Browsing Archive December, 2017

View, Follow, Learn: MAN Using YouTube for Driver Training

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MAN Truck & Bus has recently started using videos to give bus drivers easy-to-understand and engaging tips on operating vehicles, as well as safety and assistance systems. The aim: a greater understanding of how best to use these, increasing safety and efficiency.

Why are there different eco-levels in MAN EfficientCruise predictive cruise control? How does the advanced emergency braking system work? And how can a correctly adjusted driver’s seat boost safety? MAN Truck & Bus has recently created an accompaniment to its operator’s manual, answering these and many more questions in brief explainer clips named “Driving Professionals” which are available on YouTube for drivers and others who are interested. “The better drivers understand how the technology and assistants work on MAN and NEOPLAN buses and how they are served by them, the safer they are and the more efficient they are on the road. This also increases acceptance of these systems, so we are keen to help advance drivers’ skills,” says Rudi Kuchta, Head of Sales Bus at MAN Truck & Bus, by way of explanation for the new content. YouTube was chosen as a distribution platform to provide incredibly easy access to all interested parties.

Presenter Philipp Bächstädt, who German TV viewers will know from n-tv motoring series PS – Das Automagazin, ensures that the videos stay instructive without losing their edge. Thorsten Helbig, a trainer with MAN ProfiDrive, shows off the various systems and assistants, and explains them to him. Technical animations also illustrate how these work. “The medium of film is a highly suitable way to present the wide range of topics in a short, entertaining and vivid style, as well as conveying relevant information,” Kuchta says. For instance, one of the first clips covers the correct adjustment of the driver’s seat – and related factors like seat height, tilt angle, arm posture, backrest and steering wheel positioning. “Only if drivers have a correctly adjusted seat can they drive without getting tired, which is crucial for road safety,” Helbig explains in the video.

In addition to the topic of safety, MAN Truck & Bus also gives attention to the topic of efficiency in its explainer films. Another video shows how the fuel consumption can be substantially reduced without loss of time on the road, via the appropriate setting thanks to the predictive EfficientCruise cruise control and the EfficientRoll “coasting function”. The videos are published on the MAN Truck & Bus YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/mantrucksandbuses.

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Daimler Strengthens Setup of its Truck Business in China

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Daimler is strengthening the focus of its truck organization for the Chinese market by implementing a dedicated responsibility within the divisonal board of Daimler Trucks.

As of January 1st, 2018, Sven Ennerst will take over responsibility for the company’s trucks operations in China including both local production at Beijing Foton Daimler Automotive (BFDA) as well as the import business at Daimler Trucks and Buses China (DTBC). At the same time, Ennerst continues his current function as Head of Product Engineering and Global Procurement.

Hubertus Troska, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Greater China, says: “China is by far the world’ s largest automotive market – both for passenger cars as well as commercial vehicles.The further focused and strengthened setup for our truck business in China shows our deepening commitment to this market.

With the new appointment, we will continue bringing global expertise to our operations in China, to further explore the market potential with our local partners.”

Martin Daum, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Trucks and Buses, underlines: “We want to expand our position in the Chinese market. That is why we are elevating the responsibility for China to the divisional board of Daimler Trucks. With Sven Ennerst, one of our most senior and experienced leaders will be taking over this important position in one of our key markets.”

Sven Ennerst has gained valuable experience in China during his mechanical engineering studies there as well as his in professional career. He has also held management positions at Daimler Trucks for more than 20 years. In his new role, Sven Ennerst will work closely with both Board Members, Martin Daum and Hubertus Troska, to further advance Daimler’s truck business development in China.

Furthermore, Kelley Platt will become President and CEO of Beijing Foton Daimler Automotive – the joint venture of Daimler and Foton for the local production of heavy duty trucks under the Chinese Auman brand. Platt, currently the President of Western Star Trucks, will succeed Zhou Liang, who has decided to pursue opportunities outside of Daimler and therefore will leave the company as of January 15th, 2018.

“We are very thankful for Zhou Liang’s dedication and contribution to the BFDA business. We wish him all the best and much success for his future endeavors,” said Hubertus Troska.

