IBM to start crunching connected car data for Peugeot

IBM is putting its data analytics to work on information collected from Peugeot’s in-car sensors, ostensibly combining it with data from traffic infrastructure and smartphones to create better car apps and more network-aware vehicles.

Research: Using smartphones for frugal driving

Smartphones are increasingly becoming the remote controls of our lives. Car owners can use theirs to check on the battery level and driving range and adjust the climate control system. An MIT project explores new ways to use smartphones to help drivers cut fuel costs.

Southwest Glides Down Path To Fuel Savings

Southwest Airlines is rolling out new fuel-efficient flight-path technology that could save the company up to $60 million a year — and help the global airline industry shave its carbon footprint as well.

Miranda IM 0.9 Released With Improved Unicode Support

I’m now primarily a Mac user, but back when I was on Windows, my multi-protocol IM client of choice was Miranda IM. It’s a lightweight, highly extensible and unobtrusive open-source tool. The Miranda IM team this week released version 0.9, which contains some useful new features:

Ford, Nissan to Invest $3B in UK Green Car Projects

A heaping pile of pounds will be injected into Britain’s green car industry over the coming years, with automakers and the government both throwing cash into a major buildout of manufacturing capacity for lithium-ion batteries, fuel-efficient engines and other parts for lower-emission vehicles. Japanese automaker Nissan (s NSANY) announced today that it plans to invest 420 million pounds (about $642 million) into expanding its plant in Sunderland, UK, to produce the upcoming LEAF electric sedan as well as lithium-ion batteries for vehicles from both it and alliance partner Renault.
Also today, Ford Motor (s F) said its European division will pour 1.5 billion pounds into lower-emission vehicle technologies at its four UK facilities over the next five years. The Detroit automaker will also receive a 360 million-pound loan guarantee from the UK government.
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What Can Software Do for Hybrid MPGs? Ford Aims to Find Out

What can software do for hybrid fuel economy? Ford Motor (s f) and researchers at the University of Michigan plan to find out in a new project meant to speed development of more fuel-efficient hybrid systems. According to an announcement from Ford yesterday, the pair will run up to 175,000 computer design simulations of hybrid control systems, with the goal of eventually developing a software system that would allow drivers to select from several performance settings based on fuel efficiency and other driving preferences.

The scheme represents a new, green take on an old option for performance vehicles — as Motor Trend points out, “customizable dynamic settings are nothing new” for 4-wheel-drive SUVs and luxury sports cars. It’s also a step toward automation from the efficiency gauges in cars like the Toyota Prius that give drivers information about how their driving behavior affects their MPGs in real time.
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FAQ: How to Cash in on Cash for Clunkers

cash-for-clunkers-cars-logoThe “cash for clunkers” program created as part of a military spending bill last month has been hanging in limbo for the last few weeks. The program, which effectively knocks up to $4,500 off the price of new fuel efficient vehicles if you trade in an old gas guzzler at a participating dealer, was supposed to kick off on July 1 — but the U.S. Department of Transportation had until today to finalize rules for things like what dealers should do with traded-in clunkers. Facing such a vague framework, relatively few dealers registered to participate this month.

But as the Los Angeles Times’ Up to Speed blog put it, “Clunkermania officially begins today,” since the feds have released the final rules — 136 pages of them. So many dealers rushed to register after the document went up on this morning that it crashed government computers. Here’s everything you need to know about how to cash in on the program, starting on July 27. Read More about FAQ: How to Cash in on Cash for Clunkers