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Obama’s Auto Industry Task Force Drives Imports Like Everyone Else

February 23, 2009 at 1:35 pm

(Source: Jalopnik.com

Of the 10 members of President Obama‘s Auto Industry task force, only two are known to own American cars, two don’t own a car, and at least one has a French car in the family.

The majority of the task force, tasked with saving the auto industry, drives Hondas, Mazdas or Volvos. Many of the Honda vehicles are actually built in the US and both Mazda and Volvo are, technically, owned by Ford. Despite the rather bland choices, there are two revelations we couldn’t help but appreciate as car fans:

1. Our Vice President owns a 1967 Corvette, which he probably puts few miles on given his love of Amtrak.

2. Diana Farrell, the deputy National Economic Council director, is currently without a car but her husband has a 1985 Peugeot 505 S, which we take to mean a Peugeot 505 Turbo S and not the crappy gas/diesel 505 S. If it’s the S Turbo we’re talking about a crazy gearhead. If it’s an S we’re talking about someone who doesn’t want to part with an old car. Or maybe it is a base S with an SR20DET swap (we look for hope where we can find it).

Click here to read the full article.

Stimulus Spending breakdown- Transportation and Overall allocation

February 23, 2009 at 1:28 pm

(Source: CNN)

Click on the images below to see them in higher resolution.


February 23, 2009 at 11:48 am

The Fourth Joint Military/Civilian Conference on Intelligent Vehicle Technology Transfer (IVTT) is sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA); and it is supported by the Department of Transportation Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office (DOT ITS JPO), the Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC), the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI); the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America); and it is hosted by the Intelligent Systems Division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (ISD NIST).

Announcement & information for fourth conference-19-feb-09-1The Conference is unclassified and open to all interested participants from government, industry, academia, and media, whether associated with the defense or automotive industries. All attendees must register in advance of the Conference (there is no provision for on-site registration) at:  www.Intelligent-Vehicle.com

Conference Dates: Wednesday and Thursday, 1-2 April 2009

Time: Please see the agenda below.

Location: The National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Maryland, and the Holiday Inn, Gaithersburg, Maryland (please see directions below)

Conference Fee: The conference fee of $300 includes Proceedings, 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 1 Dinner, 4 Refreshment Breaks, and a tour of the NIST Autonomous Intelligent Vehicle Laboratory.

Accommodations: Are the responsibility of the participant (see information below) Enclosed: Announcement with information on: Conference Purpose, Background, Agenda, Registration, Directions and Accommodations

Please RSVP with your Registration by 25 March 09.  Please register directly at our website:  www.Intelligent-Vehicle.com .  Please register early to ensure admittance; participation is limited.

If you have any questions, please contact:

Dr. Robert Finkelstein Robotic Technology Inc

301-983-4194 Office;

301-983-3921 Fax;


301-980-8402 Cell;  

E-mail:  BobF@RoboticTechnologyInc.com

Event Brochure

[ipaper id=12769813]



Telematics Newsletter – Feb 16 – Feb 22, 2009

February 23, 2009 at 11:27 am


telematics logo
Telematics Newsletter: 16Feb09 – 22Feb09
TV fitted with a GPS device on the track of illegal waste disposal in Africa    21/02/2009
Tonnes of toxic waste collected from British municipal dumps is being sent illegally to Africa in flagrant breach of this country’s obligation to ensure its rapidly growing mountain of defunct televisions, computers and gadgets are disposed of safely. … read more

RFID technology to develop m! ore effective tools for screening of food products    21/02/2009
The EPC, Electronic Product Code, is a technology of radio frequency that enables you to make a full and reliable screening, covering the entire supply chain.  The EPC number is global and unique. Available in Brazil since 2002, it accommodates the information identifier of Global Trade Item (GTIN), which identifies the products in the GS1 System. … read more

Toyota to Join Public ITS Tests in Tokyo    21/02/2009
Tokyo, Feb 19, 2009 – (JCN Newswire) – TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATIO! N (TMC) announces it will demonstrate its vehicle-infrastructure cooperative systems on public roads in Tokyo from February 25 to 28 in a joint intelligent transport systems (ITS) verification effort sponsored by Japan’s private-public ITS Promotion Council. … read more

