Electric cars might be what everyone is talking about these days, but one man believes that electric buses are the transportation of the future. Ryan Popple, who was one of Tesla's earlier employees created the startup Proterra and has designed a fancy new electric bus that was able to drive 258 miles on a single charge. That number is made even more impressive by the fact that 258 miles is more than most tiny electric cars are capable of going and also much farther than a typical city bus route for a day.
This means that these electric buses are already ready to replace the hundreds of thousands of diesel buses that are traveling around the United States. Most of these diesel buses only average less than five miles to the gallon and produce a lot of carbon pollution, soot, and carcinogens into the air, including arsenic.
Because the buses do not have to rely so heavily on fuel, they are cheaper over the lifetime of their use than alternative buses, like hybrid-diesel buses or those that rely on natural gas. These buses are also something anyone can use, which essentially democratizes one of the most advanced alternative transportation technologies in modern times. According to Popple, "We're taking a technology that's used to power $100,000 sports cars, and we're putting it into the absolute most accessible transportation asset in the country."
Just like Tesla, Proterra designed these electric buses from the ground up. "I think it's important to cut ties with the legacy technology," Popple added. "If you tell your engineering group one of the rules they have to stick by is they have to use all the old parts form the parts bin, you're going to end up with a terrible product."
Electric vehicles run in a fundamentally different way than traditional vehicles. In electric cars, the engine is no longer the heaviest part and you no longer have to worry about exhaust or a tank of flammable gasoline. New parts, including battery packs, also need to go into different places. There are new parts to the design that are optimized for electricity and have other advantages. The buses themselves are made from carbon fiber so they are extremely lightweight, which allows the battery system to be smaller. Additionally, because the bus isn't made of metal, it also doesn't rust and lasts longer on the road. The weight also has an evener distribution, which allows for better turning and acceleration.
In addition to that, it is also easier to be manufactured. According to Popple, "Long term, we have a huge advantage over steel bus manufacturers. They're building buses like you'd build a house. They build a steel frame, they rivet things onto it. At our factory, we take in a composite body just like an aircraft fuselage."
It should be noted that the 258 mile trip was in peak conditions. In real conditions, with a load of people, on a rough road, and with different weather conditions, the bus probably won't get such good mileage. However, the 258 miles is far more than necessary as the average city bus only travels 130 miles in a day. "We think we've now hit the range that really removes any sort of range anxiety," Popple added. "There's no physical reason why you couldn't deploy zero-emission, quiet, high-tech buses."
Right now, Popple is in talks with a number of U.S. transit agencies and, in five years, hopes to reach all of them. "We want to talk to that last agency that's about to buy the last set of diesel buses. I don't know why we're encouraging people to buy cars. It's a terrible investment, you're exposed to oil prices, you have insurance costs. What we should be doing is putting out low-carbon mass transit, and helping people get back to work for pennies a day as opposed to dollars."
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Monday, October 5, 2015
Monday, August 24, 2015
Highways England announced that they will be doing an 18-month trial with charging lanes. Unfortunately, the testing will not be open to public roads for right now. Through these trials, vehicles will be fitted with wireless technology and roads will be installed with special equipment to simulate motorway conditions. The electricity will be generated by electric cables put under the surface of the roads that will generate electromagnetic fields, which then will be picked up by a coil inside the device.
This trial will start later on this year and we'll get the full scoop after a contractor has been chosen for the job. Then following with actually using this project on real roads. Transport Minister Andrew Jones says that "the government is already committing £500 million over the next five years to keep Britain at the forefront of this technology."
Highways England's Chief Highways Engineer Mike Wilson says, "Vehicle technologies are advancing at an ever increasing pace and we’re committed to supporting the growth of ultra-low emissions vehicles on England’s motorways and major A roads. The off-road trials of wireless power technology will help to create a more sustainable road network for England and open up new opportunities for businesses that transport goods across the country."
Don't mistake this trial as being the first. There's a 7.5-mile road stretch in South Korea, that charges up electric buses as they drive, using a process called Shaped Magnetic Field in Resonance (SMFIR). There's also a trial in Milton Keynes, England that shows buses being charged wirelessly through plates in the road. The only downside with this one was the buses had to stop moving to be able to charge.
This new scheme in London is way more ambitious and has a lot of positive potential in changing the electric car scene. Although there's been some skeptical questioning on this trial being efficient or just a waste of money, there's always room for battery technology improvements, so maybe these roads won't even need to be used in the future. No matter what, I think it could be a fun trial and could possibly be a big part of the world's future in new technology.
