This Canadian province bans all cars equipped with Level 3 ADAS. Here’s why

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  • British Columbia has banned all cars with Level 3 ADAS in the province, directly impacting the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Mercedes-Benz EQS.
Mercedes EQS 8
British Columbia has banned all cars with Level 3 ADAS in the province, directly impacting the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Mercedes-Benz EQS.

At a time when the global automobile industry is thriving towards adopting ADAS in an increasingly wide range of cars, the Canadian province of British Columbia has banned all cars with Level 3 ADAS. The province has recently updated its Motor Vehicle Act, prohibiting the use of vehicles with the Level 3 systems, which comes as a major clampdown on using such systems. The updated law makes it illegal to merely drive any Level 3 driving assist-equipped vehicle, even if the technology is not used.

The British Columbia government introduced the new rule on 18th March and enforced it into effect on 15th April. With this rule, driving a car in the province that comes equipped with Level 3 or above becomes illegal. However, currently, there are only two cars that come with Level 3 ADAS, which include the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Mercedes-BVenz EQS. This technology allows the drivers to go hands-off and eyes-off at a speed of less than 64 kmph.

This means if a person owns the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class or the Mercedes-Benz EQS, he or she will have to think twice before visiting the province. If caught, the person will be fined with a hefty amount ranging between CAD 368 and CAD 2,000 or even six months in jail as well.

Interestingly, while the British Columbia government has banned the cars equipped with Level 3 ADAS, future use of the technology is not ruled out. In a statement, the government has stated that new and emerging transportation technology needs further testing and policy adjustments before widespread use. The government also said that these new regulations will keep people safer on the roads and encourage even more use of active transportation, which is another step in modernizing the rules to keep up with new technologies that are changing how people are getting around.

First Published Date: 16 Apr 2024, 07:14 AM IST

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Next-gen Maruti Suzuki Swift India launch next month, to get new Z-Series engine

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The fourth-generation Maruti Suzuki Swift is ready to hit the Indian market in May 2024 with a revamped design, new features and a new 1.2-litre Z-Ser

2024 Suzuki Swift
The fourth-generation Maruti Suzuki Swift is ready to hit the Indian market in May 2024 with a revamped design, new features and a new 1.2-litre Z-Series three-cylinder petrol engine with mild-hybrid technology.

Maruti Suzuki Swift has been making headlines over the last few months. The popular hatchback is all set to receive a completely new generation avatar in May this year, which will come with a revamped design, new features and a new 1.2-litre Z-Series three-cylinder petrol engine with mild-hybrid technology. This is going to be a major update for the Swift after a long time and is expected to boost the appeal of the hatchback further.

The new generation Maruti Suzuki Swift made its global debut at the 2023 Japan Mobility Show. Since then, the hatchback has gone on sale in global markets like Europe and Japan. Now, India is going to be added to that list. The India-spec next-generation Swift would be similar to the global model. However, the new generation Swift sits on the same platform as the current model.

2024 Maruti Suzuki Swift: Exterior

The new Maruti Suzuki Swift, also codenamed YED, comes with a significantly distinctive visual appearance compared to the outgoing model. It gets a new front profile featuring an updated radiator grille flanked by sharper and redesigned LED projector headlamps with integrated LED daytime running lights. The top variant would get LED fog lamps. The bumper too looks different. Moving to the side profile, the hatchback gets new design alloy wheels, and relocated rear passenger door handles. At the back, the new Swift sports redesigned LED taillights and a revamped bumper. The new Swift is expected to come available in new colour options.

2024 Maruti Suzuki Swift: Interior

Moving inside the cabin, the Swift gets a significantly updated dashboard layout sporting a free-standing touchscreen infotainment system and a fully digital instrument cluster. Seat and upholstery materials too come refreshed.

2024 Maruti Suzuki Swift: Safety

On the safety front, the new Swift would come with six airbags, ABS with EBD and ESP as standard, a three-point seatbelt for the second-row centre passenger, reverse parking camera. The India-spec Swift may miss out on the 360-degree camera and ADAS that are available in the global model.

2024 Maruti Suzuki Swift: Powertrain

The new generation Maruti Suzuki Swift gets a new Z-Series 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, which replaces the current model’s K12 four-cylinder petrol unit. Expect the power and torque output of the new engine to be similar to what the K12 unit generates. The current engine churns out 89 bhp peak power and 113 Nm maximum torque. Expect a five-speed manual unit and AMT option to be available for the new Swift. The biggest highlight would be the mild-hybrid technology that would be available across all the variants.

First Published Date: 15 Apr 2024, 07:54 AM IST

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Ducati DesertX Rally bookings open, is more hardcore version of ADV

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  • Ducati DesertX Rally uses a 937 cc Testastretta engine. It puts out 108 bhp and 92 Nm.
Ducati DesertX Rally
Ducati DesertX Rally comes with more suspension travel than the standard model

Last year, Ducati revealed the DesertX Rally in the global market. It is basically a more hardcore version of the DesertX adventure tourer which is already on sale in the Indian market at a price of 18.33 lakh ex-showroom. Now, the Italian two-wheeler manufacturer has announced that they have started accepting bookings for the DesertX Rally in India. So, the launch of the new motorcycle is expected to happen soon in the Indian market and it will be more expensive than the standard version.

The DesertX Rally is the first motorcycle from the brand to get a 21-inch front rim and 18-inch rear. This motorcycle has been put through its paces on racetracks and even took on the Erzberg Rodeo 2023. Not to mention, the DesertX Rally is sporting a fresh new livery.

With a beak-like design on the front mudguard and Kayaba suspension providing more travel, this bike is ready for any terrain. The rear wheel travel has been increased by 20 mm, while the front sees a 20 mm bump as well. Plus, the new central-spoked wheels offer better impact absorption than standard alloy wheels.

