Tag Results for auto makers (8)

  1. Ford starts marketing its nanotech: Why now?

    Every now and then someone makes mention of how nanotechnology will impact the automobile, I suppose to keep hope alive that the auto industry will do something interesting in applying nanotechnology. Unfortunately, what they do announce is usually pretty mundane stuff. Things got a little exciting last year, when the news was tangentially about the car and nanotechnology, but specifically about its fuel. Oxonica went from nano-media darling with its liquid-based catalyst that reduces emissions for diesel fuels, EnviroxTM, to media chump almost over night. The UK-based company was just about to really become a nanotechnology success story as the …

    • |
    • 0
  2. New entry in the hydrogen car marketâ¿¿but itâ¿¿s only 220 mm tall

    Itâ''s a small step down the hydrogen highway, but could turn out to be a significant one. After all, if you get used to a technology in the form of a toy, it doesnâ''t seem so daunting when it grows up. That is the strategy of Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies, a company whose goal is to integrate fuel cells into a wide range of products, starting small, evolving towards bigger and higher power applications. The Singapore-based company started in 2003 with fuel-cell science kits. Itâ''s working on an inexpensive charger for consumer devices. And …

    • |
    • 0
  3. Road blocks on the hydrogen highway

    Remember the â''hydrogen highway?â'' This was California Governor Arnoldâ''s Schwarzeneggerâ''s vision back in 2004. He proclaimed that, by 2010, California highways would be lined with hydrogen fueling stations, some 20 miles apart throughout the state, enabling hydrogen-powered cars and buses to travel freely. He signed an executive order setting up a private and public partnership to implement that vision. 2010 is almost here, and it hasnâ''t exactly worked out. (We didnâ''t think it would; IEEE Spectrum called the effort a â''loserâ'' in its January 2004 issue.) …

    • |
    • 0
  4. Nanotechnology Could End Drunk Driving

    A blue-ribbon panel in the US has been considering the use of nanosensor-enabled interlock devices installed in the steering wheels of automobiles that would detect the blood/alcohol level of the driver and turn off the ignition if the driver was over the legal alcohol limit. This scenario seems to be taken seriously in Canada as evidenced by this article. Interlock devices are not new. But these devices represent the old-generation technology (see photo above) where a driver has to blow in a tubeâ''seemingly a far more voluntary procedure. Still the ratio of these installed interlock devices to …

    • |
    • 0
  5. Junior, the robotic car, has been very very good to Stanford

    Junior, the Stanford Racing Teamâ''s entry into the DARPA Urban Challenge, came in second in the national contest, held Nov. 3rd in Victorville, Calif., losing first place honors to Carnegie Mellon Universityâ''s entry, Boss. Both cars followed California traffic law and completed the complicated course, Boss simply did it faster. In this game, however, second place isnâ''t half bad. The Stanford team took home a $1 million prize, and bragging rights; several vehicles crashed while negotiating traffic circles and intersections and contending with traffic; other cars simply …

    • |
    • 0
  6. Nanotechnology and the Automobile

    When people think about technologies, they often either think of computers or automobiles. So whenever nanotechnology gets discussed, it always becomes necessary to say how it will impact our automobiles. The answers arenâ''t very exciting. I recall that the big application that was touted in those heady days after the NNI was launched in 2001 was the use by General Motors of nanoclay-TPO composites in exterior steps for vans resulting in a 7-8% weight saving, a smoother surface and enhanced scratch resistance. Then you got the more detailed examinations that included nanocomposites in polycarbonate automotive glazing, or nanocomposites for high-barrier plastics for …

    • |
    • 0
  7. Watch this space (if you're into electric cars)

    Thereâ''s not much but empty space at this former Chevy dealership on El Camino Real in Menlo Park, but keep an eye on this Stanford University-owned lot. When the much delayed Tesla Roadster finally rolls off of the assembly line, this is where youâ''ll see it parked. This site, at 300 El Camino Real, will house one of the first Tesla dealerships in the country. Others will open in Southern California, Chicago, New York, and Florida. Production, first targeted at fall 2007, then December 2007, is now slated to begin in 2008, with only 50 …

    • |
    • 0
  8. Auto industry having the best year ever -- in Brazil

    While North American automakers are struggling to get through "one of the deepest auto industry crises in Detroitâ''s history," their Brazilian counterparts are having the best year ever. Brazilians never bought so many vehicles, according to a report in Exame, Brazil's leading business and economy magazine. (Full disclosure: I worked as a reporter for that magazine years ago.) Sales reached an all-time record of 1.2 million vehicles in the first half of this year. At that pace, …

    • |
    • 0