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Tata Intends To Sell Air-Powered Car In India

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the wish-my-car-sucked-too dept.

Transportation 398

Diggester writes "Tata Motors (an Indian car manufacturer) is changing things up with the first car to run on air, the Airpod. The Airpod's technology was originally created in France at Motor Development International but has since been bought by Tata in hopes of bringing it to the Indian consumer car market. With virtually zero emissions and at the cost of about a penny per kilometer, it is definitely one of the most environmentally and economically friendly vehicles in the world. The tank holds about 175 liters of compressed air that can be filled at special stations or by activating the on-board electric motor to suck air in from the outside. Costing about $10,000, this car could beat out most smart cars from the market." If flying cars aren't available, sucking cars seem like a nice stop-gap.

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This story comes up every now and then.. (5, Informative)

otuz (85014) | more than 2 years ago | (#41132687)

..so when are they going to do it, like, for real?

NEVER (3, Interesting)

sanman2 (928866) | more than 2 years ago | (#41132719)

Nobody's going to buy that piece of crap. It's a glorified golf cart.
Even India's poor are already turning up their noses to the Tata Nano, preferring to buy established foreign models.

I think the Nano is a great benefit to the poor, especially the upcoming diesel model, because it's designed specifically for 3rd world conditions. It even has better ground clearance because of India's pot-holed roads. The only other thing it needs to come with, is a bumper-sticker calling for ruling thug-ocracy to be thrown out.

Re:NEVER (5, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 2 years ago | (#41132817)

India's poor are too busy sleeping on the street or grazing their goat at the side of the freeway to turn their noses up at anything.

Re:NEVER (2, Insightful)

tmosley (996283) | more than 2 years ago | (#41132941)

Half of India's population is now in the middle class.

It's about time to throw out the old preconceptions about the rising powers of China and India. They simply aren't true any more.

Re:NEVER (5, Informative)

Nursie (632944) | more than 2 years ago | (#41132989)

Are you trying to tell me what I saw with my own eyes?

I went to India late last year, to multiple cities. I directly observed these things, street sleepers in vast numbers, families living in makeshift shelters at the side of the road, people grazing animals in the central reservations.

These may be cliches, they may even be preconceptions, but they are very true in modern India.

Re:NEVER (5, Insightful)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | more than 2 years ago | (#41133077)

I believe what GP means is that there is a market for this car. India's middle class alone is larger than most first world countries population.

Re:NEVER (-1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 2 years ago | (#41133131)

Then maybe he shouldn't have responded to my comment about the poor, which was nothing to do with market for cars.

It was a criticism of the twit that thought the poor in India were turning their noses up at the tata nano. They aren't, they're trying damn hard just to stay alive.

Re:NEVER (1)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | more than 2 years ago | (#41133215)

I think it is pretty relevant. It is not the poor, but the middle class that were turning their nose up at tata nano (the poor, I expect will continue with their two wheelers)

Re:NEVER (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41133413)

Are you trying to tell me what I saw with my own eyes?

I went to India late last year, to multiple cities. I directly observed these things, street sleepers in vast numbers, families living in makeshift shelters at the side of the road, people grazing animals in the central reservations.

These may be cliches, they may even be preconceptions, but they are very true in modern India.

And I'm certain you can observe most (if not all) of those activities in just about every major city across the entire globe.

I'm also fairly certain that even with your extensive travels across India that you observed a mere fraction of a percentage of the represented population, especially when you consider the population statistics in that country vs. the other 99% of the world. They aren't exactly shrinking.

Re:NEVER (4, Insightful)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#41133121)

The not middle class half of India's population still makes for a lot of street sleepers.

Also with a per capita GDP of about 1,500 USD your definition of middle class is pretty low-end.

Re:NEVER (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41133489)

I wish people would stop perpetuating that myth. Middle class has nothing to do with USD anywhere that isn't in the US. Here in China you can lead what is basically an upper class lifestyle on less than $10k USD a year because the cost of living in much of China is that low. I don't get paid in USD and I don't buy things in USD so using that as some sort of measuring stick makes no sense.

What's more in the US they've deliberately used inflation to pick the pockets of anybody not rich enough to have a sizable portion of their savings in investments.

