Posts Tagged With: cars
The pioneering technology is being tested ahead of trials of driverless vehicles
A device which switches all red traffic lights to green has been launched in Newcastle to prevent cars from ever needing to stop.
The pioneering technology is being tested ahead of trials of driverless vehicles, which would be linked to traffic lights so that fully-automated convoys could pass quickly through urban areas.
The new gadget, which attaches to the windscreen like a Sat Nav, detects traffic lights from around 100 metres away and requests priority so that they switch to green as soon as the car arrives. It also tells drivers of the speed they should be driving to make sure they always hit a green light in the event of traffic.
Currently the ground-breaking system is being trialled by the North East Ambulance patient transport service, who are hoping it will improve safety, create a smoother ride for patients and cut fuel bills.
Although it is only being tested in a small area of Newcastle City Centre, developers from Newcastle University are planning to role it out across the city in coming years, and are hoping to fit goods lorries and taxis with the gadget to ease congestion and cut pollution.
Ambulance driver Tim Mortlock operating the new system in Newcastle (Mike Urwin)
And the Highways Agency is considering a scheme to allow driverless freight vehicles to travel the six miles between Nissan in Sunderland and Port of Tyne at night, using the new technology to pass quickly through a series of green lights.
For the first wave of the pilot, 20 traffic lights have been fitted with the Compass4D technology at key junctions in Newcastle City Centre and fourteen vehicles have been equipped with the priority technology.
Phil Blythe, Professor of Transport at Newcastle University said: “This is the first step towards driverless cars. If we can manage the traffic better and get cars talking to traffic lights and each other on the road, then that is a big step towards automation.
“One of the key things we are going to see over the next few years is platooning, particularly of freight, and when a platoon hits the traffic lights, it will go straight through, to avoid being split up.
“I am pretty certain that we will see driverless cars on the roads within the next decade. We have already got cars which have lane sensors to stop drifting, cruise control, assisted braking and cornering. So the car does a lot of the driving already.”
Ray King, manager of Urban Traffic Management Control centre based at Newcastle University, has been monitoring the new system from a series of CCTV cameras since it launched at the beginning of March.
“We’re trying to make sure that it is not making the traffic worse for other users. There would be no point doing this if it mean the roads were a nightmare for the cars that weren’t fitted with it. But so far it doesn’t seem to be causing any problems.
Ambulance driver Tim Mortlock operating the new system in Newcastle (Mike Urwin)
“It’s early days, but some ambulance drivers have said it has cut journey times by around 10 per cent.
“The NHS vehicles are transporting patients to hospital for treatment and they don’t want to be held up in traffic unnecessarily, delaying appointments for other patients and wasting taxpayer’s money.
“If we can speed up their journey, giving them priority at lights where appropriate, then it not only reduces fuel bills and delays but also improves patient care.”
Paul Liversidge, North East Ambulance Service Chief Operating Officer, added: “This new system has the potential to further improve how efficiently we run the service, ensuring we get to our patients on time and they get to their appointments on time and reducing our carbon footprint.”
Newcastle University is also trialling the technology in its electric cars which are fitted with eye trackers and a bio-belt to monitor driver behaviour when using the device, and make sure it is not a distraction.
There are also plans in the pipeline to allow older people to carry smart cards which would link up to the traffic light system and give them more time to cross the road at pedestrian crossings
Guns to Archery, cars and trucks, moped, motorcycles, dirt bikes, snow mobiles, gun cabinets and much more…On Facebook.
How things have changed…. 1908…..New York. “Times Square” The old New York Times building, now encased in billboards, Hotel Astor and various theaters seen from Broadway.
BRUSSELS (AP) — Eight masked gunmen forced their way through the security fence at Brussels’ international airport, drove onto the tarmac and snatched some $50 million worth of diamonds from the hold of a Swiss-bound plane without firing a shot.
The gang responsible for one of the biggest diamond heists in recent years used two black vehicles with a flashing blue police lights in their daring raid late Monday, said Anja Bijnens, spokeswoman for the Brussels prosecutor’s office.
“They tried to pass themselves off as police officers,” Bijnens said Tuesday. The robbers, who wore outfits resembling dark police clothing, got away with 120 parcels, mostly containing diamonds but some also holding precious metals.
Police said they found a burnt-out minivan believed to be involved in the robbery near the airport later Monday night.
The heist was estimated at some $50 million in diamonds, said Caroline De Wolf of the Antwerp World Diamond Center. “What we are talking about is obviously a gigantic sum,” De Wolf said.
The robbers forced their way through a perimeter fence, at a place where two work sites obstructed a clear view, Bijnens said. There were no details about how the hole was opened but airport authorities said it must have taken more than simply blasting through it with a vehicle.
The robbers drove up to the Swiss passenger plane some 20 minutes before departure time, brandishing their machine guns. Then they methodically broke into the hold, which was accessed from outside, to choose their loot.
Passengers were unable to see the drama beneath them, said Bijnens.
The robbers finished their clinical operation with a high-speed departure through the same hole in the fence, completing the spectacular theft within barely five minutes, Bijnens said.
