Bosch wants to put the brakes on a form of auto emissions with its new iDisc

Carbon dioxide is often demonized, but cars emit other types of pollution that rarely get addressed. Bosch points out that brakes and tires are responsible for 32 percent of all driving-related particulate emissions, so it developed a next-generation brake disc in a bid to help make every part of the car cleaner. Named iDisc, it’s boldly presented as the brake disc 2.0.

Bosch subsidiary Buderus Guss designed the iDisc. It was engineered to generate up to 90 percent less dust than a conventional brake disc, which helps make the air cleaner. Its effect is all the more noticeable in big cities because cars in crowded urban areas spend almost as much time braking as they do accelerating. It also reduces water pollution in cities like Seattle, where stormwater ultimately drains into nature.

Bosch says the iDisc starts life as a standard brake disc made with cast iron. It’s then treated and coated with a shiny chemical compound called tungsten carbide, a material that’s used to make drill bits and armor-piercing ammunition, among other products. It sounds simple when you read about it, but it’s a solution that took years of testing to develop.

“The iDisc has everything it takes to replace the conventional cast iron brake disc and become the new standard in the brake disc market. Given the continued particulate pollution debate in many countries and large cities around the world, there is nothing standing in the way of its breakthrough,” said Gerhard Pfeifer, the managing director of Buderus Guss.

Braking performance is comparable to conventional cast iron discs, according to Bosch, but the iDisc never rusts and lasts significantly longer. There’s also an aesthetic benefit to coating a brake disc with tungsten carbide — rims and hubcaps stay cleaner for longer because they are subjected to less dust.

Bosch will begin iDisc production before the end of the month. The first production car equipped with the technology is the brand-new 2019 Porsche Cayenne. The iDisc remains roughly three times more expensive than a conventional brake disc, but the technology will trickle down to less expensive models as it becomes more affordable. It’s not the most expensive way to bring a few thousand pounds on wheel to a stop — the carbon ceramic brakes available in many luxury and sports cars are three times more expensive than the iDisc.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Write music with your voice, make homemade cheese

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Product Review

Who needs a Range Rover? BMW’s X7 has better tech and just as much luxury

The 2019 BMW X7 is the German automaker’s long-overdue entry into the full-size luxury SUV segment. Packing three rows of seats and plenty of tech, can the new BMW take on Mercedes-Benz and Land Rover?

2020 Cadillac CT5 luxury sedan gets turbocharged power, chiseled looks

The 2020 Cadillac CT5 replaces the CTS in the General Motors luxury brand's lineup. Cadillac will unveil the CT5 at the 2019 New York Auto Show in April. Until then, it's keeping most details under wraps.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (March 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.

Tesla wirelessly gives the Model 3 a 5-percent increase in power

Tesla again showed the potential of its innovative over-the-air software updating system by making the Model 3 five percent more powerful via a firmware update. The Performance model gained 23 horsepower.

Fiat wants to transform the cheeky 500 city car into an urban Tesla

Fiat is finally preparing a new 500. Scheduled to make its debut in early 2020, the retro-chic city car will go electric in part to comply with looming emissions regulations.

Waymo boosts robo-taxi plans with new service center in Arizona

Waymo has announced plans for a facility in Phoenix, Arizona, that will help to service, maintain, and grow its fleet of autonomous Waymo One cars. The vehicles operate as part of the company's robo-taxi ridesharing service.

Say goodbye to Uber for good: Here's how to cut ties with the ridesharing service

If you thought that deleting the Uber app would also delete your account, think again. You'll have to deactivate your account, then wait 30 days in order to do so. Here, we outlined how to delete your Uber account once and for all.

FWD vs. RWD vs. AWD: How the wheels that turn change the way you drive

Let's face it, you've likely heard front-, rear-, and all-wheel drive mentioned before in some context or another. But what do these terms mean, especially in terms of performance? We’ve got the answers.

Shift it yourself: How to drive stick in a manual transmission car

Driving a manual transmission car might seem intimidating at first, but it's not as difficult as you might think. Knowing how to operate this type of gearbox will serve you well. Here's everything you need to know to learn how to drive…

Vivint’s Car Guard keeps tabs on your vehicle when you’re not in it

A simple plug-in that you can place in just about any vehicle, Vivint's new Car Guard will automatically detect if your car is bumped, towed, or stolen and will alert you about it.

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC coupe gets a tech upgrade, keeps quirky styling

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC coupe debuts at the 2019 New York Auto Show with an upgraded infotainment system that incorporates Mercedes' digital assistant. The SUV launches later this year with turbocharged four-cylinder power.

This modified Land Rover Discovery is heading to Africa to help fight malaria

A Land Rover Discovery will be used by the Mobile Malaria Project for a 3,900-mile trek across Africa to study malaria. The SUV is equipped with a mobile gene-sequencing laboratory, as well as everything necessary for serious off-roading.

Volvo wants to use speed limiters, in-car cameras, and data to reduce crashes

Volvo believes new tech is the best way to improve car safety. The Swedish automaker will let owners set speed limits when loaning out their cars, install cameras to monitor drivers, and use data to design better safety features.