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According to consumer research discussed at the Telematics Detroit 2012 Conference, social media platforms such as Facebook and twitter are among the lowest priorities when it comes to in-car connectivity features consumers want in their vehicles.
For many of us, brake squeal is something that can really get on our nerves. You’re traveling along a busy thoroughfare, you hit the brake pedal and screech! Not only is it irritating, but also embarrassing, since on warmer days, motorists in other surrounding vehicles usually know that its you.
The thing is, brake squeal happens to be incredibly common and although is often associated with worn pads, can also afflict anchors that are in decent working order, since it is a by product of frequencies caused by vibration, which happens every time the pads touch the surface of the rotor.
And until now, there wasn’t really much of a cure for it. Well General Motors is hoping to address that and currently has a group of the companies engineers working on a solution to the problem. However, like much in the automotive universe, the idea isn’t actually a new invention at all.
The Coulomb friction damped disc brake (based on a damping mechanism design originally created by 18th century Physicist Charles Agustin de Coulomb), uses a thin ring of metal that’s actually embedded in the brake rotor, designed to absorb vibrations when the pads hit the rotor and thus significantly reduce squealing.
The new disc design follows on from corrosion resistance technology developed by GM and while still undergoing testing, could become available on certain cars and trucks in the General’s lineup within two to three years.
In addition, because the Coulomb design means engineers have to worry less about brake noise, it could, according to GM brake expert Jim Webster, allow engineers to develop future brake systems that use new materials with higher coefficients of friction. This would enable brake rotor designs that provide more powerful clamping force than those on the market today, but ones that would be smaller and lighter, thus increasing safety while enabling vehicle weight savings.
And given that automakers are looking every which way they can to shave vehicle mass in order to meet mandated higher fuel economy standards, such a concept as smaller brakes would no doubt be welcomed on that front too.
For more information on brake squeal reduction, click on the link below:
Perhaps in response to comments labeled at Ford’s dual-clutch gearbox, particularly by Consumer Reports, which caused the Blue Oval to take a hit in CR‘s annual reliability survey, Chrysler has announced that it won’t be releasing its own twin disc unit until concerns over refinement have been addressed.
The dual-clutch gearbox, made by Fiat, was originally intended to be introduced on the 2012 Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger models but instead those mid-size cars will retain the 62TE six-speed automatic they sported last year.
Chrysler spokesman, Vince Muniga, said that despite the gearbox currently being offered in Europe, the company was “concerned about the refinement and how the American customers might perceive the transmission.”
Although it might be delayed there’s still every sign that the dual-clutch unit will make it to future,Chrysler, Dodge, possibly even Jeep products as the automaker looks to bolster fuel efficiency in order to meet tougher fuel economy standards.
In addition to the dual-clutch, Chrysler is also working on a 9-speed transaxle application with ZF, for use in front-drive vehicles. Could 10-speeds be on the way?
[Source: Automotive News]
OnStar’s FMV (For My Vehicle) is a rearview mirror incorporating core features found in GM cars, namely automatic crash response, 24/7 emergency service contact; turn by turn navigation, hands-free calling, roadside and stolen vehicle assistance. However, it’s been designed from the outset to be compatible with multiple types of vehicles, not just GM cars and trucks. To help consumers determine if the FMV will work on their vehicle, the General has launched an online compatibility tool dubbed the ‘Vehicle Selector.’
This gives uses the chance to enter in information regarding their vehicle, such as make, model and year to see if the FMV can be made to work withe their car or truck. The Vehicle Selector tool is currently being offered via OnStar’s website or it’s Facebook page.
At present the company has been able to validate some 90 million different vehicles produced in the last 10 years for use with the FMV, up from some 55 million when the program was first launched back in January.
OnStar plans to offer the FMV via Best Buy stores, beginning this summer, priced at $299 with service plans starting at around $18.95 per month. In addition Best Buy will also provide on-site installation at a maximum cost of approximately $100. Similar programs are likely to follow at other electronics retailers across the country. For more information about the FMV and to see if it’ll work on your vehicle, click on the link below: