Recently the Auto Editor as Popular Mechanics went up against a robot race car driver dubbed “Robby”. He fought tooth and nail to keep up with the car and beat him out. Even though he managed to come up ahead of the robot by a slight margin, he proved one thing. Robots will soon be more effective race car drivers than people.
He Won Out by 3 Seconds
In the world of race car driving 3 seconds is a lot, but when you consider that Robby is still experimental technology at best, and that an Audi engineer is going to figure out a way to improve the design and software before you know it, it isn’t a whole lot.
An Even Race
To keep things as even as possible Audi went ahead and balanced out each of the two RS7 vehicles taking part in the race so that they weighed the same. Even with the Audi engineer sitting in the robot car, the weights managed to be the same between the two vehicles, making sure that their creation wasn’t beaten because of a difference in weight. It was all based on skill.
First Robby tore around the track getting a time of 2:02, a very quick time. The editor tensed a bit before his big moment against the car in fear that he would lose and prove that robots are faster than humans trained to drive fast. He blazed around the course behind an Audi R8 supercar with a racecar driver with more experience on the track leading the way. This was the equalizer ot make the match even. Since Robby needed lots of exposure to the course to learn the best way around it Audi gave the editor a lead car with an experienced driver to show him optimal lines to follow. The end time was 1:59. Just fast enough to beat out Robby, and that’s really pushing the RS7.
The results of the race show that robots are on the verge of besting humans, at least around closed loop race tracks. The main reason that Robby lost was because he continually swerved in and out on the course thanks to sensors making split-second decisions about cornering one after another in quick succession. The movements weren’t fluid, they weren’t smooth. This cut down the robot’s time even though it could make decisions faster than the human driver. It’s a flaw that engineers will be able to minimize more and more in the future, and that should eventually lead to unbeatable times for humans, at least on equal footing.
The results of the race are both exciting for the future of car technology and robotics, and a bit scary as well. Are humans slowly becoming obsolete for different specific tasks? It seems decidedly so.
There are two parts to any vehicle investment, the purchase and the sale. When you buy a vehicle, chances are good if you’re like most of the rest of the general public you’ll be selling it off again at some point. When you sell your car off you’re completing your investment. If you buy and sell a car at the same price you paid nothing for it at all minus insurance, maintenance and repair costs along the way. While that’s not a realistic goal to have, it is realistic to try and get a higher resale value from your vehicle by actively picking the right option and then caring for it the right way.
Get a Safe and Reliable Car
A safe and reliable vehicle is going to sell better than a car known for being hard to keep on the road. Not only will you sell the car faster when it comes time to get rid of it, but you’ll spend less keeping it running throughout your years of ownership too. That means that a reliable vehicle is a much better investment most of the time, especially if you plan on selling it again in the future.
Options Really Matter
Every new vehicle comes with a bunch of options. Some options matter more than others, and some appeal to the general public while others do not. You want a color, and a set of options that lots of people are going to want as well. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pick the things you like, but consider a gray or black car over a lime green one when making a purchase. Getting a vehicle that appeals to more people will make it easier to sell later on.
Don’t Jump on Rebates
Experts agree that buying a car with a rebate usually isn’t going to result in a better deal than buying a car at full price. Rebates are typically placed on vehicles that a manufacturer is having a hard time selling off. If the manufacturer is having a hard time selling a car off new, chances are good you’ll have a tough time selling it off used as well. Go with vehicles that are in high-demand instead. You’ll have a harder time getting your hands on one, but waiting to get the vehicle will be worthwhile since it’s going to be easier to sell when you want to offload it.
Stay on Top of Maintenance
Things like cleaning your car out, changing the brakes and changing the oil regularly are all pretty important. What’s even more important is that you have records of all these things. If you bring it in for servicing keep your records. If you do the work yourself track the mileage of each of the tasks you complete and keep receipts for the materials. The more proof you have of your devotion to caring for the vehicle, the easier it is going to be to convince the buyer it’s in good shape.
If you do everything right you can buy nicer vehicles and end up paying less for them than the junkers when you finally sell them off. Of course none of this applies if you plan on keeping the car until the end of time, but in that case you still want something reliable.
If you’re a property developer and you’re in charge of setting up commercial locations, Audi self-parking technology could become your new best friend. Audi is working on tech that will allow vehicles to park themselves without requiring drivers to go along for the ride. This makes it possible for people to be dropped off right in front of a building and then go inside and begin shopping while the car puts itself away. Think of it as a computerized valet that you don’t have to tip. So why is this a big deal for developers, three words, cheaper parking spaces.
