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Wednesday
Apr062011

Adaptive Cruise Control

Yesterday driving (my car) on the 404 southbound (if you know the GTA) on a mission to fetch the next vehicle to review. As I emerge from the on ramp in the right lane, and start chequing the mirrors to progress to the middle lane. 

You know when you notice an unfamiliar grille...is it a Genesis, is it an Equus, grille seems too big for a Genesis...linger in the middle lane to let the car come up in the left lane...its an Equus...first time I see an Equus on the road. Reasonable street presence, but not a wow moment.

Get behind the Equuus, the restengular exhaust tips are cool, acceptable stance from the rear, on a few occasions the brake lights of the Equus light up depending on traffic conditions.

Here is the deal....

This Equus is on the cruise control at a speed slightly higher (+ 5 kph) than the flow of traffic. As the brake lights come on a few times, its obvious that a human would not brake in such a fashion, plus the car resumes instantly after braking. 

Could it be? Sure looks like it...YES this Equus is on the adaptive cruise control set at xxx kph. Following the car, the moment its brakes lights blinked, I momentarily let off the gas, to maintain a constant distance from the Equus, as its doing with the vehicle in front. 

As an aside, this is easy if you have had an opportunity to drive a vehicle with an adaptive cruise control for enough kilometers to acquire an understanding of how the adaptive cruise control behaves, and its decision process under various conditions. 

Followed the Equus for several kilometers, at one point the car in front of the Equus changed lanes, and as expected the Equus accelerated vigorously seeking to achieve its set speed. 

Wondering when or if it will present itself again, to follow a vehicle on the adaptive cruise control, and replicate the actions of the cruise while following the car, a unique experience. Yes the human brain fully engaged in driving is "smarter" than an adaptive cruise control, especially that you can anticipate ahead of the vehicles immediately in front of you. 

 

 

 

Wednesday
Apr062011

Corvette Racing Sebring Recap

When a video tells the whole story....

 

Tuesday
Apr052011

Driverless Car

The Google driveless car...

 

Tuesday
Apr052011

CAT CT660

Did you know?

Caterpillar launched a vocational Class 8 truck...yes a Caterpillar on highway truck!

FYI - CT=Caterpillar Truck

 

Monday
Apr042011

Canadian Sales 3-11

To bring some new angle to the human condition- if not to the broader world in generalThe first quarter is complete, March is a done deal. The tactics of holding back, getting aggressive, then seeing what the market will do, persist into 2011. 

A brief reminder from the Toronto Auto Show press day. Ford made it crystal clear that they anticipated a 2% increase in sales for 2011 and had every intention of upholding, and improving their position. GM countered with their intention to take advantage of every opportunity, while regaining lost business. Chrysler reiterated their commitment to be a player of note in the market. 

MerBimAu is not resting, and continues as a force to be reckoned with in their market segments. You could say that the Koreans continue to have strong momentum.

The market in 2011 is competitive and compressed compared to 2010...lets take a quick look: March 2011 is 5% ahead of March 2010 which was 14% ahead of March 2009.

The first quarter (YTD March) of 2011 is 2% ahead of the first quarter of 2010 which was 15% ahead of the first quarter of 2009. 

If you conclude that incremental sales are "challenging" you would be correct. If you conclude that incremental sales above 5% for the month come out of another manufacturer you would be correct again.

When the dust from the fuel economy talk settles,even in March with increasing gasoline prices truck sales continued their inexorable upward trend. Having peace of mind is a higher priority than fuel economy!

What caught our attention in March 2011: 

<> Fiat sold 417 cars in Canada, and 500 in the US go figure.

<> Ford was #1 in March (+16%), and #1 year to date in Canada.

<> GM "got the memo" and sold vehicles in March (+26%)...yes it was concerning at the end of February.

<> Chrysler keeps on moving "Imported from Detroit" iron in Canada (+5%)

<> MerBimAu is increasing their lead in the segment, although BMW had a stumble this month with a (-6%), while Audi had a (+6%), and Mercedes (+14%) for the month...yes...car wars continue!

<> The Koreans maintain their momentum Hyundai at (+6%) for the month, Kia (+21%) for the month.

<> Honda too "got the memo"  with a (+9%) for the month.

<> Lexus...yes Lexus at (+8%) for the month...wow!

<> Subaru continues with its game plan at (+7%) for the month.

<> VW is holding its momentum with the Jetta at (+6) for the month.

Sales were 5% ahead in March...who lost business?

<> Toyota is in a delicate position at (-12%) for the month.

<> Mazda miscalculated "something" at (-29%) for the month....

<> Acura had a wow moment of their own with a (-23%) for the month.

<> Nissan broke even with a (0%) for the month

<> Infiniti struggled with a (-6%)....

<> Volvo lost momentum with a (-6%)....

In March 2011 the Canadian Market (sales) increased by 8,000 vehicles compared to the previous year. Chrysler, Ford, GM among themselves sold an additional 9,500 vehicles...yes there are manufacturers in delicate positions, giving up sales, momentum, and increasingly squeezed in a corner.