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 Post subject: CAR STUFF
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 4:26 pm 
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Alpha Monkey
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Have you guys heard any chatter about Nissan LEAF? All electric, 100 mile range, accelerates like a V6, costs comparable to the average family sedan, limited production in 2010. Hopefully they don't consider Chevy Volt to be your "average family sedan", cuz that thing's spensive.

http://www.nissanusa.com/leaf-electric-car/#/car/index


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 Post subject: Re: CAR STUFF
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 9:06 am 
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Its good to see a major player trying an all electric car for real. It'll be good for many commuters, but it'll never be your only car. Long charge times even on quick charge and no network of them means longer trips and trips out of urban areas won't be practical.

While the volt needs to come down alot to be a 'people's car' its also a car that you can get in and drive without worrying about getting stranded somewhere or having to stop 27min every hour.

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 Post subject: Re: CAR STUFF
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 9:30 am 
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I was intrigued by it, and I'm on record as being super excited about all-electric vehicles. My only beef with it is that 100 mi/charge and a 4-8 hr charge time (that's IF you decide to wire your garage with 220, an added expense), isn't going to be that big of a help with my commute. I'd have to charge it every night. If I forgot just once, I'm not going into work the next day.

I like the design, the interior, shape, etc. I just think that if you want to be super competitive with hybrids and gas you MUST hit 300 miles/charge. I think that'll come in time, so long as enough people adopt these early models.

So what do folks thing this is gonna cost? I'm guessing $25k.


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 Post subject: Re: CAR STUFF
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 10:26 am 
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Electric cars will take off and then die out.

There is a large adoption rate going on in Germany right now and what is happening is the power grid gets overwhelmed every 5pm when people get home from work and plug in. If Germany's grid can't handle it, wait til the grid in this country gets a taste of it and then watch everyone shy away from it.

I've wanted an alternate fuel car since I started buying my own gas which was junior year in HS. I just don't see enough effort to overcome the hurdles of adoption.

Jabe


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 Post subject: Re: CAR STUFF
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 3:18 pm 
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Jabe [Bot] wrote:
Electric cars will take off and then die out.


I see this country struggling for several years, but I don't think electric cars will die out unless something better replaces them (compressed air, anyone?). It probably means we go through some infrastructure improvements that'll hurt us in the pocketbook as bad or worse than a gas shortage - we'll still press on.

My LEAF $$ guess = $29K


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 Post subject: Re: CAR STUFF
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 4:37 pm 
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The one interesting thing I saw on the gallery is the GPS had a range circle up on it. I am assuming that it updates that circle by the amount of charge that is left in the battery. I know I'd always be worried about 'running on fumes' 'cause you can't just pull into a gas station when the light goes on. Zanshin had a really good point about forgetting once and not being able to drive to work the next day. Its stuff like this that makes it unlikely all electric cars will even take off. I don't even think the grid will factor into it. The US is different than Germany and distances tend to be much larger.

In the long run some sort of pump-able fuel, alone or as hybrid (either prius or volt type) will probably be the winner. CNG, biodiesel, virgin blood, or whatever. I'm convinced the ability to fill up or not will be a show stopper.

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 Post subject: Re: CAR STUFF
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 4:48 pm 
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There's been talk of using a universal battery type, and you lease the batteries.

That way, there can be "fill up" stations all across America, instead of gas stations, and what you do is pull into a bay, and in 5 minutes the undercarriage robot replaces your battery with a freshly charged one. On the surface it's the same amount of "infrastructure" and "fillup time" the average consumer expects with a car, but I don't even want to think about how big the storage/charge area must be for all those batteries at each facility, or if that's even economically viable.

Additionally, it doesn't seem that car manufacturers are currently building to this ideal.


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 Post subject: Re: CAR STUFF
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 5:36 pm 
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I'm surprised we didn't go the route of Hydrogen Fuel Cells.
If we're really looking for a way to "cut off dependency on imported oil" then Sodium Borohydride was the way to go. If I understand it correctly- an American company (in CA) produces 45% of the worlds borax needs.


