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Regan_ong

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About Regan_ong

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  1. The city of Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo, with a population of about 10 million people, suffers from choking traffic, and the local police has decided to engage the help of two robocops. Well, they are technically stationary, but they're helping to keep pedestrians in the country's capital safer. The eight-foot tall, aluminum and steel robots are installed at two, high-traffic intersections to regulate traffic flow. Costing US$15,000 (S$18,960), the solar-powered bots were installed in June last year and were engineered by a team of local engineers to withstand the country's sweltering heat. Their arms act as traffic signals, while their chests display whether it is safe for walkers to cross the street. A speaker also says whether it is safe to cross. Surveillance cameras are also mounted in the shoulders in case anyone attempts to disobey traffic rules. While giant, humanoid traffic signal robots sound like something more likely to come out of Japan than the Democratic Republic of Congo, they merge the functions of human traffic officers and signal lights which means more cops patrolling the streets. Watch the robots in action below and see the public's reaction to the new additions to the police force. These may well be the closest to real-life Transformers as of now. Don't you think so? http://dai.ly/x1f88kv
  2. As with the usual case ahead of a major debut, somebody wasn't able to keep the latest concept car from Maserati under wraps until its unveil at the Geneva Motor Show. The low-slung silver coupe you see above is said to be the Maserati Alfieri Concept and although these images aren't exactly the best, it certainly looks good. Now, watch the leaked video below and listen to the car move under its own power. http://dai.ly/x1ekiig
  3. Regan_ong

    The aftermath of COE changes

    Weeks ago, the Government announced changes to the age-old COE system, in a bid to level the playing ground in the industry as well as to ensure a better division of COE allocation between premium and mass market cars. Under the new implementation, banding for Category A will be tighten to cars with less than 130bhp only, on top of a 1.6-litre engine capacity. This means cars that were previously in Cat A but with more than 130bhp will be re-categorised into Cat B. The revised banding will take effect from February next year, and will without doubt affect the local car industry. With the influx of Cat A cars that will be shifted into Cat B, the latter’s COE premium is expected to soar due to higher demand. Assuming that premiums for Cat A take on a softer stance after the change, buyers may be attracted to model variants with lower power, and will turn to aftermarket kits to tune up the performance of their cars afterwards, as this route is more economically viable. Models such as those from German marques Audi and Volkswagen have become the local's tuning favourites. The increasing availability of basic and fuss-free tuning options, such as ECU re-flash and chip tuning, can easily bring cars at the brim of Cat A banding, such as the base Volkswagen Golf (122bhp) and Audi A3 Sportback 1.4 (122bhp), to Cat B standards of over 130bhp. This will likely spark new life into the aftermarket industry. But it will also make the situation unfavourable and unjust for Cat B car buyers. As such, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) may seize the opportunity to further clamp down on illegal modifications, possibly conducting more random checks and increasing the number of enforcement officers on patrol. Vehicle inspections would probably be more stringent as well, and in order to determine if the engine has been tuned, dyno tests could be conducted during inspections.
  4. Bentley Motors has firmly reinforced its position as the leading manufacturer of luxury vehicles in the world after announcing a 19 percent increase in global deliveries in 2013. 10,120 cars were delivered, the highest figure in Bentley's 95-year history, against 8,510 in 2012. New models were critical to this success. In 2013 Bentley launched the new Flying Spur, the fastest and most powerful Bentley four-door model ever. In the final four months of 2013, with full availability of the new model, Bentley delivered 2,005 Flying Spurs to customers - a phenomenal reception, considering the average yearly sales of 2,700 cars of its predecessor, the Continental Flying Spur, during its seven-year tenure. Deliveries also commenced for Bentley's open-top performance flagship, the Continental GT Speed Convertible. According to the latest figures, Bentley's full year market share performance in the luxury segment rose by three percentage points, taking it to 25 percent, a market leading position in a segment that decreased by six percent. Bentley's number one market throughout 2013 was the Americas region, finishing the year delivering 28 percent (3,140 cars) more cars than 2012 (2,457 cars), and 31 percent of the total deliveries. China remained the second biggest market, with 2,191 cars delivered in total over the year, against the previous year (2,253 cars). Deliveries in Europe were up by 11 percent, with 1,480 cars delivered to customers. Bentley's home market, the U.K., also saw impressive gains, delivering 1,381 cars, a 25 percent increase over 2012 (1,104 cars). Overall, this means that 86 percent of Bentley’s cars were shipped abroad. Bentley's growing presence in the Middle East and Asia Pacific resulted in deliveries hitting a record high in both markets. Performance was strengthened in the Middle East by Bentley's flagship model, the Mulsanne, with model sales up by 38 percent, and total deliveries increasing by 45 percent (1,185 cars) on 2012 (815 cars). In Asia Pacific, deliveries rose by 26 percent (452 cars) on the previous year (358 cars), driven by success of the two-door Continental GT model line. Finally, Japan saw growth of 53 percent, delivering 291 cars against a total of 190 cars in 2012. The global sales network also increased by 11 percent, to 193 showrooms.
  5. When Porsche took the top off its brand new 911 Targa recently, it was indeed cause for pause. Simply put, it was one of the most complicated and intricate electronic roof panel removal techniques ever seen. While the last Targa featured a trick sliding glass roof at the touch of the button, the new car dramatically swallows a traditional-looking panel via an exceptionally complex-looking mechanical operation. Basically, rather than just the roof panel coming off, the entire rear glass area lifts away the body in order for the small section over the passenger compartment to slide back. Now, this has got to be incredibly expensive to repair in the event it breaks. And it's highly impossible you'll be able to operate this mechanism at any speed. Watch the video below to see the incredible roof in action. http://dai.ly/x19xfpp
  6. Regan_ong