There is a forged carbon sump guard, machined gear pedals, and rear brake lever, the Rally version only weighs 1 kg more than the standard DesertX. Powering the DesertX Rally is a 937 cc Ducati Testastretta 11° twin-cylinder engine delivering 108 bhp at 9,250 rpm and 92 Nm of torque at 6,500 rpm.

Also Read : Ducati Streetfighter V4 and V4 S launched in India

Equipped with six riding modes including Sport, Touring, Urban, Wet, Enduro, and Rally, the DesertX Rally also features Cornering ABS, Ducati Traction Control (DTC), and Ducati Wheelie Control (DWC). The 5-inch colour TFT screen with Ducati Multimedia System allows for seamless smartphone connectivity, offering music control, call management, and optional Turn by Turn navigation.

First Published Date: 13 Apr 2024, 18:30 PM IST

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24-race Formula 1 calendar announced for 2025; to kick off with Australian GP

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The 2025 F1 season will see the Australia Grand Prix as the season opener instead of Saudi Arabia, which has been the case in recent years since the d

F1
The 2025 Formula 1 season opener will be held at Melbourne’s Albert Park between March 14-16

The FIA and Formula 1 have announced the calendar for the 2025 season, which will see the championship kick off in March next year. The 2025 F1 season will see the Australia Grand Prix as the season opener instead of Saudi Arabia, which has been the championship opener in recent years. The switch has been made owing to the holy month of Ramadan which will take place between March 1-30 next year.

This puts the Middle East venues including Saudi Arabia and Bahrain out of contention to host the early rounds. This takes F1 to the land down under the 2025 campaign set to kick off at Melbourne’s Albert Park between March 14 and 16.

Also Read : US-based Liberty Media announces MotoGP takeover for 4.2 billion Euros

F1 2025 Calendar
The 24-race calendar for 2025 will conclude in Abu Dhabi at the Yas Marina circuit on December 7 (F1)

Speaking about the calendar announcement, Formula 1 CEO and President Stefano Domenicali said, “2025 will be a special year as we celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the FIA Formula One World Championship, and it’s that legacy and experience that allows us to deliver such a strong calendar. Once again, we’ll visit 24 incredible venues around the world, delivering top-class racing, hospitality, and entertainment, which will be enjoyed by millions of fans worldwide. We’re grateful to the FIA, our promoters, host city partners, and all the related ASNs for their commitment and support in delivering this schedule and securing what promises to be another fantastic year for Formula 1.”

Following the Australian GP, the Shanghai GP is scheduled next between March 21 and 23. This will be followed by a two-week gap after which F1 will head to Suzuka for the Japanese GP on April 6. The F1 circus will then head to the Middle East for Bahrain on April 13 and Saudi Arabia on April 20 in back-to-back races. The action will then move to the US with the Miami GP scheduled on May 4.

Formula 1 will then move to Europe for a triple header starting with Italy (May 18), Monaco (May 25), and Spain (June 1). The Canadian GP will be held next on June 15, followed by the Austrian GP on June 29 and British GP on July 6. A doubleheader would next in Belgium (July 27) and Hungary (August 3) before the scheduled summer break.

F1 will return to the track with the Dutch GP on August 31, followed by Monza GP (September 7), Baku GP (September 21), Singapore GP (October 5), Austin GP (October 19) and Mexico GP (October 26).

The last set of races starts with Sao Paulo (November 9), Las Vegas (November 22), and Qatar (November 30), with the finale at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi on December 7, 2025.

First Published Date: 12 Apr 2024, 20:06 PM IST

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Will a Tesla owner buy a Tesla again? Here’s what survey finds

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  • Tesla enjoys a massive following the world over and many of its offerings find a place in the list of top most-selling EVs in the world.
Tesla
File photo of Tesla Model S electric vehicles. (REUTERS)

Even though the growth in sales of electric vehicles (EVs) is slowing down the world over, Tesla can perhaps rely on a majority of its existing buyers to once again buy a car from the brand. At least this is what 87 per cent of current Tesla owners in the US said in a survey conducted by Bloomberg Intelligence.

Tesla enjoys a massive cult following in markets where it has a presence. And while early adopters and affluent buyers are now making way for more gradual – and cautious – EV buyers, many of those who drive a Tesla appear happy with their ride. A brand loyalty of 87 per cent is impressive considering that Lexus finds itself second in the survey results with 68 per cent existing owners saying they would return to the Japanese brand. Toyota is third at 54 per cent.

The survey also found that 81 per cent of potential Tesla owners are those making their way in from a rival EV brand. The survey had 1,000 adult respondents who confirmed they had plans of either buying or leasing a new car within a year. The report observed that 42 per cent of those surveyed were willing to buy a fully-electric vehicle while 23 per cent were willing to purchase a hybrid. “Tesla, GM, and Stellantis’ slew of affordable EV models, set for debut by 2026, may tap more mass-market buyers,” said Steve Man, global lead director for auto & industrial market research at Bloomberg Intelligence and the lead author of the report. “Despite this, the market still has a long way to go to mature, with charging network inadequacy, range anxiety, and extended charging wait times topping the list of concerns for all car buyers.”

Tesla EVs like Model 3 and Model S are extremely popular in markets such as the US and China, and repeatedly find a place in the list of most-sold EVs in the world, as well as most-sold vehicles overall.

First Published Date: 12 Apr 2024, 07:00 AM IST

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Yamaha shifts greener motorcycle strategy in favour of ethanol, not EVs

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  • Yamaha India is aiming to focus on flex-fuel engine technology while the Indian two-wheeler industry is increasingly emphasising on electric mobility.
Yamaha Blue Square Showroom
Yamaha India is aiming to focus on flex-fuel engine technology while the Indian two-wheeler industry is increasingly emphasising on electric mobility.

