Category Archives: Driving

How racing technology from Formula E is changing perspectives on EVs

Motorsports has always been a way for manufacturers to develop and test out new technologies, and these technologies have constantly impacted the cars on our roads. High-level motorsports – such as Formula One, and more recently Formula E – has always been a way of testing new technologies for road cars.

Mahindra is just one such example. Having been a manufacturer of electric vehicles for 18 years, according to team principal Dilbagh Gill, being a part of the racing series has helped jump-start their experience with more powerful vehicles and to plan for a new round of more upscale consumer EVs. The motorsport has further exposed Mahindra to carbon fibre and composites construction and applications.

Formula E is the world’s first fully-electric international single-seater street racing series and has become a way for technology partners such as Williams Advanced Engineering, as well as manufacturers including Nissan, Jaguar Land Rover, Audi and BMW to develop new solutions for electric road cars. James Barclay, team director at Panasonic Jaguar Racing explains: “ABB FIA Formula E has been central to Jaguar Land Rover’s move towards electrification…The Formula E programme will generate tangible R&D benefits, with the technology developed and lessons learned on the race track helping to accelerate the electrification of future Jaguar Land Rover road cars.”

Changing Perspectives:
Formula E is not only leading the development and adaptation of the technology we see in our road cars, but it’s starting to change perceptions of electric vehicles by showcasing that if electric racing cars look that cool, then consumer electric cars can be just as impressive. The sport is showing people that electric cars aren’t boring or slow.

Women Who Revolutionised the Automotive Industry

International Women’s Day is the perfect time to showcase how women have changed the automotive industry. When it comes to vehicles, people are inclined to think of Jamsetji Tata, Henry Ford and other famous men who are behind the most recognisable car brands on the market today. But what many people don’t know is that women are the ones behind many of the revolutionary innovations that forever altered the way we drive and view cars. Over the decades, women have taken huge strides into an industry that is undoubtedly male dominated.

1) Bertha Benz
The business partner and wife of automobile inventor Karl Benz, on 5 August 1888, Bertha Benz was the first person to embark on a motorised journey over a long distance in the history of the automobile. She drove from Mannheim to Pforzheim with her two sons in the Patent Motor Car built by her husband Carl Benz. But she didn’t stop there! Along the trip, Bertha realised the need for brake pads to help the brakes operate to their full potential, becoming the woman behind their invention!

2) Shila Dawre
Shutting down all stereotypes, Shila Dawre became India’s first woman auto driver. With just Rs.12 in hand, she left her hometown and went to Pune to start her incredible journey as a driver. Dawre is recorded in the Limca Book of World Records as the first woman auto-rickshaw driver in the country.

3) Suzanne RD Tata
The wife of Indian businessman Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata, Suzanne is known for being the first woman in India to drive a car, in 1905.

4) Vasanthakumari
Vasanthakumari started driving at the age of 14 when she didn’t even have a license while fighting patriarchy and poverty. She went on to become the first female driver with the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation in 1993 with a heavy vehicle license.

5) Mary Barra
Starting her career with General Motors in 1980, Mary Barra started off as a General Motors Institute co-op student. In 2014, within her thirty-nine year career, Barra rose to the role of CEO. She became the first-ever female CEO of a major automaker.

Not only have women fought the patriarchy in the automotive industry, they have also made huge contributions and innovations that made vehicles better and safer.

1.Car Heaters
The next time you get a chill and turn on the heater in your car, you have Margaret Wilcox to thank. She was one of the few female mechanical engineers in the late 1800s and invented a way to direct the warm air from over the engines back into the car.

2. Non-reflective windows
What we know today as non-reflective windows to reduce glare, is thanks to the discovery of Katharine Blodgett. A physicist and chemist at General Electric, Blodgett discovered a way to create an “invisible” glass surface. Her technology was used for camera lenses, movie projectors, submarine periscopes, eyeglasses, computer screens and, of course, windshields.

3. Windshield Wipers
After witnessing trolley drivers stopping to get out and wipe snow or rain from their windows, Mary Anderson designed a manual lever that operated a wiper from inside the car.

4. GPS And Wi-Fi
Invented in the 1940s for use as a secret wartime communication system that could keep the enemy from interfering with a ship’s torpedoes, American-Austrian film actress Hedy Lamarr was responsible for inventing the technology that made GPS and Wi-Fi possible eventually giving us internet-enabled cars.

IoT in Vehicles: The Intelligent Car

The Internet of Things (IoT) is changing the way we live and the way we drive. Using advanced sensing and inter-connected data, the next generation of intelligent transportation systems has brought us into the era of the ‘intelligent car.’

