The city of Gothenburg in Sweden is getting ready to ride into the future with a cutting-edge bus service system whose proponents hope will blaze a new trail in urban mobility. Part of a project called ElectricCity, which is slated for a 2015 launch, the electric bus will be fueled by electricity generated from renewable sources. The buses themselves will be energy-efficient, near silent and will not emit any greenhouse gases. Plans for the system also include an indoor bus stop.
Volvo Car Group, known for building safe cars, has been busy expanding its autonomous portfolio. Last year Volvo finished its multi-vehicle “Safe Road Train
” (SARTRE) program in Europe with reasonable success. Next week Volvo will again bolster its autonomous program with its self-parking concept car.
While quick charging technology
installed at strategic points along a planned route might be a good fit for inner city buses, it's not going to be of much use to electric vehicles that stop infrequently. Volvo sees our future long-haul trucks and buses drawing the juice they need from the road itself, making large onboard batteries a thing of the past.
After extensive testing of its kinetic flywheel technology, Volvo has announced that the system can boost fuel economy by 25 percent. The company is now looking at integrating the Flywheel KERS system into its production line.
When it comes to electric vehicles, the conversation invariably diverts to concerns about vehicle range, infrastructure, and recharge times. To address the last of those issues, Volvo and Siemens have developed a new fast-charging system that cuts recharge times down to 90 minutes.
You couldn’t accuse Volvo of ignoring those people at risk of encountering the exterior of its vehicles rather than sitting inside them. The Swedish automotive manufacturer has already introduced pedestrian airbags
and an automated braking system designed to avoid hitting pedestrians
. Now Volvo has enhanced the latter to develop the world’s first auto-braking cyclist detection system, which is being presented at the 2013 Geneva Auto Show
Being dazzled by car high beams is no joke. Having someone come around the corner and forget to dip their headlamps isn't just annoying, it’s potentially dangerous. To be featured at next week's Geneva Motor Show, Volvo’s Active High Beam Control is a mechanical system installed in the headlamps that actively and selectively shields oncoming or cars being followed from the lights. This allows Volvo drivers to keep their high beams on continually without fear of dazzling others or being unable to see a suddenly darkened road.
Volvo has announced a technological partnership with another big Swedish company – Ericsson – with the aim of developing a connected infotainment framework.
Volvo is working on what it calls the world's first three-phase on-board charger. The charger promises to make electric-vehicle charging much faster than it is now. Instead of charging a vehicle overnight or for hours at a time, Volvo claims its on-board unit will allow users to completely refresh their batteries in just 1.5 hours.
Automakers such as Honda
have already done it, now Volvo has too – it’s joined the CAR 2 CAR Communication Consortium. The aim of the project is to establish a standard system that would allow vehicles to wirelessly communicate with one another, regardless of make or model. If the system works as planned, it should reduce accidents, improve traffic flow, and just generally make driving a more enjoyable experience.