Donald Trump says Hillary Clinton 'not smart' for criticizing Vladimir Putin
SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — Donald Trump on Thursday criticized rival Hillary Clinton for being too tough on Vladimir Putin, once again raising eyebrows about the Republican candidate's relationship with the Russian president. Speaking at a rally in ...
Trump takes stage in downtown Toledo
Tim Kaine to urge college students in Ohio to vote early
Harping on Ohio malaise, Trump blames every shuttered factory on Clintons, NAFTA
Michelle Obama joins Hillary Clinton on campaign trail
First lady Michelle Obama and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton hug after speaking at a campaign rally at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) (Andrew Harnik).
Twitter - T.co
Iraqi forces uncover ISIS bomb factory, network of tunnels near Mosul
Iraqi forces explored a network of tunnels and uncovered a bomb-making facility on Thursday in a village near Mosul that was recently retaken from the Islamic State group, offering a glimpse of the challenge they will face as they move closer to the city.
Escapees tell of Daesh atrocities, kidnappings, as the militants retreat to Mosul
Mosul offensive: Up to 900 Isis jihadis killed while more than 11000 people are displaced in fighting
10000 Iraqis move into refugee camps on the outskirts of Mosul after fleeing ISIS
Calais minors lured from camp then abandoned by authorities
The British and French governments were accused of breaching children's human rights as up to 50 teenagers were abandoned by authorities in Calais and forced into an industrial estate near the cleared-out refugee camp to sleep in makeshift conditions.
With French Camp Razed, Moved Migrants Try to Adapt Again
Refugees stranded in Calais after camp closure spark fears of 'another Jungle'
Razing of Calais 'Jungle' Camp Relocates Migrant Crisis
Mary Beth Haglin potential FIVE YEAR sentence for lurid Dr Phil student sex confessions - Daily Mail
Mary Beth Haglin potential FIVE YEAR sentence for lurid Dr Phil student sex confessions
An Iowa teacher-turned-stripper who was charged with sleeping with a 17-year-old student is now facing tougher count after her lurid confessions during a Dr Phil appearance. Mary Beth Haglin, 24, admitted to sleeping with the teen daily on the October ...
'Dr. Phil' interview leads to felony charge for teacher who admitted to 'almost
This teacher-turned-stripper shouldn't have talked to Dr. Phil
Teacher-turned-stripper's bid to clear her name backfires
Police begin arresting pipeline protesters in North Dakota
Armed soldiers and law enforcement officers dressed in riot gear on Thursday began arresting protesters who had set up a camp on private land to block construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline. An Associated Press reporter at the scene said that ...
The Latest: Police to turn pipeline site back to company
Police Reportedly Arrest Dakota Pipeline Protesters
Dakota Access Pipeline: Authorities Start Arresting Protesters in New Camp
2 Yazidi women who escaped ISIS win human rights prize
BRUSSELS -- Two Yazidi women who escaped sexual enslavement by the Islamic State group and went on to become advocates for others have won the European Union's Sakharov Prize for human rights. Guy Verhofstadt, the leader of the European ...
Yazidi Woman Profiled by VOA Wins Sakharov Prize
Islamic State Yazidi women sex slaves win EU Parliament's Sakharov Prize
Escaped Yazidi Isis sex slaves win Sakharov prize, Europe's most prestigious human rights award
NATO sending troops to east Europe as Russia moves battleships and bombers
Allies are advancing plans to deploy thousands of troops and military equipment to the Baltics and Poland as Russia shifted nuclear-capable missile-launchers into its Kaliningrad enclave neighbouring Poland. Speaking about Russia's aggressive actions ...
Four countries promise to join Canadian-led battle group in Latvia
The Russians are Coming: War Propaganda Goes into High Gear. Renewed NATO Military Deployments on Russia's ...
Nato sends a message to Russia
Wikileaks reveals why Hillary Clinton chopped Keystone XL from her book
A reference to the Keystone XL pipeline was chopped from Hillary Clinton's memoir due to political considerations, according to the latest batch of stolen emails posted Thursday on Wikileaks. While writing the book "Hard Choices," Clinton initially ...
Why Clinton chopped a Keystone XL pipeline reference from her book
State Department aides tried to get donors access to Clinton on official trips abroad
'Make Soros happy': Inside Clinton team's mission to please billionaire VIP
Los Angeles police took a man into custody Thursday on suspicion of felony vandalism, reports Variety, after Donald Trump's plaque was destroyed by a pickaxe-wielding vandal.
Venezuela's opposition-dominated Congress convened on Thursday to push forward a political trial of socialist President Nicolas Maduro, a day after dozens were injured in protests demanding a vote to recall the unpopular leader.
At least 90 migrants are believed dead after their rickety boat started to fall apart in the Mediterranean Sea, after leaving the Libyan coast.
A three-year-old female polar bear kept in a shopping mall aquarium in southwestern China, at the centre of an animal rights controversy, is showing signs of mental decline, animal welfare groups said.
The global population of wild animals has declined 60 per cent since 1970 and is set to drop another seven per cent by 2020 due to human impact on the environment, according to a WWF report.
