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Will Governor Newsom's executive orders to restrict the sales of non-zero-emission vehicles by the year 2035 cause major issues in the automotive industry?

It is an executive order and not law. But still, this places the state in the lead in phasing out gas powered cars. It very well might become law at a later date. Is is “disruptive”? It is hard to say but it very well might be like banning horse drawn buggies. In 2035 no one will want a gas car. 2035 is 15 years away and by then people will be afraid to buy gas cars for fear of not being able to find gas or pay for it if they do. A gas shortage? Why? If the sale of gas cars is banned banks will not want to give loans for new gasoline infrastructure. It would be nearly impossible to get a 20 year loan to build a new gas station or to buy an oil tanker ship or expand a refinery. All these things require banks to to agree to funding. Bankers will see that the market is declining after 2035 and the borrowers just might go broke. So interest rates will spike for these loans and many projects will not get built or bought. Investment capital moves out of the oil and gas markets and the price of gasoline shoots through the roof. One might argue that lower demand for oil will cause the price to fall. Yes. Oil might have negative value (like toxic waste does) but turning even free oil into gasoline requires huge mounts of equipment that'll not be available. If there is a shortage of refining and transport the price of the finish product (gas) will go up. The Ban is NOT just in California. The UK and other European countries have bans in law (not just executive orders stating a goal) and China and India are looking at passing the same laws. Gas cars will be banned in much of the world. Banks all over the world will notice this. The oil and capital markets are global. So what happens in China maters in the US. As the price of oil skyrockets because of reduced infrastructure spending even more people will move to electric cars further reducing the demand for gasoline and showing investors that they need to move out of the oil industry. Investors are not stupid and will move their money to a safer place. No one wants to invest in a company who’s product is (indirectly) banned. It will be like the change from film to digital cameras, slow at first, then the transition went way-faster than anyone expected. At first electric cars were a novelty but now I see Teslas parked everywhere and they are very common. In the next 15 years I expect Tesla will see competition from VW and Ford and GM and the price of electric cars will fall. People who don’t own electric cars worry about range per charge but when charge stations of in every parking lot and every home that worry will go away. Some people will see that even a 70 mile range is enough for them an such cars will sell at very low prices By 2035 a ban on gas cars will be moot as few people would actually want to buy one. The UK had planned to ban the sale of gasoline cars in 2045 but they just moved the ban forward to 2035 as they found 86% of the peole there supported the 2035 date. Not only are they thinking about global warming, but they are tried of breathing car exhaust gasses and want the sky to be blue and the air to be clean again.

Why do Indians emigrate to the US, the UK, Canada, etc. when they can get a better lifestyle at a cheaper price in India?

My Story, Completed engineering in 2008, got a job in a small IT service company. My Pay was, 8K per month - Year 1 18.5 K per month - Year 2 22K per month - Year 3 22K was nothing in 2011, after all expenses I saved around 8K per month. I shared a room in a pathetic house in an even more pathetic and polluted area. No car, no maid, no nothing. Finally got irritated with the pathetic lifestyle, put papers to join a bigger IT service company which paid 35K per month. But the company I worked convinced me to stay and gave long term onsite immediately. Salary till Nov 2011 = 22K per month Salary from Dec 2011 = 2.6 Lakhs per month (take home) In 3 years I saved 35 Lakh INR. Below are few things I own from last 3+ years, 1. Iphone 6 2. Ipad 3. Xbox 4. VW car 5. 42 inch LED tv 6. DSLR camera 7. Macbook pro Below are few perks of living in a developed land, 1. Live in a spacious 2 bed room apartment 2. Breathe fresh air 3. Drink clean tap water 4. Long walks in the lush green parks 5. Amazing public transport 6. Fully equipped houses 7. Good climate 8. Fresh fruits and vegetables 9. First class products in almost everything 10. Easy access to visit another city or country. 11. Safety and cleanliness 12. freedom and rights If I continued to live in India I am sure I would have never got all of this. In general life in the developed world is far better than India and there is no point of comparison.

What it is like to quit your job and travel the world?

