Electrification of transportation

Germany is considering providing 2 billion euros to subsidize the purchase of more electric cars and more…

Germany is considering providing 2 billion euros to subsidize the purchase of more electric cars.

At the end of last year, the government of Ontario announced $20 million to increase the deployment of electric vehicle charging stations in the Province.

Meanwhile, in Québec, after a ministerial shakeup, the Ministry of Transportation has a new name and new Minister. Jacques Daoust will be the Minister responsible for Transportation, Sustainable Mobility and Electrification. That’s a positive signal!

More positive news from Montréal: the City has unveiled plans to install 106 charging stations for electric vehicles by next spring.

Two Canadian provinces (Québec and BC) have joined the international alliance for zero-emission vehicles.

CES 2016: A look at the future of mobility

Obviously, lots to see and experience related to mobility. From drones to autonomous vehicles, a walk through the Las Vegas Convention confirmed that we will see more changes in mobility before the end of this decade than we have over the last fifty years.

Some of the members of the Transportation Evolution Institute attended the Consumer Electronics Show in January. Thanks to our friends from BlackBerry who made it happen!CES-PASSES

Obviously, lots to see and experience related to mobility. From drones to autonomous vehicles, a walk through the Las Vegas Convention confirmed that we will see more changes in mobility before the end of this decade than we have over the last fifty years. Following is a photo wrap up of our experience with some commentary.

 

Expect the dashboard to be converted to an enormous screen and the front windshield to be extremely intelligent with integrated GPS and more.

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Drones, drones and more drones of every size imaginable – from the hardly perceptible to the heavy duty.

drone

More EV models from more manufacturers are on their way.

Untitled-3 toyota

auto3 auto4

Despite the hype, we were disappointed with the Faraday Future vehicle. Yes, it made an impression but more concrete, pragmatic would have been appreciated.

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The vehicle is being re-designed to accommodate more comfortable long-distance travel, meetings and comfortable workspaces. VW is also thinking that its e-Buddy will also accommodate drone deliveries.

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Positioning for future mobility

Kia announced it will invest £1.3 billion into the development of self-driving technology by 2018.

Apple was granted a major public transit related patent. According to Apple, the app brings users public transit information for subways, buses, trains, and ferries with lines and stations right on the map, the new Transit feature is customized for each city where it’s available — so signs on your screen will look the same as the ones on the street, and you’ll know exactly where the nearest subway station entrance is. When you plan a route, just one tap pulls up schedules and you’ll get step-by-step directions to keep you on track. Combining this with all other mobility options will make integrated mobility usage that much easier.

 

Toyota will spend a billion dollars for research on self-driving technologies.

Kia announced it will invest £1.3 billion into the development of the technology by 2018. The first goal will be to introduce partially-autonomous driving technologies, such as a remote parking system that will make a car park itself at the press of a button. Cars equipped with this technology could be on the road by 2020.  The intent is to develop entirely driverless cars by 2030.

Microsoft will be developing driverless vehicle technology with Volvo.

Uber has made big moves implementing location technology by signing a deal with TomTom, buying Microsoft’s mapping technology, and outright purchasing deCarta this year. The company is working with Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh to develop autonomous vehicle technology.

Ford’s CEO said that his company should be able to have vehicles that can be fully autonomous on roads where high-definition maps are available. The key, he said, is making sure that the regulatory and legal issues get worked out.

GM Canada will outfit a fleet of 2017 Chevrolet Volts for an autonomous vehicle program at the GM Technical Centre in Warren, Michigan.

Google-patent

The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Google that reveals various aspects of the technology behind their next-gen autonomous vehicles. Google’s invention relates to autonomous vehicles for manoeuvring a user or passenger to a destination, for example taking a trip, autonomously. The patent covers everything from encryption keys to authenticate a ride to various aspects of the vehicle. For instance, the vehicle doesn’t provide the user with a steering wheel, brakes or gas pedal. The passenger is simply seated in the vehicle as if they were in a cab. Google discusses a control console for users and an emergency stop button system. To put riders further at ease, Google is initiating a concierge service reachable by the center user console or via a user’s own smartphone should they feel nervous or are about to freak out over not knowing what to do if something goes wrong, like how to unlock the door of the vehicle which is controlled by an on-board computer system.

 

Car sharing

Electric car sharing is gaining popularity in cities around the world.

Audi has launched its “Audi at Home” vehicle sharing service in San Francisco and Miami. Residents of two residential communities will be able to reserve vehicles via their smartphone for “spontaneous booking” of vehicles, each made to suit a specific set of tastes.

Electric car sharing is gaining popularity in cities around the world. In previous newsletters, we discussed the 1,000 EV car sharing project of the City of Montreal.

The City of Palermo launched its electric car sharing service a few weeks ago while in Canada, EMC initiated discussions with a car sharing leader and a municipality already known for their spirit of innovation and their commitment to a cleaner environment in order to implement a new EV car sharing model

And, at the LA Auto Show, Evercar launched its electric on-demand car sharing service.Evercar

Electrification of transportation

As demonstrated by the agreement reached at COP21, governments around the world are turning to electric transportation as a solution to combatting climate change…and rightly so.

