Apple, BMW in courtship with an eye on car collaboration

Edward Taylor & Julia Love

Carmakers including BMW have already developed next generation self-driving cars, vehicles which need permanent software updates in the form of high-definition maps allowing a car to recalculate a route if it learns about an accident ahead. The technology is moving ahead faster than the legal and regulatory rules which would allow large-scale commercial availability.
 Earlier this year, BMW’s new R&D chief Klaus Froehlich said his company and Apple had much in common, including a focus on premium branding, an emphasis on evolving products and a sense of aesthetically pleasing design.
 Asked, in general terms, whether a deeper collaboration beyond integration of products like the iPhone would make sense, Froehlich initially said BMW would not consider any deal that forces it to open up its core know-how to outsiders.
 “We do not collaborate to open our eco systems but we find ways, because we respect each other,” Froehlich told Reuters.
 BMW will keep in mind the needs of the customer, and what the company’s core strengths are, when it considers the merits of entering any strategic collaboration, Froehlich added.

Despite Stumbles, Hanergy Sees Bright Future for Solar-Powered Cars

Colum Murphy:

In February, when Hanergy Chairman Li Hejun outlined his vision for a form of solar technology known as thin film, developing a solar-powered car took a front seat.

Mr. Li’s plans–announced in a speech at an event to launch its product innovation competition in Beijing–were high on ambition but low on specifics. Hanergy, he said, would work with a handful of design companies to develop a fully solar-powered car before the end of the year.

It was a significant upping of the stakes from Hanergy’s previous dabbling in the car industry, which includes collaborating with British luxury brand Aston Martin on solar-power applications for racing cars. It’s also worked on a small number of Tesla superchargers in China and installed solar panels at the Chinese car plants of brands such as Volkswagen and Honda.

From horseless to driverless

The Economist:

SHORTLY after Thomas Müller eases his Audi A7 into the flow of highway traffic heading towards Shanghai, a message on the dashboard indicates that “piloted driving” is now available. Mr Müller, an Audi engineer, presses a button on the steering wheel and raises his hands. The car begins to drive itself, the steering wheel eerily moving on its own as the traffic creeps over a bridge towards the city centre.
 This is, admittedly, a limited form of autonomy: the car stays on the same road, using cameras and a “LiDAR” scanner to follow the lane markings and maintain a constant distance from the vehicle in front. But this is how the world’s carmakers see the future of self-driving technology: as driver-assistance features that gradually trickle down from luxury vehicles to mass-market cars, just as electric windows and power steering did before them. Autonomous driving will, in this view, make motoring less stressful—drivers “arrive more relaxed”, says Mr Müller—but people will still buy and own cars just as they do today.

I run a university. I’m also an Uber driver.

Laurence Schall:

In my day job, I run Oglethorpe University, a liberal arts college in Atlanta. Over the last 40 years, I’ve also worked in the bleached-white collar realms of law and real estate.
 This summer, I added a new line to my resume: Uber driver.
 I signed up because I wanted to broaden my perspective on today’s “sharing economy.” After all, my students are confronting a very different job market than I did. Since the 2008 recession, many Americans have been pushed into or chosen to join the freelance marketplace, taking jobs with no regular hours, no benefits and no office. My wife calls it “Panera World,” where she, a freelance advertising executive, joins dozens of other freelancers who spend hours in the restaurant bakery working on their computers and phones every day. Some may forgo full-time work altogether, choosing by necessity or by choice to string together a series of part-time opportunities.

BMW’s Plan to Prevent Electric Cars From Overwhelming the Grid

Julian Spector:

America’s electricity grid wasn’t designed with electric vehicles in mind, and with an influx of EVs replacing gasoline cars, power utilities have started to feel the strain. If too many EV owners charge up their car during times of high energy demand, the grid can get overwhelmed, leading to higher energy costs and greater risk of blackouts. Avoiding that situation requires the grid to grow or become more efficient in terms of how it manages the power supply.
 That’s where a new initiative from BMW called ChargeForward comes into play. The program kicks off this week with a group of 100 Bay Area i3 drivers who have given BMW the ability to rearrange their charging schedules in response to high demand. Using an app, drivers say when they need their car each day and BMW works with Pacific Gas and Electric Company, the local utility, to adjust charging schedules remotely, when necessary, based on real-time energy usage data. The goal is to smooth out demand peaks so the utility doesn’t need to ramp up extra production and consumers don’t have to pay peak rates.

