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Comments

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Google Using Self-Driving Car Data to Make Cars Smarter

cartechboy Typo (1 comments)

Of course I noticed I accidentally forgot the O on the first word of the entire post. *sigh*

about 3 months ago
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Did The U.S. Government Ban This 261-MPH Car?

cartechboy Typo in the title (1 comments)

Clearly mean MPG not MPH.

about 3 months ago
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Build An Open-Source Electric Car In One Hour, For $4,000

cartechboy Interesting (1 comments)

This is pretty awesome.

about 6 months ago
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Tesla's Having Issues Charging In The Cold

cartechboy Re:Tesla's what? (3 comments)

And it seems I can't edit it. Darn. New rule: Must drink at least two cups off coffee before submitting.

about 6 months ago
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Tesla's Having Issues Charging In The Cold

cartechboy Shoot (3 comments)

Crap, you're correct. Clearly didn't have enough coffee this morning.

about 6 months ago

Submissions

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Researchers Just Created The 'Holy Grail' For Battery Cells

cartechboy cartechboy writes  |  7 hours ago

cartechboy (2660665) writes "Tesla says the future is electric cars, but many are skeptical that battery technology is advanced enough. It seems researchers just created pure lithium anode which is considered the 'holy grail' of battery tech. Existing lithium-ion batteries rely on the movement of lithium ions between the anode and cathode--and back--as the battery charges and discharges. While it's currently the best option for powering electric vehicles (and consumer electronics), there's room for improvement. The researchers at Stanford University just created that improvement. The pure lithium anode has the potential of boosting battery efficiency by a large margin over today's units. It proveds higher energy density, lighter weight and more power. A lithium anode would be ideal, but it's also unstable as the lithium expands during charging, causing cracks and fissures in the anode. Then lithium ions escape and battery life is reduced. That, and lithium anodes chemically react with the electrolyte, further reducing its life. Researchers fixed this issue with a carbon nanosphere arranged in a honeycomb structure. Is this the future? Did Standord's researchers just truly create the holy grail of battery technology?"
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How You Control Wheelspin At 1,100 MPH

cartechboy cartechboy writes  |  7 hours ago

cartechboy (2660665) writes "We've covered the Bloodhound SSC before because it's being built to go at least 1,000 mph. That's just crazy. Throughout the car's development the team has kept us updated on how it's constructing and testing various components. The latest development has the team testing the wheels to ensure they won't explode at 1,100 mph. How do you test such a thing? You run the wheel up to 1,100 mph and see what happens, naturally. We know the record speed attempt will be live streamed for all to view, so if something catastrophic does happen, we'll know about it as it's happening. In the past we've learned about the Bloodhound SSC's anatomy, brakes, and engine. The team is clearly working hard to ensure both the driver's safety and the ability to control the car in case the worst happens. The question still remains: will the Bloodhound SSC actually break the speed record and hit 1,000 mph, safely?"
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Are Tesla and Panasonic already secretly building the gigafactory?

cartechboy cartechboy writes  |  yesterday

cartechboy (2660665) writes "Earlier in the week we heard that Tesla and Panasonic had reached an agreement to build the gigafactory together, and today that became official. Now it seems that things are farther along than anyone thought. In fact, construction of the plant might already be secretly underway in Nevada. This is of course interesting as Tesla hasn't officially announced where the gigafactory will be built. Something called Project Tiger is currently underway east of Reno, and there's a lot of construction workers, heavy equipment, and a heavily guarded fenced barrier around the site. The volume of dirt being moved is 140,000 cubic yards, which matches the gigafactory dimensions given earlier this year by Tesla. Is it possible that Tesla's actually building the gigafactory before even announcing its location? It seems so, yes."
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Tesla And Panasonic Have Reached An Agreement On The Gigafactory

cartechboy cartechboy writes  |  3 days ago

cartechboy (2660665) writes "Tesla's been pretty quiet regarding its upcoming gigafactory lately, but that's about to change. It seems the Silicon Valley startup has reached an agreement with Panasonic in regards to the gigafactory, and Panasonic's going to end up having skin in the game. While the electronics giant was originally skeptical of Tesla's battery factory, it now isn't just on board, it's actually going to participate in the construction of this new facility. It's reported that Panasonic will invest 20 billion to 30 billion yen (194 million to $291 million at current exchange rates), and supply fabrication machinery necessary for cell production. That means Pansonic could end up footing the bill for $1 billion of the total $5 billion anticipated investment required for the gigafactory to get off the ground. If things continue to move forward the Gigafactory should be online by the end of 2017."
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Will Your Next Car Be Covered In Morphing Dimples?

