Posted by: jdavis | June 17, 2008

On Hybrid Cars and Battery Shortage

Hybrid car is both environment-friendly and fuel-efficient. The primary problem that was addressed by the creation of hybrid cars was the worsening condition of our environment. The fact is we are bombarded with a lot of environmental concerns that are greatly affecting us. It has been said that what goes around, comes around. Whatever it is that we’re suffering from right now because of the inconsistencies in our climate is all because of our own doing. Mother Nature has her own way of making us realize how badly we have destroyed our environment. There is variety of factors destroying our Nature, and we cannot hide the fact that the harmful byproducts that our cars emit are one of the major culprits. Hence, the hybrid car was created.

It is indeed true that this remarkable innovation is a notable solution for the environmental concern that we are confronted with. While engineers and car manufacturers are still in the process of creating a vehicle that will not produce any emission at all, it helps to know that we have hybrid cars that will help lessen the car’s emission. Hence, there is a drive that encourages people to go green and to buy hybrids. We may think that there is still a lot of non-hybrid cars out there right now, producing toxic elements and continuously polluting our environment anyway. But then come to think of this. One hybrid car will definitely make a difference.

Aside from the environment-friendly feature of hybrid cars, it is also fuel-efficient. Car owners and the general public in particular are greatly alarmed with the increasing price of fuel in the market. It can be noted that oil price increase happens almost everyday or every other day. Many car owners even opted to take the public utility vehicle instead of using their car because budget-wise, taking the latter will be less expensive. For those who still want to enjoy the comfort of their vehicles, hybrid car is again a perfect choice.

More and more people are now buying hybrid cars. There is actually a high demand for hybrid cars nowadays. That is actually good news since advocates of hybrid cars does not anymore need to indulge into massive campaign about its purchase because the consumer themselves are already demanding for it. However, it seems that car manufacturers are not ready for this dramatic acceptance. Perhaps, they were not able to foresee that consumers will have a high demand for it this soon. As a result, the car industry may not be able to produce enough cars to meet its high demand. Battery shortage is said to be the problem. However, the founder of Advanced Automotive Batteries, Menahem Anderman has said that it is actually not battery shortage but planning shortage.

He further explained that every battery costs much that is why car manufacturers are very careful in terms of their order because a change in quantity will affect its pricing. Hence, both the car manufacturers and battery suppliers are extremely cautious when entering into contract. The battery is the most expensive part of the hybrid car, so the carmakers remain in their original financial commitment to be able to save some bucks for each unit.

The leading company in selling hybrid cars, which is Toyota, also said that the company is very careful in purchasing batteries because it will be using a different battery for its 2009 model of the ever infamous Toyota Prius. Hence, it does not want to over produce the present model. The Ford Company, on the other hand, said that it has limited access to its batteries because only 25,000 packs a year is given to it by Sanyo Electric Co., its supplier. General Motors also could not grab the opportunity of producing more hybrid cars now because its battery supplier has shipped 9,000 hybrid battery packs that leaks. So, it has to be shipped back and replaced. 

For the meantime, car consumers have to stay put, wait, and hope that new hybrid cars will soon come their way.

 

http://www.hybridcars.com/components/hybrid-battery-poor-planning-610.html?page=0%2C1

 

Posted by: jdavis | June 16, 2008

The Innovation Roadmap

The road of innovation in whatever area of development is far, wide and diverse. Innovation accompanies the movement of life itself. As long as man continues to live and as long as man possesses the desire to improve, man will always look for the means and struggle to reach the end, even if the end arrived at is only intermediate and as long as man lives it will never be a definitive end. The end will always be the beginning of something new which will eventually inspire man to seek again for something better and new. Thus it will always be far for the search will never arrive at a single definite end.

