Category Archives: Driving

Hybrid Cars

What is a hybrid car?
Hybrid cars are electrified vehicles that still use an internal combustion engine, which means combining a petrol or diesel engine with an electric motor. The main advantage of a hybrid is that it consumes less fuel and emits less CO2 than a conventional petrol or diesel-engine vehicle.

How do hybrid cars work?
Driving a hybrid is similar to driving an automatic car, so there’s little compromise on performance. A hybrid combines at least one electric motor with a gasoline engine to move the car, and its system recaptures energy via regenerative braking. Unlike an Electric Vehicle (EV) or Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV), hybrids also have a petrol or diesel engine to fall back on if the electricity supply is diminishing.

Types of hybrids:
There are three different types of hybrids and each work in a different way.

Parallel/Full Hybrid
This is the most common type of hybrid. A full hybrid is a car which can drive under its own electric power, petrol or a combination of both. They are sometimes called ‘parallel hybrids’. The car’s wheels can be powered in three different ways: either directly by the engine, by the electric motor alone, or a blend of the two power sources. The Toyota Prius is the most widely known example.

Mild Hybrid
A mild hybrid car cannot drive under electric power alone and doesn’t improve fuel economy to the extent that a full hybrid system can. The engine never drives the car; it only produces energy for the electric motor. The Honda Jazz r is one of the more popular examples.

Plug-in Hybrid
As its name states, this type of hybrid can be plugged into an electric outlet to recharge their batteries, as well as being charged on the move. It carries a much larger battery pack that must be fully recharged using an external electricity source from the home or public charging station. Popular plug-in hybrids include the BMW i8 and VW Golf GTE, with both cars having bigger battery capacities to enable a longer electric range.

Adapted Vehicles

Having a disability doesn’t mean you can’t drive. There are many ways to adapt your car to your needs.

What are Adapted Vehicles?
Depending on their specific needs, people with disabilities can often drive safely by making modifications or adding adaptive equipment to their vehicles. With the improvement and increase in technology, the number of people using adapted vehicles has also increased.

Are people with disabilities allowed to drive a vehicle in India?
A person with a physical disability can get a driving license in India depending on their physical capacity and what is the equipment needed to assist them. According to the Motor Vehicles Bill in 2019, those with mental health issues, are visually or hearing impaired, or have limited motor skills, may not be eligible. People suffering from loco-motor disabilities are eligible to drive an Invalid Carriage if the licensing authority is satisfied that they are fit to drive one.

Getting a license:
As per current guidelines, a differently-abled person is required to pass both the written and practical tests. They have to get their modified vehicle approved by the concerned RTO (Road Transport Office) to ensure it meets safety and emission requirements. Once approved, the person may apply for a driver’s license and submit a disability certificate along with it. They cannot be denied the opportunity to apply for a permit or license because of age or disability.

But despite having these guidelines in place and the attempt to make the process easier, nearly 80% of disabled drivers do not have a licence because of various difficulties in obtaining one. We can only hope this changes in the near future to give everyone in our society equal opportunities and inclusivity.

Going Electric: Vehicles that are worth making the move

India has set a target of electric vehicles making up 30% of new sales of cars and two-wheelers by 2030. But the recent economic slowdown appears to have taken a toll on the electric vehicle plans. But the potential market is still huge, with India being the world’s biggest market for scooters and motorcycles; the next biggest market being China.

With the ever-growing pollution and bad air quality – and not to mention the continuous rise in fuel prices, more and more citizens are thinking about making the move to electric vehicles as they realize that going electric brings with it significant benefits; lower running costs, lower maintenance costs and pollution-free driving.

With manufacturers like Japan’s Suzuki Motors planning to launch an electric scooter in India by 2020, and Indian motorcycle makers Bajaj Motor and TVS Motor are also eyeing electric models, here are some existing models that are popular with consumers.

Okinawa i Praise
The scooter comes with a detachable lithium-ion battery that, according to the company, takes 2-3 hours to charge and gives a range of 160-180km. It is also equipped with features like geo-tagging, GPS, find my scooter, battery health and vehicle status, all of which can be accessed via an app on your Android smartphone.

