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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 5 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 5 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 8 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 8 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 8 months ago

Submissions

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Is Tesla A Fringe Brand? Bob Lutz Thinks So

cartechboy cartechboy writes  |  2 days ago

cartechboy (2660665) writes "There's been plenty of skepticism when it comes to Tesla. The Silicon Valley startup unveiled an all-electric car that stunned the world and had many other automakers rolling their eyes. Fast forward to 2014 and Tesla's preparing to launch its second model, the Model S. Production of the Model S sedan is humming along, and this new automaker continues to make headlines multiple times a week. Industry veteran Bob Lutz was the champion behind the Chevrolet Volt, and has been quite vocal about Tesla from the beginning. So what's his views on the company now? He said Tesla will remain a "fringe brand" until it launches its next generation of vehicles and the smaller, less expensive Model 3. Speaking Wednesday on CNBC's "Squawk Alley" finance show he said that Tesla's stock price was "kinda high" at the moment. Is Lutz right, or is he just sour over Tesla's success?"
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Face it, Tesla's going to win in every state

cartechboy cartechboy writes  |  about two weeks ago

cartechboy (2660665) writes "Unless you've been in a coma for a while you're aware that many dealer associations have been causing headaches for Tesla in multiple states. The reason? They are scared. Tesla's new, different, and shaking up the ridiculously old way of doing things. But the thing is, Tesla keeps winning. Now Ward's commenter Jim Ziegler, president of Ziegler Supersystems in Atlanta, wrote an opinion piece that basically says Tesla's going to prevail in every state against dealer lawsuits. He says Tesla's basically busy defending what are nuisance suits. This leads to the question of whether there will be some sort of sweeping federal action in Tesla's favor."
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Is The Tesla Model 3 Actually Going To Cost $50,000?

cartechboy cartechboy writes  |  about two weeks ago

cartechboy (2660665) writes "How low can battery cost go, and how fast? That's the question automakers are dealing with when it comes to the future of electric cars. Tesla is betting big on electric and has already proven many skeptics wrong with its Model S sedan. The company is making even bolder claims with its upcoming Model 3 stating it'll have about 200 miles of range and a base price of $35,000. That's a nice goal, but is it possible. Battery skeptic Menahem Anderman wrote a new report suggesting that the pace of cost reduction for electric car batteries won't be as swift as Tesla's CEO Elon Musk suggests. This leads Anderman to predict the actual price of the upcoming Model 3 will be in the range of $50,000-$80,000. That's quite a jump from the goal of $35,000. Can Tesla actually pull off the Model 3 with the goal price of $35,000?"
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Tesla Wins Dealer Battle In Massachusetts

cartechboy cartechboy writes  |  about two weeks ago

cartechboy (2660665) writes "Tesla's been battling car-dealer associations in many states as of late. Just recently we heard about it taking on the fight in Georgia. While we haven't seen the outcome of the fight in Georgia, Tesla did just score a win in Massachusetts. The highest court ruled this week that the state dealer association does not have standing to sue Tesla for operating one of its company-owned stores there. Further, the ruling by the state Supreme Judicial Court upholds a lower court's decision to dismiss a suit brought by the Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association. The issue is the law dealers were using to justify their suit was actually intended to protect franchised dealers from abuse by car manufacturers or distributors. Tesla can now add Massachusetts to its win column, but it still cannot presently operate its stores in Arizona, Texas, or Virginia. How long until Tesla can just sell its cars how it wants in all states?"
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Toyota And Tesla Getting Together Again?

cartechboy cartechboy writes  |  about three weeks ago

cartechboy (2660665) writes "Tesla and Toyota have already worked together a few times. That factory that Tesla builds the electric Model S in? Yeah, it bought that from Toyota. The Toyota RAV4 EV? Yeah, the battery and software tuning was done by Tesla. Now it sounds like Tesla and Toyota might have another significant project in the pipeline in the next two or three years. Tesla CEO Musk said such a project could be "on a much higher volume level" than the firms last project with Toyota, the RAV4 EV. Toyota currently has a 2.4 percent stake in Tesla Motors and has sold 2,130 RAV4 EVs through August. For its part, Toyota has no comment regarding Musk's comment about the future project. Given Toyota's stance on electric cars, Musk's comment is a bit confusing. So what exactly will this joint project be?"
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Tesla's Fighting Back In Georgia

cartechboy cartechboy writes  |  about a month ago

cartechboy (2660665) writes "Elon Musk isn't just changing the way our cars work, no, he's changing the way we buy our cars too. At least, he's trying to. Musk and Tesla's biggest hurdle in the U.S. has been bypassing conventional dealerships and selling directly to customers. This concept is something that's illegal in many states thanks to a nationwide patchwork of decades-old franchise laws. Tesla's latest battle is taking place in Georgia where dealers allege that the start-up company is in violation of the state's franchise laws. Not surprsingly, Tesla's fighting back. To sell cars in the state Tesla had to agree to sell fewer than 150 vehicles directly to consumers in the state. Last week Georgia Automobile Dealers Association complained that Tesla sold 173 vehicles. Tesla hasn't publicly commented on how many vehicles it has sold in Georgia. We've seen time and time again how this story ends, and the writing is clearly on the wall for this case."
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California DMV Told Google Cars Still Need Steering Wheels

cartechboy cartechboy writes  |  about a month ago

cartechboy (2660665) writes "Google showed us what it feels is the car of the future. It drives itself, it doesn't have a gas or brake pedal, and there's no steering wheel. But that last one might be an issue. Back in May California's Department of Motor Vehicles published safety guidelines aimed at manufacturers of self-driving vehicles. After seeing Google's self-driving car vision, the California DMV has told the company it needs to add all those things back to their traditional locations so that occupants can take "immediate physical control" of the vehicle if necessary. Don't for a second think this is a major setback for Google, as the prototypes unveiled weren't even close to production ready. While the DMV may loosen some of these restrictions in the future as well all become more comfortable with the idea of self-driving vehicles, there's no question when it comes down to the safety of those on the road."
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How Does Tesla Build A Supercharger Charging Site?

