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:
Smart e-fleets +++ More color for safer cities +++ Transformer blocks +++ “E-Mobility Avenue” +++ Hi-tech shoe helps visually impaired
Electric // Carsharing
Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG), Berliner Stadtreinigung (BSR) and Berliner Wasserbetriebe (BSB) are building a dedicated EV fleet for carshares. Between them, the three public utilities already have a pool of 300 e cars. Now they want to find new, cross-company solutions optimized for municipal fleets. They also plan to bundle charging facilities.
Source: electrive.net (German)
Colorful roads can have a traffic-calming effect. Asphalt Art Initiative is awarding grants to ten small to mid-sized U.S. cities so they can use color to draw attention to crosswalks, as well as vertical surfaces like first-aid boxes, roadblocks or underpasses. Cities with up to 500,000 inhabitants can apply; successful applicants must complete their projects by the end of 2020.
Robotics // Emergency
Scientists at MIT have developed block-like robots that can identify each other and link together to form larger assemblies. “M-Blocks 2.0” feature barcode-like tags which they use to recognize and communicate with each other. The cuboids can move independently using built-in flywheels, but also connect together to form robust structures using magnets. Eventually, these robots could build temporary bridges or staircases to help disaster victims.
Source: The Next Web
Infrastructure // Electric
For a year and a half, Netze BW tested the impact of EV charging on local power grids. Ten households were involved in the project, dubbed “E-Mobility Allee”. Final result: no blackouts. Because of different vehicle models and usage patterns, no more than half of the vehicles were ever connected to the grid simultaneously – and even that was exceptional, at 0.1 percent of the time. 70 percent of the time, no vehicles were charged at all.
Source: t3n.de (German)
Wearable // Accessibility
InnoMake is a sneaker that enables visually impaired wearers to “see” and avoid obstacles on the street. The wearable scans the environment using ultrasound, vibrating to indicate curbs, streetlamps, pedestrians and other objects up to four meters away, or issuing an acoustic alert via a mobile app. InnoMake now plans to add a camera system to the shoes that will use deep learning to detect gaps and dips in the sidewalk.
Source: futurezone.at (German)