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Bosch showcased its latest hybrid technology at the RAC Future Car Challenge

A Mercedes-Benz E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID took part in the RAC Future Car Challenge on November 3. This vehicle, which uses Bosch’s latest hybrid technology, was driven by Peter Fouquet, the Bosch UK president. Bosch supplies the synchronous motor for the luxury hybrid’s advanced drivetrain, which mainly serves to cut emissions at lower speeds.

The motor offers 184lb ft of torque from zero, enabling the E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID to be driven smoothly and flawlessly. The motor is powered by a four-cylinder diesel engine and allows the engine to turn off and enter a ‘coasting’ mode when the foot gets off the throttle, which helps in saving fuel at speeds up to 100mph.

Bosch and Daimler’s EM-motive joint venture built this motor. The JV develops and builds electric motors at its plant in Hildesheim, Germany. It aims to make over a million electric motors by 2020. The E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID is the most fuel-efficient car in its class, with 109g/km of CO2 emissions and a combined average fuel economy of 67.3mpg.

Read the entire article Bosch showcased its latest hybrid technology at the RAC Future Car Challenge

Bosch and Samsung SDI to supply lithium-ion battery cells for Bmw

BMW Group revealed that it has chosen SB LiMotive to supply it with battery cells for its Megacity Vehicle project. Because of this, BMW Group now has access to the latest in lithium-ion storage technology.

BMW AG’s Chairman of the Board of Management Norbert Reithofer explains that this choice is an important milestone in its goal to have the Megacity Vehicle under serial production. The most important part of an electric vehicle is the battery as it ultimately determines the performance of the vehicle and how far it will run.

By choosing SB LiMotive, he adds, the company has a supplier that offers the best technology in this area as it combines Korean battery know-how with German automotive expertise. This is because SB LiMotive is a 50:50 joint venture between Samsung SDI and Bosch.

Read the entire article Bosch and Samsung SDI to supply lithium-ion battery cells for Bmw

Porsche will offer owner-driven cars as long as it’s legally possible amid inevitability of self-driving systems

Just as we are on the verge of entering the autonomous driving future, some car manufacturers are trying to hold on to the most precious things from the present, one of which is keeping the steering wheel on their vehicles. This thought comes most especially as we go about the time when the use of autonomous driving technology will become a mandatory obligation instead of a choice.

The first in line to make such a bold statement was Lamborghini, affirming that they will be the last automotive brand in the world to offer an autonomous driving vehicle. But then, a member of Volkswagen Group must have caught wind of what Lamborghini has said about driverless technology and declared too that Porsche will be one of the last to offer vehicles with a steering wheel.

Published on Porsche media website, Lutz Meschke has stated that the company will always offer a car that you want to be able to drive on your own and that they will be among the last cars that come with a steering wheel.

Read the entire article Porsche will offer owner-driven cars as long as it’s legally possible amid inevitability of self-driving systems

Elon Musk might use rocket tech on new Tesla Roadster

Following the Tesla Roadster’s electrifying revelation on Thursday, Musk’s highly ambitious goals have skyrocketed when he tweeted about his future plans for the new sports car. Well, kind of.

The now controversial tweet, which was published on the 20th of November hints at the possibilities of enabling the 2nd generation Roadster to “fly short hops”. Does that mean the new Tesla Roadster could actually fly? We don’t know the answer. But according to Tesla’s CEO, the new Roadster’s special option package could take it “to the next level” while explaining how rocket technologies could open up ground-breaking possibilities if applied to a car. While he admitted flying is “certainly possible”, Musk at least is well aware of its threat to safety.

Let’s just say Elon Musk is simply having one of those “it’s not rocket science” episodes where he tends to dream big and doesn’t hold back when he wants the whole world to know all about it. And it doesn’t need a rocket scientist to figure this out either. The “flight” option could only mean that the new Roadster could take off faster than 1.9 seconds or maybe go beyond what the entry level Roadster now has to offer.

Read the entire article Elon Musk might use rocket tech on new Tesla Roadster

Does your vehicle’s sunroof come with an airbag? This may be the first time you’ve ever heard that such a thing actually does exist. Since safety often tops the priority list of all car manufacturers, automotive parts suppliers are relentlessly seeking new innovations to offer to their clients.

