Mr. I, a long-lasting friend of mine, has brought me an interesting article in which Mr. Tsujimura, VP of NTT Docomo, Japan, had commented on the importance of revisiting the solar energy as a source of power for mobile telecommunications in disaster situation.
Question: A large number of the base stations stopped functioning due to the power cut (at the disaster sites in Japan). What are your thoughts on using the solar power for base stations?
Answer: It is an important subject for us to further investigate. While the solar power alone may not be sufficient to keep the base stations running, we could use it combined with other sources of power, such as batteries.
The comment above indicates a recognition of the solar power as an alternative source of power supply when the regular means of supply is cut in our days in which the electricity supply is indispensable for telecommunications network to function. I plan to keep eyes on how the company will integrate the solar power in the existing telecommunications network with interests. This ultimately means that we take lessons from the present disaster in the country.
In fact, the base stations by Motorola uses the solar power as a back up of power supply in remote areas in Japan. Base stations may become power stations if an efficient power generator is attached to them, at least to provide back-up power.
Learning from various information on the present disaster of Fukushima nuclear plant, I have realised a gap between the science and engineering, and that engineering is the bridge that makes science to bring benefits to people and society.
Please share with me two major peaces of information that spotted what is not reported in major press.
While there was means to reduce damage even g the most unexpected size of Tsunami, the idea of damage-minimisation was not included in the designing of the Nuclear Plant. I’d suppose that this case is not an isolated one, as this way of thinking is not really new to me in my experience in Japan, even though with various degrees of importance and risks.
The press is in Japanese. This conference may be reported in various overseas press.
The second is a video clipping of Mr. Hirose, who has the first-hand experience of nuclear plants. His explanation has made me aware the difference between the nuclear science at laboratories and the knowledge of engineers on the ground, and what we should watch most to be prepared for the worst. (The video is in Japanese.)
We should keep improving theory on the desk and its practice on the ground through mutual check against each other. It does happen in reality that one must design an execution plan under pressure of limited time and budget constraints. The disaster of Fukushima Nuclear Plant, however, clearly proved that there are things too important to compromise.
Last but not the least, please take my sincere condolence for those who were damaged by the horrible disaster.
The level 9 earthquake, monstrous Tsunami followed by explosions of the nuclear plants. Increasing risk of pollution of the radioactive. Thousands of thousands of people lost lives, houses, families, all they had in life in a moment.
Have been thinking of what I can do to help. Now I know what I should do, watching the videos.
I have decided the theme I am investigating. Coincidentally, I am writing a thesis for the CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) which I am taking at University of Geneva. Taking this opportunity, I will undertake research on this theme so that no one in Japan and in the world would not take horrible consequences of the mis-management of technologies, and so that one could benefit from technologies.
I look forward the day when I’ll post the theme and results of the research on this blog to share it with you.
The underlying concept of MODULGO is an urban vehicle for shared use. MODULGO is unique in a sense that it is not a car alone but a system coupled with a dedicated parking. Why dedicated parking? Because the parking is a robot! The parking controls the cars to go out to users and to park automatically when they are returned.
MODLGO is a small electric vehicle with three seats. The development team have thought that two seats were not enough, but that three will do. In addition, it is easy to modify inside of the car to be four-seater to allow more passengers, or two-seater to allow space to carry things.
The user calls a car using his/her own mobile phone or a control pad attached to the parking. The car comes to you alone without a driver. It is SF world! The secret of the intelligence of the parking is sensor and algorithm. By these, the parking control the cars when they go out and come back.
Induction technology is used for battery charging. Being free from physical connection, there is no need to connect the car via power cord. The car simply go on the induction mat, and get the battery charged to full in 15 seconds with a regular electricity system (220v).
CYBERGO, a un-humanned smalll bus and MODULGO’s elder sister, will be carrying passengers on the pedestrian road in La Rochelle from 2012. The vehicle is equipped with sensor, GPS or GPRS. Max explained that it was not a dream to develop a car for people with disabilities with eyes, if we shaped up technologies and know-how used on the un-humanned bus.
What kind of society it could be where MODULGO will be a part of citizens’ daily life?
I’d imagine that in, such a society, we do not recognise that we are hopping from one technology to another, such as from mobile phone to talk, to a driving seat of a car to move around. For us, mobile phones and cars are distinctly different technologies, and we have to know how to use them individually. That said, in the future, these technologies would be integrated and may ultimately merge with each other. In such a society, we may not notice different technologies behind our lives.
Put eyes on mobile hones, users may use telecommunications without recognising if s/he is in the car or not. In other words, users can seamlessly use mobile phones. Seamless, Ecological and Fun — these would be the key words of the forthcoming ten years.
What is the current positioning of the Mobile Communications approached from the automobile community? — This was my theme of the visit this year.
ずっと以前、NTT市場開発室で「見習い」という身分だった頃、わたしは当時開発されたばかりの「自動車電話」の市場調査を担当しました。年月が経ち、2月のMobile World Congress (MWC)では、携帯電話の王国を垣間見たけれど、自動車産業という別の王国では、携帯電話は今どこに位置づけられているんだろう？
A long time ago, when I was a trainee at the Head Office of NTT Market Strategy Department, I was assigned to do a market research of “Car Telephone”, which was the ancestor of today’s mobile phones. Years after, I looked at the Kingdom of mobile phones at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in February. Switching my eyes to the automobile industry, where are mobile phones located in relation to the evolution of cars?
For example, Audi 8. The screen attached to the console is almost the same as a smart phone. This means that a smart phone user continue enjoy the same phone environment in and outside the vehicle. A small touch panel is installed to input command in the phone or navigator. It’s done by hand-writing. No need to select alphabet any more. The whole system is as smart at the smartest phones I saw at MWC. Receiving calls on your iPhone is automatically switched so that you can respond without interrupting driving from a microphone and speakers installed in the car. Looks like disruption is largely reduced.
I see an innovation in this small car. While Audi and BMW are well thought through, the essential idea is to attach an existing phone to a car. In contrast, this French-born small MODULGO is an integral part of mobile communications in a sense that the car is controlled by a mobile phone as M2M (Machine-to-machine) communications.
Today’s mobile phones were originally “Car phones”, phones attached to cars. Having walked through different evolution paths, automobiles and mobiles phones would need some time before being merged again. In such an slow progress, MODULGO shows us a possible avenue for the merge via M2M communications.