Monthly Archives: November 2013

A Look at the Dangers of Idling Buses and Cars

Living in crowded cities filled with public transportation and thousands of vehicles may cause a large amount of pollution and be harmful to children heading to and from school, but a recent study has found that the most dangerous place for air pollution may just be the front of the school building.

According to Patrick Ryan, a researcher at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, children will pass through the dirtiest air when traveling to and from classes. “The concentration of air pollutants near schools often significantly exceeds background levels in the community, particularly when idling school buses are present,” said Ryan in the survey.

Children exposed to high levels of air pollution due to nearby expressways or other forms of vehicle-related pollution often develop asthma or similar conditions. These conditions will be aggravated by the large amounts of pollutions, further diminishing lung pollution. However, these issues will also be present in individuals who are only exposed for a short amount of time.

Small particles, about 2.5 micrometers in diameter or smaller, pose the largest threat due to the concentration found when buses and cars idle on the side of the road. They linger in the air hours after the vehicles in question have pulled away, and can be breathed in deeply, causing serious damage to the lungs. Since kids spend more time outside, take in about 50 percent more air per pound than adults, and are shorter and thus closer to tailpipes, experts believe children are more susceptible to respiratory damage due to air pollution.

Ryan, along with a team of researchers studied the air quality at four different Cincinnati public elementary schools during the winter of 2010-2011 before and after an anti-idling campaign was introduced. The results showed that soot levels dropped at two schools, while particle concentration dropped at three. Anti-idling campaigns are still running, and teachers and other school administrators continue to urge parents to turn cars off when picking up and dropping off their children. Ryan went on to say, “Where (anti-idling) could really make an impact is at suburban schools with campuses. Most districts are aware (of this research) and are trying to do something.”

Source: USA Today – www.usatoday.com

A Glimpse into the Driverless Summit

I find it fascinating and wonder if they will be on-the-mark? Autonomous cars by 2022? That’s the question posed by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International’s (AUVSI) Driverless Car Summit held recently in Detroit. Whether you consider the idea of robotic cars fact or science fiction of the type that’s always a decade from reality, the lesson from this convention is that the technological change is inevitable. AUVSI describes itself as the world’s largest non-profit devoted to unmanned systems and robotics, including military vehicles and aircraft.

Proponents of driverless cars point to reduced stress in daily commutes and more productivity. Autonomous cars also will give you more time to Google a moveable feast of websites. The online search monolith has consistently declined comment to this and other publications about its driverless car program (“Trend,” June 2011), but Chris Urmson, Google Incorporated’s tech lead on the driverless car program, gave some details.

Read the full article here.

New Audio A3′s Read for the USA Market

Audi’s new A3 has already launched as a two-door hatchback, which won’t be sold in the U.S. We have full details on the versions that will.

The mainstream A3 is the sedan previewed by the concept at 2011 Geneva. Its wheelbase stretches by 1.5 inches to 104, and it’s slightly wider than the hatchback.The dash and instrument packs are carried over from the new two-door hatchback, but the longer wheelbase gives a better rear package.

Read the complete posting here.

2014 Chevy SS Rear Drive Sedan Confirmed

This looks like it will be a super-cool car! Pontiac G8 enthusiasts take note: the 2014 Chevrolet SS performance sedan is set to arrive in Chevy showrooms late in 2013, GM announced today. The highly anticipated four-door will wear the SS, or Super Sport, name we suggested over two months ago and will serve as Chevy’s NASCAR Sprint Cup racecar, debuting at the 2013 Daytona 500. While we’re thrilled the 2014 Chevy SS exists at all, the rear-drive sedan is really a placeholder car until an all-new North American model debuts, likely for the 2016 model year. In the meantime, the 2014 SS model will be built in Australia alongside the new Holden VF Commodore.

Read the full story here.