Sometimes it doesn’t take much to improve fuel economy. As part of the run-up to the launch of its Chevy Cruze in the United States, GM is highlighting some of its features. One is a piece of pretty unimpressive technology. It’s not an advanced battery chemistries or radical engine design, just a set of shutters that open and close depending on temperature and vehicle speed. (GM is calling this “shape changing” although the changes happen behind a grill and can’t be seen easily.) At high speeds, the flaps close to reduce drag. At low speeds or high temperatures, they open to improve cooling of the engine. But, although the tech isn’t impressive, the result is significant–an added half mile per gallon.
The flaps couldn’t have cost much to add, and they probably could have been included with GM cars years or decades ago. No doubt, provided the right motivation, GM could incorporate other simple measures across its fleet that could improve fuel economy.
What to know about this autumn’s covid vaccines
New variants will pose a challenge, but early signs suggest the shots will still boost antibody responses.
DeepMind’s cofounder: Generative AI is just a phase. What’s next is interactive AI.
“This is a profound moment in the history of technology,” says Mustafa Suleyman.
Human-plus-AI solutions mitigate security threats
With the right human oversight, emerging technologies like artificial intelligence can help keep business and customer data secure
Next slide, please: A brief history of the corporate presentation
From million-dollar slide shows to Steve Jobs’s introduction of the iPhone, a bit of show business never hurt plain old business.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.