HIGH 5! Here is the news update of the latest trends from the global technology and startup scene. HIGH 5 is published by Lab1886. This week’s topics are:
UPS and self-driving trucks +++ Amended traffic ordinance anticipates tomorrow’s mobility +++ Tracking without facial recognition +++ Retractable pop-up chargers +++ School bus routing algorithm
Autonomous // Delivery
USPS is not alone: delivery service UPS is also making deliveries using self-driving trucks from startup TuSimple. Since May, trucks equipped with nine cameras and two lidar sensors have been operating on a 185-kilometer (115-mile) route between Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona. According to TuSimple, this could cut shipping costs by 30 percent.
In Germany, a revised Road Traffic Ordinance (StVO) should pave the way for tomorrow’s mobility. The amendment will provide more rights for carsharing, electric and other vehicles. Micro-EVs such as e-scooters will be allowed to use bus lanes if necessary. Carsharing vehicles that display one of the new carsharing passes on their dashboards will benefit from preferential parking. And parking spaces for EVs will be more clearly signposted in the future.
AI // Tracking
Traces AI, a computer vision startup, has developed an alternative tracking technology, capable of identifying individuals without facial recognition. The aim is to improve privacy protection. The technology blurs out faces, basing recognition on other physical attributes such as hairstyle, clothing combinations and shoe types.
Electric // Charging
At night, 50 percent of EVs are parked on streets – in the UK, that represents eight million vehicles. Now Oxford has installed the first six pop-up chargers from startup Urban Electric. They emerge from the sidewalk at night so that parked EVs can recharge. During the day they retract, to avoid obstructing the sidewalk. Future plans include commercial deployment of the technology across the UK.
To find cheaper ways to transport Boston’s 25,000 schoolkids every day, the Boston Public Schools agency launched a competition. The winner – the MIT Operations Research Center – developed an algorithm for improving school bus route planning. The new system is 20 percent more efficient than the previous manual one. It has eliminated 50 buses, shortened routes, and saved the district USD 5 million.
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