Category Archives: cars

Blindspots/Known Unknowns – Electric vehicles catch aflame during Ian aftermath

Saltwater flooding in the state’s coastal areas caused the lithium ion batteries in electric vehicles to combust, catching fire. Firefighters near Naples had to put out six blazes related to the vehicles in the days following Ian’s landfall.

Eric Wachsman, director of Maryland’s Energy Institute, stated that the qualities of lithium ion battery cells that allow them to move a passenger vehicle also make these cells vulnerable to ignition, due to the cells having closely placed electrodes that are filled with a flammable liquid electrolyte.

Does Dalle think it makes more sense that men should drive than women?

Here is a quick study into the narrative tropes within AI and some interesting work for semiotics. Apparently, #Dalle thinks it makes more sense that men should drive than women. In a simple experiment using an image of my daughter taking me for a drive to generate variations (the last image in this series) – in all instances, #Dalle switched the man to the driver’s seat. Even imparting imagined active gestures for the male and passive gestures for the female in the image. #ai #bias #tropes #gesture #semiotics

How car culture colonised our thinking – and our language

We say this because we’ve become accustomed to thinking about the street in “traffic logic”. For centuries, streets used to be a place with a multiplicity of purposes: talk, trade, play, work and moving around. It’s only in the past century that it has become a space for traffic to drive through as quickly and efficiently as possible. This idea is so pervasive that it has colonised our thinking.

Why are roads you can’t live next to, cycle on, or walk along called main roads? Why do we speak of “segregated” or “separate” cycle paths, when it’s actually motorists who’ve been given a separate space of their own? The language of traffic instils a “windscreen view” of the world, as the Belgian mobility expert Kris Peeters wrote a good 20 years ago.

California’s new emissions rule speeds up the future of cars

What makes this such a big deal — aside from the fact that if California were a country, it would be the 10th-largest automobile market in the world — is that 15 other states follow the zero-emissions standards set in Sacramento. If they sign on to this mandate, too, the rule would cover more than one-third of all new vehicles sold in the country, essentially giving California the power to set emissions policy for the whole nation.

Penn Station Plan Makes a High-Stakes Bet on the Future of Office Work

Financial analysts have warned that a permanent change in office-building use could profoundly affect cities like New York, leading to a decline in the value of those properties and the property taxes collected. According to the security company Kastle Systems, which tracks employee card swipes in office buildings, just 37 percent of workers in the city went into the office during the third week of August.

Yet the Penn Station development would be even bigger than the build out of Hudson Yards and include a similar mix of retail, residential and hotel space — as well as lots of offices. At 33 acres, it would surpass the size of Rockefeller Center, the last comparable development in Midtown, completed 80 years ago.

What should a nine-thousand-pound electric vehicle sound like?

The electrification of mobility presents humanity with a rare opportunity to reimagine the way cities might sound. Electric motorcycles, cars, trucks, and vans are legally mandated to replace all internal-combustion-engine (I.C.E.) vehicles in New York, L.A., and other cities by mid-century—a shift that will profoundly alter the acoustic texture of urban life. The internal-combustion engine, in addition to being the single largest source of CO2 emissions, is the leading cause of global noise pollution, which studies have shown to have a similarly corrosive effect on human health. When moving at higher speeds, electric vehicles, or E.V.s, produce roughly the same wind and road noise that I.C.E. vehicles do, but at lower speeds they operate in near-silence: electricity flows from the battery to the motor, which spins with a barely audible hum. Therein lie the promise and the peril of E.V.s for city dwellers.