Although the worst seems to be over, many of us across the country are still digging out of "Snowmageddon" and having to deal with nasty winter driving conditions. And although showing this video to you kinda makes me feel like an old-fart driver's ed instructor, I feel it is my social responsibility to present this Web clip from Cars.com for those of us not fortunate enough to know about and/or possess an automobile with these features. So here we go with today's vid, which will tell us all about winter driving safety technology for … Read more
Hello dear Car Tech readers! I hope y'all drank a boatload of eggnog and had a great Xmas holiday (or Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or whatever it is you celebrate). But we weren't alone in celebrating all the good things (yeah, all three of them) about 2009, but Venezuelan-born racecar driver Milka Duno had a couple more things to celebrate in late December. About a week ago, Duno made history--again--by becoming the first woman of Hispanic descent to do stock car testing for the Automobile Racing Club of America.
It all went down on December 19, 2009, at world famous … Read more
It's no secret that Portland, Ore., is one of the world's top biking towns. (Full disclosure: I live and bike here, and love both.) Thanks in part to a bike culture that has led to the development of hundreds of miles of bike lanes, ample signage, and rows of bright blue parking racks, Portland gets accolades for healthy people and air.
But it is Copenhagen, Denmark, home to the 2009 climate summit, that tops pretty much every list you'll find as the world's best biking city, with a whopping 36 percent of commuters going by bike. … Read more
The clever folks at MIT have developed a smart wheel that could give bicycle riders a 21st century boost.
Unveiled Tuesday at the Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change, MIT's new Copenhagen wheel is trying to do its part to help the environment by making bike riding easier and more enjoyable.
The wheel's battery can store energy as you step on the brakes and then return that power back to help you climb a hill or boost your speed. A sensor inside the hub measures your effort when you ride. As you pedal forward, the sensor tells the wheel's electric motor to give you a boost. When you hit the brakes, the motor regenerates, slowing you down and recharging the batteries. The goal behind this design is to encourage people to bike farther distances, relying less on gas-guzzling transportation.
"Over the past few years we have seen a kind of biking renaissance, which started in Copenhagen and has spread from Paris to Barcelona to Montreal," said Carlo Ratti, director of the MIT Senseable City Laboratory and the Copenhagen Wheel project, in a statement. "It's sort of like 'Biking 2.0'--whereby cheap electronics allow us to augment bikes and convert them into a more flexible, on-demand system."
Beyond giving you an energy boost, the wheel has other secrets in its bright red hub. Using sensors and a Bluetooth connection, the wheel can talk to an iPhone mounted on the handlebars. Through an iPhone app, you can check your speed, direction, and distance traveled. The wheel can also monitor traffic conditions and smog and even keep track of your bicycling buddies.
The Copenhagen wheel embeds all the required electronics inside the hub, so no other gadgets need to be added to the bike frame. A special spoking method devised by the team also lets you install the hub on any rim.
Any existing bike can be retrofitted with the wheel. In fact, the MIT team sees it as a plug-and play-device, one that any bike owner should be able to easily install as a back wheel.… Read more
A hard-core racing simulation fan from Japan has created this very rudimentary (yet somewhat cool) DIY driving station out of PVC pipes, a wooden plank, and cable ties. While it doesn't look as polished as its video game arcade equivalent, this skeletal concoction is actually very functional, complete with a steering wheel and foot pedal mounts, plus folding capability for easy storage.
One important point we'd like to highlight: this driving station has nothing to do with Gran Turismo (which is a PlayStation exclusive) as claimed by game portal Kotaku, since the pictured steering wheel is manufactured by … Read more
Congress has approved a measure that will allow makers of three-wheel cars to receive funding for fuel-efficient auto technologies, according to published reports.
The bill, which still needs to be signed into law, could be a boost to companies developing alternative car designs, notably Aptera Motors and Elio Motors. Both companies have argued that their three-wheel cars deserve federal funding meant to promote more efficient vehicles.
The legislation, passed late last week, would overturn an Energy Department rule that limited funding to four-wheel vehicles meeting emissions and fuel-economy benchmarks, Automotive News reported on Friday. The new guidelines will now allow … Read more
Do you have a "jailbroken" iPhone? Ever since the iPhone first came on the scene, there has been a large group of users who believe Apple tries too hard to control what works and what doesn't on the iPhone. The minute a new iPhone firmware update is released from Apple, a whole slew of people search for ways to unlock the device, letting them download apps that have never had to go through the App store acceptance process. This means that apps that would have otherwise never seen the light of day can be used on an … Read more
We're still drooling over the last batch of photos and details of the Ferrari 458 Italia, but Ferrari has released even more info leading up to the supercar's official unveiling at the 2009 Frankfurt Auto Show, including shots of the interior.
Of particular interest is the F1-inspired steering wheel which takes all of the controls most often accessed by the driver and relocates them to the steering wheel's face. Gone are the stalks for turn signals, headlamps, and windshield wipers. In their place are thumb actuated buttons. Also on the wheel are buttons for cycling through the … Read more
In keeping with an Easter tradition of a different sort, hundreds of riders and spectators gathered at the top of a hill in San Francisco near McKinley Square to take part in the ninth annual Bring Your Own Big Wheel Race.
Decked out in costumes ranging from evil Easter Bunnies to superheros to the just plain bizarre, participants raced to the bottom of Vermont Street on Big Wheels, plastic firetrucks, and even coolers-on-wheels for little more than bragging rights and novelty prizes. … Read more
Cruising the freeway in the 2009 Infiniti G37x Coupe, we were impressed by the level of luxury and refinement. Over the highway's sweeping turns and long straights, the G Coupe was proving to be quite the Grand Tourer, smoothing out the bumps and damping out much of the road and wind noise.
From our heated leather-trimmed seats, we were guided to our destination by Nissan/Infiniti's excellent hard drive-based navigation system, which also served up tunes from its 9.3GB MusicBox or our connected iPod.
Veering from the major traffic artery, the G37 revealed its sports car roots … Read more