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The urban consequences of autonomous cars technology – how the driverless car could transform cities

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Autonomous cars are the future: are you excited by that?

The ‘evolvement’ of self-driving cars is rapidly bringing dynamics to the auto industry. Self-driving cars are not just about a hands-free driving experience. They’re emergence points to an urban transformation that will change the way people navigate, access information, and interact with one another.

Just like Ford’s Model T, which debuted in 1908, today’s automobiles have four tires, a steering wheel, and seats. Henry Ford would have little trouble behind the wheel, but he would be completely baffled by the technology under the hood. Cars today are, in many ways, high-performance computers that can race at 70-plus miles per hour. Automotive digitization has led to important transformations, but the networked era has only just begun to tap its ultimate potential: the driverless car. Thanks to the advent of ubiquitous computing, various forms of semi-autonomous technology, such as adaptive cruise control, automatic parallel parking, and collision warnings, are already widespread.

Indeed, full-fledged self-driving vehicles already exist. Several manufacturers, including BMW, Ford, GM, Toyota, and Volkswagen, have integrated these systems into their fleets and expect to start selling premium cars with different degrees of autonomy soon. MIT has worked with local researchers in Singapore on a prototype, while Google is using them in California. While fully self￾driving cars cannot be bought off the shelf yet, autonomy is, in a sense, the next step in a continuing evolution of silicon under the hood.

Cars and the city

But what is the point of self-driving cars? Are there substantive benefits beyond sending guiltless text messages on the way to work? The answer lies in broader trends that point toward societal and urban transformations. Over the past 20 years, digital tools have changed the way people meet, access knowledge, and navigate—all built upon networks, sensors, mobile communication, and real-time information. These technologies are only now beginning to enter the urban space. In effect, more and more intelligence is suffusing our cities. It is possible to collect real￾time information, seamlessly, on every dimension of urban life.

A parallel trend is happening with regard to the automobile: cars collect information about passengers and about the environment. Systems inside the car can detect drivers’ sleepiness, and galvanic skin-response sensors can give a metric for stress. Outside the car, radar, cameras, and laser scanners can “read” the road and then respond. Autonomous cars are at the nexus of these two lines of development, benefiting from advances on board and on the street. Researchers at the MIT SENSEable City Laboratory are interested in the urban consequences of autonomous technology. Self-driving vehicles will have a dramatic impact on urban life when they begin to blur the distinction between private and public modes of transportation.

“Your” car could give you a lift to work in the morning and then give a lift to someone else in your family—or, for that matter, to anyone else: after delivering you to your destination, it doesn’t sit idle in a parking lot for 20-plus hours every day. By combining ride sharing with car sharing—particularly in a city such as New York—MIT research has shown that it would be possible to take every passenger to his or her destination at the time they need to be there, with 80 percent fewer cars.

Clearing the roads of four out of five cars has momentous consequences for cities, by measures such as environment, traffic, efficiency, and even parking. In most cities, for example, designated parking accounts for a huge amount of land, which ends up being useless for most of the day. With fewer cars, much of this space could be freed for other uses. Such reductions in car numbers would also dramatically lower the cost (and related energy consumption) of building and maintaining the roads. One engineering study found that automation could quadruple capacity on any given highway. And, of course, fewer cars also means less noise and a smaller environmental impact.

Driving patterns of individual cars can be algorithmically optimized as well. Because autonomous vehicles don’t get lost, they create less congestion and shorten travel times. More important, self-driving cars would also make for much safer roads; more than 1.2 million people, a year, die in automobile-related deaths worldwide. One of the key challenges for the driverless future is to address the underlying logistics and legalities. Insurance, specifically, is an open question: When an accident involves a self-driving car, who is liable? Social acceptance is another important component: Are drivers ready to take their hands off of the wheel? Digital security is a third. Computer viruses are all too familiar, but the question is what to do if somebody “hacks” a self-driving car and changes the gas pedal into the brake, or even worse, makes the intersection go haywire.

