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Amtrak Debuts New Interactive Google-Maps-Powered Train Locator - Food Wine & Miles | Food Wine & Miles

Amtrak Debuts New Interactive Google-Maps-Powered Train Locator - Food Wine & Miles | Food Wine & Miles | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
RT @FoodWineMiles: Check out @amtrak's new @googlemaps powered train tracker --> http://t.co/rfBVi9Amni #F2B
Luigi Cappel's insight:

When I was in the Netherlands presenting at a location based conference I asked about GPS on Dutch trains. They told me that it had been mooted, but the engine drivers union said there would be a national strike if they tried any nonsense like that!

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Location Is Everywhere
Location is Everywhere, How is it Changing our Lives? It affects everything in our daily lives. How do we manage it to live, work and play smarter?
Curated by Luigi Cappel
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Cars Are Not Driving Away Any Time Soon

Cars Are Not Driving Away Any Time Soon | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
I've been reading a book called 'Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do' by Tom Vanderbilt, which resonates very well with me. Now I'm no petrol head, but I still like driving my car and it is still m...
Luigi Cappel's insight:

It only takes a little pain to have people hop in their cars. A wet day, having to stand on a bus, or having to stand on the side of the road and watch the bus go by. Driving is part of our culture. We are how we move. Even in cities where driving is impractical, like Tokyo, I have friends who still own a car, almost a status symbol because of the costs of even parking your car. They go driving in the weekend and enjoy the countryside.

The most popular and profitable radio time, even today when so many people are connected to their smartphones for entertainment, is drive-time. Of course this is also when we get our critical traffic reports.

We don't even want to get out of our cars. An estimated 22% of ALL restaurant meals in America are ordered through the window of a car.

I really like the footer, that a pedestrian is someone who has just parked their car.

Just last night I was reading in the news that sales of new passenger cars in New Zealand have gone up in the first months of this year by 3.6% breaking a 26 year record. Sales of commercial vehicles for the first four months in this country are up 14% on the same period last year.

Still think more people are ditching their cars?

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New app to help Nevada drivers with real-time traffic info

New app to help Nevada drivers with real-time traffic info | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
More real-time traffic information will be available to Nevada drivers as the Nevada Department of Transportation announces a data-sharing partnership with Waze, the free, real-time crowdsourced traffic and navigation app.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
Nevada DOT has partnered with Waze to provide improved real time travel information including planned and unplanned events. There are a couple of things that appear to be new and could be real game changers.
1. Waze are not charging NDOT for their data. I've read stories in the past where Google was charging DOT's to display their data. That never made sense to me because neither Google nor Waze (owned by Google) displayed official events and Waze frequently routed me around normal traffic signals on the one hand and on the other hand mostly showed congestion without the reasons.
I also like the ability to report to Waze by voice. It will be interesting to see how effective that is given the problems I frequently have with Siri and Google in understanding what I am saying. The recent updates I experienced asked for tapping of the screen (illegal in many places) and no longer asked for confirmation that I was a passenger in a moving vehicle.
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Waymo is determined not to let bird poop hinder its self-driving car developmentTech News Expert | Tech News Expert

