Houston area drivers are probably rejoicing with the rapid fall in gasoline prices, but anyone who really understands the implications of the collapse in energy market is probably a little less sanguine. WTI crude oil briefly dipped below $61 per barrel this morning after the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported a rise in oil inventories of 1.5 million barrels in the week ended December 5. It probably didn't help that OPEC lowered its 2015 oil demand forecast. So far, U.S. drilling hasn't seen much of an effect, but things could change if oil prices don't [...]
These images might resemble something from a sci fi movie, but we're talking about real tech here. Solar roadways are panels that you can drive or walk on, and of course they open up a world of possibilities in terms of reducing greenhouse gases. I have to a admit that a roadway which is free of ugly power poles and lines is particularly appealing from a real estate perspective. You can find out more about Solar Roadways at Indiegogo.com https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/solar-roadways#home If the idea of a solar roadway doesn't get you excited, maybe Harley-Davidson's new Livewire [...]
Interesting news from last week's transportation summit as it parallels what is going on with the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). As corporate leaders and politicians meet behind closed doors, the public is often not aware that the public infrastructure we count on, the backbone of America's economic growth in decades past, is now up for sale to the highest bidder. As Terri Hall explains, about the only thing not on the table is tolling of existing highways. Interestingly, TxDOT tried that little scheme here some 10 years ago with the first section of the Katy [...]
Nice piece from the Times on the future of automation. You may have already heard of Google's driverless car, but the implications for automations and robots on the new economy go well beyond that. It's no secret that technology will be a major disruptive force in the economy in the years and decades to come. What's surprising is how so few policymakers fail to grasp the implications of that disruption. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics indicate that 30 percent of driving in business districts is spent in a hunt for a parking spot, with almost one billion miles [...]
This is an interesting cold weather range test of the Tesla model S from Oslo, the capital of Norway, to Geilo. The trip is 270kms and includes a climb of 800 metres and some freezing temperatures. Keep in mind that this is a US-spec Model S, without the cold weather spec equipment. Does it pass the test? Watch to find out!
They say that history doesn't repeat, but it often does rhyme. It seems the finance industry can never get enough money to feed the want and greed of those in charge. In this case the issue at hand is auto loans, and the industry move to longer loan terms, up to 97 months in some cases. In the final quarter of 2012, the average term of a new car note was 65 months, according to Experian Information Solutions. Even more disturbing, 17% of all new car loans in the quarter were between 73 and 84 [...]
This is comical bit of video from Russian dash-cams noting the hazards on Russian roads. There were numerous dash-cam recordings of the recent meteor. Judging from the footage you see here on Russian roadways, a dash-cam is probably warranted.
Volkswagen's concept hover car turns imagination into reality. The VW hover car is part of the "People's Car Project" which debuted in China last year. The hovercraft uses electromagnetic levitation to float above regular road networks. It seats two people and is controlled by a joystick. The hover car is amazingly maneuverable and can even spin on an axis. Watch the zero emission vehicle in action in this video.
It appears Washington has finally ended the 30-year corn ethanol subsidy. The Detroit News reports that Congress has wrapped up its work for the year without an extension of the ridiculous handout to the corn lobby. The news is even better, in that the tariff on imported ethanol from Brazil (less expensive and environmentally destructive) has been cancelled as well. It should be noted that while the ethanol tax credit may have been extinguished, the corn lobby will still benefit from similar price supports as mandated by the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) which achieves the same [...]