Tag Archives: technology

  • Driverless Car Goes 300,000 Miles Without An Accident

    (Photo courtesy RideStory.com)

    Google has been testing the technology of self-driving cars for a few years, actually going out on the roads of Nevada at speeds up to 70 MPH, and with no human intervention. And astonishingly, the fleet has zero accidents in the 300,000 miles the cars have driven. (Normally, correct grammar would require me to write "...the cars have been driven", but in this case, it's the cars themselves doing the driving!)

    You could sit in the passenger seat and relax...these cars feature sensors that can track pedestrians, understand traffic lights, and even merge at highway speeds.

    California governor Jerry Brown has signed state legislation that will pave the way for driverless cars, signing the bill after he travelled to Google headquarters in a self-driving Toyota Prius to show his full support for the new technology. The law will establish safety and performance regulations to test and operate driverless vehicles on California’s roads.

    “Today we’re looking at science fiction becoming tomorrow’s reality—the self-driving car,” Mr. Brown told journalists gathered to witness the historic moment for smart cars. “Anyone who gets inside a car and finds out the car is driving will be a little skittish, but they’ll get over it.”

    It's questionable whether people will get used to the idea of autonomous cars soon, but Google believes that it will take less than 10 years until the first self-driving vehicles will be available on the market. Car manufacturers such as Audi, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Ford have been working on autonomous car technology for years.

    Read the entire article at RideStory.com.

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  • Honda Develops Technology To Weld Steel And Aluminum Together

    Car manufacturers are always looking to reduce vehicle weight and thereby improve fuel economy. Toward that end, automotive giant Honda has developed a new technology for the continuous welding of steel and aluminum.

    They call it Friction Stir Welding (FSW), a solid-state joining process in which two metals can be intermixed using mechanical pressure. The resulting weld strength will be equal to or better than conventional MIG welding.

    Honda expects this technology to cut body weight by 25% compared to a conventional steel sub-frame, but you won't be using this technology any time soon in your garage shop. Conventionally, FSW requires the use of large equipment, but Honda has developed an FSW continuous welding system applied to a highly versatile industrial robot.

    Honda plans to first adopt the technology to the North American version of its 2013 Accord before expanding to other models.

    Read more about this breakthrough automotive welding technology here.

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