All posts by Jose Miguel

Robot Cars Will Soon be a Reality

A lot of the focus around future transport in recent years has been on the kind of fuel that will be used. Will they be hybrid, electric or hydrogen powered? What gets talked about less often is whether cars will need to be driven at all.

Google Street View Camera Car [051-2010_project365]
Creative Commons License photo credit: woozie2010

Once a notion that was connected only to science fiction, the possibility of robotic cars is becoming much more of a realistic one. Every now and then a robotic car is test driven on the roads in public view, but always with a person in the driver’s seat – ready to take over should things go wrong.

Continue reading Robot Cars Will Soon be a Reality

Used Fords

Making the choice to own a used Ford is a wise choice for a number of reasons.  Ford has a mass market and the amount of models and registrations available are vast – you can choose from a far greater selection of used cars than most other manufacturers might offer.  On there is currently over 44,000 models available. You can find many Fords online such as the Ford Kuga for sale.

1954 Ford F-100 Interior Logo
Creative Commons License photo credit: JD Hancock

With the sheer amount of Ford’s in circulation parts and repairs are cheap.  With more obscure makes you may pay a premium for simple parts, whereas with a Ford most parts should come at a reasonable price.  As your used Ford may be touching that 3 year old mark, you can begin to start considering MOT costs.  The price of any work done during your MOT could be drastically reduced by owning a Ford and its related well-stocked parts.  When a car gets past a certain age the MOT can become a major yearly outlay.  You may not have a used car warranty giving added importance to the potential cost of any repairs.

This is also generally reflected in your insurance premiums.  If your car costs less to fix, your insurance quote will probably be a lot cheaper.  Models like the Ford Ka fall into the lowest insurance groupings making all round running costs some of the lowest in the class.

The new generation of Ford cars is one of the highest quality fleets any manufacturer has ever produced.  Ford, like a couple of the other larger manufacturers, have hit a time when all of their cars are receiving critical acclaim.

As with all cars you need to carry out the general quality checks.  A data check is advisable to ensure the car has never been written off, stolen or clocked, and an independent inspection from a mechanic is a good way to detect any faults invisible to the untrained eye.

Safe Driving Features

Driving is such a nonchalant type of activity nowadays that most people don’t give it much thought. But despite its outstanding prevalence, driving is still a dangerous activity in many ways. High speeds, heavy vehicles, and different driving skill levels, among many other factors, all contribute to potential danger on the roads. If you’re seeking out the safest possible trip for you and your family every time you drive, you’ll need to depend on a few key car components designed to make every drive safer. Some are obvious safety features, while others are less clear. Whatever they are, however, you want to keep these safety components in good shape, so that you and your passengers always make it safely from Point A to Point B and beyond.

Seat Belts

This may be the most obvious piece of advice ever, but it warrants repeating: seat belts save lives. Malfunctioning or broken seat belts should be replaced immediately, and extensions should be purchased for those too large to fit under normal seat belts. These essential safety devices don’t have to be completely boring, however. Many owners take advantage of racing seats and seat belts that strap on differently as they add some nice aesthetic touches to a car, truck, or SUV. So seat belts don’t have to be boring, even if they always have to be worn.

Tail Lights

Tail lights don’t seem like safety components on first glance, but nothing could be further from the truth. Well-lit tail lights inform drivers to your car’s rear about when you’re slowing down, stopping, or even inform them where you are when driving at night. A busted tail light is one less obvious warning signal for other drivers to take notice of, and all of these signals are essential for helping to avoid accidents. If you drive a lot at night, you need to take particular care of making sure your car’s tail lights work and are bright enough to be seen at a distance and through light fog, so that any driver behind you can always be aware of exactly where you and your vehicle are.