While the two-wheeler manufacturers in India are thriving for electric mobility, Yamaha India is aiming big with ethanol-based flex fuels, reported Mint. This comes as a more conservative approach towards greener mobility, considering the peers are focusing on pure electric two-wheelers. The report has quoted Eishin Chihana, Chairman of Yamaha Motor India, saying that anticipating a 0 per cent adoption rate for electric scooters by the end of this decade, the company is betting on a holistic approach to cleaner emission technologies and this strategy will be led by ethanol-based flex fuels.

Chihana stated that the OEM’s primary strategy to meet its emissions targets revolves around flex-fuel (E85) options for motorcycles, acknowledging the global shift towards sustainable fuels. He also stated that this strategy will help the OEM avoid the infrastructural and technological challenges of full electrification. This shift of strategy comes in line with the government’s focus on cleaner mobility solutions, which also include flex-fuel engines propelled by ethanol-blended petrol.

Interestingly, Yamaha India’s Chairman’s comment comes immediately after the former Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant called for full electrification of the two-wheeler and three-wheeler segment by 2030. Instead of focusing on pure electric propulsion tch, Chihana advocated for technologies like ethanol-blended fuels to achieve the country’s emission targets.

Considering the current market share of electric scooters at five to six per cent Yamaha India expects EVs to grow to 20 per cent of the scooter market in India by 2030, he said. “While 20 per cent of the market will become EV, 70-80 per cent will remain internal combustion engine. So, our Target 2030 is while we prepare for EVs, we will certainly increase our step-up models with ICE engines. We are preparing, but we are not in a hurry. Our focus remains on developing our premium motorcycle dealership network and targeting the younger generation with our urban, sporty motorcycles. Our first priority is to establish premium motorcycle dealerships across India,” he further added.

Speaking further, the Yamaha official said that despite the high petrol prices driving faster adoption of electric scooters, consumer behaviour remains largely unaffected due to usage patterns and infrastructure challenges. Interestingly, despite emphasising its intention to focus on flex-fuel engines, Yamaha plans to introduce two electric scooters by 2030. Besides that, the OEM intends to enhance its premium motorcycle strategy and distribution network as well over the next six years, Chihana said.

First Published Date: 11 Apr 2024, 07:18 AM IST

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Porsche working on second geneation Taycan EV, promises to offer more range

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  • Second generation iteration of Porsche Taycan EV would receive a major upgrade on range and performance front.
Porsche Taycan Turbo GT
Second generation iteration of Porsche Taycan EV would receive a major upgrade on range and performance front.

Porsche updated the Taycan with a facelift just a couple of months back and the German luxury performance car manufacturer has already started working on the next-generation version of the electric sportscar. Australian automotive publication CarSales has reported that the second-generation Taycan EV will come with significant upgrades. Interestingly, despite giving the current electric sportscar substantial tweaks for its mid-life update, the automaker is planning more upgrades for the next-generation Taycan EV.

The report has quoted Taycan Manager of Charging and Energy Systems, Sarah Razavi saying that the new Taycan EV is already being developed. She reportedly admitted that the J1 platform underpinning the Audi E-Tron GT has been pushed to the maximum and hence, Porsche will not use this architecture for the new Taycan. The report stated that the new Taycan would use the already announced SSP Sport platform that will also serve as the underpinning for a large three-row electric SUV.

Also Read : Porsche unwraps Taycan Turbo GT, its quickest and most powerful car ever

Speaking on the project, she said that once the OEM launches one model, it starts working on the next one. “I think we did a great job to really push and squeeze every bit out of the current platform. We’re probably going to see an evolution of the platform,” she further added. Razavi also admitted that the J1 architecture definitely has some limitations and that the goal for a follow-up to today’s Taycan EV will be to achieve greater range.

The facelifted Taycan EV introduced in February 2024 promises up to 677 km range on a single charge, which is a major leap of 175 km or 35 per cent surge in range. However, the automaker is not planning to add a solid-state battery pack to the next-gen Taycan EV, as the technology may not be ready in time. “We’ve been working on it, of course, but giving a timeframe when it’s ready? It’s way too early, too early to confirm. It’s not ready in one or two years. It’s coming but it will take time,” she added.

First Published Date: 10 Apr 2024, 07:48 AM IST

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Tesla electric cars coming to India. Elon Musk spills the beans on timeline

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  • Tesla is scouting locations for setting up its manufacturing plant in India.
Tesla
Tesla is scouting locations for setting up its manufacturing plant in India. (AFP)

The biggest news in the Indian automotive space in the last few days was that Tesla is scouting locations for its India manufacturing facility. Three states of the country, namely Maharashtra, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu are reportedly on the radar of the electric car giant. Telangana government is also said to be in talks with Tesla for the plant. We have also reported earlier that, Tesla has already started production of cars in a limited number for the Indian market at its Gigafactory in Berlin. Also, previously Tesla India Motor and Energy Pvt Ltd leased office space in Pune, marking its first official presence in India.

HT has reported that Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk said that it is going to be a natural progression for his company to provide electric vehicles in India. However, he didn’t reveal which models would be the first to reach Indian shores officially. We can expect the Model 3 and Model Y, two of the automaker’s most popular EV offerings to be introduced to the country initially, while the other models too would be launched here gradually.

Meanwhile, the auto company has pulled the plug on plans for its most affordable car project, which could have been a perfect model for the Indian market. Instead, Tesla now plans to focus and invest in robotaxis. This comes after it was reported that Tesla was searching for a location to set up its factory in the country.

Tesla setting up its manufacturing facility in India could mean the electric car manufacturer will invest somewhere between $2 billion to $3 billion in the country. The Indian manufacturing facility of the OEM will not only cater for the Indian market but the overseas demand as well. What’s more important is that this would be a major leap for the Indian electric vehicle industry as well as the local manufacturing sector.

First Published Date: 09 Apr 2024, 07:10 AM IST

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Lamborghini Temerario name trademarked in Europe. Is this the Huracan successor?

