Isuzu FC-12

Izusu FC-12

Izusu FC-12

Image from ultimissmeauto.com

The automobile industry as we all know is a huge industry. And although most focus on the compact cars (since the bigger target market is in that section) there are other types of automobiles that are a not as popular among the common people we can find out there. Although I am thankful for the services of the ever so talented designers and engineers of the automobiles we see now, it is however a less sight for new innovations on different types of automobiles. But just to put it out there I am not saying it is unseen. One type of automobile we do not usually see an innovative design that much (at least not as much as cars) are buses. Yes, buses. These bigger ‘cars’ are usually used for public transportations and some are even used as customized RVs – which we all know as much less common. Apparently buses need a fix too. With the ever growing population of the world we demand (and kindly ask the automobile design and engineering companies out there) that we get public cars in the best possible way – that means comfortable, easy on the eyes, and hopefully very safe. The public transportation we have as of today although still reliable needs some innovations. And we do have these – the talented designers and engineers who take on these challenges are the saviors of people like me who take public transportation whether we can drive our own cars but choose not to or not. The Isuzu FC – 12 I must say is one of the most interesting designs for public transportations I have ever laid eyes on out there. Come on, look at the picture. Is that not the future you see or not? Although only a concept design for now and still details of how and why its design is what it looks like is scarce, I must say it is making the rounds among automobile enthusiasts from all parts of the world. And more about the said bus; the Isuzu FC-12 is the size of a bus and probably works as one. It has a brother design called the Isuzu Lunar Rover which we know from the name is not actually used as a bus so we will leave that out. However it is a well thought out auto-mobile

 

Isuzu logo

 Image from mkalty.org

http://www.tofugu.com/2012/03/08/japanese-concept-cars/

 

 

Tokyo Motor Show

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With one of the world’s top motor shows – the Tokyo Motor Show looming roughly just a year from now, I think now is the best time to actually know more about the details of this exciting event. The exact date according to Tokyo Motor Show’s chairman Fumihiko Ike on their website is that the event will be held on October 29, 2015 (a Thursday) through November 08, 2015 (a Sunday) at Tokyo Big Sight (Full Address: 3-11-1 Ariake, Koto-ku, Tokyo).

If all goes to plan the Tokyo Motor Show will be the 44th of its kind and will be featuring passenger cars that you can go into and even check for quality and craftsmanship, commercial vehicles that could include buses, trucks, and vans, then there is the motorcycles that would surely have Honda’s, Yamaha’s, and of course Suzuki’s, then even the carrozzerias (a craftsman who makes the bodies of motor vehicles) will be there, vehicle bodies, parts, machinery and tools, and others. Maybe if you get lucky you can be taken along a test drive or better yet you will be the one driving them. Organized by Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, Inc. (JAMA); together with many other spectators, I am going to be expecting a lot next year. With almost a million visitors to the Tokyo Motor Show last year, the 43rd Tokyo Motor Show has set the bar for the next coming shows. If you think you have a creation that the Tokyo Motor Show would be interested in, registration is still open until next year’s month of January. After this date registration will be closed.

To think the Tokyo Motor Show has come this far from when it started during the year 1954 – its first ever Japan motor show. Back then it was held earlier than when it was held. The first japan motor show was held in during the middle of the year while now it is held during the late months of the year. The first motor show included a total of 254 Japanese companies with a total of 267 motor vehicles – 17 of them were passenger cars while everything else were motorcycles and trucks. All in all, the event has had 547,000 visitors. The second motor show however was another interesting year for Japan, this time a lot of new car models have been registered in – cars such as the Nissan’s Datsun 110 was there too. Aside from that, the Imperial Prince even visited the motor show.