Waymo is determined not to let bird poop hinder its self-driving car developmentTech News Expert | Tech News Expert | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Why it matters to you Sometimes the little details are the most interesting, after all, who'd have thought bird poop was so problematic for self
Luigi Cappel's insight:
Bird poop and other wild cards. One of the common concerns right now is that people are afraid of driverless cars. We have grown up with computers. They break down, our cars already have several computers in them and stuff happens and when it does we can't fix it ourselves and it's expensive..
Our homes and offices have computers and life turns to chaos when they fail.
Today we have cyberterrorism alerts and before you say, "but these car computers, communication devices and sensors will have loads of failsafe mechanisms because they are important." Do a bit of a search on cyberterrorism and other issues on Google and just look at the last 24-48 hours. Just look at the system running the passport/immigration software that grounded thousands of international travelers in NZ and Australia in the last week. http://www.stuff.co.nz/travel/travel-troubles/92837339/Immigration-computer-crash-causes-lengthy-delays-at-airports-in-NZ-and-Australia. ;
They rely on telecommunications. We still have many areas where there are no telecommunications and weather conditions where our satellite based TV has rain fail. I wouldn't like my car to have rain fail just when I need it most.
I must reiterate, I am not a luddite, I love future technologies. I have spent most of my career as an evangelist of the benefits of new technologies. 
It's great to see Waymo and other companies looking at all the things that can go wrong. Computers do fail, chips fail, other forces can interfere with them. Having said all that I was very impressed being a passenger in a Tesla and would I buy one if I had the money? Yes I would. But I am not yet convinced as to the speed at which we will get a network with a high percentage of driverless cars taking us safely and efficiently to our destinations. Beyond the glamour of the beautiful looking vehicles we are relying on a computer artificial intelligence. 
Check out this AI learning how to drive on Grand Theft Auto http://engt.co/2rNqAj7.
Remember the old Harvard joke about imagining if Microsoft built a car? http://www.hcs.harvard.edu/pnw/microsoftjoke.htm
Good things take time. They say with major projects, do your plan, then allow double the budget and double the amount of time it will take.
Driverless cars will navigate themselves through Gartner's Hype Curve just like everything else. We are still climbing to the peak of inflated expectations, then when we get there we race down to the trough of disillusionment before we actually start to see the end game, which will be great, but it may take a bit longer than the evangelists say. 

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How do you teach a driverless car to drive?

How do you teach a driverless car to drive? | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Driverless cars are controlled by two approaches deep learning or formal logic, but both methods need work to ensure driverless cars are as safe as possible.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
It appears that, for the sake of an explanation, with Deep Learning, a car learns like a human baby and like a human child, you can't simply change the programme. The toddler doesn't have any knowledge about how to use a potty. A car doesn't know to drive slowly into a blind intersection.
We can't  look into the wetware of the child and reprogram it, we train it but don't know which dendrites carry the corrected messages and don't have the technology to create a perfectly behaviourally trained child by accessing it's brain, other than through it's sensors and our behaviour. 
Likewise with deep learning in a car, we can't just make a software code change to correct this behaviour because we don't know where in the program it has been stored and what it has learned. 
We also want to make sure it has learned the right behaviour, it could decide that in order to avoid a vehicle making an illegal manoevre, break OR accelerate to avoid it, especially before it shares that learning with other cars using the same software. I.e. the Volvo now knows what to do, but they aren't sharing that code or experience with GM.
 Fine, but what happens if there is more than one vehicle doing the same thing, or a pedestrian crossing the road at the same time?
After something has happened we can change some code that says drive slowly through a blind intersection until you can see that it is safe AND if a vehicle makes an illegal behaviour, take action to keep your vehicle safe. We can share that code to all vehicles using OUR software and hope that a similar incident can now be prevented. If we are good corporate citizens and safety is of course in our mutual interest, we would share our learnings with our competitors.
This is why I wrote https://thefuturediaries.com/2013/04/19/boy-racers-make-sport-with-driverless-cars/ which is also apretty likely scenario..

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Mayor Lee to tackle Uber, Lyft traffic congestion through pilot program

Mayor Lee to tackle Uber, Lyft traffic congestion through pilot program | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
In a first for San Francisco, Mayor Ed Lee is proposing a data exchange between The City and ride-hail companies Uber and Lyft to tackle traffic safety and
Luigi Cappel's insight:
It's been said that 30% of urban traffic is people driving around in circles looking for a carpark and that ride share companies and in future autonomous cars will help solve this problem.
It seems that in San Francisco ride-hail companies are causing just as much or more congestion with some 45,000 Uber and Lyft cars often double parked, awaiting their next customer and that's not counting taxis!
The Mayor is proposing a data exchange, although I think there is still some fear of sharing data with competitors by the companies themselves, but it sounds pretty similar to concepts of a MaaS solution. 
MaaS stories typically focus on customers and drivers being able to find each other, but a good solution for this new congestion problem could be sharing the data so that instead of gridlock in some corridors and spreading the cars out could be a win-win for all with Uber and Lyft drivers being able to look for business in areas that aren't already overcrowded.
There are some good lessons here for other cities and countries. With the rate of change happening around the world, I think it is vital that cities who innovate and come up with good working solutions share these with each other so we can all learn about what works and what doesn't. 
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VIDEO: Mum's horror as driver on mobile phone veers onto wrong side of road

