Imagine a world without polluting cars and you would immediately fantasize clean air blowing across city streets. But this dream is distant and one that begs a lot more action than words. Following in the footsteps of a few select cities that strongly promote cycling as an alternative to driving to work, Milan is working towards cleaning its smog-ridden air. Pierfrancesco Maran, the city’s councilor for mobility told The Guardian that he is willing to reimburse citizens who cycle their way to work rather than use a car. Something similar has transpired in France. Milan and Rome are the financial backbones of Italy, also making them the cities with maximum car usage.
The German city of Hamburg has made a move to stop the use and distribution of single-use coffee pods. In an endeavor by the city’s Department of Environment and Energy a special effort has been made to curb the amount of waste caused by this wasteful means of serving coffee. “These portion packs cause unnecessary resource consumption and waste generation, and often contain polluting aluminium,” said the department’s Jan Dube. “The capsules can’t be recycled easily because they are often made of a mixture of plastic and aluminum. It is 6 grams of coffee in 3 grams of packaging. We in Hamburg thought that these shouldn’t be bought with taxpayers’ money.” The alarming fact that the sale of single-use dispensers and serving pods going up has led to the extreme measure.
Trams are adorable. Truly. They move around crowded streets with all the solemnity one could expect from a 19th century mode of transport. French designer Ora ïto has revisited the classic tram and given it a complete facelift. This includes eliminating the need for overhead wiring to power the bogeys, instead, the coach is powered from the ground. In partnership with French railway company, Alstom, the trams will ply between the 7-mile east-west line that goes through Nice. This futuristic experience was voted up by denizens of the land, in January. To blend in with the 17th-century buildings such as the Place Massena and Villa Matisse, the trams will be colored a reddish ochre. The trains that will be used in this endeavor will be 44-meter Alstom Citadis X05 models with a capacity to accommodate 300 travelers in each.
Picture this, reading a book out there on the mountains, reclining against an ornate bench, with not a bother about the charge of your ebook reader running out. Before you compare the experience with reading an actual book, remember that we’re talking about reading book volumes in a single device. It’s all good and possible with the Cybook Ocean ebook reader from Bookeen that offers battery charging via the power of the sun. You can continue reading for days on end and not go hobbling for a charging point. The reader is equipped with invisible solar cells at the back of it, with dedicated solar modules that add to the overall reading time. All a reader would have to do is read while outside in the sun, braving some serious tan and sun-burns and voila, you have a fully charged device to read even more.
We were rather fascinated about the robot-operated farm from Japan when we heard about it. This is the world’s first such farm and aims to minimize the effort in cultivating basic crop. The idea has been put into practice and has a start date to it as well. Set up in Japan’s Kyoto, the farm aims to harvest 500,000 heads of lettuce a day. This will be the first such farm to leverage robots and create a large scale growth. Called ‘Spread’, this facility is based in Kameoka City within the Kyoto Prefecture. Human intervention is not completely cancelled though. Human planters will still sow the seeds but the rest of the farming operations will be handled by robots. The machines will handle transplanting, watering, harvesting and trimming.
There’s nothing better to convince you to conserve energy than a monitor that keeps updating you with your usage stats. Elgato has introduced the Eve Energy, a device that plugs into your wall and connects with your smart device. The HomeKit-compatible device can be controlled with the accompanying Elgato app or via Siri. It updates you on the amount of energy consumed by the device that is plugged into it making you aware of which devices are the biggest energy hogs in your home. It consumes close to no energy itself. “Eve Energy was carefully designed to make your home smarter, not more complicated,” said Elgato’s CEO, Markus Fest in a press release. “It is ready to use out of the box in seconds and consumes virtually no energy itself. Eve Energy is the most elegant way to control and monitor your electrical devices.”
Faraday Future is a startup that is gradually turning heads with its promise of a future filled with some rather rad electric cars. Based out of California, the company has taken its next big leap by partnering with Aston Martin to collaborate on electric vehicles. These two in partnership with Chinese technology company, LeEco is in the works to create the Aston Martin RapidE concept. The deal goes on to ensure that the startup will be pairing up with the car-giants for a range of connected electric vehicles in the future. Faraday Future shot into the limelight with the announcement of their first concept car, the FFZerol at CES last month. The car was characterized by the Variable Platform Architecture (VPA) employed in the design of the car, which could be described as a modular platform. This gives designers the freedom to adjust the length of the rails and other structures to alter the design and of the car.
The Tesla Model 3 is already at the hilt of everyone’s excitement with the promise of an incredible drive range of over 200 miles. Now couple this with the fact that the car will also be one of the cheapest electric offerings in the market. What’s surprising is that this doesn’t mean a compromise on the design of the car. It’s great to look at and offers a performance that could be the envy of every electric car around. The Model 3 is expected to be released late in 2017 and it will arrive for a price of just $35,000 or something very close to this figure. There’s another report that states that the car will come with ‘’relatively highly optioned versions of the car”.
Behold, the largest solar power plant in the world is here and it’s functional. Cutting down carbon emissions of 760,000 in a year, the $9 billion Noor Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plant paves the way for clean energy in the European market. Built with funds from the World Bank, the plant is located in Morocco’s Souss-Massa-Draa area. Other than the ecological benefits, the plant has also created 1,600 jobs during construction and will continue to create 200 jobs during the operation phase. This giant plant will increase the installed capacity of solar power stations from 22 MW in 2013 to 522 MW in 2018. Thanks to the plant’s capability of storing energy in the form of heated molten salt, energy production will be on even after sunset.
Electric Vehicles (EVs) are soon going to be flooding our streets and alleyways. London’s on-demand valet parking service, Vallie, has acknowledged this fact and is set to enhance the experience for EV owners. On invoking the app, a pre-checked driver will show up on a kick scooter to take your car to one of the company’s parking facilities. Nothing new there. However, from now on, you can also leverage additional services which includes MOT check, electric charging for your EV, petrol refills for gas-powered cars and car washes as well. That’s a lot of things to look forward to from a valet service. It’s like getting everything done for your car when you have no need for it.