Rohan

A wanderlust, a foodie, an amateur photographer and a die hard automobile enthusiast. Gifted with the art of playing with words (and sentences) I've been writing (initially started with satirical writing) for a couple of years. Meet me on a good day and i'll definitely narrate my story (with a cup of tea and hopefully some delicious pakoda's) on how writing scripted my life. Happy reading :)

Lexus introduces SkyJet- A Spacecraft designed for the 28th Century

Even if you do not have even the foggiest ideas about cars and automobiles, you may have come across the brand Lexus. Owned by Toyota, the company has taken traveling to new heights and how. Known to build its credibility by selling some of the most prominent cars that have stood their ground without troubling their owners with service issues, the Japanese executive car manufacturer has always been in the limelight for its edgy designs and its top-notch innovations.

The brand Lexus might recall the LFA supercar that was by far its most successful and the most impressive creation built by the brand has now taken a step back due to the launch of this amazing innovation.

Presenting, Skyjet, a single-seat pursuit spacecraft. (Nope, I’m not drunk and demonetization has not given me anything to worry about) The Spacejet, although currently unavailable in the market is scheduled to grace us with its presence in the 28th century. This is no joke and I certainly hope this jet does not become commercial allowing people to take turns flying them.

All of this wasn’t as easy as gulping a space cake. The company announced the formation of a creative partnership with film studio EuropaCorp. One of the early highlights of this collaboration will be the highly anticipated 2017 science fiction film, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, starring Cara Delavigne and Dane DeHaan. Lexus collaborated with the Valerian creative team, as they imagined and brought to life the vision for the SKYJET, a single-seat pursuit craft featured in the film. An epic teaser trailer unveiled online gives fans a long-awaited first look at footage from the film. Viewers will also get a first glimpse of the SKYJET maneuvering through the intergalactic citadel of Alpha.

The Valerian team created the SKYJET with the ambition of featuring a vehicle grounded in reality but befitting of the Valerian world, set 700 years in the future. The creative team met with Lexus’ Chief Engineer, Takeaki Kato and the Lexus design team, to discuss incorporating believable, imaginative technologies and contemporary design cues into the final iteration of the SKYJET.

The SKYJET design also incorporates an adapted interpretation of Lexus’ signature “spindle” grille, and a similar headlight design to that of the hotly anticipated 2018 Lexus LC coupe, defined by an athletic and aerodynamic shape.

Commenting on the partnership, director Luc Besson said, “For this partnership we were looking for a brand that’s pioneering in innovation and technology, who is focused on the future more than the past.”

The brand is set to provide a unique fan experience over the next nine months that is designed to bring enthusiasts from around the world closer to the action leading up to the film’s release set to happen in July 2017.

 

Commenting on the development of the SKYJET, David Nordstrom, Global Branding Department General Manager at Lexus, added: “As fans of films and Luc’s previous work, Lexus is privileged to help bring Luc’s dream to life. We enjoyed the challenge of bringing Lexus’ design philosophy and technology innovations to this project. We look forward to developing our partnership with EuropaCorp as we strive to give audiences the most amazing experiences imaginable in the coming years.”

The design meets the aim of creating a vehicle that looks as though it could be from the Valerian future, but seems to be grounded in reality. The result is a streamlined, tubular craft that tapers towards the rear jet, with two pairs of side-mounted wings, two additional pairs of wings mounted to its underside and a top-mounted rear fin. What appear to be large air inlets can be seen on the sides and the pilot is seated in a cockpit with near-panoramic views out of the craft.

Lexus Chief Engineer Takeaki Kato and his design team met with the movie’s creative team to discuss the vehicle’s styling and design cues. Among those that are rooted in today’s reality are the headlights, which are inspired by those of the LC coupe, and an interpretation of Lexus’s signature mesh grille. It’s even badged as a Lexus.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is based on the French graphic novel series Valérian and Laureline. The film follows a pair of special government operatives working to maintain order of the human territories in a sprawling universe. Just so that you know, the Skyjet isn’t Lexus’s first movie vehicle, there was a car that was driven by Tom Cruise’s character in Minority Report and that too was a lexus.

 

Tesla Preparing to Launch ‘Uber-Style’ Mobility Services

Smart car manufacturer and one of the most prominent car innovators, Tesla motors are gearing up for their premium launch of their “Uber-Style” mobility services in the forthcoming year. The news comes fresh off Tesla’s website on self-driving capabilities of the new Models S vehicle that will roll out with fully autonomous features.

Although this service currently remains unnamed Tesla Network, the electric automaker is preparing to enter the field and ride-hailing services that were first introduced CEO Elon Musk in his master plan in July.

“Please note that using a self-driving Tesla for car-sharing and ride-hailing for friends and family is fine, but doing so for revenue purposes will only be permissible on the Tesla Network, details of which will be released next year,” read the website’s disclaimer. The market potential for Tesla Network had interested Barclays analyst Brian Johnson enough to write about it in a note to investors quite interestingly. Although a Tesla Network could “excite the market” over its potential earnings stream, it was a costly proposition, he wrote.

“While we think ride-sharing/hailing is the future of mass-market mobility, we have some financial concerns with the idea of an OEM-owned fleet,” Johnson wrote.

