I had a co-worker with a VW Passat W8. He let me drive it a few times. It was a pleasure to drive. However, he also had many maintenance issues and ended-up trading it in for that reason.
His car had several problems with the electronics, the most persistant one caused the right HID headlight to not light about half the time. The dealer could not fix it despite having it at least 4 times (the last time for about 3 weeks). Ironically, they came up with an obscure procedure of setting the parking brake a prescribed number of times, and operating several other controls in a defined sequence which turned on the errant headlight most of the time. He saw the same car around the area with the new owner; usually, with that same headlight out.
Since his experience I have noticed several of the "new beetle" style VWs in the area with the right front headlight intact, but unlit. It would appear, VW has something amiss in their electronics package.
That's sad because VW had a reputation of a simple, inexpensive, but reliable product for many years. I owned a 1980 VW Rabbit for about 4 years with a very satisfactory experience until I sold it to buy a 1969 Camaro SS I had to have.
I can't imagine spending that kind of money on an old car with that many miles. My first action would be to get rid of it, or else learn how to do the repairs myself. Any vehicle that is that complex to service would normally be passed by as fast as I could go. Thanks for the warning about the very expensive a difficult to maintain vehicle.
In a bid to boost the viability of lithium-based electric car batteries, a team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed a chemistry that could possibly double an EV’s driving range while cutting its battery cost in half.
Using Siemens NX software, a team of engineering students from the University of Michigan built an electric vehicle and raced in the 2013 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. One of those students blogged for Design News throughout the race.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.