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Archives for the Category: Odd News

 What Stands In The Way With Cars Being Able To Drive Themselves

The autonomous car is a dream for all car companies to sell, however they may need to wait a little longer to be able to put this car on the market as they fix these few bugs.

As more than 800 engineers, software developers, transportation experts and other technical folks met last week in this Detroit suburb to discuss the risks and benefits of autonomous and connected vehicles, they were raising more questions than finding answers.

Here are six unsolved challenges that stand between the technologies’ potential and reality:

  1. Cybersecurity and privacy protection. Maybe this can’t be solved until there are thousands of pilot vehicles on our roads, but last week Wired magazine writer Andy Greenberg wrote about two cybersecurity experts who accessed a newer Jeep Cherokee’s computer brain through its Uconnect infotainment system and rewrote the firmware to plant their malicious code. The result: hip-hop began blasting through the stereo system, the AC turned to maximum force. Then the hacker’s code killed the transmission and brakes. We know autonomous cars will have even more software coding. One major attack and consumer confidence in the technology could be severely damaged.
  1. How much will these vehicles cost? Established automakers are introducing progressively more advanced autonomous features in their most expensive models. Ride-hailing or other fleet-based services such as Uber or Lyft will try to deliver their service at a lower price than competing options.

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 Customize Your Own Miniature Ford 

Every little boy had a collection of toy cars and model automotives, and now Ford allows you to create your own. By customizing and changing the everyday truck model customers can now create their own perfect miniature Ford.

Available 3D-printed Ford models are 1/32nd (one thirty second) scale in plastic and models included in the launch: the new Ford GT, F-150 Raptor, Shelby GT350R, Focus ST and Fiesta ST. Printed models and digital files for additional Ford vehicles will be available at a later date. The Ford 3D Store is powered by TurboSquid.com, which provides automotive digital imaging and 3D-printable files. I have to say that the F-150 Raptor pickup truck looks pretty tough as a plastic model. When you click on the model within the Ford site, you are immediately taken to the Turbosquid site, which offers more views of the model and pricing. The F-150 Raptor 2017 model starts at $149.

According to a news release the company sent me: “3D printing at home is a growing trend, and it makes sense for us to offer our customers a chance to make their own 3D Ford models,” said Mark Bentley, licensing manager, Ford Global Brand Licensing. “At Ford, we’re using 3D printing every day to rapidly prototype parts, and now we want to share that fun with our fans.” Since I visited the Ford 3D printing lab, in person, last year while on the 3DRV road trip, I can attest to the many ways that the company is using 3D printing and 3D materials science to advance car making. I wrote about their unique metal bending machine and some of their virtual reality work to help engineers move rapidly through product changes. You can read those posts here and here.

According to Juniper research, sales of desktop 3D printers will exceed 1 million units by 2018, from an estimated 44,000 sold annually in 2014. That’s a pretty big increase in new 3D printers soon to be on consumer desks, but one that pales in comparison to the number of people who might try out 3D printing via a service bureau, particularly if you make it easy to customize and click-to-print a model.

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When Does The Time Come To Get Rid Of Your Car

It is hard to get ride of things that matter to us. However, there comes a time where getting something new will help you more than repairing something old.

 

Of all the things we buy, maintain, use, and eventually scrap at the end of its lifecycle, nothing involves emotion like our relationship with our vehicles.

 

Perhaps it’s because of the cost and the sacrifices we make to own and operate them, or because they represent independence and mobility. But regardless, all this emotion can cloud our decision-making process when it comes to parting with our beloved daily driver. Many automakers invest as much time and energy in creating and developing an emotional bond between their products and their customers as they do in designing and building the vehicles themselves. If you doubt this, consider the amount carmakers spend on advertising each year compared to what they spend on R&D. While every auto manufacturer will supply an endless list of reasons why you should buy their particular product, few will help you decide when, and if, it’s time to leave your wheels by the curb and buy or lease something new. Here, then, is some advice to help make that decision easier.

