Wednesday, March 31, 2010

NASA to investigate Toyota Electronics Problem

According to the latest information, the U.S. safety regulators are planning to approach NASA scientists to assist them in analyzing the unintended acceleration problem in Toyota cars.

According to the U.S. Transport Secretary Ray LaHood, there will be detach study on the Toyota issue. And, it will be led by another specialist who will look into the acceleration problem across the auto industry.

We are determined to obtain to the bottom of unintended acceleration, LaHood said in an interview.

The Toyota issue is being evaluated by Transportation Department's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Earlier, Toyota had to recall about 8.5 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles all over the world due to electronic strangle problems. Then, it came under the U.S. lawmakers’ fury who demanded instant inquiry and heavy compensation from the automaker.

As per the NHTSA statement, the review is expected to be finished by late summer after which the agency would determine whether to go for a formal investigation.

Toyota is struggling currently to win the trust of the consumers and its market in auto segment. So, the report might pose a hard time for the auto huge to maintain its position.

Meanwhile, Toyota has also frequently snubbed the discrepancy in the safeguards in its vehicle electronics and has seen no evidence that they have failed on the road.

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Assist Volvo’s New Owners Name the New Models

Ford has lastly unloaded Volvo, Chinese automaker Geely is currently the proud parent of Volvo Cars. After two years of rumors and speculation, the sale go through for $1.8 billion. That’s a bargain believing Ford paid $6.5 billion back in 1999.

While some fear Chinese ownership will somehow dilute or cheapen the Volvo brand, we’re cute excited. Volvo has been struggling to differentiate itself in the face of rivals that get safer, sportier and more luxurious by the year. The last S60 went almost unchanged for nine years, which might as well be a millenium in the auto biz, and most Americans still connect the Swedish automaker with the slow, boxy wagons that haven’t been in production for over a decade.

Currently, Volvo keeps Swedish management and manufacturing while adding factories and ownership in car-crazy China. If Chinese fandom gave us Lexus-worthy Buicks like the newest Lacrosse and new Regal, imagine what could happen if the all-new S60 (shown above) becomes the preferential mode of transport for high officials of the Communist Party. We will, of course, be depressing to see the end of reverse-engineered 20-year old Audis from Hong Qi.

The new models are going to require some new names, though, and that’s where you come in. With the help of your facts of Chinese or Google Translate (and apologies to our friends who actually speak a Chinese dialect), we want you to present your predictions for new Volvo model names.

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Monday, March 29, 2010

Nano and the assumption of ‘inferior goods'

Mr Ratan Tata won the hearts of millions among his Nano car priced at about Rs 1 lakh only, the cheapest car in the world, but has he won their pockets as well?

Price pays an extremely large part in the perception of such goods. As disposable incomes rise and cars enter more households, a high-quality product like the Nano may turn out be less preferred over another similar, small car which is inferior in quality but more expensive.

We have to wait until the main plant in Sanand goes into full production in April and starts producing up to 2.5 lakh units yearly. The existing capacity at Pantnagar is 50,000 units. There are other problems, also, like the risk of waning customer confidence after a few Nanos caught fire right after being delivered. Could the cheap price fuel qualms of poor quality?

After the 1 lakh pre-launch reserving in April last year, the launch in March and deliveries starting July, Tata Motors has been able to deliver just 25,640 units in the seven months till February 2010. With low scales of production due to capacity distribution at the Tata Ace plant, the numbers are way too miserable for the volume-driven product to be profitable.

Even with so many unfavorable conditions, Mr Tata has persistently maintained his promised price tag — at least for the first one lakh deliveries. But what if he had set a superior initial base price of about Rs 1.4 lakh?

The 40 per cent price ramble would still render the car at least Rs 50,000 cheaper than Maruti's and rest of the industry's entry product — the Maruti 800.

Besides, with predictable sales of about one lakh units in a year at that price, Tata Motors would make Rs 400 crore more. In the small car segment — the largest car segment in the country — a cost difference of Rs 50,000 is frequently a deciding factor for purchases.

