Connected vehicles and infrastructure can make highways up to 80% safer. Better connections mean we all get through the day with greater ease and convenience. People receive the information they need, right when they need it. Cities adapt to the needs of citizens. V2X is a new concept but it’s cars talk to drivers and each other to avoid collisions. And planes keep pilots informed about the weather, and passengers in touch with their lives below.
Back in 2011, I went to an Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) conference. We were in a symposium with other media taking about V2X back then. Now painted in the Street lines are sensors connecting to the car sensors and creating this insane amount of data to help save lives.
As Panasonic states V2X is the car to everything Meta Data related (or connected vehicle technology). While it’s not the most popular term yet, it will be.
As I’ve learned, Panasonic has a Connected Vehicle Demo Center that’s collecting travel data from various sources and then communicates that information across a “technological ecosystem”. So it’s not just about collecting the data. The secret sauce is then taking that ton of data and making it into “intelligent, actionable information for roadway operators and drivers.”
In cars today, it will even sense people on sidewalks or at crosswalks.
V2X wireless communication makes moving vehicles and people visible. This technology enables vehicle to vehicle signals, vehicle to pedestrian communication and then takes all that information to make sure every car on the road knows about what’s going on. As Panasonic Staff told me personally, V2X will help prevent traffic accidents. To me: that’s how we do things to make traffic safe and focused on driving.
V2X States Prove It for a Nationally Connected System
There’s a reason seven of the top ten auto makers rely on Panasonic’s technology. As I wrote:
The Seattle Department of Transportation launched the New Mobility Playbook. As transportation becomes increasingly shared, active, self-driving, electric, and data-driven, Seattle is planning ahead to ensure that innovation contributes to a safe, equitable, sustainable city with a transportation system that serves everyone. The New Mobility Playbook includes a set of strategies that will position Seattle to encourage and guide innovation in transportation technology, reorganizing our streets to grow healthy communities and vibrant public spaces. Panasonic with USDOT and Colorado DOT are like Cowboys of the innovation toward pioneering the revolution of our driving experiences.
The Western movie playwright now cues in the Cowboy here to say:
Well my friends, Panasonic is a trailblazer for building connected transport and developing smart cities over there! No seriously, Panasonic is applying its heavy duty, smart automotive and traffic management tech and smarts to a connected transportation pilot in the United States and Colorado.
Recently, I was briefed on how Panasonic teamed up with the United States and Colorado Department of Transportations to build a connected transportation program.
What does that mean?
As we drive or move along in newer cars, there are sensors all throughout cars which are brand new. So those cars are connected to the sensors on the road. If an accident happened 10 cars ahead, the driver is notified of that traffic data, indicating they need to slow the heck down! Even stop why don’t cha!!
That’ s real-time data being shared across all vehicles, infrastructure and people to improve safety and mobility on the road.
Connected Cars “See” Way Better in Bad Weather
So when do crashes mostly occur? Those lovely intersections where two or more roads cross. Then on any day or might someone (not mentioning names here!) drivers do things like turn the wrong way, crossing over or something else. This is a recipe for something to happen. I live near an intersection and there are always active accidents there.
Check out this great video from Panasonic showing you how Connected Cars work. It’s a cool video!
So anything that can help drivers see pedestrians or other vehicles before an accident occurs can help reduce the danger of intersections and roadways in general. So with hundreds of billions of sensors on roads connected to cars connected to a big database is beyond Meta data for traffic management systems to allow cars to communicate with each other. That means highway infrastructure will keep our roadways moving smoothly. Now. There’s NOT anything wrong with that! Now they need to talk about better vehicle batteries to go hybrid, Plugin hybrid or all electric!
This post is paid for and sponsored by Panasonic USA on #PanasonicMovesUs
– Sam Bird secures third place during thrilling Punta del Este E-Prix
– Best ever result for fellow British team-mate Alex Lynn with sixth
– DS Virgin Racing move to third in both drivers’ and teams’ standings as series reaches halfway point
DS Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird made up six places to secure his 12th career podium during today’s thrilling Formula E race in Punta del Este, with team-mate Alex Lynn producing his best ever finish with sixth. The result by the two British drivers moves the team into third position in the manufacturer standings – with Bird also third in the drivers’ championship – as the all-electric series reaches its halfway stage.