Like many more here, I also very strongly recommend everybody to do this. And do it when still young! I would like to share how I did this, since it might be very different than how people would go about it today. Imagine a world, where cellphones were just a toy for the rich, personal computers were only being installed in the corporate world and there was of course no internet! Such was the situation back in 1987 when I quit my well-paid chemist job, which I loved, to take the ultimate road trip through the Great American West. I did very little in the way of preparations, other to give two months notice to my employer as still is custom in Switzerland. These two months were enough to get me on the way. I did not need to care about car (which I did not own at that moment), apartment (I rather paid a very reasonable amount to my parents and stayed with them instead of fattening up some abusive landlord) or even a girlfriend. Due to this frugal lifestyle I had amassed quite some money,which was just what I needed, since the U.S. was a very expensive country for us Europeans to travel to, due to the exchange rate. So I went for the cheapest airfare available and got myself a rountrip ticket (Immigration laws!) had my "indefinitively" tourist visa stamped into my new passport and packed my travel bag. Instead of backpacking or hostels I opted for something different. Through a Swiss based company I got myself a four wheel drive high-clearance Ford 150 pickup truck that came equipped with a camper. Double 20 gallon gas tank, double battery, the camper came with a 50 gallon or so water tank, shower, stove and even a small gas operated fridge. And a nice bed above the cabin. This cost me 4500 Dollars back in 1987 down in Los Angeles and would be my home for the next 8 months. I actually was able to sell it after some 15000 miles of continued abuse mostly on dirt roads for 2500 in Utah. This was an excellent deal: The cheapest motels that were roach-free back then would go for around 20 dollars, so 250 days for 20 dollars would make 5000. And I already had the rental car covered, since it is pointless to try to travel the American West without a car. Additionally I cooked most meals for myself, purchasing food in the supermarkets. You could enjoy wonderful dishes and delicious breakfasts for almost nothing compared what was charged in restaurants. I did not drive every day, not by a long way. On some days I might cover several hunderd miles, though. On average, it was a mere 75 miles a day, which cost me close to nothing even on only 12 miles to the gallon. Which means about 6 gallons of fuel per day. It was still more than what I paid for food! Of course no one should claim to know a country or culture without dining out, and once in a while I would do just that. I planned the trip using the then-fabled Rand Mc Nally Road Atlas I purchased in Switzerland. I was going to rough it: I tried to cover all North American desert areas, with all National Parks, National Monuments and recreational areas that were enclosed within. The atlas and the proverbial Swiss Army knife (Do not leave home without it, it would actually save me and my skipper buddy from being cast away down the Gulf of California 2 years later) And a bag full of expensive camera stuff! Analog, of course with chemical film you had to process to convert it to easy to transport slides. Exposed film would not last long in the summer heat of the desert and I had to send film in every time I hit a somewhat larger town. I would not just wait for the slides to come back, which took several days. I would do several loop trips from these outposts getting to know the most unlikely spots in the process. I strongly recommend to travel by yourself. Don't be afraid of solitude. This might be the only time of your life where you will be truly free! No limits, such as relationships, job,children, spouse or society will be imposed on you. And no nagging from your better half! I became someone like a drifter, going from place to place. A lone wolf of the desert, just like the proverbial desperado, never staying long enough to get noticed. No need to carry guns, though! No troublemaker would go to the places I was heading to! But it made a big difference to get the fear out of my heart, that is so prevalent in western society. And it made a huge difference for my English. This was actually one of my main goals: Learning to speak English really fluently. I achieved this by talking to anybody I would run into. After several days of solitude even I could overcome my social phobia and became outgoing and talkative. And had a lot to tell! My packing list did not contain many items. Some comfortable, lightweight sneakers instead of heavy boots carried me everywhere I wanted, even atop of 3985 m high Wheeler Peak in the midst of the Great Basin in Nevada. Once these were worn out I bought new American ones. A week worth of clothes was enough to carry me in quite a civilized manner through my trip. Anything else one needs when traveling you can get locally, most likely cheaper than at home and you do not have to carry it through the airports. I quickly learned how to do laundry in a coin laundry and had some interesting encounters with the locals there as well. My wardrobe started to look quite different after a while, since things do wear out and some garments are just too practical in the West to not purchase them - and getting laughed at when wearing them at home! Once every week or so sometimes more often, I rented a cheap motel room, mainly for showering and replenishing supplies. Mostly gas: The camper-truck only got some 12 miles to the gallon, so I soon purchased some 4 extra 10 gallon gas cans I dutifully kept full. I was not to waste my water supply in the desert for showering, which would not bother anybody out there! For entertainment I only had a stone age institution called AM radio! Nowadays only old-timers probably know what that is! At night, these airwaves will travel much further and one can catch stations from hundreds, sometimes thousands of miles away. I would listen to talk shows that seemed quirky and outright weird, tons of country music - and in the Southwest - original mariachi sound from Mexico, almost like a call from distance about what my future would hold . When planning for such a trip one should always make sure to know beforehand, what the goals of that adventure should be. For me it was going to be the outdoors. There is no "right" way to travel a country. It should feel right for you. So if you are not the urban type, do not hesitate to drive around the big city highlighs. I would like to add a little commercial on this behalf: Europe makes a great place for the avid outdoor adventurer as well! Forget Paris, Rome London and Berlin. And trains! Rent yourself an RV or SUV and buy a tent and go! You always can come back to the cities when older and go to the opera! Instead of talking to the backpacking crowd in smelly hostels talk to party-avid dutch on campgrounds, hikers in Austria and watch people jumping off wearing parachutes from cliffs in the Swiss Alps. I am not in favor of covering a lot of real estate in one trip, not even in 8 months. Of course, one can travel around the globe in 2 months, or cover all of Southeast Asia in 6, but I wanted detail! Travel-books and guides always seem to concentrate on places where everybody is heading anyway, and most country specific info is worthless, since it is opinion gained through short stays mostly. Of course it would be foolish not to visit well-known, spectacular places like Grand Canyon only because a few other people do that, too, but one might not do there what all these other people do, or you find yourself in an amusement park, not in nature. Talking of these, if you are to be only once in the U.S. plan to go to one of them and have fun! There is probably nothing more American than a good amusement park such as Six Flags or Disney. Even the smaller ones and county fairs are charming places to meet intersting folks from all walks of life. Apple pie you will get just as delicious in Switzerland! So here is a short list of places I would recommend to visit when traveling the American West! Do not look here for the well known places. I do strongly recommend to go there, too, but if you do, take your time and go hiking to the backcountry and enjoy Yellowstone, Yosemite and Grand Canyon and all other great parks. Baja California! On the road of course. 3 weeks for all, going down to the tip and back up. This is a cactus enthusiast dream come true. Here I was testing out my vehicle on the dirt track side roads and got lucky when I was invited to a (successful) Marlin fishing trip as the lacking fourth man. Big Bend National Park in Texas! This is not your ranching and oil type of Texas everybody seems to know. Great hiking, if you know, what you are doing! Go there in spring, when cacti are in bloom, the show is best during a strong El Niño like 1987. And likely 2016. Spectacular desert bloom, you will see plants that show up only every 10 years! This place is so huge, you might have a hard time to meet somebody else once you leave the paved roads. Cataract Canyon. By raft of course! Not as crowded as Grand Canyon and better scenery. In Grand Canyon, the rocks of the Inner Gorge you are heading through are mostly grey or buff. In Cataract Canyon they are brick-red like Monument Valley. While waiting for your trip to start visit fabled Burr Trail, Waterpocket Fold, Capitol Reef and Canyonlands National Park. That would keep you busy for a month! Hiking down the Grand! From lesser crowded North Rim. It might sound unreal, but I went down to the river and back up in one day, since all camping spots were taken and you would have to sign up months ahead. 18 hours for 14 miles- something like 22 km down and yes, up also!I started at 6:00 A.M and made it back around midnight. Yes, it is difficult to hike the North Kaibab Trail at night, but all these stars actually allow you to see more than any city dweller would think. Needless to say that a was barely able to limp for 2 days after this. I spent them gazing down the abyss like everybody else and having some apple pie! Impossible you say? Not if you served in the Swiss Army. Since it is still a conscript army, like a militia, they do not have too much to do for you other than marching. 50 km with full load, gun and all. Uphill of course. I did many many more hikes during my stay. Down the Grand I only took my camera stuff, some water and canned tuna with bread and chocolate, which you better eat before noon. Then I was visiting some real estate of the devil! He seems to have a playground, a golf course and a corn field over there in California! The best time to visit would be mid July! At least if your goal is to at least once experience 50 degree C plus heat! These three, four weeks were all sand, rocks, limitless horizons, incredible displays of stars - and heat. Lots of it. Intense, unrelenting heat. No, it does not get cold in deserts at night! It does cool off - from 50 degree C to 30 at dawn. Good luck getting some sleep, but after a few weeks, I was used to it. Personal heat record: 52 degree C at Badwater, where I camped out on the salt flat. This was against the rules even back then, but I parked on the roadside and headed out after nightfall and would not turn on any light - and stayed for the next day. Black Rock and Smoke Creek Deserts before there was a Burning Man Festival. Camping out in the middle of that enormous salt flat. Then a scenery from an alien world when reaching Pyramid Lake. Still more desert to cover in the Snake River plain of Idaho and Oregon with its enormous lava fields Camping out atop of Steens Mountain, southeastern Oregon close to 10000 ft above sea level. Not a light in view for hundreds of miles. Added a trip up to "Hat Point", a fire lookout where one could gaze down Snake River Canyon, the deepest Canyon in all of North America. It even tops Barranca Sinforosa in Sinaloa! I never saw that many trees for my entire life after that. King of Arizona ("KofA") wildlife Preserve in southwestern Arizona and one of my favorites: Anza Borrego State Park in California. The first is a Cactus nerd paradise and the latter can be summed up as a showcase of most North American deserts, since there seems to be something from all five desert regions. Since many of these sights are more or less "around" Las Vegas, I used this place as a Base Camp, when in need of cheap and still stylish accomodations, wanted to replenish supplies, fix the truck and most of all: feast on the cheap casino buffets they still had going back then. No gambling, no shows and no..... you get the idea! Once a nerd always a nerd! But the lights at nighttime are fun to watch, as well as all these people, mostly dressed up far more better than me. Lots of dust and not much fun? Sure thing! But I cherished this abundance of quality "alone time". Better by yourself than in bad company! Like I pointed out, I avoided big cities. These seemed to me always to be pretty much the same all over the western world. Cultural things like concerts, museums and such I still will manage being old. Grand Canyon probably not. But on my way I ran into quite a few interesting folks, like retirees in their RV's in Quartzsite, Arizona. A Mormon elder who invited me to Sunday Bible class, who was about my age and had no fewer than 6 children. "You do not know what a shepherd is? Don' you read your Bible?" I accepted but did not converse, though! Then folks in a diner somewhere in Nevada discussing ardently about the Iran Contra hearings, not Area 51, which was close by but not on anybody's radar back then. I spent sometimes hours having very rewarding discussions, storytelling and the like. Through this I got to like the American people in general, even when that was politically not correct in the Reagan years in Europe, who was adoring Mr Gorbachov back then. I still profit from this not having to fall back into stupid stereotypes about the " Religious right" "The Liberals from the Left coast" and the like. But often, several days in a row would pass without having met a single human being. This brings me to the final results of the trip: First a little warning: Do not expect big changes in your life only because you travel! You might travel for years and still remain who you are. And that was fine with me. I finally was feeling ok with myself. At least, it did NOT make me into a better person, but gave me a great sense of accomplishment. I learned how to change a tire without using a jack, learned how to do basic car repair, and how to navigate on foot through pathless desert wilderness without getting lost. I learned to withstand the dry desert heat with very little water, a