The real action to date on driverless vehicles has been military (canonical ‘drones’), and commercial transport (like mining, and rail transportation, like the trains at airports). Next up: giant cargo ships.
In an age of aerial drones and driverless cars, Rolls-Royce (RR/) Holdings Plc is designing unmanned cargo ships.
Rolls-Royce’s Blue Ocean development team has set up a virtual-reality prototype at its office in Alesund, Norway, that simulates 360-degree views from a vessel’s bridge. Eventually, the London-based manufacturer of engines and turbines says, captains on dry land will use similar control centers to command hundreds of crewless ships.
Drone ships would be safer, cheaper and less polluting for the $375 billion shipping industry that carries 90 percent of world trade, Rolls-Royce says. They might be deployed in regions such as the Baltic Sea within a decade, while regulatory hurdles and industry and union skepticism about cost and safety will slow global adoption, said Oskar Levander, the company’s vice president of innovation in marine engineering and technology.
“Now the technology is at the level where we can make this happen, and society is moving in this direction,” Levander said by phone last month. “If we want marine to do this, now is the time to move.”
Crews will offer no safety advantage after ships evolve equipment for remote control, preventive maintenance and emergency back-ups, Levander said. Unmanned ships will need constant and comprehensive computer monitoring to anticipate failures in advance and “redundant” systems to kick in, similar to those on airplanes, he said.
The computers would also be constantly analyzing operations data to improve efficiency and save money, he said. Cameras and sensors can already detect obstacles in the water better than the human eye.
Human error causes most maritime accidents, often relating to fatigue, according to Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty AG. Total losses are declining, with 106 in 2012, 24 percent below the 10-year average, according to the most recent data from the unit of the Munich-based insurer.
Unmanned ships would also reduce risks such as piracy, since there would be no hostages to capture, Levander said. It would also eliminate liability for repatriating sailors when owners run out of money or abandon crews, which has stranded at least 2,379 people in the past decade.
Drone ships would become vulnerable to a different kind of hijacking: from computer hackers. While the technology may never be fully secure, it needs to be so difficult to break that it’s not worth the effort, according to Levander.
Unmanned ships would still require captains to operate them remotely and people to repair and unload them in port. These workers would have better quality of life compared with working at sea, Levander said.
The end of the merchant marine, and a great backdrop for fiction: stowing away on a South Pacific transport from Vietnam, a family of six tries sneak into the US.
Mexico Celebrates Día de la Revolución 2013
November 20 marks the date in 1910 when the movement to overthrow Mexican dictator Porfirio Díaz began. The Mexican Revolution brought the end of 34 years of military rule, but came at the expense of a 10-year civil war in which various parties struggled to gain power and define social organization for the country. Finally, representatives emerged with the Mexican Constitution of 1917 and Álvaro Obregón ascended as the new president in 1920.
Now, the day is known as Día de la Revolución (Day of the Revolution) and stands as a national holiday in Mexico. Many schoolchildren dress in the historical outfits of revolutionary heroes, while parades and civic ceremonies mark the holiday throughout the country. The largest of these take place at the Plaza de la Constitución (Zócalo) in Mexico City.
Swiss region bans full-face veils
Voters in Switerzland’s Italian-speaking region of Ticino have backed a proposal to ban full-face veils, marking the first time any of the country’s 26 cantons have imposed such a ban, Agence France-Presse reports.
Echoing bans in France and Belgium, the measure does not single out Muslims directly.
It states that “no-one may mask or hide their face on the public highway, nor in places open to the public, except places of worship, nor those offering a public service”.
But in a clear nod to the Islamic tradition of veils for women, it adds that “no-one may require another person to cover their face for reasons of gender.”
Refusing to be critical about femininity because you like being feminine means not considering all the women that are hurt when they can’t or don’t preform the femininity expected of them, and that is some pretty intense “I’ve got mine” behavior.
Tomato farm workers in Mexico are able to study & earn their high school degree with a program supported by their Fair Trade funds.
Learn more here: http://bit.ly/11WGE3d
Virgo Zodiac Facts
you are allowed to terminate toxic relationships
you are allowed to walk away from people who hurt you
you are allowed to be angry and selfish and unforgiving
you don’t owe anyone an explanation for taking care of yourself
Catrinas: (Michoacan, Mexico)
Emilio Barocio Jacobo y su esposaJosefa A. Cortez.Calle Martin Castrejon #20Capula, Michoacan, Mexico