“With Kelley Platt, BFDA will be headed by a seasoned trucks manager, who has led business units and brands very successfully,” said Martin Daum.

During the last years, Kelley Platt headed the Western Star business unit at Daimler Trucks North America. Under the leadership of Platt, Western Star has been setting sales and market share records. From 2010 to 2015, Platt was the President and CEO of Thomas Built Buses in High Point, North Carolina. During her tenure, Thomas Built Buses became the leading brand in the North American school bus market. Kelley started her Daimler career in 1989 in the treasury department.

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Deftech to Manufacture and Maintain Malaysia’s 1st Super Quick Charge Electric Bus

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DRB-HICOM Defence Technologies Sdn Bhd (DEFTECH), a wholly-owned subsidiary of DRB-HICOM Berhad (DRB-HICOM), has been entrusted with the manufacturing and maintaining of Malaysia’s first Super Quick Charge (SQC) Electric Vehicle (EV) – the Putra NEDO EV bus.

The SQC project is part of a technology transfer arrangement via a government-to-government agreement between Malaysia and Japan. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Perbadanan Putrajaya (PPj) and New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) of Japan for this project.

NEDO is undertaken by a Japanese consortium that consists of Toshiba Infrastructure Systems & Solutions Corporation, PUES Corporation, Hasetec Corporation and Oriental Consultants Global Company Limited.

DEFTECH is expected to become the regional hub for the production of the SQC EV buses in all future expansions. The SQC EV bus applies a different technology as compared to other EV buses available in Malaysia, and possibly the ASEAN region.  The Super Quick Charging (SQC) System only requires a single 10 minute charge between each run (average of 30km) via an overhead pantograph. Other commercial EV buses generally require an overnight charge (estimated 6-8 hours) to operate optimally.

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Backed by the full support of various ministries and its agencies,  especially that of the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water, and the Road Transport Department, the SQC EV bus project is the first step in making the Federal Government Administrative Centre a greener city.

To date, DEFTECH has been entrusted to manufacture 11 Single Decker EV buses.. A total of 8 buses has been supplied to PPj, which are already in operation, whereas the balance 3 units are scheduled to be delivered in 2018.

The Putra NEDO EV bus is operated by Pengangkutan Awam Putrajaya Travel & Tours Sdn Bhd (Nadiputra), a wholly owned subsidiary of PPj, as part of their fleet that services the Putrajaya area.

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BYD Strengthens APAC Footprint with Largest Electric Bus Fleet in Japan

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A fleet of 10 pure electric buses manufactured by Chinese new energy technology company BYD started operating on the Japanese island of Okinawa, marking the beginning of the island’s electrified public transportation initiative. 10 BYD K9 buses now run a shuttle service to and from the Okinawa Naha Port. BYD is the only Chinese automaker to enter the Japanese market, and only with pure electric vehicles.

This is not the first time BYD has delivered its e-buses to Japan. In 2015, five BYD K9 buses started running in the city of Kyoto. This time, Japan placed the additional order to operate the K9 fleet in the historic city of Okinawa, which hosts millions of visitors each year.

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A Japanese local government official spoke highly of BYD: “After the outstanding performance of the BYD K9 fleet operation in Kyoto, we were compelled to bring this model to Okinawa. This is the first time that a zero-emission, pure electric mode of public transportation is implemented in Okinawa, and I hope this will be a widespread model throughout Japan.”

Guo Yan, an envoy from the Chinese embassy in Japan said: “It’s so rewarding to see the BYD bus delivery representing Chinese companies’ strength of independent innovation, making the most of this new momentum of technological revolution to seize strategic opportunities, while tackling energy and environmental issues to improve the everyday lives of Okinawans and Japanese people at large.”

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“We hope to bring more environmentally friendly travel experiences to Japanese citizens and visitors alike, and promote the development of sustainable public transportation in Japan. We are confident that BYD’s experience in commercial operations in hundreds of cities around the world will ensure the success of this undertaking,” said Liu Xueliang, General Manager of BYD’s Asia-Pacific Auto Sales Division.

At present, BYD’s electric vehicles have a footprint in more than 200 cities across 50 countries and regions.

