Carbon Nanotubes Can Self-Assemble Themselves at a Distance

Nanotechnology is part of a whole new stage of technology, the ability to create microscopic machines that can perform tasks such as replacing torn knee ligaments or as was previously found it could be used to double hard drives space. Part of nanotechnologies problems is that if it is damaged, you are talking about a tiny tear. Self-repairing technology can help with that, enabling machines and devices to not only protect themselves but also repair some of the damage that has been done to them, and researchers at Rice university have taken it a step further by letting carbon nanotubes self-assemble themselves all with just a little remote prompt.

The researchers at Rice university posted a video to YouTube that shows a series of carbon nanotubes gather together and assembles themselves into a wire. Remember when you broke your favourite pair of headphones because part of the cable broke but you could never tell what part? With this technology, you could simply place your headphones in a force field created by a Tesla coil and watch at it repairs itself.

Described by one of the scientists sons as “spider-man webs”, the video clearly shows that this technology could be used in creating self-building/repairing technology, similar to that found in the self-healing gel that Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas showed off a few months ago.

Tesla Reveals Their Model 3 Electric Car

Technology companies love-making new toys, especially those that people have wanted for years. When it comes to technology, people have been looking forward to affordable electric vehicles, something which the company Tesla have been keen on creating. This may all come true with Tesla revealing their Model 3 electric car.

With their long-term plan always being that the high-end electric cars, like the Model S, were just a way to bring the technology to everyone at an affordable plan, it is safe to say with the Model 3 they are one step closer to the dream. At its debut event in Los Angeles, the Model 3 appears just like any other car. With a range of 215 miles, the Model 3 will give people access to electric vehicles for everyday drives, and with 0-60 in under six seconds and supercharging as standard the car already gives a wide range of options that make it stand out above electric vehicles before you get the $35,000 price tag.

While a little more expensive than the initial guesses at $25,000, the pre-orders of the Model 3 seems to have already caught people’s attention with Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk stating the over 115,000 pre-orders have already been received. You may have to wait a year or two, with the delivery of the Model 3 not expected to begin until 2018, so a small wait until that new car of your dreams but just in time for testing on the new roads that could see your car charging as you drive.

Go Off Road With Tank Treads Mounted On Roller Blades

Remember when you were young and you just had to have rollerblades, the speedy feeling as you put one foot in front of another rushing down the road. These days you are more likely to have a segway or hoverboard carry you down the road or even through the woods, but someone isn’t happy to give up on the rollerblades yet, having instead the great idea to make them off-road with tank treads mounted on the classic.

The EV4’s consist of two rollerblades features a 350W DC motor, giving you the ability to travel as far as 12 miles at up to 9MPH. Afraid of going near grass? Don’t worry, the tank treads mean you can easily cover gravel, grass and dirt. Don’t worry about having to control the movement either, it’s all done via a wireless hand-held remote, giving you complete control over the system.

Sadly if you are looking at something to quickly carry you to and from work or down the neighbouring paths, there may be cheaper and lighter alternatives. Coming at 11 pounds per pair and with a $1,400 price tag means it’s not something you can easily pick up and forget a year down the line.

Tesla Can Sell Direct-To-Consumers With Indiana Bill Amendment

Tesla is probably the world’s most known electric cars, with everything from everyday vehicles to supercars, all powered by electricity without a drop of petrol in their engines. Tesla is unique though in that they sell directly to customers, skipping out middlemen and offering its models and services without any additional costs. This very practice is the backbone of Tesla’s sales, and it has received criticism in some states in the U.S. where dealers have been less than pleased with the model. In a recent battle with the state of Indiana, Tesla once again comes out on top as they can continue to sell direct-to-consumers.

The recent battle focuses on an amendment to a bill that would make it illegal for any manufacturers to sell cars directly to a consumer, an amendment which has now been removed from the bill in question. Tesla stated that rival company GM, who released an elective vehicle that would complete with the Model 3, pushed the bill through the state legislature, a move that would have effectively crippled Tesla’s current model for selling its cars. A spokesman for GM even stated that they supported the amendment and that “All industry participants should operate under the same rules and requirements on fundamental issues that govern how we sell, service, and market our products”.