It may then appear as an attractive choice in the entry-level car market, rival with other models such as the Maruti 800, Alto and A-Star, the Chevrolet Spark and the Hyundai Santro, although at a very competitive price point.

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Friday, March 26, 2010

The electric cars that converse to each other

City cars of the future will need to be tiny, clean, energy-efficient, and given the increasing number of vehicles, able to communicate with each other to make best use of limited road space.

A team of designers has applied this concise to an existing prototype by Segway and come up with what they call an Electric Networked Vehicle (EN-V), a two-seat, electric vehicle that balances on two wheels.

The EN-V is a concept vehicle but it is far from science fiction as the technology it employs is already verified.

The EN-V can be driven like any conventional car but is also able to use a grouping of sensors, cameras, wireless communication and GPS navigation to converse with other vehicles and drive up to 30 miles on a single charge lacking any input from the driver.

Five EN-Vs can be parked in the space engaged by one large car.

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Nano car bursts into flames, lifting safety fears

Recently Minicar Tata Nano attracts huge attention in itself. The fact is that there were 4 cases of explosion of the car in three different cities of India. In earlier three cases, the car just smoked, but in the latter – a serious incident occurred in which the car very rapidly caught fire and within minutes nearly burned down.

It is erudite that the car belonged to an insurance agent Satish Savant. He had bought the brand new Nano car just an hour prior to the accident. On the road from the car dealership to buyers home Tata Nano unexpectedly flared up and burned. Fortunately, as a result no one was hurt because the driver and passenger of the ignition time warned by a motorcycle rider who overtook the car.

While no official data was received from the manufacturer. At present the whole incident is under investigation, which will give in-depth detail about the reason of each of these fires. Though, if a potential problem is confirmed in all cars, the company expects Tata scale tip.

Recall from the beginning, the company Toyota has evoked worldwide around 9, 5 million cars because of problems with the accelerator pedal. Another Japanese manufacturer, Honda, held a service campaign about 600 thousand cars that have establish a problem with the battery switch.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

GM's innovative concept the opposite of Hummer

Five EN-V concept cars will fit into a normal parking space. GM asserts the vehicle will be petroleum-free, emission-free, accident-free and congestion-free.

It's not fairly as foldable as the space vehicle that cartoon figure George Jetson pops into his briefcase as he bops into the office. But the EN-V concept car, GM's “automobile solution” for the prospect, just might fit into an apartment foyer.

General Motors and its Chinese partner SAIC will showcase the “Electric Networked-Vehicle” commenced Wednesday in their joint pavilion at the Shanghai Expo, which opens May 1 and runs for six months.

By 2040, GM says, there will be 1.2 billion cars on Earth, and 60 per cent of humanity will be alive in cities. For megacity countries like China, the explosion in use of conventional automobiles has already turned into a frightening of smog, jammed roadways, and non-existent parking.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Maruti Suzuki beats a million cars a year

Japanese-controlled Maruti Suzuki, India's biggest passenger car company said Tuesday it had connected the global club of carmakers producing at least one million vehicles a year.

General Motors, Volkswagen, Toyota, Ford and Honda are along with the vehicle companies in the select group.

Maruti Suzuki, 54.2 percent owned by Suzuki Motor Corp, is the first Indian automobile company to unite the million clubs, the company said in a statement.

Suzuki Motor chairman Osamu Suzuki attended a ceremony at the company's plant in Manesar near New Delhi to mark the milestone and proclaimed new plans to invest 50 billion yen (555 million dollars) in India as competition heats up in the country's fast-growing car market.

India is the Japanese company's biggest foreign market, and Suzuki Motor is anxious to fend off global rivals such as Volkswagen, Ford and General Motors which are forcefully seeking to boost sales in the country.

We achieved one million units but to attain production of two million... will be a tough journey, the Suzuki Motor chairman said.

Half of the 50 billion yen to be invested will be spent on growing engine production and the other half on setting up a research and development facility.

Company officials too laid the foundation stone for Maruti's plant expansion at Manesar which will see the facility producing 550,000 units a year from 300,000.

Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi set up the car company with Suzuki almost three decades ago to serve the ordinary people of India

Last year, Maruti's sales outstripped Suzuki's performance in Japan and the company is credited with revolutionizing car transport in India by making reasonable cars for a burgeoning middle class.

Cumulatively, we have produced more than 8.8 million cars in India, said the Suzuki chairman as the millionth car for the current financial year to March -- a red hatchback Maruti Suzuki Swift -- rolled off the assembly line.

Maruti, which sells one in two cars in the country, formed its first car -- the hatchback Maruti 800 -- in 1983 and it became a best seller.

In its first full financial year of commercial processes, production reached a little over 22,000 cars but in the past few years output has soared.

India is now Asia's third-largest car market, outpaced only by China and Japan, and is one of the few countries where automobile sales are fast increasing.

Car sales largely jumped 19 percent last year to 1.43 million units.

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Monday, March 22, 2010

GM's SKorean unit recalling almost 60,000 vehicles

SEOUL, South Korea -- General Motors is recalling almost 60,000 automobiles in South Korea due to potential problems with steering wheels, fuel hoses and seats, the company's local unit and the government said Sunday.

The recall of 58,696 vehicles will initiate Monday and cover four models manufactured in South Korea, said Kim Byeong-soo, a spokesman for GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co., the country's third-largest automaker.

Recalls in other countries where some vehicle transport under the Chevrolet and Opel brands will be decided and announced afterward in accordance with local rules, Kim said. He said China has by now announced some recalls, though he did not immediately have details.

A total of 45,957 small SUVs sold in South Korea as the Winstorm and Winstorm Maxx are being recalled due to the option that the steering wheel can become separated. The Winstorm is exported as the Chevrolet Captiva, as the Winstorm Maxx is sold overseas as the Opel Antara, Kim said.

A total of 12,604 Lacetti Premiere sedans - sold overseas as the Chevrolet Cruze - are being recalled for perhaps defective fuel hoses that could leak, Kim said.

Also, the company is recalling 135 of its Damas model, a small commercial vehicle, over materials in seats that do not convene South Korean safety standards, he said. Kim said no accidents have resulted from any of the troubles and the recalls were decided by GM Daewoo.

The recalls, also proclaimed by the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs, came after GM Daewoo's South Korean rival Hyundai Motor Co. announced recalls last month of about 47,000 vehicles for problems with door latches.

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Mercedes Benz commences premium SUV variants

German automobile major Mercedes Benz launched the GL 350CDI BlueEfficiency, what it termed the “most premium SUV [sport utility vehicle] in the Indian market” here on Thursday.

The two variants — GL Executive priced at Rs. 63.57 lakh and the GL Luxury priced at Rs. 68.48 lakh (ex-showroom Mumbai) — were revealed by the Managing Director and CEO of Mercedes Benz India Wilfried Aulbur.

The seven-seater luxury model is outfitted with a 7 G-TRONIC gearbox, 4Matic Permanent all-wheel drive, electrically folding third row of seats and a panoramic sunroof. Speaking to journalists on the juncture, Dr. Aulbur said, in its segment, the GL-Class is the largest SUV and the only one that offers full-size third row seats with independent AC vents. It has excellent head and leg room. The BlueEfficiency tag is a statement of its environmental compatibility.

He said that individual attention had been paid to safety. The car models were equipped with the pre-safe preventive inhabitant protection system, a world first in this market segment. The crash-responsive head fetters for the driver and the front passenger would support the head sooner in a rear-end impact.

It accelerates from a speed of 0 to 100 km per hour in 9.5 seconds, reaches a top speed of 210 kmph and consumes 9.7 litres of fuel per 100 km. It is also built-in with special off-road features such as Downhill Speed Regulation and hill-start assist.