 

Time and distance

Of all the auto executives I’ve met over almost four decades, only one ever admitted to the lifespan for which they design and build their vehicles to survive. While no auto company will admit it, the useful life for the majority of mainstream, non-luxury vehicles is about 10 years and/or 250,000 kilometers. While many cars, light trucks and SUVs may exceed that mark without exceptional repair or maintenance, a good percentage are relegated to the boneyard much sooner. A vehicle’s reliability takes a decidedly marked downturn once these milestones are passed. Does this mean we need to rush to the nearest dealership when the odometer clicks past that fateful mark? No, but it means it’s time create a succession plan. No matter the many variables when it comes to our relationships with cars, there’s one constant you can rely on: when you are forced to make a rushed decision on purchasing or leasing a vehicle (because your present chariot is dead in the driveway) it will cost you more than if you planned ahead.

 

Major repair estimate

Everyone dreads this call. They’ve had the family car towed into their repair provider because it failed to start/move/stop, and they get the estimate to overhaul/repair/replace something big. A good rule of thumb in these circumstances is to review your options of repairing or replacing your vehicle if a single-repair estimate approaches or exceeds its wholesale value. A quick internet tour of just about any used vehicle sales website can pinpoint this value. Just take the average asking price for the same vehicle in your area (with identical equipment and mileage) and subtract around $1,500 from a retailer’s asking price to come up with a wholesale value. Vehicles, unless it’s a collector classic, are a depreciating asset. Spending its entire value in one repair won’t double its worth.

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Will Lack of New Sales Incentives Affect Car Sales Overall?

What really sets one car apart from another? Are incentives, price, or specific features the most important factor for consumers? If it is the incentives, there is a possibility of them drying up for good.If so, will people still buy as often and what will happen with competition between companies? What will drive people’s decisions?

This has become a concern due to the fact that we Canadians may have become addicted to incentives and recently the amounts of incentives are decreasing. Last year alone the average amount of incentives was only 17.2% of the $29,312 purchase at $5,041.

That’s about as rich in real dollars as the average in 2013, when the incentive money represented 17.6 per cent of an average transaction price of $28,259 — or $4,973.58. Thus, for more than two years now, carmakers and their dealers have used $5,000 to lure Canadians to pull the trigger on a new ride.

The incentive money certainly lit a fire under buyers. In 2014, Canadians bought a record 1.85 million new cars and light trucks. That sales boom broke the previous all-time record set in 2013. As J.D. Power put it in a note to clients, “the doldrums of the recession years are clearly in the rear-view mirror, albeit perhaps closer than they appear.”

We’ll call that a cryptic caveat. That is, J.D. Power and auto analyst Dennis DesRosiers of DesRosiers Automotive Consultants both see reasons to be optimistic about what lies ahead for 2015 – but it’s a cautious optimism.

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Are our cars getting too technical?

Modern day vehicles just keep on getting smarter, in fact car manufacturers seem to chomping at the bit to out modernize the other with whose vehicle is more modern. Have you ever tried to change a clock on a car? The older ones it seems easier, you have two buttons, that’s it. However now that just doesn’t seem good enough.

An example of this is cars with a GPS. Some vehicles require the system to be re-programmed to set the time. The navigation system comes with a CD that contains details of the geographic area and territory as set by the selling dealer. The vehicle then links up with the appropriate satellite that provides the GPS guidance.

This disc must be initialized into your navigation system to set the correct time zone and recognized landmarks. Once the time zone is set, you must activate daylight savings to get the correct time displayed for your location.

Another example is scrolling through your radio tuner one frequency at a time. I’d much rather choose the station myself, not arrive at what the radio thinks is the next best frequency. There are now multiple ways of scanning the radio air waves, and if you do not set the parameters properly, you’ll find you car radio jumping all over the frequency bands.

 

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Driving facts you never would have thought of.

There are some odd laws out there, but there are even more odd facts about driving out there. there’s someones cousin who’s told you about how they were turned away from the boarder for smoking pot once. Which ultimately ruined their cross country road trip with the kids that they’ve been planning for weeks.

There are some other odd ones out there, you can be charged for leaving your older kids in the car, or even if someone takes a picture of you while you are texting and driving.. I think there’s a bit of contradiction going on there but nonetheless, it can still happen.

If you want to read more about interesting driving facts, click here.

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How Not to Drive!

This one was seen on the streets in Russia.

We Have all Heard of a Spare Tire?

But with a gas guzzler like this I guess a spare car could come in handy also!

Recycled Tranny

Gotta love this idea!

Super Geek Car

To the junk yard?  Or is this guys car a pick-up machine?