To Power the Future, Carmakers Flip on 48-Volt Systems

from NYTs While automakers sketch out a world of sleek and silent electric cars or even self-driving pods that are more den than dragster, the all-electric future is further off than it may appear. Car companies, starting with Volvo last summer, have laid out plans to electrify entire lineups of vehicles. But the fine print makes it clear that the coming decade and beyond will focus not just on massive battery packs powering electric motors, but also on adding a little extra juice to the venerable internal combustion engine. Increasingly, that juice will arrive in the form of new electrical […]

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The Driverless Truck Is Coming, And It’s Going To Automate Millions Of Jobs

from TechCrunch A convoy of self-driving trucks recently drove across Europe and arrived at the Port of Rotterdam. No technology will automate away more jobs — or drive more economic efficiency — than the driverless truck. Shipping a full truckload from L.A. to New York costs around $4,500 today, with labor representing 75 percent of that cost. But those labor savings aren’t the only gains to be had from the adoption of driverless trucks. Where drivers are restricted by law from driving more than 11 hours per day without taking an 8-hour break, a driverless truck can drive nearly 24 hours per day. That means the technology would effectively double the output of the U.S. […]

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