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Young Female Racers to the 2011 CIK-FIA Karting Academy Trophy

Well, racing is a male-dominated sport. This doesn’t mean that exceptions aren’t allowed, especially when the Women & Motor Sport Commission and the Commission Internationale de Karting (CIK-FIA) have teamed-up to award the most outstanding young female talent for racing competitions.

They organized a two-day shoot-out in Geneva, Switzerland, with nine aspiring female kart racers, all below the age of 16. During the two days, they have tested the physical and mental capabilities of the candidates, in activities designed to assess their movement, agility and reflexes and the reaction of their bodies to stress. Tests about their knowledge of karting history and sporting regulations were included and also a circuit demonstration of speed and racing ability.

The winner was a 15 girl from France and the prize she got was a fully funded ride in the 2011 CIK-FIA Karting Academy Trophy, where she’ll face off 50 contenders.
This is definitely a initiative we welcome because it is a way to support women to succeed in this competitive motorsport racing industry, filled with men.

What is your opinion: should this type of initiatives be encouraged or women should stay out of this sport?

[Source: Autoblog]

Volkswagen Group and its in-car file storage – in collaboration with Microsoft

The Volkswagen Group and Microsoft teamed up to develop the next generation of information storage in the automotive industry and some innovative strategies for the passengers’ entertainment.

This partnership was simple: Volkswagen contracted a supplier for its infotainment software and Microsoft agreed to license its Extended File Allocation Table technology (that helps automakers integrate enhanced consumer multimedia into cars) to that supplier.

The result: the software developer has now the possibility to squeeze more information into smaller spaces and the time for data access has dropped considerably. Additionally, exFAT will give car owners additional and reliable resources for bringing multimedia content into their vehicles.

“In-vehicle electronics breakthroughs have continued at an accelerated pace, opening the door for new opportunities. (…) exFAT gives us the opportunity to functionally integrate and innovate, providing our customers with a full-featured driving experience.”

said Uwe Reder, managing director at e.solutions.

We think that’s a good initiative for the two partners. How do you feel about it: is it worth their effort?

[Source: Autoblog, Photos: Microsoft, VW]

Chevrolet Astro Van – Home for Seven Weeks of an American Woman

It is incredible how some things happen in our lives: an American woman, who got stocked with the car in the mud for seven weeks, out in the Nevada wilderness, has survived during this period living in her family’s Chevrolet Astro Van. All that she ate was a bag of trail mix and a few pieces of candy.

She and her husband had left on a 1.200-miles road trip from British Columbia to Las Vegas, but somehow along the way their car ended up stuck in the mud. After a few days of waiting for someone to find them, the husband left on foot in search for help. The woman stayed in the car, and this is how she was found by a group of hunters after seven weeks. Unfortunately, there is still no news about the man, but the search for him continues.

That’s the ABC news spot on this amazing “surviving by living in a car” story.

[Source: Abcnews]

Keyport – Alternative To Keychain and Man’s Sex-Appeal Secret

A man with a keychain full of bling-blings isn’t sexy at all; actually, his sex-appeal totally lacks. No woman likes to wait for a man to rummage in his pockets after the keychain and grope for the right one among his many keys. This is even more disturbing when, on a cold evening, he cannot find the key to start the engine and “the lady” is freezing. Or, even worse, when, after a romantic dinner, he finally get to his apartment with his date and he spends most of the time on the porch, trying to find the right key to unlock the door.

The solution to all that? The Keyport – a multi-tool that replaces the conventional keychain with a streamlined device that consolidates the everyday personal items (keys, USB flash drive, bottle opener, mini-LED, etc.) and that you typically carry in your pockets. It allows you to store six keys, each in its separate slider that can be easily pushed out when needed. If you have less than six keys, you can fill the other slots with a USB slider (with some hot music for couples on it, if you know what I mean), a LED flashlight (to easily find the key hole or the condom under the bed) and even a bottle opener (in case you want to celebrate with your date in a world where no bottle openers could be found, or when the moonlight is so romantic that even the shops are closed).

