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.

Driverless cars? The ‘fun to drive car will live on’ - Kia

10 Nov 2017 | Matthew Beecham

While driverless cars are being pushed to the public as desirable, are they really? Many of us like driving cars, most of the time.  Albert Biermann, head of Vehicle Test and High Performance Development for Hyundai and Kia Motors told just-auto that there will always be a need for fun to drive cars.

2018 Kia Sorento adds 8-speed automatic transmission

9 Nov 2017 | Matthew Beecham

Kia Motors Europe used the most recent IAA show in Frankfurt to reveal an upgraded third-generation Sorento. Notable cosmetic features of this full-sized seven-seater include reshaped bumpers, tweaked lighting, darkened version of Kia’s ‘tiger-nose’ grille, updated instrumentation and sporty GT-Line badging. It also comes bristling with active safety features and Kia’s in-house engineered eight-speed automatic transmission. As Kia’s guests on a press trip to Seoul, we got the chance to drive this fresh-faced SUV.

Hydrogen is (still) the fuel of the future, says Kia

8 Nov 2017 | Matthew Beecham

The hydrogen fuel cell sector has been in and out of the automotive limelight over the past decade. Toyota's announcement in 2015 of making thousands of hydrogen fuel cell patents available on a royalty free basis brought the technology back into focus. Does this mean affordable fuel cell vehicles (FCEVs) could be on our driveways any time soon? Although there is still some work to go, Kia believes it has the solution.

Autonomous vehicles – so near and yet so far

31 Oct 2017 | Matthew Beecham

Predictions as to when the first autonomous vehicle will be available vary depending on who we talk to and, for that matter, how we define it. Continuing just-auto/QUBE’s research snapshots, this one reviews how close we are to the holy grail of autonomous vehicles.

Interior design and technology – Ford Fiesta

27 Oct 2017 | Matthew Beecham

Since its introduction in 1976, Ford has rolled out seven generations of Fiesta, each one slightly more spacious, safer and efficient. The latest incarnation expands the range to include a crossover-inspired Active and luxurious Vignale. Continuing just-auto/QUBE’s review of interior design and technology trends, we take a closer look inside this ever-popular supermini.

ADAS – a window of opportunity for Autoglass and Belron

13 Oct 2017 | Matthew Beecham

Autoglass recently brought together a group of highly skilled windscreen technicians from across the UK to compete in its Best of Belron national contest, staged in Milton Keynes.  Under starter’s orders, and on a countdown from ten that culminated with the sound of a smashed car windscreen, ten technicians began their meticulous work watched by a committee of judges.

Autonomous vehicle interiors – what can we expect?

12 Oct 2017 | Matthew Beecham

Retracting steering wheels, reconfigurable dashboards, Star Trek swivelling seats and entire windscreens that transform into head-up displays are a common vision of the autonomous car. When an SAE Level 5 car becomes a social (or empty) space that neither needs nor wants your help, what can we really expect? Continuing just-auto/QUBE’s research snapshots, this one reviews some interior concepts and innovations to find the pulse of the self-driving car interior.

Bosch VP on next steps for steering technologies

9 Oct 2017 | Matthew Beecham

Continuing just-auto/QUBE’s series of interviews with tier one suppliers, we spoke to Dr Marcus Parche, executive vice president, Robert Bosch Automotive Steering about steering technologies for different levels of driver autonomy, user experience test results, steer-by-wire and further market potential for electric power steering.

Interior design and technology - Suzuki Baleno

9 Oct 2017 | Matthew Beecham

Alongside 4x4s, Suzuki is renowned for producing small cars that pack a lot of punch and ooze appeal. The Baleno is a fine example, marking one of the lightest, practical and most roomy B segment hatchbacks around. Continuing just-auto/QUBE’s review of interior design and technology trends, we take a look inside this hidden gem.

SRI’s acquisition of MTS bolsters brand awareness for Falken Tyres

2 Oct 2017 | Matthew Beecham

Following Sumitomo Rubber Industries’ (SRI) acquisition the Micheldever Group, including Micheldever Tyre and Auto Services (MTS), the UK’s second largest distributor of tyres. SRI has secured a route to market for the Falken brand. Continuing just-auto/QUBE’s series of interviews, we spoke to Stephan Cimbal, head of marketing at Falken Tyre Europe GmbH about MTS and some retail trends in the tyre industry. 

Interior design and technology – Nissan Juke

25 Sep 2017 | Matthew Beecham

A subcompact crossover SUV, the Nissan Juke entered production in 2010. Since then, more than 500,000 units have been sold worldwide, 130,000 in the UK alone. The name ‘Juke’ means to dance or change direction. It is certainly true that this model was a breath of fresh air on launch, redefining the segment with a distinctive alternative to conventional superminis. Significantly for Nissan, it has attracted a number of buyers who are new to the brand; 82 per cent of sales have been to first-time Nissan owners. Continuing just-auto/QUBE’s review of interior design and technology trends, we take a closer look this popular model.

Yanfeng CTO on redefining vehicle interiors

21 Sep 2017 | Matthew Beecham

Established in 2015, Yanfeng Automotive Interiors (YFAI) is a joint venture between Yanfeng, one of the largest automotive suppliers in China and Adient, the global leader in automotive seating. Continuing just-auto’s series of interviews with tier one component suppliers, we spoke to Han Hendriks, Chief Technology Officer for YFAI at the IAA to learn more about its showcase.

Magna CTO on autonomous drive platform technologies, new materials and processes

20 Sep 2017 | Matthew Beecham

Continuing just-auto/QUBE’s series of interviews with tier one component suppliers, we caught up with Swamy Kotagiri, Chief Technology Officer of Magna International at the IAA to learn more about its deep system knowledge across the car.

Adient VP on interior solutions for future vehicle concepts

19 Sep 2017 | Matthew Beecham

New forms of mobility such as autonomous driving, car sharing and electromobility were hot topics at this year’s IAA show in Frankfurt. Adient, the world’s largest supplier of car seating, used the event to showcase its solutions for tomorrow’s interiors. To find out more, we spoke to Richard Chung, Vice President, Innovation and Design, Advanced Product Development, Adient.

Samsung sets up $300m fund to develop autonomous cars, pushing $89m to TTTech

18 Sep 2017 | Matthew Beecham

This year’s IAA saw Samsung and Harman launch an autonomous/ADAS strategic business unit and announce a $300m Samsung Automotive Innovation Fund to accelerate their presence in the autonomous sector. According to the business leaders, investments will be made in all areas related to ‘enabling solutions for next-generation mobility’. To learn more, we spoke to Harman’s CEO Dinesh Paliwal.

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