Skip to main content

tv   Tech Know  Al Jazeera  October 11, 2014 10:30pm-11:01pm EDT

10:30 pm
the battle against isil only on al jazeera america "al jazeera america." this is techno, a show about invasions that can change lives. the 60s of fighting a wildfire. we are going to explore hardware and humanity and doing it in anique way. >> this is a show about science by scientists. let's check out our team, hardcore nerds. >> i am phil torres. i am an eventmologist. tonight, a special edition of techno: the revolution on the road. bind experimental toyota. the only emission: water.
10:31 pm
could this be the new way to fill her up? then, dr. shinny samara, a mechanical engineer, the latest in crash test dummies and how researchers are turning to 3d imaging to make those dummies a little smarter. >> there is a graphic, a different i am packet. >> an engineer who designed everything from satellites in space to bionic eyes. >> i love watching the steering wheel. giving us a whole new meaning to being a back seat driver. >> that's our team. now, let's do some science. i am phil torres driving along the beautiful southern california coast. i am behind a wheel of one of toyota's hydrogen fuel demo vehicles, one of a slew of innovations making the car of the future the car of now.
10:32 pm
the streets of tonies california a lab for the game changing electronic vehicle. the newest hydrogen fuel cell car. this is the hot room at toyota's technical center where they tested toyota's hydrogen fuel cell car, the first one that will hit the consumer market. >> this is the future. >> jackie bilsell is the fuel cell engineer. >> i have been working this for 11 years. to finally, see it coming to production is exciting and a little nerve-racking. >> what is inside a fuel cell vehicle? >> instead of the gasoline combustingtion, we have fuel cell. it creates electricity on demand by combining hydrogen with an electro-chemical reaction.
10:33 pm
>> a membrane between the hydrogen and oxygen strips the hydrogen atom of the one electron. the electricity is generated as it moves around the fuel cell to hook up with the oxygen to produce h 20. >> so this emits water? >> only water. i can go show you. . >> so this is where the water comes out? >> exactly. it will be a mixture of water vapor and a few droplets. >> if we want to see the water, understand? >> there is a purge button. >> sot water. so this is the big purge. >> that's kind of amazing. i want to drink this. shouldn't? >> gets atmospheric and environmental dirt in it.
10:34 pm
i wouldn't recommend drinking it. >> unlike most cars, the under carriage is wrapped up tight. >> we were to take the plastic covers off you would see a hydrogen tank here, another here and the fuel cell belt is underneath the front seat. >> i think people would be concerned having a compressed gas tank on your car, but you do a lot of safety tests? >> we do a lot of testing, yes. bullets? >> we do. it's called the gunfire test. we shoot it with a 50 caliber armor-piercing round. with the first shot, weren't able to penetrate one wall. >> second? >> second shot went through and it againsted the hydrogen out. >> unless you get shot twice in the same spot, you will probably be okay the it car dwent years of development. there is some small condition you think
10:35 pm
about. we test vehicles especially painted to discase the protocols. extreme conditions. blistering heat to death valley? >> we had temperatures over 120 degrees fahrenheit. >> to the bone-chilling cold of yellow knife canada. start. >> are what pressure? >> 23, slowing down. >> i was not expecting how cold it would be. >> back in warm california, jackie and i hopped into a demo vehicle and headed to a nearby station to fill her up. ♪ ♪ s is that. touch? >> it's because if you fill it with hydrogen and the tank lets up as we are filling. in order to minimize that effect
10:36 pm
and to get higher density gas in there, did is mine tus 20. >> how much does it cost to fill up a car? >> 5 to $7 a kilogram. it would be around $30 to go over 300 miles. >> so it's pretty comparable to what you would have with a emissions? >> exactly. the idea is to completely replace normal dimensional vehicle and not have to make any of the sacrifices as far as refill time or range. >> how much of these fueling stations are there in california? >> nine but there are more building built right now almost monthly, a new one comes online. >> it seems like a bit of a hurdle for people who would want to buy a car like this because hydrogen. >> the stations are definitely vehicles. >> right now, there are only a few dozen stations across states. >> i think she's filled up. should we go for a ride? >>
10:37 pm
absolutely. >> california's tough emission standards were the cast lift for the developments of the hydrogen car. toyota is just the first car make tory roll out a consumer vision, gm, hunt eye, mercy are gearing up. >> this reminds me of the prius quiet. you hit the gas and you don't really hear anything but you go faster. makes the drive a little bit more relaxing when you have this kind of a view. . >> another innovation right around the corner, cars that can talk to each other. the federal government is in the final stages of mandating vehicle to vehicle communication in all new cars in our doctor shimmy samara went to check it out.
