Cars have been around for years now, with one of the earliest cars ever made was back in 1769. Over the course of three centuries, the motor car has evolved into more than just a machine made for convenience. The car as we know it today has transformed into a tool for comfort and competition. While the internal mechanics and general purpose of cars has evolved through the decades, one of the main components of the driving experience i.e. the driver behind the wheel always remained constant. However, the rapid advancements in various technological fields is all set to change that.
The birth of transistors and subsequent developments in the fields of digital computing has led to advanced AI (artificial intelligence) projects from various corporations such as Google, Apple, Boston Dynamics and Honda. Despite the sci-fi legacy of artificial intelligence, we are indeed implementing AI in almost every possible field already. While most real world applications of AI is quite dull, some establishments produce immensely interesting and questionable products such as the very first non-human world chess champion (IBM’s Deep Blue) to a rat brain (The SyNAPSE Project).
The automotive industry too has begun the march towards AI. During the late 20th and early 21st century, contemporary advancements in semiconductor technology disallowed the implementation of AI in cars. These days, premium car makers such as Mercedes Benz, Audi and BMW now fit various AI cores in numerous safety systems. Car manufacturers are now taking the next step into the future: autonomous vehicles.
Autonomous driving in its most basic sense is a vehicle that drives itself with the belief that a inorganic machine behind the wheel should theoretically reduce the number of accidents that occur on the road. While humans fall prey to distractions, rage, carelessness or general ineptitude, a machine specifically designed to manage traffic and navigate itself to a destination does not drop the ball. The CPU or computer of the car manages the steering, brake, throttle and gear position and constantly monitors its surroundings for dangers that lie ahead. Various manufacturers implement driverless cars in various different ways. Currently, Tesla, BMW, Audi and Google have been making headlines for their achievements in the field of autonomous driving.
For an autonomous system to navigate itself, it must first be able “see”. For this, common camera systems are not enough as raw video/image data is near impossible to accurately decipher by our silicon counterparts (this is also the basic idea behind captcha or Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart). For better accuracy and resolution, most autonomous cars implement a combination of 360 degree RADAR & LIDAR systems, ultrasonic sensors and cameras. RADAR and LIDAR systems implement radio waves and laser beams respectively.
These radio waves and lasers are shot in every possible direction and the time taken for them to return is measured. This provides the distance between the point of origin (car) and the obstacle (wall, other cars, pedestrian etc). All these systems help generate a 3D map of the environment and endows the car with “sight”. For a better understanding of what a car perceives as vision, ScanLAB Projects conducted an experiment for the New York Times providing insight into the ocular capabilities of a driverless car.
The on-board computer’s memory may also store map data and high resolution images of streets to compare with its immediate surroundings and determine where it is and where it should be going. The on board computer also contains algorithms on basic road etiquette, ovetaking maneuvers, laws that govern the road and more importantly collision avoidance tactics. To avoid any mishaps on the road, most drivers must have rapid response times. While computer systems these days are immensely powerful, speed is of the essence. As such, developers such as Google make use remote computer farms for computation capability to ensure the on-board systems are under less stress and focus more on immediate responses. The computer then adjusts the steering, throttle and gears to pilot itself to the specified destination.
Driving is a skill developed over time. Over the course of many years, a driver learns where the potholes maybe, how reliably his car handles in various weather conditions, estimating possible collision situations and molding (this very human characteristic may prove to be a boon or bane depending on circumstances) his fellow drivers’ mental state, driving standards and etiquette to adjust his driving style. With an autonomous car however, none of these things are possible as these scenarios are decidedly anthropomorphic in nature. The perils of autonomous driving are multiple.
However, the pros far exceed the cons and the rise of general AI will usher in a new era for humans and cars alike.
We are at a transition period here in the automotive community. The once ridiculed hybrid and electric drive-trains now power some of the most agile machines the world has ever seen. With massive strides in various fields of science and technology, batteries have become increasingly more efficient giving rise to more powerful and economical everyday hybrids. We take a look at some of the most interesting hybrid hatches that offer balance between power and frugality.
5. Smart ForFour:
Smart Automobile was initially a collaborative effort between Mercedes Benz and Swatch. Currently under the ownership of Daimler, the Smart series of cars has developed a reputation for being stylish, compact and city centric vehicles. While the car maker’s initial two seater car proved to be a massive hit, the first generation of the ForFour did not strike a chord with the general public. The latest generation however, has worked on the previous model’s flaws and offers a good mix of power, comfort and fashion.
Currently, the ForFour is available as a petrol powered car only. However, the most recent one-off created by the Lithium Technology Company serves as a preview to what the 2016 electric variant of the four seater city car can be. The plug-in hybrid variant of the ForFour has an all electric top speed of 135 km/h and a maximum range of 32 km. The 68 hp 1.5 l 3 cylinder turbocharged diesel mill is paired with two electric motors.
4. Fiat 500E:
One of Fiat’s most popular cars, the 500 has been on sale for years now. Its small size, powerful engine and zany interiors proved to be a smash hit overseas. The most powerful petrol driven variant of the 500 is powered by a shockingly powerful turbocharged 1.4 l unit and produces an oomph not unlike its more exotic distant cousins. Even the standard Fiat 500 with its 0.9 l twin turbocharged petrol mill hits the 100 kmph mark in ten seconds proving once again, the Italians really do know how to make their cars absolutely bonkers.
The Fiat 500E, one of the most eco-friendly variants of the compact hatch is the most powerful of the lot, second to only the mighty Abarth. Powered by a permanent-magnet AC synchronous electric motor, the little Italian electric produces 111 hp and 147 lb-ft of torque and hits the 100 kmph mark in an impressive 8.9 seconds.
3. Renault Zoe:
At first glance, the Renault Zoe may not seem like hot hatch material. The strange styling, tall boy stance and the cyberpunk dash all point to a hatchback that is all too electric. However, the Zoe is one of the few electric cars that has been developed from the ground up. Unlike its competitors such as the Fiat 500E, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Ford Focus Electric, Chevy Spark Electric and various others, the Zoe has been designed and built specifically to take advantage of its electric drivetrain. As such, despite the modest 88 hp that its electric motor puts out, the Zoe hits the 100 kmph mark in an impressive 8.4 seconds. This fast electric hatch provides seating for four and has a bigger boot than the VW Golf.