VIDEO: Mum's horror as driver on mobile phone veers onto wrong side of road | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it

A MOTHER said she was “still in shock” after only the quick-thinking actions of her partner avoided a head-on smash on a major Bradford road.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
I'm seriously considering buying a quality dashcam. If someone crashes into you because they are on the wrong side of the road and you can't prove they were on the phone, it will be more difficult to prove what happened.
The person who could have caused a serious crash in this video would be likely to put his phone down and deny he was using it. 
I see crazy behaviour every day, but I almost never have the time or gumption to get the registration number when these things happen. I don't want to add to risks by writing a number down and I don't currently use a handsfree kit in my main car as I choose not to use my phone while driving. 
I think quality is important because as per this video, it showed a miraculous escape, but it appears they were not able to identify the vehicle not it's driver. 
Imagine though, if the person who took this video had also been distracted for as long as it takes to turn around and tell the kids to quieten down. This would have been recorded a very different outcome.
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GPS emergency 111 emergency caller location tracker a 'game changer'

GPS emergency 111 emergency caller location tracker a 'game changer' | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Police will now be able to track you via GPS when you dial 111.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
Some years ago I was working with a philanthropic organisation helping them with information to donate portable navigation devices to go into every ambulance in New Zealand. 

In doing my research into their needs, St John's Ambulance explained crucial factors to me, like 'ambulance time'. Even a few minutes in getting to a patient having a heart attack or other serious event can be the difference between survival or a full recovery and accurately locating people is the key. 

The most important step, which this article doesn't cover, is how the information gets to the responder. It needs to be fully automated to a navigation system so that no location from the GPS coordinates can be lost or misinterpreted. 

The best possible scenario is that the location details are automatically sent both to the in-car navigation and to the responder's mobile so that if they need to go some distance from their vehicle, they still know where to go. Add that capability to all services including Police, Ambulance, Fire and S&R and this investment will deliver a Return on Investment in no time flat.

Congratulations to everyone involved in this project, it is indeed a game changer.
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Hi-tech cars risk being hacked and turned into terror bombs on wheels

Hi-tech cars risk being hacked and turned into terror bombs on wheels | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
The Institute of the Motor Industry warning on rogue technicians hacking cars echoes scenes in the latest blockbuster Fast and the Furious film .
Luigi Cappel's insight:
This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. People have been using sniffers to record and mimic the access frequencies to expensive cars since the 90's. When cars become communicating devices on the network just as easily as any other compute the risk levels of abuse go up.
This article suggests that even with high level security encryption, mechanics in garages have full access to the computers through their diagnostics systems. They have to in order to service them. 
There will be enough of them to make it easy to then provide backdoors into car computers. 
Last week I had the pleasure of being a passenger in a new Tesla, which was summoned from a tight car park by remote while we watched from the side. 
In the article it talks about (and shows security camera footage of one) 4 late model cars being stolen in the last 4 months, simply by being able to replicate the codes. 
Remember a lot of cars now only require that your fob is in close proximity to a car in order to unlock it and start the engine. My old Code Alarm system did that as do many cars in Canada, in order to warm the car up before you get in, which was a cause for great hilarity when people leaned on my car, but you couldn't drive away without putting a key in the ignition. Today that's no longer required either.
After someone hacked into a 2014 Jeep Cherokee, FIat Chrysler recalled 1.4 million vehicles. 
These risks for most of us will be sorted over time but is a high risk given that tomorrow's cars are just more devices in the Internet of Things, many of which don't have security systems beyond a user name and password on a mobile app.
We used to watch James Bond and Fast and Furious films with an element of scepticism, but go to a car show anywhere in the world today and you will see less and less mechanical technology and more computers.
The good news is this will mean more jobs for geeks and security companies..
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Problems afoot as Berlin plans to make central thoroughfare car-free

