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Turkey surges ahead with hybrid electric national car


Elon Musk’s recent trip to Turkey and meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan included discussions about the country’s national car project, which generated a few headlines two years ago after Turkey purchased the license to the Saab 9-3 from National Electric Vehicle Sweden.

The project is still on track despite the advanced age of the 9-3 and the underlying tech, and the country’s five major suppliers and tech giants have just signed on to produce the still-unnamed national car. Anadolu Group, Kıraca Holding, BMC, Turkcell and Zorlu Holding, some of which are involved in car production for other brands as suppliers, will form the industrial backing for the project, Hurriyet Daily News reports.

The car is expected to be a range-extended electric sedan. The country’s Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology indicated last year that the debut model will be an electric car with a small gasoline engine as a range extender, likely with a 15-kilowatt-hour battery and a pure-electric range of 60 miles before the range extender kicks in. The consortium of companies expects a working prototype by 2019 and the start of production by 2021.

The idea of Turkey’s national car has been around for some time — especially as manufacturing by other car brands soared in Turkey after 2000 — but the major push was the purchase of Saab 9-3 technology in 2015.

“Century-old automobile giants are racing with each other in new-generation car technologies. So now is the right time for the Turkish automobile,” Rifat Hisarciklioglu, chairman of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges, an organization involved in the project, told Hurriyet. “We will work very hard for three or four months to analyze the alternative technologies and funding options.”

Article source: http://www.autonews.com/article/20171114/BLOG06/311149999/turkey-surges-ahead-with-hybrid-electric-national-car

CT International Auto Show at Hartford convention center

  • The 2017 Connecticut International Auto Show rolls into the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford Nov. 17-19. Photo: CIAS / Contributed Photo

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The state’s largest new-car showroom — the 2017 Connecticut International Auto Show — rolls into the Connecticut Convention Center, in Hartford, Friday through Sunday, Nov 17-19.

Visitors will be able “to compare features, options and stylings of the 2018 models from 24 car lines. See the latest innovations in safety and performance. Kick the tires and pop hoods. Sit behind the steering wheel, or just climb in, and enjoy the comfort of dozens of the most modern automobile interiors,” say the Paragon Group producers and the Connecticut Automotive Retailers Association, event sponsor.


“Test drive Toyota’s hottest offerings, including the all-new C-HR, the redesigned Camry and the electric Prius Prime. Product specialists are on-hand to answer questions and to provide a personalized experience in a friendly, no-pressure environment,” say sponsors. “The classic car showcase, Memory Lane, returns by popular demand, sponsored by Klingberg Family Centers. Come see your great-grandfather’s EV, the 1922 Detroit Electric 90B,” they add.

“Restoration Garage, all-new for 2018, is a display of meticulously restored Cobras and Camaros. Pick a favorite and vote for The People’s Choice Award. Muscle cars restored by Connecticut Custom Car in Enfield.”

Producers say: “The Connecticut Auto Show is the perfect place to browse hundreds of the newest vehicles! It’s the premier showcase of the newest model year imported and domestic vehicles — cars, vans, crossovers, hybrids, light trucks and sport utilities – cars to suit every budget and life style. Factory and dealer representatives are on hand to answer your questions in a no-pressure environment, and with your favorite car lines all under one roof, it’s easy to compare prices and features, saving both time and money.”

Connecticut Convention Center, 100 Columbus Blvd., Hartford.
Friday, Nov. 17, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 18, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Sunday, Nov. 19, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. $12; $10 seniors; $5 age 6-12; free for younger than 6. 800-251-1563.

Article source: http://www.ctpost.com/entertainment/article/CT-International-Auto-Show-at-Hartford-convention-12348459.php

2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1: Meet the judge, jury and the executioner

Being far away from Mainstreet America, Dubai may seem like a strange place for Chevrolet to launch its 2019 Corvette ZR1. But using a city whose mantra is “impossible is just an opinion” as a launchpad for the most powerful Corvette ever actually feels completely natural once you’re here on the ground. GM may have chosen to reveal the ZR1 at a studio sound stage on Sunday, but its real coming out party will be at the Dubai Motor Show on Tuesday, where it will sit shoulder-to-shoulder with six- and seven-figure luxury sedans, SUVs and hypercars.