Enter Hyundai Mobis, which brings to us what is now known as the very first airbag for your car’s panoramic sunroof. This may take a long while to be seen everywhere as the company will be focusing on premium SUVs at the moment. If eventually this becomes available worldwide, we believe these special airbags will further raise our standards for safety.

But why place it over your head? Well, its main concern is to prevent occupants from being ejected out of the vehicle’s panoramic sunroof in case of a rollover accident. At the time of an emergency, the sunroof airbag can deploy in as quick as 0.08 second which is pretty similar to what the side-curtain airbags on most vehicles accomplish. Hyundai Mobis’ patented technology will work whether the sunroof is closed or open to keep passengers safe no matter what. Imagine an airbag that goes down from the back and moves forward to cover the entire panoramic glass roof. That’s how it works.

Read the entire article Hyundai Mobis develops first-ever sunroof airbags

Just last year, Cruise Automation was acquired by General Motors, and today, it is the self-driving startup that is gobbling up companies on its own. General Motors is stepping their game up once more. To make things easier for them when it comes to the development of autonomous cars, they decided to acquire California-based Strobe, Inc. Not a lot of you may have heard of this company, but Strobe specializes in LiDAR technology, and that is a huge step forward for companies who are into autonomous systems for automobiles. After the acquisition, Strobe engineers will become part of the automaker’s Cruise Automation team.

Julie Schoenfeld, Founder and CEO of Strobe, Inc., said in a statement that the successful deployment of self-driving vehicles will have to depend on the availability of LiDAR sensors. Furthermore, GM and Cruise will benefit from Strobe’s deep engineering talent and technology backed by a number of patents. And hopefully, the automaker brings these autonomous vehicles sooner than we would think.

LiDAR is different from radar systems because the former uses laser pulses to “see” an area, whereas the latter relies on radar systems to do the same thing. And the LiDAR, as we know, is much more detailed as it creates a better picture of its surroundings, which translates to a more accurate processing of information. In other words, the LiDAR system can see a more realistic picture of what’s around it - from cars, pedestrians, and the road. Therefore, the LiDAR systems will play a pivotal role in the current and future development of autonomous cars. However, radars and LiDARs can complement each other to create a more robust and fault-tolerant sensing suite, operating in a wide range of environmental and lighting conditions.

Read the entire article GM gets closer to producing fully autonomous vehicles with acquisition of Strobe Inc.

It seems Japanese carmaker Mazda Motor Corp. has found a new way to implement a rear spoiler on its vehicles. In fact, Mazda has filed two patents – with the United States Patent & Trademark Office -- that would become vital elements of its innovative active rear spoiler.

Carmakers typically try to increase the aerodynamic performance of their vehicles by installing rear spoilers, which are also called rear wings. By spoiling unfavorable air movement over a moving vehicle, a rear spoiler could decrease the so-called aerodynamic turbulence or drag while generating more downforce. These rear spoilers are typically fixed – mounted permanently with an undeviating position – on the rear of the vehicle. Since these are fixed-mounted to the rear of the vehicle, the aesthetics of the model seems compromised from the rear viewpoint.

Nonetheless, there are those so-called active rear spoilers that rise automatically when the vehicle reaches a certain speed, and then settles down to fit flush with the vehicle when the speed goes down to a certain level. This way, the aesthetics of the vehicle would be enhanced, as the rear spoiler could be hidden flush when not really needed.

Read the entire article Mazda patents new type of active rear spoiler with US Patent Office

A lot of people have been wondering what is that on the Genesis G70’s grille. One really would not notice such a thing from afar, but if you get up close and personal, then you would see something planted on the center of its grille.

Well, experts say that this is a front-mounted radar that works with the driver assist system that the G70 features. This new technology features adaptive cruise control, emergency automatic braking, frontal collision warning and such. A number of automakers have this technology installed on the front end of their cars, but so far, not many of them have great results, but we have yet to see how it works on the Genesis G70.

As mentioned earlier, the front-mounted radar has not performed as well as automakers and customers expected it to. For instance, Hyundai, Genesis’ mother company used the same technology for its mid-size Sonata sedan - and this might be the worst mistake they have ever made.

Read the entire article Let’s have a closer look at what’s on the Genesis G70’s grille

If you search for the word "grille" on the dictionary, what you will get is a definition that says "a grating forming a screen or barrier, or an ornamental one found at the front end of the automobile". Depending on who you are talking to, some would say that modern cars can have one or two grilles, one on top of the other.

