Tesla to Gigafactory ginormous sums of EV batteries, Simpsons & more profitable

gigafactory-1Tesla announced its earnings, more details about the Gigafactory and new appearances on TV from Elon Musk.

Tesla reported adjusted earnings of $0.11 a share beating analyst estimates. Tesla delivered 7,579 vehicles in Q2 more than it estimated it would.

$1M Challenge for mini-inverters for cars and more

googlechalleng2With the catchy phrases “think shrink”, “smaller is bigger” and  “min it to win it”, the Little Box Challenge, sponsored by Google and IEEE will pay a one million dollars to the company or entity that builds and designs a kW-scale inverter with the highest density of at least 50 watts per cubic inch.

Inverters are the boxes that convert direct current from sources such as solar panels or batteries and turns it into alternating current for use in homes, businesses or cars.

D.C. MA & MN safest states, ND, WY & MT worst say UMT Study

National Mall Washington DCWhere are the most dangerous fatal roads in the country? Traffic safety has improved in the country for the past ten years, however, traffic fatality rates are still generally higher in the Northern Plains and southern states than in the Northeast, Midwest and West, according to University of Michigan researcher, Michael Sivak. There is no way of telling, yet how connected cars will affect the number in the next decade.

U-M Transportation Research Institute studied individual fatality rates per distance driven and per population in all 50 states and the District of Columbia in 2012 (the latest available year) and 2005 (a recent peak).

BMW new super chargers & free charging @ NRG eVgo through 2015

nrgevestationAt Plug-In 2014, in San Jose, BMW made two announcements free NRG eVgo charging and a new fast charger.

BMW with NRG eVgo, will offer free charging to BMW i3 drivers at participating eVgo Freedom Station sites equipped with DC Combo Fast Charging in California through 2015.

Jenny McCarthy bad example for parents everywhere

jennymacarthyJenny McCarthy on her Sirius radio show did what a parent should never do in front of a child.  She was texting while driving.  Her twelve-year-old son Evan called the cops.

To punish her son, she threw his cell phone out the window.  She laughed about it, however both things she did were very dangerous. Throwing things out of car windows can hit a windshield and cause an accident.

Cadillac takes wireless charging cue with Powermat in emblematic move

ccadillacwirelessGM announced that Cadillac will add wireless charging of smartphones in the 2015 model ATS sport sedan and coupe launching this fall. The wireless charging will be compatible with Powermat and other in-phone wireless charging technologies, therefore  once inside the car, you place the smartphone on the mat and you don’t have to connect a cord to charge it.

Because people keep their smartphones with them all day and Bluetooth uses a lot of battery juice, wireless charging in cars is an ideal solution.

Traffic lights better programming and connected cars = shorter commute times and better gas mileage with V2I

trafficlightsAugust 6 is 100th anniversary of the traffic light at an intersection in Cleveland, Ohio. Today, traffic lights are controlled by sensors that include proximity sensors with some intelligent sensors using localized software. In the future, traffic lights may make driving safer, reduce commutes, save time and lower emissions.

Researchers at MIT have developed a means of computing optimal timings for city stoplights that can significantly reduce drivers’ average travel times. The software adjusts signal times at intersections distributed across the entire city, with the objective of trying to improve conditions across the entire city, while present systems are timed to local information

Google competitor Baidu working on autonomous self driving car & bike, why?

img_boyThe biggest competitor in the world to Google is China’s search giant Baidu and in their parallel universe research and development labs in China and the Silicon Valley are working on self driving cars and  possibly bikes which may hit the road later this year.

A Baidu rep told Tech in Asia confirmed that Baidu is in the very early stages of development of driverless cars.

BMW ConnectedDrive outage & connected car app disasters

BMWappreviewsAfter our article, yesterday, explaining that BMW’s web/mobile interface has vulnerabilities that could be hacked, a few hours later BMW’s web portal was reported down. A BMW i3 owner in the UK reported that he has been unable to register for BMW’s ConnectedDrive service since July 19, continually receiving error messages. The outage is due to a system update in the UK and Europe. In the meantime BMW’s apps on Google Play have some of the worst user reviews, we’ve seen.

Connected Car study shows that connected cars like BMW are vulnerable to hacks

bmw connected driveKaspersky Lab and IAB, published their First Annual Connected Cars Study. Vicente Diaz, Principal Security Researcher at Kaspersky Lab, researched the report about connecting cars to the Internet. However, the auto industry is diligently monitoring threats through its own organizations and most threats require physical access to interior parts of the cars in order to work.

Connected cars with social networks, email, smartphone connectivity, route calculation, in-car apps, can be risky, noted the report.