What Led Volkswagen To Use Emission Cheats

What Led Volkswagen To Use Emission Cheats As the tale of Volkswagen’s emission defeat devices continues to unfold, details on how the diesel engines were rigged and which cars are affected are slowly coming to light.
But executives within the carmaker – along with others involved with the investigation – have said very modest on what motivated Volkswagen Assemble to install these cheats on more than 11 million cars worldwide. Like many scandals that have come before, the trigger of Volkswagen’s “dieselgate” appears to be rooted in money.
Over the last decade, Volkswagen had been struggling to gain a solid footing in the U.S. diesel market. The perception that diesel emitted more pollution than gasoline engines, tumultuous diesel fuel prices and the cost of diesel technology proved challenging to overcome.
This ad for Volkswagen proudly describes the TDI engine as “clean diesel.” Promise not kept.
To help boost sales, Volkswagen started a marketing campgain labeling its powertrain as “clean diesel.” The ads seemed effective.
“In 2012, Volkswagen’s U.S. sales volume rose to the highest level since 1973,” noted Timothy Cain, an analyst that tracks vehicle sales for GoodCarBadCar.net.
Sales numbers refused to solidify for the company, as Business Insider noted just two years later:
“Volkswagen recently announced that its U.S. auto sales dropped by a staggering 22 percent in June,” Business Insider reported in June 2014. “This will mark the fourth time in the last six months that the brand has experienced a double-digit fall in sales.”
Volkswagen’s share of the U.S. diesel market was quick ground, though. Last year, Car and Driver noted that 75 percent of all diesels cars sold in 2013 were a Volkswagen.
But at the same time Volkswagen was working to maintain its market share, the cost of efficient diesel engines was chipping away at its profits.
“The problem for VW was that cutting NOx [nitrogen oxides] is expensive,” said Automotive News‘ Nick Gibbs. “Analysts from Exane BNP Paribas estimate that reduction technologies have risen from around 700 euros ($790) per vehicle to meet Europe’s Euro5 emissions targets to 1,300 euros for Euro6, which has just come into force this month.”
SEE ALSO: Volkswagen Was Warned in 2007 By Bosch In this area Illegal Software
When comparing markets, Alberto Pisoni, a director with Genera Motors Powertrain in Europe, said lower unit sales and more stringent emissions regulations make the U.S. the “most challenging” diesel market.
“When you have a larger scale for your product then for sure there is a benefit,” commented Pisoni.
For other auto manufacturers trying to mix together low-emission technology in an appealing, competitive vehicle, the reality of Volkswagen’s pressure to use a defeat device could become a warning against using diesel. Gibbs clarifies why:
“The knowledge that arguably the world’s technology leader in diesels can’t make the U.S market work without cheating could now repel other makers.”

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Volkswagen Axes Touareg Hybrid, Reduces 2016 Model’s Price

Volkswagen Axes Touareg Hybrid, Reduces 2016 Model’s Price Volkswagen is canceling the hybrid Touareg while price-cutting the square version.
The Touareg hybrid model will be discontinued for the 2016 model year, and had started at $67,905 at the top of the range. Over the years, the Touareg hybrid struggled to stay competitive and existing very modest benefits compared to the standard V6 gasoline Touareg and the diesel-equipped models that were cheaper. The go is a bit similar to Nissan giving the Pathfinder hybrid the ax as hybrid SUVs aren’t proving to be hot sellers at dealerships.
Meanwhile, the regular 2016 Touareg will be priced from $43,615 including destination, a price reduction of in this area $2,000 as the German automaker hopes to gain ground in the luxury SUV segment.
The Touareg received a facelift for the 2015 model year, so this year’s lineup will have insignificant content changes such as Lux and Executive models adding 14-way power modifiable ventilated seats. In addition, Executive models will also get power modifiable steering discourse, Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking and Lane Departure Warning.
The Driver Help Package on Sport with Tech models will get Park Distance Control, while an optional 21-inch wheel package will be available on Lux and Executive models.
This article originally appeared at Rawvehicle.com

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New Tech By Jaguar Land Rover Will Read Your Mind

