The Department of Transport announces new research hub

The Department of Transport announces new research hub

The Department of Transport has announced that a new research hub is being launched to boost innovative measures to decarbonise and improve transport, as the country works towards its net zero goals. 

Decarbonisation Minister Jesse Norman announced that applications are open today (2 February 2023) for organisations to host the new hub, with the government pledging £10 million in funding for the centre, which will establish a UK centre of excellence for transport innovation, stated the release.  

Transport currently accounts for 27% of the UK’s emissions and the new Hub aims to create solutions to tackle this. This will include greater use of recycled materials and reducing the carbon footprint of repairs and maintenance. 

The release stated that the hub will also develop and implement innovative ideas to ensure transport meets the challenges of climate adaptation. This includes changes to weather and water levels. 

It will work on the UK’s transport sector’s need to meet its 2050 net zero goals. 

Decarbonisation Minister Jesse Norman said: “Innovation is key to the growth of the transport sector, and the creation of high-skilled jobs and business opportunities across the UK. This new UK research hub will build a centre of excellence for the future development of low-carbon transport.” 

The hub aims to provide a link for early-stage innovation and later stage demonstration across multiple transport modes to create, develop and test climate-resilient solutions that recognise how different places and types of transport will require different answers, says the release.  

Additionally, it hopes to create high-skilled jobs across the UK. The centre will look to offer responsive, practical, evidence-based support to transport decision-makers and develop and implement sustainable, low-carbon solutions across existing and new infrastructure. 

UK Research and Innovation Building a Green Future lead, Professor Sir Duncan Wingham, said: “A partnership between the Department for Transport and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the Net Zero Transport Infrastructure for a Resilient Future Research Hub will lead the cross-UK research that is needed to effect transformational change in the transport sector. It will lead future developments to decarbonise our transport sector, a crucial component of achieving the UK’s net zero 2050 target. It will also help to ensure our transport systems remain resilient to hazards caused by extreme weather events and climactic changes that are already apparent.” 

The hub will be funded through UKRI’s Building a Green Future strategic theme to accelerate the UK’s transition to a secure and prosperous green economy by 2050. 

Press release: Department of Transport

The City of Boston partners with the U.S Army Corps to build on Climate Ready Boston Initiative

The City of Boston partners with the U.S Army Corps to build on Climate Ready Boston Initiative

The City of Boston has partnered with the U.S Army Corps of Engineers to build on the work of the Climate Ready Boston initiative.  

This initiative works to prepare Boston’s waterfront for the near- and long-term effects of climate change. Climate Ready Boston has completed neighborhood coastal resilience plans to protect Boston’s 47-mile coastline from flooding. These plans include solutions for the East BostonCharlestownDowntown/North EndDorchester, and South Boston waterfront, said the release. 

The aim of this partnership is to conduct the Coastal Storm Risk Management Feasibility Study. It will assess existing flood preparation and open Boston to potential federal investment. The Study will consider long-term flood risk and existing city, federal, state, and local plans and projects. 

Additionally, the project will assess different approaches and recommend solutions that would be eligible for federal funding. 

The release has stated that the City of Boston will be hosting an information session introducing its long-term partnership with the USACE to conduct a Coastal Storm Risk Management Feasibility Study. 

This event will provide an update on the City’s coastal resilience projects; information on the USACE study goals, scope and timeline, key milestones and deliverables, and opportunities for community participation; as well as a space for initial input and questions. 

Press release by: City of Boston

Edinburgh begins work on  green corridor

Edinburgh begins work on green corridor

Press release and picture: The city of Edinburgh

The city of Edinburgh has announced that work is set to begin to transform public spaces along a route between Roseburn and the Union Canal, creating a ‘green corridor’ and cycleway and bringing disused aread back into community use.  

Construction on the £12.5m Roseburn to Union Canal Active Travel Route and Greenspace Improvements project will begin on 30 January, when site preparation starts, and is expected to last until April 2024 said the city’s release. The scheme is split into three sections – Sauchiebank Gardens, Duff Street Woodland and Dalry Community Park. 

The new improvements will feature two new bridges the Mid Calder railway line and Dalry Road leading to Dalry Community Park, community gardens at Sauchiebank and Duff Street and upgrades to the sports pitch and playpark at Dalry Community Park, designs for which were developed in consultation with Dalry Primary School pupils. 

The project aims to provide links in Edinburgh’s active travel network, delivering a 4m wide pedestrian and cycle path connecting the North Edinburgh Path Network to Fountainbridge alongside new pedestrian crossings and access points, said the release. 

