cars and how they get that way

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JD
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Re: cars and how they get that way

Post by JD »

Speaking of interiors and such, this article is about an interesting observation: cars are lasting longer than ever before, mechanically, but interiors are pretty much the same as ever, so they're going to have to be re-engineered to last as long as the mechanical parts.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/ca ... 211617001/
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Warren
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Re: cars and how they get that way

Post by Warren »

JD wrote:
27 Sep 2019, 13:05
Speaking of interiors and such, this article is about an interesting observation: cars are lasting longer than ever before, mechanically, but interiors are pretty much the same as ever, so they're going to have to be re-engineered to last as long as the mechanical parts.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/ca ... 211617001/
There's a lot to be said as to the driving and maintenance habits of the owner regarding auto longevity. That goes tripple (at least) for the interior. The only thing that's going to give out no matter what you do is the cushion in the driver's seat (and other seats that get used regular) everything else can be kept in good condition if you make a point of doing so.
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Ellie
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Re: cars and how they get that way

Post by Ellie »

I was in a budget planning meeting today and the campus planner went off on a brief tangent about how do you handle needing way more parking on your campus now, but knowing self-driving cars are coming down the pike (except you don't know exactly when)? It was a really interesting thing to ponder! (I'm so glad I'm not a planner.)

Edited to add: actually, now that I say that last bit, I remember that my working title is Budget Analyst but my official title actually is Budget Planner. Y'all, I might not be cut out for this job :lol: :lol: :lol:
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lunchstealer
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Re: cars and how they get that way

Post by lunchstealer »

Ellie wrote:
13 Nov 2019, 16:14
I was in a budget planning meeting today and the campus planner went off on a brief tangent about how do you handle needing way more parking on your campus now, but knowing self-driving cars are coming down the pike (except you don't know exactly when)? It was a really interesting thing to ponder! (I'm so glad I'm not a planner.)

Edited to add: actually, now that I say that last bit, I remember that my working title is Budget Analyst but my official title actually is Budget Planner. Y'all, I might not be cut out for this job :lol: :lol: :lol:
Budget planning maybe notequal physical plant planner? All you have to plan is the shifting of the money. They have to also figure out parking structures and self-driving cars.
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Highway
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Re: cars and how they get that way

Post by Highway »

Ellie wrote:
13 Nov 2019, 16:14
I was in a budget planning meeting today and the campus planner went off on a brief tangent about how do you handle needing way more parking on your campus now, but knowing self-driving cars are coming down the pike (except you don't know exactly when)? It was a really interesting thing to ponder! (I'm so glad I'm not a planner.)

Edited to add: actually, now that I say that last bit, I remember that my working title is Budget Analyst but my official title actually is Budget Planner. Y'all, I might not be cut out for this job :lol: :lol: :lol:
This sounds like one of those problems that's not a problem. Build some parking now. When you're done with building that, evaluate if you still need more parking. If the answer is "Yep, still need more parking" then you build more parking. Then repeat. When you have a point where "Hey, now we don't need more parking" then you stop building. And when you have empty parking structures and lots, you start building other buildings on the parking lots (like every college and university has been doing for the last 50 years).

If you're building parking structures now, then you leave the structures up and build on the surface lots that are left.

This is probably the "way too simplified engineer" thing, but this definitely seems like the easy direction to have the problem. It would be much harder if you think "We don't need the parking lots now, so lets build buildings on them now" and then you need the parking later.
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Re: cars and how they get that way

Post by Warren »

Highway wrote:
13 Nov 2019, 19:44
Ellie wrote:
13 Nov 2019, 16:14
I was in a budget planning meeting today and the campus planner went off on a brief tangent about how do you handle needing way more parking on your campus now, but knowing self-driving cars are coming down the pike (except you don't know exactly when)? It was a really interesting thing to ponder! (I'm so glad I'm not a planner.)

Edited to add: actually, now that I say that last bit, I remember that my working title is Budget Analyst but my official title actually is Budget Planner. Y'all, I might not be cut out for this job :lol: :lol: :lol:
This sounds like one of those problems that's not a problem. Build some parking now. When you're done with building that, evaluate if you still need more parking. If the answer is "Yep, still need more parking" then you build more parking. Then repeat. When you have a point where "Hey, now we don't need more parking" then you stop building. And when you have empty parking structures and lots, you start building other buildings on the parking lots (like every college and university has been doing for the last 50 years).

