Logistics tech, car-to-car communications, EVs and in-car ethernet…

October 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

Not a car thing as yet, but logistics tech which could be applied to the fleets of the future: the two-year ERTOC project (Efficient and Reliable Transportation of Consignments) has developed a prototype management system to optimise both cost-savings and fuel economy/vehicle emissions. A collaboration between Ricardo, GS1 UK, Unipart Logistics, IRIS Technology and Coventry University, part-funded by the Technology Strategy Board, ERTOC enables study of sustainability throughout the supply chain of delivery services. Using an open architecture, route planning, data on individual journey/load efficiencies, real-time fuel consumption, efficiency of loading and suchlike can all be inegrated, tracked and monitored. The system uses an in-cab Android tablet for driver info, networked to the fleet management system and a central data hub. More here.

  • Honda is demonstrating V2X-enabled cars and motorbikes at the 19th World ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems) Congress in Vienna this week. The ITS-enabled vehicles can pick up info on hazards, roadworks, congestion and weather conditions ahead, communicate data on position and conditions to other ITS vehicles in a convoy, and car drivers will be warned when an ITS-equipped motorbike is approaching from behind in their blind spot. More at Green Car Congress.
  • Technologic Vehicles has the low-down on the Courb C-Zen, an electric two-seater which looks set to go onto share-fleets and other such schemes. There’s a little pick-up truck version called C-Top, too. And on the subject of car-shares: EIB (European Investment Bank) has just loaned the Bollore Group – maker of the BlueCar EV – 75million euros to expand the Paris Autolib scheme.
  • Nissan intends to fit electronic ‘steer-by-wire’ in selected Infiniti-range models within the year. No mechanical linkages and potentially no steering wheel, as this could work with a joystick; there will be a back-up mechanism, however. More here and here.
  • Trials are underway in the Netherlands of a wirelessly-charged electric bus; the eMoss takes advantage of ‘opportunity charging’ to get a quick zap-up at its stops, and can run continually for up to 18 hours. More details here.
  • In-car ethernet is key to reducing vehicle weight, reports Wired. Cost savings, too.
  • And how excited should we be getting about this petrol-from-air story? Neat way to use up carbon dioxide, perhaps, if it can be done in an energy-efficient and cost-effective process. But is perpetuating petrol usage really ‘the’ answer?
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