Oxford To Ban Non-Electric Vehicles To Cut Emissions

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.

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Netherlands Home To 3D-Printed Cycling Bridge

Inner Mongolia’s solar powered Dragonfly bridge may be the walkway of the future — but not soon enough. Filling the gaps is Eindhoven University of Technology, which 3D-printed the world’s first cycling bridge.

“One of the advantages of printing a bridge is that much less concrete is needed than in the conventional technique in which a mould is filled,” it said on [the university] website. “A printer deposits the concrete only where it is needed.”

The bridge is nothing grand in scale, but can reportedly withstand the weight of 40 trucks. While I don’t suppose you can cram that many vehicles onto a 26-foot bridge, the point is clear. The university’s partner company BAM Infra is hopeful that the bridge will inspire more efficient technology.

[BAM is] “searching for a newer, smarter approach to addressing infrastructure issues and making a significant contribution to improving the mobility and sustainability of our society.”

In the 3D-printing world, the Netherlands remains on top of cutting-edge resources.

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Smart Adaptable Tire Adjusts To Road Conditions

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.

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AI Alerts Cars When You’re Texting And Driving

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.

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Hurricane Harvey Victims Are Receiving Free Bicycles

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!

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