“As cities become more and more congested, people are becoming increasingly open to new means of mobility, and car sharing is proving to be an appealing model,” says Ken Washington, Vice President of Ford Research and Advanced Engineering. “A crucial part of delivering effective car-sharing services is to learn alongside these drivers what best meets their needs and expectations, and complements their location and existing transportation infrastructure.”
GoDrive uses a pay-as-you-go approach to pricing and trips are charged by the minute, which includes the cost of the central London congestion charge, insurance and fuel. During the trial phase, cars were primarily located at public transport hubs, like Victoria railway station, but that’s obviously now being widened out to include other parts of the capital.
“To make the numbers, Knight figured that managers would need to deliver 15% annual returns on all new business and capital outlays.
Today the network planning group of 70 analysts oversees this process from cubicles on the 11th floor of Union Pacific’s office tower in Omaha. The “smart guys” are anything but wonks. Many are managers from the field who spend a year or two in the department and blend excellent math skills with rail yard know-how. A case in point is Danny Torres, who spent most of his career working in repair facilities and depots, and now runs a network of 10 terminals in Iowa. “We work with a financial model that says, How much profit will adding this siding or extra track add? Will it slow or increase efficiency in other parts of the network? When it’s all taken together, will the total return reach 15%?”
Knight also built a second financial function that might be called “green, yellow, red.” In each of the big operating businesses—coal, industrial products, chemicals, and so on—Knight installed financial managers to evaluate new business. They enter the proposed pricing on all new contracts, as well as the extra costs in fuel, manpower, and everything else the business will require, into an online operating system that projects the rate of return. If the number is well over 15%, the system flashes green. If it’s on the margin, the signal is yellow. “If it’s red,” says Knight, “and it’s the best pricing we can offer, we let it go.””
Mention “Industry 4.0” to most manufacturing executives and you will raise eyebrows. If they’ve heard of it, they are likely confused about what it is. If they haven’t heard of it, they’re likely to be skeptical of what they see as yet another piece of marketing hype, an empty catchphrase. And yet a closer look at what’s behind Industry 4.0 reveals some powerful emerging currents with strong potential to change the way factories work. It may be too much to say that it is another industrial revolution. But call it whatever you like; the fact is, Industry 4.0 is gathering force, and executives should carefully monitor the coming changes and develop strategies to take advantage of the new opportunities.
My daughter got a nice tour (thanks to librarian Clement Ho) this weekend of the library at American University in Washington, DC.
Impressive all the scanning, poster, 3D and other printing technology, the loaner devices and materials the students can avail of.
My favorite was the Bookeye 4 scanner with the cradle so you don’t have to contort books to scan them
“One secret behind Bookeye 4's superior quality images is that it employs a linear CCD with dual reflecting mirrors that move instead of the lens; all but eliminating distortions inherent with both film and digital cameras (e.g. chromatic aberrations, barrel and pincushion distortions). Another reason for Bookeye 4's superior image quality is that the lens always remains perfectly perpendicular to the book whether in the flat or 'V' position, thereby enabling the scanner to digitize each side of the book in perfect alignment. The end result is a scanner that captures documents precisely from edge to edge while gently preserving the subject matter.”
a close second was the LocknCharge FUYL cells to store and charge laptops and mobile devices
I drooled about all these loaners - not listed Google Glasses which are also in inventory
I would like to borrow these :)
colorful reminder the world is still pretty analog!
The hallowed Zambonis, fixtures at most ice rinks, are getting some competition from Olympias. From Boston.com
“When ice is being resurfaced, two operators will be on the ice at the same time. When the operators cut the ice, it’s in their hands individually, allowing for some error, Beckett said. With the Olympias, a laser system coordinates the cut of the ice, making it consistent with both machines.
There may also be a financial edge; Resurfice customers buy their first machines outright, but the contract provides customers with new machines every three years for a relatively small upgrade fee, Shlupp said.”
Board any city bus in Portugal's second-largest municipality, Porto, and you've got free Wi-Fi. More than 600 city buses and taxis have been fitted with wireless routers, creating what's touted as the biggest Wi-Fi-in-motionnetwork in the world.
The service not only provides commuters with free Internet connections but also helps collect data that make the municipality run more efficiently.
The tech startup behind this new service is called Veniam, based in Porto and Mountain View, Calif. It calls its project the "Internet of Moving Things."
Porto is the first test market, but the company hopes to expand to several U.S. cities later this year.
The truck’s LED headlights, chain-mail grille, and mod, white-leather interior would be enough to earn it plenty of looks at a Flying J truck stop, but what sets it apart from every other semi on the road is its so-called Highway Pilot system, which uses radar sensors, cameras, and servo motors to detect objects and lane markings around the truck and take over steering, braking, and accelerating from the driver. At a nighttime unveiling atop the Hoover Dam, Wolfgang Bernhard, the global head of trucks and buses for Freightliner’s parent company, Daimler, said he expects the technology to add a “new dimension of safety.”
The self-driving mode works like this: While traveling along a clearly marked road, the truck’s main display will light up an indicator telling you Highway Pilot is available. You can activate it by pushing a button on the steering wheel. The system is similar to cruise control, except that it also steers the truck. You have to stay behind the wheel, though, in case the software determines that it can’t handle upcoming twists and turns. In that case, the dash starts a 20-second countdown back to human driving.
Floor tiles that generate electricity when people walk on them. Streetlamps that transmit data to people passing beneath them. Virtual reality videos that make fans feel like they're at the game when they're really just sitting on their own couches.
No, this isn't "Star Trek." It's some of the technology the Golden State Warriors basketball team is testing for its new stadium, set to open in San Francisco in 2018. The 12-acre sports and entertainment complex will contain space for retail, restaurants and parks and will play host to not only Warriors games but also concerts and other events.
The temperature inside cars can rise 40 degrees F within an hour. How to keep cars comfortable when the majority of parking spaces are not sheltered from the sun? It’s actually impressive to see how many chemists and other scientists keep working on the problem.
Many windows have Mylar and other tinted film that chemists at DuPont, 3M and elsewhere keep improving. Cars increasingly come with shades for rear windows.
Windshields have reflective shades that makers like Covercraft keep improving
These days you can tell Siri to start the car and cool it down by the time you arrive. The air-conditioning features these days include multiple vents, individual passenger controls, air filters and as Lexus has shown optimal energy usage for the cooling
Ventilated seats make the car even more comfortable
AT&T has an experimental car seat sensor which can turn the air-conditioning on it it detects dangerous heat levels
Someday, Solar powered air-conditioning will become viable and keep cars cool even without the engine turned on.
And PPG may bring the electrified gel window technology on the 787 down to our cars.
Positive train control (PTC) is a set of highly advanced technologies designed to automatically stop or slow a train before certain types of accidents occur. Specifically, PTC, as mandated by Congress in the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (RSIA), must be designed to prevent:
Derailments caused by excessive speed
Unauthorized incursions by trains onto sections of track where maintenance activities are taking place
Movement of a train through a track switch left in the wrong position
PTC is an unprecedented technical and operational challenge. Since enactment of RSIA, railroads have devoted enormous human and financial resources to develop a fully functioning PTC system over the 60,000 miles that are subject to the PTC mandate. Progress to date has been substantial. Railroads have retained more than 2,400 signal system personnel to implement PTC and has already spent $5 billion on PTC development and deployment. Railroads expect to spend more than $9 billion before development and installation is complete.