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Cadillac CT6
It’s Two-Thirds Aluminum: The Cadillac CT6 is long yet light, and it’s packed with energy-saving technology.
Photo: General Motors Co.

American luxury sedans were once dismissed, often rightly, as lumbering land yachts. But Cadillac has honed its reputation with assassins like the 477-kilowatt (640-horsepower) CTS-V, and now it has applied the same thinking to its flagship sedan. Yes, the CT6 has a street presence that stretches to nearly 5.2 meters (17 feet), which is longer than many SUVs. But remarkably, this Caddy is lighter than a Mercedes S550 by some 450 kilograms (1,000 pounds).

This Year’s
Winning Autos

The advanced Omega chassis uses 11 different materials to lose those pounds, including aluminum castings that, viewed in a cutaway model, look like computer-modeled works of art. The 13 castings dramatically reduce the number of connection points in the ultrarigid chassis, each a potential stress point: Instead of 35 stamped parts in the structure, now there are only two. Throw in aluminum body panels and nearly two-thirds of the Caddy, by weight, is formed from the lightweight metal.

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Poll: Would You Want to Work a Shorter Week?

Weigh in with your thoughts on a four-day workweek

2 min read
Person holding a giant sized pencil standing next to a giant sized calendar with days crossed out to show a four-day workweek.
iStock

When I worked for a company in Texas a few years ago, one of the benefits I enjoyed was a four-and-a-half-day workweek. The system enabled my colleagues and me to run some personal errands, see our doctors, and pick up our kids from school, among other activities.

The COVID-19 pandemic required many companies to adopt a flexible work schedule to keep their operations open. Many allowed their employees to work from home full time. Nowadays plenty of those employers are trying to persuade their workers to return to the office full time, but they are facing some resistance.

One solution some companies are trying is a four-day, 32-hour workweek for the same pay.

​Does your company offer a four-day workweek?

Would you like to work a four-day workweek?

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Xiaomi’s Humanoid Drummer Beats Expectations

Solving drum-playing helped quest for whole-body control

3 min read
A black and white humanoid robot sits at an electronic drum kit

When Xiaomi announced its CyberOne humanoid robot a couple of months back, it wasn’t entirely clear what the company was actually going to do with the robot. Our guess was that rather than pretending that CyberOne was going to have some sort of practical purpose, Xiaomi would use it as a way of exploring possibilities with technology that may have useful applications elsewhere, but there were no explicit suggestions that there would be any actual research to come out of it. In a nice surprise, Xiaomi roboticists have taught the robot to do something that is, if not exactly useful, at least loud: to play the drums.

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Solving Automotive Design Challenges With Simulation

Learn about low-frequency electromagnetic simulations and see a live demonstration of COMSOL Multiphysics software

1 min read

The development of new hybrid and battery electric vehicles introduces numerous design challenges. Many of these challenges are static or low-frequency electromagnetic by nature, as the devices involved in such designs are much smaller than the operating wavelength. Examples include sensors (such as MEMS sensors), transformers, and motors. Many of these challenges include multiple physics. For instance, sensors activated by acoustic energy as well as heat transfer in electric motors and power electronics combine low-frequency electromagnetic simulations with acoustic and heat transfer simulations, respectively.

Multiphysics simulation makes it possible to account for such phenomena in designs and can provide design engineers with the tools needed for developing products more effectively and optimizing device performance.

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