Re:NEVER (1, Insightful)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 2 years ago | (#41133357)

Half of India's population is now in the middle class.
It's about time to throw out the old preconceptions about the rising powers of China and India. They simply aren't true any more.

This is wishful thinking or tautological nonsense. India's average income is under $2k per person per year, and that's a dollar-averaged mean - the median earner makes far, far less. Maybe you're simply defining Indian middle class to be some arbitrary number like "between $500 and $5000 of annual income," but that's rather useless. Instead, let's compare this average income to the $10k cost of the car and see that the half of India's population you declare to be middle class won't be buying many of these.

Re:NEVER (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41133453)

India's poor are too busy sleeping on the street or grazing their goat at the side of the freeway to turn their noses up at anything.

Actually the reason that Indians won't turn their noses up is because there's always a hand covering it.

Re:NEVER (4, Insightful)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 2 years ago | (#41133325)

Nobody's going to buy that piece of crap. It's a glorified golf cart.

And you'd be wrong. At 100+ miles to a charge, you could use it anywhere you could use a scooter.

A glorified golf cart would be all a lot of people would need. If it can go 45 mph, you can drive it on city streets.

If they could bump the speed up to 55 and extend the range a bit, it would be a lot more useful, but they'll sell at the functionality they have now.

Re:NEVER (5, Interesting)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#41133467)

I would probably buy one, and I live in the US. It would depend on how much it costs to run the pump and get a full tank.

Back in 2000 I was driving a gas guzzling huge SUV. When gas was consistently cheap it was never a real consideration for me. That changed in a hurry with the gas prices. Bought several Priuses since then, and lately I have reorganized my life so that I have to travel dramatically less.

In the last two years I walk to the grocery store. I buy less food (only what I can carry), have lost considerably weight, and eat better.

My work commute is 5-8 minutes. No problems doing that in a little car like that, especially if it is zero emissions, good for the environment, and cheap to operate.

I tend to stick close to home, ride a bike for long distances, and generally have changed my spending habits and how I relax. This kind of car actually fits to my lifestyle, and I don't think I would be the only one. Betting there is a market in the US as well.

Recycled CNN content (5, Informative)

michaelmalak (91262) | more than 2 years ago | (#41132723)

All this is is a blogger recycling a CNN YouTube from 2010 to get some clicks (worked astoundingly well!). And according to Wikipedia, it's been vapor since 2000.

Re:Recycled CNN content (3, Informative)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 2 years ago | (#41132917)

It's been vapor a lot longer than that...Besides the obvious pun I saw a guy demonstrate a compressed air motor on "That's Incredible" in the 70's. I've tried to find it but it looks like nobody wants to be reminded that show ever existed.

Re:Recycled CNN content (5, Informative)

michaelmalak (91262) | more than 2 years ago | (#41133013)

Actually That's Incredible aired in the 80's, not the 70's. And I see that you made the same comment in 2000 [slashdot.org] !

Same comment 12 years later! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41133097)

Omigosh it is the same guy! Amazing. And the people in that thread need to be alerted that Natalie Portman has had a baby.

Re:Recycled CNN content (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41133137)

Don't you try to tell me anything prick. I remember it being from the 70's and now you're going to call me a liar? And what the fuck is up with you going over my profile with a fine tooth comb to find a post I made over a decade ago? Are you some kind of psychopath?

Re:Recycled CNN content (4, Funny)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 2 years ago | (#41133227)

Don't you try to tell me anything prick. I remember it being from the 70's and now you're going to call me a liar?

Yes, we are. [wikipedia.org]

Also, LOL to posting as Anonymous Coward but identifying yourself as the original poster: ArhcAngel.

Re:Recycled CNN content (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41133477)

you might want to look at imdb before you make such claims http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080291/ [imdb.com]

Re:Recycled CNN content (4, Funny)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 2 years ago | (#41133373)

Yeap, that was me. I consider 1980 part of the 70's. I also consider "Real People" [wikipedia.org] and "That's Incredible" to be the same show despite them being on different networks ;).

Re:This story comes up every now and then.. (3, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#41132847)

They aren't, because the idea doesn't really work [iop.org] , though pneumatic hybrids could have some future in other forms (according to this paper).

