How Volvo Plans to Make its Cars “Deathproof”

In 2007, Volvo announced its lofty goal of creating vehicles that could avoid all circumstances that would cause serious injuries to its passengers. Since that announcement, it has been working hard to make good on what sounds in our era like an impossible promise.

For example, the Swedish-based auto manufacturer is readying itself for the release of a fleet of 100 driverless cars in China’s city streets. According to Volvo, the challenege constitutes its “most advanced autonomous driving experiment.”

s90And the challenge is significant not only in terms of Volvo’s modest advancements in driverless technology; the release stands out in autonomous vehicle history in that no other car company has attempted to test this many self-driving cars simultaneously on real city streets. Although many different car manufacturers have been competitive in the race towards vehicle autonomy, Volvo is unique in this way. Volvo even raises the stakes one level further in that it will allow everyday users to ride in the vehicles as they are being tested.

Volvo recently announced that it is seeking out Chinese citizens to participate in the trials conducted on its fully autonomous XC90 model, which will take place on fully public roads.

That said, these tests may not occur as soon as Volvo is suggesting. In fact, according to Erik Coelingh, Volvo’s senior technical leader for safety and driver support technologies, the exact date of the trial has yet to be determined. The only clue as to the approximate time of tests lies in the fact that the trials in China fall under the larger umbrella of Volvo’s DriveMe program, which will also test 100 driverless Volvo models in Gothenburg, Sweden starting in 2017.

“It’s important we work with ordinary customers, real people,” stated Coelingh. “It’s not enough to just have test engineers driving cars around on a track- we want to see how people use a self driving car, do they feel comfortable, do they feel safe.”

Regarding the 2020 initiative, Coelingh stated that “no one should be seriously injured or killed in a new Volvo vehicle” four years in the future.

According to Coelingh, the DriveMe challenge is an example of Volvo’s interest in taking a step towards “a truly automated car where the driver can do something else.”

beijingVolvo has been testing semi-autonomous features for its more current vehicles as well. The latest Volvo S90 comes with Pilot Assist, which allows the vehicle to navigate autonomously at speeds up to 80 miles per hour.

Volvo plans to test its cars exclusively on roads they’ve chosen and mapped out in advance. Volunteers will only be eligible to lease a car and take part in the testing if their regular commute lies on those particular roads.

Unlike Google’s latest smart cars, the XC90 will come equipped with the same old-fashioned steering wheel. Test drivers will navigate the car themselves when on unmapped roads and be asked to give up control of the vehicle upon entering a mapped road.

Coelingh stated that one of the most important aspects of testing an autonomous car was forcing it through trial periods in different countries:

“If you want to have self-driving cars available all around the world, we will have to understand the exceptional situations from around the world,” he explained. “If a self-driving car works well in Gothenburg that doesn’t mean you can safely drive the car in Beijing or in London.”

General Motors Spends $1 Billion on Startup

General Motors recently announced its acquisition of an extremely small startup (composed of around 40 people) called Cruise Automation. It has stated that it’s interested in Cruise’s talent, but there may be more to it than GM’s explanation.

San Francisco start-up Cruise Technologies seemed like exactly the type of innovative group that any major automotive manufacturer might find valuable. GM in particular had been making investments and acquiring start-ups for years in an effort to find and incorporate new technical talent and new technologies that might bring the older company into the innovative wave of the 21st century.

cruise technologyGM has actually shown a lot of development in the past few decades; the company that developed the Hummer also created the Chevy Volt and Bolt series, and its 2016 Bolt is on track to hit the market later this year, beating Tesla to create an affordable electric car that costs somewhere around $30,000 and can travel over 200 miles on a single charge.

Reports have shown that GM actually paid something to the tune of $1 billion for the company. Although GM’s statement didn’t directly disclose the price of the acquisition, it hinted that its major motivation for the purchase was an attempt to bring Cruise’s engineering staff into the GM research and development team. That said, even in the Silicon Valley a price of $25 million per employee is a pretty insane rate.

So what is it that Cruise has that GM wants to desperately? According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the deal started out as a strategic investment as opposed to a full acquisition.

This information comes from Nabeel Hyatt, a Spark Capital partner that led Cruise’s Series A funding round in 2015. Apparently after seeing Cruise’s latest technology, GM moved to acquire the company all out.

