Your connected car knows you

Where you go. What you pass. Where you stop. What you listen to. What you watch. Your good habits. Your bad habits.

Companies in Europe and beyond are vying for control of the crown jewels of the connected car era: your vehicle’s data.

The contest is entering a pivotal phase as EU regulators look to hammer out the world’s first laws for the ballooning industry around web-enabled vehicles, pitting carmakers against a coalition of insurers, leasing companies and repair shops.

European Commission sources said the EU executive should launch an industry consultation on in-vehicle data this week which could lead to legislation later this year – the first of its kind globally.

Many companies view data as the gold of the new wired world, though for some it’s more akin to air or water.

“If you don’t have access to data in the future, eventually you’ll be squeezed out,” says Tim Albertsen, CEO of ALD , Societe Generale’s (SOGN.PA) car leasing division, which

— source reuters.com | Nick Carey | Mar 16, 2022

Nullius in verba


Walking America’s car-centric hellscape

Alex Wolfe doesn’t hike. He walks for very long distances, which is an important distinction. Rather than toiling along the Appalachian Trail or scrambling over Wyoming rock fields, his routes cover less majestic landscapes: a Long Island turnpike, the banks of New Jersey’s Raritan Canal, the strip malls of Bucks County, Pennsylvania. These suburb-spanning slogs have all been made in an effort to answer the question: What can we learn about our environment when we travel on foot through a place that is not designed to be walked?

Many of the cities and neighborhoods we ostensibly built for ourselves were actually built for our cars. Anyone who has ever tried to walk to a grocery store in a typical suburban neighborhood, for example, or cross a six-lane arterial to get from a Target to a Best Buy on foot, knows that to be a pedestrian in most of America is to work your way around a lot of obstacles. There are roads with no sidewalks, where you must teeter tightrope-style along a narrow shoulder flanked by 60 mile-per-hour traffic.​​ There are the perilous no-crosswalk blocks where would-be walkers’ safety is left to the mercy of passing motorists. Even in the densest of cities, there is often the perpetual maze of construction sites that force foot travelers from sidewalk to traffic lane.

These are all familiar obstacles to Wolfe. He once walked the length of Western Avenue in Chicago, a major thoroughfare that spans 24 miles. He has traversed the entire isle

— source grist.org | Eve Andrews | Dec 14, 2021

Nullius in verba


A Future Without Cars, and It’s Amazing

As coronavirus lockdowns crept across the globe this winter and spring, an unusual sound fell over the world’s metropolises: the hush of streets that were suddenly, blessedly free of cars. City dwellers reported hearing bird song, wind and the rustling of leaves. (Along with, in New York City, the intermittent screams of sirens.)

You could smell the absence of cars, too. From New York to Los Angeles to New Delhi, air pollution plummeted, and the soupy, exhaust-choked haze over the world’s dirtiest cities lifted to reveal brilliant blue skies.

Cars took a break from killing people, too. About 10 pedestrians die on New York City’s streets in an ordinary month. Under lockdown, the city went a record two months without a single pedestrian fatality. In California, vehicle collisions plummeted 50 percent, reducing accidents resulting in injuries or death by about 6,000 per month.

As the roads became freer of cars, they grew full of possibility. Rollerblading and skateboarding have come back into fashion. Sales of bicycles and electric bikes have skyrocketed.

— source nytimes.com | Farhad Manjoo | Jul 9, 2020

Nullius in verba


E-bikes can dramatically reduce CO2 emissions

e-bike carbon reduction capability is the maximum carbon reduction we could see if people replaced as much of their car travel as they are able with e-bikes. In England this could be up to 30 million tonnes per year, equivalent to half of current CO2 emissions from cars. On average, each person using an e-bike to replace all the car journeys they are able to could save 0.7 tonnes CO2 pa. This would mark a very radical change in travel behaviour.

