My first aviation engineering project was on the New Indianapolis International Airport Midfield Terminal Project. A Greenfield construction project constructing a brand new terminal, and all supporting facilities, it was the largest capital spending project in Indiana history at the time. This project launched my career and is, incidentally, what led me down the path of heading overseas to Abu Dhabi.
The biggest thing I remember though is the team, the people. All of the people were seriously committed to the job and to each other. It was genuine teamwork; a solid group of people who had each others back, played jokes on each other, taught each other valuable lessons, and built something great.
So good to see IND being recognized as the best airport in North America by ACI… for the 10th consecutive year. A testament to the city and the team that build the airport.
Nifty article on the history of the Toyota Land Cruiser. Toward the end it focuses more on the European spec Prado, but still quite informative.
There will be untold amounts of creative destruction as self driving cars take over our automotive transit.
Great article in the Wall Street Journal on the ongoing development of self-driving cars. A couple points:
- The firsthand account from a reporter in 1897 of his first drive in a horseless carriage is priceless.
- Google is merely tinkering with self-driving cars… Ford, Volvo, Audi, Mercedes are already implementing this in Europe
- The US government needs to, at the very least, get out of the way of the automakers on this one. Ideally they’d be looking at ways to be steering our infrastructure spending toward the impending revolution of self-driving cars.
Make no mistake, self-driving cars are the way of the future. People aren’t going to give up the autonomy afforded to them by automobiles in favor of trains, planes, bikes, etc. Those modes of transportation serve their purposes, but day-in-day-out family life requires an automobile. Self-driving cars will reduce accidents, increase transportation network efficiency, increase fuel efficiency, and redeem millions of hours of lost commute time. It’s the natural next step for our transportation infrasatructure. Think about the movies “Minority Report” or “I, Robot” for a glimpse of the way automobiles will serve us in the future.
A final thought. I don’t trust Google on this one. They want to be at the front of the self-driving car market in America for ulterior motives. They aren’t trying to make the transportation infrastructure more efficient, they are trying to collect more data on your lifestyle habits so they can sell more advertising.
Now this is cool! A website in a similar vein as Expedia or Kayak that let’s you find the best rates for freight shipping. It’s called FreightOS. It actually looks very well done. Freight shipping is an awkward and clumsy process for the one-off shipment… for instance when I shipped some of my belongings from the US to the UAE. I had to rely on a shipper who kept a lot of the details and pricing very opaque.
Hopefully a competitive bidding site like this will encourage more transparency and shippers being up front with hidden charges and costs. Perhaps not though… on Kayak and Expedia the prices you find are before taxes and fees.
Still a cool idea.
This is great news!
Tesla said it sold more than 4,750 Model S sedans in the first quarter, up from the prior forecast of 4,500.
“There have been many car startups over the past several decades, but profitability is what makes a company real. Tesla is here to stay and keep fighting for the electric car revolution,” CEO Elon Musk said in a statement Sunday.
But this is kind of disappointing:
Instead, the few customers that ordered the 40 kWh version will receive a car with the next level up (60 kWh), but it will be “software limited” to the lower level. Those customers or future owners of the car can pay to upgrade to the longer-range battery option.
For some reason this just doesn’t sit well with me. Seems like a waste…
This article is almost (but not quite) saying that increased fuel efficiency in internal combustion engines is a bad thing because it reduces the appeal of alternative fuels and electric cars.
In the view of Mr. Lyons, the former E.P.A. official, the government can promote fledgling alternatives but not make them popular if the underlying technology is too expensive or inadequate to consumers’ needs. And among the technologies making strides are gasoline engines that are getting smaller, lighter and much more fuel efficient, he said.
I don’t see increased efficiency, for any mode of transportation, as a bad thing. Don’t get so hung up on the type of powerplant (gas engine vs. hybrid vs. hydrogen vs. all electric) that you miss the point… increased efficiency, that is ALWAYS a good thing.
Los Angeles has synchronized every traffic light in the city:
Without synchronization, it takes an average of 20 minutes to drive five miles on Los Angeles streets; with synchronization, it has fallen to 17.2 minutes, the city says. And the average speed on the city’s streets is now 17.3 miles per hour, up from 15 m.p.h. without synchronized lights.
It doesn’t seem like much gain but these are just the average numbers. I imagine there are parts of the city that have significantly improved.
The EPA wants to restrict the sulfur content of gasoline by two-thirds. According to refiners this cut, from 30 to 10 parts per million, will cost $10 billion in capital improvements… a cost that will be passed down to the consumer possibly raising the cost of gasoline by 6-8 cents.
The sulfur content cut will increase the effectiveness of catalytic converters on cars.
What bothers me about this change is that it has been tabled for 15 months in order to avoid the presidential campaign and election. If they feared that the regulation couldn’t survive the scrutiny of an election then perhaps it’s not worth the economic toll it may impose. I wish there was some concrete way to means-test all the regulations that come from the EPA.
Analyzing freight rail shipments is frequently used to ascertain the trajectory of the economy overall. The New York Times has an article on a company that tracks GPS data from various connected devices and formulates a traffic congestion index.
“People hit the road as they return to work, and businesses ship more freight as their orders increase.” The rise in the index, he said on Friday, “shows the pulse of the economy is starting to beat faster.”
Very interesting use of shared location data.