Austria builds lidar-equipped testing environment

ALP.Lab lidar

The Austrian Industry and Testing Alliance (ALP.Lab) has teamed with Cepton, a provider of intelligent, lidar-based solutions, to build lidar-equipped testing environments for studying complicated road driving situations. According to ALP.Lab, for the first time in Austria, this project will deliver real-world traffic data analytics from complex urban and rural alpine intersections. Complex traffic situations As an alliance of automotive suppliers such as Magna and AVL, and as a partner to scientific organisations like Virtual Vehicle Research, Joanneum Research and Graz University of Technology, ALP.Lab seeks to deliver real-life data…

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Partnership announced to co-create Bleutech Park smart city vision

Bleutech Park Properties

Real-estate investment trust (REIT) Bleutech Park Properties is partnering with Siemens Advanta to help co-create what it claims will be the first “digital infrastructure city” in the world. The £7.5bn Bleutech Park development, located in the Las Vegas Valley, Nevada, will be constructed of net-zero carbon footprint buildings within its own insular mini-city, featuring automated multi-functional designs, renewable energy sources, photovoltaic ‘supertrees’, as well as a variety of other interconnected innovations. Ultra-luxury residential towers The smart city development will encompass luxury residential towers, futuristic hotels, technologically advanced office spaces, and…

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Ubuntu Core 20 secures Linux for IoT

Ubuntu Core 20

Canonical’s Ubuntu Core 20, a minimal, containerised version of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS for Internet of Things (IoT) devices and embedded systems, is now generally available. This version bolsters device security with secure boot, full disk encryption, and secure device recovery. Ubuntu Core builds on the Ubuntu application ecosystem to create what are said to be ultra-secure smart things. “Every connected device needs guaranteed platform security and an app store,” says Canonical’s CEO, Mark Shuttleworth. “Ubuntu Core 20 enables innovators to create highly secure things and focus entirely on their own…

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The living bricks that generate energy in the home

The wall of living bricks

The energy-generating microbial system can simultaneously supply power to homes and communicate to individuals through augmented reality to tell them how productive and happy it is. A research consortium has created a prototype of “living bricks” that can generate energy in the home and which it hopes will ultimately replace fossil fuels and revolutionise housing. The Active Living Infrastructure: Controlled Environment (Alice) consortium claims the living bricks can make electricity and clean water, but also ensure individuals keep informed and help them offset environmental impacts. Bio-digital research The Alice consortium…

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Hitachi tests battery-powered tram in Florence

Hitachi Rail tram Florence

Hitachi Rail has reached an important milestone following a successful trial of its first battery-powered tram in Florence. While traditional tram lines require electrified infrastructure – usually overhead wires supported by poles or pylons – that are expensive to install and visually unattractive. Battery trams offer the opportunity to run high-capacity public transport through city centres, while saving millions on installing wires and reducing the unsightly visual impact. Energy consumed The trial involved installing battery packs on an existing Hitachi-built Sirio tram, which covered a section of the line under…

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Voi to launch e-scooters that measure air quality in the UK

Voi e-scooters

Voi Technology is launching an e-scooter that measures air quality as it travels in UK cities this spring. It features optional smart pollution sensors, as well as noise and light sensors, to help identify areas with poor air quality and high levels of noise pollution. The Voiager 4 (V4) model also offers new safety features – including audible alarms and indicators – designed to increase the visibility of e-scooters to pedestrians and to vulnerable road users, including those with vision impairments. Integration with public transport As well as lower traffic…

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Partners launch smart city air mobility trials

aerotaxi smart city

Locations chosen for the trials in the Horizon 2020 project are Santiago de Compostela in Spain, Cranfield in the UK and Amsterdam and Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Amu-Led, a newly created Single European Sky ATM Research (Sesar) U-space demonstration project, aims to trial a range of smart city air mobility services over the next two years in several cities across Europe. The aim is to demonstrate the safe integration of all types of drone operations including air taxis, cargo delivery drones or unmanned systems in support of emergencies in urban…

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London hits electric vehicles charging milestone

