Though driverless cars are making plenty of inroads, it may be awhile yet before people are willing to hand over the keys and let their cars take over entirely. But a few autonomous functions may make the transition smoother. Cadillac is testing lane-detection and automatic braking technology for use on highways, according to General Motors.
By Jon Alain GuzikPosted 04.18.2012 at 5:33 pm 10 Comments
Fiat says its catchphrase “small but wicked,” applied frequently to the new 500 Abarth, was coined for the Abarths of the 1960s, and while we think that may be apocrypha, it definitely holds true for the 2012 model. This car is very fast, very fun to drive, and won't break the bank--even if it isn't for everyone.
When I was a kid in Buffalo, N.Y., the route back to my parents' house passed a Pontiac dealership with a red Fiero displayed on the corner. I was years away from driving age, but I wanted this car. I was crushed when I learned Pontiac was discontinuing the model, and I told my dad we should just go get one and store it in the garage until I was 16. Get this! A 13-year-old Michigan girl actually did this.
By Lawrence UlrichPosted 04.10.2012 at 3:21 pm 0 Comments
Carmakers are responding to high oil prices and strict fuel-economy standards by replacing large gasoline engines with smaller, more-efficient ones. And frequently, they are using turbochargers to make the switch without sacrificing power. The problems with turbochargers have typically been high cost, mechanical complexity, and a delay in power delivery called "turbo lag." Using two turbochargers reduces turbo lag but further increases complexity and cost. Twin-scroll turbochargers solve all of these problems. Long found only in pricey sports cars, twin-scroll turbos, which mimic the effect of a pair of turbochargers, are now appearing in less-exotic cars, such as the 2012 BMW 3-series. The new TwinPower four-cylinder produces just as much power as the six-cylinder it replaces while using 15 percent less fuel. Nearly every other carmaker is working on similar downsized, turbocharged engines. See how the turbocharger works here.
One of the more intriguing attractions on display at the ongoing New York International Auto Show is Nissan's NV200, the so-called "Taxi of Tomorrow" that the New York Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) will phase in as the exclusive taxi of NYC starting late next year. Here at PopSci, when we hear words like "The X of Tomorrow," our ears prick way up. And the NV200 offers some nice features, like places to charge mobile devices, expanded cargo space and legroom, and dedicated rear compartment climate control. But the taxi of the future it is not. In fact, when one looks at hyper-connected future and the smart devices driving it, the "taxi of tomorrow" looks a lot like the taxi of 2005.
By Jon Alain GuzikPosted 04.09.2012 at 5:38 pm 3 Comments
When BMW rolls out an all-new 3 Series, it's big news, since these have been the benchmark of German sedans for the last 30 years or more. It also sets off a tectonic shift in the entry-level luxury market, with the Mercedes-Benz C Class, Audi A, not to mention the Cadillac CTS, Infiniti G and the Lexus GS suddenly called upon to step up their game to follow along.
This automotive war of attrition becomes a win for the consumer, as the arms race among the automakers gives the consumer a lot more choice. Really, who can argue with better, faster and safer cars every few years?
Before Electric Blue sped across Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats at 175 miles an hour late last year, no one had made an official attempt to set a speed record for battery-powered racecars weighing less than 1,100 pounds. Other groups have been racing on the Salt Flats for years in electric cars with heavier batteries and larger motors. But Perry Carter, a professor of manufacturing engineering technology at Brigham Young University, wanted a car that could hit high speeds without so much weight. See how this record-breaking electric car works over here.
At the 2012 New York International Auto Show, a healthier industry moved beyond the trauma of the last several years, rolling out an assortment of new production vehicles, concept cars, and even one flying car. Here are some highlights.
So this video was uploaded on April 1st (*danger! danger!*) but we've known of the Pal-V for a few years and we'll assume for the moment that the Dutch company was not aware of the risk in uploading a video of a flying car on April Fool's Day. The Pal-V, which stands for Personal Air and Land Vehicle, is actually more of a driving autogyro than a flying car, but it can drive like a car, and it can also fly, so we are definitively on board.
Google Maps is bringing traffic estimates back to its estimated travel time feature, and this time it’s relying on realtime data obtained from third party reports and drivers voluntarily running Google’s “My Location” feature on their Android phones. The reboot hopes to stifle user frustration with the old traffic estimate feature and, hopefully, to make Google Maps a more accurate predictor of transit times in urban areas around the globe.