Beautiful article, nice graphics.
Even when they do get the benefits they want, a small municipality has reason to fear becoming heavily reliant on one big player. After all, Mountain View once had Intel and Sun Microsystems; Hewlett-Packard packed up its Cupertino office in 2012. That’s a big loss to a tiny city, but the region remains largely unchanged. Mountain View may not want millions more square feet of Google office space and the community benefits that come with it, but another town just down the road likely will.
Big companies in small cities are bound to exert some of their own power, either purposefully or passively. Much of this seems inevitable — it’s how this valley was named “Silicon” decades ago. But these companies are no longer dealing just in silicon. Regardless of Google’s loss in North Bayshore, soon Mountain View will feature Google-designed cars running on Google-funded roads planned by Google-paid city engineers. Where they once built semiconductors and software, tech is shaping the future of human communication, infrastructure, transit, law and collective lived experience — all the things that make up a city.
via Why One Silicon Valley City Said “No” to Google – Next City.
The buses go no faster than 20 kph (12 1/2 mph), but the trials in Trikala (pronounced TREE-kah-lah) potentially represent a major advance for automated transport.
Trikala already has already tested EU-funded pilot medical programs, including schemes to relay heart test data from home to the doctor’s office and use tracker devices for Alzheimer patients. In the center of the city, a “digital tree” with solar panels allows benches to carry phone-charging outlets.
The 28-nation European Union is targeting gasoline use for city transport as one area where it wants to reduce carbon emissions. With oil prices and city populations expected to rise in the coming decades, a major shift to battery power and more shared transport could blur the line between private and public vehicles.
Senior transport analyst Philippe Crist at the International Transport Forum, an OECD think-tank based in Paris, says transport trends are hard to predict as the world moves more toward automation.
Crist said researchers looked at “shared and route-optimized on-call taxi-like services replacing all car and bus trips in a mid-sized European city. We found that these systems could deliver almost the same mobility as today but with 95 percent fewer vehicles.”
So far, the CityMobile2 has had mixed reviews on the streets of Trikala. Not everyone is happy to lose parking spots or replace human jobs with machines. Still, retiree Michalis Pantelis said he was proud that his city was selected for the testing.
via Greek town glimpses mass transit future: driverless buses – US News.