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.
The 100% solar-powered airplane Solar Impulse 2 is prepping for its upcoming flight, becoming the first plane to fly around the world without using fuel. It's able to do so because of above-average performance by all of the technologies that go into it, especially materials.
With major product releases coming from big names like Sony, Microsoft, and Samsung, and big investments by companies like Facebook, 2015 could be the year that virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) finally pop. Here's take a look back at some of the technologies that got us here (for better and worse).
Good engineering designs are those that work in the real world; bad designs are those that don’t. If we agree to set our egos aside and let the real world be our guide, we can resolve nearly any disagreement.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.