Tesla is obviously happy about the removal of the amendment saying that their store at Keystone will “remain open indefinitely”. While happy, you have to argue, who does it benefit other than the resellers and dealers when a company can’t provide you with the equipment directly?

New York Going Green With Electric Streetcars

Electric cars are all the range, with Tesla dominating the market and Apple soon to enter the market. While they are expensive at the moment, electric cars are quickly becoming public transport with buses and shuttles cutting down emissions and traffic all in one go. The Netherlands started the process with their electric shuttles, and soon New York will join them.

One of the things that you associate with America is the street cars, the little red trams that run down steep roads and ring that bell as they approach. With an estimated cost of $2.5 billion, the new tram system will run between Astoria, Queens and Sunset Park, Brooklyn at around 16 miles in length. Named the Brooklyn Queens Connector (BQX for short), the new streetcar is estimated to take around three years in design with another four to build. With 7 years before you can ride the new system, 2020 will be a busy year for electric vehicles in new york.

With the average speed of the proposed streetcars being just 11.3mph, while not speedy you will get great views and reduced carbon emissions as you ride along the route shown above.

With some questioning why they are creating a new form of transport rather than adding dedicated bus routes along the waterfront, the new plans are already under fire before they even begin. What do you prefer? A new bus or do you think transport like streetcars are underrated?

Hyperloop Construction Begins

The hyperloop has been one of Elon Musk’s many ideas that has gathered a lot of public attention. From the Space X rockets to Tesla, Musk is known for going beyond the normal and his idea of a Hyperloop was included in that list. Now that idea is becoming a reality.

First purposed by Musk, the hyperloop would work by creating a vacuum in which you could propel a pod carrying people around the country at high speeds. So imagine all those Sci-fi movies which had you stepping into a pod and speeding into the distance? That could soon be you!

Estimated to be able to transport people from San Francisco to Los Angeles in under 30 minutes the pods could go as fast as 760mph. The first step of construction is a 5-mile test track in Quay valley, the test track won’t just be for testing, though. It is designed to be the start of the system, with analysis and improvements made all throughout 2016 and 2017, while passengers will have to wait till 2018 to get a ride on something that will leave cars and roller coasters in the dust.

The idea behind the hyperloop is simple, use our understanding of physics and transportation to create a new, cheaper, more affordable and quicker form of transportation. Imagine taking a train journey across the country and then suddenly realising before you even open your book that you’re at your destination.

Tesla Model 3 Will Be Released

Tesla has been pioneers in the electric car field, this has helped by charismatic CEO Elon Musk who has pushed Tesla firmly into the mainstream with innovations that capture consumer imagination. Tesla now plans to launch the “Model 3” with speculation that it will be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show on March 1st, 2016; this new model will sit alongside the current range that includes the model S and X.

Tesla’s chief designer Franz von Holzhausen had stated that the Model 3 will be conveyed to journalists and the public alike at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, but that year has well and truly passed without a sign of Tesla’s new model. Now, Tesla’s spokesman Khobi Brooklyn has confirmed that the Model 3 will follow the original plan of it being released in March of this year, a slight caveat to this is that the car is not expected to be on general sale until around 2017.

As for the price, reports suggest that it will be around the $35,000 mark (£24,103.85) or around £30,000 once various taxes have been added on. Reports also suggest that this car will be limited to 300,000 units, although, this could change depending on the popularity etc.

 

Tesla’s projects are always worth following and this one should be no different.

Tesla Supercharger Catches Fire

Tesla cars are well-known sites all around the world now with the Model S being known as a rather amazing piece of technology. The electric sports car contains a ludicrous mode which can accelerate 0-60 in less than 3 seconds, a rather impressive sight. The S model, however, is getting some bad attention in Norway when it went to top up.

