As a reporter, I've covered a number of different industries...but as I talk to automotive tech suppliers, I am sort of dumbfounded how big a transformation the automotive industry is going through right now. It sure is an exciting time, but there are lots of worrisome issues I am sure that will keep automotive engineers awake at night in 2014.
There are many new ways the automotive industry can change. The bottom line is that they have to be reliable. The amount of time to build these changes into the car without having any reliability issues is huge. Don't expect these things to happen quickly. Quick implementation could spell disaster to the auto company.
'BMW is also giving i3 owners access to gas-powered loaner cars during days when they need a vehicle with more range, for example, on weekend trips or extended holidays. "Ninety percent of automobile usage is a short-drive needed for daily commute," said Adlkofer.'
I think it should be other way round.
People commuting to the office or to supermarkets should be encouraged to use EVs . This can be achieved by creating a pool of EVs that can be just taken from the roadside parking lots on hire and left at any other convenient parking lot after use.
Such kind of public transport using EVs will make the daily commuting less polluting.
The local government bodies or the EV companies like BMW can manage such car pools of EVs and charge on pay per use basis.
The parking lots can have charging stations to charge the batteries of the car while idle in the parking lot.
The EV industry should seriously look at this alternative to make EVs popular, affordable and contribute to the green environment.
Replacing engine control unit or upgrading firmware of the unit is not really new in Asia. Car lovers in Japan or some other countries in Asia will find way to modify their car to make it more powerful. By modifying the engine control unit and air filter, a car can easily get over 20 HP.
I am sure the future of SD car will be more than console and hp improvement. As the technology evolution has ramped up quickly, auto makers are inevitably launched a safe and stable product while waiting for the feature upgrade to be released later.
Not sure how many men would like to buy a car looking not into its performance but into the dashboard or software status. I agree many women would prefer that. But yes if you are a office goer and want it for daily commute, it makes more sense to have a car with good dashboard looks, high end software because ultimately when you go/comeback from office or stuck in traffic this can relax you. Definitely performance wont matter at that time. But if you drive on highway for long hours performance takes a preference and good softwrae definitely wont hurt.
The top request on my list is for a source of substantial 120 / 240 volt power (as an emergency generator) from my car. It makes no sense to pay thousands for a powerful emergency generator that is used once or twice a year when my quiet powerful car is parked at the house. I have a friend who have modified a Toyota Prius to be an emergency generator for an house; it ran for a week on 5 gallons of gas (turning on as the battery ran low and shutting off when it was recharged). Car companies who offer the 120 / 240 volt emergency power option could charge $500 and they'd take over the emergency power generator market overnight. With a ~$600 "GenerLink" meter transfer switch on the home electric meter, the emergency generator can be safely connected to the home electrical system without rewiring the house or risking dangerous energy feedback into the grid. I can't wait to connect my house .... just waiting for the car. I hear they've been made available in Japan.
Wait, DrQuine, are you talking about a hybrid, or are you talking a regular car?
I can't say about the hybrid, but your typical car generator (13.5 V) generates at best about 100 amps. I looked it up. So that means, with the engine running pretty fast, the car's generator can only produce 1350 W of power for your house, which is really not enough.
And it would be far from quiet. It's not just idling. And worse, I'd worry about overheating and other such, when a car is sitting still revving the engine for hours and hours on end.
I suppose that an extra cost option, with bigger generator, bigger radiator, and so on, would be a possibility. But I would kind of cringe at the thought of my car running unattended like that, all night long. Unless it was designed for that.
Yes, the large battery hybrids are the vehicles that have the high voltage, high capacity batteries and charging systems that make the generator option easy. With a conventional battery, getting 10 amps at 120 volts means that you have to draw 100 amps at 12 volts which takes serious cables and the voltage drops become a big issue over any distance at all. Hybrids [e.g. Toyota Prius] also have the autostart capability as the stored energy drops to recharge the batteries.
Just as any other industry (PC, mobile, TV, etc.) has experienced thus far, I think software will make a huge difference for cars -- not only in their time to market but all the bells and whistles to come with it.
Of course, you don't need all the distractions for drivers, but you do need a UI with clarity and simplicity -- which can, again, be experimented in the software-defined car.