The price for all those features that assure man’s sex-appeal secret isn’t cheap; it starts at $49. If you have a chipped car key, the Keyport is even more expensive. A possible problem could be that the system lacks the setups for keys equipped with proximity sensor. But who cares about all those when we have already shown its definite utility when it comes to chicks and romantic hot dates.

So, would you now pay so much money for this?

[Source: Mykeyport]

Toyota Teen Driver Program

A few days ago, Toyota has announced the winning students of the 2011 teen interactive safe driving challenge, Toyota Teen Driver Sweepstakes. But what is important to mention in not the prices or the winners, but Discovery Education and Toyota’s joint program called “Toyota Teen Driver” which includes this driving challenge. As motor vehicles crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens, this program was designed to empower and educate teens and parents about driving and road safety through a unique combination of interactive hands-on sessions and simulated defensive driving exercises.

Toyota is dedicated to building awareness among teens about the dangers of distracted driving and encouraging responsible and safe driving habits.

said Patricia Salas Pineda, group vice president, national philanthropy and the Toyota USA Foundation.

The program is also trying to provide resources to schools, educators, parents and teens to help educate teens about how to stay safe while driving. Toyota Teen Driver Sweepstakes was an innovative way to do that, by creating an online, interactive road challenge, Head’s Up, which gives players the opportunity to put their driving skills to the test and see how they handle different distracting situations, such as sending text messages, changing a radio station, or drinking a soda. This was their chance to virtually experience the consequences of their actions and to become aware of the danger they get exposed to if not driving carefully and safe.

For more information about the program, tools and resources for teens, parents and educators, to help teens stay safe behind the wheel, you can visit toyotateendriver.com.

Have you participate to the program so far? What do you think about it?

[Source: Askpatty]

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The Flying Spy Camera – The Spycopter

Aeryon Labs have thought of a new way of using helicopters’ system of flying for the transportation of the new spy camera they have built. It’s not actually a miniature helicopter, but a lightweight quadrocopter, and the camera is especially designed so it can be attached to it.

The VideoZoom10x camera is quite good, and it deserved the “spy camera” title: it is able to film from 300m away and its maximum speed is of 50 kilometers per hour; it features an image stabilization system for the moment when Aeyron Scout is on the move, and it can be controlled from a touchscreen-based control interface; it carries an on board computer, GPS, gyros, and other sensors for stabilization and positioning.

The Aeyron Scout in action:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIlWvlGxy3c[/youtube]

Actually, the usability and the importance of this camera is quite huge: the company claims that the device has played a key role in a drug bust in Central America by providing visual surveillance of a narco-trafficker’s compound deep in the jungle.

So, “helicopters” aren’t just for transporting people or goods, now it’s for cameras too. And I think it can also be fun to have one at home, just in case you want to spy your next door neighbor over the high green fence that separates your backyards, or your wife while she takes out the garbage. It could be delightful!

[Source: Spectrum]

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Stereo Camera – The “Eyes” That Watch For Your Ride

Safety on the road is a subject that doesn’t accept any compromise, because it can easily cost somebody’s life. So, Continental, an international automotive supplier, will launch a system in order to minimize the number of car accidents, the stereo camera. The installation uses two high-resolution CMOS mono-cameras in visionary braking system, part of the ContyGuard safety system.

“What is expected of our accident prevention and avoidance systems is that, instead of prioritizing obstacles, they should be able to help in every hazardous situation. This means that we must look for new ways of monitoring a vehicle’s surroundings”

said Dr. Andreas Brand, Head of Passive Safety & ADAS Business Unit at Continental’s Chassis & Safety Division.

We find the stereo camera very useful in intersections or in situations involving pedestrians, now that nearly 50% of traffic accidents in Germany involve pedestrians. The stereo camera is able to detect and analyze the obstacles, from loads fallen onto the road to people or animals. It can also determine the obstacle’s size and the distance to it, not only identifying it (even if it uses a six-dimensional identification system). According to its producer, this stereo camera is able to determine the direction in which every pixel of an identified object is moving along the horizontal, vertical, and longitudinal axes. So, if a persons steps onto the road and is half covered, due to this stereo camera, the car initiates an emergency brake (up to 1 g) if the driver fails to react to the object.

