Future cars / Driverless cars

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Anondson
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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby Anondson » May 12th, 2017, 9:25 pm

How about a demonstration of a 300-mile car battery that charges in 5 minute?

http://www.thedrive.com/news/10227/isra ... -5-minutes

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby David Greene » May 15th, 2017, 12:04 pm

fehler wrote:
May 12th, 2017, 8:50 am
We have supposed congestion-controling entrance ramp signals. They only work if people allow them to work.
You mean those things that penalize urban dwellers by prioritizing far-flung suburban traffic?

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby David Greene » May 15th, 2017, 12:07 pm

Anondson wrote:
May 12th, 2017, 9:25 pm
How about a demonstration of a 300-mile car battery that charges in 5 minute?

http://www.thedrive.com/news/10227/isra ... -5-minutes
Good comments in the article pointing out the voltage and/or amperage needed to achieve this. Either it's not generally safe for consumers or you're lugging around mega cables. Quite possibly both.

amiller92
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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby amiller92 » May 15th, 2017, 12:10 pm

David Greene wrote:
May 15th, 2017, 12:04 pm
You mean those things that penalize urban dwellers by prioritizing far-flung suburban traffic?
One of the beauties of living in the city is never actually having to get on the freeway.

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby David Greene » May 15th, 2017, 12:23 pm

amiller92 wrote:
May 15th, 2017, 12:10 pm
David Greene wrote:
May 15th, 2017, 12:04 pm
You mean those things that penalize urban dwellers by prioritizing far-flung suburban traffic?
One of the beauties of living in the city is never actually having to get on the freeway.
Unless you need to go to the suburbs.

Or St. Paul.

Same thing, really. :o

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby RailBaronYarr » May 15th, 2017, 12:50 pm

Okay, #butactually, ramp meters have proven to have a net benefit even to urban dwellers who have longer wait times on the ramps but don't see the longer delays once they get on the freeway itself (unless you're making a short trip, around 3 exit lengths, on the freeway itself where the travel time savings aren't outweighed by the ramp wait times). To say nothing of the decrease in crashes for freeway users (including city-resident users), decrease on surface street traffic counts thanks to more reliable freeway speeds, etc. Yes, the meters benefit (in terms of total trip travel time savings) longer trips from Lakeville more than they do to urban dwellers, but percent of trip may be comparable.

Ramp meters were/are a good low-cost way to squeeze out some added capacity & reduce travel times. There might be better ways, specifically through meter timing system-wide, to balance the equity concerns (implement more meters further out with longer wait times to allow shorter meter light times on urban ramps), but to say they currently penalize urban dwellers is false.

Of course, pricing the damn roads (and destination parking) would be a much better way to achieve these goals, but the meters help and were politically possible.

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby talindsay » May 15th, 2017, 5:29 pm

I like ramp meters. But I also never get on the highway, living in the city. Even in my daily drives into and out of our largest suburb.

QuietBlue
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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby QuietBlue » May 15th, 2017, 7:07 pm

David Greene wrote:
May 15th, 2017, 12:23 pm
Unless you need to go to the suburbs.

Or St. Paul.

Same thing, really. :o
Or even just between North (and far Northeast) Minneapolis and the farther parts of South Minneapolis, really. Yeah, you technically don't have to take the freeway, but it can be a hassle depending on where and how far you're going.

Vagueperson
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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby Vagueperson » May 15th, 2017, 9:00 pm

Can't keep the Capital City bashing for one of the four Minneapolis sections?

amiller92
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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby amiller92 » May 16th, 2017, 8:48 am

QuietBlue wrote:
May 15th, 2017, 7:07 pm
Or even just between North (and far Northeast) Minneapolis and the farther parts of South Minneapolis, really. Yeah, you technically don't have to take the freeway, but it can be a hassle depending on where and how far you're going.
When I drive from Hale to downtown (or vice versa), I occasionally make the mistake of taking 35W. As these trips tend to be during rush hour, it's almost always a mistake. It might not actually be faster to take surface streets, but at least you're not sitting in traffic, for the most part.

Of course, today is the first day I've driven since Cedar and Portland have been closed at the Greenway, so I may not think so on the way home tonight.

Of course, I try to take as many trips as possible by bike, so the freeway is mostly not an option anyway.

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby talindsay » May 16th, 2017, 10:28 am

Vagueperson wrote:
May 15th, 2017, 9:00 pm
Can't keep the Capital City bashing for one of the four Minneapolis sections?
It's good-natured teasing. It's one city with an artificial political border down the middle; the idea of calling a city 3/4 the size of Minneapolis its "suburb" is pretty damn funny.

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby Vagueperson » May 16th, 2017, 11:39 am

Obviously, it's a bit of a sore spot as many of the louder voices in St. Paul like the idea of living in a place dominated by suburban land use.

QuietBlue
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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby QuietBlue » May 16th, 2017, 6:45 pm

Seems to be plenty of those voices in Minneapolis too, what with the brouhahas over bike lanes, density, etc.

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby David Greene » July 5th, 2017, 2:18 pm

So our plan to watch fireworks from Cray Central was thwarted when our car broke in Mankato. My mom came to take the rest of the family home while I had a pleasant and humorous 1.5 hour drive with the tow truck driver and his (I assume) apprentice. The car had started leaking coolant and I'm really hoping it's just a hose or pump and not a ruined engine.

Anyhoo, it got me started thinking about the next kind of car we would get. Unfortunately, we need two cars for the time being because I have to take Julian to preschool in a transit-inaccessible place and Emily works all over the metro depending on where her employer sends her that week.

