November 30, 2011
California gasoline consumption fell 1.7% in August 2011, while diesel fuel consumption rose 11.1%, according to figures from the State Board of Equalization.
Canada-based Nexen Inc. and China-based CNOOC Limited have finalized a joint venture that will give CNOOC a working interest in up to six deepwater exploration wells in the Gulf of Mexico. CNOOC is China’s largest producer of offshore crude oil and natural gas and one of the largest independent oil and gas exploration and production companies in the world.
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. has begun selling its new quick charger at Nissan parts companies throughout Japan. (Earlier post.) The newly-developed quick charging unit retains the high performance of the current quick charger manufactured by Nissan, but is nearly half the size (by volume).
Honeywell will invest engineering services and equipment to accelerate the deployment of AliphaJet’s catalytic method for making jet biofuel from renewable products such as plant and animal triglycerides and/or fatty acids. (Earlier post.)
Sharklet-fitted Airbus A320 successfully completes first flight-test; targeting 3.5% reduction in fuel burn
Airbus has completed the first flight of the Sharklet wing-tip devices on the company’s A320 development aircraft (MSN 001). Sharklets will replace the aircraft’s current wingtip fence. Offered as an option on new-build aircraft, Sharklets have been specially designed for the Airbus A320 Family to reduce fuel burn by up to an additional 3.5%, corresponding to an annual CO2 reduction of around 700 tonnes per aircraft.
The Panasonic Group will supply the lithium-ion batteries for Toyota Motor Corporation’s Prius Plug-in Hybrid. (Earlier post.) This will be the first time for the Panasonic Group to supply its lithium-ion batteries for a mass production plug-in hybrid vehicle.
Dynamotive, IFP Energies nouvelles, Axens, complete binding heads of agreement for commercial development of pyrolysis oil upgrading
Dynamotive Energy Systems Corporation, IFP Energies nouvelles (IFPEN), Axens and Dr. Desmond Radlein completed heads of agreement for the development, scale-up and commercialization of the company’s proprietary pyrolysis oil upgrading process to produce second-generation biofuels. (Earlier post.)
MIT researchers developing algorithms to predict more accurately which cars are likeliest to run red lights
Researchers at MIT are devising algorithms for more accurately estimating driver behavior at road intersections—i.e., whether or not an oncoming car is likely to run a red light—and validating them using real traffic data.
The team has introduced two classes of algorithms that can classify drivers as “compliant” or “violating”. These are based on i) Support Vector Machines (SVM) and ii) Hidden Markov Models (HMM)—two very popular machine learning approaches that have been used successfully for classification in multiple disciplines. However, existing work has not explored the benefits of applying these techniques to the problem of driver behavior classification at intersections, the team says.
Study finds higher gasoline taxes do not disproportionately impact the poor, especially in developing countries
Although increased gasoline taxation has been proposed as a very effective instrument to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, a common argument against such a measure is that it is regressive—i.e., it hits poor people the hardest. However, a new study by researchers at the University of Gothenburg (Sweden) finds that middle- and high-income earners are generally affected the most by gasoline taxes, especially in poor countries, rather than poor people.
European, North American, and Japanese heavy-duty vehicle and engine manufacturers call for global cooperation in promoting regulatory harmonization
At the Global Commercial Vehicle Industry Meeting in Tokyo, the world’s leading manufacturers of heavy-duty commercial trucks and engines called for further progress in regulatory harmonization and closer cooperation among European, North American, and Japanese regulators in order to improve energy efficiency and reduce fuel consumption associated with on-road freight transport.