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Researchers at the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company have found in their tests that using soybean oil in tires can potentially increase tread life by 10% and reduce the tiremaker’s use of petroleum-based oil by up to seven million gallons each year.   In addition, testing at Goodyear’s tire plant in Lawton, Oklahoma showed improved mixing capabilities in the manufacturing process. The company found that rubber compounds made with soybean oil blend more easily with the silica u ...
  Mercedes-Benz can be credited with more technological firsts in the automotive industry than perhaps any other company, but it cannot lay claim to being the first automaker to offer a seatbelt airbag. Nor can it claim to be the second. Those two spots go to the Ford Explorer and Lexus LFA, both of which came out with seatbelt airbags in 2010.   Nevertheless, Mercedes isn't the sort of company to let the glory of being first get in the way of doing something worthwhile, and so its ne ...
Volvo’s C30 EV has been awarded the coveted title of ‘Green Car of the Year’ in China, during the 4th New Energy Mobility Summit, after having delivered 15 cars to the city of Shanghai for an open road test-drive project called ‘EV 100 Days’.     Freeman Shen, Senior VP of Volvo Car Corp. and Chairman of their China Operations said “We feel honor yet responsibility to share our world-class know-how in new energy vehicles with China, our second home ...
Although electric cars are very energy efficient, electric car battery packs can’t store as much energy as a tank full of gasoline, resulting in much shorter driving range between fill-ups than a gas car.   At present, engineers around the world are working on the problem, developing everything from lightweight chassis designs to new battery packs in an attempt to make electric cars travel further per charge.   But a team of researchers in California think they’ve worked o ...
Excellent Keynote by Peter H. Diamandis at the Freescale Technology Forum 2012     Video streaming by Ustream Watch directly from Ustream here. ...
Volvo Trucks has developed a new GSM-based system that allows the workshop to check a truck’s condition remotely—a development that promises increased uptime and lower maintenance costs. The system is scheduled for release in Europe in 2013.     The new remote services are possible thanks to the latest version of in-truck Telematics Gateway (TGW). This allows the Volvo workshop to monitor the vehicle’s wear and condition and also read trouble codes remotely, using t ...
The Rimac Concept_One electric hypercar will make its debut at this year’s Salon Privé, known as UK’s most prestigious Supercar Event and Chubb Insurance Concours d'Elégance – held between September 5 and 7 at London’s Syon Park.   Only 88 examples of the Rimac Concept_One will be produced and each will cost $1 million.     The team behind the Rimac Concept_One includes, among others, designers who used to work for the fabled Italian styling ...
Car safety is to the average owner what horsepower is to a car enthusiast: you never can have enough of it. General Motors recently detailed the car safety features of the all-new 2014 Chevrolet Impala, which made its debut at this year’s New York Auto show.     Car safety systems are usually divided into passive and active systems. Passive systems include airbags and the familiar three-point seatbelt. Active car safety systems, on the other hand, use sensors like radar and c ...
Visitors to the new digital showroom can spec an Audi to their tastes and then digitally view the model on large computer screens that fill much of the showroom’s interior space.     Details such as drivetrain, bodyshell or LED tech can also be presented 'in order to make innovations understandable on an intuitive level' according to Audi.   Audi marketing and sales boss Peter Schwarzenbauer said: “Audi City combines the best of two worlds – digital product p ...
Volvo Car Corp. is developing several new safety systems—factoring in driver behavior in the modern traffic environment—towards achieving its 2020 goal that nobody should be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car.   Modern driver behavior has significantly changed from past behavior, Volvo says, noting that surveys from three different research institutes in the US show that modern drivers spend 25 to 30% of their time behind the wheel doing other things, such as focusi ...
BMW claims to have been the first carmaker to offer an in-dash navigation system all the way back in 1994 on its 7 Series. It was also arguably the first automaker to experience the backlash that comes with poor user interface design when it introduced the iDrive system in 2001. Nav systems today have trickled down to cars costing a fraction of the 7 Series these days, and iDrive has matured to become a competitive infotainment platform among the luxury set. This week, BMW is unveiling the lates ...
Hoping to maintain its momentum as key Japanese competitors recover from last year’s production cuts, General Motors’ largest brand has announced its new Chevy Confidence program which includes a “Love it or Return it” vehicle buy-back guarantee on all 2012 and 2013 models.   The maker is also launching a “Total Confidence Pricing” discount program aimed at clearing out inventories of leftover 2012 models.  Most GM plants take a mid-summer break thi ...
Many electric car owners consider the debate over charging points all a bit of a fuss.   After all, when the majority of your driving is between home and the office, then charging at one of those two locations will usually suffice. The presence (or otherwise) of chargers at rest stops or spread through your town is a non-issue.   Naturally, not everyone feels the same, and for those who'd like to have their electric car cake and eat it too, it would be nice to do longer distances. Wi ...

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