Connect with us

Science & Tech

The Future Of Transportation: What I Learned In San Francisco

Published

on

I recently spent a month living in the hustle and bustle of San Francisco—car free. It’s a bit of a shift to go from the instant mobility of having your own car, especially a sweet little EV like my Fiat 500e, to relying on public transit, walking, and cabs and car sharing. But I have a feeling that living sans car is the big wave of the future for a lot of people, particularly those living in urban environments.

advertisement - learn more

I knew, more or less, even before I came to San Francisco, that Silicon Valley and the City are the epicenter of much of the innovation in transportation today. Living there for a month I had the chance to use and witness many of these innovations firsthand.

Is the end of the ICE (internal combustion engine) age coming soon? If San Francisco is an indication of the global future, that answer is “yes.” This article is a follow up to my article here, taking a broader look at the future of cars and electric vehicles.

So what did I learn in the big city? Let me tell you.

Battery Swapping Is Getting Closer To Reality

Better Place, an Israeli company that pioneered the battery swap idea for electric cars, unfortunately went bankrupt because it couldn’t get buy-in for its ideas soon enough. The idea of battery swaps has not, however, died, and it’s a fundamentally sound idea. The point is that rather than charging the battery in the vehicle, which can take a long time, you just swap out the battery for one that is fully charged. This process can be far faster even than filling up a gas tank in an ICE.

Tesla is now pilot testing its battery swap option at a single location in California. Given the relatively plodding pace of Tesla’s battery swap program, I’m not particularly optimistic that it will become widespread anytime soon.

advertisement - learn more

A particularly exciting new battery swap model is coming out of Taiwan. Gogoro is now offering a polished and stylish electric scooter with swappable batteries that it calls the world’s first “smartscooter.” It started selling these scooters in Taiwan this summer. Gogoro’s business model rests on the viability of its GoStations, which are small kiosks distributed widely in urban areas (in those cities that have been selected by Gogoro). The smartscooter carries just two of these easily swapped batteries and it takes only moments to pull up, swipe your card, and swap out your scooter batteries. Each swap gives the scooter about 120 kilometers of range, according to the company.

Gogoro’s vision is to use these energy hubs for all kinds of electric vehicles in the future. GreenTechMedia’s Julia Pyper wrote in a piece about Gogoro last year: “The company, headed by former HTC execs, quietly raised $150 million to build its urban scooter of the future. Over time, Gogoro’s modular battery-swapping infrastructure could serve other types of vehicles and products.” This seems like a highly viable model to me, at least for smaller vehicles in urban areas. For larger vehicles, however, I’m not sure how practical swapping out a number of batteries will be for the average user.

People Want To Design Their Own Vehicles

An exciting option that may become real before long is the ability to design your own car. An increasing number of cars allow many personalization options for colors and other features. Going much further, we now have options to co-design cars from the ground up, working as part of a “crowd.”

tamhunt-solarLocalmotors.com is one of the more viable sites allowing designers and enthusiasts to design all sorts of vehicles collaboratively. The site describes itself as a “global co-creation community … made up of enthusiasts, hobbyist innovators and professionals. We are designers, engineers, and makers. We operate a growing global network of microfactories. Each destination is a place where innovators create amazing products and consumers come to marvel and shop.”

With the widespread availability of home-based 3D printing and access to creative individuals online, making one’s own car is actually not a pipe dream anymore. Here’s a list of the cars that teams are working on at various stages of completion at Local Motors. One of my favorites at the site: an adult Big Wheel powered by a hub-mounted electric motor!

I learned about crowd-designed cars from Peter Diamandis, entrepreneur and author of the new book, Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth, and Impact the World. Diamandis writes about crowdsourcing car design here.

Owning Your Own Car Is So Last Year…

The future of transportation may be having no car at all for most of us. Ride-hailing services like Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar (all of which happen to be based in San Francisco) have taken the transportation world by storm. Uber may be worth over $40 billion now and it’s just a few years old. It seems that the sky’s the limit for this model, but it is limited of course to urban areas for now. The large majority of people live in urban areas now (over 80 percent in the U.S.), however, so this isn’t much of a limit.

