Japan’s Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry will soon embark on a project to realize an “autopilot system” for automatic driving, a system for guiding motor vehicles on expressways without human assistance.
The system is expected to contribute significantly to such goals as alleviating drivers’ fatigue, preventing road accidents and easing traffic congestion. It would be for vehicles referred to as self-driving cars capable of sensing their environment and navigating by themselves, with people not required to perform any mechanical operation besides choosing their destinations.
With a view to making an autopilot system a reality in the early 2020s, the ministry will launch a study panel of experts this year, to start full-scale discussions about a self-steering vehicle control project.
The ministry envisages an autonomous vehicle system in which, after leaving your home, motorists would enter an interchange of a nearby expressway while manually operating their cars.
When pulling into the expressway’s lane exclusively for the autopilot system, the driving mode would change to “automatic driving” and input your destination into the system. Motorists would take their hands and feet off the steering wheel, gas pedal and brake.
Via – ‘Driverless driving’ envisioned for Japan in early 2020s
Continue reading Japanese government begins plans for driverless driving by 2020
In the past 60 years, California has experienced two heatwaves – in 1955 and 2006 – in which temperatures in its urban centers were greater than 37.8 degrees C (100 degrees F) for three or more consecutive days.
A new analysis prepared by other Scripps researchers indicates that by century’s end, those kinds of heatwaves will be the norm. Scripps climate researcher David Pierce said the new data will be assimilated into a major climate report scheduled for release in 2013.
“We’ll start getting these kinds of heatwaves more frequently by 2020 and by 2070, they’ll become common,” Pierce said.
…in all scenarios, not only do episodes of 100-degree-plus temperatures happen more frequently (several times a decade), but events in which temperatures top 100 for seven or more days begin happening at least once a decade by 2060 in all the models.
via Scripps Institute of Oceanography
Continue reading Climate Change in California means heats waves…lots of them
Governor Brown joined with the California Public Utilities Commission today to announce a $120 million dollar settlement with NRG Energy Inc. that will fund the construction of a statewide network of charging stations for zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs), including at least 200 public fast-charging stations and another 10,000 plug-in units at 1,000 locations across the state. The settlement stems from California’s energy crisis.
The network of charging stations funded by the settlement will be installed in the San Francisco Bay Area, the San Joaquin Valley, the Los Angeles Basin and San Diego County.
“Through the settlement, EVs will become a viable transportation option for many Californians who do not have the option to have a charging station at their residence.”
The Executive Order issued today by the Governor sets the following targets:
- By 2015, all major cities in California will have adequate infrastructure and be “zero-emission vehicle ready”;
- By 2020, adequate infrastructure to support 1 million zero-emission vehicles in California;
- By 2025, there will be 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on the road in California; and
- By 2050, virtually all personal transportation in the State will be based on zero-emission vehicles.
Just one question, not addressed in the announcement, is charging at the stations free?
What will be the cost for a full charge?
// photos via NCDOT Comms and gwyst