As demonstrated by the agreement reached at COP21, governments around the world are turning to electric transportation as a solution to combatting climate change…and rightly so. A recent study by the Union of Concerned Scientists shows electric cars not only eliminate tailpipe emissions, but that they beat gasoline cars in cradle to grave emissions regardless of the source of electricity.

Reducing emissions from transportation by promoting the uptake of zero emission and plug-in hybrid vehicles is a key part of Ontario’s new climate change strategy. The Government of Ontario also announced a residential and business EV charging incentive program.

More positive Canadian environmental news: Manitoba will join Ontario and Québec in introducing a cap-and-trade system for large carbon emitters.

Québec is a signatory to the International ZEV Alliance.

On Canada’s West Coast, Vancouver councillors are set to vote on an ambitious energy strategy that would see the city getting every last joule of its power from renewable sources within 35 years.

In Montreal, Taxelco launched its electric taxi service called Téo.

And, in always exciting Silicon Valley, Faraday Future, a mysterious electric vehicle start-up, with 400 employees, plans to build a $1 billion EV pla

TEI Supports SEAMlessTM Vision

The Transportation Evolution Institute has been involved in a number of sustainable mobility-related initiatives in Canada and abroad.

The Transportation Evolution Institute has been involved in a number of sustainable mobility-related initiatives in Canada and abroad. We thought we would end the year by providing readers with a brief update of some of these activities.

As many of you are aware, the Institute supports the SEAMless™ vision of mobility developed by MARCON. As a brief summary for those who are not familiar with this model, SEAMless refers to Shared, Electric, Autonomous, Multimodal mobility. In this sustainable transportation ecosystem, mobility is accessible via technology that is becoming increasingly ubiquitous. A user is presented with mobility options (including but not limited to information about cost, time of departure, time of arrival, active and non-active modes to be used, environmental footprint and level of sharing with others) enabling him/her to reach his/her destination. Travel options take into consideration the user’s set preferences (example: increased physical activity) and physical limitations (example: options may limit active mobility).

The Institute’s activities over the last few months reflect our work in promoting the SEAMless mobility model.

Electric mobility: The Institute is a staunch supporter of electrification of transportation, wherever possible. Within Canada, the Institute collaborates with Electric Mobility Canada, the national organization promoting electrification of transportation, in all its forms. The Institute also collaborates with AVERE, the European electric mobility association.

Our environmental realities and the blatant inability of internal combustion engines to help us meet our pressing environmental commitments means that electric propulsion systems charged with electricity generated increasingly through renewables is an important solution.

For Canada, it is a no-brainer. Almost 70% of Canada’s electricity is generated through renewables and thanks to utility efforts, this percentage is increasing.  Instead of importing fossil fuels and hurting the provincial trade balances, it makes strong economic sense to use electricity produced locally to power our mobility solutions. This approach supports a domestic good and the local jobs required to deliver this good to the mode of mobility.

A 2015 report from the Union of Concerned Scientists entitled “Cleaner Cars from Cradle to Grave” says that “over their lifetime, battery electric vehicles produce far less global warming pollution than their gasoline counterparts – and they’re getting cleaner.”

Car sharing: Sharing is an important part of the SEAMless Mobility model. Research has demonstrated that a shared vehicle replaces 9 to 13 individually owned vehicles. Shared, electric mobility is increasingly being encouraged by municipalities as a way of dealing with stifling congestion and pollution issues. One need only look at the efforts and plans of cities like Helsinki, Oslo, Paris and London.

The Institute collaborates with the Car Sharing Association and supports efforts of car sharing organizations to electrify their fleets. Not only is car sharing fleet electrification important in terms of immediate environmental impact, but it has the advantage of educating car sharing users about electric vehicles. In fact, research undertaken this year in the US concluded that an individual who has used an electric vehicle in car sharing mode is 43% more likely to buy an EV if a change in his/her lifestyle requires him/her to purchase a vehicle.

Research undertaken this year by some of the Institute’s members in the area of car sharing fleet electrification and discussions with car sharing fleets in Canada and abroad lead us to believe that municipal – fleet collaborations present strong opportunities for car sharing electrification.

Mobility as a Service (MaaS):  Last month’s newsletter article described the plans of the government of Finland to implement MaaS as a way of moving to a sustainable mobility model based on usership instead of ownership of mobility. It is a model that makes significant sense from the perspective of the Finnish people as well as the Finnish government. For the latter, it is an economic development policy that also helps the country better manage its expenditures while helping to meet its emissions reductions targets. For the citizens of the country who, like motorists around the world, use their vehicles on average 4% of the time, the car is generally their second greatest expense after lodging (first for home owners who choose to invest in their lodging). If the Finnish people can be presented with an integrated mobility system composed of a variety of options for moving around, a system that is convenient and easy to use, and one that costs less than vehicle ownership, why would ownership make sense?

MaaS means sharing of mobility assets. It also means true integration of multimodality. Where possible, electrification is encouraged. Shared, electric and multimodal: three of the four pillars of the SEAMless Mobility model.

