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Thread: Driverless heavy haul ore trains to run at the end of 2018

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnwhelan View Post
    Walmart has lowered prices for many people but at the expense of many retail jobs.
    I would like to say a few things:
    1. I got my job with the help of a thing called Project SEARCH. It's a program by a local group called Cross Plains Community Partnership. This group partners with local businesses (in this case, the local hospital and Shaw Industries, which is the biggest manufacturer of textiles in, at least America) to provide internships for people with disabilities to find jobs. I was part of a group of four 'Guinea Pigs' for the Shaw program, as we were the first group to be in the Shaw program. It was lasted nine months, Monday to Friday, 7:00AM-3:30PM, same hours as going to school. We got paid during our internship, and were provided transportation if no one could get us from home to our workplace, or vice versa, in my case, it was from work to home. I just wish that there was more of these programs out there, as it would help a younger generation find jobs instead of sitting at home on their behinds all the time.

    2. There's two things about Wal-Mart I've learned: 1. You can find all the things you need on a daily basis there (as long as it's family-friendly (well, except for the video games, movies and TV shows you can buy in the Electronics area, as some of them are not appropriate for younger children)). 2. I don't know if anyone else has this problem, but my family has the problem of going to Wal-Mart and as soon as we pull into the driveway at our house, we remember something we forgot to get there.
    Last edited by jordon412; July 27th, 2017 at 10:09 AM.
    Failure is always an option - Adam Savage, Mythbusters

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by jordon412 View Post
    ...I don't know if anyone else has this problem, but my family has the problem of going to Wal-Mart and as soon as we pull into the driveway at our house, we remember something we forgot to get there.
    I wish I got paid for how many times that's happened to me here in the UK ha ha! Now, if only there was a way to automate someway of putting that situation right...

    Cheers

    Dave

  3. #33
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    Instead of investing and wasting money into the development of driver-less passenger and freight trains in Australia, it would be more advantageous to set a target of electrifying the whole nations rail network by the year of 2050.
    Replace all diesel powered locomotives with an electric system, so that we can help to reduce world air pollution.
    Still prefer a human train driver with the "dead man's switch button" active as a fail safe measure.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by davies_mike57 View Post
    Replace all diesel powered locomotives with an electric system, so that we can help to reduce world air pollution.
    That very much depends on how the electricity is generated. Here in Oz we are now starting to close old coal burning power stations and are not building new ones - although some politicians still believe in "clean coal", an oxymoron in my opinion. One state just closed a 60 year old power station that provided about 25% of that states power and 5% of the nations power by burning brown coal and was regarded as the worlds dirtiest and most polluting power station. So that was a win for the environment but some are predicting blackouts and power shortages as a result.

    Nuclear power is not an option here, despite the claims of those same politicians, and while hydro is used it is not really suitable in one of the driest and flattest continents on Earth. We have no geothermal or tidal options to speak of so that really only leaves solar, which we have an over-abundance of for about half of each day (but that not the time when you want it) and wind (usually provided in abundance but erratically by politicians). We do have a huge supply of natural gas but nearly all of that is exported to Asia at inflated prices.

    Over the last decade the electricity suppliers have dramatically increased the prices they charge everyone, especially the rail operators, with the result that electric locos have been scrapped and the electric rail network is being wound back in some states. Diesel is far cheaper and more flexible for rail than electric power, even ignoring the infrastructure costs.

    Quote Originally Posted by davies_mike57 View Post
    Still prefer a human train driver with the "dead man's switch button" active as a fail safe measure.
    For the time being, I cannot argue over that but there has been one major fatal rail accident here where the driver "circumvented" that safety device (a common practice at that time) and then suffered a heart attack. But eventually, humans will be shown to be far less reliable and more error-prone that automated systems.
    A member of the "Party Machine". Now if only I could remember where they are holding the party!

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by pware View Post
    For the time being, I cannot argue over that but there has been one major fatal rail accident here where the driver "circumvented" that safety device (a common practice at that time) and then suffered a heart attack. But eventually, humans will be shown to be far less reliable and more error-prone that automated systems.
    I do recall a TV show that featured a head-on collision with a VIA Rail passenger train and a Canadian National freight train in Canada. The crew of the freight train was at fault as the engineer had placed his lunchbox on the 'dead man's pedal', thereby circumventing the safety switch and then both the engineer and fireman (the train was diesel-powered) fell asleep. The conductor was in the caboose at the end of the train and also fell asleep, but was awaken by the collision. All three crewmembers of the freight train was experiencing sleep deprivation. The freight train was supposed to wait on a passing siding to let the VIA Rail passenger train pass by it, but ran thru the siding and back onto the single-track mainline. Both the engineer and fireman of the freight train died in the accident, the conductor of the freight train survived. This accident resulted in changes in how many hours crews were on and off the job, and the replacement of the 'dead man's pedal' with the 'alerter button'. This button is designed where at regular intervals it would start making a buzzing sound and the engineer had a certain amount of time to push the button, resetting the alarm. If he doesn't, the brakes automatically apply and bring the train to a stop. This has become a standard feature of locomotives manufactured today.
    Failure is always an option - Adam Savage, Mythbusters

  6. #36
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    I would very much agree with all that is written in the posting by pware at #35 of this thread as much that is stated in regard to energy production is similar to the problems faced here in the UK. However, great emphasis has been placed in Britain on the generation of renewable electricity which is now having growing Input into overall energy production which has allowed for the planned closure of all coal fired power stations.

    In the above the government has recently announced further plans for homeowners to gain a good incentive for solar power generated by them and fed into the national grid system for which those homeowners producing the power will be paid. Wind power generation is also now on a large scale, but tidal and hydro generation is seemingly going forward a much slower rate.

    There is still a substantial way to go with all the above in regard to meeting the UK's winter power needs to any significant degree, but for summer requirements renewables are now playing a large and growing role in meeting all that is required.

    Britain has now after much argument began the building of what will be the largest nuclear power station in Europe (Hinkley point). That stated, I am not to much in favour of that project as it is only approximately twelve miles from my home on the Bristol Channel coast “as the crow flies”. Another Chernobyl type incident will undoubtedly see us all glowing in the dark on this section of the coast (LOL).

    In regard to autonomous vehicles, the trials of driverless heavy trucks which my company has been involved in by way of working alongside the UK Health & Safety Executive have gone very well. Without doubt the technology is most definitely there to have such vehicles operating commercially on roads in the not too distant future. Discussion within the HSE is centering on that within the next ten to twelve years a debate will arise as to whether human beings should be allowed to control vehicles while they are moving at all?

    Bill

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