Based on the seventh-generation Corvette, this is only the fourth-generation ZR1, and it features a number of key innovations that help make it the most powerful production Corvette ever. General Motors isn’t releasing all of its performance stats just yet, but we do know some tasty tidbits. Namely: 755 horsepower and 715 pound feet of torque in a package that weights 3,650 pounds. 

Chevy officials promise that the ZR1 will do better than 210 miles per hour, and with 105 more horses and 65 pound-feet more torque, it’s not unreasonable to suspect that it will be quicker to 60 mph than 2.95 seconds, GM’s official time for the Corvette Z06. (For added perspective, 715 is roughly two-thirds more horsepower than the 455 in the base Stingray).

2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1Enlarge Image

The Sebring Orange Design Package is not for shrinking violets.


Chevrolet

Of course, the ZR1 isn’t just a case of cranking up the boost on the Z06′s 6.2-liter V8. On the contrary, the powertrain has been comprehensively reworked from its air and fuel delivery systems on through its exhaust, with the goal of creating more power up and down the rev range. Despite being “conservatively spec’d,” Corvette chief engineer Tadge Juechter says, “after you drive this car for a while, a Z06 feels really sluggish, like it can barely get out of its own way.” He only sounds like he’s half joking when he says to us assembled journos.

Not only have significant upgrades in breathing capacity necessitated major changes to the ZR1′s front end, aero changes have been carried throughout the bodywork, all the way to the rear end. You’ll hear a lot of that word in this story: “necessitated.” As it turns out, when building an envelope-pushing supercar, solving one problem often creates another technical challenge to be surmounted. 

As you can see from these images, the ZR1′s resulting bodywork is incredibly aggressive, from a completely unique front clip featuring markedly bigger air inlets and front splitter (that incorporates a Corvette-first underwing) to a massive, high-set rear airfoil that’s part of an option package.

2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1Enlarge Image

The 2019 ZR1 has the most radical aero of any production Corvette ever.


Chevrolet

One of the biggest challenges for the ZR1 was working out improved cooling for the 2.65-liter Eaton supercharger that’s 52-percent bigger than the Z06. That in turn necessitated sourcing a 95-millimeter throttle body — GM simply couldn’t find one big enough anywhere that could produce a large enough throttle opening to keep from choking the engine, so it had to design its own. 

Case in point: Chevrolet learned the hard way with this car’s Z06 forebearer that too much cooling is just enough. Embarrassingly, the company suffered a small but statistically significant number of heatsoak/overheating-related issues reported by Z06 owners at racetracks, a development that forced the company to make some changes for the 2017 model year.

That shouldn’t be a problem with this new ZR1. It boasts no fewer than 13 heat exchangers, including a pair of additional radiators on each side of the nose. That key addition along with the bigger supercharger changed the weight distribution on the car, so Chevy compensated by widening the front wheels by half an inch for better grip. That, along with the need for more fresh air and a higher hood to clear the supercharger necessitated that the ZR1 would get all-new front bodywork — no Z06 bits would fit. 

2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1Enlarge Image

The ZR1 features a shaker hood with bookmatched carbon fiber.


Chevrolet

If you scroll through the gallery of photos accompanying this story, you may take notice of the hood, what with its bare carbon midsection. It may look like one piece, but it’s not — that’s the top of the intercooler cover poking through. That’s right, the ZR1 has a shaker hood. It couldn’t have been easy to engineer this solution and still effectively manage any air and drainage concerns. You can practically hear the mix of pride and weariness in Juechter’s voice when he speaks of the difficulty in bookmatching the carbon-fiber weave between the hood itself and the intercooler cover.

Better breathing is only half the solution, of course: to get more power, you need more fuel, and that necessitated the development of a new duel fuel injection system, a first for Corvette. Like the Stingray and Z06, the LS9 in the ZR1 relies on direct injection, but it has a supplemental port injection, too.

Transmission-wise, Chevy’s 7-speed rev-matching manual will come standard, but GM has chosen to make an 8-speed automatic optional for the first time on a ZR1 — the new 10-speed from the 2018 Camaro doesn’t fit. The paddle-shift 7-speed gearbox has received numerous upgrades to improve shift times, and Juechter says those upgrades will filter back down through the rest of the Corvette lineup.

2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1

Let’s go back to the aerodynamics for a moment, because if you’re like me, you can’t stop staring at that wing. It’s actually part of an option ZTK Performance Package, which incorporates a unique front splitter with tall carbon-fiber end caps, as well as specific chassis and Magnetic Ride Control calibrations and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 summer rubber.

The wing itself was codeveloped with Corvette motorsports partners Pratt Miller, and its angle of attack is manually adjustable up to five degrees. Those tall stanchions bolt directly to the chassis for maximum effect, and the wing itself can deliver upwards of 950 pounds of downforce at speed, yet it actually creates less drag than the “wicker bill” fencing on the Z06′s wing. The uprights are actually so tall that Juechter says the rear wing clears the rear window so that you can still see out back, and cargo room avoids taking the hit that an active wing’s mechanism might necessitate.

The Corvette Z06 sounds plenty snarly, but the new ZR1 promises to go a step further. It still has the former’s active clapper valves to sound more socially acceptable around town, but new internal passive valves help build sound more progressively, so it’s not an all-or-nothing auditory experience. “It’s brutal when you’re in track mode and you’re revving on it,” says Juechter. 

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For the first time ever, ZR1 is available with an optional automatic transmission.


Chevrolet

According to Tom Peters, director of exterior design for GM, customers have been clamoring for a new orange paint option, so for those buyers, Chevy has developed the decidedly unsubtle Sebring Orange Design Package shown here. It includes Sebring Orange Tintcoat paint, as well as matching brake calipers and accents on the rockers and splitter. Inside, orange seatbelts play off carrot-colored stitching, and there’s unusual bronze-finish aluminum interior trim accents, as well.

Most of the Corvette range’s other options, including competition sport seats, Bose premium audio and Chevy’s trick Performance Data Recorder are also available. After years of downmarket interiors fitted with uncomfortable seats and cheap plastics, the C7 generation took huge strides to make living with a Corvette on a daily basis not just easier, but more enjoyable.

2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1Enlarge Image

A revised active exhaust insures they will hear you coming… and going.


Chevrolet

No word yet on price, but it won’t be cheap — the C6 ZR1 was about $110,000, and this one should be priced appropriately for a model that will likely only see two or three thousand examples built per year.

Despite repeated pestering, company officials still won’t talk about the much-rumored mid-engined Corvette that’s still in the pipeline. But the 2019 ZR1 that hits dealers in spring not only looks good enough to be more than just a placeholder until that car arrives, it looks like formidable competition for both track day and valet stand honors — even here in Dubai.

Article source: https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/auto/2019-chevrolet-corvette-zr1/preview/

Santa Rosa auto repair shop devoted to helping single moms

SAL is a full service auto repair shop, open to the public. On the outside, it doesn’t look any different than any other car repair shop. But on the walls inside are the painted words, “We Keep Single Mothers Moving Forward.”

“There was a study done, and it takes about three hours to go less than 20 miles anywhere in Sonoma County. If you think of a single mom who is trying to go to school, trying to get her kids to school, do the grocery shopping, run the errands and go to work, all on a bus, that just makes your long day even longer,” Nalywaiko said. “And these moms who are on the social service side of it have these vehicles that are just barely running. And most of the time when those cars die they just won’t be able to afford to fix them.”

Angerman said when she picked up her car from SAL, fully operational and at no charge, she was completely overcome.

“I started crying. They had just saved my life” she said. “Here I was feeling this despair, almost hopelessness, and then this amazing act of kindness.”

At the moment SAL works exclusively through the CalWORKS program at Santa Rosa Junior College and the YWCA, agencies equipped to screen potential recipients. So far the shop has been able to do several free repair jobs a month. As paying business increases, they are hoping to hire more mechanics to add to the one full-time and one part-time mechanic already on staff, giving them the ability to serve even more needy mothers. SAL is equipped to do most all types of repair work on every make of vehicle, as well as routine maintenance required of manufacturer’s warranties.

“Ultimately we would love to have 10 to 15 cars a week coming through here for single moms,” Nalywaiko said.

Amy Ethington, who oversees CalWORKS program at Santa Rosa Junior College, said success for students under her program hinges on transportation. If they can’t get to class, their benefits are in jeopardy.

“It can really change their whole approach to education. If you can’t get here, the anxiety goes through the roof for our students. The expense alone to maintain a vehicle can be astronomical. To our students who are parenting and going to school with a very fixed budget, thinking about the expense of car repairs on top of that is frightening.”

