We've suspected for a long time that modern cars don't have to burn ten litres or more per 100 km, no matter how snobby their drivers are. Finally, Bosch seems to have come to the same conclusion, even though they hardly mention mundane stuff like petrol. According to Bosch it's not about saving petrol but CO2 - and those two aren't too closely related.
A new threesome has formed: Daimler, Nissan and Ford have agreed on a partnership to accelerate the commercialization of fuel cell electric vehicle technology. That's good news for alternative engine technology since it seems obvious that there is a limit to the number of huge Lithium-Ion Batteries that can be put on the highways of the world.
Among the problems with alternative engines and fuels, the lack of standards may just be the biggest obstacle for success. The number of different plugs for electric vehicles easily brings to mind the typical English hotel room from the 1970s with at least three different and totally incompatible wall plug types. Hydrogen and compressed natural gas networks pose similar difficulties. A new EU initiative is supposed to impose continent-wide standards - a step long overdue.
From a technical point of view there's not much difference between different vehicles from different brands in one price range, and thanks to uninspired product designers many are only distinguishable by the manufacturer's logo. If you've ever despaired connecting your new smartphone to a new car infotainment system, you know what's really important in a new vehicle.
For a US state, Nevada is quite fascinating, not only because of Las Vegas. However, getting a fun car and cruise up and down the Strip is an experience of its own. Even though traffic usually is slow, for us tourists this is fairly dangerous since the city changes its face every few months and there are so many new things to gape at every time. Now Nevada is getting a new kind of attraction which may in future even allow ALL occupants to lean back, sip some Gin Tonic and take a look at the latest megalomanic casino and hotel creation.
Driving around the world by car is difficult even under the best of circumstances, since there is so much water around. Doing it with a solar-powered vehicle is even more challenging. Nevertheless, the car has reached its destination, and it took 414 days.
When talking to company officials in charge of standards and norms one can get the impression that AUTOSAR is only being endorsed because any standard seems better than none. In terms of implementation, many companies interpret the »S« in AUTOSAR not as »System« but solely as »Software« -understandable, since this part of any system causes the most trouble. The recently published roadmap for the near future accounts for that interpretation.
Driver assistance systems are a controversial issue. Some functions tend to distract the drivers, others find (sometimes grudging) consent. Many drivers feel patronized, but a recent study shows clear benefits of the assistants.