Contents

A thought provoking article regarding the advanced technology common to most modern cars, and the impact on future designs.

A subjective insight of the future automobile

A subjective insight of the future automobileA subjective insight of the future automobile by Jeff DarlingThe future car, lets say a 2025 model will be a very different machine to its present day Grandfather. They will be packed with computers and safety devices ensuring that not even a stunt driver can crash, and they will run on carbon dioxide and emit strawberry scented oxygen. Well they might. Predictions of future vehicles are usually wildly inaccurate, by now we should all have space programs to rival NASA based out of our backyard. However some of the automobile related cutting edge technology emerging now may well make it into production models of the future. But how much of this technology will be needed or even wanted? Car design of the present is already influenced by politicians, bureaucrats, health and safety regulations and emissions regulations and the stunning concept seen at the motorshow emerges into the world as a 1.0 litre shopping cart, but at least its legal.Personally I like the idea of fuel efficient hybrid cars, and fuel cell cars emitting nothing but water. However, like most enthusiasts I also like powerful loud convertibles with with the ability to snap a vertabrae at 10 paces. A sensible mix therefore is required and this will be the job entrusted to car designers and engineers of the future, to make a politically correct car that is also desirable.Another immenent problem facing designers of the future is coming up with styling ideas that are fresh and new. Some of the more recent concepts are certainly striking but not necessarily beautiful in the classic sense of the word. But if there is one thing the automobile industry is good at that is innovation, and I for one am confident that radical and extreme concepts never before imagined will continue to appear at motorshows around the world.Computer technology has already taken a firm hold of the automobile and the modern driver is less and less responsible for the actions of their vehicle, soon crash victims will try to sue the electronics companies for accidents they caused because their computer system failed to brake the car even though they were fast asleep at the wheel on a three lane highway. Until you have automation of every single vehicle on every single road computer driven cars are just not feasible, in my mind there are just far too many on-the-road variables, with all the logic in the world you cannot beat a brain. Now computer assisted driving is already available in certain Mercedes models which brake for you if your not looking where your going and your too close to the car in front, but there is still a driver in control of the car, or is there. What if for some reason you wanted to get closer to the car in front, you needed to get closer to the car, if you didn't get closer to the car something terrible would happen to civilization. Where do you draw the line with vehicle automation? In advanced cities of the future CCTV will be so prevalent that visible crimes such as car theft are all but wiped out, but that still won't stop the determined thief. GPS (Global Positioning System) units fitted as standard to all new automobiles will be able to track any vehicle at anytime anywhere, this technology is already common but more widespread use is inevitable. In the UK the government is already talking about fitting GPS to charge motorists depending on what road they travel on and at what times to cut spiraling congestion. This technology coupled with an improved mobile phone and bluetooth network can be used to track and recover stolen vehicles. When the vehicle is found to be stolen a call can be made which shuts down the engine of the car. At the same time a call is sent out which alerts available nearby police, by using the GPS installed in both the stolen car and the police car officers can track the car even if they cannot see it. The police will also have much more insight into a vehicles record when out on patrol, using bluetooth technology a police car can tail a vehicle and receive information on the owner, the current driver and their driving history, and even find out recent top speed and acceleration figures. Of course who wants that, you think you've just had a fun little blast on your favorite bit of road you get pulled over five miles later and the officer gives you a speeding ticket for something he didn't see. But if this technology is mandatory then what choice do you have.Access to future automobiles may be very different to the keys of today, push button code entry and keycard systems where the key doesn't even leave you pocket, already available, will become common place. You hear the term keyless entry but it still uses a remote control attached to a key which is then used to start the car. Biometrics which are available on some computer systems and use fingerprinting as a password could be an effective alternative to the key, you could even program it for members of your family deciding between access only for the children or access and drive functions for those with licenses. However I belive it will be some time before this is the only means of vehicle entry or start up, what if you are lending your car to a friend and you cannot be present to allow start up.Multimedia systems will continue to develop in cars until the point where the "are we there yet" phrase develops into "can we stay here". Manufacturers are continuing to cram more and more video screens into increasingly ingenious places providing a rolling cinematic Dolby 7.0 surround sound experience. DVDs are going to go the way of the VCR with hard disk recording of video being the dominant power much as MP3s are killing off CDs. This MP4 technology will save space in the car and allow for far more footage to be kept on board. Improvements in wireless Internet connections could mean that the larger roads can support Internet capable vehicles and constantly inform the driver with up to date relevant road information. A screen in the dash can display live images to show traffic reports and also predict traffic jams by using the GPS systems in all vehicles to show areas where vehicles have been stopped or are congested, and then supply alternate routes. The sound systems of cars will also improve and become more personalised for the various passengers, with headphone sockets and multiple sound outlets, there might be four different radio stations that can be played at once through the different jacks, and a variety of MP3s that can be played at once.Passenger safety is already a priority for modern day car manufacturers and this will only increase in importance into the future. The widespread use of airbags will increase, the side impact protection airbags featured in some models have proved to be extremely effective in saving lives, more research and better positioning will continue to improve their performance and reliability. Airbags at the moment can only be deployed once so in a multiple collision crash their effectiveness is voided after the first impact, future airbag systems however may take this into consideration and incorporate