Month: June, 2015
Jaguar always seems to be at the leading edge when it comes to automotive technology. Holographic heads up displays and advanced roadway scanner systems sound pretty futuristic, but these are technologies that Jaguar already showed off and has made use of in the past. Now the automaker wants to create vehicles that detect the health of drivers, monitor brain and heart activity and predict the future movements of the driver.
According to Wolfgang Epple, Jaguar’s technology director, the company believes that many of the technologies being used in Aerospace and medicine could be incorporated into vehicles to improve road safety.
Are You Sleeping?
One of the most important technologies is the brain monitoring system. Jaguar wants to use this type of setup to figure out if a driver is paying attention to the road or sleeping while driving. Jaguar plans to test a driver for alertness and then use vibrations or noises to wake up the driver. The system sounds good for use today, and would certainly help some drivers avoid accidents, but Jaguar is really developing it for the future. The automaker firmly believes that self-driving vehicles will be a reality one day, and from the looks of things that day will come pretty soon. When self-driving vehicles become more popular it’s likely that the driver of a vehicle will still have to take over at certain points along a trip. It makes sense to be able to check that a driver is paying attention and ready to take control of the vehicle. That’s what this technology can offer.
A Simpler Media System
I’m sure that plenty of driving accidents occur while drivers mess with their stereos trying to find the right song. Another technology Jaguar is working on uses cameras to try and determine what button a driver will press before they press it. The system could rely on ultrasonic waves to vibrate a driver’s finger mid-air so they know the car registered the movement, and the driver could make adjustments faster and have his eyes off the road for a shorter period of time. The system sounds pretty cool in theory, but could also be pretty annoying if it isn’t completely accurate.
Keeping Your Speed in Check
Another system Jaguar is working on is a haptic feedback gas pedal. The idea behind the pedal is to make drivers more aware of what they are doing. The pedal would vibrate when exceeding the speed limit, or when getting too close to a car you’re trailing.
Jaguar continues to develop and adapt exciting technology for use in the automotive industry. It’s clear the automaker is making features for vehicles that may not be produced for years in the future still, but all of that hard work should help the automaker stay out in front when it comes to technology and help keep it a popular brand that people keep coming back to.
Pot holes are a real issue for luxury vehicles. Not only are they unpleasant to drive over, but they are also damaging to the vehicle itself. Learning how to spot these obstructions in the road and coming up with ways to either slow down for them or avoid them will help extend key suspension components in luxury vehicles which is a good goal to shoot for. Land Rover is currently testing out a system that does just that.
The system relies on connecting different vehicles to one another using an information system to share pothole information. This information will let you know when a pothole is coming up in the road and give you an opportunity to slow down in time to avoid most of the damage. This information will also be shared with those responsible for road maintenance, in the hopes that something will be done about them faster.
Locating the Holes
The Land Rover Range Rover Evoque and Discovery Sport models both come with a MagneRide active suspension system that has sensors that monitor motion and suspension height. By looking at these two pieces of information, Land Rover should be able to tell when a driver hits a pothole. When the information is collected it will be immediately added to the system and made available for other drivers out on the road.
Scanning for Holes
While recording potholes after they’ve been hit is a good way to protect future drivers, it doesn’t do much for the driver about to hit the hole. This is why Land Rover is also planning to develop a camera system that spots the hole before it is even hit in the first place. A stereo camera will be installed at the front of the vehicle and it will scan the road ahead. When it sees major holes in the road the driver will be notified and can take action before hitting the hole. It’s possible the system will even automatically apply the brakes in the future when it’s certain that the drive will hit the hole.
This type of system is just one of the exciting future developments that will help drivers navigate roadways more safely and comfortably. Connecting cars together to share information is a common goal shared by many automakers and is a technique that may be used in automatic vehicles in the future. While sharing information between Jaguar and Land Rover drivers is a good start, it would be even more beneficial if information was also shared between other car brands that are out on the roads more frequently. It’s unclear how long the technology will be in development before being released, but it’s pretty cool to think that someday potholes will be mostly avoidable.
It’s a proven fact that three out of four car seats in vehicles today aren’t installed properly. That means that most children riding around on the road today are facing more risk than they need to be, and taking just a few minutes to make important changes can help increase their safety noticeably.