In beautiful, sunny conditions, the Uruguayan beach resort played host to the third and final race in the championship’s Latin American leg, with both Bird and Lynn showing strong pace from the off and never running outside the top 10 during the morning’s practice sessions.
Their strong pace continued into qualifying where Lynn yet again made it into the Superpole (top five) shootout and would go on to start the race third, with Bird a little further back in 9th.
As the 37-lap race got underway, Lynn held onto third place with Bird already moving up the field to lie seventh in the early stages. After a brief safety car period, both drivers looked racy heading towards the pit stop window on lap 20.
However, running with less energy, Lynn had a slower in-lap combined with a tricky pit stop to allow team-mate Bird, and others, to get the jump on him with the two re-joining the race in fourth and fifth. This allowed Bird to start to pull away and chase after the leading duo of Lucas di Grassi and Jean-Eric Vergne, whilst Lynn has working hard to keep a pressing Felix Rosenqvist and Mitch Evans at bay.
In the closing stages, Lynn was forced to settle for sixth, whilst Bird had now joined the battle for the lead pressing both leaders hard, but sadly ran out of laps before he could mount his challenge.
Sam Bird, who dedicated his podium to the late journalist Henry Hope-Frost, said: “We were slightly fortunate with drivers around us having issues, but the pace was good today and we really wanted to fight for the lead at the end; but it wasn’t to be. Overall, it was a strong race for us and nice to get another podium, as well as a great result for the team and also to help keep our title bid going.”
Alex Lynn said: “For sure today has been a positive race for us and I’m really pleased to come away with sixth and my strongest result to date. The pace was good as we were once again in Superpole, but things didn’t quite go our way during the race, but it’s still a great result for me and the team.”
Team Principal Alex Tai commented: “We’ve previously not had the results at this track so it’s even better to come away with such a strong finish and I’m delighted for both Sam and Alex. Formula E has such a competitive field so to be in third position in both the drivers’ and the teams’ championship at the halfway point is really a testament to the hard work and dedication of the whole team. We will continue to bring our strong performance to the upcoming European races and will fight for both driver and team championship.”
DS Performance Director Xavier Mestelan Pinon added: “We’ve scored big points here in Punta del Este, allowing us to recover third place in the team standings. We’ve just crossed the halfway mark of season four and being third in both championships offers us great opportunities moving forward for the second half of the season.”
The series now heads to Europe with the next round of the 2017/2018 ABB FIA Formula E Championship taking place for the first time in Rome, Italy on April 14. For more information on the DS Virgin Racing Formula E Team, visit: http://map.ds-virginracing.com/
2018 ABB FIA Formula E Championship
Punta del Este E-Prix (Rd 6) – Race results (37 laps):
1. Jean Eric Vergne, Techeetah (P)
2. Lucas di Grassi, Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler
3. Sam Bird, DS Virgin Racing
4. Mitch Evans, Panasonic Jaguar Racing
5. Felix Rosenqvist, Mahindra Racing
6. Alex Lynn, DS Virgin Racing
7. Oliver Turvey, NIO Formula E
8. Jose Maria Lopez, Dragon (FL)
9. Jerome D’Ambrosio, Dragon
10. Maro Engel, Venturi Formula E
Drivers’ standings (after Rd 6):
1. Jean Eric Vergne, 109pts
2. Felix Rosenqvist, 79pts
3. Sam Bird, 76pts
4. Sebastien Buemi, 52pts
5. Nelson Piquet Jr, 45pts
13. Alex Lynn, 17pts
Teams’ standings (after Rd 6):
1. Techeetah, 127pts
2. Mahindra Racing, 100pts
3. DS Virgin Racing, 93pts
4. Panasonic Jaguar Racing, 86pts
5. Renault e.dams, 59pts
Bringing reusable bags to the grocery store and buying organic whenever possible are some of the more obvious ways to be a friend to Mother Earth. But to more fully embrace green living, it’s important to consider adopting some other more tried-and-true eco-conscious practices that can save you money and help ingrain in you more sustainable habits. Here are several ideas to step-up your eco-friendly game within the realms of driving, cooking and tech.