multiple single use airbags in one position or reusable airbags which can be inflated several times. Some manufacturers use a dynamic headrest in some high-spec models, these move forward during a collision to stop the head snapping back quite so far and reducing the chance of spinal injury (whiplash.It has been found that a vehicles bumper and frame height is a very important factor when it comes to safety during a collision, if a vehicle has bumper which is too high it can override the bumper of the other vehicle and plough directly into the passenger compartment putting the occupants at severe risk. Accidents like this usually occur when a average size car collides with a truck or SUV, this mismatch can be avoided by having adjustable ride heights on the larger vehicles, when they are on a smooth road lowering the vehicle to a suitable height would reduce the dangers normally associated with these sorts of collision, as a by product this would also reduce the top heavy nature of trucks and SUVs and rollover accidents could be avoided.Sensors will be increasingly responsible for predicting and safeguarding against avoidable accidents. Sensors will monitor the road surface scanning for black ice and hazardous conditions, this information will then be displayed to the driver and the vehicle may take appropriate steps to improve traction thus reducing the chance of an accident. The information gathered may also be relayed to a central road monitoring network which can inform other motorists of changing weather conditions, in effect every vehicle would become a roving weather station. Sensors will also monitor the cars position on the road and if the vehicle is found to be straying from the road or traffic lane an alarm would sound this feature is already found on the Citroen C4 amongst others. Sensors could also monitor the drivers well-being, imaging sensors would track eye movement and if the eyes close for more than a few seconds an alarm would sound to alert the driver. Audi uses sensors on its new A6 which monitor for wet conditions, if found the BOSCH brakes are applied intermittently to wipe off the water and ensure good contact when they are needed, the pressure applied in this process is so slight the driver does not notice. Improved night vision and spatial awareness would help cut down on night time crashes which account for half the road related fatalities each year even though only a quarter of all driving occurs at night. Cadillac already includes infrared night vision as an option on some of its more desirable models, infrared vision does not see light it sees heat and the warmer an object is the more it stand out on the screen. The screen is a heads up display projected onto the windscreen infront of the drivers line of sight allowing the driver to see the real world and also the digital projection. Honda has a similar system with the added ability to identify objects and pick out pedestrians and digitally highlight those which are likely to step into the vehicles path and then emit an audible warning.New materials are constantly brought into the automotive field, in 2005 Chrysler Daimler began using biological composite materials made from coconut, sisal, jute and other plants. This biological material is used mostly on the interior of the car and finds its way into seat cushions, seat backs, underfloor body panels and interior door panels. One of the benefits of using these biological compounds is that they can be recycled and reused and the manufacturing process involved is far more environmentally friendly than that of conventional synthetic compounds. Ceramics first used in braking by Porsche are becoming increasingly popular, although still very expensive limiting them to exclusive vehicles. The benefits of using ceramics is their high tolerance to intense heat making them suitable for high performance vehicles, and where the heavy use of the brakes is needed regularly. Their ability to perform under these extremes help reduce the brake fade associated with exessive use and high temperatures. Materials first such as carbon fibre and carbon kevlar first used on race cars and famed for their high strength and lightweight properties have now filtered down to the production car level, mainly in high-end vehicles but in due time these composites will begin to appear in the average car, cutting weight and increasing fuel economy whilst maintaining structural rigidity.In the future car designers will have to explore new themes and find alternative influences for their designs. In an effort to catch peoples eye the designs will have to be increasingly bold and brash often sacrificing the aesthetic balance of the design in attempt to be different in an increasingly 'done before' market. This is not to say all designs are going to be hideous, just some. Another influence to exterior design will be made by law as stricter pedestrian protection laws are enforced requiring the front ends of cars to be 'softer', this thinking has already been introduced on some models, overall though it is difficult to project how this will ultimately affect the face of car design. With the increased use of alternative fuel sources such as the hydrogen fuel cell and hydrogen combustion engine, vehicle bodies may begin reflect the green nature of their power. However I belive this to be a mistake. The Honda Insight Hybrid might have been more of a success had it not been utterly repulsive, people were already wary of its power source and to then make them vomit in disgust at its styling is just not intelligent. Why do all the eco-friendly cars look like a 60's psychedelic nightmare, why can't they just look like a decent concept car with an alternative engine. Things seem to be improving however and BMW's H2R is an undeniably stunning vehicle if somewhat impractical. And hybrid technology is finding its way into mainstream prodution vehicles as an optional power source.The interior of vehicles will also change, becoming more user friendly and personalised. Ergonomically positioned controls and lumbar support seats with adjustable everything will come as standard to increase driver and passenger comfort and reduce chronic pain and discomfort. Customisable and personalised interior space will also become desirable features on the future automobile. Just as you swap mobile phone covers an entire dash could be swapped to match your mood, if your a little bigger than average why not fit an XXL seat in two easy steps, the possibilities will be endless in order to cater for an increasingly demanding consumer.Alternative power sources for vehicles are becoming ever more popular. Government incentives will eventually force all but the super rich into environmentally friendly cars, no problem, by then fuel cell cars will be just as rapid as their fossil fuel counterparts but with none of the mess or stench. However it may take some convincing to get a 'petrol head' to put down his piston and pick up a proton exchange membrane cathode, its just not the same is it. Eventually common conventional fuel cars will become classics and extremely sought after by collectors, but not for a long long time. Find out more about concept vehicles, designs, current vehicles, and strange vehicles at http://www.diseno-art.com/

