Feed aggregator

Bipartisan Alternative Fuel Vehicle Bill Passes Both House and Senate

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Mon, 2014-12-15 17:07
... a disparity in the federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) program that has been disadvantageous to most bi-fuel alternative fuel vehicles.

Chrysler Leads The Way In Fuel Efficiency Technology with New stop/start technology

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Mon, 2014-12-15 16:56
... 300; when equipped with a V6 engine, both the rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive versions provide Best-In-Class highway fuel economy.

arbcombo -- California December 31, 2014 Allowance Price Containment Reserve Sale

Pipe: Advanced tech - Mon, 2014-12-15 16:30
As of the reserve sale application deadline of December 11, 2014, no covered entities or opt-in covered entities have submitted an application for the California Cap-and-Trade Program Sale of Greenhouse Gas Allowances from the Allowance Price Containment Reserve (December 2014 reserve sale).

Tourists in Jaipur face threat of zoonotic diseases

Pipe: India - Mon, 2014-12-15 16:04
Tourists are endangering their health and safety by interacting with elephants that are not screened for any zoonotic diseases, with no vaccination and treatment records with the mahouts, observed PETA.

newsclips -- Newsclips for December 15, 2014

Pipe: Advanced tech - Mon, 2014-12-15 15:19
This is a service of the California Air Resources Board s Office of Communications.

Yamaha unveils upgraded version of FZ, FZS bikes

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Mon, 2014-12-15 15:15
KATHMANDU, Dec 16: MAW Enterprises, the sole authorized distributor of Yamaha in Nepal, has introduced the Yamaha FZ Fi Version 2.0 and ...

Will truck fleets support the rise of compressed natural gas?

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Mon, 2014-12-15 14:05
While these are certainly attractive figures, logistics firms know the volatile nature of the fossil fuel economy all too well. Predictive analytics and other ...

newsrel -- Green buildings deliver many climate benefits, study shows

Pipe: Advanced tech - Mon, 2014-12-15 13:39
Please consider the following news release from the California Air Resources Board: http://bit.

BMW to show 360-degree collision avoidance and fully-automated remote parking in multi-story garages at CES

Pipe: Advanced tech - Mon, 2014-12-15 13:10

The driver has the i3 park itself in a multi-story garage using a smartwatch. Click to enlarge.

BMW will demonstrate new driver assistance and automated control functions including 360-degree collision avoidance and fully-automated parking in multi-story parking garages at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2015 in January.

The platform for 360-degree collision avoidance is secure position and environment recognition; the research vehicle is a BMW i3. Four advanced laser scanners record the environment and reliably identify impediments such as columns, for example in a multi-story parking garage. If the vehicle approaches a wall or a column too quickly, the system brakes automatically to prevent the threat of collision. The vehicle is brought to a standstill very precisely with centimeters to spare.

If the driver steers away from the obstacle or changes direction, the system releases the brakes. This system relieves the burden on the driver in an environment with poor visibility and makes a further contribution to enhanced safety and comfort. Like all BMW assistance systems, this research application can be overridden at any time by the driver.

The fully automated Remote Valet Parking Assistant in the BMW i3 research vehicle combines information from the laser scanners with the digital site plan of a building—such as a parking garage. If the driver uses the Smartwatch to activate the fully-automated Remote Valet Parking Assistant, the system will steer the vehicle independently through the levels, while the driver has already got out of the car.

The fully automated Remote Valet Parking Assistant recognizes the structural features of the car park and equally reliably steers round any obstacles that appear unexpectedly—such as incorrectly parked vehicles. Once the BMW i3 has arrived at the parking space, the vehicle locks itself and waits to be called by Smartwatch and voice command. The fully automated Remote Valet Parking Assistant then calculates the exact time until the driver arrives at the car park and starts up the BMW i3 so that it arrives at the car park exit at exactly the right time.

Research i3 parking itself. Click to enlarge.