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Lamborghini has trademarked the Temerario name in Europe, hinting that the new name will be used for the Huracan replacement set to arrive later this

Lamborghini Temerario Name Trademark
The Lamborghini Temerario could be the name of Huracan replacement set to arrive later this year with a hybrid powertrain (YouTube/NCars)

Lamborghini is all set to drop the curtains on the Huracan at the end of this year but we already know that a replacement is on the way, which will make its debut later this year. While Lamborghini has not revealed much about the Huracan successor, it seems the upcoming supercar’s name has been leaked online. The upcoming Huracan replacement could be called the ‘Temerario’ upon launch, joining the Revuelto in the brand’s new era.

Lamborghini recently submitted the ‘Temerario’ name for a trademark filing with the European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). The letters ‘T’ and ‘O’ get bull horns, while the font style feels identical to that of other Lambo models.

Also Read : Lamborghini Urus PHEV & Huracan replacement launch timeline confirmed

The word Temerario loosely translates to fearless or daredevil in English, which would be apt for the supercar. It’s unclear if the name has any connection to Spanish fighting bulls, which is where Lamborghini traditionally derives the names of its cars. For instance, the Revuelto was the name of a fighting bull in the 1800s.

The Lamborghini Temerario will mark a transition for the brand as the second supercar to get an electrified powertrain. Much like the Revuelto, the Huracan replacement will get an ICE engine with electric support. The supercar will get the newly-developed twin-turbo V8, in place of the 5.2-litre naturally aspired V10. While the V8 will be smaller, it is expected to produce more power with the help of axial-flux electric motors like the Revuelto. Power will go to all four wheels via an automatic transmission.

Also Watch: Lamborghini Revuelto V12 Hybrid launched in India at 8.89 crore

More details on the Lamborghini Temerario should be revealed in the coming months and we can expect the model to arrive in India sometime next year. The new car will also sport the recently revealed updated Lamborghini logo. Meanwhile, the final units of the Huracan have already been spoken for, ensuring the order books are full for the supercar, the last of the naturally aspirated era.

First Published Date: 08 Apr 2024, 06:13 AM IST

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Think AWD and 4WD are the same? They are not. Here’s how they are different

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Despite having the same working principle, AWD and 4WD are fundamentally different technologies meant for providing additional traction and channellin

Toyota Land Cruiser
Despite having the same working principle, AWD and 4WD are fundamentally different technologies meant for providing additional traction and channelling power to multiple axles or wheels.

The automotive industry is full of complex and interesting jargon. AWD and 4WD are two of them. AWD means All-Wheel Drive, while the 4WD means 4 Wheel Drive. Interestingly, a large number of car buyers and car owners think both the AWD and 4WD are the same. However, this is a misconception. While the underlying principles of both these two technologies are driving all the wheels of a car, AWD and 4WD are not the same.

Also Read : Driving in hills can be a lifetime experience but requires sharp attention to detail. Key tips here

Here is a comprehensive explainer to help you understand the differences between AWD and 4WD.

All-Wheel-Drive (AWD)

The All-Wheel-Drive (AWD) system powers all the four wheels of your car. There are two types of AWD systems, either the full-time AWD or part-time AWD. In full-time AWD, the system powers both the front and rear wheels all the time. On the other hand, the part-time AWD powers either the front or the rear wheels all the time. In both these two different types of AWD systems, the driver has no control over the power output a wheel or the set of wheels receive.

Based on the data received from a range of sensors, an onboard computer decides the amount of power, gauging the traction status of each wheel’s tyres. If the computer senses a certain wheel requires more power than the available amount, the AWD system sends additional torque instantly. In this process, the AWD system maximises the car’s traction in different driving conditions.

4-Wheel Drive (4WD)

The fundamental logic behind the 4-Wheel Drive (4WD) system is the same as the AWD, which is powering all the wheels. However, deep delving, the 4WD powers all four wheels of the car, with the energy channelled equally to the front and rear wheels. There are two types of 4WD systems, just like the AWD. These are full-time 4WD and part-time 4WD.

In full-time 4WD, all four wheels of the vehicle are powered at all times, while in part-time 4WD, generally the rear wheels are powered continuously with power sent to the front wheels only when needed. This is the area where the 4WD differs from an AWD, as the decision to send power to a set of wheels is taken by the driver manually through a button or a lever, not the vehicle’s onboard computer.

Additionally, a 4WD system gets two different modes, which are low-range and high-range. While the low-range mode is useful to maximise traction in low-speed or intense off-road situations, the the high-range mode improves traction in less intense off-roading and in slippery driving conditions like loose sand, gravel, and snow or ice.

First Published Date: 06 Apr 2024, 18:06 PM IST

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Ni hao, fly now: After dominating EV space, China sets sights on flying cars

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  • A number of Chinese firms are looking at dictating the course which aim to turn flying cars into reality.
AirCar
File photo of AirCar flying car during the course of its maiden test flight in Slovakia.

China is the world’s largest vehicle market. China is the world’s largest electric vehicle market. And it is likely that the country may take a lead in the fast-developing world of flying cars as well. A number of China-based companies are working on either developing models or procuring the technologies that would turn the ultimate dream in personal mobility sphere into reality.

In prime focus is Cangzhou-based company called Hebei Jianxin Flying Car Technology that recently bought exclusive rights to build AirCar, a flying car that successfully conducted its maiden test flight in 2020 and completed an inter city flight in 2021. Developed by Slovakia-based company called Klein Vision, AirCar will now serve as the basis on which Hebei Jianxin Flying Car Technology will develop its own versions of flying cars. These will be used for flights within pre-defined areas within the Chinese territory, according to the BBC.

