April 10, 2020

Back To the Future, Part I

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Back to the Future, part whatever.  Do you remember back to the 50s and/or 60s, reading about the future of the automobile, especially in Popular Mechanics? According to the predictions the driver’s only function would be to get the family car from the driveway to the main street, then sensors imbedded in the highway would take over allowing the driver to shave, take a shower, play cards with the passengers, or whatever else the driver fancied requiring no attention to the actual driving (not that that is much different from today).

The car, and road, of the future would keep the proper speed and interval between other cars; keep it between the white lines allowing a safe arrival at the destination. What was left out, however, was how the car knew when to get off the highway. All heady stuff when predicted  50-60 years ago with existing, or foreseeable technology.

Well, except for the slot car sensors in the roadway, we are rapidly meeting the predictions.Autonomous vehicles, also known as connected cars, or, the more popular “driverless cars” operating with minimal driver input are rapidly becoming a reality. Prototype driverless cars are being tested on private roads even as you read this.

Cars already have a type of radar which prevents (hopefully) one car from getting too close to another by reducing throttle and even applying brakes automatically.
Another type of radar prevents your car from wandering into another lane sideswiping a car, or even pulling into the lane too closely to the following car. Another type of radar prevents backing into, or over, objects behind the car.

Our famous GPS features guide us to our destination, even when we haven’t been there before. Feeling drowsy? Sensors detect the head nodding or lack of eye movement and can wake you up while they slow the car down. And, if there is a major problem, on board sensors and satellites get us help.

Check here next more for more on this…

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Our shop is one of 55 ASA-AZ shops that are listed as “Green” by Arizona Department of  Environmental Quality. We control our waste stream; we re-claim and re-cycle antifreeze, waste oil, refrigerant, plastics, paper, and most metals. Our floors are not washed into the sewer system, and we control our drain water quality through the use of hydro-carbon socks. We have installed low energy fluorescent lighting and use low energy computer systems. Our outdoor lighting, for night time security, is low density and meets dark sky recommendations. Additionally, we purchase products in bulk (eliminating plastic bottles) wherever practical. Our chemicals are chlorine free. Being green is not always cheap, or easy- but it is the right thing to do, and good for Sedona.

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