BBC Autos

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The jet engines with 'digital twins'

How manufacturers act as on-ground mechanics for jet engines in the air<p>Jet engines are some of the most complex technologies on the planet. They’re so difficult to make, in fact, the companies that build aircraft don’t make their own engines.<p>They outsource the job to just a few businesses worldwide …

Engineering

How Tube stations got their unusual names

Scan a map of the London Underground for the first time, and you’ll likely notice that it is more than the ground-breaking design that seems imaginative. The names of the stations, too, can seem curiously, even bizarrely, whimsical. Some seem suited better to a medieval fantasy (Knightsbridge, …

England

The end of the filling station?

Fuel use is at a high — so why are fewer drivers headed to the petrol pumps?<p>There’s an oil boom right now. Worldwide demand for fuel is the highest it has been in eight years and it’s not showing any signs of stopping. The United States Department of Energy predicts that 2017 will show record …

Alternative Fuel

When is it OK to switch plane seats?

Flight attendants share their tips for seat-swapping etiquette<p>Tipsy passengers and overflowing bins might be some of the most grating annoyances flight attendants deal with. But what can be even worse are the four S's: stealing, sneaking, swiping and switching seats.<p>While it's not always a problem, …

Flying

How to improve airport security

After decades of small improvements, innovative new technology is poised to make painful security checkpoints more efficient and effective<p><b>Picture this.</b> You show up to the airport for a flight. You glide from the curb to drop off your checked bag, then directly to the gate, unfettered by the lines …

Flying

How food trucks took over city streets

From humble origins, four-wheeled kitchens have redefined urban al fresco dining.<p><b>When the food truck forefathers</b> — <i>tias</i> and <i>tios</i> peddling warm <i>antojitos</i>; halal meat vendors nourishing the bellies of nocturnal drivers; the breakfast, hot dog, pretzel and nuts pushcart operators indulging tourists and …

Food Trucks

Six bright ideas that are changing city driving

From vehicles that talk to each other to roads that charge your electric car on the move, the urban motoring experience is about to get a 21st Century upgrade.<p>You’ve been watching the cover art of sci-fi paperbacks for half a century now, so you know exactly what the city of the future will look …

Transportation

Last-minute gifts for green-minded drivers

Practical presents for the petrol-disinclined person on your shopping list.<p>Eco-friendly cars that swap petrol for plugs are becoming increasingly popular. According to the International Energy Agency, in 2015, the number of electric vehicles (EVs) in use across the globe reached over 1.26 million. …

Electric Vehicles

Food, feet and farts

Flight attendant tips for dealing with unpleasant odours on an aeroplane.<p><b>After the safety demonstration had ended,</b> my colleagues and I were completing our final cabin walk-through before sitting in our jump seats for takeoff when several flight attendant call buttons throughout the cabin began …

Demonstration

The London gallows where pirates were hanged

For nearly 400 years, convicts like Captain William Kidd met a gruesome end at these gallows on the River Thames. Their bodies were often displayed for months afterward<p>For 25 years, Captain George Cusack had terrorised the seas. Now, looking over the waters he knew so well, it was his turn to face …

Isle of Dogs

Electric car charging etiquette

The dos and don'ts of fuelling your petrol-saving vehicle<p><b>A few years ago,</b> you could venture into some beneficent municipality and find — in the public garage, or the library car lot, or right in the middle of Main Street — a couple of plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) charging stations. These cities, …

Electric Vehicles

Inside the world's longest rail tunnel

How the just-opened Gotthard Base Tunnel is a testament to Swiss ingenuity.<p><b>Clad in an orange hardhat and a bright green vest with light-reflecting stripes</b>, I’m standing by the shiny new tracks of the Gotthard Base Tunnel in Switzerland — the longest railroad tunnel in the world. It opened in June …

European Union

Six straight hours on Night Tube

What one writer witnessed on London's new, open-all-night subway service.<p><b>It is almost midnight at Paddington Station in central London.</b> Everybody is sitting in half-frozen metal chairs in front of the platform’s arrivals information board, ignoring each other.<p>Except, that is, for the man who is …

England

Driving Bentley's mighty Bentayga Diesel

Top Gear's Ollie Marriage samples the British luxury carmaker's first — and possibly last — diesel model.<p>Like a good many motoring publications, BBC Autos has heaped no small amount of praise on the Bentley Bentayga. With a 6-litre petrol W12 engine producing 600 horsepower, the off-roader from …

Automotive Design

Driving tips from delivery people

UPS, DHL, and more offer shortcuts, lifehacks to make you a faster, safer driver.<p><b>As the holidays approach,</b> it means streets will steadily fill with parcel-toting delivery trucks. And it’s the job of those behind the big vans’ steering wheels to get your gifts to far-flung friends and family members …

Autonomous Cars

The Rolls-Royce 'high-sided vehicle' comes into focus

New photos of a camouflage-wrapped Project Cullinan suggest the British luxury carmaker's coming off-roader will be posh, powerful and very large.<p>This week, Rolls-Royce casually dropped two photographs of its coming all-terrain ark, the grandly code-named Project Cullinan. What we can tell from …

Automotive Design

The petrol-station guidebook that changed gastronomy

How a tyre-maker's marketing gimmick wrote the book on restaurant ratings.<p>In an 1898 advertising poster<b>,</b> a man made of rubber rings hoists a giant champagne coupe full of broken glass and nails (garnished with a horseshoe) and toasts “Nunc est bibendum” — Latin for “Now is the time drink.” Michelin …

Automotive Industry

Is it rude to recline your seat?

Flight attendants explain how to rest on a plane — without disrupting neighbours.<p><b>Envision this scenario:</b> You’re sitting on a plane, settling in for an hours-long redeye. You’re ready to lean back and pass out. You try to recline your seat, but — it won’t budge. What gives? You’re not sitting in or …

New Jersey

Using school buses to democratise wi-fi

Innovative mobile hotspots are reshaping one of the poorest parts of the US.<p><b>When 16-year-old Sergio Duran Jr wants to do his homework every night</b>, he leaves his family’s mobile home in the desert of the Coachella Valley, about 130 miles east of Los Angeles, California. He walks five minutes down …

High School

Road, street or avenue?

Roadway types defined — plus the rest in this week's transport news.<p>Each week, the BBC Autos editors select their favourite transport-related news stories, features and videos from around the web. This week, we came across a number of <i>aha</i> moments — some TIL factoids — on the internet that we would …

Transportation

My family is buried in a car park

What happens when a sport arena is built next to your ancestors' resting place?<p>Gary Hartloff lives just a couple minutes down the road from the small cemetery where his ancestors are buried. The tiny portion of land, which Hartloff regularly mows and manicures, is dotted with gravestones dating …

Archaeology

Holiday travel made smarter

A former flight attendant reveals easy hacks for smoother departures.<p><b>When the radio plays Jingle Bell Rock,</b> it’s a cue that airlines are rocking, too: In the UK last year more than 5 million Britons flew abroad for Christmas; in the US this year, 27.3 million Americans will fly for the Thanksgiving …

Flying

Driving the 'invincible' Tesla Model X

Top Gear's Stephen Dobie samples the US-based EV maker's 'exceedingly fast' electric SUV.<p><b>The Jaguar I-Pace electric crossover concept</b> earned quite a lot of praise when it made its debut last week at the Los Angeles Auto Show. And there's no denying the production-bound concept car is a tantalising …

Automotive Design

Can a smartphone designer reinvent the lorry?

With the ambitious Charge concept, the creator of the clever YotaPhone is turning his attention from remaking the mobile phone to remaking today's 'totally unacceptable' trucks.<p><b>Is there a worse citizen than the lorry?</b> Loud and smoky, it rumbles over cobblestones, hogging lanes and destroying curbs, …

Trucks

The end of free carry-on luggage?

How one airline wants extra cash — plus the rest in this week's transport news.<p>Each week, the BBC Autos editors select their favourite transport-related news stories, features and videos from around the web. This week, we noticed a trend toward offering creative solutions to global transportation …

New York City

The Los Angeles auto show in 90 seconds

The short-attention-span guide to the good, the bad and the ugly in LA.<p><b>It is safe to assume that anyone</b> who has endured a January deep-freeze in Detroit spent a moment or two wishing they were pretty much anywhere else. That may illuminate the growing appeal in recent years — and the growing …

Automotive Design

Why is airline food so bad?

The answer lies in how aeroplanes are designed.<p>So, you just peeled back the plastic off a freshly-delivered tray right off your airplane’s trolley cart and the mess looking back at you is a grim one. The fault may not lie with the chef, though, but in the plane’s design.<p><b>Everything is reheated</b><p>The …

Sea Level

This is the electric Jaguar

The British carmaker's production-bound I-Pace Concept brings serious sex appeal to the plug-in set.<p><b>There’s a moment when the future becomes real,</b> when it just kind of slaps you in the face with its inevitable corporeality. That happened — oddly, in virtual reality — last night, when Jaguar …

Virtual Reality

Why Trump won’t be allowed to drive

And other interesting transport stories from the week.<p>Each week, the BBC Autos editors will select their favourite transport-related news stories, features and videos from around the web. With the election of Donald Trump as the next US president, much of the news — including autos and …

Donald Trump

Would you travel 700mph in a tube?

Elon Musk's Hyperloop wants to get you from Dubai to Abu Dhabi in 12 minutes<p><b>In the deserts of the United Arab Emirates,</b> one of the most futuristic, fantastical technologies could find footing at last. Hyperloop, the proposed series of tubes that could shuttle humans and goods in pods at breakneck …

High-speed Rail