Uber’s gross revenue is expected to hit $10 billion this year, and smaller competitor Lyft’s revenue about 1/8th that amount, both up from, well, nothing just a a few years ago. That’s market transformation for you. Under this current trajectory, Uber and its cousins may take over the taxi market in just a few years.

I used Uber regularly in SF and many other places and I enjoy their newest low-fare option: UberPool. This option allows you to pay just $7 to go anywhere in some cities by splitting a ride with up to two other people. You might wait a bit longer to get to where you’re going but you know the price in advance and if you’re lucky you’ll meet some cool people while you ride.

Right now there is no necessary connection between ride-hailing companies and EVs, but as EVs become more pervasive and the fuel-saving and ride-quality benefits of EVs become more well-known, we can rest assured that ride-hailing services will include more and more EVs.

The next step in ride-hailing and car sharing will be a combination of these new app-based services with self-driving cars. This will be unfortunate for those drivers who want to continue to make money from driving, but users will still benefit from these services. Rather than rely on human drivers to comb the streets waiting for a fare, self-driving cars can remain parked until needed or simply cruise the streets like drivers do today until required by a fare. The big question with this business model is whether cars will be legally allowed to drive themselves with no human on board as a back up plan at any time in the foreseeable future.

Who Needs Drivers?

When will fully automated cars arrive? Tesla, for example, is releasing new autopilot features this summer, including self-parking and the ability to summon your car to your front door with an app. These are exciting new abilities and we’ll find out soon how robust these features are. Musk also stated that the cars are “technically capable of going parking lot to parking lot” in self-driving mode, but this ability won’t be enabled because of the dangers inherent in driving in urban areas.

That qualifier in Musk’s statement turns out to be a pretty big deal. There are a ton of hurdles to overcome before fully autonomous driving will become a reality and it seems that a lot of companies are playing market positioning games as much as they are working on the underlying technology. What is clear, however, is that we’ll see incremental additions to the suite of automated driving options in the coming years, a continuation of the already existing trend among various automakers, including Mercedes, Audi, Tesla and others.

The big question is when will fully autonomous cars become reality? One expert I’ve spoken with recently, Steve Casner, a research psychologist at NASA who has done some work on autopilot issues in relation to airplanes and cars, suggests that it will likely be far later than 2020 before fully automated cars are a reality and that many of the companies today suggesting that full automation technology is already here are blowing smoke.

A number of other analysts at a conference last year feel the same way, according to the MIT Technology Review: “The 500 experts in attendance were not optimistic such problems would be solved soon. Asked when they would trust a fully robotic car to take their children to school, more than half said 2030 at the very earliest. A fifth said not until 2040, and roughly one in 10 said ‘never.’ ”

The essence of the problem is that driving requires the skills acquired by humans to make sense  of and navigate their environment over a period of almost four billion years (since life originated). What we take for granted as easy and intuitive is the end process of this eons-long evolutionary process. We are, each of us, the latest in a literally unbroken chain of organisms that were successful in navigating their environment and reproducing. Teaching a computer that same process is a difficult problem indeed, given the unpredictability of the world around us.

Casner has also explored the difficulties of partial automation and the transformation of drivers into “drivengers” (passenger/drivers). Drivengers may find it difficult to step in when and if required by partially autonomous cars and we might find this a difficult hurdle in getting to fully autonomous vehicles.

From a big picture perspective, however, it doesn’t matter very much whether full self-driving cars arrive in 2020 or 2030. The fact that they are very likely coming before too long is what is important. Even though I fully recognize the difficulties in achieving full automation, and the diversity of expert opinion on this issue, my feeling is that we have reached a tipping point in investment, interest, and technical ability on this issue, such that it’s just a matter of time before the software, engineering, and legal hurdles are resolved.

Last, history has shown that betting against Elon Musk is a bad idea. So even if he’s off by a few years in his projections for fully automated driving, we’d still see such cars sometime sooner than the mid-2020s. Time will tell, as with all things.

