Saturday, February 28, 2009

Rocky Mountain Institute

Estimating 64% energy gains from advanced tractor-trailer design.

More standard desing, diesel-electric hybrid freight hauler. So, take the electric, pass it down and recover savings in four wheel drive friction reduction. Looking elsewhere we can find trailer design with turnable wheels, so we are a short hop from silicon autonomy for the trailer.

RMI finds big savigs in air flow managment, a feet easily done by trailer nose to rear, silicon controlled, turnable, running ten to twenty in a train, powered by hybrid electric tractor.

Autonomy can mean simple things, like the ability for a traffic manager to move them around the parking lot by remote control. Following nose to rear is a small step up, guided by remote control from the human manged diesel hybrid.

But we have to deal with these nutty patents, where someone re-patented the carnation delivery van from 50 years ago. But the ultimate plot here is upon us, in controlled, public venues, autonomous delivery. Gated communities adopting automated delivery would likely move the large auto oto outside parking, lowering the overall cost of traffic.

The method is coupled to immediate shopping, immediate even in the sense of shopping from current video of inenvory. Shopping center food court venues could have distributed seating un-related to the particular kitchen.

Autonomous people movers in controlled pulic enironments exist already. A controlled community could easily justify an increase above trend in house prices of 15% by yielding to a completely autonomous last mile traffic solution.

My Economics Theory

Evolution wants to maximize the people*goods product within the hard constraints of nature. In herding mammals the solution is generally bell shaped distributions of the cows over valuable pasture. In humans it means a reasonable set of alternative goods over the individuals local economy. Reasonable set would be a Bell curve of relative elasticities.

There is the second hard constraint of nature, and the computable response to these constraints are Hayek's Minimization of transactions. Distribute goods toward a goal of minimizing the number of exchanges per unit of good and the result is a best match agglomeration of economic inventory movement to the underlying hard constraints.

Best match means the economic accounting system can compute capital value from stochastic flows of inventory with minimum uncertainty. The agglomeration process sectorizes the economy, a process which can be modeled as a linear estimation process with economies of scale generating predictive stochastic flows of inventory.

Technology shocks that are large enough cause a re-agglomeration about a different set of constraints ad result in better predictive capability.

The sectorial factorization of the economy yields the term structure as the basic eigenfunction of the economy. The natural yield curve is a nearly direct sum of the component yield curves.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Hospital Bots

Made by this company

My favorite Secretary of Commerce

He got it.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Automated Personal Transport

People are freight too, and here is a solution...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Investment opportunities

I will try to keep this list updated.
Getting serious about stock symbols and an index. A startup in control by wire software. Was involved in DARPA runs.

These I am getting from Traffic Technology which has a link on my main blog.
Verifone (NYSE PAY)is focusing in Transportation
The Integrated Solutions organization will advance VeriFone’s development and implementation of integrated solutions for transportation and a strategy of driving payment solutions and transactions, as well as advertising sales by the recently formed VeriFone Media Solutions group.

This is about Black Box integration is autos:
(NAVTEQ is a wholly owned subsidiary of Nokia Corporation. )
NAVTEQ has announced that it is having its Map & Positioning Engine (MPE) concept taken significantly closer to production by the development of a reference application in collaboration with NXP Semiconductors and the electronics and software specialist, Technolution. The MPE reference package includes NAVTEQ’s MPE map and patented Electronic Horizon technology, plus GPS microprocessor, memory and all the required software, including map-matching, ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) Interface Specification (ADASIS) and Controller Area Network (CAN) bus interface. Working with this, NXP and Technolution have been establishing a clear path from concept to reference application and finally product development.

Vision Light Tech

Tel: +31 413 260067
Fax: +31 413 260938
Vision Light Tech
Vision Light Tech, or VLT, supplies a broad range of solutions in light, lenses and filters from its office in Uden, Holland. VLT is renowned for its expertise in this specialist niche market. VLT products are used in both the industrial machine vision industry as well as in traffic automation. The organisation distinguishes itself from others by offering a problem-focussed approach and customizing standard products to suit individual customer requirements.
The complexity of automated camera inspection in traffic control.
Traffic control is a key issue for the transport infrastructure industry. Take two important examples: rail inspection and license plate recognition.


Traficon is the leading reference in traffic detection based on video image processing. Traffic managers all over the world use this field-proven technology for vehicle presence detection, traffic data collection, automatic incident detection and management in motorway, tunnel, bridge and urban applications.
As an ISO9001:2000 certified company, Traficon strives to meet its customers' requirements by delivering reliable high quality products, tailor-made solutions and experienced project support.

