Are Electric Cars the Solution to the ‘Pollution’ Problem?

Occupy Corporatism
by Susanne Posel

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The Chinese government, according to Xinhua News Agency (XNA), is looking to replace current automotive technology with “new energy vehicles” (NEV).

XNA reported that “5 government departments and ministries have formed a joint plan that will see 30% of the vehicles that will be purchased for government use to utilize clean energy.”

Between 2014 and 2016, “clean energy vehicles” will increase because of this “joint plan” with the Chinese government to reduce air pollution with the investments in electric cars.

There is also a 10% tax exemption on the purchase of NEV to entice customers to buy for the next 3 years.

For the purchase of fully electric, hybrid and fuel cell cars, the Chinese State Council has levied taxes for the sake of “achieving industrial development and environmental protection.”

The goal of the NEV boom is to have 5 million of them on the streets in China by 2020.

Now the focus is on bringing the price down with subsidies and local businesses’ cooperation in the collaborative effort.

In the US, prparations for the conversion from petrol to electric vehicles is having an interesting beginning.

Recently, the University of Michigan Engineering College (UMEC) began construction on a fake urban city on 32 acres of land in the southeastern part of the state to test the safety and security of electric self-driving cars (SDCs).

This city is being affectionately called the “automated vehicle testing site facility” that will be under the oversight of the UM Mobility Transformation Center (MTC).

This real-life virtual city will include:

• Traffic lights
• Intersections
• Traffic signs and other road signs
• Sidewalks
• Buildings
• Railroad crossing
• Construction sites
• Round-a-bouts
• Merging lanes

The only thing that will be missing from this city is pedestrians, heavy traffic and businesses.

These faux street lights will be programmable; as well as “mechanical pedestrians that will surprise the driverless vehicles as they pass through.”

In order to safely test SDCs, UM have decided to construct a fake city that would facilitate a variety of different traffic options without the concern for accidents or pedestrians who might be hurt during testing by an SDC running a red light or “barreling through an intersection”.

Peter Sweatman, director of the MTC and the UN Transportation Research Institute (TRC) said: “The College of Engineering brings expertise in robotics and how to test sophisticated machines.”

Google has unveiled their very own line of SDCs complete with stop-button controls, no steering wheel or pedals and a city car “friendly” style that is being designed to be appealing to people.

This two seater car will be propelled by electricity and limited to 25 mph “to help ensure safety”.

If there is a problem, the driver can take over with a plug in that can is expected to be removed once customer confidence in the technology is solidified.

Chris Urmson, director of Google Self-Driving project (GSDP) said: “We’re really excited about this vehicle – it’s something that will allow us to really push the capabilities of self-driving technology, and understand the limitations. [The cars had the ability to] improve people’s lives by transforming mobility.”

Google’s Toyota Prius SDC was given the green light by the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (NDMV) to experiment on roads and highways within the state.

Nissan has joined forces with Google to endeavor on a marketing campaign to make the new SDC Leaf more attractive to the general public.

Using artificial intelligence, provided by Google and other features such as around view cameras and actuators, Nissan believes that these cars will give ease to complexity in real-world situations.

In the state of California, the Department of Motor Vehicles (CDMV) will begin issuing driver’s licenses to driverless cars with “human co-pilots” for only $150.

This fee includes 10 vehicles and no more than 20 “test drivers”.

Google will benefit from this development as they prefect their newly created SDC.

Occupy Corporatism