Category: Gizmology

By on October 21, 2015


I think we can all take a moment to appreciate the fine, fine work that Stanford researchers have put into making a 1981 Delorean do its own donuts in a parking lot on “Back to the Future” day Wednesday. Bravo.

But the car, dubbed MARTY (Multiple Actuator Research Test bed for Yaw control), is more than just epic clickbait for a made-up, 1980s-movie holiday. The car is display for autonomous vehicle control that can go beyond a car’s “safety limits” to exploit physics.

Or, you know, the way you disable stability control to do the same donuts in a nearby parking lot.

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By on October 20, 2015

Nissan partners with Scoot Networks to study the future of trans

Nissan is sending 10 Renault Twizys Nissan New Mobility Concept vehicles to San Francisco as part its citywide ride sharing service Scoot.

The small, all-electric Renault Twizy Scoot Quad will seat two people, have a range of roughly 40 miles and a top speed of 25 mph. The cars will cost $8 per ride or $80 per day to rent.

According to Nissan, the cars are being sent to the ride-sharing service to study transportation in urban areas — and to see if they can sell them anywhere else, probably.

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By on October 15, 2015


Don’t look now, but “Periscope” is officially a thing.

The social-media platform allows people to broadcast live from their phones whenever they like, thus bringing the average 23-year-old American woman just that much closer to her dream of becoming a fourth-rate reality television “star” at the expense of all other potential accomplishments.

I can see Periscope being of some use in the upcoming “American Spring” populist uprising, except for the fact that Twitter and Facebook and the like have long since decided to lick the boots of our corporate Ingsoc in whatever fashion is most deferentially pleasing to Mr. Obama, Mrs. Merkel, and Xi Jinping. So when the balloon goes up and you see me and Zack de la Rocha rolling a Viper ACR loaded with grenade launchers down the street, the Twitter “fail whale” will be all you can get, because anything else would be uncivilized.

The automotive world has used Periscope for a few new-vehicle reveals and a series of vignettes in which my friend Adam uses Turtle Wax™ to get some shine on his Isuzu Impulse. But it wasn’t until Whitney Beall of Lakeland … you guessed it … Florida, started Periscoping her drunk-driving adventure that the true potential of this newest navel-gazing “app” was well and truly revealed.

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By on October 14, 2015


Toyota officials insisted Wednesday that its hydrogen-powered cars, such as the Mirai, will comprise up to 30,000 sales by 2020, and will help the automaker eventually reduce emissions from cars it produces by 90 percent by 2050.

The Associated Press (via Detroit News) reported that the automaker said it would work with investors and governments to deliver on its promise of producing only a small number of gasoline-powered cars for small countries in 35 years.

“You may think 35 years is a long time. But for an automaker to envision all combustion engines as gone is pretty extraordinary,” Senior Managing Officer Kiyotaka Ise said, according to the AP.

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By on October 12, 2015

Tesla Building Circa March 2015

A self-professed reformed BMW enthusiast says backlash against Tesla comes from car owners “stuck in the past” who consider grease under their fingernails as a “manliness” status symbol among “nostalgic car weenies.” Basically, military-grade trolling. 

Mike Barnard, a writer at, says that the time is coming for internal combustion engine fans to give up the ghost and get with Tesla because:

People who don’t like hybrid race cars and production supercars are saying that they don’t like better all-around performance—they just really only love things with cylinders and pistons, make of that what you will.

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By on October 8, 2015

Mitsubishi eX

Mitsubishi will show off a crossover-sized electric vehicle at the Tokyo Motor Show this month that will preview what the automaker has planned for electric vehicles and, likely, elements of the next generation of its Outlander Sport.

The eX electric crossover is roughly the same size as the Outlander Sport currently on sale — the concept crossover is 167 inches long, compared to the Outlander Sport’s 169 inches.

According to the automaker, the EV has two electric motors with a combined output of 184 horsepower and a range of roughly 250 miles. Read More >

By on October 6, 2015

Tesla Model X

Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas issued a lower target for Tesla on Wednesday, saying the automaker’s SUV price tag is too hefty for the carmaker to meet its production volume goal for 2016.

Jonas wrote that the $130,000 SUV is just too pricey (via Business Insider):

Even allowing the Model X (average transaction price) to decline over time through the introduction of lower-spec models leaves what we believe to be a higher-priced vehicle than we expected that may struggle to meet the volume expectations of the market and our forecasts.

If you remember correctly, Jonas was the analyst that called for Tesla’s stock to effectively double because he had a good idea for the automaker, which he said was the world’s most important.

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By on October 5, 2015

Teatro for Dayz

Nissan announced Monday that it would show in Tokyo a concept car that would be electric, charge devices and make all the kids search for it on TheInternet.web when they get home from school.

The Teatro for Dayz appears to be a Cube-ish subcompact, powered by electrons for some humans that Nissan’s marketing team are calling “share natives.” Nissan didn’t detail the car’s specifications, other than some pie-in-the-sky functions such as web cameras, LED displays on the outside and illuminated displays for something.

Interestingly, the car sports a steering wheel, pedals and won’t be autonomous, which suggests that some of the car could be rooted in reality. The EV boasts a “short range,” according to the automaker, and could actually be something that makes it on to the roads some day — hopefully without that name.

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By on September 30, 2015


Tesla finally rolled out its third model, the Model X last night to loyalists and some media (not us) Tuesday in California.

The SUV’s falcon doors and ludicrously insanely fast 0-60 mph times (3.2 seconds for a car that weighs 5,441 pounds) may get most of the headlines, but the rest of the car’s features and specifications are just as impressive. Tesla says that the batteries in its Model X — which are the same as the Model S — are good for 250 miles. The combined torque for its front and rear engines motors, which produce 259 hp and 503 hp respectively, is more than 700 pound-feet.

And the air filtration system inside may protect you from mustard gas, or something.

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By on September 21, 2015

Apple Logo Circa 2005

Apple will formalize what kind of car it may produce (or have already produced) by 2019, the Wall Street Journal reported.

According to the report, the Cupertino, California-based company has labeled the car a “committed project” but stopped short of saying that the car would be delivered to consumers by 2019. The report only indicates that the car could be ready for consumers, finalized or conceptualized by engineers by 2019.

If all this seems vague, consider that most of the project’s executives have essentially vanished into witness relocation after joining Apple to work on the car.

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