Details of these have remained sparse and Tesla says that it will roll out the details on the “Tesla Network” that are to start off next year. Some of the details of these were first released in Elon Musk’s “This past July. Master Plan quote from Musk below:

 

“You will also be able to add your car to the Tesla shared fleet just by tapping a button on the Tesla phone app and have it generate income for you while you’re at work or on vacation, significantly offsetting and at times potentially exceeding the monthly loan or lease cost.

This dramatically lowers the true cost of ownership to the point where almost anyone could own a Tesla. Since most cars are only in use by their owner for 5% to 10% of the day, the fundamental economic utility of a true self-driving car is likely to be several times that of a car which is not.”

 

The Tesla Network apparently goes hand-in-hand with full self-driving at some point too. Musk envisions your car being put to use while your at work, or sleeping or doing something else that doesn’t require use of your own vehicle. Like plenty other automakers, Tesla has been planning on adding mobility services for some time. In Elon’s “Master Plan”, Part Deux” in July, Musk included a system in which a Tesla owner could add a car to a shared Tesla fleer using a simple mobile app.

For the owner of Tesla, it would offer and opportunity to generate income and lower the cost of ownership. In cities where car ownership is lower, Tesla would operate its own fleet, Musk wrote elaborately in his master plan.

Global growth in Uber’s ridership, along with its Pittsburgh self-driving car test project has brought a great deal of attention to the ride-hailing company. Alliances with Toyota and Volvo were formed this year, while potential partnerships with Google and Tesla appear to be fading away.

It’s an interesting fact that Google had invested $ 258 million in Uber as the technology giant explored mobility services that could fir with its self-driving car project. But in May, Google had begun testing a carpooling service that could take business away from ride-hailing leaders Uber and Lyft.

David Drummond, Google parent company Alphabet’s executive said in August that he resigned from Uber’s board because of the increasing competition between the companies, according to the Wall Street Journal. Uber had been using Google’s mapping software for its drivers, but recently began developing its own maps. Uber’s CEO Travis Kalanick said that when Tesla’s vehicles become fully autonomous, he would be interested in buying every one of them. The comments had been relayed by a venture capitalist during a Silicon Valley awards dinner, and so far appear to have been more of a conversational topic than a business alliance.

 Bottom Line:

With the start of a new era, General Motors has been leading the way this year is mobility services through its investment in Uber’s competitor Lyft and through starting up its Maven car sharing division. Ford had also taken the opportunity to introduce Smart Mobility and announced acquisition of Chariot that happens to be an app-based, crowd-sourced shuttle company and collaboration with Motivate to launch Ford GoBike in San Francisco. An interesting fact is that mobility solutions have gone way beyond automakers could ever imagine. Around $ 27 billion dollars into the ride services sector have been invested in the past decade. Let’s wait for more mobility solutions worldwide.

 

Jaguar Land Rover and Ford test connected cars in Britain

Premium luxury car makers Jaguar Land Rover, Ford (F.N) as well as Tata Motors (TAMO.NS) are testing connected cars that can communicate with each other using technology designed to speed up journeys and cut accidents, the first such trials in Britain.

Imagine a world of cars that are able to warn drivers when another connected vehicle brakes suddenly and those which can monitor traffic signals and regulate their speed to encounter fewer red lights were being showcased at a testing ground in Central England.

With the rapid increase of technology and the up-rise of sophisticated technology in vehicles, the world is paving way for fully driverless vehicles with Jaguar (JLR) owned by India’s Tata Motors demonstrating a self-driving Range Rover Sport that can overtake even slower moving cars.

 

The benefits of having cars that can communicate with each other and their surroundings could be very significant — from increased road safety to improved traffic flow,” said Tim Armitage, a project director at government-backed UK Autodrive, which coordinated the trials.

As a part of government’s efforts to create an industry, which can serve a worldwide market, a driverless car was on trial on Britain’s streets for the first time. The worldwide market estimates to be worth an upwards of 1.1 billion dollars by 2025 and this figure is huge. Automakers are racing to head off the challenge from technology firms such as Alphabet Inc’s Google, which is developing autonomous vehicles. Jaguar Land Rover said earlier this year that it plans to create a fleet of more than 100 research vehicles over the next four years to test autonomous and connected technology and Volvo plans to trial driverless cars in London next year.

On the same lines, companies like Ford as well as Volvo are working with ride-hailing company Uber on trials of self-driving cars in the U.S city of Pittsburgh. The company views a driver take their hands off the wheel can be enough to unnerve even the most hardened front seat passenger.

Working with Ford and Tata Motors, the firms have launched a joint ‘Autodrive’ project, demonstrating a number of future vehicle technologies at Horiba Mira’s testing facility in Nun Eaton.

Land Rover has been fitted with communications technology, which will enable it to ‘talk’ to other makes and model of car and its surroundings – a key development on the road to driverless cars.

All three-vehicle manufacturers are all taking part in the £20 million ($24m) UK Autodrive research and development project, which will test connected and driverless tech over the course of three years. The project will be separated into two streams, with Ford focused on connected vehicle technologies rather than testing self-driving cars.

 

Tim Armitage, director of the UK Autodrive project, said: ‘The benefits of having cars that can communicate with each other and their surroundings could be very significant – from increased road safety to improved traffic flow, more efficient parking and better information for drivers.’

