Archive for May 2016

Google is working on developing a strange new car hood that has turned a lot of industry heads. It was recently awarded a patent that proposes placing a strong adhesive on the hood of its autonomous cars. This is meant to be a precaution just in case an autonomous car strikes a pedestrian or cyclist; the people would become stuck to the hood of the car, thus protected from the “secondary impact” of being thrown off of the car and onto the ground or another car. Secondary impacts are generally the cause of more serious injuries than the actual impact of that car itself.

stickGoogle filed for the patent a few years back and seems to be trying to cover its bases in terms of temporary solutions that will lower the risks of people getting hurt around self-driving cars as the technology develops from nascent to public. Google had this to say:

“While such systems are being developed, it must be acknowledged that, on occasion, collisions between a vehicle and a pedestrian still occur. Such safety mechanisms may become unnecessary as accident-avoidance technology is being further developed, but at present it is desirable to provide vehicles with pedestrian safety mechanisms.”

The glue being used on the hood of Google cars is described to have something like a “eggshell” of a coating over its main adhesive layer. This is meant to keep small things from sticking to the car like insects and other small animals, but to stick strongly given an impact that occurs with substantial force and waste, like that of a human body colliding with the car.

Does this have any chance of actually working? Rebecca Thompson, head of public outreach for the American Physical Society, had this to say:

“Getting hit by a car once is much preferable to getting hit by a car and then the ground and then another car… Cyclists wear helmets not as much to prevent their head’s impact with the car as much as their head’s impact with the ground when they fall.”

Some think that this might be a crazy enough idea to work, and if it does, that many large objects that move in public might be outfitted with a similar sticky substance.

fly paper car“This is essentially a variation on an external airbag, which on its face seems like a good idea for a low-speed vehicle as a backup safety measure,” stated Gabe Klein, former head of DC’s and Chicago’s departments of transportation. Klein now advises mobility-related investment funds and startups. “Why not consider it for non-autonomous vehicles?” Klein wonders.

Perhaps because it would create extremely awkward situations for drivers hoping to pull off a hit-and-run without being late for work. In New York City, a bicyclist may well find him- or herself on the other side of town before he or she has a change to de-stick.

Thompson says the sticky hoods might cut down on hit-and-runs, but they also might cause cars to have trouble moving to safety or even drag a human’s limbs under the wheels.

This isn’t as clear cut of a choice as you may think. Sure Tesla is the big electric car maker and the pioneers at that, but Chevy has been taking notes and has made a pretty compelling car. When it comes to electric cars the reach of your product is what is going to separate you from the competition. While there is a general ebb and flow to these things when it comes to electric vehicles, it came to advertise with around 100 miles, to the extent that it could be possible that they needed for that normal day of driving. Drivers are still very much inclined to feel doubt when it comes to the range claims of most auto makers.¬†mp

as we can see today about 200 miles per charge is the sweet spot electric cars need to be getting in order to be considered serious contenders in the supremacy of the electric car. This means we are expecting that the car is able to handle running the errands doing your daily commute, getting dinner and having enough left in the tank, or should I say, battery to handle the possibility of an emergency.

In this regard there is really only 2 cars that can answer the call, there is the Chevy Bolt and the Tesla Model 3. The Model 3 is experiencing record pre-sale figures.Chevy is claiming a range of around 200 miles, and Tesla not to be outdone is claiming 215 miles per charge for their model 3. Those are pretty good preparatory numbers, and will still need to face the challenge of the EPA testing gauntlet, which is still very much in its infancy, but is likely to produce a workable number I’m sure most people will be satisfied with their methodology. This is important to note considering when Tesla first started promoting their Model S they claimed that it would get 300 without any hick ups. However, the number is more like 265 according to the EPA.

carsNow the Bolt as of late has been indicated as a master of their suspensions and that has been a big key to their success and managing energy transfer loss. Lets not forget what this means for their ride quality either. The current Volt also has these same benefits in its tool belt. The front wheel drive quality of the car should serve its central goal as a rural runabout.

Compare this to Tesla which offer an air suspension for its Model S, which is a stark alternative to their model 3. At any rate, the standard model will probably be a settled suspension. Tesla has designers who cal look to a huge amount of experience adding to the ride quality of both their Model S and Model X with the thinking of creating a superior driving experience.

Now when we push all the tangibles to the side and start to get to the nitty gritty of the ordeal we want to know how much its going to cost.  They say that the Bolt will retail for about $30,ooo although the MSRP may be closer to $37,ooo. Whereas the Tesla will cost $35,000