Let me tell you a little bit about self-driving cars. I saw this kind of stuff in the DARPA grand challenges where the US government issued a prize to build self driving cars that could navigate the desert. And even though a hundred teams were there, these cars went nowhere.
So we decided at Stanford to build a different self-driving car repeating hardware and software. We made it learned from us and we set it free in the desert. And the unimaginable happened. It became the first car to ever return from the DARPA grand challenge winning Stanford 2 million dollars.
Since then, our workers have been focusing on building driving cars that can be driven anywhere by themselves, on any street in California. If driven a hundred forty thousand miles, our cars have sensors or we can say “magic” with which they can see everything around them and make decision about every aspect of driving. It is the perfect driving mechanism.
If driven in cities like in San Francisco, or driven from San Francisco to Las Angeles, on busy highways, toll booths, all this will be without a person to look. The car just drives itself. In fact while we drove a hundred forty thousand miles people did not even notice it. We drove it on mountain roads, day and night, and even on crooked Lombard streets in San Francisco.
Sometimes our cars get so crazy that they even do the little stunts.
Now I can’t get my friend back to life. But I can do something for all the people who died. We know that driving accidents are the number one cause for death of young people.
And do you realize that almost all of those undo to human error and not machine error and can never be prevented by machines? Do you realize that you could change the capacity of highways by effect of two or three? If you didn’t rely on one human’s precision on staying in the lane then what’s about everybody’s precision? They are driving little bit close together, on little bit narrow lanes, and do over with all traffic jams on highways.
Do you realize that you, Ted users, spend on average of 52 minutes per day in traffic wasting your time on your daily commute?
You could regain this time. There are four billion hours wasted in this country alone. And its 2.5 billion gallons of gasoline are also wasted.
Now I think there is a vision here- a new technology. I am really looking forward to a time when generations after us look back at us and say how ridiculous it was that humans were driving cars.
The car demonstrates a big step into the future … The Vision of BMW.
This is the exciting look and all efficient dynamics.
This is a sports car of the future the way BMW imagines it.
It has a three-cylinder engine in the back.
It has an electric drive also on the rear axle as well as on the front axle. So with that the vehicle can drive without any noise or without any emission.
It can drive under electric power and it can also drive under both the diesel engine power and the electric drive. And then it will perform like you would expect from a BMW. It will have acceleration like an M3, for example.
This car drives up to 150 kilometers an hour by using 3.7 liter diesel per 100 kilometers.
You have the possibility to drive this car for about 50 kilometers purely electric.
There are two flaps: a connection for power supply and a normal flap which you can refuel.
The can also recharge its battery with the internal combustion engine.
For the design, lightweight was important and aerodynamics was also important. And those are the two things that I believe you can see very well on the vehicle.
This car expresses lightness. We stretched the proportions of the car and made them passionate. We showed that we are passionate about dynamics and we made it look light.
This has lightness, these are new angles and there are new perspectives.
A very distinct graphic! Very simple, but still very dynamic
It’s a very radical concern which will show that it is possible in future that you have a car that is fun to drive, expresses joy and is very efficient, and in terms of personal mobility, a sustainable answer.
With this product we thought a lot about sustainability. And all the material in this car actually has a sustainable story behind it.
We used light material such as carbon and simply cut down on brackets and other components.
The idea behind the interior was that we take everything out. We analyzed it and had a look at what we can put back in to make the car in the future lighter with fewer elements but without losing the emotional touch that is needed.
This car in particularly demonstrates that we are planning to be a leader in sustainability, and this mostly by doing at a typical BMW way, namely with action.
For most people buying an automobile is their first major purchase.
Actually a new car is second only to a home as the most expensive purchase many consumers make. With vehicle prices averaging over $28000 it is easy to see why one would want to protect that investment.
Before we talk about coverage for the automobile itself I would like to start with what many people believe is the most important coverage of all.
1. Liability Coverage
Liability Coverage pays for the injuries or damage your or someone driving your car cause to other people or their property. The two liability coverages are called: Bodily Injury Liability and Property Damage Liability.
Every state has different laws dictating the minimum coverage you must carry for this. Some states require you to prove you have insurance before registering a motor vehicle and other states use the owner system where you only have to provide proof if you have an accident or violation.
A typical state required minimum coverage is 25/50/10
I am providing anexample shortly to explain what that means.
There are four states that do not require drivers to carry any liability coverage (New Hampshire, South Carolina, Virginia, Wisconsin) Just because it is not required by law, it does not mean you don’t need it.
