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How Collision Warning and Automatic Braking Systems Work

Vehicle safety technology started moving away from mechanical systems more than a decade ago. Collision warning and automatic braking systems use advanced sensors and technology that makes cars much safer for drivers and pedestrians as well.

The way these systems work is very simple. They combine cameras and sensors to detect objects in front of the car. In some cases, radars are used to detect the distance between the car and the vehicle in front of it. This is being monitored by the car ECU continuously as long as the car is turned on. Even when the car is standing still, collision warning and automatic braking systems are active.

The automatic braking system works along with side collision warning systems. Automatic braking is triggered by collision warning sensors. When the ECU considers that the vehicle might collide with another vehicle, obstacle, or pedestrian it engages the brakes automatically without the input of the driver. This system takes into account multiple factors. The ECU checks if the driver engaged the brake pedal, the speed of the car, and the distance towards the object.

It also detects the moving speed of the object in front to determine a safe braking distance. If the driver fails to react accordingly, the collision warning and automatic braking system take control of the car, assisting the driver and avoiding a traffic incident.

If the car detects an obstacle approaching or if an object is dangerously close, it will not engage the brakes if it determines that the current stopping speed determined by deceleration, how hard the brake pedal is pressed and distance to the object make it possible for the driver to avoid the collision unassisted. Keep Reading

2022 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Details Leaked

The 2022 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 has not yet received an official unveil but there have been some leaks to hint at what to expect. While no official photos of the exterior have been published, the Z06 is expected to maintain familiar looks.

Exterior

In late 2020, the 2022 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 prototype has been spotted on public roads. While most of the exterior was masked, the overall shape of the car looks very familiar. It features quad-exhaust and the same taillights with the large LED strip going through the middle of the tail.

Because the car was covered, few other details could be distinguished. The upcoming Z06 will have LED daytime running lights that contours the headlights and large air vents on the sides like in the previous generation.

Engine

While many anticipated a supercharged petrol engine or even a hybrid, Chevrolet will be offering the upcoming Z06 with a 5.5-liter naturally aspirated engine. The engine will come in a V-8 configuration. It will be a flat-plane twin-cam engine that can go up to 9,000 RPM and delivers 625 HP. This makes it one of the most powerful naturally aspirated engines, packing 99 more HP than the second most powerful.

An interesting aspect of the upcoming Z06 is that there will be an all-electric version. Chevrolet has not disclosed much about the technology of their electric powertrain, range, and HP.

Lastly, there will be a hybrid version. The hybrid version will have a total output of 1000 HP and will be paired with an automatic transmission.

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2021 Ford Mustang

Ford surprised everyone with the announcement of the Mustang Mach-E. It is a departure from the Mustang that everyone was used to. The Mustang has always been a muscle car powered by large internal combustion engines. For 2021, Ford is continuing the legacy even if the Shelby GT350 will be discontinued. The 2021 Ford Mustang is still coming and there are a few things to talk about.

Exterior

From the outside, the 2021 model year Mustang does not change. It features the same long hood, gently curved towards the front bumper. The headlights and bumper remained unchanged as well as the large front grille.

What is new is the addition of a special Mach 1 edition. The 2021 Ford Mustang will be available in a limited edition that comes with a black stripe across the hood, rear, and sides.

Interior

The interior of the 2021 Ford Mustang should feel familiar. If you are one of the few that complained about the size of the steering wheel, you might not like it that the 2021 model has the same design as the previous model year. The steering wheel-mounted controls are all within reach and have a satisfying mechanical feel. There are no touch-sensitive buttons that the german automakers were so eager to adopt.

The instrument cluster is not available with digital dials. It is a single display that shows all the traditional information such as engine revs, speed, temperatures but they can be customized as they come in several different views.

Looking at the center console, the infotainment system remains placed in a lower position, beneath the center air vents. AC controls all have physical buttons right beneath the infotainment display and have a piano-like design.