trait that was not going to do me any good in moist Switzerland. I still can tell time from the position of the stars at night, even the season. And I can outwit most weathermen when it comes to forecasting the weather for 1 or 2 days. And sure, my English improved enough to land an excellent lab job just some two weeks after returning in November 1987. More importantly, I found out that I unexpectedly had certain leadership qualities, which I could use in my career. I brought back some 1200 slides which I just recently had digitalized to conserve them, since they eventually will fade. Also, I improved greatly on my barbecue skills, as well as cooking in general. I also might add that I was never sick in all these months, once I nursed myself through a pretty bad case of Moctezumas Revenge on Good Friday down in Loreto, Baja California - with all drug stores closed! At least church was open. It might have helped even though I was not practizing any religion back then. At least I was back the following day. But most importantly, I found out, that I would be able to comfortably live on my own. I felt well drifting through all those small towns, becoming the equivalent of a nerdy Lone Ranger. And a nerd I was, long before the term got even part of popular culture! For those who know the Big Bang Theory-Show: I had the "irresistible" good looks of Howard, could talk to girls (and know about stars) like Raj and could be annoying like Sheldon! By age 20, I knew that I was not popular with girls, and with 25, I stopped worrying about this. My heart and body was as virgin and sterile as the Black Rock Desert Salt-Flat! And if this was going to stay this way that would be fine with me! I came back and soon enough I was back into my habit of one gallon of beer per day, which I did not think to be a problem back then, as long as I would be stone sober in my lab at 7:30 sharp. But maybe somebody who really knows about North America's deserts would notice something! I was bragging about how I knew all of the desert regions of North America! And why no word about the Mexican sections? Yes, I had left some unfinished business! But no more Mexico for me without adequate language skills! I found that out the hard way down in the more remote sections of Baja California, specially when becoming sick. And mainland Northern Mexico was a much tougher place to travel, according to hearsay! So upon getting back I signed up for Spanish classes and started filling up my bank account. 6 weeks would be enough to at least get an idea about the Chihuahuan and Sonoran deserts in Mexico; all my vacation days and holidays smartly combined I was to receive in my new job I would not quit. 1989 I was ready. I would set the trip up exactly the same way as the big one 2 years ago. Going it alone was a must - since nobody from my left-leaning friends wanted to come along, even when I now would travel to a "politically correct" country! But long hikes through rocky deserts full of spiny plants? A train ride down a 6000 ft deep canyon? You gotta be nuts! And again Baja just for taking some pictures of weird plants you messed up during the first visit? But this was how I planned it to make it happen - and I fully expected to bring this plan to fruitition, no matter what. Contrary to the U.S. Trip I did read something about Mexico before, but no travel literature. Northern Mexico was uncharted territory back then, there was only spotty, stereotypical info. But I already knew that Mexico was not a western country. So I got curious. I wanted to know how people were ticking there. So I got myself a book from fabled Mexican essayist and Noble Prize winner Octavio Paz. "The Labyrinth of Solitude" and took it with me. It would have a profound influence about I was going to look at things - and myself. Instead of a camper, I rented myself a Volkswagen Bug, crimson red. I had a hell of a time to convince the clerk that I wanted this small thing. I knew what I was doing. These vehicles do not need radiator water, are high clearance and quite good on the dirt track - and lightweight enough to get it easily out of the sand when getting stuck, even all by yourself. And if you park it on a hill, you get it running even with a dead battery! And it was cheap, of course. I quickly found out that my spanish was not nearly as good as required to negotiate and had to fall back into english. The first 2 weeks went as planned, as a highlight I was able to cross through fabled Zona de Silencio and the forbidding Bolson de Mapimi, the very heart of the Chihuahuan Desert. I spent the days looking at more cacti I ever imagined, classifying them with help of a nature guide, since it was flowering season. But this time things were to be different. In many small places I stayed for the night I was soon the main event and found myself surrounded by curious locals. Mexico is settled quite differently than the U.S. People crowd together in towns and leave the surrounding lands an empty wilderness difficult to get to. Dirt roads always lead somewhere, like a small ranching community or even an active mining town. But once I reached the summit of the Sierra Madre Occidental at some 9000 feet, the whole thing started to go downhill! Not just because I was driving down a extremely winding road through a region known as Espinazo del Diablo! (Devil's Backbone, I was visiting now the guy himself, not just his place) It is easiest described as driving down the Grand Canyon and up again two or three times over. But these canyons were filled with a incredibly spiny thornscrub-vegetation that seemed to be on fire - and this means not just the infernal dry heat. That area actually is known to be the Golden Triangle of Mexico for the kind of agriculture they are running there. Mostly poppies and weed! I missed out on paying a visit to young "Chapo" Guzman, whose home town is found in one of these canyons. Mazatlan proved to be a turning point. No, it was NOT recommended for foreigners to roam downtown Mazatlan by night, even back then. Sinaloa state had a bad rep for drug trafficking and shootouts on broad daylight. But I needed to get my car onto the ferryboat there, and without giving the famous mordida tip to the clerk selling the tickets, being the stubborn Swiss I still am in these matters. Needless to say that I wasted 4 precious vacation days trying to convince an even more stubborn Mexican! The nights went by drinking Pacifico beer with my new friend from the grimy but cheap hotel I was staying, right at the port. He even invited me to his favorite watering-hole, an authentic "Cantina"! This place would instantly declared a federal disaster area, with imminent danger from all sorts of toxic and biological wastes. I felt there like an alien from another planet, but stood my own ordering - and paying for- beer. 20 bottles in a bucket. But what in the world were these two alien creatures doing here?! Beautifully dressed up young girls with carefully applied make up and elaborate hairdos, carrying those heavy buckets with a smiling face! Both could have started a career in acting, modeling or such. They were the fabled "cantineras" my friend did announce beforehand like "They can do more than just serve beer". Luckily I was spared to find out more about this for a just-in-time raid by a bunch of federales! Party over! Better getting searched than to embarrassing myself trying to kiss this young lady! This was getting way too authentic for comfort so I decided to leave and try to get to La Paz by road. That would be 3500 km one-way. In a VW Buggy with no A/C and no divided highways! "Do not pick up any lightly-clad female hitchhikers up there in Sonora" I got a well meant warning as my farewell. No I wouldn't! And I would not drive to La Paz either! So I abandoned this plan and tried to find the only Boojum Tree grove on the Mexican mainland, which was the main reason I wanted to go to Baja. That is how I ended up in Bahia Kino, a place no one knew back then. It was going to be deja-vu all over again! I waited for three days to get on a boat that would carry me to the islands, where my plants were supposed to grow. These days went by drinking beer (other brand at least) with my new skipper friend from the U.S. offering these boating trips. And then the islands were about as lush as Death Valley. But the area as such is by a long way the most intriguing, even beautiful of all North American Deserts and the boating adventure together with an engine failure was very much to my liking, feeling already like a fearless sea-lion! Right until my mate broke his surprise! I was going to attend a special Cinco de Mayo celebration (which in Northern Mexico is not observed) Ladies already invited and instructed, so no need of spanish pickup lines! Only drinking, dancing, kissing and.... a full-grown panic attack! There was no way to escape embarrassment this time. I could either chicken out and thought to be a coward or to make a fool out of myself and known to be a hapless clown! One would think that they would be hard pressed to find 2 regular looking girls willing to meet us two gringos in a village of 5000, but not so. Bahia Kino was sort of a desert Shangri-La back then, no police, no TV, no newspaper! And no restaurants, no clubs and no discos either. But full of gossip! I was already 4 days there. Too much! Who was this gallant young handsome foreigner in that buggy with Chihuahua plates on it? Driving all by himself looking for who knows what? No wedding band and no company! From Europe, as the manager from the bungalows certainly bragged in the cantina, which any town in Mexico has! But finally only one showed, what at first nobody noticed. She was a perfect 10 and she knew it! The way she suddenly stepped out of the porch-shadow into the bright white light of early evening stunned me. Her dress was a little bit like a violet version of the one tiny "Tinker Belle" wears. This fairy did not take my breath away, she made me forget my fear! Then I started to relax: This was going to be my buddy's business who so dearly was looking for a mexican girlfriend here. He asked for her name. Claudia! A very common name for such an unusual creature! I would entertain myself in the meantime with getting an all-you-can eat buffet of eye candy! Not for long, this preying got noticed, of course. We gazed at each other and I could not turn away as usual. She wanted something from me. With the third long gaze she seemed to say "Kiss me!" And I knew she would not budge. I tried to get away with a "dry" kiss. Not gonna happen! Once she got me to touch her lips she took matters into her own hands and showed me how it was done right in front of the other two guys, while we were standing in the bright light of a naked lightbulb in the tightest embrace imaginable. What in the world was that?!? My buddies were both in shock and awe. Claudia looked at me as she just came back from Heavens gate. She just as well might have kissed me to death, since everything would now start falling apart. I was unable to comply with her clearly communicated request for the main course, and she suddenly took off when sensing the sudden souring of the mood of our audience, who was condemned to watch us feasting. A second Troyan war was about to start over her! This all happened without talking anything more with her than a shyly uttered "hola" right before that kiss. But one always meets twice! 4 days later, upon finally leaving town, I spotted her on the side of a dusty road. There was no mistaking her, and I knew that it was over before something could start. Claudia was not only the unchallenged kissing champion of Mexico but likely also a caring mom of a little girl! And I already had betrayed her, which certainly must have been brought back to her! With another girl, just the following two days! This was just too much. I just wanted my old life back and let the buggy run into the open desert. The tank lasts for 400 km, and the dirt road was to be 350 km long before getting to the next station. My goal was to get my senses together up in the Pinacate-Desert. This is the sandiest place of North America, some 10000 sq km of pure sand dunes that get as high as 200 meters. I could have been a trip of no return, and I was close to give up when burying the car into deep sand up to the floor plate! But I remembered my promise I gave to that other girl! Large intense eyes, a face like the full moon! How she shied away from my kissing offer and felt so sorry afterwards. How fluently my Spanish had suddenly become, naming her each of the "Orion" stars! And everything else. We went on for hours. "You are going to write me, arent you? Promise it, please!" This episode did not only change me, it turned me upside down and inside out. I had been totally wrong when it came to girls, for 12 years since I first noticed the difference between boy and girl. If these two did go for me, then anyone would! I wanted to find out if it was true. Once back home I did engage into the promised letter conversation. 6 weeks of waiting time for every answer! No messenger, facebook or e mail back then. We soon added hourlong, very expensive long distance phone calls after I moved suddenly out from home. And we declared our love to each other right around the time when in Berlin that fabled wall came down - without me giving it a single care. Another 14 hour-plane trip was set up for March 1990, 6 more weeks of vacation. After that, we not only had married (only the two of us attended) but also had taken out a mortgage and bought a car! We only went back to Switzerland to quit my job, to sell everything I had and to even take my pension funds with me. We did some honeymooning through Europe and soon bid farewell to parents, family and friends. I was going to live my dream alongside the most beautiful Flower of the desert, since that is what her name would be in English. Flor.Up there in Northern Mexico, in a place that much later would be known the world over, Ciudad Juarez! It was going to be a 21 year rollercoaster ride of the wildest kind. Until we figured that 4 years of enduring the notorious drug war there was enough. So there you have it! This traumatic experience did actually made me into somebody else, better. Almost as if I starting to live a second life. I would not work in science ever again, but went into translations, industrial engineering, even H.R. as head of Technical Training department. I now was very comfortable with people and public talking - and flirting with the girls. This was of course not well received by my young wife and I soon had to fall back to some long forgotten techniques. But keeping your marital promises in Ciudad Juarez during the Nineties was no task for the faint-hearted. But if I do give out a promise, it is not broken!

