Monthly Archives: December 2016

The Mobilicity system is an automated

It is cheaper to operate than a conventional bus system and offers unrivalled flexibility in operation. The electric vehicles operate on any graded road surface and require no specific infrastructure; this is a major competitive advantage over its only current competition.

As typical new urban developments commit 30% of the available land to the private car for roads and parking, the application of the Mobilicity approach can reduce this to 8%; a very significant amount of land released for other uses.  Further, it can also bring benefits in sensitive areas such as historic city centres where it can improve the environment without any structural impact.

Mobilicity has no direct competitors. Its closest rival is the PRT or Personal Rapid Transit sector. As an example, the Ultra PRT system, which uses a car-sized vehicle requiring extensive infrastructure, has considerable capacity and operational limitations compared to Mobilicity.

This innovative GRT concept has a very wide range of potential applications; from small scale private estates through to entire city centres. An independent analysis carried out for the company estimates the global market for systems of this type to be worth more than $8 billion by 2026.

 

The Mobilicity project had its first developments in 2002 when the parent company, Capoco Design Limited, reached its 25th year of incorporation since it was formed in 1977. The approach at Capoco is always to look forward so the company decided not to concentrate on a reprise of its past activities, but to investigate the fairly urgent requirements for future city mobility.

Copoco with its public transport background, it seemed natural to commission a research project into the needs of city transport over the next 25 years up to 2027. This was to take into account all the major trends acting on the transport scene as a whole. This particularly included population growth and the rural-to-urban drift. It was therefore logical to study the transport needs of the mega-cities that will increase in number as we move from a 50% urban share of a 6 billion global population, to a 65% urban share of a 9 billion global population.

This demographic trend is being accompanied by an ageing population profile in many countries, with its impact on national finances, individual wealth, social exclusion and different mobility needs. These effects will run parallel to the equally well-known trends of reducing oil supplies, environmental pressure on local and global air quality and ever-greater societal losses through traffic congestion.

To study these major trends in our transport world, Capoco collaborated with the Helen Hamlyn Research Centre, headed by Jeremy Myerson, at the Royal College of Art, London. Also part of the team was the famous Vehicle Design department of the RCA, led by Professor Dale Harrow.

The work commenced with an in-depth review of the current situation, the many pre-determined global trends and all possible transport solutions. The project team invited a range of experts, from a range of sectors including city and transport planning, the built environment, social mechanisms, to ideas workshops to discuss and develop different approaches to the challenges ahead. To assist this investigation process, actual city journeys in London, Istanbul and Hong Kong were analysed by tracking actual individuals through a range of different commuter scenarios.

From studying the requirements, an idealised system was proposed that used automated vehicles, effectively of variable size, running over the assorted routes. Then a process of back-casting, or retropolation, was applied to discover how this ideal system could be achieved in practice.

It is important to confirm that the Mobilicity system was never seen as a universal solution to all the transport challenges in all cities. The characteristics were developed to be complementary to other existing systems based on the various existing road, rail and water vehicles.

Power applications in automotives

One of the benefits of slimming down the vehicle body weight is less power energy consumption. Getting more kilometers out of the same amount of energy can be possible by fully exploiting the technology available in the market. A multitude of innovative concepts, technologies and materials are in the market and are used in the vehicles and transport carriers today. The relative high costs associated hindered the development and implementation of advanced materials and production technologies.
Potential novel materials applications have large scope, but the focus on two issues:

  • The development of innovative materials for batteries based on nanotechnology
  • The development of new light weight materials and respective technologies for vehicle applications.

We already discussed reducing structural weight in Automotives Body Weight Reduction that discussed on different materials role in reduction of body weight of automotives. While, innovative automotive electrochemical storage applications based on nanotechnology technical content and scope is:

Ford has come up with volume production plans for large-capacity Li-ion rechargeable batteries that are being made targeting electric vehicles and other applications in automobiles. As per Ford, Li-Ion batteries are the obvious energy storage option for PHEV with 50% less weight and 30% less volume with

  • High degree of application compatibility
  • Well resolved SOC
  • Historic research focus on high energy
  • Reasonable power-to-energy ratio design flexibility
  • Wider range of electrode material choices
  • Long term cost potential

Lithium Ion Technology is one of the satisfactory methods that still most car manufacturers would agree for long distance EV use. Energy and power density, cost and safety improvements are needed at a higher ratio. The developmental projects shall solely address the development of innovative materials and technologies for battery components, material architectures and systems for automotive electrochemical storage at cell level within a responsible, sustainable and environmental-friendly approach looking at the entire life cycle. The affect of the battery properties at the nanoscale across a full cell includes modelling and simulation. The focus is on innovative technologies, architectures and chemistries and should address the issues like:

  • performance, safety, recyclability and cost
  • Potential capability for fast charging without significant life reduction
  • Effect of bi-directional flow at charge stations
  • Availability of other associated materials
  • Eco-design and the environmental impact by material production
  • Characterization, standardization and synergies with other applications.

