Report: Europe considering 70-mph speed limiters on all cars? [UPDATE]

Filed under: Europe, Government/Legal, Safety

DEU HB Verkehr Tempolimit

If George Orwell were alive today and had read this story from The Daily Telegraph, he’d be standing in the middle of the Rue de la Loi, shouting “I told you so!” at the top of his lungs. In a bid to decrease the 30,000 deaths on European roads each year, the European Commission is seeking to require speed-limiting devices on all vehicles.

It’s unclear how the commission would go about this, although according to The Daily Telegraph. The leading candidates involve vehicle-mounted cameras that read speed-limit signs, or satellites beaming speed information into cars so that motorists can be warned whenever they are at risk of exceeding the limit. Another, more invasive scenario could actually see a vehicle’s brakes applied any time the driver exceeds the maximum allowable speed, in this case, 70 mph. This proposed legislation isn’t sitting well with the United Kingdom, though.

Britain’s Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, has flatly opposed the notion, telling the paper, “This has Big Brother written all over it.” Besides infringing on the freedom of drivers, the Ministry of Transport also argues that the UK’s road safety record – only 1,754 people dying on the island nation’s roads in 2012 – proves that Britain can get by without the the mandate.

Us? We don’t see this attempt getting very far. Aside from the inevitable invasion of privacy concerns, there’s a big financial one, as well – most countries, states and municipalities in Europe have some level of dependency on revenue collection from speed violations, be they administered automatically via speed camera or the good old fashioned way, by getting pulled over.

What do you think of all this? Have your say in Comments.

UPDATE: The EU has issued a rather scathing formal statement denying this report, saying it is “quite simply not true.” Read the full statement here at the official EU blog.

Europe considering 70-mph speed limiters on all cars? [UPDATE] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 03 Sep 2013 17:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Report: Europe considering 70-mph speed limiters on all cars? [UPDATE]”

Report: Europe considering 70-mph speed limiters on all cars? [UPDATE]

Filed under: Europe, Government/Legal, Safety

DEU HB Verkehr Tempolimit

If George Orwell were alive today and had read this story from The Daily Telegraph, he’d be standing in the middle of the Rue de la Loi, shouting “I told you so!” at the top of his lungs. In a bid to decrease the 30,000 deaths on European roads each year, the European Commission is seeking to require speed-limiting devices on all vehicles.

It’s unclear how the commission would go about this, although according to The Daily Telegraph. The leading candidates involve vehicle-mounted cameras that read speed-limit signs, or satellites beaming speed information into cars so that motorists can be warned whenever they are at risk of exceeding the limit. Another, more invasive scenario could actually see a vehicle’s brakes applied any time the driver exceeds the maximum allowable speed, in this case, 70 mph. This proposed legislation isn’t sitting well with the United Kingdom, though.

Britain’s Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, has flatly opposed the notion, telling the paper, “This has Big Brother written all over it.” Besides infringing on the freedom of drivers, the Ministry of Transport also argues that the UK’s road safety record – only 1,754 people dying on the island nation’s roads in 2012 – proves that Britain can get by without the the mandate.

Us? We don’t see this attempt getting very far. Aside from the inevitable invasion of privacy concerns, there’s a big financial one, as well – most countries, states and municipalities in Europe have some level of dependency on revenue collection from speed violations, be they administered automatically via speed camera or the good old fashioned way, by getting pulled over.

What do you think of all this? Have your say in Comments.

UPDATE: The EU has issued a rather scathing formal statement denying this report, saying it is “quite simply not true.” Read the full statement here at the official EU blog.

Europe considering 70-mph speed limiters on all cars? [UPDATE] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 03 Sep 2013 17:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Report: Europe considering 70-mph speed limiters on all cars? [UPDATE]”

Report: Next Lincoln MKS to get 2.9L EcoBoost, nine-speed transmission?

Filed under: Sedan, Lincoln, Rumormill, Luxury

2013 Lincoln MKS EcoBoost

Lincoln is in serious need of some relevant products, and it looks like help is on the way. In addition to the MKC crossover, which we are almost certain to see in production form this auto show season, Ford’s luxury arm is also working on the next-gen MKS sedan to go on sale in 2015 for the 2016 model year.

According to Car and Driver, the 2016 Lincoln MKS will go on sale in late 2015, and it will receive notable powertrain enhancements like a nine-speed automatic transmission (a product of the joint venture between Ford and General Motors) and a new 2.9-liter EcoBoost V6 to replace the current base engine, the 3.7-liter V6. Not much is known about this new engine other than it is codenamed “Nano” and it could put out around 300 horsepower; the optional 3.5-liter EcoBoost is said to be receiving a bump in power, too. When it comes to styling, we expect a major departure from the current MKS (shown above), and the Car and Driver article has some renderings of the 2016 MKS along with some recent spy shots of MKS test mules.

Next Lincoln MKS to get 2.9L EcoBoost, nine-speed transmission? originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 28 Aug 2013 17:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Report: Next Lincoln MKS to get 2.9L EcoBoost, nine-speed transmission?”

