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What are some random abbreviations or acronyms associated with anything at all that has to do with vehicles?

Posted - October 6, 2022


  • 43845
    SEL (my Ford)
    OBMV  (Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles) 
      October 6, 2022 9:54 AM MDT

  • 17237
      October 6, 2022 10:06 AM MDT

  • 5470
    ADAS Advanced Driver Assistance System

    LDW Lane Departure Warning

    AVI Automatic Vehicle Identification

    APU Auxiliary Power Unit

    ACC Adaptive Cruise Control

    LHD Left Hand Drive

    RHD Right Hand Drive

    GVW Gross Vehicle Weight This post was edited by Livvie at October 7, 2022 6:48 AM MDT
      October 6, 2022 10:37 AM MDT

  • 52735


      Due to the business that you and your husband are in, I was sure we’d hear from you on this one.

      October 6, 2022 1:40 PM MDT

  • 16073
    That's GVM in Australia. Gross Vehicle Mass. Weight is relative, mass is absolute.
      October 6, 2022 10:27 PM MDT

  • 5470

    It’s correct that kilograms and tonnes are units of mass and not units of weight.  The SI unit of weight is the newton, which is a derived unit instead of a base unit.  We still use pounds and tons in the US, so they’re units of weight.  The problem is that they’re also units of mass.  You’ll need Element 99 to explain how that‘s possible because I sure can’t.

    Then there’s Canada, who uses kilograms and tonnes as units of weight on their road signs.  I support the US switching to the metric system, but I also think we should change the speed limit and weight limit signs to the Vienna Convention, which is the limit inside of a red circle so we don’t have signs like these:

    This post was edited by Livvie at November 4, 2022 10:27 PM MDT
      October 7, 2022 10:00 AM MDT

  • 43845
    The Imperial unit of mass is the 'slug', equal to approx. 32 lbs.
      October 8, 2022 9:39 AM MDT

  • 10395
    POS (I can almost guarantee that we've all used this acronym for our car at one time or another)

      October 6, 2022 11:10 AM MDT

  • 653
      October 6, 2022 12:44 PM MDT

  • 32101

      October 6, 2022 3:56 PM MDT

  • 16073
    Some people are of the opinion that FORD is an acronym
    Found On Rubbish Dump
    Four Old Rusty Doors
    Fix Or Repair Daily
    Failed On Road Demonstration
    Full Of Reportable Defects

    (Reversed) Driver Returns On Foot This post was edited by Slartibartfast at November 4, 2022 10:28 PM MDT
      October 6, 2022 10:33 PM MDT

  • 32101
    You missed the correct one. 
    First On Race Day
      October 7, 2022 6:07 AM MDT

  • 16073
    Or another adjective beginning with F on race day ...
      October 7, 2022 10:32 PM MDT

  • 32101
      October 20, 2022 7:29 AM MDT

  • 16073
    VW. VolksWagen. My first car was a Typ Eins.
      October 7, 2022 11:07 PM MDT

  • 3642
    AA and RAC - Automobile Association and Royal Automobile Club: I don't know why the 'A' word in a country that calls cars, "cars" not "automobiles"; except perhaps as being more mellifluous than C or V. The RAC itself has always been a very exclusive private-members' social club, but its associative-only "members" subscriptions pay for roadside breakdown and recovery services, and it also sells driving insurance. It greatly angered many such "members" back in the 1980s I think, when it revealed the true nature of the associate-membership by selling this insurance arm and its member-customers' trade to some American insurance company.

    HGV - Heavy Goods Vehicle

    PSV - Public Service Vehicle (I think' public' not 'passenger'; but a 'bus' to you and me!

    TDC - Top Dead Centre - used in engine ignition and valve-event timing.

    DVLA - Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (UK)
    AFV - Armoured Fighting Vehicle (army)

    BSA - Sadly long-gone, but once a famous British make of motorcycle, by the Birmingham Small Arms Company which had indeed started as an armourer. Its trade-mark was three rifles. My first powered vehicle was a BSA "Star", of 250cc.

    NHP -  Nominal Horse-Power, a peculiar rating system used 100 years and more ago by traction-engine builders. I think it was a piece of legalese, and it was less than the real power of the vehicles.
    IHP - Indicated Horse-Power, that developed within a steam or internal-combustion engine cylinder calculated with the aid of a pressure-measuring instrument called an "Indicator".

    SHP - Shaft Horsepower. That available at the engine's output to drive the vehicle.

    On the subject of engine power, the....

    ... HP is obsolescent, replaced by the kW, which is even more relevant than the HP to the electrically-powered vehicle; and the ...

    .... kp - metric but obsolete, German I think; yet still occasionally used by some motor manufacturers and reviewers in their published specifications.
    As a useful approximation close enough for most practical purposes, 1HP = 750W.