The car also comes with a special charger that allows the Zoe to be charged by any socket of any voltage. Sadly however, Renault offers a single variant for the Zoe hatch.
2. BMW i3:
One of two models from BMW’s i Division, the i3 is a compact city car designed to be as cheap as it is eco-friendly. However, despite the clever use of recycled materials and tiny 7.1 l fuel tank, the i3 is a bit of a honey badger on wheels. Donning a mid engine, rear wheel drive configuration, the i3 capitalizes on optimal weight distribution. The car’s chassis is also composed of an aluminium and carbon fibre blend that reduces its weight considerably. This allows the combined horsepower of 204 hp to produce a hybrid car that manages the 0-100 kmph time in a blistering 7.2 seconds.
1. Volkswagen Golf GTE:
The VW Golf GTE is a hybrid electric derivative of the current generation Golf. Mechanical changes aside, the German hatchback has changed little in other aspects. Powering the Volkswagen Golf GTE is a 148 hp 1.4 l petrol engine that is paired with a 101 hp electric motor for a total of 201 hp. Power is sent to the front wheels via VW’s critically acclaimed DSG gearbox.
Infiniti is one of those popular car brands that are enjoyed by true car lovers and enthusiasts. This Japanese automobile brand recently unveiled the all-new beast. The all-wheel drive crossover from the company is named QX30 and was showcased at the Geneva Motor Show. This production ready version is truly a dessert for the eyes.
Te brand is described as being created “for a new generation of premium buyers”. The demand for premium cars is on a rise and with high figures involved, it is obvious that companies will put forward their best designs to attract a new breed of drivers. The QX 30 happens to be designed quite closely to its concept version and this is certainly good news for futuristic car design lovers because the car looks fabulous.
On the outside, the QX 30 car flaunts the company’s style and mesh grille design that is infused between the chrome accents on the top and the bottom edges. Also, you’d love the prominently placed faux skid plate that incorporates dual exhausts. The styling continues along with a block body cladding and also has its ride height risen by 45 mm. That’s not all, the car also seems to be equipped with a windshield that is raked at a sharp angle and are accompanied by LED Tail lamps. This design is certainly exceptional and is definitely a premium car lover’s dream come true.
Officials at Infiniti say that the car’s styling, which incorporates muscular bumpers at either end and features the firm’s mesh grille at the front, showcases its “design-led approach to product development”. The QX30 is the sister car to the older Q 30 that was Infiniti’s premium hatchback version that went on sale in Europe. This car is to be built together at Nissan’s Sunderland plant.
Alfonso Albaisa, Infiniti’s boss said that, “The category-defying design of the QX30 stays true to the inspiration behind the daring 2015 concept. Its mix of artistry in the flowing lines, and power in the elevated stance and confident look, makes a bold visual statement and challenges current preconceptions of what a crossover should look like.”
Roland Krueger, Infiniti’s president said, “With our recent sales successes and record growth, the current product offensive will further strengthen Infiniti’s global market position. The active crossover, QX30, joins our new premium compact family and will broaden our offer to new customers around the world.”
Inside the QX 30 crossover, the car comes with a 7.0inch touch screen infotainment system, similar to the one seen in the hatchback version. The crossover also comes with various safety equipment, inclusive of Around View Monitor, adaptive cruise control and a parking assistance system. The crossover also features anti-roll bars and a reworked suspension setup which incorporates stiffer springs. Under the hood, QX30 will probably share the same power-plant options seen in the AWD Q30, which happen to be a 2.2litre 168bhp diesel and a 2.0litre 208bhp petrol motor. Globally, the QX30 is expected to go on sale sometime around mid2016 and will compete with the Mercedes-Benz GLA and BMW X1. The QX30’s cabin is also claimed to be one of the quietest in the segment. The car will come with safety technology including an Around View Monitor, adaptive cruise control and parking assistance systems, with most functions controlled via its touch screen infotainment system.
This vehicle is supposedly an all-wheel drive that will follow through across as standard on all the QX30’s. It is likely that engines currently offered in AWD form on the Q30 will be offered with the car. That means a choice between a 168bhp 2.2-litre diesel and a 208bhp 2.0-litre petrol. The company claims that the crossover has been designed, perfect and engineered in such a way that it provides a confidence inspiring, dynamic driving experience. It features intelligent all-wheel drive. All engines will be mated to Infiniti’s seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission as standard. This car will come with bespoke tuning settings for its ride and handling. It features stiffer springs and a new rear anti-roll bar, which Infiniti says allows the QX30 to “remain comfortable at all speeds and over a variety of road surfaces”.
The QX30’s price tag is undecided yet. The car is expected to command a significant premium over the Q30. However, the price tag of this car is sure to be hefty.
The Qx30 is surely a crucial launch for Infiniti and it strives to compete with premium German manufacturers. After launch, Infiniti had sold 173,000 vehicles worldwide in the first 10 months of 2015, with particular growth in China and the US. The addition of a mass-market crossover should help Infiniti to cash in on what is one of the fastest-growing segments in the marketplace
Love is everywhere. Some find it in the air, while the others find it behind the wheels. You can certainly forget about wine and chocolates if you choose the latter. These romeo ready rides are sure to wow your companion with their sexy looks, sumptuous interiors and seat-rumbling horsepower. Perfect for intimate drives down romantic roads. Here’s a list of some of the most romantic rides that range from subcompacts to slender sports cars.
Enjoy your read through Lovers’ lane:
09. Porsche Boxster:
Nimble, responsive and truly a lovers ride with the swiftness of this two-seater, you are sure to serenade with those 3 magical words. This 265 horse powered racer is pleasant, comfortable and comes with a power convertible option. You can also chip in a few extra grands and fix the BOSE surround sound system to give wind a rhythm. A romantic drive on back country roads with this fun-to-drive mid-engine ride is sure to bring a smile on anyone’s face.