New Tech By Jaguar Land Rover Will Read Your Mind Jaguar Land Rover wants to read your mind.
The British automaker is developing new technology that will use sensors in the steering wheel to measure your brainwaves, and if that isn’t creepy enough, Jaguar Land Rover believes it can detect whether you’re distracted or diminishing asleep.
“If brain activity indicates a daydream or poor concentration, then the steering wheel or pedals could vibrate to raise the driver’s awareness and re-engage them with pouring,” said the company’s research and technology director Dr Wolfgang Epple. In peacefulness to develop the technology, Jaguar Land Rover is really researching a method that is used by NASA to develop a pilot’s concentration skills.
User trials are underway to collect more data on how different brainwaves can be identified through the steering wheel sensors with the help of neuroscientists. Ideally, Jaguar Land Rover will be able to offer the technology as part of a new wide range of safety features aimed at reducing accidents caused by stress and distracted pouring.
In addition to the steering wheel sensors, the automaker is testing a medical-grade sensor integrated in the seat of a Jaguar XJ to detect vibrations from a driver’s heartbeat and breathing.
“One key piece of new research is to see how we could measure brainwaves to monitor if the driver is alert and concentrating on pouring,” added Epple. “Even if the eyes are on the road, a lack of concentration or a daydream will mean the driver isn’t paying attention to the pouring task. They may miss a warning icon or sound, or be less aware of other road users so we are looking at how we could identify this and prevent it causing an accident.”

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Delphi Autonomously Crosses The U.S.

Delphi Autonomously Crosses The U.S. It was bound to happen: an autonomously driven vehicle has crossed the U.S.
Automotive supplier Delphi Automotive PLC said it has completed the longest automated drive in North America, traveling from San Francisco to New York in the first coast-to-coast trip ever taken by an automated vehicle.
Nearly 3,400 miles were covered and 99 percent of the drive was done in fully automated mode.
SEE ALSO: Audi A7 Concept Autonomously Drove Itself 560 Miles To Vegas
The nine-day trip crossed 15 states and the District of Columbia. Along the way, the vehicle encountered various pouring situations such as traffic circles, construction zones, bridges, tunnels, aggressive drivers and a variety of weather conditions.
The company clarified the drive was used by Delphi engineers to research and collect information that will help additional advance active safety technology, which is the most rapidly growing technology sector of the auto diligence. The team said it collected nearly three terabytes of data.
“Our vehicle performed remarkably well during this drive, exceeding our expectations,” said Jeff Owens, Delphi chief technology officer. “The knowledge obtained from this trip will help optimize our existing active safety products and accelerate our future product development, which will allow us to give up unsurpassed automotive grade technologies to our customers.”
Delphi’s automated pouring vehicle used for this drive is a modified Audi CUV equipped with a full suite of advanced technologies and features, many of which are already on the market today including collision mitigation, integrated radar and camera systems, forward collision and lane departure warning.

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Tesla Earns 5-Star Euro NCAP Safety Rating

Tesla Earns 5-Star Euro NCAP Safety Rating As Tesla continues making inroads into the European marketplace, it can now tell prospective customers its car is one of the few that is 5-Star rated in the U.S. and EU.
Achieving the top status for both the U.S. and European NCAP (New Car Assessment Program) is tougher as the Europeans and Americans have different criteria that mean a car designed to excel for one standard may do less well in another.
SEE ALSO: Tesla Model S Scores Highest Ever in Federal Crash Tests
The U.S. federal government makes a priority of structural and restraint safety, and captivation on impression energy to protect adult occupants. The Europeans but check for child and pedestrian safety, as well as impression energy.
Crash dummy supplier Humanetics is developing obese crash dummies up to 273 pounds to simulate overweight Americans and child dummies too. But federal standards were last updated in 2011, whereas the EU updates them annually to account for diligence technological development. Read more

Volt, Leaf Criticized For Low Off-Lease Residual Values

Volt, Leaf Criticized For Low Off-Lease Residual Values The Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf are in the critics’ spotlights yet again, and this time it’s how modest value is left after only a few years of ownership.
First, Wired looked specifically at the Leaf, which can be leased for a ridiculously small amount: $2,400 down and $199 a month for 36 months. The reason the payments are so low? Maximizing the various incentives and credits, including the $7,500 one from the federal government.
“The financing company that buys the new car from the automaker gets the full tax credit, so it can pass on those savings to the lessee in the form of lower monthly payments,” Wired wrote.
But the push to get customers into new Leafs place a huge dent into the used values, which according to Kelly Blue Book, figures a 2012 Leaf with only 33,000 miles should sell for $15,000, a huge loss compared with its original $32,000 MSRP.
“It’s hard for used EVs to compete with lease rates so low because the tax credit isn’t passed down,” Wired continued. “If you place 10 percent down on a 4-year term at 4 percent interest [on the $15,000 used Leaf] you’re paying $305 a month. Throw in the fact that we don’t have a excellent handle on how EV batteries degrade over time (though most have excellent warranties), and there’s no reason not to grab a new one.”
Same goes for the Chevrolet Volt, which according to noted critic Mark Modica of the National Legal Policy Center, suffered even worse losses.
“A search on the Manheim auction site, a primary indicator of vehicle wholesale value, shows that 81 Chevy Volts, model year 2012, were sold at auction for the week ending August 2nd,” wrote Modica. “The average price was $14,871 for vehicles that are only two or three years ancient, primarily coming off of the manipulated leases. That equates to an absurd loss of values for Chevy Volts of in this area 65% in only two or three years.”
While the math is pretty dismal, the automakers certainly had some advanced warning. A Pike Research report back in 2011 suggested pretty much the same thing, with residuals of three-year-ancient Leafs and Volts being in the low-40 percent range. But, the prediction was that as customers became more comfortable with the technology and gas prices remained high, values should slowly rise.
Wired

