Driverless cars-UK gives thumbs-up to — but first come the driverless pods

Driverless cars

driverless cars

An experimental Google Self-Driving Car

In effect, the UK will be  opening up its roads to driverless cars. So, with the government announcing this week that it wants to take a “light touch, non-regulatory approach” to trials of autonomous vehicles. The…

Truly, I must be getting really old ? for one thing, i just cant see these things taking off here in the UK. That is to say, without any special lanes for them. Separating them from the regular cars. driverless cars ? what next.

 

Driverless cars-If only we could have seen into the future?

Indeed, I suppose if I sit back and look at this more deeply.Then it probably does not mean what it sounds like. As a UK resident living in the North of England, I often travel to London on the odd occasion with my wife Michelle. I do try to take a break from writing about tyres and the Auto industry. So, to see what the rest of the country are up to.

Here in the North we are always moaning about the fact that we are left behind. Especially, when it comes to infrastructure development, (new roads and rail projects) in particular. That is to say, as just an example we probably have the worst railway system in the country. To emphasise, in my opinion most of the allocated money is spent in the South. Especially in the London area.

Whichever political party is in power, then it is the same old thing and nothing happens. One or two exceptions spring to mind, such as the Sheffield tram system. Although I am certain that this was built out of guilt. Because of the decimation of the giant steel industry that the great city once had. In other words, and has now whittled down to nothing. I am sure that the same thing can be repeated in many other countries across the globe. Perhaps you could let me know?

Our last trip to London was in December 2014, just before Christmas. At the same time as a birthday treat to my wife. Once again the experience never fails to amaze me at the amount of money that is being spent on the transport system.  Compared to our virtual “nothing”. Although I love my country the indifference is there for all to see and in my mind immoral. Subsequently, we pay our taxes in the North, just the same as Londoners, so why should we not have the same travel facilities?

This takes me on to the subject of “driverless cars”, here in the UK.

To be truthful, driverless cars in my opinion are just a fantasy and will never really take off. Our northern towns and cities are too small crowded and frankly would need rebuilding if the driverless cars were ever to take off.

It took forty years to convert the closed down railway network into cycle paths and places where people can walk. In  the area where I live we have a twenty mile circuit called the “Kirk-lees way”, this was to be where we all could walk, run and cycle without any traffic problems affecting our pleasure, but this has now become grown over and covered in mud and horse poo, and is no pleasure to walk on any more.

This is when things started to click?

What if we converted these old railway cycle paths into roads for the driverless cars? When I saw the example diving around the southern town of Milton Keynes, (where billions of pounds have been invested), they were driving on the cycle and walking/jogging path network that goes for miles around and  through the city.

I thought that that looked a good idea, if we had to have these driverless cars thrust upon us, then we could give them their own little road network and it would keep them away from the sensible drivers who just want to get on with their lives, it is bad enough trying to dodge an 82 year old lady, who flies around our local supermarket, in her mobility scooter almost hitting all the other customers, without having to worry about what the driverless car coming towards us will do next, and if they do hit you, who will give you the insurance details.

driverless cars

Driverless pods like these could soon be seen in Milton Keynes and Yorkshire could be getting half decent trains?

re-generated to make way the driverless pods?

Also to finish with as a garage owner I wonder which garage the Nissan Driverless Car or the Volvo Driverless Cars will drive into, probably not my garage.

Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre offer car and van servicing and repairs to all makes of vehicles.

Eric Roberts

 

Fuel injectors/Piston rings

BMW’s hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will begin testing in the near future

BMW’s hydrogen fuel cell vehicles

BMW’s hydrogen fuel cell vehicles

BMW’s hydrogen fuel cell vehicles

 

BMW will begin testing hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in the near future. The new generation of  hydrogen vehicles are currently under development

So, this is good news for the regular garage owner?

I believe that we will be able to repair these hydrogen fuel cell vehicles . Especiallyin the after market. But the car manufacturers will keep a tight lid on the battery driven EV’s. Probably, we will only get the scraps.

