-15°C in a black cab, a tyre like never before and Transporter turns 70
London’s iconic black cabs are entering a new era. Yip, you guessed it – the electric era.
The London Taxi Company (LTC) is exerting its all-new electric black cab to the most comprehensive product-quality programme in its 98-year history; currently underway in the lower reaches of the Arctic Circle in Norway.
This cold-climate testing is just part of the new programme LTC has developed to ensure the highest levels of quality, reliability and usability for demanding taxi usage cycles.
Extreme cold-weather testing is undertaken to guarantee the performance of the battery. It is also used to check the quality of driver and passenger experience in cold weather – including cab heating and ventilation. The impact of grip, drivability and visibility are also checked.
The next step is to park the new cab in giant fridges at -49°C to guarantee that the vehicle will always start, even after the coldest nights. Then it’s off for similar endurance testing in extreme heat environments before it is deemed ready for sale.
Quality director Wolfram Liedtke explains: “Our new taxi is being developed with two key engineering principles – quality and endurance – to meet the needs of the demanding taxi duty cycle.
“We understand drivers will want to be sure that our range-extended electric vehicle technology works in all conditions, which is why we went to the effort of testing in these extreme environments. In the history of London’s taxi industry, it will, without doubt, be the most resilient and highest-quality product yet.”
Worldwide, this will be the first dedicated taxi, which is capable of zero emissions, to enter series production. It will launch in the fourth quarter of 2017.
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With the help of engineering simulation and virtual reality technology, CNH Industrial’s design analysis and simulation team is able to reduce the number of physical prototypes that need to be built before a final product is produced.
The days of crash test dummies and costly physical prototypes are becoming a distant memory …
go behind the scenes with CNH Industrial’s Behind the Wheel web series to see how two central teams in Italy and the United States simulate crashworthiness, safety, soil and crop modelling, ergonomics and vehicle dynamics.
A tyre like never before
“The tyre of the future will be able to sense, decide, transform and interact…”
That’s according to Goodyear, which has unveiled its Eagle 360 Urban, a concept tyre powered by artificial intelligence.
“A revolution will take place at the intersection of autonomy, mobility and connectivity. As this unfolds, tyre technology will be even more important than it is today. To safely navigate their surroundings, the autonomous vehicles of the future will need to learn to cope with the millions of possible unknowns we face in everyday driving scenarios. To do this they will need access to data and the ability to learn and adapt,” says Jean-Claude Kihn, president of Goodyear Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Goodyear’s Eagle 360 Urban features a bionic super-elastic polymer skin with a sensor network that allows the concept tyre to check on its own status and gather information on its environment, including the road surface.
Via connectivity with other vehicles, as well as with infrastructure, traffic and mobility management systems, the Eagle 360 Urban also captures information on its surroundings in real time.
Transporter turns 70
Fans of the VW Transporter will celebrate its 70-year heritage with a special edition version.
Around 70 years ago, Dutch VW importer Ben Pon visited the VW plant in Wolfsburg and came across a curious vehicle – the “Plattenwagen”. He subsequently made a sketch in his notebook of a vehicle type that did not exist at that time, anywhere in the world. His sketch became the launch pad for the Volkswagen Transporter, which would go on to sell in the millions.
In commemoration, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has unveiled a “70 Years of the Bulli” special edition.
Optionally available in two-tone paintwork of Candy White and Metallic Kurkuma Yellow, the “Bulli” badges and anniversary sticker on the rear window point to the vehicle’s lineage.
Chrome trim abounds, contrasting the matt-black decals around the B-pillars and tinted windows. Tread plates feature “Bulli” lettering and stainless-steel inserts and the loading edge covers of the rear hatch are also stainless steel.
The popular 18-inch “disc” wheels are available in the classic look with white rims, or alternatively in classic silver.
It’s suitably retro inside as well: deluxe lighting cleverly shows off the modified “Visitamo” seat covers, which, in turn, are stylistically coordinated with the refined look of the “dark wood” floor covering.
Alas, so far it’ll be available to order only in Germany.