5 of the most controversial topics in the last decade of motoring
2019 has come to a close, and it took the 2010's decade with it. We are now in 2020, but the last decade has revolutionised the way we look at cars with the rise of electric and hybrid cars on the road. Not only that, but we have also seen records be broken - such as the 300mph barrier finally being broken by a road car in the form of the Bugatti Chiron.
But this decade hasn't quite been so straight forward. In fact, there have been some very controversial moments in the last 10 years of motoring. Today, I am going to walk you through five of the most controversial moments in the 2010's decade.
#1 - The Volkswagen Controversy
Many of you will know about this controversy, which all started on 2008 models of Volkswagen and Audi cars; but was caught by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in September 2015 after being alerted the year before.
Volkswagen had installed illegal software to the Engine Control Unit (the device which uses internal sensors to maximise engine performance) and detect when the engine was undergoing an emissions test. The engine would then pass the test by lowering the engine performance in order to output the legal emissions. However, when the car detected it wasn't taking part in an emissions test; the engine would be at its peak performance - therefore producing 40 times more pollution than is legally allowed.
Image: Jose Carbajal via Unsplash.com
You can see the obvious problem with this; but it still took 7 years for the German company to get caught. Volkswagen were forced to recall around 480,000 cars that used the illegal engines, as well as pay a fine that could go as high as US$18 billion. The final fine was $15.3 billion, and Volkswagen admitted that 11 million vehicles were part of this issue.
#2 - The Self-Driving Car Controversy
Self-Drivng cars is one of those topics in the motoring community that is split straight down the middle. One half of the community love the concept of being able to get in a car and do whatever you want as it takes you to your location; whereas other members of the car community don't want to replace the thrill of driving a car by yourself.
The last decade has seen the technology for self-driving cars finally be developed. Tesla is the company that has made the biggest impact with this technology and is one of the best known companies in the current market. However, there are always going to be some issues when developing something controlled by AI...
Image: Jp Valery via Unsplash.com
The Tesla Model 3, Model S and Model X all have the capabilities to drive on Autopilot mode. Despite this, the interpretation that people have of this concept is very different to the way it should be handled. There have been many cases of Tesla cars crashing into obsticles that it doesn't detect, as well as people falling asleep in the Tesla and being involved in an accident. In total, there have been 5 fatalities as a result of Tesla's Autopilot, and Tesla advise that users should not take their attention off the road when driving in Autopilot mode. Here is an example of a story of Tesla's Autopilot failing:
#3 - The Tesla Cybertruck
Another one of the more recent trends that are being discussed, the Tesla CyberTruck has been another topic that has been very controversial since the announcement back in November. This controversy is mainly due to the shape of the truck, rather than the concept of it.
An electric pickup truck made by Tesla has been something that people have wanted for years - some people even did a DIY to turn their electric Tesla into an electric truck! The concept was welcomed by the motoring community, but the design of it once again split the market.
Some people love the CyberTruck. The shape of it is futuristic, and the materials used are very impressive when it comes to protecting the car and people inside of it - well, maybe not the windows...
The other half of people believe that the CyberTruck is ugly and it is not worth buying. 'Memes' have been made by people all over social media, and people have even made their own versions of the CyberTruck to make fun of it. What do you think of the CyberTruck? Do you think it looks futuristic, or more like the roof to a small building? Let me know in the comments below!
The fight to reach 300mph
This are two multi-company battles in the last decade. The first being that all eyes were on Bugatti, Hennessey and Koenigsegg to produce a production car that was capable of breaking the 300mph (482kph) barrier.
The car that would be the answer to Bugatti's victory was a modfied version of the Bugatti Chiron. The original Chiron was electronically limited to 261mph, which is actually slower than its predecessor - the Veyron. Bugatti claim that this was because of the difficulty in finding tyres that are strong enough to support the forces produced at 300mph.
Koenigsegg claimed that their hypercar - the Jesko - which is scheduled to be released this year. However, believers in Koenigsegg didn't expect Bugatti to break the record so soon; in fact, Bugatti claimed that they weren't interested in 'chasing records', so people thought that Koenigsegg would break the record for sure.
Hennessey's vision was the Venom F5, which is also scheduled for release in 2020. Once again, Bugatti beat Hennessey to the victory by breaking the record before the car had already been made.
While the battle to reach 300mph first is over; we now have this year to look forward to which company will release the fastest car. With Hennessey and Koenigsegg releasing their cars soon, we have an exciting year coming up...
Imagine fitting a set of tyres to your car. But wait! Plot twist. The tyres don't actually have air in them; and no, they aren't flat either. What could possibly go wrong?
Well it's true - airless tyres are a real thing. The tyres have been tested and work in a way that is very similar to the way tanks work. The tyre is made up of the standard inner and outer walls of rubber, while being connected by what can only be described as small 'rubber blades' connecting the inner and outer walls. Fibreglass is also used in the tyre to help it support the weight of the car while it is in motion.
Take a look at the video below:
Whether the tyres will become the standard for tyres later on in this decade, and whether they will have sidewalls will remain a mystery for now; however, the concept is very interesting.
What do you think about airless tyres? Let me know by voting in the below poll, as well as giving me your thoughts in the comments below!
And that concludes five topics that have been controversial in the last decade. Which of these is your favourite? Let me know below.
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(The image in the poll was taken from a video on YouTube made by 'Wonder World'.)