Report: Are birds really aware of speed limits on roads?

Filed under: Etc.

Birds fly across a road on a blustery fall day in Akron, N.Y., Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2010. (AP Photo/David Duprey)

A pair of French-Canadian scientists are claiming that birds understand speed limits. As ludicrous as it sounds, it begins to make sense once you dive a bit deeper into it. See, the two professors, one from the University of Quebec at Rimouski and one from McGill University in Montreal, began studying birds in France back in 2006.

The two noticed that based on the speed limit of the road they were traveling on, the birds took off at differing distances. For example, on a 50-kilometer-per-hour road, birds took off later than on a 110-kph road. This happened independently of a vehicle’s actual speed. There was also a differentiation based on whether it was spring or fall. The birds took off later in the spring, but earlier in the fall.

New Scientist reports that the researchers’ conclusions are based on cars as a sort of predator. Birds know where the predators are at, and as higher speeds generally make for a more danger, our winged friends learn what places are more dangerous. As for the seasonal change, the scientists argued that birds in the spring are both more active, while younger birds are just starting to leave the nest and are still learning about the dangers of cars. In the fall, this isn’t the case.

Head over to New Scientist for a full look. It’s an interesting read on how our cars change the world around us in not so visible ways.

Are birds really aware of speed limits on roads? originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 24 Aug 2013 08:55:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Report: Are birds really aware of speed limits on roads?”

Video: High-speed bicycle inspired by land-speed-record cars

Filed under: Etc., Videos, UK

Land-speed-record bicycle

Inspired by the backyard engineering of land-speed racers who built 600+miles-per-hour rockets on wheels, bicycle frame builder Tom Donhou built a bike intended to exceed 100 mph under pedal power alone. As the mini-documentary video below attests, Donhou was able to reach about 80 mph behind his aerodynamically optimized Ford Zephyr 6 draft car (complete with column-mounted manual shifter), but he’ll need a draft car with a higher top speed if he wants to top 100 mph.

To pedal the bicycle to such a high speed, Donhou also needs the correct gearing to get him there. The huge 104-tooth chain ring connected to a 13-tooth sprocket should suffice, as he proved with a run to 102 mph on rollers. Don’t expect to see him riding up any hills, though you may soon spot him testing the bike on public roads behind his next draft car: a friend’s more capable Ford Capri Cosworth.

We hope the Capri’s much higher top speed will allow Donhou to go even faster on his next run, but until then, watch his first experiment in speed in the nicely produced video below.

Continue reading High-speed bicycle inspired by land-speed-record cars

High-speed bicycle inspired by land-speed-record cars originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 03 Aug 2013 09:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Video: High-speed bicycle inspired by land-speed-record cars”

Report: 2015 CLS will be first US Mercedes to get 9-speed

Filed under: Sedan, Technology, Mercedes-Benz, Luxury

Earlier this week, we heard that Mercedes-Benz will be introducing its nine-speed automatic transmission in Europe, but while this 9G-Tronic will first launch over there in the E-Class, we’ll get our first crack at this gearbox in the 2015 CLS-Class. According to Edmunds, the nine-speed CLS will go on sale in the US next fall before eventually spreading to almost all other Mercedes models, but there is no word as to when this would occur.

The current CLS uses a seven-speed automatic, and the 9G-Tronic’s extra gears will help improve fuel economy. Looking ahead, Mercedes said in a press release that this transmission is suitable for use in a broad range of models, both rear- and all-wheel drive and even hybrid and plug-in vehicles.

2015 CLS will be first US Mercedes to get 9-speed originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 27 Jul 2013 08:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Report: 2015 CLS will be first US Mercedes to get 9-speed”

Video: Highlights from the Goodwood Festival of Speed, including the McLaren P1 and a Ford Transit running the hill

Filed under: Motorsports, Classics, Europe, Videos, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Peugeot, UK, McLaren

The sole purpose of this post is as a time-waster, and since you shouldn’t have to work to waste time, we’ve done it for you. In the numerous videos below you’ll find cars that have lately been in the news tramping all over the grounds of Lord March’s estate in Goodwood, England.

There’s the McLaren P1 heading up the hill, the Jaguar Project 7, then a casually-driven Porsche 917 followed by an even-more-casually-driven Porsche 956, topped off by a Porsche 936 that is anything but casually driven. The next round is the flame-spitting Peugeot 405 T16 Pikes Peak from Climb Dance, a camera mounted on the Peugeot RCZ R after it showing you what the whole, uninterrupted run up the hill looks like. For a real head-turner, we couldn’t embed it but there’s Andy Reid blasting up the hill in a Ford Transit Supervan with a Cosworth 3000 V6 engine.

The modern racing contingent has Allan McNish doing the hill in the Audi R18 e-tron quattro he used to win Le Mans and Lewis Hamilton making lots of tire smoke in the Mercedes-AMG Petronas MGP-W02. For comparison, that’s followed by Nick Heidfeld’s record-setting run up the hill in 1999 in the McLaren MP4/14 . The classic racing contingent is headlined by 71-year-old Giacomo Agostini on an MV Agusta.

