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re: why wasn't this done already Long-haul trucks have had aerodynamic devices over their cabs for decades now, so this is a refinement of an existing concept. Most trailers that I see also have side skirts now, and aero skirts between the tractor and trailer. I'm surprised that some of the fine people on this site are unaware of these things. Compare a modern big rig to one from the 1970s and the differences will jump out at you. If anything, the trucking industry has been very welcoming of technological improvements. This includes things that are not so visible, like satellite fleet management, advanced transmissions, optimized cooling and efficient APUs. Every dollar saved in fuel costs improves competitiveness and profitability.
Davemart, By definition, half the drivers are worse than average (and the average isn't very high in the first place). It seems like a distraction to have to monitor and control these safety systems when you should be paying attention to the road. I presume that you live in an area that is infested with photo radars? If you do, then most drivers are already too busy staring at their speedometers to look at the road.
I can see this system becoming a safety liability because it prevents drivers from adjusting to road and traffic conditions. You may theoretically get fewer speeding tickets (I haven't been issued one since the last millennium, so it's not a big concern), but you can no longer place your vehicle in the safest position within the flow of traffic.
Isn't NCAP basically a "pay to play" cartel? I can see why many emerging markets don't want to get caught in that trap. That doesn't mean that they don't care about safety, or that they don't love their children.
EP: 60*60 is 3600 miles, not 360. However, your point stands: it's a very small number. A gasoline station serving so few customers would go bankrupt quickly.
The real reason for the demise of the local transmission shop is that modern transmissions are so reliable. The old 3-speed Hydramatic/Torqueflite automatics needed regular band adjustments, and were more susceptible to failure from overheating and rough handling. Modern computer-controlled transmissions avoid these issue by design. They can not be made to shift inadvisedly (over-revs, that sort of thing), and they constantly monitor fluid temps and pressures. The only maintenance left is fluid changes, which can be handled by non-specialists. There's very little money left in specializing in car transmissions, and that's why the occasional repair is done through replacement.
LAD, This transmission is compatible with hybrid drive lines (as the article states), so I'm not sure what your point is. Should ZF close-up shop just because you are enamored with electric drive? Should they ignore the 10s of millions of cars that are sold every year and concentrate on a market that is a thousand times smaller? Harvey, This transmission is designed for cars with longitudinal engines, such as the BMW 3 series mentioned in the article. The "Fiat-Chrysler 10 speed" is actually a ZF 9 speed and is designed for transversal engines. Both are very advanced transmission, but they are designed for different cars/trucks.
gor, I'm disappointed. I thought that this was finally the hybrid car that would get you to open your wallet! I don't see how asking everyone to drive old rustbuckets would help the environment, even if they promise to "drive slow." If anything, this solution would make urban air quality even worse.
Henrik, Don't worry, GM already collects all of your personal info, location, and driving habits through OnStar. They know if you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness' sake... Why charge a monthly fee for an internet connection? Because consumers don't want to pay up front for 12 years of internet in a car that they will only keep for 4 years. Given previous OnStar history, the built-in connection will probably be inoperable in 10 years, and definitely be outdated. Why pay for this when you get a choice of cheaper better services through your phone?
E-P, what are you talking about? According to the EPA, the 2015 Turbo Mustang averages 5 mpg more with an automatic and 6 mpg more with a manual. The Focus ST and Fiesta ST (which are also mentioned in the article) do even better. Obviously, there's no comparison in terms of safety, features, emissions, reliability or durability. Nothing wrong with nostalgia, but it should not prevent us from understanding facts.
To those who are pretending not to understand: it's not the fact of traffic pollution that's at issue, it's the amount and the type. Remember that Canada has publicly funded health care, so questions such as "would it make sense to divert heavy trucks during rush hour in order to prevent cancers?" make economic sense. The only way to answer this type of question is with hard data, and this study is part of that process. Ask yourselves "would you save more lives/money by tightening diesel emission controls, or by extending regional train service?" or "should heavy trucks be allowed on toll/express roads?" It's really hard to answer either question without hard data.