cartechboy cartechboy writes  |  about a week ago

cartechboy (2660665) writes "Golfing and cars, not much in common there. But that's about to change thanks to a new technology from a research lab at MIT called Smorphs. The idea is simple: put a set of dynamic dimples on the exterior of a car to improve its surface aerodynamics and make it slipperier, and therefore faster. Pedro Reis is the mechanical engineering and research spearheading this project. A while ago Mythbusters proved the validity of the dimpled car form in a much more low-tech way. The concept uses a hollow core surrounded by a thick, deformable layer, and a smoother outer skin. When vacuum is applied, the outer layers suck in to form the dimples. The technology is only in its very earliest stages, but we could see this applied to future vehicles in an effort to make them faster and more fuel efficient."
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The Tesla Model S Has Been Hacked

cartechboy cartechboy writes  |  about two weeks ago

cartechboy (2660665) writes "A few weeks ago we heard about a challenge being thrown down to hack a Tesla Model S. It seem that challenge was both accepted and accomplished. Chinese internet security company Qihoo has announced it's found ways to remotely control aspects of the Model S, even while the car is in motion. The company posted screenshots showing several vital functions of the car disabled--such as ABS and traction control--while the company also "discovered ways to remotely control the car's lock, horn and flashing lights." Obviously this move could simply be a PR stunt by Qihoo. Forbes suggested it might be a way to scare Tesla's CEO Elon Musk into doing business with Qihoo. Tesla said, "WE hope that the security researchers will act responsibly and in good faith."
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Tesla Model S Falters On The Nürburgring

cartechboy cartechboy writes  |  about two weeks ago

cartechboy (2660665) writes "Most normal road cars aren't designed to handle track conditions, though, newer performance cars have become surprisingly good at going around a track. It seems the same can't be said for the Tesla Model S which faltered during a hot lap around the legendary Nürburgring. Racing driver Robb Holland piloted the electric car around the 14-mile track, but after just one third of the loop the Model S went into reduced-power mode to help preserve the battery. Before this happened Holland described the car as too heavy, too short of mechanical grip, and devoid of steering feel. He did praise the electric sedan saying it's probably capable of a 9-minute lap if it doesn't overheat, and for a brand new car company that didn't exist a decade ago, it's an impressive vehicle. So it seems the Tesla Model S isn't perfect at everything, yet."
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Nissan's Self-Driving Car Won't Actually Be Fully Autonomous

cartechboy cartechboy writes  |  about two weeks ago

cartechboy (2660665) writes "Last summer Nissan said it would be launching a self-driving car with revolutionary technology in 2020. It seems the "revolutionary technology" Nissan was talking about won't actually be hitting by 2020, as the launch plan it just announced doesn't put a fully autonomous car on the road any time soon. The plan calls for a vehicle with automated lane controls and highway traffic management system (essentially a traffic jam assistant) to launch in 2016. Then by 2018 it will launch a vehicle with additional multiple-lane control system, which will allow the vehicle to autonomously negotiate hazards and change lanes. By the end of the decade Nissan plans to have a vehicle with intersection-autonomy, allowing a vehicle to negotiate city cross-roads without driver interaction. So by 2020, Nissan's autonomous car will still require a driver to remain in control and behind the wheel. This is a bit different than what Google's looking to launch. Which then begs the question, is this truly even going to be a self-driving car?"
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White House Responded To Tesla's Direct-Sales Petition

cartechboy cartechboy writes  |  about two weeks ago

cartechboy (2660665) writes "Remember about a year ago when a Tesla supported created a petition on WhiteHouse.gov asking President Obama to allow Tesla Motors to sell its vehicles directly to consumers in all states? The petition has the necessary 100,000 signatures and was completed properly. Well, the White House got around to responding, a year later. Basically, the answer was sorry, go talk to congress. The response from the White House was actually 10 paragraphs long, but two sentences basically sum it up: "As you know, laws regulating auto sales are issues that have traditionally sat with lawmakers at the state level." And also, "We understand that pre-empting current state laws on direct-to-consumer auto sales would require an act of Congress." Naturally Tesla and Tesla supporters weren't pleased to see this type of response."
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Hyundai Exec Trash Talks Tesla, Electric Car Maker Bites Back

