When It Comes to Tech, Lucid Motors Seems to Have Tesla Beat

The Age of Electric Vehicles

While Tesla is the most recognized name in electric vehicles (EV), it isn’t the only one. Tesla’s pursuit of a cheaper, cleaner, and more sustainable form of transportation has a proven popularity. With this comes natural competition among electric automakers that leaves consumers and the Earth with a net positive.

Enter Lucid Motors, a California-based electric vehicle company that has developed a new electric car known as the Air. While the most affordable version of the Air is still more expensive than upcoming Model 3 at $52,500, Mashable’s Ray Wong says that the vehicle “has been billed by many as a Tesla “killer” that’s more high tech and luxurious than the Model S,” adding, “it felt more like being in a private jet or in a first-class plane cabin than in a road vehicle.” Even the former Chief Engineer on the Model S, Peter Rawlinson, agrees.

All Electric Cars: What’s My Range? [INFOGRAPHIC]
Click to View Full Infographic

Rawlinson, the current Chief Technology Officer at Lucid Motors, says that the sculpted battery on the Air provides passengers with far more space than what any Tesla vehicle is able to provide. Some features of the $100,000 fully-loaded Air include: a 1,000 horsepower all-wheel drive twin-motor, a battery that lasts 400 miles, reclining backseats, and front seats that provide a massage. The basic Air will have a 400-horsepower rear-wheel drive single motor and a battery that lasts 240 miles. All models will allow drivers to activate level 4 or 5 autonomous driving, have touchscreens instead of an instrument panel, voice assistant/AI, and facial recognition.

The Benefits of EVs

While luxury cars have led the EV charge (pun intended), more options are gradually becoming available from many other automakers so that everyone can be a part of the electric vehicle solution.

As more choices become available, consumers have the opportunity to find an EV that falls in their price range while meeting their own personal standards. All EVs today do come with certain benefits, such as home recharging, low-cost operation, reduced emissions, and a very quiet, smooth ride. The vehicles could also save the United States billions of dollars in healthcare costs. As more consumers jump on the EV bandwagon, we will see costs go down while a greener thumbprint across the globe emerges.

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Hyperloop One Just Released 11 Possible Routes for Its Futuristic Transport System

Hyperloop One is seriously considering building its high-speed transit system in several states in the United States.

The Los Angeles-based startup held a two-day event in Washington DC this week to showcase its “Vision in America.” The event served two purposes: one, to evaluate eleven US route proposals for the high-speed transit system, and two, to meet with federal regulators in Washington about getting the system up and running.

“We’re trying to position Hyperloop as one of the best candidates that there are for re-inventing infrastructure in America,” Nick Earle, Hyperloop One’s senior vice president for global operations, told Business Insider. “It’s built in America, it can be implemented in America, it’s made in America…there are a lot of reasons why it fits with the national agenda right now.”

The event shows Hyperloop One is trying to get ahead of the regulatory curve before it even proves the technology.

hyperloop one nevada rail
Hyperloop One

The startup plans to launch a public trial, which Earle refers to as the company’s “Kitty Hawk moment,” on its two-mile development track in Nevada by the end of June. But a company has yet to prove the system Tesla CEO Elon Musk outlined in a White Paper in 2013.

Earlier this year, Hyperloop One launched a global challenge to crowdsource route proposals for a Hyperloop system in the US. After receiving over 2,600 submissions, the startup selected eleven finalists to present their vision in DC.

Hyperloop One says it will ultimately select two or three routes to study further. Scroll down for a look at all the routes under consideration:

1. Hyperloop Massachussetts

1. Hyperloop Massachussetts
Hyperloop One

Led by Holly McNamara, selectman of the town of Somerset, the team proposes using a Hyperloop to connect Boston and Providence with stops at Somerset and Fall River. The Hyperloop would run for 64 miles.

The goal is to build an elevated system that shares highways and rail right-of-ways with connections to the Northeast Corridor, Amtrak’s most popular rail line that runs between Washington D.C. and Boston.

2. Team Rocky Mountain Hyperloop Consortium

2. Team Rocky Mountain Hyperloop Consortium
Hyperloop One

The team is led by John Whitcomb, a member of the Colorado Renewable Energy Society. It proposed a long, 1,152-mile route between Cheyenne, Wyoming and Houston, Texas with stops in Denver, Dallas, and Forth Worth.

3. Team Hyperloop Missouri

3. Team Hyperloop Missouri
Hyperloop One

The team is composed of Missouri’s Department of Transportation and is led by Thomas Blair, the department’s assistant district engineer, highlighting some state support for the project. The 240-mile route between Kansas and St. Louis would stop in Columbia.