Road Kill

The Economist:

THE Cedar Creek Saloon, a bar an hour or so outside Houston, sits just off the freeway next to a clutch of motels, a barbecue restaurant and a petrol station. From anywhere nearby the only way to reach it, realistically, is by car. And yet on a Friday night it is packed with people happily smoking as they work their way through buckets of Bud Light. Not everyone is driving; but one patron, a little worse for wear, admits that not everyone drinking has a lift home. “People out here drink when they want to drink,” he says. And drunk-driving laws? “They don’t pay attention at all.”
 Drunk-driving is just one of the perils of American roads. In 2014 some 32,675 people were killed in traffic accidents. In 2013, the latest year for which detailed data are available, some 2.3m were injured—or one in 100 licensed drivers. These numbers are better than a few decades ago, but still far worse than in any other developed country. For every billion miles Americans drive, roughly 11 people are killed. If American roads were as safe per-mile-driven as Ireland’s, the number of lives saved each year would be equivalent to preventing all the murders in the country.

NUMMI 2015

This American Life:

Today, we have this story for you about cars– American cars. And like a lot of stories about American cars, this one is more tragedy than comedy, although there is some comedy in there, too. The good news, of course, about American cars is that American cars are getting better, especially in the last few years. You’ve probably heard that.
 Michelle Krebs
 Well, at Ford, the Ford Fusion– Consumer Reports named it a better car than the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord a few years ago. I think that was a major turning point.
 Ira Glass
 Michelle Krebs has been covering the auto industry for 35 years. She’s now at She says the reason American cars finally improved–
 Michelle Krebs
 I think when you’re on the brink of possible extinction, it wakes people up, and they started changing things. But that’s what it took. I mean, that’s why Ford came out with the Ford Fusion. They spent $23 billion– borrowed $23 billion, because they were almost out of business.
 Ira Glass
 So basically, it’s deathbed conversions.
 Michelle Krebs
 That’s a good way to describe it. They decided, we have got to bet the ranch on building great cars that people really want to buy. They’re still not all the way there yet. I mean, I think that’s the simple fact of the matter. There’s been progress, but it’s been spotty.
 Ira Glass
 How spotty? When Consumer Reports rated the top 10 most reliable car brands this year, only one was American. 9 were foreign. 4 of the top 5, no surprise, were Japanese– Toyota, Honda, Mazda, and Lexus.
 Why are most American cars still not as good as foreign cars? Why is it still taking Detroit so long to learn this lesson? It’s not like this reliability problem just snuck up on them, right?
 General Motors, the biggest American car maker, started losing market share 50 years ago. Back in the 1960s, GM sold over half the cars in the United States, and then that number just slid lower and lower and lower for decades, until now, it’s 18% of all cars sold in the US.

“the M6 represents the end-times of internal combustion”

Dan Neil:

Actually, if I had the M6’s as-tested, all-in price of $171,590, and I needed a swank German GT, I think I might opt for the company’s i8, a carbon-fiber future coupe with swan-wing doors and gas-electric powertrain. She’s a cool one.
 But there is an asterisk: The i8 and the Tesla aren’t geared for flights over 155 mph. If you want a car that fast that only feels electric, you want the M6.

Apple in negotiations to use BMW i3 as basis for its own electric car

Jordan Kahn:

The i3 is a generally well-received electric car that gets about 80 miles on a charge and has an optional petrol-based range extender which can add a few gallons worth of range to the vehicle for longer trips. But it is by no means a game changer like Tesla’s Model S which goes from 0-60 in as little as 2.8 seconds, has a range of up to 300 miles and seats up to 7 people. Tesla also has a global network of Superchargers that can recharge their cars in as little as 20 minutes for free.
 Apple would have to do some serious legwork to make the i3 into a game-changing disruption it has traditionally been knownto incorperate as it enters markets.
 The auto industry is one of but a few would be meaningful to Apple’s scale. Electric vehicles and “Autopilot” have been taking off in recent years and companies like Google, Tesla and others hope to disrupt the current status quo.

Related: The i3 Long Bet.

