Standards Wars in Transportation

If a standard is good, aren’t two better?
Autoblog on the EV charging standards war: Why SAE Combo vs. CHAdeMO battle could be a big problem:

“… Japanese automakers like Nissan, Toyota and Mitsubishi are supporting the CHAdeMO standard, which was launched in 2010 and is used in 1,500 stations worldwide (all but 200 are in Japan). US and European automakers like BMW, General Motors, Ford and Volkswagen are instead standing behind the so-called SAE Combo standard, which was first demonstrated in May and is expected to debut by the end of the year. Combo supporters tout their standard as superior because, unlike CHAdeMO, it allows for one port to charge at both Level 2 and DC fast charge. CHAdeMO requires two different plugs. Earlier this month, SAE International finalized its so-called J1772 technical standards for Combo chargers.
The problem, as you might suspect, is that two competing systems, ‘could be another roadblock to the introduction of electric vehicles, increasing consumer resistance. A scattering of incompatible charging stations compounds range anxiety with plug anxiety,’ writes Automotive News. In other words, this is exactly not what plug-in vehicles need”

Meanwhile in Electronic Tolling Collection, Toll Road News reports: Kapsch declares E-ZPass IAG protocols open standard, and discusses sticker tags:

“2012-10-24: Kapsch which owns the intellectual property rights to the E-ZPass IAG electronic toll system through the 2010 purchase of Mark IV IVHS says it is renouncing any proprietary claims to the protocols. They should now be regarded as an open standard for others to use and compete with. They plan to publish the specifications and code so that anyone can build to it.”

However that doesn’t settle it, as there are other standards, like Sticker Tags about:

“We pressed several senior Kapsch officials – Georg Kapsch, Chris Murray, Erwin Toplak COO – on their view of 6C sticker tags as a route to US national interoperability.
They said that the key is multiprotocol readers. And they reiterated their view that active hard case, battery powered transponders represent a better business case for customers over the long run. “

 

HOV3 and Casual Carpooling

MSNBC: ‘Pure mayhem’ as New York City tries to get back to work :

“That led some people to try to hitchhike their way into Manhattan, with drivers eager to pick them up to make the three-person-per-car quota.
‘Some folks offered me a ride,’ said Melanie Bower, 30, who lives in Fort Greene. ‘I was touched by their kindness at first. But then I realized they just needed me so they could have three in their car.’ 
Bower walked into Manhattan instead, and then caught a bus uptown.”

It seems casual carpooling is running into some moralizing. The gain from trade (I give you a ride, we both save time) appears wrong to at least some travelers. People in other parts of the country have gotten over this, I am surprised New Yorkers, living in the home of capitalism, are having trouble.