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.

Interior design and technology – Fiat Tipo

6 Jun 2019 | Matthew Beecham

Designed in Italy and assembled in Turkey, the Fiat Tipo has been a fairly common sight on European roads since 2015 but not for much longer. FCA has already let it be known that this model will not be replaced once production ends in 2023. Continuing QUBE/just-auto's review of interior design and technology trends, we take a closer look inside this family car.

Fuel for thought - some low carbon alternatives

14 May 2019 | Matthew Beecham

A greener form of motoring, low carbon vehicles emit fewer harmful gases compared to a conventional car. Continuing just-auto/QUBE’s series of interviews, we caught up with Paul Turner, engineering director at Revolve Technologies, a powertrain engineering specialist to discuss its low carbon vehicle projects, electrification, lithium-ion and the prospects for hydrogen FCEVs.

Powering low carbon tech - Q&A with APC

13 May 2019 | Matthew Beecham

The Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) was set up six years ago in Coventry, the once centrepiece of the British car industry. It channels investment from government and industry to accelerate the development of greener technologies for engines. Its funded projects go beyond automotive too. We spoke to Jon Beasley, APC's director of technology and projects, to find out what has been achieved to date.

Electrifying trucks - challenges and opportunities

8 May 2019 | Matthew Beecham

It is said that commercial vehicles are the most difficult to electrify and likely to be the last to migrate from IC powertrains. Continuing just-auto/QUBE’s series of interviews, we asked David Kelly of Drive System Design why this is the case and what can be done to make battery electric trucks (BETs) more attractive.

Interior design and technology – Kia Rio

30 Apr 2019 | Matthew Beecham

The Kia Rio, now in its fourth incarnation, is the Korean automaker’s best-seller with sales close to 475,000 a year. While it is overshadowed in the UK by the European-built Sportage crossover and Ceed range, it accounts for almost one-sixth of the company's sales. Continuing just-auto/QUBE’s review of interior design and technology trends, we take a closer look inside to see how it compares to its predecessor.

Lubricating electric vehicles – Q&A with Millers Oils

23 Apr 2019 | Matthew Beecham

Lubricants are critical for cooling high-temperature components within ICE vehicles, but the challenges of cooling the higher temperatures of power electronics in electric vehicles (EVs), is an even greater task. We spoke to spoke to Martyn Mann, technical director for Millers Oils, to learn more about the specific challenges of lubricating an EV powertrain.

Interior design and technology – Ford Focus

17 Apr 2019 | Matthew Beecham

The fourth-generation Ford Focus emerged last year, marking the brand's 20th anniversary. As in the previous generation, the model is available with sedan, hatchback and estate body styles. A crossover SUV trim level, known as the Active, is also available with the hatchback and estate body styles. While the Active’s ever-so-slightly raised driving position (3cm compared to the standard Focus) and rugged trim adds off-road appeal to the carmaker’s most popular family car, such features are not new to the car industry or Ford. It joins the Active versions of the Ka+ and Fiesta. Continuing QUBE/just-auto's review of interior design and technology trends, we climb aboard an Active to take a closer look.

Real-world NOx emissions test leaves ‘dirty diesels’ nowhere to hide

8 Apr 2019 | Matthew Beecham

Today’s launch of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in central London is a welcome step on the road to cleaning up urban air quality but will not stop ‘dirty diesels’ from entering the capital despite controlling access based on emissions, says publishers of the AIR Index. The AIR (Allow Independent Road-testing) Index is an independent vehicle emissions rating for cars from A (the best) to E (the worst) that provides the on-road urban NOx emissions using the same independent test on every vehicle, to show the relative impact a specific vehicle has on air quality. However, AIR’s own testing has found that the Euro emissions standards bear little resemblance to what comes out of a car’s tailpipe in urban driving. There is huge variation in Euro 6 diesels, and although the latest are very clean there are still millions of dirty diesels on European roads that can emit in excess of Euro standards for urban NOx, yet still gain free access to ULEZ. The AIR Index is calling on policy makers in London and across Europe to make clean air zones more effective by tackling the issue of dirty Euro 6s – using ratings such as the AIR Index– to bring air quality into legal compliance as soon as possible. To learn more, we spoke to Nick Molden, co-founder of the AIR Index.

