Soaring Lease Returns Set To Wreak Havoc Used Car Pricing and Auto Industry Profits

Soaring Lease Returns Set To Wreak Havoc Used Car Pricing and Auto Industry Profits:

Falling used car prices have already started to take their toll with Ford shaving $300 million from its financial-services arm’s profit forecast for this year but is Ford just the “canary in the coal mine?”

* * *

PayPal: Donate in USD
PayPal: Donate in EUR
PayPal: Donate in GBP

Google gives driverless cars the green light for business, but are we really ready for AI piloted vehicles on our roads?

Google gives driverless cars the green light for business, but are we really ready for AI piloted vehicles on our roads?:

It all sounds so futuristic and exciting, this concept of driverless cars, but the reality is, our society may not be nearly as ready for it as other people in other lands may be. That’s because if there is one thing Americans are infatuated with, it is the automobile.

And yet, the technology is here and it is getting better every year. So we may have little choice about whether or not we want our vehicle to do the driving for us in the near future.

Indeed, the technology has even advanced to the point where media and technology giant Google has given them a “greenlight” for business, The New York Times reported recently.

Read more

Toyota developing free piston engine linear generator for hybrid cars

H/t reader kevin a:

“This is an Amazing engine.”


toyota-linear-generator-876

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.

Read more

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

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.

* * *

PayPal: Donate in USD
PayPal: Donate in EUR
PayPal: Donate in GBP

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

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. 

* * *

PayPal: Donate in USD
PayPal: Donate in EUR
PayPal: Donate in GBP

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

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.

* * *

PayPal: Donate in USD
PayPal: Donate in EUR
PayPal: Donate in GBP

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

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.”

* * *

PayPal: Donate in USD
PayPal: Donate in EUR
PayPal: Donate in GBP

Ford Announces Plans To Self-Destruct Starting In 2021

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.

Read more

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

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.

Read more

See Motorists Play, Read and Relax In Self-Driving Cars As Second Tesla Crashes (Video)

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.

* * *

PayPal: Donate in USD
PayPal: Donate in EUR
PayPal: Donate in GBP

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

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%.

Read more

San Antonio Man Patents Stirling Engine That Gets 100 Miles Per Gallon

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%.

Read more

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

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.

* * *

PayPal: Donate in USD
PayPal: Donate in EUR
PayPal: Donate in GBP

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

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.

Read more

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

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.

Read more