technology

The Road Train Will Mean Driving Without Hands

If apps like Weeels are about sharing vehicles better, the road train concept – a platoon of cars led automatically down the highway by a “leader” car – is about sharing the road better.

This isn’t science fiction. As we wrote last year, the idea is “to link cars up in a kind of contact-less highway conga line, eliminating the potential for congestion, reducing crashes, maximizing cars’ fuel efficiency, accelerating the journey, and also, of course, taking the whole ‘driving’ thing out of driving.

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In Europe, the idea of cars that drive themselves is being forged by the European Union’s Safe Road Trains for the Environment (Sartre) initiative, which plans to have a real-world test with a single following car by the end of 2010.

While the technologists are confident about the safety of such a system, the sensation of sitting behind the wheel fully lost in a movie or a newspaper will probably take drivers some getting used to (but probably not too much). Just buckle your seatbelts everyone.

Video Conference Today: The Social Traffic Conundrum

This is right up our important (and maybe a bit nerdy, but just for now!) social transit alley: a discussion today on how social media can reduce traffic. Couldn’t find any more info on it, but it looks good. Click that link and sign up for an email reminder.

smarterplanet:

The Social Traffic Conundrum: An IBM vPanel Interactive Dialogue 

Date: Wednesday, September 22, 4pm ET 

Location:  The IBM New Intelligence Video Studio, http://www.livestream.com/newintelligence

Description: For Social Media Week 2010 — taking place simultaneously across five cities,  IBM is bringing together four thought leaders from around the globe — via a webcam-based virtual panel — to discuss the challenge of urban traffic and how human behavior and social media can help remedy it .  

Panelists:

  • Shaun Abrahamson, Founder and CEO, Mutopo
  • Naveen Lamba, Industry Leader, Smart Transportation, IBM
  • Sarah Goodyear, Cities Editor, Grist.org
  • Richard MacManus, Founder of ReadWriteWeb