US statistics say otherwise :-) around 80% of commuters drive alone. This no doubt varies a little from state to state and country to country, but this data was from Oregon. The stats for the holiday season will be different too of course, but that's a small percentage of annual travel miles.
To bring it back to electronics - we still have some improving to do. Tele-presence has come a long way, but it's still not as ready as it needs to be.
My software engineers work at home two days a week. They still come in those other three days to see people in person and stay a part of the team.
It's not terribly difficult these days to put together a video conference, but it's not terribly practical to try and do so with a bunch of different people. (on software here, still not quite on electronics). The solutions available are close but not quite ready. For most of my video conferences, I end up using the computer for imagery and a separate voice telephone line for the voice. I just haven't had good luck combining the two. The same goes for combining screen conferencing with live video.
Likely those issues could be solved with increased bandwidth purchase and higher performance PCs. That still doesn't eliminate the need to pop over to someone else's cube. Bandwidth, higher performance PCs and improved software might solve that problem. Tele-presence robots might also solve that problem. I read a lot about this type of robot but haven't found a real-world (as in not a test or pilot program) example of their use.
Does anyone reading here use a tele-presence robot in a real-world day to day situation?
Yes, you can run a jet engine on natural gas, BUT carrying large amounts of explosive gas on aircraft has been unfashionable ever since the Hindenburg.
Jet fuel is less volatile and less explosive than gasoline and much less so than natural gas.
Hydrogen is not an energy source, it is an energy storage medium, similar to a battery. There are no "hydrogen mines". Concentrations of hydrogen are achieved by applying energy to water (H20) to separate the hydrogen. So the question is whether concentrating hydrogen is less expensive than charging a battery.
This whole thing sounds like an editorial run amuck - has nothing to do with electronics - maybe just a reporter stuck in an airport.
In 1974 people were pushing their cars down the road because they were OUT OF GAS and in line to get some. Those were gas-guzzlers. Our cars (and planes) are far more efficient now. Watch an old movie of a 707 taking off and see the smoke draping behind, or drive behind a 1960's classic car and you'll appreciate today's advanced engines.
The price of everything, except perhaps of transistors, is constantly going up. Maybe telephone calls are cheaper. My father bought a nice new 4 bdrm house for $14,000 in the 60's.
If you want to save the atmosphere, fuel, congestion, vast sums of money, and your health, leave your BMW or Prius at home and ride a bicycle. My observation is that 80% of cars have only one person in them. And he's late. Welcome to America.
Jeremy pretty much covered everything I was going to say, but I'd just like to clarify that kerosene, home-heating oil, diesel, and jet-fuel are the same thing, just different qualities (and taxes). So bio-fuel is the obvious, easy solution, but availability and price are factors that will drive prices up higher (which will drive down demand). The jets will be competing for the same bio-fuel/dino-diesel mix as the serial diesel-electric hybrid cars of the future (the parallel gas-electric hybrids such as the Prius are a blip, as they are extremely expensive, both economically and environmentally).
So, you can be assured that while new planes and fuel-sources keep us flying, the prices will go nowhere but UP in the future.
Drones are, in essence, flying autonomous vehicles. Pros and cons surrounding drones today might well foreshadow the debate over the development of self-driving cars. In the context of a strongly regulated aviation industry, "self-flying" drones pose a fresh challenge. How safe is it to fly drones in different environments? Should drones be required for visual line of sight – as are piloted airplanes? Join EE Times' Junko Yoshida as she moderates a panel of drone experts.