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loted automatically for the greater part of the journey, so in the future we can also have this luxury in our own cars.
A decade ago, the only thing electronic on most automobiles was the radio. But at present sophisticated electronics is playing a big part in current automotive research. For example, in every gasoline-powered2 car that General Motors Corporation makes there is a small computer continuously monitoring the exhaust. The device, about the size of a pack of cigarettes, adjusts the vehicle carburetor fuel intake3 to get the best fuel economy. Ford cars are equipped with an electronic instrument panel that, among other things4, will calculate how far one can drive on the fuel left in the tank. It will also estimate the time of arrival at destination and tell the driver what speed he has averaged5 since turning on the ignition.
According to specialists these features made possible by microelectronics are only the beginning/Radar may control the brakes to avoid collisions, and a display screen may show the car's position on the road. Recently a radar to be mounted on lorries and cars has been designed in the USA. The radar aerial looks like a third headlight placed directly above the bumper. Having summed up the information about the speed and distance of various objects ahead, the computer detects all possible dangers and their nature. A third component in the system is a monitor on the instrument panel. The radar only observes objects ahead of the vehicle. It is automatically turned on when the speed exceeds ten miles an hour. The green light on the panel indicates that the system is on. The yellow light warns of stationary objects ahead, or something moving slower than the car. The red light and buzzer warn that the speed should go down. Another red light and sound signal make the driver apply the brakes.
A Japanese company is
designing a car of a new generation.
When completed, the new model will have a lot of unusual charac
teristics. The car's four-wheel control system will ensure move
ment diagonally and even sideways, like a crab, at right angles to
the longitudinal axis. This is especially important when leaving the
car in parking places. To help the driver get information while con
centrating on the road, the most important data will be projected
on the wind screen. A tourist travelling in such a car will not lose
his way even in Sahara with its impassable roads: a navigation Earth
satellite will indicate the route. v
A ttew ceramic engine has been developed in Japan. Many important parts as pistons, pressure rings6, valves and some others
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