 

Improvement is never solitary. Change in a particular aspect of one’s life does not necessarily mean that it is the only area improved but necessarily all other areas are also affected. One would always be mistaken if one would look at one area as always independent and detached from all other areas. There is interconnectivity hence all changes affects the entire system. In the realm of cars, there is already the move from single to system innovation. Oliver Wyman’s “Car Innovation 2015” study sees the improvement of all areas of the car – fuel efficiency, emissions, safety and security, seamless connectivity and infotainment, driving dynamics, performance, and comfort flexibility.

 

Since innovation covers far and wide, it is imperative that car manufacturers and innovations experts focus not only on the existing circumstances but also on the projections of the future. To think that the end users innovators will cater in the future are not yet present today and the car users served today will not anymore be the end users of tomorrow is a mistake. Saying that the customers catered with our innovations today would still be the same end users of the future is apt and precise. The needs responded to at this particular moment of time will be different in the future. Oliver Wyman has given areas of development or innovation that could be taken into consideration for the aging population. It is quite general in scope yet the direction it takes would somehow take the lead.  It is quite true that as one acquires age several of his potentialities and possibilities becomes actual and comes into play, same with the negative potentialities such as loss of strength and sharpness of memory. So for the aging population, Wyman recommended the following areas of development – ergonomically designed boarding, loading and seating solutions, visual aids for better night and rain vision, easy-to-use functions even for complicated devices, timeless design features, speed and special attention recommendation displays, side and rear-view cameras, customized mobility services.

 

Changes however will not only affect the end users but also the circumstances that go with them. One could expect more congestion in the streets as each one would try to improve his lot by owning a car himself. The thought of every citizen having a car will not be far with the production of low cost cars and environment friendly ones. As the congestion worsens there is the rise of all other needs. Longer hours of driving would need more comfortable and reliable cars.  Thus in addition to car air cons will be more emphasis on entertainment and information systems. Katrina Arabe in her “10 Hottest Car Technologies” speaks of the video age where car features computer-monitor-like screens that does not only pops videos but guided by the GPS also displays directions, maps and information on hotels, hospitals and restaurants. Wi-Fi connection would also satiate his need for information and connection.  This at the same time would give end users the opportunity to arrive at their destination at a much calculated time. Security demands must also be responded to by protection from outside attacks and if possible concealment from outside viewers. Automation on stop and go and accelerate and brake by wire technology gives more precision on their driving.

 

The road is far and wide.

Posted by: jdavis | June 12, 2008

Waterless Car Wash?

Time really calls for great conservation of energies. With the prices of fossil fuel skyrocketing and almost all parts of the globe s affected by the surge in oil prices, calls for alternative measures are afloat. These days alone fuel prices increased a lot of times than he other years. Oil companies points at the global world market. Just recently, the news speaks about the violent demonstration in India protesting the 10 percent oil price increase. A lot of human beings sacrificed. Not only that, the call for conservation of energies is complemented by the call for greater care for the environment. New inventions and innovations, thank God, are expressing support for such call. On the car industry alone, we have the development of hybrid cars and the world witnessed the mass production of hybrids and rolling out into the market by Toyota Prius. Toyota Prius made use of the combined energies from the fossil fuel and electricity stored in battery cells. Hydrogen as an alternative fuel joined the call with Ford’s Hyseries Edge. Lately, we have the electric cars of which Nissan has vowed to pioneer the mass production.

 

The call should really be heeded. The environment is fast reacting to our technology and all its waste. Global warming has become a part of common parlance. Storms and floods speak of the abundance of water. Drought that speaks of the absence of it is common nowadays and has claimed a lot of lives. Global warming has really gone global with the global effects experienced in all parts of the globe – China, Japan, US to name a few.

 

Hope however is never extinguished. Although man commits blunder by being an agent of destruction because of his being abusive of the environment rooted on the desire of improving  himself and having a better lot, still this same man struggles to improve or in a more positive tone struggle to preserve the environment out of the recent global advocacy for the matter concerned. Innovative technology still aids him in his quest. Among those contributions is the conservation of water. Water composes almost three-fourths of the globe. Bodies of water could be found everywhere – but that is only for some countries that are really blessed with water. In spite of such abundance, there are still existing places that really needs water. That is why even if there is an apparent abundance of water, conservation of it is still called for. Water is life. And thanks for the innovation, a contribution is made.

