Car Tech

  • 2014 Tesla Model S

    Autonomous vehicles have become a hot talking point in recent years, as major firms like Google continue high-profile development of the technology. Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] has also expressed an interest in recent years, and now tells Nikkei that the firm could introduce self-driving technology in the next three years. Musk says that full auto-pilot technology will appear within a "five- or six-year time frame", but some aspects of the technology would appear in the lower-priced Model 3 electric sedan due in three years time. Tesla will develop the system and software...

  • Carbon Revolution carbon fiber wheels
    Carbon Fiber Wheels Proposed To Cut Weight, Boost Efficiency

    You probably don't think about your car's wheels that much, but to state the exceedingly obvious they're an essential part of every car. They're also surprisingly heavy, as you'll know if you've ever rotated your tires or had to change to a spare at the side of the road. Heaviness is a quality...

  • 2016 Jaguar XE aluminum construction
    Main Path To Better Fuel Efficiency: Lighter Vehicles, Say Automakers

    There are many routes to improving fuel efficiency in modern cars, but one route in particular seems to be resonating with automakers, automotive engineers and designers: Shedding weight. A survey of 900 automotive engineers and designers conducted by Wards Auto and sponsored by DuPont showed that...

  • 2014 Chevrolet Volt
    Sakti3 Claims Solid-State Battery Breakthrough For Electric Cars

    A Michigan-based startup called Sakti3 claims it has battery chemistry that doubles the energy density of today's best lithium-ion batteries. Speaking to Scientific American, Sakti3's co-founder and CEO Ann Marie Sastry says the firm's prototype solid-state lithium cells have reached 1,143...

  • 2014 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid  -  First Drive, December 2014
    2014 Acura RLX Hybrid: 3 Motors, AWD--Most Sophisticated Hybrid Yet?

    Several manufacturers now offer gas-saving hybrid versions of their vehicles but it's surprisingly rare to find two companies who have gone about it in the same way. The early pioneers, Toyota and Honda, fielded completely different systems at launch--and well over a decade down the line Honda has...

  • 2015 Ford Fusion
    2015 Ford Fusion: Smaller EcoBoost Engine, Manual Gearbox Gone

    Time was when mid-size sedans routinely came with V-6 engines of 3.0 to 3.6 liters. But these days, those are rare and expensive high-end options--if they're even offered at all. The 2015 Ford Fusion sedan now has a simplified lineup of engines, and all of them continue to have just four...

  • 2015 Audi A8 L W12 Exclusive Concept

    There's a reason people like big, multi-cylinder engines and it isn't just about the noise they make or how much power they produce. It's also to do with smoothness. And it's one reason some people are worried about the latest trend for downsized four-cylinder units, as they begin appearing in larger vehicles. If Audi's next generation four-cylinders come to fruition, we may not have to worry. The German firm has patented a four-cylinder engine which promises refinement and smoothness on-par with six and even eight-cylinder engines. According to Autocar (via Motor Authority), the patent...

  • 2014 Tesla Model S
    Tesla Hopes To Hire Hackers To Ensure Security Of Its Cars, Present And Future

    The term "hacker" conjures up images of shady individuals stealing your personal details through loop-holes in your internet security, but in the modern world a professional hacker can actually provide a valuable skill. Tesla Motors, for example, recently attended the Def Con security conference in...

  • 2016 Jaguar XE teaser
    2017 Jaguar XE: Compact Sedan Built From Aluminum To Boost MPG

    In recent years we've finally seen a reversal of the trend towards heavier cars, but Jaguar will take that a step further when it launches the 2016 XE sedan. Long-awaited replacement for the unloved X-Type, the XE's body structure is 75 percent aluminum, the highest of any in its class. READ: Tesla...

  • nanoFLOWCELL Quant e-Sportlimousine concept
    Quant Limousine With Flow-Cell Battery Tech Begins German Road Trials

    At the Geneva Motor Show in March, German firm Quant revealed a car powered by what it called 'nanoFLOWCELL' technology. Now, the flow-cell vehicle will make its road-going debut, as the car has been approved for real-world testing by the TÜV or Technischer Überwachungsverein, Germany's...

  • 2014 Tesla Model S
    Is Detroit Responding To Tesla Patent Offer With Collective 'Meh'?

    Last month, electric car maker Tesla Motors took the unusual step of opening up its patents to other automakers. Automakers usually guard their patents very closely, ensuring them as much competitive advantage as they can get away with before someone builds something better. Open Tesla's patents...

  • 2013 Tesla Model S
    Hack A Tesla Model S And Win $10,000

    The word "hack" is a little over-used in today's lexicon, but in the general sense it refers to the process of cracking the software system of a computer, a smartphone--or a car. Many electric cars roll those three categories into one, and now the organizers of a computer security conference have...

