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2006-05-01 16:46:52.78855+00 by Dan Lyke 1 comments

New Yorker article on the history of automobile navigation. I did not, for instance, know that in-car turn-by-turn nav systems were nearly a century old.

[ related topics: Invention and Design Automobiles Cool Technology ]

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#Comment Re: made: 2006-05-02 14:16:51.427245+00 by: petronius

Lots of good ideas are not so new. I own a 1960 issue of Popular Science that has a little item about GM's experiments with an 8-cylinder engine that would turn off 2 or 4 cylinders when the engine came up to speed, and instantly reactivate them when you needed more acceleration. In other words, the variable-displacement engine, which made a big splash in the 80s and early 90s, but turned out to be troublesome. Various makers have been fooling around with it for almost 50 years. At first it was an information problem, solved with smart engines. Now the issue is cooling and vibration from the unused bits of the motor. Now that we get better performance from 4 and 6 piston engines, the issue is perhaps moot.