Wed, Nov 3, 2010 at 9:49AM | By: Chris Weiss

Wireless Vehicle Charging System Launches In London test 1-1

Last week, we took a look at a new partnership that is working toward a wireless charging system for plug-in hybrids and EVs. At the time, we mentioned it's not the only system of its kind out there; not a full week later, a new system has launched in London. Designed by New Zealand-based start-up HaloIPT, the system, which is hailed as the world's first wireless charging system for vehicles, is even more intriguing than other systems in that it can provide for charging when parked and when in motion.


Off Season Endurance Update: Peugeot 90X

On: Tue, Nov 2, 2010 at 10:25AM | By: John Welch

Off Season Endurance Update: Peugeot 90X test 1-1

Endurance racing is exciting. Very exciting. The action and strategy is grind your teeth to dust-exciting during both the LMS and ALMS seasons, and even more so, to a point, during the winter off season. You can expect a newly designed NASCAR stocker once every, what? two decades?! Boring . . . In the modern era you get a fresh Indy Car every 12 to fourteen years. Formula 1 cars are "new" every season but the rules are so restricted that the innovations are minimal at best. Open-form endurance racing produces new ideas, cars and teams nearly every season. If you enjoy motorsports, technology, or "design" in general and endurance racing doesn't quicken your pulse . . . well, you may want to consult a physician. There is a good chance you're stone dead.

Rule changes meant to decrease cost and increase safety are a part of all racing formats in this new decade, an inescapable side effect of a crappy world economy and our increasingly sissified international society. Other forms of motorsports suffer from these changes whereas top flight endurance racing just gets more exciting. Look at the header image that accompanies this article. The Peugeot prototype pictured doesn't immediately seem all that different from the diesels squishing 908's we are used to. The orange arrows point out differences between this so-named "90X" and it's 908 HPDi progenitor. It is NOT the same car, though it is possible they share the same basic carbon fiber passenger compartment. Each of those annoying arrows points to a modification that has been made on the name of rules compliance, or, unlike most motorsport, out right speed. There is a billboard affectionately named "Big Honking Fin" by the Internet, different side pods, goose-neck attachments for the rear wing, a new engine intake and so on. We cover each of those arrows inside this post; hopefully we get our hands on images of the next Audi soon . . .

Lexus Launches Real Life Driving Simulation Technology

On: Mon, Nov 1, 2010 at 4:53PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Lexus Launches Real Life Driving Simulation Technology test 1-1

The next big thing from Lexus is not a car!  Lexus has designed the world’s most advanced driving simulator, located in Higashifuji, Japan where the company’s research campus is housed. The simulator is a dome-shaped structure, 15 feet high and 56 feet in diameter, located on top of a series of complex interlocking full motion tracks that run across a room the size of a football field.

Step inside the dome to discover a genuine Lexus car mounted to a turntable that allows drivers to test drive the actual steering wheel, gear shift, and accelerator. An imaging system with high definition displays provide a 360-degree view of roads around the vehicle. Traffic is visible and audible, as are images of a city surrounding the scene, just like it would be in a real life driving scenario. 

Study: Consumers Want Green Cars, Barely

On: Mon, Nov 1, 2010 at 4:45PM | By: Chris Weiss

Study: Consumers Want Green Cars, Barely test 1-1

Consumer Reports recently released the results of a consumer survey on green car buying that unveiled some interesting attitudes. The findings were originally presented at the GridWeek summit held earlier this month, a meeting of the stakeholders and players in the Smart Grid arena. While most consumers did admit to considering the green factor in a new car purchase, it's still not a primary a concern.

The Future of EVs: Wireless Battery Charging

On: Thu, Oct 28, 2010 at 10:57AM | By: Chris Weiss

The Future of EVs: Wireless Battery Charging  test 1-1

The electric automobile industry faces a large hurdle in developing the infrastructure and technology needed to make charging vehicles both practical and easy. One of the main negatives of electric vehicles is that they require special equipment, time and effort for charging. Another big negative is that unlike gasoline vehicles, which can be filled up by the gas stations that line nearly every route in the country, there simply isn't a sufficient charging infrastructure in place, leading consumers to have justifiable concerns with range anxiety.

One technology that is in development by a new team-up of companies could address these major concerns all at once. Imagine being able to pull up into a parking spot and get a charge without having to connect a single wire. That's the future of wireless EV charging.

Ford Will Add 1,200 Jobs to Produce Fuel Efficient Vehicles

On: Thu, Oct 28, 2010 at 10:08AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Ford Will Add 1,200 Jobs to Produce Fuel Efficient Vehicles test 1-1

Ford has announced that the it will invest $850 million in order to produce more fuel efficient vehicles, which will add 1,200 jobs in Michigan by the year 2013. Ford’s decision is supported by $400 million in state incentives.

According to Mark Fields, Ford’s president of North America reported that the State of Michigan will contribute $400 million in tax incentives over a 15 year time span. The plan will create 900 hourly jobs and an additional 300 salaried positions in order to complete the engineering and manufacturing operations. Ford’s Van Dyke Transmission plant, Sterling Axle, Livonia Transmission, and Dearborn Truck Plant will all be involved in the expansion plan that will create new jobs.

LA Auto Show Design Challenge: The 1,000 Pound Car

On: Fri, Oct 22, 2010 at 9:29AM | By: Chris Weiss

LA Auto Show Design Challenge: The 1,000 Pound Car  test 1-1

At the Paris Motor Show, Lamborghini made a big splash when it cut hundreds of pounds off a concept that it called the Sesto Elemento. Using all kinds of  stripping and composite construction, Lamborghini created a V10-powered concept that weighed just 2,200 lbs.

Now that the LA Auto Show is on the way, some automakers will be making an even bigger splash by showing designs that weigh less than half Lamborghini's Sesto Elemento. This year's Design Challenge at the show involves creating four-seat vehicles weighing no more than 1,000 lbs.

Is Facebook A Good Marketing Strategy for The Automotive Industry?

On: Tue, Oct 19, 2010 at 9:33AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Is Facebook A Good Marketing Strategy for The Automotive Industry? test 1-1

A dealership technology panel was recently formed by the Rainbow-PUSH coalition in Detroit. The panel gathered at an automotive conference in order to evaluate whether advertising on Facebook is really effective for the auto industry.

National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers representative Damon Lester says that many members are interested in setting up Facebook pages for their dealerships. The concern is that the social media site may be a way for employees to waste vital work time on the internet.

Other concerns dealers voiced was that Facebook could be a vehicle for bad public relations if disgruntled employees or customers decide to use the media site to “bad-mouth” the dealership. Auto dealers are also concerned that once negative statements are live online, there is nothing that can be done to remove them or reverse the effects.