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 Post subject: Re: CAR STUFF
PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 6:35 am 
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I'm still convinced that car companies have a motor that runs off water that we could be using. I'm pushing the conspiracy angle for all its worth.


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 Post subject: Re: CAR STUFF
PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 9:27 am 
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Zanshin wrote:
There's been talk of using a universal battery type, and you lease the batteries.

That way, there can be "fill up" stations all across America, instead of gas stations, and what you do is pull into a bay, and in 5 minutes the undercarriage robot replaces your battery with a freshly charged one. On the surface it's the same amount of "infrastructure" and "fillup time" the average consumer expects with a car, but I don't even want to think about how big the storage/charge area must be for all those batteries at each facility, or if that's even economically viable.

Additionally, it doesn't seem that car manufacturers are currently building to this ideal.


But then's there's always that percentage of faulty batteries that show a full charge and then die 3 miles after pulling out. Then the legal liabilities to the gas station that leased it, and of course there'll be the batteries that just plain blow up and kill people (don't say it won't happen!).

I think what we'll likely see is small gas tanks with engines that supply emergency charge to the batteries as backup and so little fuel used that fuel will be the new "oil change" every few thousand miles.

Jabe


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 Post subject: Re: CAR STUFF
PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 9:27 am 
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Drunk247 wrote:
I'm still convinced that car companies have a motor that runs off water that we could be using. I'm pushing the conspiracy angle for all its worth.


Agreed.

Jabe


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 Post subject: Re: CAR STUFF
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 5:35 pm 
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Ford unveils industry's first* production inflatable seat belts
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http://www.autoblog.com/2009/11/05/infl ... elts-ford/


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 Post subject: Re: CAR STUFF
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 7:14 pm 
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Is this why my stock in Ford is going crazy?

Jabe


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 Post subject: Re: CAR STUFF
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 10:48 pm 
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I heard about that, and I'm really not getting why they're so great. The belt is still against the chest, so it won't prevent belt related chest injuries. The bag is too low to protect the face from hitting the chair in front of him.

If they were so concerned about rear passenger safety, why didn't they put rear facing airbags that deploy from the front seat headrests?

Quote:
When expanded, the belt cover five times more surface area of the body than a normal seat belt, which helps better distribute the forces of a crash.


Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh okay now that I see them in action that makes a bit more sense. It's really just an instantly wider seat-belt to reduce ribcage/chest injury.


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 Post subject: Re: CAR STUFF
PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 8:37 am 
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When are they finally going to watch Demolition Man and realize they need to fill the entire car with foam?

Jabe


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 Post subject: Re: CAR STUFF
PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 8:44 am 
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Jabe [Bot] wrote:
When are they finally going to watch Demolition Man and realize they need to fill the entire car with foam?

Jabe


Ha! When I read the article, that's EXACTLY what I thought.

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 Post subject: Re: CAR STUFF
PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 10:20 am 
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Carpetbagger wrote:
Jabe [Bot] wrote:
When are they finally going to watch Demolition Man and realize they need to fill the entire car with foam?

Jabe


Ha! When I read the article, that's EXACTLY what I thought.


Same :|


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 Post subject: Re: CAR STUFF
PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 10:54 am 
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This revelation is actually disturbing. Taco Bell anyone?

Jabe


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 Post subject: Re: CAR STUFF
PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:14 am 
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Jabe [Bot] wrote:
This revelation is actually disturbing. Taco Bell anyone?


I think we've discovered why you're shitting blood.


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 Post subject: Re: CAR STUFF
PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:35 am 
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Zanshin wrote:
Jabe [Bot] wrote:
This revelation is actually disturbing. Taco Bell anyone?


I think we've discovered why you're shitting blood.


See? I knew you guys would help me figure it out! Pfft, who needs doctors.