Overall, the dashboard has a quality feel to it due to the soft materials used but it offers that specific Mustang sensation of being in a massive and powerful car.

Visibility is generally good except for the rear window. Due to the shape of the Mustang, it will be difficult to have some sort of practical visibility in the rear-view mirror, making it more of a second car rather than a daily driver.

Drivetrain and Engines

The limited-edition model, the Mach 1 will come with a 5.0 V8 engine and a power output of 480 HP. There will be an option to choose between a 6-speed manual or a 10-speed automatic transmission.

For the standard version, Ford will also be offering the option to get the 2.3-liter, 4 cylinder engine, and 310 HP. Also, for the EcoBoost engine, Ford will be offering the option to choose a manual or automatic transmission.

Safety and Tech

The new infotainment system used for the 2021 Ford Mustang is based on the same infotainment used in other Ford cars. It was revamped a couple of years ago to add more modern features such as improved responsiveness and better support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There will also be parking sensors, automatic emergency braking and a self-parking feature for the version with an automatic transmission. Additionally, there is the option to get 360 view cameras as an option.

Smart Car Technology

Smart Car Technology is looking for a new vision of vehicle use that will provide better safety and sustainability of urban life. This technology uses artificial intelligence applied to autonomous cars – smart cars.

Smart cars will be exclusively autonomous battery-powered vehicles, and that the number of traffic accidents will significantly reduce. The development of the mobile service will be maintained by multimedia centers that will be interactive, with powerful virtual assistants far more capable than today. It expects that the control of the vehicle will be keyless, as most of these roles will take over by a voice assistant.

An autonomous car is a self-driving car under computer control and on artificial intelligence. Such cars combine sensors and software for control and management.

Autonomous driving technology tests are being carried out on the roads of large urban cities. According to the Global automotive supplier study highlights, the highest growth rate in the use of autonomous vehicles is expected in North America, followed by China and Europe. The scenario shows the highest growth rate in the period 2025 -2030.

The evolution of Smart Car Technology leads to the development of Automated Driving Systems.

Smart cars are becoming a reality.

The development of Smart Car Technology includes:

  • electronic fuel injection,
  • power distribution control for each wheel,
  • computer diagnostics,
  • advanced air-bag systems and satellite navigation,
  • smart traffic, jam assist,
  • interactive voice recognition,
  • night view,
  • driver state monitoring,
  • remote parking assist system,
  • smart blind spot detection,
  • motion recognition
  • message center,
  • telephony possibilities, and much more.

Car design

Mini vehicles – will be primarily used in cities and suburbs. Such vehicles provide excellent maneuverability, range 15-20 km, capacity 1-2 passengers. These are rental (sharing) vehicles, highly reliable and not expensive to procure and maintain.

Medium cars – will also be used primarily in cities and suburbs. Such vehicles provide greater comfort, offering more space to transport 4+ passengers. These are also rental vehicles.

Personalized vehicles – have no restrictions, neither in range, nor comfort, nor shape (sedan, hatchback, crossover, SUV). Given that the driver is not focused on driving, the interior design and media-entertainment industry will rethink what autonomous vehicle passengers do when on the road. In practice, it will show whether passengers have more time for work and leisure. In both cases, the visual message of the exterior and interior must, therefore, intelligently designed, creating the car as a marketable product.

Smart Cars in the future

The future of the car may look like this: when a passenger/driver enters, a task is issued by voice, for example, going to work. By interacting, the robot will offer the passenger a route concerning traffic. During the ride, the traveling robot will suggest other media services, given the personalization performed, and include real-time sensitive analysis of passengers using bio-signal recognition. Upon the car at the destination, the vehicle will head to the nearest charging station, after which it will park and wait for the order to return for the passenger and drive to the desired position.

The development of technology enables many changes and improvements in every type of industry, and the automotive industry is not far behind. That is why car companies, in cooperation with the main technology giants, are working to improve safety and comfort.

AWD Vehicles Versus 4WD… Do You Know the Difference?

