There has been a lot of talk lately and a lot of general speculation in the media about driverless cars. The general feeling one is left with is that in a year or two, all new cars will be driverless-enabled.
The vision is kind of like a Disneyland autopia, where there will be roving fleets of driverless cars roaming the highways and streets, available for your immediate need, 24X7, hailed by you using your Smartphone, and arriving in mere minutes to take you to your desired destination. A lot less expensive to operate than taxis and trains, and a lot more convenient.
There is the added bonus of never have to search for a parking spot again. And there is the added safety factor of not having to get into a car with a stranger.
Do I have car envy. You betcha! I already am a huge fan of the Ford Mustang GT. The sound of one starting up is enough to make me smile, whether I am driving it or not.
But, now, with the 2015 Detroit auto show, Ford has unveiled the new Ford GT Supercar, which somehow, during an 18-month development, they managed to keep a complete secret.
HOW DID THEY KEEP IT A SECRET?
According to Automotive News, the GT project began in late 2013 by a skunk works team, including six designers, that guided the supercar along from birth until the unveiling. How did they keep things so secret? Read More...
Uh Oh! This is the second article on driverless cars I have felt compelled to write in a 3-month time period. Why? Because the topic keeps popping up in the news everywhere, which leads me to believe it is going to become a reality sooner rather than later. Why else? Because even though the idea is scary in a way, it is also fun - taking me to all those science fiction movies I have seen with sleek vehicles efficiently whizzing around, never a traffic jam...
The first article I wrote was about whether this will become a reality and how uncomfortable I feel thinking about it when my computer won’t even stay booted up consistently without every once in a while having an out-of-nowhere total freeze. Yes, I am uncomfortable thinking about my computer-driven car “freezing.” Read More...
The California Smog Inspection Program requires all vehicles to undergo a smog inspection every two years. You must have evidence of this inspection (and a pass certificate) submitted to the DMV as part of your vehicle registration process. The reason for the ruling is to reduce the air pollution from vehicles by ensuring that cars with excessive emissions are repaired in accordance with federal and state guidelines. Read More...
It’s customizable with interchangeable parts, and it can be configured to fit your taste and lifestyle. Nope, it’s not a Lego model but it’s made from acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, ABS for short, the same thermoplastic used to make Lego bricks. So, what is it? It’s the car of the future - the 3D printed car and it’s coming sooner than you think. Local Motors, the company behind this exciting innovation, is set to start rolling out their 3D printed cars in 2016.
Toyota will be launching it’s new fuel-cell car, the Mirai, in California this month. The sales goals are modest to start; 200-300 will be shipped by the end of this year, with a goal of selling 3,000 in the U.S. by the end of 2017.
I am all for protecting the environment and mother earth, but I am not so sure this is the “right” technology to do it.
Federal authorities, for years, have been saying there need to be rearview cameras on vehicles. The reason? Drivers back into stuff - poles, walls, fences, people. Usually, these “backover accidents” occur when a vehicle is pulling out of a parking spot or exiting a driveway. The visibility around the vehicle, especially on the driver's side, is extremely limited.
Janette Fennell is the president of Kids And Cars, a non profit safety organization which tracks backover accidents. The distressing news, Janette says, is that most backover victims are toddlers between 1 and 2 years old, “Children are quick and they are fast but we are not going to re-engineer the kids; we need to re-engineer the vehicles.”
I just read an interesting article on Flipboard* this morning on a new “Uber-like “ service for gasoline delivery for fill-ups. So essentially these are start up companies that want to fill up your car, wherever you might be. Are they trying to make gas stations obsolete? I don’t know, but the way they work, is similar to Uber; tap an app and they will bring the gasoline to you and fill up your car.
You might be at work, at the gym, walkin the dog or at home. Wherever you are, the gs n the fill-up comes to you. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? No more waiting in line for gas, no more standing there mindlessly at the pump while you car fills up, or apparently according to some, risking life and limb by making a call while filling up. Read more.
Looking to buy a new car? These days, carmakers have made it ever more interesting by having a wealth of options that could take your car from stock model blah to top of the line wow. If you have the budget, by all means go for the bells and whistles. But be warned, things really add up and you could end up paying almost double the cost of that base model.
I was reading an article on The Verge by Jason Harper and he had an interesting take on this. He said “when you’re considering a new car and its various options and convenience packages, it’s worth giving serious thought to those you’ll actually use. Just like apps on your phone or gadget conveniences for the kitchen, you’ll soon discover that some car options are worth every dollar, while you’ll never use others.” Read more.
Electric cars have undergone a surge in popularity in recent years, but electric vehicles were already being made in the late 19th Century. Interest in electric vehicles returned during the oil energy crisis of the 1970s and 1980s, but the cars never achieved mass production. Still, electric vehicles have been making a comeback since 2008, with the introduction of fully electric cars such as the Tesla Motors Roadster (and, subsequently, the Model S), and the Nissan Leaf.
This new technology offers a cleaner alternative to internal combustion engines, and use electric motors powered by electrochemical devices. Read more.