UK’s first self-driving grocery delivery van hits the streets of Greenwich

August 9, 2017 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on UK’s first self-driving grocery delivery van hits the streets of Greenwich

Food delivery has taken an interesting new turn. Residents of Greenwich, UK now have access to the country’s first self-driving grocery delivery service thanks to the electric-powered CargoPod. Developed by autonomous systems startup Oxbotica , the trial service is collaborating with online supermarket Ocado to deliver fresh groceries to customers at just a click of a button. The trial service is part of the GATEway ( Greenwich Automated Transport Environment ) program and will operate in the Woolwich area of Greenwich. Once customers place an order at Ocado, the CargoPod collects it and sets out on a number of set trajectories around the neighborhood. Each order has its own GPS coordinates, and once the van has reached its programmed destination, customers can collect their order from one of the eight compartments. The van can hold up to 128kg (282 pounds) of groceries at a time. Related: The world’s first self-driving grocery store just hit the streets of Shanghai The electric CargoPod is a street-legal vehicle equipped with multiple sensors and cameras placed around the vehicle’s body to navigate safely through the streets. The van is able to self drive thanks to an InterlCore i7 computer, which integrates all of the sensor data, including Oxbotica’s own Selenium autonomous driving software . For safety reasons, it does, however, come with a steering wheel, pedals, and a big red emergency stop button that allow a safety driver – who is on board during the trial period – to take control in emergencies. + Oxbotica Via Ars Technica UK Photography by Sebastian Anthony , Nick Summers and Oxbotica

See the rest here:
UK’s first self-driving grocery delivery van hits the streets of Greenwich

Tesla is now the second most valuable car company in the US

April 4, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Tesla is now the second most valuable car company in the US

Environmental news hasn’t been very hopeful of late – except maybe from Tesla Motors . Elon Musk’s electric car company has surged in sales so far this year, delivering a staggering 25,000 vehicles to customers. That puts the company ahead of ahead of Ford as the second most valuable car manufacturer in the US—a clear indication that American consumers care about climate change and cutting air pollution. Part of that’s due to Tesla’s explosive growth as it enters its 14th year, but part of it’s also because Ford’s seen its sales slump by 7% compared to last year. Tesla’s lead is narrow: while it’s currently valued at $47 billion, Ford has dropped to $45 billion. That being said, Ford is still the larger and more established company, and Tesla is still taking losses as it continues to establish itself in the market. While Tesla saw about $7 billion in annual revenue in 2016, Ford blew it out of the water with $152 billion. Overall, Tesla also posted a loss of $773 million last year. Related: Elon Musk announces all new Teslas will be self-driving While it’s uncertain whether Tesla will continue to beat Ford in terms of market value, it seems Musk is banking on the company’s unique semi-autonomous technology to give him an edge. While Ford is planning to release fully autonomous vehicles by 2021 , Musk insists that semi-autonomous functionality will increase customer safety and improve drivers’ experiences long before fully-developed self-driving vehicles hit the market. Given the video that circulated a few months ago documenting Tesla’s Autopilot apparently predicting an upcoming accident , Musk may be on the right track. Via Recode Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

Go here to see the original: 
Tesla is now the second most valuable car company in the US

Ford to unveil new driverless Fusion Hybrid at CES

January 2, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Ford to unveil new driverless Fusion Hybrid at CES

Ford is revving up the future of autonomous vehicles with its new Fusion Hybrid . The second-generation Fusion is a departure from previous self-driving cars we’ve seen in testing. Ford opted to disguise the sensors and cameras that aid the Fusion in its operation, resulting in a sleeker body that looks more like a “regular car” than a car of the future. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OI1kf-a-pVo With just a few teaser images released so far, Ford is intentionally building up suspense for the full unveiling, which is planned for CES 2017 in Las Vegas later this month. Ford’s chief engineer for the autonomous vehicle program, Chris Brewer, elaborated on the technological advances in a post on Medium . The second-generation driverless Ford Fusion, he says, can “see” two football fields of distance in every direction, and its advanced field of vision means it requires fewer sensors than previous models. Related: Ford’s self-driving car will have no steering wheel, gas pedal, or brakes Ford also announced that it will expand its self-driving test fleet from 30 cars to around 90 in 2017, a big leap forward after just three years of development. The car maker is currently testing autonomous vehicles in California, Arizona, and Michigan, and will soon roll out pilot programs in the United Kingdom and Germany as well. Via The Verge Images via Ford