With so much talk about Smart Cities, what evidence of smart cities do you see?

It’s worth going back to a basic definition and looking at some extensions. Wikipedia’s, is pretty good: A smart city is an urban area that uses different types of electronic data collection sensors to supply information which is used to manage assets and resources efficiently. One of the things that’s good about this definition is that it’s not about visible gizmos and it doesn’t presupposed IoT solutions or CCTV. It’s about using the capabilities of the various sensors available to us to gather information. Then using other techniques to make cities better. This has been going on for years, we’re just getting better at it. It was common to see people standing on street corners with clipboards and the like counting passing vehicles a couple of decades ago. Now, there are simple sensors run across roads and increasingly bike paths that send information on each passing vehicle to a computer. Both examples used existing technology, but one is a lot more expensive than the other and a lot more error prone. And both have the same purpose: gathering data to support the existence or change of traffic infrastructure in context of how it’s used and how uses are changing. This data allows better decision making and allows in many cases more controversial changes to be supported, typically in the case of cycling infrastructure. For the most part, we ignore this data gathering process. It’s just invisible street sensors. And we see none of the analysis of the data happening in the background. And we see none of the position papers and policies and decisions arising from analysis of the data. But we do see better traffic flow. A tremendous amount of urban infrastructure was built based on first principles of what a designer thought made sense with limited empirical evidence, based on historical examples or was just poorly thought through. Evidence-based decision making is resulting in a myriad of changes, many of which we don’t think of as smart city components. A major example of this is the realization that road lanes were too wide and that there were two few solid objects close to the road. The North American highway designers of the early part of the 20th Century were working from first principles when they decided that 13 foot (4 meter) wide lanes and that clearing shoulders of roads of all solid objects that might be struck would increase the safety of roads. They were wrong. Wider lanes and no roadside obstructions led to significantly increased speeds, even between lights with drivers accelerating hard and then decelerating hard. Higher speeds meant more frequent collisions of greater severity, both with other vehicles and with other road users such as cyclists and pedestrians. But it took a lot of data to figure that out data that was much harder and more expensive to collect prior to a lot of cheap sensors. As a result, this error persist for 80 years and is embedded in most city streets today. What’s an outgrowth of this smart city learning? Complete streets A complete street is one which gives sufficient room for pedestrians, cyclists and cars. It features bike paths that are segregated from moving traffic and pedestrians. Left and right turns from the street are typically moved out of through lanes in front of parked cars. This is a screen-grab from Google Maps Streetview from the street I live on in Vancouver BC. Narrow lanes for cars. Separated bike path behind parked cars on the left. Trees growing close to the road separating pedestrians from traffic and cyclists. Why are complete streets a result of seeing that lanes were too wide? Well, widened sidewalks and the room for bike paths came from narrowing lanes and putting car parking between the bike path and the car. And trees planted between the road or bike path and pedestrians stand on ground both reallocated from the too-wide lanes and put physical boundaries close to moving cars. The results are intriguing. Counter-intuitively, car flow on complete streets sees equal or higher throughput, but maximum vehicle speed drops a lot. The out-of-the-through lane turning zones means through traffic isn’t impeded by cars turning left or right. Cycling and pedestrian traffic shoots up as both forms of transportation are isolated from faster moving, heavier traffic and are shaded by the trees. Complete streets give a lot less room to cars and put a lot more solid objects close to cars and total throughput of the street increases substantially, safety increases substantially and the city gets smarter. If you look at before and after pictures of the streetscape above, what you’ll see are different paint on the road — a cheap intervention — and trees by the side of the road, which have multiple strong value propositions for cities beyond smart street traffic calming, including rain flooding diminishment, urban heat island reduction and traffic noise mitigation. Complete streets are an example of smart cities. But the example is an interesting one. There are no sensors in the picture shown above. There don’t need to be. Empirical evidence and sensors aren’t required all the time in order for useful information to be gathered. They can be set up, used for a period of time for a study, then moved elsewhere. Here’s another example of smart city technology which we don’t really think about, transit integration with mapping software. How does Google Maps know how to get from Vancouver to the Tswassen Ferry Terminal? How does it know how long it will take? Transit organizations in pretty much every city in the world expose their routing information in a fairly standard way for third parties to use. Companies like Google pick it up, then integrate it with their existing mapping for cars, including traffic slow downs and rerouting that they receiving from other sources. All of a sudden, we have multi-modal transportation routing choices on our laptops, tablets and phones and can make choices that include transit easily. And it’s pretty easy to find out when trains and buses will arrive these days. Most train stations have LED signboards saying when the next train will arrive, information that comes from both the schedule and sensors that say where trains are. Many cities have numbers you can text for each bus stop on a route which return the time when the next bus arrives. All of this trivially accessible data allows us to be smarter about our transit choices and more efficient. That’s a smart city intervention. Another example I’ll provide is air quality monitoring and ,DieselGate,. What do they have to do with one another? VW was caught by an independent emissions monitoring firm that strapped sensors to VWs and drove them in the real world, not by smart cities efforts, weren’t they? Yes and no. About 15 years ago Europe turned to diesel as the means to minimize CO2 emissions. It was a good interim choice in the era which predated electric vehicles being viable. They also invested heavily in transit, bike lanes and walkability, all of which are more viable in densely populated European cities than in sprawling North American cities. In part, this was based on the promises of the major European auto manufacturers about clean diesel technologies, the same technologies implicated in DieselGate. After a decade or so of increased diesel use along with increased transit, biking and walking, along with decreased emissions from coal generation, European cities were baffled and somewhat horrified to find that they had slightly worse air quality than they had had in 2000. Here’s an excerpt from a ,typical 2012 article,: More than 90% of people living in European cities breathe air that the UN's World Health Organisation says leads to respiratory problems, heart disease and shortened lives, according to ,a study published on Tuesday,. This was specifically a case of sensors — basic smart city technology — collecting data which was analysed over an extended period of time to determine if targeted desirable outcomes were being achieved. And they weren’t. The smart cities were finding out that the collective decisions that they’d made were not turning out to be smart enough. And air pollution kills people. It diminishes quality of life. It makes people sick. It prevents people from choosing to bike or walk to work. It acts as an inhibitor to efficient operation of the city. But they weren’t sure what was causing it. Lots of hypotheses were thrown around. Hands were wrung. There are an awful lot of sources of air pollution. The Dieselgate results led to a reassessment of air quality monitoring. And a bunch of new temporary sensors being put in along city streets for short duration monitoring. And it became clear that the promises of the manufacturers of diesel vehicles weren’t being realized, even where non-spoofed technologies were in play. In the real world, diesel still wasn’t clean. And conditions were radically different in 2014–2015 than in 2000. Diesel wasn’t the only low-CO2 vehicle technology now that multiple manufacturers had completely adequate and often outstanding electric cars on the road. And for urban purposes, electric truck and utility vehicle fleets make extraordinary sense. So Europe is pivoting rapidly to electrification and away from diesel, to the chagrin of the European manufacturers who have spent 20 years investing in diesel instead of pivoting in the late 2000s when it was clear what the ultimate drivetrain winner was going to be. So now European cities, and cities in North America, are getting cleaner air, which is smart. Due to sensors. And analysis. But the intelligence isn’t some gizmo that picks a pattern out of a stack of hay in a millisecond and puts up an alert on your phone. It’s multiple data sets from multiple sources analysed by committed and intelligent people resulting in changes which benefit cities. It means breaking away from the patterns of the past that were built on legacy technologies, first principles assumptions and the lobbying of legacy industries and embracing what empirical data shows us. That’s what is making cities smart. The last example I’ll provide is from the opioid epidemic. I was at the BC Health Information Management Professionals spring conference recently (one of my domains of professional expertise is automation in healthcare). The morning was spent on the opioid crisis that’s sweeping North America and to a lesser extent Europe. BC’s Lower Mainland is ground zero for this public health challenge. BC has seen a rise of roughly 200 overdose fatalities a year to 1,400 a year in the past decade. The most interesting presentation to me was from Surrey’s Fire Chief, Len Garis. He’s also Adjunct Professor, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice & Associate to the Centre for Social Research University of the Fraser Valley, Affiliated Research Faculty - John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and The Christian Regenhard Centre for Emergency Response Studies, New York. Yeah, he has a lot of hats. His presentation was focused on the use of ,evidence-based interventions, with clear monitoring of results to deal with the opioid crisis. He worked with multiple agencies and Microsoft to create multiple geographic and statistical visualisations in near-real time and over time for opioid overdoses and related events. This is one of his dashboards, of the primary focus area for opioid and drug challenges in Surrey. It shows different rates of opioid overdoses and among other things is used to detect what overdose outbreaks, typically related to an overly strong proportion of fentanyl in a batch of drugs. When these incidents occur, data gathering sweeps them rapidly into the system through multiple means. And when an outbreak occurs, texts and other messages are sent to first-responders to let them know that an area has bad drugs. And then intervention kicks in rapidly. Garis and his team have used this strongly evidence-based approach to identify patterns of property crime related to opioid-addiction. They’ve used this to hypothesize interventions such as rehab house assessments of naxalone and related drug-safety measures against outcomes. This is all smart city efforts, in this case aimed at a current scourge, fentanyl. It’s part of what is preventing a tremendous number more overdoses in the Lower Mainland than would occur otherwise. And this strongly evidence-based approach is part of the reason why Garis has all of those other hats. It’s been deeply effective and with provable results at a low cost in Surrey, and he’s helping other cities become equally smart around the world. He’s integrated the efforts of first-responders, health care and social services to deal with an epidemic. Technology giants such as Alphabet (nee Google), IBM and Microsoft have invested heavily in smart cities concepts and approaches. Most of them have not seen significant revenue from these efforts and most of the efforts have a whiff of marketing about them. IBM was in Rio de Janeiro setting up a smart cities operation center concept about a decade ago, one which was rarely sold. Alphabet is in Toronto with its Sidewalk Labs initiative in a new industrial land makeover. Microsoft’s work with Surrey is the strongest evidence I can find of a tech giant garnering excellent results. And mostly that was just providing a Cloud-based toolkit that was inexpensive enough for a dedicated team led by a visionary such as Garis to create an intelligent set of responses. A great deal of the low-hanging fruit has been plucked for smarter cities. Urban budgets are always under stress, and analysis takes time and money. Smart cities aren’t IoT sensors for everything on every corner all of the time. They aren’t just dumb CCTV cameras everywhere providing post facto blame allocation for crimes and accidents. Sensors are just the start. And it’s possible to overload the limited analysis bandwidth we have available with too much data. Most of us are living with evidence of smart cities under our eyes. We just don’t realize it.

