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Friday
Jul102015

Vroom Room

Good Morning,

HorsesIts Friday, its the Dog Days of Summer, its the Vroom Room. Enjoy the cappuccino and biscotti join the conversation, leave a comment.

You have to wonder if the Canadian economy is really "tanking" as the mainstream media would like us to believe. In the meantime our dollar persists on a downward spiral.

Did we forget all the media noise about China and the debt in Greece?

You know the saying...we always learn something new. It was informative last week to drive on the 401 with a conventional cruise control, and compare it to our drive with an adaptive cruise control. If you missed it just scroll down.

Don't you love it, reading that there is a pondering here, a mulling there, a possible somewhere else, and so on and on. Yes...you have to be your own editor.

Canadian Sales:

A record breaking first half of the year...what else can you say...spectacular, impressive. Are we destined to drive around in a "square" utility vehicle of one make or another? What do you think?

Behind the scenes at the Goodwood Festival of Speed...impressive photo gallery.

 

 

 

Thursday
Jul092015

Dodge Predators

Totally cool commercial with a strong tinge of horsepower "nostalgia" from back in the day...

 

 

Tuesday
Jul072015

Driverless Vehicles - 1

We are not fixated on driverless cars, but having the opportunity to travel on the same road with an old school cruise control is a unique way to make intellectual comparisons.

Two weeks and a few days after going down the 401 with an adaptive cruise control, we have done the same road trip with an old school cruise control. One experience being fresh in the memory bank, its almost instinctive to make comparisons.

Here is the deal

  • From our perspective with an adaptive or old school cruise control obvious that you need to be more aware with the old school cruise control.
  • At one point a straight truck as we were starting to pass started moving into our lane, brake to scrub off speed, honk the horn, and finally the truck gets back in its lane. Good chance the driver of the truck dozed off momentarily. You have to wonder if an adaptive cruise control would have caught the truck moving over?
  • At another point a small car without checking its rear view mirrors abruptly pulls into our lane to pass a truck. We scrub off speed which an adaptive cruise control would have done. What do you do after a vehicle almost jumps in front of you to pass a semi. The "monitored" adaptive cruise control is now being controlled by the vehicle that jumped in its lane. The old school "driven" cruise control would probably make sure that the car that jumped in front got a clear message.

With a monitored car (adaptive cruise control)

  • Easier to let the vehicle deal with the traffic bubble around it.
  • Some sort of reassurance that you will not rear end anyone.
  • Not as easy to create passing opportunities when there is lane congestion.

With a driven car (old school cruise control)

  • Much easier to pass since the driver controls the distance not the technology.
  • A higher sense of control than being controlled by the envelope around the vehicle.
  • Easier to create passing opportunities when the lanes are congested. 

These drives are usually uneventful which is the ideal monitored car mode, when events out of your control do happen, its almost instant. Still wondering if the technology in a monitored car would have caught the truck changing lanes with the car in the next lane?

We could entertain an interesting discussion, and perhaps even lenghty. It struck us doing the same travel on the same road we should share our thoughts and observations.

 

Monday
Jul062015

Bentley Bentayga

A bit of snow in July...

 

Saturday
Jul042015

Excalibur RS

Go for a walk around and a ride with Jay Leno...

 

 

 

 

Friday
Jul032015

Vroom Room

Good Morning,

Its Friday, its the Vroom Room come in make yourself comfortable, enjoy the cappuccino and biscotti join the conversation.

We are officially in the Strada Dog Days of Summer, and encourage you to do the same.

Especially if you turned Canada Day into a long week end.

Did you know that Riviere Du Loup was a Dog Days of Summer hub several generations ago?

Is gridlock the appropriate name for traffic and congestion that is not moving fast, or going anywhere in a hurry. These past few days in the GTA its been a case of not going anywhere fast especially with folks taking a few days off to enjoy a long Canada Day week end.

There are moments when everything moves and flows, and other moments when its just snarled up.

The other day we had an opportunity to look at a Camaro Z28 up close in a showroom. It was black on black which for some reason does not work on the car. The thought flashes "Who would buy such a car?"...its barely streetable with those tires. Did we forget to mention 80K for a Camaro.

On a track it must be a ton of fun...and 80K might start looking like good value and a deal. But static in a showroom black on black...not so much.

Reminds you of the convertible on the used car lot in July..."its summer it will sell".

