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Digital Prototyping- Shaving off Development Time and Costs for Car Models

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Digital Prototyping- Shaving off Development Time and Costs for Car Models

Nowadays, digital prototyping or computer stimulation has created a buzz in the automotive industry worldwide. Every automaker from big tycoons to beginners is utilizing this technology and integrating it into their car-testing procedures to get better results. Computer simulation for crash testing, aerodynamics and fuel economy is cutting off the time it takes to develop a new vehicle, which helps automaker save millions.

According to research by analysts IHS Automotive – digital prototyping has significantly helped reduce the development time of a new model from 36 months to 24 months compared with the 1990s. “The obvious benefits are lower costs, time savings and freshness of the product portfolio,” IHS senior manager Matteo Fini said.

“Crash simulation is done over a maximum of two days nowadays, and that has taken the time out of the development cycle,” Epple told Automotive News Europe. With each prototype costing about 500,000 pounds (about 685,000 euros), that reduction has saved a lot of money. The JLR executive added that it also has improved crash performance: “Now you can hit a wall at 50 mph and leave the car without being injured.”

What is Digital Prototyping?

Digital prototyping is an extension of creating product designs in 3D. This advanced technology lets professionals from engineering and manufacturing sectors to virtually explore the complete product before it is built. It enables engineers to design, optimize, validate and visualize a product digitally throughout its development process, which helps them to determine whether or not the product will fail or how it will work under given circumstances.

Audi Plans to Offer all its Cars with Plug-in Technology

Comprehending the prominence of electric cars, Audi the German manufacturer of luxury automobiles, has planned to introduce the technology in its future models. The automaker is currently investing in its new Tesla Model X-rivalling Q6 SUV, which is previewed by Frankfurt’s e-tron Quattro concept. The European production of the car is scheduled for 2018.

The model is primarily designed for the US and Chinese markets, and it will also complement Germany’s prospective fast charge infrastructure.
The car is designed to offer drivers a usable 250-mile range in just 30 minutes. It will also introduce a scalable solution that gives car owners a choice of batteries ranging from 60kWh to 95kWh (it is the fastest and most expensive yet most efficient solution, offering a total electric-only range of up to 310 miles, and 0-62mph in less than four seconds.

Dr Ulrich Hackenberg—Board Member for Technical Development of AUDI AG – said, “We’ll use this car to introduce technology to our customers. We will cover all our cars with plug-in technology. More or less every [Audi] drivetrain can be electrified.”

The company is working on technologies like the active aerodynamics and virtual mirrors to get a drag coefficient as low as 0.25cd.
If reports are to be believed, the plug-in e-tron version (of Q5, Q7 and A8) will be available by 2016; while the electric SUV (dubbed Q6) will be available in 2018.

Start, Lock and Locate your Car with your Smartphone

audi A4 tdi front end installed

If you own a Mazda and a smartphone, there is good news for you; now, you can start or stop your car, locate it and lock or unlock simply with the help of an application.

Entering into the world of digital applications, Mazda—a Japanese automaker—is introducing a new mobile app that is named as Mazda Mobile Start. The app’s User Interface (UI) and functioning are akin to a remote control. This application allows you to set car alarm; along with all these features, the app can help you to keep tabs on the location of your Mazda while you are away.

The app is the best choice whenever you wish activating your car’s climate control operations. Once idle for or up to 30 minutes, the app will shut down the car automatically. In addition, the app will have a specific timer showing the total time for which your Mazda has run.

The app’s UI displays a virtual key to lock and unlock the car. Further, with the app, you can activate the panic alarm, the horn and the hazard lights in case there is an emergency.

The application is integrated with Carfinder—a tool that helps you to locate your car in no time by using your phone’s camera along with the GPS.

“Mazda Mobile Start comes with more than just the features and functions of the app; it also comes with peace of mind,” said Trisha Quezada, manager of accessories, sales and marketing at Mazda North America. “Mazda Mobile Start was created with convenience and safety in mind to enhance the overall driving experience that matters so much to our customers.”

For the time being, the application is available in the US only. It is available for free for the first year only; afterwards, users will have to shell out a subsequent subscription fee of USD 65 per annum. Along with this, you have to get hardware or a few kits fitted in your vehicle to ensure that the app functions properly.

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Audi plans to create ‘Moon Rover’ to touch down on the moon

audi A4 tdi front end installed

Audi AG—a German automobile manufacturer—has joined hands with a group, the Part-Time Scientists, to engineer a moon rover. The automobile company is going to take part in Google’s Lunar XPRIZE competition. In the competition, a total of 15 teams have to build a robot that can successfully land on the moon’s surface, drive almost 500 meters and, then, send high-definition recordings of the heavenly body back to Earth. And the team that would successfully complete the mission will be awarded with $30 million.

