West Midlands tram system goes digital

West Midlands Metro

New radio system enables the operator to monitor tram movements and passengers via the network and provides the mechanism to react to incidents with accuracy and efficiency. West Midlands Metro network has installed a digital radio communications system to run its tram operations as part of a £1.3bn upgrade. Over the coming years the network will triple in size with further additional trams, upgrades to depot-maintenance facilities and operations control centre. Future network The new radio system is being designed and deployed by TES Communication Solutions and will add further…

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Ehang partners to build eco vertiport in Italy

Heliport Giancarlo Zema Design Group

The autonomous aerial vehicle technology platform company is partnering with architecture firm Giancarlo Zema Design Group to help extend its air mobility solutions in Europe. Autonomous aerial vehicle (AAV) technology platform company Ehang is partnering with Rome-based architecture firm Giancarlo Zema Design Group (GZDG) to build an eco-sustainable vertiport in Italy. The vertiport will use green design and construction materials and can generate energy to recharge the EH216 passenger-grade AAVs. New era of flight Vertiports will play a significant role in the urban air mobility (UAM) market and the new…

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Paris to launch universal charging pilot for micro-mobility

Duckt lock charge points

Duckt will install 150 dock, lock and charge points across the Paris Rive Gauche area to demonstrate how the infrastructure can accelerate micro-mobility to reduce climate impact in the city. The Paris Rive Gauche (13th arrondissement) area of Paris is to undertake a pilot project for the installation of 150 dock, lock, and charge points. The project, awarded to micro-mobility infrastructure provider Duckt, aims to demonstrate how universal charging infrastructure can accelerate micro-mobility use to reduce climate impact in the city. Universal charge solution After responding to a Paris municipality…

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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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Hitachi Rail announces plans to test battery-powered long-distance trains

Great Western Railway

In a UK-first, long-distance intercity trains running on battery power will trial on the Great Western Railway main line between the south west of England and London. Manufacturer Hitachi Rail and rolling stock company Eversholt Rail have signed an exclusive agreement aimed at bringing battery power – and fuel savings of more than 20 per cent – to the GWR passenger service between London and Penzance. Electric-battery intercity train The ambition is to create a fully electric-battery intercity train that can travel the full 300-mile journey by the late 2040s,…

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WEF continues drive to make facial recognition tech more transparent

facial recognition

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has released the second stage of its framework for responsible use of facial recognition technology (FRT). Responsible Limits on Facial Recognition, Use Case: Flow Management aims to build a new level of transparency and trust among users. Socially beneficial Facial recognition technology (FRT) creates a range of socially beneficial uses, mostly through enhanced authentication and identification processes, such as unlocking a smartphone, boarding a plane and accessing online public services. It has also come under increasing scrutiny, however, for potentially undermining privacy, misidentifying people, perpetuating…

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Rail company invests in Hyperloop Transportation Technologies

HyperloopTT

Hitachi Rail will integrate hyperloop’s capsule travelling system with its signalling technology, the European Rail Traffic Management System, at HyperloopTT’s R&D centre in Toulouse. Hitachi Rail has announced a technology partnership with Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HyperloopTT) to develop cutting-edge technology for signalling traffic management and control systems. The intention is to integrate hyperloop’s capsule travelling system with Hitachi Rail’s ERTMS signalling technology to manage and automate the capsules which travel at speeds of up to 1,200kph (760mph). Future mobility technologies According to Hitachi Rail, the partnership underscores its commitment to…

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UK autonomous vehicle development centre nears completion

autonomous vehicle development centre

An autonomous vehicle development centre is nearing completion in the UK’s Midlands which will enable leading manufacturers of self-driving technology to design, develop and test vehicles from one globally accessible location. Developed by automotive engineering company Horiba Mira, Assured Cav aims to provide the “most complete environment” and ecosystem for industry, policy-makers and government to develop autonomous vehicle technology. Future mobility Assured Cav wants to accelerate future mobility and ensure vehicles are sufficiently robust to cope with the wide range of eventualities seen on public roads, before being released to…

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EHang completes maiden flights of two-seater air taxi in South Korea

EHang Drone

According to Ehang, the flight tours across Seoul, Daegu, and Jeju Island signify the starting point to explore the urban air mobility (UAM) market in South Korea. EHang Holdings, an autonomous aerial vehicle (AAV) technology platform company, has announced its two-seater air taxi has completed its maiden flights in the Republic of Korea. According to Ehang, the flight tours across Seoul, Daegu, and Jeju Island signify the starting point to explore the urban air mobility (UAM) market in South Korea. Korean UAM roadmap In June 2020, the government announced the…

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Hyperloop company completes €7m financing round

Hyperloop

Zeleros, the Spanish company leading the development of hyperloop in Europe, has completed a financing round worth more than €7m. The company will move into a new phase of development of what is called the “fifth mode of transport” which could dramatically reduce journey times between cities. Speeds of 1,000km/h Hyperloop is a new means of ground transportation that can carry passengers and cargo at speeds of over 1,000km/h inside low pressure tubes. It is a fully-electric, zero direct emissions system and so has the potential to decarbonise long-distance transport.…

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Ontario transport agency shares user data with public health body

transport agency

Metrolinx stressed the privacy measures in place and the “extraordinary times”. The case is one of a growing number which highlight how officials are faced with finding the balance between individual privacy and the common good amid an urgent public health crisis. Ontario’s public transport agency Metrolinx said last week that, on request, it gave Toronto Public Health contact information associated with registered Presto payments cards used on specific trips, after a 40-year-old man was diagnosed with coronavirus (COVID-19). It shared the news via Twitter and said: “Under Ontario’s privacy…

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