Tag Archives: brake

Electric-car brakes last 3x longer than conventional – threatening auto mechanics

Not only do electric cars threaten all those gas stations on every corner, but also the auto-mechanics and car parts stores:

Mechanic worries that electric-car brakes will ruin his business

Joe Ferrer says that brakes are easily 35 to 40 percent of his total business. Replacing rotors, calipers, and pads keeps his shop humming.

But on hybrids, brake jobs aren’t needed every 15,000 miles as they are on conventional cars–more like 45,000 miles, he says.

 

Those regenerative braking systems reduce the impact when braking and extend the life of the brake pads.

Of course, this isn’t the only thing that will change, Jiffy Lube will also be hurt. Electric vehicles (EV’s) get rid of nearly all the liquid lube in cars, so that means no more oil changes.

What is going to happen to all that land currently used for gas stations, Jiffy Lubes, and mechanics shops?

 

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A first look at the Tesla Model S

I was never that impressed with the Tesla Roadster. It’s easy to make an exciting long-range electric car if you don’t bother to making it affordable or practical.

Now comes Tesla’s next trick. The Model S sedan, available with seating for up to seven, is now on sale. Once it’s in full production, prices will range from $50,000 to roughly $100,000.

The view from the driver’s seat was striking. Wherever possible, knobs and physical gauges have been replaced by computer screens.

There isn’t even a “Start” button. If you have the Tesla’s car-shaped key fob in your pocket and your butt is in the driver’s seat the car — quite reasonably — assumes you want it to turn on. So it does.

It runs in “Accessory” mode, allowing you to use the computer screens and listen to the stereo, until you push down the brake pedal. Then the speedometer and other driving gauges appear and the car is ready to roll.

 

Keep reading: CNN - Tesla Model S review: A good first impression

 

 

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Our brains can brake a car faster than our feet

If you’ve ever had to slam on the brakes to prevent an accident, you know that the time it takes to get your foot to that pedal can seem like an eternity. Now, German researchers aim to cut that reaction time by getting drivers’ brain waves to help stop the car. Their findings appear in the Journal of Neural Engineering.

When you’re behind the wheel, or doing anything physical, your brain knows what it wants you to do before your body swings into action. Most times, this minor delay between thinking and doing is no big deal. But when you’re moving at 60 miles an hour and the car in front of you stops short, every fraction of a second counts.

Researchers recorded how quickly volunteers reacted when the lead vehicle in a driving simulator suddenly hit the brakes. Sensors monitored the subjects’ brain activity. Turns out drivers knew they needed to slow down more than a tenth of a second before they tap the brakes.

That might not seem like much, but if cars could read minds, they could stop 12 feet sooner at highway speeds. Which could mean the difference between a scare and a smash.

Listen to the podcast version of this storyBrain Brakes Car Faster Than Foot

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Tailgating Is A Crime!

I live in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area where tailgating is rampant. I cannot get on a highway or even hug the slow lane anymore without someone getting up on my rear. It is so bad that everyone has stopped caring and the lead-foot is the norm.

Which is absolutely ridiculous. Death by car is one the leading killers in America. Injuries from car accidents are in the millions each year. I once had a cop tell me that cars are killing machines and everyone has one. He then went on to tell me the ridiculous things people do in these killing machines, like reading newspapers, shaving, putting on make-up, texting.

I grew up in California where tailgating is a crime and the community hates it. We don’t let tailgating happen and if you do it pisses us off. We’re serious too, with regular shootings, beatings, and threats. Many Californians actually keep guns and bats in their car for this very reason. It is considered a battlefield out there.

I know it sounds ridiculous but at least it is honest. It keeps us all well aware of the dangers of driving. Out here on the East Coast there is no justice. Everybody does it, nobody cares, and people pretend like it isn’t a problem.The end result is the worst drivers dominate the roads and all of us are in danger.

I say we fight back and get angry. The tailgaters own the road. They have even taken away the concept of a “slow lane” or a “passing lane”. At this point there is no allowance for safe driving.

Sometimes the only way to stop a bully is to stand up for yourself.

My favorite maneuver is to just stop accelerating. Make the tailgater brake and brake until they eventually get pissed off  and go around. Sometimes I try the random unnecessary braking or I tap the brake several times. Hell, sometimes I do all three.

A few other points. Most tailgaters seem to be lone drivers. I rarely see someone acting this stupid and dangerous with another person in the car.

For those of you who are tailgaters, stop it right now!

Follow the three second rule. Or, the car length rule (one car length for every 10 mph, so at 60 mph it’s 6 car lengths of space between you and the care in front of you). Either way, remember:

Tailgating Is A Crime!