No More Prime Parking
If this technology becomes mainstream developers can stop wasting premium land on parking spaces. It simply won’t make sense financially any longer. Instead these developers can pick up cheap land on the outskirts of the location and use that for parking spaces instead. Drivers aren’t going to care if parking spaces are a bit farther away, because they don’t have to park the vehicles and they don’t have to walk to the location. Instead they simply tell the car to find a spot and it does its thing.
Developers can save the best spots for more stores, hotels or whatever else it is that they want to put there. The parking can be put off to the side in the cheap land that isn’t good for anything else. This technology will help companies make the most of their properties and will most definitely increase the value that they can get out of it.
While that’s all very exciting for developers, self-driving technology in general could be a great thing for car owners as well. It could make car sharing networks much more viable than before. A fleet of computer taxis could drive around the streets dropping people off and picking them up. The computers could figure out the best people to pick up and because they don’t have to be paid to do the work this mode of transportation would be much more affordable than standard Taxis. It could bring car sharing to more rural areas of the world and cut down on the number of vehicles out on the road.
Not only could strangers share vehicles, but families could get by with fewer vehicles as well. Imagine a car that can drop dad off at work, bring the children to school and make sure that mom gets to where she needs to go throughout the day. It knows the schedule and can make sure that everyone has a ride. This lowers the number of cars out on the road as well and helps families minimize the number of vehicles they need to own and maintain.
Scion is no stranger to producing small and edgy vehicles, but the XB has been lagging in the market and was finally discontinued by the automaker. Now there’s a gap that needs filling and it seems that the company is hard at work coming up with an edgy vehicle to slot in their.
What Scion came up with is known as the C-HR concept. It’s a sharp looking SUV that’s got more than enough edge to catch the eye of any young buyer. It looks like a luxury sports car morphed into an SUV and it’s just the thing that the automaker needs to get more buyers into its SUVs.
The car has a sharp angular grille out front, it has angry air scoops driving air to the massive 21″ wheels at either side, and it comes with narrow slitted headlights that really help pull the concept together. The sides are tucked right in against the vehicle creating contours with each of the wheel wells and there’s even a little spoiler at the black.
The concept vehicle is a beautiful show of what Scion is capable of, and hopefully the automaker won’t veer too far away from the design when producing the consumer version of the vehicle. The company is known for creating stunning concept vehicles and then dulling them down too much before selling them to the general public. That’s the last thing they should do with this SUV. If they leave it just as it is, or make some cost-saving optimizations while keeping a near-identical exterior they’ll get buyers. Probably more than they know what to do with. That’s how good the latest design is. Until a production version of the vehicle is released there are still plenty of used XB models for sale, but buyers will be eagerly waiting for this concept to make it to real life, I know I am.
When it comes to fuel-efficiency the Toyota Prius is still at the top of all fossil-fuel vehicles in the US market. That’s not because it’s the only hybrid sold today, because the Prius is one of many hybrids now on the market. There’s a unique combination of features and careful design that allow the Prius to be more fuel efficient than most other vehicles on the market today.
One of the Most Efficient Atkins Engines
The 2016 Toyota Prius relies on one of the most efficient Atkins engines on the market today. It comes fitted with a 1.8 liter engine that gets an astounding 40 percent thermal efficiency. That helps the engine get more power out of every bit of fuel than most of the competitors. This change alone gives the Prius a distinct advantage over most other vehicles sold today.
More Efficient Power Use
The latest Prius comes with two electric motors instead of one, and all three motors together produce 121 HP, down from the 134 that was available in older models. Even though power is down, Toyota says that the careful distribution of that power allows the latest Prius to accelerate just as fast as the more powerful version delivering the same performance on less fuel.
Increased Rigidity and Lower Weight
The Toyota structural engineers had two major goals when designing the 2016 Prius. They were to increase the rigidity of the body and frame of the vehicle, while lowering its overall weight. They managed to do both of these things. Special welding techniques and high-tensile steel and other incredibly durable materials were used to make the vehicle more rigid than ever. Careful redesign of key components like the transaxle, the power control unit and the motors helped the vehicle shave off some weight as well.
Take it Low
The 2016 Prius glides along closer to the ground than ever before thanks to using the all-new Toyota New Global Architecture system. The vehicle was dropped down by 2.5cm, enough to lower the coefficient of drag even more and also to improve handling dynamics thanks to a lower center of gravity.