My time in San Francisco was a lot of fun and educational at the same time. I have seen the future of transportation and it is bright.

Tam Hunt is a lawyer and writer, owner of the renewable energy consulting company Community Renewable Solutions LLC, and author of the new book Solar: Why Our Energy Future Is So Bright.

You Can Help Stop The 5G Infrastructure

We plan to investigate the telecom industry, it’s ties to politics, and expose its efforts to push 5G while ignoring the dangers and without proper safety testing, but we can't do it without your support.

We've launched a funding campaign to fuel our efforts on this matter as we are confident we can make a difference and have a strong plan to get it done.

Check out our plan and join our campaign here.

Advertisement
advertisement - learn more

Discover

Dutch Company Reveals An Electric Car That Charges Itself With Sunlight

Published

on

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A Dutch company has unveiled an electric car that charges itself with via solar power.

  • Reflect On:

    How long have solutions to our problems existed? Is finding the solutions the problem, or have they been here for a long time? If we have the solutions readily available, the what's the problem that we need to identify?

A Dutch company from Eindhoven has released a prototype car that has already sold 100 orders to be filled in 2011. What’s special about the car is that it is completely electric as well as solar powered. The prototype car actually won the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, and it represents the world’s very first long-range solar car. It’s a four passenger vehicle and it’s called Lightyear One.

According to the company, the car will get to a range of approximately 725 km, and 400 km in the winter at highway speeds with heating on. This is truly amazing, and it represents what humans have had the ability to do for a number of years. Just imagine if every single car was electric and solar powered? You would never need to charge your car, it would always be self charging. It completely takes conventional charging and gas out of the equation, which is amazing.

Here at Collective Evolution, we’ve always talked about how humanity has many of the solutions to our problems. Often times, the issue isn’t with finding solutions to the world’s problems, it’s with actually implementing them. The systems and all of the red tape and corruption that take place have prevented us from moving forward. Electric and solar technology with regards to transportation could have been implemented a very long time ago, but again, the problem is not with having the solution, it’s with implementation. This problem has plagued our world for a very long time, and it’s something we need to continue to be vocal about.

Although this particular car can be charged using the sun, it also has the option to be plugged into a power outlet. It can charge up to 400 km at night from a normal household electrical outlet.

Some other points about the car include:

  • The car is constructed from high-tech materials to have the lowest weight possible while maintaining stringent passenger safety.
  • The roof and hood are comprised of five square meters of integrated solar cells in safety glass so strong that a fully-grown adult can walk on them without causing dents.
  • Lightyear One is propelled by four independently driven wheels, so no energy is lost in transit from the engine to the wheel.
  • In addition to solar power, Lightyear One can be charged at a (fast)charging station or a regular outlet.
  • Crash testing has yet to be undertaken, but they’re looking forward to crashing one “for science.”

According to the company’s website:

advertisement - learn more

The optimized aerodynamics and design mean that a fully-charged battery has a range of up to 800km, more than you need to go from Amsterdam to Paris. The integrated solar cells of the 5 m2 hood and roof mean that Lightyear One charges up to 12km/h as it goes. The already superior range continues to extend with every hour of sunlight. So what starts as a drive from Lisbon to Madrid can continue on to Valencia or Barcelona without stopping for anything but food.

Unfortunately, and as expected, the car is unaffordable for most people. Production of the Lightyear One in their new facility in Helmond is still slow, but buyers can reserve one of the 500 electric vehicles for a reservation fee of €119,000 on their website  as well as find out more information by contacting the company directly with any inquiries.

The Takeaway

The takeaway here is to ask the question: Why aren’t all cars solar powered and electric? Does humanity have the potential, resources and technology to provide all citizens with ‘abundance’ when it comes to food, shelter and transportation? If we have the potential and the resources, what is it that stops us from doing so? If an electric car was invented decades ago, why are we still driving around in cars that use gas? What’s REALLY going on here on planet Earth?

You Can Help Stop The 5G Infrastructure

We plan to investigate the telecom industry, it’s ties to politics, and expose its efforts to push 5G while ignoring the dangers and without proper safety testing, but we can't do it without your support.

