Pocket-sized personal transporters could soon be seen on the streets of Tokyo

Read more at http://venturebeat.com/2015/08/07/pocket-sized-personal-transporters-could-soon-be-seen-on-the-streets-of-tokyo/.

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New city sponsored app makes parking downtown a little easier (San Antonio)

Author: Kathleen Petty

Late for a show at the Majestic Theatre or Tobin Center for the Performing Arts and not sure where to park? All you need is your smartphone. The city recently partnered with Pango, an app that shows users available parking spots. As part of the push to attract locals downtown and better serve visitors, the City Center Development and Operations Department issued a call for proposals of similar apps earlier this year. “Our desire is to provide as much information as we can to our citizens and to our guests about our parking locations,” says Jim Mery, deputy director of the department.

Read more at http://www.sanantoniomag.com/December-2014/Smart-Parking.

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MIT-Designed Copenhagen Wheel Finally Hits the Market, Turns any Bike Into a Hybrid Electric Vehicle

Author: Charley Cameron

When MIT unveiled designs for the Copenhagen Wheel in 2009, it generated a lot of buzz. The deceptively simple, self-contained system can turn any bike into a “smart electric hybrid” cycle by providing a kinetic boost for riders. Four years passed—during which time the Copenhagen Wheel received a handy, high-profile publicity boost as part of a plot line on the HBO’s Weeds—and now Massachusetts-based company Superpedestrian is finally accepting pre-orders for the wheel.

Read the full story at http://inhabitat.com/mit-designed-copenhagen-wheel-finally-hits-the-market-turns-any-bike-into-a-hybrid-electric-vehicle.

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‘Vending machine’ rents electric cars hourly

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Smart cities: adapting the concept for the global south

Author: Tim Smedley

Most people’s image of a smart city is of high-tech digital infrastructure and perfect public transport. Indeed much of the Smart City World Expo on show in Barcelona does little to dispel that. Among the exhibits you can ride an electric bike, sit in the latest electric car models and even talk to a robot assistant. What relevance can any of this have for the developing world?

Pieter van Heyningen, programmes manager from the Stellenbosch Innovation District (SID) in South Africa said: “Smart cities are very much a developed world concept. When we look at the criteria for smart cities we talk about smart governments, smart healthcare, smart buildings, smart mobility, smart infrastructure, smart technology. A recent report suggested this is a $3.3tn (£2tn) market opportunity. That’s huge. But if we look at the map of investments on a global scale in terms of clean technology, Africa doesn’t feature.”

The World Bank’s Chris Vein, chief innovation officer for global information and communications, shared his concern. “There is a saying ‘the future is here, it’s just not evenly distributed yet’. I think on behalf of our clients at the World Bank that is especially true. Cities in the developing world are all striving for economic growth and improved living conditions, but their capacity to do so varies wildly.”

Read the full article at http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2013/nov/21/smart-cities-relevant-developing-world.

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Crowd-funded Lego car powered by air

Author: Jane Wakefield

An air-powered car built of Lego, that can reach a top speed of around 20km/h (12mph) has hit the roads of Melbourne.

It was built by an Australian entrepreneur and a Romanian technologist who used more than 500,000 pieces of Lego to complete the car.

The crowd-funded project began with a tweet asking people to invest in an “awesome” start-up.

Four air-powered engines and 256 pistons, all built of Lego bricks, enable the car to move.

See more at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-25446912.

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