“The concept of a privately financed mission to the moon is fascinating,” says Luca de Meo, an Audi AG board member for Sales and Marketing. He further adds, “And innovative ideas need supporters that promote them. We want to send a signal with our involvement with the Part-Time Scientists and also motivate other partners to contribute their know-how.”

According to Audi USA, once the project is complete, it will be transported in a launching rocket with the expected travel time to be around five days and will travel over 238,000 miles. The rover will land just north of the moon’s quarter.

With this initiative, the German manufacturer is supporting its partner group to come with new advancements in a variety of fields including Quattro all-wheel drive, piloted driving and lightweight construction. Formed by Robert Böhme—an information tech consultant in Berlin—the group has around 35 members, generally consisting of Austrians and Germans.

About the competition

The Google Lunar XPRIZE (GLXP) or Moon 2.0 is an independent prize space competition, which is organized by a foundation called X Prize Foundation and is sponsored by Google. The competition calls for privately funded spaceflight teams in order to develop a robotic spacecraft that land, travel across the Moon’s surface and send its images back to Earth.

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Google Launches an Artwork Designing Contest for Its Innovative Autonomous Cars

While Google’s innovative self-driving cars are set to thrill the market by the year 2020, the giant is continuously trying to bring in more innovations to introduce a highly cherished car. Recently, Google has announced a new program called “Paint the Town” that is aimed to give an innovative appearance to the most-awaited self-driving car. Google believes the program can turn the car into a public art, reflecting individual’s artistic persona.

The theme of the program is “My Community, My Theme” and the giant wants the people to design their choice artwork focused on the given theme, the company does also gives an indication to consider using landscape, people, and objects. And the committee will choose about ten art pieces to be embossed on the car. Most interestingly, the contestants will have an opportunity to take a ride on the car to have more information. Google’s initiative to bring in artistic facets to its innovative car is in line with introducing multi-colored art car to the people.

As per the terms and conditions, the contestants should be aged at 13 or above and they must be Californians. In addition, no text, and trademarked images will be entertained. The deadline has been set from July 11 to August 30 for the submission of art pieces.

With an objective to join the fleet of self-driving cars from Toyota and Lexus, Google is continuously trying its best to gather data and information over the hindrances faced by self-driving vehicles. To help the contestants, Google is planning to hold a session for sharing information in Mountain View in coming days.

Because of increasing trends in automobile industry, people have now so many cost-effective solutions to fulfill their desire to have an advanced car. Interestingly, they can turn their old-aged car into advanced one by including reconditioned engine. Reconditioned Toyota Avensis engines have earned much applauds among those who love advanced vehicles.

New Land Rover Smartphone App for Thrilled-Packed Driving Experience

If you have a fascination for the Bond-style car driving after watching ‘Tomorrow Never Dies,’ the new Land Rover mobile phone application is here to let you drive your Land Rover with remote-control and self-driving technology. The experts have presented an idea to integrate the technology with smartphones so as to make it more convenient and user-friendly.

The archetype mechanism will allow you to make use of the application to take control over steering, braking, and accelerating even though you are not driving the car from inside. The speed of the car has been limited to 4mph in order to check if the technology works properly, and the smartphone needs to be accessible within a limited range of 10ft.

As the engineers believe, it can be helpful for drivers in several ways. They can get out of the car and check any obstacles as they move the steers. On the other hand, they can also check some other technical things from outside using the mobile phone application. Currently, the application runs on bluetooth and the ‘Multi-Point-Turn’ technology, which lets you move it 180 degree easily and conveniently.

Though such kind of technology was envisioned much before in 1997 in a James Bond movie ‘Tomorrow Never Dies,’ we all hope the technology will soon hit the automobile market. The technology is said to be compatible with all types of new Land Rover engines. Some of the reconditioned engines are being advanced in such a way that they can get acquainted with the latest technology.

A Report Reveals How Safe Google’s Self-Driving Car is

Google’s self-driving cars have continually been creating buzz in the automobile market for the last 6 years when the giant started its highly appreciated project. It is naturally an important thing for car lovers to know how safe such advanced cars are.

In an attempt to provide the people with updates on the project, Google is nowadays providing monthly reports on how safe the car is. As Google has revealed nearly twelve minor accidents have been registered so far all through more than 1.8 million miles of self-driving and manual driving collectively. And the report outlines an operative sentence “Not once was the self-driving car the cause of the accident.”

As per the reports disclosed by Google, the accidents include one happened in the year 2010 when Google Prius was being handled manually on Central Expressway. In addition to the examples, another accident took place in 2015 which was an example of the dynamics between self-directed and manual mode of driving.

Google claims in its monthly report that 6 of the 12 minor accidents tool place when the car was in self-driving mode. And on the other hand, other 6 accidents were caused because of staffers’ fault.

As per the reports, it is worth to know that the rate of accidents caused by Google’s self-driving cars has lowered drastically in 2015 when compared to the accidents happened in last 5 years.

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What Does a Reconditioned Engine Stands for?

Reconditioned engine may, one way or another, be confusing term for you. You may be thinking of an engine that has been either rebuilt or refurbished in accordance with the latest technical needs. But the extent of a refurbished engine is somewhat more extensive compared to what you are thinking. Here in the write-up, we will be discussing whether a reconditioned engine is a right selection or not.

Suppose you are luckless enough to have you car breakdown while going to your office and it is not protected by any warranty scheme. A worry shadowed over your face just because you are foreseeing the feasible cost going to incur on your budget, as you don’t want to throw your car away. In such conditions, reconditioned engines make a difference. It protects your budget against the possible spending over purchasing new engine for your car.

There is, in fact, no widely-accepted explanation for a reconditioned engine. But generally an engine that is reengineered and lifted out of a wreck by fixing some advanced components and hardware is called reconditioned engine. Such engines are technically advanced in several ways as they have new and more efficient components. The engineers prepare reconditioned engines in line with not only bringing life to the wrecked engine, but also increasing the efficiency in an impressive way.

These days, the companies providing reconditioned engines offer a range of such engines for different advanced cars. Reconditioned Citroen engines have advanced components and hardware that works better and more efficiently.

While purchasing a reconditioned engine for your car, you need to consider some important points. Ask the purchaser to show all the technical contents and properties before you purchase a particular machine.

Silicon Valley Aims at Reinventing Automobile Industry

Silicon Valley has a new objective to reinvent the auto industry with new and innovative ideas. Over the last few years, we have witnessed some innovative announcements from IT giants like Google and Apple. Self-driving car project and Android Auto from Google and CarPlay form Apple has given some indications of the potential changes in automobile technology. With an impressive integration of software and connectivity, Silicon Valley is doing a pretty job for the automobile industry.

When the term “connected car” is coined today, advanced applications like maps, better navigation and streaming internet radio may dominate your imagination. But you need to know more. The actual prospective of the latest connected cars is somewhat more worthy to know than a few applications which are making news. In its place, it will principally be powered by software and automobile technology, and Silicon Valley appears to be much optimistic about the future of such connected cars in coming days.

The world of advanced mobile phones, before the time iPhone was introduced, was very alike to the automobile world in 2015. “Smart” mobile phones were powered by technology like internet connectivity, a browser, email and others. But it got real and impressive revolution when Apple and Google introduced their platforms for smartphones, which in the long run helped the people find their solutions in their handsets.

With the growing trends of connected cars, it is understood that the future connected cars would be hugely driven by an integrated software system. The cars would be technically capable of talking to your home keep it informing at your arrival. In addition, your connected car would be talking of car maintenance by recommending the best mechanic available in nearby location.

With increasing popularity of reconditioned engines, the automobile industry is really passing through a reinvention era. So many things are ready to happen in the industry.

Toyota’s Hydrogen-Driven Car is all set to come on Road, But Are You?

Half a year past to the introduction of the latest Toyota’s hydrogen-powered car Mirai, Toyota publicized that it would only have 8 dealerships in California to start its exclusive services to a very limited clients. Out of which, 4 dealerships will be positioned in the San Francisco Bay Area, whereas the other 4 ones will be available in the Los Angeles market.

As stated by the latest Toyota’s press release, instead of approaching dealers in the market for placing orders for Mirai, the manufacturer is motivating the customers to go online and place their orders for the same easily. Toyota seems very confident about the potential sale of around 3,000 unites of its new hydrogen-powered Mirai by the end of 2017, if all goes as planned. The select 8 dealerships of Toyota have their certain level of expertise in retailing Toyota’s plug-in electric cars, and the most importantly, all of the dealers are suitably situated near hydrogen fueling stations.

But building hydrogen is somewhat expensive and disappointingly challenging to find, even in the locations where emitting gas is highly prohibited. In California, “Green Power” solution continues to be the best choice. Toyota appears to be convinced that the hydrogen-powered car is the ultimate solution for the days to come when clean energy would be a big thing.

According to news, the US includes around 12 publicly reachable hydrogen fueling stations by now, among which most of the stations are situated in California. It is because of substantial grants for building fueling stations that the government is focusing on setting-up new hydrogen fuel stations. In quest of pushing up clean energy in the US, Toyota has planned to extend its support to the state-run government in building 12 more stations.