Mazda's new motor combines the best of petrol and diesel

Mark Schneider | 23/04/2018 1:44:02 PM

With diesel engines on the nose with legislators around the world the clever engineers at Mazda have been working to make petrol engines behave like diesels – but without the pollution that comes with them. In a world first they've created a compression ignition petrol engine that uses higher compression inside the cylinder, rather than a spark from a spark plug, to ignite the fuel. It's known as Homogenous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI). The higher compression of di...

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Categories: Technology, Mazda

Are high-tech safety features a driving distraction?

Mark Schneider | 23/04/2018 11:09:28 AM

Today's cars come packed with an astonishing array of features that just a few years ago would have seemed like science fiction. Many of them, such as lane centring and automatic braking systems, are designed to keep us safe and secure on the roads. But what if all those features with their range of options, their buttons and all those things that beep at you were distracting you from the vital task of driving? Well that's the question that's been raised by an American survey ...

Five of the oldest safety features

Mark Schneider | 16/04/2018 8:24:21 AM

It's a sobering fact that the history of cars goes hand-in-hand with the history of road deaths. The first automotive fatality dates back to 1869 when the unfortunate Mary Ward was thrown from an experimental steam car and run over as it rounded a corner in Ireland. For much of that history vehicle safety has been something of an afterthought, but today, thankfully, safety is a central concern of most new car buyers, along with practicality, economy, style and price. But...

Electric trucks promise to slash running costs

Mark Schneider | 19/02/2018 1:44:28 PM

Tesla has promised to turn the trucking industry on its head with the development of a powerful new electric semi that promises dramatically reduced running costs. But as usual with Tesla, the glittering promise is qualified with a lot of "ifs, buts and maybes". The semi is undeniably big and impressive – "a beast" according to Tesla's Elon Musk that's designed for heavy-duty work. Apart from that not much is known about it apart from a claim that it will...

Fleetcare launch Fleetmanager BI

Lania Mason | 9/11/2017 9:41:38 AM

On Tuesday 24th October 2017, Fleetcare launched Fleetmanager BI. Fleetmanager BI is Fleetcare’s business intelligence and reporting tool, integrated into the Fleetmanager portal. Fleetmanager BI gives client’s the strategic edge, providing critical fleet insights to help control expenditure and increase efficiency. Fleet managers will be able to see key fleet data in a single snap-shot each time they log into Fleetmanager, with the ability to drill down easily and explo...

Four quick tips for sorting out the Bluetooth blues

Mark Schneider | 2/11/2017 8:36:00 AM

Bluetooth technology is one of the wonders of the technological age, wirelessly connecting electronic devices so they can exchange data instantly when they're close together. It's simple to set up and use and it's made file sharing between computers a whole lot easier. It's been an absolute boon for hearing aid users, enabling them to connect hearing aids directly to smart phones and landlines. And of course it's revolutionised your car's communications a...

Tyre Maintenance For Fleet Managers

Rory Deegan - Online Marketing Coordinator | 5/09/2017 10:23:40 AM

Ok today we’re going to talk to you about tyres, the presentation is 40 minutes long and we have tea, coffee and pastries for you guys”. Those were the words of a supplier of ours who was showing us his company’s new tyre range. I remember thinking that 40 minutes was a hell of a lot of time to talk about tyres, I mean how much can be said about black rubber circles? How wrong I was. I left the meeting convinced that there must be hundreds of fleet managers who are wrongly w...

Respect Employees' Privacy When Using Tracking Technology

Mark Schneider | 30/08/2017 11:24:02 AM

If you’re in charge of a business’s vehicle fleet then you might have discovered that the human dimensions of the task can be a lot more challenging than the administrative side of it. One area that can require considerable tact and careful handling is the use of vehicle tracking technology. Vehicle tracking devices such as those offered by Fleetdynamics have given business managers unprecedented control over their fleet operations in recent years. These in-vehicle devices lin...

Is Germany about to ban internal combustion engines?

Mark Schneider | 13/01/2017 8:35:31 AM

Is the country that gave birth to the modern internal combustion engine about to kill it off? Well maybe and maybe not. News that the German Bundesrat, the federal council of all of Germany’s 16 states, recently voted to ban gasoline and diesel powered vehicles by 2030 has made waves worldwide. However, German petrolheads, or perhaps dieselheads, needn’t panic just yet, because the decision is non-binding and is as much a statement of intent as anything else. The Bundesrat doe...

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Categories: Technology, Fuel

12-volt electrical systems are reaching the end of the road

Mark Schneider | 6/01/2017 9:13:05 AM

The pace of change in vehicle technology has been dizzying in recent years with engines, brakes and safety systems all undergoing radical transformations that have brought dramatic improvements. They don’t make cars like they used to, and we can all be very thankful for that. However one thing that’s remained unchanged for decades is the electrical system that underpins much of this technology. Cars have been running 12-volt electrical systems since the 1950s when most manufac...

Ferrari resists all-electric performance push

Mark Schneider | 2/12/2016 8:47:11 AM

Sales of electric cars may still be a trickle but that trickle may yet become a flood if Toyota’s reported plans to mass-produce long range electric cars by 2020 come to fruition. Toyota’s decision coincides with Renault-Nissan’s recently announced plans to introduce an US$8,000 electric car to the Chinese market. One manufacturer that won’t be joining in the electric revolution anytime soon however is Ferrari. While the exotic Italian intends to give all its new c...

Researchers expose VW security flaw

Mark Schneider | 11/11/2016 8:17:31 AM

Concerns about the vulnerability of modern cars to hacking attacks have been heightened by the news that four researchers from the University of Birmingham have replicated the master keys for millions of VWs built since 1995. The computer security research team used $40 worth of freely available electronic equipment to reverse engineer VW’s encrypted master keys, allowing them to unlock the cars. And it’s not just VWs, it’s others from the VW group as well, including Sea...

Victoria is Australia’s car theft capital

Mark Schneider | 26/10/2016 10:01:44 AM

Australians tend to be a little parochial when it comes to their home state, proudly proclaiming the superiority of NSW, Victoria, Queensland, WA, or wherever else they call home. We even have a history of putting state slogans on our number plates. But here’s one you’re unlikely to see adorning Victorian number plates: “Australia’s car theft capital”. Yes, Victoria has earned that unwanted title after an extraordinary 33% rise in car thefts in the year to Ju...

Autonomous Cars Take a Giant Leap Forward

Mark Schneider | 2/08/2016 10:18:37 AM

Autonomous cars have just taken another big step into the future with the release of a new computer that collects data and enables autonomous navigation. NXP’s BlueBox computer collects information from radar, Lidar, cameras and other sensors and processes them in real time to build a model of the vehicle’s surroundings. The system can process an astonishing 90 million instructions per second and uses less than 40 watts in the process. It’s already had the s...

Chinese start-up poaches BMW’s electric experts

Mark Schneider | 19/07/2016 1:01:59 PM

In a sure sign that China is getting very serious indeed about the future of electric cars, Chinese electric vehicle startup Future Mobility has recruited the brains behind BMW’s electric i8 sports car. The Chinese company may be an unknown in the vehicle world, but it’s backed by some very big money - the curiously named Tencent Holdings and Foxconn. Tencent Holdings is an electronics, social media and online gaming giant worth over US$200 billion, while Foxconn, which manufa...

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