Interior design and technology – Volvo XC40

8 Apr 2019 | Matthew Beecham

The XC40 marks a number of firsts for Volvo. It’s the carmaker’s first ever compact SUV and the first model to be built on the carmaker’s CMA (Compact Modular Architecture) platform. Its chunky lines, concave grille and sculpted doors give it certain amount of street swagger too. But what of the interior of this premium small SUV? Continuing QUBE/just-auto's review of interior design and technology trends, we take a closer look.

Deal or no deal - How Brexit could impact the UK’s automotive supply chain

8 Apr 2019 | Matthew Beecham

May we mention the B-word? UK automotive manufacturing is currently amongst the world’s most efficient, relying on a tightly coordinated global supply chain to feed its production lines, with minimum capital employed and carefully-managed risk. Yet Brexit continues to concern the industry, including the ability of automakers and suppliers to maintain their just-in-time deliveries. We spoke to Graham Little, deputy managing director of logistics specialist Evolution Time Critical to understand what might happen, how manufacturers should prepare and why they should not plan to rely on trusted emergency techniques that have so far served them well within a joined-up Europe,

Bosch on tomorrow’s mobility solutions

4 Apr 2019 | Matthew Beecham

Bosch created a buzz at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year by debuting a driverless electric shuttle with 'in-built mobility services designed to make shuttles suitable for everyday use.' The German auto supplier predicts that self-driving electric shuttles will become a common sight in cities worldwide. It has also pioneered automated valet parking and pushed back the technical boundaries of driver assistance systems. To learn more about these advances and the supplier’s plans for making cars smart, we spoke to Dr Dirk Hoheisel, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH.

How in-wheel electric motors can make EVs potent

3 Apr 2019 | Matthew Beecham

There are some solid arguments for electric vehicles (EVs) in some market sectors and autonomous vehicles in particular to use in-wheel motors. To learn more, we spoke to Ben Boycott, Chief Commercial Officer, Protean Electric, a developer of in-wheel electric motors.

Auria on automotive acoustic trends

2 Apr 2019 | Matthew Beecham

Automotive acoustics is not just about laying better quality carpets or inventing ways of applying foam. An acoustic system takes into account everything in the cabin, from the dashboard to package trays. US-Chinese joint venture supplier, Auria Solutions, is an expert in this area developing and producing a range of vehicle carpet and acoustic parts. Continuing just-auto/QUBE’s series of interviews with component suppliers, we spoke to Brian Pour, President and CEO of Auria to learn more about this business and developments in the automotive acoustics arena.

How Harman is harmonising 5G

1 Apr 2019 | Matthew Beecham

In our increasingly connected world, 2019 is predicted to be the year that 5G becomes a reality for users. In the automotive industry, some predict that this high-speed network will enable safety applications, more reliable connectivity, faster connectivity and a counteraction to network loads brought on by the increase in IoT devices. Continuing just-auto/QUBE’s series of interviews, we spoke to Vishnu Sundaram, Vice President, Telematics Business Unit, Harman Connected Car, to see if the hype is real for the automotive industry.

Interior design and technology – Mercedes-Benz C-Class

25 Mar 2019 | Matthew Beecham

What would you expect to see in a premium car interior? Forget rear seat heaters, think wellness retreats. The Mercedes-Benz C-Class spec list takes driver comfort to a new level by offering something called ‘Energising Comfort Control’. Debuted on the S-Class, it links the air-con, fragrancing, seat heating/cooling/massage function, audio and ambient lighting to improve driver comfort and even lift their mood. All in all, the fourth-generation C-Class has some 6,500 components new to the range. Continuing QUBE/just-auto's review of interior design and technology trends, we slipped inside the luxurious interior to see what stands out.

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