Google is lobbying for Nevada to be the first state to have first self driving cars. Two bills are being introduced as Google says that over 14,000 miles have been tested on California roads. Google says more than 1000 miles have been driven autonomously without any human interaction but is definitely still in a testing phase.
This would be a huge breakthrough if it passes. We are still pretty far from seeing automated driving cars take over the streets but it would be awesome to see the development begin. Having self driving cars would prevent a lot more accidents as it would be safer and save gas as the cars are driven more fuel efficiently.
Tesla Motors is sending one of its electric sports cars on a 3,100 mile road trip from Los Angeles to the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. What would normally take just 6 days is going to take 19 days since the Tesla can only go 244 miles on each charge. I have always viewed the Tesla as a nice dream car to own, but from realizing the limits of the range of this electric car, this trip sort of gives me a negative view of the car.
I am sure the car can be great for commuting daily if you can afford it but the fact that if you were to take the car on a road trip cross country would take three times as long sounds sort of lame. Of course a 3,100 mile road trip isnt something everyone does on a regular basis but you can’t even make it from San Francsico to Los Angeles (about 380 miles) in one charge makes the car seem a little more useless.
The new 2010 Honda Insight is finally out now and the Prius should have some pretty good competition since the Insight costs less than the Prius. The MPG on the Insight however is only 40city/43hwy but starts at $19,800. The new 3rd generation Prius, however gets 51city/48hwy but starts at around $22,000.
Honda has a really cool television ad that uses hundreds of headlights to create a LED display.
TreeHugger took the Mini E for a drive. The battery sits where the rear passenger seats would be and the engine compartment looks pretty neat too. I wouldn’t mind getting one of these but at $850/month lease for one year is a little unreasonable.
The Bay Area plans on spending $1 billion to build the nation’s first electric vehicle network that includes service stations to recharge batteries and garages to swap batteries. The electric vehicle charging stations are provided by Palo Alto based company, Better Place and should be rolled out all over the Bay Area by 2012. The electric outlets will start appearing on public buildings next year in San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland.
This will be a good advancement for the Bay Area to take the lead in promoting greener cars. By making it easier to operate and charge electric cars, it will make people more likely to purchase them in the Bay Area. As more car companies release new models of electric cars, it will be exciting to see where the auto industry will go in the next five years. Looking at how the economy and recession is hitting the American automakers, it will also be interesting to see whether GM, Ford, and Chrysler will still be around. Hopefully the economy will be better by 2010, which is when there should be a lot of new Hybrid and electric car models coming out.