Nov 20

H/t reader kevin a:

“This is an Amazing engine.”


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Toyota developing free piston engine linear generator for hybrid cars:

Toyota is hot on hydrogen fuel cells for its next-generation cars, but it’s not going cold on internal combustion just yet.

The company’s R&D division has developed a Free Piston Engine Linear Generator that can convert gasoline and other fuels into electricity more efficiently than existing systems.

It’s a technology that could lead to lighter, more efficient, better-packaged powertrains for plug-in hybrid cars. Continue reading »

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Nov 18

Ford CEO Folds? Trump Confirms Carmaker Won’t Move Production To Mexico

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Nov 16

Ford CEO Blasts “Huge Impact” Of Automotive Import Tariffs:

“A tariff like that (Trump has proposed) could have a huge impact on the U.S. economy.”

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Nov 15

A Record 25% Of Used Car Trade-Ins Are Underwater:

Negative equity on used car trade-ins surges to an all time high as lenders continue to stretch out terms to manage monthly payments…this likely won’t end well.

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Nov 04

The End Of A Great Industrial Power: French Car Production Has Collapse Since Joining The Euro

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Oct 17

Ford To Idle Four Factories Due To Slowing Car Demand, Rising Inventories:

As a result of slowing demand and declining US auto sales coupled with growing inventory, Ford Motor is halting one of two plants that builds its top-selling F-150 pickup as it idles four factories this month amid slowing U.S. auto sales.

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Sep 28

Caught On Tape: Hackers Take Control Of A Moving Tesla From Miles Away:

The first video evidence emerges of hackers taking remote control of Tesla Model S vehicles and controlling everything from internal displays to slamming on the brakes while in motion. 

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Sep 07

Dutch Tesla Model S Driver Dies After Hitting Tree, Battery Catches Fire:

Less than a month after the latest incident involving a Tesla, when a Model S spontaneously burst into flames in France during a European “electric road trip”, early this morning in Baarn in the Netherlands, a 53-year old Tesla Model S driver tragically died in a crash Electrek reports. His Model S left the road and hit a tree at high speed. The vehicle caught on fire and the driver was reportedly dead by the time the firefighters were on the scene.

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Aug 25

Uber & Out? nuTonomy Launches First Driverless Taxi Service In Asia:

You won’t find too many technology companies that could lose this much money, this quickly.  For a private business to raise as much capital as Uber has been able to is unprecedented.”

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Aug 17

Ford Announces Plans To Self-Destruct Starting In 2021:

Ford CEO, Mark Fields, sat down with Bloomberg to discuss plans to introduce a completely autonomous car by 2021.  The only real problem we see with that plan is that it pretty much ensures their own demise.  That said, they’re pretty much doomed anyway so might as well go for it.

The company said it plans to have a fully autonomous vehicle — no steering wheel, no gas or brake pedals — available by 2021 for ride-hailing services. Continue reading »

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Aug 15

tesla fire france

Tesla Spontaneously Catches Fire, Burns Down During Test Drive In France:

After Tesla’s latest problem involving a Model S crash in Beijing while in autopilot mode (which has since prompted the carmaker drop remove “autopilot” from its Chinese website), Elon Musk may have to return to a more familiar problem plaguing his vehicles: spontaneous combustion.

According to Electrek, as part of its ‘Electric Road Trip’ tour for the summer, Tesla stopped in Biarritz, France to promote Model S and Model X over the weekend. During a test drive in a Model S 90D, the vehicle suddenly sent a visual alert on the dashboard stating that there was a problem with “charging”. The Tesla employee giving the test drive made the driver park the car on the side of the road and all three (the driver, the Tesla employee and another passenger) exited the vehicle. Continue reading »

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Jul 07

Jul 6, 2016

Description:

From playing patty cake to taking part in arm wrestling matches, these motorists appear to be concentrating on anything but the road. The startling videos posted to YouTube show people lounging around while their self-driving cars do all the work. A second serious crash involved a Tesla on autopilot has also been reported. Police in Pennsylvania say the motorist smashed into a guardrail and a concrete median before his car rolled onto its roof on July 1.