Tesla’s electric cars are known for being the first step into reliable and everyday usable cars, however, a particular owner got a surprise during a routine action in Norway. After pulling up the a supercharger station, and inserting its plug for the lithium-ion battery pack, the vehicle caught fire. The owner was not at the car when the incident happens so no one was harmed, but as you can see from the image above, the car was not so lucky.

While people are quick to argue and debate over what could have caused this user one Reddit user, bjornnyland, was quick to point out that this was a temporary station which actually delivered 13kW more than a standard station, which typically deliver 105 kW. After stating that he had used the charging point several times and that it had stopped on more than one occasion, he was quick to state that it may or may not have had something to do with the fire.

Details Revealed for Honda’s Second-Generation Acura NSX Hybrid

Global Japanese car manufacturer Honda had officially announced earlier this year (2015) plans to produce a second-generation of its Acura NSX sports car, the vehicle itself is stunning as conveyed by the images below.  Before you decide to order one may I also confirm the price structure that has also been announced, if you would like to own one then you would need to find a spare $156,000 (£104,610.23) to be precise, this will climb to a whopping $205,000 dollars (£137,468.57) for a fully specced up version when it goes on sale in the US.

If you thought this was the only cost, think again, the car giant also expects buyers to pay an additional$1,800 (£1,207.04) transportation fee to Honda who will then arrange for the vehicle to be delivered by a towing company via freight”  The NSX has a hybrid system that includes a 573 – horsepower twin-turbo 3.6L V6 engine and three electric motors, the rear wheel has a 47 horsepower electric motor with each of the front wheels respectively equipped with a flat 36 horsepower motor.

The NSX can also accelerate from 0-100km / h in less than 3 seconds and has a top speed of up to 307km / h.  (190 mph).  It will be delivered to consumers around 2017 with the first NSX being auctioned off for charity in January of next year (2016).

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Formula E Announces Driverless Championship

Formula E has become quite popular since its 2014 debut season and renowned for incredible racing which is all too often absent from modern Formula One. The field contains electric high-powered vehicles and provides an insight into the future of motorsport. The organization is also preparing for a new series involving driverless cars tackling the world’s toughest circuits at breakneck speeds. Formula E’s chief executive Alejandro Agag said:

“Roborace is an open challenge to the most innovative scientific and technology-focused companies in the world,”

Furthermore, a financial backer of the project, Denis Sverdlov described the announcement with a great deal of enthusiasm:

“We passionately believe that, in the future, all of the world’s vehicles will be assisted by AI and powered by electricity, thus improving the environment and road safety.”

“Roborace is a celebration of revolutionary technology and innovation that humanity has achieved in that area so far.”

Vehicle technology is progressing at such a rapid pace and it will be fascinating to see how AI drivers compete in a world championship event. Additionally, removing the human element and danger allows the cars to progress around corners at greater speeds. I cannot wait to see the championship unfold and uncertain how the series is going to be conducted in terms of TV coverage.

Would you feel comfortable in an automated vehicle?

Self-Healing Gel Now Carries Electrical Charge

We’ve all had that moment when we’ve heard the crack, the snap or the crunch. Be it your favourite USB drive, your screen or even your laptop, accidents happen and things get damaged. The worst part about this is it’s normally one or two small things that stop you from using that technology again, but what if that changed? What if when you saw your USB stick crunch into a weird shape, you held it together and found it still worked?

Thanks to research scientists at Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas, you could soon see that happening with technology and more. Revealed as the first of its kind, the researchers have managed to develop a self-healing gel that not only repairs and connects electronic circuits but can also carry a charge within itself. The gel not only carries a charge but also repairs itself without external stimuli, such as having to shine a light or heating up the gel, meaning that you wouldn’t have to put your phone on the radiator to fix it. The image shows the gel even holding its own, after being cut in half.

Guihua Yu, a mechanical engineering assistant professor at Cockrell School, stated the gel could be used at ‘soft joints’. The gel could even be applied overtop of traditional joins in hardware, allowing you to continue using old technology while allowing the self-repairing gel to go to work.

