La Poste courier to test hydrogen fuel cell trucks

Sustainability in transportation has been one of the critical concerns among environmental advocates. They are continuously looking for ways to get from one point to another while minimising impacts on the environment. La Poste is no different. The French postal service has been experimenting on new ways to improve the delivery of their services while making sure that they are engaged in environmentally-sustainable practices as well. One of their most recent undertakings was the testing of hydrogen fuel cell trucks.

Partnership with Renault

In order to be recognised as a cheap international courier providing environmentally-friendly service, La Poste has teamed up with Renault. They are using a 4.5-tonne Maxity Electric truck, which can run up to 200 kilometres while being powered by a Symbio FCELL battery. The latter is hydrogen-powered fuel cell battery. The experiment is going to last for a year and will provide Renault with insights on how to utilise hydrogen fuel cell.

On the part of La Poste, on the other hand, they have been recognised as the organisation with the largest collection of electric vehicles. This already speaks of how committed they are in their pursuit of sustainability. They have already been using electric cars for parcel delivery to France but such is limited to short-range deliveries, basically because of the limitations in the distance that can be covered by these vehicles. This partnership with Renault is expected to change such, and it will allow them to be an eco-friendly and cheap international courier.

Beneficial in More Ways than One

When the test succeeds and when hydrogen fuel cells are finally integrated in cars used for parcel delivery to France a wide array of benefits can be enjoyed. The most obvious would be its benefits on the environment. It releases only water vapour, and hence, it will not lead into air pollution. It is also going to be effective in terms of lessening noise pollution. It is a vital step in energy transition and in utilising alternative energy sources for the benefit of the environment. There are also significant cost implications in the long-run. It can lead into cheap international courier services because of the lesser costs involved compared to trucks running in conventional energy sources.

At the end of the test, it is not only La Poste that will benefit. Other organisations and potential users of hydrogen fuel cell batteries will also enjoy a cleaner source of energy, which can also be cheaper. It is good for the pocket and for the environment. Its applications will not be limited to corporate users, but even for individual consumers.

Can Car Thieves Hack Keyless Entry

Keyless EntryActive keyless entry, where a button has to be pushed, has been around for decades. Passive keyless entry, where you don’t have to push a button to unlock the car, is becoming standard on many higher model cars. Both keyless entry methods are much more convenient for drivers. With embedded chips, they also offer more security than traditional keys, since the chip signature has to be present to start the car.

But that doesn’t mean that they’re entirely secure. There have been many publicized break-ins that seem like they’re being done using keyless entry systems. Here are a few of the possible methods that are being suggested.

Passive Signal Amplification

With passive keyless entry, the car emits a low frequency signal that extends a very short distance from the car. When the key comes in range the signal is detected, and the key sends the authorization code to allow the doors to be unlocked.

Security specialists say that thieves may use a device that amplifies that low frequency signal, allowing the car and the key to connect from much farther away. For example, the key could be inside the house while the car is on the street and thieves could amplify its signal to unlock the car door. Analysts say this method could be prevented by installing a proximity chip in the key.

Brute Force Hacks

There are trillions of combinations for the codes between the car and the key, and only a few are valid at any given time. That being said, there are hundreds of codes being transmitted through the air from other keyless entry devices. Computer networks might lock out the account after a few tries, but cars have to ignore these wrong codes, otherwise they’d be locked out all the time.

That lack of functionality is what brute force hacks utilize. They’ll send out transmissions with millions of different code combinations in a matter of minutes. If the right one hits the car, then the doors will unlock. This method is largely combated by increasing the encryption level. Many cars use 56-bit encryption, but upgrading to 128-bit encryption would require so many combinations that brute force would take too long.

Non-Hack Workarounds

There are a few methods that aren’t hacks, just clever tricks. One of these is to use a frequency jammer. These illegal devices can block any transmission within a certain frequency range. Fire one up near a car, and it can stop the signal getting through. The driver will think they locked the car, but it didn’t go through and the car stays unlocked, just waiting for the thief to open the door.

Another method is good old fashioned organized crime: the thieves simply clone the keys and their security programming when the car goes in for repair. You can avoid this by making sure you go to reputable and trustworthy auto repair shops.

So Is Hacking Possible?

The definitive answer from the experts? Yes, it is possible. That being said, it’s not very likely. The cases that have been highlighted by the media are rare, and the methods require a combination of specialized equipment and knowledge. And most importantly, whenever a new weak point is discovered, automakers work quickly to repair it. So make sure that you keep on top of any recalls for your vehicle, since some of them may cover your keyless entry software.

And the absolute best thing you can do to keep your car secure? Most of these robberies happen at night, so make sure that your car is physically removed from harm in a garage or other secure area.

Increase a Car Engine’s Tips

Increase a Car Engine'sWe are all familiar with the term “engine”, and for most of us, it is a complex design of metal and wires engineered to run our car. A good engine is essential for the smooth functioning of a car. An engine converts the gasoline into motion and speed, which a car moves with. An engine’s horsepower (Hp), is the measurement of several non-SI (International System of Units) units of power. In the most basic term, it just means the rate of power, at which work done.

Increasing a Car Engine’s Horsepower

Most cars come with engine horsepower specifications, but one can increase it to suit personal requirements using a few tips given below:

-Change in the Computer Chip:
One can change the ROM chip in the engine control unit (ECU) to increase its horsepower. But in most cases, this will only work along with other modifications in air intake, header, and exhaust systems.

