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Posts Tagged ‘NASA’

Nissan, NASA Partnering to Develop Self-Driving Vehicle Technology

Pairing could produce vehicles for Earth and space.

by on Jan.09, 2015

The all-electric Nissan Leaf fitted with autonomous drive equipment allowed to park at NASA’s Ames Research Center.

The names of vehicles used by NASA in its research efforts roll off the tongue: Columbia, Discovery, Endeavour…Leaf? Maybe not, but the space agency and Nissan Motor Co. are partnering up to develop autonomous vehicle systems that could have applications on the ground and in space.

“The work of NASA and Nissan – with one directed to space and the other directed to earth, is connected by similar challenges,” said Carlos Ghosn, president and CEO of Nissan Motor Co. “The partnership will accelerate Nissan’s development of safe, secure and reliable autonomous drive technology that we will progressively introduce to consumers beginning in 2016 up to 2020.”

The Last Word!

The five-year partnership will team researchers from Nissan’s U.S. Silicon Valley Research Center and NASA’s Ames Research Center in California who will test a fleet of zero-emission vehicles used to transport a variety of materials, goods, payloads and people. The tests are similar to the way NASA currently operates its planetary rovers remotely from a mission control center. (more…)

Ford Lawsuit Claims “Design Defect” Can Cause Unintended Acceleration

Detroit maker says federal investigators already cleared it.

by on Mar.29, 2013

A new federal lawsuit claims scores of Ford products, like the Taurus, suffer from a "defect' that makes the vehicle suddenly accelerate.

A new lawsuit claims that nearly a decade’s worth of vehicles produced by the Ford Motor Co. suffer from a “design defect” that can make them susceptible to suddenly and unexpectedly begin racing out of control.

The lawsuit, filed in West Virginia federal court on behalf of 20 different owners in 14 states, is seeking class-action status that could, if approved, come to involve the owners of millions of Ford vehicles produced between 2002 and 2010.

Powering your Auto Knowledge!

“For too long, Ford has put its own financial interests ahead of its consumers’ safety,” said lead attorney Adam Levitt. “We hope this lawsuit sheds light on this important situation and requires Ford to correct its ways, compensate its customers and put them first.”


GM and NASA Engineers Prepare R2 for Space Work

Technology on R2 robot could easily displace line workers.

by on Jul.07, 2010

Not exactly a job creating technology.

General Motors and NASA engineers continue to prepare Robonaut 2 for its planned September mission to the International Space Station aboard the space shuttle Discovery, GM said today in a statement.

This new generation robot can use its hands to do work beyond the scope of prior machines.

Using dexterous, human-like robots capable of intricate work is not new to the aerospace industry, of course. The original Robonaut, a humanoid robot designed for space travel, was built by the software, robotics and simulation division at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in a collaborative effort with the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency 10 years ago

R2 can work safely alongside people, a necessity both on Earth and in space. This new generation robot can use its hands to do work beyond the scope of prior machines.  (See NASA and GM Working on Robotic Technology)

Human Written!

GM and NASA engineering teams are currently checking on some of the key technologies employed by the “humanoid” robot, including advanced sensor and vision systems.

R2, while not nearly as cute as R2-D2 of Star Wars fame, is faster, more dexterous and a more technologically advanced robot than previous, non-movie versions.

No word if R2 has a taser, though.

At least people, so far, are doing the design work. Moreover, a human writes this story.


Chrysler and NASA Pair on Advanced Technologies

Potential synergies as an outgrowth of the space program?

by on Apr.13, 2010

Hundreds of applications here on Earth?

Chrysler Group LLC and NASA today announced a three-year alliance to share information related to advanced technologies. The alliance allows Chrysler Group and NASA to tap into existing and emerging space exploration and automotive technologies.

The shared knowledge will be used in their respective activities.

Several advanced technology topics are being investigated for potential synergies including: materials engineering, robotics, radar, battery systems and other energy storage mediums.

“The investment in NASA technologies has led to hundreds of applications here on Earth for several decades now, and this collaboration with Chrysler promises to continue that tradition,” said Mike Coats, director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.


National Academy of Sciences and NASA to Study Unintended Acceleration Issues for DOT

Secretary LaHood launches two “major” investigations on a relatively rare but troublesome and controversial safety issue.

by on Mar.30, 2010

What on earth is going on with those Toyotas?

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced two investigations designed to answer questions surrounding the issue of unintended vehicle acceleration.

LaHood also asked the U.S. Department of Transportation Inspector General to assess whether the NHTSA Office of Defects Investigation conducted an “adequate review” of complaints of alleged unintended acceleration reported to NHTSA from 2002 to the present.

The ongoing controversy of the problem in Toyota and other vehicles have led to numerous charges from critics that NHTSA is underfunded and improperly staffed to deal with safety matters. It appears particularly weak in the area of electronic controls and systems, as automakers continue to expand rapidly their use in all vehicles.

There are also charges that former NHTSA employees working for Toyota  prevented thorough investigations and delayed safety recalls.

The independent National Academy of Sciences will examine the subject of unintended acceleration and electronic vehicle controls across the entire automotive industry. A panel of experts will review industry and government efforts to identify possible sources of unintended acceleration, including electronic vehicle controls, human error, mechanical failure and interference with accelerator systems. The study is expected to take 15 months. See The Case for “Black Box” Electronic Data Recorders

NAS experts will look at software, computer hardware design, electromagnetic compatibility and electromagnetic interference. The panel will make recommendations to NHTSA on how its rulemaking, research and defect investigation activities may help ensure the safety of electronic control systems in motor vehicles.

NASA Specifically on Toyota Issues


Separately, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, DOT’s vehicle safety agency, has enlisted NASA engineers with expertise in areas such as computer controlled electronic systems, electromagnetic interference and software integrity to help tackle the issue of unintended vehicle acceleration in Toyotas.   At least 52 deaths are allegedly the result of  the well-publicized problems and an ongoing series of recalls for Lexus and Toyota models. (more…)

NASA and GM Working on Robotic Technology

Next gen robots for auto and aerospace use looks promising.

by on Feb.04, 2010

Let R2 do the heavy lifting.

Engineers and scientists from NASA and General Motors Company are working together through a Space Act Agreement to build a new humanoid robot capable of working side by side with people.

At NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston living people are exploring control, sensor and vision technologies. Future robots could assist astronauts during hazardous space missions and help GM build safer cars and plants, according to program workers.

Successful robots could eliminate entirely the need for people to risk the hazards of space exploration.

The two organizations, and engineers from Oceaneering Space Systems of Houston, developed and built the next iteration of Robonaut or Robonaut 2. Testing is ongoing.

Live Writers (so far)!

R2, while not nearly as cute as R2-D2 of Star Wars fame, is said to be faster, more dexterous and a more technologically advanced robot than previous, non-movie versions. No word if R2 has a taser, though.