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Posts Tagged ‘paul a. eisenstein’

New Bus Tech Could Save Pedestrian Lives

New technology could cut down rising number of pedestrian-bus crashes.

by on May.23, 2016

The Mobileye Shield Plus helps eliminate the blind spots on city buses, which can lead to accidents.

More than 2,000 new buses will be rolling out across New York City in the months ahead. Designed to be more reliable and fuel-efficient, they’ll also offer a number of new amenities for passengers, including free WiFi.

But they won’t come with some of the safety features increasingly common on today’s passenger cars, such as blind-spot detection. That’s a big problem, safety advocates warn, considering bus crashes are one of the reasons why the U.S. saw a roughly 15% increase in pedestrian fatalities last year.

Safety News!

The good news is that the city’s mass transit authority, the MTA, will soon begin testing several new technologies that could reduce all sorts of bus crashes, including impacts with pedestrians who often cannot be seen by drivers as they turn corners because of the vehicles’ large blind spots. (more…)

Toyota Teams Up to Develop iBot Motorized Wheelchair

iBot capable of rising up on two wheels and climbing stairs.

by on May.23, 2016

iBot inventor Dean Kamen shows off the wheelchair's ability to ride on just two wheels.

Toyota is lending its support to DEKA Research to complete the development of the iBot motorized wheelchair.

The brainchild of Dean Kamen, the inventor of the two-wheeled Segway PT, the iBot is designed to overcome the traditional limits of the wheelchair. Among other things, it can climb up and down stairs, and even rise from a standard, seating position to about six feet in height.

In the Know!

“Toyota and DEKA share the same vision of making mobility available to people of every kind of ability,” said DEKA founder Dean Kamen. “We are excited about this new relationship and excited about what it means for making that dream a reality.”


Most American Motorists Wary of Self-Driving Cars

Concerns grow even as autonomous vehicles come closer to production.

by on May.23, 2016

An autonomous Ford Fusion prototype recently began testing on public roads in California.

Every week brings a flurry of new reports about the coming wave of autonomous vehicles, but a new study finds that only a small minority of American motorists actually want to buy a self-driving vehicle.

Motorists are a bit more open to semi-autonomous technologies that still require a driver to keep their hands on the wheel, but nearly half said they wanted no self-driving technologies at all, according to a study by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, or UMTRI. And more than a third said they would be “very concerned about riding in a completely self-driving vehicle.”

Stay on Top!

The results of the UMTRI could raise some serious concerns among industry planners. Global automakers are spending billions of dollars to develop self-driving vehicles, with the first semi-autonomous products just starting to come to market. Several makers have announced plans to have fully autonomous models on the road by 2020.


Aston Martin Turns to Zagato for New Vanquish Concept Coupe

The shape of things to come?

by on May.20, 2016

The new Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Concept coupe is the marque's latest cutting-edge concept.

Britain’s luxury carmaker Aston Martin is just coming out of a long sleep, with a pocketful of new capital helping it set in motion the most aggressive product roll-out in its 103-year history.

And we’re getting a peak at what’s coming with a first look at the new Vanquish Zagato concept coupe. As the name suggests, Aston has turned to Italian design house Zagato for the show car making its official debut this weekend at the exclusive Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este on the shores of Lake Como this weekend.

Concept News!

“We pride ourselves on our strong partnership and the creation of the Vanquish Zagato Concept was a true shared experience,” Zagato’s CEO, Andrea Zagato, said in a statment. “It represents the essence of an important design relationship that dates back over 50 years.” (more…)

Uber Latest Ride-Sharing Co. to Start Autonomous Vehicle Program

Ultimate goal: eliminate drivers entirely.

by on May.20, 2016

Uber has already started testing autonomous vehicles with an eye toward using them in their regular ride-sharing fleet someday.

Just weeks after Lyft announced plans to begin testing self-driving vehicle technology with partner General Motors, the ride-sharing giant Uber says it has launched its own autonomous vehicle test fleet.

A prototype Ford Fusion Hybrid, complete with cameras, lasers and radar, is already working the streets of Pittsburgh, where Uber is basing its new Advanced Technology Center. But the company’s autonomous vehicle program got underway in earnest a year ago when Uber turned to the old steel town’s Carnegie Mellon University, a pioneer in self-driving technology.

Tech Talk!

The prototype, Uber said, “looks like it should be driven by a superhero. But this is no movie prop.” Indeed, the company is just the latest in a growing list of firms convinced that autonomous vehicles will become the norm, rather than the exception, in the not-too-distant future. (more…)

Reinventing the Wheel?

