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Eating behind the wheel? Very risky

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All to emphasize that it is dangerous to get driving after drinking. But eating in a car is certainly not advisable, on the contrary … In America, we have come to an emergency: because if in Italy it may happen to munch on some biscuits or crackers during a trip, on motorways as in city streets there is a bad habit of taking food, without stopping. State Farm Insurance and Allstate Insurance Co. – a major insurance company – has made it known that 57% of its policyholders do not hide that they regularly feed on road sections. A survey commissioned by Exxon raises the share to 70%, and it is emphasized that the same question, asked twenty years ago, had found a positive answer in 58% of cases.

Only the most dangerous radio

We eat a lot, knowing full well that the danger around the corner. Also according to the State Farm Insurance and Allstate Insurance Co., only the tuning of the radio brings worse effects than the consumption of food on the move. In third place in this curious American ranking is turning around to talk to passengers, while only 29% of respondents mentioned the damage caused by the use of mobile phones. Alcohol? Practically: for US drivers, terrified of (frequent) police checks, not a problem. On the other hand, non-alcoholic drinks are great even when traveling.

The NHTSA report

The continuous recommendations of the authorities are not giving great results. The latest case to cause a sensation in the United States, that of a 71-year-old who crashed – fatally – with his van while enjoying a Bratwurst, the typical sausage sandwich of German origin. The final blow came from a report by the powerful National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA): as much as 65% of road accidents in the United States would be caused by distracted motorists, who eat or drink. And so the institution has compiled the list of the ten most likely foods and drinks to cause accidents.

The ranking

In first place, not surprisingly, coffee (American) or cappuccino: on American cars, cup holders / bottle racks / cup holders are no less important than the steering wheel. But as long as it remains in its place, everything is fine, when the glass is taken in hand, the danger is triggered. After coffee there are broths and soups, which in the Anglo-Saxon countries are consumed in the cup: impossible from us, in the heat it is hot chocolate and tea. Third and fourth place for two import passions: tacos and chili. Do not smile in the second case: in America it is easily found, and the danger lies not only in the inconvenience of consumption, which requires a spoon, but in its spiciness: coughs and spasms are lurking … Then a sequence of risks for carnivores: hamburger ( often require two hands), grilled meats (they easily get dirty and grease the steering wheel), fried chicken (watch out for the bones).

The risk of cleanliness

Eighth place for stuffed donuts: cream and jam tend to splash out. Ninth for cans of cola, orange soda, sodas and carbonated drinks in general: we have already seen the reason. To close the bad ten, there are chocolate bars. Because they lose flakes, and to clean or clean the car – according to NHTSA – one gets too distracted. In this sense, better not to be fixed with cleaning.

June 2, 2016 (change May 15, 2018 | 11:02 am)

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From South Tyrolean speck to Sicily of citrus groves Tomorrow the Special will be on sale

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On the roads of Italian excellence with: Jeep Wrangler, Peugeot 208, Hyundai Kona Hybrid, Kia Sportage Gpl, Mitsubishi L200, Land Rover Discovery Sport, Mini Countryman, Renault Zoe, Mazda CX-30, Lexus UX, Militem Hero, Nissan X-Trail , Honda CR-V Hybryd, Mahindra XUV500

Giugiaro: two “zero emission” concepts for extreme off-roading

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The Vision 2030, the hypercar that Giorgetto and Fabrizio Giugiaro are about to bring to the Geneva International Motor Show (from 5 to 15 March) is already projected into the future. A double debut, because this concept, at the Swiss Motor Show, will be joined – world preview, revealed exclusively at the Courier service – since its evolution, the hypersuv Desert Ride.

The GFG Style Vision 2030 concept
The GFG Style Vision 2030 concept

«The name Desert Ride is a reminder the vocation of a possible four-wheel drive granturismo, able to face very demanding routes – explains Fabrizio Giugiaro -. The basic project, Vision 2030, was born from a commission from Saudi Arabia: the request was a futuristic, sporty, luxurious, ecological 4×4. The Desert Ride pushes that “vision” to the extreme, preserves the central body of the original concept and emphasizes the off-road mission: oversized wheels and wheel arches, spare wheel outside, specific rear … “.

The Vision 2030 by Giorgetto and Fabrizio Giugiaro
The Vision 2030 by Giorgetto and Fabrizio Giugiaro

Hypercar and hypersuv they share the architecture (two dry seats, aluminum chassis and mechanics, carbon bodywork) and the “heart”: a system with 600 horsepower, consisting of two 200 kW electric motors and a 90 kW battery » . The maximum speed that can be reached is 200 times. “On every terrain,” says Fabrizio. The feature of the Desert Ride, in fact, is the extreme versatility of the set-up and suspension: «Developed starting from the Kangaroo, the system raises the car and changes the stiffness of the suspension, which thus adapts to very high speeds even in off-roading harder, like the dunes of Saudi Arabia ».