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Jul 01

josh brown_0
In an image from an online video posted by Brown driving his Tesla Model S.

Driver In Fatal Self-Driving Tesla Crash Had Recently Posted Video Praising Car’s Autopilot:

Call it a case of tragic irony.

Earlier today, Tesla reported (with a one day delay so that perhaps its stock wouldn’t get clobbered ahead of quarter end rebalancing) that a 40-year-old Ohio man, named Joshua Brown, was killed when his 2015 Model S drove under the trailer of an 18-wheeler on a highway near Williston, Florida, sending Tesla stock lower nearly 3%. Continue reading »

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Jun 16

San Antonio man has engine that gets 100 mpg:

We’ve heard rumors for years about engines capable of getting 100 miles to a gallon of fuel, but the reality is much closer than you might think. Josh “Mac” MacDowell says he not only has the engine, he has come up with an idea, strong enough the U.S. patent office has given him a patent for it. MacDowell is using a Stirling engine, coupled with thermopile technology to make it possible to drive a Hybrid electric car and never have to stop to charge it.

The Stirling engine was actually invented 200 years ago, in 1816. The engine is driven by the exchange of hot and cold air, much like nature drives a thunderstorm. The Stirling engine is capable of using roughly 50% of the energy it produces. An internal combustion engine, like the ones in our vehicles, uses about 14%. Continue reading »

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Jun 01

GM, Ford US Auto Sales Tumble In “Bellwether” Month Of May:

You can’t say we weren’t warned. As reported over a month ago, before the surprising rebound in April retail sales, the biggest drag on consumer spending was auto sales.  One month later, this is finally starting to materialize when earlier today, both GM and Ford’s US vehicle sales fell more than analysts had estimated in May. According to Bloomberg this “raises questions about stalling consumer demand.” Not really: as we also warned a month ago when looking at stalling use car price changes, it was only a matter of time before the lack of demand for every low priced autos spilled over to new car sales, which it now has.

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May 18

Ex-Google Engineers Launch “Otto”: Completely Driverless Truck Testing Underway:

Movement in the autonomous vehicle space accelerated once again.

Four ex-Google engineers, including the man who built Google’s first self-driving car,  announced “Otto”, an autonomous truck retrofitting business.

The service isn’t vaporware. “Otto” is currently operating on Nevada highways.

BackChannel reports The Man Who Built Google’s First Self-Driving Car Is Now a Trucker.

Founded by four ex-Google engineers?—?including Anthony Levandowski, the man who built Google’s very first self-driving car?—?Otto is applying Google’s all-or-nothing approach to commercial big rigs: ditch human drivers, avoid thousands of road deaths, help the environment, and if all goes well, make a ton of money along the way. Continue reading »

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Apr 29

Why The Hard-Sell For The “Self-Driving” Car?:

google-car

This week, Ford and Volvo announced they are forming a “coaliton” – along with Google – to push not only for the development of self-driving cars, but for federal “action” (their term) to force-feed them to us.

Why?

The reasons are obvious: There’s money – and control – in it.

To understand what’s going on, to grok the tub-thumping for these things, it is first of all necessary to deconstruct the terminology. The cars are not “self-driving.” This implies independence.

And “self-driving” cars are all about dependence. Continue reading »

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Feb 04

1957 Ferrari 335 Sport Scaglietti

Is this Ferrari Europe’s most expensive classic car?:

The red 335 Sport Scaglietti will to go under the hammer Friday afternoon in Paris at the Retromobile auction in Paris, with a price estimate of $30-$34 million.

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Jan 05

US Auto Sales Plunge To 6-Month Lows – Biggest Miss Since Nov 2008:

Despite the blustering propaganda from CNBC’s Phil LeBeau, it appears the Auto-sales (and massive inventory build) party is over in America. December US domestic auto sales SAAR printed 13.46 mm – the lowest in 6 months (missing expectations of 14.15mm by the most since November 2008). With non-revolving credit growth slowing in December, and inventories at record highs, the wheels just fell off the credit-fueled auto ‘recovery’.

