Archives For December 2012

2012-07-24 16.00.52-1The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants to force automakers to install “black boxes” in new vehicles.

Ostensibly the NHTSA simply wants to collect data that might help improve safety for drivers and passengers and it certainly would also prove most useful in determining what led to accidents and assigning fault, no doubt.

The anecdote in the article linked below does show how it would easily resolve events that happen on the road where there are no witnesses.

Still, there is a major privacy issue here. Also a question of ownership over the data.

One would think the data should belong to the owner of the car, and not, say, the insurance company that covers you.

According to the ABC News story:

“Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray of Massachusetts found out the hard way last year.

He crashed a car he was driving and told police that he was wearing a seatbelt and was not speeding at the time of the crash.

However the black box installed in his car revealed he was actually speeding at 75 miles per hour in a 65 mile per hour zone, before accelerating to more than 100 miles per hour.”

Whoops!

Read full coverage on the feds’ “little black box” from ABC News below:

Feds Want ‘Black Boxes’ in New Cars, But Who Will Be Tracking You?

2012-07-24 16.00.52The poet Robert Frost wrote “I took the one less traveled by.”

Keep that in mind when you read the list of the best roads in America for speed freaks.

No offense to those who live near the areas mentioned, but we had to Google map many of the highways. But now we know which routes to take on our next cross-country journey.

Keep in mind, the list is restricted to only U.S. and Canadian roads — (excluding famed fast-driver hot spots such as Germany’s A81 Autobahn leading to the Austrian border — where you can basically floor it and drive as fast as you want.

This list includes several hidden little American secrets.

Coming in at No. 10 is the I-65 between Montgomery and Mobile, Alabama, but only when the football games are on because the local say that the cops are almost always working them.

No, 9 is the famed “Cowschwitz” — the I-5 outside Coalinga, California, stretching between San Francisco and L.A. — which apparently reeks of cow like you would not believe.

No cops on patrol, go figure!!!!

Check out the full list from Jalopnik below:

The Ten Best North American Roads For Speed Freaks

2012-07-24 16.01.14-1theftWhere’s the kill switch?!

OK, on the lighter side, if you can call it that, here’s a story of a handcuffed theft suspect who somehow was still able to steal a police car.

We’re betting the officer who had his vehicle stolen is wishing he could shut down the car remotely.

Of course he could’ve avoided the theft if the rear passenger window had been locked.

The handcuffed suspect had been left alone in the squad car — and somehow managed to roll a window down, slide the car door open and drive off — leaving officers in White Settlement, Texas, rushing to find him days after the incident, according to The Sacramento Bee.

Whoops!!!

A video shot from another vehicle’s dash cam caught Darren Porter, 41, sliding out of the backseat and pulling off the squad car theft.

Cops had detained Porter Friday morning, over allegations that he’d broken into a nearby antiques store — and officers had cuffed him and tossed him into the back of a Ford Crown Victoria squad car, officers said.

If you missed the link above, check out full coverage from The Sacramento Bee below:

Handcuffed Texas Suspect Makes Off With Squad Car

top10carsWhat should you ask Santa for this Christmas?

Tell him you can wait for one of the new car models that will be available soon. But maybe he can put a down payment for them right now.

Car and Driver’s list of the 10 best include the perennial favorites like the BMW 3-Series, but notably a first-time entry with the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ.

OK, admittedly the rest of the list is a little … booooooring!

But if we can’t get the Subie then almost anything else on the list would do, Nic.

Check out Car and Driver’s list of the ten best for 2013 here.

Also check out video of the top 10 for 2013 below:

2012-07-24 16.00.48-1Robot cars will probably take control over your car whether you want it to or not.

Actually, robots will take over the world whether or not we want it. And I’m not saying that because I’ve watched Terminator too many times.

Computer scientists pretty much take this as a given. And it starts with technology like this.

We’re talking about automated intersection controllers. Sure, sounds like a great idea for improved road safety and traffic efficiency, but isn’t this why man created trains?

Maybe that’s the future of cars, each one like a train compartment.

See how the robo-cars will work here.

Related post: More evidence that robots are poised to take control!

A high school student from Texas won a $100,000 science scholarship for developing a computer algorithm that helps robots avoid obstacles.

One of the applications for this? Driverless cars, of course!