Archive for the ‘Auto’ Category

Barack Obama’s Million Dollar Super Bus

US president Barack Obama has a new vehicle in his parking lot, a sparkling black bus that will carry the US President in his nationwide tour. The bus built by a Canadian coach builder Prevost, is very much similar to the Cadillac limousine used by Obama.

The bus costs a whopping $1.1 million (nearly Rs.5 Crores) and is equipped with puncture proof tyres. It is also bullet proof and bomb proof. While the Cadillac is a limousine with several advanced technologies and communication systems, the Obama bus gets much more. It has a living room for the president, a rest room, office space along with communication equipment and even a blood bank.

This million dollar bus is being used by Obama on his nation wide tour as he battles reducing popularity scores. The US Secret Service has got two such buses, one for the current President Obama and the second one for the 2012 Republican presidential nominee.

President Obama will be followed by a convoy over a dozen security vehicles whenever he travels in the presidential bus.

Toyota’s Interactive Window Technology

Toyota shows how riding in the backseat of the car and staring out the window might actually become fun.

Toyota has introduced a new technology for riders in the backseat called Window to the World. A design exercise developed in conjunction with the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design (CIID), Toyota’s “Window to the World” concept uses Augmented reality to turn a car window into a glass canvas that lets the viewer interact with the elements outside the window.

CIID and Toyota Kansei Design Division engineers and designers came up with five potential uses for the new windows. Similar to the way kids draw shapes onto fogged-up glass, passengers can trace images on the window, but they appear to become integrated with the landscape and stay in place as the car drives away.

People can also zoom in on objects seen outside the window or get an instant estimation about how far away an object is. The window can also identify an object seen outside and can translate the objects in another language.

Of course, these features are just a concept, but in the future windows could be the next computer screen.

Two working prototypes of the augmented reality concept were on display last month at the Autoworld Museum in Brussels, Belgium, as part of the “Our Future Mobility Now” exhibition organized by the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association.

This video is a demonstration of the technology from Toyota. Take a look:

Toyota Develops Car Crash Avoidance System

Car accidents are one of the highest causes of deaths in India. Carmakers have been working hard to increase the safety features in their vehicles and the results are becoming more evident with time. Most safety features developed in Europe and America are now slowly trickling down to cars sold in India. Now We have more and more air bags, ABS is available in both cars and bikes and advanced features are now available in high-end models.

Toyota, the Japanese auto major has also made new inventions to improve the safety of vehicle users. Toyota has now developed a crash avoidance system that is some what similar to the one developed by Volvo. Volvo uses infra red technology to detect vehicles around the car and applies emergency breaks whenever it detects a possibility of a crash.

Toyota has not given the technical details of its crash avoidance system. The system will use both front and rear cameras along with a wave radar technology to asses the presence of obstacles and pedestrians around the car.

One of the highlights of Toyota’s crash avoidance system is that once the system detects a possibility of a collision it takes control of the steering wheel to avoid a crash rather than stopping the car. Toyota is also said to have developed a system that will pop the bonnet up in case of a crash. Another innovative safety technology being developed by Toyota is a device in the steering wheel that will measure the heart rate of the driver and avoid a crash when the driver suffers a heart attack.

Toyota has not revealed when it will add the safety features in its models. Considering the cost of developing these technologies is high, Toyota might provide these safety features as options only. However with several safety related complaints against Toyota in the US hampering its clean image, the Japanese carmaker might even consider introducing these safety features in its volume selling models.

Toyota’s Small Car to be Launched in India On 27th June

The Toyota Etios Liva hatchback will be launched by Toyota Kirloskar on 27th June in Delhi. The new hatchback’s launch was delayed due to the huge demand for the Etios sedan. The Etios liva is Toyota’s first hatchback to enter the Indian car market.

Toyota had first displayed the Etios sedan and the Etios Liva hatchback at last year’s Delhi Auto Expo. Toyota is banking on the Etios Liva hatchback to make the carmaker’s presence felt in the Indian volume car segment. The maker of the Innova and Fortuner has so far concentrated only on mid segment vehicles.

Toyota has been hugely encouraged by the sales of the Etios sedan. The Japanese carmaker has already delivered more than 20,000 Etios cars in India. Toyota had to work overtime at its Bangalore plant to meet the increasing demand for the Etios.

According to top reports, Toyota wants to sell 60,000 units of the Etios sedan and the Etios Liva hatchback. Toyota Kirloskar’s DMD Marketting Sandeep Singh said, The carmaker was hoping to get a positive response on the Etios Liva from its customers. He added, the new car’s technical specifications and price will be announced during the launch.

Is Infiniti On Its Way To India?

Nissan, the Japanese carmaker is planning to introduce its luxury car brand Infiniti in India. Nissan’s corporate VP, India, Middle East and Africa, Gilles Normand is reported to have said, the company would be importing Infiniti’s luxury cars as completely built units. He added local production would be considered if there is a significant market for Infiniti’s luxury cars.
Luxury car sales in India has been growing significantly in the past few years, with monthly sales almost doubling when compared with the previous year’s sales. Hence, India is one luxury car market that Infiniti cannot ignore.  Infiniti’s model line-up includes the G sedan, FX SUV, M sedan and the EX MUV.
 Infiniti’s luxury cars have been famous for their seamless performance and excellent fit and finish. Infiniti’s cars are available with several engine choices. There have been appearance of Infiniti cars in India which have been imported by individuals. We can expect to see more of these cars once Nissan introduces Infiniti cars in the Indian car market.
Mr Normand while responding to questions about the Nissan Leaf electric car being launched in India said, market conditions have to be perfect to launch electric cars. He sought government incentives for electric cars, widespread charging infrastructure and the need to educate people about the benefits of using electric cars. Sales of the Nissan Leaf has begun in Japan, Europe and the USA.

Mr Normand also said, Nissan would be launching a new sedan in India. The sedan will compete with C segment sedans such as the Maruti Suzuki DZire. He also said Nissan was concentrating on diesel cars as the market is favourable to such cars.

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