Imagine if we had these in the old sliding phones, the ones where the ribbon connecting the screen broke every few months. That’s just the tip of the gel pack for this technology, what would you like to see this technology used for?

Cheap Electric Car? Lose The Steering Wheel!

Electric cars are all the rage these days. With big companies like Tesla and even public transport like buses and shuttles in airports and between towns. So why do the public not take up electric cars if they are cheaper to run and better for the environment? Two big problems, first being that the batteries drain quickly and secondly the cost of the cars; one man hopes to have solved the second problem.

Mark Frohmayers came up with the idea eight years ago, the idea of creating an electric vehicle that would be great for a little runaround and would come in quite cheaply. With all the companies building large vehicles, Frohmayers saw a gap in the market where people could just afford a simple electric vehicle.

Arcimoto was born, a start-up for affordable electric vehicles, and has since shown off a few three-wheeled prototypes, but sadly over the eight years the company never quite felt happy with the overall goal. That was until now, with a car that meets all the criteria they set out, and it will cost less than $12,000 (£7772 approximately).

Their latest model, the SRK, ditches the steering wheel. The three-wheeled vehicle features two seats and the vehicle is officially classed as a motorcycle and features a range of 70 miles with speeds up to 85miles per hour. Only 105 inches long, the vehicle fits in small spaces and with the option to fully enclose the SRK (instead of the frame style protective shell).

Could you see yourself commuting to work on an SRK? Or would you need a little more distance and power? Could you ever see yourself getting a run around vehicle such as this or will you always want something to carry you and the family on holiday?

Segway Or Hoverboard – Both Illegal To Ride In The UK

For many 2015 is the year of dreams. I mean that because this is the year we all have hoverboards, flying cars and self-tying shoelaces. I am of course referring to the 30th Anniversary of the ever-popular film Back to the Future. This is, of course, inspiring all kinds of attention, from Nike announcing last year that they would release actual self-tying shoelaces and Pepsi are even releasing the future Pepsi bottom seen in the second film. Sadly though if you want to get the third in this trio of items and live in the UK we have bad news for you.

The metropolitan police today tweeted (yes that’s how we get our laws these days), that using a hoverboard on public roads or pavements is actually illegal. The only place you could ride such a device would be on private property with the express permission of the property owner, so for a large majority of the UK that means using a hoverboard to get to work just won’t be possible.

The news only gets worse with this ruling also applying to self-balancing scooters such as segways or the handleless version called a Swagway. As these are motorised and have no license you can’t ride them on the road or the pavement it would seem.

The law that makes this impossible? Section 72 of the Highway Act 1835, that’s right it is 180 years old and is stopping us from driving our hoverboards to work. Even worse if you live in Scotland as it breaches the 181-year section 129(5) of the Roads act.

Thank you Mashable for the information.

Image courtesy of Amazon.

Apple Car Has New Staff – Straight From Tesla

Apple made a splash earlier in the year when it announced its interest in making a car, with an initial report showing that we could have an Apple car as soon as 2019 and more recently discussing the possibility of Apple and BMW working together on the next big Apple product. Now while this seems good news to a lot of people, there will always be some people who have a good laugh at this news and it would seem that the CEO of Tesla, one of the world’s largest and possibly famous electric car companies, Elon Musk is less optimistic about Apples chance in the car market.

During an interview with a German newspaper Handelsblatt, Elon Musk responded not just to the news about Apple’s car but was asked about their latest product, the Apple Watch. When asked if he had an ever taken a look at the Apple Watch, Musk replied with, “No, seriously: It’s good that Apple is moving and investing in this direction. But cars are very complex compared to phones or smartwatches”. As if that wasn’t enough, when asked about the Apple car Musk commented on how eager Apple were to hire employees and engineers, even taking those that had been fired from Tesla for not pulling their weight.
In the interview Musk stated, “They have hired people we’ve fired. We always jokingly call Apple the Tesla graveyard. If you don’t make it at Tesla, you go work for Apple”.

It’s not uncommon for companies to have friction when working on similar products, but they tend to have a way of coming back to bite you in the future.

