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General Automotive General automotive discussion. This is intended to be a discussion about other not VW and Diesel cars you may have or interested in.

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Old Yesterday, 06:46   #6076
kjclow
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The future of tracking your movements and at least charging you for using certain roads or entering, for example, downtown urban areas, is already here. Even if you have an old vehicle without that hardware, if you carry your phone you're already being tracked. I don't like it, but it seems to be where we're headed.
Most cities already have cameras set up that will scan your plate at different times and locations, especially if there are toll roads.
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Old Yesterday, 07:02   #6077
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Most toll roads now use transponders and cameras to track use and charge customers. Massachusetts recently totally elminated toll booths on the Turnpike. Huge improvement.

When I was in college there was an urban myth about toll takers looking at the ticket time stamp when you entered the Pike and calculating whether or not you were exceeding the speed limit based on when you paid the exit toll. Just a myth. I don't think they're tracking speeds now, either.
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Old Yesterday, 07:18   #6078
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Most toll roads now use transponders and cameras to track use and charge customers. Massachusetts recently totally elminated toll booths on the Turnpike. Huge improvement.

.
I noticed this recently on a trip to Baltimore.... and while it was nice not to have to "stop", merely slow down, they didn't do anything to improve the merge area on the outlet side of the toll booth area. So what was a slow down for stopping and starting, and thus throttled the merging traffic on the other side, suddenly becomes a free for all drag race with vehicles and drivers of all kinds of abilities, and I found it to be quite unnerving. Six lanes suddenly, like within a few hundred yards, being necked back down to one or two, is not wise. They need to improve the ROADS now that they have improved the toll-taking stuff.
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Old Yesterday, 07:33   #6079
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Massachusetts has gantries to read transponders or photo plates on the Pike itself, no more booth areas to drive through. They reconfigured all the on and off ramps so the're like non-toll roads. Much better.

Apparently MA's agreement with states to provide addresses to send bills to drivers without transponders are limited. Since we have a lot of students here (or at least we used to) some know whether or not their state has an agreement and if not, they get to ride toll-free.

My favorite was the entrance to the Sumner Tunnel, which was pretty much the only way to get to downtown Boston (and for me, home) from Logan airport before the big dig. Eight toll booths going to 2 lanes in a short disntance, and lots of traffic. I believe that's why we have two rules for driving in MA, "wheel well ahead wins," and "don't make eye contact."
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Old Yesterday, 07:48   #6080
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Sun Pass in Florida has full speed gantries on some sections, and most all entry/exit points have electronic pass options. Also some entry/exits have been Sun Pass only since built. Add to that they also have an option of lic plate only toll collection, but it adds a fee for the service.

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Old Yesterday, 08:50   #6081
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I recall the I-90/I-290 interchange in MA was a total mess with a toll booth in it, and the last time I drove it, IIRC, it might've been even worse without the toll booth, due to everyone remaining at some amount of speed...
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Old Yesterday, 09:01   #6082
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There's no need to be frightened by solar photovoltaics, EVs, and renewable energy and sustainable technologies as a whole. The vast majority of the populace and electorate see those as good and necessary things. Which is good. Inventing boogeymen to suit ones strange personal agenda is about as productive as hunting for sasquatch- it won't be successful, and just makes the sasquatch hunters look silly.

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Old Yesterday, 11:13   #6083
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There's at least one "toll road" in the area near Virginia Beach VA that is unmarked and looks for transponders. Out-of-state drivers get a letter in the mail billing them for the privilege. Illegal probably, but heck, if they can ban radar detectors, why not trample on other rights.


"Frightened" is not a word to describe the up-and-coming surveillance state. Orwellian is the correct word.
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Old Yesterday, 11:29   #6084
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If your bills are that low you'd only need a very small array, perhaps 2-3 kWh. i would think you could get that for $3-5K, which would put payback in the 4-5 year range. That's without carbon credits or rebates, which I'm kind of betting Texas doesn't offer.
Well my electric bills are low because of a combination of factors: relatively low electricity cost (around 8.3 cents per Kwh on average), we have a lot of items running on natural gas (stove, water heater, heater), we have a pretty decent new AC system with a SEER of around 17.5 and we have the good double pane Argon filled windows. So in a sense we have already invested in efficiency for the time being. Perhaps in a few years we will re-consider solar panels on the roof of the house.
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Old Yesterday, 11:49   #6085
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I'm pretty convinced that IT professionals comprise the most advanced support of both EV's and Autonomous driving. I found an interesting rebuttal of this kind of belief here: https://www.hagerty.com/media/opinio...-price-for-it/ Interesting.
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Old Yesterday, 12:43   #6086
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That's an interesting opinion piece. Of course he's dead wrong. Try asking a brilliant Stanford graduate expert in neural networks and machine learning and you'll get a different opinion. I happen to know one who works for IBM and has done groundbreaking work in speech recognition. He thinks fully autonomous, level 5 self driving cars will be sharing the road by the end of the decade. To be sure, it's an incredibly complex task, with a mind boggling number of edge cases that need to be mastered first, but it will happen.

Those Hagerty youtube vids where the guy does engine rebuilds in time lapse are really great. I also really enjoy the guy that drives around in his old woody station wagon visiting junkyards, barns, and garages to find cool old cars and trucks. Barnfinds I believe it's called. Very cool.
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Old Yesterday, 14:28   #6087
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Well my electric bills are low because of a combination of factors: relatively low electricity cost (around 8.3 cents per Kwh on average), we have a lot of items running on natural gas (stove, water heater, heater), we have a pretty decent new AC system with a SEER of around 17.5 and we have the good double pane Argon filled windows. So in a sense we have already invested in efficiency for the time being. Perhaps in a few years we will re-consider solar panels on the roof of the house.
Maybe it isn't just about efficiency. I was going to write that my house isn't very efficient, but maybe it's not so bad. Electric rates here are nearly 3x yours, and my bills prior to solar ran $100-125 in winter, around twice that in summer because of A/C and pool pump. I have a 6 kW system that pretty much zeros those bills out. So maybe you'd need something similar. At the power rates you're paying, I don't think I'd bother either.
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