Finally, there are the miscellaneous exhaust notes of all kinds of supercars headed to the start for the supercar run. You’ll find it all below. Enjoy.

Continue reading Highlights from the Goodwood Festival of Speed, including the McLaren P1 and a Ford Transit running the hill

Highlights from the Goodwood Festival of Speed, including the McLaren P1 and a Ford Transit running the hill originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 15 Jul 2013 19:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Video: Highlights from the Goodwood Festival of Speed, including the McLaren P1 and a Ford Transit running the hill”

Video: Land-speed racer Bill Warner dies from motorcycle crash at 285 MPH

Filed under: Motorsports, Videos, Suzuki

Motorcycle land-speed record holder Bill Warner died yesterday after crashing during an attempt at setting another record. The 44-year-old was clocked at 285 miles per hour on the runway of a former air base in northern Maine, before he lost control of his modified Suzuki Hayabusa motorcycle and veered off the runway.

It is not known what speed he was traveling when things started to go wrong and unclear what caused the crash, which happened shortly before 10:00 AM. Warner’s crew suspect there were mechanical difficulties on his last run, in addition to a slight breeze, according to the video news report. Warner was conscious and able to speak after the crash but died an hour and 15 minutes later at a hospital in Caribou. The event and runway were closed for the rest of the day as police investigated the incident.

Warner was participating in “The Maine Event” at Loring Air Force Base in an attempt to reach 300 mph in one mile. Warner’s best land-speed record, set in 2011, was 311.945 mph in 1.5 miles on the same runway, according to the Loring Timing Association, a record that still stands today for open-cockpit motorcycles. After that run, Warner said the scariest part was stopping the bike before the end of the runway. Be sure to check out the video news report after the jump.

Continue reading Land-speed racer Bill Warner dies from motorcycle crash at 285 MPH

Land-speed racer Bill Warner dies from motorcycle crash at 285 MPH originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 15 Jul 2013 16:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Video: Land-speed racer Bill Warner dies from motorcycle crash at 285 MPH”

Drayson Racing EV hits 204.185 mph, sets new FIA world land speed record

Filed under: EV/Plug-in, Green Culture, Racing

Michelin Drayson Electric Speed Record

A 39-year-old FIA World Electric Land Speed Record has fallen to a sleek, green electric machine called the Lola. Officially the Drayson B12 69/EV electric Le Mans Prototype, the 1000-kilogram (2,204-pound) race car hit a top speed of 204.185 miles per hour yesterday at RAF Elvington Airfield in Yorkshire, England. That’s over 29 mph faster than the previous record of 175 mph that was set in 1974 by Battery Box General Electric.

“I’m delighted we’ve beaten the record tonight and can show the world EVs can be fast and reliable.”

Completing two runs down the three-kilometer track, Lord Paul Drayson piloted the finely tuned, 850-horsepower EV to the record-setting run. Afterwards, the proud driver said, “I’m delighted we’ve beaten the record tonight and can show the world EVs can be fast and reliable. It is not the outright speed of 204.185mph that is most impressive about this record, but the engineering challenge of accelerating a 1000kg electric vehicle on a short runway over a measured mile.” The car has a 30-kWh battery and ran on confidential-specification LM P1 Michelin tires. You can see a video of the run below.

Of course, there are records and then there are records. The Ohio State University Buckeye Bullet, for example, is an EV that has topped 300 mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. But, according to the FIA, Drayson is now the team to beat. We have to assume that someone will try to snag the title before another four decades are up. Nissan, perhaps?

Continue reading Drayson Racing EV hits 204.185 mph, sets new FIA world land speed record

Drayson Racing EV hits 204.185 mph, sets new FIA world land speed record originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Wed, 26 Jun 2013 18:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Drayson Racing EV hits 204.185 mph, sets new FIA world land speed record”

Drayson will shoot for FIA electric-vehicle land-speed record on June 25

Filed under: EV/Plug-in, UK, Racing

Drayson Racing's EV

It’s pretty impressive when an automotive speed record stands for almost four decades, but UK-based Drayson Racing Technologies will take a shot at one next week. The company, led by Lord Paul Drayson (whose company is partnering with Michelin on the effort), will look to break the FIA World Electric Land Speed Record on June 25 at RAF Elvington in Yorkshire, England.

Mr. Drayson himself will be driving a modified 2,200-pound Lola B19 69/EV down a nearly two-mile runway during his attempt. The car gets 850 horsepower from its 30 kWh battery. Drayson is looking to break the 1974 record of 175 miles per hour by Battery Box General Electric.

BBC posted a video in March on Drayson and his team, and Formula E Holdings earlier this year tapped Drayson Racing as its first team for an all-electric racing tour set to start next year in Rome.

Check out Drayson’s press release below.

Continue reading Drayson will shoot for FIA electric-vehicle land-speed record on June 25

Drayson will shoot for FIA electric-vehicle land-speed record on June 25 originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Mon, 24 Jun 2013 09:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Drayson will shoot for FIA electric-vehicle land-speed record on June 25”