Advanced Highway Assist:

Among the array of features that are available on these cars, Land Rover’s Highway Assist feature enables the vehicle to overtake slower moving vehicles automatically as well as detecting any vehicles in the driver’s blind spot.

Other developments:

In the upcoming years, plenty of features will be tested that include safety parameters that sense when the driver is in front that haphazardly slams the brake even if the lights of the car are obscured either due to bad weather or other possible reasons. Drivers could welcome features that aim to reduce the amount of time spent waiting at the lights. Cars that are connected will receive real time updates from traffic lights to tell drivers to change their speed in advance while keeping the traffic moving.

This said, there are a slew of safety features that will enable vehicles to communicate with one another, while detecting hazards and even check for available parking spots:

Electronic Emergency Brake Light:

This feature comes in handy while alerting the driver when a vehicle in front suddenly brakes, providing advanced warning, especially when the driver is unable to see the lights of the braking vehicle due to weather conditions, road layout or other vehicles in between.
Green Light Optimal Speed Advisory:

This feature sends traffic light information to the connected car that is able to calculate the optimal speed for approaching lights, potentially minimizing the number of red light stops thereby improving traffic flow and reducing emission levels from the idling vehicles.

Emergency Vehicle Warning:

This feature sends a signal directly from the emergency vehicle such as an ambulance, fire engine, police vehicle to nearby connected cars. The driver is informed that the emergency vehicle is approaching and advised to make way for it.

Intersection Movement Assist:

This feature warns the driver when it is unsafe to enter an intersection due to a high probability of collision with other vehicles.

Intersection Priority Management:

This feature assigns priority when 2 or more vehicles come to an intersection without priority signs or traffic lights.

In-Vehicle Signage:

This feature helps send information about road conditions, congestion or other incidents directly to the in-car display rather than having to rely on expensive gantry systems.

Collaborative Parking:

Provides real-time information about free parking spaces either in the vicinity or close to the driver’s final destination.
Bottom Line:

As attractive as these safety features seem, companies need to realize that there is plenty at stake and there is no room for errors. If the companies pull it off, its going to be revolutionary, if not, it might be quite a risqué measure.

Hyundai’s first all-electric car in US; Chevy’s Green Car

Chevrolet Bolt:

Its quick on its feet, its peppy to drive, its nimble and it’s the Green Car of the year, all of that and still the Chevy Bolt stands humble and strong. This is one car that has given even Tesla a run for its money. General Motors, a 108-year-old monolithic automaker now sells a battery-electric hatchback that delivers more than 200 miles of driving range and can be had for less than the price of the average car.

The arrival of the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV, the electric car reaches a major milestone, one that also secures its future and makes a move towards mass appeal. The Bolt has enough range to cover a day’s task plus the unexpected. Electric cars appear to have laid down permanent roots in the automotive landscape with the first long-range with an affordable EV from an established mainstream automaker.

 

It’s here, its yours:

The bolt is priced at an introductory $37,495 in LT trim and comes with a $ 7500 federal tax credit that will pull the price way under $30,000.  Go from work hours to after hours without compromise with its EPS-estimated mileage of 238 miles once fully charged up.

Variants:

Born with 2 different trims, the Bolt comes with an LT and a Premier trim and this makes it quite the choice of enthusiasts. The ET comes with features such as Electronic precision shift, Michelin self-sealing tires, a 10.2 inch diagonal color touch-screen along with a Rear-vision camera. The Premier model on the other hand comes with all the LT features along with a Rear camera mirror, Surround vision along with Leather-wrapped heated steering wheel.

Braking in your hands:

A simple pull of the paddle that is located on the steering wheel of the car is able to slow down the car without having to use the brake pedal. This is definitely a cool feature and comes in handy.

 

Power starts with the battery:

A nickel-rich lithium-ion battery technology makes it possible for the Bolt EV to last longer than any other battery. The technology involved here is pretty interesting. The battery chemistry enhances heat resistance that allows the battery to tolerate heat before using power to cool it down. It has an active thermal management system that helps manage the battery temperature in extremely hot and cold weather conditions. The battery pack has an energy capacity of 60 kWh that offers an EPA estimated at 238 miles of range on full charge. The Bolt EV offers the driver 100,000 miles or 8-year warranty whichever comes first and so, you’ve got to be rest assured that you will get to where you need to go.

Charging is as easy as charging your phone:

Charging the Bolt EV is as easy as it gets. Simply plug it in at night and by the morning, its charged up and ready for you. The Bolt has 240-volt charging unit and the fastest way to recharge it is at home that offers more power than the standard 120-volt outlet.

Location based Charging:

The car can be programmed to charge whether you’re home or away. It uses the GPS signal and this helps the Bolt know when the driver is home and will activate according to the present time. If the driver is somewhere else, the EV will know to charge immediately and the charging can also be delayed until utility rates are at their lowest off-peak prices.

HYUNDAI TO LAUNCH ITS FIRST ALL-ELECTRIC CAR IN THE U.S:

In other news, the Korean automaker the Ioniq, all-electric car will be available in the U.S by the end of 2016. The plug-in hybrid car will be the last to arrive sometime by the 3rd quarter of 2017. Hyundai claims that the Ioniq will return an estimated 124 miles or 200 kilometers range. The company is expecting the standard hybrid variant to be its best seller of the 3 and is estimating that the high efficiency Blue model will return 58 mpg combined.  However, contrary to popular belief, it is said that the range of 124 miles is pretty good but, is it really good enough to capture a huge market share considering all factors is a big challenge and this will come into reality only in 2017.

