MCAD Tech News #20612 Apr, 2007 By: Jeffrey Rowe
The race will soon be on to determine who can design and bring a truly energy-efficient vehicle to market -- and to the eager masses.
At a time when several major North American car manufacturers seem to be hemming and hawing at proposed fuel efficiency increases, along comes an organization that wants to push the envelope in making much more efficient automotive vehicles possible. The X PRIZE Foundation, the organization behind the $10 million Ansari X PRIZE that successfully challenged teams to build the first private spacecraft to leave the earth’s atmosphere (and won by Burt Rutan’s company, Scaled Composites, in October 2004), is taking a step toward launching the AXP (Automotive X PRIZE), which it hopes will inspire the creation of super-efficient vehicles with fuel economy exceeding 100 miles per gallon.
This challenge comes as consumers and government regulators are putting more pressure on the auto industry to enhance fuel economy, which has remained stagnant at a 2004 collective average of 20.8 miles per gallon and below the collective high of 22.1 mpg way back in 1988. This decrease is largely due to the increases in engine efficiency that have been "spent" on increased vehicle power, acceleration and weight, rather than on increased fuel economy. Read more>>
By Kenneth Wong
Each quarter, when the editors of the Oxford English Dictionary release an update to their authoritative tome, they cautiously admit a handful of Valley jargon -- that is, Silicon Valley jargon -- into the repertoire of standard speech. Last June, Google was ushered in as a verb, along with text message (verb), uninstall (verb) and rewriteable (adjective). The legitimacy of Google as a noun, a reference to the search engine, is a given, but its emergence as a verb, as in "I Googled the latest news on IBM," has enormous significance. We began using the word as a verb because, over the years, the search engine has redefined how we search for and retrieve information. It marks the rise of a new data paradigm. We now expect information, from the price of a movie to the price of an automobile part, to be categorized, archived and displayed to us in a certain way -- Google's way, for the most part. Read more>>
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