Thank you Handelsblatt for the information via The Verge.

Image courtesy of Tech News Today.

Electric Bus Hopes To Power Your Normal Routes Envioromentally

We’ve all heard about electric cars. They’ve gone from the thing of dreams to powering sports cars and family friendly SUV’s. It’s hard to deny that electric vehicles are clearly something for the future, with companies and countries looking at new and innovative ways to use the environmentally friendly vehicles. The British government is even looking at building roads which will help charge your car while you drive down the motorway, how can that not show that electric cars are here to stay? But what about other modes of transportation?

Think about how many times you see that buses pass you, is it once a day or do you see it every hour like clockwork? Proterra, a new start-up, looks to help cities run a cleaner service by replacing those old petrol based buses with a new electric bus.

With the bus allowing automated docking with a charger, and with the charger looking to take at most five minutes, it could see that bus running the same schedule with almost none of the pollution. Currently, they have recorded a single charge lasting as much as 258 miles, a little longer than just popping down to the shops.

With towns and cities replacing their old petrol buses for new hybrid vehicles with a mixture of electric and petrol, we could maybe see cities push out petrol all together in their public transport.

Could you see your daily bus route running green and silent? Would you be willing to wait a few minutes at the start of your journey knowing it’s going to be cheaper and nicer on the environment?

Thank you Fast Co Exist for the information and images.

 

Apple Could Have A Car By 2019

More and more companies are finding new and innovative ways to expand their brands, with the likes of Google and Microsoft making everything from the computers you use and the software you tap away on to the augmented reality glasses and self-driving cars you wish you could have now. The latest to join the car party at least could be Apple according to the Wall Street Journal.

According to initial reports, a “source with knowledge of the matter” has stated that Apple could be looking at creating an Apple branded electric car as soon as 2019. Apple has been looking at this for many years now and has been studying if it would be feasible to create an Apple car.

With permission to triple their staff (which currently stands at around 600 people), it could be sooner rather than later for Apple to make a splash in the automotive industry.

With companies like Tesla, who have just announced the Tesla X’s price and shown that the Tesla S doing over 450 miles on a single charge, Apple could be coming into some steep competition.

Would you like to own an electric car made by Apple? Finally, and most importantly, would it be called the iCar?

Thank you Ars Technica for the information.

Image courtesy of Tech News Today.

Exoskeleton And Electricity Help Man Walk Again

Exoskeletons have long been a thing of fiction, with movies like Aliens showing us large mechs that could move crates and giant aliens with ease, but in recent years people have seen the technology become realistic and helpful, such as homemade exo’s making lifting weights easy or even the army developing exo’s to improve shooting. Now with a little help from electricity they could soon be developing something close to a miracle, letting people walk again.

Mark Pollok was paralyzed from the waist down in 2010, with no control of his lower body he began testing out Ekso Bionics Exoskeleton. While an exoskeleton could give people back control of their body they have displayed even greater results by using a process known as “transcutaneous spinal cord stimulation”. This means that by attaching electrodes to Mark’s skin they were able to send jolts of electric to his spine.
All communication in the body is electric charges and by using this process they were able to see results. During the experiment, Mark was able to regain some control over his legs, to the point where he could raise and flex his knees.

Combining these two processes they were able to give Mark some ability to walk again, he was even able to sweat (something that he has been unable to do since the accident in 2010).

Technology can do many things, but sometimes it’s giving people the chance to do what we call simple that makes it amazing.

Thank you Washington Post for the information.

Image courtesy of the Guardian and Mark Pollok.

Europe Might Take the Lead in Adopting Electric Vehicles

It’s really surprising to hear something like this, but the fact is that Europeans are more interested in electric vehicles. I know the EV hype has been going on in the US for quite some time, but according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, Europe has seen a 78% rise year over year in Q1 2015. So if you were eyeing these futuristic vehicles, it’s time to get informed because you never know when they might rule the EU roads!