The Vision 2030 Desert Ride, extreme evolution of the Vision 2020
The Vision 2030 Desert Ride, extreme evolution of the Vision 2020

The two concepts are an essay of innovation. From the T-position of the batteries (they run under the tunnel between the driver and passenger and extend perpendicular to their shoulders) to the two wings of the roof that rise to facilitate accessibility, to the “shadow lights”, the hidden position lights that they model a “light-shadow” effect.

The Vision 2030 Desert Ride: debuts in a few days at the Geneva Motor Show
The Vision 2030 Desert Ride: debuts in a few days at the Geneva Motor Show

«Our job as a designer – says Giorgetto Giugiaro – is to anticipate new architectures, to go further ». Going further in every sense: after leaving, in 2015, his Italdesign (acquired by the Volkswagen group, is now under the control of the Lamborghini holding), Giorgetto, with his son Fabrizio, founded GFG Style in 2016. The taste of challenge is more alive than ever. “In the car world – explains Giorgetto – there is a growing demand for advice”. In 4 years GFG Style has produced 7 concepts, born from European, Asian and Middle Eastern collaborations.

But in Geneva there will also be a third twist signed GFG Style: the Bandini Dora, a zero emission sports boat that marks the rebirth of Romagna Bandini Automobili. It is the matrix of future electric Bandini and bears the name (Dora, in fact) of the mother of the founder Ilario and that of the great-grandson Michele Orsi Bandini. A “hedonistic” two-seater that incorporates the manufacturer’s 1950s sports philosophy. «We were inspired by the Formula 1 Halo – explains Fabrizio Giugiaro -. Here then is the clean windshield, as it was once used, without reinforcements, as linear and light as possible, but with a real superstructure that integrates with the style, with a marked protective function for both the driver and the passenger “.

February 24, 2020 (change February 24, 2020 | 3:13 pm)

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Corona virus crisis – after all, there is the Internet – digital

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The corona crisis also proves to previous skeptics that digitization is a gift for humanity. The social distance now offered would be unbearable without the Internet.

This text begins with an absurd-sounding request: look up briefly from the screen and observe your immediate surroundings in which you are right now. And then briefly imagine how different your current situation would be if only one thing was missing: What would your life be like if there was no internet?

Sure, you wouldn’t be able to read this text. It is on the Internet. But much worse: The current exceptional social situation would probably be even more depressing than it already is. While the world is trying to find an appropriate, maybe even relaxed way of dealing with corona stress, technology is experiencing a boost that has been critically judged in Germany in recent years. The Internet is proving these days that it is a gift to humanity.

No, that does not hide the fact that a wave of rumors and false information regarding the Corona virus is currently being washed over the Internet. The hate comments and slander that the so-called social web brings to light should not be talked down. It is just that all of these appeasements and concerns come from the pre-Corona period. They describe a pre-digital stance that the internet thought was a nice additional option.

Like the special equipment in the car – that was once

Before the current crisis, the Internet was something like the special equipment in the car for many: gimmick, interesting for fans, but in reality irrelevant for getting around. Some considered the digital bonus to be dangerous. That is now changing suddenly. The corona crisis also shows digital skeptics the scope of global networking. The Internet is – to try a word from the last major crisis in 2008 – “too big to fail”: It is systemically important. End of the taste debate.

The largest German internet hub DE-Cix in Frankfurt has reported a record these days: 9.1 terabits of data were exchanged in a second last week. More than ever before. The press release states: “Internet use is playing an increasingly important role.” The sentence sounds like from a future essay from the 1990s, but it is a description of the situation from the spring of 2020. The corona crisis is a social tipping point at which even the skeptical sections of society are putting the possibilities that have been described for years into practice.

Keep social distance without giving up the connection to other people; work outside the office and still access data; teaching without sitting in a classroom: how should all of this work if the internet didn’t exist? Network operators have started offering Internet access free of charge during the crisis.

What is available is finally used

Where social life is shut down offline, social life is being started up online. That will have long-term consequences. Readings are now being put online, concerts are being streamed and lessons are even taking place on digital platforms. Colleague Andrian Kreye recently described this as “forced digitization”. But maybe it is also a necessary step in the growth of a technology: Finally, everything that is available is used.

