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Thread: Driverless car trials

  1. #196
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    Default Re: Driverless car trials

    Quote Originally Posted by The Spin Doctor View Post
    What's top range on a hybrid right now? 40 miles or so? Just about enough to drive off the end of the M40 and onto the M20 on the other side of London. So for the rest of the time, the driver simply has an ICE with the inconvenience of a bit less boot space.

    Look at the problem from the global point of view rather than the Paris Accord provisions on limiting air pollution in cities. You're simply moving the toxic gases out of town. It's not tackling the big problem of global warming.
    I may have mentioned I have a hybrid.

    Seriously, I bought it because it was the right size, the right price and made by Lexus. The hybrid bit comes as standard - I was sceptical that it would be useful, but confident Lexus wouldn't screw it up.

    It is brilliant. In traffic queues it trickles along at 25 mph sans ICE, but more importantly it is quickish when required, yet will deliver adequate performance and 60+mpg AT THE SAME TIME. My favourite trick is leaving Truro heading to St Austell. I can accelerate to about 50, lift off and cruise down the hill, then hit the long 30 limit through the next village. I am not crawling, just staying in the normal traffic stream, 50-60 down the hill, then 40 dropping to 30 through the village. Two and a half miles and not a drop of petrol. There is another local road, same distance (2.5 miles), same result. More typically the engine cuts in and out, but often only at tickover speeds (1000-1500 rpm) seamlessly for miles, all the while delivering 60+mg. Even on the motorways at illegal speeds the motor is often ticking over at 1500 rpm trickling charge into the battery which is doing most of the work, and gentle braking harvests energy that can be reused.

    I swapped a 2 litre car for a slightly larger one with a 2.5 litre engine, and get twice the mpg. And better performance.

    OK, so everyone can't afford a Lexus. Some people may not even want a Lexus, but the hybrid technology really works. Give another 20 years, a push from a few other manufacturers trying to match or overtake them, and a lot more is achievable. Scale it down to a modest supermini size and 120 mpg should be achievable in real life, not just on paper. So ICE technology, with a bit of help from its electric friend coud solve city pollution AND triple the current real world average mpg without compromising range or performance.


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  3. #197
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    Default Re: Driverless car trials

    I've done a long-ish trip (Berks > Sheffield and back, with a bit of local while there) in a Vauxhall Ampera hybrid. I've driven a Nissan Leaf . . Didn't like it at all. The Ampera took three of us there in comfort and was as easy to drive as an ICE auto. In fact, better.

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    Default Re: Driverless car trials

    Quote Originally Posted by Cousin Jack View Post
    I may have mentioned I have a hybrid.

    ...

    It is brilliant.

    Give another 20 years, a push from a few other manufacturers trying to match or overtake them, and a lot more is achievable. Scale it down to a modest supermini size and 120 mpg should be achievable in real life, not just on paper. So ICE technology, with a bit of help from its electric friend coud solve city pollution AND triple the current real world average mpg without compromising range or performance.
    But essentially, it's just a more efficient Model T engine. If people are happy with 60 mpg (and I should point out that I managed 55mpg from a diesel Passat a few years back without feather-footing it everywhere) then there's no real push to develop some of the alternatives to piston engines that are in the same stage of development as a lot of the battery technology people are talking up... just a couple of days ago, someone mentioned a solid state battery technology that has just been patented. That means it's basically a lab-scale experiment and considered theoretically possible that it will be capable of development. As I said the other day, take a look at some of the other technologies that involve burning fossil fuel. Being happy with 60 mpg from a hybrid isn't going to push these technologies.

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    Default Re: Driverless car trials

    Quote Originally Posted by The Spin Doctor View Post
    But essentially, it's just a more efficient Model T engine. If people are happy with 60 mpg (and I should point out that I managed 55mpg from a diesel Passat a few years back without feather-footing it everywhere) then there's no real push to develop some of the alternatives to piston engines that are in the same stage of development as a lot of the battery technology people are talking up... just a couple of days ago, someone mentioned a solid state battery technology that has just been patented. That means it's basically a lab-scale experiment and considered theoretically possible that it will be capable of development. As I said the other day, take a look at some of the other technologies that involve burning fossil fuel. Being happy with 60 mpg from a hybrid isn't going to push these technologies.
    Yes, it is basically a Model T engine. But the point is that that engine can now run in a 'efficient' mode (constant throttle (FBW) and low revs) whilest the electric motors do much of the work. Better electric motors and bigger/better batteries will improve the mpg even if the petrol engine stays the same. Which it won't, I suspect in 20 years the engine development will be about lean burn and tickover performance because the better batteries will mean the top-end engine performance is less important. So 120 mpg and more is perfectly possible. City dwellers will use EVs, those of us out in the sticks where 300+ mile range is important will use hybrids. And along the way if the Model T does morph into something super-efficient then we can make use of that.

