Center for Automotive Research at Stanford Modified Audi TTS
Friday February 5, 2010
Reading Time: 4minutes
The days of driving yourself around may be coming to an end sooner than we all might think! Ever since the automobile was first conceived people have had the shared dream of the day when cars would drive us around. A team of researchers at the Center for Automotive Research at Stanford (CARS) has modified an Audi TTS with computers and GPS receivers, creating a vehicle that could handle itself. This year the car will attempt to ascend Pikes Peak without a driver at race speeds. This Audi TTS currently holds the world land speed record at 130 mph for autonomously driven vehicles; the car’s computers understand things that the average human driver, shouldn’t, but does struggle with – the car knows how to drift, accelerate, brake, park, and more!
How does it work? The “captain” of the vehicle can utilize two different modes or can combine both options. Sensors detect the vehicle’s movement, comparing this data to external sensors that pick up objects. The computer uses pixel analyzing software in order to detect the lines in the road or the curb, then the data with the other external and motion sensors send the appropriate commands to the vehicle i.e. stop, accelerate, and turn information. On the race track it will be a little bit different because there will be other variables to factor in. One will need to program some of the necessary functions to complete the race track. It seems like one will need a basic understanding of geometry and physics to complete this task; factors like road camber, surface type, traction information, and corner radius are some of the many things that will need to be considered before top speed travel could take place.
It will probably be several years before the car will be ready for public use, but the dream is what matters at the end of the day. Not to mention the progress that has been achieved by VAIL (Volkswagen Automotive Innovation Laboratory) and CARS together, it is unbelievable how far they have come.
Reading Time: 4minutes
Today is Saturday morning, August 1, 2009. As you might know I had company all week and new company arrived this morning at 2:30AM. I am not kidding. Anyway, I am a little tired, but I thought I would share with you a clever helpful tip that I learned about a month ago. Here is how to remotely unlock your car using a cell phone.
Does your car have remote keyless entry? If you lock your keys in the car and the spare keys are at home (or elsewhere with another person who also has a cell phone), call that someone at home on their cell phone from your cell phone. Hold your cell phone about a foot from your car door and have the other person at home press the unlock button, holding it near the mobile phone on their end. Your car will unlock.
Distance is no object. You could be hundreds of miles away, and if you can reach someone who has the other remote for your car, you can unlock the doors (or the trunk.)
I learned this helpful hint in The Pelham Parkway Times which we receive in the U.S. Mail, because Dennis grew up in the Pelham Parkway section of the Bronx!
Ok, now it is Sunday, August 2, 2009, and my oldest son called to say the tip described above does NOT work. I tried it also and could not accomplish the feat of opening the car door. If anyone out there has tried this and found it to work, please let me know.
One more item today. Today is my friend’s birthday. I don’t know how old Jonathan B. Daks will be today, but I do know this: he has been my friend since the summer of 1978…31 years. Nice memories and a great friend.
Reading Time: 2minutes
In a year where the price of gas at one point topped $4 per gallon, you might be surprised at the top selling cars in the US this year. The usual suspects from Honda and Toyota are on the list, Camry, Civic, Accord and Corolla are numbers 3, 4, 5 and 6 respectively. According to Forbes, the top 2 selling cars where pickup trucks- homemade by Chevrolet and Ford.
The Ford F-150 and the Chevy Silverado series were 1 and 2 in that order. An interesting argument the article makes is that when gas prices were so high, consumers buy what they need not what they want, and what is useful to Americans seems to be pickup trucks. This point does seem to be supported that no SUV’s made the list.
If you bought a car on the list or better yet, if you want to recommend one that didn’t make the cut, sales-wise- let us know. What is important to you in buying a car in today’s climate?
Reading Time: 2minutes
In a recent TV spot from “the Pickens Plan” famous oilman T-Bone Pickens tells us how Iran is switching its vehicles to run on clean burning, abundant, Natural Gas. Next up at the Democratic and Republican conventions, Where our future leaders tell us that they too believe in clean burning natural gas.
Nice to see our major parties come to the same conclusion we did years ago, Lisa and I are the proud owners of a 2008 Honda Civic GX, and this in not our first CNG powered auto. We traded in our 2001 GX for this one after 200,000 miles.
Why should you care what your marketing team drives to get the milk? It is another example of where we were ahead of the curve, and yet another example of our full forward focus in action.
Does your business need help getting ahead of the curve? We can help.