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Transport Future

Displaying 1 - 30 of 37
Michelle's Mirror • Sun 2018 Mar 25, 8:59am

Could there be anything less American than driverless cars? I suppose sexbots might quality but certainly driverless cars are right up there.…

All I really want is long-distance in my private vehicle. There was a car-ferry train system once. It didn't last.

Getting From Here to There, a comic examination, from the Daily Doodle series.

BlazingCatFur • Sat 2018 Mar 24, 1:00am

A pedestrian was killed after she was struck by a self-driving Uber vehicle in Arizona.

Elaine Herzberg, 49, was hit by a SUV early on Monday in Tempe when she was walking outside of a crosswalk

She was immediately rush to the hospital where she died from her injuries…

…and so acceptance of collateral damage for "automated transport" begins…
Flying car
Polliwog the 'Ette, Ace of Spades • Sun 2018 Mar 18, 10:03am

…Self-driving cars are essentially a train with expanded range, each vehicle being its own railcar. In the planners' minds their flow-optimized system works neatly and safely at speeds and densities not achievable by human reflexes and with a minimal loss of autonomy. They refuse to acknowledge Murphy's Law though, which when dealing with the speed and densities expected means guaranteed disaster.

Flying car
BlazingCatFur • Sat 2018 Mar 3, 9:09pm

…CNN recently called carwashes “a nightmare” for self-driving cars, and here’s why: it seems the traditional car wash – with its massive automated brushes – are too harsh when applied to a vehicle whose exterior is covered in sensors.…

Still a few bugs in the system - and on the windshield.
BlazingCatFur • Thu 2016 Dec 15, 8:14pm

All new cars and light trucks would be able to talk wirelessly with each other, with traffic lights and with other roadway infrastructure under a proposal released Tuesday by the Transportation Department.

Officials say the technology holds the potential to dramatically reduce traffic deaths and transform driving.…

(Links to AP story.)

Good idea? Probably more problems than helpful, like most such ideas.

Here is the "Getting From Here to There" panel predicting this, though.
BlazingCatFur • Fri 2016 Jul 1, 11:42am

US authorities are investigating the first death potentially caused by self-driving technology. …driver of a Tesla car died in Florida in May… Model S car was unable to recognise “the white side of the tractor trailer against a brightly lit sky” that had driven across the car’s path.…

Note well: Death caused by "self-driving" technology. And why, if it happened in May, are we only now finding out about it?
• citing BBC
Mary Beth Griggs, Popular Science • Thu 2016 Jun 30, 3:11pm

Roads …one day they might be paved with pig manure. …pig manure has oils that can be used to create a petroleum-like substance, which can be mixed with sand or gravel to make a strong asphalt substitute.…

Bacon! Is there anything it can't do?
Private Monorail Car
Ben Kew, Breitbart • Tue 2016 May 3, 9:50pm

Experts are warning that the rise of semi-autonomous cars could lead to couples having sex in moving vehicles.…


Here is a pictorial history of "if this van is rockin'" type getaways, from the Getting From Here to There series: Getting Away From it All.

Matt McFarland, Examiner-Enterprise / Wash Post • Sun 2016 May 1, 9:12pm

Proponents of autonomous vehicles are in a sticky situation. Self-driving technology is expected to have a tremendous impact on public health and reduce the 1.25 million deaths every year on global roads. At the same time, this emerging technology is a threat to the employment of the millions who are paid to sit behind the wheel — from truck drivers to cab drivers and delivery workers.

Baidu chief scientist Andrew Ng, an expert in the world of artificial intelligence, acknowledges the unemployment concerns, but he sees a way forward that offers society the benefits of autonomous vehicles and blunts the negative impact of job losses.…

Human problems be damned, full speed ahead for progress! Right.

See this panel from the "Transport Future" series: Ask Professor Future

Blazing Cat Fur • Thu 2016 Jan 7, 10:37pm

A Chinese drone maker has revealed a giant quadcopter big enough to fit a passenger.…

Margaret Rhodes, Wired • Tue 2015 Nov 3, 4:15pm

When Tommaso Gecchelin envisions the future of urban transportation, he, like many people, imagines a system of driverless electric cars. But in Gecchelin’s vision, the system is modular. Its boxy vehicles are flat-sided, identically sized, and can link up and disconnect on the fly. …

Hmm. This looks exactly like what I predicted in the Modular Compartments panel of the Getting From Here to There series! Hmmm.
Andy Greenberg, Wired • Fri 2015 Jul 24, 7:19pm

…Though I hadn’t touched the dashboard, the vents in the Jeep Cherokee started blasting cold air at the maximum setting, chilling the sweat on my back through the in-seat climate control system. Next the radio switched to the local hip hop station and began blaring Skee-lo at full volume. I spun the control knob left and hit the power button, to no avail. Then the windshield wipers turned on, and wiper fluid blurred the glass.

As I tried to cope with all this, a picture of the two hackers performing these stunts appeared on the car’s digital display: Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, wearing their trademark track suits. A nice touch, I thought.…

Brad Templeton • Thu 2014 May 29, 5:44pm

how computer geeks can enable the electric car, save the planet and millions of lives using near-term A.I. to make taxis and trucks deliver, park, recharge and drive themselves.

Ace of Spades • Thu 2014 May 29, 3:18pm

[Some good, and maybe not so good, discussion of pros and cons of Driverless Cars in Ace of Spades morning comment thread 2014 May 29. Some selections follow.]

No steering wheel or brake? What could possibly go wrong?
—Zombie John Gotti

It can only go 25 mph. They haven't made a driverless car, they made a driverless golf cart.
— nnptcgrad

Very cool news overall. I can wait to put the taxi cartels out of business.

