Society must make two big leaps in order to enable truly self-driving cars. The first is technological. Engineers need to improve today’s cars (which can warn a driver that he’s drifting out of his lane) beyond current Google and Darpa prototypes (which maintain the lane on their own) to the point where automobiles can edge forward through a construction zone while their owners sleep inside.
GPS devices are great, but sometimes I want to throw mine out the window. There’s something so obnoxious about the Garmin voice, especially when you disregard its navigation choice and it tells you it’s “reCALCulating” in that disapproving tone. A new haptic steering wheel concept would be so much friendlier! Instead of smarmy commentary, the wheel simply vibrates to tell you which way to turn.
As terrifying as this cover is, we won't lie, it's a pretty accurate depiction of how we feel about our vehicles on a bad day. Car maintenance doesn't come naturally to everyone, least of all first-time car owners in the 1920s. This week, we're taking a look at some old school car safety and maintenance tips, mostly from the glory days of stick shift and all that entailed for rookie motorists.
Maps can only get you so far in life — sometimes you need to veer off the beaten path, take the scenic route, or figure out how to get there as the crow flies. Now Google will help you do that. Helicopter View: When Street View and River View just aren’t enough.
A German car nicknamed "heavy drinker" or “boozer” has set a new record for electric vehicle stamina: 1,013 miles on a single charge. The single-seat vehicle’s aerodynamic shape, with the motors integrated into the wheel hubs, helped the car accomplish this feat.
With introspective retrospection, we consider the effects of our trip on transportation in this country
By Pierce HooverPosted 08.17.2011 at 11:36 am 5 Comments
On August 11, my son and I completed our summer-long trip across the US in our prototype human-electric hybrid vehicle. Over the course of 71 days, we traveled just over 4,200 miles while consuming about eight dollars in electricity (based on national average kW/hour rates), getting a good dose of exercise along the way as we pushed the pedals to lighten the engine’s load.
Our tiny EV may not be the strongest car on the road, but it may well be one of the most consistent
By Pierce HooverPosted 07.27.2011 at 11:18 am 1 Comment
Before starting our summer-long crossing of the United States, I often described it as a coast-to-coast journey. After a couple of weeks on the road at an average of 15 mph, the nomenclature shifted to “cross-country journey,” as the process wasn’t so much about the oceans at either end as the thousands of miles in between.
EVs like ours are actually more convenient to recharge out in the wild, largely unpopulated west than a gas-powered--or even traditional electric--car
By Pierce HooverPosted 07.27.2011 at 11:09 am 0 Comments
The farther west we move on our cross-country odyssey, the greater the distance between towns and service stops grows. In the Eastern states, we would pass some sort of country store or gas station every few miles it seemed, and at the most, might have a 20 mile stretch between services. This changed as we moved into the Great Plains, where we hit 50-mile sections of road in Kansas with nothing but fields and scattered farm buildings.
If you want the results, you still have to do the work
By Pierce HooverPosted 07.27.2011 at 10:57 am 2 Comments
There’s no denying that our unique vehicle draws a lot of attention. Drivers frequently slow as they pass to gawk or snap a photo; a stop inevitably draws onlookers with questions, comments and suggestions. One of the most common questions involves the drive system.
By Pierce HooverPosted 07.19.2011 at 11:53 am 0 Comments
There are two challenges that pure electric vehicles will have to overcome before there's any chance of them gaining acceptance among the general driving public. One is range, and the other is recharge time. Each new generation of battery technology ups the power-to-weight ratio, giving mid-priced vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf a range of 70 to 80 miles, while cutting-edge products such as the Tesla Roadster are getter better than 200 miles on a charge. That’s plenty of range for around-town driving and mid-range errands, but hardly sufficient for a cross-country road trip.