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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

$150,000 Car Of The Future: Driver Not Needed

September 6, 2013 8:01 am | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO | Blogs | Comments

If you had a chance to “drive” to work tomorrow without having to touch the steering wheel or press down a pedal, would you do it? Think of the amount of time commuters everywhere could gain back – without having to actually think about driving, commuters can now safely take a phone call, catch up on the news, or maybe even nap (if you’re the type to put complete trust into driverless technology).

Self-Driving Cars Could Be On U.S. Roads By 2020

September 3, 2013 2:29 pm | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Cars that drive themselves could be on U.S. roads by the end of this decade. But don't take your foot off the pedal just yet. Automakers, universities and others are at various stages in the development of autonomous cars. Google is testing some in California. 

Hackers Find Weaknesses In Car Computer Systems

September 3, 2013 10:21 am | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

As cars become more like PCs on wheels, what's to stop a hacker from taking over yours? Hackers have shown they can slam a car's brakes at freeway speeds, jerk the steering wheel and even shut down the engine — all from their laptop computers.

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Piracy, Printing, And A New Era Of Manufacturing

September 3, 2013 8:01 am | by Chris Fox, Associate Editor, PD&D | Blogs | Comments

A topic that doesn’t seem to come up, at least via outlets that are 3D-printer friendly (which are in a powerful majority at this point), is the proliferation of piracy thanks to the quickly emerging 3D-printer market. Much like Napster brought a slapped major record labels across the face, 3D printing is poised to make major manufacturers shake in their boots… maybe.

Predator Drone Now Part Of CA Wildfire Battle

August 29, 2013 1:59 pm | by Brian Skoloff, Tracie Cone, Associated Press | News | Comments

As crews advanced against a giant wildfire around Yosemite National Park, fire commanders said they would maintain use of a Predator drone to give them early views of any new flare-ups across the remote and rugged landscape. Officials remained confident on Thursday about their efforts to corral the Rim Fire, which grew by a relatively modest few hundred acres overnight.

Toyota Says New Prius, Fuel Cell Car Due In 2015

August 29, 2013 12:52 pm | by Dee-Ann Durbin, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Toyota has two important vehicles coming in 2015: the next-generation Prius hybrid and the company's first hydrogen fuel cell car. Satoshi Ogiso, a top Toyota engineer who helped develop the original Prius 20 years ago, said Wednesday that the new Prius will get significantly better fuel economy than its current 50 miles per gallon (4.7 liters per 100 kilometers).

Cheetah Robot Hits The Ground Running

August 29, 2013 8:04 am | by ReutersVideo | Videos | Comments

'Cheetah Cub' is a robot being developed by scientists in Switzerland, to one day assist in search and rescue missions. The machine does not yet have a head, but otherwise looks and runs like a cat, to go into places inaccessible or too dangerous for humans. Reuters' Jim Drury has more.

Train Shines Light On Self-Contained Solar Power

August 29, 2013 8:02 am | by ReutersVideo | Videos | Comments

A nature reserve in central Hungary has become a testing ground for self-contained, solar-powered train travel. Engineers say the narrow gauge train is the first of its kind and could become a template for larger train transport systems. Reuters' Matthew Stock reports.

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Nissan EVP Talks Self-Driving Cars

August 29, 2013 8:01 am | by NissanNewsroom | Videos | Comments

Nissan announced that the company's engineers have been carrying out intensive research on the technology for years, alongside teams from the world's top universities, including MIT, Stanford, Oxford, Carnegie Mellon and the University of Tokyo. Executive Vice President Andy Palmer gives all the details on Nissan's 20-20 vision.

Nissan Announces Autonomous Drive Plan By 2020

August 28, 2013 3:45 pm | by NissanNewsroom | Videos | Comments

Nissan announces a 2020 autonomous drive timetable for bringing the high-technology cars to global markets. Nissan announced that the company's engineers have been carrying out intensive research on the technology for years, alongside teams from the world's top universities, including MIT, Stanford, Oxford, Carnegie Mellon and the University of Tokyo.

Nissan Pledges To Make Self-Driving Cars By 2020

August 28, 2013 2:28 pm | by Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. | News | Comments

Nissan Motor Co. says it will make cars that drive themselves by 2020. The Japanese automaker made the pledge Tuesday at an event in California. CEO Carlos Ghosn has said before that he wants Nissan to be the first to sell self-driving cars. But Tuesday's announcement was more specific.

AL Professor Creates Carbon-Capturing System

August 27, 2013 2:25 pm | by Ed Enoch, The Tuscaloosa News | News | Comments

A Colorado company has licensed a method of capturing carbon dioxide pioneered by a University of Alabama assistant professor, with the hope of developing the method as a more energy-efficient way of reducing emissions at fossil-fuel power plants.

Deadly & Life-Saving: Printing Our 3D Future

August 27, 2013 8:02 am | by Richard Console | Articles | Comments

With the emergence of 3D printers into mainstream markets, what the devices actually do seems to matter less than what they will do, or could be made to do, in the future. Will they create a crisis of unregistered, undetectable firearms? Or will 3D printers become such a life-saving medical necessity that future consumers will regard the technology as unremarkable as the current practice of casting broken bones?

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'Hyperloop' Travel Idea Gains Fans, Backers

August 23, 2013 2:02 pm | by Justin Pritchard, Associated Press | News | Comments

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk urged the public to polish sketch plans he released last week for a "Hyperloop" that would shoot capsules full of people at the speed of sound through elevated tubes connecting Los Angeles and San Francisco. From tinkerers to engineers, the race is on.

Ford's New 3D Dirt Detection Technology

August 23, 2013 12:18 pm | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | Videos | Comments

Ford Automotive has unveiled what it says is an industry-first detection technology that uses high-resolution cameras to detect and eliminate dirt particles on a freshly-laid coat of paint. The company’s F-Series trucks are the latest vehicles to benefit from the technology, which Ford claims can detect particles smaller than a grain of salt.

Wayne State Boosts Studies In Nanotechnology

August 21, 2013 2:21 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Wayne State University is going smaller in a bigger way. The Detroit university is using a $200,000 federal grant to develop an undergraduate program in nanoengineering. The field is a branch of nanotechnology, which involves manipulating matter at the molecular level.

Beechcraft's Light Attack Aircraft Takes Flight

August 21, 2013 10:08 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Beechcraft celebrated Tuesday the inaugural flight of its first production AT-6 light attack aircraft, trying to move on after the bitter loss of a high-stakes U.S. contract for which it had initially designed the plane. The Wichita-based aircraft maker unveiled the plane at its headquarters as it tries to market its new military plane to U.S. partner nations.

Study: Warehouses Plan Technology Investments

August 20, 2013 2:10 pm | by Motorola Solutions, Inc. | News | Comments

Motorola Solutions has announced the results of a research study that details shifts in the plans of warehouse professionals across several industries as they respond to new opportunities in the market and mounting pressures inside their organizations. The role of technology in warehouses has shifted from purely reducing costs and has increasingly expanded into adjacent benefits that can drive differentiation and profitable growth.

A Quadcopter Drone For The Masses?

August 15, 2013 1:56 pm | by Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Unmanned aircraft, also known as drones, are revolutionizing warfare. Now, some of that technology is coming home from the war, to amuse us and give us an aerial perspective on our surroundings. It's easy to see these agile, relatively stable aircraft being put to a number of uses, from aerial photography to package delivery — at least once the dangers can be managed and the legal issues worked through.

The Technology Behind Exoskeletons

August 15, 2013 8:01 am | by CNN | Videos | Comments

With a robust history of pop culture examples, its no wonder that real-life exoskeleton prototypes have been evolving for decades. General Electric's 1960s 'Hardi-Man' could help users lift 1500 pounds, but it also weighed 1500 pounds. Lockheed Martin's current day "hulc" helps soldiers tote up to 200 pounds without significantly weighing them down.

Is Inventor Elon Musk’s ‘Hyperloop’ Just Hype?

August 14, 2013 12:23 pm | by NBC News | Videos | Comments

Inventor Elon Musk calls his latest idea the Hyperloop: a high-speed transportation system that would speed people through hollow tubes at the speed of sound without turbulence, weather delays, or air traffic control. Imagine stepping into a car-sized capsule in downtown Los Angeles and, 30 minutes later, emerging in San Francisco.

'Hyperloop' Would Link LA-SF In 30 Minutes

August 13, 2013 10:03 am | by Justin Pritchard, Associated Press | News | Comments

Imagine stepping into a car-sized capsule in downtown Los Angeles and, 30 minutes later, emerging in San Francisco. On Monday, billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk unveiled a transportation concept that he said could whisk passengers the nearly 400 miles from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 30 minutes — half the time it takes an airplane. If it's ever built.

Inventor Musk To Share Plans For High-Speed Travel

August 12, 2013 2:06 pm | by Martha Mendoza, Associated Press | News | Comments

Twice as fast as an airplane, cheaper than a bullet train and completely self-powered: that's the mysterious transportation system that inventor and entrepreneur Elon Musk is promising to reveal design plans for Monday. Musk has been dropping hints about his "Hyperloop" system for more than a year during public events.

Car Company's Big Plans Haven't Come To Fruition

August 12, 2013 10:21 am | by Holbrook Mohr, Mitch Weiss, Associated Press | News | Comments

It seemed like a win for everyone when a startup car company, backed by political heavyweights, wooed investors with plans to build a massive auto plant in Mississippi. GreenTech Automotive announced in 2009 production would start in three years and foreign investors who plunked down at least $500,000 for the venture would get the opportunity to live in the U.S. while an impoverished area of Mississippi would get jobs and tax revenues.

BlackBerry Weighs Putting Itself Up For Sale

August 12, 2013 10:18 am | by Rob Gillies, Associated Press | News | Comments

Struggling smartphone maker BlackBerry will consider selling itself. The company said Monday that its board has formed a special committee to explore "strategic alternatives" in hopes of boosting the adoption of its BlackBerry 10 smartphone. The company said its options could also include joint ventures, partnerships, or other moves.

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