Linklist: May 17, 2012

Karl Smith @ Modeled Behavior: More on Self-Driving Cars :

“When I said that by 2035 we could have 3 times as many cars as human beings, obviously that was a prediction about the predominance of Autonomous Vehicles (AVs). I think we should begin to retire self-driving/driverless car, as it will eventually sound as hokey as horseless carriage.
In part this is because it attempts to define a thing in terms of a paradigm that will no longer be familiar. Yet, it will also sound hokey because it suggests that AVs are basically like today’s cars but with no driver. That suggestion is likely to appear comical in retrospect.
My guess is that the majority of AVs will not only, not carry passengers but not interact with humans unless they explicitly need something that only a human can provide, such as specialized repair or maintenance.
The majority of AVs will live in their own world, interacting only with other AVs and a vast array of infrastructure as they form the backbone of a human-less global supply chain. They will pick up goods from the point of production and ship and sort them all the way to the final consumer without ever meeting human in between.
They will likely be the most powerful force for globalization we have ever seen.”

Via MEK: political science job rumors: Can you be a top-5 polisci department without rapid rail?

Via BS: LATimes: An electrifying freight solution on the 710? Siemens working on it:

“Los Angeles may be one of the first global cities to adopt a new electric freight trucking system, unveiled by electrical engineering giant Siemens Corp. last week at the 26th Electric Vehicle Symposium, or EVS26.
The new technology, called eHighway, is a highway electrification system that uses overhead electrical wires to transmit energy to freight trucks in select vehicle lanes, similar to modern-day streetcars.”

Kotaku: Toyota Just Turned the Nintendo DS into a Navigational System