TECH NEWS New Electric Buses, improving arrival time!

So to continue my run of content pieces on this website, I have decided to share one of my favourite posts this week. I used to be tentative to include it to a website as I actually didn’t wish to offend the initial author, but I trust he/she is glad that I enjoyed reading their article and wanted to share it with my readers.

Eight experimental electric buses will be operating in Milton Keynes from late January onwards. The fleet will begin operating along the busy Number 7 route, which covers the 15 miles between Wolverton and Bletchley. They are the first electric buses to operate in the UK.

UK-based bus manufacturer Wrightbus have built these new electric buses in conjunction with Japanese company Mitsui and UK engineering group Arup.

Wireless ‘booster’ plates in the road, placed at the beginning/end of the route, give the buses a charge that allows them to operate for a full day. They are then charged overnight at the bus depot.

The buses will need to stop over the booster plates, before lowering the bus’ own receiver plates and resting there for 10 minutes’ charge time. The journey will then resume, exactly the same way a regular bus ride does.

The process is called ‘inductive charging’ and it involves electricity passing though wire coils in the plates that creates a magnetic field. The field then shares its voltage with the bus’ receiver plates, charging them up.

Similar electric bus trials are being implemented in Italy, the Netherlands and Germany. In 2013, South Korea unveiled a 7.5-mile stretch of road, which recharges electric vehicles as they drive over it, without requiring any charge time at all.

In an interview with the BBC, John Bint of Milton Keynes Council said, “Electric buses have huge potential and we’re exploring how they can help us take better care of the environment without compromising passenger service,”

If these trial models prove to be successful, the Council plans to run them all across the town.

The environmental impact of this scheme is certainly considerable, with local councils potentially being able to significantly reduce their area’s carbon footprint. In addition, the future development of electric buses can only help the similar evolution of the electric car, an invention that has the potential to seriously lower the world’s carbon emissions.

Arup consultant John Miles who is also an engineering professor at Cambridge University, told BBC that, “These electric buses will be expected to do everything a diesel bus does (…) They will be operating on a demanding urban route, and that’s all part of the trial’s aim – to prove that electric buses can be tough as well as green.”

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Driven to Succeed: Radios and the Road

The world is full of very cool, well written content. Whenever you find one that catches your eye, you have to post it, well i do! so with consent of the original author i have posted this so that you can enjoy

With millions of pounds dedicated to highway maintenance in the UK every year, contractors need fast, reliable communication. Two-way radios provide everything they need. In spades.

Our motorways are, in many ways, the backbone of Britain. Without our roads in tiptop condition, it is not an exaggeration to suppose that the country might come to a complete and unmitigated standstill. Trucks making deliveries, cargo brought in from oversees, travellers going to and from tourist sites, people going to work, the list is practically endless. So what part do two-way radios play in this ongoing drama of our roads?

Well, believe it or not, contractors frequently operate around the clock in order to minimize interruption and ensure that our roads are as safe and efficient as Humanly possible. These contractors are directed from control centres that utilize various mobile teams: groups of expert professionals who are mobilized and co-ordinated almost entirely by two-way radio. Contact with the control centre demands a quality radio, but so does contact with a fellow professional who may be further away than a reasonable walking distance. When time is of the essence, nothing beats instant communication.

Two-way radios used for highway maintenance need to be strong, durable and high performance. Sound needs to come through clearly despite potentially bad weather and traffic noise. In addition, the device must be as rugged, determined and expert as the contractor who wields it.

For various reasons, these lines need to be secure, so the radio network employed by the contractors is highly fortified. These radios need a large signal coverage area as well, because the contractors never know where they’ll be working from one day to the next.

Then, of course, there’s health and safety to consider, especially during days where visibility is poor and there is a high level of traffic. If an accident of any kind occurs, fast, reliable communication can, quite literally, save lives. Two-way radios that are used in highway maintenance are usually equipped with ‘emergency modes’ and ‘lone worker’ modes (where the radio, if it hasn’t been used within a preset period will automatically issue an alarm) as well as other safety features.

Essentially, highway maintenance would be virtually impossible without the use of two-way radios. Its not just in the UK, either, most countries that employ a significant network of roads also use walkie talkies in order to better communicate with associated employees. Quite how the Romans managed without them is likely a great mystery to the modern highway contractor!

