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World's First Road-Powered Electric Vehicle Network Opens

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the hopefully-not-free-of-charge dept.

Transportation 72

Daniel_Stuckey writes "South Korea continues to pull out all the stops on the long road to a high-tech utopia. Last year, the city Yeosu hosted the Expo 2012, an international exhibition that highlighted emerging technology and design that attracted 8 million visitors over three months. Today, the nation has finally unveiled the world's first road-powered electric vehicle network for regular use. Here's how it works: the network runs on newly-built roads that have electric cables and wires embedded below the surface. This allows for the magnetic-resonance transfer of energy to the network's vehicles, which not only already run on small batteries (about a third of the size of a typical electric vehicle) but also do not require the plug-in-and-recharge process common to other electric cars."

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72 comments

First? (-1, Offtopic)

DFurno2003 (739807) | about a year ago | (#44492481)

First!

Re:First? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44493371)

Yes, we already gathered from the summary that this is the first of its kind. Tell us something we don't know.

Slowly sip the power! (2)

slack_justyb (862874) | about a year ago | (#44492529)

Okay so is it just me or is anyone else thinking that it wouldn't take a high school education to understand how to sap power from the road for free for powering your cell phone, laptop, or for the real inventive some parts of your house. Maybe that's just the cynic in me talking.

Also, roads tend to wear pretty fast. So I am hoping that they have the ability to strip the asphalt around the conductors as opposed to having to replace the conductors when the road wears down. Those buried conductors are what make repaving an intersection in US a bit more expensive than say the straight road, but seeing how the intersection is but a small segment of the road entirely (except for New Jersey, admit it, your roads are that bad) it kind of balances out.

Re:Slowly sip the power! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44492579)

When you think about it, the only place the EVs really need an external power source is on the highways. In the city, they can regularly recharge. So it is not like this needs to completely redesign transportation infrastructure. And as far as road wear, this is South Korea which has very high density travel conditions. This typically means that the roads are made of concrete to reduce the wear. An application to asphalt might be easier, actually. When you repave a road, you don't dig out the entire road (like you do when you repave concrete). You just take off the top layers. So you could build the conductors in concrete with thermal expansion points, put asphalt on top of it and as long as you are careful with your clearances, you should be okay.

Re:Slowly sip the power! (5, Funny)

Ichijo (607641) | about a year ago | (#44492637)

Don't worry, the problem of people trying to charge their mobile devices in the middle of the road will solve itself fairly quickly.

Re:Slowly sip the power! (1)

dpidcoe (2606549) | about a year ago | (#44492671)

And if you're worried about road deaths, you can always start a public awareness campaign to get those people to just recharge their phones in the microwave as a slightly safer alternative.

Re:Slowly sip the power! (-1, Flamebait)

fde eaf (3008585) | about a year ago | (#44493447)

It's very reasonable, I love!http://onlyhermes.com

Re:Slowly sip the power! (2)

wierd_w (1375923) | about a year ago | (#44492673)

I would presume that while the field is quite robust, that the rate of alternation will be either absurdly fast, or very slow.

The first poses a risk of magstrips on credit cards of pedestrians and cyclists being wiped due to hysteresis. (The whole road would be one giant bulk eraser!) The latter makes this less likely, but is less efficient for AC power transfer over long distances of roadbed.

I suspect it will be a slow oscillation based charger, because a moving vehicle trying to get a stable wave for its charging circuit will have "short" moments of interaction with the individual coils in the roadbed as it drives over the top, causing significant headache. This in addition to being less likely to wipe magstrips on credit cards, and the like.

A slow oscillator will be more difficult to draw "large" quantities of electricity from, as the collector would need to be quite large and conspicuous.

Re:Slowly sip the power! (5, Informative)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | about a year ago | (#44492783)

I would presume that while the field is quite robust, that the rate of alternation will be either absurdly fast, or very slow.

RTFA - or at least look at the pictures (it's in the caption of one): Feed to the coils in the road is 20 kHz, 200A.

