Yesterday, Tesla took another bite out of Apple.
Until then, the automaker's highest profile recruit from Cupertino had undoubtedly been George Blankenship, the man who turned Apple's wheelbarrows full of money into truckloads by creating ludicrously high-grossing stores in malls across America.
On Thursday, however, Elon Musk & Co. announced that they had hired Doug Field -- arguably, a much bigger coup.
At Apple, Field served as Vice President of Mac Hardware Engineering, meaning that he was key in creating the company's sleek, pricey laptops and desktops. Before that, he engineered products at Segway (yikes) and Ford. At Tesla, the MIT grad will serve as Vice President of Vehicle Programs, which means that he'll be in charge of developing new Tesla vehicles.
We see where this is going. We're not the first to point out that Apple is a great role-model for Tesla to follow. Since re-inventing itself in 2001 with the launch of the iPod, Apple has cemented its reputation as a tech leader -- one that's passionate about creating sexy, well-designed products. It charges a premium for those products, but because the Cool Kids use them, everyone seems willing to pony up. ( Continue… )
The Chevrolet Corvette Stingray 2014 hasn't been off the delivery truck for very long, but the carnage is already beginning. What may have been the first customer Corvette Stingray crash showed up just last week, and now another Stingray has bit the dust.
This image comes from Corvette Forum, although the poster was not aware of the circumstances of the crash, or whether the occupant(s) made it out unscathed.
Judging by the imploded windshield and other topside damage, it appears this Corvette was on its roof at one point. Either that, or the owner tried to reenact a scene from The Fast & The Furious.
The damage is limited to the top of the car, making it into an impromptu convertible.
The front of the car is blocked by a pillar in the photo, but we can see that the hood can still open. The front fenders, doors, and even the wheels also appear to be untouched.
Sadly, this probably won't be the last time we see a Corvette Stingray in this state. Wh don't know when the next crash will happen, but we do know that the Internet will be there to tell us when it does.
For some unblemished 2014 Corvette Stingray photos, check out our mega gallery.
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Autonomous cars are coming, slowly but surely. Over the past several years, automakers (and Google, of course) have unveiled an array of self-driving technologies, with some promising to deliver partially self-driving vehicles by the "mid-2010s".
Questions about public acceptance and legal liabilities remain, but frankly, the biggest hurdle facing autonomous cars is the technology they depend on, which is still very expensive and, in some cases, rudimentary. That will change over time, as software and hardware improves, and as economies of scale make those things more affordable.
Also helping matters will be the deployment of vehicle-to-vehicle communication systems. Autonomous cars can function on their own, but creating a support network that allows cars to "talk" to one another will provide an exponential boost to autonomy and, ultimately, driver safety. For example, if one car detects a potential collision, it can use V2V to distribute a warning to other cars nearby, leveraging the power of one car's sensors to maximum effect. In fact, V2V alone is projected to reduce highway fatalities by over 80 percent -- and technically speaking, that's without fully autonomous technologies in place. ( Continue… )
Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk is not a man to mince his words. We already know he's not a fan of other electric vehicles like the Nissan Leaf or Chevrolet Volt, he doesn't really like plug-in hybrids, and he's quick to step in and defend his company whenever there's a hint of negative publicity.
They're "a waste of time", according to Musk. Well, he uses a slightly different phrase to that. But the meaning is similar, we guess...
The trouble is, Musk says, that hydrogen and fuel cells are a technology that the manufacturers dabbling in the tech don't really believe in. It's more like "a marketing thing", he says, without elaborating. "If you take best-case scenario," he adds, that in terms of power density and cost, "fuel cells don't even equal the current state-of-the-art in lithium-ion batteries".
Hydrogen does have its supporters of course, at least publicly. Several automakers are in partnerships with other countries to develop the technology, while firms such as Hyundai, Toyota and BMW all aim to have production fuel cell vehicles on the road in the next half-decade.
Toyota--who has worked with Tesla on cars like the RAV4 EV--will launch its hydrogen fuel cell car in 2015. We'd love to be a fly on the wall in any meetings between Musk and Toyota representatives if fuel cells come up in conversation...
