Technology

Car Technology News Moves to Edmunds.com

By Jeff Hester December 14, 2011
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Thank you for your interest in Edmunds.com's coverage and analysis of automotive technology. AutoObserver.com is being integrated into a new area of Edmunds.com. Coverage of car technology now can be found at http://www.edmunds.com/car-technology/. To stay connected via social media as well, please follow Edmunds.com on Twitter@edmunds... more

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Social Media Keys Ford's Marketing Renaissance

By Dale Buss November 3, 2011

When Ford CMO Jim Farley delivers a keynote address at a big national convention of bloggers in Los Angeles Friday, he will become the first-auto industry marketing chief to do so. That’s certainly a big deal for the BlogWorld & New Media Expo, which has become the largest annual event in the world solely dedicated to advancing social media. But it’s even more important for Ford, which is gamely attempting to extend the early lead it has established over other automakers in exploiting all manner of social media and converting its cunning into real gains in awareness, consideration and more

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Partial Skyactiv Tech Debuts On 2012 Mazda3

By Paul Seredynski October 27, 2011

Long a player in the C-Class segment, the Mazda3 makes up nearly half of all Mazda North American Operations’ U.S. sales. So important is the Mazda3, the company pulled forward the debut of its new Skyactiv fuel-saving technologies to make the 2012 Mazda3 a viable player in the compact-car segment’s new 40-mpg marketing wars. Mazda recently previewed its refreshed 2012 Mazda3 in Los Angeles, which sports a partial application of Skyactiv. Now on par in the class with its Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) highway fuel-economy rating of 40 miles per gallon, the 2012 Mazda3 with Skyactiv has kept its more

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Audi E-Tron Spyder Highlights Diesel PHEV Tech

By John O'Dell October 13, 2011

Germans are a practical people, so when automakers such as the Volkswagen Group’s Audi churn out an expensive new concept car, there’s usually a retail version lurking somewhere in the background.  That the company flew the only existing version of its latest advanced-drive concept – the hand-built, $2.75-million (give or take) Audi E-Tron Spyder plug-in hybrid -- from Germany to Los Angeles to let U.S. journalists sample it says even more about the likelihood of production intent. It may be a few years, but it’s a pretty safe bet that some sort of a production mid-engine Audi roadster will more

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Calif. Bill Seeks Use Of Piezoelectric Technology

By Scott Doggett September 12, 2011

A bill sent to California Gov. Jerry Brown for signing would instruct the California Energy Commission (CEC) to research the possibility of using piezoelectric technology in the state's roads and railways to generate electricity from passing cars, trucks or trains. Assembly Bill 306, which was approved by the state Legislature last week, would also require the CEC to develop a pilot project if it deemed that the technology had potential for use in California. The science works as follows: By placing piezoelectric sensors underneath a road, the vibrations produced by passing vehicles can be converted into electricity. In 2009, more

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Cisco Chief Futurist Dave Evans Chats Cars

By Doug Newcomb July 22, 2011

One of Dave Evans' job titles at Cisco is "chief futurist," and among his duties in that role is to predict what kinds of cars will be on the road in 10, 20, 30 years or longer. In a recent conversation, Evans shared his vision of the future of automotive and automotive safety. more

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Quantum Hedges Bets With Advanced Powertrains

By Danny King July 1, 2011

Since the middle of last month, California-based advanced powertrain maker Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies has: received an order from Dow Chemical Corp. to convert a number of Ford pickups to plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV); shown off its diesel hybrid-electric Army all-terrain vehicle at the Indy 500; and, sold more than $400,000 in on-board storage tanks for compressed natural gas-powered (CNG) dairy trucks. It did all this while preparing itself for Fisker Automotive, the maker of a plug-in hybrid electric sports tourer that uses Quantum powertrains, to start U.S. and European deliveries this month. And that activity doesn't include more

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Johnson Controls Eyes Start-Stop Vehicle Surge

By Danny King June 28, 2011

Global automakers' annual orders of vehicle battery systems that save fuel by shutting down the engine when the car's not moving will surge over the next few years and dwarf alternative-fueled vehicle sales, battery-making giant Johnson Controls said at its annual analyst meeting for its power solutions division. Automakers will use so-called start-stop systems as a way to meet progressively more stringent emissions requirements in both the U.S. and overseas while better serving customers looking for relatively inexpensive ways to save on fuel in the midst of rising gas prices, the company said. more

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Company Says Its Software Boosts EV Battery Range

By Danny King June 27, 2011

A Massachusetts software maker recently awarded $25,000 by the state of Michigan for its work on a software-based control system that the company says can boost automobile batteries' power by at least 25 percent, plans to open a Michigan facility next year io develop the system for use with the lithium-ion batteries used with most electric-drive vehicle batteries and the nickel-metal hydride batteries used in most hybrid cars and SUVs. Clean Energy Innovations, founded in 2009 in Michigan but now based in Fall River, Mass., was awarded the so-called Great Lakes Entrepreneur's Quest Emerging Business grand prize this year more

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Ford Quickens Pace In Infotainment, Safety

By Dale Buss June 22, 2011

Ford is attempting to build on its early lead in on-board connectivity and also add to its safety chops as it continues to navigate the increasingly strategic and high-profile world of automotive infotainment. Innovations such as Sync have gained Ford some leadership in this area in the eyes of American consumers, and this week Ford has announced incremental advances, such as expansion of its Sync voice-control software to more vehicles and greater visibility of fonts that it uses in controls and touch screens in its vehicles. more

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