Let’s say you have an accident. You are distracted momentarily and hit a BMW in front of you. There were three people in it. All of them suffered some injury. If you are carrying a liability coverage of 25/50/10, that means you insurance company will cover the cost of any ONE person’s injuries, rehabilitation expenses , pain and suffering and time loss from work up to $25000. But they will not pay more than $50,000 for the accident regardless of the number of people injured. This is the bodily injury portion.
And your insurance company will pay up to $10,000 for the property damaged. So, three people are injured. Let’s say their injuries total $75,000 and the BMW has wear and damage of $13,000. You policy will pay for $50,000 for all injuries and $10,000 for the property damage. Where does the remaining of $25,000 for bodily injury and $3,000 for property damage come from?
Once your policy pays for maximum limit, you could be held personally responsible for the remaining amount. It is generally recommended that you carry more than the state’s minimum coverage to protect yourself from this financial risk.
2. Medical Payments Coverage
The next coverage under an automobile policy is medical payments coverage. This provision protects you and your passengers if you are hurt in a car accident regardless of who is at fault. The coverage also extends to you and your family members if you are a passenger in someone else’s car or if you are a pedestrian injured by an automobile.
Medical payments coverage pays for medical bills resulting from an accident up to a per person maximum, commonly, $5,000. There are no deductibles and no waiting periods under this coverage, and prescription drugs relating to the injuries are covered.
Consider that accident with the BMW again.
Let’s say you and your passenger are both injured and taken by an ambulance to the hospital. Medical payments coverage of $5,000 will cover the cost of ambulance ride, the emergency room visit and subsequent doctors’ visits up to $5,000 per person.
If your medical bills total $7,000 and your passenger’s total $3,000, the policy will pay $8,000 under this coverage.
Some states have a medical payments coverage known as Personal Injury Protection or PIP. This coverage may have a deductible and it may allow you to claim for lost wages, rehabilitation expenses- two things are regular medical coverage does not cover.
3. Uninsured and UnderinsuredMotorist Coverage
A Third Coverage provided by an automobile insurance policy is Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage. This coverage is coded similarly to bodily injury liability. Even though mandatory insurance laws exist in 48 states, nearly 50 % of all accidents are caused by uninsured drivers.
Uninsured motorist coverage provides protection for you and passengers when you are injured in an accident with an uninsured motorist. It will cover your medical bills, rehabilitation expenses, last wages, pain and suffering, things you could have claimed against the at-fault party’s insurance if they had it.
Underinsured motorist coverage will cover those same losses if the at-fault party’s insurance is insufficient for your loss.
Keep in mind in most states, the uninsured, underinsured motorist coverage applies to injuries only and not for damage to your vehicle.
4. Collision and Comprehension Coverage
Protection for your automobile is provided under the collision and comprehensive portions of a policy.
Collision coverage applies when you have an accident involving another vehicle or an object such as a telephone pole, a guardrail, a building, or when you overturn your vehicle.
Comprehensive coverage applies in losses involving fire, theft, vandalism, broken glass, hitting an animal, flood or hail damage, or other losses not caused by collision.
These coverages have a deductible, the amount you must pay before the insurance company pays for damages. Common collision deductibles are $500 or $1,000, and common comprehensive deductibles are $100 or $250.
If your automobile is financed then you are require by the bank or financer to carry comprehensive or collision coverages until that loan is paid off.
It is important to note that an insurance company will never pay more to fix your vehicle than the vehicle is worth.
5. Towing & Emergency Road Service and Rental Car Reimbursement
Two other coverages available through many insurance companies are Towing & Emergency Road Service and Rental Car Reimbursement. While these coverages are optional, I always recommend them as part of my four coverage package.
Factors that Determine Auto Insurance Rates
Automobile Insurance Rates are based on many factors including where you live, your age, what you drive, how much you drive and the coverage you carry.
One way to keep your insurance cost down is to take high comprehensive and collision deductibles. As a vehicle gets older and is not financed, many people choose to drop these coverages completely as a way to save money. Additionally, many people choose to pay for small claims out of their own pockets as a way to keep their rates down.
But remember the coverage you carry is just one of the factors contributing to the cost of insurance.
There are things you can do to make sure you get the best price possible. The first is to keep your driving record clean. Your driving record is used as a predictor of future experience. Accidents and violations stand your record for three years and major violations and suspensions stand for five years.