How to pick out a car

cars

There will come a time when you finally decide that you would need a car. Now, choosing from the thousands of car models out there is hard work. And there will be problems such as the availability of the car you will be choosing in your area so you have to check on that too, aside from that you will be researching on the qualities you would like to see in your car; qualities such as rate of fuel usage, the torque of the car, if it is environment friendly – many Japanese branded cars have this characteristic). These are just some of the things you would need to face when choosing a car that would suit your needs and what you would be comfortable having. Thank goodness you are here though. This article will be tackling on the basics on how you will be choosing and some advice on how you can approach this endeavor, because choosing a car is no easy business. Owning a car is like buying an expensive piece of equipment if you want it for long term or even for now (if not for long term you might want to resell it and what better way to get back most of your investment than having it sold almost with no damage whatsoever and just minus the usage), you would need to take care of it the right way, upgrade it if needed, and most of all check the engine with the help of a professional. So let us begin,

  1. Know how far you are willing to go to find that car. Would you pay to have it shipped? Or you would like to buy it from around your area.
  2. Write down what your budget will be.
  3. List down the qualities you would like to see in a car then do research and show it to a professional. It would be advisable if you can try not to look for a professional car salesman because of course they would be selling the cars they have to you. People you can go to are friends who have bought cars before (ask them about the services they got from buying their car, if they got have problems with the car they have decided on because that would cross off some of the models you will be deciding on later on in this article and many others)
  4. Know what type of car you want; is it a pickup, a compact car, or a race car maybe? Depends on you.
  5. Find the car models that have a lot of the qualities you have listed down and not all of it. Because I hate to break it to you, nothing in this world’s car can be perfect for you unless you spend a lot of money having something customized.
  6. Lastly, narrow down your list and go look for it!

Biking in Japan

bicycle-sidewalk

Wonder what it is like riding a bicycle around Japan? Well it is actually much more fun than people usually think. The same rules you have in your country when riding bicycles does not necessarily mean the same set of rules apply when riding a bicycle in Japan. In fact, here are the different sets of rules you can learn, apply, and not apply. Let us begin.

First thing you need to have is a bicycle (of course), a bell ringer (Ding! Ding!), and good old fashioned common sense.

In Japan most of the sidewalks can be biked on. No, I am not kidding you. In fact, people in Japan are so used to this that hearing the sound Ding! Ding! Automatically creates a pathway for you in a sidewalk of people. If you would not believe me, then you must have not seen this video à https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7oGk-ozhKI titled “Trolling people with a bike bell”, this is one of those funny videos out there plus it has an amazingly nice piece of information you realize on while watching it.

The actual rule is actually this; children under 12 can ride their bicycles on sidewalks. For the adults whoever they stay on the road unless the road poses any danger of causing accidents. You may have guessed it already but people do not really follow these rules and ride on the sidewalks anyway. I think it has been going on for so long that people are actually unaware there are rules like these. Interesting right?

How about taking the train after you biked there? Well in this case you might have to park your bike outside specially when it is rush hour. If you have to bring your bicycle along, try to make it a folding bicycle so people would not have to suffer so much for your stubbornness.

Another interesting thing about being in Japan and riding your bicycle is that parking for your bicycle is practically everywhere. The place to put your bicycle is so abundant that it is unlikely to not have a place to lock your bicycle onto. And speaking of locking your bicycle, people in Japan usually do not need to since nobody really cares; if you are unlucky whoever and your bicycle was stolen by a bicycle thief then man, you are one of the rare victims of having a missing bicycle due to a crime.

 

 

 

Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) in Japan

Through the years, Japan has been known for their wide cultivation and improvement in their expertise in Science and Technology. So far, almost all of their industries have grown and developed for the best. Their country has been known for their very long history that spans almost thousands of years, and even then their transportation technology has been much more advanced than the rest of the world.

A new development in transportation technology is what is known as the ITS, or intelligent transportation systems. Almost all aspects of any industry are being automated little by little until everything becomes automatic and all machinery use artificial intelligence. In the Intelligent Transportation System, there are advanced applications that whose objective is to provide services that are innovative and advanced and improve different modes of transport and traffic management. Not only does it increase the efficiency and the convenience in using these aspects of transportation, it would also improve on information dissemination to make travel much safer and more coordinated.

