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Daimler will supply a Mercedes-Benz A-Class E-CELL, a second generation smart fortwo elect...

Inductive charging devices are already making their way into the home as a cable-free option to keep the batteries of everything from mice and keyboards to mobile phones and toothbrushes juiced up. The increasing availability of practical electric vehicles has also seen the technology attract the attention of those looking for for a cable-free way to charge EV batteries. German automakers are taking the opportunity to put inductive charging of EVs to a real-world test as part of the "Effizienzhaus-Plus mit Elektromobilität" project.  Read More

Scania trucks will soon offer Active Prediction

As useful as GPS is in the modern world, we're really only at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to some of the potential functionality of satellite-based navigation. The Active Prediction system under development at Scania, a member of Volkswagen AG, is one example. The system fuses GPS and cruise control, allowing the vehicle to predict terrain features of the road ahead and help to boost gas mileage.  Read More

The Volkswagen Cross Coupe concept making its debut at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show (Image: G...

The opening day of the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show has seen Volkswagen unveil its Cross Coupé crossover concept. Featuring a long wheelbase and short overhangs, the all-wheel-drive plug-in hybrid is visually a cross between a four-door coupé and a compact SUV. The vehicle also represents the first public outing of Volkswagen's new modular transverse matrix (Modularer Querbaukasten or MQB) platform, which is intended to form the basis of a variety of different models (including the upcoming Golf and Audi A3), allowing the use of the same set of components while providing the flexibility for individual models to have a variety of wheelbase, track and external dimensions.  Read More

Toyota finally appears ready to play its hand in the autonomous vehicle revolution

Toyota is to show an autonomous (self-driving) Prius at Tokyo Motor Show. Dubbed the Toyota AVOS (Automatic Vehicle Operation System), the car will be available for members of the public to take "back seat" rides at the show, demonstrating first hand how the Prius can avoid obstacles, be summoned from a parking garage and park itself. There will also be a demonstration of communications-linked electric cars, scooters and electric-assisted bicycles including what is expected to be Yamaha's first production electric scooter.  Read More

There is no doubt that autonomous capabilities will eventually permeate every aspect of pe...

A thinktank headed by Volkswagen Group Research has re-conceptualized the delivery vehicle and come up with a thought-provoking commercial EV concept vehicle named the eT! The eT! drives semi-autonomously on voice commands such as "follow me" and "come to me" and the driver can also steer from the passenger side using a joystick. There's an electric sliding door that opens in two stages for quick walk-on access, reducing the need for walking around the vehicle. For even quicker turnaround, the passenger side features a standing seat.  Read More

Volkswagen is set to debut the Beetle R, a high-performance design study of its existing B...

If you're one of the people who bemoan how Volkswagen's "new" Beetle has strayed from the original's simple, utilitarian nature ... well, you might want to stop reading now. The German automaker is debuting its high-performance Beetle R Concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show this week. Currently still a design study, it was created at the Volkswagen R GmbH facility, which in the past was the birthplace of R versions of the Golf and Scirocco. The Beetle R is based on the existing turbocharged Beetle 2.0 TSI and sports some unique design features.  Read More

Volkswagen's NILS - a single-seater electric sportscar for the road

Volkswagen has once more produced a minimalist and frugal commuter vehicle for its home auto show in Frankfurt, and this one has us quite excited. NILS is an F1-inspired single-seat electric concept with an aluminum space frame, gull-wing doors and thanks to its extreme light weight (460 kg), small frontal area, it offers sports car performance at speeds up to 130 km/h from a small 25kW electric motor. The electric motor's 130 Nm of torque offers rapid acceleration and although the range is limited to just 65 kilometers (40 miles), it recharges from empty in just two hours from a conventional 230-volt electrical outlet.  Read More

Volkswagen has presented a new technology called Temporary Auto Pilot (TAP) which allows s...

Despite research by automakers such as Audi and events such as DARPA's Grand Challenge, we're still waiting for fully autonomous cars to chauffeur us about town. Volkswagen has presented a new system called Temporary Auto Pilot (TAP), which is a link between existing driver assist technologies and completely automated vehicles. While still being monitored by the driver, TAP allows semi-automatic driving on a highway at speeds of up to 130 km/h (80 mph).  Read More

The go anywhere Aqua hybrid hovercraft concept

This futuristic, zero emissions hovercraft concept won't be gracing our wilderness zones any time soon but it definitely merits a mention. Dubbed the "Aqua Volkswagen," the concept was created by Zhang Yuhan, a 21 year old graduate in Industrial Design at Xihua University, China. The concept is a finalist submission in the CDN China Car Awards, a competition created to reward the creativity of young designers. The brief for entrants was to create a "Chinese off-road vehicle" by Volkswagen with "go-anywhere" capabilities to tackle the vast expanse of wild countryside in China.  Read More

The HomePlug GP standard allows EVs to communicate over the Internet via their charging po...

Electric vehicles (EVs) may be set to charge smarter following an announcement by the HomePlug Powerline Alliance at Computex 2011. The body responsible for the compliance and certification of the HomePlug powerline communications standard said that German automakers Audi, BMW, Daimler, Porsche and Volkswagen have thrown their support behind the HomePlug GP (Green PHY) standard that will allow electric vehicles to be connected via existing home electrical wiring to a home network or send and receive data over the internet via the vehicles' charging ports. This will not only allow EVs to intelligently take advantage of lower cost, off-peak electricity, but will also allow for remote checks of the vehicle's systems and battery condition.  Read More

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