Concept of the Day: Peugeot Exalt

September 5, 2014 § Leave a comment

peugeot exalt_parisThe latest iteration of Peugeot’s Exalt concept (last seen in Beijing in April) is going to the Paris Auto Salon next month. This big five-door saloon weighs just 1700kg and features a plug-in hybrid drivetrain delivering a total 340bhp from its 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine and 50kW electric motor, via a six-speed automatic gearbox and four-wheel-drive with regenerative brake energy recovery. Changes from the Beijing show car include a different ‘shark skin’ aerodynamic finish to the rear paintwork, and an interior trim made from recycled newspapers (in place of the earlier car’s ebony) – its pinkish tinge comes from certain business publications, apparently. In place of carbonfibre, there’s basalt fibre. And the finishing touch? A foldaway electric scooter (‘HYbrid-kick’) stowed under the boot floor as a last-mile solution.

  • A blog from the New Cities Foundation explaining California’s PATH (Partners for Advanced Transportation Technology) research at UC Berkeley, and the ‘Connected Corridors’ programme: developing a framework to integrate traffic and incident management with personalized route guidance, in partnership with Caltrans and using V2V and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I, or V2X) communications. They argue that “transportation assets have been managed in silos” and that a holistic approach needs to be taken involving all transportation modes; while the focus is on reducing congestion and improving safety, while moving people – an goods – in as efficient a way as possible, reducing vehicle emissions is also a consideration.
  • The most important transportation innovation of this decade is the smartphone“, argues Eric Goldwyn (Columbia University) at Citylab – also making the case for public authorities to take control of app provision and multimodal integration, rather than leaving it to start-ups and to independent corporations such as the Googles of this world. Goldwyn looks at regulation and public policy, with reference to the ongoing Uber controversy, and cites Prof Elliot Sclar (Columbia) in calling this a missed opportunity for cities, which should be taking leadership, especially as more and more privately-operated transport options come into the frame.
  • On a different (though not entirely unrelated) note, a big report from UCL on transport and poverty: the authors discuss spatial mismatch (the dynamics between housing, jobs and transport networks, i.e. more affordable housing being in areas with poor or expensive transport connections), transport-related social exclusion and social justice, to examine issues such as the dynamics between poverty, transport behaviour and mobility, car-dependency (with particular focus on low-income groups in rural areas), risks of death on the roads and exposure to air pollution, and the impact of schemes to improve access to transport and mobility for key services, education, finding work and soforth.  Lots of useful references and data.
  • So transportation design students at Art Center College of Design, Pasadena (training ground for many of the world’s best-known car designers) are being asked to take a different approach, reports The Guardian: rather than drawing stand-alone cars-as-products, they’re being told to look into the whole automobility system (as students have long been doing at the RCA in London), and address issues such as parking and the idea that vehicles spend 90% of their time idle, the land use that this entails, and the inherent all-round inefficiency of the private car. (This is in California, note).

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