The local bus system could reduce its costs and emit significantly fewer pollutants by converting its fleet to one powered by natural gas, a cleaner fuel now in greater supply and more affordable, Purdue Univ. energy economist Wally Tyner reports in a study.
While the study was specific to the Greater Lafayette Public Transportation Corp., also known as CityBus, the approach of fueling buses with compressed natural gas, or CNG, could apply to similar municipal bus systems nationwide, says Tyner, an economist in the Department of Agricultural Economics.
An ESA business incubation start-up company is helping major car manufacturers to develop electric vehicle concepts and improve safety systems by turning ideas quickly into virtual prototypes.
“Foreseeing products by modeling and simulations can provide big jump-starts for companies,” explains Johannes Gerl, founder and CEO of German start-up company Modelon GmbH. “They reduce their development efforts by saving on the number of prototypes. In addition, they often reduce the time to market.”
While Apollo 17 astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt visited Earth’s moon for three days in December 1972, they drove their mission’s Lunar Roving Vehicle 19.3 nautical miles (22.210 statute miles or 35.744 kilometers). That was the farthest total distance for any NASA vehicle driving on a world other than Earth until yesterday.
The team operating NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity received confirmation in a transmission from Mars that the rover drove 263 feet (80 meters) on Thursday, bringing Opportunity’s total odometry since landing on Mars in January 2004 to 22.220 statute miles (35.760 kilometers).
You get into your car and ask it to get you home in time for the start of the big game, stopping off at your favorite Chinese restaurant on the way to grab some takeout.
But the car informs you that the road past the Chinese restaurant is closed for repairs, so you will not make it home in 30 minutes unless you choose a different food outlet. You select a nearby Korean restaurant from the options the car suggests, and set off on the chosen route.
Without high-tech magnetic sensors, rovers wouldn’t be able to roam around Mars. These same sensors will soon boost terrestrial travel by improving the machinery that molds parts for cars and aircraft here on Earth.
These devices will “feel” parts in exquisite detail, noting features like the width and depth of drilled holes, helping to create perfect 3D pictures of each highly complex piece.
Long distance commercial drivers who consume caffeinated substances such as coffee or energy drinks, to stay awake while driving, are significantly less likely to crash than those who do not, even though they drive longer distances and sleep less, finds a study published online by British Medical Journal.
Long distance drivers routinely experience monotonous and extended driving periods in a sedentary position, which has been associated with wake time drowsiness, increasing the likelihood of crashing.
A team of researchers in Boston Univ.’s Department of Earth and Environment have developed a new, bottom-up model for measuring on-road vehicle emissions. The model will be used in Massachusetts to more accurately analyze roadway-level traffic data obtained from the Highway Performance Monitoring System (HPMS).
Because on-road transportation is responsible for 28 percent of all U.S. fossil-fuel carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, accurate measurement of such emissions is critical for effective regional planning. Using methods currently available, which are based on spatial proxies such as population and road density to downscale national or state-level data, planners have been unable to effectively measure vehicle emissions at regional scales because of data limitations. Such procedures introduce errors where the proxy variables and actual emissions are weakly correlated.
Federal safety regulators are deciding if they’ll investigate a complaint that the steering can fail on the Toyota Prius.
The government says in documents that an automotive laboratory in Virginia asked for the investigation after evaluating a client’s car. The probe could affect about 561,000 of the gas-electric hybrids from the 2004 through 2009 model years.
In partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Gulf Oilannounced the grand opening of its E85 (biodiesel) fueling station at the Charlton East Service Plaza on the Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90), ready to service travelers with Flex Fuel Vehicles (FFVs). This station is one of four new Gulf E85 fueling stations planned for the Turnpike and represents an important milestone here in Massachusetts to provide alternative, affordable and environmentally friendly motor fuels. Gulf has three E85 fueling stations open at Service Plazas on the Turnpike – Charlton Eastbound, Charlton Westbound and at the Westborough service plaza. Massachusetts drivers are on the leading edge of alternative fuels today. There are more than 100,000 FFVs registered in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Researchers at the Univ. of California, Riverside believe they can extend the range of electric vehicles by at least 10 percent by taking into account real-time traffic information, road type and grade and passenger and cargo weight. The researchers, who work at the Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT), which is part of the Bourns College of Engineering, have received a nearly $95,000 one-year grant from the California Energy Commission to develop a eco-routing algorithm that finds the route requiring the least amount of energy for a trip.
Caption: Prototype eco-routing navigation system installed in a passenger car. Image: Univ. of California, Riverside
Barrels and cones dot an open field in Saline, Mich., forming an obstacle course for a modified vehicle. A driver remotely steers the vehicle through the course from a nearby location as a researcher looks on. Occasionally, the researcher instructs the driver to keep the wheel straight — a trajectory that appears to put the vehicle on a collision course with a barrel. Despite the driver’s actions, the vehicle steers itself around the obstacle, transitioning control back to the driver once the danger has passed.
The key to the maneuver is a new semiautonomous safety system developed by Sterling Anderson, a PhD student in MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, and Karl Iagnemma, a principal research scientist in MIT’s Robotic Mobility Group.
Take some galvanized nails, vinegar, soda pop and copper wire, piece them together just right, and what do you get? A battery.
Visitors to Michigan Technological Univ.’s hybrid electric vehicles mobile lab will get to fabricate and test batteries made from common household items, ride a specially designed stationary bike that turns the rider’s legs into a hybrid electric engine and literally see a car engine run. Its cylinders are made of transparent quartz, so people can see the pistons moving up and down and the flames produced by combustion.