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Car Tech

  • Sasol Solar Challenge records tumble as SA teams impress

    The Sasol Solar Challenge, an event that could be likened to the Dakar Rally of the solar powered-car world, has already seen records tumble on its first day. Dutch team Nuon broke the competition's record for the "furthest distance travelled by a solar-powered car in a single day", which amounted to an impressive 707km. This record was previously held by competitors (and current joint leaders) Tokai at 658km. Additionally, North West University's Siriusx25 also broke the distance covered by a South African team in a single day. The team's journey lasted 611km, in a car that was custom-built in South Africa. Sasol...

  • Sasol Solar Challenge kicks off in Pretoria on Heritage Day

    The 2016 Sasol Solar Challenge will kick off in Pretoria on 24 September, pitting eight university teams against one another in an lengthy solar-powered journey. The bi-annual race, which was first held in 2008, aims to push engineering, endurance and renewable energy resources to their breaking points. University and private teams compete to craft the most efficient solar-powered vehicle, in a race from Pretoria to Cape Town's V&A Waterfront. The start of the race follows three days of scrutineering, which ensured that the cars were suitable and eligible to complete based on "electrical and mechanical engineering, structural stability, and safety aspects". The...

  • 3 car innovations that we could see on highways very soon

    Every aspect of our lives is now subject to a digital facelift -- from the watches we wear to the massive processing engines we now carry around in our pockets, the world today would be a virtually unrecognisable place to someone visiting from 2006. Given the rapid technological evolution, vehicle manufacturers are also working hard to up their game and fit out their latest offerings with the types of digital advancements that could keep them ahead of their competitors. With Bluetooth and on-board navigation now somewhat standard offerings in today’s market, what does the next generation of smart cars hold? In...

  • BP introduces ‘Ultimate with ACTIVE technology’ fuel to South Africa

    We don't often write about fuels here at Motorburn, but until the various alternatives become more readily available to the mass market any advancements made in the space are going to be important. And there is, no doubt, plenty of work being done to make fuels as economical and clean-burning as possible. That much was clear at the South African launch of BP's 'Ultimate with ACTIVE technology' fuels in Johannesburg on Tuesday night. According to the petroleum giant, these fuels are designed to keep your engine clean, aiding both performance and economy. In fact, BP claims that the new...

  • What should we make of the Mitsubishi Outlander hybrid hack?

    Over the past few days, the motoring community has been abuzz with news that a team of hackers managed to wirelessly hack a Mitsubishi Outlander, taking control of its electric charging and alarm systems. While this is far from the first time a car has been remotely hacked, it has raised fresh fears about just how easy it is to break into contemporary vehicles. But just how worried should we be? How it's done Before delving deeper into that question, it's worth taking a look at where the security flaw lies. As demonstrated by security researcher Ken Munro, the major issue is...

  • Check out Ford’s innovative mobile wind tunnel

    Building a proper wind-tunnel facility can be a seriously costly exercise, especially if you're developing multiple vehicle models in multiple locations around the globe. In a bid to find a workaround for that, the clever people at Ford have put together a mobile wind tunnel using little more than a couple of shipping containers and some high-tech aero-accoustic measuring technology. Each container includes aeroacoustic vanes and internal ducting to provide smooth, controlled airflow at the nozzle end of the machine, while two 16-bladed, six-foot-diameter ducted fans – each powered by a 250-horsepower electric motor – deliver a maximum blast...

  • BMW pushes design limits, sanity with new quad-turbodiesel engine

    BMW isn't a company afraid of throwing a turbo or two into one of its engines, but rarely have we seen four in a single motor. Yes, that's right. BMW's latest turbodiesel engine has four turbines, because it's clear that three -- fitted to its previous edition of the engine -- just isn't enough. Although it might sound excessive, it makes sense on paper. The new engine, which will displace 3.0-litres and boast six cylinders, will likely push 400-horsepower -- a quite incredible feat for such a small diesel engine. Additionally, the motor generates a staggering 760 N.m. of torque between 2000...

  • Autonomous Volvos to hit London by 2017

    Within the next year or so, Londoners could find themselves sharing the road with a fleet of autonomous Volvos. An unlike other autonomous driving trials, this one won't involve a bunch of scientists and engineers carefully observing what the cars get up to. Instead, real families, travelling on real routes will be ferried around by the autonomous fleet. The Swedish car maker says it will source its data from these everyday users and use this data to develop AD cars that are suitable for real world driving conditions, rather than the more unrealistic conditions found on test tracks. Drive...

  • Ford steps up its efforts to stop you taking spy shots

    This is going to be really annoying for people who get off on taking spy shots of upcoming cars. Ford has seriously stepped up its efforts beyond the bulky black vinyl that until now has been the industry standard. Ford now uses vinyl stickers with patterns that trick the eye and hide body lines to cover its vehicles. The modern patterns create an optical illusion that makes it difficult to see details. Such techniques result in obscure photographs, allowing Ford not only to hide its products from spy photographers, but to preserve its confidential designs and sustain its competitive...

  • Connected cars, connected industries, connected everything

    Let’s delve into the fact that, much like the Internet of Things, we have entered into an era of Connected Everything. Everything, from fridges to household light settings, is being built with the ability to be accessed and used remotely, using what is termed ‘telematics’. Cars are no exception. Ford, Audi, and Mercedes Benz have all showcased their prototype vehicles that are autonomous. Long gone are the days when the only kind of connectivity a car had was to a network which could track its whereabouts. Today, a ‘connected car’ means being able to navigate through a host of...

  • The one safety feature authorities say should be standard on every single new car

    Imagine blasting down the highway in a vehicle that doesn’t offer any seatbelts. If you’re anything like us, you’d feel somewhat unsettled. A little exposed, even. Or just plain unsafe. But there was once a time when that wouldn’t have been the case. When seatbelts weren’t mandatory, or even standard equipment on most vehicles. Today, of course, it’s widely accepted that this relatively simple primary restraint system plays a significant role in the reduction of deaths and serious injuries in traffic collisions. But authorities believe that – in addition to the likes of ABS and airbags – there is...

  • Volvo to go keyless from 2017

    If you're a loyal Volvo buyer, prepare for something a little different next time you walk into your dealership. The Swedish carmaker is set to start selling cars without keys (physical or electronic) as of 2017. Volvo customers will instead be offered an application on their mobile phones to replace the physical key with a digital key. According to the Swedish motoring firm, the Bluetooth-based digital key technology will offer Volvo customers far more flexibility, "enabling them to benefit from entirely new ways to use and share cars". Using the app, Volvo drivers will be able to lock and unlock...

  • Disruptive tech is completely changing the automotive industry

    Traditionally, the automotive industry’s primary focus has been on providing bigger, better and faster cars. In a world shaped by the Internet of Things (IoT), we are seeing a major shift in what customers want from their car and the associated driving experience. Coetzee, points out that technological advance within the automotive industry as well as the consumer space is forever changing the relationship between the two. The report outlines how the customer lifecycle has changed over the years and how the industry needs to address this when moving forward. “If you were to speak to car manufacturers years ago,...

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