08. Jaguar F-Type V8 Convertible:
Jaguar F-Type is a brilliantly constructed luxury roadster with standard V6 , 5.0-liter supercharged V8 that boosts output to 495 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. A powerful and sexy convertible, the F-TYPE is sure to add some excitement to your date night.
07. Aston Martin DB9 Volante:
Romance with the drop-top version of Aston martin’s high-performance coupe offers and exhilarating ride along with a powerful 510-horse power enabled V12. Aggressive yet elegant, this exotic convertible takes a scientific approach to sexy with its aerodynamic design.
06. Ferrari California:
The California happens to be one of the reasonably priced Ferrari from the company’s stable. The car is the first of its kind to sport a front-mounted V8 engine. This vehicle is touted as one of the most versatile version of its notoriously aggressive speed machines. The name evokes sunny days along with summer fun infused with a stunning hardtop convertible that is perfect for a romantic top-down cruise for two love birds.
05: Audi A8 LWB:
There ain’t a better way of saying “I Love You” more than a showy gesture one day a year – and buying your partner a new car is showier than most.
But you’ll need to pick the right vehicle to impress your Valentine – so we’ve picked the best vehicles for every sort of romantic encounter. Entirely innocently, you’ll understand.
The A8 happens to be one of the roomiest cars that carry flawless comfort and plenty of style. Should for some reason you need enough room to move athletically about inside the A8, the front passenger seat will convert into a rear-facing affair (it’s actually a footrest, but who’s counting), while the massage seats will add an extra level of stimulation.
04. Starscape- Vaxuhall Adam:
Unusual, but the Vauxhall’s option-splitting city car, but it too has its charms. The Adam makes eves go crazy and with a couple of extra bucks, the car can be fitted with LED star-pattern roof lining that provides a couple with nature’s own mood lighting, rain or sine.
Mercedes-Benz SL550 Roadster:
Is there a better way of spending quality time than spending it in a Merc? The super-fast two-seat convertible was made for high-speed drives to anywhere you’d want to go. But, should you wander off to an unknown location, Mercedes has your back with their advanced COMAND system with navigation, alongside a plethora of other luxurious features like Harman/kardon LOGIC7 surround sound and a heating/cooling “air scarf” designed to keep occupants at an ideal temperature even with the top down.
Volvo C70 Inscription:
Limited to only 500 numbers in the U.S., the special-edition Inscription improves upon the already-impressive Volvo C70, boosting the luxury convertible’s performance while adding several subtle-yet-appreciated design improvements. This specially tuned version by Polestar, the Inscription carries a turbocharged 5-cylinder engine that earns 23 horsepower more than the base model, raising its total to an athletic 250 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. Also included in the package are 18-inch gloss-black Midir wheels, a chrome-trimmed black grille, a rear spoiler and a leather-covered dashboard, handbrake lever and armrest. Of course, this being Volvo, passengers also have the peace of mind knowing that they are riding in not only one of the hottest cars on the road, but also one of the safest, with rollover and whiplash protection systems, automatic hazard lights and a reinforced passenger compartment all coming standard on the Volvo C70. This is one of the rare beauties that you’d definitely want to take your date in.
1. Bentley Continental GT V8:
Under the ownership of Volkswagen, the Bentley Continental is fabulous beyond words can express. Adorned by beauty, and with W12 in favor of a twin-turbocharged V8, the Bentley feels right. The Bentley Continental GT V8 comes with an eight-channel, eight-speaker system, with 15GB of storage for music. Tunes can be played via iPod, MP3 player, the car’s own six-disc CD changer or even an SD card. Cabin allocation is ample in the front with the cobra-head seats and their integrated headrests designed to create more legroom for rear passengers, although only small children would enjoy being driven in that configuration.
Do tell us which ride you’d want to go on a date with 🙂
Canines are a part of most families. People adore them, give them their surnames, leave millions of dollars for their pets in their will and treat them as equals. Here is a list of canine friendly cars dedicated to the fluffy goof-balls who are there for you no matter what. These cars are based on various factors that include crash test ratings, safety features, fuel economy, ease of animal ingress and egress, cargo area size, availability of tie-down hooks and easy-to-clean interiors.
9. KIA SOUL: The Kia Soul is roomy and its exteriors suggest plenty of space. The Soul makes perfect sense if you have small or mid-size breeds. Extra accessories can be included and this would make traveling easier for you and your pet. Although the ride feels a tad firm, the handling is pretty good. Its windows are pretty good for your buddy to stick out his/her tongue and enjoy the ride.
8. SUBARU OUTBACK: Subaru Outback is one of the finest dog-friendly cars ever. It has been a favorite for dogs and humans alike. The 2015 Outback comes with X-Mode traction control that helps it traverse muddy and steep terrain more easily than many competitors. The base price of the outback is $24,895 and offers 35.5 cubic feet of storage space behind the rear seats for the puppies, and a whopping 73.3 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. A split-folding (60/40) rear seat is standard and a power lift-gate is available as well for when that exhausted pup is ready for a ride back home.
7. TOYOTA RUKUS: With roomy interiors and a rear hatch, the Toyota Rukus is a pretty interesting ride. It has a big useable interior and has durable materials with excellent access from four doors and flexible seating design that makes it a perfect choice for small to medium canines. This car has a few extra accessories that add more room if needed.
6. JEEP WRANGLER: These vehicles are designed for those who like to go outdoors and basically are in love with what’s outside. The Wrangler is utterly indestructible and rules for thousands of off-road enthusiasts. This vehicle is a four-door ride with a useful 31.5 cubic feet, as well as a generous 70.6 cubic feet with those seat backs folded. The ride begins at $22,795 and it just grows from there with various factory upgrades that get allotted to the vehicle. The car offers a nice array of options and even with a dirty dog, the Wrangler tolerates every bump and bark easy.