As it always has, technology will continue to advance, and none of these issues is insurmountable. At this point, the transition is poised to happen, but several things must fall into place over the coming years— specifically outside the car—to pave the way forward. At the moment, fewer than half a dozen US states allow driverless vehicles on the roads, but many more states and countries are beginning to address the question.

It is likely that autonomous cars will deploy gradually—first, with more semi-autonomous functions becoming standard (as GPS already has), then proceeding to systems that let drivers choose to take their hands off the wheel in certain situations (such as traffic jams or parking), and finally, to fully driverless vehicles. According to IHS, a firm that provides automotive forecasts and insights, sales of autonomous cars, including driver control, will begin by 2025 and could reach 11.8 million in 2035; sometime after 2050, says IHS, almost all vehicles will be autonomous.

From a technological point of view, driverless cars have arrived; the bigger task is for cities to integrate them. As autonomous driving matures, one thing is all but certain: the world’s mobility challenges will increasingly be met with silicon rather than asphalt.

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Changan- To disrupt Ghana’s Automobile Market!

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June, 2019 marked the official press launch of Changan in Ghana. A brand that has dominated China’s automobile industry since its inception. The launch took place at Stallion Motors Ghana LTD Office (Stallion Group) located at Obetsebi Lamptey circle  where a range of Changan vehicles were unveiled for all present to witness. These vehicles looked very astonishing and with prices starting from as low as $12, 999 equivalent in Ghana cedis, one will say these brand of Changan SUVs and saloon cars will definitely disrupt the automobile sales industry in Ghana as they have very good model line-up for SUV’s and Sedan with 5 years or 100,000 kms warranty.

History of Changan Automobile

The first thing we may think about when buying a new car is safety and a long lasting feature, whether for personal use, family or an organisation, and that is precisely what Changan stands for; Cháng – long lasting/forever (长) and ān (安) – safe/secure that makes Cháng’ ān (长安).

Changan has been in the Chinese Automobile Industry for 153 years with 33 over years’ experience in building and selling passenger car vehicles. This brand can boast of being an early leader in the Chinese auto industry and currently a top selling Chinese automotive brand sitting confidently amongst the top four automobile groups in China.

Founded in Shanghai in 1862 by Li Hongzhang, the brand’s mission is to pioneer auto culture and benefit human life with a vision to build world’s leading automobile enterprise that later moved to Chongqing in 1937.

Changan has over 33 years’ experience in car-making since it started auto business in 1984 and produced their first batch of small size vehicles in China, and became one of the top four Chinese automobile manufacturing groups in 2009 with a total sales volume of Changan brand vehicles exceeding 10 million in 2014 and a sale volume exceeding 1 million in 2015 for Changan brand passenger vehicles.

All over the globe Changan has a footprint; 12 global production bases (3 under construction) and 32 vehicle and engine plants. Changan has 6000 sales and service stations covering 60 countries, with 150,000 professional service staff providing consumers with pleasant experience anytime, anywhere. The company also uses over 20 APPs and WeChat official accounts for customer service to ensure immediate response to customers. The brand also partners with other top vehicle manufacturers like Suzuki (1993), Ford (2001), JMC (2004), Mazda (2005) and PSA (2010) to deliver the best vehicles.

The Research and Development of Changan Automobile

Research and Development (R&D) is key for Changan hence an R&D network is established in Chongqing, Beijing, Hefei and Hebei of China, Turin of Italy, Nottingham of UK, Detroit of USA, and Yokohama of Japan. A world class talent team made up of over 90,000 employees, including 10,000 R&D personnel globally (6,000 dedicated to Changan brand) and over 400 senior experts from 15 different nations. 13 of them are included in China’s Recruitment Program of Global Experts. Changan attracts the largest number of experts among Chinese auto companies.

Changan’s unique R&D strength is ranked number 1 in the Chinese automobile industry for 8 years. The styling and package, structural design and performance development, test validation and evaluation, simulation analysis and prototype process forms the digitalized coordination capability and project management capability to support five core strength.

