Automotive Engineering

Handcrafting the Infiniti Prototype 9

By: Gary S. Vasilash - August 17, 2017 at 5:55 AM

The Infiniti Prototype 9, which is going to be part of the marque’s exhibit at this weekend’s 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, is interesting for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that although this has the look of the 1940s, it has powertrain technology of right now: it features a 120-kW electric motor that’s powered by a 30-kWh lithium-ion battery pack from Nissan’s Advanced Powertrain Department.

MANN+HUMMEL’s Dust Buster

By: Gary S. Vasilash - August 16, 2017 at 9:40 AM

While driving is associated with putting things like particulates in the air, a German company that specializes in making filters is testing technology that can actually allow vehicles to help clean the air.

Automotive Materials

Tires from a Shrub

By: Gary S. Vasilash - August 15, 2017 at 6:12 AM

Tires, by and large, are made from rubber.

Maven Amps Up the Gig

August 14, 2017 at 6:51 AM

Rachel Bhattacharya, Chief Growth Officer for Maven, General Motors car-sharing service, said in a presentation at the Center for Automotive Research’s Management Briefing Seminars a couple week back that the Chevy Bolt EVs that are in the Maven fleet—there are more than 100 available in LA now, and they’re going to double that number, and the Bolt fleet in San Francisco will also double to more than 125 by the end of 2017; there have been more than 1.4-million miles racked up in Maven Gig Bolt EVs since February—are hugely popular (do the math: a comparatively small number of cars, a comparatively large number of miles). And what is undoubtedly going to amp up the popularity is that Maven has announced that it is now offering Maven Gig vehicles in LA, as well as San Francisco and San Diego.

Automotive Engineering

BMW X2 in Seriously Ugly Camo

By: Gary S. Vasilash - August 12, 2017 at 7:39 AM

When you see spy shots of vehicles that are still under development, they have some form of masking on them so as to distort their surfaces, features and other identifying characteristics.

Fuel Economy Gains in July

By: Gary S. Vasilash - August 11, 2017 at 6:18 AM

What you’re looking at here is a sales-weighted fuel economy chart (the numbers in the white boxes represent miles per gallon) that was put together by two diligent researchers, Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle, of the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

Automotive Engineering

Intel Creating 100 Level 4 Autonomous Vehicles

By: Gary S. Vasilash - August 10, 2017 at 12:24 PM

Intel is building a fleet of fully autonomous—as in SAE Level 4 (“Automated Driving System of all aspects of the dynamic driving task, even if a human driver does not respond appropriately to a request to intervene”)—vehicles—100 of them--that will be launched later this year for testing in the US, Israel and Europe.

Automotive Electronics

Can Autonomy Help Reduce Diabetes?

By: Gary S. Vasilash - August 10, 2017 at 6:30 AM

Autonomous vehicles may have a future benefit that no one ever talks about: Overall health improvement for the people formerly known as “drivers.” This is a conclusion that can be drawn from a recent Gallup survey that shows that Transportation workers—as in people who drive long-haul trucks for a living (as well as bus drivers, pilots, and even ship personnel)—have a higher rate of diabetes than other major occupations.

Automotive Body

2017 Kia Niro Touring

By: Gary S. Vasilash - August 09, 2017 at 6:28 AM

What surprised me about the Kia Niro was not the 47 mpg that I achieved without trying.

Automotive Materials

Cylinder Coating for Improved Performance

By: Gary S. Vasilash - August 08, 2017 at 6:29 AM

Generally, when OEMs produce aluminum engine blocks (aluminum rather than cast iron because cast iron weighs like cast iron), they insert sleeves into the piston bores—cast iron sleeves.

Automotive Electronics

Mazda, CARB and PSA North America: Car Talk

By: Gary S. Vasilash - August 07, 2017 at 6:22 AM

The Center for Automotive Research (CAR) Management Briefing Seminars, an annual event, was held last week in Traverse City, Michigan.

Automotive Engineering

VW T-ROC Sketched

By: Gary S. Vasilash - August 04, 2017 at 8:06 AM

Volkswagen is continuing its product offensive especially in the crossover space (Tiguan, Atlas), as it will be making the public debut of the T-ROC compact crossover—reportedly based on the same MQB platform that undergirds the Golf, so it is compact in that context—on August 23.