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City-Link’s On Time Deliveries With Isuzu

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Isuzu Malaysia have recently delivered 115 units of Isuzu trucks to City-Link Express (M) Sdn Bhd at their ‘Super Hub’ facility in Bandar Saujana Putra, Selangor. This latest handover is part of the 2017 fleet agreement, in which 105 units are the ELF 4-wheeler (NLR77UEE) model, with the remaining 10 units being the ELF 6-wheeler (NQR75UKN) model. Isuzu Malaysia has been supplying City-Link Express with their durable trucks since the first fleet deal made in 2011, with the current procurement being in line with City-Link’s business expansion.

As one of the nation’s leading international express delivery and integrated logistics services provider, City-Link Express makes it their mission to ensure their services meet and exceed business expectations. Hence, their preference for Isuzu trucks that will ensure goods and packages reach their intended destination in a timely, cost-effective and professional manner. Currently, City-Link Express has 322 units of Isuzu trucks handling door-to-door domestic delivery.

During the ceremony, Mikio Tsukui, Chief Operating Officer of Isuzu Malaysia’s Commercial Vehicle Division, extended his gratitude and appreciation to City-Link Express, especially for their trust in Isuzu Malaysia as a vital transportation partner. Tsukui added that Isuzu Malaysia intends to fully support City-Link Express’ vision of becoming the preferred courier and logistics brand nationwide, by providing necessary training sessions for the drivers, aside from prompt and efficient after-sales services.

 

In addition to its robustness and dependability, the 115 units are also equipped with commonrail engine – a first for City-Link Express fleet deals. The commonrail engine provides improved fuel consumption, aside from enhanced performance that is in accordance to the updated regulations recently stipulated by UNECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe).

To commemorate the handover, Tsukui presented a symbolic mock key to the Founder and Executive Chairman of City-Link Express, Dato’ David Tan. Also in attendance was City-Link Express’ Chief Executive Officer, Ronald Tan, and Sales Manager, Colin Tan; in addition to Daniel Lee, Director of PTM Accel Sdn Bhd, an authorised Isuzu Malaysia truck dealership.

Due to both companies’ long-standing partnership, Isuzu Malaysia also provided the esteemed logistics company the Eco-Drive Seminar and basic service maintenance training. The session provided attendees with vital knowledge and understanding on achieving economic and safety driving.

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3-Rows Of Seats to the Luxury Lexus RX

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Families will now be able to enjoy more space with their luxury utility vehicle of choice thanks to the new three‑row Lexus RX “L” models. The RX created the luxury crossover segment 20 years ago and has reigned supreme as the most popular luxury utility vehicle on the market. The 2018 RX 350L and RX 450hL hybrid models retain their stylish figures, but now offer the choice of six‑passenger or seven‑passenger capability, depending on the market.

With the new RX L models, Lexus drivers will now have the option of a third row without compromising the sleek styling and easy maneuverability that they have long valued. With help through the mastery of vehicle packaging, Lexus extended the body length 110 mm (4.3 inches) at the rear and used a steeper tailgate window angle than on the two-row models – ensuring good headroom for third-row passengers and greater cargo room behind the third row than competitors offer.

The standard seven-seat version uses a 60/40 split bench-type seat. Access to the third row is made easy with the touch of a lever that slides the second seat forward. The available six-seat configuration features second-row captain’s chairs that make third-row ingress/egress easier with “walk‑in” convenience. With a longer cargo floor area behind its third row than competitors offer, the RX L exceeds their cargo capacity.

Lexus designed the third row of the RX L models to offer the same comfort and luxury as in the middle row. The positioning of the second row is slightly higher than the third row, creating more foot room for rear passengers. Standard leather upholstery is standard for all three rows in a range of colors. A tri‑zone climate control system gives third-row passengers separate rear air conditioning and dedicated vents, and for convenience, a power-folding third-row seat and power tailgate with hands-free operation are both standard on the RX L models. (placing a hand near the Lexus emblem opens or closes the tailgate.)

Details that enhance three-row versatility in the RX L models include a flat load floor behind the folded third-row, a pair of third‑row cupholders, an easily stowable tonneau and covered slide rails.

The RX cabin is designed with impeccable details, including form-fitting seats, and the available richly finished wood trim (Premium and Luxury Packages) that curves gently up from the center console toward the glove box.

