Detroit—Some interesting statistics came out during the recent Firestone
tire recall on Ford sport-utility vehicles. Ford used data from the U.S. Department of Transportation to make a case for the relative safety of SUVs. The information it presented showed the overall occupant fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles lower for compact SUVs than passenger cars (left). However, while frontal impacts in cars had the greatest fraction of fatalities, rollovers in compact SUVs accounted for nearly two-thirds of all deaths in those vehicles—a sobering thought given SUVs' higher center of gravity making them more prone to such accidents—and the reason for Ford's introduction of its rollover protection package in 2002 Explorers and Mercury Mountaineers (see Design News , 10/02/00).
No numbers were quoted for death rates in vehicles colliding with SUVs.
Lithium-ion battery prices will drop rapidly over the next 10 years, setting the stage for plug-in vehicles to reach 5%-10% of total automotive sales by the mid- to late-2020s, according to a new study.
Two researchers from Cornell University have won a $100,000 grant from NASA to continue work to develop an energy-harvesting robotic eel the space agency aims to use to explore oceans on one of the moons of Jupiter.
Is the factory smarter than it used to be? From recent buzzwords, you’d think we’ve entered a new dimension in industrial plants, where robots run all physical functions wirelessly and humans do little more than program ever more capable robotics. Some of that is actually true, but it’s been true for a while.
A recent Design News-exclusive study proves that engineering professionals are at the very forefront of this push into the future and making direct financial, performance, and value impact on their organizations by being personally involved or final decision-makers on automation solution and component choices.
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