It is assuring to note that, Changan vehicles go through several field and laboratory tests such as crash safety, NVH, master ESP, TCS, VVT, TCT, ICCS and other advanced technologies. The cars have also gone through extreme climate tests in extremely low temperature of -52℃ in Russian snowfield and China’s north border Mohe, extremely high temperature of 50℃ in Turpan and Middle East dessert, an altitude of over 5200m in Qinghai-Tibet plateau and a performance test in extremely high-dust land (120mg/cm³).

Changan has the largest dynamic ground with the most comprehensive functions and highest precision in Asia. A 2 billion RMB investment that built a 224-hectare Changan comprehensive proving ground.

In addition to this, Changan very much believes in the era of smart technologies. Changan 2015 car models have assisted driving, and have upgraded to half automated driving in 2018. Plans are far advanced to have fully automatic driving Changan vehicles by 2025 and beyond. A smart vehicle R&D team with 1500 engineers will be setup to develop technology and products in smart connectivity.

For the past 3 years, Changan has penetrated the African market and now has an assembling plant in Nigeria. Seeing the success chalked in Nigeria, the team has brought the top class vehicles to Ghana; 5 powerful SUVs and 1 smart looking saloon car.

The Changan Brands

Changan’s brand pride comes with a hi-tech and fashionable design. These astounding cars are efficient, clean, safe and smart.

Changan has successfully launched a series of classic products; CS75, CS35, CS15, Raeton, Eado, Alsvin, CX70, Oushang and has more than 8500 customers across the world choosing Changan every day.

Available in the Ghanaian market is CS95, CS75, CS55, CS35 ( available in Luxurious & Distinguished model), CS15 in SUV’s and sedan range has Alsvin  V3 & Eado models.

CS95 in Simplicity…

This model has a simple design appearance but has all the essential elements with extraordinary functions. The car has a succinct visual language and powerful to the core. An absolute high performance full size SUV!

The CS95 is equipped with Blue Core 2.0L turbo GDI engine, has maximum output 171 kW at 5000-55000 rpm and maximum torque 360 Nm at 1750-3500 rpm. The tyres are 245/60 R18, 245/55 R19 and wheels a two-tone aluminium alloy. It also has a fuel tank capacity of 64 litres. Along with dozens of advanced technology, the CS95 is built to have high performance, low fuel consumption, low emissions and high quality harshness (NVH) performance.

It offers supreme comfortability as the design adopts classic design concepts and methods from a couple of industry top brands and the NVH performance of the deep-sea mute is also adopted. The Changan CS95 is a large multipurpose city SUV with seven seats.

The Timeless Beauty, CS75

This urban design CS75 is a beauty that will have customers enjoy being the focus of the car. The front Grille has a rugged styling; suggesting power and performance, a streamline waistline that suggests powerful performance, and the chrome plated trim elements really shimmering to give it that classy look.

The electronic parking system (EPB), electronic power-assisted steering (EPS), and electronic stability control facilitate easier driving and is equipped with a Changan 1.8L turbocharged Blue Core engine paired with an Aisin 6-speed automatic transmission running on a 58 litres capacity fuel tank.

CS75 has all the cool tech! It is equipped with the user friendly in call interconnection system, all-around service, remote control system, voice recognition, push-to-talk, built-in hard disk music player, iPod Music play, phone projection, application store, emergency rescue service and anti-theft tracking function.

Safety is a top priority in all Changan vehicles so the CS75 also has automatic parking, 6 airbags, and several safeguards like; electronic parking system, tyre pressure monitoring system and a 360 panoramic system.

Such pulchritude!

Obsidian CS55!

Think hot volcanic lava cooling down sturdily and later becoming a unique glasslike rock. That’s the inspiration for this Changan model. Changan’s design philosophy and strategy was applied here, it was designed and developed by Changan’s European design team who were truly inspired by nature.

CS55 get its red appearance by using an advanced triple layer coating process that gives the car its smooth texture. The red metal layer is made up of bright aluminium powder. To put the final touch, a Nano-level material colour spray is applied. The body of the car has a dynamic rhythm, talk about the diving waistline together with the chrome trim below the windows, the blue whale tailed C column and suspending roof design model on the side line of the vehicle body just gives a different feel to the whole CS55. The lights are gorgeous as well, high-quality LED lamps and obsidian-profile 3D trail with LED tail lights. It has 18-inch two-tone stylish wheel hub, a dual-coloured floating roof.