How To Choose Good Floor Mats For Your Car

How To Choose Good Floor Mats For Your Car

If you are in the market for good floor mats for your car, consider the after market options instead of those available for purchase through your automobile dealership. In most instances, these after market additions are much cheaper than those items sold directly through your automobile dealership and they have more options for quality products. Typically, there are many different manufacturers of after market accessories for cars, including "floor mats" that make products specific for different makes and models of cars. For this reason, you are sure to find a floor mat the best fits the exact dimension of your car without having to go through the dealership.For starters, look to a well constructed floor mat that properly fits into your vehicle. Choosing a floor mat that is too small will not properly protect the floorboard, while choosing a floor mat too large can potentially cause a slipping hazard when entering or exiting the vehicle, or even cause the driver to have an accident if the mat becomes bunched underneath the pedals. Be sure to know the make and model of your car and look to a manufacturer that uses this information in their product development.Next, choose a floor mat out of an appropriate material. Generally, the choices range between floor mats made of carpet and those made of rubber. If you are looking for style, then choose a carpeted floor mat, but ensure the mat has a stain resistant coating like StainMaster or a similar protective product. Also, choose a carpet color that matches or coordinates well with the interior of your vehicle. Choose a rubber floor mat for hauling or for easy clean up. Especially for truck beds and trunks, having a rubber floor mat can prevent your load from moving when the car breaks or accelerates.Finally, choose a floor mat that best goes with the interior of your car. The car customization field has grown to dramatic proportions, so consider choosing a mat that is customized to fit your style. These customized mats can include everything from your name to the number of your favorite race car driver so that your car is unique and individual. For example, have a carpeted floor mat embroidered with a specific design or some other customized element to make your vehicle stand out from the rest of the crowd. Also along this customizable line, most manufacturers produce floor mats in a wide variety of colors that can match or coordinate well with the interior of your car and allow you to create a specific look. Whatever your needs and desired look, be sure to first ensure your floor mats are made of high quality materials that will hold up to the wear and tear of constant use and periodical cleaning.

