Tesla drivers calls it “ICE-ing”, after the initials for internal combustion engine: It’s where gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles block access to Superchargers as a way to… protest electric vehicles I guess? It has to be frustrating to be barred from obtaining the single thing your car needs to function, but it looks like Tesla owners are looking at new ways to fight back.
The owners of those trucks are assholes.
The response by Tesla owners is great for two reasons. First, they’re able to tow the trucks from the charging station spots, thus (somewhat) solving the problem. Second, the douchebag truck owners are reminded who has more torque.
What they did next however was set about turning the big lazy lump into a steroid enhanced athlete. For a start, they took the 4.6L V8 and chopped off two cylinders. Then, they took another 4.6L Town Car V8 and did exactly the same. After this, they took a variety of the components from the two decapitated engines, threw them into a V12 block with a the same 90.2mm bore as the old V8. Thanks to a common crank however, the stroke was reduced from 90mm to 77.3mm, resulting in a final displacement for the V12 of 5927cc. And then finally, as a means of garnishing the 12 cylinders with that little extra slice of oomph, they added 4 turbochargers!
Elon Musk says Tesla relied on too many robots to build the Model 3, which is partly to blame for the delays in manufacturing the crucial mass-market electric car. In an interview with CBS Good Morning, Musk agreed with Tesla’s critics that there was over-reliance on automation and too few human assembly line workers building the Model 3.
Earlier this month, Tesla announced that it had officially missed its goal of making 2,500 Model 3 vehicles a week by the end of the first financial quarter of this year. It will start the second quarter making just 2,000 Model 3s per week, but the company says it still believes it can get to a rate of 5,000 Model 3s per week at the midway point of 2018.
You went full robot. Never go full robot.
A female pedestrian was killed after being struck by an autonomous Uber vehicle in Arizona, according to ABC 15. In response, Uber has pulled all of its self-driving cars from public roads in the state as well as in the cities of San Francisco, Toronto, and Pittsburgh.
The crash occurred near Mill Avenue and Curry Road early Monday morning in Tempe, Arizona, police confirm. The Uber vehicle was headed northbound when a woman walking across the street. The woman was taken to the hospital, where she later died from her injuries. Early reports suggested that she may have been a bicyclist, but that was not the case. Police have identified her as 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg.
Uber confirms that the vehicle was traveling in autonomous mode with a safety driver behind the wheel during the crash. That would make the pedestrian one of the first known victims of a crash involving a self-driving car.
It’s horrible that someone was killed from a self-driving car, but everyone needs to chill. In the long run autonomous vehicles are going to be way better drivers than humans.
Humans text their girlfriends and boyfriends while they drive. Humans drink and drive. Humans drive angry. Humans fall asleep at the wheel. Humans don’t pay attention. Robots do none of these things. I can’t wait until stupid humans aren’t in front of the wheel anymore.
We’ve had 100 years of practice driving. Self-driving cars? Not quite as much time, so let’s give the technology a chance to get better (and eventually surpass our skills).
Below are some automobile-related links I’ve accumulated over the last few months.
Arizona has since built upon the governor’s action to become a favored partner for the tech industry, turning itself into a live laboratory for self-driving vehicles. Over the past two years, Arizona deliberately cultivated a rules-free environment for driverless cars, unlike dozens of other states that have enacted autonomous vehicle regulations over safety, taxes and insurance.
Too much regulation leads to stifled innovation, but too little regulation can lead to more dangerous roads for us humans. It sounds like Arizona is closer to the latter scenario.
Because you can leave your hands by your sides, the system uses an infrared camera mounted on the steering column to make sure you’re still ready to take over if things go south. It tracks your eyes, nose, mouth and ears and figures out where you’re looking. If you’re looking forward out the windshield or checking your mirrors, you’re fine. But let’s say you start staring out the side window or worse, at your phone, the car prompts you to start paying attention by flashing the green steering wheel light. If you ignore that, the flashing light on the wheel and accompanying audible warning for too long, the car will slow down, stop, turn on the flashers and call the authorities via OnStar.
We’re still in the awkward phase of autonomous vehicles. Roberto Baldwin notes in the link above that even though you still have to actively pay attention, being completely hands-free did drop his stress levels and fatigue. So while it’s not full autonomy, it’s progress.
Since last spring, Tesla vehicles purchased with a 60kWh battery option have actually come with a 75kWh battery. The company’s software electronically limited the range to 60kWh, though it gave drivers the option to upgrade to full capacity at any time—for several thousand dollars.
On Saturday, the blog Electrek reported that some drivers of 60kWh Teslas in Florida suddenly found their cars showing 75kWh of range, even though they hadn’t paid any more money. A Tesla spokesperson confirmed to Electrek’s Fred Lambert that the company had unlocked the batteries’ remaining capacity remotely, via software update. That would give them about 30 miles of additional driving on a single charge. The move reportedly came in response to a request from at least one Florida driver who needed the extra range to get out of danger.
Telsa is walking a fine line here. What are their guidelines on what are acceptable situations for unlocking additional range on their vehicles? This feels a little too much like a puppet master pulling strings.
Who knew Keanu Reeves has been customizing bikes since 2007.
A lot of celebrities serve as figureheads or brand ambassadors for companies they contribute little to, but it’s clear from Wired’s video that Reeves is very hands-on in the design process.
He’s getting cooler with age. You don’t see that happen very often.
How A Car Works created a super cool stop-motion video of an engine teardown.
The new BMW 8 Series Concept looks like a straight up shark.
Mazda has made the announcement car manufacturers have been working towards for years: it’s releasing the first commercial compression-ignition gasoline engine. Dubbed SkyActiv-X, the engine will be available in 2019 and promises up to 20-30% more engine efficiency than the current SkyActiv-G, and up to 45% more than Mazda’s 2008 petrol engine.
Current gasoline engines rely on a spark plug to ignite their air-fuel mix. The SkyActiv-X will ignite the air-fuel mix spark-free through compression, like a diesel engine. This, according to the Japanese manufacturer, combines the advantages of petrol and diesel engines to achieve “outstanding” environmental and power performance.
I share my father’s fascination of the perfecting of technologies facing extinction. The basic, underlying design of engines has not changed in over 100 years, but the gains in every aspect — size, speed, weight, efficiency – are incredible.
The truth is technologies rarely get “killed”. Compact discs supposedly “killed” vinyl records and MP3s “killed” compact discs, but neither records nor CDs are dead (yet). In fact, vinyl sales have hit a 25-year high this year.
I’m fairly confident internal combustion engines will eventually be replaced by newer technologies (like electric/battery), but I’d like to think gasoline-powered cars will stick around long enough for me to buy an old muscle car.
Update: Bill Burr brings up a good point on this clip from one of his podcast episodes about why mileage averages haven’t moved much over the last 40 years.