Kiwi Energy provides innovative energy solutions and focuses on environmentally-friendly ways to supply this energy. This year the company will be a sponsor of Transportation Alternatives’ initiative – Bike Month. Transportation Alternative, which was founded in 1973, is a community of activists that draw attention to the use of bikes and public transport and also encourage walking. At the moment the organization has over 140 thousand supporters. Thanks to this organization a lot of changes have been made in New York in terms of growing biking community, installing safety cameras and making a city more pedestrian-friendly.
There is no reason to talk about the usefulness of biking – we all know it offers many benefits to people’s health and it is an environmentally friendly mode of transportation. For more than 50 years (since 1956) Transportation Alternatives conduct a Bike Month in New York. They organize a lot of activities that demonstrate the importance of using bicycles and their advantages. This year Kiwi Energy will sponsor this initiative that will take place during the month of May.
Something new this year will be a Bike to Work Challenge that is aimed at motivating colleagues to compare how many miles they rode their bikes. At the end of the month New York’s’ most active biking company will be found by counting the percentage or workers who go to work by bike. On June 1 a Bike Home from Work Party will take place that will commemorate the winning companies. There will be a lot of vendors at the event including Kiwi Energy that will organize some giveaways.
Transportation Alternatives’ representative says that Bike Month will offer an excellent opportunity to try this eco-friendly mode of transportation and promote healthy lifestyle at workplaces.
If you want to participate in the challenge visit https://www.bikemonth.nyc/ where you can download the app.
First self-driving shuttle coasts into New York’s Times Square
There’s an extra bus cruising through the heart of Times Square this morning – but there’s no one behind the wheel of this vehicle. It doesn’t even have a wheel.
Coast Autonomous, a new entry in the crowded self-driving vehicle market, kicked off a day of demonstrations on Broadway in New York’s crowded Times Square, a symbolic location meant to demonstrate the company’s confidence in its technology. While Coast is only a year old, it has been working on the tech for 15 years, Chief Technology Officer Pierre Lefèvre told Digital Trends.
Indeed, Coast’s tech is behind Navya, the company whose self-driving buses power Keolis vans that have been shuttling folks up and down the Las Vegas strip. And occasionally having minor fender-benders.
Coast’s first vehicle, called the P-1 Shuttle, is a bi-directional van that looks normal from the outside. Inside, it’s basically a bathtub on wheels, with no seats for a driver or passengers and no space for a driver at all. Instead, the interior is just a ring of seats at the windows that circles the cabin, and a space for a door. One wall has a built-in screen for displaying information to passengers; during our demo, it showed diagnostics from onboard computers and lines of code on the status of CAN network components and onboard elements such as oMotorTorque and oParkingBrake. One imagines ride info and ads being posted up there in the future, of course.
Lefèvre said the van’s wheelbase was shorter than Navya’s offering, yet had more room for passengers. It appeared able to hold 10 to 12 passengers comfortably, as long as some riders skipped the seats and stood in the main cabin. With fewer seats, the company claims it can hold up to 20.
Electric motors in the wheel hubs move the P-1 along predefined routes, making the vehicle run quietly and smoothly. In a brief demo on a sweaty Tuesday morning, the vehicle cruised up and down Broadway inaudibly and stopped smoothly – crucial, because it lacks safety gear such as seat belts and grab rails. Lefèvre said the goal is to maximize comfort for passengers, so rather than optimize for speed, it’s optimized to slow down smoothly. And since passengers don’t waste time strapping themselves in, the shuttle shaves precious seconds from picking up and dropping people off.
The Coast Autonomous vehicle is designed to operate in low-speed, mixed-traffic environments. It’s optimized for 10 to 15 mph speeds, though it can go up to 20, using a GPS map for navigation. It relies on a pair of LIDAR sensors at front and rear to map out the road ahead and avoid obstacles.
“We are convinced that the deployment of driverless vehicles in low-speed environments, like our P-1 Shuttle and autonomous golf cart, are much closer to commercialization than self-driving vehicles designed to travel at highway speeds,” said Adrian Sussmann, Coast’s managing director, in a press release about the NYC event. “This is mainly because operating at low speeds is much safer, requires less sensors, and is therefore much more cost effective. We are already seeing significant interest and expect to deploy our first fleets in 2019.”
