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Robots And Skeletons From Kia And Hyundai

As often as science fiction leads to real life science fact, the reverse applies more than expected. Robotic assistance in various forms have been a part of sci-fi lore for decades and in films such as Aliens we’ve seen what are called exoskeletons. Hyundai and Kia, with the latter a major and wholly owned sub-section of Hyundai, are working together to develop the Hyundai Vest Exoskeleton (H-VEX). AI, or Artificial Intelligence, is also recognised as a major area of growth in technology, and established a specific robotics team to work on developing the technology and where applications can be utilised. Along with the Hyundai Chairless Exoskeleton or H-CEX, which adds extra support to a user’s knee joints, the units are lightweight but offer plenty of extra assistance.

The H-CEX itself weighs just 1.6 kilos yet provides up to 150 kilograms of extra lift. It’s fitted with waist, thigh, and knee belts to provide a range of adjustment for the user. The H-VEX is an upper body oriented device, and is said to be rated to an extra 60kg of mass when arms are raised above the head. the support design here focuses on the neck and upper back.
The robotics division is also investigating other forms of wearables, along with service robots and what is called micro wearability. Last years Hyundai’s robotics team showcased the Hyundai Medical exoskeleton or H-MEX. This provided a higher level of mobility for paraplegics and the infirm, with the end result being the device should be properly registered for legal use in the medical field. An extension of this is the HUMA, or Hyundai Universal Medical Assist program. This device can assist in having a human run at up to 12 km/h when needed.

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Fossil Fuel, EVs or Bio Fuels?

Fossil Fuels

Is petroleum diesel still a fuel that is going to be around to power our cars in the future?  On the surface, it might look like the era of the diesel engine might be drawing to a close, especially when we hear that some manufacturers are pulling the pin on building new diesel engines.  The truth is that non-renewable resources, which include fossil fuels such as oil, coal, petroleum and natural gas, are all finite in their quantity available in nature for the future.  Diesel fuel is a petroleum product, and so is considered to be a finite non-renewable resource.  Certainly it would seem that petroleum-based diesel has a limited window of opportunity for powering motor vehicles around the globe.  But is this actually the case?

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MINI Adds A Royal Edition.

In line with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex arriving in Australia for The Invictus Games, MINI has announced a limited edition with royal overtones. The Kensington Edition is a proper limited run with just 60 cars to be made available. The option will be on the Cooper/Cooper S three and five door models, with fifteen each for the four trim levels. Mini are also using the internet in the order process, with an online ordering and allocation process specifically for the Kensington.The cars will be painted in the eyecatching Pure Burgundy metallic paint that MINI has showcased previously. Extra features such as an illuminated door sill and Kensington specific badging are complemented by the extensive standard features list. The Cooper S gets a sports oriented double clutch transmission, an 8.8 inch touchscreen with Mini Navigation Plus, and a well specified safety package. The Kensington will see a Driver Assist Package, featuring City Collision Mitigation, Forward Collision Warning, High-Beam Assistant and Speed Sign Recognition. Then there’s the Active Package, featuring LED Headlights with Union Jack tail lights, MINI Excitement Package, White Indicator lenses, automatic climate control and Wireless phone charging (already standard on Cooper S).There’s a pair of different wheels, with the Cooper receiving 16 inch Victory spoke alloys, the Cooper S rolling on 17 inch Cosmos spoke alloys, with both painted black. These are matched by the blacked coated mirror caps, roof, and spoiler. Inside there is a Panoramic sunroof, black leather seating in a diamond quilt weave for the Cooper, and the “MINI Yours” carbon black package for the Cooper S. Piano black and chrome highlights are featured and the Cooper S receives heated front seats also.

Warranty is a three year and unlimited kilometre package with optionable extra warranty and servicing.

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BMW Goes X-tra Large and Seven Up

