Category Archives: Fun Facts

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.

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

Auto Expo: A Brief Introduction

The Auto Expo is Asia’s largest biennial automotive show held in Greater Noida, NCR, India. Conceived in 1985 and making its debut in 1986 at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, the expo is focused towards introducing new technology, concepts, innovation and designs in the auto industry.

Jointly organized by the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association (ACMA), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), the Auto Expo’s path-breaking debut show was a window for technology transfers representing how the Indian Automotive Industry was absorbing the new technologies and promoting indigenous research and development for adapting these technologies for the rugged Indian conditions.

Over the years, the show has only grown stronger. By 2006, it began to see huge overseas participation, with new concepts, launches, as well as trade dialogues. In 2008, it was accredited by the Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d’Automobiles (OICA), cementing its reputation as one of the world’s most premier auto shows.

In 2020, the 15th Auto Show aimed to not only focus on the static display of motor vehicles but to also focus on the ‘Entire Mobility Eco-System’, enveloped by the theme of “Co-Create, Co-Exist and Celebrate”. Despite the slowdown in the Indian motor industry, the expo had several big brands take part in the event showcasing multiple new concept cars, with electric vehicles taking centre stage.

Today, the Auto Expo is eagerly anticipated by brands and fans alike.

Growth of Electric Vehicle Charging Stations in India

The growth of the electric vehicle industry in India directly depends on the availability or shortage of charging stations in the country. As part of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME) India programme, the government has approved a plan to establish 2,636 charging stations throughout the country to further encourage the use of EVs and produce high adoption by 2030 in India.

According to this report, of the 2,636 stations:

  1. Rapid charging stations = 1,633
  2. Maharashtra = 317
  3. Andhra Pradesh = 266
  4. Tamil Nadu = 256
  5. Uttar Pradesh = 207
  6. Rajasthan = 205
  7. Delhi and Chandigarh = around 70

It is expected that at least one charging station will be available in most of the selected cities in a grid of 4 km x 4 km. Energy Efficiency Services Ltd. (EESL), an energy service provider owned by the Indian government is all set to collaborate with engineering group Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. (BHEL) to build electric-vehicle charging stations throughout India.

Various community charging stations and businesses are taking on the initiative of increasing the accessibility of these stations. Tata Power established the first set of Electric Vehicle charging stations in Mumbai and are now present in Delhi and Hyderabad.

PluginIndia wants to popularize the concept of community charging stations with the idea for businesses/resorts/vacation homes etc, that are at a distance of 40-70 km around cities, to setup normal 15 Amp charge points or Smart EVSE for electric cars and next-generation electric bikes. Having successfully set up 257 Community Charging Stations across India, they have developed a mobile app by the community for the community, complete with Google Maps integration.

RE:CHARGE INDIA App Features

  1. Find electric vehicle charge points near your location
  2. Browse electric vehicle charge points on a Map
  3. Search for charge points
  4. View electric vehicle charge points details
  5. Get driving directions from your location to an electric vehicle charge point
  6. Call phone number directly from the app
  7. Report an electric vehicle charge point
  8. Add a new electric vehicle charge point

Get the App:
Android – Recharge India – EV Charging points map

App Store – RE:CHARGE

All of these efforts have one goal – that easier access would encourage more use; and the faster that EVs become a trend, the better for the environment.