Auto congestion and pollution is an ongoing dilemma for Europes cities, but small electric automated CyberCars that run on the existing urban infrastructure promise to make Europes crowded capitals cleaner, safer, and easier to manoeuvre.
The development and adoption of vehicles running autonomously without a driver on city streets at low speed (up to 30 km/h at the moment), while avoiding fixed and mobile obstacles, is the goal of IST-project CYBERCAR. This concept of using automobiles in a public system evolved out of car-sharing in Switzerland and Germany, where a small fleet of cars is shared among a large number of users, who can even take a car at both ends of a train trip.
However, this system works well only in specific areas where the demand is properly structured and does not offer door-to-door service. Now, automated vehicles are appearing that have driving capabilities on an existing road infrastructure with a right of way (such as a dedicated bus-lane) and can be put in platoons for collection. The project foresees dual-mode versions of these vehicles, which also allow for manual driving in order to run among normal traffic, being applied to private vehicles. For a fee, users would have access rights, and the clean fuel vehicles would be parked automatically and their speed controlled, improving the mobility and quality of life in urban areas.
Tara Morris | IST Results
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Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
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The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
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Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
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