AWD Vehicles Versus 4WD

In many modern cars, the difference between AWD and 4WD can be very confusing. As new technologies are implemented the line that differentiates the two becomes increasingly shallow. Having to choose between AWD vehicles versus 4WD starts with understanding how each system work.

AWD cars

Traditionally, AWD has 3 differentials. They have a differential for the front wheels, one for the rear wheels, and a central differential that distributes the torque to the front and rear axle. The differentials ensure that torque is distributed evenly between the wheels while allowing them to have different rotational speeds. All four wheels spin with the same force but can have different speeds.

In real-life scenarios, an AWD system can have one or more wheels slipping while the others receive the same torque. For regular driving, this system works quite well as it is quite rare to find yourself stranded on public roads. What it does is to ensure traction and stability on public roads.

4WD cars

4WD systems have a similar setup. When comparing AWD vehicles versus 4WD, you can notice that 4WD uses a central transfer case instead of a differential. The transfer case allows for the torque to be distributed unevenly, depending on where it may be needed the most. This means that the front axle may get more torque than the rear axle or the other way around depending on the conditions.

This type of setup makes 4WD cars more practical for off-roading. If for example, your front axle is slipping, the system can detect this event by monitoring the rotational speed of the wheels. If the front wheels spin more than the rear wheels, it indicates that the car may require more torque on the rear axle to get the car out of a difficult situation. The transfer case assists by sending more torque to the rear axle.

Which one is better?

The debate around AWD vehicles versus 4WD vehicles revolves around use case scenarios. AWD vehicles usually have the option to send all the torque only to the front axle. This means better fuel economy. 4WD vehicles manage torque distribution better across the front and rear axles which makes them better suited for off-road conditions.

Understanding how these systems work can help you determine which one is better for your situation. Both systems are good at what they do for the type of driving situations they were designed. In modern days, AWD systems are more common. They are not necessarily cheaper, but they are more commonly used since most people rarely drive in off-road conditions.

4WD systems tend to be more common in large cars with high ground clearance such as trucks. As the market demand for small SUVs and crossovers increased over the past decade, AWD is more common amongst vehicles by sheer sales volumes. Tucks, pick-up trucks, and dedicated off-road vehicles sell in smaller numbers than SUVs and crossovers.

In the end, AWD vehicles versus 4WD vehicles is not a fair comparison. AWD cars will always perform better on public roads while 4WD vehicles will be better for off-roading. Reversing their roles will not provide any kind of advantage.

2021 Honda CRV AWD

The 2021 model year for the Honda CR-V does not bring significant changes. Customers should expect more of the same. Overall, the 2021 Honda CRV AWD version will be the same as the 2020 model year when the Japanese manufacturer introduced an exterior facelift.

Engine and Transmission

For the AWD model, Honda is using their VTi-S system that makes use of a 1.5-liter turbo petrol engine that delivers 189 HP or 140 kW. Despite have reasonable power, the CR-V is a heavy vehicle and it does not feel like a sporty drive in any shape or form. It is suitable as a daily driver and family car especially with the CVT automatic transmission that comes as a standard for AWD models. A reasonably specced 2021 Honda CRV AWD model should weigh about 3500 lb which is not a lot. The power to weight ratio is decent but the AWD system makes it accelerate slower than what most would expect if it were to be compared to an FWD version having the same 140 kW transmission.

Interior

The interior of the Honda CR-V has been refined starting with the 2020 model year. Unlike most European manufacturers, the infotainment system is properly integrated into the central console and it does not stick out, obstructing a portion of the windshield. It has a lower position that allows for two air vents to be placed right above it. The driver instrument cluster is now available with digital gauges that are split amongst 3 small screens instead of using a single large screen like most german manufacturers like to use.

What is important to note that Honda retained physical buttons for the AC system, seats, and volume. Most users complain about manufacturers using touch-sensitive buttons or completely removing buttons. For the 2021 Honda CRV AWD, the Japanese automaker decided to still use physical buttons for their practicality and tactile sensation that simply makes them more practical.

