I feel like an old fogey with this comment; but it seems that the electronics revolution translates into a chance for the repair shops to charge whatever they feel like for repairs. Two real stories both involving my wife's cars - one had a faulty sensor that required replacement of the entire engine (I kid you not - fortunately it was under warranty) and recently a thermostat replacement cost $700 - not under warranty. Now granted, newer cars are much more sophisticated and fuel effecient than the cars of 30 years ago - but sometimes it would be nice to know that if your car dies you can clean up the sparkplugs with a wire brush and gap the points with a piece of cardboard and get it running again.
The Grand Prix isn't much of a family car. No place to put your luggage, the mileage stinks, the shock absorbers are lousy, the CD player is non-existant, and it is a magnet for the police! They need to go back to the drawing board...
At the dawn of this new millennium, (circa Y2K) when advance development teams were brainstorming radical new concepts of integrating GPS, BT, MP3 via USB, WiFi, Large-color LCD-screens, and other "radically new ideas" into the automotive sector, electronics engineers were somewhat chastised by automotive engineers for crowding into their space. After all, the V8 and the automatic transmissions were established mechanical wonders with over half a century of implemented use."Surely this new electronic stuff is just a passing fad --- its kinda cool, but really, who would want all that electronic gizmo stuff – it only distracts from the driving experience".
Thank goodness the automotive sector DID adapt, since their legacy is often backward looking.
Driving, no. Sitting in lots of them, yes. Getting into a Smart car and closing the door is an experience. Not exactly a heavy thud. Sensors were definitely on the agenda there, in that they're not visible but if you go to the automaker people, they will talk about them. Anyway, the electronics evolution is well along on the automotive platform.
hey Alex - did you get to roadtest any of those babies? they are all gorgeous and fun to drive as well - but are they safe? However, one thing is for sure: I am sure there are a lot of "MEMS inside" those machines.... Karen
I enjoyed the slideshow. It was nice to see what is coming down the pipeline. But where are the other US automakers. Half of those were old cars and don't get me wrong I love seeing old cars. Too bad no brass era cars in there or a speedsteer with an airplane engine in it. Those are even more neat to see. :) I realize the show name has international in it, but Ford seems to have been present. Hey, have any more pics of Honda's NASCAR engine? Is it tuned port or direct injection? Looks like it's a dual overhead cam engine and a direct inject, but never can see any really up close pics of one of the engines.
One way to keep a Formula One racing team moving at breakneck speed in the pit and at the test facility is to bring CAD drawings of the racing vehicleís parts down to the test facility and even out to the track.
Most of us would just as soon step on a cockroach rather than study it, but thatís just what researchers at UC Berkeley did in the pursuit of building small, nimble robots suitable for disaster-recovery and search-and-rescue missions.
Design engineers need to prepare for a future in which their electronic products will use not just one or two, but possibly many user interfaces that involve touch, vision, gestures, and even eye movements.
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