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By EurActiv.com with Reuters
The EZ10 bus, pictured here on the streets of Stockholm, is now being rolled out in Paris.
Paris yesterday (23 January) launched its first driverless electric shuttle bus service, aiming to curb congestion and pollution that many Parisians blame for a whole raft of health complaints.
The French capital has a serious pollution problem and numerous schemes have already been tried to try and cut down smog levels, including shutting the Champs-Élysées thoroughfare once a month to traffic.
Now Paris is taking it to the next level and has launched a driverless electric shuttle bus service, which the capital’s authorities also hope will help ease congestion that clogs the city’s streets every day.
Sensors and cameras tell the EZ10 bus when to stop and start, how fast to go and in which direction.
The 130-metre (142-yard) test route links the Gare de Lyon and Austerlitz train stations, two of the city’s busy transport hubs on either side of the Seine river. Other routes will be introduced this year, the city’s authority said in a statement. And it isn’t just Paris that is getting in on the act. Lyon in central France has also been testing a driverless bus service.
Driverless cars are appearing more and more in EU policy plans, as European lawmakers advocate allocating time and money in order to prevent the United States or China getting a head start.
But the technology faces obstacles, as some critics complain that EU countries won’t manage to get driverless cars out before the US because 21 out of 28 EU countries signed onto the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, a UN treaty that requires a driver to be able to take control of a vehicle at any point. The Convention allows for testing of driverless cars, but it doesn’t allow them to run on public roads without a driver in control. Even though France is a signatory to that Convention, a precedent has already been set. In the Helsinki neighbourhood of Hernessari, one driverless bus made by French manufacturer Easymile transported commuters at a maximum speed of 40 kilometres per hour during a trial period. Finland is also a signatory to the Vienna Convention.
Eetu Pilli-Sihvola, a special adviser at the Finnish Transport Safety Agency, says that was possible because of how Finnish regulators interpret the treaty’s requirement of a driver who can take control of the vehicle.
Connected cars use internet connectivity to perform various functions, including measuring location, road conditions and car performance.
Fully autonomous or driverless cars do not need driver intervention to function. Car companies have been calling for laws that would allow autonomous cars to drive more freely in Europe.
The EU has been organising initiatives to promote road safety and traffic management by pooling information provided by cars that are hooked up to the digital network infrastructure, as early back as 2010. In particular, the EU executive wants wants the industry to convert their efforts into “a global market success” via enhanced co-operation and standarisation of ICT-aided cars. Car manufacturers have also invested heavily in these.
December 16th, 2016 by Steve Hanley
Originally published on Gas2
Psst! Got $10 million burning a hole in your pocket and an itch for space travel? Are you a firm believer in climate change who wants to limit your carbon footprint while you pursue you dreams? If your answers to those questions are yes, SolarStratos, a Swiss start-up, may have just the answer for you wanderlust — an airplane that uses solar power to lift people to the edge of space and return them gently to earth.
Space tourism is expected to become big business in the future. Spurred on by Elon Musk’s dream of establishing a colony on Mars within the next decade and SpaceX’s innovative reusuable rockets. experts predict the cost of space travel will fall precipitously in coming years. Musk thinks eventually a seat on a Mars bound transport could cost as little as $100,000.
Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg told Bloomberg earlier this year he sees the space tourism industry “blossoming over the next couple of decades into a viable commercial market. He thinks the International Space Station could be joined in low earth orbit by dozens of hotels and companies pursuing micro-gravity manufacturing and research. “I think it’s a fascinating area for us,” he said.
But you might not have to wait that long. Last week, Swiss company SolarStratos revealed its “solar plane,” a 28 foot-long aircraft that will be the first manned aircraft entirely powered by solar energy to rise above the stratosphere and bring passengers close to the stars. The solar power airplane has a wingspan of 81.3 feet and weighs 992 pounds.
Its wings are covered by 72 square feet of solar panels which provide energy to its 32 kilowatt electric engine and 20 kWh lithium ion battery. SolarStratos claims the airplane has approximately the same carbon footprint as an electric car . To reduce total weight of the aircraft, the cockpit will not be heated or pressurized. Those on board will wear pressurized space suits to protect them from the minus 70 degree F temperatures outside.
