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?
Continue reading Electric-car brakes last 3x longer than conventional – threatening auto mechanics
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 story – Brain Brakes Car Faster Than Foot
Continue reading Our brains can brake a car faster than our feet
Google isn’t the only company working on a self-driving car. Cadillac today announced that it is actively road testing a semi-autonomous system called Super Cruise that can control a vehicle’s steering, braking and lane-centering capabilities. Super Cruise, according to Cadillac, is designed to help make freeway driving easier on the driver when either stuck in traffic or during long hauls down the interstate.
The system works by combining on-board radar, ultrasonic sensors, cameras and GPS data to give your car the ability to read lane markings and detect curves in the roadway.
via Laptop Magazine
For certain luxury cars, we are already half-way (or more) there. From the Cadillac news release:
Many of the building block technologies for Super Cruise are already available on the all-new 2013 Cadillac XTS and ATS luxury sedans, as part of the available Driver Assist Package:
- Rear Automatic Braking
- Full-Speed Range Adaptive Cruise Control
- Intelligent Brake Assist
- Forward Collision Alert
- Safety Alert Seat
- Automatic Collision Preparation
- Lane Departure Warning
- Side Blind Zone Alert
- Rear Cross Traffic Alert
- Adaptive Forward Lighting
- Rear Vision Camera With Dynamic Guidelines
- Head Up Display
The key to delivering semi-autonomous capability will be the integration of lane-centering technology that relies on forward-looking cameras to detect lane markings and GPS map data to detect curves and other road characteristics, said John Capp, General Motors director of Global Active Safety Electronics and Innovation.
Pretty crazy to think about all the technology needed to self drive a car. That’s 12 sensors/alerts/displays with more needed to fully automate the simplest of driving tasks. Makes our brains seem pretty sophisticated.