IoT technologies used in vehicles offer a variety of solutions, including connected car solutions:
– Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS)
– In-vehicle infotainment systems
– Navigation & telematics solutions
– Vehicle to Pedestrian (V2P) for safety and mobility solutions
– Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) applications
– Vehicle to Infrastructure (V2I) applications
– Vehicle to Everything (V2X) communication applications

With an estimate that at least 75% of cars will be connected in 2020, the growth of the Internet of Vehicles (IoV) creates a transportation system that knows who we are and where we want to go.

What is the Internet of Things?
According to Intel, “The Internet of Things is an evolution of mobile, home, and embedded devices and applications that are connected to the internet, integrating computing capabilities and using data analytics to extract valuable information and sharing data over the cloud .” In simple terms, IoT refers to everyday items being connected to the internet to make life easier. This means that you can control specific items remotely, via a smartphone app, to communicate with other products.

For example, if you run out of milk, your connected refrigerator will automatically send you a reminder when you walk past the dairy section in the grocery store. Or if you’re driving around and need to find a parking spot – since your car is connected to the internet, the parking meter connects to your car and tells you where the empty parking spot is.

How does IoT work?
Connected vehicles refer to the wireless-enabled vehicles that connect and communicate with their external and internal environments. The intelligent car is constantly being equipped and upgraded with technology to make us better connected with the elements both inside and outside the car; enhanced navigation, streaming infotainment, enhanced safety features, and especially the integration between the dashboard with smartphones and wearables.

Bandwidth Evolution:
The key technology to an intelligent car is 4G LTE. LTE possesses the speed, low latency and IP-connectivity, to enable high-quality in-vehicle applications. LTE guarantees speed and quality of service and improves vehicle connectivity dramatically.

With the goal being to achieve a safer and greener mode of transportation, connected cars are the future.

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Did You Know: What do the different road lines indicate?

One of the most common road markings that are ignored by drivers is the road lines. These road markings are the coloured paintings on the roads and help to perform the important function of guiding, regulating and controlling traffic. Especially in a country like India, knowing what these road markings mean and following their rules can make our travels safer and smoother.

What exactly do these markings mean?
Line markings are typically white or yellow. While other colours do exist, white and yellow are the most common ones seen on most roads. Horizontal road signs have the following characteristics:

    – They mark the lanes.
    – Serve as a psychological barrier.
    – They define the directions of traffic.
    – They help drivers with information about the road and the established lanes and areas.

WHITE LINES:
A white line separates lanes of traffic moving in the same direction.

1. Dashed white line
A dashed white line is the most common of all road markings. This line indicates that you are free to change lanes with caution and stay in the other lane. These lines are drawn on either a one-way road or a two-way road where traffic is coming from both sides. A dashed white line allows you to overtake, but only after you have checked for approaching traffic.

2. Solid white line
Solid white lines separate two lanes going in the same direction. However, if the line is solid, this indicates that you should not change lanes and you can’t overtake the vehicle ahead. You can only stay in the lane you are already in.

3. Double solid white line
A double solid white line separates travel lanes and prohibits you from crossing the line. You absolutely cannot change lanes for any reason.
WHITE LINES

YELLOW LINES:
A road with yellow lines in the centre indicates that traffic is travelling in opposite directions.

1. Dashed yellow line
A dashed yellow line indicates that passing is allowed from either direction. If the yellow line is dashed, this means that you are free to pass a slow vehicle in front of you by crossing onto the other side of the road. Using your turn signals to indicate your intent to pass, the opposing lane serves as a temporary additional lane.

2. Single solid yellow line
Yellow lines separate two lanes of traffic moving in opposite directions. If there are two solid yellow lines, this means you are not allowed to pass the car in front of you by crossing into oncoming traffic. A double yellow line indicates that passing is not allowed from either side of the road.

3. Double solid yellow line
If there are double solid yellow lines in the centre of the road, this means you are not allowed to overtake the car in front of you by crossing into oncoming traffic. A double yellow line indicates that passing is not allowed from either side of the road.

4. Combo of a solid yellow line with broken yellow line
If the road has both – a dashed as well as a solid yellow line through the centre, it indicates that passing is only allowed by one direction of traffic. If the line on your side of the road is solid, you cannot pass, even if the other side is dashed. Only the dashed side of the road can pass. To put it simply, if you are driving on the side of the broken line, you can overtake a vehicle in your lane. But if you are driving on the solid line, you cannot overtake.
YELLOW LINES