The gear selector is placed right beneath the infotainment system but still has that slightly elevated position as in the 2020 model. Being an automatic, having the gear selector so elevated does not do much in terms of practicality but it leaves the storage area around the armrest more open and easier to use.

As for the overall build and construction of the interior, the 2020 Honda CR-V AWD model is no different than any other Honda. It uses soft-touch materials for most surfaces that you would touch often and a leather steering wheel. There are hard plastics used on lower areas such as the door panels but those surfaces are not meant to be touched constantly while driving.

Tech

As far as tech goes, the CR-V offers everything one would expect from a 2021 car. It has auto-emergency braking, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, 360 cameras, parking sensors, and all the bells and whistles that enabled it to get a five-star safety score in the ANCAP safety rating. The ones that are not used to driving larger cars such as the CR-V should rest assured as the 2021 Honda CRV AWD model comes with self-parking as standard.

5 Things You Need to Do for Your Winter Car Maintenance

Winter car maintenance is vital if you want to ensure that your car is safe to drive. Some of the maintenance work you can do on your own but for other tasks, you may need to request the help of a car mechanic.

 

1. Check your coolant

 

The first thing you should check is your coolant. Coolant gets diluted in time, making it more likely to freeze. There are special devices that can tell you at what temperatures your coolant freezes and based on that measurement you can add more coolant or a 50/50 mix.

 

2. Check your car battery

 

The battery is the second most important thing that you need to check as part of your winter car maintenance checklist. Colder temperatures slow down the reactions inside the battery and if your battery is already weak, it may even cause your engine to be unable to start. If you noticed that your engine is sluggish to start, your battery might need to be replaced. You should also have a technician check the health of your car battery.

 

3. Get winter tires

 

The next thing on your list should be tired. If you do not have winter tires, you should consider getting new ones. Driving with summer tires during the cold seasons is a bad idea. The rubber on summer tires hardens when temperatures get low, making them unable to maintain grip. Winter tires do not have this problem and they will make your car much safer to drive during the winter.

 

4. Check your brake fluid

 

Your winter car maintenance checklist should include a check on your brake fluid. Brake fluid can absorb water and if that happens, it can start to boil in the hose section close to the braking rotors. When the brake fluid boils, you will have gas or water vapors building up casing your brake pedal to have no effect or very little when pressed. In the winter, there is increased moisture and humidity in the atmosphere thus it makes sense to ensure that your brake fluid is in good condition in preparation for the winter.

 

5. Consider an oil change

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How Sites Like Car Fax Help Used Car Buyers

Not all dealers are honest. Most of them are but because there are some shady car sellers, services like CarFax need to exist. Many may not see the value of CarFax but the moment you get some understanding of how the application works, then you truly appreciate the value that it offers.

 

What Vehicle History Reports Do

 

Sites like CarFax are at their core an aggregator of car data. They check the vehicle to see if it had any accident, salvage title, mileage or if it was reported as stolen. All the information is displayed in a single report. The report also shows common problems with the model type as well as a known fault that the user should be aware of.

 

How Vehicle History Report Sites Work

 

CarFax sources its data from law enforcement agencies, insurance companies, dealerships, repair shops, and even car auction websites. If a car can be identified on for example a car auctioning site, it will collect the photos and information available there. Some of these sources of information are not available to the general public. Car Fax can have special agreements with some of its sources of data to collect information about vehicles.

 

All the information collected is used to create a record that aggregates every single detail available about a car. Sometimes, for some cars, information may not be available for various reasons. Cars that have been imported from certain countries or that may have been serviced in small shops that do not report data may return an incomplete report. This is not something that occurs very often but it can happen.