Councillor Scott Arthur, Transport and Environment Convener, said: “This project will transform the route between Roseburn and the Union Canal, where disused and inaccessible areas will become welcoming, green community spaces encouraging biodiversity and play. 

It will also plug a gap in the city’s active travel network by providing a high-quality pedestrian and cycle path between Fountainbridge and the extremely popular North Edinburgh Path Network, as well as leading to the City Centre West to East Link, which is currently under construction. 

We’ll do everything we can to minimise disruption over the coming year and we’ll continue to keep residents up to date as we progress the scheme.” 

The project was funded by Sustrans through its Places for Everyone programme and the city has stated that a comprehensive planting strategy will allow management to utilise highly inaccessible and underused woodland.  

This will involve planting almost 5000 woodland and semi-mature trees. Approximately 450 trees will be felled in order to deliver the project, including trees which have been identified as ash and would be removed as part of long-term maintenance planning, said the release. 

Michael Melton, Grant Manager for Sustrans, said: “We’re delighted to see works now starting on the Roseburn to Union Canal project in Edinburgh. After several years of design and engagement with the local community, this transformative project will not only provide a vital connection for walking, wheeling, and cycling in the heart of the city, but will also serve as an accessible greenspace for everyone to enjoy.” 

The City of Phoenix launches shared mobility program

The City of Phoenix launches shared mobility program

Press release written by City of Phoenix

The City of Phoenix launched its permanent Shared Micromobility Program on Friday by hosting a special event downtown with vendors Lime and Spin.  

The company’s showcased their collection of e-scooters, e-bikes, traditional pedal bikes and adaptive bikes to downtown stakeholders and the media. 

Various vendors have operated e-scooters in downtown Phoenix since September 2019 as part of a city-managed pilot program. 

On December 14, 2022, City Council authorized the Street Transportation Department to finalise an agreement with Lime and Spin to be the official vendors when the pilot program ended. The permanent program began Friday and starts ahead of an influx of visitors who will enjoy festivities scheduled to be held downtown in February in conjunction with Super Bowl LVII. 

Each vendor is permitted to deploy as many as 1,500 vehicles within the program boundary area, with at least 20 percent being a mix of e-bikes and traditional pedal bikes. The micromobility vehicles will be available to operate from 5 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. daily.  

The vendors will offer options for individuals with disabilities, as well as reduced rates for those living on low income or who receive government assistance.

Additionally, the city has designated some areas as Equity Zones, where historical disinvestment has resulted in a lack of transportation and economic opportunity. The vendors will be required to deploy 30 percent of their fleet within Equity Zones. Discounted rates will also automatically apply for trips beginning in Equity Zones. 

Seoul uses drones for hanok roof inspections

Seoul uses drones for hanok roof inspections

The Seoul Metrpolitan Government have announced that it will be deploying drones to inspect the roofs of Korean traditional houses known as “hanok”.  

The drones will be used to photograph roofs from all angles whereas previously people would have had to physically climb onto the roofs.  

Checkups are essential to prevent water leaks from both inside and outside of the house. The photographs taken by drones from various angles will assist residents in locating the sources of problems and finding ways to repair them. 

This public service will be beneficial not only to the technicians on the job, but also hanok homeowners who need domestic repairs for issues such as roof leaks as the collected aerial photograph data taken from various angles will be able to accurately identify problems and provide a thorough diagnosis of the condition inside the house and on the roof, said the release. 

Starting this year, the city will make this drone inspection service available to any hanok homeowner who files a request via the Seoul Hanok Support Center (online/offline) for roof leaks and other problems. 

The city has more than 50% of inspection requests related to roof tiles, it is expected that this drone inspection service will serve as an opportunity to drastically improve the maintenance of hanok buildings in Seoul. 

Press release and picture: Seoul Metropolitan Government

The City of Oakland launches Smart Loading Zones

The City of Oakland launches Smart Loading Zones

The City of Oakland has announced a partnership with Populus to launch Smart Loading Zones that will allow operators to pay for their use of space through GPS technology from their delivery or on-demand vehicles. 

Delivery operators will be able to sign up for the new Smart Loading Zones permit at https://www.populus.ai/smart-loading-zones-oakland. Permitted operators will no longer need to use cash or credit cards to pay for parking at designated metres but will instead have the option to share vehicle location data with Populus to seamlessly pay for their use of curbsides on a per-minute basis, said the company’s press release. 

This partnership was developed in response to an increase in dangerous parking behavior and the misuse of commercial loading zones by non-commercial vehicles. 