Also Read : How flying cars can take over global farms, covering one acre every minute

The AirCar from Klein Vision is capable of operation on both surface as well as in the air. Its dimensions are similar to a conventional vehicle and is powered by a BMW-sourced engine. But it takes all of 120 seconds to transform into a flying machine that can travel an air distance of 1,000 kms at an altitude of 8,200 feet. It is also entirely capable of making maneuvers during flight time although it will require a runway and is not capable of vertical lift-off and landing.

Chinese dreams of flying cars take flight

While Hebei Jianxin Flying Car Technology now has the exclusive rights to build AirCar aircraft inside an undisclosed area in China, noticeable moves have been made by rival companies here too.

A Chinese company called Autoflight tested a drone capable of flying passengers. The drone was flown between Shenzhen and Zhuhai and completed the distance in 20 minutes. It would have taken around three hours to cover the distance between the two Chinese cities by road.

Then there is another company called eHang which received a safety certificate from officials in the country for a flying taxi powered by batteries.

All of these developments show that China has the potential to pave the way for flying cars to take over skies, both in the country and the world over. Experts and industry watchers point out that flying cars are inevitable and the only two big questions that remain are how to make these mobility options more cost viable and the regulations and supporting infrastructure that would be required.

First Published Date: 05 Apr 2024, 15:16 PM IST

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Telangana govt in talks with Tesla to set up electric car plant: Report

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Industries Minister D Sridhar Babu said that the Telangana government is holding discussions with Tesla by putting in all efforts to establish their p

Tesla
Tesla is reportedly sending a team in the third week of April to India to scout for locations to firm up its mega manufacturing plans to make vehicles in India (Representative picture) (HT_PRINT)

The Telangana government is holding discussions with Tesla by putting in all efforts to establish their plant in the state, Industries Minister D Sridhar Babu said on Thursday.

In a message on X Sridhar Babu said since December 2023 the state government has been actively focusing on major investment opportunities by global giants, and as part of its focus, Tesla’s planned investment initiatives in India are also being tracked.

“We have been studying and tracking Tesla’s planned investment initiatives in India. We have been making all-out efforts to bring Tesla to Telangana for some time… Our team is continuing the dialogue and discussions with Tesla by putting in all efforts for Tesla to establish their plant in Telangana,” he said.

Telangana with its industry-friendly policy, is working with a progressive and futuristic vision by creating a world-class infrastructure and hassle-free permissions system to enable best-in-class companies like Tesla to do business in Telangana, he added.

The minister’s comments came after BRS leader K T Rama Rao in a post tagged a news report suggesting that Tesla Motors will send a team to India to scout for locations for a proposed electric car plant with a proposed investment of USD 2-3 billion.

“Request Telangana Government to go all out and do your best to bring them to our state. Make sure Tesla team visits Hyderabad and understands the progressive industrial policies of Telangana Government,” Rama Rao said in the post.

First Published Date: 04 Apr 2024, 22:48 PM IST

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Tesla’s Giga Berlin plant kicks off production for Indian market

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  • Tesla has started production of right-hand drive electric cars in its Giga Berlin plant focusing on the Indian market.
Tesla Model 3
Tesla has started production of right-hand drive electric cars in its Giga Berlin plant focusing on the Indian market. (REUTERS)

Tesla has kicked off production for India-bound electric cars at its Giga Berlin facility, claims an HT report. The electric car manufacturer has started producing right-hand drive cars for the Indian market in its Berlin factory and hopes to have them on the roads of this country by the end of 2024, the report has stated quoting a person familiar with the OEM’s plans. Produced in a small number, these electric cars would be used as test prototypes in the Indian environment. However, the person didn’t reveal which models of the auto company are being produced as the Indian market-spec right-hand driver versions. Expect the EVs like Model 3 and Model Y to reach Indian shores.

Interestingly, this news comes immediately on the heels of the report that Tesla is sending a team to India in the third week of April to scout for locations to set up its manufacturing facility in the country. The OEM is reportedly planning to set up its India plant with an investment of about $3 billion.

The report stated that Tesla is working on its India plan in two dimensions, export and manufacturing dimensions. This comes after the Indian government announced its new EV policy in March this year, in which the customs duties for importing electric cars were reduced to boost electric mobility in India as well as local manufacturing. Also, this policy mandated that the OEMs could enjoy lower customs duty only if they set up manufacturing facilities in India with a certain level of investment. The Indian government linked the policy to a simultaneous manufacturing investment commitment above a certain threshold, within a specified period, and with a strong localisation of the supply chain as well.

In November 2023, it was reported that Tesla was working on its proposed most affordable car, which is likely to be a two-door sedan or SUV, which is specially focused on the Indian market. This affordable EV is meant to debut in Germany and India will be the second market for the car. This electric car is meant to be manufactured in Giga Berlin only. However, with the Indian market in focus, it will be later produced in Tesla’s intended India manufacturing plant as well.

Tesla is reportedly considering Gujarat, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu for its intended India manufacturing plant site, primarily because these are coastal states with major ports, which will allow Tesla to export the cars produced locally in the country to overseas markets. The report further stated that Tesla will possibly make the largest foreign direct investment in India, including a direct and immediate investment of $3 billion to produce its most affordable new small car. Besides that, there would be a $10 billion commitment from its other partners to support this manufacturing ecosystem in the country, and a cumulative $15 billion in the battery industry ecosystem as well.

First Published Date: 04 Apr 2024, 06:42 AM IST

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Real Driving Emissions (RDE) norms: Everything you want to know about it

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  • Real Driving Emissions (RDE) come as a significant technological upgrade in the BS6 emission norms.
Emission
Real Driving Emissions (RDE) come as a significant technological upgrade in the BS6 emission norms.

It’s been one year and a day past, the second stage of Bharat Stage Six or BS6 emission norms has been implemented across India. A key element of the BS6 emission regulation is the Real Driving Emission (RDE) norms. In fact, it can be called the driving force behind the second phase of the BS6 emission norms.

While we know that the BS6 emission norm is the latest emission regulation, that the vehicle manufacturers in the country must comply with while developing and making their respective vehicles, the idea of RDE is not clear to many.