GM also recently made a $500 million investment in the ride-sharing firm Lyft, a major competitor of Uber. Now the two companies are cooperating in an effort to create a framework for future automated ride-sharing services that will use autonomous vehicles. This sort of relationship with cars is said to be the future of consumers and transportation.

2015 Chevrolet Bolt EV Concept all electric vehicle. Front ¾ in city scape. Bolt EV Concept builds upon Chevy’s experience gained from both the Volt and Spark EV to make an affordable, long-range all-electric vehicle to market. The Bolt EV is designed to meet the daily driving needs of Chevrolet customers around the globe with more than 200 miles of range and a price tag around $30,000.

Some analysts believe that GM’s acquisition may imply that Cruise had a crucial piece of the puzzle in terms of solving the many problems that occur when people attempt to create self-driving cars. Cruise’s product is called the “RP-1” system and can apparently be retrofitted to certain Audi models in order to make them capable of limited autonomous driving capabilities. The technology is seen as roughly comparable to Tesla’s “Autopilot” system, allowing for hands-free driving on highways despite the total lack of legislation concerning the topic.

GM has been researching self-driving technology for years and is expected to release a limited version of a similar system, called Super Cruise, later this year as a feature on the Cadillac CT6 luxury sedan.

Unfortunately, GM recently stated this January that the system’s introduction might actually debut in 2017. It claimed it wanted to add additional functionality and work out some potential imperfections and bugs in the system it had currently.

California Leads in the Movement Towards Cleaner Vehicles

In 2012, California became the first state to pass global warming pollution standards legislation for cars and trucks. Their unprecedented decision began a nationwide movement to curb vehicle emissions, which have proven to contribute substantially to the green house gases building up in our atmosphere and leading to global climate change. The recent VW schedule is just one of many indicators that regulations have to be made and upheld, as manufacturers are loathe to change their money-making practices.

Washington and Oregon were among the first to follow suit, creating similar legislation in 2005 and 2006.

2015 Chevrolet Bolt EV Concept all electric vehicle. Front ¾ in city scape. Bolt EV Concept builds upon Chevy’s experience gained from both the Volt and Spark EV to make an affordable, long-range all-electric vehicle to market. The Bolt EV is designed to meet the daily driving needs of Chevrolet customers around the globe with more than 200 miles of range and a price tag around $30,000.

Eventually, in 2012, congress passed nationwide fuel economy and pollution standards that decree that 2025 vehicles will posit only half the global warming emissions and and be about twice as fuel efficient as vehicles made in 2010.

This will make a huge difference in California, where citizens drive around 320 billion miles every year.

The legislation is bolstered by a well-designed cap-and-trade program.

Before we go into the details of the cap-and-trade program, let’s go over a few important aspects of global warming that are at play here:

Scientists know that people need to stabilize atmospheric concentrations of global warming emissions at or below 450 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2eq); that way we have about a 50% chance of preventing the Earth’s average temperature from rising 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius) above pre-industrial levels.

According to the results of a huge amount of Scientific testing, this would help people to avoid some of the worst and irreversible consequences of global warming (which are terrifying).

As a country, the U.S. has a lot of regulation to do before this goal can be reached globally. It would have to cut its emissions by at least 80 percent from 2000 levels by 2050. According to a statement endorsed by more than 1,700 scientists and economists with expertise relevant to climate change, the first step towards achieving this should be reductions 15-20 percent below 2000 levels by 2020.

priusSo how does this happen? There has to be a global initiative to create and deploy clean energy technologies and to develop new low-carbon technologies. This will likely necessitate new policies and subsidies to spur this action along and make it more cost-effective to jump in that direction.

That’s where a good cap-and-trade program comes in. It prices carbon emissions in a way that reflects the very real economic costs of global warming. This coupled with more rigorous efficiency standards, incentives, and public investment in clean technologies and infrastructure should allow the impossible goal to finally enter the realm of the realistic.

But how do they work? Congress has to enact legislation to establish an economy-wide cap on global warming emissions that is tightened over time based on the latest scientific discoveries related to the climate. Then he EPA would auction “emissions allowances” that correspond to the level of the emission cap.