Most Americans want to put the brakes on self-driving cars

Sue Gallaway:

Thanks to multi-billion-dollar, active-safety-based advancements in automotive technology, the world of self-driving cars is piloting its way to a road near you very soon. General Motors, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Google, Apple and Tesla are all working at laser speeds to move transportation toward autonomous.
 But, according to a recent research report by Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute, Americans don’t want self-driving capability.
 The study’s lead author, Brandon Schoettle, and his team surveyed 505 licensed American drivers aged 18 to mid-60s, and found that the most frequent preference for vehicle automation was no self-driving capability at all.

The Last Great Steam Car

Alan Bellows:

When primitive automobiles first began to appear in the 1800s, their engines were based on steam power, the same power source which had motivated the Industrial Revolution. Steam had already enjoyed a long and successful career in locomotive powerplants, so it was only natural that the technology evolved into a miniaturized version which was unshackled from the rails. But these early cars inherited steam’s weaknesses along with its strengths. The boilers had to be lit by hand, and they required about twenty minutes to build up pressure before they could be driven. Furthermore, their water reservoirs only lasted for about thirty miles before needing replenishment. Despite such shortcomings, these newfangled self-propelled carriages offered quick transportation, and by the early 1900s it was not uncommon to see such machines shuttling wealthy citizens around town.

A look at trends that are reshaping the modern office

Jena McGregor:

A couple of years ago, Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer made the controversial announcement that her employees could no longer work from home and would need to return to working in the office.
 But lots of companies wrestling with how to get people to show their face at work, in an era during which telecommuting is increasingly popular, are trying to lure them back rather than mandate it. While organizations have long embraced the benefits of “hoteling,” in which employees reserve desks for themselves rather than getting a dedicated space to work every day, many are taking that concept even further, adding concierge-like staff and other perks to give workers more reasons to come on site.

How a car works

www site:

We have 287 articles and 2232 illustrations that show how the various parts of a car function, and will show you exactly how a car works. Every part is covered – from the bumper to the tailpipe, passing the engine, transmission, brakes and steering.

The View from the Front Seat of the Google Self-Driving Car, Chapter 2

Chris Urmson:

Summer is one of the most dangerous times of the year on U.S. streets, as many of us spend more time behind the wheel, heading out for long road trips or local barbecues. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, for example, has declared the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day to be “The 100 Deadliest Days” for teenage drivers — and they’re not on the roads alone. Statistics like this keep my team and me working hard on a fully self-driving car that can get you from A to B safely, no matter how many beverages you have by the pool or how many texts you send to the new friend you met there.

Mobileye Offers Alternative Route to Google’s Driverless Future

Gabrielle Coppola, Tom Metcalf & Devon Pendleton:

Ziv Aviram regularly drives part of the 42-mile (67 kilometer) stretch to Tel Aviv from Jerusalem with no hands. Gliding through traffic along Highway 1, the car slows and accelerates independently as Aviram focuses on his iPhone.
 The on-board chips and software that allow the chief executive officer of Mobileye NV to check e-mail and read news while his Audi A7 cruises at highway speeds will reach consumers for the first time this year, he said, declining to identify the automaker. Three more manufacturers will introduce the features in the next two years, and nine others are preparing to follow, he said.
 Aviram’s plans for bringing hands-free driving to market marks a contrast with the headline-grabbing effort by Google Inc., whose moonshot, bottom-up approach aims to transform the auto industry in one dramatic sweep.

Self driving cars and tax revenue implications

Alex Davies:

Before long, self-driving cars will deliver a lot of benefits. First and foremost, they’ll increase safety. Accidents won’t be eliminated, but surely will produce better results than humans, who play an outsized role in the 30,000 fatalities in US roads. They’ll also increase productivity—work in the car!—and perhaps even let you sneak in a nap.

Not everyone is looking forward to the age of autonomy, though. One potential loser? Local governments.

Once the car’s in charge, it’s a safe bet we won’t do things like speed, run reds, park illegally, or drive drunk. And that means we won’t be fined for doing those things. That’s going to put the squeeze on city budgets, according to a Brookings Institution report.

Faraday Future

Faraday Future:

Here’s a list of what the vehicles created by Faraday Future – you can just call us FF –
 will have in common with the automobiles of today:
 Four wheels.
 And a list of what they won’t:
 Nearly everything else.

