Honda Motor Co., Ltd. today announced plans to begin Japan-wide sales starting February 2010, of the Honda Bicycle Simulator developed for the purpose of traffic safety education. By safely experiencing the possible risks bicycle riders may face, users will improve their ability to predict risks and increase safety awareness. In addition, rider evaluation session which will follow the riding simulation will help users learn traffic rules and manners in an enjoyable way.
Honda will aim for widespread use of this simulator by a range of customers including public offices, law-enforcement organizations, driving schools and educational institutions which conduct bicycle safety education programs primarily for school children and senior citizens. Honda will begin accepting pre-sale orders in November of this year.
Sept 17, 2008 - Japan’s electrical equipment giant Hitachi Ltd. said that it has developed a new battery system that will allow faster diesel hybrid railcars.
With the new system, which can employ batteries up to four times larger than those used at present, diesel hybrid railcars will be able to travel at speeds up to around 200 kilometers per hour for the first time in the world, the company said.
Hitachi aims to commercialize the new system in three years.
About 100,000 diesel railcars are currently operated around the globe.
Diesel hybrid railcars, which can charge batteries with energy generated when slowing down, are 10-20 pct more fuel efficient than existing diesel railcars.
But the diesel hybrid railcars now in use are slower than current diesel railcars, with speeds of only up to 100 kilometers per hour, due to their limited battery capacities.
Overseas, there is strong demand for high-speed diesel railcars and the introduction of faster diesel hybrid railcars at an early date.
In Japan, diesel hybrid railcars have been introduced so far only in some areas. Hitachi believes the new battery system will accelerate the spread of diesel hybrid railcars in the country.
Major Japanese textile makers are stepping up development of carbon fiber materials for use in automobiles to reduce body weight and raise fuel efficiency for next-generation vehicles.
Demand for carbon fibers, which weigh one-quarter of steel but are 10 times stronger, is expected to grow among automakers as they look to enhance measures to combat global warming and deal with sky-high crude oil prices.
AUGSBURG, Germany (Thomson Financial) — Kuka said Volkswagen’s Indian operation has ordered Kuka’s automated manufacturing systems worth a two-digit million-euro sum for installation at its new facility in the west Indian state of Maharashtra.
The order, which involves the car body plant facility for hatches and door parts, will be implemented within the next 24 months, it said.