The face behind the GPS voice finds fame    21/02/2009
If you’ve ever used a GPS device for directions, you might already be acquainted with Karen Jacobsen. As the voice of “Australian-English Karen” in Garmin GPS products, she calmly instructs harried drivers to turn left, go 1.8 miles or “recalculate” their trips every day … read more

Latin American drug gangs use GPS to outwit police    21/02/2009
GUATEMALA CITY, Feb 19 (Reuters) – Drug smugglers are using sophisticated devices like satellite positioning systems to outwit police and move more South American cocaine by sea, a senior U.S. official said on Thursday. … read more

Aepona partners with UbiEst to offer LBS to its wireless carriers worldwide     21/02/2009
This week at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Ubiest and Aepona have signed an agreement under which UbiEst will provide its leading suite of location-based applications for Aepona to integrate with its award-winning Universal Service Platform and take to its mobile operator customers. … read more

PHDCC presents pre-budget Delhi govt    21/02/2009
New Delhi, Feb 18: The PHD Chamber of Commerce has presented a pre-Budget Memorandum to Finance Minister Ashok Walia. As per the memorandum, efficient transport, traffic management, trade and investment promotion policy for Delhi, upgrading water supply, e-governance and administrative reforms should be the focus areas for Delhi. … read more

CRRI to forward suggestions to make Delhi pedestrian-friendly     21/02/2009
New Delhi, Feb 18: Assuring that it was committed to making Delhi roads pedestrian-friendly, the Government today said it has asked road researchers to come up with viable options “as soon as possible” after rejecting some suggestions forwarded by them. … read more

Microsoft is expanding and investing in Thailand    21/02/2009
Microsoft is considering expanding its research and development capabilities in Thailand in various sectors, notably software development, high-performance computing and mobile computing, according to Microsoft (Thailand)’s Managing Director, Patama Chantaruck. … read more

Vehicle tracking leader calls for telematics standards initiative    20/02/2009
Vehicle tracking specialist, Navman Wireless is calling on the government to protect businesses against unscrupulous telematics operators. The UK’s largest manufacturer of tracking, messaging and navigation equipment believes the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) should establish a TrustMark initiative for the industry. … read more

GLONASS by 2010 will become a real competitor to the American GPS (NAVSTAR)    20/02/2009
On Friday 13 February in the Information Agency «Interfax» held a press conference on «Prospects of development of Russia’s orbital group of navigation and communication satellites». Before reporters were made by the General Designer and General Director of JSC «Information satellite systems» of Academician MF Testoedov Nicolai, General Director of FSUE «Satellite Communications» Alexey Ostapchuk and Head of the Federal Space Agency Anatoly Shilov. … read more

Dmitry Medvedev signed the federal law on navigation activities    20/02/2009
Federal law establishes the legal framework for implementation in the Russian Federation, the navigation activities aimed at creating conditions for meeting the requirements of navigation, and service! s within the area of navigational activities. … read more

Mumbai cops in US with GPS and satphone, FBI helping retrieve data    19/02/2009
New Delhi : Technical experts of the FBI are examining the Global Positioning System (GPS) equipment and satellite phones used by the Mumbai attackers to retrieve information that the terrorists might have deleted before the instruments fell into the hands of Indian investigators. … read more

Pharos, Inventec Unveil New Line of GPS Smartphones    19/02/2009
Pharos and Taiwanese hardware maker Inventec on Saturday announced three new smartphones armed with Pharos GPS navigation software and travel information running on Microsoft’s Windows Mobile 6.1 OS. … read more

Find love with GPS    19/02/2009
A Valentine’s Day, it seems they are all out. Lovers. All walking with flowers, kissing on park on benches. Only wander a few souls wander in pain, in search of their half. Twi! ns of Vésinet, Wael and Sami Chahrour have thought of them with a partner, they created the Zoda, a sort of GPS for love. … read more

