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Technology in Vehicles





Definition:


Technology in vehicles refers to the electronic devices and features that improve the usability and safety of vehicles.
Less than ten years ago a car was concidered to be technologically advanced if the owner had an aftermarket sound system. The limitations of automobile technology exceed almost all expectation, and only continue to grow with endless possibilities. New cars are exploring advanced communications and safety options through such technologies including BlueTooth, GPS navigation, satellite radio, live traffic updates, flex-fuel/hybrid vehicles, and a host of other options.




Applications:



The new fuel technologies alone will revolutionize the world's dependence on Fossil Fuels. Radios are now integrating computer screens and GPS (Global Positioning System) navigation to help drivers never get lost. Some of these navigation sets give directions by a computerized voice.

In late October BP started using hydorgen fueling technology and opened a new hydrogen fueling station designed to help field test the fuel cells and fueling infrastructure. The next step is to bring hydrogen fuel technology to a broader market. This of course can only happen once more people start buying cars that are equipped to handle this new technology.

In addition to Hydrogen fuel, many companies are increasingly turning to Ethanol as an alternative to traditional petroleum gas. While Ethanol can be produced from many different products, corn is among the more popular materials for production.

New cars are being introduced everyday with groundbreaking technology. Lexus has just introduced a car, the new LS, that can parallel park itself with the driver in or out of the car. Other cars have parking guidance systems, enhanced cruise control systems that can be used in stop-and-go traffic and maintain safe distances from other cars, and warning systems that alert you when you stray from your lane.

Similarly, GM has developed a concept car that isn't your typical car. The 'gas' and 'brake' are on the steering wheel, rearview mirrors are now cameras, and the steering wheel can be moved electronically to either side of the car. But that's not all. The vehicle is also able to change body types with the simple unscrewing of the frame. All the engine components are located underneath the car for easy maintenance. For more information, check out the link for the Technology advanced concept vehicle.

This new technology in cars has also been used to catch car thiefs by way of "bait" cars. Dummy cars are placed in locations where they will most likely be stolen. Unknown to the criminal, the car is wired with technology that enables the cops to control the car from another locatoin. When the car is out of major traffic, the cops cut the power of the car and lock the criminal inside. This is a great way to use technology and shows the range of how technology in vehicles can be used.



Terminology:



Hybrid vehicle: An automobile with more than one power source, such as an electric motor and internal combustion engine or an electric motor with battery and fuel cells for energy storage; also called hybrid vehicle.

GPS: Global Positioning System that is a constellation of two dozen well-spaced satellites that orbit the Earth twice every 24 hours and it makes it possible for people with ground recievers to pinpoint their geographic location.

GPS navigation: A system of satellites, computers, and receivers that is able to determine the latitude and longitude of a receiver on Earth by calculating the time difference for signals from different satellites to reach the receiver.

Fuel cell(s): Cell that produces electricity by oxidation of fuel (hydrogen and oxygen or zinc and air); for use in electric cars

BlueTooth: A short-range radio technology for Internet and mobile devices, aimed at simplifying communications among
them.

XM/Sirius radio: Satellite radio service in the United States based in Washington, DC and controlled by News Corporation's DirecTV, General Motors, American Honda, Hughes Electronics, and several private investment groups.


Graphics:


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Rearview mirror equipped with Bluetooth technology





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Fuel Efficiency, Navigation, Safety**


Safety:


With all the new automotive technology, safety should always be considered first. Safety within a car could be the difference between life and death of a person.

Since the advancement of technology in vehicles there has also been an advancement in the safety. Seat belts, padded dashboards, collapsible steering columns, improved bumpers and other safety features have become standard for all vehicles. After seat belts, the most significant advancement in automobile safety has been airbags. Airbags are gas-inflated cushions that rapidly discharge from compartments hidden in steering columns, dashboards, roof rails, doors and seats.

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Side curtain-type airbags in the Volvo XC90 provide occupants with additional protection in case of rollover.

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Web Resources:


**www.bluetooth.com**
http://www.gm.com/company/onlygm/energy/flexfuel.html**|**http://www.gm.com/company/onlygm/energy/flexfuel.html
**http://automobiles.honda.com**
Lexus LS self parking demo
Technologically advanced concept vehicle
dictionary.com/search
American Coalition of Ethanol
Ethanol Fuel
http://www1.eere.energy.gov/hydrogenandfuelcells/