 It is also being supported by an increase in parking enforcement activity. The new permit is expected to improve delivery vehicles’ access to safe parking options and reduce traffic incidents. 

“We are thrilled to work with the City of Oakland to implement the new Smart Loading Zones to contribute to building a safer and less congested city,” said Regina Clewlow, Populus CEO and Founder. “Oakland is leading the way in developing and implementing curb management strategies that lead to outcomes that work for both residents and commercial fleet operators.” 

Populus will use the Curb Data Specification as a method of sharing statistic and dynamic regulations, measuring activity at the curb and creating more accessible, useful curbs. 

“Demand for our very limited curb space has increased dramatically over the past decade” said Fred Kelley, Director of Oakland Department of Transportation. “The City of Oakland is excited about this new partnership to better manage the rapid rise in delivery vehicles. Improving the way we use the curb means businesses are able to get goods faster, traffic congestion goes down, and our streets are safer for everyone.”

Source: PR Web

Bosch and APCOA partner to install automated valet parking

Bosch and APCOA partner to install automated valet parking

Bosch and APCOA are installing automated valet parking in 15 new parking garage locations in Germany, after it has been approved for commercial use in the P6 parking garage at Stuttgart airport. 

The new driverless and automated SAE Level 4 parking system is set to start in 2023. Firstly, Bosch and APCOA are planning to make up to four parking spaces per parking garage ready for automated valet parking. 

“We will expand the number of such parking spaces based on the expected ramp-up of vehicles featuring automated valet parking. Our experience with charge spots for electric vehicles shows us how important it is for infrastructure growth to keep pace with the technology. Together with our partner APCOA, we are now making sure that this will be the case for automated valet parking,” says Dr. Markus Heyn, member of the Bosch board of management and chairman of the Mobility Solutions business sector. 

The company has said the Bosch’s modular system will allow the number of parking spaces featuring the new technology to be quickly expanded to up to 200 parking bays at each of the 15 locations. 

The release stated that the goal is to equip several hundred parking garages across the globe with automated valet parking in the years ahead. 

“Germany is only the beginning – we’re expecting to soon be able to gradually roll out automated valet parking in other countries around the world as well, once the corresponding laws have been passed,” says Claudia Barthle, who heads up global software and service sales in the Cross-Domain Computing Solutions division at Bosch and is responsible for the partnership with APCOA. 

New smart parking takes away the need to search for parking spaces and the damages of hectic maneuvering. 

The release states that Bosch stereo cameras will identify vacant parking spaces and monitor the driving aisle and its surroundings, and reliably detect obstacles or people in the aisle. If an unexpected obstacle is detected, the vehicle brakes and safely comes to a complete stop. 

Through using APCOA’s Flow platform, the service is not only driverless but also ticketless and cashless. Drivers will be able to use the app to reserve parking spaces and use contactless entry into parking garages. 

The system will also register a vehicles licence plate which will open barriers automatically. This is hoped to accommodate up to 20 percent more vehicles in the future. 

Press release and picture: Bosch

 

Yunex Traffic partners with LYT on Urban Mobility

Yunex Traffic partners with LYT on Urban Mobility

Yunex Traffic has announced that it has signed an agreement with LYT which will leverage both companies’ intelligent transportation technologies to ease congestion for commuters and emergency responders. 

LYT, paired with the Yunex Traffic suite of solutions including Advanced Traffic Management Systems (ATMS), Connected Vehicle Applications, and advanced traffic controllers, traffic agencies can now leverage LYT’s Emergency Vehicle Preemption solution, known as LYT.emergency, which grants a consistent and reliable green light for every emergency vehicle more affordably than other products on the market.  

“At Yunex Traffic, we are committed to innovation and creating technologies to push transportation forward,” said Michael Gaertner, Head of Product and Systems, DOP for Yunex Traffic US. “LYT is a perfect partner. Their vision parallels ours, focused on solving issued with impactful solutions rather than creating problems to solve. We couldn’t be more excited.” 

These solutions together will harness the power of a single secure edge device installed in Traffic Management Centers that enable emergency vehicles to speak directly to networked traffic signals in cities through LYT.speed cloud platform, says the press release. 

“By shifting from line-of-site detection systems to LYT’s bird’s-eye-view optimization system, traffic signals turn green well in advance of emergency vehicles, producing safer intersections for everyone.” said Tim Menard, CEO and Founder of LYT. ” Along with Yunex Traffic and their leading technologies, our combined solutions will serve as a new benchmark for the way in which cities leverage data, technology, and AI in a budget-affordable way to better understand the flow of traffic and also the way in which machine learning can quickly adapt to new traffic flow for better urban quality of life.”