Read the original post:
Ford to unveil new driverless Fusion Hybrid at CES

Self-inflating HEXA raft automatically deploys upon contact with water

January 2, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Self-inflating HEXA raft automatically deploys upon contact with water

At sea, situations often emerge where crew and passengers have to quickly evacuate the vessel, causing panic, and jeopardizing safety and organization. To help simplify such scenarios, designers Yoo JiIn and Lee Ji Sang created HEXA, a six-sided life raft that automatically activates upon contact with water. In order to be deployed, HEXA requires only that it be dropped in the water where it automatically self-inflates into a life-saving device. Six inflatable sections allow people to climb onto the raft. In addition to the efficiency of its design, the device also sends a RFID signal that can help rescue teams pin point its location. Related: The SeaKettle is a Raft + Water Purifier That Could Save Your Life Various survival supplies like food, drinkable water, flares and lifejackets are available inside the center of the pod, providing survivors with all the essential things which will allow them to survive while waiting to be rescued. Via Yanko Design

Read the original post: 
Self-inflating HEXA raft automatically deploys upon contact with water

Africa’s newest sustainable biofuel grows on trees

January 2, 2017 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Comments Off on Africa’s newest sustainable biofuel grows on trees

Until recently, the indigenous Croton megalocarpus tree common to central and east Africa was used mainly for firewood. But now Eco Fuels Kenya (EFK) is pioneering sustainable biofuel from croton nuts – without planting a single tree. As opposed to jatropha biofuel, once thought to hold immense promise as an alternative fuel but which required expensive plantations, croton nuts can be sourced from farmers. Managing Director Myles Katz described EFK’s approach as “completely local.” Research revealed croton nut oil could be a “direct replacement for diesel fuel” in some engines, according to EFK, who describe themselves as the first and only croton nut processing company. As the tree is so common, EFK hasn’t yet needed to plant new ones. Instead, as more people found out the nuts once considered useless could bring in extra income, EFK’s harvester network grew to over 3,000 farmers. This year EFK handled 1,000 tons of nuts. Related: Manta moves forward with revolutionary solar-powered algae harvester that makes crude oil Katz told CNN, “We can buy nuts from farmers so they get an income and we have a business model that does not require $10 million of funding and a big plantation to get off the ground…Everything we source, process, and sell should be within 100 kilometers of the factory.” On their website, EFK describes croton nut oil as “entirely environmentally friendly.” The tree flourishes without extra fertilizer or irrigation, and the nut oil production process requires little energy compared with traditional fuel production. Farmers don’t have to switch away from other crops to focus solely on croton nuts, and can even store the nuts for a year. The group says, “Croton trees’ newfound economic value promotes reforestation all over East Africa, which improves soil conditions as well as combats climate change . [Croton nut oil] replaces harmful natural fuels and since it’s produced locally and not imported, it saves carbon emissions as well.” The group also produces organic fertilizer from croton nut shells, and makes seedcake from pressed nuts to feed poultry. Croton nut oil is largely sold to local businesses to power generators. EFK ultimately aims to plant 300,000 trees between 2016 and 2022. + Eco Fuels Kenya Via CNN Images via Eco Fuels Kenya Facebook and Wikimedia Commons

Read the original post: 
Africa’s newest sustainable biofuel grows on trees

Spectacular Congress Hall curves upwards like a sail to bridge a Russian river

January 2, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Spectacular Congress Hall curves upwards like a sail to bridge a Russian river