“In the future, the stereo camera will even be able to detect children, who are small pedestrians, cyclists, and wheelchair users crossing the road. We are, in fact, realizing a comprehensive obstacle recognition system, the like of which has never before been possible”

said Wilfried Mehr, Head of Business Development for advanced driver assistance systems.

In our opinion, this stereo camera is an active safety system that can keep you safe while you are driving in extreme situations. However, it doesn’t mean that you have no responsibility or that you are not involved in the driving process.

So, would you trust this camera technology or are you the type of driver who prefers to have full control of the car and watch the road carefully on your own?

[Source: Conti-online]

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Baby View Car Mirror for Moms

A few days ago we have written an article about child safety in the car. Today’s article completes the list of suggestions for increasing safety: we recommend the baby view car mirror, one of the latest systems used for keeping an eye on the baby in the car.

It offers a complete view on the baby while mommy is driving and it is designed to be attached on any car seat. In addition, the mirror can be used also as a fun mirror for the child.

We find it really useful. What do you think about it?

[Source: Photo]

Recycled Auto Parts for Transformers’ Characters

People are ingenious, especially the Chinese. Even if it is about recycling, creativity can take different forms. This time Transformers’ Characters were built from waste parts from old motor vehicles. It all makes sense: eventually those characters are originally motorcars, and it’s impressive how something so big can come out of something so small. It is nice how they have tried to rebuild important characters from car pieces and parts, and the result is quite cool.

The creations made of recycled auto parts are displayed at the Nanjing International Auto Exhibition. In my opinion, they look quite good and they try to communicate a “green” message.

Do you think this will have the wanted impact on the environmental problem?

[Source: Fareastgizmos]

Child Safety in the Car

As parents, we are all concerned to keep our children safe while we drive our car, and a mean taking into account every aspect, especially seatbelts, child-safety seats or door locking. We all know that not all the kids feel good while staying buckled up in the car or, even if they have no problem with that, they still can stretch and pull the door handle or who knows what other surprising things.

Even more, studies have revealed the fact that children are able to unbuckle their own car seats, most of them being boys younger than 3.

How can a parent avoid those incidents?
- it is recommended to buy child-safety seats with hard-to-reach buckles.
- set some rules for the rides, such as the one saying that the car won’t start unless everyone is buckled up safety.
- make sure that you have blocked the doors, so that your child not to be able to open them from the inside of the car.
- constantly watch for your child in the rearview mirror.

So, what other safety recommendations do you have for the rides with your child on the back seat?

[Source: Motherproof, Photo]

Amarok P1 – the Superlight Electric Racing Motorcycle

Going green is a general tendency. Not only have the car industry manufacturers embraced it, but the motorcycle industry producers too. One of the result of this investment: the Amarok P1 electric racing motorcycle, which appears to have solved the physics problem of the electric racing motorcycles, accordingly to the principle: less weight for more performance.

It is a Canadian designed motorcycle, weights just 325 pounds and with its 7.5-kilowatt-hour battery it can complete the 12 laps of TTXGP race. All those technical features make it to achieve much more performance than normal and faster speeds too. The body, frame and battery are integrated into the same structure, which definitely increase simplicity, reduces parts and optimizes weight distribution.

“Smaller chassis dimensions means a tight handling package and a smaller frontal area, reducing aerodynamic drag. (…) Less weight and less complication means lower costs to build and, using high-performance common metals instead of exotic alloys and composites, means simple tooling, hand fabrication and ease of repair and modification.”

said Uhlarik.

Actually, the motorcycle was build from sketch, ignoring all the conventional motorcycles ever made. The motorcycle will be mass-produced too, which will make many of us to afford it.

So, what do you think about this beauty eco-friendly motorcycle? Does it really achieve the performance and feeling of driving a conventional motorcycle?

