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Category: Automotive

Snow socks are better than chains

Snow socks are better than chains

I am definitely sold on snow socks. Just like him, I couldn’t believe they were as good as chains. It seems so counter-intuitive. Yet, in some cases (like stopping distance), they are even better than chains. Snow socks are slightly easier to put on than chains too.

What’s nice about snow socks is that you can use them on bare pavement – unlike chains that often quickly get destroyed unless driving really slow. With socks, you can drive on bare pavement for a while until you find a safer spot to pull over to take them off.

I also found they were astounding on ice as well. The first time I used them, I was on a stretch of road that looked like glass. It was so slick I could barely stand on it when I got out of the car. I put the socks on, and drove without a single problem. Amazing. I will probably never go back to chains.

His video does a great job of comparing the two in actual conditions. His conditions were lots of fresh snow, but I can confirm on hard-packed roads and/or straight ice, they work just as exceptionally.

The only downside of socks is that they can get little holes if you drive on a lot of rocks or dry pavement for too long. However, in several years of occasional use, they are very small and do not affect the performance. Personally, I found chains only lasted about 2-3 seasons anyway – and socks cost just about the same; so I don’t see this as a big deal. If they get too shredded, I’ll just buy a new set.

Quantum Computer solves 3,854 variable BMW sensor placement problem in 6 minutes

Quantum Computer solves 3,854 variable BMW sensor placement problem in 6 minutes

Quantum Computing Inc used their new Entropy Quantum Computing (EQC) quantum based hardware solution to solve BMW’s 2022 Vehicle Sensor Placement Challenge (VSPC) in just 6 minutes. It marks a new high water mark in the ability of quantum computers to solve real-world problems.

The 2021 BMW Group and Amazon Web Services (AWS) Quantum Computing Challenge included a Vehicle Sensor Placement use case that challenged participants to find optimal configurations of sensors for a given vehicle that would provide maximum coverage (i.e. detect obstacles in different driving scenarios) at minimum cost.

The problem consisted of 3,854 variables and over 500 constraints. Placing sensors in vehicles – and especially autonomous vehicles – is an incredible challenge. A multitude of variables have to be taken into account – variables such as chassis design (which has implications on vehicle security), absence of obstruction (different placements offer different fields of view or allow for lower error possibility), wind resistance and weight balancing to name a few.

Although QCI placed as a 2021 finalist, its 2022 acquisition of quantum photonics systems company QPhoton provided a powerful suite of new quantum hardware technologies, including EQC. As a result, QCI today presented BMW with a 2022 solution: a superior sensor configuration consisting of 15 sensors yielding 96% coverage using QCI’s quantum hardware and software system.

Links:

Cars like the Subaru Crosstrek

Cars like the Subaru Crosstrek

I like my little Subaru Crosstrek. It’s the right amount of offroad utility and daily driver. I’ve taken it up to the mountains to go snowboarding, through rough forest roads and trails, as well as use it as my daily driver. My only grips are that it lacks in storage space and is pretty underpowered. The later is a fair tradeoff considering the MPG I get from it.

But I was surprised to learn how many other car makers are now trying to capture that same form factor. Enter cars like Nissan Kicks, Mazda CX-30, Honda HR-V, and others. Unfortunately, it looks like a fair number of them aren’t really good for off-road use. I guess I’ll stick with my affordable Crosstrek for now, but good to know there are other options. I hope they get better and give Subaru a run for their money.

Blackbird

Blackbird

The Mill created The BLACKBIRD, the world’s first fully adjustable car rig, that allows movies to film and insert any CG car. The Blackbird’s frame can adjust to mimic the dimensions and driving characteristics of any real car chassis. It captures accurate reflection and environmental reflection data while filming to allow the virtual re-skinning of almost any car in CG over the original modular frame.

80’s Miami Vice filming locations

80’s Miami Vice filming locations

I love visiting where my favorite movies and TV shows were filmed. This guy has put together the most comprehensive and detailed shooting locations website I’ve ever seen. In this case, it’s for every location in the long running 1980’s hit Miami Vice.

This page discusses one of the most famous scenes in all of TV history – the drive to a deal in Heart of Darkness episode. He breaks down where every single cut was taken – even to the point of confirming locations based off the reflections off the car.

Mercedes AVTR

Mercedes AVTR

Lots and lots of interesting innovations coming to a car near you.

Interesting concept car from Mercedes.

Or this new Rolls-Royce concept car:

Or maybe the BMW Vision Next 100 with sealed wheel wells that morph and shift as you steer.

Audi Skysphere

There’s also some more whimsical and interesting stuff coming from mini that incorporates more of the idea of a lounge space:

Or uses side panel lighting effects to highlight interaction with the car:

Or give a look at this list of other equally interesting recent concept cars.

Crosstrek maintenance schedule

Crosstrek maintenance schedule

Oil change places and shady mechanics are all over in the industry. Oil change places especially LOVE to scare and upsell people on services they do not need. All one has to do is look in their manual to find out they’re being peddled services that are often unnecessary. The NTSB and various manufacturers even issued warnings that these services often damage your vehicle.

Honestly, this info is all over in the manual, but it was great to find this info in one place.