The steady rise of electric vehicles will soon leave petrol and diesel cars in the dust. BMW is launching electric buses all over Europe, while the London Taxi Company is replacing old cabs. A few months later, the U.K. remains on top of the eco-ladder, with Oxford planning to eliminate non-electric vehicles.
The scheme aims to cut levels of nitrogen dioxide, the majority of which comes from traffic fumes, by three-quarters.
To give distributors leeway, Oxford will be imposing the ban in 2020, increasing the affected zone by 2035. We all know electric vehicles aren’t the most affordable, so locals may have to do some walking. The plan is projected to cost £7 million, but the city council deems the shift will be well worth it.
Oxford city councillor John Tanner said a “step change” is urgently needed as toxic air pollution is “damaging the health” of residents.
It’s a bold move, Oxford, but hopefully a successful one.
It’s not only cars that are getting a sustainable makeover — manufacturers are also developing new tires. From self-healing rubber to airless frames, consumers are in for a smooth ride. What we can expect next is a smart adaptable tire that can easily adjust to road conditions.
Specifically, this is all about two technologies called ContiSense and ContiAdapt. In simple terms you are looking at a tire that (1) could monitor and report on its health and (2) adjust its characteristics to road conditions.
Monitors measure tread depth and temperature, and its electrically-conductive rubber adjusts accordingly. It’s also completely wireless (can we get some wifi on there?).
“Depending on the tire pressure and rim width, different tread zones are activated and the concept tire adopts the required ‘footprint’ in each case.”
Like the Michelin projects, it’s going to be some time before the tires roll in. But with all this new technology, I can’t imagine slowing down would be too much of a bad idea.
Distracted driving survivors have Apple Watches and shock bracelets to thank for sparing their lives. However, car accidents remain abundant — but not if researchers at the University of Waterloo have anything to say about it. A new artificial intelligence software can now alert cars when you’re texting and driving, which can prevent oncoming disasters.
This system can detect signs of distraction, which could be caused by texting or talking on the phone, reaching into the backseat, or anything else that causes a change in head and face position.
With the rise of self-driving vehicles comes the simultaneous ascent of new safety features. In other words, you can count on your car to pick up the slack.
“The car could actually take over driving if there was imminent danger, even for a short while, in order to avoid crashes.”
Majority of crashes are caused by human error. Researchers claim that autonomous vehicles can save tens of thousands of lives every year. Of course, this isn’t to hand over free passes to reckless drivers. Staying focused remains a number one priority for anyone behind the wheel.
Last year’s greatest catalog expansion was not that of your favorite shoes or sunglasses, but wheels. Yes, commercial car tires got the ultimate makeover in 2017, introducing anti-flat and airless masterpieces. But manufacturers haven’t run out of ideas yet, with Goodyear rolling out one of its most genius products yet. The rubber company is engineering a moss-covered tire that absorbs moisture and expels oxygen.
Goodyear says if a Paris-sized city, with around 2.5 million vehicles, used Oxygene tires then it would eliminate 4,000 tons of carbon dioxide every year while also producing more than 3,000 tons of oxygen.
With 80% of people residing in areas with dangerously high pollution levels, the roads could use a breather. The Oxygene is 3D-printed, shock-absorbent, and immune to perforations. Michelin might have to step its game up.
The tire also “harvests the energy generated during photosynthesis” to power an assortment of onboard sensors and electronics including a sidewall light strip and an artificial intelligence processing unit. The tire also has V2V and V2X technology which allows it to warn other vehicles about lane changes and other maneuvers.
Yep — if my wheels could keep me on time, wash my laundry remotely, and call my sister, I’d throw em on the shopping list.
The best things in a sustainable life come free. Whether solar power or library books, the end goal is the same. Protect the planet. Educate. With an extensive amount of waste and pollution looming over the globe, Germany has had enough. To cut rising costs of living and minimize emissions, nation is offering free public transport.
“We are considering public transport free of charge in order to reduce the number of private cars,” three German government ministers wrote in their recent letter to the E.U… “Effectively fighting air pollution without any further unnecessary delays is of the highest priority for Germany.”