Black box to prevent death on the roads    19/02/2009
TIM, Telecom Italia and Mac&Nil have developed Remote Angel to help the number of deaths following car accidents. … read more

Control-Alt Lock the Car     19/02/2009
WHY stop at downloading traff! ic and news to the dashboard? Why not download your own software applications to the family sedan? … read more

Cisco to build Bangalore roadmap    16/02/2009
BANGALORE: The Karnataka government and the US-based networking technologies major Cisco Systems will jointly develop a roadmap for a sustainable Bangalore CityThe state government and the company signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the subject in the presence of Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa and Cisco chief executive John Chambers. … read more

ITS South Africa Newsletter – February 23, 2009

February 23, 2009 at 11:22 am
23 February 2009

There are several new tenders available. For information about tenders and business opportunities for ITS South Africa members, please click here to access the ITSSA Knowledge Management section.
Absa has suspended all taxi vehicle finance approvals because of its inability to verify the authenticity of taxi operating licences after the alleged theft of 800 000 operating permits at the end of 2008. Marcel de Klerk, the managing executive of Absa Vehicle and Asset Finance, said yesterday the division had stopped approving taxi vehicle finance applications about two weeks ago after it had noticed that some operating licences were fraudulent or stolen. 

Business Report, Roy Cokayne, 20th February 2009Read more

The impact of the three-day taxi strike on the provincial economy was an indication that a “clear message” had been sent to the government, said leaders of the National Taxi Alliance (NTA). Last week the taxi operators went on a three-day strike against the new Bus Rapid Transit system that plunged the city into chaos. 

Cape Argus, Staff Reporter, 20th February 2009Read more

Since late last year, this publication has been championing the public infrastructure programme as South Africa’s main economic stimulus opportunity. We have written over and over again that government departments and State-owned enterprises must be given the strongest possible signal that they need to continue with their previously-announced implementation schedules, and even seek to enlarge there programmes. 

Engineering News, Terence Creamer, 20th February 2009Read more

The Lagos State Government should urgently address the reckless way and manner the drivers of Bus Rapid Transit behave on the highways. Most of them drive with reckless abandon, thereby giving other road users a tough time. They don’t slow down for other road users who may accidentally cross their way – where there are no BRT lane markings, that is. 

Punch, Felix Gabriel, 16th February 2009Read more

As the taxi strike entered its second day on Thursday, police were out in force to prevent further violence, as commuters switched to trains and buses. Since the start of the unprotected, three-day strike against the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) system, scores of residents and bus drivers have been injured and more than 50 people arrested for malicious damage to property, attempted murder and public violence. 

Cape Times, Babalo Ndenze and Michelle Jones, 13th February 2009Read more

For more information visit the
ITS South Africa website at www.itssa.org

Click here to unsubscribe from this newsletter.


Takanobu Ito To Succeed Takeo Fukui As Honda CEO

February 23, 2009 at 11:13 am


(Source: Jalopnik.com

Takanobu Ito, has been tapped to succeed Takeo Fukui as the next president and CEO of Honda Motor Co. starting in June.

Takanobu Ito, currently the head of global automotive operations at Honda Motor Co., has been tapped as the automaker’s next president and CEO starting in June.

Click here to read the full article.

Satellite Collision May Have Endangered All Future Space Launches

February 23, 2009 at 1:02 am

Source: Gizmodo.com

Remember when those two satellites collidedthe other day? Seems that they’ll be thespace junk gift that keeps on giving, as their 800-km debris orbiting field could hamper allfuture space launches.

“Future launches will have to be adjusted with regard to the fact that the debris [from the collision] has spread over an 800-km area and will gather at a common orbit in 5-6 years,” said Alexander Stepanov, director of the Pulkovo Observatory in St. Petersburg.

Click here to read the entire article.