Iteris (Santa Ana, California). Lane departure warning systems for trucks and cars that monitor position on the road. Used in over 35,000 trucks (2007). Also creates traffic monitoring systems.
Iteris Inc., (NYSE Amex: ITI) is a leader in the traffic management market.

MobilEye (Jerusalem, Israel). Vision systems that warn automobile drivers of danger, provide adaptive cruise control, and give driver assistance.

I know this company
Over the years, Matrox has earned its reputation as industry leader and innovator in today's most state-of-the-art technologies, designing software and hardware solutions in the fields of Graphics, Video editing and Image processing. Founded in 1976, Matrox has over 30 years of experience building award-winning products and solutions designed to meet our clients' diverse needs in the high-technology industry. Privately held, the company employs over 900 people worldwide at its headquarters in Montreal, as well as in international offices in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, and China. Matrox operates three successful divisions : Matrox Graphics, Matrox Imaging and Matrox Video, each providing an extensive array of real-world relevant OEM and end-user solutions to businesses and individuals across a diverse range of industry sectors.
Skymeter does not yet list, but should:

The Skymeter Corporation, has won the ‘ITS/Traffic Management’ award and was also recognized as the ‘Overall Winner’ at the Intertraffic 2010 show in Amsterdam. Based in Toronto, Canada, Skymeter won the awards for its GPS-based financial-grade road use meter, designed for a variety of applications from road user charging and pay-as-you-drive insurance to parking.

Checking out German smart camera company:

China TransInfo Technology Nasdaq Capital Market in the U.S under the symbol of CTFO

Provider of public transportation information systems and technology, China TransInfo Technology Corp, has announced that it has acquired a majority interest in Beijing UNISITS Technology Co Ltd. China TransInfo aims to become the largest transportation information products and systems provider, as well as the largest real time transportation information platform operator and provider in China. The company is developing its transportation systems to include Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) technology and it also has an affiliation with Peking University, which provides it with access to the University’s GeoGIS Research Laboratory.

Mar 2010 research from ABI:

Global shipments of short range wireless ICs (Bluetooth, NFC, UWB, 802.15.4, Wi-Fi) are expected to surpass two billion units this year, increasing approximately 20% compared to 2009. Shipments are forecast to total five billion in 2014, according to new market data from ABI Research.

"Bluetooth ICs made up a significant part of the total short range wireless ICs shipments," says industry analyst Celia Bo. "Bluetooth took more than 55%, following by Wi-Fi at around 35%; the rest of the shipments were made up of NFC, UWB and 802.15.4 ICs."
And Federal Signal.

Q-FREE is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange under the ticker QFR. For more information about the Q-FREE share at Oslo Stock Exchange, they sell toll pass technology fo road tolling and jsut pocked up 20 million in business.

Autoliv Inc. Trades on NYSE and positioning themselves as the go to supplier for technology add ons in transportation, especially in vehicle detection and guidance.

Econolite, one to watch.
Networks for traffic:

Several companies, including electronics manufacturers and tier-one suppliers, have already started to build DSRC hardware. TechnoCom’s Multiband Configurable Networking Unit (MCNU), for example, is already being installed at intersections in California, Michigan and New York. The MCNU enclosures, which would be piggy-backed on traffic signal controllers, include separate circuit boards for DSRC and WiFi interfaces, along with GPS and power supplies. A main circuit board equipped with a 1.5-GHz Intel Via processor serves as the central brain and all of the boards are housed in an 8-lb enclosure measuring 12 x 6 x 5 inches.

Nordic Semiconductor.
More on Cohda.
Pioneer has a lineup of car navigation systems, advanced models having DSRC.
PALO ALTO, Calif. -- Increasing concerns over the safety and security of students, rising fuel prices, increasing overhead expenditures, and other operational issues have made the incorporation of school bus telematics systems indispensable. In fact, the telematics market is primed for growth between 2008 and 2014.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (, North American School Bus Telematics Market, finds that the market earned revenues of over $25.9 million in 2007 and estimates this to reach $109.8 million in 2014.

A good review of consumer DSRC pproduct growth.
Delphi (now bankrupt) had jumped into V2V communications.
Reference site for safety and communications.
Kapsch launches a DSRC communication module
Actelis Networks won a big contract with the City of San Jose Venture backed only
License plate readers
Matrox Industries

Cyber Systems Inc. No listing, had one of the cars pass the DARPA urban driving test.
Magellan Corporation makes GPS lane and route guidance. I think they are not listed yet.

In Motion won a contract to add wireless to some 500 Utah buses. The wireless net serves passengers, on line ticketing, bus scheduling.

Valde Systems automobile vision systems.
ObjectVideo, works with TI and the DaVinci vision architecture. Seems to be solving the problem of embedded video.
I found this site on New Flyer buses. New Flyer has about 40% of the American market.