Google, BMW and Tesla’s driverless car tech supplier Bosch sales on a high

Margi Murphy:

its driverless car project. It supplies the powertrain and sensors for the tech giant’s 48-strong fleet that are currently being tested in California, US.
 The search engine leader has selected Austin, Texas as its latest test driving spot and one of its driverless Lexus sport utility cars is roaming the roads. The car, which has a driver on board, is driving around a few square miles north and northeast of downtown Austin.
 Similarly to the UK, Texas has no restrictions regulating autonomous vehicle use or testing. State politicians recently proposed legislation that would encourage driverless car testing with some government oversight but Google and an automotive industry trade group opposed the measure.

Amazon backs NC’s 1st large-scale wind farm

John Murawski

The world’s largest developer of wind-energy farms has teamed up with online retail giant Amazon to build a major wind farm in coastal North Carolina.
 Amazon, which is building a network of wind farms and also testing Tesla storage batteries, announced the project Monday. The Amazon Wind Farm US East, to be built in Perquimans and Pasquotank counties, will power the online retailer’s cloud-computing division, Amazon Web Services, as part of a corporate goal of achieving energy sustainability.
 The sprawling 34-square-mile wind farm will start with 104 turbine spires rising from the state’s eastern flatlands. The $400 million energy project will be built by Spanish wind farm developer Iberdrola Renewables and will start generating electricity for Amazon’s data centers in late 2016.

The Electric Car

Geoff Ralston:

The electric car is going to take over the world. Soon. Let me explain.
 75% of US consumers and over 85% of US millennials own smartphones. Perhaps more amazing is that 1/4 of people in the world use a smartphone today. Ten years ago a prediction that this would be the future would have been met with scorn or laughter. In fact, in 2005 few if any of the futurists would have even been able to imagine the kind of device most of us now depend upon. Naturally, the release of the iPhone in 2007 changed everything, but it is likely that the smartphone era was inevitable. Steve Jobs just ushered it in a few years early.
 In June of 2012 Tesla released the Model S and the results will be equally transformative. Current predictions of the future of electric cars are as wrong as any predictions about the future of mobile phones made in 2005. It is likely that electric car penetration, at least in the US, will take off at an exponential rate over the next 5-10 years rendering laughable the paltry predictions of future electric car sales being made today [1].

Elio Motors, Inc.

Start engine:

Welcome to Elio Motors, a revolutionary startup altering the course of American transportation. With the help of we’ve launched a crowdfunding initiative – a chance for you to buy in and share our dream. Join us today! #AlterTheCourse

Why do some countries drive on the left and others on the right?

World Standards:

About a 35% of the world population drives on the left, and the countries that do are mostly old British colonies. This strange quirk perplexes the rest of the world, but there is a perfectly good reason. Click here for a world map and a full list of all countries of the world and the side of the road on which they drive.

Car Hackers Handbook

Open Garages.

Tesla hires ex-Burberry exec to lead N.A. sales


Tesla Motors Inc. has hired former Burberry senior vice president Ganesh Srivats, adding a sales executive to help the electric-car maker extend its reputation for automotive luxury to an increasingly global audience.
 Srivats, whose position as vice president for North American sales was confirmed Thursday by the company, will help Tesla deepen its already formidable brand into a premium lifestyle experience to go with its high-tech image, taking a cue from the kind of marketing BMW, Porsche and Ferrari have done.
 “This makes all the sense in the world,” said Scott Galloway, a professor of marketing at New York University’s Stern School of Business, in a phone interview. “Tesla is not an automobile company, it’s a luxury company.”

Carmakers to tech partners: Keep your hands off our data By Julia Love and Paul Lienert

Julie Love & Paul Lienert:

share with technology partners Apple Inc and Google Inc through new systems that link smartphones to vehicle infotainment systems, defending access to information about what drivers do in their cars.
 Auto companies hope that the vehicle data will one day generate billions of dollars in e-commerce, though they are just beginning to form strategies for monetizing the information. Apple and Google already make money from smartphone owners by providing a variety of products and services, from digital music to targeted advertising, and connecting phones to car systems will almost certainly extend their reach.
 But as infotainment systems such as Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto become more widespread, auto companies hope to keep tech providers from gaining access to a wealth of potentially profitable information collected by computer systems in cars.

