Toyota develops Atkinson Cycle engine that delivers 78 mpg

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Atkinson Cycle Engine

Toyota has developed two hyper-fuel-efficient small-displacement gasoline Atkinson cycle engines: a three-cylinder 1.0-liter and four-cylinder 1.3-liter which will be introduced across the range from next year in 14 different variations. The smaller engine will deliver 78 mpg in the Toyota Aygo, an improvement of 30 percent.

 

 

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Elio – a three-wheeled car that costs just $6,800 and goes 672 miles on a tank of gas

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Elio

Ninety-three percent of Americans drive to work alone. So why use a car that’s big enough for four? A new vehicle that’s half-motorcycle and half-car is designed to replace sedans and SUVs on morning commutes and help save money and emissions in the process: The Elio costs $6,800 and gets 84 miles to the gallon. It’s possible to drive 672 miles on a single tank of gas. That’s the distance from New York City to Detroit.

 

 

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BYD Qin plug-in hybrid electric car is demolishing the competition in China

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BYD Qin Plug-in Hybrid Electric Car 

It’s hard to keep up with the Chinese electric car market — it’s harder to find a good, reliable source for Chinese EV news. But wait, there were hardly any EV sales in China last year — not much has been going on there.

 

 

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Tesla could have a $35K car that gets 1,000 miles per charge by 2020

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Tesla Model S at a charging station.

When Elon Musk was designing the Tesla Model S he wanted an electric motor that had the same horsepower as the most powerful internal combustion engine but with nearly-instantaneous torque. He also wanted it to be the size of a watermelon. Musk was told this couldn’t be done by engine manufacturers. So the Tesla CEO decided to build his own motor. The earlier versions of this had a hand-wound stator which increased winding density to help eliminate resistance and increase peak torque. Later versions of the stators were built by robots.

 

 

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Rinspeed’s driverless car concept brings business class to the road

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Bringing business class travel to driverless cars.

Countries from the U.S. to Singapore will likely have self-driving cars on roadways by 2020. These road-aware vehicles will theoretically do away with nearly all traffic collisions and reduce traffic congestion. Auto designer Rinspeed, however, has fixed its considerable talent on another aspect of the autonomous car: just what to do with the passengers. (Photos)

 

 

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U.S. Department of Transportation wants our cars to ‘talk’ to each other

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Vehicle-to-vehicle communications would report where every car, bus, and truck is, where it’s going, and how fast it’s moving.

The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has announced plans to move forward with vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication systems. After years of experimentation and a real-world trial in Ann Arbor, MI the government is almost ready to make peer-to-peer networking a required safety feature on all new cars.

 

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AirMule – an unmanned flying ambulance

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AirMule – flying ambulance drone

Every second counts in a medical emergency. That’s why Urban Aeronautics, an Israeli startup, is developing an unmanned flying ambulance called the “AirMule” that combines the in-and-out agility of a helicopter with the ability to perform rescues in dense urban environments that are difficult to manuever through in a rotor-based vehicle. (Video)

 

 

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D-Dalus: A new kind of aircraft propulsion system made of rotating cylinders

D-Dalus hovercraft

Austrian Innovative Aeronautical Technology (IAT21), an Austrian engineering firm debuted a new type of hovercraft at the Paris Air Show this week. They claim the hovercraft can take off and land vertically without using any rotor blades or fixed wings.

 

 

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Burkhard Bilger on Google’s self-driving car

Google’s self-driving car.

Human beings make terrible drivers. They talk on the phone and run red lights, signal to the left and turn to the right. They drink too much beer and plow into trees or veer into traffic as they swat at their kids. They have blind spots, leg cramps, seizures, and heart attacks. They rubberneck, hotdog, and take pity on turtles, cause fender benders, pileups, and head-on collisions. They nod off at the wheel, wrestle with maps, fiddle with knobs, have marital spats, take the curve too late, take the curve too hard, spill coffee in their laps, and flip over their cars. Of the ten million accidents that Americans are in every year, nine and a half million are their own damn fault.

 

 

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Driverless cars to be launched on UK streets by 2015

ULTra PRT transport pod.

Chances are if you have been to London’s Heathrow Airport you have probably caught a glimpse of something called an ULTra PRT transport pod. These driverless pods have been shuttling travelers from terminal to terminal at the massive airport sonce 2011. That’s all well and good, but now these driverless robo-cars are breaking free of their confines and heading out into the city streets. (Video)

 

 

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