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Would You Buy This Biodegradable Car?

biodegradable car

The world’s first biodegradable car was just unveiled. The auto was taken in public roads where it passed its driving test.

According to the video of the car released via video-sharing site YouTube, the vehicle is called “Lina”. The body of the auto is made from biodegradable materials. Although not mentioned in the clip, only the driving mechanisms and the wheels are made of metal. Of course, the other exceptions include the glass parts.

The panels of the car are created using sugar beet. The material is coated with natural flax combined with bio-plastic to make the armor of the auto rigid and probably to prevent quick deterioration caused by harsh environmental elements.

Click’s Dan Simmons was the first person outside the car’s team of developers to join the test drive. It was revealed that the auto could not run past the 55 km/h threshold.

The video claims that the biodegradable car is powered by an electric motor. Then it takes 20% of the energy utilized to produce carbon fiber-based cars.

The presentation reminds us though that the car is only fitted with just the basic elements of driving. The auto does not have the mechanism to wind down its windows, radio or air conditioning. One part of the video also shows a guy pushing the car backwards because of its “limited reverse gear”—as the video stated.

The fact that the biodegradable car is driveable makes it a success. After all, a vehicle’s purpose it to bring a person from point A to point B safely.

The auto gives us a preview of what biocomposite cars would look like—if ever automakers would venture in that territory. However, the video notes that the priority of car makers today is in circular economy wherein they take apart the materials of present vehicles and the future ones to make new ones based on the interview of Professor Maarten Steinbuch of Eindhoven University of Technology.

Video

Check out the testing of the world’s first biodegradable car in the video below:

Development of Apple Self-Driving Car Hinted

apple

There have been tidbits of information pointing to the development of an Apple self-driving car. Details about the matter have always been closely guarded and the Cupertino-based tech giant firm has been mum about it. However, a new clue has been uncovered that suggests the autonomous vehicle program of the company is still alive.

In a document published by Apple enumerating its Supplier List for February 2017, it included Robert Bosch GmbH in it with office address at Tuebinger Strasse 123, Reutlingen, Germany. While the company is known for its production of sensors for electronic devices, power tools, security systems and home appliances, it should be noted that it is also responsible in supplying automotive parts.

According to a source, among the products produced by Bosch’s automotive division are vehicle sensors, electronic controls, power braking systems and steering. The collaboration of the two is in compliance to the guidelines of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in autonomous vehicles. A letter of Apple’s director of product integrity, Steve Kenner, to the NHTSA was uncovered too wherein he expressed the company’s interest in making automated systems in many areas, including the transport sector.

Other Clues to the Apple Self-Driving Car Project

Apple continues to play coy in the matter. But there have been many clues dropped by its company’s executives as well as their actions as of late pertaining to their involvement in an automotive program.

Apple CEO Tim Cook hinted before that they wanted to expand beyond the integration of their smartphones into vehicle infotainment systems. In addition, there have been a series of high-profile hirings that further fuel speculations about the subject.

In 2015, Apple hired former Mercedes-Benz Research & Development head Johann Jungwirth. Then last year, the firm took Sinisa Durekovic under its wing. He is known for his work in developing satellite navigation systems used by luxury car brands like Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

Top 15 Rumors About the Apple iCar

apple-icar

There have been rumors since early last year that Apple is developing its own car, which is either an electric vehicle or a self-driving unit. Although the Cupertino-based multinational company remains secretive about it, there have been hints from inside sources and sightings confirming that the giant tech firm is indeed working on its own vehicle. The mass media currently refers to the auto as the Apple iCar.

Here are the top 15 rumors about the iCar that Macworld gathered:

1. Codename

According to Wall Street Journal, the iCar project is codenamed as “Titan.” It also claimed that several hundred employees are working on it.

2. McLaren Negotiations

Financial Times stated that Apple is negotiating to buy McLaren. It is not clear though if Apple is only considering it as an investment, but it is most likely that Apple is looking to utilize the supercar technology available in McLaren for its iCar.

3. Issues

Apple is reconsidering its strategy in development of self-driving cars. It was reported that the company laid off a number of its staff working on the project.