New York race closes out Formula E season and multi-car strategy
Watching electric cars race is different than watching a race with conventional race cars.
Most notably, the sound of squealing tires stands out as the loudest sound you hear—when drivers burn rubber at the start to warm up the tires, try to out-brake each other into tight turns, or overcook corners. In most auto races, engine sounds largely drown out these harbingers of hard racing.
The Formula E race series wrapped up its season with a 43-lap race on the waterfront in Brooklyn, New York Sunday afternoon.
The winning car of team Techeetahs, driven by Jean Eric Vergne, covered the 63-mile race at an average of 62.6 mph. His fastest lap around the 1.5-mile circuit was 1 minute, 15.979 seconds. The race clinched the series for the Audi team after Vergne’s teammate Andre Lotterer jumped the starting line and was given a 10 second penalty.
According to the rules, the cars carry 28-kwh battery packs that produce 270 horsepower in qualifying. Their output is limited by the rules to 241 horsepower during the race.
So far, these batteries only carry the cars halfway through the race. At the halfway point, drivers hop out and jump into a fresh car. Those that come back out on the track sound and look a lot faster, at least for the first few laps.
Energy management is a key competitive strategy in Formula E. At the beginning of the race, and again right after the second cars come out with full batteries, regenerative braking is limited by how much empty capacity the batteries have. Drivers constantly adjust the brake balance front to rear to compensate for increased or diminished levels of available regen available at the rear axle. Sometimes when they get it wrong, spectators hear a lot more of that tire screeching as the cars dive into the corners.
Power and remaining battery levels are constantly streamed back to race organizers (but not teams) and to spectators on TV.
Since no charging is available during the race, and charging levels aren’t very fast anyway—just 42 kw—managing the energy of the first car and judging when to swap into the second car are key strategies. Some teams delay the swap to get the most performance out of the second car.
Next year, a rules change will bring bigger 54-kwh batteries that will last the duration of the race.
Beyond the battery, teams use different drivetrain strategies. With speeds up to 140 miles per hour (the governed top speed in the rulebook), and a competitive dash off the starting line, some teams favor multiple gears, with up to a 3-speed gearbox. Others use a single speed like an electric car for the street, because shifting interrupts both power delivery and regenerative braking. Most teams this season stuck with a single-speed gearbox.
Some teams also stick to a single motor, while others use two.
The winning Techeetah team uses a single-speed gearbox and a single motor. It buys its cars from the Renault e.dams team, but has developed its own software strategy.
Since racing pushes the limits of new cars and technology, the Formula E series could help develop more powerful and efficient drivetrain strategies for everyday electric cars in the future.
See the Evolution of NYC Transit in Comics
On June 21st, The New York Transit Museum unveiled a new exhibit, Underground Heroes: New York Transit in Comics, that highlights the role of New York’s transportation system in comics from the 19th-21st centuries. Untapped Cities visited the NY Transit Museum to learn more about this unique exhibit.
Described by the museum as “a raucous ride through New York’s transit system from a range of visual storytellers”, Underground Heroes showcases collections of cartoons, comic strips, and graphic novels that have featured the New York public transportation system.
From 19th century cartoons that offer a glimpse into New York life in the 1800’s, to contemporary comics featuring a familiar array of superheroes, this exhibit visually demonstrates the parallel progress of comics and public transportation over the last 200 years.
Located at the museum’s decommissioned Court Street subway station in Downtown Brooklyn, the exhibit also includes works by famous cartoonists such as Winsor McCay, Bill Griffith, Roz Chast, Will Eisner, and more.
Museum Director Concetta Bencivenga calls the exhibit “an incredible journey,” and believes that it shows both the history and progress of public transportation in New York City, as well as the evolution of comic books over the last two centuries.
The exhibit will run until January 6th, 2019, and is accompanied by gallery talks, sketch nights, and panel discussions in the museum.
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