Available interior ornamentation includes Matte Bamboo, Espresso Walnut, Matte Linear Dark Mocha Wood, Striated Black Trim, and laser-etched Gray Sapele Wood with Aluminum. For the Striated Black Trim on the base model, a glossy black three-dimensional embossed pattern is applied to create a high-quality film design with a sense of depth.

An available full-color Heads-Up Display (HUD) incorporated into the design of the instrument panel can project key information on the windshield to help the driver focus on the road.

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Toyota’s FT-AC Concept Adds Ruggedness to a Crossover

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It’s no coincidence then that Toyota FT-AC makes its debut at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show, in a city where much of the population escapes to the hills, deserts, or beaches for their much-needed weekend recharges after a long week of work.

Representing the next level in Toyota’s adventure-loving lineup of concept vehicles, FT-AC provides the right instrument for a wide mix of excursions, be they on paved roads or not.

Toyota FT-AC reminds adventurers of all skill levels how remarkable the trip – not just the destination – can be. Going for a paddle on the river. Climbing a favorite rock face. Hitting a trail on a mountain bike. FT-AC is experience-centric. It compels. Any wheel time in FT-AC brings genuine facetime with the friends aboard.

It puts versatility at the forefront of its ethos and, in doing so, invites passengers to personalize – and accentuate – each trip. Acknowledging that adventures vary in scope and scale, FT-AC’s innate versatility is a strength that caters to various lifestyles, preferences, and even generations.

At first glance, it is evident that Toyota FT-AC’s bold and daring design reflects the confident spirit of Toyota’s existing SUVs and trucks.

The pronounced, wide, black front grille is flanked with bright LED headlights. Fog lights brighten the road ahead during foul weather or poor conditions and can even be taken out from their pods and used as portable lights. The fog lights can be attached to a mountain bike for occasional night rides. Below, FT-AC has twin hooks for vehicle recovery. Skid plates help protect the short front and rear overhangs, so rocks, ruts, and just about anything else will have trouble slowing down the rig.

Toyota FT-AC was designed around a long wheelbase and wide track to help emphasize its powerful stance. Extra wide fender flares provide body shielding and look as if they float above the 20-inch wheels and beefier all-terrain tires, both of which help accentuate its commanding look. Its impressive footwear and generous ground clearance provide drivers with more options as to where FT-AC can go and play.

The safari-style cargo roof rack system can haul all types of adventure gear. LED marker lights at its front corners can provide ambient lighting around the vehicle, brighten the trail ahead or, if desired, act as a flash for the side mirrors’ embedded cameras.

The infrared cameras on the side mirrors can record trail runs and, like the fog lights, can be removed and mounted off-vehicle so that no fun goes undocumented. An integrated Wi-Fi hotspot automatically uploads footage to cloud-based storage where real-time editing and posting can be accessed via mobile device. The Wi-Fi connectivity even gives adventure-goers the ability to livestream the fun to fans and followers.

The roof rack’s rear-facing LED lights also aid nighttime visibility and can be controlled via mobile device as well. Also at the rear is an innovative integrated bike rack that retracts, making for a highly useful feature that can be securely hidden in only a few seconds. Lastly, drivers and passengers can utilize FT-AC’s geolocation capabilities for directions back to basecamp.

Toyota FT-AC’s contrasting colors combine Prospect Green with Fortress Gray accents to highlight its go-anywhere brashness.

Although currently a design experiment, Toyota FT-AC has been imagined as a thoroughly capable gasoline-powered vehicle with an advanced torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system. This enables power to be routed, as needed, for excellent controllability and maximum traction. Variable terrain-response settings and 4-wheel lock functionality build on its capability by managing traction control and throttle response to maximize grip at each wheel for a more dynamic driving experience.

And who says a hybrid vehicle can only play on pavement? FT-AC could offer a next-generation hybrid powertrain that blends fuel efficiency with rugged all-wheel-drive grunt, giving drivers better power, responsiveness, and impressive fuel economy – all without compromise.

