Trying to Make the Driving World a Little Less Annoying

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Black Hats, White Knuckles

Wired recently published a report about hackers who took over a car, making the radio, climate control, brakes, engine, and steering unresponsive. Now, this isn’t necessarily new. My dad’s 1975 Mercury Monarch had these same issues all the time as well. The difference is that the hackers meant to do this, and weren’t even near the car when it happened.

Big Hero Loss

I lost one of my heroes last week. Denise McCluggage died on May 6th. She was 88. Through Autoweek, I’ve gotten to know her as a writer and racer. But the more I learned about her, the more she became my inspiration for following one’s passion in life. She was “just doing it” long before sneaker companies made that their mantra. I don’t always follow her lesson, but the fault is strictly my own.

Fiat To Take Over Chrysler for $4.35 Billion

AUBURN HILLS — At a late holiday fancy pants party at Fiat’s home, it was announced that Fiat was taking Chrysler in. After some time in a government orphanage and debtor’s prison, Chrysler has finally found a home.

“Blimey! I’m so chuffed ter live in a noice ‘ome with a warm fire, guv’nor. Lots of coal makin’ lots of heat. Isn’t it loverly?”

GM Has a New Sheriff in Town

General Motors (GM) announced that effective January 2014, Mary Barra will be replacing Dan Akerson as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of General Motors. Mr. Akerson is stepping down for personal reasons.


It’s on.

I thought we live in an enlightened society. More genteel. Mankind living in harmony, and all that crap.

What Hath Google Wrought?

After a Google blog post last weekend, it was revealed that Google has been secretly working on autonomous vehicles, cars that can drive themselves. The engineers working on this project had experience from the DARPA challenges, and include Sebastian Thrun of the 2005 winners from Stanford, and Christopher Urmson of the 2007 winners from Carnegie Mellon (of which my company also contributed).

“Your car should drive itself. It just makes sense. It’s a bug that cars were invented before computers.”
–Eric Schmidt, Google CEO


Now that’s going to leave a mark.

For those that don’t watch BBC’s Top Gear show with religious fervor, I’m talking about the de-helmeting of the Stig from the show. For the last seven years, the current (and likely ex-) Stig was the test driver for Top Gear, doing stunts and setting lap times on various cars on the show. His identity has always been a mystery, and now Ben Collins has written an autobiography claiming to be the Stig.

Mercury Falling

Mercury, the Jan Brady of the Ford Automotive family, was euthanized last Wednesday after Ford decided to pull the plug. Mercury was 72 years old.

GM Posts First Profits in 3 Years

DETROIT — GM posted a profit of $865 million in the first quarter, its first quarterly profits since 2007, and then promptly lost the money gambling at the Motor City casino near downtown Detroit.

We’re Finally Number One…

….and I don’t like it.

The Detroit Free Press had an article last week that stated that we had the highest gas prices in the country. At an average of $3.53/gallon, Michigan beat out Illinois ($3.52), California ($3.42) and Hawaii ($3.40).

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