Problems afoot as Berlin plans to make central thoroughfare car-free | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Berlin's local lawmakers have agreed to a plan to make the famous Unter den Linden street car-free, but not everyone is on board with the city's vision.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
This story doesn't seem to explain the benefits of removing traffic from Unter den Linden, but there does seem to be anecdotal evidence that a smart, thriving, livable city works well when there are safe open places for people to walk, socialise and enjoy hospitality and entertainment.
Closing down streets in places like NYC does bring them alive and attract tourists and their money. I don't quite understand the concept of still allowing cross streets, but perhaps that is the only way they can see of ensuring transport can supply the businesses on the boulevard without creating gridlock at the end of each adjoining street and people who need to drive still need to get near these areas where carparks may no longer be the most profitable use of real estate, which of course is great news for public transport providers.
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Without the GPS, could Americans find their way?

Without the GPS, could Americans find their way? | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
I’ve been to the state of Louisiana all of four times in my life, the latest being last week for a conference and to help some folks still dealing with flood damage suffered way back in August of last year.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
I read and hear a lot of stories like this, including that our brainpower and spatial reasoning are diminished by using GPS. I totally disagree with that and with the concepts in this article.
I remember on my first international flight at 11 years of age traveling halfway around the world by myself, I got to visit the flight deck of the DC8. They had an extra seat for the engineer/navigator who had map navigation charts on his desk.
I studied for my coastal yachtmaster certificate and my late grandfather spent many years on the bridge of large commercial vessels plying trade between South America and the Netherlands so I have an idea about navigation by sea too. 
Back in Christopher Columbus'' day, not only did they spend a lot of time and expertise in trying to constantly work out where they were, they frequently got lost and discovered whole new countries.
GPS navigation increases our safety, reduces stress, saves time, improves productivity and we still have to think and have an understanding of where we are going and what sort of routes to take.
I would hate to think of what our busy streets and highways would look like if we didn't have GPS navigation today. But it's nothing new. In the old west they hired guides too, we've just replaced them and people looking at out of date maps, held over the steering wheel while they are driving.
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In 20 metres, turn left... or you fail new driving test - Independent.ie

In 20 metres, turn left... or you fail new driving test - Independent.ie | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Learner drivers will have to prove they can safely use a Sat-nav as part of a radical overhaul of the standard road test, the Sunday Independent has learned.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
TomTom frequently quotes university studies saying that people using car navigation have less crashes than those who don't AND that the consequences are less when they do.
The  Irish Road Safety Authority (RSA) is seriously considering making it mandatory that learner drivers have to be able to evidence that they can safely use a Sat-Nav in order to pass the standard road test. 
I agree with the concept for experienced drivers, but I share the hesitation that some people have about this new rule, in that the first thing is learning to drive and one of the most important aspects is situational awareness of what is going on outside the car. 
I can say though that I feel much safer with car nav than without it, because I am not looking at map books and trying to memorise directions which is made more difficult as there are frequently less places where you can legally stop to consult your map book in urban areas. 
It also seems ironic that you can look at your map book when you are in control of a car, say at a set of traffic lights, but not at a phone. The map book to me is more distracting as it requires greater attention and retention of data.
I also agree with the positioning of the nav unit. It should be very close to the driver and not down in the entertainment area of your dashboard. Mine is a HUD and the map is right in front of me and I can see the road through it.
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How Data Science Is Driving The Driverless Car

How Data Science Is Driving The Driverless Car | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Bridging the gap between technology and business
Luigi Cappel's insight:
This article raises a few interesting questions beyond the intelligent learning systems being developed in order to make being a passenger in a driverless car safe, for example capturing the fact that there is a new street sign on the road, but also more obscure things. Can it see rubbish on the road like a glass bottle or a piece of wood or other objects? Can it see potholes. How does it know which items are permanent and which are momentary and how does it decide how to respond to them. We make split second decisions every day as a driver and we can recognise the difference between a sheet of gib or plyboard that I should be able to safely drive over vs a glass bottle or perhaps a length of 4x2, all common occurrences on our motorways and arterials.
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Skoda shares its all-electric Vision