Dr. Aulbur said, the model is forcefully priced as we would like to occupy the luxury SUV sector in India, which has a space for 9,000-10,000 units a year. He said that Mercedes Benz was planning to enlarge with showrooms and dealerships in Tier-2 and Tier-3 markets like Goa, Bhubaneshwar, Indore, Aurangabad and Surat.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Green tech fuels proficient transport

More capable, sustainable public transport in SA depends on improved government training and intelligent, integrated systems, says Carel Snyman, energy specialist and director of consultancy BSE Warehouse.

Snyman argues that moving commuters more professionally through intelligent transport systems can benefit both the environment and productivity. This occupies looking at the best way to travel at different times of day, using various modes of car transport powered via a range of energy sources.

You have to think how efficient a means of transport is in terms of energy, the greenhouse gases and pollution it produces, as well as how much it's going to cost the cost country in terms foreign exchange, because we're needy on crude oil imports, he states.

To emphasize some of the alternative energy and transport solutions available, the South African National Energy Research Institute (Saneri) introduced a Green Transport Demonstration Project last year, to coincide with the 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup.

The principle is to showcase clean energy and green transport innovations in order to confirm SA's seriousness in promoting environmentally friendly technologies, explains Snyman, who is a consultant on the project. It will also, to some scope, offset the CO2 that will be emitted through travel associated with the event, he adds.

According to Snyman, the purpose of the Green Transport Project, conducted by Saneri on behalf of the Department of Science and Technology, is to reveal vehicles and refueling stations based on alternative fuels such as liquefied petroleum gas, compressed natural gas, biofuels, electricity (via batteries), fuel cells and hydrogen.

The program will also endorse practical skills development in clean transport technologies, and create awareness among the public, entrepreneurs and decision-makers about the safety, performance and low emissions of clean transport alternatives, adds Snyman.

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Honda evokes 410,000 cars in US

Japanese car manufacturer Honda has announced it is recalling 410,000 cars in the US as of complaints about their brakes.

The recall is of 344,000 Odyssey models and 68,000 Element vehicles made stuck between 2007 and 2008.

Honda said it had received complaints of brake pedals that felt soft or progressively needed more pressure to work.

The actions pursue the much larger recall by Toyota of eight million cars worldwide over safety fears.

Honda said the brake problems were due to the regular accumulation of air over time in a part of the braking system.

Although not all cars being recalled had been affected by the problem, the company said it was recalling all probable units to assure all customers that their vehicles will perform correctly.

Affected customers in the US will be reported by Honda from April.

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Monday, March 15, 2010

Toyota, Nissan, new set up electric car group

Toyota and three other Japanese automakers mutually with a power company have set up a group to promote electric vehicles by standardizing recharging machines and marketing the technology abroad.

Representatives of Toyota Motor Corp., Nissan Motor Co., Mitsubishi Motors Corp., Fuji Heavy Industries and Tokyo Electric Power Co. meeted at a Tokyo hotel Monday to proclaim the association, which includes about 160 businesses, some of them foreign, and government organizations.

The officials said the time may have inwards for electric vehicles to actually take off not only in Japan but also around the world as concerns grow about emissions and dependence on oil. But the main hurdles that require to be overcome are better battery technology, costs and having recharging stations in convenient locations.

Automakers are challenging in many aspects, but the entire industry needs to come together and offer convenience for our customers, said Nissan Chief Operating Officer Toshiyuki Shiga.

Nissan is planning to start selling in limited numbers an electric vehicle called Leaf shortly this year, and Mitsubishi and Fuji Heavy already have electric vehicles on the market. Toyota has begin present for rental a plug-in version of its gas-electric hybrid vehicles.

But electric vehicles still continue largely experimental. The main users now are government-related groups with only a niche market between regular consumers.

The group is still functioning out the details of its recharging platform. Standardization would need all makers to agree on the voltage, outlet and other aspects of the technology while also ensuring relatively speedy recharging.

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Nissan NV: Automaker’s Earliest Commercial Vehicles for U.S.

Nissan introduced a line of commercial work vans this week in high-roof and usual configurations. At former glance, the Nissan NV cargo vans, with their high-roof design, look like competition for Ford’s Transit Connect. The Transit Connect, which Ford initiate, selling in the United States last year, is an economical light-duty van with 135 cubic-feet of cargo space. The Nissan NV1500, NV2500 and NV 3500 are medium and heavy-duty commercial vehicles that can hold more than twice the payload of a Transit Connect.