We've launched a funding campaign to fuel our efforts on this matter as we are confident we can make a difference and have a strong plan to get it done.

Check out our plan and join our campaign here.

Continue Reading

Alternative News

Elon Musk’s SpaceX Begins Launching 4,425 New Satellites Into Low Orbit For StarLink

Published

on

Image: Steve Jurvetson

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Musk's SpaceX has begun launching satellites into Earth's orbit that will provide wireless infrastructure to the world. They will be launching hundreds more over the year.

  • Reflect On:

    Are we acting too quickly on technology without safety testing? Are we as humans more connected to having the latest greatest technology than we are to our own health and wellness?

SpaceX has already begun launching satellites into space, which are set to provide 5G-like internet to the world. These space satellites will not be of the same intensity of 5G, as they are a 4G technology, but it will certainly add more EMF radiation to our environment. This is not an image of fear, but one of deep questioning: Have we done the necessary research to understand the dangers these technologies have on our health?

5G promises to be significantly worse than space satellites, as the frequency is different and people will be within very close proximity to intensely strong signals from small cell transmitters.

The untested 5G plans of telecom companies around the world aim to install millions of cell towers on electric utility poles, public buildings, schools, bus stop shelters, in public parks, and anywhere else they want–including national parks and on federally owned land. Public concern has grown immensely over the past while, and rightly so, these are untested moves with big health implications.

There is no denying the technological upswing with 5G. The internet will be FAST. There is also no denying the obvious, that bringing high-quality internet speed to the world would mean better connectivity, more efficiency, and would solve problems like the ones I face living in a rural area–I don’t have good internet.

But at what cost are we attempting to solve these issues, and why do competition and capitalism overrule the need for safety testing? Does this not reveal humanity’s lust for money and technology over their own health? Perhaps our internet connection is good, but is the connection to ourselves and each other good?

People with concerns about 5G are often laughed at within pop culture today as well, as if there is nothing to be concerned about. As Dr. Sharon Goldberg has put it:

advertisement - learn more

“Wireless radiation has biological effects. Period. This is no longer a subject for debate when you look at PubMed and the peer-reviewed literature. These effects are seen in all life forms; plants, animals, insects, microbes. In humans, we have clear evidence of cancer now: there is no question. We have evidence of DNA damage, cardiomyopathy, which is the precursor of congestive heart failure, neuropsychiatric effects… 5G is an untested application of a technology that we know is harmful; we know it from the science. In academics, this is called human subjects research.”

That in contrast to a social media post from the CEO responsible for the latest push of more wireless infrastructure:

As you can see from Goldberg’s comments, it’s not whether or not these effects are there, we know they are, the question becomes how much will they affect us when suddenly towers are lining the roadways every 500 feet, as per what’s required with 5G technology.

The dangers associated with EMF radiation and 5G are clear, this isn’t really a debate. The question of why we don’t seem to be doing much about it is the part that’s odd.

Musk’s SpaceX To Launch

SpaceX was given approval by the FCC on March 29th, 2018 to launch 4,425 satellites into low orbit around Earth that will begin to layout a wireless internet infrastructure in space. The total number expected to be put into low and high orbit over the coming years will be about 20,000 across all companies. SpaceX will top out at 12,000; OneWeb at 4,560; Boeing 2,956; Spire Global at 972. This is what’s planned out as of now.

A look at SpaceX’s StarLink program.

The first two test satellites were launched by SpaceX in February of 2018. Hundreds more are set to launch in 2019 alone, and the full set of 20,000 are projected to be in orbit during the next 2 years. You can compare that to the 1,738 operating satellites that have been in Earth’s orbit as of September 2017. By the end of two years from now, the number of satellites over the earth will be increased by over 1000%.

Perhaps worse, the satellites will be about the size of a small refrigerator and weigh about 880 pounds. The life expectancy will be 5 years, and once they are no longer functional, they will become space junk until they eventually fall back to earth and burn up in earth’s atmosphere.