If you're building parking structures now, then you leave the structures up and build on the surface lots that are left.

This is probably the "way too simplified engineer" thing, but this definitely seems like the easy direction to have the problem. It would be much harder if you think "We don't need the parking lots now, so lets build buildings on them now" and then you need the parking later.
I'm surprised to hear you talk this way. In the first place, building a little at a time can be vastly more expensive than planning and committing to a multi-year build out. In the second place, It's pretty clear that while yes, they know they need more parking now, it's not at all clear if they'll need that parking five years from now.
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Highway
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Re: cars and how they get that way

Post by Highway »

Warren wrote:
13 Nov 2019, 21:28
Highway wrote:
13 Nov 2019, 19:44
Ellie wrote:
13 Nov 2019, 16:14
I was in a budget planning meeting today and the campus planner went off on a brief tangent about how do you handle needing way more parking on your campus now, but knowing self-driving cars are coming down the pike (except you don't know exactly when)? It was a really interesting thing to ponder! (I'm so glad I'm not a planner.)

Edited to add: actually, now that I say that last bit, I remember that my working title is Budget Analyst but my official title actually is Budget Planner. Y'all, I might not be cut out for this job :lol: :lol: :lol:
This sounds like one of those problems that's not a problem. Build some parking now. When you're done with building that, evaluate if you still need more parking. If the answer is "Yep, still need more parking" then you build more parking. Then repeat. When you have a point where "Hey, now we don't need more parking" then you stop building. And when you have empty parking structures and lots, you start building other buildings on the parking lots (like every college and university has been doing for the last 50 years).

If you're building parking structures now, then you leave the structures up and build on the surface lots that are left.

This is probably the "way too simplified engineer" thing, but this definitely seems like the easy direction to have the problem. It would be much harder if you think "We don't need the parking lots now, so lets build buildings on them now" and then you need the parking later.
I'm surprised to hear you talk this way. In the first place, building a little at a time can be vastly more expensive than planning and committing to a multi-year build out. In the second place, It's pretty clear that while yes, they know they need more parking now, it's not at all clear if they'll need that parking five years from now.
Based on the way AV development has cooled off, it's a pretty certain bet that there won't be a significant rollout of fully autonomous vehicles within 10 years (and this is certainly not my preference, I feel the sooner the better, but they need to be pretty foolproof). On top of that, Ellie's in Minnesota, which may be one of the last populated places in the US that autonomous vehicles are put in service, due to the significant bad weather conditions. Minimum level 4 would be fine in Arizona, but usable vehicles in Minnesota would need to be near level 5.

And you can have a plan, but in the world of construction, you don't get a whole lot of economy of scale with a long term plan. Everything is going to cost pretty close to "time and materials". It's not like some constructor is going to give them a package deal for a buildout in the future, and they're not going to be able to lock in prices now if something's not built now (at least not without escalators that are probably worse than the actual increase in prices will be). The places they'd save is on things like mobilization, scheduling, and borrow / waste, and that's not related to the long-term plan. That's related to "how much are we building right now."

My assumption in all of this is that the school is intending to address their parking shortage with multi-level parking structures as opposed to land acquisition and surface lots. Another assumption is that the school already has a significant amount of surface lots, and part of the plan is the conversion of some of those surface lots to structures, as cash flow allows. Further, if they get to a point where the rollout of AV and other mobility services is accelerating faster than what they planned for, they can then change the plan from converting more surface lots to multi-level parking structures, and change instead to allocating those surface lots to future school non-parking facilities.
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Andrew
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Re: cars and how they get that way

Post by Andrew »

I got to drive a friend's Miata today. Holy shit was that thing fun. Definitely not big enough for someone my height and with my leg length, but that just added to the experience.
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Re: cars and how they get that way

Post by D.A. Ridgely »

Andrew wrote:
16 Nov 2019, 22:00
I got to drive a friend's Miata today. Holy shit was that thing fun. Definitely not big enough for someone my height and with my leg length, but that just added to the experience.
I'm barely short enough, but you should try one after it's been supercharged. (No, mine hasn't yet, but I've driven one from the company that will do the work when I finally do get it done for mine.)

