Talkin’ ’bout a revolution…
October 16, 2012 § Leave a comment
Blog post by Dr Gregory Offer, Imperial College London, at Engine Technology International: the revolution’s a-coming, he says, in the shape of autonomously-driven vehicles. “It will become possible to do a full day’s work while traveling in a mobile office. The disruptive nature of the revolution will put some out of jobs, but it will also generate new openings elsewhere. Car clubs with autonomous vehicles might become the norm, requiring regular servicing, cleaning and managing, and owning a car outright might be a luxury only the rich indulge in”.
Offer adds that we may see an increase in demand for transport services, making efficiency gains and electrification even more of a priority, and that “for the industry, it is a vision to aim for as we sow the seeds for one of the next great revolutions that will free drivers from the chains of the steering wheel and enable them to enjoy unprecedented levels of mobility.” But all this could lead to unemployment, says John Naughton in the Observer. Naughton cites a book called Race Against the Machine, which looks at the impact of digital technology on employment. (Pic: from Ricardo, of the SARTRE road train/platooning trial; thanks to headlineauto).
- With intelligent transport systems come new possibilities for enforcement: directly automated issuing of fines, for example, plus the chance to report offenders and a witness scheme in the event of an offence or accident – “asking the surrounding vehicles to act as electronic witnesses”, says a spokesman for the Information and Communications Technology Security Group, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. More on that here, full report in INTELLIGENT TRANSPORT SYSTEMS. Volume: 6. Number: 3. Page: 270-281 (September 2012).
- Automakers are going to have to go open-source for their in-car connectivity kit to save development costs and keep up with the latest tech and consumer demands. Says Jim Zemlin (of the Linux Foundation). More at Wired.
- Is the greenest street in America on Chicago’s West Side? A newly-resurfaced 1.5-mile stretch of Cernak Road features photocatalytic cement (absorbs nitrous oxides from traffic fumes), plus 95 different species of native plant, shrub and treelife irrigated by rainwater runoff, pedestrian ‘refuges’, solar-powered lighting and wind turbine-powered info booths; bike lanes come soon. More at Grist.
- Liftshare saw a 50% increase in ‘invitation to share’ messages between members on its website in its promotional Liftshare Week (1st-5th October). The organisation has lately been working with firms including BT.