Air Bags

When a crash is swift and forceful, air bags serve as a last defense against severe injury, and even death. Quick to burst out and expand, air bags can inflate faster than someone can even recognize that an accident is occurring. Many drivers believe that they’ll be able to hold in during a crash because they’ll see what’s coming, but that often isn’t the case. And besides, the force of a crash at high speed makes it nearly impossible for a person to hold him/herself back from being thrust forward or to the side. An air bag isn’t something you ever want to see deployed in your car, but even though you may never see it, you’ll surely be glad it’s there just in case.

Number Coding Scheme for Buses Implemented

Just last week, the MMDA started implementation of a new UVVRP or Vehicular Volume Reduction Program. The new number coding scheme now includes buses plying Metro Manila. Last November 15th, bus companies ran a strike in protest of the inclusion of buses in the number coding scheme. The protest inconvenienced commuters and motorists in the area, particularly since classes in several levels were also suspended.

In recent news, the MMDA and LTFRB are reportedly planning to file complaints against bus operators that participated in the strike.

Studies have still to show the effectiveness of the modified UVVRP in alleviating traffic congestion in Metro Manila. Buses are often pointed out as sources of congestion, particularly nearing bus stops along major thoroughfares, such as EDSA, Commonwealth, Quezon Avenue, and the like.

With the number coding scheme, vehicles with plate numbers ending in 1 and 2 are banned from metro streets from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays. On Tuesdays, 3 and 4 are banned. On Wednesdays, 5 and 6. On Thursdays, 7 and 8, and on Fridays, 9 and 0. Most cities and municipalities have window periods (e.g. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) in which private vehicles can pass streets–mostly during off-peak hours.

What do you think of the new number coding scheme? Is it effective? Or is it currently being counteracted by the usual holiday rush that’s common during the months of November and December?

How to compute for your gas mileage

As a car owner, finding out your average gas mileage will benefit you in many ways. It will, first of all, aid you in budgeting how much you’d want to spend for gas over the course of a week or a certain period of time. Besides that, it will help you alter your manner of driving as to not waste too much gas. So take the time to learn this particular subject.

Out of gas
Creative Commons License photo credit: Pat Hawks

Figuring out your car’s gas mileage is easier than it sounds. Some newer cars will have multi-information displays that automatically tell you your current mileage. Not all cars have this feature, though, so you will need to learn how to do it manually.

Follow these six easy steps. You may need a calculator, pen and paper, or you may calculate mentally.

  1. Fill up your gas tank until it is full or until the fuel pump stops automatically. Take note of the number of kilometers currently displayed on your odometer.
  2. Keep track of how many KMs you have driven until the next time you fill up your tank with gas. To do that, simply subtract the number of kilometers you had when you filled up your tank from the number of KMs displayed this next fill up. For example, your mileage was 10,000 on your first fill up, then 10,200 on your next. Therefore, it should be computed like this: 10,200 – 10,000 = 200. The total number of KM you have driven is 200.
  3. Gas up and take note of how many liters of gasoline you have bought. Then the total number of kilometers should be divided by the amount of gasoline you purchased. For example, 200 KM / 20 liters = 10 kilometers per liter or KPL.
  4. It is ideal to do this counting on a long road trip since you will be traveling continuously and it will get your mileage to easily increase as opposed to driving short, separate trips within your town or city.
  5. Repeating this over a period of a couple of weeks will help you garner an average over this span of time.
  6. Take several measures to efficiently make use of gas—several measures, such as, obeying speed limits.

Note that you can also reset your trip meter to zero to help you count the number of kilometers you travelled. This will be more accurate, since the trip meter counts to the nearest 100 meters, while the odometer will only count to the nearest kilometer.

Doing this is not just another one of those difficult math problems that you have to solve for over an hour. Although getting the variables take quite long, solving it is as easy as counting 1-3, especially with the help of a calculator.

It is important to be familiar with such a seemingly petty issue such as this—finding out your gas mileage. This may seem insignificant at first but in the long run, it will be of good use to you. Not only will it make an impact on the way you handle your car but it may also unknowingly help you in taking better care of it and encourage you to obey traffic laws. So go grab a pen and a piece of paper and get driving and solving now!