One of the greatest tracks used in Formula One today, Japan’s Suzuka circuit is a massive test of car and driver ability. Built by Honda as a test facility in 1962, the track was designed by Dutchman John Hugenholz, the Hermann Tilke of his day (but don’t let that put you off). A huge theme park was also constructed at the track, including the famous big wheel which dominates the Suzuka skyline.
The move to quiet, eco-friendly vehicles has brought a new aspect to vehicle/pedestrian safety. The new cars are so quiet, pedestrians are not alerted to an oncoming vehicle as the engine/exhaust noise is no longer there!
However, Harman, the premium global audio and infotainment group has announced that a major European-based automaker will be integrating Harman’s exclusive HALOsonic™ External Sound Synthesis (ESS) solution in a line of plug-in hybrid vehicles. This is considered to be potentially life-saving technology that generates sound outside the vehicle, particularly targeted at hybrid or electric vehicles that are virtually silent at low speeds.
The HALOsonic ESS solution generates a synthesized sound, dependent on speed and direction, and projects it from an exterior mounted speaker, giving an early identifiable warning to pedestrians that the car is approaching. The sound is projected only in the direction of travel, fading away almost instantly once the vehicle has passed. A synthetic engine ‘idle’ sound is also produced when the vehicle is switched on and placed in gear.
“We are very pleased to be pioneering a new form of safety features for automakers through our HALOsonic sound solutions,” said Dinesh C. Paliwal, the chairman, president, and CEO of Harman. “With HALOsonic technology onboard vehicles such as ultra-quiet hybrids, these energy-conscious vehicles are also addressing safety concerns through advanced electronics.”
Several countries such as USA, Japan and parts of Europe have either implemented or are currently reviewing legislation to state that hybrid and electric vehicles must emit a recognizable sound above a minimum noise level to help improve pedestrian safety.
In addition to safety benefits, Harman offers a range of audio-based solutions under the HALOsonic banner that also help produce more environmentally-friendly cars beyond only hybrids or electric cars. Vehicle manufacturers are striving to meet new environmental and emission standards by a variety of means including, for instance, lowering vehicle weight by reducing the amount of noise-dampening insulation in a car’s headliner. In doing so, cabin noise often increases. Harman’s HALOsonic solutions can produce sounds not only external to the vehicle, but generate noise-cancelling sound inside the vehicle that helps meet environmental goals while increasing driver comfort.
Noise cancelling sound should be compulsory at Thai Karaoke parties!
Saw an interesting table in the financial pages the other day. Thailand ranks as number 15 in the vehicle manufacturing nations, but Iran is number 13! Number one is China at 18.5 million vehicles in 2011, followed a long way back by the US at 8.6 million.
According to latest research from Frost & Sullivan, Myanmar’s commercial vehicle segment is about to experience potential growth due to the many infrastructure projects and booming mining industry after the easing of sanctions imposed by Western markets against the country.
August 2012 statistics have been released for domestic vehicle sales in Thailand with a total of 129,509 units being sold, just slightly below the all-time record of the previous month (131,646 vehicles in July 2012).
Last week, I asked what was the first post-war transverse front engine FWD car built in the UK? And before you say “Mini” - it wasn’t the first! It was the Lloyd 650.
The phone number I gave with the article is apparently no longer operative. The new business number is 083 824 9500 and the website is www.replica-cars-thailand.com. Attila’s new number is 091 173 1954. The Ferrari P4 Spyder is finished and about the middle of October the Ferrari P 4 will be finished and the end of November a Lamborghini Countach is coming. This Ferrari P4 will be for rent in Pattaya.
The car club meets at Jameson’s Irish Pub on Soi AR next to Nova Park. The next meeting is on Monday October 8 at Jameson’s at 7 p.m. A totally informal meeting of like-minded souls to discuss their pet motoring (and motorcycling) loves and hates (plus lies and outright exaggerations). Come along and meet the guys who have a common interest in cars and bikes, and enjoy the Jameson’s specials, washed down with a few beers. Always a fun night. Be prepared to laugh a lot at some of the antics of the members (when they were younger)! The Car Club nights are always on the second Monday of the month (not every second Monday)!
Some interesting information coming out of the UK, where it is claimed that Botox use has increased in an increasingly younger age group. No longer is Botox the province of the middle-aged matrons, it is claimed. And the reason is put down to squinting at computer and other LCD screens.
One of the other promoting groups has Bira this weekend. The Pro Racing Series is run by GPI (Grand Prix International), a group that has been involved in motor racing in Thailand for decades, beginning with Dr. Prachin Eamlumnow, and now by his sons Anothai and Peerapong Eamlumnow. The Pro Racing Series stands between the Nitto 3K series and the Supercar Series, so is somewhat more professional as opposed to the picnic atmosphere of the Nitto 3K races.