World's First Driverless Vehicle Runs in Nevada
Self-driving cars are one step closer to becoming a reality. Google's efforts to develop a car that uses video cameras, radar sensors, detailed maps and lasers to navigate its way through traffic was just granted its first license for a computer-controlled, driverless Toyota Prius in the state of Nevada.
Although its first model sports a nerdy device on its roof and the technology still needs some tweaking, having the license will allow Google to test out the technology on Nevada's public roads before going mainstream.
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The car will have a new type of license plated created especially for it—red in color with an infinity symbol, which symbolizes that driverless vehicles are the transport of the future.
”The unique red plate will be easily recognized by the public and law enforcement and will be used only for licensed autonomous test vehicles,” Department director Bruce Breslow told the Inhabitat. “When there comes a time that vehicle manufactures market autonomous vehicles to the public, that infinity symbol will appear on a green license plate.”
BBC reports that a world of driverless cars would include safer roads, a more productive commute and fewer traffic jams. Unlike humans, Google's car adheres strictly to speed limits and rules of the road; it's not distracted by changing the radio, looking away from the road or answering a phone call. In the future, driverless cars will even be able to communicate with one another to negotiate lane changes and other actions.
In that case, the driver could be as distracted as he or she wants. "If you truly trust the intelligence of the vehicle, then you get in the vehicle and you do our work while you're traveling," Lynne Irwin, an engineer and director of the Local Roads Program at Cornell University, tells BBC.
Say goodbye to traffic. If autonomous vehicles could communicate with each other, they could essentially drive nearly bumper to bumper at higher speeds, nearly eliminating congestion.
The technology would make having a personal driver an affordable reality for future generations to come. Parents could even have the vehicle drive their children to school, return home and then cart them off to work. Drunk driving incidents and DUI's would become a thing of the past—perhaps, that's exactly what makes the Las Vegas strip and ideal starting ground.
Itronics successfully tests manganese recovery process
Itronics - a Nevada-based emerging cleantech materials growth company that manufacturers fertilisers and produces silver - has successfully tested two proprietary processes that recover manganese, with one process recovering manganese, potassium and zinc from paste produced by processing non-rechargeable alkaline batteries. The second recovers manganese via the company’s Rock Kleen Technology.
Manganese, one of the four most important industrial metals and widely used by the steel industry, has been designated by the US Federal Government as a "critical mineral." It is a major component of non-rechargeable alkaline batteries, one of the largest battery categories sold globally.
The use of manganese in EV batteries is increasing as EV battery technology is shifting to use of more nickel and manganese in battery formulations. But according to the US Department of Interior, there is no mine production of manganese in the United States. As such, Itronics is using its Rock Kleen Technology to test metal recoverability from mine tailings obtained from a former silver mine in western Nevada that has a high manganese content.
In a statement, Itronics says that its Rock Kleen process recovers silver, manganese, zinc, copper, lead and nickel. The company says that it has calculated – based on laboratory test results – that if a Rock Kleen tailings process is put into commercial production, the former mine site would become the only primary manganese producer in the United States.
Itronics adds that it has also tested non-rechargeable alkaline battery paste recovered by a large domestic battery recycling company to determine if it could use one of its hydrometallurgical processes to solubilize the manganese, potassium, and zinc contained in the paste. This testing was successful, and Itronics was able to produce material useable in two of its fertilisers, it says.
"We believe that the chemistry of the two recovery processes would lend itself to electrochemical recovery of the manganese, zinc, and other metals. At this time electrochemical recovery has been tested for zinc and copper,” says Dr John Whitney, Itronics president.
“Itronics has been reviewing procedures for electrochemical recovery of manganese and plans to move this technology forward when it is appropriate to do so and has acquired electro-winning equipment needed to do that.
"Because of the two described proprietary technologies, Itronics is positioned to become a domestic manganese producer on a large scale to satisfy domestic demand. The actual manganese products have not yet been defined, except for use in the Company's GOLD'n GRO Multi-Nutrient Fertilisers. However, the Company believes that it will be able to produce chemical manganese products as well as electrochemical products," he adds.
Itronics’ research and development plant is located in Reno, about 40 miles west of the Tesla giga-factory. Its planned cleantech materials campus, which will be located approximately 40 miles south of the Tesla factory, would be the location where the manganese products would be produced.
Panasonic is operating one of the world's largest EV battery factories at the Tesla location. However, Tesla and other companies have announced that EV battery technology is shifting to use of nickel-manganese batteries. Itronics is positioned and located to become a Nevada-0based supplier of manganese products for battery manufacturing as its manganese recovery technologies are advanced, the company states.
A long-term objective for Itronics is to become a leading producer of high purity metals, including the U.S. critical metals manganese and tin, using the Company's breakthrough hydrometallurgy, pyrometallurgy, and electrochemical technologies. ‘Additionally, Itronics is strategically positioned with its portfolio of "Zero Waste Energy Saving Technologies" to help solve the recently declared emergency need for domestic production of Critical Minerals from materials located at mine sites,’ the statement continues.
The Company's growth forecast centers upon its 10-year business plan designed to integrate its Zero Waste Energy Saving Technologies and to grow annual sales from $2 million in 2019, to $113 million in 2025.