Proof of concept in terms of product or process is encouraged as is participation from the manufacturing industrial sector within strong interdisciplinary consortia.

Globally many events take place on the power applications in automobiles and the industry members are thriving to bring a breakthrough in the technology.

Ticona Material Innovations for Fuel / Hybrid Systems presented its innovative automotive power solutions at ITB Automotive Energy Storage Systems 2012. Being a supplier of engineering polymers, Ticona showcased material innovations for automotive fuel and hybrid powertrain systems that are solutions for aggressive gasoline, diesel and bio-diesel fuel applications, including ESD polymers and hybrid Powertrain Systems Solutions for battery separator films and power distribution, and materials that can reduce overall system weight to offset battery mass, improve packaging and ensure powertrain reliability.

A123 systems, transportation energy storage solutions  are advanced lithium ion energy storage solutions that enable higher performance and increased efficiency in passenger and commercial electric vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. The knowledge of electric drive-train technologies allows A123 to work closely with its customer’s fully-integrated system level to help commercialize new vehicle concepts. When compared to other battery chemistries, A123’s automotive class lithium ion battery systems delivers durability, reliability, high power density, extended life cycling, superior abuse tolerance for excellent safety performance and higher usable energy due to a wide usable state of charge range.

Talking Cars Coming Up

Driving is a crazy, Driving is Fun, Driving is a Sport. Driving is all about enjoying oneself in a single “machine”. With so many other aspects of our lives guided by computers that never get sleepy or distracted, manufacturers are now making our vehicles communicate with each other to avoid or say minimize accidents.

Vehicles are part of people’s life in modern society, into which more and more hightech devices are integrated, and a common platform for inter–vehicle communication is necessary to realize an intelligent transportation system supporting safe driving, dynamic route scheduling, emergency message dissemination, and traffic condition monitoring.

When “The Terminator” came out in 1984, it involved an annihilating future wherein machines had risen against us. Having arrived in that future, we now know better. The machines won’t kill us. But they are removing us from the equation.

Researchers say, autonomous cars will reduce traffic jams because they will communicate with one another to use the highways more efficiently. Because they will spend less time in gridlock, they will lessen the emission of harmful pollutants. And, they will give greater personal mobility to those who, because of disability or age, cannot drive.

NHTSA and eight automakers did a year long research to determine whether vehicles that talk to each other can prevent accidents. The Safety Pilot Model Deployment project brings together about 1500 cars equipped with Dedicated short–range communications (DSRC) devices that constantly transmit “here–I–am” signals to vehicles around them.

Vehicle–to–vehicle communication can be used to disseminate messages of multiple services generating their content using sensors within the vehicle. These services can include accident warning, information on traffic jams or warning of an approaching rescue vehicle. In addition, information on road or weather conditions can be exchanged.

The warning systems can alert drivers to hazards such as a pedestrian ahead or a car moving into an intersection from the side, and to detect other cars and deliver warnings if they get too close to each other.

These Cars are fitted with radios that broadcast basic safety messages about surrounding automobiles’ speed and location 10 times per second among this smaller fleet. Messages travel on a special Wi–Fi spectrum designated for vehicle–to–vehicle (V2V) communication. A car’s DSRC signal extends more than 300 meters in all directions, so, unlike unidirectional radar or a sensor, it can pick up the signal of another car approaching too closely from any angle. The “here–I–am” message cannot be blocked by another car, so it can, for example, detect a hazard two cars ahead.

The idea is to give that driver who might possibly be distracted-maybe by talking to another passenger or fiddling with the radio-that extra little buffer to get his attention back on the road and react accordingly.

In order to get a broad safety benefit, a significant number of vehicles must have DSRC, and achieving that penetration would likely require some kind of government mandate.