This week - Smart bike lights, cybersecurity, truck platoons, charging EV's and goodbye to Firefly

Home / News | posted on 25 08 2017

ITSnow.org News Roundup looks at a great example of aggregated data acquisition to monitor carriageway condition using bike lights, cybersecurity issues for connected vehicles, platooning truck trials in the UK, the practical implications of charging EV's in urban environments and we say goodbye to Google's icon Firefly vehicle.


Cyclist Road Monitoring

Cyclist Road Monitoring

180 cyclists in Manchester are taking part in a project which makes use of an intelligent bike light to collect anonymised data of road and cycle way surface conditions. In addition, the units also record near-misses in an attempt to identify hazardous locations across the city. The data is analysed by CityVerve, the local smart city consortium, members of which include BT, Manchester City Council and the Ordnance Survey. The light manufacturers See.Sense produce a range of bike lights which have intelligence to react to their surroundings, and to act as data gatherers.

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Vehicle Cybersecurity

Vehicle Cybersecurity

In a thought piece for EE Times, Stacy Prowell discusses the issues around the vulnerability of vehicles to hacking due to the rapidly increasing use and reliance on code in vehicles for everything from vehicle operation to telematics and entertainment. With an average of 100 million lines of code in a vehicle, the vulnerabilities to hacking increase, especially with the introduction of vehicle connectivity, which could provide a pathway for hackers to exploit.

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Driverless Lorries to be Trialled on UK Motorways

Driverless Lorries to be Trialled on UK Motorways

Following on from similar trials in Europe and the US, platooning trucks will be tested on motorways in the UK. The lead vehicle is driven normally, whilst following trucks in the platoon automatically follow the lead vehicle in convoy. The benefits of using this technology include reduced fuel consumption, however there are safety concerns around the way in which these platoons will interact with other traffic especially in congested conditions. Transport minister Paul Maynard said "Advances such as lorry platooning could benefit businesses through cheaper fuel bills and other road users thanks to lower emissions and less congestion", however AA president Edmund King warned "We have some of the busiest motorways in Europe with many more exits and entries. Platooning may work on the miles of deserted freeways in Arizona or Nevada but this is not America".

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Street Lights to Charge Cars in Hounslow

Street Lights to Charge Cars in Hounslow

To overcome accessibility issues to electrical charging points for electric vehicles (EV's) in urban areas, a scheme to install charging points in street lighting columns is underway in the London Borough of Hounslow. A particular issue for electric vehicle users without a domestic driveway to park on, is the ability to charge a vehicle when using on-street parking. The advent of efficient LED lamps in street lighting has led the way to having sufficient spare capacity in the electrical supplies feeding the columns, to have the ability to also charge EV's without having to have disruptive works.

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Google Retires Firefly

Google Retires Firefly

The iconic Google Firefly vehicle is to be retired as Waymo (the Google autonomous vehicle division), concentrates on using their systems in mass produced vehicles. Waymo are currently equipping around 600 Chrysler Pacifica vehicles with the array of sensors and computing power required to operate autonomously. A number of the vehicles will be retained for special occasions and as exhibits in the Computer History Museum in Mountain View CA. The company is now concentrating on collaborative working with others such as Fiat Chrysler and Lyft to provide solutions for transportation.

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