Re:Slowly sip the power! (2)

wierd_w (1375923) | about a year ago | (#44492865)

What!? Read the article!? Sir, do you know what site this is!? (/joke)

In seriousness though, 20khz at 200A is enough to wipe magnetic strips in the wallets of pedestrians, and possibly to energize braces in people's mouths. (The metals used do leave ion concentrations in the saliva, making the mouth into a lytic cap, with the braces as the pickup and dielectric.) The concrete will be somewhat paramagnetic, but probably not enough to prevent the field from reaching up pretty high above the roadbed.

I sure hope they aren't installing it in areas where pedestrian traffic will be high. The potential for nuked credit cards opens a big legal liability.

Re:Slowly sip the power! (2)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year ago | (#44493077)

Do they even use mag strip credit cards in South Korea? My credit cards and debit cards still have mag stripes on them, but I very seldom am presented with a machine that actually reads the stripe. Most have switched to the chip technology years ago. And I just live in Canada. I'm sure a more forward thinking country like Korea wouldn't even bother with mag stripes. Except, perhaps, for the sole purpose of being compatible with the United Statesian machines when travelling.

Re:Slowly sip the power! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44494417)

The network isn't a theory, they have actually built one.

Unless you can find a report of energized braces or wiped magnetic strips I think it is safe to say that it isn't enough of a problem to be a showstopper.

Re:Slowly sip the power! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44495415)

You know, I think the only nation so backwards to still use magstripes in CC cards is US. You are becoming so backwards it's actually funny to read your commets on technology news :) If I understood right you are still using checks :D

Re:Slowly sip the power! (0)

arglebargle_xiv (2212710) | about a year ago | (#44495435)

In seriousness though, 20khz at 200A is enough to wipe magnetic strips in the wallets of pedestrians, and possibly to energize braces in people's mouths.

Not to mention the biological effects of a 20kHz electromagnetic field on the bus passengers. I assume the equipment stays within the prescribed SAR levels for dielectric heating, but other biological effects are currently still little-understood. So I'm rather relieved that the guinea pigs for this will be in Korea rather than on the bus I get to work.

Re:Slowly sip the power! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44497295)

Not to mention the biological effects of a 20kHz electromagnetic field on the bus passengers.

What biological effects are you referring to? My dad was an electrical lineman, and was subjected to electromagnetic fields not at 20 Hz 200A but 60 Hz at may as well be unlimited amps, especially in the high tension 30kv lines, for eight or more hours a day for forty years.

He just turned 82. These magnetic fields are harmless.

+1 Horror (1)

Barryke (772876) | about a year ago | (#44496107)

Not sure whether to mod you +1 Funny or +1 Horror..

Re:Slowly sip the power! (2)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year ago | (#44497793)

In seriousness though, 20khz at 200A is enough to wipe magnetic strips in the wallets of pedestrians, and possibly to energize braces in people's mouths. (The metals used do leave ion concentrations in the saliva, making the mouth into a lytic cap, with the braces as the pickup and dielectric.) The concrete will be somewhat paramagnetic, but probably not enough to prevent the field from reaching up pretty high above the roadbed.

I sure hope they aren't installing it in areas where pedestrian traffic will be high. The potential for nuked credit cards opens a big legal liability.

You know, you don't keep pumping the field out when there's no bus on top of it and waste energy. Given you have a coil, it's stupidly easy to put out a weak detection field where you can look for a resonance and then apply power when you detect the bus. When the bus leaves the area, the controller detects the detuning and turns off the field.

And if the controller is smarter, it can signal controllers ahead of it to energize as well.

This isn't your dumb wireless charger you have at home to charge your Nexus or other consumer device. These things are smart and they have to be given the power involved.

Re:Slowly sip the power! (0)

dj245 (732906) | about a year ago | (#44496539)

I would presume that while the field is quite robust, that the rate of alternation will be either absurdly fast, or very slow.

RTFA - or at least look at the pictures (it's in the caption of one): Feed to the coils in the road is 20 kHz, 200A.

That sounds terrifically inefficient and a great way to waste energy.

These solutions will never take off- the laws of physics ensure that they will always be very inefficient, and therefore not cost effective.

