Nissan's crash test dummies grow a set of 'ears'
Don't ever say Nissan doesn't listen to customers. Or, indeed, that customers don't listen to Nissans. The new Primera, due on sale in the autumn, was developed with the help of twin artificial 'ears.' They helped cut interior noise by up to 45 percent at motorway speeds, says the company.
The 'ears' are really highly-sensitive microprocessors. Nissan strapped them to the head of a crash-test dummy, and tested the Primera at different speeds over various road surfaces. The slightest squeak, rattle or creak was recorded and duly analyzed.
Nissan invested £1 million (euro 1.5 million, $1.6 million) in the noise-reduction campaign, and installed extra soundproofing in the Primera's roof lining and behind the instrument panel on the evidence of its test results.
Agnelli did not meet with Gaddafi, says Fiat
TURIN - Fiat has denied a report in Italian weekly news magazine Panorama that honorary chairman Gianni Agnelli held a secret meeting with Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
'The report of a meeting in Libya is simply untrue,' said a Fiat spokesman. 'Agnelli held a series of meetings with local leaders in Libya during his recent visit there, but did not have the occasion to meet with the leader of the country.'
According to Panorama, Agnelli and Gaddafi held a secret meeting at the end of May in a tent in the Libyan desert.
The magazine said the two men talked about possible business opportunities for Fiat (buses, agricultural equipment) when sanctions against Libya are dropped as well as 'perhaps a possible return of Libya as a Fiat shareholder.' A company controlled by the Libyan government took a 10 percent stake in Fiat in the 1970s and sold it 10 years later.
Reuters News Service
Interiors get more personal
There is a growing desire among consumers to personalize vehicles, said top interior designers at an automotive interiors conference held mid-June in Detroit, Michigan, USA.
Some people are even praying in their cars. Ford Motor Co.'s sales in India increased dramatically after the company devised a place on the instrument panel to put religious icons, said Tom Scott, Ford's director of advanced design. Ford is now considering creating convenient spots on the dashboard to display family photographs. Gerry Piaskowski, DaimlerChrysler AG's vice president of design, said future vehicles may tell driver they've left their door open using a southern American accent instead of the bland voices currently featured. For example, he said, a car may say 'Y'all come back now' after a door is closed.
Reuters News Service