Bjorn Fehrm:

We live in the years when electrical cars have gone from exotic one-offs to serial produced products, still expensive but more and more practical. Why should not the aircraft industry follow?
 The car industry relied on the computer industry to develop affordable power dense batteries. These were needed for the laptops and it perfected the Lithium-ion chemistry battery and brought the production systems for these hard to produce batteries to mass production. Today Li-ion batteries are produced for smartphones, computers, cars and many other applications.
 The Solar power industry that created solar cells to mount on one’s house perfected the solar cell unit and brought this to mass production and affordable prices. Finally the hybrid and full electrical car industry developed the power electronics needed for all the conversions and control of the electrical energy that drives the electrical engines. With all components there, why is the fact that Airbus E-Fan flies across the Channel and that its subsidiary, Voltair, will produce a commercially available electrical trainer for 2017 and a general purpose four seater aircraft for 2019 such a sensation?
 The problems involved

Where Electric Vehicles Actually Cause More Pollution Than Gas Cars

Eric Jaffe:

The idea that gasoline cars might cause less environmental harm than electric vehicles seems impossibly backwards. But consider the following thought experiment before you dismiss it out of hand.
 A view from the tailpipe gives EVs a clear edge: no emissions, no pollution, no problem. Shift the view to that of a smokestack, though, and we get a much different picture. The EV that caused no environmental damage on the road during the day still needs to be charged at night. This requires a great deal of electricity generated by a power plant somewhere, and if that power plant runs on coal, it’s not hard to imagine it spewing more emissions from a smokestack than a comparable gas car coughed up from a tailpipe.

Iowa Makes a Bold Admission: We Need Fewer Roads

Eric Jaffe:

Per capita driving has peaked in America, and with that new normal comes the question of whether or not we should be spending limited transportation funding on building new roads. If nothing else the driving trends support the wisdom of a “fix-it-first” policy that focuses on highway maintenance over expansion.
 Iowa DOT chief Paul Trombino recently took that logical conclusion one step further. During an Urban Land Institute talk, Trombino told the audience he expects the state’s overbuilt and unsustainable road network to “shrink,” according to Charles Marohn of Strong Towns. Iowans should figure out which roads “we really want to keep” and let the others “deteriorate and go away.”
 The key quotes, via Marohn (our emphasis):

Buffett strikes cheapest electricity price in US with Nevada solar farm

Ian Glover:

A Nevada utility owned by U.S. tycoon Warren Buffett has agreed upon a purchase price for solar power from a First Solar plant that might well be the cheapest electricity available anywhere in the U.S., reports Bloomberg.
 NV Energy, a Nevada-based utility owned by Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, has agreed to pay just $0.3.87/kWh for solar electricity from the 100 MW Playa Solar 2 project being developed by U.S. thin film company First Solar.
 The PPA undercuts a previous price agreed with NV Energy last year – $0.46/kWh from SunEdison’s 100 MW Boulder Solar Project – and could quite possibly be the cheapest electricity in the U.S.
 “That’s probably the cheapest PPA I’ve ever seen in the U.S.,” Bloomberg Intelligence utility analyst Kit Konolige said. “It helps a lot that they’re in the Southwest where there’s good sun.”

Self driving car monthly report

Google (PDF):

This month we kicked off the next big phase of the project: t​esting our prototype vehicles on public streets.​ We’re still all about learning; now we want to know how the community perceives and interacts with these vehicles, and what operational challenges are unique to a fully self-driving vehicle. We’re continuing to test with our Lexus vehicles and we’ll gradually introduce more prototypes to the streets over the coming months.
Activity Summary (​all metrics are as of June 30, 2015)

How driverless cars could revolutionise old age

John Bingham:

Study finds poor public transport curtails lives of almost 1.5 million elderly people in England
 Driverless cars could liberate almost 1.5 million elderly people virtually trapped in their own homes because of poor or inaccessible public transport links, a study has concluded.
 The introduction of fully automated vehicles would transform the lives of older people, particularly in rural areas, the report by the International Longevity Centre UK (ILC-UK) concludes.

