Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Future Trans

It is healthy to be a modest believer in the axiom that Humans will make the right decision, once all other alternatives have been exhausted.

That means that once there is a general concensus among us,

That we are truly in a situation that will lead to a serious die-off,

or that our extinction is just one more bad decision over the next hill,

That we will begin to reevaluate our condition.

We will reevaluate our dependency on oil-based energy supplies,

because we will understand that they have peaked,

and that the resulting scramble for the remaining reserves,

is going to result in a difficult challenge to maintaining global peace.

We will reevalute our belief that fossil fuels have any place at all,

in our future.

For we will understand that they are marching us towards

a species threatening change of climate.

We will reevaluate the way that we live and work and consume,

-as if there is no tomorrow,

because if we don't, there just must might not be.

And we will reevalute our transportation systems and most likely,

put our cars in the transportation museum with the other carriages.

Toyota, soon to be the car company of the World,

Has some ideas about that.

Here is one that just won a Time Magazine Coolest Invention Award.

It's official: Toyota's i-unit car is cool
The Japan Times
November 18, 2005

Toyota Motor Corp. announced Wednesday that Time Magazine has named its i-unit electric car one of the "coolest inventions" of 2005 in "The Most Amazing Inventions" issue.

The same day, Toyota offered people the opportunity to test-drive the leaf-shaped one-seater that runs off a lithium-ion battery at a New York show celebrating the Time designation.

Toyota engineers demonstrated the steering controls in the 180-kg unit, which can reach speeds of up to 50 kph.

The i-unit is an update of the Toyota PM, which was presented in 2003 at the Tokyo Auto Show. The current version is smaller than its antecedent and weighs roughly 400 pounds.

The i-unit creates a seamless transformation between the vehicle and human movement, minimizing occupied space and energy consumption with its lightweight and ultra compact size. Its components are made with decomposable and recyclable materials to reduce impact on the environment.

The concept operates in an upright and horizontal mode. Its small size enables the driver to move among people in an upright position in low speed mode. The i-unit reclines in high-speed mode and its low center of gravity ensures stable handling.

The length and width of the i-unit are respectively 1.100 x 1.800 mm in low speed mode and 1,800 x 1,250 mm in hi-speed mode.

According to Toyota, "i-unit represents a new approach to human mobility that enables the driver to interact with his or her surroundings. The design is inspired by a leaf, a natural expression of life on earth."

Other creative transportation strategies are appearing before our eyes.

Here is Dean Kaman's Segway.

And here is Amory Lovin's Hyper Car.

Most of these innovations need high density batteries.

And conveniently, Here is another Lithium Ion battery development.

More Powerful Batteries
Technology Review
By Kevin Bullis

A new, fast-charging battery will make drills and hybrid cars more powerful.

Lithium ion batteries have been powering cell phones and laptops for years. But they were not used for more power-hungry machines like power tools and hybrid vehicles, mainly because of their high cost, their inability to provide adequate current, and safety issues.*

All this has now changed, though, according to A123 Systems. This month the Watertown, MA startup announced a new lithium ion battery, based on research done at MIT, that's suitable for applications requiring high power output. The battery's high power density -- a measure of the watts of power it can produce per kilogram -- means it's also lighter than conventional batteries of similar size.

Yet-Ming Chiang, whose work as an MIT professor of materials science led him to co-found A123 with Fulop, says "this is a battery system that could have significant impact on hybrid electric vehicles."

The company says the batteries can withstand ten times more rechargings than other lithium ion batteries, can be charged to 90% capacity in just five minutes, and can be fully charged in less that 15 minutes. "

We can move away from oil.

We can move away from horseless carriages.

We can move away from the war and destruction they bring.

We will move into the future.

Once the present doesn't have one.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want one of those cool Toyotas for Christmas, grin.

not really. I really want a Prius.

8:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seems as though we have the technology now we just need the resolve.

8:07 PM  

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