Airport spokesman Jan Van Der Cruijsse could not explain how the area could be so vulnerable to theft. “We abide by the most stringent rules,” he said.
The Swiss flight, bound for Zurich and operated by Helvetic Airways, was canceled.
A decade ago the port city of Antwerp, the world capital of diamond-cutting, was the scene of what was probably one of the biggest diamond heists in history, when robbers took precious stones, jewels, gold and securities from the high-security vaults at Antwerp’s Diamond Center, yielding loot that police in 2003 estimated to be worth about $100 million at the time.
Monday’s heist though was a fresh blow to the Antwerp industrial diamond center which prides itself on security and discretion.
“This is causing quite some unrest,” said De Wolf. “It was incredible how easy it all went. This is worrying in terms of competitiveness, since other diamond centers are ready to pounce and take over our position.”
Antwerp’s Diamond Center stands in the heart of the high-surveillance diamond district where police and hundreds of cameras work around the clock, and security has been beefed up further since the spectacular 2003 robbery. Shipments to the airport leave aboard armored trucks on an almost daily basis.
The shipment was not extraordinary, since on any given day, some $200 million in polished and rough stones go through the Antwerp diamond center.
Monday’s parcels contained rough and polished stones heading for Switzerland, where many of the 120 parcels were intended for different handlers.
The insurance for air transport — handled sometimes by airlines themselves or external insurance companies — is usually relatively cheap because it’s considered to be the safest way of transporting small high value items, logistics experts say.
Unlike a car or a truck, an airplane cannot be waylaid by robbers once it’s on its way, and it is considered to be very secure before the departure and after the plane’s arrival because the aircraft is always within the confines of an airport — which are normally highly secured.
Philip Baum, an aviation security consultant in Britain, said the robbery was worrying — not because the fence was breached, but because the response did not appear to have been immediate. That, he said, raised questions as to whether alarms were ringing in the right places.
“It does seem very worrying that someone can actually have the time to drive two vehicles onto the airport, effect the robbery, and drive out without being intercepted,” Baum said.
Supercars are a common sight in some parts of the Middle East, but until now, that region of the world has gone without an exotic of its own. Enter the Lykan Hypersport, an ultra-exclusive ride from Dubai-based startup W Motors. The upcoming car is said to accelerate from 0-62 mph in 2.8 seconds and offer Lamborghini-rivaling style for $3.4 million, according to WardsAuto.
The Lykan Hypersport is the brainchild of Lebanese entrepreneur and designer Ralph Debbas, who began thinking up the supercar when he was an automotive design student. The wild, angular seven-figure exotic will be officially revealed to the public at the Qatar auto show, where W Motors will display a full-scale model made of carbon fiber and other lightweight materials, and built with help from specialty coachbuilder Magna Steyr Torino. The model currently lacks an interior and drivetrain, but will be powered by a midship flat-six engine from RUF, the company famous for custom Porsches. That engine is said to produce 750 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque, which could be enough to make the Lykan Hypersport’s claimed 242-mph top speed plausible. W Motors’ Performance estimates are based on computer simulations, as a running prototype has yet to be tested.
The headlights will feature diamond-encrusted LEDs, while the hood will be gold-plated – the perfect complement to the rest of the car’s lightweight construction.
A side road off the Jemez Mountain Trail offers rugged mountain scenery, world class fly fishing, rock climbing and the Gilman Tunnels. Cross the Jemez River at Cañones and go through the small town of Gilman following the picturesque Rio Guadalupe. You are at first surrounded by striking red mesas. Then along the Rio Guadalupe’s cascades you pass through some of the oldest rocks in the Jemez Mountains on the way to the Guadalupe Box and the Gilman Tunnels. The Jemez mountains are the remnant of a series of major volcanic eruptions that occurred about one million years ago.
The Gilman tunnels were originally blasted out of rock in the 1920s for a narrow-gauge logging railroad that used to haul timber out of the Jemez. There was a sawmill near Gillman but it came much later (around 1948). At some point they enlarged the tunnels so that logging trucks would fit. Perhaps this coincided with the building of the sawmill in Gillman. We found no record of when the railroad tracks were dismantled, but many tracks in the west were torn up during WWII). Railroading and logging artifacts can be found, even up towards Cuba.
Just past the tunnels the pavement ends. There are great views of the Guadalupita and Virgin mesas.
The canyon is a popular recreation area for camping, fishing, hunting, hiking, and rock climbing. It provides habitat for threatened and endangered species. The road parallels the Rio Guadalupe. The fast tumbling, boulder strewn canyon river is home to wild browns in the 10-14 inch range. There is a section designated as quality trout waters.
At Bernalillo, take exit 242 off I-25, go west on Highway 550. From San Ysidro, drive north on Highway 4. After the Jemez Valley School look for SR 485 to the left. After taking this left turn, follow the road through Gilman, continuing up the canyon through the tunnels. There are numerous turnouts for sightseeing and photography. Past the tunnels you are on dirt road, Forest Service Road 376. At Porter crossing (where you cross the Rio Guadalupe), you can continue on FR 376 to Fenton Lake and Jemez Springs, or turn left to Cuba (we hear this road is pretty rough in places).