The real news here is that Nissan is undertaking into the United States commercial vehicle market, which has been owned almost exclusively by the big three Detroit automakers. The good news for Nissan is that its first entry in the big-hauler group will fill a vacant niche: high-roof cargo vans capable of carrying large, heavy loads. The Nissan vans would have competed directly with specified Dodge Sprinter if it were still available. But after Daimler and Chrysler fell out of love, Sprinter left from this market.

While Japanese vehicle manufacturers have experimented in the light-truck category for years, they have not before ventured into serious hauler territory: vehicles with more load capacity than a half-ton pickup or van. Nissan appears to be testing the heavy-duty waters with the NV, which will be presented late this year, but the automaker is not diving in headfirst.

The Nissan NV vans are existing as standard-roof models in all versions and as high toppers in NV2500 HD and NV3500HD configuration. Like the Transit Connect, the high-roof versions permit stand-up access to the interior.

NV buyers can prefer a 4-liter V-6 or a 5.6-liter V-8. Both are backed by a 5-speed automatic transmission and drive through the rear wheels. No fuel economy numbers are available yet, but in terms of efficiency, the NV vans, with large-displacement gasoline engines, appear to be old school. Sprinter, on the other hand was outfitted with a standard 3-liter diesel, but stringent United States emission regulations apparently make it impractical for Nissan to offer a diesel in North America. With Sprinter gone, Nissan will have the United States high-top heavy-duty van market to itself for currently.

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Car Transport - Electric cars could revolutionize car industry

The technical director of Australia's first electric car trial commenced in Perth this morning says they will be the largest revolution in the automotive industry.

The University of Western Australia and the State Government have launched a two year trial with 10 electric cars to be utilized by the Government and business sector.

The trial will monitor the concert of the new vehicle and gauge the technology's capacity and limitations.

Professor Thomas Braunl from the University of Western Australia says over time, more Australians will translate to electric cars.

It's very hard to forecast what's going to happen in 10 and 20 years but it's quite likely that you have a important percentage of all cars being electric in let's say 20 years.

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tanfield obtain Bid for Smiths Electric Vehicles

US Sector compose an Offer for UK Company.

UK – US – Tanfield plc have established to the Handy Shipping Guide that they have received a non-binding conditional offer for the groups Smith Electric Vehicle division, producers of the Ford Transit based Edison van series, from Smiths Electric Vehicles US Inc. The company’s move into the US market was proclaimed here in October last year and the pace of this rapidly expanding market is such that the offer is not entirely unexpected.

In January the US Corporation announced it had been new to the GSA Schedule in solicitation number QMAE-T4-091003-N, allowing US government agencies and military forces to purchase Smith’s all-electric, fuel- and emissions-free commercial trucks. With the development of the Smith Newton Medium/Heavy truck the US military are noticeable target for the group and their preference for home produced equipment is legendary.

In the UK Smiths by now supply such important customers as Sainsbury’s, TNT, DHL, TK Maxx and Scottish & Southern Energy, fulfilling these organizations urban transport requirements and proclaiming their green credentials.

The offer consists of £37 million in cash (equivalent to 50p per existing Tanfield Share in issue), an additional £33.3 million deputation credit to the benefit of Tanfield in any SEVUS IPO contribution prior to September 2015 (equivalent to up to 45p per existing Tanfield Share in issue) with the US company obtaining the assets of the UK division as well as the 49% shareholding in SEVUS owned by Tanfield plus any relevant licensing agreements plus intellectual property rights to enable them to trade worldwide using the company name.

The electric vehicle business appears to be the jewel in the Tanfield crown in what has been a difficult year and the offer is probable to receive a favorable response from investors if market analysts are to be believed.

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

South Korean bus prototypes exploit road to recharge

South Korea is irritating a new way to turn public transport green by using a technology popular in electric toothbrushes and razors to power buses and cars.

