Hovertrain: The British Hyperloop That Never Happened

The hovertrain, it was hoped, would speed passengers from London to Glasgow in little more than two hours at speeds of up to 300mph. It would revolutionise long-distance travel and consign conventional trains to the history books. But the vision never materialised. In 1975, little more than five years after construction started, the test track was demolished and the project was unceremoniously mothballed.

via The strange tale of the hovertrain, the British hyperloop of the 1970s | WIRED UK

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Amazon Working On First Robot

There are no firm details on what Amazon’s robot looks like or what purpose it will serve, but Bloomberg suggests it could be a sort of “mobile Alexa” — following users around their house to places where they can’t speak directly to an Echo speaker. Prototype robots built by Amazon reportedly have computer vision software and cameras for navigation, and the company is said to be planning to seed devices in employees’ homes by the end of the year.

via Amazon is reportedly working on its first home robot – The Verge

Yep, I see this as a mobile Alexa or a robot vacuum cleaner. Nothing too big or scary, to ease people into having robots in their home.

Formula-E ‘Gen2’ Car Revealed

Formula-E ‘Gen2’ Car Revealed

Designed to be used for the next three seasons, the car will make its competitive debut in the 2018/19 season of the series. With almost double the energy storage capacity and double the range of the current car, the Gen2 will enable the teams and drivers to complete a full race at higher speeds, without making a mid-race car swap. With all that, the Gen2 car is clear proof of the advancements in battery and electric motor technology achieved in the space of only four years, which will eventually make its way into everyday electric road cars.

I’ve spoken about the Formula-E cars design before, particularly the distinctive top front wing. The top wing is gone but I like the split rear wing(winglets?). The corners of the car look a little more substantial to enable more wheel to wheel racing.

Looks like a futuristic electric sled. I love it!

via Introducing: the Gen2 Formula E car – Formula E

Driverless bus ‘pod’ tests come to Cambridge Busway

Tests have started on a new driverless bus system which could pave the way for an evening public transport service.
The RDM Group is using self-driving pods along the guided busway in Cambridge to test the feasibility of running 10-seater shuttles along the route.
If successful, the buses will run between Trumpington Park and Ride and Cambridge Station after 20:00.

Perfect route for them, hopefully the test are a success.

via Driverless bus ‘pod’ tests under way in Cambridge – BBC News

Dyson Electric Car In 2020

British inventor Sir James Dyson has announced plans to build an electric car that will be “radically different” from current models and go on sale in 2020.

The billionaire who revolutionised the vacuum cleaner said 400 engineers in Wiltshire had been working since 2015 on the £2.5bn project.

No prototype has yet been built, but Dyson said two different battery types are under development that were already more efficient than in existing electric cars.

via James Dyson to invest £2.5bn on ‘radically different’ electric car | Technology | The Guardian

UK Hover Train on Inside Out East

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0952dp0/inside-out-east-18092017

There is a fascinating segment about the UK Hover Train developed back in the 1970s and then frustratingly abandoned in this ‘Inside Out East’ programme on iPlayer (Hover Train features at 19m 40s in, available until 18 Oct).

I had heard about the Hover Trains existence before but this is the first film footage I have seen. Such a waste of technological development. Could have been the Concorde of the land.