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Category Archives: transportation

Germany’s Interior Minister wants to introduce facial recognition software at train stations and airports to help identify terror suspectsfollowing two Islamist attacks in the country last month… “Then, if a suspect appears and is recognised, it will show up in the system,” he told the paper. He said a similar system was already being tested for unattended luggage, which the camera reports after a certain number of minutes.


If you find yourself in need of a ride in Hangzhou, China, you can waltz up to a multi-story garage, punch a few buttons, and have a fully charged electric vehicle deposited in front of you.It’s a new car-sharing scheme launched by Kandi Technologiesthat takes the hyper-successful bike-sharing model in China and puts it onto four electrically powered wheels.For a little over $3 an hour, these ultra-compact, Chinese-made EVs can get about 75 miles on a charge and max out at 50 mph, and when the driver is done, they can drop off their rented ride at another Kandi station near their destination.

NSA leak alleges that the US intelligence agency worked with its counterpart in Canada (CSEC) to test a system that tracked travelers who passed through one of Canada’s “major” airports, CBC News reports.Information presented to the news agency shows that visitors who logged into the free WiFi service provided at an undisclosed Canadian airport could be tracked “for days” after they moved on. CBC News reports that the CSEC/NSA could pick up travelers when their devices were logged into other WiFi networks across Canada and at US airports.

Qedward writes “Volvo is starting a pilot project that aims to have 100 self-driving cars on Swedish public roads around the city of Gothenburg by 2017. The project is called ‘Drive Me’ and is a joint initiative between the Volvo Car Group, the Swedish Transport Administration, the Swedish Transport Agency, Lindholmen Science Park and the City of Gothenburg, Volvo said Monday. Together they will make an effort to eliminate deadly car crashes in Sweden, said Erik Coelingh, technical specialist at Volvo Car Group. In the next few years, Volvo will develop its Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) in its XC90 model. The goal is to have the first self-driving cars available to 100 consumers by 2017, Coelingh said. They will be able let their cars navigate about 50 typical commuter arteries that include motorway conditions and frequent traffic jams in and around Gothenburg, the country’s second largest city.”

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In a 60 Minutes interview, Jeff Bezos announced that Amazon is working on delivery that’s even faster than Prime. The company wants to use octocopters to deliver your order within a half hour.

Bezos says that the project, which is heavily in the R&D stage right now, couldn’t debut before 2015 even if Amazon were ready because of FAA regulations, but even then PrimeAirwill probably still be a few years out. Bezos estimates that it will be another four or five years. He told 60 Minutes, “It will work and it will happen, and it’s gonna be a lot of fun.”

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For two months in a row, the top-selling car in Norway has been an electric car. (Yes, the #1 best-selling car of any kind was an electric car in both September and October.) Interestingly, it wasn’t the same car. In September, it was the Tesla Model S that led Norwegian auto sales. In October, it was the Nissan Leaf.

Now, there’s a lot of speculation about why Norway is kicking serious ass in electric car sales. Some people think it’s “this,” some think it’s “that,” etc, etc. But can anyone say what it really is?

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At the Frankfurt auto show in September, Nissan showed a concept called theNismo Watch, an odd footnote to its usual display of new models and concept cars. Now, Nissan shows its serious about wearable computing, as it will unveil the 3E, a personal head-up display similar to Google Glass.Very little information is available at this time. The video Nissan released has no dialogue, just dynamic music playing over images of a man throwing his head about. After about 30 seconds of movement, the 3E wearable display assembles itself over the man’s left eye.

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Many companies spend a significant amount of time and money on logistics. From e-commerce stores to small businesses, everyone wants to know how they can deliver products faster and cheaper.This desire led Zookal, an Australian-based textbook rental service, to create a drone-based delivery service. The company was able to decrease delivery times from days to minutes and cut delivery costs by 90% via self-driving drones. 

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The United Kingdom just revealed the details of an ambitious new transportation project that effectively connects an entire highway to the internet. A 50-mile stretch of the busy A14 that runs between Felixstowe and Birmingham will soon be outfitted with sensors that will monitor traffic by sending signals to mobile devices in moving cars. In effect, it turns the highway into a smart road, one with greater capabilities than just monitoring traffic. Experts think that this type of technology could form the foundation of a communications system for self-driving cars.

The Brits obviously aren’t the only ones thinking of tricking out the infrastructure to make driving a little smarter. Ann Arbor, Michigan is hosting a massive experiment right now involving nearly 3,000 cars that have been equipped with special wireless communication devices that enable them to communicate with each other and with devices embedded at intersections and on roadways. The idea is that a steady stream of data flowing back and forth between vehicles, the highway, and other vehicles will not only make driving safer but also more efficient.

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Jonathan Trappe loves balloons. In fact, the 39-year-old IT manager loves them so much that he’s trusting them with his life as he attempts to become the first person to cross the Atlantic using only a life raft and 370 helium-filled balloons. If that sounds crazy, that’s because it is.

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