But if you speak with Porsche, they will say that the grille refers to the upper part, while the lower one is called the air intake. And if there’s only one section then that is an air intake. With that being said, does it mean that all Porsche cars do not have grilles?

During the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, Road and Track magazine had the chance to speak with Volkswagen's head of design, who is also Porsche's chief designer Michael Mauer. While being interviewed, Mauer dropped a bombshell that was in relation to the grille. He mentioned that all Porsche vehicles only have air intakes, instead of grilles, because there is only one structure. Apparently, if there is only one opening on the car’s face, this automatically becomes the “lower” section, making it an air intake.

Read the entire article Porsche says it never had grilles, just air intakes

The idea of sourcing electricity from solar energy to power and operate vehicles is nothing new. We have seen cars mounted with solar panels, but they don’t seem to look appealing and also appear to be bulky. Likewise, installing solar panels on a car might greatly reduce the vehicle’s aesthetic value. However, integrating solar cells into panoramic glass roofs could be a very good idea.

This is the strategy conceptualized by German premium carmaker Audi and Chinese partner Hanergy Thin Film Power Group Limited, as represented by American subsidiary Alta Devices. The endeavor – dubbed as the Audi/Hanergy Thin Film Solar Cell Research and Development Project -- plans to integrate Alta Devices’ thin-film solar cells into panoramic glass roofs of Audi’s electric vehicles, which mean that these models won't have to sacrifice aesthetics to gain an unlimited source of energy – unlike mounted solar panels. Interestingly, the project plans to cover almost the entire surface of the panoramic roof with solar cells.

Then, the electricity generated by these thin-film solar cells will be sent to the EV’s electrical system. This electricity could power up the vehicle’s air-conditioning system or even its seat heaters. As a result, the EVs become more efficient and experience a considerable increase in its electric range. To note, the integrated thin-film solar cells aren’t meant to fully power the whole vehicle, especially its propulsion system. Instead, the integrated thin-film solar cells are expected to extend the range of Audi’s EV.

Read the entire article Audi partners with Hanergy to integrate thin-film solar cells into glass roof of its EV models

Every year, Mazda gives their cars upgrades in small increments, and customers definitely appreciate the changes that the Mazda3 has gotten. This year, according to Motoring, the company is stepping up its game in terms of combustion engine efficiency with the new powerplant they are releasing - with homogenous charge compression ignition (HCCI). This will be launched in August at a technology conference that will take place in Frankfurt.

HCCI is a gas-powered engine that works like a diesel mill. It compresses the mixture of air and fuel in the cylinder until combustion. Apparently, the Mazda engine (a Skyactiv II engine) will use spark plugs at lower speeds, but when the car goes faster, the powerplant will switch to HCCI.

The company further added that the Skyactiv II engine is going to be more efficient by 30 percent compared to current gasoline-fueled engines. This means that the new Mazda 3 could have a fuel economy of 42 miles per gallon compared to the current 32 mpg combined.

Read the entire article 2018 Mazda3 with sparkless ignition engine technology will make its debut in Frankfurt

Everyone seems to know that the Alfa Romeo Giulia has been recently experiencing problems. Turns out, the blame goes to Giulia’s software. Reid Bigland, big time executive from Alfa Romeo and Maserati, finally responded with an apology after Sam Smith, Road & Track’s editor-at-large published an article bearing the headline “Alfa Romeo Is Its Own Worst Enemy”.

Under the main title, Smith had written “How one of the greatest brands in automotive history might squander what goodwill it has left”. Apparently, the issue began after the media publication’s test car struggled to make it through one lap at the Gingerman Raceway earlier this week.

According to Bigland, the problem was caused by the vehicle’s software, saying that the car was shipped directly from the factory without going through the standard dealer inspection procedure. As a result of this, several software updates must have been missed in the process. If Bigland’s statement is later proven to be correct, then we have found the answer to the malfunctioning engine lights and sunroofs that used to plague Alfa Romeo Giulia in the last two years.

Read the entire article Alfa Romeo exec cites missed software updates in response to bad review of Giulia

Volkswagen AG is taking vehicle-to-vehicle communications another step forward as the German carmaker plans to make pWLAN technology (Public Local Area Network) standard on most of its offerings starting 2019. According to the company, the move will make road travel safer and more efficient.

