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The future


{Wheels.29.1}: Glen Marks {wotan} Thu, 06 Mar 2014 00:52:36 CST (1 line)


{Wheels.29.2}: Glen Marks {wotan} Thu, 05 Jun 2014 19:06:25 CDT (4 lines)

Ready for driverless cars?:



{Wheels.29.3}: Joseph Kang {jsk} Mon, 14 Jul 2014 12:20:33 CDT (4 lines)

Interesting! Toyota has created a "free piston" engine that operates
without a crankshaft and outputs electrical power.



{Wheels.29.4}: Jil {rabbit} Fri, 18 Jul 2014 06:38:08 CDT (1 line)

Interesting indeed.


{Wheels.29.5}: Glen Marks {wotan} Sun, 20 Jul 2014 16:24:42 CDT (4 lines)

Could this recent tv commercial w/o any humans be giving us a glimpse of
the future?:


{Wheels.29.6}: Glen Marks {wotan} Tue, 05 Aug 2014 07:01:34 CDT (7 lines)

According to the following recent article:

- Solutions and efficiency in technology, such as the electric car, have
been deliberately destroyed by the very companies they threaten. A good
documentary on this subject is Who Killed the Electric Car?


{Wheels.29.7}: Jil {rabbit} Tue, 05 Aug 2014 08:27:06 CDT (5 lines)

Garbage. If GM could have sold a million EV1s, it would have made a
million EV1s. The technology wasn't ready at the time, and neither
were drivers. They still aren't. Hybrids and EVs are readily
available, and have been for more than a decade, and they still
haven't progressed beyond single-digit market share.


{Wheels.29.8}: Joe Gordon {darmund} Thu, 07 Aug 2014 14:29:31 CDT (2 lines)

But, but, but Martin Sheen was the narrator!!! President Bartlett
doesn't lie!!!!!


{Wheels.29.9}: Ted Hurst {thurst} Thu, 07 Aug 2014 14:52:12 CDT (HTML)

It seems a bit extreme to insure that no working EV1 would survive. I don't think that decision was based on not having a million vehicle market at the time.


{Wheels.29.10}: Jil {rabbit} Thu, 07 Aug 2014 15:49:08 CDT (22 lines)

No, there were other reasons for destroying them all, and while it
might make me sound like I'm on the company's side, I've seen enough
of the industry to say that they had legitimate reasons for not
leaving them in the marketplace.

The technology was new, and the cars were extremely small-volume and
hand-built, which means that eventually, something was going to go
wrong. When it does, then with extremely rare examples (the Tesla's
fires being one of them), you can't overcome that bad publicity.

Somewhere down the line, an EV-1 was going to stop in its tracks, and
any goodwill would have been lost. Plus, the company would have had
to keep parts in stock for years (if memory serves, it's a minimum of
10 years) and kept technicians trained for the few that would have
been left.

The EV-1, and the other electrics that Nissan, Toyota, Ford, et al
put on the road, were introduced strictly to meet the laws that
California set in place at the time. The cars were essentially
cobbled together, and in a hurry. Once the laws were removed, there
was no need for these extremely expensive programs, and GM (and
others) didn't want to clean up what was left over from them.


{Wheels.29.11}: Ted Hurst {thurst} Thu, 07 Aug 2014 16:13:58 CDT (HTML)

From Wikipedia...


In 2006, former GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner stated that his worst decision during his tenure at GM was "axing the EV1 electric-car program and not putting the right resources into hybrids. It didn't affect profitability, but it did affect image."[47] Wagoner repeated this assertion during an NPR interview after the December 2008 Senate hearings on the U.S. auto industry bailout request.[48] In the March 13, 2007 issue of Newsweek, "GM R&D chief Larry Burns . . . now wishes GM hadn't killed the plug-in hybrid EV1 prototype his engineers had on the road a decade ago: 'If we could turn back the hands of time,' says Burns, 'we could have had the Chevy Volt 10 years earlier,'"[49] referring to the forthcoming plug-in hybrid car which was hailed as the spiritual and technological successor to the EV1.

I wish there were some around for you to test drive and write an article about. If a Power Wagon, why not an EV1?


{Wheels.29.12}: Jil {rabbit} Thu, 07 Aug 2014 16:27:00 CDT (10 lines)

They should have kept the program going, at least in terms of the
research; they made a serious mistake in not working on the momentum
they'd built up with the EV-1.

But I still maintain that there was nothing nefarious in destroying
the ones that came off leases. If not the right thing to do, it was
at least the most logical.

There probably is a running EV-1 around somewhere, but the few I've
seen have no powertrains.


{Wheels.29.13}: Ted Hurst {thurst} Thu, 07 Aug 2014 16:29:26 CDT (HTML)

The Smithsonian has one according to the article.


{Wheels.29.14}: Jil {rabbit} Thu, 07 Aug 2014 20:29:20 CDT (1 line)

Yes, I've seen it there.


{Wheels.29.15}: Doug White {dwhite} Fri, 08 Aug 2014 12:50:55 CDT (2 lines)

It would be amusing to get one of the units w/o a powertrain and
convert it to IC, haha.  Take that, GM.


{Wheels.29.16}: Ted Hurst {thurst} Tue, 10 Mar 2015 01:26:29 CDT (HTML)

I doubt that I will ever choose to pay the price of a Mercedes, but I look forward to a driverless car in my future.