Picture and press release: Yunex Traffic

Liverpool set to have one of UK’s largest EV charging network

Liverpool set to have one of UK’s largest EV charging network

It has been announced that Liverpool is set to have one of the UK’s largest electric vehicle charging networks as the city’s capacity is set to treble. 

It is set to install a network of 300 on-street electric vehicle charge points with the locations to be chosen by residents and businesses. The current charging network is a network of 150 and is set to increase to 450. 

Liverpool City Council is looking to use this investment in charging infrastructure to tackle the noth-south divide in EV adoption and achieve its carbon net zero target by 2030. One of the most common barriers for EV adoption is the lack of accessible charging points and therefore, this roll out will help tackle this. 

Cllr Dan Barrington, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Highways for Liverpool City Council said: “I’m delighted we’ve begun to install this new network of EV charge points as it provides a huge boost in tackling poor air quality and reducing the city’s carbon footprint. This programme puts down a real mark of intent to provide the necessary infrastructure to help the move away from petrol and diesel powered cars. The fact that the roll-out is being led by community requests means the points are going where the demand is needed most which means they’ll be getting maximum usage. And hopefully the demand will grow meaning the need for more charging points to be installed.” 

The roll out will come as a two-part project which will see ubitricity take over the repair of Liverpool’s existing charging infrastructure and then roll out more charge points to help enable residents to make a transition to EV, said the release.  

Toby Butler, UK managing director of ubitricity said “Liverpool is investing in an impressive on-street electric vehicle (EV) charging network, making the transition to EV much more accessible to their residents. In line with their plans to reach Net Zero by 2030 Liverpool is helping to lead the country in decarbonising their roads and improving air quality. By creating such a large and accessibly public network, Liverpool City Council is paving the way for the residents of Liverpool who want to switch to EV.” 

The release continued to say that the new ubitricity charge points, which are installed directly into existing street lampposts, charge at a speed of up to 5kW and take just under 2 hours to install. The rollout is planned for key residential and commercial locations, allowing residents to easily charge hybrid and electric vehicles on the street where they live. 

Source and picture: Ubitricity

Ireland’s first all-electric fleet launches in Athlone

Ireland’s first all-electric fleet launches in Athlone

Ireland’s first all-electric, emission free bus service has been launched in Athlone. The new bus fleet will be made up of 11 electric buses which are able to carry more than 11,000 passengers each week. The new fleet is expected to drive 400,000kg annual reduction in CO2. 

Last year, drivers and mechanics underwent a training programme that touched on the use, maintenance and operation of buses. Chargers and a new electricity substation have been installed at the Bus Éireann depot. 

The Anthlone route has been funded by the Government via the National Transport Authority and is the first to launch under the Department of Transport’s Pathfinder Programme. This will also see similar services rolled out across the year. 

“Driven by our new Climate Action Plan 2023, the future of Irish transport is on the cusp of radical change for the better,” Transport Minister Eamon Ryan said. That radical change will be driven by electricity — electric buses, electric cars, electric trains, powered for the most part by our own home-grown, cheaper renewable energy in the future.” 

The Department of Transport says the Pathfinder programme forms a key part of the National Sustainable Mobility Policy. This is the Government’s plan to meet Ireland’s requirement to achieve a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 in the transport sector.  

National Transport Authority chief executive Anne Graham said the service was “a significant milestone” which would help make bus journeys cleaner, quieter, more comfortable, and more attractive to commuters and the general public. Athlone will be the first service in Ireland to be delivered entirely by electric buses, and we should not underestimate the significance of that for this town and for public transport in general. The experience we gain here with our colleagues in Bus Éireann will doubtless stand us in good stead as NTA rolls out similar programmes in Dublin and in other cities and towns in the months and years ahead.”

Source: Irish Examiner

The World Economic Forum signs new partnership with government of Indonesia

The World Economic Forum signs new partnership with government of Indonesia

The World Economic Forum has signed a new partnership with the government of Indonesia at the Annual Meeting 2023. This aims to support its ambitions to scale blue carbon restoration and ocean conservation efforts. 

The partnership is the first of a series being initiated by the Forum’s Ocean Action Agenda to help meet the rapidly increasing demand for high-quality blue carbon credits and projects around the world and connect global blue carbon actors from various sectors, said the press release. 

“Blue carbon holds immense potential for marine ecosystem restoration and coastal community resilience, while contributing to climate mitigation and helping raise critical funds to advance the urgent needs for ocean protection and conservation,” said Kristian Teleki, Director, Ocean Action Agenda, World Economic Forum. “We are excited to partner with Indonesia to start bringing to fruition this win-win-win potential.” 