With the current state of tech I would probably get a Chevy Volt to supplement the LEAF, which is our primary family car. The Volt has the advantage of mostly using electricity for day-to-day driving while allowing long trips when needed. I was really hoping the Chevy Bolt would do and it probably could if we were willing to rent a car for our thrice-a-year trips to the North Shore and other longer journeys. But we don't actually need the Bolt's range for day-to-day driving. What we'd need is a car that can get to Grand Marais and Tulsa, OK several times a year.

Assuming all goes well with the current car, what's on the horizon to fill this kind of need? It seems like charging infrastructure is ramping up and new higher-voltage/current solutions are being standardized. I just saw that Volvo has disavowed the gas engine, or at least diminished its role.

If all does not go well, any suggestions on the best way to fill our driving needs in the most environmentally responsible way?

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby Silophant » July 5th, 2017, 3:10 pm

If you're not willing to rent a car for the long trips, a Volt (or equivalents from other manufacturers, Ford makes a PHEV version of the Fusion) is your best bet, for now. That being said, a pretty quick (couple of years) rollout of high-power quick charging stations is feasible. There's not really much for technological or even grid limitations, it just needs a big player or two to bankroll the buildout.

(Should be the government, but that's a topic for another thread, I suppose.)

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby dajazz » July 5th, 2017, 9:21 pm

I'm a big fan of the Fusion hybrid, I've driven it on several occasions and was always impressed at the mileage, handling, and interior/cargo space.

I wouldn't read too much into the Volvo news, especially since some of the articles I read today were poorly written. Sure they're going to make everything at minimum a hybrid but they'll still be building millions of gas engines to pair with the electric motors. It's definitely a step in the right direction but I'm curious how they'll implement everything and what effect it'll have on pricing.

Long term I'm most intrigued about Tesla, especially as the model 3 production ramps up. As their supercharger network continues to expand it could help alleviate a lot of the range anxiety about long trips.

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby Silophant » July 5th, 2017, 9:48 pm

It could. Tbh, though, I'm a little frustrated by Tesla's Supercharger strategy. Given that Musk's stated aim is to bring about the EV revolution and save humanity from itself, building out a huge network of proprietary charging stations isn't a great way to do that. Yes, they've opened up their patents and GM and Ford and Honda or whoever could make their vehicles Supercharger compatible, but... it would have made more sense for Tesla to use (one of the two) industry standard charging connections.

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby David Greene » July 5th, 2017, 10:09 pm

Tesla is already behind the game. The Bolt has more range than the Model 3 and AFAIK the Supercharger isn't terribly faster than CCS, what the Bolt uses (Tesla claims 170 mile charge in 30 minutes). Since the Bolt and Model 3 both have plenty of charge for normal city driving, the only significant differentiation provided by the Model 3 is the Supercharger network. Now there are certainly a lot more of them across the country than Fast DC CCS chargers but since both take an inconvenient amount of time to charge on long trips, that seems a pretty narrow advantage.

Tesla used to be able to make sales as a premium brand. That goes away with the Model 3. And Tesla still hasn't demonstrated it can mass-produce an automobile. It's a lot of risk for a customer to take compared to a company with a very similar product which has been building cars for over a century.

So Tesla is cool and all, I'm just very doubtful they're going to outperform the competition. They may very well survive but I'm not expecting giant leaps in technology that isn't also available elsewhere.

The Volt beats all other PHEVs handily on all-electric range, which is a big consideration for us. I haven't really considered any other PHEVs for that reason, but I'd be thrilled to learn about an existing or future PHEV that will offer similar range at a similar price-point.

I'm really excited about the charging infrastructure. I think we're close to a tipping point. That I think is the significance of Volvo's announcement. Not so much the cars but that they see the demand and are responding to it. Volvo was one of the more electric-reluctant manufacturers. Their rapid pivot coupled with what Ford et. al. are doing in Europe with charging infrastructure has me pretty hopeful that we'll see a similar build-out in the U.S. within the decade.

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby David Greene » July 5th, 2017, 10:23 pm

Silophant wrote:
July 5th, 2017, 9:48 pm
It could. Tbh, though, I'm a little frustrated by Tesla's Supercharger strategy. Given that Musk's stated aim is to bring about the EV revolution and save humanity from itself, building out a huge network of proprietary charging stations isn't a great way to do that.
The Supercharger network was (and is) Tesla's main selling point. Building to a standard would eliminate that advantage over the competition. Above I've argued that that advantage has already pretty much disappeared, though it's still there for the really die-hard all-electric people (i.e. not the general public).

This is one of the reasons the Model 3 is critical to Tesla's future. They need to sell a lot of cars at a profit. They will no longer be able to lean on the Supercharger advantage in the near future. They probably want to try to control the charging network too but I don't know how they're going to be able to do that. They tried to make money licensing patents but that is not going to fly. They could make some money by letting non-Tesla cars charge at Superchargers for a fee. It would be better for the country as other efforts could then focus on the gaps in the Supercharger network.

There's also Tesla's whole battery/non-vehicle work which could bring in significant cash. Their solar roofing tiles are interesting but I don't know much about them other than that they exist. I'm not as high on the home battery packs but maybe I'm just not visionary to understand their usefulness.

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby VacantLuxuries » July 6th, 2017, 8:48 am

Honestly, I'm not banking my hopes on Tesla's Supercharger network, and instead hoping Xcel will make like Kansas City Power & Light and build out a local charging network of their own, with other utilities following suit in other cities.

I think Tesla will stick around because of brand recognition and cool factor, but if Musk ever steps out of the picture to play astronaut on Mars, Tesla will probably start following a trajectory like 90s Apple.


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