Of course, the majority of people interested in acquiring EVs are found in countries such as France, Germany, UK, but the interesting thing is that developing countries are interested in them as well. It might not be a big number of them, but selling a dozen or more EVs instead of a couple of them is still big progress for a developing country. The report states that there are already a little over 53,000 EVs sold in the EU, with more to come in the near future.

The huge gap between the US and Europe EV sales seems to come from two problems. Fuel prices are about the same amount you get for a full EV recharge in Europe and the distance that a regular individual travels is in the range of what an EV can offer. These two factors are really a game-chager for EV adoption. I myself live in the EU and to be honest, I would definitely choose an EV over a fuel-powered vehicle anytime, should I be given the option to choose between the two.

Thank you Endgadget for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Komu

Tesla Demonstrates New Snake Like Charger

We’ve all seen the spaces, car parking areas with small rods sticking out the floor and a big sign saying “electric car parking space”. With electric cards on the rise, charging them is becoming more and more important to companies and their users. One of the big issues is the cable you need to plug in. Imagine leaving your car pumping fuel into itself while you went into the supermarket to do your shopping? Now imagine not having to plug your car in at all, instead it plugs itself in! Tesla’s new charger does exactly that.

Back in December, Elon Musk, product architect at Tesla Motors tweeted saying that they were working on a charger that “automatically moves out from the wall & connects like a solid metal snake”. Today, they revealed that project.

The actual design does look like a solid metal snake, and the way it moves just seems to be like it’s taken the concept from a creepy science fiction film.

Soon you may just have to park up and walk away as your car gets plugged into and charged while you’re doing your weekly shop, nothing could go wrong right?

Thank you to the Verge for providing us with this information.

The Youxia X Is a New Electric Super Sedan From China

There is a new electric super sedan coming to the market soon and it is quite an impressive one at that. The unknown Chinese startup Youxia Motors announced its first ever production car and it is an all-electric one set to compete with Tesla’s Model 3.

The Youxia X is by far one of the best looking cars to come from China so far and the pure origin is pretty impressive. The man behind this new electric car is the just 28-.year old Huang Xiuyuan who literally dreamed the car and then decided that it had to become a reality. The name of both the car and company is the Chinese name for the 80s TV series Knight Rider and Huang Xiuyuan is a proud fan of the show.

The power comes from an electric motor with 348hp and 440nm, and range is 460 kilometer. The production is scheduled to begin in late 2016 by a new Shanghai-based company called Youxia Motors.

The rear is a little piece of art, and yes I am talking about the car as pink shoes ain’t really my thing anyway. The subtle rear wing integrated with the sleek-looking lights make it look sporty and stylish at once

The front is equally great looking and the built-in screen of course allows for the classic red Knight Rider glow. Overall it is an amazing looking car and one I wouldn’t mind being seen in.

The inside is kept a lot in the same style as you’ll find in a Tesla, but that’s pretty much a given for what it is. There’s only so many ways you can do it if it has to work properly. A large vertical screen in the middle as well as a direct front display for speed and status.

Electric cars don’t really make any noise and that’s not to everyone’s liking. The Youxia X comes with several different engine sounds such as Ferrari to be played.

The price will range from 200.000 to 300.000 yuan ($32.000 – 48.000). Surprisingly cheap for such a big car but the amount includes the entire 90.000 yuan green-car subsidy of the Chinese government. Youxia says this price will set up the X for competition with the upcoming Tesla Model 3

The front display can also be used to display other funny things as seen on the photos below.

Thank You CarNewsChina for providing us with this information

Bolt Electric Motorbikes Arrives With Connectivity

In theory, the notion of an electric motorbike is a good idea and brings benefits which include easy charging, being cheap to run and eco-friendly. The problem lies with both choice and also the life and charge time of the battery; this is where a start-up by the name of Bolt Motorbikes comes to the fore.

The Bolt M-1 is designed with two driving modes which are helpfully named Economy and Sport mode. Firstly Economy mode, this is the setting which will go up to a speed of 20 mph while utilizing far less of the battery, this means that an average consumer can travel further without needing to stop for a charge. The second setting is the sports mode; this is designed to be used for off-road purposes, i.e. similar to a mountain bike.

