Automatic driving

AutoDrive is a completely automated highway driving system. By 2030 all major interstates in the US are expected to support “AutoDrive lanes” with completely automated car and commercial vehicle driving. Any car updated for AutoDrive can enter these lanes and enjoy speed limits of around 130 mph.

AutoDrive Features

•GPS based position determination for accurate steering.

•Inter Vehicle Signaling (IVS) is used for keeping track of neighbouring vehicles.

•Radar feed is used to identify objects in vicinity of the car.

•Map updates are obtained over a wireless internet connection.

•Weather feed is used to adjust driving parameters according to the current weather conditions.

•Construction and road closure detection is implemented using IVS.

Tzero, an exercise in automotive fantasy

AC Propulsion’s tzero roadster is a reason to not give up on the electric vehicle. The tzero does 0 to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds, according to the company, and it does it on only 200 horsepower because of its light weight and torque. The San Dimas, California-based company says the tzero has compared favourably in acceleration tests to Corvettes, Porsche 911s — and even a Ferrari F355, which it claims to have ‘out-accelerated by eight car lengths’ in one-eighth-mile drag races. If for nothing else, the tzero’s $220,000 sticker price puts it in exotic-car territory.

The low weight helps make the tzero so quick, but its torque — the turning force that pulls it off the line — is just as important, if not more. Conventional internal combustion engines need to rev to a certain rate before reaching their peak torque, but the tzero’s torque peaks instantly, with 183 ft-lbs. available from 0 to 5,000 rpm. Indeed, the tzero can only go 280 to 300 miles at 60 mph without recharging — even if it can recharge on any 120- or 240-V power socket. And if you accelerate it like an Italian exotic, or even take it on a hilly route, that range can decrease by up to about 20 per cent. The range has actually increased over time. AC Propulsion had made the tzero with lead-acid batteries since 1997, but this year released a revamped version with the kind of lithium-ion batteries used in laptop computers.