Warning: This Robocar Video is NSFL

It's not safe for living. So please don’t do the precise thing we’re about to show you

1 min read
Warning: This Robocar Video is NSFL
Image: VPmagazin


NSFL: Not Safe For Living

When self-operated elevators were new, certain people—okay, mature people—hesitated to ride them. Other people—okay, little boys—punched every button and then jumped out, squealing with self-satisfaction.
Some things never change: new functions are still getting automated, and little boys are still idiots. 
Here, in a video we freely acknowledge noticing only after  autoblog.com posted it, some anonymous jokers from Germany show off as the backseat drivers of an Infiniti Q50. As we reported at its debut, the Q50 is the world’s first drive-by-wire car, one in which the main connection between the steering wheel and the wheels being steered is digital rather than mechanical.
The car cruises down a curving highway with nothing in charge but a lane-keeping system—a technology intended to help drivers, not replace them. As a commenter at autoblog.com noted, using it as an ersatz human drive is precisely the abuse the new Mercedes-Benz S class prevents by requiring the driver to lay hands on the wheel every dozen seconds or so.
And, yes, the music you hear is the “Ride of the Valkyries,” from Die Walküre, the second opera in Richard Wagner’s Ring cycle. It’s a fine piece of music. But the guys in the backseat of that Infiniti are still idiots.


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A photo shows separated components of the axial flux motor in the order in which they appear in the finished motor.

The heart of any electric motor consists of a rotor that revolves around a stationary part, called a stator. The stator, traditionally made of iron, tends to be heavy. Stator iron accounts for about two-thirds of the weight of a conventional motor. To lighten the stator, some people proposed making it out of a printed circuit board.

Although the idea of replacing a hunk of iron with a lightweight, ultrathin, easy-to-make, long-lasting PCB was attractive from the outset, it didn’t gain widespread adoption in its earliest applications inside lawn equipment and wind turbines a little over a decade ago. Now, though, the PCB stator is getting a new lease on life. Expect it to save weight and thus energy in just about everything that uses electricity to impart motive force.

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