Blue carbon stores up to five times more carbon per acre than tropical rainforests. Indonesia is a leader in blue carbon and the sustainable ocean economy and is home to the largest blue carbon resources in the world. 

“Indonesia is happy to partner with the World Economic Forum,” said Luhut B. Pandjaitan, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment of Indonesia. “We have the largest and most diverse mangrove forests in the world, and we are committed to rehabilitating 600,000 hectares of mangroves by 2024. Creating this partnership between Indonesia and the Forum to work on blue carbon will really help accelerate our efforts for climate action.” 

The partnership between the Forum and Indonesia will bring together stakeholders across sectors and initiatives that have interest in blue carbon. 

“As a global leader in blue carbon, having Indonesia as the first national partner with the Forum will set the example of how coordinated action can enhance the contributions of blue carbon for climate, biodiversity and societal benefits,” said Teleki. 

The WEF aims to continue to work to amplify blue carbon efforts and support countries in achieving their national climate ambitions and coordinate existing initiatives. 

Read the full press release here: WEF

Hertz and Uber expand partnership to bring 25,000 EVs to European capital cities

Hertz and Uber expand partnership to bring 25,000 EVs to European capital cities

Hertz and Uber have today announced a European expansion to their successful North American partnership through which Hertz will make up to 25,000 electric vehicles (EVs) available to Uber drivers in European capital cities by 2025. A wide range of suitable EVs will be on offer, including vehicles from Tesla and Polestar. 

The partnership is said to be a key element in Hertz’s strategy to build one of the largest fleets of rental EVs in the world and Uber’s industry-leading commitment to become a zero emissions platform in Europe and North America by 2030. 

Stephen Scherr, Chief Executive Officer at Hertz, said: “Hertz continues to accelerate the drive toward sustainability and our partnership with Uber significantly advances that goal. By making EVs available to rideshare drivers, we will not only contribute to reducing emissions in European cities but also expand opportunities for people to experience the benefits of electrification. As Hertz invests to create one of the largest EV fleets globally, our Uber partnership will ensure that we continue to lead in the rapidly changing mobility landscape across Europe.” 

The already existing partnership in North America has benefited tens of thousands of drivers on the Uber platform. To date, nearly 50,000 drivers have rented a Tesla through this program, completing more than 24 million fully electric trips and over 260 million electric miles. 

Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber CEO, said: “As the largest mobility platform in the world, we know that our impact goes beyond our technology. Climate change is the most urgent global challenge which we must all tackle together – now is the time to accelerate. Expanding our partnership with Hertz into Europe will significantly boost our transition to zero-emissions, helping drivers reduce running costs and cleaning up urban transport. We aim to become a 100% electric platform across Europe by 2030.” 

The European expansion will begin in Hertz’s Europe London base in January 2023 and aims to expand to other European capitals, such as Paris and Amsterdam, throughout the year and beyond. 

Limassol’s public transport goes all electric with 35 new electric buses

Limassol’s public transport goes all electric with 35 new electric buses

The City of Limassol has set its sights on going green as it has planned to have 35 electric buses on the roads in February. This aims to replace the already existing diesel models.

The new fleet will comprise of 35 six-metre-long electric buses and the Limassol Transport Company will introduce 177 eco-friendly buses. These will replace older models and it has been reported that the buses are to cover 7.2 million km.  

Additionally, the buses will emit zero emissions and will aim to reduce noise by up to 50%. 

Bus company EMEL has signed a 10-year €129 million public transport agreement with the Transport Ministry with the contracting Authority reserving the right to extend services up to 50% for €45 million. 

In comments to Phileleftheros daily, EMEL’s representative Petros Theocharides said 150 buses, including the electric ones, are currently being loaded onto ships heading for the island from China. 

The other 27 will be coming from Europe. 

“Except for the 35 electric ones, all other buses will be equipped with Euro 6 diesel engines, the most modern conventional anti-pollution technology,” said Theocharides. 

The buses were scheduled to arrive in early January, however, there were supply chain delays caused by the war in Ukraine which has pushed the delivery back to early February. 

There are plans being discussed that will ensure that after the first months, the buses will be powered through renewable energy sources. 

Meanwhile, the Transport Ministry is drawing up plans to set up three park-and-ride stations, encouraging people to park their car and hop on a bus when heading to the town centre. 

Two park-and-ride stations will be close to the highway, in Polemidia and Ayios Tychonas, to cater to visitors from out of town. 