Re:Slowly sip the power! (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | about a year ago | (#44505191)

From another article about it [abysscomputing.com] :

Transmission efficiency is an impressive 85% thanks to the âoeshapedâ part of the technology, which targets the electromagnetic field at the vehicle, so that less energy is lost to the environment.

A tad low for a transformer, but with inches of air gap and moist dirt in the magnetic path you can expect less than ideal efficiency. It's better than many electric motors and most battery charge/discharge cycle losses. It's entirely adequate.

Re:Slowly sip the power! (2)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year ago | (#44492817)

I suspect it will be a slow oscillation based charger, because a moving vehicle trying to get a stable wave for its charging circuit will have "short" moments of interaction with the individual coils in the roadbed as it drives over the top, causing significant headache. This in addition to being less likely to wipe magstrips on credit cards, and the like.

A slow oscillator will be more difficult to draw "large" quantities of electricity from, as the collector would need to be quite large and conspicuous.

Why speculate (wrongly) when you can click through to the article?

The SMFIR technology, also developed by KAIST, works by running power through the underground cables at a frequency of 20 kHz, creating a 20 kHz electromagnetic field. The underbelly of the bus also includes a wire or coil that is tuned to recognize the frequency and then use an inverter to create electricity through magnetic resonance.

Re:Slowly sip the power! (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | about a year ago | (#44492903)

Because this is slashdot, and reading the article is an anathema! :D

They are still just trading a more complex charger for the improved conductor efficiency. It means adding expensive high yeild lytic caps to the resonator circuit to keep it stable, otherwise the power delivered by the coils to the charger would be unstable, and destroy batteries.

I am sure that whoever they have working on this knows all about such things, but I still raise an eyebrow over the potential for nuking magstrips, and possibly frying FM radios.

Re:Slowly sip the power! (1)

parallel_prankster (1455313) | about a year ago | (#44492697)

Wont you get charged for how much power you are sipping in? Is it free? It may be now, but it unlikely to remain that way. A more important question is how efficient is this? How much energy is given to the vehicle and how much reaches the car and what fraction of it is actually getting converted to motion?

Re:Slowly sip the power! (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | about a year ago | (#44492763)

This wll clearly be a municpial service, and thus paid for by the public coffer. Eg, paid for by taxes, on a bulk use model.

In other words, based on use history over several years, and combined with census data to track changes of use over time, the civic planners can estimate power use on a yearly granularity, and amortize. Some months will draw less power, others more. They base the yearly tax burden on the averaged load per year, adjusted for projected trends in use.

Tradgedy of the commons by abusing the roadbed as a free* powerline just causes the tax rate to increase, and the anomalous use pattern metrics will alert civic planners to the activity if it is very serious.

Re:Slowly sip the power! (1)

benjfowler (239527) | about a year ago | (#44495103)

Maybe they'll just kill two birds with one stone, and introduce road charging, either using an eTag, or a vignette+camera (like Austria).

It'll come in, because they have to pay for the juice.

Re:Slowly sip the power! (4, Informative)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | about a year ago | (#44492705)

... it wouldn't take a high school education to understand how to sap power from the road for free for powering your cell phone, laptop, or for the real inventive some parts of your house

A horsepower is 3/4 kW. Braking down from 50 MPH turns enough energy into heat to heat a snowbound house with only moderate insulation, in the dead of temperate-zone winter, for half an hour.

Running your laptop or charging your cellphone, like the incandescent lights in cars, is a very tiny drop in a very large lake.

Running about ten households on it is comparable to running an extra car continuously. (Cruising at highway speed takes high teens of HP - it's getting up to speed in a reasonable time that requires those big engines.) But it would also require enough of a pickup to constitute a traffic hazard, which would bring you to the attention of authorities.

Those buried conductors are what make repaving an intersection in US a bit more expensive than say the straight road

Note that they are talking about powering patches of the road (5% to 15%), not the whole thing. The car stores the power for the stretches between the patches. Such patches can be on straight sections where vehicles don't do things that cause extra wear. Also: A few dead patches don't kill the road - they just mean the car pulls a little more out of the battery before the road brings it back to full charge.

