Posts Tagged ‘transportation’

Algal Biofuels Not Ready For Scale-Up

October 26th, 2012 10:17 admin View Comments


Tator Tot writes with this quote from Chemical & Engineering News: “Using today’s technologies and knowledge, a scale-up of fledgling algal biofuel production sufficient to meet even 5% of U.S. transportation fuel demand is unsustainable, says a report released last week by the National Research Council. The report examines the efficiency of producing biofuels from microalgae and cyanobacteria with respect to energy, water, and nutrient requirements and finds that the process falls short. The energy from algal biofuel, the report finds, is less than the energy needed to make it. In terms of water, at least 32.5 billion gal would be needed to produce 10 billion gal of algae-based biofuels, the report states. The study also finds that making enough algal biofuels to replace just 5% of U.S. annual transportation fuel needs would require 44–107% of the total nitrogen and 20–51% of the total phosphorus consumed annually in the U.S.”

Source: Algal Biofuels Not Ready For Scale-Up

US To Drive 3,000 Wi-Fi Linked Vehicles In Massive Crash Avoidance Trial

August 21st, 2012 08:47 admin View Comments


coondoggie writes “The US Department of Transportation said it will run a massive road test of cars, trucks and buses linked together via WiFi equipment in what the agency says will be the largest test of automated crash avoidance technology to date. The test will be conducted by the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI), and feature mostly volunteer participants whose vehicles have been outfitted with vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication devices.”

Source: US To Drive 3,000 Wi-Fi Linked Vehicles In Massive Crash Avoidance Trial

Canadian Agency Investigates US Air Crash

June 3rd, 2012 06:51 admin View Comments


knorthern knight writes “When 2 light civilian planes collide in U.S. airspace in Virginia, the usual response includes calling in the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) and NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) to investigate and make recommendations based on their results. But what do you do when the crash involves two planes piloted by a crash investigator with the FAA and the chief medical officer with the NTSB? In order to avoid conflict of interest by American investigators working for these agencies, the investigation has been turned over to to the Transportation Safety Board of Canada as a neutral 3rd party.”

Source: Canadian Agency Investigates US Air Crash

How Google Is Remapping Public Transportation

February 21st, 2012 02:18 admin View Comments


waderoush writes “Google wants to ‘organize the world’s information,’ but there isn’t a marketplace or a category of knowledge it can organize without remaking it in the process. A case in point: public transportation. Largely outside the media spotlight, Google has wrought a quiet revolution over the last five years in the way commuters get schedule information for local buses and trains, and the way public transit agencies communicate with their riders. GTFS and GTFS-realtime, which Google invented, have become the de facto world standards for sharing transit data, and have opened up space for a whole ecosystem of third-party transit app developers. This in-depth article looks at the history of GTFS and Google’s efforts to give people information (largely via their smartphones) that can help them plan their commutes on public transportation — and, not incidentally, drive a lot less.”

Source: How Google Is Remapping Public Transportation

TSA Facing Death By a Thousand Cuts

December 9th, 2011 12:37 admin View Comments


OverTheGeicoE writes “The Transportation Security Administration is getting a lot of negative attention, much of it from the U.S. government itself. A recent congressional report blasted the TSA for being incompetent and ineffective (PDF). A bill to force the TSA to reduce its screening of active duty U.S. military members and their families was approved unanimously by the House of Representatives. After a TSA employee was arrested for sexually assaulting a woman while in uniform, a bill has been introduced to prevent TSA agents from wearing police-style uniforms and badges or using the title ‘officer.’ The bill’s sponsor calls these practices ‘an insult to real cops.’ The FBI is getting involved by changing its definition of rape in a way that might expose the TSA’s ‘enhanced pat-down’ screeners to prosecution. Lastly, public support for the TSA’s use of X-ray body scanners drops dramatically when people realize there is a cancer risk.”

Source: TSA Facing Death By a Thousand Cuts

DoT Grants $15M To Test Car-To-Car Communication

September 9th, 2011 09:38 admin View Comments


itwbennett writes “Car-to-car communications is about to get its first large-scale, real-world test in Ann Arbor, Mich., where the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute will be putting as many as 3,000 cars equipped with short-range radio on the roads, thanks to a $14.9 million grant it just got from the U.S. Dept. of Transportation. DoT reports predict that up to 82 percent of serious accidents among unimpaired drivers can be eliminated or reduced by a little car-to-car negotiation, or an early warning that a sedan three cars ahead just hit the brakes even though you can’t see it through the giant SUV directly in front of you.”