 

Think the age of -less has already been over such as the keyless entry system? Think again for here is another one of those –less in the realm of innovations – the waterless car wash. Although moving on in waterless drive is not anymore new because of the urinals that do not make use of water and dry cleaning for the clothes, still the thought of having the idea applied on cars is still far from reality. Yet, here is now a concrete proof of the reality. The article submitted by Derek Newberry and subsequently published by Business Development talks of the car wash that started in Brazil and now expanded its technology abroad. The company uses native Brazilian wax that makes cars spotless without the use of water. Just like the hybrid and alternative fuels, this one pushes for the conservation of the environment by saving millions of gallons of water. What’s next? The company dreams and big and pushes for something bigger for according to the author, in one of his interviews with the company, the company aims to clean not only cars but also jets using the same technology, waterless.

 

 

http://www.nextbillion.net/blogs/2006/06/29/great-innovation-the-brazilian-waterless-car-wash

 

Posted by: jdavis | June 12, 2008

On Car Innovations and Satisfaction

Life is basic. Man eats, sleeps, wakes up, does his things, eats, sleeps, wakes up and so goes the cycle. It is simply what it is. And summing up, it weighs nothing more than breathing. Quite brute isn’t it? It is plainly nothing but breathing. To this I guess a lot would really object and say there’s a lot in life than simply breathing and engaging in the monotonous dialogue of inhaling and exhaling. We are human beings and human as we are, we take pride in our intelligence. We put ourselves above that which already is. We strive to go beyond that which is already given. Call it discontent or pride but it is what makes life more worth living. We discover things that are yet unknown and we improve almost everything. This sometimes makes me think of life as always an unfinished business.

 

In this life, what is finished and done which would not consider any alterations! So here I am again talking about car innovation. The other time I wrote about an article that discusses the customer’s difficulty of accepting these car innovations because of too many complicated innovations, the difference of perception among different customer groups and the customers’ limitations and difference on knowledge, desire and budget. My answer is simplicity that accounts for immediate recall, timeliness and still the desire to make things better.

 

When customers buy cars, they would like to get the best out of their hard earned money. Every drop of their sweat and blood, translated into market value must pay off. They think and struggle whether they would buy or not. So most often when it comes to extras or additional features for the car, they think twice. Here lies the difficulty of the suppliers. How can they really look into the minds of the consumer so much so that they can foresee what innovations would really sell?

 

Oliver Wyman gave the following points for consideration. First, include the customer’s perspective. This is really necessary, I suppose. Customers are the end users and they are the buying public. They are the reasons why the company and the technology exist. Knowing too little about the customers requirements decreases the odds of the products marketability since what is taken into consideration is simply the perspective of the manufacturer. Are they the ones who are going to buy the product? The second point offered is involving the manufacturers and suppliers own people by acting the role of the customers. This is quite putting you on the shoes of the other. This method is quite good since time and again, one would find it quite hard to understand the other if he or she is not in the same position and experience of the other. Simulating the customer’s position gives the manufacturer a grasp of the other’s experience or predicaments albeit in a general manner. The last point focused on building customer understanding. I can see it in two ways. Understanding the customers in their way of looking at things on one hand and on the other hand is making the customers understand. On the former point of view, understanding the customers in their way of looking at things helps the manufacturer suit his manufacturing of the product according to the needs, preferences and price sensitiveness of the customers. One would not give customer a BMW if he wants a Toyota nor he would give a rear fender to the customer who orders a bull bar. However, the manufacturer can also go beyond the customer’s point of view if we take into consideration the point that the innovator, looking the merit of his being able to think of the product prior to the customer’s, already knows what the product is and what are the benefits it could give to the customers. To improve its marketability, we would go on the second point of view that is making the customers understand. Here, marketers should really take the longer step of making the customer know the product probably making them understand that although it is an extra for their car and budget. It would be a necessary extra. Manufacturers, suppliers and marketers should really have knowledge of customer acceptance of innovation and make them accept the innovation.