The country's top technology university on Tuesday revealed a new electric transport powered by recharging strips embedded in roads that transfer energy through magnetic connections. There are no straight connections with wires.

Vehicles with sensor-driven magnetic devices on their underside suck up energy as they travel over the strips surrounded a few centimeters under the road.

The technological concept behind the idea has been approximately for about 100 years. We have found a superior way to transfer the electricity to make it practical, said B.K. Park, a project member at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology.

The university about 140 kilometers south of Seoul has four prototype buses using the technology on its campus and is in discussion with Seoul and other cities to have buses running in the next three years using the system called "online electrical vehicle."

The strips, which are connected to small electrical stations, are laid in bus lanes and roads running up to intersections so that vehicles can power up where traffic slows down.

The strips are in segments of several tens of meters in length and vehicles receive what is phrased "microcharges" each time they pass over one.

These vehicles are not similar to mobile phones that need to be charged for hours. Microcharges are moderately efficient, Park said. Unlike electric lines used for trams, vehicles do not need to be in stable contact with the strips and a person can touch the lines without receiving a shock.

The system allows electric cars and buses to cut down on battery size and widen ranges. The noncontact transfer of electricity also called inductive charging, works by magnets and cables on the underside of the vehicle making a connection with the existing in the recharging strip to receive power as they travel over it.

It is employed in some brands of electric toothbrushes that are conserved and water resistant, which do not need to be plugged into anything but use a magnetic connection to receive energy while resting in a cradle.

The online electrical vehicle system up to now has proven safe to humans and machinery. The cost of installing the system is an expected 400 million won ($353,500) per kilometer of road, Electricity is extra.

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Monday, March 8, 2010

General Motors illustrates on global designers for the new Chevrolet Corvette

For the first time, General Motors studios across the world have present design studies for the next-generation Chevrolet Corvette. Late last year, Ed Welburn, GM's vice president of global design, called GM's 10 styling studios to submit design proposals.

Global input on the Corvette's design is one of numerous steps GM is taking to attract buyers in Europe, where the car has little appeal, and young U.S. buyers who favor imports. We have challenges in the States with the Corvette, Welburn said in a conference at the Geneva auto show.

The present average age of a Corvette buyer is 54, according to the Power Information Network, a unit of J.D. Power and Associates. Corvette trade is in a tailspin. Final year 13,934 was sold in the United States, down 48 percent from 2008.

The present Corvette debuted in the 2005 model year. Prices sort from $49,880 for the base coupe to $107,830 for the ZR-1. Both prices include shipping. A redesign owes in two to three years, industry sources say.

Corvette critics frequently cite the sports car's size, saying it looks big. They also point to what they declare is a cheap-looking interior.

Welburn said today's Corvette is about the same size as the Porsche 911, but the styling creates it look bigger. We have to develop a design that feels trimmer, meaner, to go along with the unbelievable performance that the car has, he said.

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Friday, March 5, 2010

Tata Nano EV an electric car is the Ford Model T

An electric version of the Tata Nano, the world’s cheapest car, is on show at the Geneva Motor Show. The Tata Nano EV utilizes super-polymer lithium-ion batteries to give a range of about 80 miles.

A spokesperson for the Environmental Transport Association (ETA) said: No one knows for certain how much the Nano EV will cost, but it is probable that Tata will once again undercut its rivals on price. At the correct price, the car could be the electric car version of the Ford Model T – the first electric vehicle to have mass-market appeal.

Many millions of the people in India who now travel by bicycle and scooter welcomed the launch in January 2008 of a car which promised to cost 100,000 Rupees (£1,277).

The TaTa Nano is a small-engined and tremendously lightweight four-seater car which returns an average 50 miles per gallon; the car promises to be India’s equivalent of the Ford Model T – a mass-produced, lightweight and affordable car proposed to make motoring accessible to as many people as possible.

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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Carmakers place on brave glitzy face in Geneva

It is show time in Geneva as car companies put on a merry face and reveal a glitzy array of new models, especially small cars and hybrids.