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Friday, May 8, 2015
Another crazy thing they are working on is a bag that will be self propelled and will actually be able to follow you anywhere you go as you make your way around the airport. It will be able to follow six inches behind you at all times. They will have their own remote control too. This is either really cool, or really creepy. I feel like airports are about to look like an episode of The Jetsons.
Is this the future of luggage? Is this what we can expect to see in airports in the next few years? Will it even be that cool? Who knows, but it is still a pretty neat idea. And, Samsung doesn't really disappoint with anything they are involved in, so at least we know it will be a serious product.
Are you a business professional that is frequently traveling? Get a Rental Quote on an Ultraportable Laptop today!
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Thursday, April 23, 2015
AVAM Kinetic Sculpture Race
This just so happens to be one of those events for the more eccentric types, but can still be fun for any passerby! Human-powered sculptures trek through the streets, mud and harbor waters. 10 a.m. May 2. Free for spectators. American Visionary Art Museum, 800 Key Highway. For more information, click the link above!
Wine in the Woods
Who doesn't love a nice glass of Merlot. Or perhaps a more sweet Moscato is your thing. No matter what your choice of wine is, there's plenty to enjoy at the Wine in the Woods festival! Enjoy gourmet treats, live bands and wine tasting. Go on, you deserve it! 11 a.m. May 16-17. Price TBD. 5950 Symphony Woods Road, Columbia.
What better way to add some spice to your summer than by attending this years Latino Fest. Immerse yourself in Hispanic culture by dancing the day away, trying classic dishes and admiring art. Times and prices TBD. June 27-28. Patterson Park.
African American Festival
Mix culture, empowerment seminars and live performances and what do you get? A great time. Celebrity appearances and times TBD. June 20-21. Free. Camden Yards Lots B and C between Camden Yards and M&T Bank stadium, 1101 Russell St.
Vans Warped Tour
This particular music festival is by far my favorite music festival there is. With thousands of people in attendance every day of the tour, you can only imagine the energy and happiness that comes from this event. With bands like Asking Alexandria, Beartooth, Slaves, and even some non-rock/metal groups like Riff Raff, you can be sure that this years event will be the biggest and best yet! July 18 at the Merriweather Post Pavilion. 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, MD 21044.
Anime fans rejoice! Baltimore hasn't forgotten about this incredible part of Asian popular culture! You can be sure that there will be plenty of cosplaying and LARPing to boot! Anime fans flock to this three-day convention to celebrate East Asian popular culture. July 24-26. Ticket prices TBD. Baltimore Convention Center, 1 W. Pratt St.
Baltimore Fashion Week
Sometimes, you don't like getting all dressed up and want to see other people get dressed up. This event is definitely up your alley then! For its eighth annual production season, budding artists and designers prove that fashion is also art. Aug. 14-16. Various locations and ticket prices.
As always, remember that if you are attending any of these events as a vendor or are putting on the event and you need fast and easy technology rentals, then feel free to visit the Baltimore, MD Rentacomputer Rental Service for any of your tech needs!
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Thursday, April 9, 2015
The event meets in Miami every year for a business-driven and passionate event that bridges traditional conferences and modern festivals. The event lasts from June 8 to June 11 and will include 42 pre-scheduled appointments with relevant individuals. In addition to that, the event curates both the crowd and the scene to go beyond the average trade show, transforming the conference into a "Ministry of Ideas"; networking events into electric parties; and dull plasterboard booths into a revolutionary show space.
Market Maker: The US is the biggest luxury hospitality market in the world, with 25-50% of global revenue originating stateside. Miami is at the center, with the world's greatest collection of high-end hotels back-to-back along Collins Avenue and quick links to the Latin American market.
Boutique Breaker: Miami was at the crest of the boutique hotel wave back in the 90s, with early developers like Chris Blackwell and Ian Schrager reinvigorating the city into today's thriving scene with properties like The Tides and Delano South Beach.
Genre Shaker: The city's unlikely evolution into an art epicenter has seen Wynwood become a global destination for street art, international art fairs like Art Basel and Design Miami set up camp and a revitalized Design District emerge, packed with high-end shops, bars and restaurants.
Value: The leaders of the contemporary travel evolution in one place means the opportunity to negotiate rates, compare and contrast products and build relationships with trusted partners for a great ROI.