cartechboy cartechboy writes  |  about a month ago

cartechboy (2660665) writes "Tesla's Superchargers are the talk of the electric car community. These charging stations can take a Model S battery pack from nearly empty to about 150 miles or range in around 30 minutes. That's crazy fast, and it's nothing short of impressive. But what does it take to actually build a Tesla Supercharger site? Apparently a lot of digging. A massive trench is created to run high-capacity electric cables before the charging stations themselves are even installed. A diagram and photos of the Electric Conduit Construction build out have surfaced on the Internet. The conduits connect the charging stations to a power distribution center, which in turn is connected to a transformer that provides the power for charging cars. It took 11 days to install the six charging stalls in Goodland, Kansas. If you thought it was a quick process to build a Supercharger station, you were clearly wrong. Now, what ever happened to those battery swapping stations?"
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Is California Going To Waive Environmental Rules For Tesla?

cartechboy cartechboy writes  |  about a month and a half ago

cartechboy (2660665) writes "We all know Tesla is working on its Gigafactory, and it has yet to announce officially where it will be. But the automaker did announce a shortlist of possible locations, and California wasn't on it. The state has quickly been trying to lure Tesla to get back into contention. Now the state may waive environmental rules which would normally make construction of such a large manufacturing facility more difficult. Apparently, Governor Jerry Brown's office is currently negotiating an incentive package for Tesla that would waive certain parts of the nearly half-century-old California Environmental Quality Act. Not only that, but state officials are reportedly considering letting Tesla begin construction and perform damage mitigation later, along with limiting lawsuits that could slow down the project. Let's not forget some massive tax breaks to the tune of $500 million. Is California stepping out of bounds here? Is it about to be in hot water, or does this all sit just fine with everybody?"
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What happens to electric-car batteries once they leave cars?

cartechboy cartechboy writes  |  about a month and a half ago

cartechboy (2660665) writes "Skeptics will ask what happens to electric-car batteries once they leave the car? Do they just end up in landfills? This is a great question, and the answer is no, not really. While some could be recycled, that doesn't seem like a realistic plan as the stuff inside lithium-ion batteries is cheap, and technological breakthroughs will make it dated. But a secondary use, that's more realistic. The idea of these massive battery packs being re-purposed for something else is completely real. Maybe they'll be bundled to a solar panel system on a house to both create and store renewable energy for peak utility times. So will these battery packs end up creating more waste by going to landfills? Not likely, but they also might not get recycled."
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Idiot Left Driver's Seat In Self-Driving Infiniti, On The Highway

cartechboy cartechboy writes  |  about 2 months ago

cartechboy (2660665) writes "Self-driving cars are coming, that's nothing new. People are somewhat nervous about this technology, and that's also not news. But it appears self-driving cars are already hear, and one idiot was dumb enough to climb out of the driver's seat while his car cruised down the highway. The car in question is a new Infiniti Q50 which has Active Lane Control and adaptive cruise control. Both of which essentially turn the Q50 into an autonomous vehicle while at highway speeds. While impressive, taking yourself out of a position where you can quickly and safely regain control of the car if needed is simply dumb. After watching the video, it's abundantly clear why people should be nervous about autonomous vehicles. It's not the cars and tech we need to worry about, it's idiots like this guy."
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Think you can drive better than an autonomous car? You're wrong.

cartechboy cartechboy writes  |  about 2 months ago

cartechboy (2660665) writes "Humans seem to fear the idea of self-driving cars. Why? The reasons we have accidents are more times than not because of human error. A recent study by Insurance.com which polled 2,000 licensed drivers in June 2014 found that 61 percent of those surveyed said they would make better driving decisions than a computer. While one would love to believe such a thing, it's a fact that computers drive better than humans. This may not be true today, but very, very soon, once software is tidied up, autonomous cars will make far better drivers. Why? Because humans are taking selfies, putting on makeup, and reading email while behind the wheel of the car they are supposedly driving. Self-driving cars don't get hammered before driving, they can't take selfies, and they certainly aren't reading the most recent Buzzfeed article. Human error accounts for up to 95 percent of all traffic accidents. So the next time you think you're a better driver than a computer, you aren't."
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Tesla's Already Shopping For More Office Space

cartechboy cartechboy writes  |  about 2 months ago

cartechboy (2660665) writes "Remember four years ago when Tesla's new headquarters in Palo Alto, California seemed like a big risk? Yeah, time flies and now the Silicon Valley startup is already running out of room. Apparently the electric-car maker is already looking for 200,000-300,000 square feet of office space in the lower Peninsula market. Part of the motivation is that the company would like to have employees closer to its Fremont factory, which is 20 miles from its current headquarters. With heavy traffic that journey can take up to an hour or more. While not looking to relocate its headquarters, Tesla's simply looking to expand its space. Meanwhile, we all eagerly await to hear if the Gigafactory will indeed end up being built in Nevada."
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Researchers Just Created The 'Holy Grail' For Battery Cells

cartechboy cartechboy writes  |  about a month 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  |  about a month 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  |  about 2 months ago

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  |  about 2 months 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 2 months 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 2 months 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 2 months 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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