The Takeaway

I have the ability in my rural area to increase my internet speed so I don’t have to drive 10 minutes to the local coffee shop during days I’m not at the CE office and need to upload a large file, but I won’t improve that internet connection because my option is a 5G frequency range that will push even more harmful waves at me, my family and my house.

This would be even worse than those we already naturally get from WiFi and cell signal. People look at this and think “well you are already getting hit anyway, so who cares?” I care because the damage from this stuff is cumulative. The more there is, the worse this problem gets. So if you don’t limit exposure, you’re simply being unconscious of reality. This isn’t to say you live in fear, in no way am I afraid of EMF radiation, I am simply connected enough to the reality of the situation that I act on it.

I also find it odd that our culture glorifies people so heavily who act in ways that obviously are highly controversial to human health. Musk has done some great things, let’s recognize that, but we also avoid the fact that he is setting up a microwave system over top of the entire Earth, with no safety testing. Why are we not saying more about this?

Take Action

The irresponsible push for 5G without testing has inspired us to create people-powered investigative journalism campaign to stop the 5G infrastructure. We plan to investigate the telecom industry, it’s ties to politics, and expose its efforts to push 5G while ignoring the dangers and without proper safety testing, but we can’t do it without your support.

UPDATE Jun 26th 2019: Clarified the difference between 5G and 4G when it comes to SpaceX’s technology.

You Can Help Stop The 5G Infrastructure

We plan to investigate the telecom industry, it’s ties to politics, and expose its efforts to push 5G while ignoring the dangers and without proper safety testing, but we can't do it without your support.

We've launched a funding campaign to fuel our efforts on this matter as we are confident we can make a difference and have a strong plan to get it done.

Check out our plan and join our campaign here.

Continue Reading

Consciousness

Russian Military Colonel Publishes An Article Claiming Human & Animal Telepathy Is 100 Percent Real

Published

on

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The Russian Ministry of Defense published an article about the existence of military parapsychology in Russian military techniques, which allows one to penetrate into the thoughts of another, hack computer programs, and communicate telepathically.

  • Reflect On:

    Why is this type of science studied at the highest levels of various governments, yet ridiculed and not studied at all within the mainstream?

Is telepathy real? It’s hard to argue against it; in fact, I would say that it’s not really up for debate. That being said, when it comes to topics like these, the field is polluted with a bad reputation given its association with magic, superstition and ‘pseudoscience,’ terms that often come from those who condemn the subject without ever really looking into it. The evidence for the existence of telepathy is actually quite overwhelming, and in many cases, much stronger than most other areas of science.

Dr. Jessica Utts is a great person to bring up, as I’ve done many times before, to hammer this fact home. She is the  Chair of the Department of Statistics at the University of California, Irvine. In 1999, she published a paper showing how the statistical significance with regards to results seen from studies under the realm of parapsychology (telepathy, remote viewing, etc) are stronger than some of the studies used to approve some medications. In a recent interview, she emphasized the following.

“What convinced me was just the evidence, the accumulating evidence as I worked in this field and I got to see more and more of the evidence. I visited the laboratories, even beyond where I was working to see what they were doing and I could see that they had really tight controls… and so I got convinced by the good science that I saw being done. And in fact I will say as a statistician I’ve consulted in a lot of different areas of science; the methodology and the controls on these experiments are much tighter than any other area of of science where I’ve worked.” (source)

Why is it that these topics are not touched by mainstream academia, yet studied at the highest levels of government? Multiple governments all over the world have been studying this phenomenon for decades, and a lot has been declassified. Take the remote viewing program that was conducted by the US government/CIA and Stanford University, for example.

After its declassification in 1995, or at least its partial declassification, the Department of Defense and those involved revealed an exceptionally high success rate.

To summarize, over the years, the back-and-forth criticism of protocols, refinement of methods, and successful replication of this type of remote viewing in independent laboratories has yielded considerable scientific evidence for the reality of the [remote viewing] phenomenon. (source)

advertisement - learn more

The latest example comes from Russia, as their Ministry of Defence recently published an article about the existence and study of parapsychology within the Russian military. The article explains how these techniques are and were used to penetrate the thoughts of the enemy (mind-reading) as well as to hack into enemy computer systems. The article is titled “Super Soldier for the Future Wars” and was published in the Defense Army magazine.