London smart city

The UK capital has more than 500 rapid charge points and over 5,500 residential charge points, with some points dedicated exclusively for almost 4,000 electric taxis. London has hit its target of delivering 300 more electric vehicle (EV) rapid charging points across the UK capital before the end of 2020, bringing the total to around 600. Working with BP Pulse and ESB Energy as charging point operators, Transport for London (TfL) met its target, despite works being paused from April to June 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Charging hubs…

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Dutch coalition explores hyperloop for busy freight corridors

Hardt Hyperloop

A coalition of Dutch governments and companies acting under the banner of the Hyperloop Development Programme (HDP) is exploring the use of the high-speed transportation system hyperloop for busy freight corridors. A pilot route that would constitute a first step in creating a pan-European emission-free hyperloop network is being investigated in the largest urban area of the Netherlands between Rotterdam and Amsterdam. Volume-intensive hubs The preconditions and effects of a hyperloop connection for cargo between important and volume-intensive hubs in the provinces of Noord and Zuid-Holland are being researched. The…

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Five-minute charge electric car batteries developed

StoreDot battery

Israeli company StoreDot claims to have developed a five-minute charge lithium-ion battery which could eliminate range and charging anxiety for electric vehicle (EV) users and accelerate adoption. The company, a specialist in extreme fast charging (XFC) battery technology, is releasing the first production batch of sample cells, which can offer ultra-fast charging to a number of other industries, such as commercial drones and consumer electronics. Overcoming major issues The first-generation engineering samples demonstrate to EV OEMs and battery manufacturers the successful replacement of graphite in the cell’s anode using metalloid…

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Research highlights growing trends of green roofs and green concrete

green roofs smart city

Living roofs or green roofs are increasingly being implemented in commercial smart buildings, a market which is forecast to grow from $36.42bn in 2020 to $59.30bn in 2025, according to new research. Green solutions in roofs, windows and even concrete are identified as major trends in the Business Research Company’s smart buildings market research report. Smart buildings market size The global smart buildings market size reached a value of nearly $36.42bn in 2020, having increased at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 0.5 per cent since 2015. From 2025,…

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Alès public transport operator renews contract and rebrands entire mobility service

Navette shuttle

The Syndicat Mixte des Transports du Bassin d’Alès (SMBTA), in France’s Gard region, is to rename its NTecC public transport network from April 2021. All mobility services will be refashioned under the identity of Ales’Y as the public transport operator seeks to increase network ridership and commercial revenues by 28 per cent. New mobility services The transition will result in the deployment of France’s first public carpooling network, development of new mobility services as well as the introduction of hydrogen-powered buses. Services will be named Ales’Y by Bus, Ales’Y Carpool,…

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Smart grid specialist partners in UK energy capacity project

Smart grid

Smarter Grid Solutions (SGS) has been appointed as a key partner in Electricity North West’s Quest energy project, which aims to free up network capacity for more than 2GW of clean energy assets in the UK, saving over £250m. It will drive forward the use of active network management, using its distributed energy resource management systems (DERMS) software to create an overarching system to manage voltages and balance centralised and decentralised energy control systems. It will work in partnership with Electricity North West, National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) and…

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LoRaWAN to go nationwide in the UK

Connexin

The United Kingdom is going to receive nationwide long range wide area networks (LoRaWAN) and infrastructure for the first time after connectivity provider Connexin raised £80 million in funding. The company said the network amounts to a strategic investment in supporting increasing demand for smart networks. LoRaWAN reduces barriers to entering the Internet of Things market, it added. Hull City Council, Yorkshire Water and Icosa Water on the south coast of England are among the organisations that have deployed LoRaWAN. In Sheffield, Connexin technology is being used to provide highway…

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Postman bot set to deliver the mail in Japanese trial

robotic postman

A robotic postman is set to deliver letters and parcels to residents of Fujisawa after a field test of an automated home delivery service was launched in the Japanese town. The Japanese city’s Kanagawa Prefecture is working with Panasonic on the trial, which launched in November and will end on Christmas Eve. The first phase involved a self-driving robot on the prefecture’s public roads, with the second trial, which launches in February, set to involve home delivery of mail via a smartphone app and remote control centre. Panasonic said the…

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