cartechboy cartechboy writes  |  about two weeks ago

cartechboy (2660665) writes "It's not uncommon for executives to talk about the competition, but it is unusual for them to not only trash talk them, but to literally call them out. That seems to be the scenario that just happened as a Hyundai executive has called out Tesla. Michael O'Brien is head of U.S. product planning for Hyundai called out Tesla by saying it bought and paid for its Supercharger network with "money that has come from grants and loans from the government." Meanwhile he's angry that the government has provided exactly zero dollars towards the development of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. Tesla of course was less than thrilled to hear about this and immediately refuted the claims made by Mr. O'Brien. Could it be that Hyundai is simply sour that it's chosen to invest in fuel-cells and that there's no infrastructure to refuel these vehicles?"
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Creepy New Seats Monitor Your Heart Rate, Can Control The Car

cartechboy cartechboy writes  |  about three weeks ago

cartechboy (2660665) writes "Cars already have the technology to determine when you're drowsy, that's nothing new. But having seats with sensors in them monitoring your heart rate to determine if you're falling asleep, that's new, and creepy. A new project from Nottingham Trent University in the UK is working on an electrocardiogram (ECG) built into the driver's seat to detect heart rate and determine when the driver is too fatigued—or worse, falling asleep—in order to improve road safety. The tech uses circuits integrated right into the seats to monitor heart rate, respiration, and more to monitor alertness and health. The idea is the system can take over using active cruise control, lane-keep assist, and other safety technology if the driver were to be drowsy or fall asleep. Of course, the creepy part is the car knows your health and determines whether it would be more fit to drive than you. Maybe in the future you won't get to decide if you're fit to drive, your car will."
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Hack A Tesla Model S Challenge Set With $10,000 Prize

cartechboy cartechboy writes  |  about three weeks ago

cartechboy (2660665) writes "It seems there's a new hack challenge set every week, but this time, it seems different. A challenge has been thrown down to hack a Tesla Model S with a $10,000 prize. The organizers of a computer security conference have set the challenge and it's open to anyone that registers for the Syscan conference. Taking place in Beijing from July 16-17, the rules for the hack competition haven't been revealed yet but a Model S will be on display for hackers to try their luck on. It's important to note that Tesla itself isn't involved in the competition in any official capacity, nor does it support the competition. If successful, this wouldn't be the first time a Tesla Model S has been hacked. In that instance Tesla was quick to warn people that making changes in the Model S' software would immediately void the car's warranty. Given the car's high-tech nature, it's no shock Tesla's taking security seriously. With $10,000 on the line, it'll be interesting to see if anyone manages to crack the code."
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Tesla Battles Trademark Troll in China

cartechboy cartechboy writes  |  about three weeks ago

cartechboy (2660665) writes "Looks like Tesla is battling copyright issues over its name in China, as a single businessman there trademark trolls them. Zhan Baosheng has sued Tesla to stop the company from selling cars in China because he filed for the Chinese copyrights of the Tesla name in 2006 and was granted those trademarks in 2009. Baosheng had also set up a website and trademarked the Tesla logo--hoping to profit from Tesla's expected plans to sell in cars in China. Tesla, meanwhile, says its claim to the name has already been upheld by other Chinese authorities and that the lawsuit is without merit. The electric car company has actually considered using the phonetic name "Te Su Le" to sell its cars if needed. China drivers now buy more cars than those in any other country and the market is a key for luxury car sales."
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New Robot Valet Will Park Your Car at German Airport

cartechboy cartechboy writes  |  about three weeks ago

cartechboy (2660665) writes "Travelers at Dusseldorf Airport in Germany don't even have to park their cars anymore. Last week the airport began testing a self-driving fork-lift like robot system called "Ray" that delivers cars to and from parking spaces. Drivers simply pull into the parking lot and check the car in on a digital touchscreen. The robot valet takes it from there. Sensors measure the vehicle dimensions so the robot can adjust its arms, pick the car up and park it in one of the 249 automated parking spots. The electric-powered Ray travels up to 6 mph.guided by laser navigation and mapping software With a smart phone app, drivers can even let Ray know they are going through customs, so the car is ready right when you return. Best part — the related video is narrated in German."
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Mercedes' Autonomous Trucks Mean Drivers Can Read iPad on Highway

cartechboy cartechboy writes  |  about three weeks ago

cartechboy (2660665) writes "Big rig operators may not be thrilled to hear it (or maybe they will). Daimler board member Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard was quoted as saying "The truck of the future is a Mercedes-Benz that drives itself." The German automaker has completed a first public road test of an autonomously-driven truck. Radar and stereo cameras keep the rig on the right course once it's at cruising speed, freeing the driver to get "other" work done. (Watch the video to get a sense for a trucker being able to settle in with his iPad.) Mercedes says the self-driving truck could allow drivers to perform tasks that might otherwise be handled by office workers. So maybe it's office workers that need to worry about autonomous trucks, rather than the drivers."
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Facial Recognition Might Be Coming To Your Car