Re:This story comes up every now and then.. (4, Informative)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 2 years ago | (#41132855)

There are "problems" [wikipedia.org] ...

Not the first air powered car! (5, Informative)

WolphFang (1077109) | more than 2 years ago | (#41132697)

This is not an original concept! SEE: http://www.aircaraccess.com/history.htm [aircaraccess.com] Brief quote: For half a century the air-powered locomotive was a serious contender for the top spot in transportation because of its obvious advantages: simplicity, safety, economy, and cleanliness. Air engines were built first during a period of experimental daily use in metropolitan street transit during the 1880s and 1890s, by companies organized by inventors and air car advocates such as General Herman Haupt. In New York City a building-sized 1500 horsepower compressing station was constructed for the use of the transit locomotives that were being tested there on daily routes. Air-powered mining locomotives were manufactured routinely by steam locomotive companies. Until the 1930s and 1940s the air mule had no serious competition from electric or internal combustion engines in mining because the heat and spark made them unsafe in closed-in and gassy places. The term "air engine" disappeared from engineering textbooks between 1931 when William Lawrence Saunders died, and the end of the second world war. Gas engines had been perfected, the power of the oil industry was established, and gas was cheap.

Re:Not the first air powered car! (0)

ThePeices (635180) | more than 2 years ago | (#41132763)

The article you linked to talks about trains, not cars.

Re:Not the first air powered car! (1)

WolphFang (1077109) | more than 2 years ago | (#41133065)

Further down past the trains.

Re:Not the first air powered car! (1)

theguyfromsaturn (802938) | more than 2 years ago | (#41132993)

And air pressure storage is notoriously inefficient. How does it compare to fuel cells though?

Re:Not the first air powered car! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41133071)

Unfavourably.

Re:Not the first air powered car! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41133261)

Both air storage and fuel cells compare unfavorably to lithium ion batteries in terms of energy density. Limitation of lithium ion batteries is "refueling" time, unless you swap out battery packs.

Re:Not the first air powered car! (3, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#41133339)

And air pressure storage is notoriously inefficient. How does it compare to fuel cells though?

And how can it be non-polluting when some external compressor is required to compress all this air?
It seems that India is having troubles keeping the electricity flowing these days, so how do they propose to power the compressor plants?

Is this another exercise in externalizing any environmental impact, and then pronouncing your product "Green" with great fanfare?

Its a lot like electric cars in general, powered by something, just not something we sell. The pollution will be 3 states away. You don't need to worry about it.

There is no way to compress air in the quantity needed other than by using fissile and fossil fuels or wind and solar.
But we don't have enough of those to handle our houses and our factories as it is, especially in India.

Grab the popcorn. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41132711)

Let the patent lawsuits begin!

Re:Grab the popcorn. (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#41132995)

It's produced in India and not exported. I estimate 0 patent lawsuits.

I read the article (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41132721)

but I don't see where the range of the car is..?

a penny a kilometer is nice and all, but I would like to see range and top speed, etc. Is there anyplace I can find this?

Re:I read the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41133293)

The embedded youtube video claimed 150 - 200 km

Re:I read the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41133305)

I don't have links, but there are plenty of sources for the efficiency of pneumatic engines and storage tanks. If you compare them with combustion engines and tanks you will quickly see that compressed air is not a viable replacement for what we know as cars.

I figured it up awhile back and guesstimated that a range of 15 miles @ a speed of 20 mph is probably doable in a light (but midsize owing to huge air tank) car.

Somehow Tata keeps coming up with outrageous efficiency. I expect they are getting such results in the lab and for some reason (publicity?) extrapolating that data into unobtainable fantasies.

Pneumatic engines are good and worth investing in, but there will not be a magic advance in efficiency. They should be used in smaller capacity applications like regenerative braking.

Re:I read the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41133397)

IMO, just based on the efficiency numbers, Compressed air is a non-starter. There are however places where it can be used. Just not as a conventional car.

1. Places requiring ZERO noise and ZERO emission, like inside buildings, golf courses, generally anything where a golf cart would be used now, except charges much faster (3 min.)
2. Cheap forms of railed-cars in places where electrified tracks are too dangerous for maintenance, particularly hot and/or wet places. Think Gondola's or monorails where the alternative is cable-car systems.
3. Elevators/inclinators.