 

Bottom Line:

èChevrolet Bolt EV has most certainly proven its worth in the international market and it is without any question the classier Green car of the year.

èIts good to know that Hyundai is upping its game and trying to penetrate into the electric car segment. Let’s hope they succeed with all that they claim.

 

 

 

 

The ProMaster City Commercial Green Car of the Year

What do you consider when choosing a commercial vehicle? Some of the most crucial factors are cargo space, payload capacity as well as maneuverability and the usual-Fuel efficiency. Here’s the solution that fits into all the categories that’s named Ram ProMaster City.

This happens to be the commercial green car of the year award from Green car journal and this is no ordinary green car, it’s a lot more, here’s more that you should know about this vehicle.

To start with, the Ram ProMaster City is a small vehicle available in cargo van or wagon configurations. This vehicle impressively offers a brilliantly spacious cargo space while still being small enough to easily travel through busy city streets and also secure those hard to find parking spaces.

While taking into consideration the various other potential commercial vehicles in the United States of America weighing environmental attributes alongside traditional touchstones that define what customers seek such as functionality along with features such as versatility, safety, value along with style. It’s no doubt that the winner that was selected from a number of finalists by a Green Truck of the Year Jury had comprised of jury members who were automotive experts as well as Green Car Journal staff and the winner was the Ram ProMaster City.

About Ram Truck Brand:
Since its launch as a stand-alone division in 2009, the Ram Truck brand has steadily emerged as an industry leader with America’s longest-lasting line of pickups.

Creating a distinct identity for Ram trucks has allowed the brand to concentrate on core customers and the features they find valuable. Whether focusing on a family that uses a Ram 1500 day-in and day-out, a hard-working Ram 3500 Heavy Duty owner or a business that depends on its Ram ProMaster commercial van every day for deliveries, Ram has the truck market covered.

Most capable fullsize off-road pickup — Ram Power Wagon

Truck customers, from half-ton to commercial, have a demanding range of needs and require their vehicles to provide high levels of capability. Ram trucks are designed to deliver a total package.

Winning wasn’t easy and it did not happen overnight. The vehicle takes commitment to innovation, capability, and efficiency along with durability. Ram trucks invest substantially in its products, infusing them with great looks, refined interiors, durable engines and exclusive features that further enhance their capabilities.

Ram continues to beat the competition in the most sought-after titles:

Longest-lasting line of pickups

Best-in-class ride and handling with exclusive link coil rear and auto-level air suspensions

Best-in-class fuel economy and longest range with exclusive EcoDiesel – 29 mpg and 754 miles with Ram 1500

Best-in-class gas towing — 16,320 pounds with Ram 2500

Highest snowplow rating — Ram 2500 and 3500

Most interior space with Ram Mega Cab

 

The ProMaster City comes with a mighty strong and durable 2.4 L 4-cylinder gasoline engine that was recognized for environmental attributes along with traditional features that customers seek that include functionality, versatility, safety along with value as well as style.

In terms of Fuel Economy, the Ram ProMaster has the best-in-class fuel economy of approximately 28 mpg on the highway, a cargo capacity of 131.7 cubic feet as well as 1883 lb of payload capacity. The vehicle combines to deliver more work per load with less fuel, making the ProMaster City America’s most efficient work van.

It also aggressively competes in the compact class 1 van segment with a focus on commercial customer needs and total cost of ownership.

“The ProMaster City is just one of our full line of Ram commercial vehicles from Class 1 vans to Class 5 trucks that deliver durability, capability and a low cost of ownership,” said Mike Manley, Head of Jeep Brand and Ram Brand, FCA. “The ProMaster City is just one of our full line of Ram commercial vehicles from Class 1 vans to Class 5 trucks that deliver durability, capability and a low cost of ownership.”

 

The ProMaster City delivers exactly what small businesses, tradesmen and fleets need with its class-leading fuel efficiency, ease of carrying and loading cargo and maneuverability in an urban environment,” said Ron Cogan, editor and publisher of Green Car Journal and greencarjournal.com “Higher efficiency means less fuel use, lower operating costs and lower carbon emissions, important attributes for fleets that wish to operate vehicles with lower environmental impact.”

Bottom Line:

With sales crossing over 1.3 million units and the success soaring greater heights, the Ram ProMaster City is the most efficient, and the most interesting car in production. It is undoubtedly the best commercial green car of the year.

10 essentials to look for in a car rental software

Car rental has become a basic necessity and using it is as simple as clicking a button. Quite literally, it’s something that happens over a click and this is doing absolute wonders. People are finding it quite easy to travel, thanks to car rental software based apps. However, behind all that ease is a lot that goes behind.

Wondering what to do if you have a fleet of cars and want to rent them out? Simple, use car rental software. Car rental software is the perfect solution to managing travel needs along with focus on the customer thereby increasing the viability of your business. But how do you make sure that you’re getting the best out of your software?