Lifecycle CO2 emissions g/km
e-bike 22
Battery electric car – Nissan Leaf 104
Hybrid car – Toyota Prius 168
Petrol car – EU average 258
References 7–9

— source Oxford University Centre for the Environmen | 18 May, 2020

Nullius in verba


Drivers could face £20 fine for leaving engines running when parked

Motorists will be ordered to switch off engines at the roadside under a crackdown on air pollution from petrol and diesel vehicles. Drivers could face a £20 on-the-spot fine for leaving engines running when parked. All 32 London boroughs will step up enforcement of engine idling, with council officers challenging drivers. Volunteers will also be recruited to take part. The scheme will begin in the City of London from today before spreading to the rest of the capital.

— source thetimes.co.uk | Dec 19 2019

Idling in our country its a common thing. People park cars and run ac. Please don’t do that.

Nullius in verba


IC Engine Automobile : 15% fuel-to-wheel efficiency

Today’s efficiency situation:
FUEL 100%
PUSHING THE PISTONS 35%
OVERCOMING ENGINE FRICTION AND PUMPING THE AIR AND FUEL
(typical US driving condition) 20%
Are we stuck with ~20% auto engine efficiency?
What can be done?

Run the engine fuel-lean, that is, use excess air. It is well known that fuel-lean running improves the efficiency. In the old days, under cruising conditions, the engines always ran lean – about 15% excess air — this was economical. So what happen to change this? The problem is the three-way (CO, UHC, NOx) catalyst used on engine exhausts. This only works if the engine air/fuel ratio (by mass) is stoichiometric (chemically correct). For gasoline this ratio is 14.6:1. The engine computer, acting in concert with the engine air flow sensor, electronic fuel injectors, and exhaust oxygen sensor, maintains the stoichiometric ratio for most of your driving. Only at this ratio can the catalyst both oxidize the CO and UHC (to CO2 and H2O) and chemically reduce the NOx (to N2). (UHC = unburned hydrocarbons.) What humankind needs is a lean-NOx catalyst. Then we could have increased efficiency and continue to be clean!

Also needed are ways to improve lean flammability in gasoline engines. That is, the ability to burn real lean is limited by the fuel. If the gasoline-air mixture is too lean, the flame will not have enough speed to get across the cylinder in the time permitted by the engine RPM the driver wants, or the flame will not even start – the cylinder misfires, and then the catalyst has to oxidize a huge amount of UHC and thus may overheat (which might mean you have to buy a new catalyst).

Background:
A first course on thermodynamics may teach the efficiency of the Otto cycle (which is the ideal cycle used to simulate the gasoline spark ignition auto engine). Such a course would derive the following equation for the Otto cycle efficiency:
h = 1 – 1/rvg-1
The compression ratio of the engine is rv. Actually, this is a volume ratio. It is the ratio of the volume in a cylinder when the piston is at the bottom of the cylinder to the volume in the cylinder when the piston is at its top position: rv = Vbottom/Vtop.

Most auto engines have compression ratios in the 9 to 10.5 range. We note: the higher the compression ratio, the higher the efficiency! The g parameter is the ratio of the specific heats, ie, the constant pressure specific heat over the constant volume specific heat. In practical terms, the higher the g, the higher the efficiency. A gas such as helium or argon, composed only of atoms, has the highest g possible, 1.67. Room air on the other hand, being mainly composed of O2 and N2 molecules has a g of 1.4. Fuel vapor has g less than that of air. The mixture of air and gasoline vapor inducted into the engine has a g of about 1.35. As this mixture is compressed and heated during the compression stroke, its g drops to about 1.33. Upon combustion (when the piston is near its top position), the fuel is oxidized to CO2 (and some CO) and H2O, and g drops further. It drops into the 1.20-1.25 range. The overall, effective g for the whole cycle for use in the efficiency equation above is about 1.27.