Basically anything that would be too expensive to build proprietary vehicle systems, but chemical battery/fuels are too dangerous. A good example is the floor polisher, highstack/forklift tools used inside warehouses and big box stores. Ever been inside one of these places at 1am while they polish the floors with propane polishers, or the forklifts have dangerous exposed electrical parts?

Apple trademark suit on use of 'pod' in 3..2..1 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41132729)

n/t

Car powered by gravity soon to be sold (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41132733)

Buy now limited offer for the following features:

Unlimited range (only down smooth slopes)
Easy to maintain (requires only spare tires, made out of wood otherwise)
No driving license required, even a child could drive it (watch out for real roads though)
Extras buyable, like pedals and brakes. ... ...

Re:Car powered by gravity soon to be sold (2)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 2 years ago | (#41132757)

From 0 to 100 in 10 seconds (free-fall only)

Re:Car powered by gravity soon to be sold (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 2 years ago | (#41133323)

Don't be silly, a car in free fall would only require about 4.6 seconds to reach 100 miles per hour. !00 miles per hour is about 147 feet per second. As acceleration due to gravity at the earth's surface is 32 feet per second squared, it would only require 147/32=4.6 seconds. Of course, this ignores air resistance.

Re:Car powered by gravity soon to be sold (1)

Immerman (2627577) | more than 2 years ago | (#41133475)

And yet it works out perfectly if you assume 100m/s instead of miles/hour

of course! (5, Funny)

korgitser (1809018) | more than 2 years ago | (#41132751)

... everybody loves inflatable tatas!

Re:of course! (1)

J4 (449) | more than 2 years ago | (#41132895)

Bravo

Re:of course! (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#41133235)

So if an attractive woman is driving one of their cars, do guys nudge each other and say things like "Look at the tatas in that Tata"?

I believe this company has the funniest name on the planet Earth.

Re:of course! (3)

SteveFoerster (136027) | more than 2 years ago | (#41133383)

Might they also say, "I hope she's an escort!"

And they're going to compress the air with?? (4, Insightful)

Dzimas (547818) | more than 2 years ago | (#41132753)

The problem is that electricity (or petrol) has to be used to compress the air. And 65% of the electricity in India is generated by burning coal or natural gas. So, yeah, let's burn fossil fuel to run an inefficient air compressor to run an inefficient vehicle. The *only* way that compressed air motors make sense in cars is if you want to reduce local emission levels in a densely populated urban area.

Re:And they're going to compress the air with?? (3, Insightful)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 2 years ago | (#41132811)

If I pay $3.50 in gas, I get to go 20 miles. About 50 kilometers (VERY roughly, but gas prices fluctuate so much, the cost is close enough).

If this thing is a penny a kilometer, that would be 50 cents.

What's worse: Burning a gallon of gasoline -- which also has to be electrically pumped -- or just the electricity to pump. 50 cents worth of electricity, if that. (Some of that money would be filling station overhead, and not just electricity.)

Or maybe we should just give up progress until someone comes up with free unlimited energy?

Re:And they're going to compress the air with?? (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 2 years ago | (#41133079)

You mean like sunlight?

We literally have more solar input than we know what to do with.

Re:And they're going to compress the air with?? (1)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 2 years ago | (#41133099)

'Tis a shame. But you can't run a car on that yet.

Re:And they're going to compress the air with?? (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 2 years ago | (#41133149)

Not directly, but you can farm algae in pools of water and use that to make biodiesel.

Energy is still energy even if you lose parts of it converting from one form to another.

Re:And they're going to compress the air with?? (1)

anubi (640541) | more than 2 years ago | (#41132813)

I think anyone who has used pneumatic power tools can vouch for the insight of your post. It takes a pretty powerful air compressor to run the tool, but the inefficiency is tolerated in exchange for the convenience of having a very small and lightweight power release at the tool.

Its not unusual for me to run a 2HP compressor to run a hand sander.

Re:And they're going to compress the air with?? (2)

vaccum pony (721932) | more than 2 years ago | (#41132849)

Actually, by concentrating the pollution to a "choke point" (ha ha) you make it easier to provide clean power to the process.

