With almost $1 billion in funding and ambitions to replace petroleum-based cars with a network of cheap electrics, Shai Agassi’s Better Place was remarkable even by the standards of world-changing startups. So was its epic failure.
"What auto manufacturers, along with much of corporate America are missing here is that the vehicles to freedom and personal identity have changed for this generation. The sooner brands get a grip on this reality the sooner they can make adjustments in how they market to and communicate with this core group, which is essential to their long-term success."
These videos give you a rough idea of what talking to Siri from behind the wheel might look like.
“Too much automation, too soon will frighten the average car buyer. It has to be done right or potential customers will be scared off, making it even harder for us to transition from driver to driverless down the road.”
How’s this for bad PR? A Tesla Model S car burst into flames in Washington State this week after a relatively minor accident on a highway.
Tesla has reacted to the accident, noting that the car had a “direct impact” with a “large metallic object,” which hit “one of the 16 modules within the Model S battery pack.”
When Mercedes wanted an appropriate visual to explain its “Magic Body Control” active suspension system, the brand turned to—what else?—chickens.
"All the credits go to the chickens, which are just naturally able to keep their head steady…" You have to see the ad.
Garmin has come up with a windshield-mounted device that projects directions from Android and iPhone navigation apps right on the dashboard.
The Heads-Up Display (HUD), which sells for $130, is Garmin’s attempt to keep up with automakers who are installing smartphone apps directly into car dashboards. If Garmin can’t beat app makers for in-car presence, well, it’ll have to join them.
There are a lot of roads just sitting there in the sun, doing nothing with all that energy. Why not use them to collect it? Introducing the Solar Roadway, a road built out of solar panels.
The road is made of three parts: a hard-wearing translucent top-layer with the solar cells, LED lights (for road markings) and a heating element (to keep off snow and ice); an electronics layer to control lighting and communications; and a base plate layer that distributes power to nearby homes and businesses (and perhaps electric vehicle charging stations). Plus, there’s a channel at the edge to collect and filter run-off water (including anti-freeze and other chemicals that normally leeches into the ground).
Does your next ride look like this? The Citi.Transmitter is a single-seat modular transportation device which aims to help solve our urban traffic problems.
Can you teach a good dog new tricks? Yes, you can. You can even teach a dog how to drive. Really.
The Lit C-1 doesn’t look like any car you’ve ever seen, but it still can go 120 miles per hour and gets 200 miles on each charge. Will people embrace the futuristic design enough to make the startup a success?