Government meeting halls don’t often inspire awe and wonder—but the Russian city of Chelyabinsk’s planned Congress Hall will be an exception. Russian architecture firm PIARENA recently revealed their competition-winning designs for the Congress Hall of the upcoming Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and BRICS (an acronym for Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) summits. The sculptural building will span the Miass River like a bridge and curve upwards like a sail on two ends, rising to heights of 61 and 150 meters. The new Congress Hall will primarily cater to the BRICS and SCO events, however, its placement across two riverbanks also opens the site up to public use opportunities along the bridge . The bridge, located at one of the river’s narrowest points and arched to allow small boats to pass under, divides the complex into two sail-like parts to create a dramatic urban landmark. Both curved structures are clad in glass and topped with observation decks . Related: Spectacular Lucky Knot bridge in China twists and turns like a Möbius Strip The larger, 150-meter-tall swooping structure will house the congress hall, mixed-use concert hall, hotel, office complex, conference hall , and VIP offices. The 61-meter-tall structure opposite contains the recreational area and exhibition hall. The landscape design, including the plantings, paving, and street furniture, will be based on a parametric grid pattern of parallelograms. + PIARENA Via ArchDaily Images via PIARENA

Continued here:
Spectacular Congress Hall curves upwards like a sail to bridge a Russian river

Tiny ‘prison-like’ apartment in Beijing reborn as a light-filled family home

January 2, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Tiny ‘prison-like’ apartment in Beijing reborn as a light-filled family home

OEU-ChaO Architects have worked absolute magic on this tiny 300-square-foot home in Bejing. What was once an incredibly dark and dingy space has been transformed into a welcoming family home that uses an outer courtyard and sloped wooden ceiling to bring optimal natural light and character to the small space. Located on the second ring road of Beijing City’s Xirongxian Hutong, the tiny structure is squeezed in-between five other homes, virtually hidden from the narrow street out front. Taking into account the restrictive spatial limits of the space, the renovation strategy focused on opening up the area to provide natural light and air circulation as well as a comfortable living space. To do so, the architects chose to incorporate a series of independent, easy-to-install units into the original space. Related: Playful renovation in Barcelona squeezes more out of a tiny home The first unit was installed as a hallway that leads to a well-lit courtyard at the back of the home. This outdoor space is strategically blended into the home’s interior living space through two long tables that run the length of the window on both the outside and the inside. The large window not only adds airiness to the interior, but serves as the heart of the home by allowing the family to enjoy a nice sitting area in good or bad weather. The second unit is what gives the home its cabin-like character: a sloped wooden gallery roof . The high wooden beams add personality and a distinct openness to the compact living area and small bedroom space located on the first floor. The high ceilings were also useful to install the children’s room, which sits on the second level and is accessible by ladder. + OEU-ChaO Architects Via Archdaily Images via Zhi Cheng

Here is the original: 
Tiny ‘prison-like’ apartment in Beijing reborn as a light-filled family home

Did Tesla Autopilot predict an upcoming accident before it actually happened?

December 29, 2016 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Did Tesla Autopilot predict an upcoming accident before it actually happened?

A recently surfaced dashcam video appears to show a Tesla in Autopilot mode alerting a driver to an upcoming crash moments before it actually happened. According to Twitter user Hans Noordsij , the Tesla used its radar to see “ahead” of the car in front of it, and predict that it was about to collide with another vehicle. In the video, viewers can hear the vehicle’s collision warning system activate as the car’s emergency breaks activate automatically. @elonmusk Finally the right one. pic.twitter.com/2fspGMUoWf — Hans Noordsij (@HansNoordsij) December 27, 2016 So far, Tesla hasn’t commented on the authenticity of the video, so it’s difficult to say if the incredible footage depicts exactly what the original poster claims. Some critics are already claiming that the car did nothing to “predict” a crash that an observant human driver couldn’t do better, pointing out that the incoming collision would have been obvious with or without the Autopilot system. However, even if a driver could predict and react to the oncoming accident as quickly as the vehicle’s AI, the fact that a car is able to see and respond with speed similar to a human is still impressive. Related: Elon Musk announces all new Teslas will be self-driving While the video may be impressive, it’s important to remember that Autopilot it not without its flaws. Back in July, Tesla Motors disclosed that one inattentive Model S driver had been killed when the Autopilot system mistook the bright white side of a truck for the sky and caused the car to collide with an 18-wheeler on the highway. Although Tesla has announced plans to build autonomous capabilities into all new cars produced going forward, drivers should still remain alert at all times and ready to take control of the vehicle if they sense something wrong. Via CNBC Images via Hans Noordsij /Screen capture

Continued here:
Did Tesla Autopilot predict an upcoming accident before it actually happened?