Also Read : India might revise upcoming vehicle emission norms? Here’s why

To clear up your confusion, here is a comprehensive fact sheet about the RDE.

What is RDE?

Currently, to comply with the BS6 norms, vehicle emission measurements and tests are largely tested and determined in the laboratory with artificial scenarios that replicate the real world without any external influence. This results in differences between emission data produced during the lab test and in the real world. Here comes the RDE which has been developed as a testing method to measure emissions in actual driving conditions rather than laboratories.

The RDE mandates that vehicle manufacturers equip their vehicles with a Portable Emissions Measurement System (PEMS). Also, the norms mandate that diesel vehicles must come with Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) systems onboard. The SCR uses Diesel Exhaust Fluid (AdBlue), which significantly reduces emissions of compounds such as nitrogen oxides (NOx) by converting pollutants into water, nitrogen and small amounts of carbon dioxide. This eventually reduces the overall tailpipe emission of the vehicle.

During the first phase of BS6 norms, automakers could comply with regulations through the Lean NOx Trap (LNT) system, which allowed sub-2.0-litre diesel engines to achieve lower pollution levels. The bigger diesel motors already upgraded to the SCR system during the initial phase of BS6 emission norms. However, with the second phase of BS6 enforced, the automakers will have to use more sophisticated and expensive SCR systems.

RDE impact on car buyers

While the automakers have been bearing the majority of the impact of RDE implementation, the consumers are facing the impact mainly in the form of price hikes for vehicles. In the last one year, several automakers have increased their passenger vehicles’ pricing significantly irrespective of variants and powertrains. The small cars too have seen a significant price hike overall. These price hikes can be attributed to the overall production cost surge owing to the new norms among others. come

First Published Date: 03 Apr 2024, 07:30 AM IST

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Rural demand & SUVs propel India’s record-breaking car sales in FY24

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Rapid surges in SUV sales have propelled the growth in rural market sales for all the carmakers in India, while demand for small cars has slumped sign

SUV
Rapid surges in SUV sales have propelled the growth in rural market sales for all the carmakers in India, while demand for small cars has slumped significantly.

Rural India emerged as the driving force behind the record-breaking sales of passenger vehicle sales in FY24. After registering 41.2 lakh passenger vehicles in the CY23, now the Indian auto industry has sold 40 lakh PVs for the first time in a financial year in FY2024, reported Mint. Interestingly, this growth came despite the sliding numbers of hatchbacks, which conventionally remained the driving force behind the Indian passenger vehicle market as well as the rural PV sales.

The report has stated that in FY24, the Indian passenger vehicle market registered a total of 42.3 lakh units and one in every two cars sold in the country were SUVs. The overall passenger vehicle market in the country witnessed an 8.7 per cent year-on-year (YoY) growth over the 38.9 lakh cars sold in the previous financial year, which was another record for the Indian auto industry. Clearly, the sales of the passenger vehicles are on the momentum of creating incremental growth records over the last two financial years.

All OEMs register record rural sales

All the major car manufacturers in India reportedly witnessed all-time-high sales in rural markets in the last financial year. The demand and sales in the rural markets even overtook the urban markets, where the most preferred vehicles are SUVs.

Speaking on the rural demand and sales of Maruti Suzuki, the country’s most-selling passenger vehicle brand, Shashank Srivastava, executive committee member of Maruti Suzuki, said that sales for the OEM in the rural market were 7.87 lakh units, registering an 11 per cent YoY growth. He added that it was much better than the OEM’s urban market growth. “Rural sales of 7.87 lakh units this year, a growth of 11% year-on-year, have been much better than urban growth. Rural growth for the year is about 11% and urban growth is about 7%. And so, this is the highest-ever rural sales that we saw, which also should be a very good signal for the economy,” Srivastava said.

The second bestselling carmaker in India, Hyundai, attributed the rise in rural sales to multiple factors such as infrastructure development, increased access to information, and improved road quality across the country. Tarun Garg, Chief Operating Officer of Hyundai Motor India, said that rural sales for the OEM, for which SUVs account for more than 60 per cent of its total sales, reached a record 19.44 per cent in FY24, up from the previous year’s 18 per cent. This means that nearly one in every five Hyundai cars sold in India in FY24 were sold in rural areas. This signified a burgeoning consumer base beyond urban markets.

For homegrown auto major Tata Motors, rural sales contribute around 40 per cent to the OEM’s total sales. In the past five years, Tata Motors claims to have witnessed a five-times increase in rural market growth. The report quoted a Tata Motors spokesperson revealing that models like Tata Nexon, Punch and Tiago were the company’s highest-selling passenger vehicles in the rural markets in FY24. The OEM also attributed this sales surge to models like Punch CNG and Tiago EV.

What’s driving the surge in rural PV sales

The SUV segment in the Indian passenger vehicle market has been growing at a rapid pace over the last couple of years and it was no different in FY24. In the last fiscal, one in every two passenger vehicles sold in India, were SUVs, becoming the driving factor behind the overall PV sales growth as well as the rural market also. The segment reportedly registered its sharpest growth of 28 per cent in the last fiscal, while sales of hatchbacks or small cars accounted for 28 per cent of the total PV sales volume. The sales of hatchbacks witnessed a 12 per cent slump in the just concluded fiscal, compared to the FY23.

This comes as a major shift in trend. Earlier, the rural markets mostly preferred small cars at the entry level, but over the last couple of years that seems to have changed with aspirations of rural consumers also rising. Speaking on this, Shashank Srivastava said that the percentage sales of smaller cars is still higher in rural areas, but the overall segment construct of the markets is converging. Key factors such as rising rural incomes, higher internet penetration and connectivity are leading this change, Srivastava said. He also said the exponential growth in rural sales isn’t an isolated phenomenon, but a culmination of various factors fostering economic buoyancy in the countryside. “There seems to be a convergence in the segment choices of the rural and the urban consumers with a small lag of time,” the Maruti Suzuki official added.