Even "dirty" electricity can be a win ... (4, Informative)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 2 years ago | (#41132897)

The problem is that electricity (or petrol) has to be used to compress the air. And 65% of the electricity in India is generated by burning coal or natural gas.

To be fair you need to consider the energy used to refine and deliver the gasoline/diesel, and any emissions in the process.

One nice thing about electricity is that even when "dirty" sources are used for generation the emissions are centralized so that there is more opportunity for capture and sequestration.

Re:And they're going to compress the air with?? (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#41132983)

Consider, however, in centralized facilities, it can be easier to implement stricter emission controls, and possibly even produce energy more efficiently than it is in an inherently mobile platform such as an automobile. You're probably right that they'd be using fossil fuels of some kind to compress the air, but that doesn't mean there wouldn't be advantages to centralizing that aspect of things. Plus, of course... there's no inherent requirement that fossil fuel must be used to generate the necessary energy. Other energy sources, including hydro or nuclear, could just as easily be used as well, requiring only an upgrade of the facilities that compress the air, while the overall automobile infrastructure itself remains entirely unaffected.

Re:And they're going to compress the air with?? (1)

TENTH SHOW JAM (599239) | more than 2 years ago | (#41133001)

The problem is not electricity or petrol. The problem is something capable of rotating an air compressor with sufficient torque. A windmill could do it... A steam engine could do it... a man in a treadmill could do it...

Spec your problems more carefully in future.

Water power (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#41133123)

If you have a large enough supply of moving water, you could build turbines and tie them directly to the compressors. Or i guess even wind turbines, or a bunch of people on a treadmill :)

Even if you used electricity, you can generate that cleanly and not require coal or NG. Sure, clean is not as efficient, but just saying that they are not your ONLY option.

Re:And they're going to compress the air with?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41133155)

"And they're going to compress the air with??" - With the weight of plebs.

Re:And they're going to compress the air with?? (2)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 2 years ago | (#41133301)

I think the point is cheap rather than "green" (and really, cheap matters a heck of a lot more than "green").

With gas at 3.50 per gallon and 20 MPG (about 32 KM/G) you end up with a cost of about 10 cents per kilometer. If you can make a reliable car that will go a kilometer on a penny that is a significant savings. Especially if the car itself is cheap like most Indian cars.

Nothing about the range (4, Insightful)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 2 years ago | (#41132761)

It's an interesting idea, but they don't say anything about what that 175 liters gets you in terms of distance or power. The onboard pump is interesting (and necessary IMHO) but India's power infrastructure may not be up for the task of hundreds of thousands of cars all pumping away... if they're targeting cities, or they can get these filling stations everywhere, it might be alright.

The real problem with all these compressed air vehicles is the diabatic nature of compressing air. When you compress it, you generate a huge amount of heat that's hard to use and slows down the filling process (since the pressures are higher than normal, which will be problematic for the service station idea), but when you expand it (for power) you need to re-heat the air or else your efficiency goes way down since super-cold air doesn't have much volume. That's why they immerse SCUBA tanks in water while filling. If they figured out how to minimize that problem (maybe they use it slowly enough that it's not an issue?), they should sell a lot of them. TFA doesn't have anything suggesting that they have, though... so I'm skeptical.

Re:Nothing about the range (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41132873)

Why don't they make an engine use air in this way, but then have a 2nd part of it that uses the heat generated to also power it. Surely that's a win-win?

By the sounds of it you should build one

Re:Nothing about the range (4, Informative)

Baron_Yam (643147) | more than 2 years ago | (#41133091)

Because the heat is created by the fueling (compression) process, and reabsorbed from the environment during the use (expansion) process, the exact opposite of when you'd want to recover the heat.

On the up side, you get free pollutionless air conditioning every time you hit the 'gas' pedal.

Re:Nothing about the range (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41132877)

Quick google search shows the top speed as 28 mph and range of 137 miles
Like someone else said, a glorified golf cart.

Yawn, next idea please.

Re:Nothing about the range (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41132889)

According to the linked video, the range is around 100-200KM on a single tank and 80KM/h top speed.