Driving a hybrid or electric vehicle isn’t the only way to go green. In fact, modifying your driving habits can help increase your car’s fuel efficiency, lower your gas consumption, and reduce your vehicle’s overall carbon footprint. More specifically, you can reach and maintain a more optimal fuel economy if you avoid speeding, rapid acceleration and immediate braking.
While not always feasible, avoid carrying heavy baggage, equipment and goods in your trunk and on the roof of your vehicle. Ultimately, this will reduce the overall weight of your vehicle and increase its fuel efficiency.
Finally, proper tire maintenance is the best way to ensure your vehicle reaches its full fuel efficiency potential. In that vein, make sure your tires are rotated every 5,000 to 8,000 miles, which will increase their overall fuel economy and lifespan, as well as reduce the number of tires that wind up in landfills.
If you recycle, use your oven during off-peak times and purchase energy-efficient appliances and fixtures, your eco-conscious habits are definitely on point. However, there’s always room for improvement. First, take a look beneath your sink and assess your cleaning products.
Dishwashing liquids, detergents, surface cleaners and most other household cleaning supplies are filled with toxic and petrochemical ingredients that can be harmful to you and the environment. With that in mind, do some research and look to buy products that are more eco-friendly.
Additionally, when possible, avoid preheating your oven, cook as many dishes as possible at any one time, and turn off the oven a little early so your meals and baking goods warm up in more residual heat. If you’re cooking or reheating something small, experts say to avoid the oven and instead use a toaster or microwave, which can reduce energy costs by 80 percent.
With a seemingly endless supply of appliances, devices and gadgets in every room, it can be easy to lose track of how much energy your home is consuming at any one time. Thus, whenever possible, try to use any of these goods in standby power. Keeping electronics plugged into a power strip makes it easy to unplug multiple gadgets at one time, thereby reducing your standby power load.
Additionally, when your old TV or laptop has kicked the bucket, properly recycle these old electronics to reduce your e-waste footprint. Not sure where to turn? Find nonprofit groups that specialize in recycling old electronics, donate a gadget that still works, or take any old and unused items to retailers like Best Buy or Office Depot to keep any toxic substances out of landfills.
These days, buying products advertised as “green” isn’t enough to significantly reduce your carbon footprint. In other words, embracing a more eco-conscious lifestyle requires some creativity and ingenuity. With that in mind, don’t just stop at your car, kitchen and/or tech gadgets. Instead, continue to look for ways to reduce your carbon footprint as part of your overall lifestyle.
Who doesn’t love a new tech gadget? And with that gadget comes a new cord, a new charger, new earbuds, maybe even a new case and other new accessories. So, what happens to the old stuff? It’s called e-waste and it’s a becoming a major global issue.
The E-Waste Abyss
Every year, roughly $55 billion worth of valuable materials are thrown to the trash with our old electronics. In the U.S. alone, we produce 9.4 million tons of old electronics annually, yet only 12.5% of that gets recycled creating a massive growing problem with electronic waste.
What is e-waste?
E-waste is the global accumulation of discarded electrical and electronic devices that include our computers, TV’s, tablets and mobile phones.
E-waste ranges from devices that are broken and unusable to those that are simply unwanted and obsolete. Any devices that could be destined for reuse, resale, salvage, recycling or disposal is considered e-waste.
The growing problem
Roughly 41.8 million metric tons of e-waste from Americans is shipped to developing countries annually. In that waste, at least $55 billion worth of valuable materials like gold, silver, copper and palladium could be recovered from old electronics each year if e-waste recycling was as efficient as automotive recycling.
Where is it going?
Some e-waste is sent to certified recycling centers in the U.S. or repurposed and sent to Latin America and Asia, but the vast majority of the e-waste ends up in a hazardous scrapyards and landfills around the world.
