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Features

A window on the world of O.R.?
The “invisibility cloak” of science fiction is now fact, albeit with limitations. O.R. could claim to have had the power of invisibility for years, though not by desire; what we want is the opposite - a high-visibility jacket! Indeed, part of the mission of the OR Society is to help make our presence more visible. But perception involves both the observed and the observer. And all of us have open and hidden parts.

YOR18 – OR – A Twenty Twenty Vision
The 18th Young [to] OR Conference got off to a great start with the plenary session given by the President of the OR Society, Dr Geoff Royston. Antuela Tako, the chair of the organising committee, began the proceedings by telling the audience what had been planned for them and how to find out more about streams.

The Education & Research Committee
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Ruth Kaufman, Inside OR February 2013

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Posted on 20 April 2017

Transport

Ford developing pothole alert system for drivers

Carmaker Ford has said it is experimenting with technology to detect potholes and warn drivers of their locations.
Cars equipped with cameras could constantly scan roads during journeys, with resulting data on potholes displayed on other drivers' dashboards. The idea is being tested at the firm's research centre in Aachen, Germany. "A virtual pothole map could highlight a new pothole the minute it appears and almost immediately warn other drivers that there is a hazard ahead," said Uwe Hoffmann, a research engineer at Ford. "Our cars already feature sensors that detect potholes and now we are looking at taking this to the next level."
Some Ford models already use sensors to detect potholes and adjust the car's suspension in an effort to reduce vehicle damage.
Dr Breckon, a computer vision expert at Durham University, pointed out that encouraging drivers to avoid all routes with potholes might cause congestion in other areas - and there could be cheaper ways of solving the problem, such as improving road surfaces. This point was also raised by Howard Robinson, chief executive of the Road Surface Treatments Association (RSTA). "Anything that helps to avoid pothole damage, great, let's support that - but let's also think about road maintenance being properly funded," he told the BBC.