Designing Shared Cars

Almost 10 years ago I blogged about car sharing companies in Melbourne [1]. Since that time the use of such services appears to have slowly grown (judging by the slow growth in the reserved parking spots for such cars). This isn’t the sudden growth that public transport advocates and the operators of those companies hoped […]

Voltage Inside a Car

I previously wrote a post with some calculations about the power supplied to laptops from a car battery [1]. A comment on the post suggested that I might have made a mistake in testing the Voltage because leaving the door open (and thus the internal lights on) will cause a Voltage drop.

So I’ve done […]

Seatbelts and Transporting Computers

I’ve just read an interesting post at Making Light about seat-belts [1].

In Australia seat-belt use is mandatory, you can be fined for failing to wear one – and the police (who help clean up the mess when someone dies on the road) are apparently quite aggressive about enforcement. Even aside from the legal requirement […]

Designing Unsafe Cars

The LA Times has an interesting article about problems with Toyota and Lexus cars [1]. Basically there are problems where the cars have uncontrolled acceleration (there seems to be some dispute about whether it is due to engine management or the floor mat catching the accelerator pedal). When that happens the brakes don’t work (due […]

The Future of Electric Cars

TED published an interesting interview with Shai Agassi about electric cars [1]. One idea that I hadn’t heard before is that of moving car batteries between regions as they lose capacity. An old battery for an electric car that can only handle short journeys may be useful in a region where journeys are typically short. […]

Real-World Car Safety Tests

The car safety tests that are required for every new mass-market passenger vehicle are flawed in many ways. Here is a list of the most obvious flaws (please point out any that I’ve missed):

There has been no research to make accurate crash-test dummies to represent women and children, and I believe that there has […]

Inhaling Petrol Fumes

Tonight at 6PM the channel 7 news will have a special report about the dangers of inhaling fumes while filling cars with petrol. I’m blogging now because based on past experience I expect almost no technical content in the report and that the advert for the news show contains everything that is useful.

The advert […]

The Cost of Car Crashes

An article from 1999 suggested that car crashes caused a financial loss in OECD countries equivalent of 2% of their entire economies [1]. An article from the Sydney Morning Herald in 2001 gave a conservative estimate of the cost of a road fatality at $1.5 million [2], it also notes that due to different analysis […]

Hyperthermia and Children in Cars

Bruce Schneier writes about the risks involving children abandoned in cars and cites an article about the tragic deaths of children in hot cars [1]. One unfortunate error that he made was to not cite the following from the end of the last page of the Washington post article he cited [2]: In hyperthermia cases, […]

Used Car Prices

There is an interesting article in The Age about the effect of petrol prices on the poorer people in Melbourne [1].

The article claims that people are unable to sell large old cars and buy smaller cars. To investigate that claim I did a price search on Ford Falcons and Holden Commodores on the web […]