Hydrogen Fuel Cell technology battles it out with battery power

Believe it or not the Hydrogen Fuel cell (HFC) technology is nothing new. The method of converting pure hydrogen and oxygen into water and electricity is a blast from the past. Consequently, going back as far as  the 1930’s (even older than me).

So, this kind of technology was also effectively used on the Space Shuttle Programme. Of course,  by NASA until it was all taken apart the other year. Generally speaking, so the older type of fuel cell equipment. For the most part, that produced enough power to propel a vehicle. Subsequently, was very large and would just about fit into a large van. Therefore, something smaller had to be designed for practicality purposes.

Given these point, a smaller type of fuel cell had to be designed. Soon, it became clear that Toyota Motor Company were in the lead in the design of this technology. Toyota plan to have a smaller more powerful and efficient fuel cell in use in one of the cars in the near future.

Consequently, all the car manufacturers are looking at developing greener vehicles. All things considered, it now looks likely that BMW the giant German car maker. So, are looking at HFC  technology to power their vehicles in the future. In fact it is thought that they come into some sort of research and development agreement with Toyota. Hoping that the two car giants. Can come out tops with the HFC engines fitted into their cars.

BMW forge ahead with Hydrogen cell technology with the Hydrogen 7 car

The battle between the different engine concepts is hotting up between the Hydrogen cells and the Lithium-Ion battery driven vehicles. BMW have brought out their Hydrogen 7 production car, with a hundred of them out on test. I understand that they have done this by turning a regular gasoline burning car into a Hydrogen burning car and the results are positive so far, the car retains all the comfort and exclusivity that you would expect from a BMW luxury car.

Audi have also bought into the fuel cell scenario, by purchasing patents of hydrogen fuel cell technology from a company called Ballard Power Systems

hydrogen fuel cell

How a Hydrogen cell car works

One more thing is missing from the stage: hydrogen filling pumps. Once such a network would be deployed, batteries would suddenly become the dirtier and more inefficient option, since using hydrogen only produces water, does not deplete Earth’s lithium reserves and does not pollute the environment in any way. They will also share the patents with the rest of the VW group, showing their intent and interest in the hydrogen fuel cell format for greener cars of the future.

We all know that there is no love lost between supporters of battery-electric cars and hydrogen fuel cell cars.

But what is a realistic way to compare the two? One of the big advantages at the moment is that Hydrogen cell vehicles can travel five times longer. Than the EV battery electric cars on a single tank. Taking just a few minutes to fill the tank with hydrogen. Naturally, this can be compared with the 8 hours or so it takes to recharge a battery.

On the down side we do not yet have a good enough network of  filling stations. Although now in 2018 the number is increasing. Germany have started to install them. Including, some of the big UK supermarkets that are considering adding hydrogen to their extensive petrol station outlets. Of course, this could also be the case in the USA. Especially the California area. So, where they are very aggressive about greener pollutant free cars.

Time will only tell but although I am not an expert. I am very interested in what is happening. Because, it may well be hotting up with the demise of the diesel engine. Having  had bad reports about polluting engines. In fact the authorities in Paris are going to ban the older diesel cars from entering the city in the near future. Unfortunately, after the experts were preaching how safe diesel cars were. The so called experts have now done an about turn . Contradicting the past benefits of owning a diesel engined car.

Hyundai also developing hydrogen cell cars

The Hyundai company have developed the “Tucson Fuel Cell” car which  looks just like a typical small SUV, but the difference is that it is’ powered by hydrogen. These  vehicles use a Hydrogen fuel cell instead of  battery technology. The fuel cell is replenished with hydrogen mixed with oxygen, and the result is a supply of electricity to power the car. Water is the only emission, that is emitted from the car, a great success.

Honda will also bring out their own Hydrogen cell version which is known as the FCX Clarity Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle .

Source: www.bmwblog.comVan Wheel Alignment Including Suspension

Eric Roberts

 

Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre offer car and van servicing and repairs to all makes of vehicles.