As a police officer, have you ever pulled over or arrested another police or vice versa?

YES! But as a result of responding to his call for assistance. I worked in a bedroom county (2nd one south of the city) to Wash DC as a Patrol Officer in our Sheriff’s Office which functioned as the County Police in Maryland. Received a call to contact an off duty Metro DC police officer at his home in our county for possible shots fired. When I arrived I immediately sensed the DC off duty officer, who lived in his home to which I responded, had the typical attitude towards our agency. Big Stetson Hat, Big Pistols, Western style boots like the “hick” deputies on TV Shows of the 70’s. Since that was his attitude I slipped into that role to mentally disarm him. He explained that he had been driving on a near by road being followed by a white guy and black guy in a green VW Beetle with a highly detailed description of each of them and what they were wearing when they shot at him hitting his vehicle. He took me outside and showed me his driver’s side window had been broken out and there was a bullet exit hole in the passenger’s side front door window. Also there was a bullet hole in the driver’s side door that did not exit into the vehicle, so I knew it was still inside the door but let on I didn’t realize that. The dumber I acted the more relaxed he became. He had so very fine straight cuts on each cheek as if a razor blade had been used to make them and he explained them to me as have received them when the pistol round broke out the driver’s side door window. Again I played dumb accepting his explanation, though I knew the window crumbles into small pieces and his face should have been more pock marked than thin straight lines. The table we sat at in his kitchen he had obviously been cleaning his .38 special duty revolver issued to him by Metro DC and there was a box of ammunition with 8 round missing. His pistol had 6 rounds in it and in the box was 2 spent bullet casings that when I made a clumbsy inspection of the box smelled as if they had been freshly fired as did the pistol as well. I asked him if I could use his bathroom and he was so at ease he readily gave me permission and remained seated at the table. In the bathroom lying on the sink was a double edged razor blade with evidence of fresh blood on it. I pulled my small camera from my pocket I had used to take photo’s of the car damage, and photographed it as well. One of our veteran detectives and former Metro PD patrol officer arrived on the scene and I met him outside and gave him a round down on everything I had heard, and seen. The Detective did auto and boat upholstery on the side so he immediately got a tool from his cruiser and popped off the inside panel of the driver’s side door, located the spent round, photographed it, and then carefully recovered and bagged it for evidence. By then our Mobile Crime Lab arrived and began processing the car and seized the duty revolver, box of ammo including the spent rounds I had noted and smelled, as well as the Razor blade in the bathroom. By then the “victim” was beginning to realize we weren’t exactly the good ole boy Deputies from TV but actually were modern well trained police officers. We arrested him for filing a false report and I transported him to our Headquarters, processed him and put him in a holding cell. By the time I had finished typing my length report I went upstairs to the detectives squad room and the detective who had responded to assist me motioned me over to his desk. Sitting in chairs with him was a short white guy and a tall black guy dressed exactly as the “victim/accused” had described as his shooters and when I looked out the window at our parking lot there parked was the green VW Beetle. They introduced themselves to me as Metro DC Internal Affairs Investigators who had been staking the suspect out for fraudulent use of sick leave when he pulled his service revolver and confronted them. One was a Lt and the other a Detective Sergeant. We dropped our charges in lieu of Metro DC filing charges internally that they were confident would get him fired. We all went to Metro DC PD for the formal agency trial board and he was found guilty and sentenced to be fired. Somewhere along the way that was over ruled and he was instead promoted to Sgt! For some reason he liked me after that and treated me as if I was his best buddy. We were in several of the same classes at our community college and he’d chat at me all the time. I noted he really was exceptionally into all the young girls attending college there. Sure enough about a year later I was sent with detectives to arrest him on charges of Rape and other sex offenses. That time we refused to turn over the case to Metro DC and he was tried and convicted in our courts and sentenced to several years in prison. Unbelievably he some how managed to retire before he went to prison on a disability from Metro DC as a Sgt and almost got himself promoted to Lieutenant until the Chief got involved personally and halted that from occurring. Everyone of us working those cases, and our other officers who knew him were tickled pink we finally were able to “put him away” and get him out of our profession!

What strikes first time visitors as special or unusual when they arrive in Seattle, WA?

We have a terrific public transportation system in Seattle and the surrounding King County. Also, our Washington State ferry system is the largest in the world. What’s cool is that for less than 10 bucks, you can take an hour-long ferryboat ride to Bremerton, visit their cute downtown core, then take the boat back — for free. Just walk on, it’s that simple. I’ve sometimes told visitors if they have 3 or 4 hours to kill, why not take a ferry ride? People have been known to see Dahl’s porpoises, orcas, sea lions and many other sea creatures. Plus the scenery is GORGEOUS! On a clear day, I’ve seen Mts. Baker, Rainier and St. Helens soon after leaving Colman Dock in downtown Seattle. Three volcanoes, no waiting. Oh, something I saw AT the Docks, between the car ferry terminal and walk-on ferry terminal: a bald eagle. Right there in downtown Seattle. It was circling around, then headed NW to Discovery Park in the Magnolia neighborhood (the largest park in Seattle — has been known for cougar sightings). Another very cool thing about Seattle: It’s so easy to walk to so many places, including the Pike Place market and waterfront/ferry docks. You can go from the Market, down the “Hillclimb” directly to Alaskan Way, along Elliott Bay. Visit the Aquarium, Ye Olde Curiosity Shop and one of the original Ivar’s restaurants. Visit in the Summer. You may think it rains a lot in Seattle, but that’s a myth. Many larger cities get more rain, including NYC, Atlanta and Chicago. Our Summers are always dry; we’ve even had water rationing before. And Seattle is BEAUTIFUL in the Summer! Come in June, after the kids are out of school. We get real heat in July and August (103F is our record!). (Our Rain Festival is September to May, so if you’re coming at that time — yeah, it’s going to be damp and drizzly, but rarely downpouring). Seattle’s not a very big “big city,” either. I can walk North to South through the downtown core (about Virginia St to Pioneer Square) in about 20 minutes at a comfortable pace. Right about University Strett and south, the East-West Streets start getting hillier and hillier. By the time you get to James Street, it’s akin to San Francisco hilly. But around the “main” downtown core it’s flat to a slight incline, that’s all. The Market is more stairs than hills; LOTS of stairs! It’s built on a very sharp hill, almost cliff-like (see the aforementioned Hill Climb). All told, downtown Seattle’s a great place to walk. Bring your comfy shoes, water bottle, sunglasses (no kidding!), camera and light backpack and enjoy the strolls. Also lots of great shopping, including the flagship Nordstrom store at 5th & Pine, and the original Starbucks in Post Alley at the Market. There’s also a real grocery store at the heart of the downtown core at 3rd & Union (not just a little convenience store), including a great, fast deli. Used to go there a lot when I only had 30 minutes for lunch. Yes, Seattle can be expensive, but I don’t have a very large income and I manage to have quite a good time. If you like the Bohemian scene, hop an eastbound Metro bus to Capitol Hill. One landmark is a great statue of Jimi Hendrix, across from Seattle Central Community College. Tons of cool shops on Cap Hill, the most densely populated neighborhood north of San Francisco. Seattle’s very neighborhood-oriented; each one has its own unique culture. Google “Seattle Neighborhoods” and see what you get. I personally love Capitol Hill, Fremont, Wallingford, Ballard, Magnolia and the U-District. You should at least go to Fremont, if you love strange statues. They have Lenin, a rocket-ship and the world-famous Fremont Troll. The Troll resides under the I-5 Bridge, and if you see photos, you’ll notice he’s clutching what appears to be a VW Bug. In case it wasn’t captioned, just think… that’s a LIFE SIZED VW Bug! That’s how huge the Troll is. Worth the bus ride up there just for that. An even stranger pair of statues is further south, near Boeing Field: the Giant Hat & Boots. A bus goes nearby (the #131 last I checked), so go see them too, in Georgetown. Go a little further south, to the Boeing Museum of Flight. You can see (and touch, as I have) the very first 747 aka “The City of Everett”, named after the city in which it was built (in the largest building in the world, by volume). I could go on and on (which I have), but yeah… in summation, Seattle itself is great, and we have a LOT of things to see and do in the immediately surrounding area. If you’re into nature, you can go even further out (I use public transpo so I’ve not done this) and access hiking, kayaking, fishing and other outdoor activities within an hour’s drive.