BMW is not a brand that does things by halves. Rather than putting a toe in the water, the iconic German brand jumps in. In the passenger vehicle segment it’s “lacked” one entrant and that has now been resolved with the release of the X7 range. It’ll go up against the Volvo XC90, Audi’s Q7, Porsche’s Cayenne, and VW’s Touareg. BMW also don’t tag this 5151mm long machine as an SUV. It’s a SAV, a Sports Activity Vehicle.The X7 will offer a choice of six or seven seats, with the third row a confirmed two seat configuration. That third row will have cup holders, separate USB points, and armrests. The middle row can be specified with two or three seats, and all seats are power adjustable. Sitting on a wheelbase of 3105mm, the X7 offers a cargo capacity variance of between 326L to 2120L. To take advantage of the space available, the X7 goes on a luxury cruise with Vernasca leather as standard, four zone climate control, a three part panoramic roof, and a high end ambient light system. BMW never skimps on the option list either, with a five zone climate control system, a Bowers and Wilkins Diamond Select audio system, an an entertainment system for the rear seat passengers. BMW’s M Sport package and the Design Pure Excellence equipment line are also offered.Choosing an engine won’t be hard. At launch a a 340 kW/462 hp petrol V8 in the BMW X7 xDrive50i will be available although not available in Europe. The xDrive40i will receive a six-cylinder in-line petrol unit with an output of 250 kW/340 hp and a rated combined fuel consumption at 9.0 – 8.7 l/100 km. The X7 xDrive 30d will be powered by a pair of six-cylinder in-line diesels with outputs of 195 kW/265 hp. Fuel consumption for a combined cycle is rated at 6.8 – 6.5 l/100 km with CO2 emissions combined: 178 – 171 g/km) and 294 kW/400 hp in the BMW X7 M50d. The quoted fuel consumption on the combined cycle is 7.4 – 7.0 l/100 km with CO2 emissions combined: 193 – 185 g/km). All of the power units in the line-up meet the requirements of the Euro 6d-TEMP emissions standard.

Every powerplant will be bolted to an eight-speed Steptronic transmission. The BMW xDrive intelligent all wheel drive system, complete with optimised efficiency and rear-biased set-up, is how the power and torque gets to tarmac or dirt. Ensuring even more dynamic handling is the M Sport differential at the rear axle, which brings electronically controlled locking. It is fitted as standard on the BMW X7 M50d and as an option on the BMW X7 xDrive50i and BMW X7 xDrive40i.The chassis tech is typical high end BMW. There’s Adaptive Suspension and electronically controlled dampers, air fed springs and an adjustable ride height of up to 80mm. Extra suspension ability can be optioned, such as Integral Active Steering, and the Executive Drive Pro system. An off road option package can be specced for all models bar the M50D. A four mode drive system includes xSands, xGravel, xRocks, and xSnow. The selection of each mode has the X7 adjust automatically for ride height, transmission response, and the stability control systems.

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Holden’s New Big Acadia Arrives

Holden has released details about their new, fully North American built, large SUV. The Acadia is a dedicated seven seater and is powered by a 231kW/367Nm 3.6L V6. There will be no skimping on safety features either, with the Acadia featuring: Autonomous Emergency Braking with pedestrian and bicycle detection, Following Distance Indicator, Automatic High Beam Assist, Safety Seat Alert, Forward Collision Alert with Head-Up Warning, Lateral Impact Avoidance, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Side Blind Zone Alert with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and Rear Parking Assist.TSR or Traffic Sign Recognition is a new feature. Holden says they have had an engineering team perform tests within tens of thousands of kilonetres worth of testing. This has enabled the TSR system to be sophisticated enough to recognise the variance in signs throughout Australia, which also highlights the lack of commonality in signage across the country.

There will be Holden’s next generation eight inch touchscreen plus, for all three rows of seats, fast charging USB ports, suitable for the current generation of smartphones and tablets. There’s some smart tech on board and aimed at people that will utilise the Acadia’s 2000kg towing ability. Hitch Guidance and Hitch View allows a driver to line up the Acadia using the reverse camera, plus there’s a program for the nine speed automatic transmission called Tow Haul. This changes the shifting characteristics of the shift patterns whilst driving and towing.Inside the Acadia will be clever storage solutions such as adjustable fore and aft position for the middle row, a console drawer for the second row, a storage bin in the rear, and just in case the parents have a brain fade, an alert system for the rear seats.The V6 is rated at a reasonable 8.9L/100km on a two wheel drive system, and increases barely to 9.3L/100km in four wheel drive. Thankfully it’ll run on standard unleaded, a handy thing with the expansion of Australia’s fuel prices. That’s helped by Stop/Start and AFM or Active Fuel Management as standard.

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Understanding Your Air Conditioning

The weather is starting to get at least a bit warmer, and it’s about time that we started thinking about summer and about summer motoring.  For most of us, especially if we’re in the hotter parts of Australia, having air conditioning that works well is an absolute must if you want to stay sane during the daily commute during the heat of summer – or while on your holiday road trip.

Making sure that your air conditioning is in good working order becomes a bit easier if you understand how it works.  It might seem that it works by magic – you switch it on and cool, refreshing air blows out of the vents – but of course, it doesn’t.  Unless you don’t ride to work on a car but on a flying carpet or on a broomstick Harry Potter style.

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2019 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Ready For Your Driveway.

