On the last minute!

I have to write my editorial and I’m in a hurry. I was never at my most creative under pressure – something inside me shuts down and then nothing works anymore. After 2 bouts of flu – relapses are even worse than the first attack - and the recurrence of an old slip disc and so on and so on … I just can’t put it off any longer. My suitcase is already packed in front of me and now a little test for our readers: “Where will I be visiting on my first big trip of 2017?”
You’ll find a clue in this link:
By the way – I think it’s a real shame that this song is/was rarely
played – at least on the North German radio stations.

Nevertheless there are a few important things I would like to draw your attention to!

  1. We are preparing an online preview for the ECS once again – please send us your exhibition information in good time.
  2. The Call-for-Papers for this year’s PU elastomer trade meeting in September ends on the 31 March – relevant papers can be submitted until this date. The official conference invitation, together with the programme, will follow in April.
  3. We will also be sending out a newsletter in April – written contributions are still welcome.

As the main theme of this issue is “mobility” or “automotive”, I pulled together relevant press releases once again, with the intention of delving deeper into the topics and summarising for readers – but I’m afraid to say that I haven’t managed to do this. If you’d like to learn more about any of the items, I’m afraid you’ll have to google!

SUVs are damaging the climate
If motorised vehicles in 2015 had the same engine power as in 2008, 9.3 million tonnes of CO2 would have been saved in Germany – but instead, consumption increased to 112.3 million tonnes of CO2. The trend towards SUVs and all-terrain vehicles is to blame for the extra-consumption.

WARR Hyperloop Team wins in Los Angeles (this is not my text – so I guess it should be ok)
All the hard work has paid off: A team of students from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) was one of two European university groups to win top honours in this weekend’s SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition.
The SpaceX founder and CEO, Elon Musk, launched the Hyperloop Pod Competition in 2015. Hundreds of student teams from around the globe submitted their pod designs and, in early 2016, 30 semi-finalists were chosen to build their prototypes and prepare for the competition at the SpaceX test track.
The TUM WARR Hyperloop Team was one of 27 of the original 30 semi-finalists to gather at the SpaceX test track in Hawthorne, CA, near Los Angeles, over the weekend of January 27–29.
The pods were tested on a track built specially for the competition. Ultimately, only three teams were given the green light to proceed with the actual test run: the TUM WARR team and teams from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT – U.S.) and the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft – Netherlands).
On Sunday, the students from Munich put their pod to the test and wowed onlookers – including the innovator behind the competition, CEO Musk – as the design with the highest speed. WARR team members accepted a Hyperloop Pod trophy printed in titanium and hand-signed by Musk himself. TU Delft earned the highest overall score and received an award for the best design and construction, and MIT came in third with a Safety and Reliability Award.

Tesla makes all cars self-sufficient
Every Tesla-car is fitted with 8 rather than just one camera together with a dozen ultrasonic sensors. The data collected is evaluated by an onboard computer 40 times faster than the previous version. This technology allows the car to view a 360 degree angle and a distance of up to 250 meters “reaching the highest possible level of independent driving technology.” according to Musk.
Musk has little sympathy for the German Federal Office for Motor Transport, which took offence at Tesla’s previous “autopilot”  terminology. The term was “misleading” to customers.  Musk claims that this type of negative report will dissuade people from using autonomous driving technology, which “costs lives”. The technology is said to be at least 2-times safer than a human driver.

Tesla-Crash: Autopilot receives not guilty verdict fatal accident was not caused by a malfunction of the driver assistance system.

Oldtimer-fans pay attention!
The rust-eating microbe – long awaited and finally found
For a long time, microbiologists believed that this little fellow existed. Now a microorganism has been found, which is able to convert methane, with the help of iron, to CO2.
The microbe is named Archaee and belongs to the methanosarcinales group.

Birgit Harreither