A Redesigned Body
Looking at the latest PRius you’ll probably notice that it looks more like a standard sedan, though it still has that unique Prius feel. Toyota tweaked the body to enhance its aerodynamics even more. It now slips through air better than before and that helps it get the high efficiency numbers that it does.
Any one of these changes could have helped improve the Prius, but it’s a mix of them all that lets it get over 50 MPG with ease. That’s what makes the Prius so desirable and what keeps it out on top of competitors.
It’s important to do what you can for the environment and businesses are beginning to realize that. That’s exactly why you should take the time to learn sustainable practices. That’s what the PlantBasedBiz event is all about. It’s being put on by the Sustainable Business Council, and aims to help people figure out exactly how to start up a business that relies on an environmentally friendly concept. Plenty of different businesses and business concepts will be put on display and you can learn exactly what you can do to modify your own business to be better for the environment along the way.
At the event you’ll get a chance to hear from many different special guests. Singer and songwriter Moby will be making a speech, Matthew Kenney, Cuisines Founder will also be present as well as Bob Goldberg and Rich Roll. It’s sure to be a professional packed event and the Plant Based Biz event should be a lot of fun as well.
When and Where?
The big event occurs on December 3, 2015 between 6:00 and 9:00 PM. It’s going to be hosted at Expert Dojo in Unit 308 at 395 Santa Monica Place in Santa Monica California. When you show up parking will be available adjacently in the Santa Monica Place mall parking garage. At just $25 per person, you can learn a great deal about sustainability while networking with likeminded professionals. RSVP here today!
How You Can Help Get the Word Out?
If you’re interested in helping get the word out for this special event, take some time to share it with your friends and business network. Call up personal friends and contacts and let them know about the event. Email 10 friends about the reception letting them know exactly what they can expect. Share the event to your Facebook or Linkedin page as well.
Here is a set of suggested posts that you can simply grab and share quickly and easily.
Super exciting Sustainable Business Council – SBC event on #PlantBasedBiz on December 3. Speakers include Moby, Maranda Pleasant, Rich Roll, Ryland Engelhart, Bob Goldberg, Matthew Kenney and others. Tiffany Paige is hosting the Periscope Live stream for those that can’t attend in person! Join me and get your tickets now! It may sell out.
RSVP & Ticket Purchase Reminder: http://bit.ly/1RGif7k
Full Details: http://bit.ly/1NbPxJJ
Join us by attending the Sustainable Business Council’s #PlantBasedBiz event! This event features the most prolific sustainable trailblazers of our time participating by giving inspirational talks including the musician and activist Moby, purpose-driven publisher extraordinaire Maranda Pleasant, the co-author of the new bestseller, THE PLANTPOWER WAY, Rich Roll, sustainable pioneer Bob Goldberg, CEO and founder, Follow Your Heart and Matthew Kenney Cuisines Founder & CEO, Matthew Kenney to name a few!
Take the time to share this special event with everyone you can. Every little bit of publicity helps!
With companies like Tesla pushing the limits on the technology, electric vehicles are gaining in popularity. They are becoming more effective and more widely used. Hybrids have been out for more than a decade, and Porsche is quite familiar with electric and hybrid vehicles. The company created the company created the Panamera hybrid after all. While Porsche could most certainly create a hybrid version of the 911, the company says that a full EV 911 isn’t going to happen anytime soon. It’s not that they’re against the technology, but they want it done right, and that simply isn’t possible at the moment.
Power Without the Weight
While it would be cool to make an EV version of the 911, Porsche states that it just isn’t possible at the moment because of all the weight that you have to deal with for the batteries. Creating a powerful 911 that runs purely on electricity would just be too heavy to offer the true 911 experience. That’s why Porsche says that an EV is out of the question, but a hybrid isn’t.
Porsche is having enough trouble figuring out how to maintain the original 911 experience while making the vehicle into a hybrid to save on fuel costs and to make it much more efficient. Weight is so important to the 911 that even adding just a few hundred pounds could throw off the performance of the vehicle and battery packs are notoriously heavy.
Porsche says that they will release a hybrid version of the 911, but that it’s going to keep the flat six for as long as internal combustion engines are still allowed for use. During that time Porsche will improve on its technology and look for ways to maintain that lightweight level of performance with new electric technology.
Who knows, maybe Porsche’s future answer for power will be in Hydrogen fuel-cell technology. The car would still need an electric motor to propel itself, but it could rely on a tank of hydrogen fuel instead of a massive bank of batteries to propel it down the road or the track.
No matter what lies ahead in Porsche’s future, you can count on the release of a hybrid 911, but it’s hard to say if there will ever be a 911 EV according to Porsche.