As another poster mentioned: Repaving a road with a concrete slab base only tweaks the top inch or two. The slabs can last a half-century or more. If the coils, cores, and local wiring can be embedded in or below the slab, with a couple inches of extra gap between the top of the core and the surface of the road, it can last a very long time.

With the "hot" sections of reasonable size and modular, I imagine a dead one could be replaced, slab and all, in an overnight or over-weekend operation, scheduled for when the road is not too busy and lane closures or detours are available.

Re:Slowly sip the power! (1)

KingMotley (944240) | about a year ago | (#44493121)

With the "hot" sections of reasonable size and modular, I imagine a dead one could be replaced, slab and all, in an overnight or over-weekend operation, scheduled for when the road is not too busy and lane closures or detours are available.

You obviously don't live in Illinois. Something like that would take at least a year and a half. Of course, you may only see people working on the road for a day or two during that time, but they'll close the road for a year+ easy.

Re:Slowly sip the power! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44502131)

You must be in Chicago, because the rest of the state isn't like that*. I grew up in Cahokia, now live in Springfield. I never see a major road completely closed, although some minor side streets in town may be closed for a few days to repair a sewer or something. I've NEVER seen an interstate (where you'd find this sort of tech) completely closed.

* of course, you Chicagoans think Illinois' southern border is I-80

Re:Slowly sip the power! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44511125)

Wait, are telling me that Texas is NOT just south of I-80????

Re:Slowly sip the power! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44494425)

The logical solution with buses would be to put the powered part adjacent to bus stops. plus maybe at traffic lights where vehicles are going to stop some of the time anyway. Sounds quite promising, especially for inner city areas. Similar to trams but more versatile and avoiding the problem of breakdowns closing off the track.

Re:Slowly sip the power! (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year ago | (#44492737)

Okay so is it just me or is anyone else thinking that it wouldn't take a high school education to understand how to sap power from the road for free

And anyone with a college education should be able to design the system to prevent this. An obvious solution is to only energize the wires under the car, and then only if a valid credit card number is provided. The charging wire is intermittent, and only available for 10-15% of the road, so it may be possible to allow or disallow power to individual vehicles. There is a better technical description here [nanowerk.com] , but still not enough to know exactly how it works. This is a research prototype so they might not be to concerned about billing issues at this stage.

Those buried conductors are what make repaving an intersection in US a bit more expensive

An obvious solution to this is to not run the wires through the intersection. The cars still have batteries, so they don't need to receive power continuously.

Re:Slowly sip the power! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44494675)

Exactly. My vision for the future: we need a global inductive road charging standard specifying a standard physical interface and an encrypted communications interface incorporating some kind of billing/micropayments negotiation protocol. We should be able to drive from one town/city/continent to another and the system will work seamlessly, swapping between different power service providers as they are encountered, and running on small batteries for the sections of road that are unpowered (e.g from the highway up to your garage). Numerous private companies / municipalities, etc. would build the charging system into the roads and set the electricity prices for their local bit of road to whatever they like to make a profit and recoup their costs. Companies would be restricted to building only on limited sections of road to encourage diversity of suppliers and price competition. A customer would configure their car's charging behavior however they like by some algorithm (e.g. fully charge in the home charging station in the garage using off-peak power, agree to buy power from the road when it costs $X/kWh or less, or when the battery level drops below Y% agree to pay $Y/kWh or less, etc.).

Re:Slowly sip the power! (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year ago | (#44492755)

Okay so is it just me or is anyone else thinking that it wouldn't take a high school education to understand how to sap power from the road for free for powering your cell phone, laptop, or for the real inventive some parts of your house. Maybe that's just the cynic in me talking.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to bypass the electric meter [orlandosentinel.com] on your house either. Some people do it, some maange to escape getting caught for quite some time. Some get caught when the house burns down (typically because they whole reason they bypassed the meter was so they could run thousands of watts of grow lights in their basement and the kind of amateur electricians that bypass electric meters don't usually follow electrical codes when they wire in their power hungry equipment).

