Archives for category: ottomotiv

Image228I was getting my car serviced today, when I saw a bunch of chairs stacked one on top of the other in the middle of the showroom. On closer observation, it turned out to be an advisory on wearing seat belts. The idea was to demonstrate the danger of being in an accident, vertically, and not horizontally as one would be if an accident were to happen. A small message on the stack of chairs said:Image229

‘ DON’T FORGET YOUR SAFETY BELT. Falling from a chair is like crashing without a safety belt at 15 Km/h. Falling from the top of this stack of chairs is the equivalent to crashing at 30 Km/h. Remember that speeds out on the real road are often more higher than that.”

While 30 Km/h seems to be really slow and slower than the minimum speed of 45 Km/h on most small roads, falling off a stack of chairs that high really put it into perspective. Traveling faster and crashing would mean a high, very high stack of chairs. A seat belt though would hold you back and keep you safe against crashing into the steering or dashboard. Of course, nothing can replace using common sense and driving carefully..!!


ULTra or Urban Light Transport is a mass transportation system that offers on demand non stop transportation muchCanopy_with_Vehicle like a metro train, but in the comfort of your own module. The waiting times for the modules are negligible at less than a minute and can transport passengers non stop to their destination. The best part, perhaps is not having to share your module with people who are not part of your group. This feature makes it comparable with a car, and at minimum environmental impact.

The modules can seat up to 4 passengers with enough space for shopping and even wheel chairs. The system is driverless and the passengers can maintain a link with the control station through audio links. The vehicle can carry around 450 Kg payload and travels at a speed of 40kph. While these speeds may seem to be slow, the fact the vehicles are traveling non stop from point to point should make up for that pace.

With Kuwait and other Gulf countries considering a metro system, this idea is just in time for consideration for a mass transportation system, that allows for safe, secure, exclusive travel perhaps complimenting a metro system.

A video animation of the installation at Heathrow Airport which is expected to be operational in the spring of ’09 is shown below.

London’s regular Routemaster buses are going to get a facelift, with the submission of Aston Martin _45312417_fosters-aston_martinand Foster+partners  new design. The design retains the traditional colors and look, but gives it a facelift which is more in line with the times. Selected as the best from a design competition with a prize of 25000 pounds,  that included more than 700 entries from companies and even children,the bus is accessible by all including invalids through a side opening and also retains the hop-on hop-off back door. The buses will also feature solar panels and will be zero emission making them greener, than the current gas guzzlers. The buses are expected to be in service by 2011.

Is it a bird, Is it a plane, Is it a car???!!! No, its the Terrafugia. Straight out of the Jetsons and other futuristic representations of our imaginations comes the “Flying Car”. Built by former NASA scientists, this vehicle can travel on roads and fly in the air too. The 100 Bhp engine can be used for both road travel and driving, and uses unleaded fuel which can take it over 800 Kms at 185 Kmph on a full tank. The plane/car is scheduled for its first test flight next month and is expected to cost around 195K$. More here.

This is perhaps how science touches your life. The Tankpitstop, is a robotic arm which opens the fuel cap and actually fills your tank. You needn’t get out of the car. The robot is pre-programmed to know your car, and the fuel it requires through an RFID sticker. The sensors, tell you where to stop, and the robot does the rest.

So you needn’t get out of your car, waste precious drops of fuel, or tip the station attendant. There is however no mention on how these electronics work in a fumey environment, given that we are not allowed to operate cell phones, or leave the engine running when we are at a gas station.