NPR’s Car Talk – Feb 21, 2009

February 22, 2009 at 11:17 pm

(Source: NPR’s Car Talk)

Show Open Topic: Auto Mechanics Ranking in New Gallup Survey on Trustworthiness

Call 1: Chana, , MA
1994 Mercury Tracer
This is Chana’s first car ever! Her dear old dad says she needs to warm it up 20 minutes before driving. Is he right?
Call 2: Seth, Little Rock, AR
1995 Mazda Millenia
The car is making a clicking sound when he turns right. He had the CV axles replaced, then did a brake job himself–did he cause it?
Call 3: Kathy, , PA
1985 Toyota Corolla
dump/keep…. husband??s car, needs a lot of work, trying to convince him to Should she keep this car or dump it? Her mechanic is telling her to get rid of it. But her husband isn’t convinced. What to do?

Last Week’s Puzzler Answer:

The Quonset Hut Mistake.
Call 4: Rupa, , OH
Mazda 323
The brakes screech like she??s killing a cat. It happens after its parked all day in a lot. It only happens for the first 5 seconds and it doesn??t happen in the morning.
Call 5: Daniel, , NY
2000 Volkswagen Beetle
He’s finally found the perfect car! It’s got headroom, buttroom, access, egress. After much research, he’s found that the new VW Bug is the best for the proportionally challenged.
Call 6: Rich, , NJ
1993 Ford Explorer
Thermostat problem. He’s not getting enough heat, and the temp gauge doesn??t move off C.

This Week’s Puzzler:

The not-so perfect ??perfect?? used car
Call 7: Joan, , FL
Not Specified Not Specified
Stump the Chumps- Joan went to Madagascar and had a Geo waiting for her there. She wanted to know if she should bring spare parts with her just in case? Was Tom and Ray’s advice right or wrong?!
Call 8: Steve, Durham, NC
1951 Buick Roadmaster
Steve bought it with big hopes to restore, but now fears he??s bitten off more than he can chew!

RechargeIT.org: Google’s plug-in hybrid initiative

February 22, 2009 at 1:19 pm

(Source:  Google.org)

RechargeIT is a Google.org initiative that aims to reduce CO2 emissions, cut oil use, and stabilize the electrical grid by accelerating the adoption of plug-in electric vehicles. We have a demonstration fleet of plug-ins at our headquarters in Mountain View, and we’re collecting and posting data on plug-in performance, investing in innovative technologies, and advocating for the passage of important legislation. Our vision is that one day thousands of cars will be plugging into a greener grid.

We’ve had our RechargeIT plug-ins on the road for about a year now, collecting data when driven by Google employees in our free car-share program. But we wanted to see how they would perform in a controlled test. The results of our seven-week driving experiment are in – and the plug-ins did great, getting as much as 93 MPG average across all trips, and 115 MPG for city trips! See the full results to explore detailed data from the experiment. (And check back often as we’ll be posting even more comprehensive data from our test over the next few weeks.)

RechargeIT Driving Experiment

Electricity usage for plug-in vehicles: 
Ford Escape Plug-In 133.2 Wh/mi, Toyota Prius Plug-in 139.6 Wh/mi
    See full results »    

Click here to explore this on-going Google Initiative.

Reality Check on Plug-In Hybrids

February 22, 2009 at 1:13 pm

(Source:  Seattle Times)

Remember last spring, when Seattle’s mayor rolled out the city’s first car that could be “filled at the plug instead of the pump?”

It’s called a plug-in hybrid. They are all the green rage — “possibly the most sought-after technological innovation since Captain Kirk first flipped open his communicator,” says The New York Times.

You may have seen the city’s cars around town, painted with an eye-catching claim on the rear bumper: “This plug-in hybrid gets 100+mpg.”

Also, a greener boast: “150+City MPG!”

Not exactly, it turns out. Not even close.

Try 51 miles per gallon, city and highway combined. Not counting the cost of the electricity.

It’s what 14 plug-in Priuses averaged after driving a total of 17,636 miles. The pilot project is one of the few in the nation to subject plug-in hybrid cars to regular motor-pool duty, as opposed to being driven by hypermilers or alt-energy enthusiasts.

Click here to read the entire article.