First Published Date: 02 Apr 2024, 07:01 AM IST

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Mini Aceman EV images leak ahead of Beijing Motor Show debut on April 24

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Ahead of its official debut at the Beijing Motor Show on April 24, images of the Mini Aceman EV have been leaked online. The Aceman EV is set to play

Mini
The Aceman EV is set to play a key role in the automaker’s electric vehicle strategy (Coche Spias)

Mini has discontinued its Clubman model to make way for the Aceman EV, an electric vehicle that will play a crucial role in the automaker’s electric vehicle strategy. Set to debut at the Beijing Motor Show on April 24, leaked images of the Aceman showcase a design reminiscent of Mini’s larger Countryman model, positioning the Aceman between the smaller three-door Cooper and the Countryman in Mini’s lineup.

The Aceman EV retains most design elements from the Aceman concept displayed in 2022, with leaked images confirming a range-topping John Cooper Works (JCW) variant featuring larger alloys, low-profile tires, and racing-inspired decals. Compared to the Cooper hatch, the Aceman is 192mm longer, 23mm wider, and 130mm taller.

Inside, the Aceman will feature Mini’s new round touchscreen, touted as the first circular OLED touch interface in a production car. Traditional toggle switches and steering wheel buttons for media functions, drive modes, and cruise control will also be retained.

Also Read : Mini pulls plug on this car, makes room for electric Aceman

The Aceman will utilise a stretched version of Mini’s Spotlight Architecture, similar to the electric Cooper SE hatchback. The EV will be offered in two trim options – E and SE. The E will come as the base model and will get a single front axle-mounted electric motor paired with a 40 kWh battery pack. It will promise up to 300 km range on a single charge.

The top variant SE will get a bigger 54 kWh battery pack promising up to 400 km range on a single charge.While the range of the Aceman has not been officially disclosed, the specified battery sizes suggest a potential range of up to 400km.

First Published Date: 31 Mar 2024, 09:44 AM IST

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Honda Sahara 300 adventure motorcycle launched in Brazil

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  • Honda Sahara 300 replaces the famed XRE 300 in Brazil and is more in line with the Honda CB range of adventure motorcycles.
Honda Sahara 300
The Honda Sahara 300 is the successor to the very popular XRE 300 in Brazil and comes with all-new styling, a flex-fuel motor and immense off-road capability

Honda Motorcycle Brazil has introduced the new Sahara 300 to its market, bringing a new and more accessible adventure motorcycle to its stable. The new Honda Sahara 300 replaces the famed XRE 300 in the brand’s stable and the new offering is more in line with the manufacturer’s CB range of adventure motorcycles.

The new Honda Sahara 300 gets a complete redo over the XRE 300 with new body panels, more features and a revised motor. The feature list comprises a new digital instrument console, a Type-C USB charger, dual-channel ABS, pre-load adjustable suspension and more. The styling is identical to the Honda CB500X, albeit in a more skeletal and leaner form.

Also Read : Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India achieves major milestone, sells 6 crore units

Honda Sahara 300
The Honda Sahara 300 is powered by a 293 cc air-cooled, SOHC motor that can run on ethanol and petrol. It makes more power on ethanol

Power on the Honda Sahara 300 comes from the 293 cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled, SOHC motor. This is starkly different from the DOHC setup on the older XRE 300. The new engine is E100-compatible and is capable of churning out more power on ethanol in Brazil. The motor develops 25.2 bhp on ethanol as against 24.8 bhp on petrol, while peak torque stands at 27 Nm. The engine is paired with a 6-speed gearbox. With a kerb weight of just 149 kg, the Sahara 300 is light on its feet. However, the tall seat height of 859 mm may not be favourable for Indian customers.

Other components include telescopic forks at the front with 245 mm of travel while the rear gets a monoshock with 225 mm of travel. The bike rides on 21-inch front and 18-inch rear wire-spoked wheels. The Sahara 300 is available in three variants in Brazil – Standard, Rally and Adventure. Prices start from 27,090 Real (approx. 4.50 lakh) for Standard, 27,690 Real (approx. 4.60 lakh) for Rally, and 28,650 Real (approx. 4.76 lakh) for Adventure.

Honda Sahara 300
The Honda Sahara 300 ADV is available in three variants – Standard, Rally and Adventure

There’s no word if Honda plans to introduce the Sahara 300 in other markets, particularly India. The model would slot rather well between the CB200X and CB500X, should it be built and sold here. That said, rumours are rife of Honda India developing a new adventure motorcycle based on the CB350 platform. The company though is yet to confirm any details.

First Published Date: 30 Mar 2024, 18:52 PM IST

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Ultraviolette to launch a new product on 24th April. What it could be?

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  • Ultraviolette currently only has F77 in the Indian market.
Ultraviolette F99
Image used for representational purposes only.

Ultraviolette has sent out an invite for 24th April. While the company has not officially revealed what it plans to do, it is expected to be a new product. The invite they sent out says ‘Flight Mode’ so it can be a new variant or a special edition of the F77 which is their electric motorcycle. There is also a possibility that Ultraviolette is working on a new OTA update for the motorcycle which will be revealed on the said date. Having said that, we would have to wait for the official confirmation to come from the brand. It can be expected that Ultraviolette will start releasing teasers closer to the event date.

One thing that we noticed is that earlier the brand revealed its F99 Racing Platform which is inspired by aviation and racing. Flight Mode is also a term that is associated with aviation so there is a possibility that the brand will showcase the F99 in the concept or production form at the event.

Ultraviolette F99 has a peak power output of 118 bhp which can provide a top speed of 265 kmph. The motorcycle weighs just 178 kg and can accelerate from 0-100 kmph in just 3 seconds.