  • Ferrari LaFerrari

    The fastest, most expensive sports cars and supercars must constantly boost performance to stay competitive--and now they're also having to cut their carbon emissions at the same time. Ferrari, possibly the best-known among sought-after supercar brands, plans to cut average carbon emissions across its fleet by 20 percent over the next seven years. DON'T MISS: Forget Red Ferraris; It's Green Cars Men Should Drive To Attract Women And that's on top of a 40-percent cut already achieved since 2007. According to an article in Automotive News Europe, the company plans to downsize and turbocharge...

  • Lithium-ion battery pack for 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV electric car
    Why Lithium-Ion Batteries Degrade With Repeated Charging

    As anyone with a smartphone, laptop or indeed a whole electric car will know, lithium-ion batteries degrade over time. Each time you charge and discharge the batteries, they lose a little capacity. Day to day you don't really notice, but over a year, or two, it means being able to use your phone...

  • Vanadinite crystals (Image: Flickr user Géry Parent, used under CC License)
    Are Vanadium Flow Batteries The Solution To 'Too Much' Solar Power?

    It's a statement of the obvious, but solar panels do their best work during the day, specifically noon and early afternoon when the sun is at its strongest. The trouble is, this rarely tallies with when energy use is at its highest--typically in the evening, when everyone gets home from work. The...

  • 2013 Audi Q7 TDI S Line
    Next Audi Q7 To Launch Electric Turbocharger For Better Fuel Economy

    Audi's "e-boost" electric turbocharger could debut on the next Q7 SUV.

  • Aston Martin Vantage GTE at Bahrain
    Could Solar Energy Cool Aston Martin Racing Drivers In Future?

    Aston Martin Racing is collaborating with Chinese solar-panel maker Hanergy on a green air-conditioning system.

  • University of Michigan's Mobility Transformation Facility to test self-driving cars, Ann Arbor, MI
    Michigan's Mock City: Where Robot Cars Will Drive (And, Ideally, Not Crash)

    Seven years ago, dozens of professional stunt drivers in identical Ford Tauruses drove for hours through a ghostly and abandoned suburban California subdivision of one-story stucco homes, curving roads, and cul-de-sacs. On the roads with them were 11 self-driving vehicles, from a battered...

  • Ford Fusion Lightweight Concept

    Light weight will soon be big business at Ford. The company's F-150 truck, going aluminum for the first time with the 2015 model, sheds 700 lbs over its predecessor, thanks to its new construction. Ford sells over half a million F-Series every year--big business indeed. This technology and other lightweight materials could also be used to cut the weight of a car like the Fusion sedan by a quarter, according to Ford. As Wards Auto reports, the firm has developed a 'Lightweight Concept Car' based on the Fusion. Externally similar to Ford's volume sedan, the Lightweight concept uses a mix of...

  • Michael Thwaite tests the BMW i3's Park Distance Control function
    Watch The BMW i3 Electric Car Park Itself, As Owner Reacts (Video)

    Parking is one of those maneuvers that we all screw up now and then, no matter how experienced we are at driving. And there's nothing worse than having an audience just as you're trying to squeeze into a space. Even professional athletes can't experience that much pressure, surely? But what if your...

  • Lithium-ion battery yarn (Image: Wei Weng)
    Lithium-Ion Batteries: Soon, Woven From 'Yarn' That Carries Energy?

    Could your car seats become large, comfortable batteries? If experiments by scientists at Fudan University in Shanghai, China become reality, perhaps they could--as the group has developed battery technology that can be woven into fabrics. According to Phys.org, researcher Wei Weng and his...

  • Audi RS 5 TDI concept
    Efficiency, Performance From Audi's Electric Turbo Prototype

    "Turbo" was the word to have on your car in the 1980s. Preferably in huge, bright script, completely out of correlation with the car's actual performance. Now, it's more often used as an indication of efficiency--take Ford's Ecoboost brand, for example. Audi has used them for many years on its...

  • Xtronic CVT, 6th generation  -  for 2013 Nissan Altima
    Why CVTs Won, Direct-Shift Gearboxes Lost Fuel-Economy Fight

    If you're reading this in North America, the vehicle sitting on your driveway probably has an automatic transmission. So do around 95 percent of other new vehicles on the U.S. market right now, though the Canadian figure is slightly lower. The numbers don't lie: Drivers just aren't buying cars with...

  • Google Self-Driving Car Prototype
    Google's Electric, Autonomous Test Car Looks Happy, Has No Steering Wheel

    This is probably not the car you'll be whisked around cities in, in the future. Which is either a good or bad thing, depending on how much you like cars that look like koala bears on a substance recently legalized in Colorado. But it is Google's latest, dedicated test vehicle for its autonomous car...

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