Linklist: September 26, 2011

Washington Post: The re-building of Tysons Corner and Tysons Corner Center’s oil pipeline from Alaska

Pioneer Press $4 million to make walking to school safer – and no one’s walking: “Of 620 students at Bailey, not one walks – not even those who live one block away.”

LA Times: Neutrino jokes hit Twittersphere faster than the speed of light: “-Neutrino. Knock knock.”

NY Times: New York No Longer Has Worst Commuting Time : “Maryland moved into first place last year with an average of 31.82 minutes, compared with New York’s 31.27 — meaning that it took Marylanders about 33 seconds longer to get to work than New Yorkers.” [This is state averages rather than metro]

Dan Sperling and Richard Forman in Solutions Journal: The Future of Roads: No Driving, No Emissions, Nature Reconnected : “Suppose we could move gloriously and quietly along in our own comfortable car compartment some 20 feet high between the trees, yet with no engine running, no fossil fuel use, no greenhouse gas emissions, and no need to watch the road (Figure 1). Or, we could zip along in channels dug just below ground level and topped with translucent covers. No unpredictable drivers to worry about or vehicles to crash into. No driver fatigue, indeed, no driving. Barely any traffic noise. We watch nature around us, remember the bad old days of polluting traffic, play family games, work on the computer, or read. When ready to return to ground level, we simply take manual control of our fully charged battery “pod” car and drive off on local roads to our destination.”

TED: Dennis Hong: Making a car for blind drivers : “Using robotics, laser rangefinders, GPS and smart feedback tools, Dennis Hong is building a car for drivers who are blind. It’s not a “self-driving” car, he’s careful to note, but a car in which a non-sighted driver can determine speed, proximity and route — and drive independently.” [Oh just build the self-driving car already]

ABC: OnStar: GM Privacy Terms Say Company May Record Car Information, Even After Customers Cancel Service : “”

2 thoughts on “Linklist: September 26, 2011

  1. On the “Future of Roads” thing: seems like a monster chicken-and-egg problem, the usual problem with any of these incompatible infrastructure suggestions. Building an elevated (or subterranean) roadway that can’t be used by vehicles that won’t have sufficient market penetration for a decade or three to actually have this infrastructure see any use relative to, say, building another lane along existing roads is going to be a damned hard sell. Doing so on a wide-scale enough to create any sort of demand for these largely special purpose vehicles seems like an intractable problem.
    I’d normally gloss over it as some visionary speculative fiction and be done with it, but far too much of our spending on transportation research issues seems to be tackling the easy problems; easy problems that will be solved anyway by the time the hard parts of those systems are in any way tractable.


  2. @Dan. Yes. There needs to be a deployment path. If the pods could be used in regular traffic, it might work. But if they require exclusive infrastructure, it will fail.


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