[Source: Wired]

Useful Feature for Women Drivers: Extra Window by Side Mirror

As we all know and often face it, women have driving problems and they usually are mercilessly criticized by the others because they don’t look in the side or rear mirror for other cars, for example, when they change the driving direction. But as a woman, I think the real and most important problem is that or view is often obstructed by the side mirror and the A-pillar in front of it, and we cannot see the other cars.

That’s why I find very useful the extra window feature of some cars, such as 2012 Mazda 5, 2011 Ford Fiesta or 2011 Toyota Prius. That extra triangular window really helps women drivers and gives them a better view of the road.

So, do you use this feature? Do you have any suggestions about ways of improving visibility for the driver while being behind the wheel?

[Source: Photo]

What Traffic Signs Have in Common with Fiat Punto Evo Features?

A new revolution into the automobile-mobile joint happened: the world’s first not-printed car catalog, Fiat Street Evo, available on every street from the city. Actually, we are talking about an application launched by Leo Burnett Iberia which recognizes traffic signs and transforms them into all the features of the Fiat Punto Evo car. How is this possible?

By capturing the signs with the app, the interpretation of signs uses the same system as those would be QR codes and associates to every sign the features directly related to that specific sign. For example, for the parking sign, the app presents the parking sensors the car has.

In addition, this virtual and interactive catalog shows you the location to the nearest Fiat dealer, to see the car on your own for real and even schedule a test drive.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zomopCe-DGA[/youtube]

We truly believe this is a handy cool easy to use application, which saves you from getting bored by reading the classic catalogs. But, what do you think about it? Do you find it useful and pleasant?

[Source: Iphonedroid]

Study – The Steering Wheels Nine Times Dirtier than a Public Toilet

If you’re a hardworking lady, concerned about cleanliness and protection of your children from unwanted bacteria, you should take into consideration the next results of the UK survey: around 700 harmful bugs were found in the interior of a car, specifically on the steering wheel, gear stick and back seats (while each square inch of toilet has 80 bacteria). So, the interior of the car harbors nine times more bacteria than a public toilet seat. Surprising, isn’t it?

Apparently, that could be the result of the fact that we eat in the car and leave litter or uneaten food in it – 42 percent of motorists regularly eat meals while driving.

Doctor Ron Cutler, director of biomedical science at Queen Mary University, London, said:

“To avoid potential health risks it would be wise to regularly clean your car inside and out.”

Because of those results, the fact that should concern us is that 10 percent of the questioned persons said they have never wiped down surfaces or vacuumed their cars, while only a third have admitted they clean the interior of their cars once a year. So, we have a cleanliness situation in here; apparently, many of us forget that sometimes we spend much more time in our cars than in our homes, and we should treat the cleaning problem equally when it comes to eradicate bacteria from it.

“While most of the bacteria were unlikely to cause health problems, some cars were found to play host to a number of potentially harmful bacterial species,”

said Cutler.

The most common bacteria found in the interior of a car were the bacillus cereus – a bug that can cause food poisoning and is found in rice, pasta, potatoes and pies – and arthrobacter, which is found in soil and human skin.

So, speed test: how often do you clean your car in the inside?

[Source: Dailymail, Photo]

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Build Your Virtual Rolls-Royce Phantom Car with iPhone App

If you are a fan of the new released Rolls-Royce Phantom, you might also enjoy the news that it was also created an iPhone app, which allows you to build your own fully-customized version of this luxury car. You have 44,000 exterior color options and you can chose any color shade you want just by using the device’s camera to take a picture and then take a sample of the wanted color and apply it to the virtual Phantom car. After the exterior, you can create the interior, making the wanted choices about pipping, wood grains and all the other details.

The app can be used for free from the App Store, which is quite nice, because any iPhone user, no matter if he affords or not this luxury car for real, can have its own Roll-Royce Phantom car virtually.

So, what do you think, is this app really useful for us or for the Roll-Royce brand?

[Source: Autoblog]


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