Ford‘s 2019 Mustang range has had the EcoBoost engine added and it comes with extra spice. Sitting alongside the grunty 5.0L GT, the EcoBoost offers more torque than the previously available version. There’s also a new, optional, ten speed auto with paddle shift, extra safety features such as Autonomous Emergency Braking, the updated exterior, and a B&O sound system with 12 speakers with a total power of 1000 Watts. Warranty is now up to five years.
The fuel injected alloy engine with twin scroll turbo produces 224kW and a ripping 441 Nm of torque. That compares favourably on a kW/Nm per litre factor when looking at the 5.0L’s figures of 339kW and 556Nm. Standard transmission is a six speed auto. The turbo has been tuned to deliver a beautifully smooth torque curve which enhances the overall driveability. Strength and durability comes from forged conrods, lightweight pistons with steel rings, and variable valve timing for better upper end performance.
The interior features a new 12.4 inch instrument cluster that is heavily customisable thanks to a large involvement from ex games developers. Three modes are available, being Normal, Sport, and Track with adjustable layouts and colours. A new memory function, Mustang MyMode, allows a driver to set drive settings, steering preferences, and exhaust note preferences. A brand new active exhaust features four distinct modes, being Normal, Track, Sport, and Quiet. An electronic control system enables the note to suit the drive mode and rev range, and there is even Track Apps to allow the recording of data for analysis.Ride and handling prowess has been upped thanks to new shock absorbers, and a new cross-axis joint for the rear suspension provides a higher level of lateral stiffness for extra stability. Redesigned stabiliser bars also factor in the increased handling capability. Magnetic damping has now been provided as an option. With an adjustment speed of up to 1000 times a second, the Ford MagneRide suspension was previously available in the Shelby GT350.
More tech for the Mustang EcoBoost comes from the Ford DAT, or Driver Assist Technology. Pedestrian Detection technology partners with Autonomous Emergency Braking, Adaptive Cruise Control, plus Lane Departure Warning and Lane Keeping Assist. Auto high beam and auto levelling headlights are also on board. Ford’s renowned SYNC3 interface is standard on the EcoBoost and features Emergency Assist which will dial emergency services should the car’s telematics detect a crash has occurred. There’s an eight inch full colour display, reverse camera, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The EcoBoost will be available in the two body shapes, Convertible and Fastback, complete with reprofiled bonnet and grille for a harder. edgier, look. LED headlights are standard across the Mustang range, along with tri-bar daytime running lights. The LED taillights feature a revamped design, as do the bumpers, and there are black painted 19 inch alloys. Brembo supply the brakes. Inside the materials have been updated for a higher quality look and feel, with a new “spun alloy” llok for the dash panel.
Complete with a five year warranty the 2019 Mustang range starts from $49,990 (manufacturer’s list price) for the Fastback manual, $52,990 (MLP) for the Fastback auto, with $59,490 being the MLP for the EcoBoost convertible auto. The 2019 Mustang range including the EcoBoost is available from Ford dealers now.

Hyundai and Caltex Offer Fuel Savings

In a time where fuel costs seem uncontrollable in their rise, Hyundai and Caltex have come together to offer a deal where a an app-coupon will save four cents per litre at up to 120 litres per day. The combination works with 665 Caltex service stations offering the discount to buyers and drivers of selected Hyundai vehicles from October 15, 2018.

Hyundai Auto Link Bluetooth and Hyundai Auto Link Premium are required and the current generation i30, Kona, Tucson, and Santa Fe should have these fitted. For customers who wish to claim the fuel discount, it is as simple as downloading or updating their Hyundai Auto Link app, logging in using MyHyundai, and presenting the QR code (available in the Coupon section) at a participating Caltex service stations. The app itself will locate the nearest participating Caltex station by opening the Hyundai Auto Link app and tapping on the Caltex icon.

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MG Circles The Octagon With The NBL.

MG Motor Australia has pulled off what could be the world’s first motor and round ball sports coup. Australia’s National Basketball League, or NBL, has partnered with MG to to reveal an octagonal shaped key on court.

Regular basketball players will be aware of the centre section of the court being a circle, as is the scoring zone, or key, in front of the baskets. But for 28 games throughout the forthcoming 2018/2019 season, sponsored by Hungry Jacks, the key will be replaced by the distinctive MG Motor octagon.
The octagonal key debuted during the season tip-off in New Zealand, seeing the first octagonal on Thursday 11 October. Australia saw it in a game between the NSW based Illawarra Hawks, and the Victorian Melbourne United. Another early release was seen between the Sydney Kings and Adelaide‘s 36er’s. Neither team from NSW were victorious.

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Alpine A110 Ready To “Peak” Interest.

Automotive history is littered with names that have disappeared and then, to the joy of the hardcore, been resurrected. In rallying circles the name “Alpine” is synonymous with elegance and good looks, and the brand’s name has been given an injection here in Australia with the release of the Australian Premiere Edition Alpine A110. A recommended retail starting price of $97,000 comes along with it and for the money there’s a pack of standard kit.

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