 

For the customer there is already the satisfaction of owning the car and for the manufacturer there is already the satisfaction of having his car bought. But being satisfied does not simply end in what one already has for one still desire for more. Innovations cater to that desire. We struggle to improve and quench our aspirations. Dressing up as what I would call it.

 

We cannot divorce satisfaction, so the innovations.

 

 

http://www.oliverwyman.com/ow/pdf_files/CarInnovation2015_engl.pdf

 

Posted by: jdavis | June 10, 2008

On The Acceptance of Car Innovations

Sitting on my front porch with no one beside me as usual, save for my ever faithful notebook, I found it quite interesting to share with you this article I happened to chance upon the other day about the acceptance of innovations. All too often one would always think that innovations would always work for man’s benefit. Any change that would seem to capture man’s wild imagination seems to be lauded and taken in. Since that is the case positive outlook will always be taken and the innovation, whatever it may be, would be accepted willingly by the public especially if it is for the furtherance of ease and comfort. Come to think of it. If one would make something, it is for sure out of a perceived good. Car fenders, car refrigerators, new seatbelt styles, car fresheners, audio systems, to name a few would not be improved if not for a given purpose. And what could it be or more rightfully for whom all the improvements would be?  It is for no one else but for the customers’ consumption and the intended customers’ satisfaction. One would not modify his car, don a lot of accessories, and spend a lot of money, if it is not for a perceived good.

 

However, this article presents a different side of the story and an alternative perspective.  The opening statement reads, “All too often innovations fail to address customer needs.” Although there are a lot of innovations already done to improve the quality of services car manufacturers would offer and apparently having the customers in their mind, these would still be of little use. As what the article would cite, only about one out of six innovations is actually taken in by the consumers. Why is that? Firstly, the article speaks of too many complicated innovations – complicated feature names and acronyms. Say in the BMW 7 series from 14 extra features in 1986 it rose to 92 in 2006 which speaks of 78 innovations in 20 years! To add to that woe Lexus GS use acronyms and abbreviations in their features. Apparently, there really is a problem because of the sheer number of improvements. Yet, I would still look at the positive side since it would not ever be called innovation for nothing. Surely, the technology involved would mean improvement. What is simply called for in such condition is the market dissemination of such feature and the consumers are well informed of the advantages and disadvantages of such and such feature. It should also take cognizance of the differences the innovations brings about to the older features of the car. On the use of acronyms and abbreviations, brevity, simplicity and immediate recall must be put in mind. People buy what is easily remembered. Think of your going to market without a LIST. What will you buy? Certainly the one that you remember!  

 

The second point stated is the difference of perception among different customer groups. Of course, different people would buy different ware. Would I buy shampoo if I do not have hair? How much more a comb and hair polish. Car’s innovative technology would necessarily be bought out of the eccentricities of the car owners. Some will be very much pragmatic looking only at the beneficial side of the coin. Others who care much about beauty floundering about their so called aesthetic sense will definitely go for accessories that would match heir taste. While on the other side, the affluent would simply buy for the benefit of buying regardless of the use and aesthetic sense. The article even made mention of regional differences where Asian car buyers puts more interest on infotainment electronics. Trying to look in the Asian perspective would make me guess the reason for its being the case. Sense of balance! The aesthetic side which makes them happy and satisfied on the one hand and the practicality and usefulness of the techno on the other may count for the reason.

 

The last point stated is the customer’s limitations and difference in knowledge, desire and budget. Think of this again. Would one buy something he does not know? If ever he ahs come across the word, would he buy it if he doesn’t know its use? Everything must fit. Low order rate for car innovation citing only two percent sold to the consumers must have a reason. I go with the suggestion on the last paragraph that speaks of testing the chances foe success of the innovation and providing total features portfolio.

