Shipping Industry Joins Fight Against Climate Change

All of us can participate, in our little ways, in the great battle against climate change. As I have written before, we need to take the task upon ourselves now more than ever. And while there are actions we can do just around our home, we also definitely need bigger stakeholders in the battle. As a momentous feat this 2018, the shipping industry is finally joining the fight.

For the first time, brokered by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and effective over 170 member states, global shipping companies have agreed to a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The agreement will require a revolution among ships, which are overwhelmingly fuelled by heavy oils at present. In future, they will have to not only be more energy-efficient, but also make use of cleaner energy, in the form of batteries supplying electricity, solar and wind electricity generation, and perhaps even a return to sail in some cases, or more controversially to nuclear power, as some warships already use.

As of the moment, shipping contributes only 2% of the world’s total carbon emissions, but this is no reason to be complacent, considering the ever-increasing need for transport due to globalization, as well as the ships’ use of carbon-heavy fuels like diesel.

John Maggs, president of the Clean Shipping Coalition and senior policy adviser at the campaigning group Seas at Risk, said: “We have an important agreement and this level of ambition will ultimately require a sector-wide shift to new fuels and propulsion technologies. But what happens next is crucial. The IMO must move swiftly to introduce measures that will cut emissions deeply and quickly in the short term – without these, the goals of the Paris agreement will remain out of reach.”

According to campaigners, to really carry out their goal and meet the objectives of the 2015 Paris agreement, shipping companies need to cut 70% of shipping emissions by 2050. However, that the shipping industry agreed to halve their current usage is already tremendous news.

The entire shipping industry is built on and relies on oceans, so let’s hope shipping companies finally start doing what’s best to protect them.

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U.K. Launches Self-Driving Grocery Delivery Van

Seeing a steady increase in our busybody tendencies, everything is now available in the palms of our hands. You want it? An online app has got it. You may even be able to throw it onto the back of your electric cargo bike. But with no time on your hands, perhaps you’d prefer a delivery. Lucky for our fellow Brits, U.K. supermarket Ocado recently launched a self-driving grocery delivery van for all essential needs.

Orders are loaded into the CargoPod at a nearby depot. There are eight containers on the back which can hold up to 128KG of groceries and allow the vehicle to stop at multiple destinations during the same trip. Once the goods are onboard, a driver manually steers the van to a starting location, where it’s then flipped into autonomous mode.

If you were concerned about a loaded van running completely on autopilot, you can now rest easy. Manufacturers of self-driving vehicles do, in fact, take precaution. Strategically places cameras make the van autonomous. Even more impressive, the van doesn’t require GPS.

The CargoPod is powered by Selenium, an autonomous operating system developed by Oxbotica. It handles minute-to-minute visualization and decision-making: where the vehicle is, what’s nearby and what it should do next.

The vehicle is still on a trial mode, but if it passes a battery of tests, should be permanently hitting the road in no time.

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