From Engadget: Cadillac road tests self-driving Super Cruise tech, could hit highways by mid-decade

Cadillac road tests self-driving Super Cruise tech, could hit highways by mid-decade

If the standard options on the Cadillac XTS or ATS sedan just aren’t enough to get you to pull the trigger, perhaps this will. GM and some fellow researchers are road testing Super Cruise self-driving technology in hopes of making those grueling road trips a bit easier on the ol’ chauffeur. Capable of auto steering, braking and lane centering on the open road “under certain optimal conditions,” the system is meant for highway use in both free-flowing and bumper-to-bumper traffic. Super Cruise implements a mixture of radar, ultrasonic sensors, cameras and GPS info. However, when “reliable data” can’t be gathered by the system, you’ll have no choice but to take the wheel yourself. Although the basics of the new tech have already been implemented on the 2013 Cadillac XTS and ATS autos as a piece of the Driver Assist Package, the full rollout could happen by the middle of the decade. For a look at Super Cruise in action, hit the video just past the break.

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Cadillac road tests self-driving Super Cruise tech, could hit highways by mid-decade originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 20 Apr 2012 14:21:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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From Popular Science – New Technology, Science News, The Future Now: Pumping Gas Into Commercial Airliners

Full Service Jets consume 320 million gallons of fuel every day, worldwide. Someone has to pump it. Benedict Redgrove

At London’s Heathrow, which moves more international passengers than any other airport, the fuel jockeys of the Aircraft Service International Group oversee refueling. Filling an Airbus A380 can take two hours, at a rate of about 1,000 gallons per minute. So much flow can generate static, which can create a deadly spark (jet fuel is kerosene-based, and much more flammable than gasoline). But the hose is semiconductive to prevent such a conflagration. Add too much fuel, and the extra weight renders the craft less efficient; too little can be disastrous. And placing the wrong amounts of fuel in the various tanks can throw the craft off-balance.

Fuelers work quickly-time wasted on the tarmac is money lost. To speed the process, they steer their vehicles under the plane’s wing and begin pumping before they know the exact amount to fill up. The fueler positions his truck, its hose (which at some airports remains off the ground, buoyed by clamps attached to small wheels), the bonding cable and the lifting platform until he is under the craft’s wing. He closes a switch called a deadman handle. Every two minutes, the fueler resets the handle to make sure the flow is continuous. As departure nears, the plane’s captain will radio to request a final amount based on the span of the trip ahead and weather conditions (headwinds can add 10 percent more fuel required for a trip). The A380’s tanks hold 84,600 gallons, and its four Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines will consume about a gallon of jet fuel every 78 miles for each passenger on board, 853 at full capacity. At Heathrow, ASIG’s fuelers move about three million gallons of fuel every day.

from Popular Science – New Technology, Science News, The Future Now

From Technology Review RSS Feeds: If You Have a Smart Phone, Anyone Can Now Track Your Every Move

Navizon I.T.S. makes it easy to pinpoint Wi-Fi devices anywhere its listening nodes are installed.

Location services company Navizon has a new system, called Navizon I.T.S., that could allow tracking of visitors in malls, museums, offices, factories, secured areas and just about any other indoor space. It could be used to examine patterns of foot traffic in retail spaces, assure that a museum is empty of visitors at closing time, or even to pinpoint the location of any individual registered with the system. But let’s set all that aside for a minute while we freak out about the privacy implications.

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