With 100 world and European premieres, carmakers are eager to catch the consumer’s eye at the 80th Geneva International Motor Show, which opens on Thursday. But ahead of the glamour, the road to recovery remains a bumpy one.

More than 700,000 people, including 10,000 journalists, are probable to pour through the doors of the huge Palexpo exhibition halls over the next ten days to ogle at the new got-to-have cars.

Car firms’ budgets may have been sliced, but there is a bumper crop on view, including the Audi A1 supermini, launched by pop singer Justin Timberlake, the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, the Nissan Juke hatchback intersect and new VW Touareg off-roader. Other show stars comprise the five-door Mini Countryman and a European version of Ford’s third-generation Focus.

Alongside a strapping focus on ever-smaller vehicles, the flurry of launches has also been conquered by new technologies, as companies try to pull ahead of competitors – or not get left behind.

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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Cross-border compact on motoring fines

The cross-border agreement will also pertain to drivers from the Republic who breaks the law in Northern Ireland.

Those from the Republic who parked illegally in Northern Ireland have avoided fines value £1.7 million since 2006. Northern Ireland motorists avoided 1.3 million Euros of toll road duty in the Republic.

Northern Ireland Regional Development Minister Conor Murphy said: it is significant that all road users adhere to parking and traffic restrictions. Parking control is an important part of traffic management and road safety wherever you live on this island and this new measure will strengthen enforcement.

The authorities have approved to share vehicle registration details to ensure offenders can be pursued more easily through the courts.

The Republic's Department of Transport by now has measures in place with the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) in Northern Ireland to swap information on motor tax and abandoned vehicles.

Irish Transport Minister Noel Dempsey said: It is an indication of the close levels of co-operation on this project among our colleagues in the Department for Transport, DVLA (Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency) and authorities in the north, that we have efficiently overcome potential difficulties regarding data privacy and security issues in the pursuit of cross-border traffic offenders.

This is another significant step in road safety and traffic enforcement and one that we are all strongly committed to. The pilot scheme scuttles until next November.

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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Newest electric car is human-powered

The latest electric car assures not only to cut emissions and reduce fuel costs, but save on the cost of gym membership; the HumanCar Imagine converts the rowing motion of the driver and up to three passengers into speeds of up to 25mph.

The rowing action gives the car’s occupants with brisk exercise whilst at the same time charging a battery that powers an ele.

The car can be powered by its passengers, the battery, or several combination of human and electric power.

The car is licensed to utilize minor roads in America because its speed is limited to 25 mph.

The company has previously received 200 orders and expects the vehicles to be priced at around £10,000 each when production begins later this year.

A spokesperson for the Environmental Transport Association (ETA) said: Human power is an efficient and under-rated source of power for transport, but whether the HumanCar design is greater to the electric-assist cargo bicycles already on the market remains to be seen.

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Monday, March 1, 2010

Japan's ZMP to vend golf cart-size robot car

Tokyo robotics start-up ZMP is following up its RoboCar mini robot car platform with a one-seater robotic electric minicar that's concerning the size of a golf cart.

Developed in association with Gunma University and industry partners, the RoboCar G will be sold as a research platform for next-generation cars, as well as a flexible vehicle for use at hospitals and other pubic facilities.

The minicar format was preferred from a standpoint of next-generation battery cost performance as well as the goal of getting robot cars on public roads at an early date.

The vehicle can be controlled wirelessly by computer and operational with sensors including stereo cameras, laser rangefinders, radar and sonar, as well as an inertial measurement unit. Its autonomous functions are unclear but most probably it will have similar track and obstacle detection abilities as the toy-size RoboCar.

Each RoboCar will be built to order, thus customers will specify the type and number of sensor required. The car is expected to start shipping in November. No word so far on base price.

Powered by a lithium-ion battery, the 211-pound vehicle runs on a brushless DC electric motor and has a peak speed of 37 mph. It won't be competing in a Darpa Grand Challenge anytime soon, but the RoboCar G could make a polite research platform for autonomous cars.

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