Re:Slowly sip the power! (1)

Edis Krad (1003934) | about a year ago | (#44492979)

The article is pretty flimsy with the tech details, but if it is anything like magnetic induced current, the car need to be in motion to recharge (ie, traveling across the magnetic field). Unless you plan to be running along the road to charge your laptop, I'd say it's pretty inconvenient to recharge your devices that way.

Re:Slowly sip the power! (1)

aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) | about a year ago | (#44493267)

" Unless you plan to be running along the road to charge your laptop, I'd say it's pretty inconvenient to recharge your devices that way."

Nothing like a good early morning jog to charge up mind, body, and MacBook . On the other hand, kinetic motion charging should be more efficient.

As for stealing amperes, how noticeable is the difference between a car charging just itself and a car charging itself and a small electronic device?

capcha: overrode

Re:Slowly sip the power! (1)

amaurea (2900163) | about a year ago | (#44494915)

No, it does not depend on relative motion [wikipedia.org] . I don't think charging your laptop based on this is going to be a problem, though. Your electric car will have a power outlet for devices like hands free and laptops anyway, so you won't have to invent anything to use this system to charge your laptop - just plug it into your car, and let the car charge the laptop for you. The extra power draw will be equivalent to simply having a slightly bigger car.

Re:Slowly sip the power! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44497933)

What is wrong with America to where you always suspect each other of criminality? I have never heard of or been to a country where the citizens distrust each other so much. And so vocally.

Re:Slowly sip the power! (1)

guruevi (827432) | about a year ago | (#44504667)

Or you could use a better product than asphalt. The Romans built roads 2000 years ago and they're still around. Asphalt is used because it's cheap but it has some major issues with it. It wouldn't surprise me that in the 100 years of laying and re-laying asphalt, we could've done it all in concrete or some other product a long time ago and never have to look again. Typical "next-quarter profit" management.

ah, so that's what that was about (1)

Trepidity (597) | about a year ago | (#44492713)

Copenhagen's city center was shut for a few hours today [washingtonpost.com] because of one of them fancy road-powered electric vehicles being treated as a potential bomb. This one seems to have been built in a garage by a Swedish mad scientist, though.

Re:ah, so that's what that was about (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44493211)

I see the problem: Bork and Bomb share the same first two letters. They must have gotten confused.

Re:ah, so that's what that was about (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year ago | (#44502899)

At least he wasn't in the U.S. where they would have blown his car up and arrested him. His likelihood of being cleared on terrorism charges would be directly proportional to the strength of his promise not to seek damages.

I wonder what the power losses are (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44493051)

The article made vague statements about efficiency, but curious if induction transfer to a vehicle really is even more efficient than a battery, or how it compares to an ICE. If better, then great idea, but TFA is very thin on details.

Re:I wonder what the power losses are (1)

hurfy (735314) | about a year ago | (#44498903)

Vague being the fact they said: EVEN IF this was more efficient and not DESPITE this being more efficient. To give one the impression this is more efficient without actually saying so...

I can't imagine this is very efficient at all. Probably good for smog control in cities if widely adopted.

Utopia? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44493141)

First, get rid of the repulsive genital-mutilation of children. Then we can start talking about "Utopia".

I'm worried about pacemakers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44493225)

Maybe I'm just a bit weary.

I'll be happy once this is more common in a town not mine and people with pacemakers aren't dying every time they cross a road.

We can't do this in America... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44493955)

We can't do this in America without touching the 3rd rail of American politics.

I've always dreamed of this (4, Funny)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about a year ago | (#44494021)

The moment when you can finally steal the bumper cars from the amusement park and drive them home.

Re:I've always dreamed of this (1)

Seumas (6865) | about a year ago | (#44494331)

Oh, so you have also commuted in Santa Clara traffic, too?

Re:I've always dreamed of this (1)

Teddy Lendon (2863603) | about a year ago | (#44494679)

Oh. My. God. That is genius!

Re:I've always dreamed of this (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about a year ago | (#44494863)

Like this? [youtube.com]

Re:I've always dreamed of this (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about a year ago | (#44495745)

Posting to undo false mod. Actually, I like the idea . . .