Many companies now use a scoring model that combines your driving record with a variety of other information including search down of your credit history and prior insurance claims to determine your cost for insurance. This means that paying bills on time could affect your insurance rate as could the number of claims you file on your policy.
Automobile insurance can be confusing but a little knowledge can go a long way in providing you the protection you need.
It’s the second product from Tesla motors, a company founded in 2003 by a bunch of Silicon Valley engineers. Their idea in Tesla was to build a car company of the future which in their mind meant electric powered cars.
Their first product was the Roadster, which hit the market in 2008. It was basically a very heavily modified, a small, two seats, mid engine, sports car. It had a giant battery backup, powerful electric motor; it was very quick. It was basically a toy for Hollywood environmentalists.
The Model S on the other hand is a mainstream luxury sedan. It is big; it has got four doors; it has got plenty of seating inside. It is going to be sold for less money, starting at under $ 50,000.
So let’s take a look at this car and see how it works.
The mechanical layout of the Model S is very different than a conventional car. The 416 horsepower (HP) of motor in this model is basically on the left side of the car, just behind the rear axle. So technically it’s a rear engine car. And then the battery itself is in a giant tray under the floor of the car. It is very heavy; it weighs over 1300 lbs. So putting it lower is a really good thing because it lowers the centre of gravity of the Tesla. We measured the centre of gravity in height of Model S and it was just over 17 inches. That is about the same height as a Corvette and much lower than any other four door Sedan.
Now that huge battery tray; It is filled with over seven thousand 18650 cells. It is the type of cell you see in a laptop. These are all tagged vertically in the Tesla’s battery tray. There is also an extensive cooling circuitry running through there to make sure the battery does not get too hot or too cold.
Using the 10 kilowatt charger, which requires a standard electric dryer circuit, this Model S gets charged in about ten hours. With the optional 20 kilowatt charger, that (duration) comes down to five or six hours.
In any car, the first thing you notice is the style.
The Muscular shape of Model S
Look at these front, rear and front doors, and the way they bulge out. We also have a giant 21 inch wheels on this model. We have a continuous roof line all the way from the base of the wind shield to the tail of the car. We have got a nice wedge shape as the car is leaning forward. So all of this talks about speed and power and ensures enough that it has a 416 horsepower. So it ought to look muscular.
The Sleek part of the Design
Now the sleek part is very practically driven. Even with this big battery you don’t want to run electric motor harder than necessary. So reducing the air dynamic drag is very important. Tesla claims that this car has a drag coefficient of 0.24, which is about the lowest in any production car in the market. I really find that hard to believe – it is impossible to imagine how Tesla could do better than BMW or Mercedes in that regard. On the other hand, when you start to think about the car, it is an electrically powered car: you look at the underbody of Tesla in its flat, that where the battery is. No exhaust system to disturb the air flow, no drive shaft.
The model has a front end that looks conventional at a glance but when you look at it more closely you see this upper part. This is Opec plastic, it is not a grille that would be in normal cars. That’s because it is an electric motor; it doesn’t need a radiator. There are some heat exchangers down here for the air conditioner and power electronics but it doesn’t need nearly as much airflow to cool the car as a regular one does.
So they have a certain number of advantages with the electric design that helps them achieve the low drag coefficient.
Under the hood of Tesla.
There is no engine here and that is because the electric motor is actually backed by the rear axle. So what we have on Tesla is another luggage compartment up here. It is not huge; it is about five cubic feet but this is actually a perfect size and height to put grocery bags in and not have them flopping over. It is one of the advantages of having the electric power plant.
In back, the Model S has another trunk. It is a hatch packed. This top of the line version has the power-operated hatch lid. And in this, you have another 26 cubic feet luggage space. This area on its own is bigger than any other competitors have. And if you fold down those two back seats, you have a total of over 60 cubic feet of carrying capacity. So this is remarkably a practical car.
This model has also a quick, optional rear facing third row seat, which is basically for kids. They have to be a little over 3 feet tall to use it and they got to weigh less than 77 lbs. so it can work for everybody but if you have got kids between five and ten years old you can carry two more of them in this car.
The Interior of this Model S is very rich looking. You look at these door panels, its hand stitched leather, different colors in top and bottom, that same theme continues through the dashboard: Nice color contrast, nice stitching, beautifully finished. This is really a lovely wood (on a part of the dashboard). In truth, I don’t know if it is real or fake but it feels real. It has actually got texture to it and it doesn’t have that overly glassy finish like so many woods do.
