Posts Tagged ‘gm’

Assembly Line Production of Self Driving Cars is Here: A Brand-New Bolt, One of 130 – Hayes Valley Meets Uncanny Valley

Thursday, October 19th, 2017

Look what I saw coming out of Hayes Valley – it’s VEHT2079, a brand-new self-driving Chevy Bolt all the way from Orion Township, MI. It’s different. Notice the white thingamajigs above the front wheels:

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At first I thought it could have been a Project Titan from Apple, but no. It’s just an updated version of what we’ve seen for a while now.

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Of course that’s the human minder in the driver’s seat, but is that the robot in the passenger seat? Let’s ENHANCE:

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I’ll think of him as Frisco’s Star Trek Data, or Johnny Cab 2017, but you make the call, Gentle Reader

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Off they go, a boy and his robot:

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But not without a few Grove Street hassles. I mean, that’s what GM is doing here, a kind of driving torture test, right?

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And all this is just one block away from the Hayes Street block where Anthony Levandowski’s long-forgotten self-driving Pri-Bot used to get parked, right?

The Future is Now…

Code Name ALBATROSS: Self-Driving Chevrolet Bolt Seen Emerging from Lair – It’s Still Turning Heads

Thursday, April 20th, 2017

But this process took a while as traffic on 11th is getting backed up quite a bit these days during rush hour due to, IDK, the recent city-mandated loss of lanes on nearby Van Ness? That’s my guess.

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Anyway, if 11th is filled with idled cars and peds are walking by, this exit is a good test for a self-driving car:

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The Bolt seemed timid, but that’s how it’s supposed to behave I suppose. Good luck, New GM

Hot Wheels Car IRL – Monochromatic Never Looked So Monochromatic

Friday, January 13th, 2017

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They Call Me MISTER Platypus! – My White Whale Spotted, Again

Friday, September 2nd, 2016

This is the closest I’ve gotten to this now-famous ride:

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“PLATYPUS” – go figure. I don’t think Old GM had a platypus car…

Note to the NFL: If You Go Too Far with Corporate Sponsorships in San Francisco, You’re Going to Get Blowback – Sorry – Here’s an Example

Friday, January 15th, 2016

I don’t know who would pay a bunch of money for some advertising sculpture and then leave it out on a Western Addition sidewalk overnight, but it’s got to be somebody with a high tolerance for vandalism.

What our Local Host Committee might not have told you, NFL, is that Things Are Different Here, say compared with Atlanta, New Orleans, Orlando and all those other places filled with people who actually want you to come visit every seven years.

Sorry.

To make my point, let’s head on over to the Golden Gate Park Panhandle to check out this plaque celebrating General Motors (GM, actually Old GM, the one we had before the big bankruptcy):

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You see, back in the 1990’s, GM just gave us the low six figures it took to put in the beloved Panhandle Playground and all it asked in return was this wooden plaque. It’s says “WELCOME TO KID’S KINGDOM – DONATED BY YOUR LOCAL SATURN* DEALER.” Or at least it used to say that. But the corporate part got chiseled away, by angry hippies.

Sorry, GM.

Do you really want to come back to SF to hosts your parties  for Super Bowl 57 or SBLXII or whatever? I don’t think you do, NFL.

Hey, what about LA as your Permanent West Coast Venue?

Just asking…

*A kind of car at the time. The branding had an Apple-ish kid of appeal, at the time. Ironically, SF never even had a local Saturn dealer, but a local ad agency did the branding so we ended up with a free playground.

How Tesla CEO Elon Musk is WRONG WRONG WRONG About How the Fremont Assembly Plant Has Been in Operation for “Over 60 Years”

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

Here’s the background:

How Elon Musk Hustled $1.4 Billion Out Of Nevada For Gigafactory

Now here’s Musk’s defense of the Nevada Gigglefactory battery tax incentive deal.

Which you can swallow or not, but I have a beef with this part in particular:

“However, the 20 year mark is simply when the last of the incentives expires. The Gigafactory itself will continue contributing economically to Nevada for much longer. Our automotive plant in California has been in operation for over 60 years with no foreseeable end in sight.”

Well, first of all, there’s nothing to stop Tesla or its successor from threatening to move away unless it receives another massive subsidy from the people of Nevada, right? So that’s just wrong.

But, more importantly, what’s up with this “over 60 years” thing? Let’s take a look.

Fremont Assembly began operations in 1963, right? 2014 minus 1963 = 51 years, right? 51 years is less than “over  60 years,” right?

And that doesn’t mean that this place was “in operation,” all that time, right?

And actually, it didn’t make sense to have such a big old GM factory in the Bay Area so it shut down in 1982. Let’s get some more deets:

“Operated as GM plant from 1963 to 1982, then became the site of NUMMI, GM’s joint venture with Toyota and the only major auto assembly plant remaining in California. Closed April 1, 2010, partially reopening as the Tesla Factory, an automobile assembly plant for Tesla Motors”

So Fremont Assembly was massively downsized when Toyota was coerced into starting up NUMMI, which lasted just 16 years.

Then NUMMI got massively downsized and now what’s left has been a Tesla factory for a couple years.

Now you might think that that’s good or bad, but this record sure doesn’t match what Elon Musk has to say.

END OF LINE

Wow: High Voltage Hummer, San Mateo County

Friday, October 17th, 2014

And yet, this rig is prolly running at around 14 volts, same as everyone else.

Arresting:

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The Exact Wrong Way to Build a 15-Passenger Van – What GM Did Right and What Ford and Chrysler Did Wrong

Friday, June 27th, 2014

Here’s an old Chrysler van. Can you see the rear extension they simply tacked on to the end of the thing? See how they left the wheels in the same place as on the shorter 12-passenger version?

Bad form – a half-assed design on the cheap:

Check it:

The Ford design was to lengthen the body over the same frame as smaller vehicles. GM  increased the wheelbase. Safety experts feel the GM approach is the safer design.

And:

Passenger vans (Econoline Wagons/Club Wagons) could seat between two and 12 passengers, depending on the number of seats installed; standard-length wagons typically held two bench seats behind the driver. In 1978, a 15-passenger “Super Wagon” was introduced on the same wheelbase as the standard-length van, using a body extension added to the rear of the vehicle.

At the very least, you should load up people from the front on these rigs.

At the very least…

Blue Car, Green License Plate: The 1954 Vermont Chevies of the Western Addition

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

I’m saying 1953, just a guess:

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OMG, the Cadillac Version of the Chevy Volt, the 2014 XLR is Pricey! $76k for a Plug-In Hybrid?

Monday, October 14th, 2013

Here it is, the amazingly-expensive 2014 Cadillac XLR, for just(!) $75999:

(Note absurdly-large 20-inch wheels, you know, for “luxury.”)

Sometimes I just don’t know…