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Engineering students at the University of Birmingham in the U.K. have successfully built and demonstrated a hydrogen-fuel-cell-powered locomotive.   In testing at the Stapleford Miniature Railway in Leicestershire, the hydrogen-powered narrow-gauge train managed to carry a load that weighed more than 8,800 pounds. ”The hydrogen system worked quietly, efficiently and reliably throughout two days of testing,” said project leader Stephen Kent. “The same could not be said for ...
Will we soon be commuting on real-life hovercraft soon? It depends on what you mean by "soon," "commuting" and "real-life."   Aerofex has released video showing its two-rotor, one-manned vehicle lifting off the ground, negotiating turns and landing.   But Gizmag says the most amazing claim from Aerofex concerns the tandem duct vehicle's guidance system. The company says its prototype uses no flight software or electronics of any kind to give the "pilot" complete control over pitch, ...
Automakers say they will squeeze much more efficiency from the internal combustion engine.   For instance, they will use excess heat to warm engine lubricants more quickly to reduce friction. Better transmissions will reduce friction, and turbocharging and direct injection will boost power from small engines.   "We've got to have a lot of small improvements, like Olympic athletes, to get to the goals that we're looking for," Gary Rogers, CEO of engineering firm FEV Inc., said at the ...
New European regulations have passed that will require new cars to have autonomous emergency braking (AEB). From 2014 onward, the Euro NCAP will include AEB in its assessment of new cars, which will make it impossible for any model without the tech to achieve a five-star safety rating.     Philippe Jean of the European Commission said that all commercial vehicles will need to be fitted with the technology by November next year.   AEB uses radar, laser, or video to sense an impe ...
In an effort to cut costs and boost efficiency, Ford is to introduce a complete virtual factory that will simulate the production process on the assembly line.   With thousands of components needed to construct a vehicle, it is believed that computer simulation will help with the testing of the vehicle build process without the need for investing in a real-world production line until it is ready. Indeed Ford has been using computer simulations since 1977 – the first carmaker to do so ...
A fleet of mini Minis will be used to retrieve javelins, hammer, discus and shot during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games. See the car in action.     ...
When Jim Nickolaou, an engineer at GM working on advanced safety systems, looks at the Brooklyn Bridge, he admires the structure for its beauty and as a feat of engineering. But he also considers the iconic structure a perfect test bed for the latest driver assist systems on the Cadillac XTS and upcoming ATS.   Nickolaou oversees a team that tests what’s known as “sensor fusion” to see how radar and cameras systems – part of a car’s driver aids – work to ...
Consumer demand for high-performance, smart connectivity is revolutionizing consumer in-car experiences and creating growth opportunities for silicon providers that offer automotive-grade products capable of meeting the rigorous demands of the automotive industry.   Vehicle manufacturers are increasing working on providing sophisticated digital systems addressing vehicle safety, infotainment, and telematics. Computing functions in various forms is becoming an integral part of a car. On-boa ...
Continental AG says it will launch production of a pedestrian detection system early next year for an unnamed German automaker that will introduce it on a global vehicle.   The system uses stereo cameras to detect pedestrians and other obstacles on the road in city driving, says Christian Schumacher, Continental's North American director of engineering systems.   The system to be introduced next year will be integrated with a radar-based collision avoidance system, Schumacher said. B ...

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