Iveda announces launch of $1.5 million project for Utilus Smart Pole Technology

Iveda announces launch of $1.5 million project for Utilus Smart Pole Technology

Iveda has announced the launch of a $1.5 million project for Utilus Smart Pole technology in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, equipping the country’s largest harbor city with critical IoT infrastructure for smart city deployments. 

Utilis will bring Iveda technology such as video surveillance, AI-based video analytics, IvedaSPS, and IvedaPinpoint, together into a centralised platform. This will be integrated into existing infrastructure for true smart city implementations. 

Iveda’s technology will enable local governments to tap into existing power to equip cities with Utilus capabilities. The company’s release has highlighted that with Iveda Pole Gateway and IvedaSPS, the system acts as a microgrid, providing power to mission critical infrastructure as needed. Once light poles are equipped with Utilus, they are able to communicate with one another, establishing a network that provides distributed video surveillance with AI video search technology and remote management of local devices such as trackers, water and electrical meters, valves, circuit breakers, and sensors. 

“As we dive into 2023, we’re seeing more municipalities lean into rapid development of AI, Internet of Things (IoT), and smart city technologies. Automation is the way of the future and Iveda’s Utilus smart poles add to the foundation of physical infrastructure necessary to deploy critical smart city functions,” said David Ly, CEO and founder of Iveda. “Integrating smart street poles with multiple functional benefits will open doors for safer and sustainable modern development and construction of our cities and communities. As the supplier of Utilus, Iveda is enabling Kaohsiung to be at the forefront of true smart city innovation, they will be a showcase both nationally and globally.” 

Utilis features smart power management and wireless mesh communications network with WiFi, 4G and 5G small cell capabilities, plus other wireless protocols as required. In addition to this, the company has said that Utilus includes an energy storage battery system for continuous operation and backup in the case of multiple power outages. 

Kaohsiung’s Utilus smart pole deployment will include: 

  • At the bottom: Iveda’s Smart Pole Cabinet which includes power meters from investor owned utility (IOU) or current power companies, power distribution panels, fiber distribution box (FDB), small modular reactor (SMR) which will automatically convert AC to DC for sensitive electronics, dense wavelength-division multiplexing (DWDM)/IoT Gateway/PoE Switch support for TSN, Layer 2 and 3 LAN, and backup battery. The bottom of each Utilus pole will provide all-in-one management of power and data. 
  • In the middle: The city will have the ability to scale as required with the flexibility to add AI cameras, environmental sensors, advertising/messaging displays, intelligent/autonomous traffic sensors, etc. 
  • At the top: 5G small cell antennas with IP65 service cabinets. 

Iveda is eager to assist governments around the globe in setting and adopting standards for smart pole implementations through direct practical knowledge and first to market experience said the company. Smart Poles will also help cities address environmental concerns. 

Press release: Iveda

 

Taoping launches next generation smart rest station in Shenzhen

Taoping launches next generation smart rest station in Shenzhen

Taoping has announced that its next generation smart rest station, which integrates fully autonomous street sweeper functionality, has been launched in Shenzhen’s highly popular Xiangmi Park. 

The launch is expected to greatly facilitate the transformation of smart sanitation in both public and commercial settings. 

Shenzhen’s “Citizen Park” or Xiangmi Park is one of China’s more famous and scenic spots and serves as a popular site ranging from online influencers and people taking a stroll to children and elderly exercising.  

The high volume of daily visitors enjoying the 424,000 square meter park also creates a considerable amount of waste, which is time consuming and costly to clean. The release states that Taoping’s next generation smart rest station was selected to help alleviate costly daily cleaning, while providing an attractive, much needed rest station for park patrons to use. 

Mr. Lin Jianghuai, Chairman and CEO of Taoping, said, “We thank the Shezhen park authorities for their confidence in Taoping and our next generation solution. We are very excited to be in this high profile, high traffic location, which showcases our innovative solution and will allow others to see firsthand how effective our solution is and how we can help directly solve high-cost pain points associated with cleaning and labor. Park visitors want stress-free, clean greenspace, which our solution helps provide, while improving many other aspects of the overall experience.” 

The new fully autonomous street sweeper features collision avoidance, human detection, advanced route guidance and extended battery life. It also offers a socking, charging and cover option which eliminates the need to install separate charging sites. 

Mr Jianghuai continued saying, “We see this as the latest step in what will be a multi-year growth journey. We already have relationships with more than 200 cities in our alliance network, which we are sharing detailed information on the benefits of our new solution with. We also continue to promote the application of new technologies and new products to meet the ever-changing needs of the market, as we build on our platform of providing services, products and solutions to enhance public sites, and indoor and outdoor destinations across the country, while ultimately leading a new low-carbon and efficient lifestyle.”

