Browsing: Mechanics

When an engine fails or becomes very worn, it is usually pulled from the vehicle and scrapped. Ford wants to change that by utilizing a high-tech plasma process to remanufacture broken engines. The process reduces carbon emissions by about half when compared to making a new engine to replace the old one, and results in a like-new engine block. The goal is to extend the performance of a vehicle by lengthening its lifespan, thus reducing its overall environmental footprint. It ties in with other research being done by Ford to include vegetable fibers in plastics and soy fibers in foam…

This year’s LA Auto Show was filled wall to wall with interesting, sometimes off-the-wall debuts, concept cars and special editions, a Miata-based Fiat roadster(Fiata?) and soft-top Range Rover among them. After doing several laps around the show floor, we bring you all the latest and greatest world premieres, concept cars and new vehicles from the City of Angels. Love it or hate it, the Range Rover Evoque Convertible was one of the “must sees” of the LA show. After looking at it from every angle short of “under the chassis,” we’re still not entirely sure that we love it or…

Ford has created a suit of clothing that mimics the effects of driving while under the influence of drugs. The suit, dubbed the Drugged Driving Suit, is part of the Ford Driving Skills for Life program for young drivers. The goal is to use the suit, along with its Drunk Driving Suit sibling, to educate kids in a hands-on way about the effects of driving under the influence, even when they might “feel fine.” According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 18 percent of motor vehicle driver deaths involve drugs other than alcohol. The NHTSA also surveyed…

Renault has been testing a smart-charging system designed to reduce costs and lower the impact of car charging on the electrical grid. Eleven Renault employees in Germany who own ZOE battery-electric cars tested the in-home charging system developed by The Mobility House. Results show that the smart system both lowers grid impact and improves charging time by up to an hour. The Renault employees were given specially-designed charging stations to test the new system under real-life conditions. The charging stations are designed to communicate with the car and calculate grid-based electrical costs at the station’s location, including detecting consumption peaks.…

When we discuss autonomous — or self-driving — cars, we often talk about smoother traffic, fewer accidents and more efficient driving. Arguably, these are relevant, but they miss perhaps the most important part of autonomous technology: People.Removing the driving responsibilities from humans doesn’t mean they’re no longer part of the equation at all. When your car is driving you to work, you’re still there. You may now be a passenger, but you need to do something. Volvo and its designers have been thinking about this for some time. In response, the Swedish carmaker has created Concept 26 (C26). With…

With the huge range of hot-hatches on the market, you could be forgiven for not taking much notice of Ford’s upcoming Focus RS. After all, on the surface it looks like just another four-cylinder, four-wheel drive turbo tearaway lining up to tackle the Audi RS3 or A45 AMG. But taking a closer look reveals that the RS has the potential to be something seriously special, thanks to the tech crammed into the car’s hot-rod bodywork. Engine When it was first announced, Ford was expecting the Focus RS’ 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine to produce about 315 hp (235 kW) and 475 Nm.…

Here’s yet another reason to embrace the new reversible USB Type-C port.It was only mentioned in passing at the Google I/O developers conference, but Google announced the ability for smartphones running Android M with USB Type-C (Apple simply calls it USB-C) ports to recharge other smartphones. The potential here is enormous. Your phone’s battery can be used like an external battery pack for other devices. With a two-way USB Type-C cable, you could quickly “lend” a friend’s dying smartphone some quick power.  Smartwatches could also adopt USB Type-C ports instead of using proprietary wireless charging docks Smartwatches could also adopt USB Type-C ports instead of using…

Whether or not you’ve jumped on the electric cars bandwagon already, the chances are that we will all have to switch to non-fossil fuel cars in the future. Unless they’re being charged with solar power, electric cars are still consuming fossil fuels from the grid, anyway. An entirely new way of thinking about fuel inspired a company called Nanoflowcell to develop a car powered by what appears to be a salt water-powered fuel cell. The Quant e-Sportlimousine is being touted as the world’s first salt water powered car. The technology is surprisingly simple: two liquids are combined, with metallic salts acting as electrolytes. This…

Toyota has unveiled the FV2 concept vehicle, a hands-free sort of bicycle-Segway-car hybrid that can read your emotions. (Credit: Toyota) Have you ever felt that your relationship with your vehicle is a little… lacking? One sided, perhaps? At the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show, Toyota unveiled a concept it hopes could improve the love between a driver and his or her carriage into a deep and lasting bond. The FV2, a four-wheeled, hands-free vehicle, can read your moods. “Toyota believes the relationships between drivers and their vehicles will continue to develop aspects of trust and understanding, similar to those a rider…

BMW has taken a huge step toward revolutionizing the role of robots in automotive manufacturing by having a handful of robots work side-by-side with human workers at its plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina. As a new generation of safer, more user-friendly robots emerges, BMW’s man-machine collaboration could be the first of many examples of robots taking on new human tasks, and working more closely alongside humans. While many fear that this trend could put people out of work (see “How Technology Is Destroying Jobs”), proponents argue it will instead make employees more productive, relieving them of the most unpleasant and…