Impact Lab


Subscribe Now to Our Free Email Newsletter
May 19th, 2019 at 11:39 am

How electric and driverless vehicles will change building design

 

CC7BE752-37D6-4FA4-AAAF-53ED0608EAE1

The world’s first affordable automobile had a dramatic impact on residential design. On October 1, 1908, the first Model T Ford was built in Detroit. Unlike horses, most people could afford to have their own private car and keep it at their home. Between 1908 and 1927, Ford built some 15 million Model T cars.

Moving on from horses and carriages, for over a century homes and apartments have been designed to cater for private car ownership where drivers are human, and vehicles are powered by petrol or diesel.

As people began driving their own private cars, residential property design changed to provide a place to keep the vehicles (garages), and commercial venues had to accommodate individuals leaving their vehicles parked, instead of being dropped off by a carriage that immediately moved on (carparks).

Continue Reading »

comments Comments Off
May 19th, 2019 at 11:31 am

25 tonne self-driving trucks to be tested on British roads for the first time

BD88AF3B-743B-472C-8B4D-0BCDE3CDC69DThe government is testing driverless trucks on the A14 highway

Self-driving trucks that could help to speed up roadworks are being tested on Britain’s highways for the first time.

A 25-tonne autonomous truck, capable of moving huge amounts of earth without human supervision will take to the roads on a stretch of the A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon as part of a trial by Highways England.

The trucks, capable of carrying a load of 40 tonnes, can be programmed remotely to follow a pre-determined route along road work sites and can detect and avoid obstacles, like other vehicles, along the route as they drive.

Continue Reading »

comments Comments Off
May 19th, 2019 at 11:28 am

The technology that could transform congestion pricing

Manhattan TollsMotorists entering Manhattan will soon be paying for the privilege. How should the city administer their tolls?

As cities like New York move ahead with plans to charge motorists to enter certain urban areas, we need to think about the best ways to manage road tolling.

Now that New York City has adopted congestion pricing in an effort to rein in traffic and raise revenue desperately needed to upgrade public transportation, other American cities are taking a closer look at this often-contentious technique. San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle have all recently released requests-for-proposals to begin studying the possibilities and implications of congestion pricing. As cities study the ins and outs of charging motorists to enter central districts, there hasn’t been much attention devoted to one critical part of congestion pricing package: the technology. How will tolls be collected? How will cities insure compliance in the charging zone? And how will our data privacy be addressed and protected?

Continue Reading »

IL-Header-Communicating-with-the-Future

comments Comments Off
May 18th, 2019 at 12:18 pm

More tigers now live in cages than in the wild.

8B6C9B77-CB64-4F79-8BFE-0EBD20D75BC2They’ve been farmed,butchered, sold — commodified.

We joined this man on his obsessive quest to expose the traffickers.

THA BAK, Laos — He was up there somewhere, at the top of the hill, the man Karl Ammann had come to see. It would soon be night. The forest was all shadows and sounds. Ammann had driven across the country to reach this remote river village, and now he was finally here, looking to the top of the hill, ready to confront the person he believed had murdered more tigers than anyone in Laos. In the distance, he could hear them: dozens of tigers roaring.

Continue Reading »

comments Comments Off
May 18th, 2019 at 12:06 pm

Chinese millennials are rejecting dull factory jobs — and transforming the economy

E42DDF8E-82FC-492F-8478-776F31B02152Job seekers check out employment ads at a recruitment fair in Qingdao, eastern China. (STR / AFP/Getty Images)

Life as one of China’s industrial worker ants did not suit Liu Xu: waking up early in factory accommodation, working for 11 hours operating a machine in the tool-making factory, eating all his meals in the factory canteen and going to bed, only to wake up and do it again.

His parents spent most of their lives in deadening jobs — his father on construction sites and his mother in factories — but 23-year-old Liu Xu lasted just a year in a factory in the southern China city of Dongguan. Half of that was the time his company invested in training him to work the machine before he up and quit.

Like Liu, a generation of young Chinese is turning its back on the factory jobs that once fueled China’s growth — and they are helping to transform the economy by doing it.

“Life in the factory was really boring and repetitive,” Liu said. “Every day I walked into the factory, I felt like this was all there was to my life. I was going to end up in that factory forever.

Continue Reading »

comments Comments Off
22 predictions square