Poor urban design could be at fault for Uber driverless car crash

March 23, 2018 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Poor urban design could be at fault for Uber driverless car crash

Uber’s self-driving cars are grounded after a fatal accident over the weekend — but a Cato Institute article questions if bad urban design was really to blame. Elaine Herzberg, the woman killed, seems to have been using a pedestrian path, which the institute described as poorly designed, before attempting to cross a street. The video is disturbing and heartbreaking to watch, and our thoughts continue to be with Elaine’s loved ones. Our cars remain grounded, and we're assisting local, state and federal authorities in any way we can. https://t.co/wUfLw2nNnk — Uber Comms (@Uber_Comms) March 22, 2018 A fatal accident in Tempe, Arizona involving an Uber driverless car left in its wake questions about the safety of autonomous vehicles . But it seems “the accident could not have been prevented no matter who was in control of the car ,” according to Randal O’Toole for the Cato Institute. Related: Uber grounds all self-driving vehicles after fatal Arizona accident Herzberg was reportedly walking on a roadway median before stepping out into traffic — and the Uber car, which did have a backup driver at the wheel, didn’t even have a moment to brake. The Cato Institute shared an aerial view, seen below, of Herzberg’s probable path. In between the northbound and southbound lanes of North Mill Avenue, there’s a median strip with a paved pedestrian path. There’s a sign, seen via Google Maps , indicating no pedestrians, telling them to use a crosswalk — so pedestrians or cyclists using the trails aren’t supposed to walk over the strip. But the Cato Institute pointed out the pedestrian path saves almost two-tenths of a mile, making it a tempting alternative for people walking or biking. O’Toole was loath to blame the victim in his article, but didn’t think the car was at fault either. He said “the question that must be asked is why are there paved trails between the north and southbound lanes of Mill Avenue when there is no safe way for pedestrians to use those trails?” Via Cato Institute Images via zombieite on Flickr and Cato Institute

Read more from the original source:
Poor urban design could be at fault for Uber driverless car crash

Dubai tests the world’s first autonomous mobility pods

February 15, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Dubai tests the world’s first autonomous mobility pods

10 passengers can fit inside Dubai’s new autonomous mobility pods—the first of their kind in the world. The city’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is working with Next Future Transportation on the first tests of the electric units at the World Government Summit, and it seems they were a success. They can operate for three hours with the help of a battery, or charge up again in six hours. Self-driving pods could soon be roaming the streets of Dubai. Six people can sit and four can stand inside the units, which move at around 12 miles an hour. The pods are nine-feet-long, seven-feet-wide, and nine-feet_tall. Related: Dubai police unveil Star Wars-esque electric hoverbikes The pods are designed for travelling short- to medium-length distances, in dedicated lanes, according to Gulf News . Two pods can be coupled in just 15 to 20 seconds, or can be detached in around five seconds. Prototypes tested in Dubai were manufactured in Italy, according to RTA director-general Mattar Al Tayer. Next Future Transportation’s website envisions passengers hailing one of the pods via a smartphone app , and while aboard calling for service modules that could then couple with the module in which a person is riding so they could purchase a drink or go to the bathroom. The RTA press release did not mention if Dubai will offer those services. Al Tayer said of the pods, “It echoes the Dubai Autonomous Transport Strategy aimed at converting 25 percent of mobility journeys in Dubai to autonomous transportation by 2030…The success of initial tests of these units will bring about a breakthrough in transportation systems that offer innovative mobility solutions and ease snarls in the city.” + Next Future Transportation + Roads and Transport Authority Via Gulf News and India Today Images via Dubai Media Office Twitter

The rest is here:
Dubai tests the world’s first autonomous mobility pods

New autopilot software update improves performance and feel of Tesla cars

May 26, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on New autopilot software update improves performance and feel of Tesla cars

Tesla may be the most valuable car company in the United States, but they are still raising the bar for autonomous vehicles. The company has been working to improve their software , and their new Autopilot update comes with relaxed speed restrictions that make driving on undivided roads and off highways even better. Tesla recently began pushing a new software update for cars with the second generation Autopilot. The new update allows cars to zoom along up to speeds of 90 miles per hour (mph), but also threw out the old limit of 35 mph for off-highway driving and aligned it with the old speed restrictions on the first generation Autopilot, which is five mph greater than the speed limit detected. If the Model S doesn’t detect a speed limit, the restriction is 45 mph. Related: Did Tesla Autopilot predict an upcoming accident before it actually happened? Vice president of Autopilot software Chris Lattner said on Twitter the performance and feel of the car is much improved. It appears Autosteer now is on par with the feature in the first generation Autopilot, according to Electrek – they said Autopilot 2.0 didn’t show signs of progress as Tesla moved away from using Mobileye technology and started using their own computer vision. Elon Musk said his company saw “a bit of a dip” after they unexpectedly transitioned away from Mobileye. But Electrek said it appears they’ve now largely overcome the issue. Musk said in a conference call, “…we had to basically recreate all the Mobileye functionality in about six months – which we did.” Electrek said Tesla has been better utilizing front-facing cameras on their vehicles. Handling around curves and turns looks better with the new update, as does driving on roads that aren’t divided and have little markings. Whether or not the car detects speed limits could be an issue; Electrek suggested that feature could be improved in future updates. YouTube user Tesla Trip took a spin with the new software and posted a 23 minute video showing the excellent handling on roads with few markings; you can check it out here . Via Electrek ( 1 , 2 ) Images via screenshot