Skoda shares its all-electric Vision | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
VW Group has its sights on 2025 for an expansion of its electrified vehicle portfolio. By that time, five of the group's all-electric vehicles will be wearing a Skoda badge ... compared to none today. Skoda starts now with a sporty electric crossover named the Vision E.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
I had a client who purchased a Skoda and took me for a drive, spending the whole time justifying why she had brought a brand that many thought of as the sister car to the Lada, bringing to mind a bunch of men pushing a car on a cold winter's day to get it started, to probably be followed by a reviving vodka.
So when I read this article about the first of this new breed of EV that will travel 500km on a single charge with speeds up to 180km I have to admit being pretty impressed. When I read about the other features I was even more blown away.
The feature list is long and impressive although some of them had me wondering why, and all in all from the inductive charging for mobiles to Level 3 autonomy and features like traffic jam assist, I'm sure that many who would previously have scoffed at buying this brand will be impressed if sales people can get them to test drive the cars. 
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Thousands of drivers caught despite mobile crackdown - BBC News

Thousands of drivers caught despite mobile crackdown - BBC News | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Police caught 200 drivers a day using their devices while driving in the four weeks after 1 March.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
Something that fascinates me is the difficulty of collectively encouraging a community or society to do what is right for them. We know that distracted driving is one of the biggest causes of road crashes and deaths.It is also now a common cause of traffic congestion as people slow down to look at their mobile. 
We know how quickly things can change on the road and that the situation can change very quickly, just a quick txt message as a toddler runs onto a road to retrieve their ball. 
So Britain increased the cost of their fines and upped their education programs and what happened? They caught and charged 6,000 people in 4 weeks!. How many does that mean got away with it.
People caught included:
-A man doing his online banking while driving along the M5 motorway near Birmingham
-A man using his phone while driving a 7.5-tonne lorry around a roundabout in Bournemouth
-A school minibus driver with 10 children on board in Manchester using his phone while driving
So they pay their fines and the injuries and deaths continue. What do we need to do to change this situation?


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Delaware beach season starts with traffic jams

Delaware beach season starts with traffic jams | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Each summer, once-sleepy Sussex County becomes a seashore destination for people from New York to Virginia.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
This is a classic story every public holiday. Cheaper petrol prices of around $2.43 a gallon (we pay around $US6 a gallon in New Zealand!) and more cars on the road each holiday mean fewer gaps in the congestion. 

Delaware DOT produces predictions based on traffic history, but the number of people traveling to domestic holiday spots instead of overseas has increased. They don't mention it, but I think safety and having a holiday away from the turmoil of politics are a trend. What is not a trend is people taking advantage of travel information, particularly real time because historic information can;t take into account crashes that haven't happened yet.

As traffic scientists have been saying for years, you can't build your way out of the problem. More people are buying cars than ever before and highways are full as soon as they are built, so people find arterial routes and clog them up as well. 

So whether you are traveling for Delaware Memorial Weekend or any other holiday this summer, heed the information provided by the DOT ans AAA. The know what usually happens and what is happening. A little planning and preparation can mean that the only parking lot you are in, is the one at your destination.
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Georgia’s Change of Heart on Automated Vehicles - The Eno Center for Transportation

Georgia’s Change of Heart on Automated Vehicles - The Eno Center for Transportation | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
May 19, 2017 - On May 8, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed a law that explicitly allows for the operation of self-driving vehicles with and without human drivers. This marks a significant change of heart for a state that merely two years ago was squeamish about enacting policies around automated vehicles (AVs), fearing that the technology was not sufficiently mature to be regulated.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
If you're interested in driverless cars, this article has a couple of great infographics that explain the various levels of automation that are pretty much evolving into an international standard which is great.

The Future of Transportation Stack should be of comfort to people who think that jobs are at risk if you take drivers out of the equation. Look at the number of companies and sectors required to facilitate driverless cars on our networks and provide for the safety, communications, operational and entertainment functionality. 

Now I've never been to Georgia, but I've been to Florida and Tennessee, the other two of the States that have now made it legal to operate autonomous vehicles without human drivers present in the car.

