The future of transport, and technologies that will influence it within the next decade.
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Breaking the Oil Monopoly With Renewable Fuel

Breaking the Oil Monopoly With Renewable Fuel | The future of transport, and technologies that will influence it within the next decade. |
The oil industry has taken aim at the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) in a self-interested bid to retain dominance over America’s transportation fuel sector. Our dependence on oil is stifling consumer choice and jeopardizing our national security. Fixing those issues means diversifying our fuel supply; that means breaking the oil monopoly. We are a nation addicted to oil and until the RFS was created in 2005, we had no infrastructure to break that addiction. The RFS increases consumer choice and energy security, while simultaneously decreasing the overall negative impacts that oil dependence has on our economy and environment. That benefit –consumer choice – is exactly why the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, which spent over $1.6 million lobbying in the fourth quarter of 2012 alone, is funding efforts attacking the policy. What does it really mean to really address the needs of the American consumer and taxpayer? It means making our country safer; saving people money and giving them choices; and growing innovation and American investment. Renewable fuel delivers on those needs where oil does not. It’s time to realize the falsehoods the oil industry is peddling. First and foremost, the RFS costs nothing to taxpayers – it’s a policy requiring a certain amount of renewable fuel be blended into gasoline, not a subsidy. That requirement is a necessary one because from production to distribution, the oil industry has had an unchallenged monopoly over our transportation fuel infrastructure and supply. Without a policy to help new and innovative alternative renewable fuel companies access the market, many would have been squeezed out by oil giants. Meanwhile, the oil industry itself is one of the biggest beneficiaries of government subsidies, raking in $7 billion per year. Between the infrastructure advantage and the billions in subsidies, the fuel market was far from “free” or balanced. The RFS was created in part to correct this market imbalance, and it has worked, advancing oil alternatives and giving customers access to more fuel choices. When it comes to the broader consequences of both fuels, oil is the cause of casualties abroad and economic volatility at home that makes us vulnerable as a country. In just one example, protecting oil supply lines requires more men and women in the field, and costs the military approximately $150 billion each year. And there are many unintended consequences of oil dependence, from rising carbon emissions to environmental impacts. Renewable fuel on the other hand enhances national security. Since 2000, the RFS has helped decrease Persian Gulf oil imports by 25%. Once again, we can see that the RFS is working: by enabling the U.S. to import less oil, renewable fuels helped to save Americans roughly $50 billion on imported fuel costs per year. To put that in perspective, that amount is equal to nearly half of the spending cuts required by the looming sequester process in Washington. At the same time, blending ethanol into the fuel supply lowers the cost of gasoline. According to a study from Iowa State University, the average gallon was $1.09 cheaper than it would have been without ethanol. That’s thousands of dollars in the pockets of consumers annually because of the policy. The RFS was created for good reason: to support fuel diversity, expand consumer choice, increase national security and reduce the environmental impacts of transportation fuel. The RFS is market based policy that costs the American tax payer $0 per year and is achieving its objectives. The RFS is working. The Fuels America coalition represents organizations from throughout the renewable fuel industry, from national security firms to renewable energy advocates to agriculture interests. Together, they are committed to protecting America’s Renewable Fuel Standard and promoting the benefits of all types of renewable fuel, from corn ethanol to advanced and cellulosic fuels. Fuels America members include: The Biotechnology Industry Organization; The American Ethanol Coalition; Abengoa Energy; DuPont; Growth Energy; The Renewable Fuels Association; Novozymes; National Farmers Union; POET; National Corn Growers Association; National Association of Wheat Growers; The Advanced Ethanol Council; 25×2; ACORE; ASP; National Sorghum Producers; Biofuels Center of North Carolina; CFDC; Nextsteppe; CFDC; and the Energy Future Coalition. Learn more at and on Twitter @fuelsamerica.
Max Anderson's insight:

The oil monopoly:

All transportation types are linked to the oil we pump from the ground, from the smallest car, to the biggest jumbo jet. Recent studies show that peak oil production has reached its limit, and the effects can be seen at the pump with rising petrol prices, greenhouse gases building in our atmosphere, and car companies producing ever smaller and more fuel efficient cars.


Why then are alternative transport and energy solutions advancing so much slower than other fields (e.g. information technology)?


As it stands today, oil companies own the majority of the infrastructure within the world to distribute, control, and maintain the current energy industry, and have even been receiving subsidies from the government to continue with the trend (up to 7 billion in the US last year alone).