What will the automotive industry look like in 2020?

There will be a wonder full look and if this continues then this type’s of features gone be soon by the end of 2020. For Future prediction let’s start the story… Much like cell phones are now capable of doing more than making calls, cars can do much more than drive and park. In recent years, the automotive industry has worked hand-in-hand with major technology companies in order to deliver the most advanced, safest and most comfortable vehicles out there. Cars are becoming large smart devices with advanced emergency braking capabilities, mapping technology for autonomous driving, better fuel efficiency and cars as a service as a form of transportation. There are no shortages of ways in which cars are improving the lives of drivers and other vehicles around them in terms of safety, getting from point A to point B with less of a hassle and entertaining us throughout the process. In the coming years, the automotive industry is expected to progress even further, taking us one step closer to more connected and digitized environment. The app is one such technological advancement that is giving control back to consumers, allowing them to buy, sell and finance cars all on their smartphone. Here are four of the most groundbreaking technologies you can look forward to in the automotive industry in the near future. 1) More Fuel-Efficient Rides Tesla is at the forefront of the Fuel efficient movement, releasing a slew of electric and hybrid vehicles that can take you for hundreds of miles with a single charge. In 2016, more than 2 million electric vehicles were sold worldwide and this figure is expected to rise in the near future as more automotive manufacturers implement electric vehicle technology to their fold. Companies such as VW and General Motors have recently unveiled electric cars to their fleet, while Volvo said that all of the engines they produce will be equipped with an electric motor by 2019. Electric vehicles are also becoming more affordable, with companies such as Hyundai, Kia and Toyota unveiling hybrid cars under the $30,000 mark, suggesting that investing in fuel efficiency may soon be widely adopted around the globe. In the U.S., 20% to 25% of all vehicle sales are expected to be electric by 2030, while this figure is expected to reach up to 35% in China. 2) Predictive Vehicle Technology Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) have an important role in the future of the automotive industry as predictive capabilities are becoming more prevalent in cars, personalizing the driving experience. More manufacturers are applying algorithms that use data to automate the process of setting up a vehicle, including a car’s infotainment system and its application preferences. Vehicles are becoming IoT devices which can connect to smartphones and take voice commands, changing the user interface. Predictive vehicle technology can also be used in the form of sensors within a car that informs the owner whether or not the vehicle needs service from a mechanic. Depending on your car’s mileage and condition, the technology will be able to estimate its performance, set up appointments in real time and inform users of any safety hazards linked with a malfunctioning car due to company recalls. 3) Self-Driving Technology Much has been made of Autonomous driving technology, and while some companies have been testing their self-driving functionalities on open roads, we’re still quite a ways away from widely adopting these cars. A number of cars already have semi-autonomous capabilities in the form of driver-assisted technologies. These include automatic-braking sensors, motorway lane sensors, mapping technology that monitors blind spots, cameras in the back and front of a car, adaptive cruise control and self-parking capabilities. Google recently revealed the self-driving pod Waymo, while Local Motors released a fully-autonomous vehicle as well. Ford hopes to have a self-driving vehicle on the roads by 2021. 4) Cars-as-a-Service (CaaS) Cars-as-a-service (CaaS) refers to an upcoming car rental service, that allows city drivers to engage in a ride-sharing service. Smart device owners can hail a car with driverless technology through an app, which picks them up for their transportation or delivery needs. The great thing about the technology is that no driver’s license is needed to access one of these vehicles, serving as a driverless Uber. IHS Automotive predicts that driverless CaaS are on the horizon, expected to roll out before 2025. Such a technology could help to reduce mobility services costs, while also offering a safer alternative to a human driver. The last words… Some of the greatest minds in the tech industry have joined forces with automotive companies in order to improve the way our vehicles operate these days. The rise of electric vehicle technology is helping to reduce carbon emissions without breaking the bank as more companies are designing cars with electric motors. Big data and AI are playing an essential role in the customization of vehicles as well, notifying car owners of when their vehicles need maintenance. Plus, the rise of self-driving vehicles and the potential of CaaS as a mobility service will save consumers greatly, while also increasing their safety.

What is so special about luxury cars? What are some of the unique features that stand out in comparison to other cars that make these cars "luxurious"?

While my four kids were growing up and my wife was a stay-at-home mom, we stuck to utilitarian transport (two VW microbuses over ten years) out of necessity. Moving into management gave me a company car (Toyota) which was a relief to have two vehicles. Then advancing into the executive world permitted me to experience the difference of owning three BMWs of increasing levels of luxury and performance. I retired with a Jaguar XF V8. I still have it but plan to exchange it for a pick-up or SUV eventually since I no longer get much use out of it (although I love driving it). My wife still drives a BMW 3 series. So I can say with some conviction that a luxury car has massive advantages in comfort and performance. I injured my back as a youngster and the Beemers and Jag eliminated my hatred of travelling long distances with backache. Gadgetry is nothing to be excited about. This year's extras have a habit of becoming next year's standard. Some things like air-con and power windows become "essential" if you're accustomed to them (like powered gates and garage doors) - but since I live in South Africa, security is more of a concern than in, say, Montana or Nebraska! Also, in our materialistic society, I definitely get more consideration from people who judge me by my car. Our infamous mini-bus taxi drivers are more inclined to give me a gap in heavy traffic, for example. Car parking-guards (a South African oddity?) always know which is my car and seem to be very aware of its presence - and expect a generous tip (so I can't risk disappointing them). Motorised seats with programmable memory for different drivers is a nice-to-have but not essential. Separate climate controls are unnecessary. Rear-view camera is great - once in a blue moon. Airbags under the hood/bonnet might be appreciated by unfortunate pedestrians - but I've driven responsibly enough for over 40 years to prefer it being optional and not an obligatory cost. Built-in SatNav is essential! As is keyless entry, once you're used to it (I built my own, back in the '80's). My house has always had keyboard-entry, I have an aversion to carrying loads of stuff in my pockets. ABS and dynamic stability control is essential. Big, fat tires with lots of grip cost a fortune but pay back over and over. Being able to take advantage of gaps in traffic that a weaker engine would make risky, is priceless. Our railroad system has been decimated by the current government, resulting in a massive volume of trucks on freeways/highways. Driving up from the coast is horrible if you can't nip past these buggers easily. As far as being treated well by the dealers, that is true only in certain cases. BMW has treated me as well as Hyundai has treated my son - considerate up to a point. Jaguar has always treated me like a faceless john. I love the car but have nothing to say about their dealers' courtesy or willingness to make my experience any different to Ford or VW who I dealt with when helping my kids buy their vehicles - it's simply another sale to them. I envy the Toyota Lexus owners who get treated like minor royalty! Edit: P.S. If you can afford a luxury car, then you should consider collision-avoidance and high-performance driving courses an essential add-on. I did my first course for free (company-sponsored) through BMW at the Kyalami racetrack. After this eye-opener, I attended three more at my own cost. I would recommend this to anyone who can afford it. It borders on negligence not to do this, if you can. That's how strongly I feel about it.

Future electric cars: upcoming battery-powered cars that will be on the roads within the next 5 years, really?

