Watch: EV Charging Network, Google Helping Students, IEEE Standards for Autonomous Vehicles

20 April 2018

Welcome to this week's Engineering360 news brief.

EV Charging Network

Electrify America says it has selected charging equipment suppliers – ABB, BTC Power, Efacec and Signet – to deploy an electric vehicle charging system across the U.S. The charging equipment suppliers will share delivery of more than 2,000 chargers across 484 stations. Electrify America says the charging systems will offer a cooled-cable 150/350 kilowatt DC Fast Charger. The chargers will also have a 15-inch touch screen display to provide an expected “Plug-Pay-Charge-Go” experience, including opt-in text notifications and receipt delivery. Credit card readers also are included. Electrify America will begin installing the charging systems this spring with the goal of all stations being operational or under construction at 484 sites in 17 metropolitan areas and on highways in 39 states by the end of 2019.

Google Helping Students

Some students living in rural parts of North Carolina are getting homework help during their often lengthy commutes to and from school thanks to an initiative from Google. Called “Rolling Study Halls," a handful of standard school buses in Caldwell County are now Wi-Fi enabled so that students living in regions with spotty internet service have the opportunity to use it for longer stretches and complete their school work. Lilyn Hester, Google's head of external affairs in the southeast U.S. region, helped establish a partnership between Google and Caldwell County education leaders where Google outfitted 11 district school buses with Wi-Fi, and set up a grant to pay for the Wi-Fi and data usage. The funding also enabled teachers to ride the buses with students and help with homework. So far, the program has been a success with officials reporting that test scores have gone up and fighting on these school buses has gone down. Likewise, the service is attempting to bridge the gap between students with internet access and those without.

IEEE to Develop Standards for Autonomous Vehicles

IEEE says it signed a memorandum of understanding with the American Center for Mobility (ACM) to help accelerate development and deployment of technical standards for autonomous vehicles as well as related control systems. The IEEE Transportation Electrification Community coordinates IEEE activities involving electrification across transportation domains, including advances in electric and hybrid cars; more-electric ships and aircraft; rail systems; personal transport;, storage, power grid, electronic intelligence and control technologies that make them possible. As part of the agreement, ACM and IEEE TEC will identify needs for standards, as well as validation and conformance testing requirements. The groups will also promote the importance of standards, interoperability, and validation and testing compliance.

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