Car Curling – the Environmentally Friendly Driving Game

February 8, 2008


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In this mash of Zen Mix mixes, we see examples of Car Curling and environmentally friendly driving game where you try not to use your brakes. So as you approach a group of stopped cars, you stop accelerating and glide towards them seeing if you can glide to a stop just behind them.

Every time you use your brakes you are wasting gas. It takes energy to move your car – think about pushing your car – and each time you use your brakes to stop your car – that much energy is just being thrown away. Well actually, it is being used to wear down your breaks…

In rush hour traffic, avoiding brakes can help smoothen out the flow – regulate it so the fluid flow (cars are like a fluid) becomes more consistent and speeds up. Trucks do this and it helps get the traffic back on stream. I have driven 100 Kilometers through rush hour traffic to Toronto and not used my brakes once! It is a fun, environmentally friendly game.

Car Curling… with Inventor Dan Zen on a Zen Vlog Car Vlog

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3 Responses to “Car Curling – the Environmentally Friendly Driving Game”

  1. thilaganesh Says:

    But, brake is necessary in emergency. Learning avoiding brake as for as possible is also a good part of driving!

  2. The success you have trying to do this, also has a lot to do with the technology used in your car. Two elements determine to a large extent how well you can slow down without using the brakes: the type of transmission and the type of engine. In most North-American cars with an automatic transmission there is no real clutch but a hydraulic ‘sloshbox’, aka two not physically connected turbines in an oil bath. One driven by the engine, which transfers energy through the oil to the other one connected to the gearbox. These are found on cars which creep forward at traffic lights when you release the break. Lack of direct physical connection means your ability to brake on the engine is limited. A manual gearbox works with a real clutch, which when the clutch pedal is not pressed, keeps two discs in direct contact: one driven by the engine, the other going to the gearbox. This does allow good braking on the engine. There are also sequential automatic gearboxes which work with real clutches, be it that the discs are controlled automatically. These have the same advantage the manual cars provide when it comes to braking on the engine. The breaking on the engine happens because you stop providing fuel but your wheels are moving the pistons in the cylinders up and down. The valves create the same sequence of open and closed cylinders. This means you are compressing air in closed cylinders, which provides the braking effect. Different engines have different compression ratios. The higher the compression the more the braking effect. That is why diesel engines with their higher compression ratios than gas engines, if manual or with automatic sequential gearboxes, will barke better on the engine. Another factor is vehicle weight, E=mc^2, remember? The lighter, the less inertia and the easier you slow down. I drive a smart car, built by Mercedes-Benz in France, which has served me well for the last ten years and 102,000 km. It was the first generation which was imported in canada, before the Americans started importing them. These were little three cylinder diesels, and the American reluctance to buy diesels, led to it’s discontinuation after two years in Canada. Diesel and a six speed sequential gearbox with a real automatic clutch. Real diesel consumption as calculated over the years based on real mileage and gas bar receipts stands at 4.8 l of diesel per 100 km. That is indeed to a large extent as well due to braking on the engine as it is due to light weight and small turbo charged diesel engine (900cc).
    Of course it also requires understanding the two most important aspects of driving from a safety and efficiency point of view: observation and anticipation. It helps for safety to keep out of accidents, but also for the subject at hand: braking on the engine whenever you see an anticipated or observed reason for slowing down or stopping.


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