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Exciting Future Of Automobiles
New technologies will improve fuel efficiency, increase safety, aid navigation and repair.
Bend Bohn, of the German auto components company, Robert Bosch Corporation, recently predicted that internal combustion engines will continue to dominate the automotive market well into the 21st Century. Automotive manufacturers have invested considerable time and effort in attempt to improve fuel efficiency in these engines, and they have been successful. In fact the U.S.A. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), estimates engines have become 30 percent more fuel-efficient over the past 15 years than previously. However the gains have been offset by the introduction of increasingly bigger and more powerful engines. The average engine in the present industry is 63 percent more powerful than 20 years ago.
John Heywood, Director of the Sloan Automotive Laboratory at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, estimates new technology will reduce fuel consumption by a third by 2020 and a half by 2030. Gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles and modern diesel engines are significantly more fuel efficient than their gasoline counterparts, but new technology in gasoline engines is also expected to reduce fuel consumption.
Next year, General Motors will begin introducing “displacement on demand” technology in their engines, reducing fuel consumption by eight percent by using only half their cylinders during most normal driving. GM predicts another 7 to 11 percent in fuel savings can be achieved through use of continuously variable automatic transmissions.
More advanced variable valve controls, already in the works at BMW, are expected to further increase fuel savings, while Bosch has recently developed it Direct-Start system. The system allows the engine to shut off while idling, but it instantly restarts as soon as the driver touches the gas pedal, igniting the combustion mixture in the fuel injections system without engaging the starter motor. Bosch predicts fuel savings of 5 percent with the Direct-Start system.
New and exciting automotive technology goes far beyond fuel economy improvements. “’I’ve been involved [with auto research] for more than 30 years, and there’s more action and more promise for improvement now than I’ve ever seen,” says Heywood.
New technology expected to hit the marketplace within the next decade:
1) Active safety systems will include radar and cameras that watch for danger. “We’ve put airbags just about every place you can.” Says Toyota Product-planning Manager, John Weiner, “Within the next five years the car will use algorithms to anticipate hazards and intervene or warn the driver.
2) Keyless entry has already been implemented on certain Cadillac, Infinity and BMW models and will be introduced to approximately 40 different vehicles in the next three years. Credit card style systems will replace car keys.
3) Navigation systems such as computer-like screens on the dash, displaying navigation systems that employ global positioning satellite and onboard DVD’s to provide the driver with distractions, maps, and information on businesses such as hotels, hospitals and restaurants. The video screens will also have the capability to connect to PDA’s and cellular phones.
4) Wi-Fi hook-ups in almost every vehicle will provide weather, news, and other information. “We’re going to see hot spots in places like gas stations and restaurants,” says Peter Wengert, marketing manager for automotive products at Microsoft.
5) Data collection will give vehicles the capability to collect pertinent data that can be shared with dealers, manufacturers, and other vehicles helping service personnel perform remote diagnostics and help troubleshoot for a broken down motorist.
6) Onboard cameras will help detect blind spots, while helping parents watch their kids. Many recreational vehicles already have this technology at the rear and in front to “see” around corners.
7) 40 Volt Electrical Systems will become standard to accommodate the many new electric devices.
8) Voice commands are already in certain BMW’s, Jaguar and Lexus models and will become common and necessary in order to operate the various functions in cars.
9) Electronic pedals already in use in Mercedes, Chevy Corvette and all recent Audi vehicles, brake-by-wire and accelerate by wire pedals send an electronic signal rather than activating a physical connection to the engine and brakes. Emergency brake handles will also be replaced by electronic controls.
10) Programmable vehicles will let you use electronics to express your choice of vehicle you wish to drive, says Stanford professor of mechanical engineering Chris Gerdes. “You can have it be as sporty or luxurious, as you choose.” Drivers of the new Audi A8, for example can change the car’s ride by raising and lowering road clearance.
Submitted by: Amsoil Inc. Dealer Rudy Hiebert www.lubedealer.com/hiebert
Content Source: Amsoil Inc’s Direct Line, November 15, 2003 by permission.
Rudy Hiebert has been a Dealer with Amsoil Inc. for more than fourteen years. After application of the Internet to his marketing strategy, business activity has paralled the ballooning revenue of the corporation, which has been double digets. People are using and selling Amsoil 's synthetic lubricants all over North America with the help of Abbotford's Amsoil Dealer, Rudy Hiebert. His web site is www.lubedealer.com/hiebert where more Amsoil information can be accessed.