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CMU Boss Autonomous Vehicle/DARPA Urban Challenge
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The Future of Driving

U.C. Berkeley Professor Pravin Varaiya on three key technologies that may someday make driving safer and more energy efficient.

By EV World

"How long can we sustain our present mode of driving," asked U.C. Berkeley professor Pravin Varaiya as he began his talk at the 2007 Meeting of the Minds conference. [See links below to other MoM 2007 presentations].

From Beijing to Baltimore, it is obvious that our current system of moving people and goods isn't working. The economic costs alone of traffic congestion, not to mention its environmental and health impacts, are staggering and getting worse with each passing year.

Instead of building costly new roads and freeways, groups like those Varaiya is working with, including CalTrans, are investigating ways to incorporate computer and telecommunications technology into both vehicles and road infrastructure. He focuses on the following three avenues of investigation:

He points out that about 25% of the time drivers spent on freeways in 2006 was stuck in slow or no-moving traffic jams. Surprisingly, between 2005 and 2006 while traffic increased by 2%, delays increased by 16% . It is estimated that by 2020, traffic will have increased by 20% and delays will have doubled, problems that cleaner, greener vehicles like electric cars, hybrids and fuel cell alone won't solve.

In his presentation is discusses in more detail the various options available to both traffic planners and someday to automakers, who will have to collaborate more as we move further into the 21st century.

You can listen to his talk using either of the two MP3 players above or by downloading the file to your computer for playback on your favorite MP3 device.

EVWORLD Future In Motion Podcast

Download MP3 File

Times Article Viewed: 5371
Published: 02-Jan-2008

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