Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority voted earlier this week to move forward with contract negotiations with Musk’s Boring Co. to construct a tunnel transportation system connecting the roughly two-mile-long convention center.
“What if we could create something that the rest of the industry -- in China, in Denver, in Atlanta -- said 'God I wish we had, I wish we would’ve,'” Chuck Bowling, who serves on the LVCVA board of directors as well as the president of Mandalay Bay, said during a committee meeting Tuesday on whether to continue talks with The Boring Company.
This is a great idea. Give Elon Musk credit for ambition, and for being successful. He is a genius at what he does, innovating, and transportation needs major innovation now, because some people, misguided as they may be, are thinking that we need to get rid of cars and try riding bikes for a while. Um, no we don't. What we need are more engineers to figure out the problem, and we need that portion of government who are roadblocking innovation, to get out of the way of roadblocking innovation. We need to let the private sector take over the innovation because when your own hard earned money is on the line, when you own sweat and hours spent taking chances that something will come of all your visions and designs, then is the time that great things take place... when you don't take it for granted.
The future of transportation will be with cars. Not just any cars, and they might not even look like a car, such as the rendition above, they will be merely transporters that have multiple functions. They will drive themselves, and the people inside these transportation machines will be able to multi-task. Riding in a tunnel prevents the possibility of getting T-Boned at an intersection. Having things autonomous helps prevent rear end accidents, and other kinds of accidents. Having a tunnel to travel in, removes all of the potential hazards of say, hitting a bicyclist, a pedestrian, a kid, somebody's pet animal, or even a train. It removes all of the elements that are now responsible for 1,000,000 deaths / fatalities in the world each year having to do with motor vehicles. It takes away the dangers of texting, falling asleep at the wheel, distractions while driving, drunk driving, speeding, reckless driving, etc., and makes it all about getting from point A to point B. How can this NOT be a great thing??! It is!
Grant Johnson, TE, is a registered traffic engineer in California,
and is passionate about the future of transportation and infrastructure.
One of the drawbacks to green alternatives in automobiles is the extreme amount of amps it takes to run a heater than can compete with the heat given from an internal combustion engine. The electric cars must drain the battery to run a heater, and according to tests, extreme winter coldness can cut the range by HALF. What this means, is that it takes as much energy to run the heater as is does to actually run and move the car! With the internal combustion engine alternative, the heater is run just fine from merely an offload transfer of heat from the cooling system fluid passing through a heat transfer box in the cab. Compare that "free heat" to running COILS that glow orange with a fan to blow air past it in the electric vehicle, an energy cost you paid for the night before when you charged your electric car. Like running 10 blow dryers at the same time to heat the car!! Think what kind of cost that is. I would think twice before using that kind of energy on myself for heat, because AFTER ALL, we would be paying for that car heat specifically, charging our hypothetical electric car right out of our own electrical bill for our home. Would you run 10 blow dryers at home to heat yourself temporarily in a small space that has lots of glass windows continually getting cooled by freezing winds against the glass? In an electric car, that's what takes place. Your electric bill is going right out the windows. In a gas powered car? It's a "free" heat, going to be used one way or another, so there is no additional loss from using gas.
"If an EV requires 40 kWh to recharge a fully depleted battery, and the rate is 18 cents per kWh, that's $7.20 for a fill-up. Depending on the Southern California Edison rate plan, a 2018 Tesla Model 3, rated at 26 kWh/100 miles, would cost as little as $1.56 for 50 miles' worth of power if home charging started at 11 p.m. Or it could cost four times as much, $6.37, if the car was routinely charged during peak hours." (source: EDMUNDS.COM)
NOT a Retrofit AV. A completely NEW from the BOTTOM UP AV... Ford
There is a case that can be made for a rapid implementation of Autonomous Vehicles worldwide. Safety is a problem. Too many have accepted as a "default" or necessary evil the fact that every year a million people will die in vehicle related accidents. The main reason is not a falling bridge. Not a falling tree. Not an engine that blows up, or the brakes go out. Those are such a rare occurrence, really. No, the main problems can be seen in the video to the right. Things like:
Autonomous Vehicles are here. They work. Now it is up to the masses to embrace them, and not fear them.
Computers have already been operative in vehicles that "we drive" but there is a lot going on behind the scenes over which we have no control...things like:
Transportation is changing rapidly. The United States Department of Transportation has a new plan released to fast-track the adoption of autonomous vehicles. It is at the doors already. By adjusting the "standards" for vehicle safety to remove certain items like steering wheels, foot pedals, etc., a truly autonomous car can be made, taking the human driver element and removing it altogether!
The department, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “intends to reconsider the necessity and appropriateness of its current safety standards” as applied to autonomous vehicles, the 80-page document reads. In particular, regulators say they will look to change those safety standards “to accommodate automated vehicle technologies and the possibility of setting exceptions to certain standards — that are relevant only when human drivers are present.”
H2O is the output "exhaust" from the onboard Fuel Cell that generates the onboard electricity. What a system! It is here.
Germany has already launched the first Trains on September 16, 2018! Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars are also already here (see below).
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The world’s first hydrogen fuel cell train rolled into the station. The Coradia iLint, built by Alstom in Salzgitter, Germany, is equipped with fuel cells which convert hydrogen and oxygen into electricity, thus eliminating pollutant emissions related to propulsion.