Harvey, FYI, the Quebec City "Écolobus" electric bus experiment has been cancelled due to high running costs (supposedly six times that of conventional buses). You have until the end of the month to take one last ride.
Harvey, Perhaps you are on the roads when the kids are in school?
Harvey, It's a school bus, metaphorically, in that it will spend most of it's (on-road) time shuttling children back and forth to school, and to the innumerable after-school activities that today's children get signed-up for. You should compare it to three-row SUVs and minivans (or to the "full size" station wagons of our youth), rather than to a normal PHEV such as a Volt or Prius.
Harvey, It may be the most efficient if you need 7-seater capacity and ground clearance. These things are used to shuttle children around, and it's hard to get more than two children in a Prius, especially if one is in a car seat. This Volvo should be wide enough to carry 3 children in the middle row, and up to two more in the back row. Of course, the video in the linked press release shows a single adult carelessly driving along the Mediterranean coast. If that's your planed usage, then the new Volvo is possibly the worse PHEV you can buy (short of a city bus).
Henrik, Automatic charging probably won't cost that much. There are lots of self-parking cars on the market right now, getting them to park near a charger is a minor software tweak. The rest of the system could be prototyped in a few days by a class of 1st year engineering students: you just need to get a known plug into a known socket. Most of the safety systems are already part of the charging interface.
I think they are on the right path targeting this at scooters and mopeds. You can't get much more mainstream than that for most inhabitants of this planet. The big question will be durability, especially as regards the apex seals. You either need to make them last the full life of the bike (at least a decade), or you need to sell them for pennies and make them easy to change with basic tools.
the first three-cylinder gasoline engine in the history of Audi Except if you consider that the first Audi was also the last DKW, a brand known for its 3 cylinder engines.
This area of R&D is apparently being pushed by Volvo's corporate parent. Being able to filter-out Beijing's foul air is a big selling point.
Roger, The other companies that had to re-state MPG figures are listed on BMW (Mini), Mercedes and Ford.
Roger, I see that you've come around and stated that the EPA's role should be "to watch over the industries." Clearly, the EPA has "enough technical expertise" to do this, given how Hyundai/Kia were caught and punished. Other auto makers have also been caught and punished for much smaller misstatements, so their ability "to watch over the industries" isn't limited to gross misconduct. I had a feeling that you would come to this conclusion once you started reasoning through your ideas. Unless, of course, what you wrote isn't what you meant. It's hard to tell sometimes.
Roger, Once again, you are pretending that I made an argument that I did not make (soil samples?). I love that you would create an enormous and redundant bureaucracy just so we can treat giant conglomerates like schoolchildren! "One of you cheated, so we have to treat everyone like criminals, for ever and ever."
Roger, "except for the class-action lawyers", and consumers who will pay more for less, and automakers who will spend more, and the EPA who will waste valuable resources needlessly duplicating tests, and air quality which will suffer when resources are re-purposed for a bureaucratic circus, and our children who will inherit this world with higher taxes, prices and pollution, and simple-minded fans of complicated government who will quickly find out that you can just as easily cheat on a government-run test, and those who seek justice from corporate malfeasance... In other words, I'm surprised your "solution" hasn't been implemented already!
Roger, Why do you always conveniently forget basic information? EPA MPG is just a number. There is no way that every consumer will perfectly match that number on every tank, summer and winter, city and highway, loaded with passengers or almost empty. The fact that you (and I) sometimes beat EPA MPG is proof that the figures are in the right ballpark (unlike EU fuel consumption numbers). In simpler terms: you are arguing against the EPA, but your chosen example contradicts you! That seems to happen a lot, why is that? I will let you have the last word.
Roger, Other auto makers will not get together to help Hyundai. Other automakers follow the rules and get it right! This is not kindergarten, there is no moral obligation to help the student who failed a test (or cheated). The EPA's attitude is "trust, but verify." It seems to be working quite well. We both know that you would be dreaming-up more conspiracy theories when Hyundai does poorly on EPA-run (or third-party) tests. Unfortunately for Hyundai, the best way to improve their EPA mpg numbers is through engineering. That's what this web site is about: recognizing good engineering, not blindly rooting for one brand or another.