 

How Sites Like Car Fax Help Car Buyers

 

Sites that generate vehicle history reports are made for buyers that are looking only at used cars. There is a certain degree of uncertainty when you buy a used car. You can never know for certain how that car was maintained, if the odometer displays a real value or if the car was involved in a severe accident. According to Car Fax, 60% of all cars that are imported from the US to Europe have a negative history which may include flood damage, salvaged, rebuilt, or even stolen cars.

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5 Must Know Tips About Trading in a Vehicle

If you are thinking of replacing your current car, you might consider trading it in. Some dealers offer such services and there are a few advantages to trading in a vehicle. The process is also fast and it does not involve a lot of waiting or paperwork. Still, there are a few things that you should be aware of.

 

1. Convenience

 

The idea of trading in a vehicle means that you offer the dealer your car and then the dealer offers a discount on your new car that you purchase from them. The discount is equal to the amount your car is appraised for. This type of deal is appealing because it saves a lot of time. It can take days if not weeks to find a buyer and you have to deal with the entire selling process. If you are trading in your car, you do not have to bother with selling the car at all.

 

2. You only have to talk with the dealer

 

The dealer is the one that will be offering you a new car and will take in your car. You just have to deal with the dealer and it can all be done in just a couple of days. Again, this saves you some time and for many people, time is the one resource they do not have enough to spare.

 

3. You can get less for your car

 

Trading in a vehicle may not get you the same dollar value as you would get if you would sell it on your own. Dealers offer you a cash discount on your new car based on their valuation of your old car. Usually, their valuation is a bit lower than the market value. Looking back, what you get in return for accepting a lower amount for your car is saving time. It is up to each individual to decide how much their own time is worth and if the dealership offer is worth considering. Keep in mind that you can try to negotiate. Never accept the first deal you are offered. Try to get a discount on the new car or a better valuation for your old car.

 

4. It limits your options

 

If you do decide to trade in your car you have to buy your next car from that dealer. If you sign an agreement with the dealer, you cannot buy a different car from a different dealer. Before signing anything or even mentioning that you want to trade-in your car, check if the dealer has a car that you want.

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Things to Check When Buying a Used Car

Buying a used car mandates at least a visual inspection. There are a lot of things that can be wrong with a car because you do not know how it was maintained, what hidden issues it may have, or if you need to invest money into different consumables.

 

1. Engine

 

The first thing you should check when you are buying a used car is how the car starts. Just turn the car on and pay attention to the engine. Listen for unusual noises. If the car starts without any issue, the engine should be in good running condition.

 

2. Car AC and Heater

 

With the engine on, you should check the AC and the heater. You want to have the climate system working properly because it can be expensive to fix. You would not want to have a car that is unable to blow cool air during the summer or that cannot heat the cabin during the winter. If the AC and heater do not work, negotiate with the dealer to have them fixed before buying it. Some dealers may not tell you the car has a problem with the AC. If that is the case, you need to negotiate the car price to include the repair.

 

3. Transmission

 

Another thing you need to check on the car is the transmission. Take the car for a drive. If it is an automatic transmission, pay close attention to how it shifts and low and high speeds. If you feel that the transmission is stuttering or shifts through gears brutally, something may be wrong. It is not worth buying a car with a bad transmission since it will cost thousands to fix it.

 

For a manual car, check how the car shifts. If there is a problem with a manual transmission, it is much cheaper to fix. Also, even if the clutch is worn out, it will still be cheaper to fix than an automatic.

 

4. Tires

 

You may overlook this but you should check the tires when you are buying a used car. They should have a tread depth of at least 2/32 of an inch. There are wear indicators in the tire places in the threads. If the tires are worn out, you may have to invest a couple of hundred dollars into new ones.

 

How worn the tires are is not the only thing you should look out for. If the tires are worn more on the inner side or vice versa, you may have some other underlying issues. The car may need an alignment or may have problems with lower control arms.

 

5. Brakes

 

The breaks should have a high priority when buying a used car. Having worn out rotors and brake pads is an easy fix but it will cost you at least $100. It is not a considerable extra cost but it is worth keeping in mind when negotiating the price with the dealer.

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