Electric cars are already a mainstay on the roads, with a growing number of ,all-electric models being available to buy right now,. The electric effect is now in full force, with established brands committing to offering a wider range of pure electric cars in the future, while those who depend heavily on diesel are seeing sales falter - with a deadline of 2035 in regions like the UK to halt sales in combustion cars. Prices are falling, models are diversifying and it's all going hand-in-hand with increased investment and roll-out of ,charging networks,. But what electric cars are coming? Let's take a closer look at what you can expect to see hitting the roads in the next few years. JEEP Jeep Wrangler BEV Concept Jeep has teased an all-electric Wrangler. Thanks to a ,site looking forward to the future of Jeep,, we now know that the brand is looking at an electric offroader. Not much is declared about the plans, but it does say more will be revealed at the Easter Jeep Safari. HYUNDAI Hyundai Ioniq 5 Hyundai has teased images of its forthcoming Ioniq 5. The Ioniq 5 is said to be based on the Hyundai 45 concept that was shown at the 2019 Frankfurt motorshow. It's expected to be a new E-GMP based battery electric vehicle and promised to get a world premiere in February 2021. KIA Kia future electric cars Kia has confirmed that there will be a new next-gen battery electric vehicle announced in early 2021. It will sit on the E-GMP platform, have a crossover-inspired design and over 500km of range. It will be the first launch under the new Kia branding and we suspect it will the car internally known as the Kia CV and closely related to the forthcoming Hyundai Ioniq 5. RENAULT Renault 5 Prototype When in doubt, roll in nostalgia. That seems to be the approach that Renault wants to take, showing off an prototype of an electric Renault 5. We've all got fond memories of this classic, and it would go head-to-head with the Mini Electric and the Honda e as a compact EV for urban dwellers. Please Renault, please, please, please reinvent the Renault 5. MOTOR1 Audi Q4 e-tron Audi unveiled two versions of the Q4 concept - ,the e-tron and the Sportback,. It's very much following the lead of the original e-tron model, offering two styles of electric SUV in smaller sizes than the existing model. That will expand the range towards Q5 size. A range of 279 miles is claimed from an 82kWh battery for the Quattro models, a rear-wheel drive only model should hit 310 miles. We're expecting to see more of the Q4 e-tron later in 2020, with the Sportback due in 2021 - and already spotted in camouflage out testing. BMW BMW iX BMW has announced its flagship electric SUV, the ,BMW iX,. This is the production model of the long-tease iNext, now appearing more like an electric X5 in terms of size. It promises a number of configurations, with 300 mile range, all-wheel drive and a 500ps model. There's a refreshed interior design too, so it feels like something of a continuation of the BMW i3. HYUNDAI Hyundai Kona Electric Hyundai has announced a refreshed version of the ,Kona Electric,, due on the roads in 2021. While the underpinnings remain similar - it will still give impressive 300 mile range and come in two battery sizes - there's been a refresh to the interior and the exterior to make this car look a little more like an EV. No word on pricing, but we expect it to compeitive. GMC Hummer EV There's an ,electric Hummer, coming that promises to be a capable as combustion version. Hummer is throwing in loads of tech and loads of power, wanting to rival the Tesla Cybertruck. There's 350 miles of range promised and a super-fast 350kW charging, while the motors will deliver 1000hp and a 0-60 time of 3 seconds. There's full visibility with cameras under the body, as well as the ability to drive diagonally, thanks to all-wheel steering. Production won't start until late 2021. DACIA Dacia Spring The ,Dacia Spring, is now an official prodcution car. Aimed at the affordable end of the market, it has a range of 140 miles, rugged urban looks, and 44hp. It's designed as a mass market EV for city dwellers. There's no word on pricing, and we also don't know if it's coming to the UK. POLESTAR Polestar Precept The ,Polestar Precept, was a concept design, but Polestar has announced that it's going to put it into production. It's going to be aimed at the premium end of the market, with grand coupe lines and the promise not just of zero tailpipe emissions - but of an environmentally conscious approach to all the materials used in the car. BMW BMW i4 The ,BMW i4, is due for launch in 2020 and will sit on the same fifth-gen eDrive system as the BMW i3X and the iX. The model is what might expect from a BMW Gran Coupe, but with massive teeth and the details of the eDrive system have already been confirmed. There will be an 80kWh battery that will charge at 150kW and give a range up to 370 miles. The motors will produce 530bhp, giving a 0-62mph time of 4 seconds and a top speed of 125mph. It looks and sounds exactly what you want your mid-range BMW saloon to produce. It will be on the roads in 2021 - but there's also been a ,tease of an M Performance model,. VW VW ID.4 The VW ID.4 is official, the German company's second electric model, this time in compact SUV form. There will be several versions of the ID.4 with 310 miles on the top model, starting as a rear-wheel drive model and expanding to be all-wheel drive in the future. There's no price or exact date on the ID.4, but we can expect to see it in 2021. POCKET-LINT Porsche Macan Porsche has announced that the ,Macan is going to move to being pure electric, - meaning that Porsche will have an electric SUV. It will join the luxury ranks of SUV EVs with a performance leaning, using the 800-volt system Porsche is using in the Taycan, and sitting on the PPE platform adapted from Audi. Not a lot else is being said at the moment, but the shifting of the Macan to electric shows real diversification of the Porsche portfolio. It is expected on the roads in 2022. FORD Ford has promised that there will be an ,electric F-150, on the roads in 2022. That's going to hit the US market in the big way. Ford hasn't said much about its plans, except that it doesn't want to compromise on the performance that the F-150 offers. SKODA Skoda Enyaq iV Skoda's first electric SUV is the ,Enyaq iV, and it's going to be closely related to the VW ID.4, both sitting on the same platform. Three battery capacities and five power levels mean a range of options, although not all will come to all markets. Prices will start from £33.450 in the UK for the 242 miles range model. It will be on the road in 2021. NISSAN Nissan Ariya Nissan's latest electric car ,is the Ariya,. It was originally unveiled as a concept in 2019, but has made its way to production practically unchanged. It's an SUV, sitting in the space between the Qashqai and the X-Trail. The Ariya will offer two battery sizes and a number of different motor configurations, as well as options for two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. With prices starting from an estimated £40,000, it's expected on the roads in 2021. BMW BMW iX3 No longer a concept, the ,BWM iX3, is the electric version of the X3, meaning you can how get an emission-free BMW SUV. It's a major step, with BMW moving into the mainstream, offering 285 miles from an 80kWh battery. It will first be launching in China 2020, with global roll-out in 2021. VAUXHALL Vauxhall Mokka-e Vauxhall has announced the ,second-gen Mokka,, launching an electric version from the off. It will have a 50kW battery and promises over 200 miles of range. There will be 100kWh charging and a refreshed design, showing the new face of Vauxhall. It's an exciting change, slotting right into the competitive crossover space and it's great to see another EV in this space. It will be available from late summer 2020, price to be confirmed. AUDI Audi Artemis Audi has setup a special working group, called ,Artemis,, with the aim of creating a highly-efficient electric car. The new group has been designed to work autonomously with plenty of freedom, with a target date of 2024 for a new vehicle. It's being headed up by Alex Hitzinger, formerly working on the Apple car project, and previously with some of the biggest names in motorsports. We're expecting something that pops out of the Audi template here, so watch this space. SAIC MOTORS MG 5 MG has said that it's bringing an ,electric estate car, to the UK as soon as it can open showrooms again. Currently there are no electric estates so this fills a small gap in the options available, likely to appeal to those needing accessible load space and dog walkers. It looks to be based on the Chinese Roewe Ei5, and we're expecting a 52.5kWh battery and range of 260 miles. BMW BMW i7 BMW has confirmed that the ,next-generation of BMW 7 Series, will include an all-electric version. It's not going to be exclusively electric as there will be petrol, diesel and hybrid versions too - but there's talk of two versions, the i7 and the i7S. The latter is expect to have a 120kWh battery, 660hp and a range of 320 miles. BMW is serious about electric cars and there's a lot in the pipeline - the BMW i7 will take things to the luxury level. RENAULT Renault Twingo ZE Renault has made one of its cutest cars electric in the ,Twingo ZE,. This compact urban car is designed to keep the price down, with a 22kWh battery - good for 250km (143 miles) - and a 60kW motor, that will whisk you from 0-30mph in 4 seconds, perfect for city driving. There's no word on the price, but we've already heard it's not coming to the UK. FIAT Fiat 500 The Fiat 500 has been relaunched as an electric model, getting a redesign over the 2007 model that's been really popular. Now there's a 42kWh battery and 87kW motor, claiming 0-62mph in 9 seconds, but 0-30 in 3.1 seconds. It supports charging up to 85kW and will give you 199 miles of range (WLTP). There's four seats, lots of options (including convertible) and it's available to order from £29,000. TESLA Tesla Cybertruck If you wanted a vision of the future, then Tesla may have delivered it. Unveiling the ,Cybertruck,, this is Elon Musk's promised pickup truck, with dual cab and then a loading bay at the rear. The Cybertruck is eye-catching with its unusual angular design. On the practical front it will come in three different versions with 250+, 300+ or 500+ miles of range, with the top model, a tri-motor version promising a 0-60mph time of 2.9 seconds. Tesla doesn't do things by half. It's available for pre-order now, deliveries expected from 2021. VW GROUP VW ID. Space Vizzion VW had long said it was going to have a full family of ID electric cars and ,the Space Vizzion, is what you get when you pull together an electric estate or station wagon. It's quite the looker we can't help thinking and while many are focusing on SUV or crossover models, the lower and longer effect that you get from a wagon could do wonders for the performance of this EV, not to mention the boot space. It's a concept for now, but we're expecting this electric Passat (did we say that?) to be available in 2021. VW is saying 300 miles of range which isn't quite the 600 miles you'll get from the diesel, but we don't have to drive that far to walk the dog, so we'll all cope. FISKER Fisker Ocean Fisker is trying to shake things up with a range of luxury electric cars. The ,Fisker Ocean, got an official unveiling in January 2020 - although it's not due on the road until 2022. It will use recycled and vegan materials, have an 80kWh battery and a range of 250-300 miles. Fisker wants to compete with Tesla with a 0-60 time of less than 3 seconds, but the big unique feature is the option for a full-length solar roof to help charge the battery. POCKET-LINT Electric Range Rover There's a ,fully electric Range Rover, in the works, going under the name of Road Rover, because it's going to be slightly more road-centric than some of the other Range Rovers. It's supposed to sit between the Velar and the Evoque in terms of size, so it sounds a lot like the Jaguar i-Pace. Not much is currently known about what it might offer or when it might appear. POCKET-LINT Seat El-Born Seat is joining the electric car movement with ,the El-Born,, named after a region of Barcelona. The car sits on VW's MEB platform and is due to arrive in 2020, getting its first appearance at the Geneva International Motorshow in 2019. Seat is looking at a 420km range (260 miles), with a 0-62kpm time of 7.5 seconds. There will be 204PS from the 150kW motor and a 62kWh battery. CUPRA Cupra El-Born Cupra - now a separate brand from Seat - has its own version of the el-Born. It also has the same name, ,Cupra El-Born,, which doesn't really aid its cause of being seen as a separate entity. It has sporty looks, a custom chassis control and claims of 310 miles from the 82kW battery. POCKET-LINT Byton M-Byte Byton originally showed off an ,SUV EV concept,, with broad ambitions for a start-up in the EV segment. That has now matured into the Byton M-Byte, with production getting started and looking to get on the road in mid-2020 - in China at least. The price of €54,000 sounds fairly aggressive, but there's little telling what verison that's for. There are two- or all-wheel drive options, with the latter claiming a 270 mile range. Most of the conversation is about the huge 43-inch display curving across the interior, however. POCKET-LINT Lotus Evija The ,Lotus Type 130, or Evija as it is called, is an all-electric hypercar limited to just 130 models, but paving the way for future production cars from Lotus. It has been designed for maximum performance, with 2000PS and a 70kWh battery that aims to give 250 miles of range. However, the car will offer blistering acceleration, and while Lotus hasn't given final figures, it'll hit 186mph in under 9 seconds. This car will cost £2 million pounds and preorders are open, asking for a £250,000 deposit. POCKET-LINT Lightyear One The ,Lightyear One, is a luxury saloon that adds solar panels to the roof and bonnet of the car, aiming to give the owner a boost from the sun all the time - even when driving. While much of the car is conventional for an EV, the additional solar panels will give a 12km range boost per hour (in good light). That might mean free charging while parked at the beach - although in winter you'll have to charge it more. However, the asking price for the limited run Lightyear One will be €119,000, so going solar comes at a price. POCKET-LINT Audi e-tron GT concept Unveiled at the LA Auto Show 2018, the ,Audi e-tron GT Concept, showcases Audi's future electric sportscar. This is a four seater, powered by the same batteries as the existing e-tron models and sharing a lot with the Porsche Taycan. Audi has been quite open about the co-development of the e-tron GT and the Taycan, and we're expecting a lot of technical similarities. The performances stats currently suggest an 800V charging system, 0-62mph in 3.5 seconds and a range of 248 miles. There's a vegan interior on the Concept model, with Audi saying that it wants to push the eco message even further. The Audi e-tron GT Concept will be hitting the roads in 2020. POCKET-LINT Rivian RS1 Rivian wants to join the EV movement with this offroader of its own. It's designed to tackle the great outdoors, boasting a wading depth of 3ft and 0-60mph time of 3 seconds. Why you'd need to go so fast offroad, we'll never know. Rivian is a newcomer to the EV space, showing off its cars for the first time at the LA Auto Show in 2018 - there's also a truck/pickup version - and is available for pre-order for a $1000 deposit. We'd be tempted to wait until these are actually on the road before parting with any money. POCKET-LINT BMW i5 BMW unveiled the ,i Vision Dynamics concept coupe, at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2017. It previews a mid-sized saloon car, in the BMW i range that's likely to be called i5 when it launches in 2021. It's bigger than the company's 3-Series saloon, but smaller than a 5-Series and designed to sit between the ,i3, and ,i8, in the electric BMW i range. The family-sized car will be capable of reaching 60mph in under 4 seconds, go on to a speed over 120mph and be able to last up to 372 miles on a single charge. Let's hope it arrives with the same futuristic design displayed on the concept version. POCKET-LINT Faraday Future FF91 A huge question mark hangs over the striking FF91. The company has been through ups and downs, but managed to showcase pre-production drivable models in 2020. The FF-91 has a huge 126-inch wheelbase, but that makes for a huge interior. The panoramic sunroof, rear and side windows use Polymer Dispersed Liquid Crystal Glass, which passengers can tap on to tint the windows and let less light in. Don't expect to get a conventional rear-view mirror inside, as Faraday Future has replaced it with a widescreen monitor instead. The 1,050bhp electric power unit will accelerate to 60mph in 2.39-seconds and will have a driving range between 378 and 435 miles. Faraday Future says the battery can be completely recharged in 1 hour. POCKET-LINT ID Buzz and Cargo Concept The ,ID Buzz, is due to go on sale in 2022. It references VW's historic Microbus and will able to seat up to eight people, with an interior that can be constantly changed around. There's also a Cargo Concept, which may well get launched before any passenger model arrives, with the rising demand for clean first and last mile transport. Two electric motors will give the ID Buzz a total power output of 369bhp to propel it to 60mph in around 5-seconds. It will be limited to a top speed of 100mph, will have four-wheel drive and a 372 mile driving range. You will be able to recharge the battery to 80 per cent, which VW says will be enough for 298 miles of travel, in 30 minutes.