I have no trouble finding a really good driving position in this car. This whole steering column seems to look like it came straight from Mercedes Benz. Its starts and controls are purely Mercedes but Tesla has put its own unique steering wheel.
Its seat is very comfortable but it is not a really sporty seat. It does not have a huge lateral support.
It does have a few missing options though. A lot of luxury cars in this segment have an adjustable side support but this car doesn’t have that. In fact it doesn’t seem to have a memory seat, which is an unusual omission in a car of this class. But still I have been very comfortable driving this car for hours at a time.
There is not a lot of storage bin inside this car. In its central console where most cars would have a nice opening, there is actually some electronics that power something or the other. There is this big bin down on the floor here, there is another piece here and Tesla has talked about, may be, adding more bins somewhere in here. But as far as a close bin like most cars have you won’t find that in Model S.
One thing that attracts you when you get in the Model S is the complete absence of knobs and virtual complete absence of buttons on the dashboard. Other than the four-way flashes in the glove-box button, there is nothing else. Everything is controlled either through the steering wheel, your voice or the central consul.
It is actually a17 inch display. Not only is it big but it controls a lot of aspects of the car. For example, hit CONTROLS and out comes a screen; let me open and close the sunroof that no other switch can do it. It is purely done on here. This is where I turn on my headlights; if I want to turn them on manually instead of leaving them on auto where they naturally are. I can open the charge port, the trunk, the front trunk. All of them can be controlled over here. I can also get into my driving mode. And I can change the regenerative braking to a lighter setting. I can change the steering effort between comfort, standard and sport. That’s right through here.
You can also get into the navigation screen and you see it appears fairly conventional except I can hit the corner and get absolutely full screen nav. This is just gigantic. So it is quite a nice navigation system. Unfortunately, it is always with the map oriented with north facing up; I can’t change the orientation to put the direction I am driving facing up, which is too bad because with this large screen vertically oriented that would be very useful because I could really see what is ahead of me.
But one advantage of Tesla’s computer system controls is its navigation system operation can be improved using software updates. Tesla has already told us that missing memory seats will be added in this way.
I can bring up the energy display, which basically shows my energy usage for the past thirty miles. I can bring up my rear view camera. I can bring up web browser actually. And right here we have the Tesla website with the biographies of the executives. But we can change that and part of the reason we can do it is the car has 3G built-in.
We have also got a media screen that lets me pick from AM, FM, XM, tune in radio and slacker personal radio, they are accessible through the internet. It can also pick up music from my smart phone.
Across the top band, we always see these options: the media, the navigation, the energy, the web, the rear view camera. So you don’t have to go into any sub-menu to pick from one to the other. And across the bottom, we always have the climate control screen like I can change my temperature; I can bring up the seats here. And this screen can do this because it is such a big screen.
Then one of those nice things is, because the screen is so big, these buttons are pretty big so it is pretty easy to press them and you don’t have to search as much as you do on a lot of other cars.
Back seat of the Model S.
I have got a decent room back here, there is plenty of room for my feet under this front seat, but it’s a little bit tight in the head area. If I took my head back just a little bit, it is right into the head liner. And I am only 5 11. And part of that comes from the fact that the battery box is four inches thick it is right underneath the floor.
So the interior cabin is just a little tighter than most of the competitions. Otherwise, it is a beautifully finished interior, but there is a couple of things missing like you have no fold down arm rest in the back here, which is something you see on a lot of competitive cars and pretty convenient if you only have two people in the back seat. Without that central armrest, you do have a seat that is wide enough and comfortable enough for three passengers.
Now it is time to get rolling and see how Model S works on the road.
The main instrument running just in front of me here is just another computer screen. The one big dial on the left is speedometer and the right is the power meter that not only shows me how much power I am applying on the electric motor but when I take my foot off the gas, it shows how much regeneration I am getting. In a regular car, when you step on the brakes, you just turn the energy or motion of the car or the kinetic energy in the heat, and it is wasted. On an electric car that kinetic energy is captured and it goes right back into the battery and that’s what we call the regenerative braking.
On the Tesla, the engine power and the regenerative braking are both controlled by the accelerator pedal so when you completely release the accelerator you get full regenerative braking. And the beauty of that is that in traffic once you learn how it works which does not take very long you can actually drive with your right foot alone. You only move your foot to the brake pedal if you really need to stop hard or sometimes when you are coming to a complete stop.