    Ah - Ampere.Hour. The capacity unit for a battery - be it in your car or anything else.

    cc - the cubic centimetre is accepted in engine capacities and in chemistry, but the centimetre is an unofficial unit that should not be used in science and engineering - nor really anything else - generally.  

    'Sat-nav' - Colloquialism, in Britain at least, for 'Satellite Navigation System' (a.k.a. GPS). A very useful tool with the engaging habit of ensuring it knows where you are and how to reach your destination from there, along the most arcane of shortest routes, but you don't! One of my friends calls it "Sat-Nag".

    So far we seem to have restricted ourselves to road traffic but the term 'vehicle' is used in other transport modes.

    Such as the Railways:

    HST - High-Speed Train: Britain's first, and very successful, passenger train rated for 100mph+ cruising, on up-rated existing railway lines, not specially-built ones; unlike the...

    ... TGV - (Train Grande Vitesse), which is France's equivalent. It is faster still but uses its own tracks built for the purpose.

    DMU / EMU - Diesel / Electric Multiple-Unit Trains. Self-contained consists with the engines or motors below the coach floors, and a driving-cab at each end. This avoids the use of a separate locomotive and its associated run-round manoeuvres at each end of the trip, and is more or less standard practice in Britain and much of Europe. The HST and its descendents use a "power car" with engine and driving cab at each end of the train itself: effectively, a pair of locomotives blended in style with the coaches.

    SPAD - 'Signal Passed At Danger' - a very serious offence and SPAD incidents have caused major accidents over the 170 or so years of public rail transport. Fortunately very rare.

    TOC - Train Operating Company. One of the commercial entities who lease and run the trains by franchise on Britain's Network Rail lines. There are fewer than appear thanks to some of them using regional names and liveries to make them seem separate companies.


    It might seem stretching the point to call a ship a vehicle, but it is, and we have the...

    Ro-Ro Ferry - "Roll-on, Roll-off", i.e. carrying road vehicles driven directly between road and ship, using a hinged ramp to cope with tidal height changes. The term seems to fallen out of use, most likely due to such ferries becoming routine on the seas surrounding the British Isles; although its loss might also have been influenced by a very poor taste "humour" version after the Herald of Free Enterprise disaster.  (Until the 1960s there was a train-ferry service between England and Holland, using ships fitted with rails to carry the coaches. The locomotives and their crews stayed in their own countries.)

    AUV - Autonomous Underwater Vehicle. The marine equivalent of the flying UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle colloquially called a "drone", and not necessarily a weapon). Appropriate types of AUV can carry surveying sonars or other marine scientific equipment.

    HMS - now of course His Majesty's Ship - of the Royal Navy.

    dwt - 'Dead Weight', of a cargo-ship.

    'Reefer' - I have heard this used as sailors' slang for a Refrigerated (food-carrying) cargo ship.

    MARPOL - the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL).

    ISO - International Standards Organisation. Although the ISO itself is not directly concerned with transport, it formulated the Systeme Internationale version of the Metric System, and various foundation standards covering for example environmental protection; used the world over now for international and domestic commerce, including transport. 

      October 19, 2022 5:53 PM MDT

  • 5470
    In the North American trucking industry, reefer refers to a refrigerated trailer, so we have the same word.  Satnav is one of those British words that I think sounds better than its American counterpart.
      October 19, 2022 6:18 PM MDT

  • 3642
    What do they call them in America?

    I've a friend who calls it her "sat-nag".

    I used mine not long ago, very late at night, to find my shortest route home after a road-works diversion. It led me down rural names I had never seen previously, some very narrow with grass growing along the centres; past occasional isolated houses, but eventually onto a familiar road into a town I know. I was still 30 miles from home but at least knew my way from there.

    It occurred to me that if my car had broken down in that maze, where the device displayed only "Un-named road", assuming I had signal coverage I could have telephoned for help..... but had no idea where I was!
      November 2, 2022 2:38 PM MDT

  • 5470
    We call it GPS (acronym for Global Positioning System) even if the satellite navigation system is something other than GPS, such as Galileo.
      November 2, 2022 3:21 PM MDT

  • 3642
    Thank you.
      November 4, 2022 1:28 PM MDT

  • 5470
    Your story about “Un-named road” reminds me of these people, lol.
      November 4, 2022 8:16 PM MDT

  • 932
    ACA Automóvil Club Argentino 

    CNRT Comisión Nacional de Regulación del Transporte (regulatory agency)

    CV caballo de vapor (horsepower)

    LiNTI Licencia Nacional de Transporte Interjurisdiccional  This is an additional license required for truck and bus drivers who cross province lines. It's an annual health physical.

    RTO Revisión técnica obligatoria (vehicle inspection)
      November 4, 2022 10:27 PM MDT