    No more red light with Audi

    Audi has an intriguing piece of driver assistance technology called Traffic Light Assist (TLA) that promises to help drivers make every green light. Using both live and predictive data beamed into the vehicle's navigation unit via onboard wifi, TLA doesn't need a single camera to tell you when the light is going to change. Local data sources provide information about traffic light patterns, and the in car system uses that data and the motion of the car to predict exactly how long it'll be until the green light goes red. In practice, the system shows a traffic light icon in the central display (a heads-up display would be a nice option), along with a countdown timer that reads the number of seconds before a light changes from red to green. Additionally, the system corrects for changing lanes and resultant changing signals; changing a straight-through traffic lane to a left-turn lane and signal, for instance. What's more, the stop/start system is integrated with the new software, as well, restarting the engine with a few seconds to go before the light in front of you changes to green. Pretty slick.
  7. The Spirit of Ecstasy, also called 'Emily', 'Silver Lady' or 'Flying Lady', is the bonnet ornament on Rolls-Royce cars. It is in the form of a woman leaning forward with her arms outstretched behind and above her. Billowing cloth runs from her arms to her back, resembling wings. Here are five things you didn't know about the emblem. 1. The Spirit of Ecstasy on Rolls-Royce's latest model, Wraith, is positioned on a slightly different plane to other models. It is placed further forward on the grille and angled by five degrees. Her eager position draws the eye up and along the bonnet, helping define the development of three harmonious lines - the waftability line, waist line and roof line. 2. As a mark of respect to the emblem and the marque, walking across the front of the car is considered disrespectful. 3. One of the most popular bespoke features in China is a gold plated Spirit of Ecstasy. 4. A particular customer in India had a special request for his Spirit of Ecstasy to be decked in ruby and diamonds. 5. The Spirit of Ecstasy can be set to 'auto' (retracts when you switch off the engine), or manually controlled via a button in the glovebox (Phantom) or from the rotary controller (Ghost and Wraith). And if you hit the Spirit of Ecstasy with some force (e.g. with your hand), it will also retract.
  8. Regan_ong

    Thorium-Fueled Automobile Engine

    Some proposed technological innovations seem so far out that they are easy to reject out of hand. But sometimes, a new idea has a kernel of plausibility. Such is the case with a new project to develop a laser power generation system that its creator says could provide electricity for the grid, stand-alone power applications and even cars. Laser Power Systems (LPS) from Connecticut, U.S.A, is developing a new method of automotive propulsion with one of the most dense materials known in nature - thorium. Thorium, a silvery-white metal, is a mildly radioactive element that is as abundant as lead. It is present in large quantities in India and is a much-touted stand in for uranium in nuclear reactors because its fission is not self-sustaining, a type of reaction called 'sub-critical'. Because thorium is so dense, it has the potential to produce tremendous amounts of heat. The company has been experimenting with small bits of thorium, creating a laser that heats water, produces steam and powers a mini turbine. Current models of the engine weigh 500 pounds, easily fitting into the engine area of a conventionally-designed vehicle. According to CEO Charles Stevens, just one gram of the substance yields more energy than 7,396 gallons (28,000 litres) of petrol and eight grams would power the typical car for a century. LPS is developing the technology so it can be mass-produced but whether authorities will allow thorium-powered cars to roam the streets is another question and a date has not been for a prototype version yet.
  9. The Lexus LFA has got to be one of the greatest car ever made - simply because of how technologically insane it was, but more significantly, how the V10 sounded like an early 90s F1 car. It has been over two years now that BMW and Toyota come to an agreement to work together and share technological resources to make a car that will set the pace for future cars. But ever since - there has been no work seen between the two automotive giants but recent rumours claim that the two companies are actually working on an LFA successor. With the intention on putting up against cars like the Porsche 918 Spyder and McLaren P1 - the aforementioned LFA successor will likely be a hybrid filled with lithium-ion batteries but don’t despair because that isn’t such a bad thing. Instead of looking at the hybrid system as an ecological way to save the environment, we prefer to look at it as a power boost to the engine, making it go even faster! We heard the Japanese also plan to drop BMW’s 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 into this supercar and tag it with Toyota’s hybrid system to create a combination made in heaven. No doubt - we can expect the successor to be flourished in excess of carbon fibre and lightweight materials everywhere, making it absolutely exotic! We can’t wait to see this coming along quickly and an addition to the list of hybrid hypercars on the road nowadays. Cross your fingers though, and hope that this car will not be as ridiculously expensive as the LFA.
  10. Regan_ong