Though it hasn’t topped the list of most polluted countries in Europe, Germans remain among the 400,000 that succumb to air pollution every year. Expenses are tricky, but are encouraging other forms of eco-traveling.
The free public transport plans would be complemented by other measures, such as car-sharing schemes or expanded low-emissions zones within cities.
Sure, a crowded subway may not sound ideal — but let’s hope Germany has its reigns on that as well.
China may hold the record for housing the world’s fastest high-speed railway, but Florida is making headlines for launching its first. The private rail service will run from West Palm Beach to Fort Lauderdale.
“It’s the first time that it’s happening, being built by a private company,” [says John Renne of the Urban Solutions committee). “And that’s kind of a game changer for this type of model.”
Along with carbon emissions, the $3 million train project will cut 3 million cars from traffic-laden roads. All Abroad Florida hopes to target the state’s densest area of nearly 6 million people.
“The federal highway system expanded … and everyone got off trains and into cars,” [says] John Guitar of All Aboard Florida… “And we’ve done a full circle now that the traffic and congestion and gas prices are so bad, people are looking for alternatives to get out of their cars and find other ways to get around the state.”
For what’ll likely be just $16, passengers can zip from West Palm to Miami in merely an hour. Road trips may be fun, but if I can shave 4 hours off a drive, why not?
Never underestimate the potential of renewable energy. From it, we can produce food and even maintain an entire village. Lately, it’s made its greatest impact on Australia, powering 70% of its homes.
The first Australian Renewable Energy Index, produced by Green Energy Markets, finds the sector will generate enough power to run 90% of homes once wind and solar projects under construction in 2016-17 are completed.
The project is slashing carbon pollution to the effect of removing half of Australia’s cars off the road. Breezy! The country’s renewable energy sector is also providing jobs to those who need them. Approximately, there have been up to 10,000 openings. However, Australia doesn’t have the government to thank.
“Instead we can thank the thousands of everyday Australians who stood up and defended the national [RET] from Tony Abbott’s attacks, who saved [the Australian Renewable Energy Agency] from federal government budget cuts, and who pushed their state governments into showing some leadership on clean energy.”
It’s no surprise that locals are accountable for the push to invest in renewable energy. After all, it could save them $1.5 billion off electricity bills in the next 10 years. Who doesn’t want that?
When it comes to natural disasters, no one is safe. Hurricane Harvey, which rampaged around Houston, ruined homes and establishments alike. While many are eager to help, people need to be mindful of the appropriate measures to take. Some, like Houston Bike Share, are going the extra mile by helping victims ride out the damage by giving them free bicycles.
“We’re really pushing this as helping someone who lost a vehicle, but we also have cases where there’s families asking if we have kids’ bikes so their kids would be able to bike to school, because without a family car, they’re running around not knowing the best way to get who where,”
The storm destroyed nearly a million cars, a tragedy for 94.4% of Houston households that use them. Insurance is saving the day for 85% of car insurance holders, but leaving the remaining 15% in the dust.
“You’ve got some people who have been displaced to areas where they can’t take their regular form of public transportation. And so we’re open to those applicants as well.”
As of today, bike manufacturing companies have donated around 450 bicycles. That should be keeping the Houston ball rolling!
While recycled backpacks prove that car parts can be sustainable, the same can’t be said about tires. That is, until Michelin stepped in. The renowned automotive manufacturer has come out with a 3D printed clean tire that uses no air and is biodegradable.
The new Michelin VISION concept is a 3D-printed, airless, wheel-tire combination composed of organic, biodegradable materials, including orange zest, bamboo, molasses, wood, and natural rubber.
The eco-friendly tire eliminates the use of petroleum, which is hazardous when decomposing. Standard tires consume up to 38 liters of petroleum. VISION tires, because of their sustainable material, don’t need replacing.
It can be “recharged” as often as necessary with a new layer of treads; the 3D-printed treads can be tweaked to adapt to weather and road conditions.
Sensor chips will also allow mechanics to review information regarding usage of each tire. But like all new technologies, VISION requires less human intervention due to its 3D-printed nature. Will this mean a massive drop in employment? Michelin certainly hopes not — and anyway, they have nearly a decade to think about it, as VISION is not yet consumer-ready.