I don't know if that means that you could put your kids into an autonomous vehicle, send them to school and them tell the car to park itself until they need to be picked up. If you have a Level 5 vehicle there are no controls, so you might as well.

The highways in Florida and Tennessee are pretty good, but that have plenty of arterial roads that are not well marked and I'd love to see what happens when human driven cars and AV's both want the same parking lot. 

I'm glad that it is those states and not Louisiana having been told by TomTom and Google that I was at my destination (an alligator hatchery, when I was on a narrow road, not wide enough for a tractor and my Ford SUV to pass each other without one going onto the grass verge. They both told me I had arrived at my destination which was actually still a 15 minute drive that I worked out by using Swarm. I have a blog about it somewhere. 

Imagine a Level 5 autonomous bus taking kids on a school trip, with no steering wheel or other controls using that data?

Anyway, it is coming, and looking at this chart, the number of companies who are investing heavily in these supporting industries are huge. If you are one of those people who wished you could go back in time and invest in a university dropout who wanted to make a computer, you might look at some of these companies and buy a few shares. 
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Science counters Healy-Rae in alcohol versus heavy meal debate

Science counters Healy-Rae in alcohol versus heavy meal debate | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
‘Alcohol is a drug with sedative effect ... You cannot compare the effects of alcohol with food consumption’
Luigi Cappel's insight:
Fact or myth? As someone who has been battling fatigue from cancer treatment I have learned a few things. One is that if you are concentrated on a task, you are less likely to feel fatigue than if you are relaxed.. 
There is no question that if you are relaxed, your reactions are going be slower and that can happen if you are driving long distances, such as on an Interstate. One of my cars has a coffee cup alarm that lights up after 2 hours of driving and starts beeping if I ignore it.
If I eat a heavy meal (I don't but have done in the past) and and sit on the couch and watch TV, I will get drowsy, (actually I will probably fall asleep any time I sit on a couch. I nod off at the movies, even on a wet Sunday afternoon), but if I go for a walk or engage in some activity that draws my attention, I typically don't notice any effect from the meal. 
Another myth that has been debunked is the one our parents told us as kids. "If you swim straight after a meal, you will get cramps." http://bit.ly/1Wh1PG9 Sure, some energy will go to digesting your food, so you will not have the same strength as you would otherwise, but there is no record of anyone ever having drowned as a consequence of eating and then going swimming.
Alcohol and drugs, totally different story of course, they are designed to alter our mental state and will impair our ability as is proven daily. 
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Andrew Brown-Allan's blog: Mental health: CAVs & MaaS solutions can't come soon enough

Andrew Brown-Allan's blog: Mental health: CAVs & MaaS solutions can't come soon enough | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Marking Mental Health Awareness Week 2017, research published by Mercedes-Benz Vans UK revealed that nearly a fifth of the 2,000 van drivers surveye
Luigi Cappel's insight:
With Mental Health Awareness Week this week I became aware of this blog which had some statistics that I hadn't personally considered before.
According to research published by Mercedes-Benz Vans UK almost 20% of van drivers surveyed said that they felt they have poor or very poor mental health. Not great news for a motor vehicle manufacturer, but wonderful that they are asking the questions.
A lot relates to heavy workloads and schedules, but many also feel isolated.
It makes sense that highly stressed people are not going to be at their best and given that it is the nature of their work that causes their mental health issues, it is good to see industry segments being looked at. 
The article also talks about the 'Mental Health and Transport Summit Report' from Anxiety UK in 2016 which identified that many people have fears of both driving and taking public transport that stops them from applying for work that involves one or the other. 
This is not something I have considered before as an industry issue, but thinking about the many crashes that occur as a result of fatigue and distraction, as the author says, commercial autonomous vehicles and MaaS will play a part in helping with this problem. 
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This ID badge tracks your every move on the job

This ID badge tracks your every move on the job | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Startup called Humanyze wants to convince companies and employees that being watched can be a good thing
Luigi Cappel's insight:
This looks like big brother dressed up. I can't believe that people would allow their privacy to be invaded to that extent, even if discussions are "anonymous". I can't think of any industry where this would be acceptable. What do you think?
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What's holding back self-driving cars? Human drivers

