Internal combustion cars dominated the last century, but led to pollution and unpleasant foreign entanglements due to oil imports. Electric cars solve both of these problems through much greater efficiency and the multitude of means by which electricity is generated. The cars reviewed here look to be the first generation of the kind of vehicle that will dominate the new century. All of them are pricey compared with gasoline-fueled equivalents, but they cost considerably less for both electricity and maintenance. … Read more
Tuesday's tech news roundup honors our future robot overlords:
AT&T is being accused of data-plan discrimination and breaking FCC rules regarding new iPhone FaceTime options. AT&T recently announced that iPhone customers could use FaceTime video chat service over a cellular network if they have the new shared data plan. (Previously, FaceTime was limited to Wi-Fi.) But several groups have spoken out about the limit and questioned if it follows FCC guidelines. AT&T responded saying it does not believe this breaks any FCC rules, since FaceTime was offered to all customers over Wi-Fi and … Read more
The droid trims lawns several times per week, cutting only 3 millimeters (0.12 inch) of grass at a time. The clippings are small enough so that they can be left on the lawn to act as natural fertilizer, the automaker said.
Miimo mows in a random or directional pattern, staying within an electronic perimeter but using its sensors to navigate the lawn, even on sloping areas. If its bump sensors encounter an obstacle, it will stop and then set off in another direction. It will automatically devote more time to patches of long grass. … Read more
Driving a blue Honda Fit EV down El Segundo Blvd. in Los Angeles, I began to feel a bit guilty. To my left stretched a massive complex, a big stretch of beachfront property devoted to a Chevron oil refinery. As the Fit EV whispered by this facility, which Wikipedia told me later was founded in 1911 and gave the town of El Segundo its name, I thought of all the oil workers the little electric car I was driving would put out of a job.
Lacking a gas tank and exhaust pipes, this Fit EV would never need to sully itself at one of the many gas stations I passed on this drive through Los Angeles, except maybe to top off the air in the tires.
The Fit EV represents one of the new breed of electric cars, which current battery technology is making more practical for daily use. And in my drive I found the Fit EV the best of the bunch.
At this year's CES, Harman International's Aha announced a partnership with Honda. Today Honda hosted a conference showing how that partnership would play out with a new service called HondaLink. This new connected service will let drivers listen to a variety of Internet-based stations, featuring everything from Slacker radio to Yelp listings of nearby restaurants.… Read more
I can't wait for the era of self-driving cars. I can't believe it's 2012 and we still have to turn a steering wheel and push pedals to get around while we could be doing better things like sleeping, reading, or actually watching the scenery roll by instead of the road.
The Japanese government has started talks on the goal of getting self-driving cars on public roads by the early 2020s.
The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism has said it's the first in the world to seriously consider robot cars for the masses, according to Nikkei Automotive News. … Read more
Among the handful of electric cars either in production for coming out this year, Honda can now boast the best fuel economy. The EPA rating for its Fit EV shows the car earning 118 MPG equivalent, beating the next runner-up Mitsubishi i-Miev's 112 MPGe and the Nissan Leaf's 99 MPGe.
The numbers break down to 132 MPGe city, 105 MPGe highway, with the 118 MPGe number being the combined rating.
Like the Segway before it, Honda's new Uni-Cub solves a problem that does not exist; it's a means for able-bodied people to rove around when they could just as well walk. Not to mention looking silly while doing it.
The Uni-Cub is the latest iteration of a personal mobility technology Honda previously showed off as the U3-X. It incorporates a pretty big gee-whiz factor with its self-balancing and multidirectional movement. The sitter (the word driver seems less appropriate) controls the Uni-Cub by shifting his or her body weight. … Read more
Among hybrids and the new generation of electric vehicles, one stalwart of the roads comes with emissions much reduced over an equivalent gas-engined car, and its domestically sourced fuel costs almost half that of gasoline. The natural-gas-powered 2012 Honda Civic makes a good argument for its own environmental responsibility.
The Civic Natural Gas checks off some important boxes on the pro side, but also suffers from some pretty serious cons. The low price of a fill-up is not only because of the cost of natural gas, but also from the fact the car's tanks can only hold 8 gasoline … Read more
A kernel of truth lies at the core of most stereotypes. Certainly mothers across the country trawl suburban streets in minivans, picking up kids from school and delivering them to various extracurricular activities, including the art of kicking a ball into a net. But the moms we know encompass a much greater variety, too much for one simple stereotype. So we considered nine other mom stereotypes, matching the cars most appropriate for them. … Read more