Authorities scrambled to find housing Thursday for thousands of people displaced by a pair of strong earthquakes that struck the same region of central Italy hit by a deadly quake in August, hoping to prevent a second night for them on the street or in cars.
Britain's economy grew more than expected in the third quarter despite uncertainty in the aftermath of the vote to leave the European Union.
Nearly 20 years after leading the charge to impeach President Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich still bemoans the media fascination with sex over policy. The pretense that he's a policy guy who floats above the unseemliness of character investigations is laughable, Keith Boag writes.
This week marks 20 years since the beginning of the Ottawa Process that led to an international ban on landmines. Canada was instrumental in achieving that treaty, which has been a great success. Activists are now setting their sights on achieving total removal of mines by 2025.
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and his running mate Mike Pence have spent a lot of time in Pennsylvania. His campaign is resonating in some areas of the state, but will they be enough to put him over the top on Nov. 8?
The European Union's inability to complete a trade agreement with Canada is an embarrassment and could harm its ability to negotiate future deals, a European Parliament vice president said in a radio interview.
The UN Children's agency says airstrikes in Syria's rebel-held northern Idlib province a day earlier may be the deadliest attack on a school since the country's war began nearly six years ago, leaving 22 children and six of their teachers killed.
Protesters trying to stop construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline were bracing for a confrontation with police Thursday after the demonstrators refused to leave private land in the pipeline's path.
Researchers have analyzed HIV in blood samples from the late 1970s to reconstruct its spread throughout North America in unprecedented detail.
A growing protest is urging consumers to #GrabYourWallet and boycott Trump products, including presidential hopeful and patriarch Donald Trump's brand and that of daughter Ivanka, who has arguably been the most influential family member during the current election campaign.
Driver-less trucks will be trialed in the UK as platooning
The government is expected to confirm that so called, ‘driverless’ trucks will be trialed in the UK. Generally met with shock and condemnation, what is actually being proposed?
The correct term for the proposed system to be trialled is not ‘driverless trucks’, but ‘platooning’. This is where a series of vehicles use technology to enable drivers to move more closely to each other in convoy than would be safe if he or she were not using them. The UK government has agreed to a limited trial of platooning on a stretch of the M6 in Cumbria, a portion of UK motorway that is relatively quiet with larger sections between junctions.
There is clearly plenty of concern from road safety campaigners and industry bodies concerned for the long term future of lorry driver jobs.
The RAC’s chief engineer, David Bizley said, “One of the main questions is really whether lorry platoons are appropriate for our motorway network, which is why the choice of the M6 in Cumbria for the trials is a good one because the junctions are few and far between and the traffic density is low compared with most stretches of motorway. So while this is a potentially welcome extension to the driverless technology we are seeing trialled in cars, it’s not clear yet whether it is something that would work in practice on the UK’s motorway network.”
Platooning is nothing new – research into these systems started back in 2009 with EU funding – with the SARTRE (Safe Road Trains for the Environment) project. The project tested combinations of cars, coaches and trucks and resulted in some significant fuel savings across the board between ten and twenty percent.
The first public road test took place back in 2012 in Spain involving three cars and a truck with a gap of 18 feet between each vehicle at a speed of 85 km/h, covering some 200 kilometres.
Since this time, platooning has been trialled in Sweden, Germany and in the United States. Road Haulage Association chief executive Richard Burnett commented: “At the outset, it is important to note that these trucks will not be ‘driverless’. Each cab will be manned. As far as we are concerned, this is an issue where the devil lies in the detail.”
Fuel Saving not Driver Saving
There has been plenty of scaremongering in the press that this will be the end of the long-distance lorry driver as we know it. The platooning system very much needs the driver to be in control, he needs to be able to join and exit the system to continue the journey and deliver the load.
The most likely outcome of the test is a significant improvement in fuel consumption or not only vehicles following in the platoon, but also of the lead vehicle. Additionally, traffic flow should be smoother when sufficient numbers of vehicles are included.
Tests by Scania have shown that convoy driving using truck “platoons” can reduce fuel consumption by up to 12%. This could mean a fuel saving per vehicle of some 4,000 litres annually. This would be able to power a typical family car some 35,000 miles.
“On the test track we’ve driven with a distance of about 10 metres between the vehicles, and we were able to achieve a 12% fuel saving for the trailing vehicle,” says Magnus Adolfson, Scania’s Manager for Intelligent Transport Systems. “If you want to get as close as a couple of metres, then you need several automatic systems that also take control of the steering from the driver during the time that the vehicle is in the truck platoon. That’s also something we’re focusing our research on.”
How Does it Work?
The platooning system uses a combination of existing technologies that have been tweaked to make the system as safe and effective as possible.
Sophisticated Cruise Control
Effectively, the system uses an improved ‘advanced adaptive cruise control’ (ACC), a system that we have enjoyed using on cars for many years now. Rather than setting a desired speed, the driver selects a desired distance from the vehicle in front which is maintained through the use of radar and cameras.
Driver Aids – Autonomous Braking
Legislation that came into force as recently as November 2015 compels all new trucks over 8 tonnes GVW to be fitted with ‘Autonomous Emergency Braking’ systems – AEB for short. This means that the driver is taken out of the equation if an accident is likely.