There are various software solution providers that deliver app based solution to meet the customer needs. However, it isn’t always necessarily true because some companies do not offer the essential features that go behind being the perfect travel based app. This article should be of great help if you’re looking to get maximum efficiency and proper management of your fleet. Check out these features that are required in a car rental software that are necessary to get you going. Unless you’re assured of such features, please ensure that you get all the following features in your software:

10. Accurate Location Mapping:

Accuracy is everything when it comes to mapping. Location mapping comes into the picture as soon as your app gets activated. Car rental software’s are based simply based on location maps and hence it is essential to maintain accuracy. Ensure that your car rental software geo codes your postcodes, addresses and makes your map. Google integrated maps being used in apps such as OLA is quintessential for apps such that they can be of utter ease while being tested.

Car rental software

09. Good Online payment Gateways:

With demonetization showing its impact in the county, car rental softwares should be well equipped to support payments through various modes. The more the accepted payment gateways, the easier it will be for customers to pay once they travel. There are currently various payment options in existence such as Net banking, Debit Cards, Credit cards, Mobile wallets, cash cards, payment wallets such as paytm etc are perfect ways to ensure that the payments are met without having to worry about the availability of change.

Car rental software

08. Sleek and light weight mobile apps:

This might seem like a minor requirement but on a user level, this is by far the most important feature. Being sleek and lightweight in nature, mobile apps provide speedy usage and it doesn’t take much time for the users to explore the features of the app. Mobile phone are extremely calculative about their data usage (at least some users are) and they wouldn’t want a heavy app gobbling away their data for a trip that would cost them dear. Hence, while choosing a car rental software, it is essential to choose the one that goes very easy and nimble on the mobile phone in the form of a friendly app.

Car rental software

07. User friendly navigation:

Navigating through apps can sometimes be a task and this could make you really confused. Most apps these days are designed in such a way that they ease navigation quite simply. Even a layman should be able to navigate through the software without breaking a sweat. One of the reasons why apps such as Uber and Ola are widely recognized is for the very simple reason that they provide accessibility that needs very less thought. Simply click, choose and use. So, once you’re choosing a rental software of your own, kindly ensure that the software has easy navigation and is in no way misleading or confusing.

Car rental software

06. Robust Admin panel:

Imagine that you have a fantastic idea and it’s so viable that it can reach new heights in no time. But, at the same time if there’s a lack of a robust admin panel then it’s a one way down the road from there on. It’s mandatory to have some of the most strategic, thoughtful and eccentric panel members on the administrative side. The stronger the panel is, the further the venture can go. Some of the major start ups have had efficient people in their panel that has now given them a boost. While ensuring that your idea sets afloat, make sure that you are assured of a robust admin panel.

05. Powerful Revenue management System:

It’s definitely not an easy task administering a company that has say a fleet of 500 odd cars. The revenue generated by them has to be managed effectively in order to balance out the accounts. Thankfully technology provides these features and you won’t have to worry at all about the revenue generated. Everything is recorded and the transactions are pretty clear. Rental softwares have features that provide remote tracking of the transactions too.

Car rental software

04. Secure Wallet System:

Wallets have become an easy and effective way of payments. Customers find it easy to pay through their e-wallets. However, you’ve got to make sure that these wallets are secure. As effective as they are, wallets have shown some degree of vulnerability of attacks and the money lost was huge. It’s a safe bet to ensure that your car rental software provides facilities that take care of security measures. The more security you have, the better it will be to transact with customers.

Car rental software

03. Easy way for driver-passenger communication:

Communication is important in this field. Communication between driver and passenger is crucial. You wouldn’t want your valued customer waiting for your driver anxiously and receive a negative review due to lack of communication. Technology has taken a different turn. The moment a customer books a taxi, the communication is passed onto the driver, you receive the details of the driver and the communication is taken care of. Real time updates about the whereabouts of the taxi are also a good method of showing the customer the proximity between the taxi and the waiting time.

Car rental software

02. Real Time reports:

You’ve got to make sure that you receive real time updates about the whereabouts of taxis, the areas where you can cash in easily and the areas where demand is higher at particular times. Please make sure that the rental software has offerings that send out reports comprising of duty registers, bill covers, Bill details, city wise reports, corporate reports, vendor details and reports or for the niche clients, Chauffeur reports. You can also keep a track of tariff cards and keep a track on them.

Car rental software

01.Proper routing of consecutive bookings:

Bookings can happen anytime, anywhere. You have to be present wherever the traveler wants you to be. In order to ensure this, there has to be proper routing such that there isn’t an issue with the your scheduled timings and the customer’s timings. Consecutive bookings have to be routed in such a manner that there is hassle free travel with little downtime.

Bottom Line:

Car rental software’s are the next thing. You can also be a part of the next big thing and own a couple of taxis and manage them with a single click. It’s simple, its effective and its in demand.

Airpod: The car, not the apple ear-hangers

Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever felt so good to the point where you thought that the world was your court and you ruled every game? That’s pretty much what a start up company by the name Zero Pollution Motors had going for them.

They had invented a compressed-air powered car called the AIRPOD, and then apple had to name their wireless pieces of musical earrings Airpods too. Anyhow, let’s clear the confusion, the Airpod car costs $10,000 and is pretty sweet where as the Airpods from apple are $149 or so and perform the same things your earphones can do but without wires, so yeah, if that helps let’s get on to the juicy part about this article.

Pat Boone, a legendary pop music star along with his entrepreneurial friend Ethan Tucker were able to strike gold with their investor friend Robert Herjavec to the point where ABC’s hit series “Shark Tank” had them on and an investment of $5million or a 50% share deal was struck.

