Robert Vinet

Insatiably Curious

Category: Auto

Remember, you can’t be stuck in traffic; you are the traffic.

— Kevin Slavin

Updated » A modified Bugatti Chiron street car surpasses the 300 mph barrier

Sept 6

Top Gear can exclusively reveal that Bugatti has smashed through the 300mph barrier. On 2 August 2019, Andy Wallace hit a vmax of 304.77mph in a go-faster Chiron at Ehra-Lessien, becoming the first hypercar to break 300mph.

The velocity is verified by the TÜV – Germany’s Technical Inspection Association – meaning Andy and the prototype Chiron supersede previous really, really fast runs from SSC (256.18mph two-way average, 2007), Hennessey (270.49mph two-way average, 2013) and Koenigsegg (284.55 vmax, 277.87 two-way average, 2017) as well as punching through the mythical 300mph target.

Just to be clear, Andy Wallace is a professional Bugatti test driver.

More at Top Gear…

Sept 8

Norwegians are EV obsessed and the Tesla Model 3 accounted for 12.4% of all vehicle sales in Norway from January–July 2019

California’s a huge market for Tesla, the Netherlands loves Tesla, Switzerland loves Tesla, but no state or country is as Tesla obsessed as Norway.

Whereas electric vehicles are still at 1–2% market share in many auto markets, or 6–10% in good markets, fully electric vehicles accounted for 38% of new passenger vehicle sales in Norway last month.

If you’re like me, you’d like to check your senses now and confirm the 38% related to fully electric vehicles, not also plug-in hybrids. Indeed, that’s only for the purest of the pure, while another 25% were hybrids, 41% of which were plug-in hybrids. That means nearly 50% of new vehicle sales were plug-in vehicles sales.

King of the hill among all of these electric and electrified vehicles, as usual, was the Tesla Model 3. The Model 3 is so popular there that it accounted for 12.4% of the Norwegian auto market in January–July of this year. Good luck finding a country with a 12.4% EV market share, let alone a 12.4% Tesla Model 3 market share. That percentage means that one out of every eight vehicles sold in the country was a Model 3 — not for one month, not for two months, but for a 7 month timespan.

» Read more about electric vehicle sales in Norway by Zachary Shahan in Clean Technica

DMVs are selling your private driver information to thousands of businesses and raking in millions, and you can’t do anything about it

When you give your name and address to the Departments of Motor Vehicles in exchange for a driver’s license, many of those DMVs in the USA are selling your personal information to thousands of businesses. Some have made tens of millions of dollars a year selling your data.

When asked how much the Wisconsin DMV made from selling driver records, a spokesperson wrote in an email “Per these 2018 DMV Facts and Figures, $17,140,914 was collected in FY18 for driver abstract fees.” Examining that document shows that Wisconsin’s revenue for selling driver records has shot up dramatically since 2015, when the sale drew in $1.1 million. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles made $77 million in 2017 by selling data, a local outlet found.

Documents explicitly note that the purpose of selling this data is to bring in revenue.

But there are both real world privacy and security concerns.

“The selling of personally identifying information to third parties is broadly a privacy issue for all and specifically a safety issue for survivors of abuse, including domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and trafficking,” Erica Olsen, director of Safety Net at the National Network to End Domestic Violence, told Motherboard in an email. “For survivors, their safety may depend on their ability to keep this type of information private.”

And, not only is this somehow all legal, there is no obvious way for you to opt out or control who has access to your personal information!

» More from Joseph Cox at Motherboard / Vice…

Are American cities ready to phase out cars? » I don’t think so

For reasons of safety and basic urban functionality, it’s time to start banning private automobiles from America’s urban cores.

The basic problem with cars in a dense urban setting like New York is that they go too fast and take up too much space. Dense cities are enormously more energy efficient than sprawling suburbs or exurbs because apartment buildings and row houses are far more efficient to heat and cool than single-family homes (due to shared walls), larger enterprises can take advantage of efficiencies of scale, and because lots of people packed into a small area enables highly-efficient mass transit. New Yorkers emit only about 2.3 tons of carbon dioxide per person, as compared to 45 tons from residents of Flagstaff, Arizona.

A car-centered transportation system is simply at odds with the logic of a dense city. For commuters, cars take up a huge volume of space being parked at home and at work. On the road, a lane of highway traffic can transport about 3,000 people per hour under perfect conditions, while a subway can easily manage 10 times that — and many do even better. And while subways can be delayed, conditions are rarely ideal on the highway — on the contrary, every day at rush hour most are jammed to a crawl with too many cars, or slowed by some gruesome accident.

Read more by Ryan Cooper at This Week…

» This is an interesting idea but I doubt it will gain much traction in America, for several reasons. While gas and diesel vehicles are bring banned in several European cities, in the land of the free, the open road automobile culture among Joe Public is very robust.

Lets not forget that this is the land where, despite overwhelming public support, legislatures don’t have enough backbone to put in place effective gun control measures, even after hundreds of mass killings and thousands of gun violent deaths every year.

© 2019 Robert Vinet

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