If you thought getting a hybrid or a hydrogen vehicle was one of the greenest things you could do with your motor, think again. Apparently, you should think about not crashing. Yep, next time you fancy side-swiping someone, or sticking your car into a lamppost, think again, o selfish driver, and help the planet.
But behind this facile talk, researchers are working on just this problem – how to cut the weight of anti-crash technology and therefore make vehicles more fuel efficient, according to those folk the Guardian:
In an interview with earth2tech, General Motors vice president of the research and development centre Lawrence Burns said that one of the most significant factors in fuel efficiency for cars is the weight of safety features. If technology could produce cars that don’t crash, the weight of a 4,000lb car could be cut to as little as 1,500lb – that’s about two-thirds of a ton, in metric.
Late braking is a major cause of traffic congestion, so technology can help by giving the driver advance notice of problems. Cruise control is another factor already in use; a GM V8 engine uses double the cylinders from 65mph to 75mph. And on another efficiency point: gas engines are separate from the electrical drivetrain. That means the engine can be optimised to run at a constant speed and because there is no need for transmission, the car’s power is consistent.