cartechboy cartechboy writes  |  about a month ago

cartechboy (2660665) writes "What if you got into your car and you had to authenticate that it was you behind the wheel? That might be what's coming in the near future as Ford's working with Intel to bring facial recognition to the car. The idea would be to improve safety and in-car tech with this system which is being called Project Mobil. When someone enters a Project Mobil-equipped car the system uses front-facing cameras to authenticate the driver. If the driver can't be authenticated it'll send a photo to the vehicle owner's phone asking for permission for this person to drive the vehicle. Once identified, the car can then automatically adjust certain settings to the driver's preference. This could also theoretically allow parents to control how loud their kids listen to the music while driving, how fast they can drive, and even simply monitor them driving. Obviously this NSA-like surveillance tech is a bit creepy on some levels, but there could be a lot of terrific applications for it. While only an experiment, don't be surprised if your dashboard stares back at you eventually."
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For $10,000 You Could Make Your Car Autonomous

cartechboy cartechboy writes  |  about a month ago

cartechboy (2660665) writes "Tired of waiting for self-driving cars from the automakers? If 2017 and 2020 just feel too far away there's now a solution it's called Cruise, and for $10,000 it'll turn your current ride into a self-driving car. Kyle Vogt started the company and recruited a team of engineers and roboticists from MIT to work on autonomous vehicles. Cruise plans to market the hardware as something that can be retrofitted to existing cars using roof-mounted sensors near the windshield, actuators to operate the controls, and a trunk-mounted computer that manages everything. The idea is that drivers can merge onto the highway and simply hit the "Cruise" button on the dashboard. This will engage the system and basically turns the car on autopilot. The system can use the steering, brakes, and throttle to keep the car in its lane. Currently the first system called RP-1 only works on current-generatinon Audi A4 and S4 models, but one would have to assume there are plans for expanding that. RP-1 is currently available for pre-order with the launch set for near year."
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Is Suspension-Energy Recovery The Next Big Thing?

cartechboy cartechboy writes  |  about a month ago

cartechboy (2660665) writes "Let's face it, regenerative braking is now old tech. It's on everything from the Toyota Prius to your mom's new Ford Fusion Hybrid. So what's next? We've already heard about thermoelectric technology which recovers energy from hot surfaces such as exhaust, but what about the energy used by your car while moving up and down? That's right, recovering energy normally lost through a vehicle's suspension. Audi is reportedly developing a regenerative suspension system that could reclaim energy in a similar way to regenerative braking, providing an extra boost of electricity from the up-and-down motion of the shock absorbers. Shocks can become quite hot, especially on a bumpy road. That heat is pretty much wasted as it dissipates into the atmosphere as wasted energy, but the Audi system would collect it with an attached generator. That recovered energy would be stored in batteries and used to power a hybrid's electric motor or electrical accessories in a conventional car. Audi hasn't said when this tech will make its public debut, but this stuff is the next step in when it comes to energy recovery in cars."
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Here's Why Lithium-Ion Batteries Degrade with Repeated Charging

cartechboy cartechboy writes  |  about a month and a half ago

cartechboy (2660665) writes "You own a smartphone and a laptop, and you've likely experienced your device's lithium-ion battery performance degrading over time after repeated charging cycles. Why? The simple answer is each time you charge and discharge the batteries they lose a little capacity. While you won't notice this every day, you will after a year or two. The technical reasoning behind this has to do with how the ions move through the battery change the physical structure of the electrodes. In a lithium-ion battery, lithium ions move from the anode to cathode through a non-aqueous electrolyte. As they do, the physical structures of the electrodes are very slightly altered at an atomic level. During discharge, they wear at irregularities on its surface in a non-uniform way. In the future, there might be a way to possibly coat the cathodes with elements that resist crystallization, but a commercially-realistic timescale for such advances will be years away."
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NADA Is Terrified Of Tesla

cartechboy cartechboy writes  |  about a month and a half ago

cartechboy (2660665) writes "It's no secret that the National Automobile Dealers Association has been trying to block Tesla from selling cars directly from consumers, but to date, it has been defeated countless times in many states. Now NADA put out a release and promotional video touting the benefits of dealer franchises, something Tesla has shunned. NADA mentions price competition, consumer safety, local economic benefits, and added value. While NADA argues its points, there's no question that Tesla could easily turn around and argue right back with valid counter points. There may be some truth to NADA's claims, but there are some gaping holes in the arguments that can't be ignored, and I'm sure Tesla won't. Hey NADA, you scared?"

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