Re:Nothing about the range (2)

qbitslayer (2567421) | more than 2 years ago | (#41133107)

The range is to the corner store and back. A mule would be more practical. Besides, you can make fertilizer from the exhaust.

Re:Nothing about the range (4, Informative)

Triv (181010) | more than 2 years ago | (#41133145)

the video gives it an 50mph top speed and a 90-125 mile range.

Re:Nothing about the range (1)

sortadan (786274) | more than 2 years ago | (#41133393)

Thanks, if I had mod points I'd mod you up, this is what I was looking for.

Air battery (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41132767)

An "air powered car" is actually an electric car with the energy stored in a a high pressure air tank as potential energy. Air pumps happen to be fairly efficient and air power impellers also, so this is a good idea if a bit range limited. Probably about the same as more common electric cars, 40 miles or less.

One very cool thing is a solar powered pump can recharge the car to some degree as you go bringing the range to almost 40 miles and when parked it can recharge continuously.

Another fairly cool ting is even a fairly large air tank is light, so one can exchange car volume for range in engineering. If you happen to have an air recharge station, the tank can be first filled from a holding tank and topped off with a high volume pump.

Overall a better than average idea and no EOL pollution of note like batteries.

Wouldn't it be better to just have a small diesel?

JJ

Re:Air battery (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41132911)

Wouldn't it be better to just have a small diesel?

Yes.

more than 1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41132779)

So if I own 2 then I have a pair of Tata's?

Oh, so it sucks (1)

udachny (2454394) | more than 2 years ago | (#41132783)

The tank holds about 175 liters of compressed air that can be filled at special stations or by activating the on-board electric motor to suck air in from the outside. Costing about $10,000, this car could beat out most smart cars from the market.

- so if this needs 'special stations', why does it have an on-board electric motor at all? Don't make this car suck twice, first with the on-board electrical engine and the second time with the price-tag ($10,000 for the Indian market?)

SOCK PUPPET ALERT (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41133201)

the user udachny is a sock puppet of roman_mir.

Thermodynamics and outdoor temperature (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41132841)

While this car has been in and out of the news for some years now what I wonder is about the thermodynamic efficiency against outdoor temperatures. Does power drop when it gets cold, as in freezing temperatures?

Re:Thermodynamics and outdoor temperature (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 2 years ago | (#41133407)

How much of India has freezing temperaturs? Delhi is in the northern part of India, and its lowest recorded temperature ever was -0.6 C/30.9 F

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delhi#Climate [wikipedia.org]

Calcutta and Mumbai are warmer:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calcutta#Climate [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mumbai#Climate [wikipedia.org]

Very strange (3, Informative)

fustakrakich (1673220) | more than 2 years ago | (#41132851)

Your search - airpod site:tata.com - did not match any documents.

$10,000 (3, Informative)

OldSport (2677879) | more than 2 years ago | (#41132859)

Hindi for "far more money than 95% of the population will see in their lifetime".

Running on fumes! (3, Funny)

ewg (158266) | more than 2 years ago | (#41132879)

Neat, a car that can run on fumes--indefinitely!

Battery (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41132881)

Seems like an alternative to a battery, with many of the advatages and disadvantages. How about a comparison...range, cost, safety?

Re:Battery (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#41132949)

The reason you can't buy Tata vehicles outside of India is because they don't pass the required safety standards of other countries. Airbags, ABS, side/frontal impact... The ones that can be bought are usually imported and registered as motorcycles.

You'd think they'd learn from the Segway... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41132885)

Who designed this thing? A joystick for control? Seriously...

Engineers really need to start realizing that aesthetic (among other thigs) design is very important to the success of a product. No matter how revolutionary.

People were talking about how Segway was going to be the biggest thing since the internet. What happened to it? Only mall cops are seen riding them.

Nobody wants to ride something that makes them look completely ridiculous and this vehicle just looks stupid.

Not zero emissions, not even close (2)

pubwvj (1045960) | more than 2 years ago | (#41132921)

These are not zero emissions, not even close. They burn petroleum, coal, use nuclear or something else to compress the air. The air is merely a storage medium for the energy. This is all a marketing lie.

It's Tata (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#41132931)

How are they going to make it spontaneously combust?

