Tag Archives: Transportation-Trade

Tesla Self-Driving Car Follow Up

http://dtl315.shannonweb.net/tesla-self-driving-cars/  <- First Post

 

Tesla’s Autonomous driving mode update for its Model S has been out for some time now.  During this time many consumers have downloaded and used the update.  What they found was definitely the beta version.  People have posted videos showing the autonomous mode driving into oncoming traffic and swerving when white lines were not on both sides of the car.  Other have reported the car speeding and getting pulled over by police.  As Musk said when he introduced it, “We’re being especially cautious at this early stage, so we’re advising drivers to keep their hands on the wheel just in case. The software is very new.”  So of course there are going to be some problems with it, but overall people are pleased with the results so far.  It will be interesting to see how this new feature will progress over the coming months and years.

Recently however Musk did answer one of the liability claims that has swirled around this new update, who is responsible when things go wrong?  Tesla said, “Tesla is very clear about the fact that the driver is responsible for the car at all times and should be actively in control, despite the AutoPilot system: it will be the driver’s fault, not Tesla’s if the car ends up in a road traffic collision.”  But I don’t know if this is the correct answer and I wonder if it could be proved wrong in court?  Guess we are just going to have to wait and find out.

Here are some videos posted by owners of the rogue autonomous mode mishaps:

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/oct/21/tesla-autopilot-goes-wrong-videos

http://ecowatch.com/2015/10/21/tesla-autopilot-fail-videos/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3281562/Tesla-autopilot-fail-videos-emerge-Terrifying-footage-shows-happens-autonomous-driving-goes-wrong.html

 

 

Tesla’s Hyperloop Train

We all know the company Tesla and it’s owner Elon Musk.  However, we might not all know that he is planning another huge innovation in consumer transportation, and it’s way bigger than the all electric car.  He is planning to build a train system that will get you from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 30 min, which is about a 400 mile trip that takes between 6 and 8 hours to drive.  Musk plans to build this train by using magnets and a airless tube.  The train will be put inside a tube with no air in it (a vacuum) and this will enable the train to not be affected by air resistance.  Along the tube there will be a series of magnets that will provide lift and propel the train down the tube.  It will be powered by solar panels that will sit on top of the tube. I’ve attached a video and an article to this post with more information about it.  It is an extremely interesting concept and if it works will forever change the way we travel.

RFID- Its technology and future developments

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification Technology) is a technology that is not only used in disruptive technology but will only enable the technology to evolve and expand into other sectors! According to engineering.com RFID technology is found in several aspects within the transportation industry. In the trucking industry the CRESCENT program on the west coast allowed trucks to bypass weigh stations by using a weigh in motion system. The program has now been applied to more than 30 states that utilize a common RFID tag in order for trucks not to have a different tag for each weigh in system.

Airports have also implemented this technology in their tracking of excess parking in arrival/departure areas. Airports have discovered that they can utilize RFID toll tags to keep track of individual parking times much to the expense of the jobs at exit booths. This technology has also found its way into the rail industry as well. One of the major problems that interstate railroads face is knowing which trains belong to which company at any given time. This means that a train could switch cars in a different state and the company of that train would not know for weeks, months, or even years. A potential solution to this problem came in the 1980s with the introduction of RFID tags one on either side of the train. The problem with these tags was that many could not withstand the extreme temperature of the cargo they were carrying. Other developments such as trailer tracking and container tracking have been looked into but never implemented as the RFID tag process was eventually hauled.

One of the most common aspects of RFID in public transportation are tolls. Companies such as EZ-Pass present RFID technology as an alternative for customers to traditional cash payments. One of the biggest challenges for this technology has been the acceptance of multiple tag protocols with each vendor unwilling to release their implementation secrets. This problem came to a head when tolls in the northeast began to see the value in RFID technology for congestion at tunnels, bridges, and toll roads as thousands used traveled through each form of infrastructure daily. The solution was a common protocol for all vendors to license their RFID technology. Some chose to license their protocols with other vendors while others chose to develop dual protocol tags to be used within multiple applications.

RFID technology has also been proposed for guns ushering in a new era for smart gun technology. This technology already available in other countries has been introduced to California by Armatix of Munich, Germany. This 22 LR caliber 10 round pistol uses a target response system only allows the gun to fire when the user has fired it on a recognized target. The pistol is also paired with a iw1 active RFID watch which is a PIN activated wristwatch that communicates with the gun to arm it for firing. Without the watch, the gun cannot be fired. Smart guns are also developed by Triggersmart headquartered in County Limerick Ireland. Their gun also uses a RFID tag similar to Armatix that will not fire unless it is in the hands of an authorized user.

For the transportation industry RFID has proven to be a key player. It has allowed for faster interstate transportation with programs such as CRESCENT and EZ-Pass for tolls. The airline and train industries have also began utilizing this technology with varying success. As RFID has continued to evolve the transportation industry it has expanded into other products such as smart gun technology. While RFID has not been limited to these industries it has shown to change the framework of traditional methods for these industries. Some question to consider as this technology evolves are the following: Who benefits and does not as a result? What other everyday products will RFID eventually infiltrate?

For more on RFID in transportation click here

For more on smart gun technology click here

 

TPP’s Negative Side

The TPP is going to bring a lot of disruption, positive disruption. It will improve economic growth and increase the United States’ trade and investment ties with the countries in the partnership. However, this will also bring some negative disruption. For example, costs are going to rise drastically due to the increase in trade between the countries. Countries such as Vietnam do not have the capacity to match and the competition might be too much for them to survive. In my opinion, I think every country still has an opportunity to capitalize this opportunity if the TPP passes.

Tesla Self-Driving Cars

Tesla announced today that they would be rolling out an update for all their cars sold in the U.S.  This update will give the cars the option to go into “autopilot” or “autonomous” mode.  This will enable Tesla’s to drive themselves, or at least kind of for the moment.  I say kind of because it is still required (legally) for you to have your hands at least touching the wheel in some way.  Tesla advises that you rest your hand on your knee and keep your pinky finger in contact with the wheel, if you don’t it will prompt you to put your hand or finger back on the wheel (for now at least).  This is to ensure safety (this is only the beta version of the software) and to meet all legal requirements of liability.  Elon Musk cautions that, “It works almost to the point where you can take your hands off, but we won’t say that. Almost.” However, Musk goes on to say that he is confident in the future that they will be able to make a completely autonomous driving car that does not need a human to “co-pilot”.  This is a huge innovation in transportation that will be very interesting to follow in the coming months and years.  I’ve attached a video of one of the Tesla’s driving itself, it’s pretty cool but begs the question what happen when things go wrong? Who is responsible?

More information on the update is available here.

 

E-Commerce Logistics: The Evolution of Logistics and Supply Chains from Direct to Store Models to E-Commerce

E-Commerce Logistics Models

In developed economies, e-commerce logistics represents the latest big driver of change in logistics and physical distribution networks, which have evolved substantially over the past 40 years or so. Currently, it remains the case that as e-commerce continues to grow, most shippers, particularly multi-channel shippers, are still only just beginning to work out what this will entail for their distribution network infrastructures.

More here.