Eco-friendly vehicles have come a long way from simply being prototypes. Manufacturers have been ambitious with emissions-free cars, even attempting to assemble them using resin. However, for big names in the industry, keeping it simple is key. Known for its funky appearance, the VW Beetle is getting another makeover — this time, it’s going electric.
“If we wanted to do a Beetle, electrically it would be much better than today’s model, much closer to history, because it could be rear-wheel drive,” said [VW chairman Herbert] Diess.
It may still be in the talks, but VW already has its hands full with an electric version of its classic microbus. Despite their overflowing to-do list, it seems fans of the Bug are on their toes. Thrilled prospective customers have been pleading with the chairman to follow through via letters and e-mails.
VW is aiming for a massive revamp of its vehicles by 2030. While that may seem a long ways away, its $24 billion budget speaks volumes about the group’s potential.
It’s not only cars that are getting a sustainable makeover — manufacturers are also developing new tires. From self-healing rubber to airless frames, consumers are in for a smooth ride. What we can expect next is a smart adaptable tire that can easily adjust to road conditions.
Specifically, this is all about two technologies called ContiSense and ContiAdapt. In simple terms you are looking at a tire that (1) could monitor and report on its health and (2) adjust its characteristics to road conditions.
Monitors measure tread depth and temperature, and its electrically-conductive rubber adjusts accordingly. It’s also completely wireless (can we get some wifi on there?).
“Depending on the tire pressure and rim width, different tread zones are activated and the concept tire adopts the required ‘footprint’ in each case.”
Like the Michelin projects, it’s going to be some time before the tires roll in. But with all this new technology, I can’t imagine slowing down would be too much of a bad idea.
Distracted driving survivors have Apple Watches and shock bracelets to thank for sparing their lives. However, car accidents remain abundant — but not if researchers at the University of Waterloo have anything to say about it. A new artificial intelligence software can now alert cars when you’re texting and driving, which can prevent oncoming disasters.
This system can detect signs of distraction, which could be caused by texting or talking on the phone, reaching into the backseat, or anything else that causes a change in head and face position.
With the rise of self-driving vehicles comes the simultaneous ascent of new safety features. In other words, you can count on your car to pick up the slack.
“The car could actually take over driving if there was imminent danger, even for a short while, in order to avoid crashes.”
Majority of crashes are caused by human error. Researchers claim that autonomous vehicles can save tens of thousands of lives every year. Of course, this isn’t to hand over free passes to reckless drivers. Staying focused remains a number one priority for anyone behind the wheel.
Throughout the course of history, women across the globe have been fighting for their rightful place in society. Unfortunately, the war is far from over — but women continue to speak out. Robyn and Michelle Lyle are working to remove the stigma on breast education. Now, Saudia Arabia is lifting its 27-year-old ban on female drivers — an enormous victory for thousands.
Saudi leaders… hope the new policy will help the economy by increasing women’s participation in the workplace. Many working Saudi women spend much of their salaries on drivers or must be driven to work by male relatives.
Many have attempted to justify the ban by claiming that driving would promote promiscuity or even damage women’s ovaries. For long, Saudi women have been subject to male “guardianship.” The law, which requires male consent for a woman’s actions, is limiting and humiliating. Eliminating the ban will have positive effects on many aspects of Saudi life.
Low oil prices have limited the government jobs that many Saudis have long relied on, and the kingdom is trying to push more citizens, including women, into private sector employment. But some working Saudi women say hiring private drivers to get them to and from work eats up much of their pay.
The decree is another breakthrough for Saudi’s female population, who were only given the right to vote in 2015.
In view of the escalating rate of vehicular accidents, tech societies are turning to wearable devices for sleepy drivers. Despite the success of products such as Steer, drunk driving remains to be a pressing predicament. Keeping reckless drivers off the road may be difficult, but not if General Motors has its foot in the door. The automobile manufacturer is mass producing a self-driving car without manual controls.
It’ll be possible for humans to stop the car – GM says customers having an emergency “may end the ride by making a stop request, and the vehicle will pull to the side of the road at the next available safe place.”
As with any drastic change, motor aficionados are voicing concerns regarding safety laws. Testing prototypes in San Francisco, GM is confident in its sleek, new model. The Cruise AV may be unique, but it isn’t the first of its kind.
“Mercedes-Benz will make an electric or hybrid version of all its cars by 2022, and they’re not alone. Volvo will go all electric by next year. Ford has plans for an electric F-150 truck and an electric Mustang.”
It’s a lot of competition to face, but hopefully safety remains a priority.
It’s 2017 and electric vehicles are all the rage. Because owning one can be pricey, groups such as Michelin are creating sustainable parts. However, the new XYT is an eco mini car made with only 580 parts.
XYT figures that its EV is so uncomplicated that a small, trained crew could assemble vehicles wherever they’re in demand. Its straightforward, highly modular design also makes it easy to customize.
The XYT may not be suitable for long-haul road trips, but for everyday use, it’s pretty darn impressive. Comparatively, most family cars boast up to 30,000 individual parts. The best part about the XYT? Consumers can revamp its features to suit their needs.
The company also doesn’t think you should have to trade your old vehicle in just so you can enjoy a few new features on a new model. XYT plans to offer upgrades to extend the lifespan of its vehicles.
The car, which passed all crash tests, is more than just quirky to look at. Affordable and eco-friendly, the XYT is a big win for the automobile industry.
We are entering an era of electric automobiles. From buses to taxis, morning commutes are now all about saving energy. However, these Dutch students are taking the next step in environmentally-friendly technology. They have grown an electric biodegradable car made of sugar beets and flax.
The car is covered with sheets of Dutch-grown flax, has a similar strength-to-weight ratio to fiberglass and weighs only 310kg.
“Only the wheels and suspension systems are not yet of bio-based materials,”
Unfortunately, there is no word on the sweet ride’s commercial development, as it wouldn’t sustain a crash. Still, the team at the Eindhoven University of Technology hopes to at least give it a run. After all, the car (named Lina), proves a vital point.
“Energy that is saved while driving the car is now spent during the production phase,”
Lina, which uses minimal energy in-drive, also uses minimal energy to produce. Hopefully, if not Lina, a car equally as efficient hits the road in the near future.
Wearable technology is taking over the gadget industry, and fast. If it’s capable of monitoring health and producing energy, it can probably do anything — like save lives. With nearly 30,000 deaths per year due to driving fatigue, this device has serious intentions. Steer is a wearable that monitors your drowsiness while driving, gently jolting you awake if you start to fall asleep.
Steer is a bracelet that will give you a “gentle” electric shock if you are close to falling asleep. It works by using 16 sensors that are equipped within the band. These sensors monitor various vital signs… Steer measures heart rate and skin conductance to determine how drowsy the wearer is.
The intensity of the shock depends on how sleepy you are, which, yes, Steer can accurately monitor.
The device checks on you every two seconds and has a battery life of two weeks, so you can rest assured (while wide awake) that Steer will keep you safe on your next road trip.
While Steer may be a great solution for spontaneous drives, it’s always best to catch a sufficient amount of z’s. Stay alert, everyone!