BMW has succeeded in achieving fully automated control of the vehicle by connecting up vehicle sensor systems and a digital site plan. This avoids dependence on the GPS signal, which is not at all precise in multi-story garages. Alongside the laser sensors, the research vehicle also has the processing units and necessary algorithms on board and this means it can determine its exact position in the car park, monitor the environment perfectly, and carry out independent and fully automated navigation. It is not necessary to provide car parks, for example, with complex infrastructure in order to allow cars to orientate and navigate around the area safely.

Research i3 and Remote Valet parking. Click to enlarge.

Ongoing work on autonomous driving. As early as October 2009, the BMW Group gave a highly automated demonstration of driving round the North Loop of the Nürburgring on an ideal line in the precursor research project BMW Track Trainer. Later on, the BMW Track Trainer developed by engineers from BMW Group Research and Engineering demonstrated its performance on the race tracks at Laguna Seca, Zandvoort and Valencia, and back home on the Hockenheimring and the Lausitzring. The researchers gathered some important practical experience under extreme conditions at these venues for vehicle control and positioning.

Additional important findings were also provided by the research project entitled BMW Emergency Stop Assistant. If the driver collapses, for example in a medical emergency such as a heart attack, the vehicle changes to highly automated mode and can steer safely to the side of the road and initiate an emergency call.

In the middle of 2011, a test vehicle from the BMW Group drove along the A9 motorway from Munich towards Nuremberg without any interventions from the driver. Since then, this research prototype has been consistently developed. The test vehicle brakes, accelerates and overtakes entirely independently. These interventions are carried out in response to the momentary traffic situation in a speed range from 0 to 130 km/h (81 mph) and in compliance with the highway code. BMW prototypes have now driven some 20,000 test kilometers (12,400 miles). The vehicle is equipped with sensor systems like lidar, radar, ultrasound and camera recording on all sides.

Since January 2013, the BMW Group has been working with international automobile supplier Continental with the aim of moving the project forward. The overarching goal of the research partnership is to lay the groundwork for highly automated drive functions up to the year 2020 and beyond.

Assistance systems increase safety and comfort in road traffic, although the degree of driver support varies. The highest level of automation is provided by fully automated assistance systems.

Drive functions are fully automated if they no longer need to be monitored by the driver. There is no longer even any need for the driver to be in the vehicle—as in the case of the fully automated Remote Valet Parking Assistant.

The precursors for fully automated driving are highly automated systems which do not need to be monitored continuously by the driver. They take over the linear steering (forward and reverse motion) and transverse steering (sideways motion with the steering wheel) of the vehicle.

In contrast to fully automated systems, partially automated systems take control of linear and transverse steering of the vehicle (e.g. Congestion Assistant), but they need to be monitored at all times by the driver.

Assisted systems (e.g. ACC) in turn only provide support for the driver in linear or transverse steering.

Ford Falls as Cheap Fuel Raises Concern F-150 Too Expensive

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Mon, 2014-12-15 13:00
Ford, the second-largest U.S. automaker, said last week it has shipped more than 5,000 new 2015 F-150 models, with fuel economy improved by as ...

Ford Falls as Cheap Fuel Raises Concern New Truck Too Expensive

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Mon, 2014-12-15 13:00
Ford, the second largest U.S. automaker, said last week it has shipped more than 5,000 new 2015 F-150 models, with fuel economy improved by as ...

On the Road Review: Infiniti Q50 Sedan

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Mon, 2014-12-15 12:15
The TLX was better on fuel economy, but its ability to push you back in the seat was subdued compared to the Q50. Granted, the TLX was a four ...

General Motors China Holds <b>Fuel Economy</b> Challenge With 2014 Chevrolet Trax

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Mon, 2014-12-15 12:03
A man which GM identifies as Mr. Wen achieved the best fuel economy at the end of the run, with his Trax drinking only 5.2-liters of fuel over ...

EIA: price of gasoline tends to have little effect on travel demand; price elasticity has fallen

Pipe: Advanced tech - Mon, 2014-12-15 11:55

The 28% drop in the US average retail price of gasoline since 23 June may not have much effect on automobile travel, and in turn, gasoline consumption, according to an analysis by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). Gasoline is a relatively inelastic product—i.e., changes in prices have little influence on demand—and has become more so over the past few decades.