4. Team Hyperloop Florida

4. Team Hyperloop Florida
Hyperloop One

The team is led by Alice Bravo, director of transportation development in Miami, highlighting similar state support to Team Missouri. The 257-mile system would transport passengers and cargo and run parallel to Highway 27 and I-4.

5. Team Hyperloop West

5. Team Hyperloop West
Hyperloop One

The team is comprised of architects, designers, and faculty members from Woodbury University and San Diego State University. The 121-mile system would transport cargo and passengers and make no stops in-between.

6. Team Hyperloop Nevada

6. Team Hyperloop Nevada
Hyperloop One

The team is led by Steve Hill, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, and includes support from the state’s Department of Transportation. The 454-mile sytem would carry freight and passengers and run along I-11.

7. Team Hyperloop Midwest

7. Team Hyperloop Midwest
Hyperloop One

The 488-mile system would carry passengers and cargo between Pittsburgh and Chicago with a stop in Columbus. The team is led by Thea Walsh, director of transportation systems and funding for mid-Ohio regional planning.

8. Team PNW Hyperloop

8. Team PNW Hyperloop
Hyperloop One

The team is led by University of Washington students and proposes first carrying cargo along the 173-mile route before including passengers.

9. Team Rocky Mountain Hyperloop

9. Team Rocky Mountain Hyperloop
Hyperloop One

Comprised of members of the Colorado Department of Transportation and engineering firm AECOM, the team boasts having partnerships with the Denver International Airport, the City of Denver, and the City of Greeley.

The first phase of the project would connect Denver International Airport to Greeley and would eventually expand into a 360-mile system.

10. Team Colorado Hyperloop

10. Team Colorado Hyperloop
Hyperloop One

This is the third route proposal to pass through Denver, Colorado. This team is lead by Blake Anneberg, a self-proclaimed tech enthusiast. The first phase of the 242-mile project would run between Denver and Colorado Springs or Denver and Fort Collins before expanding to other cities.

11. Team Hyperloop Texas

11. Team Hyperloop Texas
Hyperloop One

The team was created by engineering firm AECOM and led by Steven Duong, an AECOM urban designer. The 640-mile system would connect all the major cities in Texas and carry passengers and cargo. The route would follow I-35 and I-10.

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Mercedes-Benz Will Launch Its Self-Driving Rideshare Service in 2020

Joining the Fray

The number of potential movers and shakers in the field of autonomous taxiing seems to be ever growing. But the stiff competition may benefit the consumer and force the competitors to create the best product possible. Not only will they be competing among themselves, but also with traditional taxis and personally owned vehicles. The latest company to join in on the fun is also one of the biggest and fanciest in the world.

Image: DaimlerImage Credit: Daimler

Mercedes-Benz is teaming up with vehicle component manufacturer Bosch to fast-track a self-driving taxi service. The company is expecting to launch the service as soon as 2020, a year earlier than other companies’ plans. Ford, BMW, General Motors, and Google’s Waymo all plan to launch their services in or around 2021. Uber has already deployed self-driving cars in Pittsburgh to test their service. The vehicles are monitored by a live person and they have the ability to take over control if the need arises. The other offerings will likely roll out the same way initially.

Life-Saving Tech

Studies have shown that between 90 and 93 percent of all vehicular accidents are caused by human error. By removing the human from the equation, we could significantly reduce these incidents — theoretically, at least. There is always a lot of press surrounding any collisions or other incidents involving self-driving tech, whether they involve Tesla’s offerings or Uber’s taxis. So it is clear that self-driving vehicles will not end all accidents, but they could still potentially save thousands of lives.

The Technologies That Power Self-Driving Cars [INFOGRAPHIC]
Click to View Full Infographic

Reducing driving-related deaths would be a fantastic attribute of self-driving vehicles, but that’s not the only potential benefit. These vehicles are all run on electric power, so they are much cleaner than fossil fuel-burning, traditional vehicles. With one-third of all air pollution coming from operating gasoline-powered vehicles, mitigating their role in daily transportation will help keep us from further damaging the environment.

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Elon Musk Just Said That Tesla’s Making An Electric 18-Wheeler and Pickup Truck

Keep On Trucking

Today, Elon Musk officially confirmed that a “seriously next level” Tesla semi-truck is coming this September. He also praised the Tesla team for doing an “amazing job,” and he mentioned a convertible roadster and a pickup truck that should be to market in just 18 to 24 months.

This development is really no surprise to many, as rumors and speculations have long suggested that Tesla trucks were on the way. Still, the confirmation reveals that Musk is serious about disrupting the transportation industry.

