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by Don

Today I was having a chat with my neighbor. He is 80 or so and we were talking about his like of an SUV, but he now drives a sedan in light of gas prices. He had a lot of reasons to drive the SUV that wouldn’t be what you might think, like he had trouble bending to get things in and out of his trunk. Today I happened to be there so I put his cooler in his trunk for him, but he likes to be self sufficient and he is unlikely to call me over just to help. When he gets to his destination, he will have to remove it himself. We discussed alternative fuels (actually you can already get an electric hybrid like a Prius) and whether the big automakers already have technology like this at hand that they are sitting on (a theory I have heard for years).

His take:
1. They don’t have such a technology available and affordable yet or they would be seeking to capitalize on it.
2. They will come up with such a technology, but probably not in his lifetime.
3. Current means of saving (like a Prius) involve very small vehicles which are not desirable to many because of perceived safety issues and small container size that can be uncomfortable or unsuitable if you have cargo or passengers.

I pushed him on his lifetime assessment and pointed out revolutionary things like the Segway (ibot wheelchair and Segway personal transport). He discussed the advance of the cordless (now often cellular) phone in his son’s lifetime and said perhaps progress could come still in his lifetime (perhaps 20 or so years I expect given his health and energy). It will be fun to watch.

One Response to “Technology in Automobiles”

  1. Franki Says:

    The engineering department of the University at which I work is building a hybrid Hydrogen/solar car at the moment, it looks very cool.

    I’m not sure any of the current methods are the answer really. Hydrogen requires more energy to create that it releases, meaning you are not solving the crisis, you’re just moving it. Solar isn’t effective on its own because people will want the same sort of performance and convenience they have now.

    Sigh, if only utilizing vacuum energy was a reality.

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  Time  in  Don's  part  of the world is:   January 19, 2019, 7:48 pm
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