The Tesla only has a one speed gear box. There is no gear shifting whatsoever and that’s for two reasons: one, the electric motor makes it for maximum TORQUE at 0 rpm so you don’t really need a low gear to get going; number two its red line is 15,000 rpm so you can go all the way from the dead stop up to the top speed of a 130 miles an hour without having to change gears.
Now we were driving on a country road for about 50 miles per hour and it is very quiet cabin and there is absolutely no motor noise or gear line. It is pretty quiet. I would say it could even be a little bit better than it is but it’s very quiet right now.
One of the most wonderful things about this car is the immediate response to the accelerator. I step on the gas and we just surged over instantly. In a regular car there is always some lag; the engine has to suck in more air, the TORQUE convertor has to unlock, the transmission needs to sit down, may be the turbo needs to screw it up. None of that stuff happens on the Model S.
Now the car is pretty fast too. It goes zero to 60 MPH in 4.6 seconds, it does a ¼ mile in 13.3 seconds, I step on the accelerator and the car just leaps forward immediately. It is a fantastic feeling and only an electric car can deliver that sensation.
I am really surprised to be hearing myself to say this because I am a gasoline engine guy but you spend a little time with the powerful electric motor car and it is pretty convincing.
The Tesla Model S’s natural competitors are the sexy German luxury sedans. These are cars like ODA 7, BMW 650 Gran Coupe and Mercedes CLS. They sort of match the sleek lines of Tesla. They are about the same size and they have got heavy engines that deliver about the same power.
Now this car is pretty close to those things it has about the same size interior, may be a little bigger in the front seat and a smaller in the back seat. It has way more luggage room that any of those cars do. And it has got very similar performance.
At the test track it is a few ticks slower .0 to 6 in the ¼ mile than most of those cars but it has got that instantaneous response that we love so much.
And it is basically priced on the top of those cars. The German cars cost from $75,000 to $85,000 base price and the Tesla Model S performance version also costs about $85,000. But it does not have as much equipment on it.
This one behind me is a signature performance model and it has base price of $97,900 and it has a few options: they kick it up to almost 103000 and that is after the $7500 the federal rebate you get on the electric car.
So you are going to pay more for this car. What that comes down to is for the Tesla Model S to make sense is you still want an electric car because you are going to pay an increment for but if you don’t want an electric car, this one has the range to really get around the major metro area for full day of driving. It still won’t work on inner state because it takes too long to recharge and has too shorter range. But for real city use this car will get the job done and it is the first electric car I would consider owning.
Bypass all your car’s expensive computer air conditioning controls with a simple thirty dollar switch.
You may not know it but most modern day air conditioning systems in cars are computer-driven. And at times they can turn against you and you won’t have any call there.
How to bypass your air-conditioning computer system with a simple, little, thirty-dollar thermostat switch? Your air-conditioning is turned on by an electric switch and if the computer is not working around, you can’t turn it on.
So here is how you can bypass all the computers.Seven Easy Steps:
1. Unplug the switch
2. Then get some wire and run the wire from the switch inside the vehicle. There are millions of holes in your car to go through. For this cable to go through, there is a rubber outlet. Just push it with a screwdriver and turn around the wire inside. Then as you pull the wire through, connect one end to a toggle switch, which you can put anywhere; just blow a little hole and bolt it in.
3. After that get your thermostat and connect the wire to the IN.
4. Now comes the hard part. It measures the temperature of your evaporator (which in most cars is on a plastic sheet) Now draw a tiny little hole and be careful when you draw a hole because you don’t want a hole in the evaporator. You don’t need to draw that deep. Just find a nice place to be in.
5. Then get the end of the tube and push it in the hole until it rubs against the evaporator and touches it so it measures the temperature.
6. Run a wire to the OUT to your battery.
7. Now when you connect it to the positive terminal of your battery, make sure you use a fuse assembly and make the whole thing safe. This is a tiny fuse which is good for the AC clutch.
Now on most AC computers you have to spend seven or eight hundred dollars but this little thermostat costs 30 dollars only.
This particular thermostat was designed by Mazda. But they all work the same way. The company may not have them in its stock but you may have it from any good auto parts store. They are not that expensive as you can see. They are very simple to put in. That’s the way cars were used to be when things were simple and cost less to fix.
Car Covers Pal, based in San Francisco, CA was funded in 2000. We started as
discount car covers, offering better material for our covers at an affordable
prices, to compete with the big boys in the industry. We found a great success
in what we do, and make sure we pass our success in better strength car cover material and
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We will continue to provide same excellent products, unmatched customer
service and great car covers to our satisfied customers.