Press release and picture: Yahoo Finance

North American leaders discuss semiconductor production

North American leaders discuss semiconductor production

Leaders from the US, Mexico and Canada have set aside tensions over drugs, trade and energy to focus on boosting investment in producing semiconductors and quelling a migration crisis that has caused many political issues for Biden.  

For Biden, the US’s southern border has been at the top of the agenda for the two- day summit in Mexico City with Mexico’s president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, and Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau. 

The US President has faced increasing criticism from Republicans about migrants across the region. Last week, Biden said he would increase expulsion and expand a scheme to encourage legal entry for certain citizens and made his first trip as president to the border.  

On Tuesday Biden thanked Mexico for agreeing to take back migrants who had not followed legal pathways to get to the US.  

“Our entire hemisphere is experiencing unprecedented levels of migration,” Biden said in Mexico City’s National Palace on Tuesday. “It’s putting real strain on the communities in both Mexico and the United States.”  

The summit saw the three North American leaders agree to deliver the first ever trilateral semiconductor forum and work on installing electric vehicle chargers along international borders, the White House said. 

As factories expand production in North America and US tensions with China grow, Mexico could potentially gain billions of dollars in investment.  

What has prevented this in the past is López Obrador’s energy policies. These have historically deterred investment due to the favouring of fossil fuels over private renewables. The US has requested a consultation over the measures, alleging that they violate the USMCA trade agreement, while business leaders have become increasingly frustrated with the lack of movement.  

The summit addressed other issues such as repairing the security relationship between the US and Mexico, discussing trade issues including concerns over “Buy American” provisions that favour US goods and the discussion of violent riots in Brazil’s government quarter.  

Stuttgart to launch cargo bike rental service

Stuttgart to launch cargo bike rental service

The city of Stuttgart, Germany has launched a cargo bike rental service which will target households with lower incomes. The city made a statement claiming that electric bikes can replace cars for some, as they offer ample cargo space, and secure seating for children.  

The city, additionally, will provide a total of 60 electric cargo bikes, 30 of which are already available. The second half is said to come into Stuttgart’s inventory in February 2023. 

The bikes will be available through a long-term rental scheme with prices determined by the household’s income.

According to officials, buying an electric cargo bike is just not affordable for many households, and therefore, see this as a mobility social offer. 

The bikes can only be rented through a long-term agreement with Stuttgart, that will last a minimum of six months. After the initial six months, the rental agreement can be terminated on a month-by-month basis. 

A bike could be priced as low as 20 euros per month, and they can also feature a large transport box that can be fitted with chairs and seatbelts with contact points, making them a perfect option for getting children where they need to go. 

eleven-X have been elected by the City of Guelph to improve parking access and urban mobility

eleven-X have been elected by the City of Guelph to improve parking access and urban mobility

Press release: eleven-X

eleven-X have announced that it has been selected by the City of Guelph to help the municipality improve the management and oversight of their two-hour free parking program by implementing the company’s innovative eXactpark solution.  

eleven-x’s smart parking solution enables comprehensive parking monitoring via a real-time sensor-based stall occupancy technology and a comprehensive software and parking intelligence platform which enables effective management of the city’s parking assets, says the company’s press release.  

The comprehensive solution incorporates eleven-x’s SPS-X sensor, which provides the stall occupancy data to the eXactpark software suite.  

The sensor utilises multiple technologies including magnetic sensing, radar, Bluetooth, along with advanced edge processing, to provide industry-leading battery life, reliability and most importantly accuracy.  

The company has said that sensors will be installed in two phases, starting with 250 stalls across the municipality’s unique downtown district, with an additional 1,750 projected to be deployed throughout the city to provide advanced real-time analytics of key parking metrics.  

The eXactpark software suite provides parking intelligence software to the city and will also enable intelligent parking enforcement capabilities so the city can improve its monitoring capabilities for its two-hour free parking program. The sensors will detect how long vehicles are parked in a space and will be used to enforce the free two-hour limit and to inform longer-term planning for parking needs. 

“Many municipalities have free parking policies. It is typically challenging to efficiently monitor, manage and ensure usage compliance for a resource that is offered free of charge. This makes it difficult to maintain the best experience for drivers, since it leads to excessive traffic, and frustrates residents, visitors and ultimately the small business owners who rely on them,” said Dan Mathers, President and CEO of eleven-x. “The capabilities that eXactpark provides, including real-time availability and intelligent enforcement, will help the City of Guelph to streamline parking operations, resulting in cost savings, while at the same time reducing traffic and improving access to downtown businesses.” 

