Monday, 10 July 2017

Autonomous Prototypes are Hard at Work

As the push towards cleaner energy vehicles continues across Europe, with low emission zones that ban polluting road vehicles in use across many European cities, and likely to spread to include off highway vehicles as well, the question must be asked; can technology keep up?

Dr. Mark Settler has used data from 1400 vehicles to try and answer this question. Considering mainly the question of combustion engines, Settler argues that while in rural areas, as diesel engines are significantly more efficient, standards can be met. However, there is an additional challenge in urban areas as diesel emissions, while better for the environment, are worse for human health. This challenge must result in a push towards electric and hybrid vehicles in highly populated areas.

Dr Peter Harrop argues that a push towards electric vehicles is best in all areas, with the end goal of totally energy independent vehicles. In China, a technology company has developed four totally solar panelled cars, and contactless charging of electric vehicles may be closer than we think. Many have also had the idea of swarms of smaller vehicles performing tasks that would traditionally be done by one vehicle, an idea that could be made possible by autonomous technology. Harrop doesn’t argue that all these changes will come all at once however, he instead suggests that by gradual developments in sophisticated electrical components.

As governments are starting to increasingly take note of the dangers of diesel engines, it is imperative that companies start to move towards alternative technologies now, as sudden changes in legislation can cripple companies if they are not adequately prepared.

This is reproduced from an article in iVT International magazine. For the full details see THIS link.

This post was compiled on behalf of Weald Technology by Sophie Lane, July 2017.

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