Morning Ed: Transportation {2018.10.03.W}


Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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17 Responses

  1. Avatar Richard Hershberger says:

    Tr2: No human pilot, solar powered, and designed for extended missions. In answer to your question of who would want this, it clearly is ideal for drug smuggling.Report

    • Avatar Kolohe says:

      or, like the article says, legit scientific and resource extraction exploration missions with greatly enhanced dwell time.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        I guess that hadn’t really thought that would be enough to be sustainable. But I guess if they’re only looking at building 10-15 a year…Report

        • Avatar Kolohe says:

          If these things can literally run for years, putting ten of the them on autopilot in the Indian ocean may be able to find MH370. At at financial cost for what is a rounding error in what has already been spent.

          eta – I’m actually skeptical that these would make effective drug runners, as they’re likely not very good as evasion.Report

          • Avatar Philip H says:

            The surface versions aren’t, but the subsurface ones are – what with their diving abilities and all.

            And submersible robots (called Autonomous Underwater Vehicles or AUVs) were used to try and find MH370Report

            • Avatar Kolohe says:

              Underwater vehicles are of course the most effective search platform to find things underwater – but you run up against energy capacity dwell time limitations.

              There is the possibility for an development iteration that creates a surface mothership powered by solar arrays which has UUV/AUVs connected with umbilicals – and now I’ve just founded the Skynet/Matrix Navy.Report

              • Avatar Philip H says:

                That possibility has been under R&D for several years now but isn’t well funded.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe says:

                The hard part in my experience (which is now over a decade out of date) has been the reliablity of any sort of wire and/or hose that connects underwater two moving things. Water, it turns out, is wet. But really, it’s also heavy, and is capable of generating significant chaotic sheer stresses.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

                And seawater is wonderfully corrosive, especially to things carrying an electric charge.Report

      • Avatar Richard Hershberger says:

        That too. Being ideal for drug smuggling doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have other uses as well.Report

  2. Avatar Michael Cain says:

    Put Tr3 and Tr4 together and you have parents in residential neighborhoods being required to strap transponders onto their kids in order to protect them from the autonomous vehicles using those roads in an attempt to avoid traffic on the main thoroughfares. Wrt to just Tr4, I have seen places in multiple different cities where a few strategically placed bollards take care of the problem.Report

  3. Avatar Aaron David says:

    Tr1 – I used to contract (well, my company did) to do overnight returns of Federally scheduled pharmaceuticals to distributors on a daily basis. Huge pain in the rear, as the pilots weren’t allowed to know what was being transported so they weren’t very careful with the product.

    Tr4 – Long before smartphone tech or really even Google, Sacramento did something like this in one of its oldest neighborhoods as it was between much of the downtown gov. buildings and the freeway to most of the suburbs. Traffic calming they called it. So streets were blocked for through traffic, some forced turns, etc. It was a total disaster. It changed property values overnight, turned neighbor against neighbor, increased vandalism and on and on. They had to change it after a few years, putting in mini roundabouts at every intersection.Report

  4. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    Tr1 – This was a plot device in the film Eurotrip (it’s how the two guys got to Europe).Report

  5. Avatar Koz says:

    Will, please ban Dave, eg here and surrounding comments.

    So far, you’ve been a name caller and a hypocrite. Now you’re openly lying to me. I’ll add “liar” and “comedian” to your list of attributes. You’re the gift that keeps on giving.