10:38 pm
. >> trying to kill him. >> that was a quen win alert. you were about to clyde in to the car in front. >> an arbor michigan home of the university of michigan and the transportation research stint tut where they are testing the future of driving. >> each vehicle had a dedicated shortrage communication radio, transmitting what we call the basic safety methods, vehicle speed, position and heading and so then, we can compare that to our own vehicle and do any threat assessment and warn the driver accordingly. >> it works by surrounding each vehicle with a wi-fi like system call dedicated short range communications that shares a stream of data to other v to. vs calculating the danger and triggering warnings when needed like when there is a car you can't see unexpectedly braking or when it's not safe to pass a slower car or when a car is in a blind spot during a lane change: so forward collision was because
10:39 pm
the car in front actually stopped and was an obstacle? >> typically, an emergency electronic brake light is going to tell me, the driver, that someone ahead of me is braking hard and not just braking but braking hard so, panic braking, slamming on their brakes, may not be in the lane in front of me but in one of the lanes in front of me. >> this is quite a blind spot. >> can't see the past the bush. there is a tall bush. >> pull out this one. >> right here. >> a particularly dreary day at general motors technical center in warren, michigan gave me an added dose of reality to testify a vehicle to vehicle safety alert system. >> naturally, as a driver when you can't see the road, you do tend to kind of edge forward. so, i am going to do what i would naturally do. i am edging forward. ? >> i did not see that one coming. >> one of the advantages of v to. vt works en if the driver can't see the approaching vehicle.
10:40 pm
>> the general motor is one of the nine major car makers to make v to v communication a reality, an unusual teaming in industry. >> my car, in a gm vehicle, needs to talk to a toyota vehicle needs to talk to a ford vehicle or a hyundai vehicle and they need to send the same type of messages. that can't happen if we develop this technology. john capp also had a hand in building gm's current crash avoidance system. >> some of those alert systems already exist in more higher end cars. what's different about the system that the v to. v vehicles offer. >> some of our cadillacs have 6 radas, two cameras and 8 or 10 ultra sonic sensors. those aren't enough to see several car lengths ahead of you or to see around a corner. have v to v technology fills in those gaps and lets us have more information to address some of those driving situations that are
10:41 pm
challenging. i will be more reckless. >> okay. push the envelope. >> yeah. >> my last chance. whoa. >> what is a car doing stationary in the middle of my runway? you know what? i don't tend to look at that. >> right. >> that's not meant to focus on. >> that's more informational. you see the scrolling red? really, the alert that's going to provide you, you know, the dash. >> yeah. >> because for these type of alerts, we want to direct the person's attention, you know, to the road. so an alert that's you high up within the driver's line of sight is optimal for providing this information. there will be applications once cars get v to v technology. >> that's age example of one. >> information between two cars. what happens when every car is
10:42 pm
fitted out with this technology? wouldn't the system be information. >> that's one of the technical challenges of similarly we need to develop a security system to make sure unwanted messages don't get sent between vehicles. we think it's possible to get to a point some day where, you know, maybe crashes won't happen anymore. it will take awhile to get there. >> up next, our costa grammatis in a car that drives itself. >> oh, my god. oh, my god. >> wow. >> that guy. we want to hear what you think about these stories. join the conversation by following us on twitter and at >> weekday mornings on al jazeera america >> start your day with in depth coverage from across the country and around the world. >> the future looks uncertain... >> real news keeping you up to date. >> an informed look on the night's events, a smarter start to your day.