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Re: cars and how they get that way

Post by JD »

ShareNow, which is now the same thing as Car2Go unless I'm much mistaken, is leaving North America (and London, Brussels, and Florence). It's too bad - they were far from perfect, but it was still a useful service. Ultimately I don't know if anybody can make that model work unless there's a major change in the economics of it.
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Ellie
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Re: cars and how they get that way

Post by Ellie »

As I look for a bus that I could convert into an RV and live that sweet sweet skoolie life, most of the ones I come across are diesel engines. I am scared of diesel engines!
- unfamiliar to me
- loud
- don't start when it's cold
- expensive to fix
- everybody in Europe seems to drive diesel vehicles and I can't decide if that's a point in their favor or not

What do you think, non-hive mind? Are you a fan of diesel engines? Do you think I'm nuts? Have you never really thought about it before because you have better things to do with your time?
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Re: cars and how they get that way

Post by D.A. Ridgely »

Ellie wrote:
17 Jan 2020, 11:44
As I look for a bus that I could convert into an RV and live that sweet sweet skoolie life, most of the ones I come across are diesel engines. I am scared of diesel engines!
- unfamiliar to me
- loud
- don't start when it's cold
- expensive to fix
- everybody in Europe seems to drive diesel vehicles and I can't decide if that's a point in their favor or not

What do you think, non-hive mind? Are you a fan of diesel engines? Do you think I'm nuts? Have you never really thought about it before because you have better things to do with your time?
There was a time when Mercedes made a good diesel engine car when the price of diesel fuel was far lower than gasoline, and diesels probably make sense for some heavy duty work vehicles, but gas is cheap and every gas station has, um, gas but maybe not diesel fuel. Plus emissions issues and the other faults you mentioned. Everyone in Europe does not drive diesel cars, though they may have been more popular decades ago as they were then back in the U.S.

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JasonL
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Re: cars and how they get that way

Post by JasonL »

I understand VW turbo diesels are fuel efficient and hardly pollute at all!

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Ellie
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Re: cars and how they get that way

Post by Ellie »

Everyone on skoolie groups is super gay for diesel. Which makes sense for a full-size bus maybe, but I don't think is such a big deal on a short bus built on a van chassis. It's not like you're going to be driving it up a mountainside. But if you say you prefer gas, forty guys will come rushing in to tell you how wrong you are and how a diesel engine is more reliable with regular maintenance. Haven't you ever heard of the million mile motor? Etc.
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Re: cars and how they get that way

Post by Jasper »

JasonL wrote:
17 Jan 2020, 13:22
I understand VW turbo diesels are fuel efficient and hardly pollute at all!
I'm still angry about it. I was a big VW diesel booster.
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Re: cars and how they get that way

Post by JasonL »

Jasper wrote:
17 Jan 2020, 14:40
JasonL wrote:
17 Jan 2020, 13:22
I understand VW turbo diesels are fuel efficient and hardly pollute at all!
I'm still angry about it. I was a big VW diesel booster.
Me too.

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Re: cars and how they get that way

Post by Eric the .5b »

Ellie wrote:
17 Jan 2020, 13:44
Everyone on skoolie groups is super gay for diesel. Which makes sense for a full-size bus maybe, but I don't think is such a big deal on a short bus built on a van chassis. It's not like you're going to be driving it up a mountainside. But if you say you prefer gas, forty guys will come rushing in to tell you how wrong you are and how a diesel engine is more reliable with regular maintenance. Haven't you ever heard of the million mile motor? Etc.
I dunno, if diesel is worthwhile for pickup trucks and ambulances, I could see it also working for short-busses. IANAE, of course.