As intended by VW, pWLAN technology will serve as an additional communication technology – as a complement for mobile phone connectivity -- for exchanging certain traffic information between vehicles, even if produced by different carmakers. Thus, the installation of pWLAN technology should allow VW vehicles to exchange information with other vehicles (car to car), or with transport infrastructure (car to X).

pWLAN technology would allow the quick sharing of information – usually achieved within just milliseconds -- about the present traffic situation, or even accidents as well as other traffic conditions with the local environment, with other vehicles or infrastructure within a radius of around 500 meters. Information about the traffic warnings and even sensor data could also be shared with the local environment. By exchanging such important information, travelling on the road could be much safer as it could help reduce accidents or if such cannot be avoided, minimize their effects.

Read the entire article VW will have pWLAN as standard on most of its vehicles starting 2019

As the premiere day of the Audi A8 (D5) comes closer, the company again gives us another preview of the luxury sedan’s new features before we see it in person in Barcelona on July 11. In this preview, Audi reveals that the range topper will feature an active suspension system that has the ability to sense bumps ahead and automatically adjusts its suspension, for a smoother ride overall.

You might be wondering how that works. Well, there is a front-mounted camera which enables the car to scan the road 18 times per second, and once the information has been sent to the suspension, it automatically pre-sets itself - the driver doesn’t even have to do anything.

The A8’s new feature will completely get rid of any “vibrations and jolts” and the company is very confident about the efficacy of this particular feature. The system is quick enough to react to the information that will be obtained by the camera once it sees a bump on the road, the suspension’s actuators will be programmed to provide the perfect amount of travel to actively control the electromechanical suspension system before hitting the uneven road.

Read the entire article 2018 Audi A8 (D5) features active suspension that scans street conditions and adjusts automatically

Apple Inc. is certainly entering the automotive market by working on autonomous technologies for vehicles, the tech giant’s chief executive confirmed to Bloomberg Television.

During an exclusive interview with Bloomberg Television's Emily Chang, Apple CEO Tim Cook has divulged several details about the tech giant’s plans in the automotive market. This marks the first time that Cook divulged more elaborate information about its automotive ambitions, after the company ended a not-so-secret car project.

Apple has been testing the grounds of the automotive industry through its so-called Project Titan, which is essentially a supposedly secret electric car scheme. This car project had Apple poaching employees from Tesla – including former Tesla senior engineer Jamie Carlson – and a number of experts from other carmakers and tech giants. Tesla had responded by also poaching employees from Apple.

Read the entire article Apple CEO confirms company is developing autonomous technologies for vehicles

Automobili Lamborghini is extending its expertise in the field of carbon fiber composite materials – in the area of research and production in particular – into the medical world by entering into a collaboration project with the Houston Methodist Research Institute.

Lamborghini and the Houston Methodist Research Institute is now pursuing a research project into the biocompatibility of these lightweight composite materials when used to create prosthetic implants as well as subcutaneous devices, as employed in the medical industry. The new research project should help Lamborghini discover new materials that aren’t only lighter than the existing composites in the medical field, but are also better tolerated by the human body. Likewise, these new materials should also be more resistant and more durable than existing composites.

The agreement for the research project was inked between Mauro Ferrari, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Houston Methodist Research Institute, and Stefano Domenicali, Chairman and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini. Ferrari’s primary fields of specialty are nanotechnology research and applied bioengineering in medicine. Lamborghini, meanwhile, boasts of being one of the leaders in research and production of carbon fiber composite materials.

Read the entire article Lamborghini works with Houston Methodist Research Institute on medical use of carbon composites

Commercial vehicles have always been late to the game when it comes to cutting-edge technologies in the automotive business compared to passenger vehicles. The American automaker, Ford, had an important breakthrough with its 13th-gen F150 by fitting it with second-row inflatable seat belts. However, we will not be talking about Ford, but instead we will be setting our sights on the brand new system offering of Volkswagen. The important tech is the Autonomous Emergency Braking feature that will be made available on the Caddy, Transporter and Crafter vans as standard equipment for orders that come in on June 1 of this year and onwards.