It will take two hours to ascend to the edge of space some 15 miles above the earth. SolarStratos will stay there for 15 minutes before beginning a 3 hour descent back to earth. The company says it expects to launch its first flights for commercial passengers in two to three years, but at a pretty steep price. Each mission will cost $10 million. “This opens the door to the possibility of electric and solar commercial aviation, close to space,” says project lead Raphael Domjan, who designed and built the first solar powered boat to circumnavigate the globe four years ago.
Bertrand Piccard, one of the two pilots who recently circumnavigated the earth in Solar Impulse II, a solar powered aircraft, told members of the International Air Transport Association recently, “In nine years and eight months, you’ll have 50 people traveling short haul on electric planes. Then he asked, “Why nine years and eight months? Because for the past four months I’ve been saying it will be within ten years. It will happen.”
Piccard may be too pessimistic in his predictions. NASA is pursuing research into passenger airplanes powered by electric motors and independent inventors are imagining ways to make larger battery powered airplanes. The age of electric transportation is clearly upon us, even if some don’t realize it yet.
The usage of “intermediates” according the REACH regulation is a current practice in the industry.
The objective of this paper is to document examples of metal compounds used in the battery industry and assessing their status as intermediates.
Recognizing the increasing importance for his members of the Lithium batteries, among others advanced rechargeable technologies, RECHARGE has adopted a new tag line description, clarifying the focus of its activities:
The Advanced Rechargeable & Lithium Batteries Association
This Technical guidance refers to the limitation at 30% for the transport of Li-ion batteries by air, as described in the ICAO Technical Instruction for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (2015-2016 Edition).
Guidance for the 30% SOC implementation
The new ICAO regulation requires a controlled state of charge (SOC) at 30% or less for the shipment of Li-ion batteries by air (UN 3480). This limitation is not applicable to batteries contained in or packed with equipment (UN 3481). This SOC information shall be available for customers, enforcement agencies, freight forwarders, airlines and other entities upon request….
On 22 February the ICAO Council adopted the recommendation of the ICAO Air Navigation Commission (ANC) that lithium ion batteries, UN 3480, Packing Instruction 965 only, be forbidden, on an interim basis, as cargo on passenger aircraft. The prohibition does not apply to lithium ion batteries packed with equipment or lithium ion batteries contained in equipment, UN 3481, Packing Instruction 966 and Packing Instruction 967 respectively.
The prohibition becomes effective 1 April 2016, as applies to the requirements that lithium ion batteries, UN 3480, PI 965, to be shipped at a state of charge of no more than 30% of their rated capacity, and other changes advised through the addendum to the 57th edition of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR) issued in January of this year.
The Waste Electric and Electronic fate in Europe is studied in the “Countering WEEE Illegal Trade” (CWIT) project. The Summary Report present a Market Assessment, a Legal Analysis, Crime Analysis and a Recommendations Roadmap.
On December 12, 2014 were voted during the meeting of the UN Sub Committee of Experts for the Transport of Dangerous Goods, in Geneva, several amendments to the eighteenth revised edition of the Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, Model Regulations (ST/SG/AC.10/1/Rev.18), as well as amendments to the 5th revised edition of the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, Manual of Tests and Criteria (ST/SG/AC.10/11/Rev.5).
Several of these amendments concern the transport of batteries classified as Dangerous goods for transport, such as Lithium metal or Lithium-ion batteries.
The amendments are provided in the attached documents.
Due to the diversity, complexity and constant evolution of the composition of batteries and the wide range of composition observed, it will be justified to include some mirror entry classifications (both hazardous and not hazardous).
The European Battery Industry, represented by the co-signatories of this letter, invites the Commission and the Competent Authorities to establish, together with all concerned stakeholders, a methodology to properly classify waste batteries and mixtures of various types of waste batteries in the List of Waste and to assess the overall impact and consequences
The European Association of Advanced Rechargeable Batteries
168 av. De Tervueren, box 3
B-1150 Brussels, Belgium
Tel. + 32 2 777 05 60
Fax + 32 2 777 05 65