What's holding back self-driving cars? Human drivers | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
In just a few years, well-mannered self-driving robotaxis will share the roads with reckless, law-breaking human drivers. The prospect is causing migraines for the people developing the robotaxis.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
Last night driving home in the rain I was observing the sort of driving that is described in this story. A small car that was weaving from one side of its lane to the other, frequently crossing the rumble strip,  which resulted in people passing it and then cutting in front of it to demonstrate their displeasure. People opening their roadside doors on busy urban streets, just as I got to them forcing me to break in a hurry to avoid them. People in animated discussions on their handheld mobiles. A barely visible person in very dark clothing standing in the middle of an arterial road with heavy traffic waiting for a gap to run across in the next gap in the traffic. 
People are random and emotional. In most cases, I suspect that in many cases autonomous cars will be able to avoid the craziness that happens on our roads, but I also wonder if their response to these actions will also cause congestion as they slow in order to protect their precious cargo from human driven cars.
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Cities Are About To Change Forever. Here Are 3 Key Decisions They Must Make

Cities Are About To Change Forever. Here Are 3 Key Decisions They Must Make | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Disruptive technology and businesses are dramatically reshaping how we move around cities.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
One of the issues we face throughout much of our public transport system (which is one of the main ways to get people out of single occupancy cars is 'the last mile'. We can get people to and from hubs or stations, but the park and rides fill faster than we can build them.
In Florida one authority is currently subsidizing Uber rides on routes it does not cover and others are looking at similar arrangements with ride share companies. Many are looking at MaaS solutions to make it easy.
It makes a lot of sense to collaborate. Big expensive half empty buses are subsidised by your local or national taxes and a frequent reason people cite for not using public transport is the inconvenience of getting to it. 
I had clients who worked in Auckland, who used to commute by train from the Waikato region, some 125 km each way. I used to ask them how they felt about traveling so far. They loved it. 
In the morning they would clear their inbox over a coffee and arrive at work fresh and ready for the day's challenges. 
One person I know was a DJ and he listened to music and planned his set lists every day on the train. Getting the last mile wasn't as easy or pleasant on a cold rainy day, especially carrying laptops and other items, but the rest of the trip was great.
We have a long way to go before we hit any form of mass usage of autonomous cars or have enough charging stations for EV's, but some of the interim solutions are staring us in the face in the form of a boom of ride-share businesses, which can meet the needs of the drivers for flexible working hours and passengers for convenience, trust and transparency.
It would seem to me that providing effective and affordable solutions would be much better than legislating urban road tolls to fund unprofitable public transport routes.
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Inautonews - You can work as a ride-share driver with a car-shared Chevrolet Bolt

Inautonews  - You can work as a ride-share driver with a car-shared Chevrolet Bolt | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Chevrolet and GM’s car sharing division Maven are letting Uber and Lyft drivers, as well as other freelancers, rent a fully electric Bolt for $229 a week. General Motors is fully submerged into the latest trends of the automotive industry – Cruise Automation is working on autonomous cars, the company […]
Luigi Cappel's insight:
I don't know what it costs to buy a taxi and kit it out, but this EV deal from Chevrolet looks like it might be taking a double six roll of the dice on the game board of car sharing and driverless cars.
I still think it is ironic that people in rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft are using drivers to build their business and will then make them redundant when their vehicles no longer need a driver, but of course smart people will put their driving profits back into leasing new cars  and not have to drive them. Sounds a bit like the 'American dream' where people with very little financial substance can build themselves a good living for themselves and their families.
So imagine you are in the US, because this offer is not being made in other countries at this stage. You fork out $229 a week (including insurance) for a car with the very latest electric (very low running costs) car. You sign up with one of the growing number of companies like Uber and Lyft, get whatever credentials you need and you have a ready made business with the backing of companies who seriously want you to be successful.
Some people will be happy with one car, others could build a larger business model out of this. I would. 
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Distracted driving: 85 people killed in work zones in five years