These systems have been fitted to trucks (as an option) for a number of years. They have clearly proven themselves so effective in stopping the vehicle that they have made their way into legislation.
So we have been able to automatically keep our distance from the moving truck in front and automatically come to an emergency stop for some years. So what’s new?
Steering by Wire
Truck steering systems have become more sophisticated with steering columns becoming a thing of the past with ‘drive by wire’ control. These systems have been wonderfully demonstrated by Volvo Trucks in a series of YouTube videos – one involving a hamster steering a truck by running around a wheel attached to the steering wheel and the second showing a small girl controlling a 32 tonne truck using a remote controller.
Technology that steers trucks using electrical inputs is therefore mainstream and used on our roads every day.
Making it Work
Even if platooning can be made to work technically – safely and reliably – it is of no use unless a system is developed to ‘book a vehicle’ into the convoy. Simply stumbling across a platoon and tagging along cannot be an option. RHA’s Richard Burnett agrees, “In addition to the concerns of the motorist, is platooning practical for the haulier? Does it make operational sense?” The truck makers are already looking at this. To develop a system to coordinate platoons, Sweden’s Scania is focusing on its COMPANION joint research project with KTH Royal Institute of Technology. The next stage of development involves coordinating truck convoys, thereby making the whole logistics system more efficient. Scania’s researchers are designing a system that allows transport managers to input the routes their vehicles will take, with the system then finding joint routes with other operators who can ‘platoon up’.
An additional issue is related to the length of these platoons and how it might affect other road users. The maximum length of a tractor unit and trailer combination is currently 16.5 metres in the UK. Add an extra ten metre gap between a platoon of ten vehicles and you get something that is more than a quarter of a kilometre long. Would the average UK motorist be able to contend with this moving obstruction when turning off a motorway junction? We have all seen most drivers leaving it to the last minute to turn off after accelerating past slower traffic. This may therefore lead to platooning in the centre lane or lane three. Not a popular alternative with car drivers.
UK Leading The Way?
The Department for Transport claims that it would like the UK to ‘lead the way’ in testing platoons. It is difficult to see this happening when all the manufacturers are based in Sweden, (Volvo, Scania), Germany, (Daimler, MAN), Italy, (Iveco) and France (Renault). However, eight new projects have recently been awarded £20 million in funding from the UK Government to research and develop enhanced communication between vehicles and roadside infrastructure or urban information systems, including new ‘talking car technologies’. Some of this has been awarded to a consortium looking at tyre pressures and safety concerns – an area ignored in the projects to date.
Is the UK a suitable test bed? Our road network is amongst the world’s most congested with the greatest number of junctions. It is more likely that the UK would be used in the final instance as a ‘stress test’ rather than involved in the fundamental testing process. It is unlikely that the R&D departments will be upping sticks from Sweden and Germany to spend time in Cumbria.
The UK has the reputation in Europe for being ‘Tail-End Charlie’ in accepting and promoting environmental improvements in commercial vehicle technology. Germany and others were offering significant financial incentives for truck operators to become early adopters of Euro 6 technologies (and the emissions standards that came before them), whilst the UK government offered a few hundred pounds incentive to invest in new technology, the cost of which ran into the tens of thousands.
Consider also, the levels of support from the relevant governments. Historically, the UK government has been less than supportive of the UK road haulage industry and we see no reason why this approach should suddenly change. The level of support from the Netherlands is already far greater than the UK – they have also authorised the testing of platooning on their roads and are actively promoting the system with impressive glossy brochures.
During its Presidency of the European Union in 2016, the Netherlands will put together a European Truck Platooning Challenge. This will involve various brands of automated trucks driving in platoons. The Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and the Environment, Mrs. drs. M.H. Schultz van Haegen said, “The Netherlands now offers an international testing ground for innovative mobility. Applications for cars and trucks will be warmly welcomed.”
Time will tell if the UK truly gets behind this initiative or is simply paying lip service to a high-tech scheme that is bound to grab headlines.
Daimler already have a truck that can actually drive itself. Sven Ennerst, Head of Truck Product Engineering at Daimler is the man behind the Future Truck 2025 Mercedes-Benz program which takes platooning one step further.
In May last year, their Highway Pilot autonomous truck control system won approval for trials on public highways in a (Daimler) Freightliner truck in the US state of Nevada. Then in October 2015, the German state of Baden-Wurttemberg approved trials of Mercedes-Benz trucks with the Highway Pilot system on its autobahns.
Ennerst says, “We expect a change in the organisation of the freight forwarding industry. The driver will take over many of the traffic planner’s functions. He will become more of a transport manager than a driver, from our point of view.” “One thing is for sure – the Highway Pilot system is steering the vehicle by itself. It builds a picture around the truck, looking up to 250 metres ahead, so basically it can react and drive by itself.”
Ennerst is equally concerned about the fuel efficiency of the trucks, “We are fighting like hell for every tenth of one per cent in truck efficiency gains at present,” he says. “We expect a fuel economy improvement of up to five per cent with trucks like this, as a result of less acceleration and braking and less waiting in traffic.”