Green building and design is more important now than it ever has been. With the climate changes an ever-present problem it’s important to get ahead the issue and start teaching children about how to mitigate damages through careful green practices. A mom at Torrance Elementary School saw an ad that mentioned Pacific Audi as a recipient of the Leed Gold Certification and decided that would be an excellent field-trip opportunity for the children of the school.
Reaching out to Audi
The mom got in touch with Alisha Auringer, the manager of the of the Environment for LAcarGUY and requested a field trip for the children. A full tour was set up for the children, giving them an opportunity to see how businesses can reduce their impact, while also seeing what goes on behind the closed doors of an automotive dealership and garage.
The Field Trip
The field trip consisted of a tour through the Service and Shop department of the Audi dealership as well as a look around the rest of the dealership facilities to see how green practices are put into place. The children were able to learn how cars are taken care of at the facility and to get a cool behind the scenes look at the day-to-day functioning of the company. Not only that but they even got an up-close look at the awe-inspiring Audi R8 as the team fired it up for the children.
At the end of the day the children went home with Eco penicillin sets and reusable LAcarGUY tote bags and a bunch of stories to share with their families about the practices of the car dealership and about green technology in general.
It’s these types of events that will help children learn to respect the environment more, and to understand businesses with healthy green practices and others that pollute the environment.
It’s that time of year again. On December 13 families are encouraged to come out and enjoy the 27th annual Manhattan Beach Holiday Fireworks event. The event begins at 4:00 PM and lasts until 7:00 PM. It’s a fun way to get out of the house and to celebrate the holidays, complete with music, a snow park, bouncy house and finally a set of high quality fireworks voted the Best Holiday Fireworks in the Nation by the Travel Channel.
The fun-filled day will host a variety of musical performances to keep festive music going during the event. Joe’s Band will start the day off with holiday music and family sing-alongs. The Mira Costa HS Jazz Ensemble will also be performing a selection of holiday pieces. The Hyperion Outfall and Ari Perelmuter will also be performing during the event. Each of the musical performances is sponsored by LAcarGUY and should help to give the event a festive feel.
Get Into the Holiday Spirit at the Snow Park
One of the main draws of the Manhattan Beach Holiday Fireworks event is the snow park for kids. It’s put on by Skechers and offers a total of five 50′ sled runs and two different snow areas for children. Give your children a chance to play in some snow and take a bunch of family photos at the event. There’s no better way to get into the holiday spirit while keeping your children occupied outdoors.
Of course no holiday celebration would be complete without the opportunity to meet with Santa. Santa will glide in on his float and take the time to meet and greet with the children and make himself available for photos.
Go Crazy at the Bounce Park
A set of giant slides and a massive shark offer plenty of bouncing opportunities for all the children present. Children can swoop down the massive slides and jump around like crazy within the mouth of the shark. It’s a fun opportunity for the little ones that want to burn up some energy.
Cap of the Night with a Shower of Lights
Finally the night will complete at 7:00 with a spectacle of holiday fireworks. The sky will glow with blazing reds, oranges, purples and pinks. It’s the perfect way to finish off the night before heading home to relax.
The 2015 Manhattan Beach pumpkin race was a huge success that brought together local families and businesses for a day of fun while helping to support local schools and the CHOICE program. Families got a chance to get out and participate in crafts or enter into the big pumpkin race against all the other participants for a chance to win the prized Championship Trophy.
What Goes on at the Pumpkin Race?
While the main event feautures a set medium-sized pumpkins turned race cars racing against one another for the top-prize trophy, there are arts and crafts, food and special events going on all along the Manhattan beach area for everyone involved. It’s a fun day to dress in costumes, get involved with the local community and show off your carefully crafted pumpkin car before you race it against all the competitors.
The event was organized back in 1990 and has been bringing thousands of participants together ever since. Mike Sullivan from LAcarGUY was the MC for the event and a also behind some of the donations supporting the event as well as many other local businesses in the area.
The CHOICE Program
The CHOICE program is a partnership with local businesses to help High School students involved with a special education program find local employment opportunities. Small businesses are encouraged to learn more about the program and how they can help these students get a start in their first career. By encouraging a more inclusive workplace environment companies can obtain loyal employees that are going to thrive in their positions. That’s the ultimate goal of the CHOICE program and it’s something that businesses all along the Manhattan Beach California area can become involved with. To learn how your business can be involved with the program and help out local students email Sonia Dickson at email@example.com for information about the program and how you can become involved.