ITS involve various forms of wireless communication technologies and computational technologies. There are both short range and long range communication devices installed along public roads and areas for which manufacturers have to be compliant in installing receiver systems. Vehicles also contain very capable computer processors that is networked to operating systems that allow the usage of different software applications such as GPS, backing cameras and others that are installed in vehicles today.

The ITS is not as simple as it sounds and it does not focus only on adding high technology to transport. It also involves logistics and planning. The use of the ITS involve the surveillance of the roadways, waterways and airways. This is because governments that use this kind of technology want to improve safety not only in roads but also safety in general that can benefit all the citizens of the country. Through this, there will be enough security with regards to who and what enters and even exits a particular country. Other than that, these kinds of systems are also beneficial in rapid mass evacuation of huge populations from urban areas when certain disastrous calamities and events take place, whether it is natural or terrorization. Through the ITS, even urban planning and infrastructure has to be made parallel with its objectives.

There are still a lot of challenges that the ITS faces. This kind of system is not all throughout well managed as of today and it is still being developed. Particularly for existing structures, they have to find better means of coordinating them with ITS technology.

Sample Logistics of ITS

Image by Nissan

Guide Way Buses in Japan

Nobody would ever think that there is such a thing as buses running on railways because everyone knows what railways are for and where buses are normally found. These types of vehicles are what are known as guide way buses. These are kinds of buses that are steered by external means and travels on a track or “roll way”. The best thing about these kinds of buses is that it travels on its own path and excludes other traffic. It makes it convenient for both operators and commuters because of the ease in scheduling and maintenance.

The concept of guide way buses are similar to trams, like those in San Francisco, USA. These trams are carts that carry multiple passengers and travel on a specific railway in the road surface. This kind of transportation draws current from overhead electric wires to operate. For guide way transits, instead of trams, actual buses are used with specially installed guidance systems. The benefit of guide way buses over trams include the ability to climb steeper slopes and quitter operation. It is also much less complicated to install roll ways that to install tramlines on existing streets.

It also includes guidance systems which come in forms of guide bars or kerbs, similar to what can be found in normal railway tracks. There are small guide wheels that are attached to the bus that push the steering mechanism. It is beneficial because it allows high-speed operation and even precise positioning at boarding platforms which brings accessibility for children, disabled and the elderly. Furthermore, there are also optical, remote or radio guidance systems Optical guidance systems use image processing where in a camera scans bands of pain on the ground (which are used for reference). Such a system increases the efficiency of the trail and even improves speed and cost (since it would probably cost less to buy cameras and paint than a great deal of material for the roll way).

In the world there are a total of eight tram lines and this number already include all the guide way bus transits. Out of that, only one transit line for guide way buses are found in Japan and it is found in Nagoya. This line is officially named as Guideway Bus Shidami Line or also known as Yutorito Line. This transit line was established in 2001 and has continued to operate until present. The dedicated track of this bus transit is found on a viaduct in central Nagoya and is legally considered as a railway.

Guideway bus

image by wikimedia

Drag Racing in Japan

Drag Racing as we all know is very dangerous. Regardless if it is the illegal way or the legal way.

The Japanese has shown very high enthusiasm when it comes to upgrading their stock and existing car parts into monstrous engines which can go at high speeds. Although there are many ways on how you would want your car to look and perform. Most of the people who are car enthusiast believe that the Japanese racing scene is the one that started it all. The Japanese are known to be the type that modifies their engine more than anything else.

When it comes to racing, the Japanese is one of the geniuses. This is because they are the ones who are willing to put everything in to limit especially when it comes to speed.

GTR

As we all know, when it comes to racing, speed is essential. Hold on a minute. What is drag racing? Drag racing is a competition of two cars which determines what car is faster. In drag racing, you only race for a quarter mile or so. This kind of racing does not involve turns or curves. Just a straight line to make things less complicated.

When it comes to racing, the Japanese excel in it. Which is why a lot of tourists go around Japan to experience the racing scene there. Although not all races are legal, the same feeling is of course being felt every time you are in the location of were the race is happening.

Okinawa is known to be a place where all car enthusiast and racers happen to hang out. This is because Okinawa is where illegal street racers go.

