A technology that will allow widespread adoption of plug-in electric vehicles without negatively impacting the electrical grid is the subject of a commercial license agreement between Battelle and AeroVironment, Inc., of Monrovia, Calif. The technology may also ultimately result in lower costs for plug-in electric vehicle owners.
Something unique is happening in Fremont, California, a nondescript suburb of 217,000...
After China reported quarterly economic growth of 7.7% this week, global markets...
Two California urban areas have the dubious distinction of being tied for second-worst traffic in the country. Commuters spend 61 hours per year being stuck in traffic in the Bay Area and in Los Angeles. A new project called Connected Corridors, led by University of California, Berkeley, is developing new technologies that will help Caltrans gather and analyze traffic data to make real-time whole-system traffic management recommendations
In Germany, a project called MEMS2015 is underway which has the ultimate goal of developing the first-ever universal design methodology for microelectromechanical systems, or MEMS. The effort, a joint government and industry project coordinated by the Robert Bosch corporation, will improve sensors and actuators, and plug the gaps between electronics and mechanics design, manufacturing, and subsequent integration into products.
Toyota Motor Corp. is testing car safety systems that allow vehicles to communicate with each other and with the roads they are on in a just completed facility in Japan. The size of three baseball stadiums, the Intelligent Transport System site hosts a fleet of cars that receive information from sensors and transmitters installed on the streets. The sensors help to minimize the risk of accidents in situations such as missing a red traffic light, cars advancing from blind spots, and pedestrians crossing the street.
Secondary organic aerosol (SOA) is a major component of smog, and people have long argued whether large diesel trucks are a bigger source of this pollution than gasoline-fueled cars. Recent University of California Berkeley research shows that diesel exhaust contributes 15 times more than gas emissions per liter of fuel burned, and can be responsible for a majority of a region’s SOA.
As fuel economy of new vehicles improved 18% over the past five years, billions of gallons of gas and billions of pounds of emissions have been saved, say University of Michigan researchers. To reach these results, the researchers collected fuel data on 61 million new cars, pickup trucks, minivans, and SUVs sold in the U.S. since 2007.
Current engineering practices create computer models that are numerical in nature to explore different design concepts and evaluate their performance. However, a more natural way to model a system is to use mathematics.
The second highest cause of automobile crashes is rear-end collisions, leading to thousands of deaths. The answer is simple: Slow the striking vehicle. Designing systems that will properly do this autonomously is a complex and expensive task. Recent research at Virginia Tech, however, suggests that it is well worth the trouble, and could reduce serious injuries by 50%.
According to data from a 2008 Business R&D and Innovation Survey by the National Science Foundation, businesses perform the lion's share of their R&D activity in just a small number of geographic areas, particularly the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland area and the New York-Newark-Bridgeport area.
The NanoSteel Company has announced that General Motors Ventures LLC has invested in the company. GM Ventures, a General Motors subsidiary created to invest in promising automotive technologies, joined lead shareholders to complete the Series C financing round. Terms of the GM Ventures investment were not disclosed.
According to a recent National Science Foundation report, the amount of R&D funding that passed through universities to others for collaborative projects during fiscal years 2000 to 2009 grew more rapidly than overall academic R&D expenditures. Federal initiatives and technological advances are thought to be contributing factors to this trend.
R&D laboratories take on challenges of terrorism, energy, and communications in the new millennium.
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company announced a development that could help consumers and the environment by reducing the amount of petroleum-based oil used in tires, while at the same time, extending tread life.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers have developed a new semiautonomous safety system to keep drivers safe. The system uses an onboard camera and laser rangefinder to identify hazards in vehicle's environment. An algorithm then analyzes the data obtained and identifies safe zones. The system allows a driver to control the vehicle, only taking the wheel when the drive is about to exit a safe zone.
Drivers can struggle to see when driving at night in a rainstorm or snowstorm, but a smart headlight system invented by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute can improve visibility by constantly redirecting light to shine between particles of precipitation. The system, demonstrated in laboratory tests, prevents the distracting and sometimes dangerous glare that occurs when headlight beams are reflected by precipitation back toward the driver.
Vehicle-to-vehicle communication, or V2V, will hit roads in the United States this summer. THe government is launching a yearlong, real-world test involving nearly 3,000 cars, trucks, and buses in Ann Arbor, Mich. The vehicles will be equipped to continuously communicate over wireless networks, exchanging information on location, direction and speed 10 times a second. Eventually, more advanced versions of the systems may take control of a car to prevent an accident.
For the second straight month, fuel economy of all new vehicles sold in the United States fell by 0.2 mpg—likely reflecting a slight drop in gas prices, say researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.
A side mirror that eliminates the dangerous "blind spot" for drivers has now received a U.S. patent. The subtly curved mirror, invented by Drexel University mathematics professor R. Andrew Hicks, dramatically increases the field of view with minimal distortion.
As the United States' natural gas reserves have sparked an interest in natural gas-powered vehicles, Argonne National Laboratory is hoping to use its automotive research facilities to lead the way in natural-gas vehicle testing.
Engineers are working on intelligent materials that can diminish vibrations and extract power from the environment. These electro-active elastomers could dampen annoying vibrations in a car, for example, or supply wireless power to sensors in otherwise inaccessible places.
Gasoline prices this summer could stay relatively steady provided that an already-tense Middle East doesn't flare up and nothing else happens to disrupt supplies, a Purdue University economist says.
A new study by civil engineers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology shows that using stiffer pavements on the nation's roads could reduce vehicle fuel consumption by as much as 3%—a savings that could add up to 273 million barrels of crude oil per year, or $15.6 billion at today's oil prices. This would result in an accompanying annual decrease in carbon dioxide emissions of 46.5 million metric tons.
The world's rubber supplies are in peril, and automobile tire producers are scrambling to seek alternative solutions. Tom Sharkey, chairperson of the Michigan State University Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department, believes isoprene could be a viable option.
Two recent studies that tested two ways to protect autoworkers from injury found letting autoworkers sit while they reach into a car's interior to perform assembly could help prevent shoulder and back strain. But a possibly better overall solution the researchers suggested might be to tilt the entire car so that workers can stand up.
Letting autoworkers sit while they reach into a car's interior could help prevent shoulder and back strain—but another solution might be to tilt the entire car so that workers can stand up. That's the finding of two recent studies, which tested two ways to protect autoworkers from injury.
Electric vehicles have slowly been catching on in urban environments, but their popularity has been hampered by available manufacturing technology. Either the vehicles are too heavy and too expensive, or they do not meet mass-market safety requirements. Researchers in Germany, funded by major automotive corporations, are testing a new mobility concept they hope will hit the sweet spot.