EXactpark’s intelligent enforcement and real-time status and monitoring capabilities have been deemed essential to the city as it helps reduce cruise times, improves road safety and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. 

“This technology will help make parking downtown easier and more convenient. Eventually, this data will be available on our website so visitors will know – in real time – how many parking spaces are available before they head downtown. These sensors will also improve road safety and lower greenhouse gas emissions across the city.” said Jamie Zettle, Program Manager, Parking at the City of Guelph. “We decided to partner with eleven-x since we have seen the successful deployment of the company’s eXactpark solution in multiple major cities and institutions across North America.” 

IFC announces loan to BanBif aiming to help climate strategy in Peru

IFC announces loan to BanBif aiming to help climate strategy in Peru

Press release: IFC

IFC has announced a loan of up to $25 million to Banco Interamericano de Finanzas (BanBif), aiming to promote a greener financial sector and greater market sustainability in the country. In addition, the financing package includes $15 million from the Eco-business Fund managed by Finance in Motion.  

This will ensure that businesses in Peru will have better access to funding for climate finance, enabling them to reduce their environmental impact.  

IFC have said that the investment will allow BanBif to jump-start and strengthen its green finance portfolio including green building, energy efficiency, and climate-smart agribusiness while also supporting the bank’s growth prospects.  

It is reported that at least 50 percent of the proceeds will be used to finance the bank’s green building portfolio while the rest of the money will be allocated either to energy efficiency or climate-smart agribusiness.  

To help accelerate the uptake of green housing units, IFC will provide performance-based incentives to help the provision of green mortgages and green construction loans. The incentives will be funded by the Market Accelerator for Green Construction (MAGC) program, which is sponsored by the United Kingdom’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. MAGC helps scale green construction across emerging markets by incentivizing financial intermediaries to scale up green building construction finance products. This information was provided in the company’s press release. 

Juan Carlos García Vizcaíno, General Manager of BanBIF, expressed:”IFC’s funding will help the bank to continue providing longer-term loans while developing a green building pipeline. Given our sustainability strategy, IFC’s support will enable us to boost our capacity to engage with clients on green building certification and sustainable practices in agriculture and other sectors. Additionally, the loan will help us diversify our funding sources allowing stronger capital buffers, crucial for post-COVID recovery.” 

IFC have also said that they will equip the bank with its Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies (EDGE) certification tool for green buildings. 

Elizabeth Martínez de Marcano, IFC´s Country Manager for the Andean Region, said: “One of IFC’s priorities in Peru is to promote new green growth opportunities and markets for inclusive growth. In alignment with Peru’s Green Finance Roadmap (2021), IFC’s financing package will foster competitiveness in the financial and real estate markets in the country. Additionally, by supporting the growth of green buildings, an emerging green asset class in the local market, IFC will help strengthen the climate finance market, key for the nation’s future resilience.” 

The City of Toronto announces green bond to help transform climate action

The City of Toronto announces green bond to help transform climate action

The City of Toronto has announced that it has issued a new green bond for $300 million to help finance key capital climate action projects. This is the City’s fifth debenture issuance this year with a low all-in cost of 4.472 per cent.  

This green bond issue will aim to help fund transformative climate action and was issued on 28th November and will settle on 14th December. This issue highlights the fifth time the City has been issued a green bond since its initial green bond offering in 2018. 

The revenue made will be used to fund approved Transportation Services, TTC and Waterfront Revitalisation capital projects to address climate change.  

The city has said that the money will be used to fund projects such as cycling infrastructure, subway and streetcar electric rail infrastructure and Port Lands flood protection.  

The issuance has had a total of 34 investors from Canada and the United States and has been said to be more than 2.1 times oversubscribed.  

“We continue our leadership in sustainable economics – it is simply the right thing to do and the smart thing to do with the public dollars that we are spending. The City’s successful green bond program offers sound investment opportunities while funding our sustained climate action.” said Mayor John Tory. 

Toronto is said to have one of the largest municipal borrowing programs in Canada. It is a regular issuer in the public Canadian debt market, with several sinking fund debentures each year, says the press release. 

“Our green bonds are so strong that we continue to attract investors in an increasingly volatile market. This month’s issue was well received, demonstrating investor confidence in both Toronto’s economy and the City’s responsible fiscal management throughout this pandemic.” commented Councillor Gary Crawford (Scarborough Southwest), Budget Committee Chair