What are some good used cars to get a 16 year old?

Having been asked this question for more than 40 years, I can tell you one thing for sure, DO NOT, get them the “car of their dreams”. They might care for it like a fanatic, but kids have less than zero common sense when it comes to their first car. They want, sporty, fast, lots of electronic “toys” and something to impress their equally vacuous peers. The perfect vehicle would be a four cylinder, heavily armored military grade Humvee with a 55mph governor. Of course, there isn't a kid in the world, well maybe a few, that would want to be seen dead in that. So this is where common sense should rule. Forget style, and class and all the other "emotional" crap pertaining to cars and look at the plain simple facts. First, kids cost a fortune to insure. Put one into a brand new road rocket and now it costs two fortunes for insurance. Second, kids could care less about maintenance. They are gonna gas 'em up and drive 'em 'til the wheels fall off, and probably never check the oil or tire pressures or even wash it. Third, no damned toys! Their attention spans are already as short as a fruit bat and the last thing they need is a freaking' monitor screen in the dash to screw with while trying to learn how to drive. Bluetooth crap, GPS, Satellite radios, 6-way cameras, megawatt stereos and Mp3 smart phone links have killed enough of our kids to warrant their own mass gravesite. All that negativity said, look around and see what kinds of cars commercial transport companies like real live taxi services use, not the Uber and Lyft crap of private cars in use. 90% of them are using the older Ford Crown Victoria's and Mercury Grand Marquis, and there's a very good reason. They're built like tanks, get decent fuel mileage, and they're large enough to be comfortable and small enough to fit in commercial parking spaces. They have enough power to merge onto an interstate highway without fear of being splattered by some 80mph semi, and Toyota's, Hyundai's, Kia's BMW's and the like, just bounce off of them in an accident. They have all the safety amenities like airbags, ABS braking systems, alarm systems and all the goodies that will get you the insurance discounts as well as steel reinforced doors and a real live frame. They also come with tons of luxury items like adjustable pedal height, heated seats and mirrors, power seats and windows and an excellent HVAC system. The factory stereo has more than enough power to cause hearing loss and there are virtually no blind spots when driving. If junior "requires" hands free Bluetooth connectivity for their smart phone, an aftermarket add-on is much cheaper and just as effective as having to purchase a $30,000 late model POS to get one. Also, there are tons of parts out there for them and maintaining them is much easier than any of the new vehicles and way more affordable. There are certainly other vehicles that are comparable to the Ford products I've mentioned, but they are not as well tested and proven as the Fords. I'm a big Mopar fan of the earlier Dodge, Plymouth, and Chrysler products, but their later model vehicles manufactured after their "restructuring and merging with European manufacturers has turned their product line into a batch of eurocrap. Even their new Challenger and Charger series have some serious quality problems. On a personal note, when I'm not driving my '83 Dodge 3/4 ton behemoth, I drive a '98 Crown Victoria and my wife drives a 2010 Grand Marquis. My daughters first car was a 1967 Dodge dart GT 340 and she now drives a 2019 Hyundai Kona. My granddaughters first car at 16 was a 2000 Grand Marquis which she still drives at 21. And my grandson who just turned 17 is also going to get either a Marquis or a Crown Vic as well. They have all driven Toyota's and VW's and pretty much every late model car on the market, this side of some pricey Mercedes, Audi's, Porsches and Beemers. And after doing so, have all agreed that the "taxi cab" cars are easier to drive and they feel much safer than driving something that puts them at eye level to the lug nuts on a semi tractor.

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