It’s easy to see why he’d be feeling pretty proud of the Tesla team at this point. They company is now the most valuable automaker in the U.S.. But keep in mind, the comparison only goes so far, as Tesla is not just an automaker. Rather, it’s a one-stop shop for sustainable energy and innovation.

screenshot
screenshot

A New Energy Age

The work they do at the “gigafactory” goes beyond designing cars. The company is working on energy storage with the Tesla Powerwall. They are working on solar roofs with Panasonic. And this is just the beginning. As explained in their mission statement:

The gigafactory will also produce battery packs intended for use in stationary storage, helping to improve robustness of the electrical grid, reduce energy costs for businesses and residences, and provide a backup supply of power.

In short,  Musk’s vision is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy. As a result, all of Tesla’s efforts are focused on developing the company to innovate new ways to produce and use renewable energy.

To that end, Musk has identified semi trucks as a critical focal point for safety and energy, and rightly so. Heavy-duty semi trucks that are electric will reduce environmental costs while increasing safety—especially with new AI technologies on board.

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The World’s First Production-Ready Flying Car Is Finally Here

Aeromobil

SciFi visions of the future are usually defined by key technologies: lasers, time travel, and — more often than not — flying cars. Now, AeroMobil is finally bringing fiction to reality following the announcement of the world’s first flying car.

Image Credit: AeroMobil

The vehicle, a two-seater powered by hybrid propulsion, combines aero and car functionality seamlessly and will become the first commercially available flying car. Granted, the vehicle isn’t specifically designed to just be airborne, but that’s precisely what gives it better functionality. It affords users the option to drive on land or pilot the vehicle in the air.

According to their website:

By combining aero and car functionality in perfect harmony it heralds a new era in efficient and exciting travel, offering users an unparalleled choice of transport on the road or in the air. AeroMobil aims to make personal transportation vastly more efficient and environmentally friendly by allowing significantly faster door-to-door travel for medium distance trips and in areas with limited or missing road infrastructure.​

The flying car will be unveiled at the Top Marques car show in Monaco on April 20, nearly 30 years after the Slovakian company first began developing their concept. Their goal is anchored in creating personal transportation that is as efficient as it is environmentally friendly, especially in areas where infrastructure is limited.

Flying Cars

Aeromobil is not the only company working towards developing flying cars. Airbus has partnered with Italdesign in an effort to create a car-drone hybrid called Pop.Up — a driverless electronic vehicle that, like Aeromobil, can both drive on roads and fly. PAL-V is already accepting pre-orders for Liberty, a three wheeled land/air hybrid vehicle. And a company known for their jetpack technology is making huge leaps forward in flying car design and technology.

Flying Cars: A Future Buyer’s Guide [Infographic]
Click to View Full Infographic

But while it seems like the world is well on its way to bringing flying cars to reality this year, there are obvious challenges that could prove to be a barrier for adoption — regulations.

Given that these revolutionary machines can be driven on land and fly, it will likely prompt questions regarding safety standards and operational requirements, which we don’t have yet for this kind of vehicle. While most people in the U.S. today can drive and have driver’s licenses, very few will have pilot’s licenses and training, which could be a consideration, or even requirement, before anyone can own a driving/flying car hybrid.

In any case, Aeromobil assures consumers that the vehicle will be compliant with existing regulatory frameworks already in place for both cars and airplanes, which means their vehicle could actually take to the streets, and skies, very soon, and change the way we travel forever.

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Volkswagen’s First All-Electric CUV Is Fully Autonomous

Zero-Emission Lineup

Veteran automaker Volkswagen is set to roll out a new line of zero emission I.D. vehicles by 2020. One of which is a full-electric crossover with autonomous driving features. On April 12, the German car manufacturer released teasers of this concept car, which is set to rival Tesla’s Model X.

The electric crossover concept is actually the third in VW’s new I.D. lineup, following the hatchback and van concepts. “Volkswagen has set the clearly defined goal of advancing electric-drive vehicles from the status of a startup niche to large-scale production models by the middle of the next decade in a worldwide product offensive,” the company said in a statement.

The concept vehicle — a mix between a four-door coupe and a SUV— is set to debut at the Shanghai auto show next week. By pressing the VW badge in the middle of the steering wheel, the crossover shifts into autonomous driving mode, with the steering wheel automatically folding into the cockpit. The car is then maneuvered by signals coming from a combination of laser and ultrasonic scanners, radar sensors, and cameras working in tandem.

Image credit: Volkswagen
Image credit: Volkswagen

The Autonomous Future

VW’s goal is to sell 1 million EVs every year by 2025. While that number might seem huge, it’s a testament to how VW sees autonomous EVs as the future of personal transport — and they’re not the only one.

Apart from Tesla — who’s arguably the world’s leading EV and self-driving car producer — several other companies have been working on their own autonomous concepts. There’s Volvo working with Uber and Google’s self-driving vehicle Waymo. Even luxury car designers like Porsche have self-driving concepts. Another notable entry is Faraday Future’s FF 91, which is moving closer to commercial release.

