Electric cars are getting more popular with each passing day not in the developed economies alone but in the developing ones too. And, this can be well attributed to the growing concerns over the irreparable damage caused to the environment due to the combustion of fuel. Considering this, having an electric car in a well-developed European nation is much cheaper than having a petrol-run car these days. All thanks to the government subsidies for the cause. Not just this, automobile giants have also joined the race of developing electric vehicles after realizing the huge potential in the segment.
Dwelling in the past!
The traces of electric vehicles are found during the early 19th century when French, Scottish and American innovators attempted to develop an electric car that was capable of carrying goods. However, these experiments did not meet significant success due to the fact that internal combustion engines were getting better, and electric starter made fossil fuel-powered cars way better and cheaper. The concept of electric cars was dead only until concerns were raised against air pollution spread by cars, which use fossil fuel like gasoline, petrol, or diesel.
If we talk about the time, the golden time, when electric cars started going mainstream. It was, indeed, the period from the ‘80s to 2000s, where we could really see electric cars on the streets that were capable enough to compete with any diesel- or petrol-powered vehicle. Tesla Motors played a significant role in this revolution. And, one of the earlier outcomes was Tesla Roadster, which was the first highway legal serial production all-electric car to use lithium-ion battery cells just like any other electronic gadget. Undoubtedly, the most impressive part about Tesla Roadster was the power and performance it delivered; clocking at more than 320 km trip per charge. Soon after Tesla Roadster, Tesla Model X was launched. Following the footsteps of Tesla who pioneered the electric vehicle technology, soon Mitsubishi Motors introduced the Mitsubishi i-MiEV.
Later, automobile giants like Nissan, General Motors and BMW (Volkswagen) invested heavily in research regarding electric and autonomous cars. Notably, Nissan Leaf, introduced in Japan and the United States in December 2010 became the first modern all-electric family hatchback to be produced for the mass market from a major manufacturer. Further, Renault Fluence Z.E. was the first electric car for mass production to come with the switchable battery technology. During 2012-2013, BMW, Renault, Honda, Toyota, Mahindra and Mercedes were in a fierce race. But, Tesla Model S took away the cake in the plug-in electric car category in North America.
Scanning the Presence!
If we talk about the current situation, the electric car adoption rate is the highest in Norway where electric cars make up to 45.3 per cent of the total vehicles on roads, whereas plug-in hybrids have a market share of 14.9 per cent. It was no surprise to know that Norway is the first country where one out of every ten registered passenger cars, is a plug-in electric vehicle. Countries like the Netherlands and Sweden have also got an automobile market where electric cars have quite a sweet pie; followed by France, the U.K., China, and the U.S. Overall, the trend is catching up, and there is no visible slowdown as yet when it comes to making new efficient and modern electric cars.
In emerging markets like China and India, car manufacturers have a goal to sell as many as 7 million and 10 million electric cars by 2025 and 2030, respectively. Further, France and the United Kingdom aim to go towards an all-electric car market by 2040. Moving ahead, it looks like China would be one of the first nations to adopt the electric car technology for almost everything. But, there is one big challenge and that is to set up charging stations and electric vehicle policies.
It is to be noted that Norway could evolve fast because the country has already planned reduction in carbon emissions by selling its natural resources (fossil fuel) to other nations at the price where the nation would reward its citizens to go eco-friendly. But, countries like China and India, where indigenous technologies are ruling, rewards for buying cleaner and greener fuel cannot be offered to the population. Besides sustainability issues, there might be a huge protest starting-off soon from the oil industry; pressurising the governments to levy a tax on electric cars.
Certainly, the future is as diverse as a prism breaks the light in seven parts. And, it’s time to prepare for the adoption of electric vehicles for a better future and for a better Earth.
Imagine travelling inside an ultra-fast, direct and emission-free capsule at the speed of sound and reaching your desired destination in just a matter of few minutes. Well, this can be a reality in the near future. With the current scenario where one gets stuck up in traffic delays on a daily basis, there is a need for a mode of transportation which helps you reach all the far away destinations in a short time.
What is Hyperloop?
Here is the concept of the Hyperloop, which may be the swiftiest way to travel on the surface of the earth. Moreover, Hyperloop can be the biggest leap in transportation infrastructure. In this concept mode of transportation, passengers will be sitting in small pods which will travel at airline speeds through pressurised tubes using electric propulsion and magnetic levitation. This extraordinary concept is on the verge of becoming a reality.