Panasonic investing $256M in Tesla’s Buffalo solar manufacturing plant

December 29, 2016 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Panasonic investing $256M in Tesla’s Buffalo solar manufacturing plant

Following Tesla ’s recent acquisition of SolarCity, the California-based company just scored another big win. Panasonic will invest more than $256 million in Tesla’s New York solar cell factory. The Japan-based electronics company is already partnering with Tesla to build electric car batteries at its Nevada Gigafactory, and this investment, announced December 27, positions Panasonic more firmly in the automotive industry than ever before, marking the fulfillment of the company’s’s gradual shift away from consumer electronics. Tesla’s production facility in Buffalo is expected to be up and running within just a few months. According to Tuesday’s announcement, production of photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules will begin in the summer of 2017. By 2019, the two companies expect to be churning out the equivalent of one gigawatt of solar power modules each year. Related: Tesla taps Panasonic to build solar panels for their Powerwall and Powerpack systems The news of Panasonic ’s hefty investment in the Buffalo manufacturing plant is the first development since Tesla first named the electronics company as its partner in mid-October, which was contingent on the completion of Tesla’s merger with SolarCity . While that initial announcement came with very few details (in part because the merger wouldn’t be finalized for another month), this update illustrates the enormous scope of Panasonic’s commitment to the solar power market. The PV modules Panasonic produces at Tesla’s facility will be used primarily in the Powerwall and Powerpack systems, Tesla’s off-grid power solutions. While Tesla’s “solar roof” is still on deck, there is no word on when production on that line might begin. SolarCity previously promised the creation of over 1,400 jobs at the Buffalo facility and Tesla’s announcement Tuesday reaffirms that commitment and elaborates that the figure includes more than 500 manufacturing jobs—an important footnote for a city that once relied heavily on blue collar industries like steel and automotive manufacturing. Via Reuters Images via SolarCity and Panasonic

See the original post here:
Panasonic investing $256M in Tesla’s Buffalo solar manufacturing plant

US government issues first guidelines for self-driving car safety

September 26, 2016 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on US government issues first guidelines for self-driving car safety

The United States federal government issued inaugural guidelines for the safety of self-driving , or autonomous , vehicles. As more companies test the technology, including road tests like Uber is conducting in Pittsburgh , the guidelines are meant to encourage consistent rules without over-regulating the still-developing industry. The new federal guidelines addressed four major areas. National Economic Council Director Jeffrey Zients and United States Department of Transportation Anthony Foxx appeared together to announce the guidelines. The two officials introduced a ” 15-point safety checklist ,” discussed how regulations currently in play could apply to self-driving cars, called on states to develop consistent rules for self-driving cars, and left an opening for further regulation in the future. Related: Uber launches self-driving cars in Pittsburgh The guidelines were meant to allow government to regulate the self-driving car industry without suffocating innovators moving the technology forward. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration spokesperson Bryan Thomas said, “We left some areas intentionally vague because we wanted to outline the areas that need to be addressed and leave the rest to innovators.” President Barack Obama announced his administration would issue guidelines in a piece published by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. According to President Obama, “Right now, too many people die on our roads – 35,200 last year alone – with 94 percent of those the result of human error or choice. Automated vehicles have the potential to save tens of thousands of lives each year. And right now, for too many senior citizens and Americans with disabilities, driving isn’t an option. Automated vehicles could change their lives.” President Obama also spoke of the need for some regulation – but not too much regulation – as the self-driving car industry develops. He said self-driving cars could make roads “less polluted” and “less congested.” Via The New York Times Images via Wikimedia Commons and Norsk Elbilforening on Flickr

Original post: 
US government issues first guidelines for self-driving car safety

Next Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 1355 access attempts in the last 7 days.