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More Photos, Details About 2015 Smart Family

More Photos, Details About 2015 Smart Family As promised, there’s now a plethora of information on the new 2015 Smart Fortwo and Forfour, which had their global debut yesterday in Berlin.
The cars retain their rear-engine/rear-drive layout, surrounded by an updated tridion safety cell, which uses a mix of ultra-high-strength and ‘multiphase’ steel to give up most crash performance.
The Fortwo also keeps its general exterior dimensions — 106-inch overall length and 74-inch wheelbase — but width is up by a miniscule amount. The Forfour adds in this area 30 inches in length and 24 inches to the wheelbase, which is nearly entirely assigned to the second row of seats. Cargo space isn’t terrible, with just over nine cubic feet in the Fortwo. The Forfour only rates 6.5 cubic feet behind the second row, but expands to nearly 26 cubic feet with the rear seats folded flat.
2015 Smart Forfour is 30 inches longer and has rear seats
The rest of the interior looks more enjoyable with nicer materials, and plenty of storage cubbies, but there’s only so much you can glean from photos.
For now, a revised 1.0-liter three-cylinder with 71 horsepower is standard in both, while an optional turbocharged 0.9-liter — yes, that’s 900cc — triple will boost output to 90 cattle. Finally, for the first time ever, Smart will offer a five-speed manual as standard, while an optional six-speed dual-clasp automated transmission is optional. That’s brilliant news since the ancient-school release-clasp auto and its potholed, head-jerking shifts is one of the leading complaints in this area the current Fortwo.
2015 Smart Fortwo interior with striking orange accents
Safety obviously the stage a huge role in modern vehicle design, and besides the mandatory airbags, ABS and stability control, there’s now a new standard Crosswind Help that reduces the amount of steering input required by the driver when hit with huge wind gusts. And, in Europe at least, it will offer optional forward collision warning and lane-keep help.
We’d hope things like fuel efficiency (now 36 mpg combined) will improve relative to its rivals, and that pricing doesn’t increase much over the $12,500 MSRP for the 2014 model. And while the Fortwo is beyond doubt coming, the Forfour’s future in the U.S. is much less certain.

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Volvo Concept Estate Features Company’s Next User Interface

Volvo Concept Estate Features Company’s Next User Interface The Volvo Car Assemble will reveal at the Geneva Motor Show its new in-car control system designed around a generous tablet-like touch screen.
This new tablet-type of in-vehicle reins will be featured in a new concept vehicle, the Concept Estate, inspired by the classic Volvo P1800ES of the ahead of schedule 1970’s, which had a shooting brake type of rear design.
Volvo clarified the touch screen replaces the traditional selection of buttons and reins in the center stack with one control panel. It will mix together established tablet functionality, such as swiping and pinching, with new solutions that are specially designed for the in-car environment. It also interacts with the digital instrument cluster in adjoin of the driver.
“The basic thought is to systematize reins and information in a perfectly intuitive and user-forthcoming way. All is exactly where you expect it to be, making the drive more enjoyable, efficient, and safe,” said Thomas Ingenlath, senior vice president design at Volvo Car Assemble.
This tablet control panel will be introduced in the next car generation, starting with the redesigned Volvo XC90 later in 2014.
“The new user boundary is designed to start a charming, logical and safe interaction between the driver and the car,” added Ingenlath. “This goes far beyond just putting a generous tablet in the center of the instrument panel. We have made a digital environment that is fully integrated in the car.”
The new user boundary is designed so that the tiles on the touch screen expand on interaction, said Volvo. When one of the tiles expands to show required information, the others are compressed, still visible and instantly accessible.
“Having all functions present all the time makes the touch screen exceptionally user-forthcoming. The spacious layout also promotes charming interaction without distraction,” said Ingenlath. “Making this crystal clear, yet cool, environment is a core part of our digital craftsmanship. It is fine for an ordinary tablet to fight for your full attention but a touch screen in a car is very different. Information must be clear and user-forthcoming, without rotary up the visual volume so much that you risk losing focus on the road. This also makes it simpler to make really urgent information, such as a warning, much more distinctive.”

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