Last year, Boeing bought Aurora Flight Sciences, whose projects include a new flying taxi being developed with Uber Technologies Inc.,
By the early 2020s, flying cars – electric passenger drones, seating two to five travelers – could drive to the airport by roadways and then accelerate down runways into the sky, with what NASA describes as “Urban Air Mobility.”
“It’s extremely costly to certify new aircraft, even when you’re certifying it for a well-established use and with well-established rules,” said Steve Wallace, a former FAA official who oversaw accident investigations and also worked in the agency’s certification branch. “Here we’re trying to open up a whole new use where there aren’t any rules. That’s an enormous task.”
Read the article at Bloomberg.
Although Waymo’s test fleet has logged 5 million miles driving in autonomous mode on public roads, it still may be far from what it needs to do.
A 2016 study by RAND Corp determined that demonstrating the reliability of autonomous vehicle technology to handle anything that could happen on public roads, in terms of reducing traffic fatalities and injuries, could require hundreds of millions or even hundreds of billions of test miles.
“They do have a meaningful lead – nobody else comes close to the millions of miles Waymo has driven on roads over the past decade,” said Nidhi Kalra, a San Francisco-based RAND scientist who was the lead author of the 2016 report. “It means they are finding the rarer and trickier situations and learning more and more. There’s just no true substitute for this.”
Read the article at Forbes.
Detroit Free Press
At Nuance Communications’ Drive Lab in Farmington Hills, you will hear terms like “cognitive arbitrator” and “gaze detection” as engineers take voice recognition into new areas.
By creating a system that links the ability to recognize spoken commands to gaze detection, the driver will be able to ask about signs, businesses and attractions along the road and receive suggestions based on his or her preferences.
“The idea is to be able to make anything a designer can draw,” said Bob Kinney, Faurecia vice president of engineering and R&D.
Read the article at Detroit Free Press.
As the industry and government were pushing diesel vehicles on the promise of cutting carbon dioxide emissions, the world is now more urgently addressing its NOx emissions which have fouled urban areas and contribute to 40,000-50,000 premature deaths a year in the UK alone from air pollution.
This week, judges decided that German cities in the heart of Europe’s biggest car market, have the right to ban diesels on their streets, and Rome’s mayor proposed an outright ban from 2024, a year before Paris expects the same.
“The bottom is falling out of the diesel car market, to the point where one of Mark Lavery, chief executive of Cambria Automobiles managing directors couldn’t persuade his own mother to buy one: “His mum is 74, has driven a diesel for the last 15 years and has now changed it for a petrol one – a higher carbon-emitting, more polluting car.”
Read the article at The Guardian.
By Mark Boada, Senior Editor
Unless you operate on the West Coast, you may not be aware of an environmental wonder fuel called “renewable diesel.” But if you have diesels in your work truck fleet and operate anywhere else in the U.S. or Canada, and particularly off road, someday it may be your fuel of choice, if there’s enough of it.
Right off the bat, it’s important to know that renewable diesel is not biodiesel. Both are made from animal fats or vegetable oils, via different processes that give them different chemical properties. The basic difference is that biodiesel retains the oxygen found in its source materials, while the process used to make renewable diesel removes the oxygen and infuses the fuel with hydrogen.
While a relatively simple difference, the results are dramatic: RD burns far more cleanly than any other type of diesel fuel, including ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) and BD. A 2015 study by the California Environmental Protection Agency concluded that renewable diesel generates about 30% less particulate matter emissions, 5% less total hydrocarbons and 10% less nitrogen oxides than ULSD, the latter being even slightly less than biodiesel.
Renewable diesel offers fleet operators another advantage. READ MORE
Sixt bundles all products in the Corporate Customer segment to systematically expand digitalization
- Vinzenz Pflanz takes over direction of the newly created Group Sales division
- Oliver Popkowitz takes over direction of the SME & Digital Sales division
- Both divisions report directly to Chief Sales Officer Konstantin Sixt
Sixt is aligning its sales structure to meet its corporate clients’ changing mobility needs. All Group products, for instance, including car rental, RideHailing, leasing, fleet management and innovative mobility products, are to be bundled and distributed to corporate customers under unified management.
President Donald Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on European cars that has made the prospect of an all-out trade war more and more of a possibility.
A trade war would almost certainly raise the prices of cars for all consumers, not just European cars, since American companies would have an incentive to raise their own prices if they were competing with companies whose prices were forced higher by tariffs.
“Trump’s new attack on European automakers is mostly a direct threat at Germany, which exported $23 billion in cars to the United States in 2016, according to data aggregated by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. But large German automakers also have a sizable presence in the United States, with BMW employing thousands of workers in South Carolina and Volkswagen employing thousands more in Tennessee. Those manufacturers produce hundreds of thousands of cars in the United States each year, many of which are later exported to buyers in Asia and Europe.”
Read the article at Jalopnik.