5. LAND ROVER LR4: Land Rover is an admirable car and the LR4 is popular for its split rear hatch that folds up and down like a tailgate, roomy rear cargo area coupled with off-road capabilities along with air suspension that raises and lowers itself. With a starting price tag of $50,400, the dogs are certainly going to feel relaxed and rejoiced in a roomy cabin. Another positive point is that the Land Rover’s Terrain Response System is standard across all models and offers different drive modes for diverse types of terrain, including snow, mud and ruts, sand and rock.” So climb on in friends, because this puppy is ready to re-enter the wild. This is one car that the other dogs would envy.
4. VOLVO XC70:
Apart from being dog friendly, the Volvo XC70 carries an increased ride height, stylish interiors and world famous safety for the family and the dog. The XC70 is quite an interesting option for families who want to tackle the outdoors. But what about the furry pals? Not an issue because the XC70 offers a lower loading height than a truck. It also has plenty of roomy windows in the back for looking at squirrels, mailmen and such. The vehicle also has 40/20/40-split-folding design along with the available folding front passenger seat gives the interior an uncommon degree of flexibility in transporting passengers, cargo or some combination of the two. With $35,400, the XC70 is a little bit on the steeper side, but it is pretty amazing and makes comfort a relishing experience.
3. CHEVROLET COLORADO:
The Colorado is a pretty gnarly little pickup truck and with a $20,120 asking price, this vehicle is definitely a pup’s dream come true. It comes with all-weather floor mats, easy-to-clean vinyl seats, fold down rear seat, and lower tailgate for hopping in and out of the truck bed with ease. It is also good for humans as a corner step, the multi-purpose GearOn utility rack is ready for any adventure, having a storage bin under the rear seat, and the spacious cabin that puts rivals to shame.
2. HONDA ODYSSEY:
The Odyssey is not lean, mean but is a great off-road machine that starts off at $28,975. The Odyssey might not have a lot to offer to humans, but it is certainly a key point that makes it a tough contender. It has the ability to be a family car and large cargo carrier. The key selling points of this car is the sunroof, power-sliding side doors, the power-opening tailgate, and a third-row of seats that fold into the floor to create a flat puppy playpen.
1. NISSAN XTERRA:
First off, the Nissan Xterra starts off at $23,660 in base trim and has proven to be quite the rugged little off-roader time and time again. With a massive sized dog, this is definitely your pick. In case you have a big dog like a Labrador, a Saint Bernard or even a mastiff, the Xterra will accommodate these breeds with pleasure. Fold down the Xterra’s seats further and revel in the glorious 65.7 cubic feet of room that suddenly becomes accessible.
Do let us know which car you find suitable for your pets 🙂
A guide to saving your wheels from a watery grave With the recent downpour of the nastiest rains that Chennai has ever seen in close to 10 decades is surely a lesson to everyone that Mother nature is NOT to be messed with. The monsoon followed by subsequent flooding has overwhelmed lives and it sure has had some unspeakable consequences. Let’s all take this as a strict warning to stop polluting and promote greenery over the greed for money. The heavens don’t intend on giving up soon and we should all take care of ourselves and the others around and of course, the things that we love- our vehicles. Here is a small article that lists a couple of safety measures for both man and machines ensuring that no damage is done:
Always be prepared:
Life has no certainty, but we can do our best to be prepared for the worst. Moisture does not go well with metal. In fact, if you’re located near the coast, you best be prepared. The salt-laden breeze can be devastating to your engine. Things can get worse when the rains cause flooding and water logging. Its imperative that you have an emergency kit in your car. A little food, some water, a glass breaker and a flashlight. These things might be lifesavers when you least expect it.
Decongesting roads can be done, and your car can be safe as well. Just leave the car parked. The risk of running the car and it getting stuck in water is always there. But, what’s more risky is that there might be potholes and there’s just no saying when your car might get stuck in one. The best thing to do is to stay at home and avoid going out till the condition seems okay.
Beware of aquaplaning:
A thin film of water on the road; what harm could it possibly do? But, that moisture is sufficient enough to lift the car’s tyres of the toad if you happen to move at high speed. Aquaplaning can be very dangerous as it could lead to momentary loss of control over the car’s steering. This could result in the car spinning in an unintended direction or even off the road.
Exhaust pipe trouble:
This might have happened to a lot of readers. While you’re out there stuck up in traffic and the water somehow manages to find its way to the exhaust pipe and choke it, the apparent drowning of the pipe is followed by burbling sounds. In such a situation, make sure you keep engine revs higher than normal and do not stall the engine till you are on higher ground. This ensures that water does not enter the engine. Once you’ve managed your way out of there and reach a safe spot where the water level is lower than the exhaust pipe, move along slowly and use your left foot to tap the brake pedal repeatedly in order to squeeze water out and get the brakes to function properly again. This simple technique, can save your car’s engine and thereby your wallet.
Bonnet level= Danger!!
If the water level goes up as high as the bonnet of your car, it is best that you turn off the car as the air-intake is just below the bonnet and will suck in water and damage your engine extensively. Try and open the door to get out, or if you have waited for too long and can’t open the doors anymore, get out through the window. In case the electrical systems have failed, move to the back seat – lie down on the seat and kick out a window to get out. If the electrical systems are working, make sure you shut the windows to give the interiors a chance to stay dry. If possible, open the bonnet and disconnect the battery before you leave to keep the ECU from getting shot out.
It is an unfortunate situation and as difficult as it may be, you have to put your safety first and walk out, instead of persisting and believing that you will make it through. Follow the steps above in order to limit water damage as much as possible – to the mechanical and electrical parts at least. The interiors are likely to take a beating, but then it’s easier to change seat covers and carpets than an engine block. Always remember to stay safe and choose to cut your losses instead of persevering in a difficult situation and harming yourself in the process too.
Saving your Car:
In case your car is completely immersed in water, these following steps should help:
– Don’t Start your car.
– Tow your car over to a workshop or a service pit.
– Drain the engine oil completely and replace the car’s air filter and oil filter with a new one.
– Remove engine intake manifold and clean the water entry.