Volvo S80: Intelligent, Comfortable, Powerful

Volvo S80: Intelligent, Comfortable, Powerful

Introduced back in the year 1999, the Volvo S80 is another luxury car from the Volvo brand. It is a front wheel drive vehicle and has been introduced in the market so as to replace the Volvo 960 sedan which was already of the older generations. Other vehicles in the Volvo vehicle line up owns up to various versions and the common one among all is having a wagon version. However, this time around, the Volvo S80 does not have this version in its family. Its major competitors in the automobile market include the Acura RL, the Audi A6, the BMW 5 Series, the Cadillac STS, the Infiniti M, the Jaguar S Type, the Lexus GS, the Mercedes Benz E Class, and the Saab 9-5. Volvo believes that a luxury sedan should be intelligent, comfortable, and powerful. That is why this vehicle brand created the Volvo S80 to be like that. One can find extra head and legroom and hip and shoulder room once inside for this vehicle is a wide one at that. This also is the only car in its class so as to achieve a five star rating and crash test rating for front and side impact as well as for vehicle rollover. What are the features of the Volvo S80? The list includes roadholding, stability and traction control, a Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC), Traction Control (TRACS), daytime running lights, bi-xenon headlamps, an illuminated side positioning lights and turn signal indicators, a rear fog light with auto off, front fog lights in the spoiler, headlamp washers, a safety cage passenger compartment, a collapsible steering column, a Side Impact Protection System (SIPS), an energy absorbing interior, driver and front passenger supplemental restraint system and dual threshold air bags, side impact air bags for driver and front passengers, as well as inflatable side curtains. If you are worried about seating, Volvo has created the Volvo S80 to be ergonomically comfortable for the passenger. It also has seat belts that have three point inertia-reel with automatic pretensioners, an overhead mounted seat belt reminder lights, a whiplash protection seating system (WHIPS), padded head restraints, anti submarine seats, an ISOFIX baby/child seat attachment system, and a top tether child seat anchorage capability. This vehicle is yet another vehicle to make high on the ranks.

The truth about car insurance

The truth about car insurance

Youve now got your drivers license and for months, you eagerly search for a new car. Once you find your dream car, youre ready to take it out on the open road. Or are you? In many countries, it is compulsory to purchase auto insurance before driving on public roads and property. Auto insurance protects a third party against the financial consequences of loss, damage, or injury caused by any vehicle. When first purchasing "auto insurance" , it is important to understand all aspects of the insurance. First off, an excess has to be paid. This is a fixed amount of money that must be paid each time your car is repaired through the insurance policy. A compulsory excess is the minimum excess payment that your insurer will accept. This varies according to your own personal details, driving record, and of course, insurance company. A voluntary excess is an excess that you agree to pay on top of the compulsory excess in case of a claim on the policy. A bigger excess reduces financial risk for the insurer, and thus they can offer lower premiums.Depending on the location of the insurer, premiums may be government mandated or may be based on statistical data. The premium may vary based on many different factors that the insurer may deem will have an effect on the cost of future claims. These factors include gender, age, driving history, and usage of the car.Because men average more distance driven per year than that of women, they have a higher proportionality of accident involvement. This leads insurance companies to offer lower premiums to women as opposed to men.Teenage drivers have no driving record, and so they are less experienced on the road. This is the reasoning behind offering these teenagers higher driving premiums. However, these premiums may be lowered if the teenager decides to go through further driving training on the training that was required to obtain his or her license.Car usage is also a large factor in determining premiums. By logic, it can be deduced that with more usage of the car, there is more potential for accidents, and thus more potential for claims on the policy. Insurers can estimate car usage by odometer, GPS, and OBDII (OnBoard Diagnostic) based systems. With the odometer system, customers buy prepaid insured miles and keep track of them on their odometer to determine when they need more. The GPS system tracks the usage of the car as it moves and records the distance it has travelled. The OBDII system works by utilization of the TripSense device. This connects to a computers OnBoard Diagnostic port, which is in all cars built after 1996.Auto insurance may be both a blessing and a curse. Financially, it may save you a lot of money and keep you safe; however, auto insurance, like health insurance, can result in a lot of disagreement with the insurer and the insured. It may be wise to do you research before committing to one insurance program.