 

Car innovations work best at the right time. Asking for the aptness of time and answering such question requires more time. Yet commendable would always be the struggle and desire to make things better.  

 

 

Source URL:http://www.car-innovation.com/pdf/customer_innovation_acceptance_en.pdf

Posted by: jdavis | June 9, 2008

Remarkable Car Gadgets

Gadgets are all around. In television, in malls, in the Internet and almost everybody is talking about how cool their gadget is. And whenever a new gadget hits the market, it becomes a by-word instantly (especially to those who have become so engrossed and dependent to it). The car industry of course cannot be left behind when it comes to the newest gadgets which are not only cool but will also provide drivers a lot of convenience and additional safety.

 

Let’s admit it; driving can be very exhausting at times, especially when you are not familiar with the road that you are traversing. Having a map might help but it will consume a lot of your time and it’s quite inconvenient. I remember one time, when I was with my colleagues and we were on our way to a conference, we were suppose to be at the venue at exactly seven in the evening but because we were not familiar with the place, we arrived at the venue an hour late. Well, I guess if only our car was equipped then with a navigation system getting to the place on time will be easier. Some says that having this particular system inside the vehicle is quite distracting as it may require you to constantly glance at the monitor therefore you cannot focus on the road. With the new Navigation system that can be operated verbally, that will no longer be a problem. As you find your way, the system verbalizes the directions hence you can focus your eyes on the road.

 

Navigon 7100 is a Navigation system that comes equip with a portable GPS. The Navigon 7100 does not only help the driver stay focus on the road, it also provides a great advancement in terms of the screen display. The three-dimensional street view displays vividly road signs and exits.

 

Majority, if not all car equipments are operated using our hands which can again distract drivers. With the emerging technology and hi-tech gadgets, voice command is another milestone in the car industry. Superb gadgets such as this change entirely the way drivers interact with their cars. Driving is constantly becoming easier and more exciting with such creations. Just imagine you can keep your hands on the wheel while fixing your eyes on the road. Aside from navigation, operating your cell phones and audio systems are now easier and can be done using voice-command. Ford Sync and Scosche Fusion have made use and taken advantage of this wireless technology. What is so amazing about this particular technology is that it automatically turns the volume down when you are making a phone call in order to hear the person on the other line clearly.

 

How about a remote that will give you the signal if your car’s engine is at the right temperature already? The Viper Responder LE is a combination of a remote starter and an alarm system. We know for a fact that a car’s engine is able to function best when it is not too hot or too cold. Hence, warming up the car is necessary especially during cold days. Having a hard time guessing if your car is ready to go?  Well, it’s not a problem anymore. With a remote such as Viper Responder LE, you will know exactly when the car is ready because the remote will give you the signal that the temperature is all set.

 

I am pretty sure there are still a lot of gadgets to come in the near future. For now, try to make use of these high-tech gadgets that will surely make driving more fun, convenient and safe. Spending some bucks while equipping your car with state of the art gadgets is worth it when you consider the benefits you will get from it. Brilliant minds have created these brilliant devices, so why not make use and take advantage of it?

 

 

http://www.forbesautos.com/advice/

Posted by: jdavis | June 5, 2008

Automatic License Plate Recognition Cameras

Last time I have written about the latest technology and gadgets that can be very beneficial to our cops. The E7 which is the first custom-made police car created by Carbon Motors (it is not yet being used though due lack of fund) and the voice-command system which allows cops to do a number of things through voice command. If you think that’s it then you are mistaken because there’s more. Check this one!

         

  • Automatic License Plate Recognition Cameras

 

 

There are plenty of reckless drivers on the road and when traveling at a high speed, it is nearly impossible to have a vivid view of the license plate. With the help of this system, the camera will be able to capture and store the license plate thus making it easy for cops to track down the suspect. This may also apply to hit-and-run drivers. There are times when nobody is able to witness accidents happening on the road. This particular system is no doubt a big tool in order to capture the driver through its license plate.

