Autonomous taxis have made their driverless debut in London

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Are London cabbies’ days numbered?

SELF-DRIVING taxis have hit the streets of London for the first time during a week-long trial in the capital.

The culmination of a 30-month development process lead by the government and industry-supported the DRIVEN autonomous vehicle technology consortium, the tests saw a collection of Ford Mondeo-based test cars complete short runs on a pre-programmed course on public roads through Stratford, in the east of the city, a short distance away from the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, venue for the 2012 Games.

While this isn’t the first time autonomous vehicles have been tested in an urban environment (the same self-driving research vehicles were put through their preliminary paces in Oxford earlier in the year), DRIVEN said these tests have been “the most ambitious” yet, due to the demands that come with driving in a megacity.

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Bikes are starting to replace delivery vans in London

 

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More and more people are switching to pedal powered couriers

Don’t be surprised if you see a bike piled high with parcels rushing past you in the cycle lane.

It’s probably one of the dozens of new cargo bikes that are replacing delivery vans across London.

From traders at Bermondsey Blue Market to businesses at London Bridge, more and more people are switching to pedal powered couriers.

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The world’s first rooftop infinity pool with 360-degree views is set to be built in London.

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The proposed Infinity London tower, whose construction could begin in 2020, would be 55 stories tall and adorned with a rooftop infinity pool with transparent sides and a transparent floor.

Swimmers would enter and exit the pool via “a rotating spiral staircase based on the door of a submarine, rising from the pool floor,” the company designing the pool said.

The pool’s designer, Alex Kemsley, explained to INSIDER how this actually works.

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Heat from subways to warm homes in London

London’s subway will be supplying green energy to warm up more homes around the borough.

A new project announced by the Islington council will redirect the heat from a Northern Line of London’s subway to vent to homes across the city, giving homeowners a new way to get through the cold season. The project will deliver cheap heating to 500 homes around the area. It will not only be saving consumers money, but also the environment from 500 tons of CO2 emissions.

 

 

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Drones form giant, glowing ‘Star Trek’ insignia over London

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The studio behind Star Trek Into Darkness took the film’s title literally, commissioning the flying of a giant, glowing Starfleet insignia in the night sky in London over the weekend. Comprised of 30 LED-illuminated quadrotors, the 308-foot-tall logo rotated in place 118 feet above ground, before dimming its lights alongside those of Tower Bridge and Big Ben in recognition of the WWF’s Earth Hour conservation effort.

 

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Phase one of UK’s Nationwide Electric Car Charging Network complete

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The Electric Car is making new inroads in the UK.

Back in July of 2011 we heard about reports of plans for a nationwide network of electric vehicle charging stations across the UK. Wind energy utility Ecotricity was installing charging stations in rest areas up and down the nations highways. Now CEO Dale Vince—who was interviewed in a live chat about building a wind energy empire—just posted on his blog that phase one of the Electric Highway is complete, and he is predicting that 2012 may just be the year of the electric car…

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London taxi drivers’ brains grow to navigate London’s streets

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Memorizing 25,000 city streets balloons the hippocampus.

Streets in Manhattan are arranged in a user-friendly grid.  Twenty dministrative districts, or arrondissements, form a clockwise spiral around the Seine in Paris. London is a different story. A map of its streets looks more like a tangle of yarn that a preschooler glued to construction paper than a metropolis designed with architectural foresight. Yet London’s taxi drivers navigate the smoggy snarl with ease, instantaneously calculating the swiftest route between any two points.

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60 recycled shipping containers transformed into London’s Boxpark Shopping Mall

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Recycling takes on a new form at Boxpark.

Boxpark is a new shopping mall built from standard-sized recycled shipping containers. Located in London’s ultra-hip east end, the shops are achingly trendy, with the majority selling tee-shirts, shoes and some jeans. All with attitude, of course.

The container village is painted black and white and contains 60 containers which are stacked two stories high and five rows wide. It is all a pop-up, easily plunked down…

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Britain cuts housing benefits that will make large areas of London unaffordable for the poor

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British welfare benefits allow London’s poor to live in areas such as affluent St. John’s Wood.

St. John’s Wood is the place the London A-listers choose to live.  It is a neighborhood of the wealthy with its leafy avenues lined with the mansions of Paul McCartney, Ewan McGregor and Kate Moss. And yet, they share the most unlikely neighbors — the Kastrati family.

 

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