Archive / December, 2016

  • VIEWPOINT: The auto industry can learn from rail in autonomous vehicle safety

    20 December 2016

    David McShane – VP of business development, Ricardo Inc

    There can be little doubt that the world is urbanizing fast. According to United Nations statistics, more than half of the world’s population now lives in urban areas, and this number is expected to increase to 66 percent by 2050. By 2030, it is projected that there will be 41 so-called ‘megacities’, and managing these fast-growing, densely populated conurbations will pose numerous challenges – including meeting the need for efficient transportation.

    Today’s world of mobility is thus dramatically changing in response to this ...

  • Climate momentum from Marrakech

    19 December 2016

    Fresh from their participation in the COP22 summit in Morocco, Ricardo’s top team of environmental specialists is closely involved in helping a wide range of nations to begin putting their agreed climate change mitigation and adaptation measures into practice. Tony Lewin senses a new mood of optimism.

    There was general euphoria after the 2015 COP21 climate conference in Paris where the world’s nations committed to a programme of greenhouse gas [GHG] and climate adaptation measures to address the worsening impacts of climate change and keep the rise of global temperatures to ‘well below’ 2 degrees Celsius.

    The most important outcome of Paris ...

  • A potential future multi-vector energy landscape for the UK

    13 December 2016

    The Energy Systems Catapult is a leading technology and innovation centre set up to help the UK navigate the transformation of its energy system (comprising electricity, heat and combustible gases) and to capture the new commercial opportunities created. In mid-2015, the Catapult approached Ricardo with a view to supporting a study into the potential of developing a core test and demonstration competence in the multi-vector energy space within the UK.

    “One of the key challenges for those active in looking at multi-vector energy systems is the ability to test new innovations,” explains Catapult head of innovation Eric Brown. “Our aim with ...

  • Putting innovation into practice

    13 December 2016

    Impartial expert advice is vital if high-potential innovations are to be brought successfully from concept into commercial reality. Clear guidance in steering projects from Technology Readiness Levels 1 to 6 can be especially valuable, as Anthony Smith reports

    It is often said that too many otherwise very promising technology-based ideas fail to reach market and achieve their true potential due to failures in the initial stages of the innovation process. In terms of NASA’s well-known model of Technology Readiness Levels (TRL), this is a problem that particularly affects the early stages of technology development, from concept to a robust prototype demonstration ...

  • Development of the YAN Engines high-efficiency D-Cycle engine concept

    13 December 2016

    YAN Engines is a small technology company with offices both in Austin, Texas, and Brighton, UK. The company is focused on the development of its own proprietary high-efficiency engine concept that aims to provide significantly enhanced flexibility over the conventional four-stroke internal combustion engine architecture.

    The differential stroke cycle piston (D-Cycle) concept relies on a split piston that completes the four engine strokes in a single crankshaft revolution, thus providing the opportunity to reduce the cyclic energy losses and improve combustion process efficiency. This is achieved via the use of a vertically split piston, with a lightweight crown and ring lands ...

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