Magnetic Resonance? (1)

plopez (54068) | about a year ago | (#44494125)

I mentions nothing in the article but what does that do to those of us with steel in our bodies? I for one cannot get an MRI due to it. Or is the field just too weak?

Re:Magnetic Resonance? (1)

guruevi (827432) | about a year ago | (#44504677)

MRI = 0.5-3 Tesla - strong enough to pick up and pull large metal objects.
These types of wiring even if they were running 150A and the metal was in your feet: 0.0006T
The earth has a magnetic field of ~0.5T

safety? efficiency? (1)

j1m+5n0w (749199) | about a year ago | (#44494261)

Road powered electric vehicles are awesome, I'm glad to see someone doing it, but I'm a little worried about safety and efficiency with the inductive charging technology. I certainly wouldn't want to be right on top of a 20khz rf transmitter that's pumping out tens of kilowatts. I don't remember the permissible exposure limits off the top of my head, but this sounds like it would be way above what's considered acceptable for HAM radio. Is there some way to keep that RF energy from spilling all over the place? How much of that energy actually makes it to the car, and how much is lost to RF, heat, noise, etc..?

Just a split-transformer thing (1)

Animats (122034) | about a year ago | (#44494435)

The description is confusing, but the picture is clear - it's a split-transformer system. It's not clear whether it's a continuous one for vehicles in motion or one that just recharges a bus at bus stops. Berkeley, California had one of those in the 1980s, built as a CALTRANS R&D project [berkeley.edu] . That system had energy transfer efficiency of about 65%. They tried 400Hz (which induced annoying hum in metal objects) and 8500Hz (which didn't.) "Pedestrians who walk across the powered roadway inductor are exposed to 10,000 milligauss (10 gauss) at a height of 1 ft and about 1,000 milligauss (1 gauss) at a height of 4 ft above the center of the inductor's conductor slot."

ACGIH TLVs 2008 safety guidelines: "From 300 Hz to 30 kHz the ceiling whole or partial body exposure should not exceed 0.2 mT" (2 gauss). So the CALTRANS system did not meet current safety standards. Does anyone have the numbers for the Korean system?

Re:Just a split-transformer thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44494823)

And the numbers for the Korean safety standards.

Regulations and recommendations can vary tremendously between countries. (I find some of the radiation reports from the Fukushima a bit entertaining. When they say that the background radiation is double the recommended limit that means that it still is less than the background radiation where I live and only at half of the recommended radiation limit for me.)

America (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44494531)

Get your shit together.

microwave oven (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44494619)

Putting people inside microwave ovens on wheels is not nice.

safety against electrocution? (1)

m.alessandrini (1587467) | about a year ago | (#44494773)

Those cables carry a pretty high voltage and current, and presumably have to be near the surface for the EM field to be effective, and the road pavement tend to wear pretty fast. The cables may have a good insulation, but that might be eroded by vehicles if the pavement is broken in some points. So I hope they considered the risks for people walking on the street; anyway, innovative solutions to pollution problems are always welcome.

Re:safety against electrocution? (1)

nukenerd (172703) | about a year ago | (#44495233)

So I hope they considered the risks for people walking on the street; anyway, innovative solutions to pollution problems are always welcome.

Don't worry, I expect pedestrians, cyclists, and even conventional cars will be banned from these roads. If they keep improving this system they will eventually re-invent railways.

Re:safety against electrocution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44497031)

For electrocution, your body needs to be in a circuit. Normally, the current will travel from wherever you touched the wire through your body into the ground. But when the wire itself is on the ground, the only thing electrocuted will be your toes.

Re:safety against electrocution? (1)

m.alessandrini (1587467) | about a year ago | (#44497261)

This is quite an optimistic view, the current could flow from one feet to the other one, electrocuting other interesting body parts. Or you might have your hand on another surface and close the circuit there.

Re:safety against electrocution? (1)

m.alessandrini (1587467) | about a year ago | (#44497609)

To be more precise, usually electrocution happens because there are several paths with different (unknown) resistance each one, some of which were not foreseen, and the current is split amongst them in proportional way. And if your body is one of them, at 200A you only need a small fraction to die.

