Electric Vehicles & Cars News - Page 77
Tesla Motors to launch driverless car before 2017
Tesla Motors' founder and CEO, Elon Musk, believes that his company will be able to produce autonomous, self-driving cars within 3 years. This is not speculation, this is something that he has said is currently in development.
Musk, when talking to the Financial Times, said: "We should be able to do 90 per cent of miles driven within three years. My opinion is it's a bridge too far to go to fully autonomous cars. It's incredibly hard to get the last few per cent." If Tesla Motors can do this, they will beat Volvo and Google to the self-driving car punch, with the Mountain View-based search giant finding it hard to secure a partner for its driverless technology.
Tesla will be offering a vehicle that would allow drivers to flick an "auto-pilot" switch, which would let the car drive itself. I think that this is a great idea, and it would stop a lot of the unnecessary deaths on roads around the world. I'm sure we would see breathalyzers installed, so you could drive to the pub, or to a friends place, enjoy your drinks, and be driven home in complete safety. The taxi industry on the other hand? Well, Johnny Cab's seemed to be popular in Total Recall...
Continue reading: Tesla Motors to launch driverless car before 2017 (full post)
Tesla Model S owner had his car catch fire, says he'd buy another
We reported during the week that a third Model S electric car had burst into flames, with the Tennessee owner only sustaining relatively minor damage to the Model S, but it ended with his car bursting into flames.
Juris Shibayama has posted a blog talking about this experience, where he reported that he drove over a "trailer hitch" and could not avoid it, where it went below his car. He felt a definitive "thud" as the hitch smacked the bottom of his car, where he said it "felt as though it even lifted the car up in the air." After a few in-car warnings that his "car needs service. Car may not restart," he pulled over - all the while he was able to maintain full control of his Model S electric car.
He was not injured in the event, and even said that "Had I not been in a Tesla, that object could have punched through the floor and caused me serious harm. From the time of impact of the object until the time the car caught fire was about five minutes. During this time, the car warned me that it was damaged and instructed me to pull over. I never felt as though I was in any imminent danger. While driving after I hit the object until I pulled over, the car performed perfectly, and it was a totally controlled situation. There was never a point at which I was anywhere even close to any flames."
Continue reading: Tesla Model S owner had his car catch fire, says he'd buy another (full post)
Third Tesla Model S goes up in flames after minor damage
Elon Musk publicly called the Tesla Model S "the safest car in America," but those claims may not be as true as everyone originally hoped. The Tennessee Highway Patrol has recently reported that a Tesla Model S was involved in a single vehicle fire yesterday in which the car was damaged after running over a piece of debris in the road.
The Model S hit what is rumored to be a "trailer hitch" that was laying in the road way, which could have damaged the cars lithium battery packs. While unlikely this scenario is not that far fetched as the Model S' battery pack is contained in the floor of the vehicle and is protected from below by a thin armor plate. Earlier this fall, another Model S burst into flames after its battery pack was punctured as well.
Tesla said that it has teams on the way to Tennessee to investigate the fire, and hopes to pinpoint the cause. This marks the third Model S to catch fire this year and as a result of the fires, Tesla's stock is down more than 27-percent from its high earlier this year of $193.37. News of the fire cause the stock to fall by more than 7-percent today alone.
Continue reading: Third Tesla Model S goes up in flames after minor damage (full post)
Indian car maker shows off air-powered car, the Airpod
We can all talk about lithium ion-powered cars, thanks to Tesla Motors and other companies, but what about air-powered cars? Well, Indian car maker Tata has constructed a prototype vehicle that is powered by air, the Airpod.
Tata completed testing on two vehicles, both of which are powered by compressed air. The Airpor has a top speed of around 50mph (or 80km/h) and can travel a distance of around 125 miles (or 200km) before it needs to be 'recharged' or re-gassed. For what seems like forever, the idea of an air-powered car has been futile, but it looks like Tata could be ahead of the curve, for now.
The Airpod by Tata has pretty much zero emissions, and costs just a dollar or so per 100 miles to run - which is unbelievably efficient. The Airpod's tank holds around 175 liters of compressed air, that can be refilled at gas stations, or even at home. All you have to do is be at a compatible spot, activate the on-board electric motor and then it will suck in air from the outside.
Continue reading: Indian car maker shows off air-powered car, the Airpod (full post)
Tesla Model S blitzes crash protection tests
It looks like Tesla Motors' Model S electric car is about to sell a bunch more vehicles, after it received five stars for all of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's tests.
There were four tests involved: front, side, pole and rollover. The Model S from Tesla scored five stars in every single test, which is somewhat of a record considering most safe cars score five stars on the frontal crash protection test, and four stars for side impact protection. Tesla adds in its announcement that during a previous roof crush test used during validation, the machine failed when applying more than 4 G's of pressure.
This pressure is the same as stacking four of the Model S cars on top of each other, all without the roof breaking - quite incredible. The NHTSA has said that the total scores made up of five stars for all tests, is one of the highest on record for a production vehicle, but how did Tesla do it?
