Beecham's Tech-Talk

Beecham's Tech-Talk

By: Matthew Beecham

Matthew Beecham interviews automotive component industry specialists to learn more about changing technologies and new innovations.


Making good connections in the self-driving car

22 May 2017 | Matthew Beecham

We live in an increasingly connected society and the way things are heading, we will not be escaping ‘always-on’ personal connectivity when we get into our cars. Continuing just-auto/QUBE’s series of research snapshots of connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs), this one considers some recent advances in the fast-changing world of car connectivity.


GKN on prospects for torque vectoring

22 May 2017 | Matthew Beecham

Torque vectoring is an often heard term, rarely seen computer-controlled system used on cars to deliver just the right amount of power to each wheel in order to improve road grip, stability, handling and performance. GKN Driveline’s solution, known as Twinster, is available on a number of cars, including mainstream executive models like the Opel/Vauxhall Insignia. As advanced torque vectoring systems are likely to appear on an even wider range of vehicles, just-auto/QUBE spoke to Ray Kuczera, Senior Vice President of Engineering, GKN Driveline.


Self-driving cars - are we nearly there yet?

15 May 2017 | Matthew Beecham

Predictions as to when we can buy a driverless car vary depending on who we talk to. Even if the more optimistic predictions come true, initial volumes will be small. Continuing just-auto/QUBE’s series of research snapshots, this one considers what we can expect, by when and how much extra it might cost.


Thermal challenges for commercial vehicle exhaust systems – Q&A with Zircotec

15 May 2017 | Matthew Beecham

Commercial vehicle exhaust systems are facing multiple challenges. Ever tighter engine emission requirements demand ever more efficient DPF and catalyst performance and this, in turn, requires ever more effective heat management. These systems have necessarily increased in size putting more pressure on overall packaging, with hot exhaust system components encroaching on systems that could potentially be damaged by heat. There is also a desire to keep heat in the exhaust to maintain turbocharger efficiency and response. Continuing just-auto/QUBE's series of interviews, we spoke to heat management specialist Zircotec’s Group Sales Director, Graeme Barette, about some novel approaches that could address both issues.


If a self-driving car could give you back an hour each day, how would you use it?

9 May 2017 | Matthew Beecham

While time spent sitting in traffic can feel tedious, it could fly by in a robo-car as you focus on other things, productive or otherwise. Continuing just-auto/QUBE’s series of research snapshots, this one takes a sideways look at the autonomous car.


Castrol Nexcel reinvents the oil change – Q&A

9 May 2017 | Matthew Beecham

As pressures to improve air quality intensify, it is becoming harder for automakers to find new, affordable ways to improve fuel economy through established measures such as engine downsizing. Not yet high on the industry agenda but of growing importance, sustainability in fast-growing new markets must also be addressed. Continuing QUBE/just-auto's series of interviews, we spoke to Dr Oliver Taylor about a new approach to engine lubrication that could address both issues. Dr Taylor is chief engineer with Nexcel, an innovation business within BP’s Castrol subsidiary.


The car sharing economy

5 May 2017 | Matthew Beecham

Barely six months have passed since our last review of car sharing yet there have been a plethora of developments since then. This week alone saw GM expand its Maven car sharing platform to accelerate the ‘gig’ (freelance) economy. Continuing QUBE/just-auto’s series of research snapshots, this one takes another look at this blossoming market. Car sharing schemes allow us to rent cars for a short period on an ad hoc basis.


Opel chief interior designer on the Insignia, and spacious, functional car interiors

27 Apr 2017 | Matthew Beecham

Continuing just-auto/QUBE's review of interior design and technology trends, we borrowed the new Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport to take a closer look and got the inside story from Stefan Arndt, Adam Opel AG's chief interior designer.


Volkswagen head of compact cars on Tiguan Allspace, autonomous cars and individualisation

19 Apr 2017 | Matthew Beecham

Continuing just-auto/QUBE's review of interior design and technology trends, we borrowed a Volkswagen Tiguan to take a closer look and got the inside story from Dr Jochen Böhle, head of product development for Volkswagen’s compact car line-up.


Interior design and technology - Volvo V60

13 Apr 2017 | Matthew Beecham

Continuing QUBE/just-auto's review of interior design and technology trends, we take a closer look inside Volvo’s premium mid-size V60. Its uncomplicated cockpit swathed with soft-touch trim and supportive leather seats make this a comfortable place to drive from A to B.


BorgWarner CTO on torque vectoring, engine rightsizing and tomorrow’s turbochargers

13 Apr 2017 | Matthew Beecham

Continuing QUBE/just-auto’s series of interviews with tier one component suppliers, we spoke to Christopher P. Thomas, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, BorgWarner Inc.


Tenneco VP on emissions control technology trends

10 Apr 2017 | Matthew Beecham

Continuing QUBE/just-auto’s series of interviews with tier one automotive component suppliers, we spoke to Ben Patel, VP of Global Research and Development Clean Air, Tenneco.


Delphi on tomorrow’s infotainment and driver interface technologies

6 Apr 2017 | Matthew Beecham

Continuing QUBE/just-auto’s interviews with tier one component suppliers, we spoke to Martin Bornemann, Director Product Line and Business Development, Infotainment & Driver Interface, Delphi.


Delphi on how cars are becoming 'smart mobility devices'

4 Apr 2017 | Matthew Beecham

With automated driving and mobility on demand likely to be one of the fastest developing trends ever seen in the automotive industry, QUBE/just-auto spoke to Delphi’s technical director automated driving, Serge Lambermont. As well as leading a team at the forefront of this new technology, Serge is closely involved in the Mobility on Demand project underway in Singapore.


Chief designer for Kia Motors Europe on the Optima Sportswagon interior

3 Apr 2017 | Matthew Beecham

The arrival of Kia’s fourth-generation Optima as an estate in the UK last year – along with a plug-in hybrid version - gave the Korean automaker two new opportunities to expand its business in Europe. Continuing just-auto/QUBE's review of interior design and technology trends, we borrowed an Optima Sportswagon to take a closer look and got the inside story from Gregory Guillaume, Kia Motors’ chief designer for Europe.



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