Category: Gizmology

By on April 29, 2016

Volkswagen 1.5-liter TSI engine

Diesel? What’s that?

Volkswagen is embracing a far less controversial type of fuel with its new 1.5-liter TSI engine, unveiled yesterday at the Vienna Motor Symposium.

The ultra-efficient four-cylinder uses variable turbine geometry (VTG) in its turbocharger to generate peak torque at a low 1,300 rpm, then maintain a flat torque curve until about 4,500 rpm. This leads to fuel economy gains and a better driving experience. Read More >

By on April 29, 2016

Snapchat crash

The trial has all the ingredients needed to garner a nation’s attention: a young female driver, a speeding Mercedes, a dark, rain-slicked highway, a carelessly wielded phone, a potentially dangerous social media app, and a hard-working man left permanently disabled.

The lawsuit against Snapchat and motorist Christal McGee by Wentworth Maynard, the driver of the Mitsubishi Outlander rear-ended by McGee’s C230 outside of Atlanta last September, alleges the social media app’s speed filter played a role in the collision. Read More >

By on April 29, 2016

lawsuit

Hoping to access and remotely take charge of a vehicle’s operating system via your laptop? Expect to shower with strange men in a place where the Wi-Fi sucks.

Life behind bars is the penalty proposed by two Michigan senators seeking to regulate the state’s connected and autonomous vehicle industry, Automotive News reports.

The bills introduced yesterday make it a super-duper felony to intentionally access a vehicle’s electronic system for the purpose of damaging it or gaining control of the vehicle. Read More >

By on April 28, 2016

2013 Ford C-MAX Energi Plug-In Hybrid, Exterior, Charging Plug, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

It seems Ford didn’t want to stay home from the EV dance.

Just 10 days after Ford Motor Company electrification guru Kevin Layden said that 100 miles of range is just plenty, thank you very much, CEO Mark Fields is now saying something very different. Read More >

By on April 27, 2016

Volvo-self-driving-car

Like it or not, autonomous vehicles are coming in one form or another.

Many new cars on the market already have features that help a driver stay in the driving lane, keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front, or reduce the severity of a collision. Much like the original stability control, these features may frustrate enthusiasts but they help keep the masses safer and might reduce accidents.

Each year, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the New England Motor Press Association hold a conference that focuses on various future trends and technologies. This year’s topic is The Intersection of Technology and Design, with a panel discussion exploring trends and challenges as autonomous technology meets the natural aesthetic appeal of the automobile.

Read More >

By on April 26, 2016

Tesla Model 3 Prototype on road, Image: Tesla Motors

Tesla is in the game to make money with its $35,000 Model 3, due out in late 2017, but that claim was recently disputed by an industry insider.

Jon Bereisa, an electric vehicle engineering consultant (and former General Motors systems architect responsible for the Chevrolet Volt), said recently that the Model 3 needs to be much more expensive for Tesla to break even, according to StreetInsider (via Electrek). Read More >

By on April 26, 2016

2016 Mini Clubman

“Clean up the place when you’re done with it, and don’t even think of offering ‘hourly rates’ while you have it. This is a respectable car.”

Adds like this could start popping up from new Mini owners if the quirky automaker has its way, Automotive News Europe reports.

Mini plans to offer devices on its models that allow the owner to rent out their vehicle to other drivers, providing some cash for themselves and a Mini experience for non-owners.

Peter Schwarzenbauer, the BMW Group executive in charge of Mini, seems very excited about the technology, telling Automotive News that the system will be “kind of like Airbnb on wheels.” Read More >

By on April 23, 2016

2015 Jeep® Grand Cherokee Overland

Like an unoccupied Dodge Charger stuck in “Drive,” Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ gear selector controversy was rapidly building momentum before yesterday’s announcement.

Responding to numerous instances of runaway vehicles and an expanding National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigation, FCA voluntarily recalled 811,586 vehicles in the U.S. and 52,144 in Canada, and a further 265,473 in Mexico and overseas. Read More >

By on April 22, 2016

Elon Musk

Not everyone can afford a Tesla, even the lower cost Model 3, so what is Elon Musk going to do for the public transit set?

Something, apparently. The Tesla founder coyly hinted at a next big thing during a talk in Norway, according to Bloomberg, leaving many wondering whether he had a plan to do away with buses. Read More >

By on April 21, 2016

Mushrooms

Besides making steaks seem fancy and sending rebellious teens to the furthest reaches of the galaxy, it turns out mushrooms have another use.

Fibers from a type of wild mushroom outperformed graphite anodes on lithium-ion batteries, Wards Auto reports, a finding that surprised researchers at Purdue University.

As electric cars slowly proliferate, the knowledge could revolutionize the future of high-capacity batteries. Read More >

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  • Bark M., United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic

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