Jabe


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 Post subject: Re: CAR STUFF
PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 4:36 pm 
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Quote:
Cars.com Selects Worst Car Names of All Time


http://www.cars.com/go/about/us.jsp?sec ... e=20091222

Any we should add?


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 Post subject: Re: CAR STUFF
PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 4:48 pm 
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MrDooo wrote:
Quote:
Cars.com Selects Worst Car Names of All Time


http://www.cars.com/go/about/us.jsp?sec ... e=20091222

Any we should add?


prius
tourag (sp?)

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 Post subject: Re: CAR STUFF
PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 9:56 pm 
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Especially the Toureg or however it's spelled.


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 Post subject: Re: CAR STUFF
PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 11:54 pm 
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I always thought Grand Marquis was pretty awful. I mean, is there or was there ever anything "grand" about it? Shit, any car name that starts with grand better be all chrome and have a big-assed hood ornament to deserve the title (Pontiacs).
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Could be grander.


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 Post subject: Re: CAR STUFF
PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 12:02 am 
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Remember the Merkur XR4Ti ? Sounds like a test subject in a chem lab.

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 Post subject: Re: CAR STUFF
PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 12:04 am 
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MrDooo wrote:
I always thought Grand Marquis was pretty awful. I mean, is there or was there ever anything "grand" about it? Shit, any car name that starts with grand better be all chrome and have a big-assed hood ornament to deserve the title (Pontiacs).
Image
Could be grander.


You're thinking about it in today's luxury standards. You gotta back up to 1975, son.

Dude, those headlights had GARAGE DOOR OPENINGS. That car was muthafuckin' GRAND. You ever been in the backseat? You can practically lie down. Like, no lie, there's like 6 feet of bench back there. It's fucking HUGE.

That car is practically a luxury tank. It earned the title.


Last edited by Zanshin on Wed Dec 23, 2009 12:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: CAR STUFF
PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 12:06 am 
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Keer wrote:
Remember the Merkur XR4Ti ? Sounds like a test subject in a chem lab.


Fuckit this whole thread is going to be "I've been in one."

It IS some kind of test subject. It's like 3 cars kluged into one. Some kind of American nose job on it with a Saab back end/double spoiler. The interior is pretty foreign as well, if I recall. Liz's Dad owned one. I think he still has it.


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 Post subject: Re: CAR STUFF
PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 12:11 am 
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Here's one for you (and yes, been in it): The Renault Fuego. Sold in America. The French car with the Spanish name.

Which stands for FIRE.

Fun car to drive, but the horn was positioned on the turn signal. You had to push the turn signal in to honk. Very unAmerican. How are you supposed to hamfist the turn signal to honk when you're angry at someone??? You wind up just flashing some random turn signals and confusing everyone.


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 Post subject: Re: CAR STUFF
PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 12:13 am 
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Wait, the Grand Marquis BROUGHAM?

As in Bro-ham? Like what douchebag frat boys call each other when they don't know how to express their latent homosexual desires for each other?

Never heard that last word tacked on the end, but noticed it in the title.


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 Post subject: Re: CAR STUFF
PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 12:59 am 
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El Camino! the car/truck that in spanish means "the road"

I'm driving the road!

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 Post subject: Re: CAR STUFF
PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 7:26 am 
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I call my peeps bro-ham. What exactly are you trying to say, Shin?

I mean, so what if you legitimately thought I was gay for a couple months. And was in a fraternity. And have not so latent homo-sexual urges.

Are you callin' me gay?

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 Post subject: Re: CAR STUFF
PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 7:40 am 
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Carpetbagger wrote:
I call my peeps bro-ham. What exactly are you trying to say, Shin?

I mean, so what if you legitimately thought I was gay for a couple months. And was in a fraternity. And have not so latent homo-sexual urges.

Are you callin' me gay?


You're not gay?


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 Post subject: Re: CAR STUFF
PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 8:43 am 
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Drunk247 wrote:
Carpetbagger wrote:
I call my peeps bro-ham. What exactly are you trying to say, Shin?

