Bespoke

This Breadvan Hommage is a one-off V12 GT coupe by Niels van Roij Design

Niels van Roij Design created the Breadvan Hommage from a vintage Ferrari.

Photo courtesy of Niels van Roij Design

It all started with a 1962 Ferrari 250 GT Breadvan. Now it's an Italian design-inspired, V12-powered gran truismo coupe with coach building by Niels van Roij Design.

"We see it as a great privilege that we can celebrate the '62 Breadvan through this Hommage commission," said Niels van Roij. "It was a complex task to translate the essence of the legendary car into a contemporary design. We intended to be inspired by the original, but ensured we were not limited by it in our creativity. The Breadvan Hommage is a new original."

The Niels van Roij Design Breadvan Hommage started as an idea. A sketch by hand. Then, the company moved to fit the design over the technical layout of the base car, refining as they went. This included the bespoke exhaust and unique headlights.

Breadvan Hommage - official video - our one-off V12 coachbuilt car design | Niels van Roij Designwww.youtube.com

Renderings were then turned into a clay model. A framework was installed onto the donor car, to which clay was applied. As this occurred, the design was ironed out.

"A car is a complex, three dimensional sculpture, which has to look right from all angles and under different light circumstance," said Roij. "Like sketching, the clay modeling process is iterative and the Breadvan Hommage was reshaped many times, to get it spot on. After establishing the correct proportions the search for sophistication in the surfacing, or skin, started: finding the right subtleties for transitions from one element to another. It includes the exterior graphics like the richly sculpted air vents on the front fenders.'

From there, the body of the car was beaten into shape by a coachbuilder by hand. By the time he was through, only the windscreen of the original vehicle remained as an OEM part.

Moving from the outside to the inside shows off a handmade interior. The outline of the exterior design has been embroidered on to the blue Alcantara carbon fiber-backed seats and there's a monograph on the dials, which have pure silver inlays. All switchgear is made out of milled aluminum, as is the gated shifter. Door panels feature an unpainted, hand beaten aluminum element. A small embroidered Italian flag in the corner of the aluminum insert highlights the design roots of the vehicle.

Niels van Roij Design Breadvan Hommage

Niels van Roij Design Breadvan Hommage

Photo courtesy of Niels van Roij Design

The original 60s Breadvan was outfitted with KONI single adjustable shock absorbers. The design team asked KONI to create a modern set of absorbers for the Breadvan Hommage. KONI's engineers used the double adjustable 8211-series as a basis for the parts. This series has been used in Formula 1 for years and the result is a model that is racetrack-ready, just as the original Breadvan was.

Vredestein contributed the tires to the build. Each wheel is wrapped in an Ultrac Vorti+ tire, an ultra-high-performance summer tire.

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The IIHS may increase the speeds it uses to test advanced driver aids.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently announced that it is considering changing the speeds it uses to test vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention systems. The agency currently tests the systems at 12 and 25 mph, but says that the speeds don't accurately represent the types of crashes the safety tech is meant to prevent.

Front crash preventionwww.youtube.com

Automatic emergency braking (AEB) is designed to notify of a possible collision and help respond with automatic application of braking. Just like a human using the brake pedal, it can stop the car, but higher speeds make it difficult to stop in time. The new tests would be conducted at 35 to 45 mph, which is the range where a large number of rear-end crashes occur. As Automotive News noted, an IIHS study showed 43 percent of rear-end crashes occur at speeds of 45 mph or less, so it's important to have a test that shows how well the tech performs at those levels.

A whopping 85 percent of 2022 vehicles earned a "Superior" rating in the current testing regime, so the IIHS will remove it from 2023 testing and Top Safety Pick award evaluations. Their view is that, since the majority of vehicles meet the criteria, it's no longer an accurate way of evaluating performance. In its place, the agency introduced a night test for automatic emergency braking systems that will begin next year.

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Toyota patented a dog-walking robot.

Toyota

Pets are one of life's great pleasures, but there's no disputing that they're a ton of work. Cleaning, vet visits, and walks are just the beginning, so it's always interesting to see the products that promise to make pet ownership more manageable. Toyota, the world's largest automaker, filed a patent for a self-driving dog-walking robot that looks nearly as advanced as many cars today.

Toyota Dog Walk RobotLogic helps the bot determine when to clean up a mess. Toyota

The main structure appears to be a platform with various attachments, and though the intention is for the machine to walk the dog for you, there's space for a person to ride. The vehicle is completely autonomous and does not require a person to guide it on walks. Sensors keep the robot from running over the dog and maintain speed.The patent paperwork includes several decision trees and logic for how the vehicle responds in various dog walking scenarios. One uses the vehicle's sensors to gauge the dog's distance from the robot. If the dog wanders too far, the machine can lock the leash and adjust its speed to maintain proper distance. It's the same sort of "thinking" done by autonomous cars on the road, just adjusted for scooping poop and leash management.

Speaking of number-two, dogs tend to poop when they walk, so Toyota had to prepare the robot for some poop scooping. In its decision-making process, Toyota added logic that asks, "Is it detected that the dog has pooped?" If the answer is yes, the machine is then instructed to "Execute collection process." A camera helps determine when the pooping has happened so the machine can do its job. If the dog pees, there's a water sprayer with an onboard tank to rinse the ground.

If your dog is anything like some of ours, it's likely you don't make through more than a few walks without some antics. Our lazy pups frequently get tired of walking and decide it's time for a mid-sidewalk nap, but Toyota's dog walker isn't going to tolerate any of that. The platform features paw sensors that can sense the dog's position and even let it do some driving.

Toyota Dog Walk RobotThe bot will scoop poop and wash away pee during a walk.

Toyota's patent filing is fun to think about and imagine what could be, but it's still just a patent. The automaker could turn its idea into a line of puppy walkers sold at dealers across the country or file it away as a thought exercise, never to be seen again. Either way, Toyota's got an exciting year ahead of it with the GR Corolla release and bZ4X hitting the streets, and there are rumors of a Crown SUV coming to the automaker's lineup.

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