Here is the original:
New autopilot software update improves performance and feel of Tesla cars

Self driving semi-truck makes the first ever autonomous beer run

October 26, 2016 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Self driving semi-truck makes the first ever autonomous beer run

You can now buy beer shipped by a self-driving truck . Autonomous truck company Otto , which was founded by two former Google employees and has now joined with Uber , just made history with the ” world’s first shipment by a self-driving truck .” They transported 51,744 Budweiser beer cans around 120 miles through Colorado . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qb0Kzb3haK8 An Otto truck ferried the beer from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs, passing through the Denver downtown area on the way. A professional driver was present in the truck, but monitored the vehicle while in the sleeper berth rather than the driver’s seat. The truck was equipped with lidar sensors, radar, and cameras to navigate the Colorado roads, and steered, braked, and accelerated without any human help the whole trip. According to Otto, the state of Colorado offered full support for the venture. Related: Two ex-Google employees are turning existing trucks into autonomous vehicles According to an Otto blog post on the momentous drive, “When you’ll see a truck driving down the road with nobody in the front seat, you’ll know that it’s highly unlikely to get into a collision, drive aggressively, or waste a single drop of fuel.” Otto envisions their self-driving trucks could help drivers. In a blog post on joining Uber , they cited an article from The Atlantic that said about a third of 3.5 million U.S. truckers will face a serious accident during their careers. Also, turnover in the trucking industry is rapid; companies lose around 90 percent of drivers yearly as the drivers seek better opportunities. When Otto joined with Uber they hoped to create a freight network that would create such opportunities for drivers. Otto said, “Our self-driving trucks will allow drivers to rest while their truck is moving, and our platform will ensure drivers can easily find loads and are paid fairly…Self-driving trucks together with a marketplace create a virtuous cycle where everyone benefits.” + Otto Images via Otto and Otto Facebook

Go here to read the rest:
Self driving semi-truck makes the first ever autonomous beer run

INFOGRAPHIC: The challenges and benefits of autonomous vehicles

August 4, 2016 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on INFOGRAPHIC: The challenges and benefits of autonomous vehicles

Autonomous vehicles have finally come of age and will revolutionize the way people commute by improving traffic flow, easing road travel hassles and improving road safety. But to achieve these goals, the autonomous vehicle industry will have to overcome a host of legal, ethical and engineering challenges. To learn more, checkout this infographic created by Ohio University’s Online Masters in Electrical Engineering degree program. + Ohio University

The rest is here: 
INFOGRAPHIC: The challenges and benefits of autonomous vehicles

INFOGRAPHIC: Are self-driving cars legal?

June 14, 2016 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on INFOGRAPHIC: Are self-driving cars legal?

The buzz around self-driving cars is growing, but they’re thus far only legal in four U.S. states. Personal Injury San Diego developed an infographic that examines the legality of self-driving cars, the differences between levels of automation, and the leaders in the field. Google may be the company grabbing the most headlines for self-driving cars, but they don’t actually hold the most patents in the field. Keep reading to learn more about the exciting new technology and the future of self-driving cars. + Personal Injury San Diego

See the original post: 
INFOGRAPHIC: Are self-driving cars legal?

Bika is a sustainable bike rack crafted from pine beetle devastated wood

June 14, 2016 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Bika is a sustainable bike rack crafted from pine beetle devastated wood

Over 18 million hectares of British Columbia’s forests have been destroyed by the Mountain Pine Beetle, but Killwood’s new Bika bike rack is turning this devastated wood into functional design. Naturally marked with exotic bluish-grey streaks from the pine beetle’s presence, this kill wood bike rack is not only sustainable, but also distinctively beautiful and designed to keep you organized while showcasing your bike as a centerpiece. Trees infested by the pine beetle don’t just die off; they increase the risk of forest fires, and pollute our atmosphere. By harvesting pine beetle kill wood from affected trees within the first eight years of infestation, it becomes a strong, sustainable and stunning eco material that offsets CO2. The Vancouver-made Bika design launches on Kickstarter on June 30, 2016. + Killwood

Here is the original:
Bika is a sustainable bike rack crafted from pine beetle devastated wood

India is building a massive supercomputer that can predict future monsoons

June 14, 2016 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on India is building a massive supercomputer that can predict future monsoons

