Sask Polytech students’ work selected for BASF calendar


Appearing on the BASF calendar is a rare honour, and it’s even rare that student work makes the cut. Nevertheless, anyone opening the 2016 BASF calendar to October will be treated to a view of the work completed by Saskatchwan Polytechnic students. The October page is a beautifully restored 1955 Mercury M100 antique truck that was just one of many vehicles students in the Auto Body Technician and Automotive Service Technician (AST) certificate programs laboured on over the last year.

Read the whole article at Collison Repair Mag’s site, here.


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What’s to come in 2016


It’s good to look back and reflect, but as New Year approaches, I just can’t help but feel that the future is now.  What’s next, what’s soon to come?  What’s in the works, what’s a dream?  Anyone who loves cars can tell you that it’s been a massive year, but much of 2015 was laying groundworks for the future, so, what are some of coolest things coming next year?

I’m glad you asked!

First off, there may soon be a place in your car for your phone.  Apple and Google are both competing as customers seek a tighter integration between their smartphones and the vehicles they drive.  GM will be bringing both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto with it’s four brands and at least a dozen models next year, as well as their current systems.  Honda is also jumping on board as Toyota uses a separate system, and Ford keeps a foot on each platform, adding Apple’s Siri Eyes Free service to their Sync 3.

Next, there may be big changes to the engines that power our beasts.  Mazda has been pushing to have a smaller engine with more power, and they’ve made progress with their Skyactiv engines, which use higher compression ratios to improve its efficiency.  On a similar note, alternative fuels have also been in the spotlight, including electric, and coming to California, hydrogen.

Third, automakers have taken notes from Uber and Lyft and are beginning to explore car sharing themselves.  Ford, for instance, began testing Peer-2-Peer Car sharing, which allows car owners to connect with those who are looking for a ride.  This is occurring in six US cities, as well as something similar in London.

Fourth, driver assist will be blooming.  Lane-keeping technology and active cruise control are two on their way to new models, as well as GM’s blend of them both.  Automated parking as also been spreading to more and more cars.

For a continued reading on the matter, click here to view’s article.

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GM’s New Car Sharing Program


People share a lot of things nowadays, but cars have always been family exclusive, weren’t they?  Well in preparation of self-driving cars, GM’s working to change that with Let’s Drive NYC.  It’s currently in it’s very early phases, available only to those in one particular apartment building, but feedback is strong and they’re looking to expand.

Right now, a variety of vehicles are shared between the building’s residence and users go in to select the specific car they want to drive, which they then pick up from the valet at the parking garage.  They’re given an hourly rate with both gas and insurance included, both of which are the same regardless of what car is selected.

Having said that, the concept isn’t exclusive to GM.  Zipcar has done something similar in the past, but GM lacks monthly or annual fees, and their hourly and daily rates are at the low end of what Zipcar offers.  Furthermore, Icon Parking Services, a partner to Let’s Drive NYC, offers free parking to participants in New York.

GM also claims to be more personally than Zipcar.  The cars you drive are familiar to you, the fact you get it from parking lot attendants, and the fact that you share them with your neighbors all lead to this.

At the moment, they aim on expanding more in New York City, but hopefully they’ll begin branching out to other states soon enough!

For a continued reading on the matter, click here for Mashable’s article.

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The next Battleground of the Auto Industry


I remember playing a lot of games when I was a little kid, Ghost in the Graveyard, Freeze Tag, and Capture the Flag being just a few of my highlights growing up.  That last one though, always seems to stay relevant in some way.  There have always been teams of individuals chasing a singular goal, although in the auto market, these companies don’t necessarily have their own banner to defend.  It’s just the one flag that nations are chasing, even if there are still things happening back on the home turf.

And it’s China.

China has the largest population in the world and yet it’s still a relatively untapped market.  Especially in terms of automatic driving, that so many companies seem to be pushing for.  Only 50% of Americans think autonomous functions like autopilot, self-parking or automatic crash prevention, should even be legal in the first place, but 67% of us say we’d buy an autonomous car that’d let us change it to manual.  29% however, would be willing to pay extra to gain these services.  Germans are even less willing to pay extra and more likely to to say it shouldn’t ever be made legal, however 76% of them would buy one if they could change it to manual.

With China on the other hand, 76% of them said they’d buy the car even if it couldn’t go manual, where as 93% would if it could. That’s why they’re such a massive opportunity, and that’s why companies like Tesla have chased them so aggressively.  Google on the other hand, could be facing more of an uphill battle after their bout with China over censorship.

All in all though, Asia’s biggest country (that doesn’t stretch into Europe) could very soon be the battleground of the auto industry.

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Google’s Self-Driving Car Hit from Behind


Typically if you heard that a self driving car got into an accident, you’d think it’d be more of an “Aha!” moment, but as Google is showing, that’s not something their nay-says can exclaim.  As someone walked out in-front of the car without a signal it slowed to a stop (which although initiated was emphasized by the onboard safety driver) that resulted in getting rear-ended the by the person behind them changing lanes.  Crashes like these are considered the fault of the follower, because in all honesty you should be leaving the person before you enough space to break properly.

If the safety driver hadn’t intervened, engineers have determined that the vehicle would’ve still stopped in plenty of time, less violently and also edged even closer to the sidewalk.  Beyond the safety aspect of all that, it just goes to show that these machines are able to solve complex problems all at once, which could have possibly prevented the rear-end as well.

This wasn’t the first collision these cars have been in however, but all were the fault of the human behind the wheel of the other car.  There have been 16 in total, 12 of which being situations like I’ve just described.

For more information on this matter, click here for USA Today’s article in it’s entirety.

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The Woodward Dream Cruise: 2015

There’s a lot that can be said about the majesty of the Woodward Dream Cruise.  It began 20 years ago but now draws people from all over the globe, as well as a rough 40,000 classic cars also scattered throughout the earth.  It was, by all standards an incredible display this past weekend, but with all the attention and vehicles it gathered, remembering all of it would be next to impossible.

Luckily, there are a few places you can check out if your memory isn’t what it used to be!





So, what was your favorite car to make an appearance?

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Car Manufacturers Want To Protect Your Data From Apple And Google


I’m going to be honest.  I like knowing where I’m at and what’s around me.  I enjoy that my phone can tell me “You are here” and then indicate all the pizza places within 20 square miles, but as this technology begin to integrate more and more with your car, the more weary automakers are with the likes of Google and Apple.

Let’s be honest here, if I’m in the car I’m going somewhere, and on account of already having decided against walking to my destination, I probably parked there too.  Now my phone might know where I’m at now, but my Pontiac’s sitting right outside at the address I typed into my GPS and knows exactly how fast I went to get there. The data your car can gather about you and your habits and where you go can be insurmountable, so it makes sense that the companies who create them want to lock Google and Apple out.

It’s still too early for in-car technology systems to be monetized, but that effort to control access is still prevalent.  Earlier this year, GM said that they’re adding high-speed data connections into their vehicles, which could generate an additional $350 million dollars in revenue over the next three year.  Alix Partners is anticipating a global $40 billion a year, in three years time.

Additionally, they’re working on their own in-house systems to compete with Google’s Android Auto and Apple’s CarPlay, which would grant them even more control.

What do you think about cars collecting data on you?  Do you think it’ll help you with your day to day life, or do you think it’s more of an invasion of your privacy?

For a continued reading on the matter, click here for Tech Time’s article in its entirety.

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