Tag Archives: Roads
OSLO (Reuters) – An electrified road in Sweden that is the first in the world to charge vehicles as they drive along is showing promise and could potentially help cut the high cost of electric cars, project backers Vattenfall [VATN.UL] and Elways told Reuters.
The state-funded project, named eRoadArlanda and costing about 50 million crowns ($ 5.82 million), uses a modified electric truck that moves cargo from Stockholm’s Arlanda airport to Postnord’s nearby logistics hub to test the technology.
A electrified rail embedded in the tarmac of the 2-km-long (1.24 miles) road charges the truck automatically as it travels above it. A movable arm attached to the truck detects the rail’s location in the road, and charging stops when the vehicle is overtaking or coming to a halt.
The system also calculates the vehicle’s energy consumption, which enables electricity costs to be debited per vehicle and user.
Elways’ chief executive Gunnar Asplund said the charging while driving would mean electric cars no longer need big batteries — which can be half the cost of an electric car — to ensure they have enough power to travel a useful distance.
“The technology offers infinite range — range anxiety disappears” he said. “Electrified roads will allow smaller batteries and can make electric cars even cheaper than fossil fuel ones.”
Asplund said the Swedish state, which is funding the project, was happy with the results so far, with the only issue — now resolved — having been dirt accumulating on the rail.
Elways has patented the electric rail technology and is part of a Swedish consortium backing the eRoadArlanda project that also includes infrastructure company NCC and utility Vattenfall, which provides power from the national grid to the rail.
“Such roads will allow (electric vehicles) to move long distances without big, costly and heavy batteries,” said Markus Fischer, a Vattenfall spokesman, adding that installing the arm in new cars would be cheaper than retrofitting current models.
Vattenfall said in a statement electrified roads could reduce carbon dioxide emissions from lorries, which account for about 25 percent of total road traffic emissions.
“The investment cost per kilometer is estimated to be less than that of using overhead lines, as is the impact on the landscape,” it added.
Testing at eRoadArlanda started in April and will last at least 12 months so that the electric truck can use it under different weather conditions.
Editing by Catherine Evans
(Reuters) – Ohio on Wednesday became the latest U.S. state to open its roads for testing self-driving vehicles, in a boost to a nascent industry that is facing heightened scrutiny over safety concerns.
The self-driving vehicles should meet safety requirements and comply with Ohio’s traffic laws, Republican Governor John Kasich said in an executive order.
Autonomous vehicle testing is also under way in Michigan, Pittsburgh, Arizona and California.
Calls for more regulation for companies developing self-driving cars followed the death of a woman in March after being hit by an Uber SUV in Arizona.
The Ohio order mandates that the self-driving vehicles register with Drive Ohio, created by Kasich in January, and have designated operators to monitor the vehicles and report accidents.
Reporting by Arunima Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s biggest automaker, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), has tested its first driverless car on public roads, it said on Friday, as carmakers race against each other and tech firms to tap into new technologies.
Last October, a pod heavily adapted from a compact Renault car was the first autonomous car to take to Britain’s streets as part of government-backed trials aimed at seeing more widespread use of such vehicles by 2020.
Politicians are trying to make it as easy as possible to test new driving technologies in Britain, seeking to build an industry to serve a worldwide market expected to be worth around 900 billion pounds ($ 1.2 trillion) by 2025.
An Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill is currently being debated in parliament to set out how new technologies will operate in Britain.
JLR hopes the testing will allow it to understand more about how self-driving vehicles interact with other cars and road infrastructure such as traffic lights and how models can replicate human behavior whilst driving.
“By using inputs from multiple sensors, and finding intelligent ways to process this data, we are gaining accurate technical insight to pioneer the automotive application of these technologies,” said Nick Rogers, the firm’s Executive Director for Product Engineering.
The testing is taking place in the central English city of Coventry, the historic heart of the British car industry, where JLR is headquartered. Trials will continue into next year.
Major automakers are seeking to head off the challenge not just from each other but also from technology firms such as Alphabet Inc’s Waymo, which is also developing autonomous vehicles.
Waymo said earlier this month that it will launch a ride-hailing service with no human behind the steering wheel and has been testing the fully self-driving cars on public roads in the U.S. state of Arizona.
($ 1 = 0.7548 pounds)
Reporting by Costas Pitas; Editing by Hugh Lawson