To add a couple of cherries and make this deal diabetic (so to speak) the deal involved creating an effective sales network in the United States. Zero pollution motors needed the money to set up an assembly plant in Hawaiiin order to produce the city car that was capable of traveling up to 50 mph with an 80-mile range. An approximate time of 4 minutes to fill up the air tank is all it takes for this car to drive as the cleanest car on the U.S. roads.

But, what could go wrong with this start up that was achieving so much in so little time? A Lot! Well, the story took an abrupt turn when the company posted the following on their Facebook page:

“Robert (Herjavec) backed out of the deal made last year after waiting 9 months. Now we are free to have other investors! Are you in?”

The episode was aired in May 2015 and it seemed to be originally filmed somewhere in the late 2014 or perhaps the early 2015. This is somewhat a classic tale of what tends to happen in advanced vehicle technologies, especially by start up companies that are trying to make it as an automobile manufacturer. The harsh reality is that investors back off if they become concerned about the happenings internally with the management and that doesn’t end too well. Once that’s done, the confidence is lost, and the financials is another horror story better not spoken of. This is the reality and it is definitely an incredibly capital intensive business to make it in and the requirement of skilled and experienced personnel is a must.

A risk that wasn’t worth risking:

The company was heading onto an untapped segment that was to compete with other alternative technologies in order to take out big sharks in the Oil segment and create another source of travel, well that sounds like a perfect startup plan but doesn’t materialize too well.

There is speculation that compressed-air cars are getting plenty of interest in global markets and that the Airpod idea wasn’t completely bad. In fact, Motor Development International (MDI) along with their founder, Guy Negre have been behind the AIRpod from its origination and that MDI has been working with Tata Motors to build the car through Zero Pollution Motors in Hawaii and then ship some of the Airpods back to India.

The Airpod was designed in order to make urban mobility easier and safer. These days consumers that are concerned about overdeveloped cities and air pollution seems to be of hindrance, these vehicles are essential. One of the vital facts that cannot be ignored is that technology inspires enthusiasm and plenty of interest. People have the money and require new and upgraded technology in order to be in touch with the latest development and people are truly fascinated by development even if it comes at a price.

The odds are stacked against the round and futuristic AIRPOD bringing it to roads and compressed air-powered vehicles as passenger vehicles. The technology is pretty intriguing where the tanks with compressed air are heated and the air is sent into cylinders of a piston engine. The fueling will be fast and economical but, the main intent is to cut the emissions and it is assured that the emissions might be clean and eco-friendly. The AIRPOD may drop down to costing to only $3700 to build before it sells for $10,000/-.

 

Bottom Line:

With all that’s said and done, I truly hope to see the Airpod live in action (not for the sake of tree hugging eco-maniacs) just to see new technology and innovation in action. It’s sad to imagine the condition of various automobile startups who had to throw in the towel but I hope that AIRPOD returns with something solid.

 

Mercedes Vision Van: The Effin Sweet deal from Merc

Mercedes-Benz has come a very long way and how! The company has some pretty mean machines that have given some of the menacingly good looks in the automobile industry a tough sweat. The brand was built for sustainability, confidence and prestige. And now, the company is expanding its horizons into logistics.

It’s not a new story that Mercedes-Benz had its foot falling into the logistics sector. However, the company has come up with something pretty radical and this is certain to change the future of logistics.

Most of you might not have the foggiest of ideas about Matternet. Well, it’s a tech startup company dealing with drones. But what do they have to do with Mercedes you ask?

Oh, nothing, they simply have a joint collaboration with Mercedes-Benz Vans to create what’s called a “Vision Van”. If that ain’t sweet, I don’t know what is.

Mercedes-Benz has a very strong van portfolio outside the US. It’s built a name for itself in logistics, and now, it’s showcasing the next generation of cargo vans with the Vision Van. It’s only a concept, but too hot to handle, how I wish it were coming to production like this. This revolutionary measure is sure to change the way small packages are delivered across short distances. Now, small things will come in this sweet package.

The vision behind the vision van is pretty simple. The company is looking to change the process of delivery by introducing the Vision Van and this comes with plenty of innovative technologies put together in one bundle of technology. The vehicle is designed for last-mile delivery operations thus setting the standard for future generations of vans. The all-electric automobile is the first van worldwide to fully digitally connect all people and processes involved in delivery, from distribution center to recipient. The vehicle is turn equipped with an automated cargo space, as well as integrated delivery drones.

The company also takes advantage of such design elements and then on the transporter could then deliver multiple packages simultaneously to a given area, even by air, isn’t that effin cool?

Behind the Vision:

The Vision Van features a 75 kW electric drive, has a range of 80 kilometers to roughly 270 kilometers and is emission free.In addition, Mercedes-Benz is also working on innovative leasing, rental and sharing models, tailored to the needs of van customers. The Vision Van is, of course, electric, with a battery good for about 168 miles, which is perfect for a day of last-mile deliveries. Its electric drive train means it won’t be locked out of cities that ban gas-or-diesel-powered vehicles. There are also two drones strapped to the roof, which can deliver packages into more congested areas. LED lights on the van will signal when the drones are taking off, or when the vehicle is stopped for a delivery. But the flashy bits on the outside hide the real meat and potatoes of the Vision Van. It’s essentially a logistics center on wheels, loaded with tech to better facilitate deliveries. The van features a package dispenser, special robot-operated racking systems, and a computer terminal provides relevant information for the driver.