When Nalywaiko started investigating the idea, he was unable to find any comparable model in the country. Many mechanics will do some pro bono work. And there are organizations that donate cars, like Santa Rosa’s Crozat Family Foundation, which provides free cars to needy people who have “hit a pothole in the road of life,” as they say. But Nalywaiko could not find any shop in the country that was run by the same model, with paying customers subsidizing the charity work.

Nalywaiko at first didn’t get a lot of encouragement from accountants that he consulted. It was the CFO for Visiquate, the Santa Rosa company that Nalywaiko works for doing video production and marketing, who figured it out, based on his years of experience in nonprofit work.

Visiquate has supported his work for years, paying him essentially a full-time salary for part-time work, which gives him the time to run SAL Auto.

Article source: http://www.pressdemocrat.com/lifestyle/7399772-181/santa-rosa-auto-repair-shop

Redesigning the Industry


Redesigning the Industry

A new auto industry is forming, triggered by a reimagining of the vehicle itself. New business models are coalescing, centered on technology innovators, fleet operators, services businesses and platform providers.

How will it all shake out?

Article source: http://www.autonews.com/section/industry_redesigned

Suspected killer of O’Reilly Auto Parts manager charged with murder

A Detroit woman is accused of fatally shooting the 69-year-old employee of a Detroit auto parts store in the head on Nov. 1 during an attempted robbery.

Shawnta S. Anderson, 23, is charged with the murder of 69-year-old O’Reilly Auto Parts manager James Haller Jr., but her suspected accomplice,  Eboni Monae Mcewen-Ross, 28, remains at large.

The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office also charged Leviticus V. Butler, 38, for allegedly harboring Anderson in his home following the crime. He faces up to five years in prison while Anderson, who is being held on a $500,000 cash bond, faces mandatory life in prison if convicted.

“A male and a female, employed as cashiers, were behind a counter, assisting a customer in the front of the store” when Anderson “walked in and pointed a handgun at the male employee and ordered him on to the floor,” the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office says. “Anderson walked around the counter to the cash register, pointed the gun at the female cashier and ordered her to open the register.

“As Anderson walked from behind the counter, Mr. Haller came from the back of the store and said, ‘Hey,’ and she fired a single shot, striking him in the head.”

Anderson and Mcewen-Ross fled with a small amount of cash. Detroit police publicly released their identities and surveillance images, while O’Reilly Auto Parts and Crime Stoppers offered up a $12,500 reward for information leading to the arrests of the suspects.

“By all accounts Mr. Haller was a valued ex-Marine, employee, police reservist, husband, and father,” Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said. “His death is heartbreaking. “We will vigorously prosecute this case and do our very best to bring justice to Mr. Haller and his family.”

The search for Mcewen-Ross, who may have left the state, continues.

Article source: http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2017/11/suspected_killer_of_oreilly_au.html

Deer-auto collisions reach a peak in fall – The Union

Areas around Putnam, Green, Hancock, Jones and Baldwin counties are heavily wooded, and those woods have an abundance of deer. That increases your chances of having a deer encounter with your vehicle. 

There is not a more frightening encounter for most folks than an encounter between their automobile and a deer. That potentially dangerous encounter is greatest during the fall season and especially during the rutting period. Over the last two weeks, I have seen a number of dead deer along area highways.

A collision can lead to serious automobile damage and life-threatening injuries. Annually there are approximately 1.5 million deer-auto collisions in the United States that result in $1 billion in vehicle damage, 10,000 personal injuries, and 150 deaths. Georgia currently ranks 19th nationally in deer-auto collisions. 

It is a documented fact that deer are more active at night and in the early and late hours of the day during the fall season and that activity often takes them to roadside areas where encounters with autos are probable. Those nighttime and early morning and late day hours of darkness are when a majority of auto-deer collisions occur. 

Defensive driving can help avoid some deer-auto accidents, but there is little a driver can do to avoid a deer that decides to dash across a road in front of your automobile. Any driver attempting to avoid a deer by swerving or hard braking can sometimes make a potential accident more serious. It is far better to brake and hold the steering wheel straight and steady even if it means hitting the deer.

I had one serious encounter with a deer on the highway. That encounter or collision was somewhat frightening. I had always wondered what it would be like to hit a deer while traveling at a high rate of speed and I found out early one morning. 

