Google Cars May Have Outside Airbags

Google’s new line of driverless cars might be different in a whole lot of ways. Rumor has it that rather than have airbags on the inside of the vehicle like more cars, the driverless versions of the vehicles will instead have airbags on the outside of the vehicle. The airbags would work sort of like inflatable bumpers and would deploy whenever something or someone appeared to be on their way into a collision with the vehicle.

If you’ve ever seen an airbag deploy, you know that an outside version of that might be a little much for someone walking by. To combat that Google is looking at creating the airbags out of a visco-elastic material. Unlike your typical airbag, it would work as sort of a cushion to the blow rather than deflecting it, hopefully making both the car and the pedestrian a lot safer in the process.

Bruce Karatz (linkedin.com) agrees that it looks like autonomous vehicles are definitely in our future. We can’t wait to see what Google’s options look like once it finally brings a product to market in the next few years.

Jeremy Clarkson Leaves Top Gear With a Parting Shot at Network Rivals

Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson has been informed his contract with the BBC motoring show Top Gear will not be renewed following an altercation with a producer on the show over food provided at a filming location. The Guardian reports Clarkson’s more than $1 million a year contract will not be renewed, but the show will remain with a new host as the list of possible replacements expands following the TV star’s sacking. The future’s of his co-hosts, Richard Hammond and James May have not been mentioned in any statement from the BBC.

Clarkson was informed his contract would not be renewed after a physical fight with a producer with the show was reported to senior BBC executives. eMobile reported that the controversial host wrote a final column in the Top Gear magazine that called on the rivals of the BBC in the UK to fill the void his departure will leave in the TV motoring genre. Comparing the production of TV motoring shows to those of cookery shows Clarkson stated the public were not given any choice and a show to outshine Top Gear would be easy to produce. Potential replacements being discussed for Clarkson on the world’s top factual entertainment show include Radio 2 breakfast show host and former TFI Friday presenter Chris Evans.

Chinese Tech Companies Looking at Autonomous Cars

Chinese tech companies are looking to get into the autonomous car business. Tencent and Baidu, both exceptionally large tech companies in China both made announcements today indicating that they’re starting to look into creating autonomous vehicles. Tenceent in particular went into a bit more detail on its plans, indicating it would be working with Foxconn on vehicles. Foxconn, of course, the company responsible for manufacturing the iPhone for Apple.

We’ve known Foxconn was interested in creating its own autonomous cars for a while. The company’s CEO announced last year tat it was hoping to get into the business, however, it needed a partner in order to get there stated Slideshare.

China’s autonomous cars will be a little different from the types of vehicles we’ll see in the United States. There, the cars will be created in such a way that they can be mass produced, and so that they’re affordable. Since China has an exceptionally large population, the vehicles could have a dramatic impact on how people get around in the country, and how much traffic they have to battle along the way.

Tesla recently announced its working on an autonomous feature for its Model S car. the Model S is currently sold in China, but its hefty price tag has caused the vehicle to old sell 2,500 units since its launch in the country last year.

Tesla Founder Elon Musk Believes Auto Pilot Cars Are The Future

The founder of Telsa Elon Musk, shared his vision of the future with a captivated audience at a conference hosted by the computer chip designer Nvidia. Musk believes that one day, person driven cars will be outlawed as too dangerous and most of the public will be driven on the roads via auto pilot.Future Cars to Drive Themselves

While auto pilot driven cars may be the subject of science fiction movies such as the “Minority Report,” Musk does not see a future that is that far away. Musk believes that it is not even an issue of waiting for the technology to be developed. Marc Sparks suggests the technology for cars driven by auto pilot already exist and is being engaged in experimental trials and test tracks now. The barrier is the fear of people giving up control to a computer.

Man has always had a fear of most initial forms of artificial intelligence or “AI” as it is known in the industry. But eventually, man sees the benefit of the convenience and efficiency of the technology and adepts it in their day to day life style. Musk notes that at one time all elevators were manually operated by man, now we have all elevators operating by computers and which carry individuals hundreds of feet into the air without a thought of fear by the passengers.

Musk believes that it is simply a matter of time for man to realize that he is too dangerous to pilot a vehicle in a mass environment and the law will catch up to this thought when the infrastructure is worked out.

Autonomous Cars May Lead to Humans Not Being Allowed to Drive

Self-driving cars are on their way. Google is already road testing a fully autonomous model, and a multitude of automakers are planning some autonomous driving aspects for newer cars. Existing cars have already gotten smarter in terms of having collision avoidance systems that warn drivers of impending danger and some that even slow or stop the vehicle to avoid the danger itself. Elon Musk, The rich founder of PayPal and current head of Tesla Motors and SpaceX has said these vehicles will be here in the near future. He has also foreseen something that many who like driving may not want to hear; that driving your own car may be illegal someday.