Distracted driving: 85 people killed in work zones in five years | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
When Cari Ledbetter, a 23-year-old teacher’s aide from Chickasaw, gets married this summer, her father Gary won’t be there to walk her down the aisle. Ledbetter was only four years old when her dad, an Oklahoma Department of Transportation worker, was struck by a vehicle while he was pickin
Luigi Cappel's insight:
We frequently talk about crashes that cause injuries and death on our roads and how many of them are caused by distracted driving.
One of the groups that doesn't get as much focus is the people who work on the road, the contractors who are trying to maintain and restore the network. 
Have a look at these statistics and spare a thought for the people who frequently put their own safety on the line. They are expertly trained, highly visible and work day and night to keep our road network running smoothly despite the attempts of nature and people who feel that it is safe to take their eyes off the road to take care of other tasks while driving.
These statistics are only related to highway work zones, which makes it particularly upsetting. And they only apply to one DOT.
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Tesla Semi: analyst warns truck makers not to laugh, Tesla’s electric truck is going to be disruptive

Tesla Semi: analyst warns truck makers not to laugh, Tesla’s electric truck is going to be disruptive | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
The idea of an all-electric class 8 truck is being met with a lot of skepticism in the trucking industry. With the current status of electric passenger cars barely breaking the 300-mile range, they…
Luigi Cappel's insight:
In a country where electricity comes from natural clean resources, the concept of electric trucks makes a lot of sense. Of course as battery technology becomes more powerful, range will increase.
I'd love to see inductive charging in key locations like transport hubs, ports and large distribution sites. It may not yet be the most efficient form of charging, but would add to the value proposition in making trucks more productive. 
Of course trucks could also carry extra batteries, in the same way as some planes carry extra fuel tanks when they are traveling longer distances than their conventional design allowed for.
Next of course is how we make them driverless, given the shortage of truck drivers in many parts of the world. We may have to wait a little longer in many places, although countries with long freeways and trucks lanes might have a different perspective. 
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Toyota, KDDI and Tokyo Hire-Taxi Association Begin Verification Testing for 'Connected Taxis' | news.sys-con.com

Toyota, KDDI and Tokyo Hire-Taxi Association Begin Verification Testing for 'Connected Taxis' | news.sys-con.com | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Toyota Motor Corporation and KDDI Corporation, together with the Tokyo Hire-Taxi Association (THTA), have begun verification testing on data collection for making "connected taxis" a reality. Such taxis, by communicating with data centers, are expected to make possible new services that will, among others, improve taxi-customer convenience and support taxi drivers. The verification testing, which will center on the collection and analysis of data from taxis in the Tokyo metropolitan area, is being done to clarify technical requirements for taxi-related connected services and to enable practical application of large volumes of driving data.read more
Luigi Cappel's insight:
They say if you want to know what is happening around town, ask a cab driver. Toyota is going a step further and looking at V2V communications and going direct to the car. 
It does look like this is a proprietary project, being led by a car manufacturer, but if KDD are involved together with a taxi company, this won't be totally closed and much innovation comes from brands trying to get a competitive edge, which is great. 
Imagine if the video and congestion data was also shared with the Department of Transport who manage transport demand.
The more vehicles get connected and the more this data is shared, the smarter the decisions customers can make about when and how to travel. 
Add this to a MaaS system and now you know you will know whether to catch a cab or join a million people going through the gates at the Shinjuku Train Station.
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Comdata Brings Mobile Payments To Trucking | PYMNTS.com

Comdata Brings Mobile Payments To Trucking | PYMNTS.com | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
The trucking industry is one the most mobile workforces in America. But it hasn't been the first priority for mobilization by tech solutions companies.
Luigi Cappel's insight:
I had to share this little back to the future story. It's little wonder that some New Zealand Fleet Management companies do well in the USA. 
According to the story one in three American companies still use paper cheques as their main form of payment and 80% are interested in being able to use mobile payments for P2P and also for things like paying for fuel and accommodation,
It always strikes me as unusual when an announcement like this comes out at the same time as I watched astronauts on the space station talking about how they are ready to volunteer to go to Mars.
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