    Splitting between two moving trucks

    You should have seen it. The Internet is abuzz about a new online commercial that shows actor Jean-Claude Van Damme appearing to perform a split between two moving Volvo FM trucks. The advertisement was done to promote Volvo Trucks’ new dynamic steering system and has become a YouTube hit. Specialising in Kickboxing and Karate, Jean-Claude also studied ballet. He was nicknamed the 'Muscles from Brussels', demonstrating his incredible flexibility and prowess at martial arts in many of his early movies, making his name in hits including Universal Soldier and Bloodsport. But now at the age of 53, Jean-Claude Van Damme is showing he is still as supple as ever. According to Volvo, no computer trickery was involved on camera and the stunt is genuine, although some safety equipment was digitally removed. It was filmed on a closed-off airstrip in Spain called Ciudad Real, located just south of Madrid. Rehearsing the stunt for three days, the final version had to be completed within just 15 minutes - from 8:05am to 8:20am - when the sunlight was just right. If you haven't seen this amazing video yet, watch it below. http://vimeo.com/79759786
  11. Regan_ong

    BMW i3 takes on E92 M3 in drag race

    The U.K. launch of the all new BMW i3 saw groups of journalists driving out to ex-F1 circuit Brands Hatch in a fleet of brand new i3s. In an unexpected twist, BMW lined up professional instructors in a pair of V8-powered M3s, the idea being that the journalists drag-race them from a standing start to 100km/h. The i3′s electric drivetrain generates output of 170bhp and a maximum torque of 250Nm, which is immediately available from a standing start. It goes from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.2 seconds, with a limited top speed of 150 km/h for efficiency reasons. On the other hand, the 4.0-litre M3 dishes out 414bhp and 400Nm of torque. It sprints to the century mark in 4.8 seconds and on to a top speed of 250km/h. Apart from the wonderful soundtrack of the M3, you can see in the video that the i3 stays ahead initially because of its wall of immediately available torque, delivered with no gear changes and crossed with low kerb weight. Watch the clip below to find out who actually won. http://dai.ly/x1785hx
  12. You would never think that a single plant could solve most of the world's problems, well it can. Hemp has over 50,000 uses, everything from clothes, medicine, fabrics, fuel and more, hemp is definitely a large threat to a variety of corporations that control energy, health and a number of other industries. Many corporations would see a decline in profit if hemp were to be legalised. One in particular is the automobile industry. The world's most eco-friendly car, the Kestrel, was designed in Canada by Calgary-based Motive Industries Inc. Unlike the United States government, the Canadian government is open to hemp farming and actively supports the hemp industry and its potential benefit for us and our environment. The body of the car is completely impact-resistant and made entirely out of hemp. Now, when we think of cars, we think of gasoline, steel, pollution, etc. Even though we have had some innovative and visually pleasing cars on the road today, it is difficult to ignore the sheer environmental impact that modern cars create. The Kestrel’s hemp composite body shell passed its crash test in excellent form. Unlike steel, the panels bounce back into shape after impact. Hemp also has the same mechanical properties as glass but is even lighter which help to boost fuel efficiency. The Kestrel has a top speed of 90km/h and a range of approximately 160km before needing to be recharged. It’s powered by a motor made by TM4 Electrodynamic Systems, a Quebec based company. The car weighs in at approximately 1,134kg, and has a very affordable price, given the fact that hemp is very easy to grow and requires nothing but the sun. It fits four passengers and the production version of it was supposed to be available this year, but since the unveiling of it a couple of years ago, everything has become quiet.
  13. Regan_ong