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THE SHIFT TO DIGITAL, why NASCAR choose Motorola

So to continue my run of content on this website, I’ve decided to share one of my favourite content pieces this week. I used to be hesitant to include it to a blog as I really didn’t wish to offend the original author, but I trust he/she is happy that I enjoyed reading their article and wanted to share it with my readers.

headphonesNASCAR officials have enthusiastically embraced MOTOTRBO, and they applaud the benefits it has brought to the NASCAR experience. Smooth Management of Communications Traffic MOTOTRBO “does a super job for us,” according to Kerry Tharp, Director of Communications, NASCAR. “You have to communicate pre-race, during the race, and most importantly for us, post-race because when the race is over, that’s when our media operation kicks in for us full-bore. We bring in our top three drivers for interviews; we bring in our winning driver to the victory lane, and we also check in on the garage to make sure that post-race is going along as it should. We have to make sure we’re communicating quickly and concisely. Through MOTOTRBO, we’re able to do our jobs a whole lot better than we have in the past.”

A Clear Road for Communications Digital provided a measurable improvement over NASCAR’s old system, which sometimes had a slower response time. “MOTOTRBO has taken NASCAR to a whole new level.” Steve Lowery, Chief Scorer, NASCAR, explains, “With the old system, there was a lot of interference. Sometimes you couldn’t hear at all because of static. With MOTOTRBO, it’s much clearer.”

Consistency and Reliability
You’d Expect from a Winner According to David Hoots, Managing Event Director, NASCAR, one of the most important benefits is “extended battery life because some of our days are extremely long. We have to be able to communicate consistently and reliably. MOTOTRBO has done a super job for us.” Hoots adds that MOTOTRBO is the first step toward an even more comprehensive communications system: “We took the opportunity to start with a very solid foundation and we will grow with the capabilities the radios offer. With a digital system, we’re going to reap the benefits for years to come.” “ With the old system, there was a lot of interference. Sometimes you couldn’t hear at all because of static. Now, with MOTOTRBO, it’s much clearer.”

Robust Enough for the Toughest Environments The NASCAR study, Hoots recalls, determined that the organization needed “one clear and uninterrupted communication system, and because we move from venue to venue, we’re faced with a big challenge.” The robust, durable and adaptable MOTOTRBO system was able to move from location to location – over 56 events every year, almost every month of the year – for quick deployment and certain performance. “Reliability,” says Hoots, “is of utmost importance. We cannot have a product that is going to fail. We must have the most robust system possible, so MOTOTRBO is the right system for us.” According to Michael Helton, President, NASCAR, “Fans have become interested in the entertainment aspect of listening in, so we still want an analogue system going out for fans who still use analog radios.” The ability of MOTOTRBO to support digital and analogue communications made it the perfect selection for
this blended environment that had to accommodate fans in the stands who want to scan for instant updates using older analog radios.

Twice the Capacity
MOTOTRBO is able to manage large numbers of radios by utilizing TDMA – time division multiple
access – which divides the channel into time slots for greater spectrum efficiency. TDMA enables each single repeater to do the work of two repeaters for enhanced call management with private, group, and system-wide calling capability. Digital Means Clarity MOTOTRBO supports audio quality with digital clarity and noise-canceling technology so that everyone is able to connect with one another and communicate more efficiently. MOTOTRBO radios contain a digital signal processor (DSP) that fine-tunes the audio. When a user connects an IMPRES™ intelligent audio accessory to a MOTOTRBO radio, the accessory provides the radio’s DSP with a unique set of audio parameters to shape the microphone and speaker frequency responses, ensuring the maximum clarity, volume, and intelligibility of each communication. “ Fans have become interested in the entertainment aspect of listening in, so we still want an analog system going out for fans who still use analog radios.”

Batteries Go Farther on a Single Charge MOTOTRBO is able to maintain consistent, reliable communications. All digital radios provide improved battery life, and because TDMA digital systems
utilize batteries more efficiently, users have received up to 18 hours of operation after quick-charging a standard nickel metal hydride battery. Talk-time is now extended and personnel spend less time returning to base to recharge their radios or pick up fresh batteries.

Robust Enough to Take on the Road
One key advantage of MOTOTRBO is that it’s designed to be packed up, moved to a new location and set up, only to be taken down days later and moved again. To withstand that kind of constant use, a radio has to be strong, and MOTOTRBO has proven to be very strong, robust, and durable.

Source – http://www.motorolasolutions.com/web/Business/Product%20Lines/MOTOTrbo/_Documents/Case_Studies/Static_Files/Events_Nascar_car_racing.pdf

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