[extropy-chat] Car of the (near) future

giorgio gaviraghi giogavir at yahoo.it
Mon May 23 18:19:57 UTC 2005

the car is part of a more complex system composed of
roads, manufacturing, maintenance, energy
requiremnents , in our case gas and pumps network,
assistance etc.
We must face all of them to really consider the car of
the future.
The problem is not only to  change the propulsion
system and get rid of pollution oil imports etc.
That would be a fabulous thing but still limited.
We must have a personal vehicle, that can run on
networks that produces decentraliza clean energy fromm
renewable resources, (solar, wind, fuel cells, maybe
temp change and others) that can deliver the energy to
the vehicle ON THE ROAD with a remote wireless system,
maybe a n embeded cable or something similar that send
power to a sensor located i the lower part of the car.
Nanotech will ceratinly contribute to make lighter and
simpler cars but the car in itself is not enough.
we must change the entire system and also the need for
car themselves.
we are used yto go to work with a car.
One million commuters by car a day in a big city ,
cost 3oo million dollars in fuel alone in Europe on
the average
that's money from the community and oil wasted.
We are not using the car to go to work we are working
to support the car with current prices.
This have to change.
Our system must change, our economy model our job and
residential location and many other components.
We are at a moment in history when technology may
allow us to change the system,.
How we use this technology is our task and
--- Hal Finney <hal at finney.org> ha scritto:
> I've continued to read books on Peak Oil, which I
> still haven't reached
> any significant conclusions about, but in the one by
> Peter Huber he had
> an interesting picture of how cars would change in
> the next 10-20 years.
> I saw a related article today about forecasts for
> the switchover to
> hybrids, at
> http://www.futurepundit.com/archives/002783.html .
> Huber predicts that we will see major changes in the
> design of cars in
> the next decade.  He foresees a transition of most
> of the parts of car
> engines and ancillary equipment from mechanical to
> electronic control.
> Of course this is already underway; 30-40 years ago
> cars were mostly
> mechanical, while today we have many electronic
> control systems.
> Huber sees this process as being completed in the
> near future.
> No longer will we have belts running from the engine
> to power the various
> components.  No longer will we have all the
> mechanically operated valves,
> lifters, cam shafts and other parts of the engine
> that relate to control.
> Instead, these parts will all become electronic. 
> The fans, pumps and
> other belt driven components will run off their own
> electric motors.
> And even within the engine, each valve will be
> electronically activated,
> with its own motor, solenoid or piezoelectronic
> actuator.
> The payoff from all this will be reduction of
> weight.  A substantial part
> of the weight of today's engines is in the ancillary
> control equipment.
> Replacing these mechanical linkages with wires
> carrying electrical control
> signals will allow a simplified engine design and
> greater efficiency.
> Further efficiencies will come from the increased
> flexibility possible
> in an electronic control system vs a mechanically
> oriented one, allowing
> fine tuning of engine power output.
> The ultimate step will take longer, but eventually
> the power train itself
> will become electrical.  Instead of a drive shaft,
> engines will generate
> electricity which will power motors located in wheel
> hubs.  Small, high
> power electrical motors already exist which are able
> to efficiently
> carry the load necessary to power the vehicle. 
> They're expensive now,
> but they will appear first in high end vehicles and
> work their way
> eventually down to every car.
> At that point, the engine exists solely to power an
> electrical generator.
> Everything else in the car runs off electricity. 
> This is the ultimate
> evolution of the hybrid vehicle.
> The next logical step is to allow hybrids to be
> plugged in at home so
> they start the trip with a freshly charged set of
> batteries.  The article
> I linked above talks about people who are already
> beginning to do this
> today, modifying their hybrid cars (voiding
> warranties) to allow it.
> Even the batteries in today's cars are good for a
> 5-6 mile trip, enough to
> run to the store and back.  Such trips account for a
> substantial fraction
> of gasoline usage.  Next generation batteries will
> hold even more.
> (Huber even sees it going the other direction, where
> you could use your
> car as an emergency household generator if the grid
> goes down, or during
> peak usage times to help balance statewide load.)
> Cars are less efficient as electrical generators
> than the big plants, due
> to economies of scale.  And in terms of oil imports,
> electricity mostly
> uses other fuels: coal, nuclear, natural gas.  Very
> little petroleum is
> used for electricity.  So in the context of the Peak
> Oil scenario, if we
> can shift energy usage from gasoline to electricity,
> as with the plug-in
> hybrid, we can more easily adapt to a decrease in
> oil availability.
> Hal
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