 

There are also some countries that make use of cameras to capture drivers who have traffic violations. A friend of mine related this story to me. He traveled to this particular country and on one occasion, he went home quite late already. The car he was using got busted so he took the taxi instead. There were barely cars on the road. When they reached an intersection, it so happened that the traffic light signaled that they have to stop. There was nobody on the road and no car either so he asked the driver why he stopped when in fact the only thing that he sees there is their taxi. The driver explained to him that even with that scenario they have to strictly obey traffic rules because the traffic lights are installed with cameras which capture the license plate of vehicles with violation. And here’s the funny part. A note and a picture of your car will be sent right into your house to inform you of your violation and how much you’re going to pay. (Isn’t that nice?) What a better way to discipline people than letting them know that even when nobody is around, a camera sees what you’re doing.(lol)

 

According to one of the leading ALPRS manufacturer, the most common system configuration is a three-camera system. All the three cameras have a fixed position and fixed focal length. One camera is checking the lane to the right and another to the left while the other one is mounted at the side (this one is intended for parking lots). Every camera continuously sends infrared and full-color images back to the processor. If you suspect a particular vehicle, the system through its camera can search via the updated warrant list for you to know that the vehicle has been issued a warrant before. Results can be attained in a matter of more or less 20 milliseconds (not bad).

 

Looking at what this system can do, I can say that this will indeed be of huge help to our cops. Nevertheless, it is quite expensive and of course, we just cannot set aside the monetary thing. Three cameras cost about $25,000. But despite its current price, some places in the United States are already making use of it. Maybe as of now, only few places can afford to make use of it. Let’s just hope that in time more affordable automatic license plate recognition cameras will be available.

 

Our present technology cannot really be outdone especially when it comes to new gadgets and innovative systems. Here is what I have to say. May people use it responsibly.

 

 

http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/military_law/4231942.html?page=3

Posted by: jdavis | June 4, 2008

COP GADGETS

Time passes by so fast. The technology that was once a dream is now a reality. The cars which were conceptualize before is now being used by many. There are lots of new things, innovations and trends. It is kinda’ amazing to be living in this new age where robotics is but a natural thing and state of the art gadgets can be easily accessed but despite of these a lot of things are still lacking. Poverty, scarcity of food, peace and order are still major issues that have to be resolved. Sometimes I hesitate to watch news because the current events are very disheartening. I remember that one-liner of a song which says “Heal the world, make it a better place.” Amidst the modern world is a place where peace is hardly attained. We fear walking on dark streets, in public places, in banks, even in the comfort of our homes. It seems to me now that there is no safe place anymore. There are a lot of wicked people out there and we just hope that policemen will be able to catch them so as to lessen the threat in the society.

          Here are some of the latest cop gadgets that will surely give policemen better efficiency.

1.Carbon Motors E7

Typical police cars are made from standard vehicles and are just equipped with the necessary components that are customary among police cars. These include lights, sirens and other gadgets. Though standard cars are also functional, a purpose-built police car will be far more effective and useful. The Carbon Motors E7 is the first ever customized car for the sole purpose of aiding specific police needs. The car’s feature includes an armored front doors and dashboards, infra red cameras and is capable of 0 to 60 mph speed in a matter of 6 seconds. The speed can go as fast as 155 mph. Its seats are also custom built and can accommodate radios and large equipments. It can be mounted also with a license-plate-reading camera which is a powerful tool for tracking cars used as accessories to crimes. But the thing is, the Carbon Motors E7 is still non-existent. According to William Li, the chairman and CEO of Atlanta-based Carbon motors, one problem confronting its usage is that law enforcement agencies do not order cars in bulk. Hence, a large fund is needed to make the manufacturing of Carbon Motors E7 cars a reality.