The appeal of self-driving cars isn’t just in their futuristic factor: they’re also expected to save lives. By taking human error out of the equation behind the wheel, that could work out to be roughly 40,000 in the U.S. alone. Even better, many of the autonomous car concepts are also EVs — so it’s not just human lives they’re saving, but the environment, too.

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This is the Stunning Electric Car Porsche is Creating to Oust Tesla

Car Wars

With each new development, it’s becoming clear that electric vehicles are the future of personal transport. Gasoline-fueled cars are a major burden on the environment. One third of all air pollution in the United States comes from vehicles. Not only does this contribute to climate change, but also puts everyone’s health at risk as we end up breathing in these emissions.

More manufacturers are adding electric cars to their lineups. Even the fanciest of automakers are putting their hat in the ring to get carve out a piece of that market. Porsche is planning on rolling out its Mission E electric cars by 2020. The company has already unveiled the model as a concept car at last year’s International Motor Show in Frankfurt. The concept car was a sleek, attractive, four-door sedan. The company plans to offer wireless software updates just like Tesla.

The new car will undoubtedly feature some high-tech bells and whistles. Porsche has not officially confirmed the full spectrum of what will be available with the production model of the car, but we do at least have an idea of where they might be headed.

Inductive Charging

Porsche
Porsche

Inductive charging is a relatively new technology that’s, so far, only widely been integrated into portable technology like cell phones and smart watches. It is quickly becoming more popular in future designs for electric vehicles thanks to the implications of creating parking spots that feature charging pads.

Quick Charging

Porsche
Porsche

Range anxiety is a common concern among electric vehicle consumers. No one wants to get stranded in the middle of a long trip with the nearest charging opportunity potentially miles away. Porsche is hoping to assuage that fear by offering an 800v charging system that will allow a range of 402 km (250 miles) with just 15 minutes of charge time. A fully charged Mission E could drive up to 498 km (310 miles), leaving Tesla’s Model 3’s 473 km (294 miles) in the dust.

No More Mirrors


Porsche

Porsche is also making a huge switch that may even rival the change that Apple made to its phones by removing the headphone jack. Instead of the traditional exterior mirrors, the vehicles will be equipped with cameras that display the world around the vehicle in the lower corner of the windshield. Other cameras in the vehicle will track the driver’s eyes to help control the dashboard menu.

The future of electric vehicles is as clear as it is necessary. Combating climate change is of the utmost importance to the continued health of our planet. However, as each new model is unveiled exactly what that future will look like is only limited by the imagination and innovation it can spark.

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Tesla Challenger Faraday Future Just Showed off Its Flagship Electric Vehicle

An Actual First Look

Three months after its unveiling at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Faraday Future’s concept autonomous electric vehicle finally made an encore appearance this weekend. A beta version of the FF 91, the flagship vehicle from the California-based startup, was spotted by Motorworld Hype at a car show in Long Beach.

Faraday Future has been accepting reservations for the FF 91 since January, with the first 300 orders eligible for an exclusive launch upgrade called the Alliance Edition, though no word yet on what that would entail.

A Formidable Foe

With the FF 91, Faraday Future seems to be hoping to emerge as a serious challenger to Tesla in the electric and autonomous vehicle markets. The company has even built its own megafactory right in Tesla’s backyard. The FF 91 does, though, warrant attention as its own entity. Not only is it a rather beautiful electric vehicle (EV) with autonomous capabilities, the FF 91 packs its own hefty punches in terms of specs.

All Electric Cars: What’s My Range? [INFOGRAPHIC]
Click to View Full Infographic

The FF 91 was designed and built following Faraday Future’s so-called Variable Platform Architecture (VPA)According to the company, the vehicle’s 130 kWh battery is “the world’s highest energy density battery,” and it delivers an estimated range of 378 miles on the EPA cycle and over 700 km on the NEDC cycle. The FF 91 runs on a 1,050 horsepower electric propulsion system capable of zooming from zero to 96 kmh (zero to 60 mph) in just 2.39 seconds. (For its part, Tesla seems to have acknowledged the rather stealthy Faraday Future by topping that acceleration rate almost as soon as the new vehicle was unveiled and before it actually hit production.)

The FF 91 is impressive as an autonomous vehicle, too. It’s set to be the first vehicle to “feature retractable 3D lidar […], part of a complex sensor system including 10 high definition cameras, 13 long and short range radars, and 12 ultrasonic sensors.” It’s topped with more sensors than any of its counterparts.

Clearly, the FF 91 is a formidable foe for both EVs and self-driving cars. All that’s left now is for Faraday Future to actually roll it out. Hopefully, that future event isn’t too far away.

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