A few weeks ago, Catherine Kargas was in Finland, collaborating with the Finnish government on this important step in sustainable transportation. She moderated the MaaS Summit (involving transportation, technology, transit and government stakeholders from around the world) that took place in Helsinki and represented the Institute at the MaaS Alliance meetings. We are pleased to announce that the Institute is a member of the MaaS Alliance.

Automated technology: The Finnish Government is interested in incorporating autonomous vehicle technology into MaaS: the fourth pillar of the SEAMless model.

Given its numerous benefits, the Institute is a firm supporter of automated vehicle technology. We are pleased to have contributed to the discussions at the Ontario AV Ministerial Roundtable that took place on October 29th 2015.

Over the last three years, the Institute’s members have visited the developers of this technology in Canada, the US as well as Europe. A couple of our members recently completed a tour of numerous organizations in Europe that are involved in the development and early commercialization of the technology. We are proud to report that some of these organizations will be demonstrating their capabilities at EVS29 that will take place in Montréal, June 18-22, 2016.  Don’t miss the opportunity to see and experience tomorrow’s electric mobility.

We are working on exciting projects that we hope to report on in the coming year. In the meantime, we take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a great start to 2016.

Positioning for future mobility

What’s up with Apple, Nissan, GM, Honda, Tesla, Google and more

In this last month, Apple hired an artificial intelligence expert from Nvidia. Nvidia is a chipmaker that is best known for its graphics products used for computer games, but has recently been pushing into the world of autonomous vehicles. The new hire, Jonathan Cohen, was the director of deep learning for Nvidia. Moreover, in a recent interview, Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, talked about “massive change” coming to the auto industry. While Apple is still not divulging anything about its interest in vehicular space, the news are increasingly indicating that Apple is interested in a driverless electric mobility solution.

Nissan will be debuting its self-driving electric vehicle concept car at the Tokyo Motor Show.

While Google’s representatives have publicly stated that their fully driverless vehicles will be ready in 2020, Larry Burns, former GM Chief Technology Officer now consulting on Google’s driverless car project, said that the technology could be ready as a early as 2018.

Tesla’s Elon Musk has is also talking about full autonomy within three years. The timelines appear to be shortening. Tesla has launched its Autopilot using a software update. The State of California categorizes Tesla’s new tools as NHTSA Level 2 technology, which according to a DMV spokesperson means “helping drivers make better decisions”.  To discourage drivers from relying too heavily on its technology, “Tesla’s Autopilot is supposed to beep after about 10 seconds of hands-free driving to nudge drivers to grab the wheel again, and after being ignored it can sound louder warnings and turn the radio off”.  However, as has been witnessed by several videos posted on YouTube, not all Tesla drivers are heeding the advice of being in control of their vehicle.  And, therein, lies much of the problem with some of the autonomous upgrades to be released over the next few years. These systems due in the next few years are designed to take the grind out of the daily commute. But safety experts are concerned it will tempt some drivers to be distracted or check their phones. Insurers beware!

Delphi and Quanergy are teaming up to develop a low-cost (less than $1,000 US) LIDAR.

GM is declaring itself a leader in the autonomous vehicle technology space. Cadillac’s Super Cruise, the feature that launches next year, will allow drivers to remove their hands from the steering wheel and their feet from the pedals. CEO Barra disclosed that the company is working on a “creative” method for keeping the driver engaged in what the car’s doing in autonomous mode. No details provided.

Honda has announced it will put a “self-drive car on the road by 2020”. However, given the position of most automakers, it is likely that this vehicle will not be fully autonomous. In fact, Honda and General Motors are reportedly working together to develop driverless vehicle technology.

Also this last month, a task force, Securing American’s Future Energy (SAFE), was created to advocate for autonomous vehicles.  Members of the new task force include Larry Burns, advisor to Google, and Lynn Liddle, Executive Vice President at Domino’s Pizza.

Peugeot Citroen has begun trials of their driverless vehicle technology.

Electrification of transportation

According to the International Monetary Fund, Canadian subsidies of fossil fuels total $60 billion annually. Globally, that number is $5.3 trillion.

The Government of Québec announced its 2015-2020 electrification strategy. In a province that benefits from almost 100% renewable hydroelectric power, supporting electrification of transportation is a no-brainer. The Government also announced its intention to develop and implement Zero Emission Vehicle regulations.

The City of Montréal and Government of Québec announced a joint effort to install 106 charging stations for electric vehicles by spring 2016. Many of these charging stations will be on-street, making Montréal the NA leader in on-street charging.

London’s licensed taxis will need to be zero emission beginning in 2018.

According to the International Monetary Fund, Canadian subsidies of fossil fuels total $60 billion annually. Globally, that number is $5.3 trillion. So, when you hear of a government providing incentives for electrification of transportation, please remember these statistics and never forget dieselgate. Volkswagen was flouting emissions rules for 7 years and spewing between 10 to 40 times more nitrogen oxides (NOx) than allowed by regulation.

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?