It's basically the same as turning every car into public transportation… no government would allow the software of a driverless car to not have a 'back door' to allow them to control it.
— chemjeff

Why not? We have a driverless country!
—Cicero Kaboom! Kid

Michael Franco, CNET • Thu 2014 May 29, 3:08pm

…researchers hooked study participants to a cap containing dozens of electroencephalography (EEG) electrodes, sat them down in a flight simulator, and told them to steer the plane through the sim using their thoughts alone. … Seven people underwent the experiment… all were able to pilot the plane using their thoughts to such a degree that their performance could have satisfied some of the criteria for getting a pilot's license.

Brian Womack, Bloomberg • Thu 2014 May 29, 3:06pm

Google Inc. has designed its own self-driving vehicles… The vehicles will initially have a top speed of 25 miles per hour and won’t have a steering wheel, accelerator pedal or brake pedal

Carl Franzen at TPM • Sat 2012 Jul 7, 8:23pmImagine a cheap, tiny, hovering aerial drone capable of being launched with the flick of a person’s wrist and able to provide manipulable 360-degree surveillance views. It’s real, it’s inspired by maple seeds [Video]
Gregory T. Huang, Xconomy • Wed 2012 Jun 27, 5:41pm
Imagine a boat that moves through the water differently from any other boat in existence. It uses “supercavitation”—the creation of a gaseous bubble layer around the hull to reduce friction underwater—to reach very high speeds at relatively low fuel cost. Its speed and shape means it can evade detection by sonar or ship radar. It can outrun torpedoes. Its fuel efficiency means it has greater range and can run longer missions than conventional boats and helicopters.
AFP/My Fox NY • Wed 2012 May 30, 10:49am
A convoy of self-driving cars took to a public motorway in Spain in normal traffic, a world first, according to Swedish car maker Volvo… professional driver took the lead in a truck, and was followed by four self-driven Volvo vehicles… [Emphasis added. Not exactly self-driving. More like electronically coupled. Oh well. Progress, or a sort.]
Monorail car
All the Auto World • Tue 2012 May 1, 12:46pm

For decades, city centers and intercity roads have suffered from heavy traffic congestion and air pollution from car emissions. To diminish these effects, governments have tried to get people out of their cars and onto public transport such as trains, trams, buses and metros, as well was using non-polluting bicycles. Unfortunately, this has mostly proven to be unsuccessful. At least partly to blame here are poor connections between different modes of transport, longer traveling times and delays, as well as a lack of comfort and privacy. Designers and engineers are now exploring new public transport concepts, which are more capable of competing with the car by offering quicker, and in some cases individualized, transportation, as well as introducing a new range of personal city vehicles. [Mostly to blame is that mass transportation is not what people want! That said, there are some nice designs here. And flying cars!] • Thu 2011 Jul 21, 6:54pm

Scientists in Israel say they have invented a way of turning traffic into electricity. ... a road that generates power when vehicles pass over it. ... 'piezo' electricity • Thu 2011 Jul 21, 6:50pm

A flying car retailing for $227,000 could be on roads in a matter of months -- and customers are already lining up to be the first to get their hands on one, its maker claims. Just over a week ago, the Terrafugia Transition passed a significant milestone when it was cleared for takeoff by the U.S. National Highway Safety Administration. It's taken Terrafugia founder Carl Dietrich just five years to realize his dream, with some media outlets reporting that the Transition could now be on U.S. roads by the end of next year. • Fri 2011 May 27, 10:11am

"By next month, every driver in the U.S. will be required to have a black box in their vehicle... in order to monitor driving habits..." Somehow, I completely missed this one sneaking up on us in the rear-view mirror. It's one thing to have a crash monitor, but with just the addition of transmitters -- and you know, if they aren't there already they soon will be -- any cop (or robocop automated traffic monitoring device) will be able to look inside your car and pull out everywhere you've been, every turn you took, whether you unbuckled your seat belt for a moment, and anything about your body that can be remotely monitored. If laws were reasonable, this would be offensively invasive. Since cops have increasingly become "[you name it] warriors" instead of peace officers, traffic cops are increasingly required (and some delight) to be unforgiving, and citizens are increasingly seen as "revenue enhancement" sources, this is FRIGHTENING TYRANNY. • Tue 2011 May 24, 9:34pm

Engineers at Ford have developed a prototype car seat that uses electrocardiograph (ECG) technology to monitor the heart's electrical impulses and detect signs of irregularity, resulting in an early warning that a driver should seek medical assistance, such as for a heart attack, high blood pressure, electrolyte imbalances or other cardiovascular issue. • Tue 2011 May 10, 8:41pm

Swiss adventurer, Yves Rossy, has finally completed his flight over the Grand Canyon in a custom-made jet suit after being forced to cancel last week due to red tape. • Sat 2011 May 7, 7:15am

A Swiss adventurer dubbed "JetMan" told a TV station in Los Angeles that his planned flight over the Grand Canyon was canceled Friday. It would have been the first time he made the attempt in the U.S. and three years after he flew into the record books by crossing the Channel between Britain and France. • Tue 2011 Apr 5, 9:19pm

Billionaire adventurer Richard Branson on Tuesday unveiled a new single-person submarine that he said will be used to set new world records by exploring the five deepest parts of the world's oceans. • Wed 2011 Mar 2, 7:29pm

Is a greener future just around the corner for the automobile? Or is it last call — and while you're pouring, let's make it a double — at the horsepower party? • Fri 2009 Jun 5, 5:25pm

PlaneNearly 70 percent of the world's airspace is not radar-controlled, and the existing radar system is likely to remain for at least another decade. • Wed 2009 May 27, 10:58pm

The Monorail Society is an all-volunteer organization founded to foster more awareness and promote this unique method of transportation. Monorails are NOT just for theme parks and zoos! Our aim is to inform people of the many possible uses for them....