Hyperloop was first conceived in 2012 by Tesla and SpaceX founder, Elon Musk, who in the same year openly released a document which set out his vision of futuristic high speed transporting mechanism that would help in transporting passenger pods swiftly pass through a half vacuum in steel tunnels, depicting the two major things that reduce the speed of current vehicles, friction and air resistance.
From beginning, Musk had always retained his statement that the prototype of hyperloop would be “open source” and he openly motivated others to get united and develop the necessary technology, independently from his involvement. This has resulted to the creation of many startups and learners have created teams for the purpose of developing different prospective of hyperloop technology with different degrees of success. Now, many big companies are making huge leaps to get hyperloop systems to fruition.
The Virgin Hyperloop One company has made huge developments as compared to other companies
This Company is on a track to achieve their bold ambition of bringing a hyperloop mechanism into operation by 2021. However, their project is slightly from Musk’s original plan.
Virgin Hyperloop One’s technology brings together two basic ideas:
• Magnetic Levitation: Magnetic levitation uses two sets of magnets; one to repel the train from the rail track and levitate it upwards and the other to shift the floating train along the rail track at great speed with decreased friction.
• Vacuum: The tubes will be having a closed atmosphere for the passenger pods to shift through. With removal of most of the air from the tunnels and making zero contact with the surface, the pods face no opposite force as they shift. Hence, the air pressures inside the tube are equivalent to flying in the sky. Being in a tunnel, the whole system is protected from all external calamities.
Virgin Hyperloop One have carried out several tests focusing on singular aspects of the system and a complete full-scale system test in May 2017. The propulsion, braking, levitation and vacuum systems are all performing well and the team have achieved a top speed of over 240 mph to date.
Where are hyper loops being built?
The 10 hyperloop projects across five countries are listed below:
• Canada - Toronto-Montreal
• US - Chicago-Columbus-Pittsburgh
• US - Cheyenne-Denver-Pueblo
• US - Miami-Orlando
• US - Dallas-Laredo-Houston
• Mexico - Mexico City-Guadalajara
• UK - Glasgow-Liverpool
• UK - Edinburgh-London
• India - Mumbai-Chennai
• India - Bengaluru-Chennai
How is Hyperloop better than other current modes of transportation?
• Accessibility: Like train stations, hyperloop stations, called portals, are planned to be located within inner-city areas with easy links to existing transport infrastructure. This will be beneficial for hyperloop systems as compared to air travel, as airports are located far away from city centers. Moreover, the system is being designed with “turn up and go” principle.
• Speed: If hyperloop can decrease the travel duration between cities, this will allow people to live in other parts of the city or even country.
• Clean energy: A hyperloop system requires minimal power to propel pods through its tubes as the vacuum environment poses little obstruction. The systems could be powered by renewable energies such as solar and wind, offering a much effective and cleaner alternative to air travel.
• Safe: The tubes will be made using thick steel and will be designed to bear changes in pressure and air leaks while keeping their structural integrity in place and stopping it from external calamities or earthquake. Moreover, hyperloop systems will be constructed on designed pylons which are elevated seismically and are able to move and move independently of one another reducing damage in the event of a major ground shift. Sensors fixed along the route would swiftly report issues to the system control centre.
From Plasma to LCD, and LED to touchscreen, the display screen technology has come a long way in the past two decades. Undoubtedly, mainstream companies such as Nokia, Samsung and Apple have contributed a lot towards innovative technologies to enhance the user experience. Not to forget, the invention of active-matrix organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED) displays in 2008 that is acting as the basis for next-gen devices. Building upon this technology, Samsung and LG rolled out their curved-screen smartphones in 2014. This launch has fuelled Samsung’s ambitions to release infold, outfold, rollable and stretchable AMOLED displays. Notably, Apple has patented designs of rollable smartphone which folds like an ancient scroll.
Let’s dive a little deeper into the flexible screen technology, which seems to conquer the future soon.
Flexible Display Technology...
Literally, a flexible display screen is an electronic visual display which is movable in nature. This is a type of OLED that has a flexible plastic substrate on which the electroluminescent organic semiconductor is deposited. Or, in layman’s language, a flexible screen is a display made up of flexible materials like plastic instead of traditional rigid glass. Unlike the prevalent traditional flat-screen displays that are used in the majority of electronic devices, the flexible screens will be bendable.
