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Pontiac of the Month

dues70's 1970 Pontiac Bonneville

2020 July
of the Month

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Self-driving cars: who gets stuck with the highway bill?

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Volvo Drive Me autonomous car pilot project in Gothenburg, SwedenDrive north on the 101 from Palo Alto toward the San Francisco airport, in a car equipped with the most sophisticated self-driving hardware available today, and two things are sure to happen. First, at least one other driver will look over in shock as the car pilots itself for long stretches at a time. Next, as the time-worn lane stripes fade, as...

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I like the fact that this is the first article that I've read that actual recognizes the need for a support infrastructure to be in place to support autonomous vehicles. Similarly, supporting infrastructure and technology is needed to make pure electric vehicles truly viable since a vehicle that can run between 30-50 miles per charge (Bolt/Volt/Leaf) and 300 miles per charge (Tesla claims) still makes these cars impractical for cross country or long distance commuting. They need to develop rapid recharge battery technology (about the time of a gas fill up today - 10-15 minutes) and recharging stations need to be as common as filling stations are now. Everyone with an electric vehicle will have a charging station in their home too.

Further, what will this charging (both home and at the station) mean in terms of upgrading our current power grid? Guess who gets to pay for that - certainly your local utility will pass that along in terms of rate hikes or fees.

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