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Jan 02

Tesla bursts into flames 3_0

Norwegian Car-B-Q: Tesla Model S Bursts Into Flames, Burns To A Crisp While Charging:

 The Norwegian owner of a Tesla Model S found an unexpected f(i)ringe benefit during a cold Friday afternoon when shortly after he had parked his luxury electric car at a supercharging station in Gjerstad, and left, he realized the car could serve as a very quick and efficient, if quite toxic, source of heating for the cold Scandinavian country, after the Model S spontaneously burst into flames. Continue reading »

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Dec 05

Car turns driver in for hit-and-run:

Vehicle emergency system called police dispatch after crash

A Port St. Lucie woman is under arrest in connection with a hit-and-run.

Police responded to a hit-and-run in the 500 block of Northwest Prima Vista Boulevard on Monday afternoon. The victim, Anna Preston, said she was struck from behind by a black vehicle that took off. Preston was taken to the hospital with back injuries. Continue reading »

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Dec 01

Chinese Auto Sales Crash, Inventories Soar In November:

Despite ongoing exuberance at auto sales in America (which disappointed) – as crashing credit standards enable every Tom, Dick, and Muppet to buy too much ‘depreciating asset’ for their incomes – there are numerous problems few are talking about for automakers worldwide. Aside from “plans to buy a car” tumbling in the latest confidence surveys, and inventories-to-sales surging, China just poured ice cold water on any hope of stability in that ‘growth’ market as auto dealers issue the highest inventory alert since June. November data from China shows demand plunging, sales collapsing, and inventories soaring – a triple whammy of “no, things are not ‘stabilizing’.”

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Nov 04

Volkswagen Tumbles Again As Emissions Scandal Deepens, Gasoline Engines Dragged In: Wall Street’s Reaction

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Nov 01

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Robot Buses Are Coming To America, To Pave The Way For Driverless Cars:

Self-driving buses are coming to America. The Bishop Ranch business park in San Ramon, California will be the first place in the U.S. to use French robo-buses to ferry passengers around.

Perhaps the best place for autonomous vehicles to start out is in this kind of training ground, although given the safety record of Google’s self-driving cars, the training might be for us humans in getting used to them. It’s hard to argue that preset routes and low speeds aren’t ideal for an introduction to driverless vehicles, and that’s just what the Easymile company specializes in.

The EZ10 is a driverless bus designed for short hops. It has been deployed in Europe—in Finland, France, and is just about to launch in Spain. The electric vehicles carry up to ten passengers, and have ramps for wheelchairs and strollers. The idea is that they carry you the “last mile” of your journey, and one of their main uses is in theme parks.

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Oct 27

US Automakers’ Worst Nightmare (In 2 Charts):

With the second half of 2015 “grim” for Chinese auto sales, US automakers – who have field-of-dreams-like built inventories to record levels – have turned domestic for growth by extending credit for decades to anyone who can fog a mirror. That was all well and good until we discover this morning that the government’s consumer confidence survey shows Americans auto-buying attitude is the lowest since Jan 2013. Automakers have two options, offer buy-one-get-one-free to all new Syrian refugees or cut production dramatically in hopes of easing inventory excess. Good luck.

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Oct 07

The Source Of The US Economy’s Only Bright Spot: $1 Trillion In Car Loans:

As the following chart shows, after langushing between $70 and $800 billion in the second half of the last decade, since Q2 2010 US auto loans have been on an absolute tear, and have increased by over 40% in the past five years alone, to just shy of $1 trillion as of June 30!

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Oct 03

“Everyone Is Doing It”: How Carmakers Manipulate Emissions Test Results

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Sep 28

Found On A Volkswagen In Portland:

VW Continue reading »

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Sep 16

Queen of England Is First New Bentley Bentayga SUV Owner

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Sep 15

BMW Chief Faints On Stage During Frankfurt Auto Show

Back in June we noted that for luxury car manufacturers, the Chinese cash cow is dying. “The enormous growth rates luxury-car makers like us have seen in China in recent years won’t continue,” Porsche CFO Lutz Meschke warned at an event in Atlanta in May and needless to say, the picture has not brightened since then.   Continue reading »

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