This program would move on to assign electric utilities, refineries and other polluters certain allowances for each ton of their emissions. Polluters can buy their allowances or trade them with other emitters, making it possible for polluters that reduce their emissions to be rewarded with sellable assets. Critics have stated the importance of auctioning allowances rathe than giving them away free to emitters, as giving too many allowances would distort the market.

4 Car Hacks You Need to Know

If you own a car and commute to work, chances are you’re going to spend about 1/10 of your waking hours sitting in your cabin. That means it’s worth it (by a letter grade!) to make that experience as meaningful as possible. Here’s a list of hacks that will help you turn your car time into you-time.

car cushions ergonomic1. Get comfortable.

It may seem silly or petty, but adding just a few accessories to your car can make all the difference. Ergonomic seat cushions, for example, can be the difference between improving your posture between appointments and realizing you now need to somehow find the time and energy to fix your years-in-the-making back issues.

Having useful and inexpensive accessories like a phone mount can also make your life a little less stressful; use GPS without taking your eyes off the road, or speak clearly into a well-positioned speaker phone. It’s worth the short set-up time.

Finally, accessorize based on who you are and what you legitimately like. If you want some silly pink shag seat cushions, just go for it. Want a sun-blocking windshield cover that makes the inside of your car look like the inside of the millennium falcon? Just do it! These are the kind of splurges that make you and your friends smile for years on end.

chrome rims2. Install what you want and what you need.

From a bike rack to chrome rims, it’s worth your while to finally get around to adding what you want and need to your car so that it easily functions within whatever parameters will make you have the highest quality of life. Love camping? Put a trailer hitch on your car so that you can tow whatever you need, whenever you need it. Want to sleep and party in your van? Put up those curtain rods and curtains with pride. You should always feel like your car is an extension of yourself, so adjust its appearance and functionality with that in mind.

3. Make it safe.

Your car will be with you 1/10 of your waking hours, which means when something serious and life-threatening happens, there’s a 1 in 10 chance you’ll be in your car at the time. Considering how prevalent car-related injuries are in the United States, Americans probably have a higher chance of being in their cars during serious moments.

All the more reason to keep a first aid kit and some emergency supplies in your car. Make sure you have flares (preferably LED flares), flash lights, water bottles, granola bars, and maybe even a satellite phone in the back of your car in case something really serious happens to you or in front of you.

4. Keep it organized.

There are so many ways to do this, and they all feel good once incorporated into a larger system of car organization and control. There are seatback hanging pockets that can keep everything from snacks to road maps to cell phones in their hanging hulls, plus trunk organizers equipped with built in coolers and lockable compartments. They’re all good, so take your pick!

VW Scandal Check-in

It may not be headlining news anymore, the VW scandal continues to unfold into a series of law suits with unprecedented damages, if you’re still curious at all what has befallen Germany’s once-lauded auto maker.

DOJJust this morning, the US Department of Justice announced that it is filing suit against the automaker on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency for violating the Clean Air Act.This civil case is likely just the beginning of VW’s legal troubles in terms of U.S. criminal prosecutions, and very real prison sentences may take place in the future.

If you’re just tuning into this mess, keep in mind that the EPA accused VWs with diesel engines off cheating on their emissions tests back in September. Basically it found that 582,000 diesel-powered vehicles sold in the United States from 2009 to 2015 were likely in violation due to their possession of emissions-test cheating software that switched on certain controls only during a vehicle testing environment.

VW eventually admitted to illegally installing the software on 11 million vehicles worldwide. The U.S. is the first to discover and punish the German-based company for its deception, and other countries are likely to follow suit.

VW is already facing dozens of lawsuits from dealers and customers. Fines for violating the Clean Air Act cap off at about $37,500 per car, so plenty of customers have a lot to lose due to their trust in the company. VW will likely not be able to sell any diesel-engined cars in the US in 2016 and is still in the process of recalling cars throughout Europe and India.

German prosecutors are even investigating the company for tax evasion.

“With today’s filing, we take an important step to protect public health by seeking to hold Volkswagen accountable for any unlawful air pollution, setting us on a path to resolution,” stated Assistant Administrator Cynthia Giles for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.