If you go offroad/Unsuported roads (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44495169)

You loose battery fast i presume.... so we buy trains now?

Solar Power from the Road (1)

fezzzz (1774514) | about a year ago | (#44495551)

All we need now is the tar to be converted to solar panels and we have a self-sustaining means af transport. http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/solar-road-panels-offer-asphalt-alternative-a-901792.html [spiegel.de]

Re:Solar Power from the Road (1)

GLMDesigns (2044134) | about a year ago | (#44495827)

Photovoltaic "paint" is being perfected. We have large sections of the world where cars could be powered by solar energy with panels on the side of the road as well as the road itself absorbing solar energy and then distributing the energy to the vehicles.

Re:Solar Power from the Road (1)

rally2xs (1093023) | about a year ago | (#44496141)

You erect solar panels _over_ the road, which is wasted space anyway. This does a lot of good things:

1) Keeps the rainfall off the road to minimize the chance of hydroplaning
2) Keeps snow off the road to minimize skidding and road blockage
3) Produces a whale of a lot of power
4) Keeps the sun off the vehicle to reduce air conditioning requirements
5) Keeps the sun off the vehicle to minimize driver blinding

Pacemakers? (1)

YalithKBK (2886373) | about a year ago | (#44495903)

I'm not well versed in EM science at all (I know if I plug electronics into the magic holes in the wall, they work, and that's about it). But I do know that some EM fields can interfere with pacemakers. And I'm assuming they don't have to be that strong as some household power tools are enough to blip the things. Are the fields discussed in the article strong enough to be a problem for people with heart-regulating implants?

Now All They Have To Do (1)

rally2xs (1093023) | about a year ago | (#44496109)

is to put the car on a rail somehow, and let the road control the throttle, and the driver programs the road about where he wants to go. Then he gets in the back seat and goes to sleep until the car arrives. Makes for a really low-stress commute.

The Grid... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44496159)

Come on! No one mentioned how these vehicles wont be able to get off the Grid by choice? Light cycles anyone?

more info (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44503531)

I had the opportunity to chat with one of the team at the Brisbane Australian Electric Vehicle Association meeting, I raised the absurdly high power emf field with him and he said a lot of the money was spent on effectively shielding around the pickups and the system only switches on when there is a car or bus on top of it and it requires about 25% of the trip to be under charge which equates to a lot less than 25% of the distance as the route is analysed for the charging to happen where the vehicle is stopped or going slow. Perfect for buses. The cable under the road is encased in a slab of concrete. Solar charging and roadside storage of power will definitely be an option. I suspect the emf levels in an EV are pretty off the scale anyway. The alternator in a car is pretty full on anyhow. There are circuits on the front of the bus that turn the system on via bluetooth or some such system and yes you will be able to buy the pickup one day to fit onto your own EV and have it charge your credit card for the juice.

more info (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44503665)

I had the opportunity to chat with one of the team at the Brisbane Australian Electric Vehicle Association meeting, I raised the absurdly high power emf field with him and he said a lot of the money was spent on effectively shielding around the pickups which lie across the underside of the car and the system only switches on when there is a car or bus on top of it. There are circuits on the front of the bus that turn the system on via blootooth or somesuch system and yes you will be able to buy the pickup one day to fit onto your own EV and have it charge your credit card for the juice. It requires about 25% of the trip to be under charge which equates to a lot less than 25% of the distance as the route is analysed for the charging to happen where the vehicle is stopped or going slow. Perfect for buses. The cable under the road is encased in a slab of concrete and it turns on a piece at a time. Solar charging and roadside battery storage of power will definitely be an option and the grid could cope easily. I suspect the emf levels in an EV are pretty off the scale anyway. The alternator in a car is pretty full on anyhow. If you had the system on your regular commute it would save on batteries what you might spend on the pickup and make for a lighter and therefore more efficient car.

Similar to... (1)

SlashDev (627697) | about a year ago | (#44505715)

Almost sounds like something called a Metro (or subway)
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