Photo by Pujohn Das/ Space10
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While Google’s self-driving car has been making waves as the future of transport, Milton Keynes, a small southeastern town in England with around 200,000 residents is expected to see driverless two-seater “pods” on its roads at the speed of 19 kilometers per hour by 2015.
The pods are driven with electric power and run in pre-programmed routes: railway station, offices, and shopping malls. Passengers may use smart phone applications to reserve and control the vehicle. The fee per ride is about 2 pounds (110 baht approximately). Should the experiment work, the government would apply to other towns in England, transforming large cities and industrial areas into something like pavements rather than congested roads.
Pods, Google Car, and other prototype driverless cars are being developed by many renowned auto manufacturers from Europe and Japan. They are a new alternative for an efficient consumption of resources and reduction of costs; controlling the number of vehicles on the road instead of only focusing on energy-saving features of the vehicle.
Professor Kent Larson, director of the MIT Media Lab’s Changing Places group, said most of the cars running in the city are not used at their optimal capacity. They are usually parked, thus wasting a lot of space. If cars can be shared, their number can be reduced by 5 times. Traffic can also be reduced by controlling the number of cars to match passenger demand. More importantly, the use of sensor, GPS, laser scanner, and high definition camera to locate the position of the car and communicate with other devices will help reduce road accident risk. Throughout the 482,803 kilometers self-driving Google car test drive, no accident occurred.
However, the development of self-driving cars not only requires advance technology, but also support from national policy in terms of regulations and protection from cyber criminals who could hack into the car controlling system. Substantial investment on infrastructure is needed as well; the British government spent about 1.5 million pounds to test run pods in town.
Meet the visionaries who are inspired by the challenges in the world today and trying to figure out the way to better living tomorrow at CU 2014 (Creativities Unfold, Bangkok) in August at TCDC.
Photo by Pujohn Das/ Space10
The shortage of resources…
The increased number of senior citizens…
The relocation of world’s economic centre…
Through archives and records of our actions, the evidence of our existence is embedded in the data. On the other hand, the data also influences how we see the world and resulting into our actions. A tweet by Lev Manovich, a media theorist, stated that, “19th century was defined by the novel, 20th century culture by the cinema, the culture of the 21st century will be defined by the interface.” This notion may become true to the extent. So could the interface such as data visualisation improve our understanding of the reality of the world? Could it be used as a tool for knowledge cultivation?
Story: Atipong Amornwongpeeti
Heard of a Zipcar? Own a Nokia phone? Chances are that at least a couple of products and services you have been in contact with bear the fingerprint of Chris Downs, a brilliant mind who trailed the blaze for service design. However, as the field has garnered more disciples, this pioneer, now a Principal at Method, has forsaken the foundation assumptions of service design he formulated in its early days for a new vision that gives a new role to insights and better suits the current landscape.
Story: Sommanassa Ngernsa-ard
Professor Andy Miah’s interest has expanded extensively beyond his degrees in Science, Bioethics and Medical Law to other topics that concern emerging technologies and human enhancement. Basically, he advocates the use of technology to enhance humans, individually and socially. His books, lectures and articles usually advocate people to ponder about future of humanity beyond the current context so as to design it without restricted boundaries. His project #media2012 inside the mega event such as Olympics, for example, was also targeted to enhance humans socially with the power of digital media and citizen journalism. This article will seek to provide an insight to those innovative ideas that are centred around humans.