All posts tagged Car

The first time I have seen a tech blog test a Range Rover :

Let’s take a look at the 2010 Range Rover Supercharged infotainments systems because after all, shopping for in-vehicle technology is just about as important as feeling out the powertrain and suspension. Often these creature comforts can make or break a vehicle. But not the Range Rover Supercharged. Nope. Even though the infotainment stack is antiquated and the LCD dash cluster is nothing more than a novelty, the rest of the vehicle more than makes up for these letdowns.

See, the center LCD screen that controls media functions and navigation feels like a carry-over from a 2008-ish vehicle and that’s not good considering this 2010 Range Rover prices out north of $100k. The whole user interface feels a bit off. The system isn’t missing anything per se, but is just poorly designed. The layouts have strange control schemes, many of the menu’s only have one option, and the navigation looks like something from a department store GPS. Yes, it could be so much better, but I still love this truck.

Take the fancy-pants LCD dash cluster. It’s novel, I’ll give it that, but it’s not all that functional in practice. It has none of the sweet functions of the Jaguar’s implementation. It simply displays two round analog dials with a menu system between them. The Range Rover’s cousin, Jaguar, also uses an LCD screens for some models but features some nifty tricks such as replacing the fuel gauge with navigation maps on the fly. There’s none of this on the Range Rover’s version. Only during one off-road mode does the right analog dial scoot over a bit to display the vehicle’s differential settings.

[From The Gadgetry Inside the 2010 Range Rover Supercharged: Sadly Disappointing [Video]]

And if you know the driver of this car :


(Click for larger)

– tell him from me that he’s a absolutely insanely stupid driver with a deathwish (I do not mind if he wants to kill himself – be my guest – but that he tries to endanger others I really do not like).

On the offramp from the m25 to the M3 he suddenly weered to the right, could not pass the car in front of him due to the large amount of other cars, the weered left, crossed the lane to his left, onto the hard shoulder, decided to accelerate past the car in the left hand lane, cut in front of it, then across to his previous lane, braked so hard that smoke came off his wheels, leading to the car behind him breaking just as hard, and then continued as if nothing had happened.

Idiot! – and with a small child in the car.

And I do dislike vanity plates with fancy fonts as well..

Hm! Managed to get that off my chest.

You have to love these guys – I have a powergorilla – with the extra solargorilla for a sunny day (!) – and i can’t fault it. It keeps me watching movies for hours on a plane while powering my laptop, while recharging my iPhone.

So their next product is:

Dead car battery? We’ve got the power…

Introducing the startmonkey – the world’s smallest “jump start” system for car batteries.

In 2009, the RAC were called out a whopping 177,916 times to jumpstart cars! A flat battery was the number 1 reason they were called out for breakdown assistance during last year.

The startmonkey can restart a standard 12 volt car battery between 8 and 10 times on a full charge thanks to its High Energy Dynamic Polymer Battery and it’s packed with high-tech features to give you total peace of mind. The startmonkey has 2 output channels: 1) a 12volt, 120Amp car jump start and 2) a 12volt, 100 watt max, 8Amp DC output for charging your portable gadgets.

startmonkey is easy to use. For the average car with a flat battery, firstly ensure the engine battery is 12 volts (if 5 or 24 volts – DO NOT USE with startmonkey). Check the battery capacity level in the startmonkey and then simply attach the jump leads (red to red, black to black) to your car battery and the startmonkey will automatically start delivering 120 amps of continuous power. Leave the startmonkey for 5-8 seconds, then turn the ignition on your car and your car will start.


(Click for larger)

[From Powertraveller : Buy : startmonkey]

This is a interesting project – as we have one car with ODBII (A Landrover) :

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
OBDuino is an open source trip computer design based on the Arduino platform. An OBDuino may be assembled and customised by an electronics hobbyist, it displays information such as instantaneous fuel economy (e.g. miles per gallon or litres per kilometre), engine tuning parameters etc. on an LCD.
As the name suggests, the OBDuino utilises the On-Board Diagnostics interface found in most modern cars.
Contents [hide]
1 Features
2 Design
3 Project
4 Variations
5 Related Alternatives
6 See also
7 References
8 External links