Opportunities in vehicle communications for the automated highway will abound, adn the place I am looking is the OMNI Air association. I will be sorting through the vendors who participate in the consortium for winners and losers.

Siliconeer maker of DSRC chips. One of the first, a Korean company. Haven't found an investment tiker for the company, it is likely part of a Korean automotive group.

TI: Texas Instruments. They have the value added in digital signal processing, and will get half the traffic monitoring business. There will be a an average of 1.5 digital cameras at major downtown intersections.

PARVUS Moving toward DSRC which is the communication standard for intelligent traffic.
Autoliv pedestrian detection by computer vision. Right technology, wrong marketing focus. A start up, needs watching. Website sucks bad.

Image Sensing Systems Inc (ISS) looks good, I need to look further in to it.

Iteris Inc, a Silicon Valley start up competing with Mobil Eye, but they seem awfully short on vision technology. This may leave my list.

Tanscore sells RF tag technology for automatic toll charges and freight tracking, and was purchased by Roper Industries. This is going off my list soon.

Magna Electronics (Symbol: MGA) acquired BluWave which gives Maga a much better leg up in the hybrid market, including electric hub motors which are critical to advanced electric propulsion.

DRI NASDAQ: TBUS), Corporation is a digital communications technology leader in the global surface transportation and transit security markets. Globally well positioned for intelligent BRT systems.

iRobot, NASDAQ IRBT, got a $35 million order from the Army, likely to rise to $135 million, the largest contract so far for the company.

Motorola has wireless traffic signal management, but their web site is impossible to navigate.

China Transinfo Technology, solvng the software traffic control problem
CTFO (Nasdaq Global Market)

Naztec, another traffic management software vendor. There will e lots of these, this one has garnered a partnership with Cisco.

Integrated Motion has a role in the US Berkeley plan to roll out magnetic guidance tehnology i phase two testing for BRT lane guidance. But they look like a distributor

IrisBus, maker of optically guided buses.

And the CyberCab site for the development of second generation cybercab.

Reflex Robotics, maker of platform for driverless functions.

Trapeze Software awarded contract

Savari Network auto to ground auto to auto digital comm bases on Wi Fi

Kairos Autonomi conversion kits.

Vision Light Tech another industrial vision, reading license plates.


Corrutto Can

Iteris a driver assist vision technology vendor from Santa Ana with ticker ITI. Seems well positioned and stable, around since 1987.

There is MobilEye from Israel, though I am not sure how to trade it. They got a contract for 3500 trucks in the US from CR England. They licensed the ARM technology, Nasdaq:ARMHY


Enables next generation of driverless vision.

Starting with Gottwald
E-AGVs Successfully Launched in Fiscal 2004/2005
Another very positive development was the successful introduction of Gottwald’s new environmentally and economically advanced E-AGV series: a diesel-electric drive AGV Automated Guided Vehicle. The new E-AGVs offer the same handling features as the standard diesel-hydraulic drive AGVs but they use Gottwald’s well-known diesel-electric concept, a design that has already successfully been implemented in Gottwald Mobile Harbour Cranes and that offers a superior degree of efficiency, exceptional reliability and overall cost savings.

And Transbotics... acquired by Nova Tech
HK Systems
SICK (what a name)
Like Kiva Systems, who make delivery bots for factory floor.
And Advanced Transport Systems Ltd, maker of the taxi bot.
And a market report.
Global demand to rise 5+% annually through 2012
The world market for material handling equipment and systems is projected to increase more than five percent per year through 2012 and exceed $120 billion (including price increases). Generally healthy economic conditions will support gains in global material handling demand, especially in rapidly developing areas such as China and India, where rising manufacturing output and fixed investment will fuel growth. The advanced nations of North America, Western Europe and the Asia/Pacific region (i.e., Australia and Japan) comprise relatively mature markets for material handling. A healthy economic outlook coupled with a pickup in fixed investment will support material handling demand in the US, while expanding manufacturing output will support gains in Japan and Western Europe.

Most of the largest and most advanced material handling industries are located in advanced nations, particularly those that have large, well-developed home markets, technical expertise in manufacturing higher-value products and access to factors of production such as capital and labor supplies. However, China has become a major producer, benefitting from a low cost wage pool and export opportunities to developing Asian economies.

Via Report Linker

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Great video

With factory autonomous cargo.

Driverless buses in real time operation

A short survey with pics of driverless buses in operation around the world. And the link to UAE driverless taxi system.

Getting close

With autonomous freight cars and a Siemens freight car.
The missing idea here? If the freight car is autonomous, the why do we ned the rails and steel wheels. Rubber wheels and a parking lot work just fine.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Driverless NASCAR racing?