On the inside is a different look all together; it has an x element capsule shaped panel. Sitting elegantly on it is the 8-inch LCD control screen, it has stylish keypads and chrome details. It integrates the in call system, rear view camera (carried on some vehicle models), panoramic image (carried on more premium models), GPS, ADAS functional switching and other smart technology, thus truly realising touch-and-go.

The car is enjoyable, very spacious and offers comfort too. Another fascinating tech in the CS55 is the independent temperature control; the intelligent air conditioning makes it possible to have different temperatures in different areas. It allows you to independently control the temperature in driving seat, passenger seat and the backseat. A PM 2.5 filter and Plasma Generator is also fitted in the car.

The engine is the new Blue Core 1.5T DVVT DOHC all-aluminium alloy engine. Efficient fuel consumption is achieved with the Bosch STT to stop the engine when at a standstill and automatically ignite again when moving again. Under typical urban driving conditions, this gives fuel savings between 5-15%. It’s also equipped with Aisin new 6AT transmission, CS55 possess advanced gear technology, and offers rapid gear shifts and quick control functions as well as contributes to a strong fuel economy.

An intelligent and secure car with Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-warning Assistant Braking, Hill Descent Control, Hill-start Hold Control, Automatic Parking Assistance, 360 Panoramic System and several other advanced technologies that make this car exceptionally different!

CS35 Extraordinaire!

This model is indeed nifty. The CS35 has a stylish front fascia with simple yet sharp lights, shield-shaped chrome plated air inlet grille, a push-button, dual-mode, anti-pinch power sunroof, chrome plated window trim strip, a dynamic V-shaped aluminium alloy hub, eagle-eye crystal headlamp, eagle beak ribbon taillight and chrome plated double exhaust tips.

Every journey with this car promises to be enjoyable and comfortable. This car speaks luxury and comfort with its fashionable two-tone seats design. A cool central control that has a UI interface display showing clearer icons, night mode, and air conditioning status. It also has a sophisticated instrument panel with a bold ice blue look and backlit gauges and TFT display provides driver information with style and is virtually sound proof; low noise, vibration, and harshness

CS35 is simultaneously powerful and environmentally friendly. The fuel-saving equipment such as an intelligent generator with OAD technology, electric thermostats, and a variable displacement compressor, boosts performance while reducing fuel consumption. Isn’t that extraordinarily efficient?!

The engine is an all-aluminium alloy engine, Blue Core 1.6L DVVT DOHC, uses Aisin SS-II manual-auto all-in-one 5-speed manual transmission and a start-stop technology fuel-saving system. It also has extraordinary features like the Electronic Power-Assisted Steering, Automatic Parking Assistance and all-round safety features.

This particular model is  assembled in Nigeria.

Vibrant Alsvin V3

The Alsvin V3 is powerful with a feel young vibe. This car wants its user to feel young and be different!

A dynamic and family friendly sedan equipped with a new generation 1.5 litres Blue Core engine and Aisin SS-II automated manual transmission. It’s also using advanced technologies such as keyless entry, one-button start, electronic power system, professional chassis adjustment, flat rear floor, and 40 dB idling noise are some of the advanced features.

This model of Changan is very comfortable and spacious. The booth is surprisingly spacious for a saloon car. It also has great safety technology installed like the reverse camera at the rear.

At the press launch of Changan’s range of vehicles, the Brand Head, Mr. Manish Daryanani said the brand is building an image of vitality, progress, quality, and fashion, with passenger cars as the focus hence the promotion of Changan brand image in all aspects through high level platforms and events. He also made emphasis that Changan is here to stay with the hope of bringing customers both safety and happiness.

The Stallion Motors Ltd, located at Plot A1 & A2, Obetsebi lamptey Circle, is the authorized distributor for Sales & After-sales Service  in Ghana.

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