10:43 pm
mornings on al jazeera america
10:44 pm
10:45 pm
the driverless car. the state of california granting licenses for autonomous vehicles in our very on costa gramattis is going to take one for a spin. >> the road to the driver -- road to the driverless car has been a long one. >> all set for auto control. >> this is how general motor envisioned the future in 1957? >> in and out under automatic control, hands-off steering. that was then. this is now. this is gm's concept car, aided itself aided
10:46 pm
bio board cameras and v to v technology? >> take it off, the wheel. >> come 2017, gm starts selling cadillacs with super cruise, a semi automated system that can let the car do much of the driving and take control to avert a crash. >> we found quickly people get a just to the system, are willing to take hands off of the wheel and feet off of the pedals. >> gm is not the only auto maker gearing up for driverless cars. nissan is racing toward a 2020 deadline for a fully autonomous vehicle. and the top resea searcher let me figure out how it works. scanners. >> yes. >> they send out big people withes of laser? >> yes. >> to determine how far the distance is. >> yes. >> and here we have a big radar panel that can see 20 meeters ahead and in the back, another radar panel here and one over here as well. >> yes. yeah.
10:47 pm
>> they determine. >> centimeters. >> whether objects are approaching a car or going away from the car? and all of these little guys are sonar? >> yes the. >> they send out little trips and then you have cameras on every side of the car? >> yes. yes. >> autonomous minnesota mode. hit it. >> yes. no hands. >> the camera is reading the speed limit. we will watch it slow down. >> yes. that's right. >> red lights, cameras detecting it hugh did it know to go left? follows the road using the cameras and what happens if a kid comes out chasing a ball? oh, my gosh. oh, my gosh.
10:48 pm
almost got that guy. makes a decision whether to brake or swerve. can we park it? >> yeah. we can do that from the backseat. right? >> yes. this is my space. calling dibs on that spot. it's parking. i love watching the steering wheel just spin itself. what happens ifty interrupt it? >> it stops, completely stops. >> as car make makers tinker with driverless cars, researchers at stanford university's automobile lab are using a state of the art simulator to focus on the biggest wild card: the whether or n what is the most dangerous time? >> the moment with the car shifts control from its self to the driver. drivers are totaly disoriented and being asked to absorb an
10:49 pm
enormous range of things going on to get what we call situation awareness where that was none. >> i would place the electrodes on your head. >> if we want to understand what's going on your brain and body when you are driving, we can see where their eyes are tracker. >> great? >> what their brain is doing. we can see what their heart is doing the simulator was built to help ups us understand when autonomous mode is switched. >> watch what happens when i have to take control. did asked me to disable automation. uh-oh.
10:50 pm
i crashed because i wasn't paying attention. while i was crashing, the compute was measuring my response. >> that's what's called ought on ommic arousal. so, it has to do with how excited you are. how ready for action you are. and a good driver is neither too excited nor too calm. >> making the car the designated driver will revolutionize how we drive. but it could be life-changing for someone like steve mehane whom almost completely blind. google cliented him to take the driver's seat. >> how did it feel? >> incredibly normal an abnormal at the same time. all of the things you do as you drive come back. >> we are here at the stop sign. >> yeah. >> this is some of the best driving i have ever done. >> do you think you will be able lifetime? >>
10:51 pm
absolutely. when techno returns,
10:52 pm
10:53 pm
>> even with all of the safetyy measures, there will be accidents as there are about 6 million of them every year. >> that's why researchers run the crash tests with dumnies. now, they are getting a little bit smarter as they cross that digital divide. >> lights. camera.