-Free Flow Exhaust:
Installing high-performance exhaust systems will help increase the engine’s horsepower. The advanced exhaust systems use big tail pipes, headers, and free flow mufflers to decrease the air resistance (back-pressure) and enable the exhaust to escape faster.

-Install Turbocharger:
While adding a turbo or supercharger in your car, keep in mind to add a bigger sized cylinder to increase its displacement. Turbo chargers compress the incoming air to effectively increase the amount of air in the cylinder, which adds more oxygen to the combustion process. More oxygen means more power to your engine’s horsepower.

-Cool the Incoming Air:
Compressing air raises its temperature expanding it, whereas cooling will contract it. One can add more cooled air in the cylinder than hot air. Installing an intercooler, which is a type of radiator, with turbocharger will add more horsepower to the car. The air compressed by the turbocharger passes through the intercooler, cooling it before entering the cylinder.

-Reduce Car Weight:
Load beyond a vehicle’s capacity will slow it down. So, lighter the vehicle, more the horsepower of its engine. The weight of the car affects the piston’s function. Each time a piston changes direction, it uses the transfer force from expanding gas in the cylinder to the crankshaft. So, lighter the car, lesser the time and transfer force be taken by the piston to change direction. However, decreasing the car’s weight doesn’t mean removing its parts, just replacing some components with lighter materials. Also, clearing your back seat or trunk would definitely work.

-Air Filter:
An air filter helps to remove solid particles, like as dust, pollen, etc., from air before it enters the cylinder. An increase in the size of the air filter allows more air to enter the engine. More air enables the piston to function efficiently and increases the engine’s horsepower.

Best Batteries :
Try to find out the expected battery life of the product before making the installation. You cannot even think of running your vehicle without a battery, so you must choose precisely. Be conscious of your consumption and use energy wisely, you can find it with leading suppliers of high quality Car Batteries in the UK . Don’t be too stingy, because the electrolytes inside the battery will drain away over time even when it is idle.

-Spark Plugs and Power Fuel:
High performance Iridium spark plugs will make the car run faster by efficiently burning the fuel injected into the engine. Regular cleaning will also increase its productivity. Unleaded fuel causes more harm to the various components of the engine. To enhance its functionality and horsepower, high octane gasoline should be used.

There is no substitute for regular maintenance. Done on time and by a qualified mechanic, maintenance will add more life to the car’s engine. It is important to bear in mind that better horsepower relates to more speed, which needs good brakes. While adding modifications to the car’s engine and other parts, one must also increase the wheel dimensions to add larger brake disc.

A Basic Guide to the Computer in Your Car

Computer in Your CarDid you know that modern cars can have over 80 different computers scattered around the car? These control everything from your automatic windows to your stereo to the brake system to your engine. The computers are all hidden behind body panels, in the engine compartment, and dozens of other places. In fact, the only sign of computers most drivers will ever see is the console interface.

Emissions Standards:  The Birth of Car Microprocessors

Car computers really got their start with the introduction of the catalytic convertor and electronic fuel injector. Before these systems, the fuel/air ratio was controlled by the carburetor, which could be more than a little imprecise. A catalytic convertor requires a precise fuel/air ratio (1:14.7) in order to be effective in eliminating emissions. As emission standards got more and more strict, more control was needed.

Enter the first car microprocessors. The chips were nowhere near as powerful as the ones in personal computer, but they didn’t have to be. After all, they have to process a lot less data and programs. These chips made it possible for the fuel/air mixture to be constantly monitored and adjusted to make sure it had the right ratio. As technology got more advanced, the uses for auto computers multiplied.

The CAN

As more and more computers were added to cars, something had to be added to tie them all together. This is where the Controller Area Network, or CAN, comes in. The CAN creates a complex network that connects all of the computers throughout the car. The modern CAN design doesn’t even have a central hub or router. All of the individual Electronic Control Units (ECUs) are linked to the network, allowing them to interact seamlessly.

Parts of an ECU

That network would be nothing without the ECUs. These are the actual workhorses of your car’s computer system. On the outside they tend to look like boxes, but inside the housing is a circuitboard with several different components, including:

Analog-Digital Converters:

Many of the sensors throughout the car are analog, but the chip can only deal with digital data. The converters turn those analog signals into 1’s and 0’s so the chip can use them.

High-Level Digital Outputs:

That digital signal hits the processor, which runs it through programming. Depending on how the programming reacts, the chip will send signals through the outputs to operate things like fuel injector, spark plugs, and more.

Digital to Analog Converters:

Like the sensors, most of the parts in a car are mechanical, meaning they need analog signals to run. The convertors take the digital signal and make it into the voltage that’s needed to power the mechanical parts.

Signal Conditioners:

Sometimes that voltage needs to be adjusted to work with certain parts. These conditioners are circuits that make any necessary voltage changes, and are the last link in the ECU chain.

Diagnostic Ports

There are various ports built into the ECUs and the CAN that allow access to the system. Mechanics will use these to connect diagnostic computers to aid them in finding problems with the engine. They also make it easy to switch out faulty ECUs or parts of the CAN without a lot of network splicing.

But they have another common use. Mechanics and car owners can use these diagnostic ports to connect to the engine control module. That connection can then be used to remap the computer, add performance chips, or tune the software.

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