The other day we needed to convert a VGA outlet to HDMI which is the new VGA sort of thing. Here is the deal, you can get a VGA to HDMI converter which will not plug into your VGA outlet, you can get an HDMI coupler just in case, as well as an HDMI cable. 

You sort of make all of this work, or think its going to work.

From a mechanical perspective its like having a 1/4 inch drive connected to a 1/2 drive ratchet, connected to a 10 cm extension then an adapter to 1/4 inch 20 cm extension. If it sounds like its all going to fly apart the moment you apply some force...we would agree.

With the VGA to HDMI it becomes a case of "no signal" at a most innoprtune time. Which reinforces that "if it looks a little flimsy connecting all sorts of stuff together...don't think you have the final solution...it might just turn into a "no signal".

 

Thursday
Jul022015

Alfa Romeo Giulia

Whenever it becomes a reality in North America, its a car that oozes character and emotion.

Alfa Romeo decades ago had a "trap door" pick up in the oil pan of its 4 cylinder engine which oozed high performance back in the day.

 

 

 

Wednesday
Jul012015

Canada Day

Have a great day with your family and friends...

 

 

Tuesday
Jun302015

Driverless Vehicles

At times you get moments where all the pieces fit. Last week we got such a moment that spurred our thought process further regarding driverless vehicles.

Having spent several hours in a 2015 Suburban on the 401 on adaptive cruise control, and some time in GTA traffic too. Especially on the 401 the thought of driverless vehicles crosses your mind on numerous occasions.

From an auto industry perspective we are inching much closer to actually having driverless vehicles on roads in the not too distant future. The technology is there to keep a vehicle going straight or even negotiate curves at a constant speed on highways without actual driver input.

Agreed...in Canada we have winters which can affect the technology. Lets overlook winters for a moment.

In all "driverless" discussion the variables of vehicle, driver, insurance, liabilities are often overlooked. As well as the choices made by the technology. Its a very real though who is responsible, the driver or the technology. In addition to the "ethics" of the choices the technology will make. Lets look at a simple case "A driverless vehicle rear ends the vehicle in front while the driver is slightly distracted texting, or checking e-mails." Who is responsible the driver, the technology, the vehicle manufacturer? You can see where this is going, but lets put it aside for a moment.

From a human perspective, driving (monitoring) a vehicle that drives itself is more auspicious to distractions especially on highways. Imagine in commuter congestion the distractions might be even higher. The driver is monitoring the vehicle that is driving itself...think about this for a moment. The "monitor" needs full trust in the technology, needs to be aware at all times, and needs to know exactly how the technology behaves in their vehicle. How many folks have an understanding of ABS brakes and what to do (ABS has been around for 30 years). The same for traction control, stability programs...

Its unsettling to be driving, having a vehicle invade the selected space for the adaptive cruise control, and trust the technology to apply the brakes and scrub off the speed of the vehicle. There is a definite learning curve in monitoring a "driverless vehicle". You can just see folks, and manufacturers offering driverless courses..."How to monitor your driverless vehicle".

Consider that driverless vehicles follow a consistent, disciplined, driving plan. Can you say the same of the envelope of other vehicles around a driverless vehicle? How do "monitored" (driverless) vehicles interface with "driven" vehicles that are less disciplined? From our perspective surprising well, although because its disciplined the "monitored" vehicle is at a constant disadvantage.

When the adaptive cruise control is set at xxx kph, and for whatever reason the vehicle has scrubbed off appreciable speed lets say close to 50%. You can sense in the vehicle that all the systems are ready to regain the set xxx speed as soon as possible. If the distance is set at 5 lenghts as an example, if 6 lengths become available the vehicle will immediately down shift and aggressively accelerate to reacquire the set speed. In real life someone will cut in to the space (in commuter traffic) the vehicle your monitoring down shifted 2 gears now the 5 lengths just became 3.5 your monitored vehicle applies the brakes to scrub off speed and maintain the 5 lengths. Your monitored vehicle just went from almost flat out, to braking, and now controlled by the driven vehicle in front of you.

From our perspective the technology for driverless vehicles is almost there. Its impressive how these vehicles drive themselves in a smooth seamless fashion especially on the highway. Once you understand how the technology behaves. Its actually more relaxing to monitor than drive.

The challenge is the "driven" vehicle envelope around a "monitored" vehicle.

What do you think?

 

Saturday
Jun272015

1941 Willys Coupe

Informative walk around of a 1941 Willys with Jay Leno a drive in rain, slicks, no wipers, and a flat tire.