Israeli start-up claims its design is lighter, offers better handling, comfort, energy-efficiency.

by on May.20, 2016

Softwheel CEO Daniel Barel with one of the company's wheels, complete with 3 shock absorbers.

Daniel Barel wants to reinvent the wheel. Actually, he’s quick to tell you he already has.

The young Israeli entrepreneur is CEO of a Tel Aviv-based start-up called Softwheel that has come up with a new concept that could, Barel boasts, improve the comfort, handling and even the fuel economy of virtually any wheeled vehicle. And it happened largely by accident.

Tech Talk!

“We didn’t intend to reinvent the wheel,” says Barel, whose company is one of dozens of start-ups participating in an Israeli automotive tech fair called EcoMotion on a warm and blindingly sunny afternoon along the Mediterranean coast. “It started as an accident.”


Tesla May Need Up to Nearly $2 Bil to Get Model 3 into Production

Jump in share price could make additional stock offering easier sell.

by on May.19, 2016

The Model 3 is slated to come to market in 2017; however, the launch comes with a hefty price tag of nearly $2 billion.

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk has laid out an ambitious launch plan for the upcoming Model 3 that would transform it into a mainstream automaker by 2018 – but the California battery-carmaker will need anywhere from $1.4 billion to $1.7 billion to fund the new model’s rollout and production plans, Tesla said.

It would mark the second big stock offering in barely a year for the money-losing Tesla, and word of the move sent the maker’s shares tumbling, though the stock, traded on the New York Stock Exchange as TSLA, is still well ahead of where it was prior to the March 31 unveiling of the Model 3.


In a public filing, Tesla said it needs cash to complete the development of the new battery sedan, its first to target a mainstream market segment. It also noted that it “may also use a portion of the net proceeds (for) working capital and other general corporate purposes.” (more…)

Volvo Unveils New XC40 and S40 Concepts

Underlying CMA platform will be shared with Chinese parent Geely.

by on May.19, 2016

This concept will reappear next year as the completely redesigned Volvo XC40.

Volvo is in the midst of a complete brand makeover, and the automaker is giving us a hint of its next move in an aggressive, top-to-bottom product rollout with the unveiling of the new S40 and XC40 concepts.

Both models will mark a significant step forward, but not only for the Swedish automaker. In production, the next-gen Volvo XC40 and Volvo S40 models will ride on the maker’s all-new Compact Modular Architecture which is designed to be shared with Chinese parent Geely. It is, in fact, a key to Geely’s long-term goal to transform itself into a truly global automaker.

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“CMA has helped us to capture something special, something youthful in our new concept cars. They have an energy, a disruptive and engaging urban character that makes them stand out,” said Thomas Ingenlath, Volvo’s senior vice president of design.


Israeli Start-Up Developing Battery You Can Refill at a Gas Station

"Alunergy" battery could "imitate the experience" of gassing up.

by on May.19, 2016

Phinergy CEO Aviv Tzidon shows off the basic battery design of the company's Alunergy technology.

When the lithium-ion battery in a car like the Nissan Leaf or Tesla Model S runs down you have to find a charger to plug into, a process that can take 10 hours or more. But a new Israeli start-up hopes to market an entirely new type of battery that you’d “charge up” or, more accurately, refill at a conventional service station.

And while the “Alunergy” battery would create no CO2 or other harmful emissions, it does produce a high-demand chemical byproduct that can be ready resold – meaning users could wind up actually getting paid back for using it, according to the inventor who hopes to commercialize the concept in the next couple years.

Green Tech!

“We want you to feel smart by seeing how much money you’ve saved,” said Aviv Tzidon, the CEO of Phinergy, which is based in a suburb of sprawling Tel Aviv.


Cadillac Unplugs the ELR Plug-In

Caddy shifts focus to upcoming CT6 plug-in.

by on May.18, 2016

Driving off into the sunset: Cadillac has given up on trying to salvage the ELR plug-in hybrid.

If you’re determined to drive something green that has plenty of luxury touches but a price tag significantly less than that of a Tesla, you might want to head over to your local Cadillac dealer.

The luxury maker quietly pulled the plug on the ELR, a high-line version of the Chevrolet Volt, due a decidedly weak response by American motorists. Though the Caddy plug-in hybrid has been out of production since March, “a very small quantity…remains available at dealers,” Cadillac spokesman Dave Caldwell told

Your Auto Insider!

Launched with high expectations just two years ago, the Cadillac ELR never seemed to charge up the market. Originally priced at $76,000, or nearly double that of a Volt, Caddy tried a number of tricks to build momentum including about $11,000 in price cuts.