The rule of thumb is: the greater the complexity of the molecules, the lower the g. The lower limit is 1. Argon and helium atoms only translate, that is, they move along straight paths until they encounter another atom. Room air molecules translate and rotate (about 2 of their axes). Hot air starts to vibrate (as two nuclei connected by a spring). Molecules of fuel vapor have a lot of opportunity to vibrate, even at room temperature. The products of combustion vibrate. However, only the translation of the molecules PUSHES the piston. The other modes of molecular motion do nothing for pushing the piston. Thus, as g drops (indicating more vibration of the molecules), h drops. A lean engine (ie, an engine with excess air) has a cooler combustion process and more air relative to fuel than the typical engine with a chemically correct mixture. Thus, its g is higher, and its h is greater.

Plug g = 1.27 into the efficiency equation above, assume rv = 10, and you get h = 0.46. Multiply this by about 0.75 to account for real cycle effects (such as the time it takes to burn, heat losses to the coolant, and exhaust valves that open before the piston fully reaches bottom position) and you have h = 0.35. This is the efficiency (given above) of using the chemical energy of the fuel to push the pistons. Multiply this by the mechanical efficiency of the engine, which accounts for the mechanical friction in the engine and for the air (and fuel) pumping work that has to be done, and you have the final, or overall efficiency of the engine. Of course the mechanical efficiency varies with driving conditions. The higher the RPM of the engine, the greater the friction loss. The more closed the throttle (ie, the farther your foot is off the pedal), the higher the pumping loss. For typical US driving, the resultant overall efficiency of the engine is about 20%. Note, your pedal is not really a gas pedal, it is an air pedal! Add the tranny and real axle mechanical friction losses (or the transaxle friction losses), loss due to convert reciprocal movement of piston to rotary motion for the wheel and the drain of a few essential accessories, and you arrive at a 15% fuel-to-wheel efficiency for the typical auto driven in the US.

Higher compression ratio. Here, we are limited by autoignition of the gasoline – knock. That is, if the gasoline engine compression is above about 10.5, unless the octane number of the fuel is high, knocking combustion occurs. This is annoying and if persistent, damage to the engine can occur. Thus, gasoline engines are limited in their efficiency by the inability of the fuel to smoothly burn in high compression ratio engines.
However, the diesel engine is not subject to this limitation. It runs at high compression ratio. In part, this explains its high efficiency. It also runs lean, and its pumping work is low, further increasing its efficiency over the gasoline engine. Humankind needs quiet, smoke-free, odor-free diesels! Apart from comression ratio Diesel engine also have all the other inefficiencies as petrol engine, like friction loss, reciprocal to rotary conversion loss etc. Also it is more polluting than petrol engine.

We need new cycles put into practical use. An example is the Atkinson cycle. This has a smaller compression ratio than expansion ratio. This means TC is reduced since the burnt gas cool as they expand, making the cycle efficient. We throw away less waste heat via the exhaust.

Run the engine at optimum conditions, meaning low friction (modest engine speed) and low pumping work (air throttle more open). Try to approach the “pushing-the-pistons” efficiency of 35%. This already is happening in some stationary piston engines – large, slow, piston engines used at pipeline compressor stations, for example. Also, this is an important characteristic of the engines used in the hybrid gasoline-electric vehicles. Let the gasoline engine in the hybrid gasoline-electric power plant only run with good throttle opening and modest RPM.
Note the hybrid power plant also recovers some of the kinetic energy of the vehicle, by letting this KE drive an electrical generator (during braking). The electrical energy is stored in the batteries. (Normally, this KE is dissipated as heat in the brakes.) An inverter is used to convert DC electricity from the batteries to AC electricity needed by the electric motor and created by the generator.

