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Automotive News

Research scientist Bryan Reimer and his colleagues have been collecting data from vehicles with driver-assist technology for the last seven years, writes Pete Bigelow for Automotive News. “We desperately need to understand the denominators, the frequency of events and the behaviors underlying them to understand the benefits and limitations of automated and assisted driving,” says Reimer. “We need to understand which aspects are working well and which ones need refining.”

Wired

A study by MIT AgeLab research scientist Bryan Reimer found that drivers using autopilot were “more likely to look away from the road once the system was on,” reports Aarian Marshall for Wired. “With automation comes an inherent new level of complexities. There are lots of risks and lots of rewards,” says Reimer.

Forbes

Prof. Jessika Trancik speaks with Forbes contributor Peter Cohan about the carbon emissions associated with gas, hybrid and electric vehicles, and the site she and her research group developed to allow consumers to compare personal vehicles against climate change mitigation targets. “In most locations, compared to [gas-powered vehicles], EVs produce emissions savings greater than 30%,” says Trancik. "Most savings are greater depending on the geographic location, the electricity supply, and the vehicle model.”

Financial Times

Writing for the Financial Times, Prof. Carlo Ratti explores how coordination between ride-hailing services can benefit cities by reducing traffic and carbon emissions. “Imagine a world in which, instead of wavering between Uber, Lyft or a regular taxi, we could open a single app that figures out which service is closest and most affordable,” writes Ratti. 

The Daily Beast

Daily Beast reporter Miriam Fauzia writes that MIT researchers have developed a new way to create carbon fibers that are stronger and lighter than steel, using leftover waste from crude oil processing. “The new findings could usher in an age of heavy-duty cars that consume less fuel thanks to their decreased weight,” writes Fauzia.

The Hill

Hill reporters Saul Elbein and Sharon Udasin spotlight how MIT researchers have developed a way to make lightweight fibers for possible use in the bodies of cars out of the waste material from the refining of petroleum. “The ‘heavy, gloppy’ leftovers from the petroleum refining process could become a key ingredient in making electric vehicles lighter, less expensive and more efficient,” they write.

USA Today

Prof. Jessika Trancik speaks with USA Today reporter Kate S. Petersen about claims that replacing all U.S. gas stations with equal capacity electric vehicle charging stations would require significant resources. “When we’re talking about EV charging, you don’t have to put charging stations everywhere you have gas stations today,” says Trancik. “This would not make sense as a plan for rolling out electric vehicle charging infrastructure.”

Financial Times

The driverless car industry lacks a clear business model in comparison to its competitors, reports Patrick McGee for Financial Times. “Driverless does not mean humanless,” says research scientist Ashley Nunes. “Robotaxis replace one set of human costs, the human driver, with another, inefficiency.”

Inside EVs

24M Technologies, an MIT startup, and Volkswagen Group are joining forces to "manufacture next-generation lithium-ion EV batteries using the 24M SemiSolid platform,” reports Mark Kane for Inside EVs.

The Washington Post

Washington Post reporter Steven Zeitchik highlights Prof. Jessika Trancik’s work developing a carbon counter that details the carbon impacts of different cars and MIT startup Form Energy, which is “taking the oxidization process, normally only good for ruining your Saturday garage clean-up, and deploying it to store energy on power grids.” Says Trancik of the importance of allowing people the ability to take stock of their environmental impact: “One of the really important aspects of addressing climate change is bringing everyone into the discussion.”

CNBC

MIT researchers have found that while battery and fuel production for electric vehicles creates higher emissions than traditional cars, those emissions are offset by the greater energy efficiency of EVs. “Currently, the electric vehicle in the U.S., on average, would emit about 200 grams of CO2 per mile,” says senior research scientist Sergey Paltsev. “We are projecting that with cleaning up the grid, we can reduce emissions from electric vehicles by 75%, from about 200 (grams) today to about 50 grams of CO2 per mile in 2050.”

Gizmodo

Gizmodo reporter Victoria Song writes that a new study by researchers from the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) finds that “not only do rideshares increase congestion, but they also made traffic jams longer, led to a significant decline in people taking public transit, and haven’t really impacted car ownership.”

The Interchange

On The Interchange podcast, Prof. Jessika Trancik discusses her research exploring the cost declines in lithium-ion batteries and what it will take to reach mass-market adoption of electric vehicles.

The Hill

Prof. Jessika Trancik speaks with The Hill reporter Rachel Frazin about her research that demonstrates people can save more than 30% in emissions by switching to electric vehicles. “One can see an immediate reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, even with today’s power grid and today’s power supply. It’s a really important step to electrify as many vehicles as possible, and quickly,” says Trancik. 

WBUR

Prof. Jessika Trancik speaks with Jesse Remedios of WBUR about her new study that identifies locations where electric vehicle charging stations would have the most impact and help increase the adoption of electric vehicles. “It's important to make sure that chargers are placed where people can charge without having to delay their activities,” Trancik says.