Batteries are destined to change the future in many ways. One of those ways is by completely disrupting the fossil fuels industry by replacing gasoline powered vehicle with electric vehicles. What is one of the key limiting factors on battery production? Cost. The cost of battery production has dropped significantly in recent years, but it is still expensive to produce batteries. Not to mention, the energy contained in batteries is still substantially less than that of gasoline or other fossil fuels. Therefore, significant obstacles must still be overcome. Even with these obstacles, batteries will someday replace the need for fossil fuels in many applications. Electric cars have recently changed from a niche novelty into a mainstream reality. The main reason for this is because of the decrease in cost and availability of batteries. What was once a very expensive component to produce is now much less expensive. Experts at Bloomberg Energy Finance predict that batteries must reach approximately $100 per kilowatt hour to produce. Current battery production costs are somewhere around double that, and at the rate that production costs have dropped, this goal should be attainable by the year 2025. Additionally, demand for electric vehicles continues to increase. A report from Bloomberg states that worldwide demand for electric vehicles will continue to increase rapidly in the next 30 years. By the year 2040, nearly half of new car sales are forecast to be electric vehicles, up significantly from the roughly 3 percent of sales that electric vehicles currently make up. Aside from transportation uses, batteries will also continue to enhance and improve the world’s power grid. Technologies such as wind power will be able to take advantage of improving battery technology by using batteries to store energy and release it into the power grid when electricity demand is high but wind production is low. This will benefit many types of renewable energy technology as the world’s energy consumption continues to rise.
-taken from www.bloomberg.com
light are being used to notify pedestrians of automated vehicle travel. It is
well known that automated vehicles are a thing of the future, and that future
is quickly approaching. The streets that have been shared by pedestrians and
vehicles driven by other people will soon be shared with vehicles driven
completely automatically. There are still many obstacles, literally and
figuratively, that must be overcome before driverless cars become a reality.
One of the main hinderances to future development of automated vehicles is the
dangerous or untrustworthy perception held by the public eye. How will
automated vehicles properly indicate to surrounding pedestrians the path that
the vehicle plans to travel? Jaguar Land Rover has developed a system that will
help to inform pedestrians of nearby driverless cars and their planned
behavior. The technology uses a series of light beams that are projected out of
the front of the driverless vehicle and onto the roadway surface. The light
beams run the width of the vehicle and spread apart when the automated vehicle
is traveling faster and move closer together at slower speeds. During
acceleration and braking, the spacing between the light beams changes, to
notify surrounding pedestrians of the vehicle’s planned actions.
Currently, Jaguar Land Rover is developing the technology concurrently while studying the effects of automated vehicles and the “trust” level that pedestrians have around these driverless machines. In order for the automated vehicle technology to launch effectively, pedestrians and the general public must wholeheartedly trust the actions of driverless vehicles. Jaguar Land Rover is studying how to increase this trust level. Current studies show that approximately 41% of pedestrians observing the behavior of automated vehicles are concerned about sharing the roads with robot-controlled machines. The projected light beams are designed to increase the public’s trust of driverless vehicles and will be a key safety feature for automated vehicles moving forward.
-taken from www.sae.org
A competition to help influence new drone technologies is
being put together by Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and the United
Kingdom’s Defense Science and Research Laboratory. The competition will find
the best drone design to help with fighting wildfires, and will use new drone
technologies such as drone swarms. The competition is being called the “Swarm
and Search AI Challenge: Fire Hack” and is designed to promote drone swarm
technologies used in a real world scenario. Drones, or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles,
are becoming more and more popular for many different applications. Their small
size and simple design bodes well for situations unsuitable for humans, and new
technologies are turning drones into massively capable little machines.
The idea of drone swarms is a relatively new concept. A
drone swarm would consist of a large number of independently flying drones that
are computer controlled. The drones would all be “aware” of each other to avoid
in-air collisions, be fully autonomous, and would be able to fly together in
close proximity, with the same goal of each delivering a small payload, perform
widespread searches of an area, of other related functionality. It’s easy to
envision how drones could be effectively used to fight wildfires: the drones could
deliver a fire suppression payload quickly and effectively, and a drone swarm
could cover a large area of wildfire.
Aside from the above mentioned usage, the Swarm and Search AI Challenge: Fire Hack competition aims to show how drone swarms could be used to effectively map out a wildfire area from a safe location. Benefits of using multiple drones for mapping include the ability to cover a large area quickly, and the ability to create almost real-time updated maps of wildfire spread in an area that would otherwise be too dangerous for firefighters to enter. Capabilities discovered during the challenge may be further developed for military applications. The competition will culminate in March, 2019.
-taken from www.sae.org