The folks at Ryerson have created a visual breakdown of recyclable materials inside of electronics that can be seen below. The goal was to create a resource that could help to educate the people about e-waste and try to put a stop to the river of device debris.
Making a greener choice as a customer can be confusing. With over 400 different eco-labels on the market, it can be challenging to pick a product which is safe for usage and for the environment.
That’s when Customlabels.net created an interactive infographic which puts light on widely used eco-labels, their origin, and products they apply to. You can check it out here:
Participation in the eco-labeling scheme is voluntary, yet there are many benefits of using them. The main advantage is that they provide recognition to the brand. Products with an eco-label are those which achieve higher standards of environmental protection within specific product category. Eco-labels are based on life cycle considerations, which means that all of the aspects of product’s life are taken into account.
If the fresh water supply is going to last for generations, we must develop ways to sustain and improve water quality worldwide.
As the world population continues to grow, so does our need for food. Crops and livestock provide us with the energy we need to get through our days. For centuries, humans have relied on agriculture to grow the crops and raise the animals that provide us with food. However, as we become more environmentally aware, we need to find new ways to produce food and take care of the planet.
We only have one world, and we must take care of it if we are going to survive now and in the future. One of the biggest threats to our survival is water contamination from agricultural practices. Since water is the most important necessity for our survival, we need to ensure that we have fresh sources to drink and to raise crops and livestock. To ensure we have clean, fresh water, there are some sustainable farming practices that can be implemented to improve water quality worldwide.
1. Develop a Water Filtration System
Agricultural runoff has increased contamination in surface water and increased the need for water filtration systems. Water filtration systems have the ability to remove impurities and pollutants from water sources, making the water healthier for human and animal consumption. Water filtration can also be beneficial to crops because contaminated water could potentially impact the food we ingest, which means it will still get into our system.
Removing contaminants from water sources helps improve human health and the health of our crops. Water filtration systems are a sustainable and eco-friendly way to improve water quality around the world.
2. Improve Nutrient Pollution from Crops
Agriculture is one of the largest contributors to nutrient pollution in water. The amount of fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides that are used on crops can far exceed the amount that is needed, so the excess finds its way into our water sources.
Sustainable agricultural practices that may help combat nutrient pollution include planting cover crops in the off season to keep the soil from eroding, adding nutrients to the soil and reducing weed growth, which then reduces the amount of herbicides that are needed to kill the weeds.
To reduce the amount of pests in crops, farmers can apply integrated pest management (IPM). The IPM process uses pesticides only when necessary and in limited amounts. The goal is to achieve pest management through sustainable means while protecting the environment and human health.
3. Improve Nutrient Pollution from Animals
When it comes to raising animals, it’s inevitable that there will be waste. Animal waste releases harmful gases into the environment, including carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, ammonia and methane. Pathogens from manure can get into the water system and infect humans and other animals. Other harmful pollutants from animal waste that can get into the water system and impact humans include hormones, nitrogen, phosphorus and heavy metals, among others.
To reduce the impact that animal waste has on humans and other animals, it’s important to develop sustainable practices to improve water quality. These include using the waste as a fertilizer, which would reduce the amount of chemical fertilizers needed on crops, and allowing livestock to graze in pastures instead of small pens. This reduces the amount of waste that is confined to one area.
4. Use Water More Efficiently
There are a variety of ways that farmers can use water more efficiently on their farms, including scheduling when they irrigate and using renewable power sources to run their irrigators, using “waste” products such as manure to retain soil moisture and restoring habitat to natural wetland and riparian states. These practices are sustainable and environmentally friendly and will improve water quality around the world and for generations to come.
Humans are amazingly innovative when it comes to finding ways to survive and thrive. We’ve come a long way in developing sustainable and environmentally friendly practices to save and protect the environment, so it’s possible to develop new and innovative ways to improve the quality of water around the world.
Emily Folk is a freelance writer and blogger from Lancaster, PA. She covers topics in conservation, sustainability and renewable energy. To see her latest posts, check out her blog Conservation Folks, or follow her on Twitter.