Mercedes Driverless Car Spotted Cruising Around San Francisco

The Huffington Post | By Harry Bradford

Posted: 03/09/2015 5:14 pm EDT Updated: 03/09/2015 5:59 pm EDT



{Wheels.29.17}: Jil {rabbit} Tue, 10 Mar 2015 07:35:42 CDT (1 line)

Do you? I think it's a horrible idea.


{Wheels.29.18}: Doug White {dwhite} Tue, 10 Mar 2015 10:03:50 CDT (4 lines)

Is that a front or rear view of the Mercedes?

From that photo it would appear SFO has finally been gentrified back into
the stone age.


{Wheels.29.19}: Ted Hurst {thurst} Wed, 11 Mar 2015 02:03:03 CDT (HTML)

Jil, few people drive as well as you. Putting them in self-driving cars would probably result in a safer experience for everyone. People could text/talk on their cell phones with no harm.

And we get older it will be a boon for the elderly. It really set my dad back with my sister sabotaging him. He was really interested in attending meetings and being active in the community.


{Wheels.29.20}: Jil {rabbit} Thu, 19 Mar 2015 08:39:24 CDT (6 lines)

Better training and licensing, not self-driving cars. We're putting a
Band-Aid on a wound.

People used to think drinking and driving was okay. People still do
it, but we're making a lot of headway. We need to treat cell phones
the same way, not make a car that lets them do it.


{Wheels.29.21}: Doug White {dwhite} Fri, 20 Mar 2015 10:05:05 CDT (4 lines)

Get a grip, Jil.  Cell phone use in public is already far more accepted (I'd
say some view it as a human right by now) than drinking in public ever was.
If the choice is truly "self-driving cars" vs. "no cell phones," the winner
will be clear.


{Wheels.29.22}: Jil {rabbit} Fri, 20 Mar 2015 13:25:10 CDT (5 lines)

Sorry, I can't agree with that. Even if cell phone use is more
accepted than drunk driving was, that doesn't mean we can't change
that. Or worse, that we should just accept that we can't, and so come
up with billion-dollar solutions so assholes who aren't smart enough
to put down the phone won't be inconvenienced.


{Wheels.29.23}: Doug White {dwhite} Sat, 21 Mar 2015 00:29:01 CDT (16 lines)

No, no, no, I agree that it SHOULD be stopped.  But it is unstoppable.
There is zero political will, and the opposition is legion and well-
funded.  You want to compare cell phone use to the drunk driving problem,
but it is actually akin to the "motorless carriage" problem in the age of
horse-drawn transportation and steam power.  There is no going back.  An
entire generation can't even imagine life without this technology.
Geezers are steadily being assimilated.  The ship has sailed.

Drunk driving has zero upside (or, at worst, no upside that is morally
defensible).  I hate cell phones as much as anybody (maybe more than,
since I still don't have one!), but even I must concede they have a lot of

So, since we will keep cell phones, then at least allow us driverless cars
to get some (and then more, and then most) distracted people out of the
driving business altogether!


{Wheels.29.24}: Ted Hurst {thurst} Sat, 21 Mar 2015 03:57:13 CDT (HTML)

"Better training and licensing" are certainly beneficial for those who will be driving. My former workplace required us to take a Defensive Driving classes every three years for a while. I found it informative and worth while.

But this is not needed by passengers in a vehicle driven by another person or an integral robot who will be programmed with every conceivable driving strategy for the design vehicle (which vastly exceeds what most drivers will ever imagine).

I think the highways will support a mix of traffic, which in the case of self driving vehicles can be at optimally higher density. Those that pilot their own vehicles will encounter fewer surprises, and most of those from the remaining independent, sporty folks, who enjoy expressing themselves "outside the box".

The many articles would indicate that like it or not, robotic transportation on our highways is coming.

Here are a few...

Google Self-Driving Car Designer: 'I'm Building It For My Son'

Google's self-driving car was featured during a recent TED Talk, where the designer made a case for how it could improve the roads.

By Christopher Hutton | Mar 18, 2015 11:46 AM EDT


Elon Musk Says Human-Driven Cars Could Become Illegal

The Huffington Post | By Ed Mazza

Posted: 03/18/2015 5:22 am EDT Updated: 03/18/2015 8:59 am EDT


Another source of the same...

Elon Musk believes non-self-driving cars may one day be outlawed

Is it safer for a "two-ton death machine" to be driven by a computer or a human?

by Sebastian Anthony - Mar 18, 2015 11:00am MDT


No, Tesla Is Not Releasing a 'Self-Driving' Car This Summer

By Damon Poeter

March 20, 2015 07:12pm EST

Tesla is adding some cool driver-assist functions to its vehicles, but they're not robot cars just yet.


Self-driving cars are almost here — but only for 1 percenters

Yahoo Finance

By Rick Newman - March 20, 2015


And there are many more... Past, present and future!


{Wheels.29.25}: Ted Hurst {thurst} Sat, 21 Mar 2015 04:13:15 CDT (HTML)

My dad struggled to make it to his 90th birthday as a licensed driver. My sister sabotaged him a second time (with support from other family members), and he fell six months short.

I'm 68 yo. I will keep watching the developments, and I feel encouraged that even if I should go blind between 10 years from now and my 90th birthday, I will likely be able to summon a personal vehicle to safely take me wherever I wish to go.

My 2009 Hyundai Elantra more than adequately meets my present needs. Whimsey may move me to indulge in some intermediate vehicle before I settle into a RoboCar.


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