The Bolt M-1 can go as far as 50 miles on a single charge, which is quite impressive considering an average petrol powered car is around the same in distance. The charge time depending on how you use it, is between 90 minutes and 5 hours, which is pretty good considering it’s an improvement on earlier generations of electric-powered motorbikes.

That’s not all; the bike also comes with Bluetooth and USB connectivity, which means that it’s possible to connect a phone to your bike, it’s going to be a surreal moment when scrolling through the connect options for it to then say, “connecting with motorbike” Images are below of what it intends to look like.

Thank You Bolt Motorbikes for providing us with this information

Uber Set to Buy out Tesla’s Autonomous Car Stock

We all know that the Electric Vehicle (EV) revolution is coming, be it in the form of cars, trucks or busses; we are destined to rely on these vehicle types in the very near future.

Uber, ride share taxi company has recently announced that they want to purchase every autonomous vehicle that Tesla will produce in 2020. Now for those of you that haven’t been paying attention, Tesla is currently the worlds leading EV company producing the ground breaking P85D, which can give cars such as the Mercedes SLS AMG a huge run for their money.

As we already know, Uber has a range of vehicles from luxury, suburban and even hybrids; so the jump to an all EV is a step in the right direction for taxi services and this could be something that more tansport services could adopt in the near future.

Now it’s not all about the economy and paying drivers, autonomous cars can analyse the road in front of them and adjust the suspension to suit the conditions. They are also 10x safer than a traditional human driver and even marginally quicker due to being constantly connect to other vehicles and traffic services in the area.

Would you get a ride in an autonomous vehicle when they become available? Let us know in the comments.

Thank you to ComputerWorld for providing us with this information.

New Lawsuit Hints at Apple Trying to Get Into the Auto Industry

There have been rumours that Apple is thinking about taking a bite out of the auto industry soon. A newly filed lawsuit might confirm Apple’s intention, having A123 Systems, the company that makes car batteries for the big name auto makers, sue the Cupertino giant for trying to steal their employees.

Analysts in the industry have discussed what Apple might have in the works and the lawsuit now slowly confirms their findings. Apple has made $13 billion and $18 billion in the last two quarters and that’s about the sum spent by all automakers combines for four months of research and development.

However, the analysts state that electric cars are too expensive for just one owner. This means that we might be looking at a future where electric autonomous cars are shared between people and come at a monthly subscription, kind of like Uber if you think about it. This will drop the cost of charging the cars and having them running around 24h a day. If you think about it, it’s not all that bad. We might even cut down on parking space problems in highly dense populated areas for instance.

All in all, if the above tends to be more cost efficient, this means Tesla Motors should start changing its business plan too. Though Tesla does offer a lot of classy electric cars for owners using the same model as traditional car dealerships, the cost for maintaining and charging such a model still proves a big drawback for it to reach a wide consumer market. But are shared electric autonomous vehicles really the future?

Thank you Sci-Tech Today for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of TechnoBuffalo

Tesla Model S Let Loose on Autobahn for 12 Minutes

Elon Musk, owner of Tesla the electric vehicle (EV) super giant, set out to build electric cars that could go fast and so far; he has delivered. Who can question the massive 691BHP from the Tesla P85D; well it works well on a drag strip or for short periods of time, but the Tesla has a problem that all batteries face when used for a while; heat.

The battery gets so hot during extended hard usage, that the car reduces power to protect the battery and other electrical systems. That’s not a good thing for testers, Top Gear reportedly hit this barrier during testing and there are numerous videos of Model S owners struggling on the Nurburgring.

Well this issue has been taken on board and has been ironed out, at least in Germany, where this Model S owner posted a video of him hitting 125MPH on the autobahn for around 12 minutes. I will warn you, the video is rather boring; he’s going in a relatively straight in for 12 minutes, what else do you expect?