The reasoning is that self-driving cars will be so much safer than us easily distracted humans that one of us behind the wheel of a car will be found to be one of the greatest dangers on the road stated AnastasiaDate. Like gun advocates parting with their pistols or shoguns, however, anyone who proposes such laws had better be ready for a fight. Fortunately, this day is still a ways off, but people don’t just like their cars, they like driving their cars. To paraphrase the prideful gun owner’s mantra, future legislators may have to pry some drivers cold, dead hands from their steering wheels before they’ll give up their ‘right’ to drive their own car.

Audi Working on All-Electric SUV

Audi has plans to release an all-electric SUV soon. The company’s head of engineering Ulrich Hackenberg recently indicated in an interview that the company has plans to release a sports utility vehicle in 2018 that will operate entirely on electricity. We’re obviously a little ways off from then, so he wasn’t able to share to many details about the vehicle.

According to wetseal inc, he did show off a conceptual drawing of the upcoming vehicle, that looks a bit more like a sports car than it does your traditional SUV. The hope is that the vehicle would be able to travel 313 miles on a single charge, putting it roughly 30 miles more per charge than Tesla’s Model S. That’s a pretty long distance for everyday city driving, but could cause some problems when people starts trying to take the vehicles on road trips.

Electrical cars have started to gain popularity as more and more charging stations for the vehicles start to pop up. Currently there are no all-electric SUV’s on the market. Audio might get lucky and make the first that makes it to market. You can bet that other automakers are eyeing the same spot , however, and someone else might be able to beat them to the punch.

Uber Pledges to Hire More Women Drivers

Despite a wave of criticism, rapidly expanding Uber pledges more expansion and the hiring of 1 million female drivers by 2020.

They’ve certainly set some high expectations given the number of women taxi drivers are less than 2 percent. Out of 160,000 Uber drivers, women under the age of 40 made up 21% of their part-time employees. Amid all their popularity, Uber remains under the microscope via highly published international allegations of sexual assaults, and conflicts within the taxi industry.

It appears there’s a global concern about the safety of Uber’s passengers.

Uber drivers have been arrested in India, Virginia, Chicago, Boston and Los Angelos amid sexual assault cases, and the taxi industry, as well as law enforcement agencies, question the quality of background checks.

Uber Boasts a Strategy for Growth

Uber announced Tuesday, the partnership with UN Women, a United Nations organization for gender equality.

General manager David Rohrsheim views the move as a strategy to improve gender equality. Experts at the Amen Clinic say it also instills trust into the mind of female users. Uber plans to meet soon with the UN Women organization to discuss an action plan to attract women drivers.

Google Now Allows You To Compare Car Insurance

Now you can compare car insurance prices using Google. The search engine launched a told this week that allows you to compare different insurance prices by inputting your vehicle type, zip code, and desired insurance coverage. The service is currently only available for people who are performing searches in the state of California, however, Google plans to roll the feature out for people in other states later this year.

Currently, quotes are pulled from 14 different insurance companies. Ricardo Tosto says that if you see an option you like, an included link will allow you to make a purchase right there. And a WordPress blogger pointed out that there are also hone numbers if you’d rather hit a company up on the phone, where you can have questions answered by a real person, before you buy.’

While the insurance option just became available in the United States, a similar service has been available in the United Kingdom for quite some time.

Potential results include rates from Mercury Insurance, MetLife, 21st Century Insurance, and Kemper Specialty.

Tesla: More an Energy than a Car Company

After announcing plans to provide a stationary-storage unity, Tesla Motors appears to be moving in a tangential trajectory to its once claim to fame of being an electric motor car company. The focus of the storage units will be the production of battery packs, particularly high power lithium-ion batteries, which have the potential to serve as backup power sources for homes or businesses stated the company via facebook. The battery market seems a profitable venture for Tesla, and resonates with their desire to emerge as an energy innovator. Furthermore, there currently exists less competition when compared to the car market, which might enable Tesla to blossom more fully into the energy provider that they seem themselves as.

This investment in battery manufacturing is telling of the current need and desire to find and harvest the next best alternative energy source. Though oil continues to dominate the market and our consumption, we are at the precipice of significant change with respect to how we use energy. Be it solar, wind, hydroelectric, battery, or another, alternative methods of providing cleaner and more efficient energy to citizens of the United States, and the world at large, are in the forefront of the minds of numerous industrial powers. The coming decades could usher in a new method and practices of energy consumption, invariably altering the ways in which we live our lives today. Perhaps working and innovating together is the best way forward.

Tesla Doesn’t Want Customers To Hack the Model S

Tesla doesn’t want you hacking your Model S. In its annual report to investors, the company indicated that if users decide to hack their vehicles by adding aftermarket products t the charging infrastructure the vehicle might not operate as intended i such a way that it might displease customers and ultimately hurt tesla’s business.

In the report Tesla claims that customers who decide to hack their vehicle to improve performance could in effect be hurting their vehicle instead as they stated on Twitter. The moves could not only have a negative effect on the performance of the vehicle, they could also compromise the vehicle’s safety systems. For instance, some customers have decided to change the position of the car’s driver’s seat, a move that makes the vehicle’s airbags less effective.

Tesla does not encourage customers to adjust their own vehicles, and has publicly suggested that customer not try to customize their vehicles on their own and instead deal only with Tesla-approved companies and products.