Tesla’s Model S is getting a self-driving ‘autopilot’ mode in three months

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e Model S lineup in three to four months via a software update. Musk says you’ll basically be able to “go between San Francisco and Seattle without the driver doing anything.” He’s also careful to point out this isn’t true self-driving, just very powerful automatic steering (it was announced alongside the dual-motor Model S in October). The downside? It’s only available on highways, and it requires one of Tesla’s $4,250 “optional tech” package.

via Tesla’s Model S is getting a self-driving ‘autopilot’ mode in three months.

via Tesla’s Model S is getting a self-driving ‘autopilot’ mode in three months.

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DC environmental director to tout hydrogen-powered car – Beaumont Enterprise

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The District of Columbia’s top environmental official will be taking a spin in a new car that’s powered by air.

On Wednesday, District Department of the Environment Director Tommy Wells will speak at a news conference and take a test drive of a hydrogen-powered vehicle built by Toyota. The car is on a tour of the East Coast for events with politicians and environmental officials.

The Toyota Mirai is powered by hydrogen fuel cells. The car has a hydrogen tank and pulls in oxygen from the air. Through a chemical reaction between the two elements, the fuel cells create electricity that powers the car. The car produces no harmful emissions when driven, although the production of hydrogen for the tanks does create carbon emissions.

via DC environmental director to tout hydrogen-powered car – Beaumont Enterprise.

via DC environmental director to tout hydrogen-powered car – Beaumont Enterprise.

When taking a taxi is cheaper than an Uber

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Uber then suggested a minimum and maximum possible fare, which Mascolo and co used to take an average. They then compared this figure against the Yellow Taxi fare.

The results make for interesting reading. “Uber appears more expensive for prices below $35 “Uber appears more expensive for prices below $35 and begins to become cheaper only after that threshold,” say Mascolo and co.

via When taking a taxi is cheaper than an Uber.

via When taking a taxi is cheaper than an Uber.

Elon Musk: In the future, human-driven cars may be illegal

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his future is not actually as far off as you might think, Musk said, adding that he considers autonomous vehicles to be a “solved problem” and that the larger issue is making the software and hardware reliable enough to conform to safety standards that regulators will expect. He predicted regulators won’t come on board until at least two to three years after self-driving cars become safer than human-driven ones.

“Autonomy is about what level of reliability and safety do you want,” “Autonomy is about what level of reliability and safety do you want,” Musk said. Part of that safety is ensuring the security of self-driving cars. While something like an onboard infotainment system may be hackable, Musk said it’s important that elements like the steering wheel and braking system are secured separately and have controls that allows drivers to take control if necessary.

via Elon Musk: In the future, human-driven cars may be illegal.

via Elon Musk: In the future, human-driven cars may be illegal.

This startup wants to take on Uber and Lyft with self-flying cars

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“[Self-driving] technology is coming to the car, but as an autopilot, it’s already there,” Vaculik told Mashable. “There are already systems for taking off and landing automatically. These two technologies can work together.”

AeroMobil has yet to get regulatory approval for its “normal” flying car, and self-driving cars have their own regulatory hurdles to navigate, so talk of pilotless flying cars might sound premature. But Vaculik and his co-founder Stefan Klein are serious, and have already spec’d out the design.

via This startup wants to take on Uber and Lyft with self-flying cars.

via This startup wants to take on Uber and Lyft with self-flying cars.

Fuel Sell: Fill ‘er Up With Room-Temp Hydrogen – Technologue

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A catalyst heated to 340-375 degrees F (by burning some formic acid) and using less noble metals than in your current catalytic converter breaks the formic acid into hydrogen, CO2, and trace CO. Carbon monoxide is toxic to proton-exchange-mem­brane fuel cells, so another catalyst converts the CO to CO2, and the H2 powers the fuel cell. (A carbon adsorber that would prevent CO2 release is in R&D.) Patent-holder Neah Power has also patented a fuel cell that runs directly on liquid formic acid but says using the reformer to make H2 for use in conventional fuel cells (or engines) is more efficient.

via Fuel Sell: Fill ‘er Up With Room-Temp Hydrogen – Technologue.

via Fuel Sell: Fill ‘er Up With Room-Temp Hydrogen – Technologue.

Toyota Electric RAV4 Recall: Tesla Motors Components Suffer Software Issue, Causing Car To Shift To ‘Neutral’ Unexpectedly

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Tesla supplied Toyota with the RAV4 EV’s electric propulsion system from 2012 until the $50,000 crossover was discontinued last year after sales failed to gain traction. Though the problem affects only a small number of vehicles, flaws in Tesla’s technology pose a significant risk to the 11-year-old Fremont, California, boutique luxury electric-car maker. Tesla has supplied powertrain systems and components for Daimler’s Smart Fortwo and Mercedes-Benz’s A-Class electric cars. It also continues to be a supplier for the Mercedes-Benz B-Class EV. In Tesla’s 2014 annual report released in late February, the company listed recalls of its powertrain systems as a risk to the company’s future profitability.

via Toyota Electric RAV4 Recall: Tesla Motors Components Suffer Software Issue, Causing Car To Shift To ‘Neutral’ Unexpectedly.

via Toyota Electric RAV4 Recall: Tesla Motors Components Suffer Software Issue, Causing Car To Shift To ‘Neutral’ Unexpectedly.