Archive for the ‘Article’ Category

Cars that Drive Themselves

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

This is a Nissan Leaf; but not just any Nissan Leaf. Nissan has joined with engineers from MIT, Stanford, Oxford and other prestigious institutions to outfit some Leaf models with Autonomous Drive. Similar to the Google Driverless Car, road tested in 2012, the car will be able to take passengers from point A to point B without any interaction whatsoever from the driver. Scary thought.

Nissan claims to be able to bring this technology to consumers at an affordable price before 2020; but before that, laws will have to be passed allowing cars with no drivers on the road and road rules have to be rewritten as they all make the assumption that there is a driver behind the wheel. Only three states in the U.S. have passed laws allowing driverless vehicles on the road, with a couple of minor regulations.


Google is currently in talks with various manufacturers to set a plan into motion involving taxi cars that drive themselves. Google has already put $258 million into a taxi hailing mobile application called Uber, so it is likely that these new robo-taxis will be linked to the application itself. Google’s current design for the self-driving car costs $150,000 per car, so this new taxi service might cost a pretty penny; but if Nissan claims to be able to create affordable self-driving cars, maybe Google can step in on this deal too.

Lexus’ final LFA and the end of a dream

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

According to a recent article on Top Gear.com; Lexus’ final LFA is a white Nurburgring package. Number 500 of 500. The last of an exquisite and expensive breed. Also noted in the article, Lexus was hand producing each and every single one of these supercars by hand; one per day by a team of 175 skilled craftsmen.

My dream car as a kid was always the 4th generation Supra. Twin turbo, six speed, hardtop. I remember ages ago when the first few spyshots of the LFA were released, incorrectly identified as the next generation Supra. I was ecstatic. The car looked amazing and completely fooled everyone into thinking it was definitely a fifth generation Supra; despite still being under the shrinkwrap or whatever it was to keep it semi-hidden from prying eyes. Fast forward to years later and I see Lexus unveiling the LFA at a price point I could only dream to afford. Fast forward to today and now even if I could afford it, I can’t buy one off the line.

It’s not fast or terribly groundbreaking, but there’s something about it that I like. Hopefully, now that Toyota has announced an actual Supra possibly being in the works, they’ll bring something over in line with a fifth generation Supra with a price point somewhere between a Pinto and, well, a house. Preferably closer to the Pinto side of the spectrum.

Playing to win… can it go too far?

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

So recent news (article on canada.com here) popped up about a high school girls’ basketball game (Bloomington South v. Arlington in Indiana) ending in 107 – 2 for Bloomington South. The coach of Bloomington South was then fired after a forced public apology for not “showing any compassion or empathy” and for “running up the score”.

First things first, it’s a high school game, so there are possible scholarships on the line here. To suddenly start sandbagging the opposition by playing at a less-than-usual level kind of hurts your statistics. Second, athletes are athletes, they’re always in it to win it and definitely always looking to perform better than they’ve ever done before. To ask them to suddenly hold off because their competition wasn’t up to snuff is like asking an F1 driver to slow down cause he’s already lapped everyone twice.

And that, asking a race car driver to slow down in favor of letting the opposition catch up, never happens. Why? Because racing is a sport about lap times. Most people aren’t in it to beat everyone else (although it does bring in the money); they’re in it to beat their personal best, to constantly achieve more.

Some would say that to intentionally perform worse would be a sign of disrespect towards your competition, not being “compassionate” or “empathetic”. The feeling of not even being worthy of your opponent’s best performance is much worse than to try your best and still fail.

Give the coach his job back. You wouldn’t fire a driver’s assistant for giving him vital information (which could then lead to dominating a race), would you?

Why you should change your oil often

Friday, November 30th, 2012

Besides preventing your engine from seizing up, how much do oil changes actually benefit you? As it turns out, regular oil changes can save you time and money in more than one way.

Improved Gas Mileage

Engine oil provides lubrication to the moving parts in your engine. Over time, the oil becomes gummy, sludgy, and causes more friction between moving parts. Because of this, the engine has to work harder and burn more fuel than it did before. Giving your engine clean, slick oil will allow its parts to move as easily as possible, and allow you to make fewer trips to the pump.

Longer Engine Life

Without the lubrication that new, clean oil provides, friction between moving parts in your engine will eventually cause you problems that are much more expensive than a simple oil change. By changing oil regularly, you’re maximizing your engine’s life span and saving yourself money in the future.

Preventive Car Care

Don’t overlook the benefit of simply having a mechanic’s eyes on your car when you bring it in for an oil change. Even though you’re only getting an oil change, trained technicians can easily spot leaks or other problems while your car is in the shop. Think of it like a regular check-up at the dentist – they identify and fix potential problems before they get worse.

The Autohaus Edge

Why get your oil changed at the Haus? We’re cheaper than the dealer, our services are warranty approved, and our technicians are all factory trained. Don’t forget this list of extra perks included with your oil change at no extra cost:

  • 6 months free roadside assistance
    • Includes 3 tows worth up to $100 each, and a free unlock
    • Limited internally lubricated component warranty*
    • Free quality control check (brakes, tires and fluids)

Call us now at 604 – 638 – 7000 to book your next oil change!

*Only valid up to 120,000 kms

-Written by Marco@Autohaus

Jalopnik: “How a $500 Craigslist car beat $400K rally racers”

Monday, November 26th, 2012

Completely amazing story from Jalopnik from way back in 2010 about a man who bought a 1991 318i (fancy that, we’ve also got one) that was basically a junker for $500 and then fixed it up into a rally car to participate in the Mexico leg of the World Rally Championship. He wasn’t specifically in the WRC, but his class and event raced in the same stages and on the same day/time as the WRC participants.

