What Is Google’s Self Driving Car?

General News
Google's Self Driving Car Prototype

Google is fighting to be a part of the first autonomous mass produced vehicles in the world.

On May 28, 2014 Google announced a prototype self-driving car that does not have a steering wheel or pedals. This prototype in particular, was unusual for Google as in previous models of autonomous vehicles they have just used mass produced cars as the basis and added features to make it autonomous.

Google is unlikely to join the production side of the motor vehicle industry, despite this current prototype, but should be a strong presence in the behind the scenes technology side of cars. With Google’s clear aim to license the software and technology to leading auto makers such as Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, etc.

The self-driving prototype car that Google showed off, works by generating a detailed 3D map of its environment with a combination of high-resolution maps of the world and different data models to autonomously drive itself. It does this through the tandem technologies of LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) scanner on the car roof, and radar and ultrasonic scanners.

Below is a video published by Google about people’s experiences of their prototype self-driving car.

2014 Beijing Motor Show Top Cars

General News

The 2014 Beijing Motor Show was a big hit with all the automotive companies showing off their cars for the Asian market. We decided to cover just a few of the cars as these stood out to us for some reason or another.

Hyundai ix25

Hyundai introduced this all new crossover concept at the Motor Show, showing off the brand new ix25, a near-production concept that brings the new CUV to the Asian region.

The ix25 will serve as an entry level car for the Hyundai’s Chinese CUV range, and may reach the American shores after the popularity of the B-segment CUV in the US market continues to sore thanks to the popularised Buick Encore.

The ix25 is designed using the new “Fluid Sculpture 2.0” system that Hyundai have implemented. Under the hood sits a 2.0 litre four “Nu” four-cylinder engine. The ix25 is roughly 4.27 meters long, which is nearly 26cms shorter than a Ford Escape.

We think this car could make big waves in the automotive industry, growing the popular B-segment CUV and forcing its competitors to join this market.

Bugatti Veyron Legend Edition Black Bess

The Bugatti Veyron Legend Edition isn’t exactly subtle. Bugatti have introduced four special editions of its already famous Bugatti Veyron, which have all sold out already and with this fifth special edition we don’t think that they will have an issue of selling out of them.

This Legend edition is inspired by a car instead of a person like the other cars. Black Bess was the name of a Bugatti Type 18 from 1912 to 1914, where the Type 18 was the super car at the time.

The Black Bess Legend Edition will be limited to only three cars and each one will cost about €2.15 million (AUD$3.17 million).

We don’t think that you will be able to car finance this option with us, but we can always try

BMW Future Vision Luxury Concept 

The BMW Future Vision really doesn’t need a whole paragraph to describe it.

The BMW Future Vision is the car of the future, at least we are hoping. It looks amazing and the features inside the car complement its beautifully sculptured exterior.

Hopefully one day soon we will see this on our roads, as this was our favorite from the 2014 Beijing Motor Show

What was your favorite from the 2014 Beijing Motor Show? Let us know in the comment section below or on our Facebook page

The Effects of the Australia Japan Free Trade Agreement on the Automotive Industry

General News
Source: SBS

Source: SBS

Following six months of negotiations the Abbott Government have sealed the deal of one of the biggest trading coups in Australia’s history.

What does the deal mean to Australia?

Trade Minister Andrew Robb confirmed the deal officially known as the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement on Monday afternoon in Tokyo. The deal is expected to be phased-in over the coming 15 years.

For Australia this means that it will free up exports of Australian dairy, beef, wine, sugar, horticulture, and a range of services. Meanwhile making Japanese cars, cameras, televisions and other high-tech goods cheaper in Australia.

How does it affect the automotive industry?

The latest tariff break means that an average $30,000 car (such as the Mazda3) should drop by about $1,500 according to the Abbott government.

After three years, three-quarters of Japanese cars will have the existing 5% tariff removed. The tariff was originally introduced to protect the Australian automotive industry, but considering the recent departure of Holden and numerous Australian automotive companies becoming insolvent it is no surprise that this deal was established to protect Australians in the long run.

Who loses from the agreement?

The big loses of the agreement are the Australian Government and the Australian automotive components makers.

The removal of the 5% tariff means that the Abbott government will lose billions in the future, it has been estimated to total around $400 million a year. This could potentially translate to revenue raising in another sector to offset the lose.

Additionally, the Australian automotive components makers will lose the protection of tariffs applied to Japanese competitors. This protection is expected to be phased-out over five-years to ensure that they can become globally competitive and latch onto the global supply chain.

Will there be any trade diversion effects?

Trade diversion is the amount of trade that wont take place because of a free trade agreement.

“With Japanese cars becoming cheaper that means we will import fewer cars from somewhere else. That means another country will miss out on potential exports to Australia. What will that mean for trade relations with other countries?” Dr Mark Melatos, a senior lecturer in trade economics at Sydney University

Will Australians actually see the price reduction?

Mazda came out and said that possible fluctuations in the Australian dollar and added specifications to vehicles may counteract the savings experienced by the tariff reduction. Hopefully Australians to get to see the savings from the removal of the tariffs; but if the comments made by Mazda are any indication then the savings may not actually be passed on.