In any case, the view of the Internet after the Corona crisis will be different than before. So far, the network was only a supplement to the program (“Find more information on our website”), then a hype topic (“Everything is now online with us”). But it was always an exception, a peculiarity. Corona makes the Internet a matter of course. The picture that emerges is not that of optimists or pessimists, but that of realists. After the involuntary jump into the water, which Corona means, the cautious and doubtful, who were previously worried at the pool edge, will have a better say in swimming than ever before. They’ll swallow water and splash around awkwardly – like everyone who learns to swim. But afterwards they will know new perspectives from their own experience and maybe even develop swimming styles together with others in the virtual pool that we do not yet know.

This applies to all areas of networking. Anyone who previously thought that “home office” was just another word for “sitting on the sofa” now hears really good ideas and sensible suggestions through noisy video conferences. Those who assumed that lessons could only be held in one room at a time enjoyed the opportunity to convey knowledge via digital platforms or short video clips. In all cases, something new arises: people invent rules so that they do not constantly cut themselves off in video conferences; develop methods to create intensity even in distance learning.

Of course, the Internet is only as good as the society that uses it. From this grows the mandate to everyone who connects now: stop complaining and start using this gift according to the values ​​of a free and open society for the good of all! This applies in the current exceptional situation, but above all afterwards. The only online phase of these days will then be helpful. Because for the first time, the generation of those who were born before the Internet will report from their own experience an experience that has bound the natives of the digital age for years: They will feel how great, how helpful digital networking can be.

That’s good news. Not just because there are so few other places.

Audi A3 chooses recycled plastic

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There is not only the electric propulsion in the concept of sustainability, for Audi. For the new A3 – the world premiere will take place at the Geneva Motor Show, from 5 to 15 March – the Ingoldstadt house has chosen to implement a new technique that allows the recycling of up to 45 1.5-liter plastic bottles to create the seats . only the initial step of a trend that in the future will bring all the textile upholstery of the Audi models – from A1 to A8 – to be created with recycled materials. Following the example of what happens in fashion, where jewelry, clothes or accessories (including designer labels) are increasingly made using recycled PET bottles. And also in the furnishings, there are numerous products that arise from residues of other processes such as shreds of paper, plastic bottles and wood shavings.

On the new A3, up to 89% of fabrics consist of thermoplastic resin bottles reused and transformed into yarn through a refined process. The result? Fabrics that from a visual and tactile point of view ensure the same quality standards as classic coverings. To the 45 bottles used for the seats, another 62 are added to the carpet. The sustainability of the passenger compartment further emphasized by other components produced by making use of residual materials: for example the soundproofing and vibration damping inserts, the mats and the side surfaces of the boot. Within the different set-up lines, the recycled fabric coverings form the basis of the offer and provide side panels in imitation leather.

We are at the beginning of a great challenge. In the case of seats, for example, the challenge represented by the lower fabric, which is currently tied to the upper material by means of an adhesive. We are working to replace the latter with a recyclable polyester solution – says Ute Grnheim, responsible for the development of textile materials at Audi AG -, the near horizon to produce coatings with pure recycled materials, destined for further re-use so as to give life to a virtuous circle. But we are not far from a formidable goal that we set ourselves a few years ago: the textile upholstery of all Audi ranges must be entirely made of recycled materials.

February 26, 2020 (change February 26, 2020 | 16:11)

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Amazon stops “lower priority” orders in France and Italy

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It is hygiene or basic products for the home that will take priority, as is already the case in the United States.

Amazon is reviewing its policy at this time of the new coronavirus pandemic. The American giant announced, Saturday, March 21, stop taking orders deemed “lower priority” on its French and Italian sites. Objective: focus on the most requested products. “We must focus the available capacity on the highest priority items and, as of today, temporarily stop taking orders on certain lower priority products on Amazon.fr and Amazon.it”, wrote the group in a statement.

>> Find in our live the latest information on the coronavirus epidemic

“Employees of our distribution centers will focus on receiving and shipping the products customers need most today”, continues the specialist in online sales. It is hygiene or basic products for the home that will take priority, as is already the case in the United States. This only applies to new orders: those that have already been placed will be honored.

This new policy applies to products ordered directly from Amazon or from third-party sellers who instruct Amazon to store and ship the goods. Other third-party sellers who do not go through Amazon logistics are not affected. The group stresses that “customers can continue to order many of these products from third-party sellers who can ship them directly”.

Amazon warehouse workers are mobilizing. They denounce insufficient security conditions. The world leader in online sales puts pressure on them “unacceptable”, according to the Minister of Economy by refusing to pay employees who wish to assert their right of withdrawal.