– Fill with new engine oil and jack the car’s wheels and while doing so, do NOT start your car. Instead, just hand rotate the wheel that helps crank the engine.
– The process enables oil circulation and mixes with the water (if any) inside the engine.
– Follow this technique for at least 15-20 minutes and then flush out the engine oil. – Fill the oil again and repeat the aforementioned technique and clean all plugs, remove the starter and clean it as well. Once dry, refit it.
– Now, fill fresh engine oil and start the engine. Let the car run for 1 to 2 minutes.
– The technique mentioned above should cost you around 7 thousand rupees. However, it can save your car’s engine and save you from major expenses.
Bought a car and wondering how to stack it up with pretty much everything?
How about sticking on with the following 25 essential items that should keep you safe wherever you go. The automobile sake, these items come in handy and the following items can definitely befriend even a small hatchback and can be well-packed box in your trunk. You’ll be shocked how much you can fit into a well packed shoebox, and then how little space the shoeboxes take up.
25. An Old Cell Phone (Fully powered and turned off):
Cell phones are like hearts, everyone has one (well, almost!)
People own a dozen cell phones these days and since they are available for the price of peanuts, it’s definitely advisable to keep an extra cell phone in your car, fully charged and switched off. Also, don’t forget to recharge it because, it might come in handy when you least expect it.
Also, carry a list of your most trusted contacts in the phone, you might get urgent help when you need it.
24. First Aid Kit:
God forbid anything happens while on a long trip. A first aid kit is a must. It can help when the nearest hospital is not so near. It might help in at least mending bruises, scratches and burns. Better safe than sorry.
Of course, you can rely on GPS these days. But can you rely on the service providers in India? I think not. Its best keeping a detailed map especially when the wanderlust in you decides to explore an unchartered territory. You wouldn’t want to be at a cannibal tribe waiting for their delicacy driving towards them would you?
22. Jumper Cable:
You can fix your dead battery rather than having your boss murder you any day. If you’re lucky and a good Samaritan decides to help you out on a $#!++y day, the jumper cable along with a little help should jump start your day (or at least your car).
Your glove compartment is the best place to compliment your owner’s manual. Make sure that it is in your car and not lying at home. The owner’s manual provides a ton of useful information that can get you back on the road, such as detailed images of how to change a tire and so forth. Also, make sure that all your documents (at least a photocopy) is in your car at all times.
Experiencing a heavy tire leak. Fix-a-Flat should help at such times. In case, the nearest mechanic is pretty far, the least you can do is fix the tire to a point where it brings you closer to the service station.
19. Tire repair kit:
Suppose you have a spare tire and even that has given up all its hopes. A tire repair kit should make it easy to patch up the tire for a short time.
18. Road Flares:
Cars usually come with flares that are invaluable at night. Keep them ready in the trunk.
I cannot stress how important a flashlight is, especially at night. It’s best keeping an extra set of batteries, just in case.
Don’t you just hate it when you are out for something important and dressed up for an occasion and the weather decides to mess around with you? Carry an umbrella and save yourself from tackling from every drop.
15. Tissue Box:
Nature is pretty mysterious. Sometimes it rains, sometimes it decides to barbecue you. Your car’s A/C is helpful, but nothing beats tissues. Always keep a tissue box ready. That said, you can also carry toiletries such as soap, comb, etc with you.
14. Cell phone charger:
Portable chargers are available for very competitive rates online. Pick up a spare charger and ensure that it remains in your car all the time.
13. Spare clothes:
A random trip with the guys to a hill station or an unheard place? A spare set of clothes should be helpful any day.
Driving to a cold place or if you stay in a chill zone, its best carrying an extra pair of shoes, gloves and socks with you.
11. GPS unit:
The prices of GPS units vary depending on the features you want. If you are a frequent traveler who likes going to different, unexplored places, this should be of great help.
Finding it difficult getting a room at night or parked outside your girlfriend’s house waiting for her to spare you a few moments? Carry a blanket, push your seat and go to sleep.
09. Sleeping bag:
In case you like camping and decide to go with a couple of friends. A sleeping bag is a safe bet that should get you through the night.
08. Durable Canvas Bag:
Never forget a canvas bag or a polyethylene bag. It comes in handy always. You can use it for various reasons and do make sure that it remains in your car always.
07. Small tool Kit:
Carry screwdrivers, pliers, vise grips, adjustable wrenches and a tire pressure gauge at all times. You can get a small kit with all of the above online:
06 Car Cover/ scratch resistant tools:
If you love your car a lot or if it’s brand new and you cannot afford to see even a single scratch, get a cover. Of course, there are people who would love your cover more than you and decide to own it without your permission, be smart and get an average priced cover.
In case you are worried about dents and scratches, there are various tools available that can fix the minor scratches.
05. Food and water:
Hunger strikes are the worst. If you go on a binge trip especially when all the food sources in the vicinity are shut, carry food. Food is perishable in nature, so carry energy bars, biscuits and a few snacks. Do check the expiry dates before you stack up your car.
Also, you should keep yourself hydrated and so, carry at least a 2-liter bottle with you.
04. Car washer fluid and cloth:
Cars are prone to getting dirty. Its best carrying a car washer fluid sachet and a spare cloth to wipe the car.
03. Pen and Paper:
Although this might be considered a small thing, a pen and paper is a very important item to be stacked in your car. Carry a small book and a paper/pencil along.
Nobody likes a stinking car. The pungent smell of rotting food or damp cloth is surely a turn-off.
Car fragrances come in various shapes and forms. You can opt for a car gel, perfume or sprays. If you don’t like synthetic products, you can always go natural with potpourri.
What’s a drive without entertainment? Stuck up in traffic and throwing abuses? You can soothe your mind with music. Carry an USB/Aux cable or a CD of your favorite music that can change your mood in a jiffy.
Please feel free to share some more items that seem essential in your car.
It is said that the best car for a teenager are those that get terrible mileage. That way, the teenager wont be able to afford to drive too far from home. Although there are plenty of thrifty vehicles that are a pretty good start for teenagers and perfect for first -time car buyers – especially those who are lucky enough to be able to afford a brand new automobile instead of the family’s older clunker.