Colours: Glossy Silver Black, Glossy Golden Black, Red Black

Revolt RV400
The Revolt RV400 is India’s first AI enabled motorcycle. It’s battery charges from 0-100% in 4.5 hours. In an all-new innovation, Revolt also offers four sounds in the motorcycle, all controlled through the MyRevolt App.

Colours: Rebel Red, Cosmic Black
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Ather 450
A Bangalore based startup, Ather Energy launched the Ather 450 electric scooter which promises an acceleration of 0 to 40 kmph in just 3.9 seconds, a top speed of 80 kmph and a range of 55-75 km. According to the company, the 450 was designed from scratch to offer an exhilarating ride and a hassle-free ownership experience. The electric scooter promises some great unique features like a low centre of gravity, mono-shock suspension, front & rear disc brakes and perfect balance and a reverse mode.

Colours: White

ULTRAVIOLETTE F77
Sporting a bold design, the Ultraviolette launched the F77 in three colour variants. The bike is currently on sale only in Bengaluru while online registrations to purchase the motorcycle have opened. Deliveries are slated to commence in October 2020. The F77 is powered by a 25kW electric motor which produces 90Nm, making it the most powerful electric motorcycle currently on sale in India. Ultraviolette has DC fast-charging capability, giving it 50 minutes to charge up to 80% and 90 minutes for a full charge.

Colours: Airstrike, Shadow, Laser

Our favourite video games that help you drive better

“Stop playing those useless games and do your homework!” Haven’t we all heard this from our parents while growing up? Be it on mobile phones, consoles or portable devices, video games have become a part of our lives. But now, we finally have an excuse! A study conducted by researchers from the University of Hong Kong and New York University Shanghai discovered that playing action-based video games for at least five hours a day can improve a person’s visuomotor-controls. The findings suggest the games could serve as beneficial training tools for driving!

Based on this advantageous information, here are some recommendations of our favourite racing video games that we loved playing:

Real Racing 3
With over 200 million downloads, this award-winning franchise sets a new standard for mobile racing games. If you’re looking for a console-quality, first-person racing simulator that feels very much like a real car, this is it! The game offers everything from Real-Time Multiplayer, Time Trials, night racing, and innovative Time Shifted Multiplayer™ (TSM) technology, allowing you to race anyone, anytime, anywhere, to in-depth car customization.
Developer: EA
Platform: Android and iOS

MotoGP 19
For years MotoGP has been a favourite for motorcycle racing and it’s 2019 release does not disappoint! Gone are the old days when you learned all the racetracks and easily won. The new Neural AI and Machine Learning gives you smarter and faster opponents who will exploit your mistakes. This improved AI makes the game a whole lot more challenging, realistic and thrilling. It’s motorcycle racing at it’s finest and die-hard MotoGP fans will be satisfied.
Developer: Milestone S.r.l
Platform: PC, PS4, XBOX One, Steam, Nintendo Switch

Forza Horizon Series
When you think XBOX car racing games, it’s the Forza series. Forza Horizon focuses on casual street racing rather than pre-planned tracks. With it’s latest release Forza Horizon 4, the popular car racing series lets players experience dynamic seasons in a shared open-world; something that is completely new in the racing and driving genre. One of the most polished driving games ever made, with the spectacular open world and the unbelievable visuals, players can explore beautiful scenery, collect over 450 cars, and a whole lot more!
Developer: Playground Games
Platform: XBOX

Need For Speed: Underground
Everybody loves Need for Speed, but the 7th instalment in the beloved racing series became an instant favourite amongst players. It was the first game in the series to offer a career mode, helping to reboot the NFS series. It finally featured a storyline and a garage mode that allowed players to fully customize their cars with a large variety of brand-name performance and visual upgrades. With the popular increase of import car racing game thanks to the movie The Fast and the Furious, Underground was EA’s attempt to get involved and they succeeded.
Developer: Black Box
Platform: PlayStation 2, Microsoft Windows, Xbox, GameCube, Arcade game, Game Boy Advance