Archive for the ‘Automotive Engineering’ Category

Are automobiles killing motorcyclists and cyclists ‘by design’?

Cottingham Day approaches – more vintage motorcycles

Cottingham is well known for it’s retirees – and elderly drivers

For many pensioners however, they have to renew their drivers licence when they reach 70 years of age. To continue to drive past 70 however requires an eye test and may also require drivers to be certified by their GPs as fit to drive and to take a medical. The disabled must also prove they can operate their vehicles controls effectively and drive safely.

According to the UK Police, many road traffic accidents are caused by “driver inattention” – pulling out without seeing an approaching motorcycle

Driver automation (driverless cars) is not the answer as it risks making drivers even more inattentive.
We know using smartphones whilst driving is dangerous, but banning their use may be only part of the solution to the problem.

Cottingham.tv is investigating car design and how it impacts on motorcyclists safety.

Modern cars appear to have front and side window blind spots, caused by increasingly large window pillars that may be causing “pulling-out errors” leading to serious road traffic accidents where the narrow motorcycle can’t be seen. Older drivers are increasingly distracted by in-car infotainment systems

http://www.hstoday.com/safety/ntsb-fatal-crash-involving-tesla-autopilot-resulted-driver-errors-overreliance-automation

 

More radical solutions are proposed, including safety aids for the elderly car driver – to be continued ..

If you would like to support the Editor Nick in his work including lobbying for changes to car design, please contact nicholasrobinsondesign.com

Comes Great Responsibility?

 

Koenigsegg takes automobile acceleration to a whole new level!

Europe 2.0: Great Scott!

There are old pilots and there are bold pilots, but there are no old, bold pilots!

And so it is sadly with today’s politicians, their pundits, commentators (and lecturers): – going to begin this lecture by making some bold mission statements, debunking some historicism and rehashing some old  declarations – and support our retailers: –

 

But back to the future:

it was assumed that we would have made great strides discovering the ‘governing dynamics’ of the Scientific Universe at least by now – as in “Back To The Future”: –

Finding the 1.21GW required for fictional time travel by DeLorean – but only just in time!!

Time flies like an arrow ..

The DeLorean time machine’s destination date was set to 21st October 2015 Wednesday last week as Back to the Future Day, a time the scriptwriters predicted when we would have discovered and invented gravity-defying hover-boards and time-defying flux capacitors!

In our parallel future however, the 1.21 gigawatts required to power the famous Flux Capacitor is replaced by 14 TeV at CERN today, as the quest for the ‘governing dynamics’ of the universe  (hence providing us with an understanding of Gravity and Time ultimately) a “Theory of Everything” – which still eludes us.

Flux capacitor

.. but fruit flies like a banana!

‘Back to the future’ in the political democratic arena: –

In the political and democratic arena by comparison, there appears to have been be little or no change in managing basic human nature: 21/10/2015 still retains the undemocratic and dystopian economic and political structures that Biff Tannen and his henchmen inevitably created!

Karl Popper echoed this pessimistic view of utopias in his devastating critique of the use of Historicism in the Social and Political Sciences. If you want to have a deeper understanding of politics and economics, you need philosophy too – as well as an understanding of the economics of supply and demand.

So what are the governing dynamics – of government?

Popper asserted we just don’t know and that government by precedent and historical analysis of its constituent social and human sciences is incomplete i.e.  flawed.

One thing is certain however, the future is not inevitable!

Both unpredictable and unexpected things events may take place in government by politics. “Events, dear boy, events”.

In one mechanistic political future; the inventors get the upper hand with discoveries and hover boards make levitation and flux capacitors make time travel possible. In another predicted informatic or technical metaphor future as predicted here; online democracy becomes ubiquitous through online gaming and creates governmental and electoral reform! Technology can and does inevitably change our methods of working and their governance over time.

The quest for a gravity-levitating machine as a device as a mechanistic invention rather than a scientific discovery has not, as far as the editor knows, produced a sustainable lift system; only brief and small changes in an objects weight over short periods. If such a system were to do so, it would have a profound way in which we govern ourselves!

All rise!

The last time the editor researched “gravity drives” along with “perpetual or practicular motion”  was a over decade ago, so things have developed since rotating pairs of gyroscopes on a balance to measure their weight! Perhaps it is also interesting to note that so keen were the Victorians to invent and patent ‘practicular motion’ devices, the Patent Office actually wrote a clause to refuse their submission!

Europe 2.0

  • Europe 2.0 should and could (therefore) be a region and a zone where individuals, groups and Nation States can experiment creatively with participating democracy, constitutional framing, economics and social groupings – not an over-arching bureaucracy where all practices are locked-down and set in stone!
  • Europe should (following on) be thought of as a collection of dynamically-re-configurable systems rather than static immovable bureaucracies
  • In case you were pondering; – “just in time” governance as in manufacturing is not, repeat not the same as dynamic constitutional framing –but  rather, it forms an important sub-set thereof!
  • Back in the days of the early computer pioneer Ada Lovelace, we had punch cards for ‘batch card processed’ production relating to automating weavers looms. Our democracies have however remained set in stone i.e. ‘batch card processed’. This can be referred to as ‘static constitutional framing’. The result is pre-ordained, bureaucratic, exclusive and inflexible
  • Modern computing comprises real-time user interfaces like Windows. ‘Front end’ user-driven screen processes operate  ‘middleware’ business logic to manipulate ‘back end’ data processes to realize their ‘just in time’ governance in production systems – working in ‘real-time’ as “three-tier systems”
  • Take a moment to consider this: a flexible manufacturing system with its distributed economies of production can be compared with a future Europe with its distributed democracies – as a user-friendly computing machine metaphor.
  • A future Europe can therefore be considered to be an aggregate of dynamic economies and dynamic democratic constitutions with dynamic resource allocation!