Thus they have been actively opposing the development of alternative energy’s, and encouraging popular myths


that shine doubt on any emerging technologies, or the environmental   impacts of burning fossil fuels. 


Unfortunately for them this constant growth in the consumption of fossil fuels is unsustainable and will ultimately come to an end.


“Infinite growth on a finite planet is just not possible...." (Alex Anderson 2014).



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How Google's robo-cars mean the end of driving as we know it - CNET

How Google's robo-cars mean the end of driving as we know it - CNET | The future of transport, and technologies that will influence it within the next decade. |
Why waste your drive time doing the actual driving, when technology can be your chauffeur? The century-old auto culture is on the verge of radical change, and you can thank Google for where it's headed.
Max Anderson's insight:

Fully autonomous cars.

The self driving car will be the biggest development in the automotive industry since the first car rolled of the production line in Henry Ford's day, and for probably quite some time into the future.

As people's lives get busier, who wouldn't want to have more free time? And considering that the average Australian drives approximately 12,881 kms a year , it will have a monumental impact.

The Google car is the first fully automated car to be  approved safe to drive in a testing capacity on the roads ( in Nevada, California, and Florida). There is talk of having them on roads and available in 2017, and also of having a fleet of Autonomous taxis around the same time.


The Google car uses a spinning laser range finder mounted on the roof to map a 3D image of the surrounding area. Using information imported from Google maps and surrounding mobile network towers, the car can "see" what surrounds it, where is is going, and where it has been.

Shared knowledge from the aviation industry concludes that the on board computers can actually land planes smoother than human pilots, which backs up Google's claim that the Google car will be safer than it's human controlled  counterparts, though critics aren't so sure.

As well as being safer fully autonomous cars will be more fuel efficient, by eliminating the human condition of having "a lead foot".  


Geoff Ellis's curator insight, March 27, 2014 5:12 AM

Driverless cars are certainly the future of the auto industry, but they still have a ways to go to ensure they can be completely autonomous, and safe at the same time.

While removing the human factor in driving would likely make the roads much safer overall, there are aspects of every day driving that require a thoughtful eye and a quick touch. Can a car tell the difference between someone standing at the side of the road and not about to cross illegally or dangerously? How about reacting to a non-autonomous car driving dangerously close or cutting you off. Or even rock slides in mountainous areas can be a danger. These are all potential issues that the technology will need to be able to deal with to become main stream. 

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Microbial Electrolysis Cell - Turning Bacteria Into Hydogen Machines

Max Anderson's insight:

The microbial electrolysis cell.

The hydrogen fuel cell is a clean and renewable way for humans to power many types of machines and services into the future, though it has one major down fall; the production of the hydrogen itself.

Extracting hydrogen from water is an expensive and time consuming process.

This is where the microbial electrolysis cell comes into play.

Using electrogenic microorganisms (bacteria) and an energy source (waste water, crop waste, etc ), these bacteria give off a small electric current as they go through the process of breaking down the aceteic acid that is stored within the food source.

Then, by adding a small amount of voltage back in, the protons are reduced in size as they react with a cathode , giving off Hydrogen which can be collected and used.

The hardest part of the process is to create an oxygen free environment to limit the amount of methane gas being produced in the reaction.


In short we can create a clean renewable fuel from waste products that we have to spend time and resources disposing of, essentially killing two birds with one stone. 

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D-Wave prepping quantum computers to outperform conventional servers | PCWorld

D-Wave prepping quantum computers to outperform conventional servers | PCWorld | The future of transport, and technologies that will influence it within the next decade. |
D-Wave preparing a faster quantum computer with a 1,024-qubit processor for release this year.

Via Gus Mcbryde
Max Anderson's insight:

Quantum computing.

The ability of Quantum computers to process and store vast amounts of information in a small amount of space will be instrumental to the transport industry as we continue into the next decade.

Holding all the worlds maps and storing all possible routes within those maps, would minimize the communication of the autonomous cars of the future to any surrounding network connections, allowing them to make quicker, smarter decisions, and in turn making them safer, more reliable and more energy efficient. 

Having this information stored would also have a roll on effect to Network connections themselves, with the transport system only relying on the connections for communications that updating constantly was a priority, and freeing them up to be used in a more efficient manner.    

