E-scooters Trials in the UK
On Saturday 4th July, UK cities will finally be allowed to run e-scooters trials. Until recently, the UK government did not consider legalizing e-scooters. The blog ComoUk has listed 18 e-scooter companies who are interested in working in the UK. Forty-five cities already declared being willing to provide this type of mobility alternative. Among them, Cardiff, Cambridge, Liverpool, and Manchester. The cities should start trials before the end of August for a maximum of 12 months.
To participate in this trial UK citizens should own a driving license and insurance, drive on dedicated bike lanes or roads only, and can’t go faster than 15.5mph. The last but not the least, e-scooters must be rented and cannot be privately own.
Earlier this year, New York City also allowed the use of e-bikes and e-scooters with top speed under 20 miles per hour.
Amazon Acquires Zoox
Last Friday, Amazon announced that he bought the autonomous vehicle startup Zoox for the amount of $1.2 billion. Zoox is an American company that builds fully autonomous, bi-directional electric vehicles. In April, Zoox laid off several employees due to the coronavirus situation.
“Like Amazon, Zoox is passionate about innovation and about its customers, and we’re excited to help the talented Zoox team to bring their vision to reality in the years ahead.”
Jeff Wilke, Amazon CEO of Global Consumer
The Zoox team will continue to be lead by the current managers and Amazon will let the newly acquired startup run as an independent subsidiary. A lot of rumors are emerging in the press. Some are saying that Amazon acquired Zoox to develop their autonomous delivery technologies, others are speculating that they will produce an autonomous ride-hailing fleet to compete with Alphabet’s Waymo.
Bridgestone Associates with Microsoft
Tires problems are responsible for 30% of accidents due to technical issues. The Japanese tires manufacturer Bridgestone identified this problem and partnered with Microsoft to develop a Tire damage monitoring system. The smart system is able to detect nonvisible damages and works with the Microsoft Connected Vehicle Platform (MCVP).
The system collects data from sensors placed on the tires that are then analyzed after. If a problem happens, the driver receives notifications on his dashboard including the time and place where the damage was done. The driver is thus able to act to remedy the situation before an accident occurs. Therefore, the system provides more security for the driver and future damage can be avoided.
The system is currently available for all vehicle connected to the Microsoft platform and permit to develop a range of solutions for navigation, autonomous driving, forecast and even Over The Air (OTA) updates. Bridgestone says there is no equivalent system available on the market apart from those that require extra hardware to be installed.
The Most Polluted City in Europe
Being a super polluted city is one of the reasons why North Macedonia cannot enter the European Union (EU). The country is in fact not meeting EU air quality standards. You may not know Skoptje, but this Macedonian city regularly ranks among the most polluted city in Europe, and sometimes in the entire world. Many Skoptje citizens complain about the bad air quality, causing them health problems and responsible to 4,000 premature deaths a year according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The economic cost is also impressive, reaching up to €1,470 million.
To try solving this problem, more and more activists groups were created in Skoptje. An application called Aircare was also developed to inform the citizens about the pollution level in their city.
The cities of tomorrow could be made with hybrid timber buildings. These buildings use mass timber construction methods to offer a reduction i
n the carbon footprint. They usually use renewable energy and include solar panels into their façade.
The world’s tallest hybrid timber tower has just been designed by SHoP and BVN architects. The tower will be built in Sydney and is designed to operate on 100% renewable energy, reaching net-zero emission by 2050. The building is 180 meter-tall and will be used as an office for Atlassian, a software development company.
The tower’s façade helps reduce carbon emissions and generate on-site energy. The project aims to use an energy-efficient approach including natural ventilation and large planted terraces.