VW recallMost onlookers see the case as all but in the DOJ’s pocket. All they have to do is provide evidence that the cars cheated on their emissions tests to win the case. Timothy Heaphy, a former US attorney and the chair of white collar defense at Hunton & Williams, claims that the circumstances yield a “very low standard given [VW’s] admissions.”

Indeed, proving will not be difficult considering VW already stated that the cheating occurred. Heaphy believes that VW will just have to negotiate a settlement in response to the charges, making it a relatively “easy victory for the government.”

Indeed, this initial lawsuit is the least of VW employee’s concerns. After all, the Department of Justice is likely to return with more consequences and more financial ruin. However, likely the pins at the top are going to fear more than other people’s money (and jobs) being lost at the expense of their deception: the clear choice to lie and its astronomical economic and environmental consequences are likely to preempt a criminal trial and perhaps some white-collar prison sentences. That said, tricky business men are often hard to jail, even when they’re caught in the act. We’ll just have to wait and see.

How Do Car Engines Convert Liquid Fuel into Movement?

We take the process for granted, but it’s really an elegant system that people dedicate their lives to revising to better suit our modern times. Although the gas to miles traveled formula may soon be obsolete (we have to stop relying on oil at some point!), why not look into exactly how it works?

liquid fuelCars are energy converters, meaning they release the energy locked in a fuel like gasoline, diesel, baby diapers (google it!), and a variety of other substances. They then take this released energy and convert it into mechanical energy in moving wheels and gears. When the wheels begin to spin and the car starts to move, the mechanical energy becomes kinetic energy because we’re off an moving.

So how is the power harvested from the petroleum? Also called crude oil, petroleum is a thick, black energy-rich liquid that can be pumped out from underneath the ground to create diesel, gasoline, kerosene, and all kinds of petrochemicals that are used to make paints, plastics, stuff like that.

Petroleum floors are energy-rich because they’re full of hydrocarbons, which are molecules that consist mostly of hydrogen and carbon. Hydrocarbons are handy because their energy is easily released as heat by burning them (as a chemical process, this is called combustion). Car engines burn fuel in closed containers, allowing them to make the most efficient use of the released heat as possible.

Car engines have a lot of different components. Their fuel burns inside the cylinders (there are two to twelve cylinders in cars, and generally the more they have the more powerful [and expensive] they are). At one end those cylinders open and close like bicycle pumps and in that area are the very tight-fitting pistons, which are like little plungers that slide up and down inside them.

valves and stuffAt the top of each cylinder there are valves, which are just gates that can let stuff in or out and be opened or closed really fast. The inlet valve is responsible for allowing fuel and air to enter the cylinder from a carburetor or electronic-fuel injector. The outlet valve opens so that exhaust gases can be released.

Also at the top of the cylinder is an electrically controlled spark plug that makes a spark to set fire to the fuel in the first place. At the bottom of the cylinder, the piston is attached to a constantly turning axle called a crankshaft. That crankshaft powers the car’s gearbox which, in turn, powers the wheels.

…But how does a car generate power? The process can be explained in four basic steps.

Intake: The piston gets pulled down inside the cylinder by the crankshaft, which is just a spinning wheel that the piston is attached to at one end. The inlet valve opens, letting fuel and air into the cylinder.

Compression: The crankshift continued on its rotation and the piston moves upward, closing the inlet valve and creating pressure inside the cylinder by compressing the amount of space in there. When the piston reaches the very top of the cylinder, the spark plug fires.

How Do Car Engines Convert Liquid Fuel into Movement?

We take the process for granted, but it’s really an elegant system that people dedicate their lives to revising to better suit our modern times. Although the gas to miles traveled formula may soon be obsolete (we have to stop relying on oil at some point!), why not look into exactly how it works?

Cars are energy converters, meaning they release the energy locked in a fuel like gasoline, diesel, baby diapers (google it!), and a variety of other substances. They then take this released energy and convert it into mechanical energy in moving wheels and gears. When the wheels begin to spin and the car starts to move, the mechanical energy becomes kinetic energy because we’re off an moving.

So how is the power harvested from the petroleum? Also called crude oil, petroleum is a thick, black energy-rich liquid that can be pumped out from underneath the ground to create diesel, gasoline, kerosene, and all kinds of petrochemicals that are used to make paints, plastics, stuff like that.