Lock Down those Loose Items
First and foremost, make sure that any loose items in your vehicle are secured. Simply putting loose CD’s into cases and slipping other valuables into the trunk of your vehicle will help reduce the impact risk to children riding around in the vehicle. It only takes a couple seconds to get rid of loose items, but those seconds can result in a much safer crash if you are unfortunate enough to experience one.
Lock the Sit Firmly in Place
The first step you should take when installing a new car seat is to put it in using the built-in safety anchors and then try and move it in any direction after the installation. If you can get that seat to move more than one inch you don’t have it installed properly. It’s simply too loose and it’s going to be doing your little one more harm than good. To rectify the situation tighten the seat up and make sure that you can’t move it as much next time.
Another test can be conducted once the seat passes the first one. Put your child in the seat and tighten the straps until they feel like they are secure. To make sure they are tight enough try to pinch them. If you can pinch the fabric over top of itself you know it’s not tight enough. Tighten it down some more and try again to see if you’ve made a big enough difference. Continue going through this cycle until you have straps that you can’t pinch. Only then are they holding your child tight enough to be safe to use.
Don’t Rent a Car Seat
Renting a car seat is a bad idea for a number of reasons, the main one being that you don’t know what happened to the seat when you weren’t using it. The seat could be expired, it could have been through numerous accidents and it could have other problems that you don’t know about. Instead rely on your own car seat when using a rental car. Make sure that you have it with you to use, otherwise you won’t know what kind of protection you’re providing to your child.
Take a few minutes to make sure the car seat in your vehicle is installed properly. Checking for each of the different issues listed above and avoiding some common mistakes will make your vehicle safer for your children to use. For such a small time investment, the results are well worth the work.
Over the years just like with most things more speed has become available for less. In 1997 the McLaren F1 was the world’s fastest car. It was packed with 620 HP thanks to a BMW V12 and topped out at 243 MPH. Now that same money will pick up a good used Bugatti Veyron that’s packed with 1,200 HP and tops out at 267 HP. Even more impressive is a vehicle like the Dodge Hellcat that offers 707 HP, hits 200 MPH and only costs $60,000. With all the latest advancements in performance it’s a wonder that the land speed record hasn’t budged. It’s been locked at a bit of 760 MPH since 1997 and it’s amazing that it hasn’t moved since then. That might just change in the near future if the folks behind the Thrust SSC, the original record setters have anything to do about it.
The Jaguar Partnership
They are partnering with the folks at Jaguar to try and not only top their own record, but set the land speed record at a figure above 1000 MPH. It’s long since been considered impossible, but it’s something they believe they can achieve in the near future. The original project car relied on a pair of Rolls-Royce turbofan jet engines to get up to over 700 MPH, but the latest vehicle is instead using three different engines, the Rolls jet engine, and two rocket engines to get the car to 1000 MPH in about 75 seconds flat. As you mgint imagine running these three supremely demanding engines requires a nice smooth flow of fuel, and that’s something that standard equipment simply can’t provide. To make this all possible SSC turned to Jaguar and the fuel pump used on the 5.0 liter, 542 HP supercharged V8 engine to get the job done. To celebrate the occasion, and be even more involved with the project Jaguar commissioned the construction of a special edition F-Type Coupe with BloodHound SSC written across the side. The special edition car is to serve as the official support car for the project and will help keep everyone safe on the big day.
Breaking the World Record
Most of the land speed world records have been set by the British historically, and it’s quite fitting that one of the only remaining British sports car developers is helping this completely British quest for that top spot once again. The record is going to be attempted on a 12-mile strip in the Hakseen Pan in South Africa. It’s a spot known for being very straight and flat which makes it exceptionally good for this type of project. The first attempt will be to surpass 800 MPH and from there the team will push toward the more loftier goal of 1000 miles per hour next year. It’s all very exciting and the mission shows how well Jaguar components are engineered. A simple fuel pump from one of Jag’s sports cars is potent enough to handle all that thruster power from three different massively overpowered engines, and that’s what Jaguar drivers are relying on, on a daily basis.