Gus Mcbryde's curator insight, March 27, 2014 5:52 AM

Quantum computers, put simply, is using atoms to store information, or bytes of data. By doing this, and shrinking transistors to the size of an atom, means that we will have potentially millions of transistors in a chip the size of todays standards, which have thousands. The possibilities for this technology are endless, however, the main advantage will be size.

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Mode of transport - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mode of transport

Mode of transport (or means of transport or transport mode or transport modality or form of transport) is a term used to distinguish substantially different ways to perform transport. The most dominant modes of transport are aviation, land transport, which includes rail, road and off-road transport, and ship transport.

Max Anderson's insight:

Transport as it stands today.

There are 5 main modes of transport recognised in the world today.

Land, air, water, rail, and road. And each of these has many different types of technologies that influence the way they are used by humans to travel. Air travel is universally accepted as the fastest mode, followed by rail, then road.


There is a sixth mode however; space travel, which is by far the quickest way humans can be moved from A to B, but the present state of technological advancement means that this is not viable as a reliable and economically realistic  means of transporting goods or humans.


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LANL: Superconductivity Technology Center: Magnetic Levitation Train

LANL: Superconductivity Technology Center: Magnetic Levitation Train | The future of transport, and technologies that will influence it within the next decade. |
The Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics (IGPP) at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) promotes and coordinates basic research on the understanding of the origin, structure, and evolution of the Earth, the Solar System, and the Universe.
Max Anderson's insight:

Magnetic levitation.

This technology is being developed for use in the rail industry.

There are two different type being developed;

1.The electrodynamic suspension (EDS)

This uses oppositely charged magnets placed on top of one another (on the train and tracks) to create a hovering affect.

2. The electromagnetic suspension (EMS).

Using electromagnets on the body of the train which are attracted to the rails, the differently polarised vehicle magnets are wrapped around the tracks creating an upward force.

 Both of these methods allow the amount of friction between the train carriage and the tracks to be reduced to a minute amount,

allowing the train to reach very high speeds using a comparatively small amount of energy.

There is already a few MagLev trains in use today and they use half the energy per person, for each journey than a commercial jet liner.

Wide spread use is just a matter of getting the infrastructure in place to make them a viable alternative to air travel.


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Toyota said to aim for low of $30K for fuel cell vehicle - CNET

Toyota said to aim for low of $30K for fuel cell vehicle - CNET | The future of transport, and technologies that will influence it within the next decade. |
Toyota and Honda are eying 2015 launches of consumer fuel cell vehicles, a source tells Nikkei, adding that prices could go as low as $30,000. That's dirt cheap for a fuel cell vehicle.
Max Anderson's insight:

 Hydrogen fuel cell cars.

Fuel cell technology has been around for longer than most people realise with it first being used around 1959, to power an experimental tractor, and was further advanced during the cold war space race with the hope to power manned space stations.


It is a clean and renewable source of energy but it is expensive to extract hydrogen, expensive to build fuel cells and the lack of infrastructure (which is currently dominated by the oil companies) to get hydrogen to the masses means it will be quite a while before we see it in use on any sort of large scale.

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2050 and the Future of Transportation | DaVinci Institute

2050 and the Future of Transportation | DaVinci Institute | The future of transport, and technologies that will influence it within the next decade. |
  2050 and the Future of Transportation Frictionless Vehicles and Binary Power will Define Transportation in the World Ahead Transportation technology
Max Anderson's insight:

The flying car.

The dream that one day we will all be zooming around the skies is a boyhood dream of most red blooded men, but in reality is many many years from coming into fruition. While PizzaHut and FedEx, are already trialing the use of drones to deliver their wares, human transportation is unfeasible for the foreseeable future.


Even though flying cars for the masses is not realistic in the next ten years or ensuing few decades, there is already the technology for humans to travel in this space age fashion; twin rotor hover vests, jet packs, singular super lite aircraft etc. It is only our human tendencies to act and think stupidly or rashly that make them way too dangerous for anyone but trained professionals to use them.


There are 5 main technologies that need to be mastered before we can even start to put our dreams into action.

1. Fully Autonomous 3D navigation that is extremely reliable and can control the aircraft for us.

2. The directional layering of airspace linked into the navigation system to avoid mid-air chaos

3. A Low impact vertical take off system that is not going to rip the roof of the neighbour's house.

4. The ability of the machines to easily change from being 

airborne and flying then driving safely and smoothly on the ground with minimal effort.

5. Powerful yet silent engines.





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