 

2. Project54 Voice-Command System

 

How about a system that will allow policemen to activate gadgets in the car through a voice command? This system will enable policemen to turn on the siren and lights, run a license plate and clock a speeding car without touching anything in the car. All of these can be done by a voice-command! The software can be installed to a laptop that is fairly powerful or a tablet running Windows 2000, Vista or XP. The equipments are then incorporated to the system. Project54 is relatively affordable. The cost starts at $500 per agency to as much as $4000 for every vehicle (depending on how obsolete the equipment of the department is)

 

So, how does it work? Say for example a police officer would want to know if a suspected car has been issued a warrant before, he can just hold down the push-to-talk button and he can listen to the results without taking his eyes off the road, thus enabling him to keep track of the car. If the police officer would want to chase a car, he can turn on the sirens and all the necessary lights by just saying the word           ” Pursuit”. These together with the other features make this command system one of a kind.

 

I will be posting more cop gadgets on my next blog. Till then!

         

 

http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/military_law/4231942.html?page=1

 


1942.html?page=1

Posted by: jdavis | June 2, 2008

WHAT’s NEW?

What’s new? Looking for something new seems to be a common ground between two friends or acquaintances that haven’t seen each other for quite a time. Seems to be a constant question one poses whenever one sees anybody he met and haven’t been in touch for quite some time, be it a week or two, more so a year. I have recently bumped into one of my old buddies when I was still yet in college. Just as I expected, same constant question popped out. And there we were, in between of hi’s and hello’s were the questions of what’s new. So, I haven’t heard from him for a year. The last time I saw him was when he was with his boyfriend. I could easily notice he was not with the same companion prior to the time I saw him. He was then with a girlfriend. But I guess that is how life really works, lots of changes that one is always surprised not to see one.

 

So I asked him what’s new for today. Checking in for new gadgets for an ol’ good car, he replied! Unhesitatingly I gave him my new found list of gadgets that are already in the market though some are still on the way. I recommend he should really get it a visit and access http://blogs.cars.com/kickingtires/car_gadgets/. But his insistence still prompted me to describe several gadgets in the site. Here are some!

Of all things, the GPS related innovations!

If you hit upon yourself becoming lazy finding a place to park your car and if ever you found one, you cannot park it rightfully because you hate the backing and moving forward of your car, Volkswagen Passat CC will work it our for you. It features a park assist system that steers the car into the right parking spot using cameras, sensors and software. The driver’s only participation is controlling the braking and acceleration during maneuver. Not bad huh for really a lazy individual.

Complementing the said feature is the MirrorPilot that integrates the GPS system in the left hand corner of the mirror. The only setback of this kind of gadget is that it gives you only 2.2 inch screen of GPS on your mirror which could really be a burden especially when you are in a fast lane.

However this technology which is an additional to a long line of services offered by a GPS system could be more helpful. That is a steering wheel that points the way. Seems to be quiet a Nintendo game yet it would really provide you an easier way to navigate instead of looking and searching in a navigation screen of a GPS. This is presented by the Japanese technology company Takara in partnership with Navigon. Quite a way huh!

And guess what? GPS not only provides you direction as to how to get your way but also how to get you through. Several times you were apprehended because of smoking and drinking? Why not try to have one and have your self in check prior to the check up of the officer? Think there is none? Rethink again for here is a breath analyzer offered by A Portuguese GPS Company which does not only gives you direction and tell you how to get where you are going but tells you if you can have yourself behind the wheel.

Of other gadgets aside from the GPS, here are some!

Being kind of cool with gadgets especially with MP3 and mobile phone, this feature will be just in time for him – the voice command compatibility that Ford SYNC offers. Being an on the go individual and having a lot of persons to talk to because of his delivery business, having a car that possesses this feature gives one a time to have more focus and grip maneuvering the car while at the same time navigate his phone and MP3. Ford’s SYNC also offers a navigation system that shows the routes to the cheapest gas in the area and at the same time provides traffic. This is made possible by the SYNC’s connection with Sirius satellites.

