Category: Gizmology

By on June 3, 2016

Tesla Model 3 Unveil, Image: Tesla Motors

Four weeks after he said the Model 3’s design was six to nine weeks from being finalized, Tesla CEO Elon Musk now says he’ll need six more weeks until the affordable EV is off the drawing board.

Got that? When the Model 3 (scheduled for production in late 2017) was unveiled on March 31, almost everyone noticed the embryonic state of the vehicle, especially its blank-slate interior. What the future electric sedan will look like after Tesla finishes its design work is still anyone’s guess. Read More >

By on June 1, 2016

Tesla Supercharger With Model S At Tesla Dealership

Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk plans to turn off the free electricity taps at his company’s Supercharger stations for owners of the upcoming Model 3.

Musk made the announcement last night during a question and answer session at the company’s annual shareholders meeting.

Paying to use the Tesla-financed recharging network isn’t something the roughly 373,000 reservation holders want, but the decision comes down to basic economics, said Musk. Read More >

By on May 28, 2016

Tesla Model X, Image: Tesla Motors

Bad PR from customers annoyed by their problem-plagued Tesla Model X SUVs continues to hammer the electric automaker.

A lawsuit filed against Tesla by a California man is the latest bit of bad news (and press) for the company. According to Barrett Lyon, the bizarre electrical gremlins running loose in his Model X turned his vehicle into a static driveway decoration. Read More >

By on May 27, 2016

2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

The world’s oldest automaker isn’t about to let regulators pry its diesel engines from its warm, German hands.

Mercedes-Benz is rolling out a new line of oil-burning engines that will surpass even the most stringent emissions requirements, AutoExpress reports.

So stingy are the new diesels, the automaker says they’ll pass looming European Union requirements that aren’t scheduled to go into effect until 2017. Read More >

By on May 27, 2016

Data, Image: rh2ox/Flickr

Your faithful four-wheeled companion — the one that costs you an arm and a leg but you still love it — has the data-gathering potential to make your life a Kafkaesque nightmare.

Researchers have found that a car’s computer network can identify a driver just by the way they operate the vehicle. Even something as simple as the brake pedal can pinpoint who’s behind the wheel, according to a report published in Wired. Read More >

By on May 25, 2016

Uber

Not wanting to be left out of the mobility party, Toyota and Volkswagen recently invested in two ride-sharing companies, becoming the latest automakers to sink cash into the sharing economy.

Toyota invested a rumored $100 million in the ubiquitous ride-sharing company Uber, while Volkswagen, which has to meter out its dough carefully (thanks to a pesky little scandal), dropped $300 million on Uber’s taxi-hailing rival Gett. Read More >

By on May 20, 2016

FCA - Auburn Hills

It looks like the fling between Google and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will end up being a brief affair.

Despite partnering with FCA to test autonomous technology on a fleet of Chrysler Pacifica Hybrids, the tech giant says it has no plans to take it further with the automaker, according to Reuters.

Really, it doesn’t mean anything, Google wants other companies to know. Just two self-driving Pacificas passing in the night. Read More >

By on May 18, 2016

2015-Ford-Focus-15

Ford Motor Company probably wishes it had gone with a CVT.

After weathering years of complaints about the performance of its six-speed PowerShift dual clutch transmission, Australia just added to the misery with a class-action lawsuit, CarAdvice reports.

The suit, which alleges the transmissions are unsafe, concerns 2010–2014 Ford Fiesta and Focus models.  Read More >

By on May 13, 2016

2013-Tesla-Model-S-Rear

It was nice of Tesla founder Elon Musk to deliver a Model S P85D to the Los Angeles Police Department for testing last year, but they’re kindly going to return it. Possibly with a note under the wiper asking him to make it much cheaper.

The hyper-performing electric sedan took up residence with the LAPD (along with a BMW i3) last September, part of a research initiative that studied how EVs could fit into a future policing model.

With testing over and grades handed out, the LAPD can now say with confidence that the Model S isn’t their cup of tea. The speed was nice, but the price? This isn’t Dubai. Read More >

By on May 12, 2016

Hyperloop test

No one wants their most exciting moment to last two seconds, so let’s hope the folks at Hyperloop One have bigger things coming down the, erm, pipe.

Yesterday, amid great fanfare and hype, the recently renamed Hyperloop One (formerly Hyperloop Technologies) performed the first open-air test of the electromagnetic propulsion system at the heart of the futuristic transportation concept.

As a bandstand of employees and media watched beneath the hot Nevada sun, a test vehicle rocketed along a track for two seconds, hitting Camry-on-a-joyride speeds — officially, 116 miles per hour — before plowing into a sand trap. The future doesn’t have brakes yet, just sand. Read More >

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