 

Europe 2.0: Dynamic Constitutional Framing for Economic Growth: what are the   advantages?

  • Interactive government by eDemocracy as proposed engages electorates through real-time user (hence electorate) participation in online gaming
  • A Europe comprising a collection of dynamically-reconfigurable systems is a Constructionist Europe comprising building blocks, rather like ‘smart social LEGO’
  • Used as an antidote to, rather than a replacement for, elective representative democracy within and between bureaucracies
  • Provides pathways to implementing smarter government aka. electoral reform that will be required to match smarter technology on a country-by-country basis
  • A recipe for economic and social growth
  • Leaving the best until the last: a Super State as so described – namely Europe 2.0 – can maximize the choices available for its ‘end-users’ – namely its electorates – on demand and on an individual by individual basis. The parallel is drawn with modern automobile production where no two cars leaving the production line are necessarily identical as each has been chosen from a wide array of choices available to the individual purchaser: for example body color, engine, model, interior trim and optional extras. No two cars rolling in sequence off the production line are alike.
  • One size no longer has to fit all and we each have the right to govern and be governed by consent as self-determining individuals!

 

Nick @NPRFTEDesign

Scoop! Tax Credits

P.S. Update: for a most recent example, The UK House of Lords exercises ‘dynamic constitutional framing’ to defeat the House of Commons in today’s news!

If you are concerned the reforms will hit you as a carer, we’d like to hear from you!

Angels led by Donkeys: is plug-in hybrid vehicle performance still presenting a ‘race to the bottom’ for todays’ drivers in terms of enjoyment?

Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid: although finally a step in the right direction and despite powered and energy-recovery flywheel hybrid IC engine developments led by 2014-5 Formula One motor racing, the driving feel remains remote and the driving experience cold and clinical.

Crankshaft

The author has been developing an alternative hybrid driving system that offers improved feel and enjoyment 

Brief history: a petrol-head’s guide

The race for alternative fuels

1990s: following on from fuel price-hikes from the previous decade, alternative fuels began to be explored with bio-fuels and LPG being pioneered as alternative dual-fuel options where your car boot was effectively sacrificed to carry the LPG in bulky pressurized cylinders above the fuel tank and spare tyre. Hybrid cars were also introduced, but they flopped as their battery technology was too heavy and expensive. It has been reported that GM’s EV-1 “was killed off by the oil and gas industry”, such was the culture of resistance to change in the industry and consumers at the time.

With the Diesel-fuelled internal combustion engine, inroads were made into the area of automotive fuel economy with Diesel fuel becoming available on the forecourts for car-drivers who were offered fuel tax-incentives to encourage them to buy cars with Diesel engines. Trucks had been using the more economical Diesel fuel for decades which helped open-up the US economy in the 1960s.

2000s: Diesel won the battle for the fuel of choice with fuel tax incentives continuing to be offered at the pumps by government. The turbo-Diesel offered performance gains over the sluggish normally-aspirated Diesel but it still didn’t compare with the petrol engine for performance. It has been said that we were duped into buying into Diesel technology because it was still inferior to the direct response offered by petrol engines. The Diesel engine along with the hybrid-powered vehicles were heavy and sluggish, requiring a ‘feather-touch’ accelerator action to bring any substantial efficiency gains. The Toyota Prius was reportedly awful in terms of performance feel and economy also but it did make a courageous first step to change an industry that was heavily-entrenched in and around the conventional petrol-fuelled internal combustion engine.

2010s: the bi turbo-Diesel offered a more lively feel and mid-range acceleration, overcoming ‘turbo-lag’.

Audi were the early pioneers of the bi-turbo Diesel technology with the other major manufacturers following suit.

Improvements in battery technology also led to the hybrid becoming replaced by the plug-in hybrids with Prius’ getting retrofits.

After we’d made the switch to Diesel, the fuel tax-incentive of diesel over petrol was phased out leaving a question-mark hanging the environmental advantages of Diesels with their high particulate emissions.

More recently,

read on ..

Despite the drive to make modern plug-in hybrid vehicles become more economical and less polluting, do they offer driving enjoyment?

For a view of current future thinking from Jaguar Land Rover, follow the link. The editor thinks that automotive design engineers have been denied a major opportunity to enhance rather than detract from the performance of IC engines! If enjoyment were a fundamental starting point for car designers and engineers rather than managed tick-box objectives, such mismatches of feel and engagement with economy and performance could be avoided in the future.

Conclusion: will new ‘designer-led’ leadership brush away all the bureaucracy?

The author thinks that with so many alternative futures being developed over the last decade including: – alternative fuels, lightweight materials, hybrid drives, flexible manufacturing, driver seating, driverless technology, automatic parking and drive by wire technology – coupled with the fall in global fuel prices and automotive sales – that the industry now needs effective leadership as it is now spending too much on in-house ‘runaway R&D’. This involves technology cramming and churning (adding horses for courses), further pushing-up showroom prices for products the customer no longer desires (quote)!

That leadership should be driven by driving pleasure and not a ‘race to the bottom’ caused by organizational bureaucracy taking-over key positions in large organizations! If organizational bureaucrats are the ‘donkeys’ and automotive engineers are the ‘angels’, then surely the angels are being led by the donkeys!

As a test you can ask yourself: if bureaucrats tend to create more bureaucracy in organizations by promoting their own kind, then look no further than the menu-driven displays and controls in modern vehicles today where you can see their mind-sets in action!

Your  comments please to Cottingham.tv

For enquiries relating  to the editor’s independently-patented IP, contact the inventor nick4182@hotmail.com

Nick

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