58 entries categorized "Videos"

Sweden Creates a 21st Century Electric Avenue

When I was young and we would descend on my grandparents for Thanksgiving, one of the main streets we traveled to get to their place was called "Electric Avenue." And we never failed to sing the Eddy Grant song chorus as we drove the last kilometre and pulled up to their door. The original "Electric Avenue" in the South London district of Brixton was a market street, the first such market street to be lit by electricity during the late 19th century.

Fast forward over a century later and Sweden has created their own Electric Avenue - but in this case, the road itself is electrified.

“Electric

Sweden, as part of their national innovation strategy, is testing the efficacy of electrified roads. eRoadArlanda, a commercial company working with the Swedish Transport Administration and several other partners, has embedded an electric rail in a public road. When an appropriately equipped electric vehicle drives along the rail, an arm is lowered from the vehicle and makes contact with the rail. This transfers energy to the vehicle and keeps it moving as well as charging the onboard battery of the vehicle, eliminating the need to stop at a charging station.

eRoadArlanda's test is part of an overall plan by the Swedish Transport Administration to support the Swedish government's target of creating a fossil-free transportation infrastructure by 2030. Electrified-road transport is estimated to cut fossil fuel emissions by 80 to 90 percent.

What do you think? Would you drive an electric car along an electrified road? Is this a good option for reducing our fossil fuel emissions? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

- Rose R.


New Year = New Cars! Highlights from the 2018 NAIAS

Last month was the 2018 North American Auto Show and folks - the future is sleek. Enhanced safety features! Imaginative headlights! Cars that look like they should be in video games!

After checking out several of the photos from the show, I was left with one overriding question: “When did grilles get so big?”

Check out these 2018 NAIAS highlights from Roadshow, where their editors choose their top production cars of the show:

If you’re more interested in THE FUTURE, here are their top five concept cars as well:

Looking forward to a shiny new ride this year? Be sure to review our post about what questions to ask when buying a new car.

Are you planning on attending any of the Canadian auto shows this season? What 2018 beauty is at the top of your automotive wish list?

- Rose R.


Which Car is Greenest of Them All? Use MIT's CarbonCounter App to Find Out

Green cars

In the market for a new car and trying to choose the most environmentally friendly option? Take a look at the CarbonCounter app as part of your pre-buying research.

Developed at MIT, the CarbonCounter app is an easy-to-use tool that takes the 125 most popular vehicles in the US and plots them on a chart that measures both carbon emissions and cost of ownership.

The app takes into consideration not only the fuel efficiency of the vehicle in question, but also the carbon cost of creating the vehicle. If the vehicle is hybrid or electric, the app also factors in the carbon cost of the electricity in various regions.

The results are pretty interesting; most electric vehicles have much lower emissions but vary widely in cost of ownership and some gasoline and diesel powered vehicles rate better on overall emissions than some hybrids.

Check out this video about the project to see how the app works:

Does your car appear on the CarbonCounter app? How does it measure up? Let us know in the comments!

- Rose R.


V2V Communications: How Car to Car Communication Can Save Lives

“Vehicle

I was out walking the dog the other morning when I saw a car get T-boned at an intersection near my house. The driver was turning left as the light turned yellow and a driver coming from the other direction decided he would hit the gas to try to make the light. The result was a resounding crunch. Both drivers walked away unharmed but the left-turning driver’s car was totaled.

One of the most frustrating things about turning left at an intersection is not knowing if an oncoming car is going to slow down as the light turns yellow or if it’s just going to roar on through. Since front brake light technology doesn’t seem to have taken off, all you can really do is use your best judgment to make the turn safely. Wouldn’t it be great if your car could communicate with the oncoming car and see if it is actually slowing down?

That’s where vehicle to vehicle communications technology (V2V) comes in. V2V allows your car to communicate with the other cars around you, within a certain range, to allow you to take preventative action where necessary. V2V uses a WiFi-like technology called DSRC (Dedicated Short Range Communication), which allows cars to communicate directly with each other in real time.

With V2V, your left-turning car would be able to detect that an oncoming vehicle wasn’t slowing down, allowing you to brake. If a car three cars ahead of you on the highway suddenly brakes, your car will know about it before you even see it. If a vehicle with V2V ahead of you slips on wet pavement or ice , V2V can warn you about slippery road conditions ahead, so that you can slow down.

Check out this US Department of Transportation video for more about how V2V will work:

Obviously, V2V works best when all cars are equipped with the technology. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that collisions could be reduced by up to 80% once the technology is integrated into all cars and light duty trucks. In the US, a regulation has been proposed that would make V2V systems mandatory in all new vehicles as early as 2023 and if that regulation passes, it’s a good bet that Canada will follow suit.

Whether or not V2V technology becomes a mandatory safety feature, most auto manufacturers are planning to include the system in upcoming vehicles. Just this year, Cadillac made its V2V communication system standard in all Canadian and US models.

Personally, I’m excited at the advent of more V2V communications; not only is it a great advance in automotive safety, but it will also cut down on my yelling: “What are you DOING??” at other drivers.

What do you think? Would V2V be helpful to you as a driver? Let us know in the comments.

- Rose R.


Old School Parking Assistance Technology

“Extreme

While I was learning all about the latest car technologies for our post on understanding your car’s safety features, I came across a great invention that could have been a real game changer in my grandparents’ day; a parking assistance innovation that never made it to the mainstream.

Modern day parking assistance became available to the masses in 2003, when Toyota introduced automatic parallel parking in Japan with the Prius. But parking assistance technology was first invented by a fellow named Brooks Walker from San Francisco, who patented his ParkCar mechanism in the 1930s. ParkCar used a car’s spare tire as a fifth wheel to help the car get into, and out of, tight spaces.

In the 1950s, Cadillac built a prototype, but ParkCar was never mass-produced, which seems like a shame. Sure, it would eat up a lot of your trunk space and would be murder on the front tires; but ParkCar would certainly be handy when parallel parking on a crowded street!

Check out this video from Tech Insider of Brooks Walker’s invention in action:

These days, most car manufacturers offer some kind of automated parking assistance, but parking is still a skill worth cultivating. Because no matter what technology you’re using to help you park, you’re still responsible for the end result!

Does your car have some kind of parking assistance system? Do you find it useful? Let us know in the comments!

- Rose R.