4. Marketing Strategy

The tech firm is planning on an aggressive marketing strategy for its iCar. It is targeting sales of half a million units annually.

5. Battery

The iCar battery will be sourced from a major Sourth Korean battery developer according to Neil Cybart, founder of analyst firm Above Avalon. The source said the anonymous Korean company just signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement with Apple.

6. Unveiling

Appleinsider said the completion of the iCar is tentatively set in 2021 due to major setbacks.

7. Development Cost

Apple spent $10 billion in research and development as of late. Previously, the company only allotted $3 billion for that. The sudden bubble in R&D costs indicates that it is working on something more than smartphones, tablets or computing devices.

8. Commitment

Tim Cook appears to be committed to it. Despite not confirming the project, he left hints in his interviews that they are into something bigger outside the products they have now.

Wall Street Journal revealed too that Bob Mansfield is overseeing the electric vehicle division of the company. Mansfield is a former senior vice president of Technologies at Apple. He reportedly extended his tenure from a planned retirement from the company in 2012 to lead the special project.

9. Noise in Apple Facility

Residents in Sunnyvale, California said that engine noises could heard in an Apple campus at 11PM based on Appleinsider.

10. Domain Names

MacRumors found out that Apple bought domain names related to cars in December 2015. However, it is also possible that the domains will be used for the in-car system of Apple called CarPlay.

11. Apple Covering Its Tracks

Reports surfaced that the car manufacturer Faraday Future might be a front of Apple for the development of its iCar. This is to divert the attention of the public from the iCar and keep the project away from the prying eyes of the media.

12. Digital License Plates

Among the cool technologies equipped in the iCar will be digital license plates.

13. Big Car and Tech Firms Sense a New Player in the EV Scene

Elon Musk revealed Apple has been offering Tesla engineers to jumpship with $250,000 signing bonus and 60 percent increase in salary. Korea Times claimed Apple is luring Samsung tech experts into their yard too.

14. Apple is Testing Cars Rigged with Sensors

Cars registered with Apple were seen in the roads fitted with a lot of sensors. The tech firm ruled out the development of autonomous car though by saying that the cars are only being used to test their mapping technology.

15. Apple’s Acquisition of Johann Jungwirth

The best evidence pointing to the possible development of the iCar is the hiring of Johann Jungwirth in Apple. Jungwirth is the former head of R&D at Mercedes-Benz. He is rumored to be spearheading the development of the iCar.

Morgan Returns To US With Four-Wheel Models

morgan

British automaker Morgan recently announced that it will be bringing back its four-wheel models to the United States after 10 years of absence. It will be sold through Morgan’s official US distributor, Isis Imports, according to TopSpeed.

Morgan was previously only allowed to sell the three-wheeler model in the US, but Isis (thanks to a new law) now will be able to import the more traditional four-wheeled models.

The British carmaker did not reveal what particular models will be ushered along the US coastline, but they would probably bring cars from the Classic lineup such as the 4/4, Plus 4, Roadster and Plus 8.

In a statement, Isis Imports said details are still being finalized although it looks like Morgan will start receiving orders for the four-wheeled models this summer. The statement added that US spec cars would start to be produced before the year ends.

Isis is even already accepting deposits for four-wheeled Morgans. This is refundable “up until eight weeks prior to the build of your car after your specifications are finalized.”

Though pricing information is not yet available, the US-spec, four-wheeled Morgans will expectedly be a bit more expensive than their British-market counterparts.

The most likely model to first arrive is the Roadster, which uses a 3.7-liter V-6 rated at 280 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. Weighing only 2,094 pounds, the Roadster hits 62 mph from a standing start in only 5.5 seconds and tops out at 140 mph.

This is certainly a welcome news for US-based retro car lovers who keep on bugging the Morgan company to bring the cars back to US shores. The need for retro UK-made vehicles was high among Americans.

Morgan’s return to the US will mark the comeback of the only auto company that still based its models on the classic recipe. Although we won’t be seeing a full lineup of Morgan cars, one or two is more than what the US is expecting to have in its market.

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