    Swedes invent invisible bike helmet

    One of the worst things about commuting on a bicycle is how hot it can get underneath your helmet. No one wants to arrive at work with unkempt locks, misshapen after being crammed under a sweltering headpiece. Tired of strapping ugly, uncomfortable styrofoam-and-plastic turtle shells to their heads, a pair of Swedish women came up with a pretty revolutionary solution that does manage to give you full head protection without, remarkably, wearing anything on your head. When we first saw the promotional photos of the Hovding airbag helmet system, we instantly dismissed it as some kind of viral joke or a mad scientist dream. Their promotional photo showed a fashion model wearing a big scarf in one photo, then an inflatable helmet on the next. It might sound mad, but the Hovding helmet works. Sensors in the system detects the specific types of movement found during an accident. Based on thousands of experiments with crash test dummies, its Swedish student inventors developed an algorithm that can distinguish between normal cycling and trauma, triggering the airbag when required. On impact, the collar releases a hood-like inflatable airbag made of strong waterproof nylon fabric that won’t rip when it hits the ground. It wraps your head, leaving the field of vision clear, but everything else protected. It covers more of your head than a classic cycle helmet and is reusable. And when you land with a bump? Its gentle shock-absorbing qualities come into their own. Hovding works via a battery that’s easily charged using a USB cable and lasts for around 18 hours of cycling at a time. There’s an on/off switch and the front zip needs to be completely closed to activate it. From an aesthetic point of view, the helmet looks like a money belt for your neck. It comes in a clever removable wrap - available in a number of colours, to match your outfit or bike. So the Hovding looks more like part of a jacket than a clumsy helmet. And it’s ergonomically designed to ensure even weight distribution across your shoulders and back. Hopefully, this will pave the way for even more items of protective clothing to help cyclists. For now, this Swedish development is on the cutting edge of bike safety. This invisible helmet system may well work locally (given our climate), if approved by the relevant authorities. Watch the Hovding helmet during testing below. http://dai.ly/x171lo9
  14. Regan_ong

    GT-R Goliath sets new top speed record

    Talk about a blazingly fast car - the 1,700bhp Nissan GT-R Goliath by Switzer, which purportedly set a new top speed record in a 1.6km run for GT-Rs at the recent Moscow Unlimited 500+ racing event. According to the organisers, only two other vehicles have surpassed the 400km/h mark in a 1.6km run - a Ford GT at 430km/h and a Chevrolet Camaro at 402km/h. Switzer's heavily modified yet street legal GT-R Goliath reached a speed of 402.23 km/h in 1.6km after just 22.602 seconds. The Goliath was made for an unnamed client (likely from Russia) with Switzer stating the following about said car, "The client wanted a GTR - but not just any GTR! The car the client asked us to build had to be 'for street use', not just 'street legal'. The difference there is the difference between 'comfortable' and 'tolerable'. He made it very clear that he expected this to be a 'real car' with full amenities. What he did not want was a stripped-down drag car that was technically street legal. He also wanted the car to run a low 20-second ET at the Moscow Unlimited." Watch the world's fastest Godzilla in action below. http://dai.ly/x16wif7
  15. Regan_ong

    Honda and its fearsome lawn mower

    Anyone who ever said mowing the lawn wasn't fun obviously never cut their grass with the Honda Mean Mower. While they sourced the body from Honda's HF260 Lawn Tractor, this machine is all hot rod underneath. Power comes from a 1,000cc VTR Firestorm engine which produces 109bhp, roughly 100 more ponies than most of its lawn tractor brethrens. The best part - it'll hit 100km/h in just four seconds - fast enough to put most exotic full-sized autos to shame - and has an estimated top speed of 209km/h. To keep the whole thing legit, grass cutting remains the primary mission for this machine. Yes it still cuts grass, but only at speeds up to 24km/h. But once the lawn has been carefully manicured, feel free to take it out on the track. Helmet is highly recommended. F1 style paddle shifters control the mower's six-speed gearbox driving the rear axle, while a Scorpion exhaust system notifies the neighbours of your presence. The steering rack is borrowed from a Morris Minor and a custom suspension unit as well as ATV wheels make manoeuvering about the shrubs and chicanes all that much smoother. This Mean Mower will definitely make short work of any grass patch or field. Watch the clip below of reigning BTCC champion Gordon 'Flash' Shedden mowing the lawn - in a mean way. http://dai.ly/x16taao
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