From Green Car Reports we learn the last gasoline car will be built in 2070. At least that is what Shell thinks. While 2070 is a long way off, at least one oil company sees the coming end of the petroleum era on Earth. The company predicts in its latest report that petroleum-powered automobiles could be gone by 2070. By that time the passenger road market could be “nearly oil-free”, with electricity and hydrogen the dominant means of fueling road transportation. See also The Green Optimistic, The Future of Transportation Means Hydrogen And Electricity, Says Shell.
auto-types tells us some major automobile makers are working on building self-drive cars. The companies include Mercedes Benz and Nissan.
Autonomous driving is expected to be safer than conventional driving as machines are programmed to avoid faults, hence making them more reliable than humans. This however is theory and we need to test these claims before autonomous vehicles are allowed on the road.
See also plugincars, Self-Driving Cars Are Coming Fast, and They’re Likely To Be Electric, The Telegraph, Google’s driverless cars are ‘safer’ than human drivers and Bloomberg, Self-Driving Car Demand Seen Boosted by Japan’s Aging Population. The latter notes that 90% of automobile accidents are caused by human error.
Ford lets the car find the parking spot for you reports the Detroit News. Ford Motor Co. claims it has developed a car that can locate empty parking spaces ahead and then park itself in that space, even without a driver in the car. The company calls it Ford’s Fully Assisted Parking Aid and suggests it may be on its future vehicles.
In a related post Automotive News gives us a reality check on self-driving vehicles. Intelligent cars are being pushed by Google, Tesla and Nissan but automobile experts say there are major hurdles to be overcome and we won’t be opening the roads to these vehicles very soon. At the annual ITS World Congress held in Tokyo earlier this month engineers identified the roadblocks facing a driverless world. These include technical challenges, lack of industry standards, vague or nonexistent government regulations, implementation costs, and liability issues. For example, a driverless world will need an infrastructure that allows for the delivery and management of an enormous amount of wireless information. That continuous stream of data would be too heavy even for today’s top-speed 4G cellular networks. “It’s no longer a challenge of the automotive industry. It’s actually becoming an IT (information technology) challenge,” said Christoph Hagedorn, CEO of Continental Japan.
hybrid cars has a primer on stop-start systems for cars. A stop-start system automatically shuts the engine off every time the vehicle stops, such as at a traffic signal, and restarts it instantly when it’s time to go. They are beginning to show up in hybrid and internal combustion engine vehicles. The purpose is to maximize fuel economy as well as minimize greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles.
Auto Credit Express tells us everything we wanted to know about hybrid cars.
Electric Vehicle News wonders if diesel’s dominance in Europe will ever be overtaken by electric vehicles. The European Union average for diesel new car sales is 55%, with Spain and France as high as 70%.
Clean Technica tells us how the cargo bike is displacing cars and trucks in the US. A key driver in this trend is the addition of electric motors to bicycles turning them into e-bikes.
The deepening of the cargo bike trend is due to a couple of factors. One is the ability of basic cargo bikes to be more versatile and climb hills due to the addition of an electric motor that allows both for a little extra oomph on inclines. In some cases, a throttle also lets a cyclist with a heavy load take off from standing still without difficulty.
The second factor propelling cargo biking is that of critical mass. With more cyclists choosing a cargo bike in order to haul stuff or haul kids, there’s now more of a collective voice to devise solutions to common cargo hauling and kid hauling problems.