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Apple Hiding Autonomous Testing In Old Military Grounds

Apple has recently been cautious about how much information is shared as they continue in the race towards autonomous driving and the no testing location isn’t any different.

Apple is looking into using a former military base northeast of San Francisco as a high-security proving ground for autonomous vehicles it is developing, according to an online report by British newspaper The Guardian.

Engineers from the technology giant’s Special Projects group have been in contact with representatives of GoMentum Station, a 2,100-acre facility on the site of what used to be the Concord Naval Weapons Station, in Concord, Calif.

Correspondence obtained by The Guardian through public records requests shows Apple is interested in using the sprawling sites, which has more than 20 miles of paved roads, city streets, railroad crossings and tunnels, to test self-driving vehicles.

Both Honda and Mercedes-Benz have been using GoMentum Station for testing their own autonomous cars.

News of Apple’s interest in the former base is the latest glimpse into Apple’s secretive autonomous-car program. The maker of iPhones and MacBooks had said little publicly about its vehicle-development efforts, but in recent months it has hired some well-known executives from automakers.

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The Dos And Don’ts When Being Pulled Over

 

 If you’re pulled over in a traffic stop, you can refuse to answer questions – but keeping mum might not convince the officer to let you off with just a warning.

Even the most careful and cautious drivers get pulled over every once in a while, do you know what to do if that happens?

“You have a legal obligation to provide three documents: your driver’s license, ownership and insurance – you don’t have an obligation to answer any questions beyond those documents,” Toronto criminal defence lawyer Reid Rusonik says. “Having said that, you’re dealing with an individual who’s armed and could be having a lousy day, so having a good attitude can be more important than your rights under the law.”

If you are polite and co-operative during a police stop for a Highway Traffic Act (HTA) violation, an officer may use his discretion and reduce the fine – or not charge you at all, Rusonik says.

“I was a young motorcyclist the first time I experienced that; the officer gave me my stuff back and said, ‘Well, you passed the attitude test, son,’” Rusonik says. “But it can be harder to pass the attitude test depending on your race – sometimes you have to show a better attitude.”

 When can police stop you?

“Police can stop a vehicle at any time to determine whether the driver has consumed drugs or alcohol, to see whether the car is mechanically fit, to check whether the driver has a valid license, or to ensure the driver has insurance,” Laura Berger, interim director of policing and public safety for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, said in an e-mail. “The police may also stop a vehicle where they suspect the driver has committed a driving offense.”

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Jeep Taken Over While Driving Down The Road

As the cars become smarter, so do the hackers, and with technology controlled vehicles, becoming more popular choice for consumers the risk of it being hacked is one that needs to be fixed.

The idea that someone could remotely take over your car and cause it to behave erratically has been talked about for several years — though typically dismissed by auto companies as an irrational fear.

But it all got real on Tuesday after Andy Greenberg, a former FORBES writer now at Wired.com, posted a chilling story about how two hackers sitting on their living room couch managed to remotely take control of the Jeep Cherokee he was driving on a busy freeway in St. Louis. The car’s air conditioner suddenly cranked up to full blast, the radio started blasting hip-hop music and the windshield wipers kicked on. Then it got really dangerous as the hackers remotely turned off the car’s engine.

It was all part of an experiment to draw attention to the cyber-security risks in today’s cars which have morphed into rolling computers. The hackers, Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, were able to exploit a weak spot in the Jeep’s Uconnect system, which links the vehicle to the Internet. It turns out as many as 471,000 Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram vehicles equipped with the 8.4-inch U-Connect touchscreen system could be vulnerable. All are made by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

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33% Of Drivers Question How Accurate Fuel Economy Really Is

Drivers have begun to worry that the mileage they were promised might not be the mileage that they get. “Your mileage may vary,” has become something of a modern-day catchall phrase for verbal waffling. It’s as perfect as any disclaimer ever to be crafted by corporate lawyers, and is indicative of the pervasive attitude that today’s cars rarely even come close to attaining their estimated fuel economy.