Most OBD-II PIDs or derived values may be displayed. Common values include
Fuel consumption, measured in mpg or l/100 km,
Fuel used or remaining,
Fuel cost,
Fuel wasted while idling,
Engine RPM,
Vehicle speed,
Tank distance,
Remaining distance that can be travelled on the current tank of fuel
Engine load,
Coolant temperature,
Air intake temperature,
Throttle position,
Battery voltage,
CAN status, for CAN protocol only, display TX and RX errors
Instantaneous values can be displayed, and average, maximum and minimum values calculated over a trip, an outing or per tank of fuel.
Menu system for configuring parameters
Relatively cheap compared to commercial alternatives
Customisable and extendable
OBDuino does not currently display or reset engine fault codes (which are available over the OBD interface)

[From OBDuino – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia]

Wow – my Solargorilla can charge normal 12V batteries with tis handy cable :


I want one!

This is a interesting application that uses a wireless “dongle” to plug into all modern cars diagnostic port, and it lets you read out all kinds on interesting information (in real time):


Rev Features

Built-in Metrics (No special hardware required)

Lateral and Forward Acceleration: Graph your cornering, braking and acceleration G-forces. (Available in Rev Lite)
GPS Track: Visual track displays your location and acceleration data – see how you are braking and accelerating around corners. (Available in Rev Lite)
OBD Metrics (Requires OBD-II/WLAN interface hardware)

Vehicle Speed
Fuel Consumption
Engine Coolant Temp
Fuel Pressure
Calculated Engine Load
Throttle Position
Intake Manifold Pressure
Air Intake Temp
Timing Advance
Mass Air Flow
Fuel Level
Barometric Pressure
EVAP System Vapor Pressure
Fuel Trim

[From Rev]

We have a Landrover dealership sitting out midway between Godalming and Guildford, with a forecourt full of Range Rovers (and a smattering of other models as well) with destination stickers for some very weird locations


If you click on the image you should be able to read the note on this particular Range Rover which is going to Mongolia! Among the other destination was numerous places in Africa and Russia. And their lot seems to always been full of cars going to these places…..

And no used cars whatsoever, or for that matter any cars outside for sale, just 2 in the showroom.

The police in Trondheim are currently testing new electric cars that no US trooper would be caught in – but they do 0 – 60 (mph) in 3.9 seconds. Not bad. Apparently based on working with Lotus Motors (of Tesla fame) and Think in Norway.

From the newspaper in my old home-town (Adressa) :

Trondheimspolitiet får lynraske elbiler
Trondheimspolitiet går over til elbiler. De nyutviklede spesialbilene har fartsegenskaper som går langt utenpå dagens tradisjonelle biler med bensin- eller dieselmotor. Sintef har en nøkkelrolle i utviklingen av de lynraske, små politibilene.

[From Trondheimspolitiet får lynraske elbiler ]


Update : Please look at the date of this posting – April 1st, and draw your own conclusions based on this little nugget of information.

Just booked tickets:

New Artists have been added to Line Up for Saturday 28th June. Now appearing with headliner Eric Clapton, Sheryl Crow and John Mayer will be Jason Mraz, Robert Randolph and The Family Band and Scott McKeon.
New bands have also been added to the line-up for Sunday 29th June 2008. Appearing at their last EVER UK Show -The Police will be joined by, KT Tunstall, Starsailor, The Bangles, The Stranglers, Arno Carstens, Carbon/Silicone and The Flying Padovanis.

“A summer’s day, Hyde Park, and such luminous company—can’t think of a better way for the Bangles to come back to London. We’re incredibly excited about this!” The Bangles said yesterday.

[From Hard Rock Calling ]

A car called “Troll” used to be produced in Norway one upon a time (I seem to remember), but time has passed, and we have forgotten about this, so now a new car is being produced in Norway. It’s not likely to replace our Landrover any day soon – but here is the blurb on it

First Th!nk rolls off production line. The production of Think8217s new electric car the TH!NK City has begun. Production takes place in Thinks Norwegian factory outside Oslo. The production start- up is going according to plan, and on November 28th the first TH!NK city drove off the production line. The first cars will then go through testing and trials under Norwegian winter conditions. The TH!NK city will be on the road during the first six months of 2008. [From Environment Solutions 187 Blog Archive 187 First Th!nk rolls off production line.]