So says Charles Reinholtz’s at Virginia Tech. His car already races the NASCAR trak without driver,and he is going after 100 MPH robot races.

And arriving on the streets of New York

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Automated trucks in mining

There is more

Sydney,Australia -The Australian, by Andrew Trounson -January 19, 2008: --
The mining operation of the future is likely to be an eerie place, combining driverless trucks, drills and haulage trains with plant controllers monitoring operations by remote from central control stations 1000km away in a major city... Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto yesterday said it planned this year to launch a groundbreaking trial of automated mining methods at its isolated West Angelas iron ore mine deep in the deserts of Western Australia's Pilbara. And if it all goes well, Rio could start developing a largely automated iron ore mine nearby in 2010...

There is more...


Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute have begun developing driverless mining trucks for Caterpillar Inc., the school announced Tuesday.

continue reading...

Don't forget growth on the factory floor...

CHARLOTTE, NC—The Material Handling Industry of America group is recording a dramatic increase in the use of driverless vehicles on the shop floor. In a study by the group’s Automatic Guided Vehicles Systems section, 72 systems were reportedly either installed or expanded in the first 6 months of 2004, compared to 47 such efforts in the first half of 2003.

According to MHIA managing executive Dick Ward, the “vast majority” of the 2004 systems were new, as opposed to add-ons to existing systems, with 93 percent going to manufacturing. Applications included those in the automotive, aerospace, food, textile, paper, chemical, rubber and plastic, and public utilities sectors.

More at...

Farmers going autonomous

Driverless tractors, a perfect fit into the hybrid automated freight concept.

Monday, February 16, 2009

News from zona a blog I am looking at which I discovered at Matt Yglesias page.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The DARPA autonomous vehicle desert race.

Tis race was in 2005, Stanford won though Tartan Racing, the joint effort from Carnegie Mellon University and General Motors, won the Urban Challenge.

The application, of course, is cargo. Specifically, a simple autonomous wagon that is the extension of of the self-checkout line at the grocery store. The Home Delivery Wagon, we might call it. They are here now, being held up by the California DMV.
They are here, driverless autos operating on airport streets.

Driverless Cargo test in Neveda

On May 30, 1996, three 69-metric ton triple-trailer/vehicle combinations (without drivers at the wheel) circled a 2.9 kilometer (km) test track at 65 km per hour at the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA’s) WesTrack facility.


It looks here like the trailers are dumb, all the smart in the tractor with mechanical pull.

When the trailers themselves have elecrtic drive then they control their own movements, the tractor-trailer simply electrifying the trailers.

We will get this right in the next few months, and UPS as well as Fed Ex will push hard to move this foward.

GM says it could have driverless cars on the road by 2018.

According to the Associated Press, GM is working with parts suppliers, university engineers and other automakers to develop cars that drive themselves. Company Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner will discuss the idea Tuesday afternoon in a keynote address to the Consumer Electronics Show.

"This is not science fiction," Larry Burns, GM's vice president for research and development, tells the AP.

Burns says the biggest obstacles may not be technical, but bureaucratic. Government regulation, liability laws and other issues pose a bigger impediment to driverless cars than any technical hurdles. He says GM will begin testing driverless cars by 2015 and have them on the road by 2018.

Read the whole thing...

My comments:

GM is too late, as usual. Driverless cars will be here much sooner as bureaucracy comes up against the efficiency of automated cargo.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Mark Thoma on information technology.

More autonomous cargo wagon technology

A video of the Stanford vehicle.
Colleges in America compete for the autonomous vehicle design.
Ed Prescott Growth Model - My current reading assignment.

And a new Phillips Curve from John Barrdear

Friday, February 6, 2009

Stimulating automated vehicles.

Stimulate this company making automated vehicles.

Research (do I have to list it all?) shows we know how to make cargo wagons swarm and reorganize. They can follow the road, vision is a snap. This stuff will be dropping in price.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Global Stimulus

Using IMF for stimulus

says Dani Rodrik

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Autonomous Vehicles from Darpa

Government can do good. I talk a lot about autonomous home delivery vehicles, and also electrical tethering of autonomous cargo wagons.
Re-purposing our asphalt, rubber and microprocessor. Fixed speed diesel electric tractors tethering 10 to 20 wagons. Wagons moving autonomously around the large FedEx parking lots, re-organizing themselves.

Autonomous home delivery, how cheap, efficient.

Allowing safer roads, seeking triple the energy efficiency, and making life so much more convenient for us all.

Lawrance G. Lux: What to do next if failure looms?

Lawrance G. Lux: What to do next if failure looms?

Good Grief I am a Blogger!

I dunno why, but mainly because I can link to other blogs.

This blog will be mainly about economic theory.