Let’s take a look at 9 of the best cars for teenagers and examine what exactly makes them a strong choice for the younger set.
9. Honda Civic 2015:
Honda Civic has been quite a popular car especially among the teenagers. Honda has been quite a popular brand among the youth and the 2015 version is no exception. The new model is spectacular and makes is quite spectacular. The vehicle comes in both coupe and sedan body styles. The vehicles are reasonably thrifty, decent looking and have a reputation for steadfast reliability. A 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 143 horsepower and 129 lb-ft of torque powers both these cars. Both two-door and four-door versions of the base trim 2015 Civic are paired to a 5-speed manual gearbox.
8. Subaru Impreza 2015:
As a gaming enthusiast, the Subaru Impreza has been quite a popular car. The Subaru Impreza comes with a revamped look, revamped engine and a lot more. The Impreza is an impressive car that is incredibly fast, incredibly smooth and stunning. The vehicles are available in both sedan and wagon editions. The Impreza comes with a 2.0-liter boxer four-cylinder engine that delivers 148 horsepower and 34 mpg on the highway – proving that one no longer has to give up efficiency in order to benefit from the added security of all-wheel drive, making the Impreza one of the safest and best first cars for teenagers out there.
7. Chevrolet Sonic:
Chevrolet’s Sonic is quite an affordable car that suits the needs of all teenagers. The vehicles are available in both sedan and hatchback body styles. The Sonic provides drivers with an inexpensive entry point into new vehicle ownership. Available features such as Bluetooth connectivity back up the Sonic’s attractive lines. The vehicle carries a 1.8-liter, 138-horsepower four-cylinder engine, with the option of a turbocharged, 1.4-liter four-cylinder motor that produces the same number of ponies but boosts torque and fuel economy that go up to 40 miles per gallon on the highway.
6. Volkswagen Golf
German engineering combined with teen spirit is the best match. The all-new Golf 2015 edition is a super compact, affordable hatchback that can be availed in 2-door and 4-door editions. Despite the vehicle’s small size, the car provides great practicality. The Golf goes easy on gas and provides 37 mpg highway when ordered with its 1.8-liter, 170-horsepower four-cylinder turbo engine. Stepping up to the TDI gives teens even more savings at the pump thanks to 45 mpg highway from a 2.0-liter, 150-horsepower four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine, making it one of the best first cars for teenagers.
5. Ford Focus:
Ford Focus 2015 is a sophisticated and stylish sedan and comes in a hatchback version too. This vehicle puts almost all other compacts at shame. The Focus delivers great handling for its affordable price point along with an abundance of features. This vehicle offers a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that develops 160 horses and 140 lb-ft of twist on its way to posting fuel mileage numbers of 26 mpg in stop-and-go driving and 38 mpg on the highway.
4. Honda Fit:
Honda Fit is a subcompact hatchback car that carries plenty of features and an attractive price. The Honda Fit’s Magic Seat feature makes it a snap to rearrange the passenger compartment and unleash the vehicle’s 52.7 cubic feet of storage space, made even more usable by its flat load floor. The Fit is also one of the best cars for teenagers because it will also keep the fuel bill low during the journey thanks to the 32 combined mpg offered by its 1.5-liter, 130-horsepower four-cylinder engine.
3. Volkswagen Beetle:
The Volkswagen beetle is one of the most sought after cars that looks like a bug and is powered with a brutal force. The Volkswagen Beetle’s retro looks have been thoroughly modernized in its latest incarnation. The 2015 model is based on the same general platform as the VW Golf. The new beetle offers a base motor that offers 170 horsepower, 1.8-liter four-cylinder. The higher version of the beetle is available in a 2.0 liter, turbocharged four-cylinder version that tames 210 horses.
2. Mazda Mazda-2:
The Mazda 2 from mazda is a prototype built for modern teens. This small, effective car is pretty good and goes pretty easy on the pocket. This subcompact hatchback delivers better than average handling, in keeping with the brand’s sporty design philosophy, and from behind the wheel its light curb weight plasters a smile on the face of drivers despite the relatively modest 100 horsepower produced by its 1.5-liter, four-cylinder engine. Teens won’t be drag racing from stoplight to stoplight in the Mazda2, but they will be able to squeeze an impressive number of miles from a tank of gas thanks to its 35-mpg highway rating, making the tiny Mazda2 one of the best first cars for teenagers.
1. Dodge Dart:
The 2015 Dodge Dart provides aggressive and athletic styling in a compact sedan package that appeals to younger buyers looking for a pleasing mix of look-at-me design and attractive pricing. The Dodge Caliber seats up to five passengers, can haul 13 cubic feet of cargo, and offers plenty of standard features. A 160-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers fuel mileage of 36 mpg during highway cruising motivates the base model Dart.
Dad’s are natural ATM’s and fulfill pretty much all dreams of yours. But, have you ever asked your dad about what their dream really is? What would you gift your dad if it came to gifting him something special? Clothes? Send him off to a fancy restaurant with mom? An expensive holiday? You’d probably notice a smile on his face but smiles are just Meh!! How about going to your dad and saying, “Dad, lets drive your dream” Sure, every dad has a dream and it would surely make him happy to see the car of his dreams parked right in front of the house (Unless he already owns his dream car) After settling down for a pretty humdrum job, boring family car and a simple life where excitement occasionally shows up on the weekends, here is an article for all the hard working dads that have secretly admired a car for long but did not own one yet.
9. Dodge Charger: Suited for muscle car loving dads, the Dodge Charger is a testosterone-challenging car. This car isn’t suited for the normal humdrum job doing dads. This car makes it quite a classy choice for speed loving dads. This alpha-car wrapped around a metal sheet comes with a 470-horse power enabled V8 engine. The charger is a full-size sedan with the bones to capably meet most family-hauling needs. Both front and rear passengers are treated to roomy accommodations and ride quality is supple enough to keep the spouse and kids happy. Available safety features include a rearview camera, a blind-spot warning system, a rear cross-traffic warning system and a forward-collision warning system.
