CLOSE
Petrolicious on YouTube
Petrolicious on YouTube

New DeLoreans Will Soon Be Back in Production

Petrolicious on YouTube
Petrolicious on YouTube

Most people now recognize the DeLorean DMC-12 as the time machine from the Back to the Future films, but in the early 1980s, the model had a different claim to fame: the car with gull-wing doors that virtually no one bought. After a few years of poor sales and legal troubles for the company's founder, the DMC-12 and the DeLorean Motor Company all but faded away. Hardcore fans of the car and the films know how to track down parts for their DMC-12s, but according to a recent announcement, getting your hands on a replica is about to become a lot easier.

The Texas-based DeLorean Motor Company has been supplying vintage parts for the cars for years. And according to Ars Technica, a change to legislation will now allow the company to produce new parts:

"The 2015 Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015 rolled up a lot of different transportation-related bills, including one that now allows companies to build replica vehicles without having to satisfy modern safety regulations, as long as fewer than 325 are made each year."

While 325 may not sound like a lot of DeLoreans, considering the very small number that were produced 35 years ago and the even smaller number of original DMC-12s believed to still be on the road, this is welcome news to those who have dreamed of sitting behind the wheel of the unique ride.

Currently able to build one car per month, DMC CEO Stephen Wynne hopes to soon get production up to one per week by early 2017. Today, a refurbished DMC-12 costs between $45,000 and $55,000. While Wynne says that the price for a new replicas will depend on the type of modern engine the company chooses, he hopes to sell them for less than $100,000.

[h/t: Ars Technica]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
technology
iPhone’s ‘Do Not Disturb’ Feature Is Actually Reducing Distracted Driving (a Little)
iStock
iStock

While it’s oh-so-tempting to quickly check a text or look at Google Maps while driving, heeding the siren call of the smartphone is one of the most dangerous things you can do behind the wheel. Distracted driving led to almost 3500 deaths in the U.S. in 2016, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and even more non-fatal accidents. In the summer of 2017, Apple took steps to combat the rampant problem by including a “Do Not Disturb While Driving” setting as part of its iOS 11 upgrade. And the data shows that it’s working, as Business Insider and 9to5Mac report.

The Do Not Disturb While Driving feature allows your iPhone to sense when you’re in a moving car, and mutes all incoming calls, texts, and other notifications to keep you from being distracted by your phone. A recent survey from the insurance comparison website EverQuote found that the setting works as intended; people who kept the setting enabled did, in fact, use their phones less.

The study analyzed driver behavior recorded by EverDrive, EverQuote’s app designed to help users track and improve their safety while driving. The report found that 70 percent of EverDrive users kept the Do Not Disturb setting on rather than disabling it. Those drivers who kept the setting enabled used their phone 8 percent less.

The survey examined the behavior of 500,000 EverDrive users between September 19, 2017—just after Apple debuted the feature to the public—and October 25, 2017. The sample size is arguably small, and the study could have benefited from a much longer period of analysis. Even if people are looking at their phones just a little less in the car, though, that’s a win. Looking away from the road for just a split second to glance at an incoming notification can have pretty dire consequences if you’re cruising along at 65 mph.

When safety is baked into the design of technology, people are more likely to follow the rules. Plenty of people might not care enough to enable the Do Not Disturb feature themselves, but if it’s automatically enabled, plenty of people won’t go through the work to opt out.

[h/t 9to5Mac]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
David B. Gleason, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0
arrow
technology
Why You Sometimes See Black Tubes Stretched Across the Road
David B. Gleason, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0
David B. Gleason, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

If you spend enough time driving down the right route, you may notice them: the skinny black tubes that seem to appear on stretches of road at random. But the scaled-down speed bumps are easy to miss. Unlike other features on the highway, these additions are meant to be used by the government, not drivers.

According to Jalopnik, those mysterious rubber cords are officially known as pneumatic road tubes. The technology they use is simple. Every time a vehicle’s tires hit the tube, it sends a burst of air that triggers a switch, which then produces an electrical signal that’s recorded by a counter device. Some tubes are installed temporarily, usually for about a day, and others are permanent. Rechargeable batteries powered by something like lead acid or gel keep the rig running.

Though the setup is simple, the information it records can tell federal agencies a lot about traffic patterns. One pneumatic tube can track the number of cars driving over a road in any given span of time. By measuring the time that passes between air bursts, officials can determine which time of day has the most traffic congestion. Two pneumatic tubes installed slightly apart from each other paint an even broader picture. Using this method, government agencies can gauge the class, speed, and direction of each vehicle that passes through.

Based on the data, municipalities can check which road signs and speed limits are or aren't working, and decide how much money to allot to their transportation budgets accordingly.

For a closer look at how these tubes are installed, check out the video below.

[h/t Jalopnik]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios