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


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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Motional and Lyft to roll out robotaxi services in major US cities in 2023

Motional Lyft robotaxi

Driverless technology company, Motional, and ride-sharing specialist, Lyft, are launching a robotaxi service in major US cities, beginning in 2023. Motional’s next-generation, fully driverless vehicles will be integrated, operationalised, and deployed on the Lyft network. It follows an ongoing three-year partnership in which Motional and Lyft operate the world’s longest-standing commercial robotaxi service in Las Vegas. The partners are joining forces to create “a clear, scalable path to market for robotaxis”. Motional will deliver next-generation robotaxis, based on a Hyundai vehicle platform, integrated with sensors, computers, and software to enable…

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Semtech and AWS collaborate on AWS IoT Core for LoRaWAN


Semtech Corporation, a supplier of high-performance analog and mixed-signal semiconductors and advanced algorithms, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have teamed to integrate the LoRaWAN protocol on Semtech’s Network Server with AWS IoT Core. AWS IoT Core for LoRaWAN is a fully managed service that enables enterprise IoT developers to easily connect low power wireless devices over long range, wide-area network (LoRaWAN) based networks to AWS without developing or operating their own LoRaWAN server. Development of IoT solutions According to Semtech, this simplifies the development of IoT solutions that leverage 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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Miami non-profit provides autonomous deliveries to students

hybrid self-driving test vehicles

The Education Fund is teaming up with Ford Autonomous Vehicles and Argo AI to ensure students in Miami-Dade County receive fresh produce and school supplies during distance learning. A Miami non-profit is spearheading a pilot collaboration to provide autonomous deliveries of fresh food and school supplies to students in Miami-Dade County who are studying at home during the pandemic. The Education Fund has teamed with Ford Autonomous Vehicles, its self-driving technology partner Argo AI, and philanthropic arm Ford Motor Company Fund, to make safe, contactless deliveries in Ford’s Fusion hybrid…

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Rail company invests in Hyperloop Transportation Technologies


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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Peachtree Corners reveals solar roadway system

solar roadway system

Georgia smart city Peachtree Corners has unveiled a new solar roadway system that will produce energy for a solar-powered electric vehicle (EV) charging station at city hall. The French-engineered road surface solar panels may power more parts of the city in the future such as streetlights and other infrastructure as well as provide backup for grid outages. Solar panel first Peachtree Corners, which is home to the Curiosity Lab 5G-enabled autonomous vehicle and smart city living laboratory, claims the installation marks the first road surface-powered solar panels to be activated…

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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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