Continue reading: Tesla Model S blitzes crash protection tests (full post)
Elon Musk unveils his plans for the Hyperloop transport system
The man behind PayPal, Tesla and SpaceX, Elon Musk, has just unveiled his plans for the "Hyperloop" transport system that he one day hopes to see passengers take from Los Angeles to San Francisco, faster than the speed of sound.
Musk unveiled a 57-page PDF, which you can read here, which explains that Hyperloop would transport people and cars between cities in aluminum pods that travel up to 800 miles per hour, inside elevated tubes. Musk said he was inspired by the pneumatic tubes that transport mail around some buildings as his inspiration for Hyperloop.
Musk is a big fan of transport, using his billions of dollars he's made from his various ventures such as PayPal to develop the electric car company, Tesla. He didn't stop there, as he also spent money on a private spaceflight company, SpaceX. Musk has said that the Hyperloop would be a "cross between a Concorde and a railgun and an air hockey table."
Continue reading: Elon Musk unveils his plans for the Hyperloop transport system (full post)
Elon Musk to publish Hyperloop Transport designs by August 12
Over the last year so, Space X founder Elon Musk has been carefully dropping hints about a transportation project that could change the future of the world. Of course I'm talking about the Hyperloop Transport System that would take passengers on an underground rail ride that would transfer them from Los Angeles to New York City in just 45 minutes.
Today, Musk posted a tweet to his Twitter account that said he intends to publish the alpha designs for the Hyperloop Transport System by August 12. His tweet went on to ask that, once published, everyone supply him with critical feedback. For those who are out of the loop, the Hyperloop System will be comprised of vacuum-sealed tubes underground which will allow a magnetically levitated train to be hurled at high speeds without any wind resistance.
Initial reports suggest that the vehicle would be able to travel at 4,000 mph and since it's underground, it would be crash proof. Theoretically, there can be tunnels that break away from a main trunk tunnel and visit every major city in America. This could effectively mean that someone who resides in the low-cost areas such as Augusta, GA could work in an area with higher wages such as New York City. This would drastically change the economic landscape for America. Until August 12, we're left to speculate as to what really can happen.
Continue reading: Elon Musk to publish Hyperloop Transport designs by August 12 (full post)
Garmin unveils new Heads Up Display for smartphones, reduces need to take eyes off the road for navigation information
Garmin is well known for its products surrounding in-car navigation, and now they are taking things to a whole new level. The company has just unveiled a new Heads Up Display or HUD for smartphones that will project relevant navigation data onto the end users windshield.
Garmin knows the danger presented when it's customers take their eyes off the road for a split second to check their GPS, so the company has invented a way to alleviate such distractions. The HUD unit will attach to a user's smartphone and will project information directly onto the windshield in the driver's line of sight. The information displayed includes: current speed, speed limit, navigation turn arrows, and distance until your next turn.
"HUD redefines the navigation experience by allowing drivers to find their way without taking their eyes off the road," said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of worldwide sales. "Head-up displays currently have their place in select high-end cars, but HUD makes this technology available as an aftermarket accessory for any vehicle, at an affordable price."
Continue reading: Garmin unveils new Heads Up Display for smartphones, reduces need to take eyes off the road for navigation information (full post)
JetBlue to offer in-flight Wi-Fi with 'Fly-Fi', is set for a Q3 launch
Sitting on a flight without Internet access feels like torture, sure it's #firstworldproblems, but my entire life is digital. So to hear that JetBlue is pushing through with their Fly-Fi service, it gets me excited for the future of air travel.
Fly-Fi is set to launch sometime before Q3, but this week JetBlue are conducting some tests with one of their Airbus A320s, which will include maneuvering the plane with some pretty unique weight loads, such as the rear center of gravity positioning you can see demonstrated in the picture, above.
Once this testing is done with, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification should come through, before the testing moves into the performance section. If this all goes to plan, passengers of JetBlue on Fly-Fi can expect Internet hooked up through ViaSat-1 from 30,000 feet in the air.
Continue reading: JetBlue to offer in-flight Wi-Fi with 'Fly-Fi', is set for a Q3 launch (full post)
Pandora reaches 2.5 million in-car activationss milestone, will come in one-third of all new vehicles sold this year
Pandora, everyone's favorite Internet radio service, has just cleared 2.5 million in vehicle activations. This milestone comes as Pandora announces it is integrated with 23 car manufacturers and eight third-party stereo brands. The company says that the service will be integrated into one-third of the cars sold this year.
The milestone, while small when compared to the total number of drivers in the US, Australia, and New Zealand, does indicate that more and more drivers are choosing to adopt music streaming services over traditional radio. Spotify and Rdio have been attempting to take some of that market share, but unlike those streaming services, Pandora offers an infinite random playlist which is much more like traditional radio.
Pandora began integrating into automobiles back in December 2010 when it adopted Ford's Sync AppLink technology with its Pandora for Android app. The service is now supported in over 100 different car models from a wide range of manufacturers including: BMW, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Ford, GMC, Honda, Hyundai, Lexus, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, MINI, Nissan, Scion, Suzuki, and Toyota.
Continue reading: Pandora reaches 2.5 million in-car activationss milestone, will come in one-third of all new vehicles sold this year (full post)