The Indian government is spending $60 million this year to build a supercomputer with just one purpose: predicting the weather. With the heavy rains of India’s monsoon season accounting for more than two-thirds of the country’s annual rainfall, on which agriculture is so dependent, it’s easy to understand why the meteorology office is pouring funds into the project. The system will use 3D modeling to better understand how seasonal rains will develop. The current forecasting system was first introduced under British rule of India , based on a statistical model. Historical patterns are combined with satellite data, radar readers, and information from observatories. As one might expect, while this system can reveal broad trends, it hasn’t led to especially accurate forecasts; in fact, the system failed to predict a major drought in 2009 . Related: India struggles with catastrophic drought that’s claimed hundreds of lives More accurate monsoon forecasts could be a major boon to the Indian economy: one estimate from Reuters suggests that it could boost farm production by 15 percent by helping farmers identify the best time to sow their crops. That’s not an insignificant amount: agriculture accounts for about 18 percent of India’s GDP. The new supercomputer is expected to be up and running by next year, and will be able to work 10 times faster than the current system. Via The Verge Images via  Jakub Michankow and  Rajarshi MITRA

Original post:
India is building a massive supercomputer that can predict future monsoons

This solar-powered self-driving boat is making a historic journey across the Atlantic Ocean

June 13, 2016 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on This solar-powered self-driving boat is making a historic journey across the Atlantic Ocean

Somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean , a small autonomous boat is braving wind and waves to demonstrate the power of solar energy . Isaac Penny and Christopher Sam Soon’s Solar Voyager embarked from Boston on June 1, and they hope it will land in Portugal in October. Sam Soon and Penny, both engineers, began the project in 2013, with the goal of building a boat from scratch that could travel the world on its own. They aren’t the first to send an autonomous craft to sail the ocean – a 2012 Wave Glider that made the trip was powered by wave energy and financed by the company Liquid Robotics . The engineers aren’t funded by a major company, and they built the boat themselves. Penny and Sam Soon worked on their Solar Voyager in their spare time after work. According to Penny, anyone can build a craft like they did. Related: Unmanned solar-powered Mayflower research ship will cross the Atlantic in 2020 The photovoltaic panels that power the Solar Voyager can generate 7 kilowatt hours (kWh) every day in the summer and 3 kWh in the winter. The boat is made from aluminum , which the engineers decided would be more resilient than the ” glass reinforced plastic ” used by other autonomous boats. The aluminum makes the Solar Voyager heavier and slower, but will help it resist shocks. The engineers monitor the boat through the Iridium satellite network, and can receive updated data every 15 minutes. Penny said to TechCrunch , “We always think about solar as this alternative energy thing, but you just couldn’t do this with fossil fuels – you couldn’t build something that will run forever. Whether it’s long endurance drones, or data gathering for maritime security, or monitoring wildlife preserves – solar isn’t just an alternative form of energy, it’s the best solution. It brings something to the table that nothing else has.” You can keep up with the Solar Voyager and see where it is in the Atlantic here . The engineers are also looking for a boat owner in Portugal who can help them collect the Solar Voyager once it makes its journey. + Solar Voyager Via TreeHugger and TechCrunch Images via screenshot

See the rest here:
This solar-powered self-driving boat is making a historic journey across the Atlantic Ocean

North Americas first fully prefabricated passive houses could revolutionize the housing market

June 13, 2016 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on North Americas first fully prefabricated passive houses could revolutionize the housing market

The Ecocor-RPA partnership launched today with the unveiling of eleven prefabricated passive house model home designs that range from a 323-square-foot one-bedroom cabin to a 2,685-square-foot three to four-bedroom house. Passive House , a term which refers to a set of rigorous standards for ultra low-energy homes that provide high levels of comfort, has been used by manufacturers in numerous European countries but has yet to be popularly adopted in North America. Ecocor is the first company in North America to begin manufacturing prefabricated Passive Houses, and is also the only company in the continent to have Passive House Institute (PHI)-certified opaque prefabricated building components. Ecocor’s foundation and wall designs can reduce energy consumption for heating and cooling buildings by an incredible 80 to 90 percent. “Richard Pedranti and I are looking to establish industry best practices for delivering beautiful certified Passive Homes in the United States,” said Chris Corson, Founder and Technical Director at Ecocor. “RPA’s designs combined with Ecocor’s state-of-the-art equipment and proven processes allows us to deliver the highest quality energy efficient homes available domestically.” The homes will be built in a controlled environment at the Ecocor factory before they are delivered and assembled on sites evaluated and optimized for Passive House construction. The prefabrication and assembly process minimizes construction time and site disturbance . Related: 12 brilliant prefab homes that can be assembled in three days or less In addition to the eleven house models, clients will have the chance to work with RPA to design a unique and custom Passive House build. Any changes in design will be plugged directly into Building Information Modeling (BIM) software, which reduces costs and shortens the pre-construction phase. That data is directly integrated into the manufacturing software used in the machines that build the home’s prefabricated components. Ecocor and RPA aim for PHI and Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) certification for all the Passive Houses produced. + Ecocor + Richard Pedranti Architect

View original post here: 
North Americas first fully prefabricated passive houses could revolutionize the housing market

Next Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 746 access attempts in the last 7 days.