Petroleum floors are energy-rich because they’re full of hydrocarbons, which are molecules that consist mostly of hydrogen and carbon. Hydrocarbons are handy because their energy is easily released as heat by burning them (as a chemical process, this is called combustion). Car engines burn fuel in closed containers, allowing them to make the most efficient use of the released heat as possible.

Car engines have a lot of different components. Their fuel burns inside the cylinders (there are two to twelve cylinders in cars, and generally the more they have the more powerful [and expensive] they are). At one end those cylinders open and close like bicycle pumps and in that area are the very tight-fitting pistons, which are like little plungers that slide up and down inside them.

At the top of each cylinder there are valves, which are just gates that can let stuff in or out and be opened or closed really fast. The inlet valve is responsible for allowing fuel and air to enter the cylinder from a carburetor or electronic-fuel injector. The outlet valve opens so that exhaust gases can be released.

Also at the top of the cylinder is an electrically controlled spark plug that makes a spark to set fire to the fuel in the first place. At the bottom of the cylinder, the piston is attached to a constantly turning axle called a crankshaft. That crankshaft powers the car’s gearbox which, in turn, powers the wheels.

…But how does a car generate power? The process can be explained in four basic steps.

Intake: The piston gets pulled down inside the cylinder by the crankshaft, which is just a spinning wheel that the piston is attached to at one end. The inlet valve opens, letting fuel and air into the cylinder.

Compression: The crankshift continued on its rotation and the piston moves upward, closing the inlet valve and creating pressure inside the cylinder by compressing the amount of space in there. When the piston reaches the very top of the cylinder, the spark plug fires.

Power: The spark ignites the pressurized fuel-air mixture inside the cylinder, causing a tiny explosion. The fuel burns immediately, creating hot gas that pushes the piston back down with its force. This is the energy released by the fuel now powering the piston-crankshaft attachment.

Exhaust: The outlet valve opens as the crankshaft continues to turn, its rotation now briefly powered by the explosion. The piston is forced back up into the cylinder, forcing out the exhaust gases produced when the fuel was burned.

Repeat and you’re on the road, headed wherever!

Porsche Meets VR

“Through technology, we’re able to do things we didn’t think possible five years ago,” explained Scott Baker, Porsche’s Manager of Marketing Communications. “For example, we are now able to illustrate the physical thrill that a driver feels when behind the wheel of a Porsche.”

Car lovers on a budget can experience the thrill of driving the Porsche 911 Targa on a closed circuit via Reel FX’s recent release of the Porsche Virtual Reality Experience. You may think virtual reality is about as publically accessible as a ride in a Porsche for the penny-pinching consumer… and due to the development of Google Cardboard, you’re absolutely right.

See what I did there?google cb

Ok, so most people don’t have the opportunity to ride in an actual Porsche. But the VR experience (free) offered by Google Cardboard (free to New York Times subscribers, $17 for the rest) is pretty cool. The Reel FX team bolted six HD cameras to the undercarriage of a subject 911 and pointed them towards a similar direction (but not at the exact same focal point) to create enough footage to piece together a VR experience for viewers. The sound quality is fit to please any audiophile. There is audio footage of the engine sounding through the exhaust system, the throttle, the intake tract and the intake plenum. Listeners can hear the mechanical hammering of valvetrain tappets from the valve covers. There are even audio samples of the transmission vibrating the cabin. Finally, there’s the sound of the wind. The video and auto footage combine to create an illusion that is both convincing and realistic.

“The Porsche Virtual Reality Experience is another opportunity to immerse people in the world of Porsche in a unique, engaging way,” Baker continued. “It makes the Porsche brand more relatable to a broader group of people and expresses what it’s like to experience Porsche without having to feel huge lateral forces or a hard stand start launch from 0 to 60 mph.”

VR users can also travel inside the Porsche’s working engine to see a slow-motion version of its many functions. The program’s CG internal combustion, with all of its many details (the viewer travels past inlet runners, valves, injectors spraying atomized fuel, exploding spark plugs, etc) is said to be both amazing and overwhelming.porsche driving

The PVRE has been informed by research performed at Porsche’s Human Performance Center at its headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. Dozens of tests were done on people’s mental and physical reactions to high-performance driving stimuli, yielding results that allowed for Porsche to craft the exact experience the company had in mind for prospective viewers.