Quality: We've already cut through the clutter to find the visionary brands that understand the demands of the rising creative class, guaranteeing you direct contact with high-level representatives from the industry's current and future mavericks.
Structure: Bespoke appointments, chosen by you, with relevant individuals that can make a difference to your business, are combined with streamlined and productive networking breaks and lunches to maximize your valuable time out of the office.
Style: Our dynamic conference, bar-raising Awards do, incredible evening parties and forward-thinking design set the tone for Miami-style networking.
LE Miami 2015 will take place at the Miami Beach Convention Center, which also plays host to other important events like Art Basel and the building itself is a striking example of South Beach's iconic Art Deco architecture.
LE Miami is not your standard trade show. The event has conceived an environment that reflects the anarchic , inventive spirit of the creative class. The event takes cues from the world of art, fashion, music and design and fuses exhibitor stands with spaces to network and be inspired. This includes a DJ booth, bar and big screens. Rebels with cause indeed.
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Monday, March 30, 2015
laptops that have great battery life, and if you do any traveling you will want to check them out. Here is a list of a few laptops that won't let you down in the battery department. Dell XPS 13 This is a great Ultrabook all the way around. It has the worlds smallest bezel so it can fit a 13-inch display into an 11-inch, 2.6 pound chassis. It also has enough battery life to last about 12 hours with continuous Wi-FI usage. It has a Core i5 processor, 128GB SSD storage and 8GB of RAM. It has a backlit keyboard and a really nice touchpad, so not only does it last a long time, but it performs very well and has very nice features. Asus Zenbook UX305 This notebook is a really great value, especially when it comes to laptops with long lasting batteries. It lasts 9.5 hours on a full charge, has an Intel Core M CPU, 256GB of SSD storage, and it is only half an inch thick. It doesn't have the flashy backlit keyboard that some other models have, but for the price and performance you really can't complain about the little things. HP Spectre x360 13t This laptop has an amazing 13 inch 1920 x 1080 display and still manages to have a battery life of 9 and a half hours. This one has a lot of cool features, as it is able to be in laptop mode, tablet mode, or even tent mode to make it easy to watch movies or YouTube videos. It has a 5th generation Intel Core processor, 256GB of SSD storagge, and it has a sleek aluminum body that just looks great. Lenovo ThinkPad X240 The ThinkPad series is the ultimate in productivity and portability. You can get up to 8 hours out of the battery, and if you upgrade to the 6 cell battery you can get up to a staggering 20 and a half hours out of this bad boy. There really isn't much else to say. 20 plus hours of life in a notebook that performs just as well as any other. What else do you want? Lenovo ThinkPad T440s
Thursday, March 26, 2015
SweetWater 420 Festival
The SweetWater 420 Festival takes place at Centennial Olympic Park on April 17th through the 19th. Lots of huge artists are confirmed for this one including: Snoop Dogg, 311, Thievery Corporation, Primus, Cage the Elephant, and many more. Live music isn't the only thing the event has to offer either, there is craft beer, comedy tents, food trucks, and even a local artist market. It will be a blast and you should stop in!
Sweet Auburn SpringFest 2015
The Sweet Auburn SpringFest 2015 goes from May 8th to the 10th at Auburn Avenue & Courtland Avenue in Downtown Atlanta. With over 350,000 attendees this is the biggest street festival in the entire southeast. Last year there were 7 different stages with live entertainment from many different artists. There is also a Fun Zone for kids, a Tech expo, and all kinds of other attractions! Best of all, it's totally free.
Music Midtown Festival
This festival takes place on September 19th and 20th in Piedmont Park. There are tons of different types of bands; rock, classic rock, blues, jazz, and anything else you could ever think of. Tickets go on sale in July. It is a little pricey at $125 for the whole two days, but it is worth it. Especially since the weather will be really nice and you won't be sweating!
Imagine Music Festival
The Imagine Music Festival is a two day event dedicated to dance music. It has multiple stages where the world's top electronic musicians, DJ's, bands and artists perform. The festival combines three different venues: Historic Fourth Ward Park, Masquerade Music Park and Clear Creek Basin. The sound systems are crazy, the light shows are crazy, and it's just an overall great time. You can check it out on August 29th and the 30th in Downtown Atlanta!
Atlanta Jazz Festival 2015
For all of you who are into jazz music, you should check this one out! The Atlanta Jazz Festival is on May 22nd through the 24th in Piedmont Park. The festival is world famous and is considered to be one of the best ever. There are always well over 100,000 people attending, and it is also completely free.