Public perception wasn’t helped a couple of years ago when it was found that a number of automakers, including Hyundai/Kia and Ford had – in advertently or otherwise – overstated some of their models’ fuel economy figures subsequent to an audit by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

In fact, according to a recent survey conducted by AAA in Orlando, Fla., one-third of all Americans believe their vehicles’ EPA ratings to be inaccurate as far as “real world” driving is concerned.

But is this a case of inaccurate ratings or owners driving their vehicles without regard for maximizing their mileage?

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How Accurate Is Your Car’s Mileage?

Everyday you drive to work, home and to the grocery store but how much does your car cost you to get there?

“Your mileage may vary,” has become something of a modern-day catchall phrase for verbal waffling. It’s as perfect as any disclaimer ever to be crafted by corporate lawyers, and is indicative of the pervasive attitude that today’s cars rarely even come close to attaining their estimated fuel economy.

Public perception wasn’t helped a couple of years ago when it was found that a number of automakers, including Hyundai/Kia and Ford had – in advertently or otherwise – overstated some of their models’ fuel economy figures subsequent to an audit by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

In fact, according to a recent survey conducted by AAA in Orlando, Fla., one-third of all Americans believe their vehicles’ EPA ratings to be inaccurate as far as “real world” driving is concerned.

But is this a case of inaccurate ratings or owners driving their vehicles without regard for maximizing their mileage?

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Soon A Mercedes Will Drive Itself

Drivers are ready for the exhilarating feeling of the steering wheel moving for you beneath your hands. Forget cruise control, this is the feature taking over the automotive industry.

What has so far only been shown in test situations will be available as of about March next year, when Daimler’s new model goes on sale. The technology packing the vehicle shows how quickly automated driving systems have advanced since 1998, when the Mercedes S class first featured cruise control that could adjust its speed to follow a car in front.

“Innovations in this area are coming thick and fast,” Thomas Weber, Daimler’s head of development, said in his office in Sindelfingen, near Stuttgart, Germany. “While we don’t want to feed wrong expectations such as sleeping in the car, autonomous driving is set to become a reality much more quickly than the public thinks.”

Self-driving systems are among many areas in which Mercedes is working to gain an edge on rivals Audi and BMW. Currently No. 3 in luxury-car sales, Daimler is fighting to take the lead in the segment by 2020.

It’s also testing the limits of what’s allowed under current regulations, which in most places require the driver to be in a position to control the vehicle at all times.

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California Hosts Many Top Summer Automotive Events

Looking for something different than the everyday activities throughout the summer? Car events across L.A offer the opportunity for car enthusiasts to enjoy specific events targeted towards them.

The San Marino Motor Classic celebrates its fifth year at fabulous Lacy Park in sunny San Marino, California. Over 200 classic and collectible cars spread over 34 classes will crowd the Lacy Park lawn from 9-3 Sunday. The heart of the show is the Grand Classic section courtesy of the Southern California Region Classic Car Club of America. The CCCA entries offer a sort of mini-Pebble with beautiful Duesenbergs, Packards, Lincolns and Cadillacs from the 1930s. Surrounding those are just about every kind of car you could want to see at a car show, from woodies to Corvettes and even some race cars. Last year was a great collection of classic Porsches and even a land speed racer or two.

“We’re entering our fifth year of putting on a solid car show,” says Aaron Weiss, event co-founder and co-chair. “We produce a standout spectacle not only for car enthusiasts, but for our benefiting charities.  Whether it’s pre-war, post-war, hot rods — even motorcycles—we have a great show for everyone to enjoy. ”

Top honors at the 2014 event went to a 1957 Mercedes Benz 300SL Roadster from Hjeltness Restoration, Inc. of Escondido and a 1929 Duesenberg Model J Dual Cowl Phaeton owned by John Muckel of Rancho Palos Verdes.  Advance tickets are available online for $25. VIP Spectator tickets are also available for $125, which includes a gourmet lunch, wine and beer.  Tickets the day of the event are $30.  Children 12 and under are free.  For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www. sanmarinomotorclassic.com.

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