I had only recently purchased a new bass boat and I had a fairly new SUV. I was on my way to a fishing tournament. Fortunately, my boat trailer had electric brakes that engaged anytime the automobile brakes were engaged. At 3 a.m. a large buck darted out of the woods and directly into the path of my vehicle.

Those trailer brakes allowed me to safely engage the automobile brakes and slow the speed of the impending crash. Even then it was like hitting a brick wall when my SUV and the huge buck collided. It almost totaled my automobile including wiping out the entire front-end, the radiator and even the transmission. 

Fortunately, the trailer brakes kept the boat and trailer squarely behind my vehicle, and I suffered no injuries. The only damage to my bass boat was deer hair. Thousands of deer hairs were embedded in the boat carpet and it took me several attempts over several weeks to remove all the deer hair.

I also had good comprehensive insurance and that covered getting my SUV repaired. Unfortunately, some drivers find out too late that their insurance policy does not cover deer-auto collisions. You might want to check and make sure you have that type of coverage on your insurance policy that will cover you and your auto if you have a collision with a deer.

The deer population in Georgia has been reduced from a high of 1.4 million deer to the present population of around 1 million, and consequently deer-auto collisions have been decreasing. The decrease in deer populations is primarily due to changes in deer regulations that have allowed an increase in the number of deer harvested by hunters.

Deer movements increase due to a variety of reasons. One major reason that deer move more frequently during the fall is the breeding season (rut). As the deer search out mates for breeding, it greatly increases their movement, and that often brings the deer onto and across highways where collisions with automobiles are very likely.

As rural areas become more populated by humans, deer move more and when their natural food sources disappear due to increased human populations; the deer are more likely to travel into neighborhoods looking for food. Even a slow speed neighborhood collision with a deer can cause significant damage to your automobile. 

Other than being aware that encounters with deer are more likely during the fall season, many deer collisions are unavoidable. Stay alert, slow down your speed, and be ready to safely apply your brakes and control your car if you do encounter a deer on the roadway. 

See you next week. 

Outdoor columnist Bobby Peoples can be reached via email at brpeoples995@gmail.com. 

Article source: http://www.unionrecorder.com/sports/deer-auto-collisions-reach-a-peak-in-fall/article_e10425c2-c69b-11e7-ae53-8bdf31924554.html

Sun Valley auto repair shop destroyed in overnight blaze – KABC

A large fire destroyed a repair shop connected to a used car dealership in Sun Valley early Friday morning.

The blaze started around 3 a.m. in the 12000 block of Branford Street. About 90 firefighters responded as flames ripped through the roof.

It took crews about 40 minutes to knock down the blaze.

The business, which its website said is considered one of the largest used car dealerships in Southern California, has been open for about 30 years. There were multiple luxury cars in the lot and the majority were not damaged in the fire.

The connected repair shop was deemed a complete loss and authorities said there were a few luxury cars inside at the time of the blaze.

Employees had left the shop around 7 p.m. so no one was on site at the time of the fire.

The cause was unknown, but arson investigators were on scene to investigate.

Article source: http://abc7.com/sun-valley-auto-repair-shop-destroyed-in-overnight-blaze/2627830/

Gaming guru on 20 years of Grand Theft Auto

Dave JonesImage copyright
Abertay University

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Dave Jones said Grand Theft Auto was now “a part of everyday culture”

Grand Theft Auto creator Dave Jones says there is “no limit” to the future success of the gaming industry, as the title celebrates its 20th anniversary.

The developer will talk about the controversial game’s legacy at a panel discussion in Dundee later this month.

Mr Jones, who also created Lemmings, will tell the event what he believes lies ahead for the computer games sector.

The Grand Theft Auto (GTA) series has sold more than 250 million copies.

The event is part of Abertay University’s 20 Years of Games, which celebrates its setting up of the world’s first computer gaming degree.

The university said Mr Jones was “instrumental” in establishing the degree course.

Image copyright
Getty Images

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Grand Theft Auto lets players take on the role of criminals

The 52-year-old, whose Reagent studio is based in Dundee, said GTA has “become part of everyday life.”

He said: “I remember sitting seeing a movie at home and there being a line, “don’t go all GTA on me.”

“That was a surreal moment.

“GTA is now a part of everyday culture and one of the best things about any game is that it can have that level of impact.

“I suppose it’s an aspiration for people who want to make games, to have that lasting legacy and impact on the world when you produce something really great.”

