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It’s a happy sunny day as you are driven down the road by your self-driving car. You have been down this road 100 times. The trees sway in the wind and the flowers look even more amazing then you ever remember. You stare your lover in the eyes and toast to a most wonderful year and how the good times have made this year seem to fly by. Your lover points to the front of the car and reminds you of the time you kissed under the stars on the old single lane bridge that is approaching. As you speed toward the bridge you barley notice a person climbing the bridge supporting column. The person falls in your path. There is not enough time to stop.  If the breaks are applied your car will surely plow into this person. If the car swerves left or right you will fly off the bridge and to your death. There is no override since you are in the back seat with your love.  Someone is going to die today at the hands of software developer thousands of miles away.

                The car’s onboard system constantly collects the information about what the car is doing and where the card is located geographically. It knows there is a living person in the front of it and is aware that it cannot stop in time. It quickly tries to find a safe route around the person it has determined that both left and right sides of the bridge have a huge elevation change indicating a cliff. The system estimates the chance of not falling off the cliff when impacting the column is slim to none.

                The ethical module is the last set of processes that will be called before making its decision. It knows there are two lives in the car. It knows there is one life in the road way. The system is design to save as many lives as possible. The car slams into the person while applying the brakes in hopes to do as little damage as possible.

                You and yours are lucky because if there had been one more person in the road way you’d been plummeting to your death.


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I purchased a Nissan Leaf on May 12th; so what does it cost me in electricity?

Like most people I have an electric bill and I have tier billing. These are the tiers from Austin Energy:


Tier 1 first 500 kWh at $0.018 per kWh    $9.00
Tier 2 next 500 kWh at $0.056 per kWh    $28.00
Tier 3 next 500 kWh at $0.072 per kWh    $36.00
Tier 4 next 1,000 kWh at $0.084 per kWh    $84.00


The Measure:

To measure how much power my charger consumes; I use a device called a Kill-o-Watt. It plugs in between the wall and the car charger.

Here are 2 average samples:

From a full charge I drove 31 miles and used 12.8 kWh.

From a full charge I drove 64.4 miles and used 25.72 kWH

My average is right around 35 miles a day and I only use this car for work, so 20 days a month. Last month was 715 miles.


The Math:

So from these two samples I can say 95.4 miles will use 38.52 kWH

Mathematically that works to be 100 Miles at 40.37 kWH or 1 mile = .4037 kWH

So depending on what tier I am in when charging the Leaf the price will vary.

I general get through all 4 tiers by the end of the month.


Tier 1 would be 179 miles at 0.4037kWH  per mile = 72.161 kWH total * $0.018 = $1.29

Tier 2 would be 179 miles at 0.4037kWH  per mile = 72.161 kWH total * $0.056 = $4.04

 Tier 3 would be 179 miles at 0.4037kWH  per mile = 72.161 kWH total * $0.072 = $5.20


Tier 4 would be 179 miles at 0.4037kWH  per mile = 72.161 kWH total * $0.084 = $6.06


The Result:

So my drive to work of 715 miles cost me roughly $16.59 a month.


 My Leaf: The 2 blue lights on the dashboard show the charge level. There are 3 lights total.


Kill-a-watt: This measure usage for anything you plugin to it.