From navigational devices that play
your favorite movie to vehicles that run on Hydrogen, the 9th Auto Expo packed
all the punch of technical wizardry.
Car makers teamed up with
component manufacturers to reveal a bevy of products and technology that left
the common man dazed with awe. With global warming catching up fast, companies
showcased their alternate fuel technologies with enthusiasm.

Honda’s FCX Concept Car

Mahindra & Mahindra, Skoda, Mitsubishi and a host of others displayed their
expertise in green technology. Covering a wide range of advanced power train
solutions, Mahindra displayed different platforms of driveable full hybrid
vehicles, micro (start/ stop) hybrid vehicles, bio-fuel vehicles, an electric
passenger vehicle, a hydrogen combustion engine vehicle and many recyclable
materials and reusable technologies.

B100 and B20 bio-diesel
vehicles on Scorpio and Bolero platforms were displayed at the show to
illustrate Mahindra’s bio-diesel programme. Bio-diesel is derived from
renewable plant sources, which can greatly improve energy security and
conventional fuel depletion concerns.

M&M has also been
successful in developing the first hydrogen-powered Alfa 3-wheeler vehicle. Not
far behind is the FCX Concept, the second-generation Fuel-cell car from Honda,
which pioneered the fuel cell technology.

A Fuel-cell vehicle is
powered by an electric motor, running on electricity generated by a fuel-stack,
which uses hydrogen as its energy source. The FCX Concept boasts a fuel cell
system that delivers more power in less space, in a unique, low-floor fuel cell

It’s a
next-generation sedan with a low centre of gravity and a full-sized cabin,
offering the kind of driving pleasure and roomy interior previously unimaginable
in a fuel cell vehicle.

The FCX Concept also features Honda’s
advanced intelligent technologies that reduce driver burden and the spacious
interior allows for extra large seats to maximise comfort.
Mitsubishi’s cute i-MIEV

Then in
Mitsubishi’s cute i-MIEV you have an electric vehicle that can be charged
(up to 80 per cent) in 30 minutes, using a special charging system, as well as
charged overnight using household electricity outlet.

R Shantaram,
MD, Hindustan Motors says, “For a vehicle of its class it outperforms even
a gasoline vehicle.”

For low priced vehicles component
manufacturers are gearing up to provide solutions. Bosch ‘Value
Motronic’ is one example. In this new management platform for gasoline
engines, intelligent software is the key to providing maximum functionality at
minimum cost.

The Hyundai QarmaQ

Also, SABIC Innovative Plastics (formerly GE Plastics)
and Hyundai Motor Co presented the Hyundai QarmaQ, with around 30 different
environmentally progressive technologies.

U Venkatakrishnan,
automotive general manager at SABIC Innovative Plastics explains, “High
grade plastics are the future of automobiles. Designers get greater expressive
freedom to create complex 3D shapes that could not have been achieved with
conventional production methods and materials such as metal and glass.
Pedestrian safety can be achieved by using elastic fenders. In Europe people
have begun adopting plastic as a substitute for metal and glass.”

But the hottest gizmos that hogged the limelight were navigators.
Delphi’s palm-sized device Nav200 is preloaded with maps of various Indian
cities. It comes with a 1 GB memory card, where you can store phone numbers,
music and other data.

The monitor of the device shows the current
location of the driver and the route to a particular place where he wants to
reach. With the similar features, German major Blaupunkt and iRoute also showed
their navigators.

And to provide a complete entertainment solution
in cars Alpine will soon launch a system that will combine everything from
navigation to music, movies, communication and even gaming.

there were alerts, which help the fleet operators to keep a track of their
vehicles. Indian commercial vehicle major Ashok Leyland displayed
‘Alert’ — a GPS-based telematic device, which informs about the
location, status, driving patterns. It can be connected to the phone and can
send reports on vehicle’s whereabouts.

So, till now if you
thought that auto expos were only about cars and bikes, it’s time to think

Via the Times of India