Friday, in Bouches-du-Rhône, employees, contractors of Amazon, blocked the entrance to a warehouse to request the closure. “There have been five cases of coronavirus reported in the depot. We did not have the necessary sanitary equipment. Despite the reported cases, we continue to work”, lamented an employee. According to management, there would be no case of Covid-19 on the site, but that is not enough to reassure the deliverers, who feel that they are not sufficiently protected.

Coronavirus: Germany less affected

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In Germany, “the number of cases continues to increase here quickly but the level of confinement is still a notch below France. There is not really any coercive measure yet” explains franceinfo special envoy Laurent Desbonnets. “But, there is a rather mysterious paradox here, Germany has more recorded cases of coronavirus than France but a number of deaths ten times lower”, added the journalist.

But, there may be an explanation for this, as Laurent Desbonnets specifies: “It’s true, Germany is better equipped with 25,000 beds in intensive care, that’s more than in France. There are no saturated hospitals but according to experts the decisive factor is the tests performed much more massively than in France. Seven times more, this makes it possible to detect cases very early and to limit certain complications “. He is pointing out that “According to experts, this would also give much more reliable figures. The hypothesis being that in France there would be an enormous number of cases that go undetected.”

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Electric and hybrid cars: the “easy” column for the garage arrives

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Without the electrified car (whether it is full-electric or plug-in hybrid) you need to give it the necessary energy. Or rather, it is necessary to make the installation of a wallbox as simple as possible in the place where 90% of the refills take place: the home garage. The solution comes from a four-year collaboration between Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and ENGIE Eps, it is called Easy Wallbox and an immediately functional plug-and-play device, practically an appliance that makes electrified mobility accessible to all thanks to low costs and ease of use, as the ENGIE Eps CEO Carlalberto Guglielminotti explains.

The launch of the new device it was to take place on the Piana di Vigezzo (in the valley of the same name in the upper Verbano Cusio Ossola) at almost 1,800 meters above sea level, the arrival point of the longest continuous cableway in Europe, which will soon be 100% illuminated with green electricity thanks to ENGIE Eps. l that FCA had brought (in electric mode) a Jeep Renegade 4xe (ie: the newborn rechargeable hybrid version of the SUV) and an Easy Wallbox to show journalists two things: the versatility of its SUV and the effectiveness of the Easy Wallbox technology , thanks to which it is possible to fill up with energy even at high altitude, in a mountain refuge and at sub-zero temperatures. Unfortunately, the coronavirus emergency forced the event to be canceled, but it did not prevent Guglielminotti and Roberto Di Stefano, head of e-Mobility in FCA, from telling the conference on the crucial aspects of a strategy that is not limited to electrification of vehicles, but aims to create an ecosystem of services and products with which to reinterpret the use of the car and mobility in general.

The new Jeep Renegade 4xe connected to the Easy Wallbox
The new Jeep Renegade 4xe connected to the Easy Wallbox

The Easy Wallbox is the result of the activities of the approximately 100 engineers and ENGIE Eps researchers who have been working for over 15 years, in synergy with the Polytechnics of Turin and Milan – clarifies the CEO of ENGIE Eps -, a technology that solves the problem of accessibility to recharging, which then the real obstacle to electrification . As Guglielminotti recalls, equipping your garage with a traditional Wallbox requires in fact still too complex steps that discourage the customer, especially if it is a condominium garage. For example, it is not always possible to pass the new cables needed to power 7.11 or even 22 kW sockets into the system, which ensure fast recharges but still involve high installation costs and compliance with strict safety standards. The advantage of Easy Wallbox that can work immediately, without any modification of the electrical system, with a simple schuko socket (up to 2.2 kW), guaranteeing up to 180 kilometers of autonomy with a night recharge (from 8 in the evening until at 7 in the morning).

The new Jeep Renegade 4xe, plug-in hybrid version of the SUV
The new Jeep Renegade 4xe, plug-in hybrid version of the SUV

The device, which attaches to the wall by means of two simple plugs, then manages energy consumption in an intelligent way, protecting the electrical system and avoiding the overload that triggers the safety switch. If you then decide to activate a dedicated power line, Easy Wallbox is already set up to charge the car faster with capacities up to 7.4 kW. Baster insert the socket.

FCA has numerous electric and hybrid models on the way – explains Roberto Di Stefano, e-Mobility manager -, from the Fiat Panda and 500 Hybrid already on sale to the rechargeable hybrid Jeep Renegade and Compass, which will be in the first half of the year, up to the new 500 and the Ducato fully electric that will come later. They are the first, fundamental part of a complete and articulated strategy, a new way of conceiving the mobility that focuses on the environment without losing sight of the needs of the customer.