8. Ford Focus Electric: For tech-savvy dads, here is the Ford Focus Electric car. This segment is suited for diehard fans, and a dad with a short commute who lives to be on the cusp of the latest technology may very well dream of going electric. The Ford Focus electric is one of the most compelling picks for such dads. It comes with responsive handling and high-quality cabin make it a pleasure to drive, and it’s loaded with a wealth of tech amenities.
7. Ford Fusion Hybrid: Another Ford for tech-savvy dads. The Ford Fusion Hybrid is here. Hybrid cars are made for dads that thrill to the challenge of wringing the best possible mileage out of even the most mundane trips to the grocery store. The Hybrid’s EPA rating has a 47 mpg mileage. It’s fuel-efficiency is thrifty enough to delight even a dedicated frugal. The Fusion breaks the mold with superb styling, tastefully designed cabin.
6. Subaru Outback: This ride is for off-road warriors. This is an off-road friendly vehicle that comes cramped with bare-boned interiors that make it quite a decent choice. The outback comes with an all-wheel drive along with 8.7 inches of ground clearance. This vehicle has excellent visibility, spacious interiors and has safety features such as rear-view camera, adaptive cruise control, a pre-collision braking system and a lane-departure warning system.
5. Hyundai Genesis: For those dads looking for a great bargain that goes along with greater features, here is the genesis. The genesis is a sensible, value-oriented choice that comes with style, refinement and a lot of luxury, the Genesis is the perfect pick. This car has an opulent cabin, plush ride quality and a generous selection of amenities. It delivers this premium experience at a price that’s all Hyundai, making it a drool-worthy choice for buyers who revel in getting a whole lot of car for less than most people would expect. Available safety features include a lane-departure warning system and a geo-fencing system that allows parents to set restrictions on the speed.
4. Lexus RX 350: If your dad hates the traffic, hates other passengers and gets irritated easily and loves complaining, the Lexus RX 350 is the pick. The RX 350 from Lexus has a smooth ride quality, impeccably crafted cabin and reduces the frustration while driving. The vehicle carries a parking sensor, blind-spot monitoring system, rearview camera and an adaptive cruise control system that includes a pre-collision warning and brake-priming system.
3. Audi RS7: Who doesn’t love an Audi? This brand is suited for drivers belonging to all categories. The RS7 is an ultimate car for dads. This vehicle has an enormous tailgate that opens up to reveal 24-plus cubic feet of cargo space, perfect for school projects, band instruments, and other bulky items. And up front it has a 560 horsepower twin-turbo V8 that goes from 0-60 in 3.7 seconds, top speed of 190 MPH, and an exhaust note that will make your nerve ends dance — all things that a modern-day dad needs to parent effectively. This is a pretty amazing car for all dads.
2. Porsche Cayenne:
Budget ain’t a problem? For the type of dad’s who drive like an F1 driver and feels you make like you’re in a raving game, the Porsche cayenne should help your dad fly on roads. This family-friendly five seat high-end SUV is gorgeously crafted both inside and out, it even features a stylish cockpit style layout that has come to define the cabins of modern Porsche sports cars. Available safety features include parking sensors, a rearview camera and a blind-spot warning system. This is a sizzler on roads.
1. Mercedes-Benz S-Class:
This is one car suited best for high-roller dads. For dad’s that can afford the best of everything, here is the best of the best. If budget has no meaning and money flows like water into your wallet, the S-Class can be your dad’s to tame. With bespoke interiors, sumptuously furnished cabin, this car has limitless luxury. This car features driver-inattention warning system, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot assist, adaptive cruise control, a collision-prevention system and a night-vision alert systemthat reveals pedestrians and animals that may not be visible in the headlights. Your dad should be proud of you after you get this car 😛
The Automobile sector is so huge that it’s like a maze. There are plenty of companies but have you ever spared a thought as to the ownership of these brands? Have you ever thought that a few famous brands are owned by other brands too?
Amidst the world of auto manufacturing rivals, various car companies own bits and pieces of one another, while others constantly share parts, platforms and even entire cars. Here is a chart including almost all the automakers in existence grouped by parent companies.
Aston Martin Lagonda Limited is a British Manufacturer of luxury sports cars and grand tourers. Founded in 1913, the company was started by Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford. The company became associated with luxury grand touring cars in the 1950s and 1960s. The popularity of this brand began with the launch of James Bond GoldFinger movie in 1964.
1970 did not go really well for Aston martin as it had declared bankruptcy and the ownership was passed on to the Ford Motor Company from 1994 to 2007.
Aston martin has 100% ownership of Lagonda. The company has also signed a deal with Daimier AG to supply new Mercedes-AMG power plants for the next generation line-up.
Bayrische Motoren Werke AG, pronounced as Bavarian Motor Works is known as BMW or BMW AG. This company is a German Luxury Automobile, Motorcycle and Engine Manufacturing company founded in 1916. The company is headquartered in Munich, Bavaria Germany. The company was established as an aircraft manufacturing firm. Post World War – I in 1918, the company was forced to cease aircraft engine production by the terms of Versailies Armistice treaty. It also shifted to motorcycle production and the restrictions of the treaty started to be lifted in 1923 followed by automobiles in 1928-29.
The company made its presence felt in India during 2006 as a sales subsidiary in Gurgaon. The company currently produces different variants of BMW 3 series, 5 Series, 7 Series, X1, X3, Mini Cooper S, Mini Cooper D and mini Countryman.
In terms of ownership, BMW is the parent company of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars and also has BMW Motorrad as well as Plug-in electric cars. The company owns Mini, Riley, Rolls-Royce and Triumph.
Another German automotive multinational corporation that is head quartered in Stuttgart, Germany.
This gigantic company owns or has shares in plenty of car, bus, truck and even motorcycle brands including Mercedes benz, Chrysler, Mercedes AMG, Smart Automobile, Freightliner, Western Star, Thomas Built Buses, Setra, Bharat Benz, Mitsubishi Fuso, MV Agusta as well as shares in Denza, Kamaz, Beijing Automotive Group, Tata motors and Renault-Nissan Alliance.