There’s no doubt that autonomous braking is really a very useful feature to avoid a vehicular collision but these systems are typically offered as an option. However, we applaud Volkswagen for making this move as it will be the first ever auto manufacturer to equip their commercial vans with autonomous emergency braking as standard. It's the latest in a series of steps to standardize the feature across the board.

The recent Euro NCAP crash test requires an effective AEB system to be able to score max points, and vehicles which don't have crash avoidance techs are fined. Due to this, it's uncommon for new vehicles to not be equipped with the system. Starting June 1st, those who will order a Caddy, Transporter or Crafter van units will be fitted with the aforementioned safety feature without needing to mark an option box. Sarah Cox, VW's head of marketing for commercial vehicles, indicated that producing safe, dependable vans has been at the heart of their company for over 60 years.

Read the entire article VW commercial vans will have autonomous emergency braking feature as standard

In today’s world, hybrid, plug-ins and EVs are not only trendy as they’re also highly vital. Due to the demand of the market, automakers are forced to adapt to the new norm, turning their cars into electric vehicles. In fact, even hypercars nowadays are becoming a hybrid, just like the Porsche Panamera in Turbo S E-Hybrid. However, some automakers such as Fiat Chrysler are a little behind in this department, which means that they have got to step up their game.

Having said that, there have been a lot of firsts for Maserati lately, from their very first SUV that is the Levante, and now they are going to make use of hybrid technology for that same model, featuring a charging port. Since this is going to be the company’s very first hybrid car, you might be wondering where they got the technology from. To answer your question, it’s Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, another member of the FCA Group, that will lend its PHEV technology to the Italian SUV.

Maserati’s estimate indicates that less than 10 percent of their SUV market will probably choose the eco-friendly version. Therefore, it is impractical for them to develop and build the technology from scratch, which is why they decided to just work with Chrysler Pacifica’s technology, to save them time and money. Instead of going through all the work, Maserati just needs to adapt Pacifica’s hardware to the new application.

Read the entire article Maserati Levante SUV will get a hybrid version with Chrysler Pacifica tech

You guys are probably aware of the collaboration between Mercedes-Benz and Renault-Nissan. Knowing this, you would expect that both companies will come up with something impressive. Sources say that the partnership has been working on some new gasoline four-cylinder engines. However, rather than developing a more powerful engine, they seem to have come up with 1.2- and 1.4-liter engines instead. Why small engines, you might want to ask?

The reason behind the downsizing is because the German company aims to lower emissions while increasing the efficiency of the new engines. The new 1.2- and 1.4-liter units will benefit from direct injection, and will be a standard in the next generation base variants of the A-Class and B-Class lineups, according to reports from Autocar. There are currently eight cars lined up for Mercedes’ compact models for 2018 including: the A-Class hatchback, A-Class Sedan, CLA, CLA Shooting Brake, B-Class, GLA, a rumoured GLB, and an unknown model that has yet to be announced by the company.

The new four-cylinder units, which currently go under the codename M282, are being engineered exclusively for transverse applications. Therefore, these engines will not be available for use in larger Mercedes-Benz models. These new units will be joined by an updated version of the “M274” which will soon be given a codename that is “M260”. The M260 will be bigger and is going to be available in two versions: 1.6- and 2.0-liter units.

Read the entire article Mercedes-Benz and Renault-Nissan to downsize engines, will use 1.2- and 1.4-liter powerplants

Self-driving sports utility vehicles from Peugeot may soon hit the roads as part of a project to test fully autonomous vehicles. The French carmaker has entered into a strategic partnership with nuTonomy – a self-driving car startup that had been formed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2013 – to have the Cambridge-based company install and implement its self-driving technology into Peugeot’s 3008 SUV.

Once nuTonomy’s software system has been fully installed into the Peugeot 3008 SUV, the partners will commence on-road testing of the self-driving vehicle in Singapore. The partnership is eyeing – ultimately -- to deploy thousands of fully autonomous cars in cities around the world.

As agreed, the initial phase of the partnership will entail nuTonomy having to seamlessly integrate its autonomous vehicle (AV) system – including its software, specialized sensors and computing platforms -- into the Peugeot 3008 SUVs. The partners consider the seamless integration of the AV system with vehicle hardware as a critical step toward deploying self-driving vehicle in large numbers and over extended life cycles.

Read the entire article Peugeot and nuTonomy collaborate to test and deploy self-driving in Peugeot 3008 SUV
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