• Better longevity: As these displays will be made out of plastic, they might offer more longevity as compared to the traditional glass.
• Lightweight: As it is a known fact that plastic is lighter than glass, flexible display screens will be definitely lighter than the traditional glass displays.
• Leaner dimensions: The flexible display screens have the capability to be manufactured in thinner dimensions and different shapes unlike the traditional rectangular screen.
• Unbreakable: There might be a possibility to incorporate unbreakable plastic into the flexible display screens.
• Inflexibility of circuit board: There are a lot of things going on with a flexible display. There are many different materials – conductors, semiconductors, insulators, substrates – that can be combined into a very thin film.
• Less reliable: As there is a flexible plastic substrate on which the electroluminescent organic semiconductor is deposited, there might be incidents of accumulation of screen diodes on the foldable portion of the screen after a long span of wear and tear.
The flexible smartphones by Samsung, including Galaxy X or Galaxy F, will feature two inside panels with the foldable technology and one outside panel. On being unfolded, it will have a 7.3-inch screen. Also, the technology giant plans to roll it out at a cost ranging from $1850 to $2000. Apart from Samsung, Huawei is also rumoured to be launching smartphones with flexible screens in early 2019. Moreover, the company is said to launch these smartphones with flexible screens at a competitive price, thus giving an edge to Samsung.
While a lot of talking has been done about flexible display screens, those with a soft corner for technology can’t wait for long to bend and stretch their smartphones or have a laptop-like experience on their mobile devices!
Good health is crucial to human well-being and happiness. Not only healthy beings live longer, but they are more productive as well. And, this makes it a significant contributor to economic progress. While many factors are responsible for the health status of a country including the government’s ability to provide quality health services, groundbreaking technological improvements have taken the healthcare sector by storm. From the paper health records to their digital version, sharp surgical tools to laser technology, and doctors conducting operations to robots performing the same, technology has redesigned the healthcare landscape across the globe.
Let’s delve deep into the latest technological advancements that are proving to be a boon for the human race!
The next step towards future is probably a chatbot, which is nothing but a bot that can understand what a patient wishes to convey to it. And, then it can offer a plethora of services, at the touch of one’s hand. Already, there are quite a few chatbots like Florence and YourMD, deployed at the service of humans. While Florence is just like a virtual nurse reminding patients about the medicines they need to take, it also lets patients book an appointment with a doctor in the vicinity. Further, YourMD is something that takes physician consulting to the next level as it asks patients about some symptoms and based on the response, it can refer a patient to a suitable physician.
As social media is already evolving, platforms like Facebook and Twitter have become crucial for those who need immediate medical attention. Here people are helping out one another irrespective of nationality, colour and religion to the best possible extent. Also, with the help of social media and the growing popularity of crowdfunding, many people who cannot afford medical expenses have been able to raise money for the treatment. Artificial intelligence (AI) can offer huge help when it comes to scanning millions of posts from users to identify the ones that need special and immediate attention.
As soon as a patient is admitted to a hospital, the doctors try to scan the medical history of the patient or the family. Though all the hospitals do not have a complete profile of patients, some specialty hospitals usually maintain a profile against each patient so that in case of an emergency, doctors can take crucial decisions at the earliest. Undoubtedly, identification systems are being developed across the globe to help doctors and medics deal with such situations.
These days, most of the medicines or their chemical compositions are found to have an adverse effect on a fraction of its user base. Sometimes, many things go wrong with a patient just because their body is not capable of accepting a certain kind of medicine, but they are consuming it unknowingly. Just for the sake of the safety of the patients and to avoid this kind of damage, the demand for personalised medicine is growing at a breakneck pace. Experts believe that personalised medicine is expected to replace the conventional static methods of diagnosis and medication in the future.
AI- and Data-driven Prevention
There is no doubt that based on the health-related data of users, AI-enabled tools can predict future medical situations and also warn a person to change food habits, have a healthy lifestyle and much more. In the same way, dataset obtained from a group of people can help doctors understand the factors that may lead to certain diseases. Also, maintaining data like oil and fat consumption can help everyone adopt a healthy diet. Thus, it helps keep critical diseases and medical conditions at bays.
As these practices go mainstream and get adopted across the world in the future, the lifestyle and lifespan of the people will improve further. Also, it would be possible for many to prevent deadly diseases and adverse health problems. Further, the earlier Internet will expand its wings, the sooner technological advancements in the field of healthcare will be able to bless mankind.