This most recent development in the Porsche marketing campaign demonstrates Porsche’s aggressive moves towards being seen as both a car and a tech company. Now that corporations like Google and Tesla have learned to straddle the line between the two enormous industries, other high-end automotive manufacturers understand the financial incentive of following their lead.

Keep on the look-out for a self-driving Porsche?

AUTOMOBILES – ROLES AND IMPORTANCE AT A GLOBAL LEVEL

Field of Automobiles:

The automobile industry has unique features as well as significance. They have the capability in making the economy of a country. Today, as among all the other major industries and corporates, the automobile industry has certainly moved on so much to the top most level whereby creating waves globally. As a global market player, this industry has evolved so much that without them, a country can become stand still. Automobiles are very much needed by all be it is for work, personal needs, travel, business or pleasure. Spanning across various continents and countries, the automobile industry has very well emerged as a major component of a country’s economy. Initially, the automobiles were produced in the form of horse-free carriages in the late 18th century. But after the end of World War 2, many companies started mushrooming in various parts of the world thereby taking the entire automobile industry to an altogether different height.

Automobile Industry – Initiation and Evolution:

Started primarily in the USA as horse-free carriage manufacturing companies, the automotive industries moved on to produce more and more efficient passenger vehicles, light commercial vehicles, as well as heavy commercial vehicles. Some of the passenger vehicles are cars, jeeps, busses, and coaches. The mini-vans and some small trucks fall under the category of light commercial vehicles. The heavy trucks, tractor-trailers, semi-trucks, and lorry fall under the category of the heavy commercial vehicles. One cannot even imagine a life or a business or a commercial interest without these vehicles as they are the backbones of any business, trade or commerce. This is only to say that the automobiles industry today is very highly significant in many technical as well as general terms.

Key players in the automobile industry:

When commenced, the USA was the only major producer of automobiles, thereby contributing to almost 90% of the total world production. But slowly, as years went by, other countries like UK, Japan, China, India, Belgium, Switzerland, Brazil, South Korea, Germany as well as France emerged as major key players in the production of automobiles. Some of the popular automobile manufacturing companies are like Toyota Motor Corporation, Honda Motor Company, Nissan Motors, Ford Motor Company, Fiat Chrysler Company, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Mazda, General Motor Company, Volkswagen, Peugeot Citroën SA, and so on. Hence, when it comes to choosing a vehicle, there are so many options available in front of the consumer.

Summarization:

With an enormous evolution over the decades, the automotive industry has really come a long and significant way! Sky is the limit and this is one major industry that has never stopped evolving and growing. There are many different automobiles available across the various parts of the world. They come in different makes, colours, mechanisms and technology. Most of the automobiles manufactured today are safe, fuel efficient and has very high quality safety and security standards. This is really a very competitive industry. Lots of major events such as the international auto expo gives an opportunity to all to showcase their production line

Car leasing is a perfect way to get latest cars

There are different types of car model available in the market which has different unique features. Many people are feels more comfortable when they travel through the car this also a one of the reason which attracts many user to buy the car. The people like to buy the car with unique feature with comfortable component like seats, engine etc present inside the car. One of the latest car model attracted by people is Lexus RX 350. In order to show luxurious among other people many people like to buy the car. Lexus RX 350 is a new model introduced by Lexus Rx. Since 1998, The Lexus RX car is available in the market. The manufacturer of Lexus Rx model is “Lexus” which is luxury division of Toyota.

lexus1

The Lexus RX 350 gives a mile for a year is 12000 and their model number is RX 350. If you do not have large amount to buy the Lexus car you can buy by lease. You can get best price value for Lexus car for that you must find the best Lexus RX350 lease company to get the luxurious car. The leasing company has all new models of car which is more popular among the people and helps the people to get the car with best price and lower payment for the new vehicle what client buy. Choose the lease companies which provide a 100% guarantee for purchasing Lexus RX350 car. If you like to choose best leasing company you can surf in online where you can find many website links and select the experience company.