Alternate Fuels

A Natural Gas Engine has been certified to Near Zero Emissions standards this month.

A Natural Gas Engine has been certified to Near Zero Emissions standards this month.  The ISL-G developed by Cummins Westport Inc. is a mid-range engine (8.9L) that reduces NOx emissions by 90% from the EPA 2010 benchmark meeting the 0.02 g/bhp-hr standards for medium-duty truck, urban bus, school bus and refuse applications.  The engine also meets the 2017 EPA greenhouse gas emission requirements and has been meeting the 2010 EPA standard for particulate matter (0.01 g/bhp-hr) since 2001. Natural gas is becoming a cleaner alternative to gasoline and diesel fuel for medium and large trucks at price expected to remain low for a long time, given the vast reserves of shale gas. EPA and CARB do not consider well to wheels emissions in their certification process.

Environment

The question often being posed around autonomous vehicle technology is whether it will be positive for the environment.

The question often being posed around autonomous vehicle technology is whether it will be positive for the environment.  The short answer is it depends. It depends on whether the vehicles to be used are electric and on what governments set as parameters within which mobility will function in the future. If planned and implemented correctly, this technology affords us the opportunity to do mobility right.

Government planning

To date, 96 cities announced that they are quitting fossil fuels and moving toward 100% renewable energy.

The recent VW “discovery” (or dieselgate) should have made most governments realize that moving to electric propulsion is the solution for meeting their emissions goals reductions. Reading parts of the letter that Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Renault Nissan, wrote to EU policymakers, warning them against actions that could hurt diesel makes us wander how committed Mr. Ghosn and his counterparts are to electric propulsion.

According to the IMF, fossil fuels are subsidized globally to the tune of $5.3 trillion annually. So, without these subsidies, are fossil fuels competitive with electric propulsion?

To date, 96 cities announced that they are quitting fossil fuels and moving toward 100% renewable energy. Isn’t it time your city be encouraged to do the same?

Marine industry

According to marine industry experts, driverless ships could sail the seas by 2030.

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According to marine industry experts, driverless ships could sail the seas by 2030.

Kalmar, part of Cargotec, has been awarded a contract to provide eight automatic stacking cranes (ASC) for Victoria International Container Terminal Ltd’s (VICT) new terminal in Melbourne, Australia.  Increased international exchanges are creating a growing need for more efficient use of port facilities including faster turnaround for ships and trucks in increasingly cramped space for containers.

 

Trucking

Mercedes-Benz Actros with Highway Pilot is the first series-production truck to drive on a partially automated basis on the motorway.

Freightliner introduced autonomous vehicle driver training and certification.

Also in trucking news, Mercedes-Benz Actros with Highway Pilot is the first series-production truck to drive on a partially automated basis on the motorway. According to Daimler, “the advantage is that Highway Pilot is more alert and attentive than any driver”.

The Ministry of Transport of Singapore has announced it will test the use of driverless trucks in its ports. Permanent Secretary for Transport Pang Kin Keong says the Ministry of Transport will test “truck platooning” technology for moving containers between port terminals. A truck with a driver will be followed by a convoy of three or four driverless vehicles. He is quoted in a Singapore Economic Development Board report as saying this reduces manpower reliance and increases productivity while benefiting Singapore’s logistics sector, which has been facing a shortage of drivers.

Lockheed Martin is one of the latest companies to invest in Peloton Technology, a developer of truck platooning systems. There might be potential to use some of Lockheed Martin’s technology to improve platooning.

Transit

Are transit properties seriously looking at integrating electric buses into their fleets?

Are transit properties seriously looking at integrating electric buses into their fleets? New technology is making this increasingly feasible. For example, 12 ultra-fast charging electric TOSA buses will go into service in Geneva. Developed by ABB, ultra-fast (or flash) charging system needs just 15 seconds to recharge part of energy to get to the next stop. Charging power is 400 kW. However, 15 seconds is still not enough for a full charge, so at the end of the route they will charge for up to 300 seconds (5 minutes).

Are transit properties planning for the arrival of electric, driverless vehicle technology?

Yutong, a leading Chinese bus manufacturer, has after three years of development sent its self-driving bus on a 20-mile intercity drive in Zhengzhou. According to the company, the self-driving bus drove the entire route in regular traffic without human assistance. The bus hit a top speed of 68 km/h, passed 26 traffic lights and was able to change lanes without any problem.

This autumn, a city in the Netherlands will become the first to allow fully autonomous shuttles, known as WEpods, regularly on its public roads–in the form of a small bus carting people between two towns.

The increasing use of pooled ridesharing offered by Uber and others is taking market share from transit. How are transit properties preparing for tomorrow?

Insurance

Insurance companies are smartly investing in businesses that are “connected”.

Intact Financial Corporation recently unveiled rudimentary details of a new deal with Uber that would see the company offer the first auto insurance in Canada tailored at protecting drivers, and by extension passengers, of the ride-sharing service. Will other insurers follow in the same path? Will the products to be offered be similar? Will Intact benefit from a first mover advantage? Will this insurance coverage result in an increase in the price of taking an Uber?

Munich Re America launched a Mobility Domain as part of the company’s overall commitment to understanding and developing innovative solutions for emerging risks, and as an engine for future growth.

Zurich has been appointed insurance associate by CityMobil2, the EU project staging the first cross-European pilots of self-driving vehicles.

Insurance companies are smartly investing in businesses that are “connected”. One such investment was made by USAA in Roost lands, supplier of leading edge next-generation technologies.