In some cases the grease monkey will be able to repair rather replace parts though - because the grease monkeys tend to have better knowledge of how things actually are put together than factory engineers/technicians who tend to rely on what their diagnostic tools tell them without having a basic understanding of the operation of the components.See for example the corner garage grease monkey versus the factory trained automotive engineer at a state of the art facility.
When vehicles are powered by portable fusion reactors, then our car technicians will be need to be nuclear physicists simply by natural progression.
Scientists say the dream of unlimited clean energy is about to come true
By Michael Blaustein
March 9, 2018 | 4:50pm | Updated
In just 15 years, the US will be producing unlimited amounts of nearly free, completely green energy. Not only would such an energy holy grail mean the end of humanity’s dependence on expensive fossil fuels, it would also be a panacea for climate change.
Amazingly, this is not a science fiction. It’s actually about to become reality if a collaboration between MIT and Commonwealth Fusion Systems, a private company, is to be believed. The collaborators announced Friday in the journal Nature that they believe they are on the verge of cracking the code to nuclear fusion — and it could be commercially viable in just 15 years, according to The Guardian.
So far, fusion has been an extremely expensive laboratory experiment that requires more energy inputs than it outputs. However, the collaborators believe they’ve found a way to reverse the math. Their system, built upon a new class of super high-temperature superconductors and small, ultra-powerful magnets, would, for the first time, allow for a fusion reaction that outputs more energy than it takes in.
Nuclear fusion is the be-all and end-all source of energy because, in theory, it’s practically unlimited and has almost no downside. It doesn’t put carbon into the atmosphere like the burning of fossil fuels or generate radioactive waste like nuclear fission, which is the technology in current nuclear power plants.
During a fission reaction, radioactive atoms, like uranium, are ripped apart — producing huge amounts of energy in addition to nuclear waste.
Fusion, as the name suggests, is the exact opposite of fission. Instead of ripping atoms apart, extremely plentiful atoms like hydrogen are smashed together, giving off helium and a huge amount of energy.
The problem with fusion has always been heat. Fusion produces temperatures hotter than the center of the sun so solid materials melt, ruining any potential for a power plant.
The collaborators’ breakthrough came about because they were able to use a new type of superconductors to produce small, powerful magnets, a key component of fusion reactors. The magnets create a field to hold the fusion reaction in place without it touching anything solid — thus solving the meltdown problem.
In the past, it took lots of energy to power the magnets. The new magnets created by the collaborators, however, are smaller and need less energy. This means that, for the first time, their system produces more energy than it consumes.
MIT and Commonwealth Fusion Systems’ plan isn’t pure theory — they’ve raised $50 million from Italian power company Eni to actually build a reactor. Their fusion experiment, called Sparc, will produce enough energy to power a small city.
“The aspiration is to have a working power plant in time to combat climate change,” said Bob Mumgaard, CEO of Commonwealth Fusion Systems. “We think we have the science, speed and scale to put carbon-free fusion power on the grid in 15 years.”
Maria Zuber, MIT’s vice-president for research, added, “At the heart of today’s news is a big idea — a credible, viable plan to achieve net positive energy for fusion.
“If we succeed, the world’s energy systems will be transformed. We’re extremely excited about this.”
Not everyone is as buoyantly optimistic about the discovery.
“The exciting part of this is the high-field magnets,” Howard Wilson, a plasma physicist at York University, told The Guardian. “The higher the magnetic field, the more compactly you can squeeze that fuel.”
Wilson, however, wasn’t sure how MIT and Commonwealth Fusion Systems will be able to hit their 15-year timeframe.
That only made a national news feed because it's a Tesla. Nobody outside the immediate area would care about a car that burned after it crashed, had it been any other kind of car.Cleanup, aisle four.....
Tesla Releases Statement on Fatal Model X Crash Involving Apple Engineer
March 31, 2018
Last week’s fatal crash of a Tesla Model X raised questions about the car’s Autopilot technology. After recovering the data from the destroyed SUV, the company on Friday night issued a statement about what happened on the morning of March 23 that resulted in a driver’s death.
Tesla confirmed in the statement that the driver — 38-year-old Apple software engineer Wei “Walter” Huang — had five seconds and 150 meters (492 feet) to take control before colliding with a concrete divider, but logs show that no action was taken. Prior to the crash, Autopilot was engaged and several visual with one audio warnings were issued to the driver, but the logs showed no hands were put on the steering wheel for six seconds before the Model X slammed into the divider.
Here is the scene on Highway 101S in #MountainView where a #Tesla caught on fire pic.twitter.com/ksnidlFgsw
— Dean C. Smith (@DeanCSmith) March 23, 2018
“Tesla Autopilot does not prevent all accidents – such a standard would be impossible – but it makes them much less likely to occur,” the blog post stated. “It unequivocally makes the world safer for the vehicle occupants, pedestrians, and cyclists.”
Tesla reiterated the severity of the crash was in part due to the an impact attenuator — a barrier on the highway that can crumple and absorb the force of impact from a vehicle — had been shortened due to a previous crash at the same section of Highway 101. It was never replaced.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the accident. Huang’s family told the Mercury News that he took the vehicle to the Tesla dealership several times because the Autopilot would veer the car into the same divider at that location on the highway.
This crash is the second fatal accident involving a self-driving system this month. Earlier in March, a self-driving Uber vehicle struck a pedestrian. The rideshare company suspended testing of its autonomous vehicles after the accident and had its license revoked by the governor of Arizona, the state where the crash took place.
But progress will likely be anything but steady. Level three, for example, signifies that the car can drive itself under some conditions and will notify drivers when a potential problem arises in enough time, say 15 seconds, to allow the human to regain control. But many engineers believe that such a smooth handoff is all but impossible because of myriad real-life scenarios, and because humans aren't very good at refocusing quickly once their minds are elsewhere. So many companies say they plan to skip level three and go directly to level four—vehicles that operate without any human intervention.
"...Huang’s family told the Mercury News that he took the vehicle to the Tesla dealership several times because the Autopilot would veer the car into the same divider at that location on the highway."
38-year-old Apple software engineer