Commercial Autonomous Car

In the race to develop driverless cars, several automakers and technology companies are already testing vehicles that pilot themselves on public roads. And others have outlined plans to expand their development fleets over the next few years.

But few have gone so far as to give a definitive date for the commercial debut of these cars of the future.

Now Ford Motor has done just that.

At a news conference on Tuesday at the company’s research center in Palo Alto, Calif., Mark Fields, Ford’s chief executive, said the company planned to mass produce driverless cars and have them in commercial operation in a ride-hailing service by 2021.

Eliminating $4 billion of petroleum subsidies in the U.S. would have only a minor affect on oil production and demand and boost the country’s influence in advocating global climate change action, according to a report for the Council on Foreign Relations.

Withdrawing oil-drilling subsidies could cut domestic production by 5 percent by 2030, which could increase international oil prices by just 1 percent, Gilbert Metcalf, a professor of economics at Tufts University, said in the report. Local natural-gas prices could rise as much as 10 percent, while both production and consumption would probably fall as much as 4 percent, according to the report.

The Guardian: Why Aren’t Ships Using Wind Power to Cut Their Climate Footprint?

Shipping brings us 90% of everything we buy and consume, yet most of us remain blind to both its role in our lives and its contribution to global climate emissions: currently around 3%. The industry has no targets for reducing emissions; the climate talks in Paris last year were skillfully negotiated with warnings that a cap on emissions for shipping would be a cap on global trade and growth.

On current projections, the sector could be contributing upwards of 6% of global greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Although the U.N. agency that regulates shipping puts out glowing press releases, its only two policies so far are achieving little. There is an agreement for ships to record and report data on fuel consumption, but not until 2018 at the earliest, and rules to ensure new ships being built are more efficient.

Forbes: Is Offshore Wind Finally Ready to Serve U.S. Power Needs?

Deepwater Wind is attaching blades this week to the last of five massive, 6 MWe peak capacity wind turbines that make up the 30 MWe Block Island Wind Farm. That is one of the final steps in the process of installing and commissioning the facility.

By the end of 2016, the developer expects that the project will enter commercial operation and begin providing the first electricity from offshore wind turbines to the U.S. electricity grid. It is a development with far-reaching implications and several lessons available to be learned.