What’s the driver’s role you ask?

Hmmm…..Speaking of the driver, S/he will have a particular goal that appears to be handing packages to other people. There are no controls in the cabin, just LED lights and a dashboard covered with logistical information (drone flight data, route planning, etc.). The van will drive itself around in accordance with the pre-planned delivery route. Talk about an easy job. There is still a joystick, though, in case the driver needs to take control.

That’s the future of logistics — a complete minimization of the human element. No more rifling around the back of a truck to find a box, no more human error at all, really. It’s almost like Mercedes-Benz is trying to get rid of the human entirely. Thankfully, we, the bundles of meat and bones, since computers can’t sign the dotted line and actually purchase the vans have something to do if I do say so myself.

Sieber, the director of design brands and operations claims that the process behind sculpting this tech-novation (Yeah made up word by fusing technology and innovation. See, I can be smart too (Or may be not) Sigh!!) involves great deal of emotions and much more than meets the eye.

He says that the simplicity and purity is maintained even on the inside. There is a joystick command and simple instruments along with the delivery instructions to drivers that pop up on a display that shines through the blue material which covers the sculptured, horizontal arc that spans the entire front of the cabin.

Lights are used as signals to a great extent, from colour-coded parcel shelves signaling the next item to be extracted, to the floor in the cabin signaling whether it is safe to exit the single side door, to the massive front display that can transmit messages to the rest of the world about drones landing or intention to turn – a matrix in the grille measures 2000×500 in LEDs, and gives enormous scope for communicating with the surroundings.

Bottom Line:

Yeah, I wish I could say STFU and take my money but, No. Mullah is just not too easy to get, unless you’re willing to offer me something big J. Anyhow, this was the vision van by Mercedes-Benz, hope our visions materialize soon too. Happy reading folks J

 

 

 

Affordable Chinese Hybrid cars make it to the U.S of A

If the hybrid automobile game is changing, the Chinese automakers will be the first in line to grab as many customers as possible. It cannot be ignored that most of the products have had quite a challenging reputation and Chinese goods (including cars) haven’t really been the most reliable objects that were worth the money spent.

Enter Geely or otherwise known as Zhejiang Geely holding group Co., Ltd that is a Chinese multinational automobile manufacturing company that is headquartered in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China. The company’s principal products are automobiles, taxis, motorcycles, engines as well as transmissions. The company sells passenger cars by the name Geely and Volvo brands and taxis under the London taxi brand. This is not an ordinary company, it has owned the Swedish passenger carmaker Volvo cars since 2010 when it acquired the company from Ford.

Fun Fact:

The name Geely means “Auspicious” or “lucky” in Mandarin (Chinese)

Predating:

The company was founded in 1986 as a refrigerator maker with money that was borrowed from his family. The founder; Li Shufu transformed the fate of this company into a successful selling inexpensive brand to its Chinese customers.  Till the year 2003, the company remained only a domestic car manufacturer to lack ties to the Chinese state. During this time, another independent automaker named BYD Auto was rising and this was burdening the competition. Geely Motors had later purchased a failing state run firm that manufactured motorcycles in the mid 1900’s. It later started a small van production and a year later, it received state approval to manufacture automobiles and that subsequently lead to car production in 2002. The company later approached Ford during 2008 regarding a possible takeover of Volvo Cars. On October 28, 2009, it was named as the preferred buyer of Volvo by the American automaker. The year 2010 was quite fruitful and the total sale of this went over 415,000 units. But later, the sales were lower than half a million units per year. In December 2011, it was announced that Geely would begin selling Chinese-designed and -manufactured cars in the U.K.

 Hybrid setting:

The company has begun a new brand by the name of Lynk & Co brand in Germany. This is a compact SUV that is aimed at taking on the likes of manufacturers like BMW and Mercedes Benz. Starting off its sales from the year 2017, the company will begin its sales in Eurpoe and USA in 2018.

Sales abroad:

A British designer named Peter Horbury who headed design and operations at Volvo in the 90’s has refined the Geely car’s design. In fact, he had overseen this for brands like Jaguar, Aston martin, Ford and various other brands from the year 2002. Geely is currently upping the competitive pressure on established global carmakers that have long accused Chinese rivals of merely ripping off their designs. Jaguar land Rover (JLR) had sued China’s Jiangling Motor after it released the Landwind X7 SUV in the year 2014, the car that JLR copied the Land Rover Evoque while costing around just 1/3rd of the price.

Car details:

The car is a hybrid powered 1.5-litre 3-cylinder petrol engine combined with a lithium-ion battery and electric motor. This is the first car that is based on the Complex Modular Architecture platform developed by Geely as well as Volvo. This is definitely making Mercedes (a unit of Daimler) as well as BMW investing loads on hybrid vehicles and trying to promote hybrid cars. Geely claims that the car would be priced competitively and says that it would be fixed across all markets (although the details aren’t out yet)

Enter Smart phones:

The company is launching the ‘01’model in Berlin soon. Alain Visser, senior vice president at Lynk & Co, described the SUV as “our first smart phone on wheels.”

