Automakers are doing all sorts of things to cars to make them smarter and more autonomous, as regular readers are aware. Here’s a new one: GM wants to take self-parking cars to a new level, letting them drop off their drivers and go off in search of empty spaces on their own. It’ll be more fuel-efficient than having humans circle the block waiting for a spot to open up, GM says.
A pretty basic fear of the oncoming electric car boom is a concern that charging will be similar to the old cellphone-charger fiasco. Will the owner of a 2017 Mazda Thundersnake have to find particular Mazda charging stations, or will they be able to pull up behind a Chrysler EnFuego? Those fears can be allayed, mostly: seven major automakers have all agreed to adopt a single, universal charging system.
By Lawrence UlrichPosted 08.30.2011 at 1:22 am 0 Comments
In the wake of the 1973 oil embargo, Detroit automakers tried to convince regular, non-truck-driving Americans to switch to diesel. Diesel engines, after all, burn fuel 30 percent more efficiently than gasoline engines. The carmakers failed, in part because of poor engineering: Between 1978 and 1985, General Motors’s Oldsmobile division produced a series of shoddy, failure-prone engines that gave diesel a bad reputation that persists to this day.
One of the most common criticisms of the Chevy Volt has nothing to do with the car itself—it’s that there are so few of them available. General Motors shipped the first 360 Volts to dealers last month, but for the first quarter of this year you can only buy a Volt in six states and Washington, D.C. GM has obviously been hearing the same complaints. Today the company announced that it would make the Volt available in all 50 states by the end of this year—six months earlier than the original plan.
How does GM encourage adoption of its mild-hybrid system? Make it standard
By Lawrence UlrichPosted 01.20.2011 at 12:15 pm 2 Comments
“Mild” hybrids, with their puny batteries and weak electric motors, have largely failed in the marketplace. Next to “full” or “strong” hybrids such as the Toyota Prius—which has a sizeable battery pack and a powerful electric motor and can run under electric power for short stretches—cars like the now-discontinued Chevrolet Malibu hybrid were more expensive than the conventional model but provided only a negligible boost in fuel economy. With the 2012 Buick LaCrosse, however, GM is launching eAssist, a mild-hybrid system that the company hopes will change that equation.
In September 1954, we compared the kitchen to a wife's workshop. This was the post-war era, after all. The 1950's are commonly referred to as America's favorite decade: a golden age of consumerism, economic prosperity, and conservative social mores. While engrossed in the Cold War, the media propagated how wholesome American housewives could enjoy superior household appliances as a reward for the country's endorsement of capitalism. In the spirit of domesticity, Popular Science published several features geared toward making kitchens as efficient, snazzy and high-tech as possible.
General Motors touted the automatic driving mode of its two-wheel electric car when it unveiled the vehicle last month in Shanghai, China. Now there's a video that shows the hands-off driving experience future commuters can expect from the EN-V.
How would you like an urban two-seater, two-wheeled electric vehicle that navigates on its own through traffic or takes you home late at night after one too many rounds at the bar? That's the concept behind the Electric Networked-Vehicle (EN-V) unveiled yesterday by General Motors in Shanghai, China.