10:54 pm
height. >> and action. >> we call it the crash hall. welcome to crash hall at the insurance institute of highway safety in ruckersville, virginia where every year, the smash and trash, at least 70 brand-new vehicles to let you know which new cars are safe. >> we have high-speed cameras throughout the crash haul and within the vehicle itself that second. >> tracking the cards at 40 miles per hour, high-speed cameras allow researchers to slow down the accident to study how the body ab sorbs the kind of effects of the crash. it's all done with a fleet of dummies. >> the centers in these dummies are low trans deucers, other sentence tours that can measure parts. >> 50 embedded sensors these are
10:55 pm
pricey and smart dummies? >> on each of these sensors, we are recording 10,000 samples of data per second. we have an investment of about $250,000 per dummy. >> that may make them technologically smart but they are still not human. >> with dummies, of course, it's very difficult to predict things like soft tissue injuries. in the real world, we have things like aortic lacerations, lung con tushingsz damage to other internal organs we cannot replicate with some of these crash test dummies. >> there is a favorite dummy, the mid-saysed mail at 5' 10", 172 pounds, the mid-size male is the most often used standin. >> there has been talk of developing more frail dummies that, say, would represent the aging population. >> it's not just the aging population fueling crash test upgrades.
10:56 pm
itstitute. >> what is the focus of the research here? >> people with disabilities who use wheelchairs. >> very different dynamic, isn't it, compared to a very typical person sitting in a car seat? >> yes, it is. we will see if a person going under the seatbelt and, in fact, they can completely come out of a wheelchair. >> how realistic are those dummies? >> very simplified versions of the complex human body. . >> crash test dummies have been used since 1949. they have become ever more sophisticated but what researchers are finding here is that they can get ever closer to reality by using three dimensional computer models. >> for the body's exterior, shini volunteered for the process. a 3 dimensional laser scan capturing 500,000 points on the body in 12 seconds. from that, an avatar of the external body shape is created. >> we can do body scan but
10:57 pm
that's just the outside. >> gene winhu is one of those working on hundreds of mris. >> what's the mri capturing? >> the mri can capture internal organs, ligaments. >> to create a wide spectrum of digital dumneys not just the mid-sized man. >> what i find fascinating about the computer generated models are the layers going from internal. >> we have a statistical model that can predict the bone geometry based upon your age, gender, stature, bmi, roughly two million elements just on the a sing person. >> this is a fantastic graphic of really illustrating the different impacts with different body shapes. >> yeah. >> so this is just one example of how
10:58 pm
obesity can effect. >> an obese person's belly has a wheel. >> because all of the fat right here and the belt can for the quickly load on to the pelvis. for this particular simulation, this okccupant will hirelower extremities than a lean person. >> in the future, we can run this model thousands of times. >> will save a lot of time as well as money. >> should computer generated dummies put the real dummies? >> we test new vehicle models. you would need a very accurate compute model probably from the auto manufacturer that you could trust to conduct is a virtual crash test on. >> some day in the future, everything might be done with computer models. we are safe to say we will be using vehicle crashes for some time to come.
10:59 pm
that's a look at some of the latest innovations that will affect the way we will all be driving some day. >> that's it for the special edition of techno. i am phil torres. it's time to take this hydrogen-filled car and hit the road. dive deep into these stories and go behind the scenes at al jazeera dpom/techno. follow our expert contributors on twitter, facebook, instatus sta graham and google+ and more. >> on al jazeera america, >> a team of scientists are taking their inspiration from nature. >>'s a vital part of who we are >>they had some dynamic fire behavior... >> and what we do.... >> transcranial direct stimulation... don't try this at home! >> tech know's team of experts show you how the miracles of science... >> this is my selfie... what can you tell me about my future?
11:00 pm
>> ...can effect and surprise us... >> sharks like affection >> tech know, where technology meets humanity... only on al jazeera america this is al jazeera america, i'm thomas drayton in new york. let's get you caught up on the top stories. the world health organisation ups the number of ebola cases as screenings begin at kennedy airport in new york city [ chants ] . organizers call for a weekend of resistance assist hundreds protest the police shooting at st louis. >> her doing what


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on