The US average retail price per gallon of regular motor gasoline has fallen 28% from its 2014 peak of $3.70 per gallon on June 23, to $2.68 per gallon on December 8, with no noticeable uptick in travel. Source: EIA. Click to enlarge.

Price elasticity measures the responsiveness of demand to changes in price. Almost all price elasticities are negative—i.e., an increase in price leads to lower demand, and vice versa. Air travel, especially for vacation, tends to be highly elastic: a 10% increase in the price of air travel leads to an even greater (more than 10%) decrease in the amount of air travel. Price changes have greater effects if the changes persist over time, as opposed to being temporary shocks.

Automobile travel in the United States is much less elastic, and its price elasticity has fallen in recent decades. The price elasticity of motor gasoline is currently estimated to be in the range of -0.02 to -0.04 in the short term—it takes a 25% to 50% decrease in the price of gasoline to raise automobile travel 1%.

In the mid 1990s, the price elasticity for gasoline was higher, around -0.08, meaning it only took a 12% decrease in the price of gasoline to raise automobile travel by 1%.

EIA’s Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) uses a price elasticity of -0.02 to estimate and forecast consumption of motor gasoline, while also considering anticipated changes in travel demand and fuel economy. The December STEO expects that gasoline prices in 2015 will be 23% lower than the 2014 average, and consumption in December will be virtually unchanged from year-earlier levels, as increased fuel economy balances out increases in vehicle miles traveled in response to lower prices and other factors.

Price elasticities can be difficult to interpret, as demand can change for reasons beyond changes in fuel price, including changes in other economic factors (e.g., income), demographics, driver behavior, vehicle fuel efficiency, and other structural factors. EIA suggests some possible explanations for the decline in gasoline price elasticity in recent decades include:

  • The slowing of per-capita vehicle miles traveled (VMT). After increasing for decades, VMT per capita slowed in the late 1990s and even declined in recent years.

  • The retirement of the baby boomer generation, because retirees tend to drive less than the working-age population.

  • Population migrations to urban area, as opposed to rural and suburban areas, because urban residents typically drive less.

  • Declines in licensing rates for teenagers, as young people delay or avoid getting their drivers’ permits and licenses.

  • The reduced share of household income devoted to motor gasoline expenses. As gasoline represents a smaller share of household expenditures, drivers may be less sensitive to fluctuations in price.

Elio Motors: Another Solution For Greener Transport

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Mon, 2014-12-15 11:52
... annually, those costs go to $716 for the Elio and $1,600 for the average vehicle… not to mention a vehicle with lower-than-average fuel economy.

Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Earns 22-MPG Highway Rating From EPA

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Mon, 2014-12-15 11:41
The Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat has received an EPA fuel economy rating of 13 miles per gallon in the city and a fairly impressive 22 miles per gallon ...

EU states tread warily on naming and shaming aircraft operators that have failed to comply with EU ETS rules

Pipe: Aviation - Mon, 2014-12-15 11:01
Mon 15 Dec 2014 - With barely three months to go before aircraft operators are due to report their 2013 and 2014 emissions for flights operated within the European Economic Area (EEA), a significant number of smaller operators and some high-profile airlines have yet to comply with the EU ETS regulations in force for 2012. Following an outcry over the inclusion of international flights to and from the EEA, and to allow ICAO to make progress on a global market-based measure, the EU backed down on the intended scope of its scheme. However, 20 months on, airlines from India, China and Russia, amongst others, have failed to surrender emission allowances for flights they operated within Europe in 2012. Despite the level of non-compliance, EU competent authorities have yet to name a single operator they have taken action against, mindful of the political sensitivities at stake.

Lexus unveiling two all-new luxury coupe models

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Mon, 2014-12-15 10:56
A long-travel damper for the lock-up torque converter boosts fuel economy and ensures smooth, quiet lock-up. The SPDS transmission features three ...

Elio Motors: Greener Than A Cow

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Mon, 2014-12-15 10:56
Therefore, it moves half as much air as a traditional passenger car, and wind drag is the single biggest factor impacting fuel economy during highway ...