It comes with a bodywork made up of carbon fibre while the frame is made up of steel hybrid construction and the swingarm is made up of aluminium. There are 17-inch alloy wheels, the front one measures 180/55 whereas the rear one measures 120/70. The wheelbase is 1,400 mm and the height is 1,050 mm.

Also Read : Ultraviolette enters Turkiye with the F77 e-motorcycle, forays into Europe

Ultraviolette recently entered Europe with kickstarting operations in Turkiye. The company showcased theUltraviolette F77 performance electric motorcycle at the Motobike Istanbul 2024 at the K-Rides pavilion. The F77 is the brand’s flagship offering and is made in India and will be exported from the manufacturer’s facility near Bengaluru.

First Published Date: 29 Mar 2024, 19:04 PM IST

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2025 Mercedes-Benz G-Class breaks cover mild-hybrid engines, more features

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  • The 2025 Mercedes-Benz G-Class now comes with mild-hybrid engines across the range, more features, and driver assistance systems.
2025 Mercedes-Benz G-Class
The 2025 Mercedes-Benz G-Class now gets the 48-volt mild-hybrid system as standard across the range, while gaining power on both petrol and diesel versions

Mercedes-Benz has taken the wraps off the 2025 G-Class facelift bringing key updates to the boxy off-roader. The 2025 Mercedes-Benz G-Class now comes with mild-hybrid engines across the range, more features, and driver assistance systems. Mercedes-Benz has revised the lineup to feature three variants with a straight six petrol or diesel and the top-spec AMG.

The 2025 Mercedes-AMG G63 has also been revised and continues to sport the 4.0-litre twin turbo V8 that develops the same 585 bhp and 850 Nm. The engine now comes with the mild-hybrid tech with the slight performance boost, which helps the performance SUV to sprint from 0-100 kmph in 4.2 seconds. The G63 also gets the new Active Ride Control suspension, while the G 550 now comes with the Transparent Hood feature that gives you a look under the bonnet of the SUV, making it a crucial feature when off-roading.

Also Read : Mercedes-Benz GLC gets a plug-in variant with 308 bhp & 217 kmph top speed

2025 Mercedes-Benz G-Class
The 2025 Mercedes-Benz G-Class will make it to India sometime next year

The 2025 Mercedes-Benz G 500 or G 550 (depending on the market), now comes with a new 3.0-litre straight-six turbo petrol engine dropping the V8 motor on the predecessor. The engine develops 443 bhp and 560 Nm of peak torque, and comes with the 48-volt mild-hybrid system that provides a boost of 20 bhp and 200 Nm for improved performance and efficiency.

The new six-cylinder is more powerful when compared to the 416 bhp produced by the older V8, while peak torque has gone down with the V8 producing 610 Nm. The engine is paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission that sends power to all four wheels with three differential locks and a low-range function.

2025 Mercedes-Benz G-Class
The 2025 Mercedes-Benz G-Class gets a subtle upgrade to the interior, notably adding more features and tech

Mercedes has also brought the G 450d to replace the G 400d diesel variant. The variant come with 3.0-litre, inline-six turbo diesel with mild-hybrid tech that produces 362 bhp and 750 Nm of torque. Othe upgrades including a new infotainment setup with the latest MBUX UI. The SUV also comes with wireless charging, climate control cupholders and two new 11.6-inch touchscreen units for the rear passengers.

First Published Date: 28 Mar 2024, 21:56 PM IST

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Suzuki V-Strom 800DE middleweight adventure tourer teased ahead of launch soon

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  • The new Suzuki V-Strom 800DE is all set to take on the middleweight adventure motorcycle segment with the launch expected on March 29, 2024.
Suzuki V-Strom 800DE
The Suzuki V-Strom 800DE on display at the Bharat Mobility Global Expo earlier this year

Suzuki Motorcycle India is all set to bring the V-Strom 800DE adventure tourer to the market soon. Expected to go on sale as early as March 29, 2024, the new Suzuki V-Strom 800DE replaces the V-Strom 650 in the brand’s lineup globally and is all set to take on the middleweight adventure motorcycle segment. Suzuki showcased the V-Strom 800DE at the Bharat Mobility Global Expo 2024 earlier this year, hinting at an imminent launch.

Suzuki has dropped the teaser for the V-Strom 800DE on its social media handles while the bike was also spotted testing on several occasions. The new adventure tourer gets a complete overhaul in design, performance and features over the older 650 cc offering. Power now comes from a newly-developed 776 cc parallel-twin, liquid-cooled engine replacing the 649 cc V-Twin. The motor develops 83 bhp and 78 Nm, paired with a 6-speed gearbox and a bi-directional quickshifter.

Also Read : Suzuki V-Strom 800DE unveiled with a new powerful engine

Suzuki V-Strom 800DE
The Suzuki V-Strom 800DE swapped its V-Twin motor for a more power and higher displacement parallel-twin engine along with a host of other upgrades

The Suzuki V-Strom 800DE also comes with sharper styling and a tall stance, while other hardware components include USD forks at the front and a remote preload adjustable monoshock at the rear. Braking performance comes from dual 310 mm front discs and a single disc at the rear. The ADV gets dual-channel ABS as standard. The V-Strom 800DE rides on 21-inch front and 17-inch rear spoke wheels wrapped in 110/80 front and 150/70 rear tubeless tyres.

On the feature front, the V-Strom 800DE gets all-LED lighting, a 5-inch TFT digital instrument console, multiple ride modes, traction control, and more. The new adventure tourer marks Suzuki’s return to the big bike segment in India after a couple of years. The Suzuki V-Strom 800DE is expected to be priced around 10-11 lakh (ex-showroom), and will be competing with the Honda XL750 Transalp, BMW F 850 GS, Triumph Tiger 900, Kawasaki Versys 650 and the like in the segment.

First Published Date: 27 Mar 2024, 18:29 PM IST

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