Why my car cost more than taking Uber everywhere


This afternoon, I sold my car. It was a great car – a 2002 Subaru WRX with 36,700 miles. It did 0-60 in 5.9 seconds (and I’d tested it out enough times to appreciate that). Super fun. Carried groceries and anything I needed. Good for city. Good for climbing and camping trips. Worked well. Nothing wrong with it.
 Good riddance.
 I’m an abnormal car owner, for sure, but one of the points I raise below (better uses of the capital expense of the car) applies pretty broadly. Over the life of the car, I paid more than $4 per mile traveled. Even if all of my travel was one-mile trips, Uber ($2 base fee + $1.25 per mile in Pittsburgh) would have been far cheaper. You can substitute Lyft or Yellow Cab for Uber in that equation, of course, assuming you could actually get a cab in Pittsburgh to pick you up when you needed.

Yahama aims to unlock US and EU markets with agriculture drone

Kana Inagaki:

In May, Yamaha Motor became the first company to secure permission to fly a crop-spraying drone in the US that resembles a helicopter and is called RMax. It was the largest commercial drone to win approval from the Federation Aviation Administration, with a body that is 2.7 metres long, 1.1 metres tall, and weighs 64kgs.

Currently, unmanned aerial vehicles used for commercial purposes are banned in the US unless a special exemption is obtained from the FAA. Yahama, which already sells agricultural drones in Japan, South Korea and Australia, hopes the FAA exemption for the RMax in the US will not only unlock this market but also those in European countries.

“Our drones work well in spraying pesticides and fertilisers on slopes so we’re aiming for vineyards at Napa Valley in the US and Champagne in France,” says Osamu Ishioka, Yamaha’s senior general manager.

Yamaha, the world’s second largest motorcycle maker, has been developing drones for about three decades, prompted by a request from the Japanese government.

Road kill: Despite improvements, driving in America remains extraordinarily dangerous

The Economist:

THE Cedar Creek Saloon, a bar an hour or so outside Houston, sits just off the freeway next to a clutch of motels, a barbecue restaurant and a petrol station. From anywhere nearby the only way to reach it, realistically, is by car. And yet on a Friday night it is packed with people happily smoking as they work their way through buckets of Bud Light. Not everyone is driving; but one patron, a little worse for wear, admits that not everyone drinking has a lift home. “People out here drink when they want to drink,” he says. And drunk-driving laws? “They don’t pay attention at all.”
 Drunk-driving is just one of the perils of American roads. In 2014 some 32,675 people were killed in traffic accidents. In 2013, the latest year for which detailed data are available, some 2.3m were injured—or one in 100 licensed drivers. These numbers are better than a few decades ago, but still far worse than in any other developed country. For every billion miles Americans drive, roughly 11 people are killed. If American roads were as safe per-mile-driven as Ireland’s, the number of lives saved each year would be equivalent to preventing all the murders in the country.

Seeing red: some of the state’s poorest pay the highest insurance rates

Make Wilkinson:

 Motorists in Detroit pay the highest auto insurance premiums, according to filings with the state insurance department. In the map below are the Census tract-level “factor” differences in personal injury protection — typically he most expensive component of a drivers’ insurance premium — for AAA of Michigan for 2015. They show either the discount or the additional amount motorists are charged depending on where they live. Zoom in on Metro Detroit to see how high rates are affected.

Road Tax Regime amidst changing Behavior

Patrick Holland:

The Highway Trust Fund is set to run out of money in September and Congress wants to save it with a one-time repatriation tax. The proposal would allow companies to repatriate off-shore income at a tax rate of 6.5 percent with the revenue directly funding the Highway Trust Fund. The problem with this plan is that it is a short-term, one-time solution. The only way Congress can ensure the long-term sustainability of the Highway Trust Fund is by raising highway user-fees.
 For the early part of its existence, the Highway Trust Fund operated solely using revenue from the federal gas tax. However, the gas tax quickly became unpopular with consumers and is now difficult to increase. In 1993, the gas tax was raised to 18.4 cents a gallon and it has not changed since. With dwindling gas tax revenues, the Highway Trust Fund no longer has a stable funding source. Over the next ten years the fund is expected to operate with a $169 billion budget shortfall.
 The Highway Trust Fund’s purpose is to pay for the expansion the highway system and regular road maintenance. With the fund now in dire straits, come September states will have no federal money to help pay for highway construction and maintenance.