Strategy that leads FCA not only to change its products, but also to launch two important initiatives at the Mirafiori plant in Turin in the sign of sustainability: the first is the largest experimental Vehicle to Grid (V2G) project in the world, which, when fully operational, will consist of 700 electric vehicles capable of producing 25 MW of energy and provide stabilization services to the electricity grid while vehicles are not used; the second then the Solar Power Production Unit created in collaboration also with ENGIE Italia: a system of photovoltaic panels installed on 120 thousand square meters of roofs and covering 1,750 car parks for 30 thousand square meters of surface, which will be able to produce 15 MW of power energy. Thanks to it, FCA will contribute to the reduction of emissions for over 5 thousand tons of CO2 per year, providing sustainable energy for the charge of the electrified models produced in Mirafiori.

February 26, 2020 (change February 28, 2020 | 4:43 pm)

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The 500 and the others, now the electrician also speaks Italian

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After years of prudent waiting and study, FCA sets off, thorn in hand. The electrification process of all the brands of the Italian-American group starts with a massive array of models. At the head, the iconic Fiat 500: the full-electric version, christened 500e, intended for the European market (a zero-emission twin has been circulating in the USA for years), will arrive after the summer, but will be launched in style – just for to understand how important it is – on July 4th, like all generations of the 500 that have followed one another over the years. The car should have stood out on the Fiat stand at the Geneva Motor Show, but the cancellation due to Coronavirus blew up the motor show effect. However, the expectation remains intact.

The electric revolution of FCA it has the outlines of a rapid escalation: in anticipation there is a range of 12 electric versions of new or existing models. The process also passes from the green update of the Melfi and Mirafiori plants, and from the creation of ad hoc services and devices for the electrified fleet.

The Geneva debut was skipped, the electric 500 will be revealed to the press tomorrow via the web. At the moment it is known that the car has a redesigned front with a new bonnet and new optical units, which has an autonomy of about 200 km, which will be produced in Mirafiori (where the assembly of the specimens is already underway series) and, finally, which will have a price of about 20 thousand euros. Meanwhile, the 500 and Panda Hybrid, both equipped with the new 3-cylinder engine of the Firefly family of 70 hp, which works in conjunction with the 3.6 kW BSG (Belt integrated Starter Generator) electric system are already available. Both are fundamental models in FCA’s e-Mobility strategy, because they are capable of reducing consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 30 percent, as well as guaranteeing all the tax and circulation benefits reserved for hybrid vehicles, while remaining accessible in price.

On another front sales champion, that of the Jeep brand, FCA recently presented the 4×4 SUVs Renegade and Compass in the 4xe version, the first specimens with Plug-in Hybrid technology (to which the Wrangler, presented at Ces at the beginning of the year). The two vehicles are currently available in the limited “First Edition”, available in the two Urban and Off-road configurations. The total power is 240 hp, generated by the 1.3 petrol turbo engine (on the front axle) and the electric unit (on the rear axle). The latter is powered by a rechargeable battery in motion or via an external socket, which guarantees 50 km of full-electric autonomy and CO2 emissions of less than 50 grams / km (Nedc2 values).

FCA’s approach it also provides for the development of solutions and services to facilitate those who buy electrified cars: this is the case of the Easy Wallbox, a plug-and-play recharging device developed with Engie Eps and which can work immediately, without changing the electrical system. Just fix it to the wall with two plugs and connect a schuko socket (up to 2.2 kW), to guarantee a Compass up to 180 km of autonomy with a night recharge (from 8 in the evening to 7 in the morning), protecting the power surge system. If you then want to load the car faster, the appliance is already set up to operate up to 7.4 kW.

March 2, 2020 (change March 2, 2020 | 11:27)

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delivery men protest against their working conditions

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Employees are worried. Friday, March 21, in Bouches-du-Rhône, employees, contractors of Amazon, blocked the entrance to the warehouse. The objective is to request closure. “There were five cases of coronavirus reported in the depot. We did not have the necessary sanitary equipment. Despite the reported cases, we continue to work “, laments an employee.

According to management, there would be no case of Covid-19 on the site, but that is not enough to reassure the deliverers who feel they are not protected enough. Amazon management responded with a statement. “The measures we have taken are strong and ensure the safety of our employees in strict compliance with the recommendations of the government and local health authorities”, assures the group. The company refused to close its site. In recent days, several Amazon sites have experienced gatherings of concerned delivery people.

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