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

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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.

Wikipedia Timeline of the Far Future

Wikipedia’s prediction of far-future events really makes me wish I could stick around to see the red supergiant star Antares go supernova in 10,000 years. “The explosion is expected to be easily visible in daylight.” I’m happy I’ll miss the 1km asteroid that’s likely to hit Earth in the next 500,000 years. Looking farther out, the moon Phobos will collide Mars in 50 million years. Anything alive 2.8 billion years from now will need good air conditions because “Earth’s surface temperature, even at the poles,” will be 300 °F.

via Wikipedia’s mindblowing timeline of the far future / Boing Boing

Secrets of Silicon Valley

Jamie Bartlett uncovers the dark reality behind Silicon Valley’s glittering promise to build a better world. The tech gods believe progress is powered by technology tearing up the world as it is – a process they call disruption.

Interesting two part series. If you are not familiar with the tech/startup scene you might want to be in a good/hopeful mood before you watch it.

via BBC iPlayer – Secrets Of Silicon Valley – Series 1: 1. The Disruptors

The end of the internet startup

Another change: Incumbent technology companies increasingly control the platforms startups use to reach users.

“Facebook grew based on saying ‘give me your email addresses, and I will send out emails inviting your friends to try Facebook,’” Yelp’s Stoppelman told me. “Does Facebook allow that on its own platform? Hell no. They say ‘pay us $4 an install and we’ll help you get one user at a time and make a lot of money in the process.’”

So while the technical costs of building an online service are cheaper than ever, it has become common for companies to spend millions of dollars on advertising to get their app or service in front of potential users. And a large share of that money flows to Google and Facebook.

via The end of the internet startup – Vox

Apple Car Systems?

After years toiling away in secret on a car project, Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has for the first time elaborated on the company’s plans in the automotive market.

“We’re focusing on autonomous systems,” Cook said in a June 5 interview on Bloomberg Television that amounted to his most detailed comments yet on Apple’s automotive plans. “It’s a core technology that we view as very important.”

A strange turn of events, I just don’t see Apple being a supplier of parts or software. The market will be huge when all cars transition to electric self driving pods (iPods, please?) so maybe Apple feels the market is too large to ignore.

via Tim Cook Says Apple Focused on Autonomous Systems in Cars Push – Bloomberg