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Automotive

Fraunhofer developing electric vehicle test platform

With the internal combustion engine dictating vehicle design for over a century the move towards electric vehicles offers manufacturers the chance to completely rethink vehicle design. However, it also presents manufacturers with a whole new set of problems to be overcome. To facilitate the transition to electric cars, researchers at Franhofer-Gesellschaft are constructing an electrically operated demonstration vehicle, the “Frecc0,” which will serve as a scientific integration platform for automobile manufacturers and suppliers to test new electric vehicle components. Read More

Subaru develops advanced stereoscopic vision system for cars

Driving is a sight-response game and as the line between robots and cars begins to blur, cars will develop ever more advanced vision systems. Subaru began fitting a stereoscopic “EyeSight” system to some Japanese market cars nearly two years ago and has just announced a major upgrade. It's reportedly a major improvement, but it's worth thinking about the issues associated with becoming reliant upon systems which take over the responsibility for driving your car.Read More

Mercedes' refined and practical Shooting Break Concept

Mercedes is to show an interesting four-door coupe concept car at the world's most important motor show, Auto China 2010. Dubbed the “Shooting Break Concept”, it's part Estate Car and part sports car with extra luggage. It has a sloping tail end, highly practical interior layout and 306 bhp direct injection V6 petrol engine. For all the innovation, it's the machine's dynamic full LED headlamps, due for series production this year, which are the stars. The Intelligent Light System has five functions – country lights, motorway lights, enhanced fog lights, active curve lights and cornering lights – and combines LED technology with Adaptive Highbeam Assist for the first time, leading to a completely new level of safety at night.Read More

Citroën Metropolis plug-in hybrid limousine concept

Not so long ago the notion of an eco-friendly vehicle meant small, boxy and decidedly uncool. But the push towards hybrid and electric vehicles in recent times has changed all that - if supercars can be hybrids, why not limousines? Citroën’s international design team has created the Metropolis plug-in hybrid-limousine concept for the Shanghai World Fair. The imposing 5.3m long by 2m wide by 1.4m high vehicle produces impressively low CO2 emissions of just 70g/km via a 2-liter, V6 petrol engine and an electric motor developing 70kW at its peak.Read More

UPDATE: car2go car sharing program goes public in Austin, Texas

Late last year we brought you news that the City of Austin, Texas, had launched a rather radical car2go pilot program. Well, after the successful trial, this May the city will go public with the car-sharing system. The pilot began with a joint partnership between the City of Austin and Daimler where 200 smart fortwo vehicles were made available 24/7 within the city to a select group of city employees and their relatives. Now, the number of cars has been increased and all Austin residents and students can apply to utilize them.Read More

599 GTO V12: Fastest ever road-going Ferrari tops 335kmh

When we brought you our article on the Ferrari 599 GTB back in 2006, it was the fastest V12 production car on the market. Now, the company has released the 599 GTO, the fastest ever road-going Ferrari. Based on the 599XX - the advanced experimental track car – this extreme V12 berlinetta delivers a neck-snapping 0-100kmh acceleration time of just 3.35” as well as a top speed of more than 335kmh (208mph).Read More

Vauxhall builds a safer police van

Riding around in the back of a police van is the last place most of us would like to find ourselves. But when it does happen, safety is a big concern for both the occupants and the police, a factor which Vauxhall says it has addressed with its new Vauxhall Vivaro prison cell. Read More

Renault turns more than heads with its new swivel seat

Renault is making getting in and out of its New Clio easier for Europeans with the introduction of Europe’s first original equipment swivel seat. Comprising a swivel base located beneath the original front passenger seat the optional swivel seat turns through 75 degrees at the pull of a lever situated underneath it. The seat locks automatically into place to ensure the passenger isn’t doing the twist as the vehicle is being driven.Read More

New computer program to take the wheel from drifting drivers

Wayward drivers could soon be getting a nudge in the right direction thanks to a computer program created by researchers from North Carolina State University. The program allows a computer to understand what a camera is looking at and makes decisions based on what it sees. If a car strays from its lane the program will detect the lane change and set the car back on course without human control.Read More

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