Spock is known throughout the galaxy as a supremely wise being. His balance of emotion and intelligence are hallmarks of his legendary career with Starfleet. Of course, he's also a fictional character originally portrayed by actor Leonard Nimoy.
It's a Spock versus Spock face-off that starts with a simple game of chess over an iPad. Quickly, however, it moves on to a mild race of sorts. The bet is last one to the country club has to buy lunch, and each Spock sets off in their preferred mode of transportation. Old Spock opts for a Mercedes-Benz CLS550 while New Spock prefers the Audi S7.
We won't spoil the entire spot for you, but it's certainly worth watching because it's quite entertaining. New Spock might have a sweet new ride, but don't count Old Spock out. The man has been around the galaxy a few times, and may have a trick or two up his sleeve.
We all remember what it was like to be a kid, trapped in the back seat, cutting up with brothers or sisters or schoolmates. Our parents would turn around and give us "that look", promising all sorts of punishments if we didn't keep still. Occasionally, they'd pull over to the side of the road, which was the most ominous threat of all. (In their defense, though, pulling over was often the only way to get our attention.)
Given those memories, it might seem that the biggest driving distraction for parents would be their unruly children. But as it turns out, that's not entirely accurate.
Researchers at the University of Michigan recently spent eight months conducting a study at two of the state's hospitals. Between October 2011 and May 2012, the team interviewed parents and caregivers of children ages one through 12 who'd been brought to the emergency rooms at those facilities.
During the interviews, respondents were asked how often they'd performed certain distracting activities while driving within the previous month. According to a press release, "[t]hese behaviors included talking on the phone (hands-free or handheld), texting/surfing the Internet, self-care (grooming, eating) child care (picking up a toy, feeding their child), getting directions (navigation system, map) and changing a CD or DVD." A total of 618 adults participated, with 575 completing the full survey. ( Continue… )
It's human nature to push the boundaries of what one can achieve, a trait clearly illustrated every time an electric car owner embarks upon a huge journeyto prove it can be done.
Such a trip is almost a cliché now--a brave few have already taken an electric car around the entire world, after all--but people are still find ways to put a new spin on the theme.
One of those is the Ride The Future Tour, a collection of electric vehicle enthusiasts aiming to travel almost 3,000 miles east to west across the U.S.
The trip's aim is to lead a whole convoy of electric vehicles across the U.S, everything from regular electric cars to scooters, bikes and more. On the 43-day trip they'll stop at 43 cities across the U.S, both to raise the trip's profile and also to recharge. ( Continue… )
Back in January, J.D. Power & Associates released its 2013 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, which showed that most Americans are happy with their insurers, based on the way those companies handl the claims process.
But what if we looked at customer satisfaction from a slightly different angle -- say, by the number of people shopping for insurance? Power's just-released 2013 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study shows that by that metric, too, Americans are generally happy campers, but when they're unhappy, they're really unhappy.
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To gather results for that study, Power polled over 16,900 folks with auto insurance who'd requested quotes from competitors within the past 12 months. Among the findings, four stand out:
1. Customer satisfaction with insurers remains high: respondents gave their insurers an average score of 804 on a 1,000-point scale. ( Continue… )
But today, Elon Musk acknowledged another error in the plan, and fixes it by guaranteeing the Model S's retail value will be the best in the industry.
"We appreciate the feedback from a number of journalists and customers that the first version of our financing product wasn’t quite right," said Tesla [NSDQ:TSLA] CEO and co-founder Elon Musk. "They were right, so we are fixing it and, moreover, upping the ante by providing the best resale value guarantee in the automotive industry."
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In the original plan, the residual value was tied to that of the Mercedes-Benz S550's 12-month average resale value--not a particularly hard target to match. Alternatively, Musk said fair market value would also be honored if it were higher than the 43-percent benchmark of the S550. ( Continue… )
We recently got a question from reader John Meurer that we'd never considered: Which plug-in electric car is best for tall people?
"I'm 6'2" & wear a 44 Long suit," Meurer wrote. "I need an electric car I can afford and I can fit comfortably in."
So we reached out to High Gear Media colleague Bengt Halvorson. At 6'6", he's an inadvertent expert on which cars accommodate those in the upper height percentiles.
"In general, a tall, upright seating position is the ideal," Bengt told us. ( Continue… )
When we think of the companies and organizations concerned with climate change, we don't often think of major automakers. But maybe we should think again.
Ceres is a nonprofit launched in the wake of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, and it boasts a fairly unique vision. Ceres believes that green, sustainable practices are consistent with good business practices -- in fact, the two are inseparable. Ceres builds coalitions among corporations, investors, and individuals to share that vision with the world.
One of Ceres' biggest projects to date is its Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy group, or BICEP, "an advocacy coalition of businesses committed to working with policy makers to pass meaningful energy and climate legislation enabling a rapid transition to a low-carbon, 21st century economy – an economy that will create new jobs and stimulate economic growth while stabilizing our planet’s fragile climate." ( Continue… )
The bulk of the company's website has been disabled. On the front page, we find only a press release, which states that Coda Automotive has filed for Chapter 11 protection and that after restructuring, it will focus "on the growing energy storage market". As for Coda's remaining inventory of electric cars, the company "will seek to monetize value of its existing automotive business assets". Translation: a sell-off is a-coming.
In all honesty, none of us like to see companies in this position. It means that someone's big dream didn't pan out, and more importantly, it means that many folks who worked for that someone are now out of a job. ( Continue… )
A couple of weeks ago, we told you about a study that suggested drivers' excuses have little bearing on whether they're ticketed when they're pulled over.
But of course, that doesn't mean that drivers will stop offering alibis altogether. The folks at Insurance.com recently asked 500 U.S. motorists about the excuses they've given police officers. Here are that survey's top 11 responses, along with some helpful translations:
1. I couldn't see the sign telling me not to do it.
(Translation: "If you'd cut back the trees, I'd have known this was a school zone!")
2. I'm lost and unfamiliar with the roads.
(Translation: "Please, take pity on poor little me!")
3. I didn't know it was broken.
(Translation: "Really, I've been meaning to get it fixed!")
4. Everyone else was doing it.
(Translation: "Yo, why are you picking on me?")
5. I'm having an emergency situation in my car.
(Translation: "Officer, I just spilled coffee in my lap, and it's VERY hot!")
6. I missed my turn/exit.
(Translation: "Obviously, I need to get where I'm going, right?")
7. I had to go to the bathroom.
(Translation: "Surely it's okay to zip through intersections when you have to pee?")
8. I didn't do anything dangerous.
(Translation: "Hey, it's not like I was doing doughnuts on a pre-school lawn!")
9. I was on my way to an emergency.
(Translation: "And my emergency is far more important than any emergencies I might've just caused!")
10. My GPS said it was the right thing to do.
(Translation: "It was peer pressure, okay?")
11. I'm just helping out; I wasn't even supposed to be driving.
(Translation: "Which would you prefer: me cruising five miles over the speed limit, or my drunk friend here plowing through a red light?")
To make things even more interesting -- and contentious -- surveyers kept track of respondents' gender. So, the breakdown of folks who used those 11 excuses looks like this: ( Continue… )
Honda is recalling certain 2012 and 2013 Fit Sport small cars to fix a software glitch in the electronic stability control (ESC) system.
According to a statement on the Honda website, the voluntary safety recall affects some 43,782 Fit Sport cars in the United States.
The automaker said that the problem with the stability assist software occurs when the vehicle is equipped with certain tires. ( Continue… )