The system of testing cars to measure fuel economy and CO2 emissions is utterly discredited. The gap between test results and real-world performance has become a chasm, increasing from 8% in 2001 to 31% in 2012 and 40% in 2014.1 Without action this gap will grow to nearly 50% by 2020. On average, only one- third of the improvement in emissions claimed in tests has been delivered on the road since regulations were introduced in 2008. The claims of the car industry that they are making a disproportionate effort to reduce emissions compared to other sectors is fiction. Since 2012 the average emissions of new cars driven on the road have increased marginally. Carmakers, not drivers, are the cause of the problem as obsolete official test results are being manipulated. Exploiting testing loopholes accounted for a gap of just 5 percentage points between test results and real-world performance in 2002. This grew to 15 points in 2010; and 24 points in 2014. Technology that reduces emissions more in the test than on the road contributes about 3 percentage points to the gap; the failure to switch on auxiliary equipment during tests added around 8 points. Mercedes cars have the biggest average gap between test and real-world performance, with real-world fuel consumption exceeding test results by nearly half. None of the improvement in emissions measured in tests of Opel/Vauxhall cars since 2008 has delivered improvement on the road, and their real-world fuel economy is actually getting worse. Just a fifth of the apparent improvement in emissions from the launch of the Mark 7 VW Golf (Europe’s best-selling car) have been achieved on the road.
1Department of Biological Physics, Physical Institute, Eotvos University, Budapest, Hungary, 2Department of Physics, Institute of Mathematics and Physics, Savaria Campus University of West Hungary, Szombathely, Hungary, 3 Group for Methodology in Biology Teaching, Biological Institute, Eotvos University Budapest, Hungary
Abstract The experts of animal locomotion well know the characteristics of quadruped walking since the pioneering work of Eadweard Muybridge in the 1880s. Most of the quadrupeds advance their legs in the same lateral sequence when walking, and only the timing of their supporting feet differ more or less. How did this scientific knowledge influence the correctness of quadruped walking depictions in the fine arts? Did the proportion of erroneous quadruped walking illustrations relative to their total number (i.e. error rate) decrease after Muybridge? How correctly have cavemen (upper palaeolithic Homo sapiens) illustrated the walking of their quadruped prey in prehistoric times? The aim of this work is to answer these questions. We have analyzed 1000 prehistoric and modern artistic quadruped walking depictions and determined whether they are correct or not in respect of the limb attitudes presented, assuming that the other aspects of depictions used to determine the animals gait are illustrated correctly. The error rate of modern pre-Muybridgean quadruped walking illustrations was 83.5%, much more than the error rate of 73.3% of mere chance. It decreased to 57.9% after 1887, that is in the post-Muybridgean period. Most surprisingly, the prehistoric quadruped walking depictions had the lowest error rate of 46.2%. All these differences were statistically significant. Thus, cavemen were more keenly aware of the slower motion of their prey animals and illustrated quadruped walking more precisely than later artists.
from the discussion
In this work we showed that prehistoric men (upper palaeolithic Homo sapiens called simply as “caveman” in this work) depicted quadruped walking more correctly than modern artists. We admit that it is difficult to scientifically assess this surprising fact. It would be difficult to perform a really fair comparison between (prehistoric and modern) artistic quadruped walking illustrations and the real walk of living quadrupeds, because there is no proof that the investigated examples of modern art intended to represent walking in a standard way. Being paintings or sculptures, for instance, these are static poses of whatever motion the artists wanted to express, not necessarily a standard walk. Here we tried to study this problem as correctly as possible: We disregarded any hypothetical or speculative artistic aim, and compared the leg attitudes of quaruped walking depictions in the fine arts with those of the real walking gaits of horses. As results, we obtained raw numbers of the incorrect and correct artistic walking illustrations, from which our final message, the error rates were derived for different (prehistoric, pre- and post-Muybridgean) epochs. This is the maximum of what can scientifically be done in this topic.
A few weeks ago Margot Wallström, the Swedish foreign minister, denounced the subjugation of women in Saudi Arabia. As the theocratic kingdom prevents women from travelling, conducting official business or marrying without the permission of male guardians, and as girls can be forced into child marriages where they are effectively raped by old men, she was telling no more than the truth. Wallström went on to condemn the Saudi courts for ordering that Raif Badawi receive ten years in prison and 1,000 lashes for setting up a website that championed secularism and free speech. These were ‘mediaeval methods’, she said, and a ‘cruel attempt to silence modern forms of expression’. And once again, who can argue with that?
The backlash followed the pattern set by Rushdie, the Danish cartoons and Hebdo. Saudi Arabia withdrew its ambassador and stopped issuing visas to Swedish businessmen. The United Arab Emirates joined it. The Organisation of Islamic Co-operation, which represents 56 Muslim-majority states, accused Sweden of failing to respect the world’s ‘rich and varied ethical standards’ — standards so rich and varied, apparently, they include the flogging of bloggers and encouragement of paedophiles. Meanwhile, the Gulf Co-operation Council condemned her ‘unaccept-able interference in the internal affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’, and I wouldn’t bet against anti-Swedish riots following soon.
Iron age behavior is ok if a lot of oil lubricates the flight from a more modern form of morality
It seems that Republicans are determined to have it both ways. Gun ownership is so sacred that it's good to ignore the law to preserve it at all costs. Abortion is so reprehensible that it's good to ignore the law to end it at all costs. The bottom line, of course, is that Republicans are willing to ignore the law in both cases. They have their agenda, and they're going to see it enforced, laws be damned when they disagree. It's really quite terrifying, if you think about it for very long.
Significantly, the engines were also scheduled to be used in Golf, Passat, Beetle and Jetta models that were to be sold in the United States as part of a push to market “clean diesel” — a concept promoted as a way for drivers to be environmentally responsible while enjoying high fuel economy and peppy performance.
But according to the internal inquiry, the engines proved unable to live up to that standard and meet air-quality emissions standards. Volkswagen’s big bet on the future was poised to fail.
It was not yet clear how many countries’ emissions standards the new motor would have been able to meet without cheating. But the United States, with its limits on diesel emissions that are much stricter than those of the European Union, was one of the most important.
Cars from the 2009 model year were the first to arrive in the United States with the new motors. By that point, it would have been a severe setback to cancel production and go back to the drawing board
Besides software there are many ways to game emission and mileage tests. It would be reasonable to pick a few cars randomly from lots to make certain they weren't prepared and measure their on-road performance using randomized drives that are considered representative of normal driving. The car makers should pay for the certification tests as they're undoubtedly less expensive than preparing a golden car for a known test on a dynamometer.
A hobbyist with an engineering background worked out gravitational lensing. The saga of Rudi Mandl. It is very unusual to have worked something out correctly early on... The discoverer to crackpot ratio is tiny.