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    Default Re: Driverless car trials

    Quote Originally Posted by The Spin Doctor View Post
    just a couple of days ago, someone mentioned a solid state battery technology that has just been patented. That means it's basically a lab-scale experiment and considered theoretically possible that it will be capable of development.
    Like the 'we should never have banned them' new MIT incandescent technology post in this thread recently?

    Seriously, don't you think that if any of the alternative engines were *that* good and showed sufficient promise, one of the companies would have persevered?

    Perhaps 'safety' provides an interesting parallel: 30 years ago Volvos were 'safe, but boring' - now the car manaufacturers work hard to achieve good NCAP scores as potential buyers include these in their searches for new vehicles. In the 22 years from now to 2040, if a hyper-economic, ultra-clean engine could be developed, that might lead the way for other manufacturers of hybrids - especially if they think it will take sales from them.

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    Default Re: Driverless car trials

    http://www.highwaysindustry.com/brit...wsletter+No335

    A British car manufacturer has become the first firm in the world to strike a deal to export driverless cars.

    International trade minister Mark Garnier travelled to South Korea to sign a £30 million project to supply South Korea with the “autonomous electric pods” – supplied by Westfield Sports Cars in Dudley – and they are set to be showcased at next year’s Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

    Mr Garnier said the deal shows Britain is more than ready to leave the EU and strike new trading partnerships with countries around the world.

    He said: “Demand for our goods and services is clearly out there and we will continue to support businesses in making the most of global markets as we leave the EU.”

    South Korea is a key market being targeted by ministers as they look to take advantage of being able to strike new free trade deals once Britain leaves the EU. And the deal builds on Britain’s strong trading link with the country – the UK’s eighth largest export market outside of Europe.

    UK car exports to South Korea have grown five-fold since 2009.

    It has ordered five of the driverless electric pods for initial testing – with a plan to order a further 195.

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    Default Re: Driverless car trials

    http://highwaysmagazine.co.uk/colas-...ee8d-303696201

    A partnership between Colas and two US companies is seeking to save roadworker lives with what is thought to be the world’s first Autonomous Impact Protection Vehicle (AIPV).



    One of the greatest advantages the highways sector is hoping to derive from automation is improved safety for both workers and drivers. Although a number of industry initiatives have cut roadworker deaths in recent years, they have not been completely eliminated. A major step forward on this path appears to have been achieved this August when an AIPV was used live onsite in Colorado.

    The idea behind it is to increase worker safety by removing the need for a driver in what is effectively a mobile crash barrier, protecting workers and equipment from errant vehicles on busy roads.

    Lee Rushbrooke, CEO of Colas, said: ‘We are dedicated to advancing health and safety issues and will continue to invest in cutting-edge research and development projects to benefit our employees, clients and the wider industry. We are extremely excited about this new technology and are looking forward to giving this a global reach to save lives of road workers, across the world.’

    Colas’s two partners in the project are Royal Truck and Equipment (RT&E), a leading manufacturer of truck mounted attenuator and safety trucks in the US, and Micro Systems Inc (MSI) a subsidiary of Kratos Defense & Security Solutions.

    Having initially been developed for the US military, the technology used by the vehicle has been tailored by RT&E and MSI for use in the highways industry.

    The unmanned AIPV is fitted with an electro-mechanical applique kit and fully integrated sensor suite and utilises a leader/follower capability that enables it to follow a driver-operated leader vehicle.

    Navigation data including vehicle speed and heading is transmitted from the leader vehicle to the follower vehicle. This enables the follower vehicle to keep to the exact path and speed of the leader vehicle at each point along the route.

    Mike Wilson, Highways England’s executive director for safety, engineering and standards said: ‘We welcome this innovative work by Colas, which through the use of connected and autonomous vehicle technology, has the potential to help the sector address the risks road workers face on a daily basis.

    ‘Our number one imperative is safety and we believe no one should be harmed when travelling or working on our road network.’

    Colas said its engineers and colleagues from RT&E and MSI have worked constantly together to develop, monitor and trial the system to ensure the highest possible performance. Over 200 hours of rigorous and successful testing and training were completed prior to the vehicle being declared ready for use on live work sites in the US.

    RT&E president Robb Roy said: ‘Colas’ innovative approach to health and safety is precisely why we are delighted to be working with them on this cutting-edge project in Europe. There is no doubt that this technology has the potential to change the way the industry operates forever.’

