sorry, don't take my remark about the dongle that monitors your driving as an expert analysis. i'm just extrapolating from a product advertised for sale for $15 at tiger direct that recorded your gps coordinates at short intervals every time the auto is moving and would download to a pc via usb. seems like enough data to infer the care and consideration of a driver for insurance purposes, thus the premium. could be behavior mod on a grand scale !
Thanks for the information, herbissmus. I had actually assumed that the dongle shown in those omnipresent Progressive insurance commercials was a prop, much like those boxes the actors pick off of the shelves to "buy" their insurance. That leads to the thought that, if most people had a dongle in their car monitoring their real-world driving habits, wouldn't their insurance rates go UP? I'm betting the answer is mostly yes.
BMW is clearly in the forefront of the use of production composites in automotive. OTOH, the i5 and i8 are going to be relatively low-volume cars. But this does give BMW an advantage as far as coming up the learning curve and addressing the cost issue. Good example and thanks for pointing it out.
regarding use of composites in automobiles, it is no table that bmw and sgl have opened a carbon fiber plant in moses lake, washington to supply material for the bmw i3 and i8 vehicles. the bmwi cars are scheduled to enter production in 2013.
progressive insurance has the kind of telematics-electronics autos need more of: a dongle plugged into the lighter outlet that monitors one's driving, and if the driving is moderate and careful, the insurance rate decreases. they're onto something. moore's law will make this thing so powerful in the not too distant future that dangerous drivers will be priced off the highways... leaving the rest of us with no more traffic jams and smooth, safe "sailing"
DMAYEADS hit it right on the head. We have enough distracted drivers and idiots telling people where they are and how much money they have on them now, we don't need people telling the car behind them where they are headed and how long they plan on being there. WAKE UP PEOPLE!
I have to agree with Beth and Jerry.Living in Southern California, I'm concerned about yet another distraction. Let's face it, it's hard enough to shave or put on make-up, drink coffee, smoke cigarettes, talk on the phone and offer obscene hand gestures as it is.
At least Mercedes Benz incorporates lane departure warning systems and collision avoidance systems on many of their models. This may help reduce distracted driver crashes.
As for battery development, I don't believe we will see a major change in capability until a truly new technology is introduced.Until then, it will be minor improvements.
A bit off topic, but years ago, the rage was Fuel Cell technology.I haven't seen much about it lately.It boasted how clean it was, amazing in power output vs. power expended and contained in a much smaller package than batteries.Other than expense in its manufacture, it seemed like the next alternative technology.Then it fell off the map.
Altair has released an update of its HyperWorks computer-aided engineering simulation suite that includes new features focusing on four key areas of product design: performance optimization, lightweight design, lead-time reduction, and new technologies.
At IMTS last week, Stratasys introduced two new multi-materials PolyJet 3D printers, plus a new UV-resistant material for its FDM production 3D printers. They can be used in making jigs and fixtures, as well as prototypes and small runs of production parts.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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