Source: DoT Grants $15M To Test Car-To-Car Communication

US Wants Cybersecurity Protection Plan For Cars

August 3rd, 2011 08:15 admin View Comments


coondoggie writes “As cars and other forms of transportation increasingly rely on online systems for everything from safety to onboard entertainment, the cybersecurity threat from those who would exploit such electronic control packages has also increased. That’s why the US Department of Transportation (DOT) today issued a Request For Information to the security industry to help it build a roadmap to build ‘motor vehicle safeguards against cybersecurity threats and assure the reliability and safety of automotive electronic control systems.’”

Source: US Wants Cybersecurity Protection Plan For Cars

Shutl Aims To Disrupt Delivery – Is This Urban Fetch Done Right? (TCTV)

June 15th, 2011 06:20 admin View Comments

Shutl, an on-demand delivery platform that aggregates transportation carriers so they can deliver something in an hour, recently took £650,000 ($1m) investment round from Hummingbird Ventures and others. It’s been piloting its service with Argos, a leading high street retailer in the UK.

Shutl was formed by Tom Allason, previously founder of We went to interview him at his office near “Silicon Roundabout” – the cluster of tech companies in East London – in our series of videos we’re calling The Roundabout Tapes.

Source: Shutl Aims To Disrupt Delivery – Is This Urban Fetch Done Right? (TCTV)

Draft Proposal Would Create Agency To Tax Cars By the Mile

May 5th, 2011 05:12 admin View Comments


theodp writes “The Hill reports that the Obama administration has floated a transportation authorization bill that would require the study and implementation of a plan to tax automobile drivers based on how many miles they drive. The plan is a part of the administration’s ‘Transportation Opportunities Act,’ and calls for spending $200 million to implement a new Surface Transportation Revenue Alternatives Office tasked with creating a ‘study framework that defines the functionality of a mileage-based user fee system and other systems.’ The office would be required to consider four factors — the capability of states to enforce payment, the reliability of technology, administrative costs, and ‘user acceptance’ — in field trials slated to begin within four years at unspecified sites. Forbes suggests the so-called vehicle miles traveled (VMT) tax should be called the Rube Goldberg Gas Tax, because while its objective is the same as the gas tax, the way it collects revenue is extremely complex, costly and cumbersome.” The disclaimers are thick on the ground, though; note, this is an “early draft,” not pending legislation.

Source: Draft Proposal Would Create Agency To Tax Cars By the Mile

Ioxus Raises $21 Million For Improved Power Storage Technology

April 14th, 2011 04:06 admin View Comments

A New York-based clean tech startup, Ioxus, raised $21 million investment from Energy Technology Ventures (a GE-NRG Energy-ConocoPhillips joint fund), Northwater Capital, Aster Capital and their previous backers Braemar Energy Ventures, the companies announced today.

Ioxus makes lithium-ion hybrid capacitors, and ultracapacitors, which are (often alongside other battery technology) used to charge and run: wind turbines, light rail and other public transportation systems, hybrid and electric vehicles, medical equipment, LED lighting, power tools and other consumer electronics.

Chief executive officer of Ioxus, Mark McGough, said that the funds would go towards the development and manufacture of ultracapacitors that can generate more power, store more energy and work with higher device operating voltages than those offered today. In particular, the CEO wrote in an email to TechCrunch:

“[The company] will continue to work on [developing ultracapacitors] with higher power density that maintain higher energy density with a wide temperature range. We will be coming out with a new generation of ultracapacitor cells later this quarter with a concentration on these features.”

As Inhabitat blogger Timon Singh has noted:

“[The latest Ioxus hybrid capacitor] has huge potential. It could lead to hybrid [vehicles] being fully charged in mere minutes and improve the life cycles of electric vehicles. Currently, vehicle braking systems demand recharging hundreds of thousands of times, but that would not be the case with a lithium-ion ultracapacitor.”

Ioxus has been experiencing growth in sales in Asia, aided by partnerships with wind power technology distributors GTAE and Mouser Electronics, and the increasing popularity of hybrid transportation in China.In the U.S. market, the company has been selling more ultracapacitors to the makers of consumer electronics industry, especially LED lighting.

Companies like Sinautec also sells ultracapacitors in China. Meanwhile, ARPA-E (Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy) in the U.S. is funding a number of companies and labs developing energy storage technologies, especially capacitors, that can improve electric vehicles and public transportation, especially.

Source: Ioxus Raises $21 Million For Improved Power Storage Technology