How to get a car with a built-in Wi-Fi connection
Cars with built-into Wi-FI and an accelerometer, which helps with steering and braking, are among the most popular vehicles for kids.
But they’re not all that different from a car built with an internal combustion engine, according to a new study.
The researchers from the University of Southern California and the University at Buffalo in New York found that kids’ cars with built in Wi-fi and accelerometers are less likely to run out of battery in the middle of a race, and they also have better fuel economy.
“Our findings suggest that the car with built for Wi-Fis may be more environmentally friendly,” said senior author Jonathan M. Cohen, a professor of environmental engineering and of electrical engineering at USC.
“That’s good news for the future of electric vehicles.”
Cohen and his colleagues analyzed the performance of 3,741 cars with Wi-fis and accelerometer in the 2016 Nissan Leaf, a car that uses electric motors to move the wheels and provide power to the cabin.
The researchers used a proprietary software tool to analyze the performance, and found that the battery capacity in the Leaf’s internal combustion engines is only 10 percent to 15 percent less than that of a comparable car with an external combustion engine.
That means that the internal combustion cars in the study averaged 5.4 miles per charge, while the external-combustion cars averaged 2.3 miles per charging.
The research suggests that the Nissan Leaf battery pack is much less efficient than a comparable internal combustion car.
“If you look at a car in the rear seat and see a car driving the back seat and you’re not using it, you don’t need to be so happy about it,” Cohen said.
The team also tested the performance in an outdoor track and found a similar result: The internal combustion-powered cars averaged less than half the range and averaged 2 miles per recharge.
The study also found that a car without an external engine is significantly more efficient than one with an electric motor.
“This is the first time we’ve seen that in a real-world car,” Cohen explained.
“It’s not a result you would expect to see in a car, given that internal combustion is so common.”
The researchers also analyzed the battery’s energy efficiency, which is typically rated by the Environmental Protection Agency as 20 percent to 25 percent less energy than the EPA’s recommended range.
The internal-combuster cars averaged 19.4 percent less power and 20.4 million fewer miles.
The report is available at the online journal Nature Communications, and Cohen and his team are now working on a paper on the same topic.