Tunnel Vision

Tunnel Vision

The future of personal transportation is getting more exciting each day: driverless cars, flying cars, and now electric cars speeding autonomously through a network of tunnels.

Elon Musk is betting that the solution to urban traffic congestion is a ride through a series of tunnels with elevator stations.

Musk’s Boring Company undertook this ambitious project on a test basis. Now it has to perfect the concept and sell it to large cities.


Video Spotlight: The following videos are part of the CBS News article:

  • Tunnel vision
  • Test drive Elon Musk’s new tunnel
  • Elon Musk: Tunnels are “exceptionally safe”
  • How Elon Musk’s tunnel works
  • Elon Musk on why he’s boring tunnels

This post is based on the CBS News article, Elon Musk and Gayle King Test Drive the Tunnel He Hopes Will Solve L.A. Traffic, by CBS News, December 19, 2018. Image source: Shutterstock / Herdik Herlambang.

Discussion Questions:

1. How does the transportation system envisioned by Elon Musk work?

Guidance: Electric, autonomous cars are placed on electric skates or, preferably, are equipped with alignment wheels. These wheels, which can be retracted for driving on regular roads, extend sideways to brace the car against the tunnel.

From the Continue reading

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Prolonging youth…for avocados!

Prolonging youth…for avocados!

How many times have you bought fresh avocados and discovered a few days later that they were rotten inside? This familiar experience may soon be a thing of the past.

Apeel Sciences, a food technology start-up, is tackling the problem of food waste. Edipeel is a plant-based coating that prolongs the shelf life of some produce by several weeks.

The benefits of Edipeel have earned the company a spot on 2018 CNBC Disruptor list comprising companies whose innovations are changing the world.


Video Spotlight: see the video on Edipeel featured in the article


This post is based on the CNBC.com article, This Bill Gates-backed start-up is fighting world hunger by making your avocados last longer, by T. Huddleston, Jr., December 31, 2018. Image source: slobo/iStock/Getty Images.

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the quality characteristics of Edipeel? Is it compatible with the trend toward organic farming?

Guidance: Characteristics include longer shelf life of perishable produce (performance); invisible, odorless, tasteless (aesthetics); edible (special features); endorsement from well-known philanthropic and private organizations (perceived quality); and combating world hunger (image).

The article does not provide enough information to determine whether the product meets conformance, reliability, durability, serviceability, and consistency requirements.

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3M: Scrubbing Waste, One Product At A Time

3M: Scrubbing Waste, One Product At A Time

January 14, 2019

3M announces plans to incorporate sustainability goals for each of the roughly 1,000 new products it introduces each year.

Expanding on the success of the more general sustainability initiatives it launched in 2015 as part of a ten year program, 3M takes its goals a step beyond what most companies are doing by looking at the individual products rather than just system-wide goals.

R & D will look carefully to see how each product might reduce materials or use recycled materials, such as its plan for all Scotch-Brite scrub sponges to be made with recycled plastics by 2019.  Other alternatives include reducing waste, energy, or water usage in factories or helping customers use the products in a more sustainable way.

This post is based on the Star Tribune article, 3M: Every new product must meet a sustainability goal, by Dee DePass, December 5, 2018. Image source: Nattika/Shutterstock.

Discussion Questions:

1. How does 3M’s approach differ from some companies’ approaches to sustainability?

Guidance: Whereas many companies take a big picture approach to sustainability, looking at how to reduce waste or energy in their factories overall, 3M wants each product to incorporate sustainable solutions.  This can include techniques Continue reading

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