Next is the cool idea introduced by Delphi. And what was the idea all about? A car linked to an iPhone. Although this could not really make your car travel remotely but there are some useful features this iPhone offers. Tired of the hot summer sun and staying at a distance from your car that has been exposed to the noonday sun hoping that it would cool down the time you reach it, Hope no longer for the iPhone can adjust the cabin temperature remotely. It could also unlock the doors and start the engine from a distance. For the car’s benefits on the other hand, the phone can check tire pressure, oil and brake fluid and rolls up the windows when it starts to rain. What’s best is you can do it even if you are a mile away. Although this is still a concept as of this moment, yet it is worth waiting.

Other gadgets include a retractable stud winter tires, wiperless windshield, a self-inflating tire, push-button starters, internet and wi-fi in cars. So much for now, have more the next time around!

 

 

http://blogs.cars.com/kickingtires/car_gadgets/

 

Posted by: jdavis | June 2, 2008

Electric Cars

Last month, my work schedule happened to grant me another share in communing with nature. I have always been looking forward for such opportunities of being one with them and simply enjoy the beauty of simplicity. While traversing the road going to the beach, I was once again held in awe by the wonders of nature.

On the beach, I thought of simply being alone and enjoy the world on my own. Sharing my cabana with a family of three seems to me unwelcome. But grace has it when out of them, the child most especially bring my thoughts back to my work and inspired me once again. It so happened when the electric power tripped off and seeing the child playing with his electric car made me wonder, could we instead replicate the toy car as real cars?

Surfing the net, I found the article by Andrew Heasley  that suggests electric cars as the future of cars undermining the electric cars and the hydrogen powered ones. I am quite glad that there is a continually growing desire to develop cars that are environmentally protective and at the same time environmentally sustainable. These are the ones that our planet needs. It is not anymore new to the informed public that fossil fuels are a great contributor to global warming and climate change because of its carbon dioxide emissions. Considering the number of cars in the world, each car’s little contribution of CO2 combined is enough to pose great damage. Aside from that harnessing only the fossil fuel is not of great benefit to us consumers because of its being non-renewable and it takes billions of years before they can be reproduced.

Nissan’s current endeavor in partnership with Renault of building plug-in rechargeable electric cars that can be recharged right at home is quite a welcome. The car company is currently taking with great seriousness the firm consideration of trying to display electric cars fit for public consumption by 2010 and rolls it into public use by 2012. As of this moment they have already made and presented two concept cars, the Mixim and the EA2.

 What are the advantages these cars presented? First is the availability and sustainability of the power source which is electricity. I do believe in it for the majority of countries that have cars are really the countries that have electricity. The generation of electricity would not be an additional task as that of mining petrol. One may think of the source of electricity as may be the source of pollution if one would think of the coal and nuclear energy as the source of production but there are alternative sources such as the wind water and geothermal energy.  Second, the operation of the car includes recharging in a 100-volt for only six hours and in a 200 volt for only 30 minutes. One recharging would last the car a 160 km driving range. It uses lithium-ion batteries which is lighter than usual petrol engines. Lastly, the article suggests getting rid the car of mechanical linkages thus makes it more compact and on the other end making it also more spacious. Fewer parts would mean less trash to dispose of in the event that the car breaks up.

Others types that don’t produce greenhouse gas emissions are hybrids and hydrogen-powered cars. Hybrids are also good in the sense that they do contribute in preserving the environment by lessening the CO2 emission because they switch to electricity stored on the lithium-ion battery. However, there is the question of longevity and end of life recycling.

The article suggests that having hydrogen as an alternative for fossil fuel is as of this moment not very viable because of the difficulty of its storage and management in the car. At the same time there are only a handful of its refilling stations. More than that, the process of using hydrogen as fuel involves converting the energy generated into electricity and storing it in a fuel cell which is later harnessed to power the car.

I do really think that having an electric powered car would be better of than hydrogen powered one – for love of the environment and for convenience.

 I went home refreshed and satisfied!

 

 

 

 

http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/4561976a30.html

 

 

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