Design Concept of the Day: Safer Urban Lorry

March 22, 2013 § Leave a comment

safer urban lorryNot a ‘green’ vehicle as such itself, but some ideas to encourage more sustainable transport behaviour: this is the work of the London Cycling Campaign, which is calling on the construction industry to use lorries with better all-round visibility. This mock-up features a lower driving position, larger windscreen and side windows, lower bumper clearance (reducing the risk of a cyclist being dragged under the truck), side-guards and side/rear cameras with warning systems. Lorries are involved in half of all cyclist deaths in London, as well as a high proportion of pedestrian fatalities, and whilst some vehicles such as dustbin lorries and buses are beginning to incorporate more cyclist-friendly features, construction trucks are lagging behind, says the LCC.

  • Bill Ford – yes, of FoMoCo provenance – has invested $2.8million via his venture capital firm in a London-based app developer which offers a smartphone transport ticketing service, reports Giga Om. Masabi is the creator of JustRide, a cloud-based platform enabling users to buy, store and use tickets for buses, trains etc., with an on-screen QR code to get through barriers. Bill Ford has talked previously about the importance of integrated transport systems, as well as peer-to-peer and car-to-infrastructure networking.
  • Looks like fun: Epic EV has launched its Torq roadster, described as the world’s fastest three-wheeled electric vehicle (not that there’s a lot of competition for that title, as yet). 0-60 in four seconds, from around 50,000 euros/$65,000, deliveries from April, apparently (via Autoblog Green).
  • Honda has reported fuel savings of over 20% in a trial of a traffic congestion minimisation app in Jakarta, Indonesia. Both a standalone system warning the driver of congestion in the area, and a networked cloud-connected platform giving information from other connected cars in the area, were tested. More here.
  • Another better-biofuel technique: a team at Columbia University has developed a cheap, energy-efficient biological process to convert methane (from biogas, anaerobic digestion, waste landfill gas) to methanol. Science bit at Green Car Congress.
  • Eleven organisations in the Polis network (a pan-European project linking cities and regions) met this week in Brussels to discuss the development of a platform for electrified transport (multi-modal). More here. Ongoing Polis projects include the establishment of EV-charging and EV-sharing in Berlin, research into travel behaviour change,
  • One of the Polis members, ERTRAC (European Road Transport Research Advisory Council), has released its Horizon 2020 Strategic Research Agenda. It is “taking a system approach and addressing Grand Societal Challenges”, with a target 50% efficiency improvement across the European transport network, plus advances in safety, reliability and decarbonisation. Takes into account freight, passenger transport, urban mobility and integrated transport systems. Not much to think about there, then…
  • Modern-day car-making: how green are the factories? Interesting piece on Renault’s new Dacia plant near Tangiers at Automotive Design. Biomass boilers burning olive stones, lots of eucalyptus trees planted… some degree of mitigation? Discuss.
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