The company is targeting tech-savvy customers that may have prioritized flexibility over car ownership in the past. “We are looking very much at millennial consumers all over the world who are very much concentrated around bigger cities,” he said.

 

Bottom Line:

Lynk has more models in its line-up, which the carmaker plans to launch over the next 3-5 years, but Visser declined to give details on body styles or launch dates apart from the name of the next car: ’02’.

Once the full line-up is launched, Lynk aims to sell more than 500,000 vehicles a year by 2021. Let’s hope that the company does something that changes the view on Chinese automobiles and ups its sales in the forthcoming years.

 

Mercedes-Benz C350 Plug-In Hybrid and S550 Plug-In Hybrid

Hybrid technology is picking up quite well in the market. However, it isn’t doing so well in the European market. The hybrid derivatives of German premium vehicles cannot really be termed smashing success. One such entrant is the C-Class that is a response to the growing trend of electrification and this is driven largely by the tightening fuel-economy and emission standards and so here’s our take on the Benz C350 Plug in hybrid as well as the S550 plug-in hybrid.

C 350 Plug-In Hybrid:

The C 350 plug-in Hybrid is purely electric and looks quite elegant, sporty and it is a combination of luxury and prestige. It spreads a green message and at the same time, this vehicle makes an impression.

Performance

The C350 Plug-in hybrid starts off in a near-silent electric mode. The vehicle has an electric output of up to 80 horsepower that is available for driving in the electric mode with delivery of up to 251 lb-feet of torque. The vehicle comes with a 1.9-liter four-cylinder gas engine produces 208 of its own horsepower married to 258 lb ft of torque. The vehicle accelerates to 60 miles per hour in just 6 seconds. The driver is in control of the system by the way of four hybrid-related operating modes:

  1. E-Mode:  All-electric driving while the battery holds sufficient charge.
  2. Hybrid: All electric, gas-alone, gas with boosts of electric power, or whatever combination yields the greatest efficiency.
  3. E-Save: Rely on the gas engine with little or no help from the electric motor, in order to reserve energy in the battery for later use.
  4. Charge. The combustion engine is not only on, but some of the fuel is consumed to pump energy in the battery pack.

Range:

The C-Class carries a liquid cooled 220-pound battery pack with a capacity of 6.2 kilowatt-hours. The car has a 240-volt outlet to take you around for at least 20 miles without using any gasoline. In case your daily commute is below 20 miles, you can charge throughout the day and this helps you eliminate visits to the gas station and emissions from its tailpipe.

Charging:

Pretty much like the hybrid electric cars, the C-350 Plug-in Hybrid reclaims energy during braking and coasting. The 240-volt charging station produces enough power to go around for 20 miles but a 120-volt source will take overnight to charge.

Cargo Room and space:

The C350 isn’t a big car but it has spacious front seats and the back seats are generally considered adequate in terms of legroom. The truck capacity is also 11.8 cubic feet and this makes room for the battery pack. The vehicle has a conventional instrument cluster and comes with a small eco meter along with an energy-flow screen.

Price

Pricing for the plug-in C-Class $46,415 and this is an aggressively priced tag that takes the likes of competitors like BMW and Audi.

Mercedes-Benz S550 Plug-In Hybrid

 

If you’re looking for something flawless in the automobile industry, you’re probably mentioning an S-Class. The power, comfort and price including fuel efficiency is the best with an S-Class. The S550 Plug-in Hybrid derives all benefits of the Mercedes flagship sedan and this vehicle is here to thrill, here is more about this car:

S-550:

The synonym for style, performance, comfort, opulence, exquisiteness and a stunner is the S-Class. The S-Class is widely regarded as one of the finest luxury cars you can buy. The exterior styling—as with every feature inside and out—exudes class and refinement, with sleek lines providing elegance to a large comfortable sedan.

Performance:

The S550 comprises of a gas powered 329 HP V6 engine as well as an 85 kW electric motor that pulls out the juice from an 8.7 kW hour battery with an integrated 7-speed automatic transmission. This whizzes the vehicle from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.2 seconds.

The vehicle has 4-different modes that allow drivers to decide and emphasize when to use or save the battery’s energy.

Range:

Plugging in the vehicle every night, the S550 hybrid works its magic and this vehicle is likely to break 40 miles per gallon on an average.

 

Charging:

There isn’t anything unusual about S550’s charging process. If the pack is completely depleted, you can fully replenish it in about two hours from a 240-volt charging station. Or if you choose to use a standard 120-volt outlet, expect a charging time closer to four or five hours.

Cargo Room:

The Mercedes S-Class sits at the top of the list for most luxurious and comfortable interiors. The detailing of the appointments is impressive: diamond-stitched leather, soft touch armrests, footrests for backseat passengers and Alcantara lining on the ceiling. This vehicle leaves no leeway for the user to find faults in it. And yet, on the plug-in model, Mercedes engineers use part of the trunk to store the battery pack—thereby its capacity from a cavernous 18.7 cubic feet to a merely decent 13.9 cubes.

 

Price

No pricing yet available, but a conventional S550 starts just below $100,000. Options and enhanced packages will easily send the bottom line to above $130,000.

Bottom Line:

Both the cars are mighty powerful. The S-550 has sheer elegance and massive power. The C 350, an affordable yet stylish luxury.