This was an interesting article on Smart Grid but it only talks about the customer interface aspect. I think it would also be interesting to know how this can be used to improve the overall efficiency of the grid. For instance, my local utility offers smart thermostats that they can adjust remotely (by a few degrees) to reduce the peak load. I've also heard of car chargers that can be set to only run during off-peak hours. Has any of this made a difference in the efficiency of energy production and transmission? If so, what customer incentives are in place (or necessary) to encourage the customers to adopt these devices?
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.