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Mercedes X-Class Pickup Safety Rating Revealed

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Euro NCAP has just released the Mercedes-Benz X-Class double-cab pickup safety ratings. The X-Class managed to score a full 5-stars which is one star more than the Nissan Navara on which it is based, thanks likely to its extra airbags (it boasts a total of seven), automatic emergency braking city function and lane assist system and including an impressive 90% for adult occupant protection.

Euro NCAP reported that the passenger compartment of the X-Class “remained stable” in the frontal offset test, with dummy readings showing “good protection” of the knees and femurs of the driver and passenger.

In the full-width rigid barrier test, protection of the driver and rear passenger was “good or adequate” for all critical parts of the body. In the side barrier impact, protection of all critical body areas was “good”. In the more severe side pole test, protection of the chest was “adequate” and that of other parts of the body was rated as “good”.

Euro NCAP Frontal Impact takes place at 64 Km/h, 40% of the width of the car striking a deformable barrier. In the Full Width test, 100% of the width of the car impacts a rigid barrier at 50 Km/h. In the side impact, a mobile deformable barrier impacts the driver’s door at 50 km/h. In the pole test, the car tested is propelled sideways at 32 km/h into a rigid pole.

Interestingly, the safety authority reported that a “geometric assessment of the rear seats indicated poor whiplash protection”.

In terms of child occupant protection, in the frontal offset test, protection of the chest of the six-year-old dummy was rated as “marginal”, based on chest decelerations. Otherwise, protection of this dummy and the 10-year-old dummy was “good or adequate”.

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All-New Subaru XV in Malaysia from RM118k

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TC Subaru Sdn Bhd, the exclusive distributor of Subaru vehicles in Malaysia, has launched the all-new Subaru XV, which represents the first full model change since the original model was launched in 2012. It is also the second model to employ the revolutionary Subaru Global Platform that delivers less body roll and more driving fun.

 

Available in 2.0i and 2.0i-P variants, the new XV is powered by a revamped, lighter 2.0-liter boxer engine that produces 156 PS at 6,000 rpm. The Lineartronic CVT transmission is also 7.8 kg lighter than previous models and features auto-step shift control and 7-speed manual mode function which enables the driver with greater control.

In addition to the Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system, the XV now comes equipped with X-Mode, which enhances driving performance on challenging terrain through optimised integrated control of the engine, all-wheel drive system, brakes and other functions. The Hill Descent Control setting gives drivers greater peace of mind by maintaining low speeds on downhill slopes.

The new platform is said to increase the XV’s rigidity by over 70% compared to previous models, thus reducing vibrations and body roll for a quiet and smooth ride. A quicker steering gear ratio and lower centre of gravity result in responsive steering and straight line stability.

The exterior features Subaru’s iconic hexagonal grille with C-shaped headlights, matte-black cladding on the front bumper and a new aluminium wheel design. It has a ground clearance of 220 mm. Inside, an 8.0-inch touchscreen offers integrated navigation and enables smartphone connectivity.

Passive safety in the XV has also been improved with enhanced body strength thanks to an increased use of high-tensile steel. This enables improved energy absorption in the event of collision by 40% over present models. Seven airbags now come standard with both variants.

Additionally, the 2.0i-P variant also gets Steering Responsive Headlights that enable the headlight beam to move according to the steering wheel angle, maximizing visibility in the dark.

The all-new Subaru XV ia available in a choice of six colours: Sunshine Orange, Dark Blue Pearl, Pure White, Ice Silver Metallic, Dark Grey Metallic and Crystal Black Silica. OTR price starts from RM118,819 inclusive of GST without insurance.

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Another Mitsubishi Triton Variant On Its Way

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Mitsubishi Motors has added a new Triton Xtreme to its range. Power still comes from a 2.4-litre turbodiesel engine worth 133 kW and 430Nm.

Mitsubishi says the new Triton Xtreme is fitted with accessories that include black and chrome alloy wheels (wrapped in Cooper Adventurer all-terrain rubber), bonnet guards, grille and foglamp covers, front and rear light guards, wheelarch extensions, front and rear door handle covers, Triton-branded scuffplates, heavy-duty rubber mats, a tonneau cover, a styling bar, a tailgate cover and a fuel-flap cover.

Look out for the special edition arriving in Malaysia.

 

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