(One concern would be cold-temperature starting, of course, but I think people in the northern wastes get those heater-things?)
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JD
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Re: cars and how they get that way

Post by JD »

Reason just ran a bit on self-driving cars and George Hotz, who says he has a $1000 smartphone-based device that can turn any car into a self-driving car. Hotz may be a smart guy, but this made me say "Buh?"
Comma.ai has created an autonomous driving system that runs on a smartphone, works on most vehicles sold in America, and requires no additional hardware.
...
Mount it to your windshield, plug it into your car's OBD-II port, and Comma's OpenPilot software can take the wheel. The Comma 2 uses the phone's cameras and taps into the built-in RADAR and drive-by-wire systems contained in cars built after 2012, automatically turning the steering wheel and operating the gas and brakes.
Firstly, I am a touch skeptical that (all post-2012?) cars have radar and steering that can be controlled by the computer, but there's a lot I don't know, so I'll admit that it's possible. But what really gets me is the idea that apparently everything that you need is already built into every post-2012 car, and yet Google/Waymo/Uber/every other company working on the self-driving car is so stupid that they don't realize this. THAT stretches credibility.

Also, if you go to the link that Reason gives us, you find
The comma two does not ship preloaded with software capable of controlling your car. Open source software can be installed separately.
and, more tellingly,
comma openpilot is an open source driver-assistance system. Currently, openpilot performs the functions of Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and Automated Lane Centering (ALC) for compatible vehicles.
So it's "autonomous driving" where "driving" is defined as "cruise control and stay in your lane", i.e., the easy parts.
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Number 6
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Re: cars and how they get that way

Post by Number 6 »

One of the car mags just ran an article about that, including a road test. I'll try to find it next time I'm home.
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Re: cars and how they get that way

Post by D.A. Ridgely »

Andrew wrote:
16 Nov 2019, 22:00
I got to drive a friend's Miata today. Holy shit was that thing fun. Definitely not big enough for someone my height and with my leg length, but that just added to the experience.
And a small update. I lost a bit of legroom with the reupholstered seats. Maybe I'll get some of it back when the driver's side seat is properly broken in through use. Anyway, poking around a Miata enthusiasts' website I discovered that the left footrest (aka dead pedal) is easily removable. I just took it out and gained around 3" legroom for my left leg.* Between this hack and the judicious use of cruise control, I may just be able to drive longer distances after all!

* Minor resulting problem, the bolts through the footrest bracket holding the two hex caps are now exposed a half inch or so. However, I think it will be fairly easy to put some rubber spacers in there and find less protruding caps. The floor mat pretty much covers the exposed area, anyway, but I wouldn't want to poke holes through the mats.

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Re: cars and how they get that way

Post by D.A. Ridgely »

Another minor progress report:

First, yes, removing the footrest is an improvement. I swung by Lowes and bought largish rubber washers that should do the trick for the protruding bolts.

Better still, I've discovered that my SiriusXM phone app now works through the Miata's deck! This is, again, a plus for long distance trips and essentially a second account for free!

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Re: cars and how they get that way

Post by lunchstealer »

So basically at a shade over 6'2" with the legs of a 6'3" person, I should let the Miata dream die, right?
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D.A. Ridgely
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Re: cars and how they get that way

Post by D.A. Ridgely »

lunchstealer wrote:
25 Feb 2020, 18:35
So basically at a shade over 6'2" with the legs of a 6'3" person, I should let the Miata dream die, right?
Probably. I can't say whether later models had more leg room, but I can't imagine they'd have that much more.

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Re: cars and how they get that way

Post by Highway »

lunchstealer wrote:
25 Feb 2020, 18:35
So basically at a shade over 6'2" with the legs of a 6'3" person, I should let the Miata dream die, right?
As a 6'2" person with long legs, I found the Miata pretty darn tiny. Like looking-straight-at-the-top-of-the-windshield tiny.
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Re: cars and how they get that way

Post by Andrew »

Highway wrote:
25 Feb 2020, 22:51
lunchstealer wrote:
25 Feb 2020, 18:35
So basically at a shade over 6'2" with the legs of a 6'3" person, I should let the Miata dream die, right?
As a 6'2" person with long legs, I found the Miata pretty darn tiny. Like looking-straight-at-the-top-of-the-windshield tiny.
Yes, this. I was either leaning way over to see or having to prop myself up to see over the top.
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