Bike and Pedestrian Fatalities Higher than Ever in USA. Current Methods of Safety Not Working to Reduce Fatalities
Obviously, whatever is the mainstream safety push for transportation is not working to even bring down the number of fatalities each year in the USA, in fact, it is going the opposite direction. Current methods are clearly not working and should be reconsidered as a whole. Nobody quite understands this counter-intuitive result, but the Governor's Highway safety Association is aware of it. Here is what they are saying:
"IT IS ALARMING," says GHSA* executive director Jonathan Adkins, "and it's counter-intuitive." (*Governor's Highway safety Association).
from NPR's Pedestrian Fatalities Remain At 25-Year High For Second Year In A Row:
After two years of marked increases, the number of pedestrian fatalities in the U.S. is holding steady with nearly 6,000 pedestrians killed in 2017, according to estimates from the Governors Highway Safety Association.
That's a 25-year high, GHSA says. While the rise "appears to be tapering off," the group said, the "continuation of pedestrian fatalities at virtually the same pace ... raises continued concerns about the nation's alarming pedestrian death toll."
Autonomous Vehicles (AV) are the biggest disruptor to come along, ever. Just think about it. It will change so many industries. It will change Traffic Engineering, and Transportation Planning, I can see that, and so I am looking at all of our technology and investment in how we see traffic, and it will all come undone. It will all become in years, irrelevant. When humans are taken out of the equation for driving, everything changes. There is no more speed limit, for instance. No more 85th percentile thinking. No more radar studies. No more accident history. No more guard rails, or pavement markings or signs as we now know them. No more need for signals, that's for humans too. What we will have are SYSTEMS, but these systems need to be developed with humans in mind, and transportation connectivity. A whole new custom system for all cities, in all states and provinces, in every single country throughout the world. This is a huge industry in the making. It is not the end. It is a disruption, and we all need to adapt. Taxi drivers, bus drivers, truck drivers will very soon be a thing of the past. Schools will be different. Cars will be different, will be a service industry. Safety and security of these new systems need to be worked out. We would not send our kids on buses where we knew they might be kidnapped. We would not want a woman to be alone in a AV POD with a group of menacing men, on a long ride to somewhere. We need to think all this through, in how to make this safe and harmonious. There is a LOT more to think about and plan for, when we are talking about society. Its not just about getting from point A to point B. Soccer moms will no longer be driving their kids to the games, but maybe that introduces new problems. Will the kids behave on the way? Will they get lost or miss their stop? Who will help them in an emergency? Will the parents just ride with their children in an AV POD, or will they have their own AV POD? There are thousands of questions on HOW it will roll out.
Ford's Executive Chairman Bill Ford says Not so Fast...
In this video Bill Ford is pragmatic, explaining that you need more than just AV tech on the road, you also need smart cities... trust and ethics, job displacement, etc.
PRISM Engineering is also looking at the big picture from an Infrastructure Engineering and Transportation Planning standpoint, and understands the following:
3) New solutions are required. It will require planning and engineering coordination at all levels of government... civil engineering and transportation planning to bring this together in a meaningful and effective way. While I don't necessarily agree with Bill Ford's assessment that this will take lots of time, it doesn't have to...because as a Traffic Engineer who's main goal is the safe movement of people, I want to see safety first, capacity and throughput second. We have a huge safety problem NOW. We need to take action for safety's sake, use the latest technology, not put lipstick on a pig, but redesign and retool our infrastructure in smart ways... and AV can help and is in fact, the answer to our safety problem.
Daimler Mercedes Benz is one of the leaders in AV. Thinking away ahead, and planning, implementing. Thinking society too.
Mercedes SMART car (AV) https://electrek.co/2017/08/30/mercedes-daimler-unveils-new-all-electric-autonomous-smart-prototype/
"Who's afraid of defining the future?" asks Wilko Stark, the man tasked with pulling Daimler and its flagship brand, Mercedes-Benz, into the future.
from the article:
"Part of Daimler's future plans include an onslaught of 10 new electric models by 2022, and a fair bit of autonomy to with them.
Wilko Stark, in charge of this at Daimler says "We have a clear rollout plan in which kind of cities we’re going to enter. First of all, for self-driving cars, the weather conditions should be pretty good. It’s probably more in the South. And we have to build up a good relationship with the city; that’s quite important. They are all, everywhere, interested in self-driving cars. Everybody is knocking on our door, but they are of course looking for electric vehicles. And you have to build up a different approach from Lyft or especially Uber, because we want to define and develop a future together with the cities. In the next decade we will begin to see self-driving cars in major cities in Europe and the US."
GM is Launching Robocars with NO STEERING WHEELS or PEDALS next year in 2019.
"After more than a century making vehicles for humans to drive, General Motors has ripped the heart out of its latest ride, and is now holding the grisly spectacle up for all the world to see: A car with no steering wheel. And it plans to put a fleet of these newfangled things to work in a taxi-like service, somewhere in the US, next year.
And no, this robo-chariot, a modified all-electric Chevrolet Bolt, doesn't have pedals either. This is GM's truly driverless debut, a car that will have to handle the world on its own. No matter what happens, you, dear human passenger, cannot help it now.
Terrifying? Maybe. But it's also a major step in GM’s aggressive bid to maintain its big dog status as the auto industry evolves away from individual ownership and flesh-and-blood drivers. And it’s just the beginning for the Detroit stalwart. “We’ve put together four generations of autonomous vehicles over the course of 18 months,” says Dan Ammann, GM’s president. “You can safely assume that the fourth generation won’t be the last.”
While Waymo, Uber, and others in this..." (read more at WIRED.COM)
Grant Johnson, registered Traffic Engineer, shares insights and experiences from around the world.
AV Transportation Planning
Bike And Ped Safety
New Mode Of Travel
New Transportation SYSTEM
Night Driving Lidar
Outside The Box
Self Driving Car