I mean, so what if you legitimately thought I was gay for a couple months. And was in a fraternity. And have not so latent homo-sexual urges.

Are you callin' me gay?


You're not gay?


Oh, no, I'm totally gay. I was just double checking.

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 Post subject: Re: CAR STUFF
PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 12:54 pm 
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You guys had me worried for a moment there.

Jabe


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 Post subject: OPEN SOURCE CARS
PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 5:34 pm 
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Quote:
...Another breakthrough concept that the Riversimple people have is releasing the designs for the car under an open source licensing model. Hugo Spowers of Riversimple had this to say about an open source model for autos, "There is such a yawning gap between the environmental performance of cars and what is sustainable, that I don’t believe a purely competitive world can ever get us there. Open source really does produce this constant and very rapid drive toward absolute excellence, which I think is needed in the current circumstances. I have precious little faith in regulation ever pushing us in that direction."



http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/56214


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 Post subject: Re: CAR STUFF
PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 2:53 pm 
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I'll have to ask what kinda strings got pulled, but Cars.com just posted an iPhone app. I heard it usually takes a few weeks to be approved, but idunno. If anyone with iPhones or iPod TouchMes wants to DL the thing and give it a review on the app store, I'd be most appreciative. :D We're trying to get as many reviews up before the game Sunday since we are expecting a big traffic spike after our commercial airs.

Thankee


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 Post subject: Re: CAR STUFF
PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 2:21 pm 
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Hydrogen car ready. Just need the infrastructure now...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11297410


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 Post subject: Re: CAR STUFF
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 2:53 pm 
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how much?

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 Post subject: Re: CAR STUFF
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 3:14 pm 
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specia10ps wrote:
how much?


It was leasing. LEASING. For like $800/month in California. So probably priced at "If you have to ask..."


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 Post subject: Re: CAR STUFF
PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 12:27 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: CAR STUFF
PostPosted: Sat Sep 25, 2010 4:19 pm 
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I've seen that commercial and it doesn't do anything for me. Still don't like Dodge and this made made me dislike them more.


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 Post subject: Re: CAR STUFF
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 10:09 am 
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So we're getting closer to having self-driving cars (and Google taking over the world).

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/10/scien ... gewanted=1

Let's say we're at some point in the future where all vehicles are equipped to drive themselves, safely reduce proximity to one another, but always drive the speed limit. It would put traffic on a more train-like commuting schedule, ideally making your morning commute take the exact same amount of time every day.

Now, would you WANT it this way, knowing it takes X minutes at 55 MPH? Or would you prefer the way it is now, where you drive as fast as traffic allows (sometimes BowlerSpeed, sometimes crawling)?

I know I'd choose to give up speeding forever if it meant no accidents, no stop-n-go, and I could read/watch video/snooze instead.


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 Post subject: Re: CAR STUFF
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 10:16 am 
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The beauty of the all-auto-drive system (if every car on the road is using it) is you could set the speed limit to 75 or even 85 safely.

Knowing that human error has been removed from the equation, you could set the theoretical limit to whatever was deemed an automagically safe braking speed in case a deer ran across the road.

I think the major obstacle to the all-auto-drive system is going to come from two fronts, though:

1). Legacy of older cars that can't/won't/don't have auto-drive gumming up the works. Even if all new vehicles come with it standard, it's going to be like 15-20 years before you see 75% or more highway penetration of these vehicles improving traffic flow.

2). Other vehicles like motorcycles or Semi-trucks that probably won't ever have the system (due to physics limitations or just safety) also gumming up the works.

The reality of the auto-drive system for our generation is going to be having it drive you to work so you can get other things done in the car while it's driving you. And while that seems pretty nice, I'd rather be the one doing the driving most of the time. Like I could leave it on auto-drive for the shitty traffic jams and then when things finally improved I could turn it off and go BowlerSpeed down the rest of 88.