The article was written by Colonel Nikolai Poroskov, who explained that they use parapsychological techniques like telepathy for combat purposes, revealing secrets, disclosing locations, etc… He even discloses that Russian specialists have learned telepathy by working with dolphins.

As a note to readers, we here at Collective Evolution do not condone the use of animals for any type of experimentation. There is no information on the conditions of these experiments, but we are assuming they were captured for military purposes, which is extremely sad and heart-breaking.

Poroskov writes:

“They mentally gave the animals the commands that they carried out. Similar practiced by the famous trainer Durov. The technique, as it turned out, is applicable to humans. Moreover, the impact was even possible on the technique. With an effort of thought you can, for example, shoot down computer programs, burn crystals in generators, eavesdrop on a conversation, or break television and radio broadcasts and communications. Good luck ended with such experiments as reading a document lying in a safe, even if it is in a foreign language that we do not speak; identification of individuals belonging to the terrorist network; identifying potential candidates for terrorist groups,” the statement reads. (source)

Quite astonishing, isn’t it? Parapsychology seems to be the largest known threat to any type of secrecy, doesn’t it? I found the reference to hacking computers quite interesting. Can telepathy really be used for purposes like hacking electronic equipment? I did some more digging and found an interesting document inside of the CIA’s electronic reading room with regards to the Soviet Union.

Here’s a quote from the document:

The Soviet Union is well aware of the benefits and applications of parapsychology research. In 1963, a Kremilin edict apparently gave top priority to biological research, which in Russia includes parapsychology. The major impetus behind the Soviet drive to harness the possible capabilities of telepathic communication, telekinetics, and bionics is said to come from the Soviet military and the KGB. Today it is reported that the USSR has twenty or more centres for the study of parapsychological phenomena, with an annual budget estimated in 1967 at over 13 million dollars and reported to be as high as 21 million dollars.

Today, we know that trillions of dollars have gone into black budget programs in the United States, many of which likely deal with parapsychology, as they have in the past.

The document also states:

There are reports that the Soviets are training their cosmonauts in telepathy to back-up their electronic equipment while in outer space. One of these back-up schemes is known to involve coded telepathic messages. This method was previously demonstrated in March 1967, when a coded telepathic message was flashed from Moscow to Leningrad. The involvement of astronauts or cosmonauts in telepathy experiments is not necessarily unprecedented. In February 1971, during the Apollo 14 flight to the moon, astronaut Edgar Mitchell made 150 separate attempts to project his thoughts from inside the space capsule back to an individual on earth. The results of the Apollo 14 experiments have been well-documented in detail and are published in the Journal of Parapsychology. (source)

Deeper Black Budget Discussion On CETV

Again, these programs lie within the realm of the black budget and are highly classified. Who knows how far ahead of the mainstream world they truly are?

CETV is a platform we created in order to combat the censorship and demonetization we have been facing over the past few years. On episode 4 of The Collective Evolution Show on CETV, we discussed the black budget in much greater detail. Below is a clip exploring the missing money from the black budget and special access programs, explaining where the money is going and what exactly it’s being used for.

You can become a member of CETV, get access to the full show and many others, and support conscious media here.

The Takeaway

Human consciousness and parapsychology should not only be studied for the purposes of learning new defence tactics. Humans have great potential, and there is still so much that we have yet to discover about ourselves. What needs to change is the intention behind these discoveries.

You Can Help Stop The 5G Infrastructure

We plan to investigate the telecom industry, it’s ties to politics, and expose its efforts to push 5G while ignoring the dangers and without proper safety testing, but we can't do it without your support.

We've launched a funding campaign to fuel our efforts on this matter as we are confident we can make a difference and have a strong plan to get it done.

Check out our plan and join our campaign here.

Continue Reading
advertisement - learn more
advertisement - learn more

Video

Pod