    Currently UK legislation does not allow an unmanned autonomous vehicle to be on the roads. Colorado have made that policy change already, which allowed these trials to take place.

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    Default Re: Driverless car trials


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    Default Re: Driverless car trials

    Be interesting to see how it's programmed to react if a vehicle got between it and the leader.

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    Default Re: Driverless car trials


    After all, if hybrids are allowed to use ICEs in their present form, what's to stop Range Rover dropping a small battery and motor into their 5 litre model and calling it a hybrid? (If they haven't done so already!) I doubt you'd notice the extra weight dragging down the already appalling fuel consumption?
    Two things: 'They' are forcing car manufacturers to have a fleet average CO2 target of 95g/km by 2021 (i..e the total combined average emissions from all the cars a manufacturer sells must be 95g/km). I.e. you can't simply call a car a hybrid and be done with it, the law will force you to make cars more fuel efficient one way or another. Or at least you can't sell many gas guzzlers and if you do you've got to counterbalance with a load of frugal cars too.

    The second thing is far more powerful...fuel it getting more expensive!

    Quote Originally Posted by The Spin Doctor View Post
    What's top range on a hybrid right now? 40 miles or so? Just about enough to drive off the end of the M40 and onto the M20 on the other side of London. So for the rest of the time, the driver simply has an ICE with the inconvenience of a bit less boot space.

    Look at the problem from the global point of view rather than the Paris Accord provisions on limiting air pollution in cities. You're simply moving the toxic gases out of town. It's not tackling the big problem of global warming.

    I'm not convinced the hybrid is the right answer. At least, not until a much more efficient ICE is developed, and I don't think this is going to encourage research into the kind of radical alternatives to the piston-engined ICE I mentioned a few days ago.
    The whole point of a hybrid is to make a conventional ICE vehicle more efficient - or more specifically, to allow you to fit a smaller ICE, and to run that ICE in it's most efficient range more often. Piston engines are a bit crap everywhere except in a very narrow range of operation. They achieve peak efficiency at one power output and one speed, performance rapidly drops away away from either. Unfortunately road vehicles have to operate over a wide range of speeds and loads.

    The entire concept of a hybrid is to combine a piston engine that's just powerful enough to get you where you're going on a cruise, then boost it's performance with an electric motor if/when necessary. Piston engines love just tooling along pretty much flat out at a constant speed, that's when they're most efficient. Electric motors basically DGAS so they can be efficient wherever. By combining the two you can have an ICE that runs at it's most efficient all the time, either driving the car or charging the battery, then use an electric motor to boost it where required. It's classic power smoothing.

    So in short, a hybrid is more than just a normal car with a motor. A lot more. When done correctly they make an otherwise conventionally engined car a shit load more efficient. Just look at F1, now they run Hybrids they use 1/3 less fuel per race for the same - if not higher - speed. Bear in mind F1 also doesn't allow precharging the battery, so the only energy a car starts the race with is that in the fuel tank.


    Good question - as the current commitment stands, it's going to be hard for university depts to get research grants on fuel cells... or other blue sky projects that may come along.
    Again - plenty of Uni's and what not are working on fuel cells, or solar power, or hydrogen combustion, or graphite batteries, or any other number of things.
    Last edited by Mr. Dazzle; Yesterday at 17:47.

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    Default Re: Driverless car trials

    And there's the Formula E seies too.

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    Default Re: Driverless car trials

    Quote Originally Posted by Horse

    A British car manufacturer has become the first firm in the world to strike a deal to export driverless cars.

    International trade minister Mark Garnier travelled to South Korea to sign a £30 million project to supply South Korea with the “autonomous electric pods” – supplied by Westfield Sports Cars in Dudley – and they are set to be showcased at next year’s Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.
    What sort of bomb load could they deliver northbound?

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    Default Re: Driverless car trials

    Quote Originally Posted by The Spin Doctor View Post
    Good question - as the current commitment stands, it's going to be hard for university depts to get research grants on fuel cells... or other blue sky projects that may come along.
    Why?

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    Default Re: Driverless car trials

    Quote Originally Posted by Horse View Post
    ‘Our number one imperative is safety and we believe no one should be harmed when travelling or working on our road network.’
    I like the idea of safety (I'm a wimp) but that worries me. Absolute safety is unachievable, and anything that even approaches it will involve massive intrusion into my freedom of choice. One very simple way to reduce KSI figures would be to ban motorcycles.

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    Default Re: Driverless car trials

    Quote Originally Posted by Cousin Jack View Post
    ... One very simple way to reduce KSI figures would be to ban motorcycles.
    Or you could be made to wear Michelin Man suits, like this one:



    Attached Images Attached Images

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