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 Post subject: Re: CAR STUFF
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 10:21 am 
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It's slightly weird. I think I'd trust it for my commute (40 minutes on Rt90, 5 minutes on other roads)- but city driving?!?!?
Also- in the state of Illinois- how will the AI fare against construction zones? I mean- we only really have 2 seasons here (winter and....)
I see that it uses the Google databases, but construction zones are not well thought out nor well planned- random and completely untimely.


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 Post subject: Re: CAR STUFF
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 10:24 am 
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Also, there's a nice bonus from this tech that Mercedes already has in their cars, which is auto-stop.

Even when you override (the theoretical Google) auto-pilot and gun the accelerator, if it determines you're going to crash without applying the brakes, it will auto-stop the car for you (regardless of what you're doing on the gas at the moment). Even just having *that* in every car, regardless if it's in auto-pilot mode or not, will be an enormous help.


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 Post subject: Re: CAR STUFF
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 10:50 am 
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If I were a car company, I would be VERY cautious about rolling out these auto-driver features. Especially this auto-stop override you just mentioned, Shin.

Any half decent lawyer could make a liability case the first time an injury occurs when these systems are deployed.

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 Post subject: Re: CAR STUFF
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 12:27 pm 
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Arnos wrote:
It's slightly weird. I think I'd trust it for my commute (40 minutes on Rt90, 5 minutes on other roads)- but city driving?!?!?
Also- in the state of Illinois- how will the AI fare against construction zones? I mean- we only really have 2 seasons here (winter and....)
I see that it uses the Google databases, but construction zones are not well thought out nor well planned- random and completely untimely.



I'm pretty sure that it's relying heavily on optical navigation to determine the immediate moment-to-moment stuff combined with satellite GPS for route navigating. It has to do a shit-ton of optical and sonar/radar ping navigation or it wouldn't be able to stop at stoplights or change lanes (or stay in its lane) or take corners accurately, so I think it just treats construction zones as an optical challenge.

Since it's reading the lane optically anyway, moving the lane over with new lane paint or using horses to push everyone over is probably covered already.


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 Post subject: Re: CAR STUFF
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 12:30 pm 
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Carpetbagger wrote:
Any half decent lawyer could make a liability case the first time an injury occurs when these systems are deployed.


I actually doubt it (at least as far as auto-stop is concerned), since auto-stop is an improvement on things like ABS. You can't be sued if your ABS fires off but you still braked too late to stop the car in time, for instance. In fact even if ABS fails but your brakes work, I'd imagine you're still responsible, since ABS only fires off in an emergency and you failed to avoid the situation that led to an accident.

So if this thing fails (but your brakes and ABS still work), you the driver are still ultimately responsible for stopping the car in time.

But yeah, auto-drive sounds like it's going to be VERY tricky to implement. It would have to be rock solid to be able to stay ahead of class-action lawsuits stemming from it.


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 Post subject: Re: CAR STUFF
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 12:41 pm 
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Mad Monkey
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Zanshin wrote:
Since it's reading the lane optically anyway,


This got me thinking more of winters around here.... So when we get a really bad snow- I assume that means this system goes off. They've been testing those cars in Southern California- do they even know what snow is down there?

I, for one, would welcome our technological car overlords. I can totally see me getting a new car just for this system should it become available in seasonal varieties.

On a side note- I wonder if this was a "main" project of Google, or one of it's "20% time" projects. Some of their biggest things came from 20% time (i.e. Gmail)


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 Post subject: Re: CAR STUFF
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 12:48 pm 
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Mad Monkey
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I imagine that there will be baby step with these vehicles.

First you'll see them allowed in commuter lanes (the ones for buses, etc)
Then you'll see dedicated lanes for them on major highways/streets possibly with guide wires
finally you'll see 2ndary streets opened to them.

It'll be a gradual thing, but it all it does is mean you can read or play games on the majority of your commute, it'll be worthwhile.

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