The table below compares the “well-to-wheel” efficiencies of several auto power plants. “Fuel Prod” means the energy efficiency of extracting, refining, and transporting the fuel. “Eng” means the “fuel-to-wheel”efficiency of the vehicle. “Gas” means gasoline engine. “FC-HC” means a PEM fuel cell with a gasoline-to-hydrogen reformer on board. (PEM = proton exchange membrane fuel cell, the fuel cell type that has been getting most of the attention for auto and home use.) “FC-MeOH” means a PEM fuel cell with methanol-to-hydrogen reformer on board. (The methanol is produced at a refinery by steam reforming natural gas – thus it is a “fossil fuel”.) “Ems” means emissions (CO, UHC, NOx) impact. The ratings are “low” (where we are now for autos), “ultra low”, and super low”.

from http://courses.washington.edu/me341/oct22v2.htm

From reading this you may get the following:
1. When we buy 1 litter petrol/Diesel, its 80-85% is burned for nothing.
2. By keeping the power plant with us while traveling we are polluting from the beginning to end of your trip.
3. Too complex actions are happening in the IC Engine. And equipments are complex like carburetor, fuel pump, cylinder, piston, oil ring, crank, clutch, gearbox, differential gear etc.
4. The heat and vibration coming from the engine is affecting the driver psychologically. (typical Indian condition)
5. Noise and air pollution to pedestrians and cyclist.

Do we have any other way of transportation?

There is a device which is discovered 200 years back. Its electric motor. Its efficiency is more than 85%. The vehicles which is run by electric motor has 3 main parts.
1. Electric motor, 2. Battery and 3. controller.
Apart from rotor of electric motor all parts are stationary. So it has less frictional loss, less noise and vibration. Since motor adjust torque automatically, no need of clutch and gear box. There is no power loss while the vehicle is stopped in traffic jam and signals. If we put regenerative breaking system, then we can re-capture 30% of power needed for breaking. It is used to recharge the battery.
It has very less running cost. Since there is less moving parts it has less maintenance cost. A lot of advantages are there for electric vehicles.

But still we are not using it. Why?

Its the politics of oil.

If we use electric vehicle oil use will reduce. Oil companies don’t like this. They are lobbying against any research and use of better technologies.

How much time we use car?
average person in U.S. and Western Europe uses car just for 8%.

Do we really own this big, heavy, costly equipment which sleeping 92% of its life, wasting 85% fuel just move one place to another?

I have one request to you:
Reduce use of vehicles. Try using public transportation systems. If possible use electric vehicle. Use taxi sharing. We in India call it share auto.

NB: To get Malayalam version, add ml to the begining of URL and refresh the browser.

World Carfree Day

Every September 22, people from around the world get together in the streets, intersections, and neighbourhood blocks to remind the world that we don’t have to accept our car-dominated society.
2007 should be no different.
But we do not want just one day of celebration and then a return to “normal” life. When people get out of their cars, they should stay out of their cars. It is up to us, it is up to our cities, and our governments to help create permanent change to benefit pedestrians, cyclists, and other people who do not drive cars.
Let World Carfree Day be a showcase for just how our cities might look like, feel like, and sound like without cars…365 days a year.
As the climate heats up, World Carfree Day is the perfect time to take the heat off the planet, and put it on city planners and politicians to give priority to cycling, walking and public transport, instead of to the automobile.
from http://www.worldcarfree.net/wcfd/
Berlin celebrates World Car Free Day by taking to the streets. The 2007 Kreisfahrt (Circle Ride) departs from the famous Brandenburger Tor at 14:00 Saturday 22 September. Bicycles own the streets. Car owners: stay home, or at least turn your engines off as you watch the endless parade of bikes make their merry way hooting and hollering around Berlin.
It may not change the world, but it will make bicyclists feel good for the day just to imagine how lovely life would be if a police escort ensured your absolute safety and freedom from smoggy emissions every day. The goal is to mobilize more people to work towards that ideal.
The procession will end after about 40 km at the Sudkreuz (South Cross) train station, a new venue for the annual Environment Festival where bikers can recover from the demonstration ride with a bio-bratwurst or an organic, vegetarian meal while learning about new green trends and supporting environmental organizations.
Via ::Bike Club Berlin