The Month in Transportation

By John Halpin | Associate Account Director

Welcome to our latest review of news from across the transportation world.

Every month, we’ll share interesting links, thoughts and more about the transformation of transportation.

Chargers, chargers, everywhere.

Six major utilities recently announced a plan to ensure that electric vehicle drivers have access to a seamless network of charging stations connecting major highways in the South, Midwest, Gulf and Central Plains regions of the United States. “Range anxiety is a barrier to more EV adoption,” said Lang Reynolds, director of Electrification Strategy for Duke Energy. “This coalition can erase those obstacles and help deliver the benefits of EV ownership to consumers.”

No kidding? EVs waste less raw material.

Stop us if you’ve heard this before. Fossil fuel cars waste “hundreds of times” more raw material than their battery electric equivalents, according to analysis by Transport & Environment. Seems obvious, but there’s a perception that EVs use up a huge amount of that raw material.

“Our analysis shows that the raw material needs of EV batteries pale in comparison to the fuel burned by fossil fuel cars, which, unlike batteries cannot be recycled,” said T&E analyst Lucien Mathieu.

Does your speaker need a battery if it IS a battery?

So, what should EVs do about their potentially wasteful raw material? How about listening to music through them? British-based Gomi is working to “upcycle battery packs from Lime e-bikes and e-scooters and turn them into slick portable Bluetooth speakers.” Batteries from scooters into speakers … got it.

Hey, my car just got here. But where’s the driver?

The city of Arlington, Tex., is working with local entities to pioneer a self-driving shuttle service. The RAPID program is the first in the United States to integrate on-demand autonomous vehicles into an existing public transportation service. Per the article on Dallas Innovates, “Though the area is only around one square mile, inside is an abundance of small and medium-sized businesses, locally owned restaurants, cultural destinations and residential communities.” Are you ready to hail a ride from an empty Uber?

Getting on track with eco-friendly trains.

French multinational corporation, Thales, hosted a recent conference addressing the digitalization of the rail industry. You can review the topics here, but one that stood out to us was GreenSpeed, “driver advisory technology, controlled by algorithms, (that) informs the driver how to best drive the train according to various environmental cues.” Thales says that GreenSpeed’s monitoring of speed, weather conditions and track congestion will reduce emissions by up to 15 percent. C’est magnifique!

Drone deliveries on the Emerald Isle.

Samsung is partnering with drone company Manna to deliver small electronics (phones, smart watches, etc.) “within three minutes” in the Irish town of Oranmore. Manna’s drones already deliver groceries and medicine as part of a deal with a local grocery chain, and both Samsung and Manna are interested in expanding the service to more locations. We’d like to suggest drone delivery of a freshly poured Guinness, if anyone is asking.

Powering through.

Need some transportation inspiration? Portland resident Michael Trimble bikes every day despite having been born without arms. Trimble shifts with his chin and brakes with his knees. He plans to make Portland more bike-friendly when he runs for governor someday. Way to go, Michael!

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