‘Unlimited potential’

Grand Theft Auto, which has been criticised for glamorising violence, allows players to take on the role of criminals, who are given various “missions” to complete.

Mr Jones said: “I still think GTA is the one game that shows how far the industry has come and what it went through was a phase of acceptance of the medium in the same way as music and movies had to.

“Initially all games were for kids and because of the technology people weren’t thinking of the graphics and story.

“But then equilibrium was reached where games became like any other form of entertainment and now we accept it.”

Image caption

Lemmings, another of Mr Jones’ gaming creations, has its own sculpture in Dundee

Mr Jones said he believed the industry still held “unlimited potential.”

He said: “Virtual Reality has been through a cycle and Augmented Reality is about to go through a cycle, then there’s streaming and YouTubers.

“There are so many changes that just catch the industry unaware every three or four years, but that keeps it interesting.”

Mr Jones said he had yet to see anything in the gaming sector that could not be done in his native Dundee.

He said: “In Dundee it’s the network effect of everybody knowing one another over the years.”

“It’s having that nucleus of a combination of experienced industry people, strong academia and support from local enterprise.”

Next Level: a conversation on the future of games on 25 November also features Ukie chief executive Jo Twist, Playmob chief executive Jude Ower, journalist Will Freeman and computer arts lecturer Lynn Parker.

Article source: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-tayside-central-41940915

Ford, Ekso team up for ‘bionic’ auto workers

WAYNE, Mich. (Reuters) – Robots have replaced many U.S. manufacturing workers, but new mechanical exoskeletons being tested by Ford Motor Co (F.N) may help factory workers to function like bionic people, reducing the physical damage of millions of repetitive tasks over many years.

The U.S. automaker said on Thursday that workers at two U.S. factories are testing upper-body exoskeletons developed by Richmond, California-based Ekso Bionics Holdings Inc (EKSO.O), which are designed to reduce injuries and increase productivity.

The four EksoVests were paid for by the United Auto Workers union, which represents hourly workers at Ford, and the automaker plans tests for the exoskeleton in other regions including Europe and South America. The cost of the exoskeletons, which were developed as part of a partnership between Ford and Ekso, was undisclosed.

Two workers at each of the company’s Wayne and Flat Rock factories have been testing the exoskeletons since May.

The lightweight vest supports workers while they perform overhead tasks, providing lift assistance of up to 15 pounds (6.8 kg) per arm through a mechanical actuator that uses torque to take the stress off a worker’s shoulders.

If you try one on, if feels like an empty backpack, but it enables you to hold a weight such as a heavy wrench straight out in front of you indefinitely and without strain.

Ekso began by developing exoskeletons for the military and medical fields, but branched out in manufacturing and construction in 2013.

Paul “Woody” Collins, 51, a worker at Ford’s Wayne plant, has been at the automaker for 23 years and has worn an EksoVest since May. He attaches bolts and parts to the undersides of Ford Focus and C-Max models, raising his hands above his head around 1 million times a year.

Since wearing the vest, he has stopped having to put ice and heat on his neck three or four days a week and finds he has energy after work instead of feeling exhausted.

Russ Angold, Ekso’s chief technology officer, said the aim is to get workers used to the technology before moving eventually into “powered” exoskeletons that “will help with lift and carry” work.

“The idea is to demonstrate this isn’t science fiction, it’s real and it has real value,” Angold said on Thursday. “As we prove its value, we will be able to expand into other tasks.”

The No. 2 U.S. automaker has been studying for years how to lower its workers’ injury rates and the exoskeleton venture is the latest step in that process.

From 2005 to 2016, Ford recorded an 83 percent decrease in injuries or incidents that resulted in days away, work restrictions or job transfers, to a rate of 1.55 incidents per 100 full-time employees.

That is a little over half the rate of 2.9 cases per 100 workers for private employers in 2016, according to U.S. government data.

“We have made great progress, but shoulders are still our number one injury and they take a lot of time to heal,” Marty Smets, the Ford ergonomics engineer in charge of testing the exoskeletons, said on Thursday..

Collins, the Ford worker in Wayne, was supposed to wear the vest only until August, but has now asked to keep it.

“If they want it back now, they’re going to have to fight me to get it off,” he said.

Reporting by Nick Carey; Editing by Matthew Lewis

Article source: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-ford-ekso-workers/ford-ekso-team-up-for-bionic-auto-workers-idUSKBN1D93B0