Driving Safely using Technology !



In this post, I deviate a little bit from the update on gadgets but introduce you to an innovation which will revolutionize the way you drive around the corners. This is innovative idea for car suspension conceived by Bose - the same Dr. Amar Bose who is known for innovative acoustic technologies. At the end I will add some tips from my own experience on highway driving.

Even though there have been enhancements and improvements to springs and shock absorbers, the basic design of car suspension have not undergone a significant evolution over the years. But all of that's about to change with the introduction of a brand-new suspension by Bose which is undergoing trials from 2005 onwards and will be seen on the production cars by 2012. Some experts are going so far as to say that the Bose suspension is the biggest advance in automobile suspensions since the introduction of an all-independent design.

How does it work? The Bose system uses a linear electromagnetic motor (LEM) at each wheel in lieu of a conventional shock-and-spring setup. Amplifiers provide electricity to the motors in such a way that their power is regenerated with each compression of the system. The main benefit of the motors is that they are not limited by the inertia inherent in conventional fluid-based dampers. As a result, an LEM can extend and compress at a much greater speed, virtually eliminating all vibrations in the passenger cabin. The wheel's motion can be so finely controlled that the body of the car remains level regardless of what's happening at the wheel. The LEM can also counteract the body motion of the car while accelerating, braking and cornering, giving the driver a greater sense of control.

For more information on this visit the following link : http://www.boseindia.com/information/bose-innovations-details.aspx?cmd=Innovations&Inv_Id=8

Tips for Car owners who could not resist fast driving

These are tips for those who want to drive cars fast and be safe. This is not meant for bikers whose is at risk at any speed. I do not believe that speed and safety are oxymoron. All authorities are out there to make everybody believe that speed is main cause of accident, contrary to the facts. It is easy to blame speed for every accident even though studies in abroad shows speed hardly contribute to 5% of all accidents ( http://www.carbibles.com/speeding_facts.html .) Mainly accidents are caused by wrong judgment in the part of either of the drivers involved, poor control, lack of knowledge of the capabilities of the vehicle or the result of somebody’s stupidity. When a pedestrian is hit we blame the motorist for over speeding ignoring the fact that 85% of the cases pedestrian are at fault. Driving slow is as dangerous as driving very fast since you are coming in the way of others on the road. It is better to keep up with the flow of traffic for better safety. It is a fact that speed thrills and as somebody said driving a fast car is the best fun you can have with clothes on!

If you are an aggressive driver or enjoy driving fast, the first thing you need is a car which is known to be good at handling. Generally European cars are known for good handling. Some of the cars known for good handling in C segment are Ford Fiesta, cars from Fiat stable, Skoda or Volkswagen, Maruti Swift is good at the entry level. If you look at the D segment Skoda Laura and VW Jetta are known to be very good at high speed driving. SUVs are a big NO for fast driving; it will be dangerous for you as well as other road users.

Before you decide to venture out, it is a must to learn about other cars on the road, its strength and weakness , especially the knowledge of engine characteristics comes handy to take a decision to yield or not! Learn about under steering, over steering, passive and active safety, weight transfer while breaking and accelerating and should have an absolute knowledge about your engine characteristics, at what rpm power peaks and at what rpm torque peaks. Observe all the traffic rules religiously (except the speed limit!). If possible avoid driving on highways during night. Accidents occur 7 times more during the night hours, especially between 12AM to 5AM compared to day time.

