Tag Archive for ‘Automobile’

Automatic Discontinuing Connected Car Adapter and Shutting Down Service ➝

From the announcement on their website:

With fewer consumers purchasing and leasing vehicles and drivers on the road, we unfortunately do not see a path forward for our business. These are unprecedented times, and with so much uncertainty ahead, we have made the difficult decision to discontinue the Automatic connected car product, service and platform.

I’ve had one of these adapters in my car for about two-and-a-half years and purchased one for my wife’s car shortly thereafter. We enjoyed the peace of mind from the crash detection, being able to read check engine light codes, the parking location features, fuel usage tracking, and knowing when we arrived or left a location. The biggest disappointment with this news, though, is that there doesn’t seem to be an alternative on the market.

I know newer vehicles offer these sorts of features built-in, but It’ll be quite some time before we replace both of our cars. Maybe someone else will fill the void soon.

➝ Source: automatic.com

Large Displays in Automobiles ➝

Chris Ziegler, writing for The Verge:

Basically, the right move is for everyone to move to digital, multifunction clusters in addition to whatever else they may have in mind. In Tesla’s case, perhaps it’s a big touchscreen on a floating mount, but for something like the Toyota Prius, it could be a powertrain efficiency monitor up by the windshield. Whatever. I just need my map in front of me.

I absolutely disagree with Chris Ziegler, I hate large displays in cars. I have a 2009 Toyota Camry with a very simple instrument cluster and entertainment system — CD, AM/FM radio, an auxiliary-in jack, and a monochrome display. I specifically avoided purchasing a car with a more extravagant setup because I find their displays to be dangerously distracting. I dread the very idea of car shopping because of it. Luckily, I plan on driving this car into the ground. But when I finally start looking for a new one — when presumably most cars on the market will have these displays — I have no idea what I’m going to do.

Standby Current of a USB Car Charger ➝

Big Mess o’ Wires:

Is a constant 14.2 mA draw enough to worry about discharging the car’s battery? Probably not. From a few quick searches, I learned that a typical car battery has a capacity of around 40 ampere hours. At 14.2 mA, it would take 2817 hours or 117 days to completely discharge the car’s battery. Assuming I drive the car every day, then, it’s not a concern. Even parking the car for a week or two should be fine. But if I ever need to leave the car in storage for an extended period of time, that 14.2 mA could add up. Of course the car itself has its own standby current draw for the anti-theft system and keyless entry, so the USB charger may not even be the largest concern. For typical driving, at least, it appears the USB charger’s standby current draw won’t be a problem.

I thought it was unlikely that leaving a car charger plugged in would drain your battery, but I never had the courage to just leave it that way. The last thing I need is a car that won’t start because I was too lazy to unplug the thing. But now that I know it’s safe to do so, I won’t even worry about it.

Senior Tesla Engineer Joins Apple ➝

With news of engineers and executive hires taking place practically every week, the evidence is mounting. Apple is more than just looking into building a car.

The Guardian: ‘Documents Confirm Apple is Building Self-Driving Car’ ➝

I loved John Gruber’s response to this:

It sure looks like Apple is getting ready to test drive a car, but I didn’t see anything in this report that justifies the assumption that it’s a self-driving car. Did I miss something?

My thoughts exactly. I haven’t seen much evidence pointing towards Apple building a self-driving car specifically, including the aforelinked piece by The Guardian.

‘Of Course Apple is Working on a Car’ ➝

MG Siegler makes the case that Apple’s attempt to enter the car market is inevitable. They’ve outgrown their competitors and need to find something major in order to continue growing at their current pace. And, the automobile industry would be the easiest market for them to enter that’s capable of generating revenue at the scale they’re looking for.

The Experts Apple Hired to Build an Electric Car ➝

I wasn’t too sure about this whole car rumor at first, but at this point there’s just too much evidence showing that Apple is working on something. And, if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it’s probably a duck — or car, as the case may be.

WSJ: Apple Working on Automobile Project ➝

Daisuke Wakabayashi and Mike Ramsey, reporting for the Wall Street Journal:

Apple has several hundred employees working secretly toward creating an Apple-branded electric vehicle, according to people familiar with the matter. They said the project, code-named “Titan,” has an initial design of a vehicle that resembles a minivan, one of these people said.

Apple may have found a way to spend some of that $178 billion they have. I imagine developing and mass producing automobiles isn’t cheap, but it sounds like a great way to continue growing the largest company in the world into something even bigger.

Get ready for a slew of concept designs and thousands of writers to discuss what might set an Apple automobile apart from their potential competition.