World’s First Flat-Pack Truck Can Be Assembled in 12 Hours

The world's first flat-pack truck doesn’t take much longer to assemble than an IKEA couch. Auto Express reports that the two-wheel drive vehicle, called the OX, takes only 12 hours to put together and can haul up to 4189 pounds of cargo in its load bed.

Designed by Gordon Murray and commissioned by Sir Torquil Norman of the Global Vehicle Trust (GVT), the OX was created to be rugged enough for off-road adventures, cheap enough to be widely affordable, and compact enough that it can be easily shipped in large quantities overseas. While the OX could easily find a home wherever there’s a market for affordable vehicles, it was designed specifically to help with transportation problems in more remote parts of Africa and Asia where cars are in short supply.

GVT hopes that the OX will not only ease transportation problems but also create jobs in their destination countries, where local companies will be employed to assemble the vehicles. Packaged and shipped in much the same way as traditional flat-pack furniture, the OX truck kits can be built quickly by groups of three people. Six OX truck kits are compact enough to fit in a single shipping container.

Designer Gordon Murray, who is best known for engineering the McLaren F1 sports car, told Auto Express he sees the OX as his greatest design achievement.

“We’ve benchmarked it and know that there’s nothing else like it on the planet," he explained. "It can carry up to 13 people, eight 44 gallon drums, or three Euro pallet. Honestly, I’m more proud of this vehicle than anything else I’ve ever done—including the McLaren F1 road car which was a narrow product for only a few wealthy people across the globe.”

[h/t Auto Express]

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There’s No Safe Amount of Time to Leave a Dog in a Hot Car

We often think of dogs as indomitable and durable animals who can fend off attackers, tirelessly chase Frisbees, and even eat poop without digestive consequences.

It’s true that dogs generally have a solid constitution, but that shouldn’t lead you to believe they can endure one of the biggest mistakes a pet owner can make: Leaving them in a hot car, even for a few minutes, puts a dog’s life at serious risk.

Even on relatively cool days with temperatures around 71.6°F, the inside of a vehicle can reach 116.6°F within an hour, as Quartz highlights.

If it’s a scorching summer heat wave, an 80-degree day will see temperatures get up to 99°F in just 10 minutes; a 90-degree day can turn the car into an oven at 119°F in the same amount of time.

Dogs can't tolerate this kind of heat. As their bodies struggle to cool down, the temperature is often more than they can expel through panting and opening capillaries in the skin. If their body reaches a temperature of 105.8°F, they're at risk of heatstroke, which only half of dogs survive. At 111.2°F, a lack of blood circulation can cause kidney failure and internal bleeding. Brain damage and death is very likely at this point. Depending on the outside temperature, it can happen in as little as six minutes. Cracking windows won't help.

Unless you plan on leaving your vehicle running with the air conditioning on (and we don't recommend that), there’s really no safe amount of time to leave a pet inside. If you do come back to find a listless dog who is unresponsive, it’s best to get to a veterinarian as soon as possible. And if you’re a bystander who sees a dog trapped inside a car, alert the nearest store to try and make an announcement to get the owner back to the vehicle. You can also phone local law enforcement or animal control. In some states, including California, you’re legally allowed to enter a vehicle to rescue a distressed animal.

[h/t Quartz]

Why an Ex-FBI Agent Recommends Wrapping Your Keys in Tinfoil Whenever You Leave Your Car

A car thief doesn't need to get their hands on your keys to break into your vehicle. If you use a wireless, keyless system, or fob, to unlock your car, all they need to do is steal the signal it emits. Luckily there's a tool you can use to protect your fob from hackers that you may already have in your kitchen at home: tinfoil.

Speaking with USA Today, retired FBI agent Holly Hubert said that wrapping car fobs in a layer of foil is the cheapest way to block their sensitive information from anyone who may be trying to access it. Hackers can easily infiltrate your car by using a device to amplify the fob signal or by copying the code it uses. And they don't even need to be in the same room as you to do it: They can hack the fob inside your pocket from the street outside your house or office.

Electronic car theft is a growing problem for automobile manufacturers. Ideally fobs made in the future will come with cyber protection built-in, but until then the best way to keep your car safe is to carry your fob in an electromagnetic field-blocking shield when you go out. Bags made specifically to protect your key fob work better than foil, but they can cost more than $50. If tinfoil is all you can afford, it's better than nothing.

At home, make sure to store your keys in a spot where they will continue to get protection. Dropping them in a metal coffee can is a lot smarter than leaving them out in the open on your kitchen counter.

[h/t USA Today]


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