Maybach is a relatively recent entrant associated with the Daimler group since 2012. The company clubbed Mercedes-Maybach and introduced the ultra luxury edition of the Mercedes Benz S-Class. If that not all, the company owns Daimler Financial Service Arm too.
Here are the entire brands owned or in tie-up with Daimler AG responsible for the sale of vehicles worldwide:
Car 2 Go
Mercedes-Benz Truck Group
Thomas Built Buses
Alliance Truck Parts
Orion Bus Industries
Daimler Financial Services
Daimler Truck Financial
Mercedes AMG High Performance Power Trains (Formula 1 racing engine production)
Fiat is an Italian automaker that is a part of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles through its subsidiary FCA Italy. This is the largest automobile manufacturer in Italy. This company dates back to 1899 and has plenty of sub brands under it.
The company owns:
Chrysler (in tie-up)
Ford Motor Company is an American multinational automaker headquartered in Michigan that is a suburb of Detroit. Founded by Henry Ford, the company sells automobiles and commercial vehicles under Ford Brand and luxury cars under Lincoln Brand. The company also owns Brazilian SUV manufacturer, Troller and Australian performance car manufacturer FPV. The company owns a 2.1% stake in mazda of japan, 8% stake in Aston martin and 49% stake in Jiangling of China. The company also has plenty of joint ventures including two in China (Changan Ford mazda as well as Ford Lio-Ho) Auto Alliance in Thailand, Ford Otosan in Turkey and Ford Sollers in Russia. Ford had also owned Jaguar and land Rover that were sold to Tata motors in March 2008. The company owns Volvo too.
General Motors Company, commonly known as GM, is an American Multinational Corporation that is headquartered in Detroit, Michigan that designs, manufacturers, markets and distributes vehicles and vehicle parts and sells financial services.
The GMC, after declaring bankruptcy purchased many of the assets of the old GM. The newly formed company then retained its major brands such as Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC and Buick.
The company owns smaller sub brands such as:
Daewoo (no longer functional)
Hummer (sold to a Chinese company)
Honda Motor company Ltd is a well known Japanese Public Multinational Corporation primarily known as a manufacturer of automobiles, motorcycles and power equipment. The company has been the largest motorcycle manufacturer since 1959 as well as the world’s largest manufacturer of internal combustion engines. Honda is the 8th largest automobile manufacturer in the world behind GM, VW group, Toyota, Hyundai Motor Group, Ford, Nissan and PSA Peugeot Citroen. The company also released a dedicated luxury brand named Acura.
The company has also joint ventured into aerospace with the establishment of GE Honda Aero Engines in 2004 and Honda HA-420 Honda Jet that began production in 2012.
Honda has plenty of other ventures that include;
Power Equipments such as:
Welding Power Supply
Electric 4-wheel scooter as well as
Compact Household Cogeneration Unit.
Hyundai Motor Company is a Korean Multinational Automotive manufacturer that is headquarteres in Seoul, South Korea. Founded in 1967, the company along with its 32.8% owned subsidiary, Kia Motors comprises the Hyundai Motor Group. The company is currently the 4th largest vehicle manufacturer in the world.
The company owns:
Proton holdings Berhad is a Malaysian Automobile Manufacturer that is headquartered in Shah Alam, Selangor and operates an additional manufacturing plant in Tanjung malim, Perak. Established in 1983, the company is largely a manufacturer of badge-engineered vehicles from Mitsubishi Motors. The company currently owns
Renault and Nissan are quite popular names world-wide. These 2 companies form a Franco-Japanese strategic partnership between automobile manufacturers Renault that are based in Paris, France as well as Nissan that is based in Yokohama, Japan. These 2 cars together sell more than 1 in 10 cars worldwide. They have been strategic partners since 1999 and control 8 major brands such as:
Lada as well as
Suzuki Motors is a Japanese Multinational Corporation that is headquartered in Minami-Ku, Hamamatsu, Japan. The company specializes in manufacturing automobiles, 4-wheel drive vehicles, motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles (ATV’s), outboard marine engines and wheel chairs.
The company owns the following subsidiaries:
Pak Suzuki Motors
American Suzuki Motor
Suzuki GB PLC
Tata Motors limited (Formerly TELCO, short for Tata Engineering and Locomotive Company) is an Indian Multinational Automotive manufacturing company that is headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra. The company is the world’s 17th-largest motor vehicle manufacturing company and the 4th largest truck manufacturer and 2nd largest bus manufacturer.
The companies owned by this group include:
Tata also has a bus-manufacturing joint venture with marcopolo S.A as well as a joint venture with Fiat Chrysler that manufactures automotive components and Fiat Chrysler and TATA brand vehicles.
Japanese automotive manufacturer, Toyota is headquartered in Toyota, Aichi, Japan. This company is the 11th largest company in the world. The company was founded by Kichiro Toyoda in 1937. The company produces vehicles under 5 different brands that include:
Additionally, the company holds a 51.2% stake in Daihatsu and 16.66% stake in Fuji Heavy Industries as well as a 5.9% stake in Isuzu and lastly a 0.27% stake in Tesla. The company has Joint ventures with GAC and Sichuan FAW in china. In India, the company has joint hands with Kirloskar motors.
So named, the people’s car, Volkswagen is a German car manufacturer that is headquartered in Wolfsburg, Lower Saxony, Germany. The company is one of the most top-selling cars in the world. The VW group is quite a sought after and a renowned group. This is the world’s second largest automaker in the world behind Toyota.
Interestingly, the Volkswagen group has various prominent sub-brands that make it even more popular. These brands include:
With such mighty brand names associated with the group, it is certainly an apple of every enthusiast’s eye.
There are plenty other car manufacturers that are on the verge of development. These aforementioned brand names rule the world’s automotive market. It is certainly a delight to know that there are brands that have sub brands under them. Please share your views on these aforementioned facts.