Taking Off The Sticky Bumper Sticker

Remember that bumper sticker you wholeheartedly stuck on your cars bumper? You know, that one which stated your message blatantly out to the public. You were so emotional about that topic that you wanted the whole world to know what was screaming in your mind. The "bumper sticker" that you used surely told it all and it did all the work for you.Bumper stickers are stickers that hold a message. It can be attached to the bumper of your car however some people would even attach it on the windows or even on the windshield itself. Oftentimes, these bumper stickers are made of vinyl. When new, these bumper stickers could shout out to the world their message. But through time and through various weather conditions, the stickers message could get faded until it is just another black piece of vinyl stuck to your car. One way of removing such stickers is to use penetrating oil. However, there are more easy ways of removing them without harming your bumper or whatever part of your vehicle it is stuck on. Unless you would to replace the auto parts with the bumper sticker with genuine Volvo 960 parts, you can simply spray the sticker with lubricant. Oil could also do. Apply the lubricant and let it soak through for a couple of minutes. Then try to peel it off.If this trick does not work, you can try using a blow dryer. This would lessen the hold of the adhesive of the sticker. From a corner of the sticker, continue to apply heat from the blow dryer and start peeling that corner off. You can use a rubber or plastic spatula or knife. Do not use metal or you can find scratches on the area. Doing this would result to a sticker-free bumper or window or windshield. Wipe away any remains of the sticker with a rag.

Fuel-Efficient Ford Cars: The New Trend

With gas prices soaring straight into oblivion, automobile customers and the rest of the auto market are looking for vehicles that would save their pockets from getting into trouble. Studies and research have found out that the numbers are showing that customers are leaning towards those vehicles that would assure them that they would not have to spend much on gas. The market is actually looking for vehicles with smaller engines. This is because with smaller engines, owners would not need to have to refuel much for these types of engines only consumes a little amount of gas. This is actually a trend that has been seen in the sales of two Ford Motor Company vehicles Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan. According to the sales of both vehicles, starting January up until the middle of May this year, the sales of these vehicles that held four-cylinder models almost doubled. In fact, sales for both have taken more than 20 per cent of all Ford vehicles sales. George Pipas, the manager of Fords Sales Analysis, states, Along with the Fusion and Milan, the increase also includes Focus and Escape. Clearly, higher gas prices are increasing consumer demand to look at more fuel-efficient vehicles and powertrains. Indeed, the whole analysis shows that the auto market is now turning towards vehicles that are more efficient when it comes to fuel mileage. Of course, it also shows that people are becoming concerned and are becoming greatly affected by the whole gas price surge. Pipas adds, For February of this year, the Fusions rate for the I4 was 41 percent, meaning that 59 percent of Fusion sales were for models with a V6. In March, the four-cylinder rate rose to 47 percent, and in April the rate jumped to 53 percent.

Summary

A thought provoking article regarding the advanced technology common to most modern cars, and the impact on future designs.