Check your car for the following :
  1. Your car should be in its pink of health, if not never attempt to drive fast.
  2. Wheel balance and alignment. If the alignment is not ok you may feel uneven pull to one side. If the wheel is not balanced your steering will vibrate at certain speeds. Both are dangerous for high speed driving.
  3. Inspect the tyres for adequate depth for the threads. It should be free of any wear and tear to give proper braking. Tyre is the only contact you have with mother earth.
  4. Fill 1 psi more for the highway than what you use it for City driving. Use tubeless tyres to prevent blow outs at high speeds.
  5. Check for blind spot and adjust your side mirrors before starting
Never attempt driving at high speed within City premises. Restrict it to lane highways. Attempt any adventure when you are alone, and in a mood to control your destiny. Minimize any distractions especially the self-initiated ones. Focus on driving; Focus on the road, nothing else
  1. Beware of those who drive with their side mirrors folded, they are visually impaired, keep away from them..
  2. Beware of those who drive with their cellphone glued to their ears, their hearing is impaired, keep away from them
  3. Beware of those who drive through the middle of the road, they have scant respect for others on the road. “Road is mine” syndrome.
  4. Beware of any lone cyclist on the road who may suddenly decide to use the entire width of the road to keep his balance.
  5. Beware of “one eyed”, those who spots one brake light or none. They are one of the biggest traffic hazards. No “Safety week” teaches these folks since it are meant for emission check, another wrong priority.
  6. Watch out for kamikaze Lunawallas at any junctions. They suddenly enter into highway from nowhere, they weave in and out of traffic at crazy speeds without indicating or looking, or pass at ridiculous speeds on the wrong side.
  7. While passing through lone stretch with either side used for farming, watch out for tractors that enter the road from nowhere and insist on driving on the fast lane. Allow those Ferraris to continue its course. Long back while driving from Bangalore to Chennai through Chittoor road (NH4) I have come across a spectacle one bullock cart is overtaking another one blocking the entire stretch of the road! Be patient, and chant “India is my country, all Indians are my brothers…”
  8. Beware of any group of young boys driving an SUV, they do not mind to have some fun at your cost!
  9. Beware of the musicians on the road who use horns frequently, they are on the wrong job! Pardon them. Use horns sparingly, it annoys others on the road. Indians are known for expressing their emotions using variations of tones /horns.
  10. Signal your intentions. Never cut lanes without indicating it in advance. There are so many on the road who puts on indictor micro seconds before taking a turn or let steering wheel to control it. Giving surprise attracts surprises for which you may not be prepared!
  11. Never take any turns without putting indicators in advance. When you are taking left turn you will slowdown anyway so it is a must to put on indicators.
  12. If you decide to overtake a car which is more capable than yours, keep the following in your mind (a). Careful in overtaking a car with a lone driver, he may decide to steal the fun! (b). It is safer to overtake a car with a family or chauffer driven luxury car with somebody in the rear seat
  13. Careful in overtaking an SUV (especially if it is Tata Safari) they are blessed with a matching ego and a never to yield attitude..
  14. Always overtake others without annoying them.
  15. Use your knowledge of engine characteristics to overtake others. Foe ex: you can safely over take a fully loaded Honda car (famed VTEC engine) it does not have enough torque at low RPMs or when it struggles to clear a hump. It is easy to overtake any diesel car while negotiating a hump since it cannot match the acceleration of a petrol car even if it is equipped with a CRDi or a Turbo. Most of the cars in Indian road cannot match the mid-range grunt of Palio 1.6GTX, so put in 3rd gear which will take you to 148kmph to take on anybody troublesome, you have two more higher gears left
  16. Never change gears while overtaking, remember it is like pricking a blowing balloon. Plan it in well advance.
  17. Careful while overtaking any Fiat cars (Fiat car owners are car lovers, may not yield easily!), Skoda cars (they know it is a capable driver’s car), Scorpio (poor man is in euphoria of owning an SUV) or any speeding M800, 100 kmph and beyond (you do not want to decide his destiny, do you?).
  18. Never drive in adjacent lanes in the same speed for more than 5 sec, either accelerate or decelerate to avoid blocking the road.
  19. It is always better to stay away from a truck, they may have tyres as smooth as Hema Malini’s cheeks, it does not matter who is at fault.
  20. Do not tailgate any truck, if its brake really works, you may find it hard to explain the awkward position you have landed, under the truck.
  21. Always fight for the fast lane, right most lane, you have the right as long as you are the king on the road.
  22. Do not drive with side windshield down, why do you want others to know that you skipped all the aerodynamic classes during college days.
  23. Do not make eye contact with any aggressive drivers; you may forget that it is not a race track, stay calm while driving.
  24. If the road is water logged, aware of aquaplaning, reduce the speed or you may be driven out of the road.
  25. Be aware that thrill of speed is short lived, the faster you go the shorter the thrill!
You may not agree with some of my comments, you have the right to do so since we live in a democratic country :)




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