Re:It's Tata (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 2 years ago | (#41133417)

Use compressed hydrogen?

You thought running out of oil was a problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41132973)

Wait until we run out of air.

A couple of interesting points (3, Informative)

el_flynn (1279) | more than 2 years ago | (#41133009)

Some details on the specifications, range etc of the Airpod can be found here [www.mdi.lu] , but some of the stats are in French.

Also, Tata originally signed the agreement [tatamotors.com] in 2007. Five year old news?

Lastly, from the MDI website about the Airpod [www.mdi.lu] : This latest version of AirPod... [has] a base consisting of a composite sandwich of fiberglass and polyurethane... [and a] a cast aluminium frame. More details from that link.

Obligatory Simpsons Quote (5, Funny)

PerlHeadJax (614572) | more than 2 years ago | (#41133015)

Bart Simpson: I didn't think it was physically possible, but this both sucks and blows.

Appropriately, from the episode "Screaming Yellow Honkers".

There's this car, and it runs on WATER, man! (1)

ehintz (10572) | more than 2 years ago | (#41133027)

The government doesn't want you to know about it. It runs on WATER, man!

For that market... (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | more than 2 years ago | (#41133101)

Tata Intends To Sell Air-Powered Car In India

Those would do better in Mexico; for India you want one that'll run on body od... oh, that kind of air! :p

(I'd better issue a disclaimer for those who would likely perceive my humor as nothing more than a blatantly disrespectful use of a worn-out cultural stereotype: I absolutely love Indian food and I could eat it all day long... and there certainly shouldn't be any shame in acknowledging that some of those spices are known for adding a certain quality to one's fragrance!).

Zero emissions (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#41133105)

Ya, by the CAR, but what about where you are getting the air?

I suppose it would work in a small town commute, but i think id rather have a battery powered car instead.

Re:Zero emissions (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 2 years ago | (#41133219)

if the tanks can be made reasonably crash safe, manufacturing a pressure vessel would be much more sustainable than chemical batteries

Its Megamaid, Sir (1)

The_Revelation (688580) | more than 2 years ago | (#41133111)

'... Shes gone all the way from Suck to Blow!'

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXOAc5yt218 [youtube.com]

I find more and more often Slashdot technology emulates Spaceballs.

--
Do Something! They're getting all their air back!

I have one. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41133119)

I already have a car that sucks.

Manufacturer site (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | more than 2 years ago | (#41133167)

What makes me most skeptical is that there is no mention of this vehicle on the Tata [tatamotors.com] web site. If they are making it one would expect it to be on their web site.

This car is sort of a deathtrap (4, Interesting)

FreakerSFX (256894) | more than 2 years ago | (#41133211)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airpod [wikipedia.org]

Let's assume that Wikipedia is accurate here...

220kg of Poly-urethane and fiberglass - even with the range they claim (which is good) this vehicle will never be viable outside of 3rd world markets. It's never going to pass a safety test because it's a deathtrap. Still it may find a niche market and I am a fan of non-petroleum concepts.

Indian? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41133273)

Just make me a goat curry and shove a pipe up my ass, I'll bet I can get that car to go 100KM/day easily.

Sued by Apple (4, Funny)

lophophore (4087) | more than 2 years ago | (#41133347)

They are so getting sued by Apple...

They can't call it air* or *pod. Oh no.

"One Billyon Dollars"

NOT Pollution Free (1)

ATestR (1060586) | more than 2 years ago | (#41133355)

The power to run those air compressors has to come from some place.

Not these clowns again... (2)

NonFerrousBueller (1175131) | more than 2 years ago | (#41133377)

Well, someone's been trolled. MDI is linked to IndraNet here in New Zealand, and these buffoons have been scamming investors for years by bringing out the Next Big Thing every couple of years. Mesh Networks, the nGen Engine (try to figure out how it works!), and air cars. Vapour central. As far as I know, they have never actually made a product or earned a dime, but that hasn't kept them from spewing PR crap and soliciting suc.. - I mean, investors. Run. Away.

Zero Emissions? (1)

ihop0 (988608) | more than 2 years ago | (#41133411)

Whoever has invented a perpetual motion air compressor has a Nobel in Physics coming their way soon.
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