Now 125MPH isn’t amazing; that’s around 90% of most ‘sporty’ hatchbacks top speed, so most cars can do this and for longer than 12 minutes. This is, however, the first step in EV’s that can compete with the big autobahn cruisers. Imagine future races being held with EV’s, OK you don’t have the sound; but I can live with that.

Thank you to EVObession for providing us with this information.

Volkswagen Now Offering Apple Watch App

The Apple Watch has been available to consumers for a little while now and we’ve seen how resilient they are when faced with the likes of a blender and tattoos; not very well is the answer if you didn’t click the links. It was only a matter of time before we started seeing an influx of apps pop up from various sources, but the automotive sector was one I was least expecting.

Porsche and BMW have already created apps for the wrist hugger and it doesn’t involve vibrations every few seconds when you’ve done another mile. I’m still a little confused if this is to actually benefit consumers or if they want to ride the hipster fame wave.

Volkswagen’s offering is very similar to the Porsche app, it will allow the Car-Net to sync with the watch so you have key car information pop up on your arm.

“Need to remotely lock/unlock your doors? You can do it from your Apple Watch. Want to check the fuel level or charge status? You can do it from your wrist. Need to set up a speed or boundary alert? No need to pull the phone from your pocket or purse.”

You can already do all of this with the current iOS app, but now you don’t have to dig into your pocket to check the charge so you can avoid the high potential of dropping it; the expensive paperweight seems to be making itself useful. The Volkswagen Car-Net app will be available in the Watch app store if you want to download it.

Do you own or plan on owning an Apple Watch? Would you use an app like this to monitor your car? Let us know in the comments.

Thank you to MotorAuthority for providing us with this information.

Tesla Sets Another World Record

Elon Musk must be sitting in his office gleaming with how well his cars are doing; who knew all-electric vehicles were set to change the motoring world as much as they have. This time, a team of drivers have set yet another world record cross-country time from Los Angeles to New York City.

Previously a Tesla team did the journey in 76 hours, but that was all about efficiency rather than time; reason being that fast charge stations weren’t fully covering the entire length of the journey so more care had to be taken with efficiency. This time however, Tesla quick charge stations cover the entire path and the team managed the task in 58 hours and 55 minutes, smashing the previous EV record by around 90 minutes; set by Edmunds last year. This doesn’t even compare to the world record for non-EV’s, set at a mere 28 hours and 50 minutes by the Gumball Rallyers in 2013.

The key to this task was efficiency and speed, spend as little time as possible recharging while maintain the highest average speed; sadly EV’s only drawback is the charging time. The team only spent 12 hours and 48 minutes charging; this was achieved by following a much larger support vehicle in a process known as “drafting”; this enables the front car to take the brunt of air resistance, leaving a sort of air tunnel effect directly behind for following cars to take advantage of.

Once charging times go down and ranges go up, it won’t be long before electric cars become the car of choice for long-distance traveling.

Thank you to EVObsession for providing this information

Cars: Electric Quick Vs. Fossil Fast

Lately we’ve seen the instantaneous rise of the electric vehicle (EV); popularity brought forward by supercars such as the Mclaren P1 and Laferrari. American grown company Tesla, has refined the EV, bringing all-electric, huge power and huge driving range to a pretty standard looking car.

Since its release, the Tesla Model S has impressed the motoring world, despite being electric; it is undoubtedly fast and costing essentially nothing to run is pleasing the green activists.

OK, it’s electric, it’s economically friendly, but what about consumer value for money, does it actually pay off to buy a Tesla compared to the likes of its direct competitor in terms of power and practicality? Well our friends over at Motor Trend have answered that question; they’ve pitted the Tesla Model S P85D against the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

The video here starts at the beginning with everything explained; however, you can skip to 12:41 to watch the outcome.

https://youtu.be/RWQ-dnpplaA

I know someone who is hyped over Tesla, but the buying guide within the video proves that you are better off buying the fossil burner after 5 years of ownership. Due to how new Tesla is, we can’t directly comment on resale, but with the ongoing advancement in battery technology, I’m sure prices will fall in a similar fashion to a standard car.