Ultimately, Musk says hydrogen is useful for the first stage of rockets (something we imagine he knows a bit about, as CEO of SpaceX) but not a lot of use in cars.
Given how seriously some automakers are starting to take Tesla, we wonder if the manufacturers themselves are getting a little nervous?
What does North Dakota have in common with Iran?
If North Dakota were a country, it would rank fifth behind Russia, Nigeria, Iran, and Iraq on the list of worst natural-gas wasters, according to the World Bank.
An editorial in The Forum of Fargo-Moorehead blasted the North Dakota natural-gas industry for wasting valuable resources through flaring, the burning of natural gas in open air as it's released from a well.
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Flaring typically occurs when there isn't a way to capture and use natural gas on site. For instance, natural gas often appears as a byproduct of crude-oil drilling. ( Continue… )
The first images and details for Lamborghini’s new Veneno Roadster have hit the web. The car is the convertible version of the Veneno coupe first shown at the 2013 Geneva Motor show, which was limited to just four examples in total. But unlike the coupe, Lamborghini is planning as many as nine Veneno Roadsters, each priced at a cool 3.3 million euros (approximately $4.5 million).
News of the Veneno Roadster first broke as early as July and the car was confirmed by Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann just one month later. Now we have the details on the open-top version of a car originally built to celebrate Lamborghini’s 50th anniversary, showcase the potential of the automaker’s design team and explore new avenues in lightweight construction.
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Apart from the roofless design, the Veneno Roadster is virtually identical to the coupe, much in the same way that the Aventador, with which the Veneno shares its underpinnings, is much the same as the Aventador Roadster. Power comes from Lamborghini’s familiar 6.5-liter V-12, which in Veneno spec has been tuned to deliver 740 horsepower.
This edge over the Aventador’s 691-horsepower rating means the Veneno is Lamborghini’s fastest and most powerful road car to date. Lamborghini claims the Veneno Roadster will accelerate to 62 mph from rest in 2.9 seconds and reach a top speed of 220.5 mph, the same as the coupe. ( Continue… )
With hours of daylight decreasing and inclement weather a frequent occurrence, the fall season is a time when drivers need to pay a little more attention to road and traffic conditions and use extra caution while driving.
Here are some safety driving tips that can make the fall season more enjoyable and trouble-free.
Slow down. The faster you drive, especially on wet, slippery roads, the longer it takes to stop your vehicle. Doubling the speed of your car can nearly quadruple the amount of time required to stop safely. ( Continue… )
In theory, it's the ideal people to get people into electric cars in general--some seat time is usually enough to convince people that EVs are the way to go.
The good news is that people are certainly renting those cars. The bad news is that they aren't doing so for very long, and it's due to a familiar electric car sticking point: range anxiety.
According to Bloomberg, customers trying out Nissan Leaf electric cars as part of Enterprise's rental fleet are swapping them for more conventional cars after 1.6 days on average--compared to the six or seven day period for cars on average. The number one cause is customers worrying whether they'll make it to a charging station before the battery runs out.
"People are very keen to try it, but they will switch out of the contract part way through" said Lee Broughton, head of sustainability at Enterprise, to Bloomberg. ( Continue… )
Fisker Automotive may have a new savior.
The U.S. Department of Energy will award Fisker's $168 million loan to an investor group led by Hong Kong tycoon Richard Li, Reuters reports.
According to Reuters, buying the loan would allow Li--an early Fisker investor--to restructure the company himself, unencumbered by the obligations of the DoE funds.
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With further cash injections to pay outstanding bills, though, it appears that the company may still be at risk of bankruptcy. ( Continue… )
Tesla and AT&T are making a connection.
Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] picked AT&T as its in-car Internet service provider, theWashington Post reports.
The deal puts AT&T in charge of the many functions on the Model S electric car that are already controlled via wireless network. It was formally announced at an event in San Francisco yesterday.
"We’ve been working with AT&T. They’ve been the service provider for Model S" in North America, Tesla spokeswoman Elizabeth Jarvis-Shaen told the Post.