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New-tech vehicles need universal standards

The article on the electric vehicle (EV) startup Rivian highlighted their planned series of charging stations around the country. Until all charging stations can accommodate any vehicle, EVs will never have the convenience of gasoline powered ones that can fill up anywhere. Long-distance driving with EVs will be greatly compromised.

Every manufacturer has a plan for an autonomous vehicle (AV) that drives itself. Prudence would dictate that the driver should still be involved in their operation. AVs can be more efficient than conventional cars because they can communicate with each other and adjust their speeds and directions accordingly, even if they are behind a truck or around a corner. But to do so, all AVs need to use the same communication protocols, regardless of manufacturer. (Ford talks to Mercedes, etc.)

The rollout of these new technologies, although well-funded, is taking place piecemeal. There is no national plan to have universal charging stations for all EVs or agreed upon communication standard for AVs. When these are established, electric and autonomous vehicles will be here sooner, and consumers will be more confident that they will be safer in their new cars and not be stranded.

Clark Pritchett



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