AD #1945 – Carbon Fiber Production Costs Cut in Half, Top Ten Brands in China, Lidar Prices Falling Fast

September 15th, 2016 at 11:15am

Runtime: 6:48

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- Ford Autonomous Car to Get Unique Body
- Lidar Prices Falling Fast
- Carbon Fiber Costs Cut in Half
- Designing Trucks for Platooning
- Top Ten Brands in China

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19 Comments to “AD #1945 – Carbon Fiber Production Costs Cut in Half, Top Ten Brands in China, Lidar Prices Falling Fast”

  1. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Volkswagen’s getting into China on the “ground floor” has really worked for them. I’ve been in China once, in 1994, and VW seemed to dominate then, as now. Nearly all of the taxis were VW Santanas, I think based on the first or second generation Passat.

  2. RumNCoke Says:

    Platooning should be regulated and monitored for abuse by truckers. It may only be suitable for long stretches without many exits. It is already difficult to get through a wall of semis. Especially if they are occupying the two right lanes of a multi lane highway.

  3. Bradley Says:

    I would take Baojun’s emblem in the front grille of my car any day.

    I don’t mind the Chevy Bow Tie, and I appreciate the history connected to it. Baojun’s simply says more to me from a design perspective.

  4. Lisk Says:

    Isn’t the carbon fibre used today a lot more resin than actual weaves of carbon strands as in the pioneering days? I’ve read some stories about the McLaren P1 uses more resin than they did on the 1993 F1. Wouldn’t this make the end product more brittle and less strong?

  5. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Is that Baojun emblem a (non) prancing horse?

  6. MJB Says:

    #3. My thoughts exactly, the moment I saw it!

  7. MJB Says:

    #5. It’s a ‘poser’.

  8. Ukendoit Says:

    The Baojun emblem immediately reminded me of the old Eagle emblem from the 90′s (’88-’99), but of course with a horse facing the other direction.

  9. Chuck Grenci Says:

    I like the Baojun emblem as well, and agree it has some resemblance to the Eagle brand (of old). As the Chinese brands get better, and if a nationalism ensues, watch out foreign brands.

    If carbon fiber’s cost are halved again (sometime in the near future), I believe it is going to be: look out steel and aluminum. As usage increases, it seems costs come down (because of economy of scale) add economy of technology and you have even lower costs, making it ripe for a takeover.

  10. pedro fernandez Says:

    From the big deal news dept, Ford announced they will be moving small car production to Mexico where the Fiesta has been built since it was introduced. so what is the big deal? Only Focus will be the only one added on to that list.

  11. Kit Gerhart Says:

    10 After lots of hype a few years ago about Fusion production partly moving to the U.S., it appears that all of Fusion production is now back in Mexico, with the new Continental joining Mustang in being produced at Flat Rock, MI.

  12. pedro fernandez Says:

    You remember a couple of yrs ago when they had to bring a bunch of Mexican made Lincolns to Flat Rock to “fix” certain deficiencies?

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Yep. They were MKZ’s. I think all MKZ’s of both gerations have been built in Mexico, so maybe they got things fixed.

  14. rick bradner Says:

    Interesting to hear the comment about platooning needing 30′ between trucks.

    Of course, if this becomes a trend, the rads on the trucks will be relocated to the exterior of the unit to allow tighter gaps; think NASCARlike 6″s!

  15. Ukendoit Says:

    rick, I thought that was an odd limiter, too. To limit the benefits of drafting because 100 year old radiator placement limits it seems odd. An easy fix would be relocating the radiator or easier yet, add open/closeable ductwork to that lower cladding on the lead/front vehicles to allow enough air to the next radiator (wherever it may be) but not enough air to negate the benefits.

  16. Kit Gerhart Says:

    There was once a lot of use of platooned vehicles without all of those redundant engines. They are called trains, and are much more efficient than trucks will ever be, even though they use inefficient “series” diesel-electric power trains.

  17. Ukendoit Says:

    Kit, I was thinking that too, that those platoons will essentially be steerable trains. I wonder if there is any research into other more modern powertrains for locomotives.

  18. Kit Gerhart Says:

    They use the current system for trains, because it turns out to be the easy way to control power to a vehicle with very low power to weight ratio.

    I’ve read about it, and diesel locomotives have been made with multi-gear transmissions with clutches or torque converters. They work for “switcher” locomotives, moving small numbers of cars, but to get a train weighing hundreds of tons up to speed, while keeping the engine in its narrow power range, would require a transmission with tens of speeds, not very practical.

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Also, to drive all of the (six?) axles of a typical locomotive, it is much easier to have one motor per axle, with needed gear reduction, than to run direct gearing to all of those axles from a complex transmission. The electric control is the “transmission” of a locomotive.