From the racetrack to the streets, nothing stops the Japanese from feeding their hunger for speed and adrenaline. Yes, racing keeps the blood in your veins flowing. Not to mention watching them race. It’s practically the same feeling since you would not know who would win. I am not saying that you should bet, all I am saying is that you should have fun.

Regardless of the type of adrenaline rush you want to feel, always keep in mind the safety of the people around you and most especially you. Not to mention the people who love and care for you. Remember, drag racing is not a sport for the faint of heart, neither is it a sport that someone should take easy.

Image by gtspirit

Japanese Taxi

From local commuters to foreigners, the taxi is one of the best ways of discovering a country and one of the fastest ways to go around the city. This is because in a taxi, you are somewhat enclosed in the privacy of the vehicle. Of course if you are in a foreign country, you have a feeling of being an outcast which is why taking a taxi is one of the best mode of transportation if you are new in the country.

There are many ways for you to be able to grab a taxi. You can either go to a taxi stand wherein taxi’s fall in line and wait for passengers to enter their respective vehicles. You can flag a taxi down just by simply raising your hand. Of course, the cab has to stop in a place safe for you to enter and for the cab to stop. Just so you know, you can call a taxi by phone or let the hotel reception call one for you, then before you know it the taxi is already waiting for you.

For those who do not know, if the taxi has a red plate or a red light, it is usually an indicator that the taxi is vacant. In the other hand, if the taxi shows a green plate or green light it is an indicator that the taxi is occupied.

Taxi

When boarding a taxi in Japan, a person does not just open the door. For your information, the taxi doors in Japan are remotely controlled. Which means you are not supposed to open or close the door of the taxi when you wish to. Well, there are certain taxi’s that use the manually operated door. Just to be sure and of course, to avoid being embarrassed, I would suggest that you wait a couple of seconds before you try opening the door. If it does not open by itself then by all means, grab the handle.

Taxi drivers in Japan can be trusted. They are also known to not take advantage of their passengers. The fare is always calculated by the meter. Except in some cases wherein routes are predetermined. Hence, having a flat rate.

Regardless of being a tourist or a local taking a taxi, always make sure that you are aware of your surroundings. Make it a point also to be alert. This is to avoid any mishaps along the way.

Image by: nihonsun

Drifting in Japan

Before anything else, let me explain what Drifting is. Basically, drifting is a driving technique wherein the driver over steers causing the loss of traction in the rear wheel or all the wheels.

Japan is known to be the earliest birthplace of drifting. Although some may say that it never really started in Japan. A lot of car enthusiast can agree on one thing. Drifting was definitely developed in Japan.

According to many car enthusiasts, drifting is one of the best if not greatest auto sport ever created. This is because drift car drivers will be push to the limit in a sense that they will have to sway their cars from side to side making it slide to 45 degrees or even greater.

Drift

Drifting is not only known throughout the whole of Japan, but also worldwide. Drifting started making waves during the 70’s. As professional race car drivers drove this way, so did illegal street racers.

Drifting in Japan is somewhat illegal if it is done in public places. Nonetheless, drifting in Japan should be done in the docks or in empty abandoned places. Meaning, the smoke and the smell from the burning rubber and the noise of engines roaring would not mind anyone.

Why is drifting so popular in Japan? Well, the main reason for this is because this sport was developed and mastered in Japan. Drifting, according to people who do it is the most effective way in tackling a corner. Well, as a race car driver, the least thing that you would want is to lose speed.

Drifting may be a good sport to try for adrenaline and speed junkies. As we all know, every sport has a dangerous side. One very common mistake is drifting is over steering. Over steering can and may cause you to get out of control. Leaving you nothing but to the mercy of anything that you may hit that could somehow stop your vehicle from swaying violently.

Drifting is a sport that should be mastered. I know everyone would like to try drifting. I mean, sure does look fun and all. But we also have to remember that this sport is not for amateurs.

Remember, drifting takes years of practice. So do not just go out and drive your rear wheeled vehicle at high speeds and drift like crazy. Doing this might kill you and the people around you.

Drift moderately.

Image by driftjapan