In the end, he managed to get 3rd in his class and 23rd out of all the participants (including the WRC drivers), meaning that he did somehow beat out the WRC drivers, since there are only 25 of them.

Toyota GT86 (Scion FR-S for us) Advert Banned in UK

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

Source article here

An extremely well made TV advertisement for the GT86 in the UK was banned recently due to “promoting unsafe driving” because of an animated man driving through the confines of his animated world, transitioning to “the real deal”. The advertisement is amazing on so many levels, I’ll let you get to it before discussing what I think about it and why it was banned.

 

So one thing everyone might notice is the background song playing throughout the entire thing, and the climax of the song hitting when the driver makes it into the real world. Remind you of something? Hint: Probably the greatest movie of 2010, directed by Christopher Nolan. If you’re thinking Inception, you’re right. The song is “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien” (“No, I Regret Nothing” for us english speakers), featured in the 2010 film every time the characters needed a “kick” to wake up from the dream world into the real world. That basically is what occurs for our animated man in the GT86 advert. Another thing that it borrowed from Inception was that the “dream world” was attacking the driver as he made his escape; shown by those giant barrier poles popping out of the ground and him narrowly dodging them with his driving prowess.

Onto why it was banned. The Advertising Standards Authority in the UK stated that the advert promoted driving at unsafe speeds (that’s subjective) and that it promoted unsafe driving when the man drove through the glass wall. Lets look into one thing here: the man is in a world that does not exist. Imaginary. Fiction. It’s stated in the video. Anyone who cannot discern from real and not real should probably not be allowed into society. The ASA also noted that because the driving emulated in the advert could be re-created in the real world, the advert should be either cut or remade.

Toyota Scion going into another unique marketing campaign

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

This time, it’s skulls, crossbones and headbanging. Yup, Scion’s set up to start marketing itself for the metalheads according to this article on AdWeek. Why? Well, because while the metalhead crowd might not exactly be trendsetters (I don’t think much has changed since the inception of that particular audience), they’re all definitely thought leaders. The article notes that Scion thinks that since they’re all thought leaders (bloggers, writers, activists, etc), if they can get them to promote the thought of Scion, well, sales would go up.

I’m not entirely sure if Scion’s marketing department is going to score big on this, but they could do worse for weird campaigns. Toyota itself once brought over to North America one of the most iconic entities from Japan to promote the Corolla and, well, it didn’t really carry over since the people in the market for a brand new Corolla really had no idea what “Hatsune Miku” was at the time.

Scion’s known to (try to) target the young, hip and trendy; as shown by numerous previous campaigns for the xB (as seen below), but here was the problem: The young, hip and trendy are likely to be also quite poor. Who knows, maybe taking the focus from hipsters to metalheads is actually working: Jeri Yoshizu, manager of sales promotions for Scion, notes that a lot of the music blogs post about Scion now.

TReO.ca to use electronic “open road” tolling for Port Mann Bridge

Friday, September 14th, 2012

Visual of the Port Mann Bridge

An interesting way to make bridge tolls much less painful (but possibly much more expensive), I myself have never heard of this system, but it’s been done before with transit passes in other regions of the world for subway systems. You carry a pass that has an electronic chip in it that is scanned by an outside system as you pass a certain area. It deducts fare from your pass and you carry about on your day without having to stop and scan or swipe your card at all.

TReO steps up to provide this same thing for cars crossing the Port Mann Bridge, allowing the daily commute to proceed just that much faster. Instead of a transit pass, they have a car decal with an electronic chip inside of it that you can put credit on online at their website and every time you cross the toll line, it deducts the toll from your account, using that electronic chip.

Pretty cool, right? Now for those wondering about how the city is paying for this system, the citizens are. The “introductory” toll price currently sits at $1.50 for cars and $1.00 for motorcycles, which will eventually go back up to $3.00 and $1.50 respectively. Monthly packages for unlimited crossings are $75 for cars and $50 for motorcycles, up to $150 and $100 after the introductory period.

There is also some good news to come along with this, if you quickly go and register your vehicle at their website, your pricing will be locked at the introductory price until December of 2013. They’re also giving $30 in credit to those who register before November 30th.

Nissan GT Academy: From Video Gaming to Motorsport Racing

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

A joint project with Nissan and Sony Playstation was created a long time ago through the fifth edition of a racing simulator called Gran Turismo. Gran Turismo 5 started off as one of the most realistic racing simulators ever made for a console and has now become an interesting way of recruiting potential racing prodigies.

The US version of the competition has already gone through its qualifiers (in-game) for the year and we’re up to the top 16 finalists, ready for real racing bootcamp taking place at the Silverstone circuit in the UK. Some of the drivers from the 2011 UK GT Academy have already participated in multiple international class racing events; the following video follows Jann Mardenborough (2011 GT Academy Champion) and his team (also GT Academy players) at Spa Francorchamps.

New Mitsubishi iPhone Roadside Assistance App

Friday, August 24th, 2012

Mitsubishi iPhone App

Mitsubishi Motors North America recently released an iOS app that is designed to give owners near-immediate roadside assistance whenever they need it for problems such as a having flat tire, being locked out of the vehicle, being stranded without fuel and even offers a tow to the nearest authorized Mitsubishi Motors dealership should it be required.

The app can be acquired at the appstore and once it’s installed, all the user has to do is input their name, phone number and VIN number into the app. After that, whenever the user needs roadside assistance, all they need to do is open up the app and select which type of service they need. The app then uses the device’s GPS information to track and locate where the user currently is and then forwards the user to the Mitsubishi Roadside Assistance call center.

It’s not specifically said in their newspost here whether or not this service is available in Canada yet, but if this does take off successfully, we can expect to see all manufacturers pumping out something similar to provide for their customers.