Vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications will augment and, in some cases, replace the multitude of sensors that would otherwise be needed by autonomous vehicles.
Image courtesy of GM
Or there will have to be a focus on the 100 mile round trip. When I think of designing something new, my first goal is to understand what the specifications are. I wonder what the car companies are focusing on.
That may be the toughest part of the development of the electronic car. What round trip do you try and shoot for? What kind of acceleration do you target? And I think from a generational standpoint I think the younger generation may be a little more likely to give up some things in favor of a green car. Some of us are a little too dreamy about our gas guzzling muscle car that we cruised around town in. And unfortunately, it's that group of people that might actually be able to afford the EVs.
Good observation, Jmiller. Look like our current culture isn't quite ready for widespread use of EVs. It certainly doesn't seem EVs are designed for the long commute that is so prevalent in our present lifestyle. I can't imagine the long commutes will end soon. So EVs may have to develop quite a bit before they can truly replace an internal combustion car.
Until we can solve the charging station issue or have replacement batteries at every local gas station the electonic vehicles are going to be kept back. We have become such a mobile society. Often driving 40 or 50 miles to work in some rural areas. 40 years ago it wasn't that way. You worked in the town you lived and wouldn't have to worry about a long drive to work. In that environment a rechargeable vehicle would have been possible because few drove that far.
I wonder if we as a society are willing to give up some of our freedom to promote the electrical vehicles.
And how many times have we been driving slow on the freeway for no apparent reason. I would assume electronically driven vehicles would result in less gawking out the window when there's some type of an issue. I've often dreamt of the ability for everyone to hear the word "GO!" shouted on the radio at the same time so we could all start moving at 55 instead of 15.
It reminds me of some of the new technology out there for dark warehouses, where the forrkifts all drive themselves and bring the components to the assembly line automatically. And think about the accidents that could be prevented by one car talking to another as they weave in and out to get to their destination. Lots of potential. But lots of work to get there.
Good points, TJ. Lately, I've started to wonder about how quickly we will build out the charging stations. I'm not so sure we will soon have EVs and hybrids at scale to really begin to build out a decent infrastructure. If batteries keep blowing up and prices stay high, EV revolution may slow to a creep.
I don't know about costing less, Rob. I would suspect much, much more. Traffic signals are a municipal responsibility, not federal. Each will have its own contractor, and probably multiple network protocols as industrial automation already sees. Cars will have to be able to communicate via these multiple protocols.
Implementing this at the same time as trying to jumpstart electrical charging stations is going to be a challenge. Modernizing the transportation infrastructure (not even counting the actual roads) is going to approach the trillion dollar level.
If we could create a grid that includes both moving and stationary items, that could save thousands upon thousands of lives. We're getting close to the technology, but deployment may be another factor. It would certainly require mammoth government investment, but probably much less that the interstate system cost.
Good point, TJ. How many times have you seen a light change and wondered why no one seems to be moving? One of the goals of vehicle-to-vehicle communication is to enable vehicles to talk to one another and then move in organized "flights" through traffic lights.
Five years ago, optical heart rate tracking seemed like an obvious successor to the popular chest straps used by many fitness buffs, but the technology has faced myriad engineering challenges on its way to market acceptance.
Design engineers need to prepare for a future in which their electronic products will use not just one or two, but possibly many user interfaces that involve touch, vision, gestures, and even eye movements.
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