These are but a few examples of all the events, festivals and musical shows that #Atlanta will play host to in the coming months. Atlanta is a beautiful city and a favorite destination of summer travelers and with events like these it's easy to see why! For a more comprehensive list of everything that Atlanta will be offering check out the Atlanta Event Guide on the city's downtown website!
Just Because We Love It - Oh Atlanta
By Alison Krauss & Union Station
By Alison Krauss & Union Station
*For information on technology rentals in Atlanta visit our Atlanta Computer / Audio Visual / And Office Equipment Rental Page!
Friday, March 20, 2015
Of course, if it is going to be a "Pro" model and replace your laptop, it's going to have to be pretty big. Well, it is. The iPad Pro is going to have a 12.9 inch display and not only is it going to be pretty big for a tablet, but it is going to be the best display Apple has ever used on a tablet as well. In addition to that there will apparently be a 2K version and a 4K version. The iPad Air has a really great display with a 2048 x 1536 display, but the 4K version of the iPad Pro will be somewhere around 4096 x 3072. So you can see how big of a difference that will make.
Apple also recently filed a new patent for their Smart Cover. Eventually they will release one that has a full keyboard built into it. The keyboard will also operate separately from the cover so you will be able to use it wirelessly. It might also include gesture control, which would make a lot of things a ton easier. This would make the iPad Pro even more useful.
There is also talk of the Pro coming with a stylus too. If they want to compete with other companies, this would be a good idea. I know that Apple thinks that just because they are Apple that their customers aren't going to care that they use outdated technology and market it as being new... But people are starting to catch on, and eventually they will realize what else is out there.
Other neat features that the Pro will have will be the dual operating systems. It will probably have iOS 8 AND OS X. So that will be pretty useful in different situations. Of course it will have a beefed up processor and other hardware as well. Other than that, we'll just have to wait and see. But it is for sure something to be excited about!
Monday, February 16, 2015
The worst thing about smartphones is the fact that when you drop all of your money on a shiny, brand new phone,the latest and greatest thing on the market, but it becomes outdated in just a few short months! Although you might be the coolest guy in the office today (*see photo below), next week you might as well be living in the stone age...Oddly enough, this is also one of the coolest things about the smartphone market; there is always something to look forward to and whenever you get an upgrade there is always going to be something fresh to pick up!
Starting this year, most of the new phones will be using Qualcomm's Snapdragon 810 chip. They are the latest and greatest chips out right now, and they are going to make tons of new things possible. Most of the top end smartphones that aren't iPhones use a snapdragon chip, so you know the next generation of Snapdragon is going to pretty much blow everything out of the water.
The processor in any phone is probably the biggest thing to look at. It powers everything; makes everything your phone does possible. Here is a list of some cool new things that are going to be possible with the new Snapdragon 810 chip:
4K Video:4K display. But that isn't what they are aiming for here. New phones that come out this year will be able to stream 4K video wirelessly to a TV with just a few taps on the screen. (Now that is just super awesome.) You will also be able to record 4K video with most phones. Cameras capable of shooting 4K video aren't exactly new, but the point here is that you will be able to transport 4K video to other devices very easily and it is going to create a whole new world of possibilities!
Way better cameras:
Now that there will be way more powerful processors in smartphones, they can power way better cameras. There is a new smartphone camera made by a company called core photonics that is actually two cameras built into one. It has a wide angle imager, and a fixed telephoto lens that magnifies the image. By combining the two images together, you can take a picture that is better than a DSLR camera.
Recording audio in stereo:
One of the biggest downfalls of recording video with your phone is the fact that it always sounds like well, crap; especially if you are at a concert or something. But with these new processors, you will be able to record video with a high quality, stereo audio track. This means no more mono recordings; also means your chances of becoming a YouTube star greatly increase.
Using your phone as a computer:
The new Snapdragon 810 is 5 times more powerful than any other chip on the market. It has enough power that you will literally be able to wirelessly hook up a monitor and a keyboard and work on it like it is a PC. The possibilities are absolutely insane. Why even have a laptop when you can carry a PC in your pocket?
These are just a few very practical uses that you will be able to get out of the phones that will be coming out this year. There are way more things that you could do, I'm sure. And there will certainly be more apps and services that will come out based on all of the possibilities. If you didn't have an upgrade available when the iPhone 6 came out, don't even worry! You'll have a chance to get something that will make it look like a kid's toy very soon.