Honestly I had wondered about this. Slate: My Car Is My YouTube Studio. “YouTube is host to countless microgenres, and automobile interiors pop up in a great many of them. The meanings that cars take on shift from video to video, of course, but we can spot a few constants, whether it’s in a review of a Taco Bell item or a pukey-cutesy couple monetizing their pukey cutesiness with wholesome duets. It’s not hard to see why we find so many car interiors on YouTube. Vloggers, many of whom mount a camera on the dashboard, get to enjoy a kind of makeshift studio in a car cabin: a background noise–free environs and a built-in proscenium made of the car frame. Based on what we can see through their windows, some vloggers drive while recording; others don’t. Many of the cabins are scrupulously (and unrealistically) uncluttered. The result is intimate, but not too intimate.”
Times of India: Now, an app to record, bring down roadkill. “A large number of animals are killed each year along roads and railway lines crisscrossing reserve forests in the country, but the exact number of lives lost is not recorded. Wildlife Conservation Trust (WCT), an NGO working for tiger conservation, recently launched a citizen science initiative…. The idea is to collect data on mortality of wild animals on roads, irrigation canals or railway lines so that targeted mitigation measures can be undertaken in these areas, and wildlife conservation and planned development can go hand-in-hand.”
Before I link to this I must tell you I had to look up homologation. Wikipedia helped me out. “In motorsports, homologation is the approval process through which a vehicle, a race track, or a standardised part is required to go for certification to race in a given league or series.” Okay? Now, new-to-me, from Road & Track: Be Prepared to Spend Hours Looking at Old FIA Homologation Documents. “To get a road car homologated for FIA-sanctioned motorsports events, automakers have to submit all sorts of forms detailing everything about the car in question. And interestingly, we just discovered that many of those documents produced between 1956 and 2007 are up for viewing on the FIA’s website. This is pretty much heaven for race-car nerds with lots of time on their hands.” Oh, and FIA? That’s the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile.
NZ Stuff: Scientists can now figure out neighbourhood demographics using Google Street View photos. “A team of computer scientists has derived accurate, neighbourhood-level estimates of the racial, economic and political characteristics of 200 US cities using an unlikely data source – Google Street View images of people’s cars. Published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the report details how the scientists extracted 50 million photographs of street scenes captured by Google’s Street View cars in 2013 and 2014.”
The Insider Car News: VW taps Google’s quantum computers to help develop EV batteries. “Volkswagen AG plans three research projects on a Google quantum computer as part of the German automaker’s push to develop new digital features for cars and broaden its technological heft beyond manufacturing and selling vehicles. The two goliaths plan to focus on three areas of research: traffic optimization, machine learning processes and the development of new materials and structures with an eye toward improved electric auto batteries. Quantum computers can solve certain highly complex tasks considerably faster than conventional supercomputers.”
TechCrunch: Facebook launches Marketplace for cars with dealers and Blue Book pricing . “Buy a car through Facebook, and the social network could earn a special place in your heart. So Facebook is creating a special section of Marketplace for vehicles. You’ll now be able to use new search filters to find a ride with a specific type, maker, transmission, color, and more from both people and car dealerships like Edmunds, Cars.com, Auction123, CDK Global, and SocialDealer.”
The Verge: Alphabet’s Waymo launches public campaign to build trust in self-driving cars. “Waymo, the self-driving car unit spun out of Google last year, is launching a public education campaign today called ‘Let’s Talk Self-Driving’ aimed at addressing the skepticism many people have about autonomous technology. The company is teaming up with a host of safety and disability advocacy groups to promote its self-driving car pilot in Arizona, as well as raise awareness around a technology that remains inaccessible to most people.”