Wednesday, April 29, 2009

New Road Bike Brakes by TIME

Looks like TIME, the French bicycle maker, is going to be taking a new approach to rim based road bike brakes. According to this European patent application, it looks like the new brakes will be a cross between cantilever and caliper type brakes. Luckily, it seems that the mounting system for these brakes will be universal.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Ford's New Inline 6 Engine

Seems like the Europeans have all the fun (at least when it comes to vehicles produced by the Big 3). A recent European patent application, found here, describes Ford's newest high efficiency - and ultra quiet - Inline 6. I'm sure it will have goodies such as turbo charging and direct injection as well. Let's see if they can find a way to get this stateside. A diagram of the engine described in the patent application is reproduced below:

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Nissan's New Triple Injection Engine

Direct injection is so 2008.  Nissan plans to go a step further with a new triple injection engine sometime in the future.  According to this patent application, the engine will have three injectors per cylinder, each delivering a different fuel.  The first injector will supply n-paraffin to start the combustion reaction, the next will supply hydrogen gas to speed the combustion reaction and the final injector will supply a high octane gasoline to drive the combustion reaction.  So does that mean your new Nissan will need three gas tanks?  Not according to the patent application:

"Both the n-paraffin and the hydrogen gas are obtained using the gasoline as a raw material. The gasoline is stored in a fuel tank 31. The fuel tank 31 is provided with a low-pressure fuel pump 32. The gasoline in the fuel tank 31 is pumped by the low-pressure fuel pump 32 and supplied to a fuel separator 33." 

Neat trick.  The new engine should be able to achieve substantially better fuel economy versus a traditional gasoline engine.  A photo of the cylinder head layout is below (the injectors are 21, 22 & 23):

Friday, April 10, 2009

Smile: Honda's Anti-DUI System Takes Your Picture

Looks like Honda is working on a new system to cut down on drunk driving. According to this patent application, the Honda system will first test your breath to determine whether you are "drunk." If you're drunk it will take your picture and use face recognition to keep you from getting behind the wheel that night. The fun part comes if you try to fool the system. Let's say you have your sober friend get behind the wheel to trick the car into starting. It will take a picture at start-up and then take another picture when the car is shifted into gear. If the picture from the ignition start and the gear shift don't match, it will cut the engine. Sound a little confusing? Maybe the diagram below will help:

One wonders what other kind of other mischief this in vehicle camera/face-recognition system could be used for. Maybe a wireless link to a police photo database? (Wait, isn't that the plot from Minority Report ...)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Ford's New Turbo Pushrod V8

Is this the newest engine for the 2010 Mustang GT? (Probably not.  According to our friends at Autoblog, this is most likely Ford's new Scorpion diesel engine - though the patent application's specification discusses using this layout in a gasoline engine as well- so its not strictly limited to oil burners.)

A recently published patent application (found here) lists a pushrod V8 - with FOUR valves per cylinder - as one embodiment for this new compact turbo charging system. Let's hope we get to see this on the streets soon.