Posted: 29 Jan 2016 10:51 PM PST
The WEpod driverless vehicles were put to the test yesterday, and will gradually make their way to public roads this summer.
Schultz van Haegen, the Dutch Minister of Infrastructure, launched the test phase of WEpod driverless vehicles on the campus of Wageningen University, and announced that if this phase turns out to be a success, a route expansion is in place along the Food Innovation Strip, to the Ede-Wageningen intercity railway station. Gelderland became this way the first region to see self-driving vehicles on public roads.
During this test phase, not only the technology that keeps this vehicle moving will be put under a microscope, but also such aspects as certification, insurance, liability, human behaviour, legislation, and road management and design. To bring all of these together, educational institutions will collaborate with companies and authorities in several different areas.
WEpods are definitely not the first driverless shuttles around, since there have been initiatives all around the world, with results such as the Rotterdam Rivium Park shuttle, the Heathrow shuttles and the Masdar City pods in Abu Dhabi. However, the Dutch shuttles will be the first ones to drive on public roads, in normal traffic.
The shuttles measure 275 cm in height, 199 cm in width, 393 cm in length, and provide room for up to 6 people in their cabins. Doors are operated automatically and there’s also a platform lift for wheelchairs. Don’t expect the WEpods to be lightning fast, as they can only get to 40 km/h (25 km/h in the test phase). If it wasn’t already obvious, these are electric vehicles, as creating a driverless shuttle that uses conventional fuels wouldn’t have only been an incredible disaster, but it also would have defeated the entire purpose of the WEpods.
“People will always want to travel. It is only the way in which they travel that will change,” explained Conny Bieze, a member of the Provincial Executive. “This is certain. With this pilot, we can help shape the future. This initiative will contribute to the emergence of new forms of public transport. This innovative approach is seamlessly in line with the ambitions of the innovative Food Valley Region.”
“With the WEpod, we are entering a completely new stage of the voyage of discovery that the Netherlands embarked on with the aim of making transport more flexible, safer and cleaner,” concluded Minister Schultz. “With this project we are taking new steps towards making self-driving transport a reality in practice. It is only through practical testing that we can acquire new knowledge, not just technical knowledge, but also knowledge regarding safety, liability and privacy. Moreover, this initiative opens up new economic opportunities for our automotive sector.”
Things really seem to be moving in the right direction as far as transport is concerned, at least in some parts of Europe. Also this week, Germany opened the first 3 miles of a 60-mile bicycle highway, which truly sounds mind-blowing, considering that other European countries aren’t able to build a normal driveway that long.
Posted: 29 Jan 2016 09:52 PM PST
What better way to kick off the weekend than with a bundle of entertaining games? Walyou Deals offers you a new bundle of four indie games that will make you forget this week’s troubles. Best of all, you get to pay exactly the amount that you want in order to get just some or all of them.
Walyou Deals’ current Pay What You Want bundle features some really interesting multi-platform games that will provide you countless hours of joy both at home and on the go. These may not be very new, but at the time of their launch, they were received positively by critics. More than that, these games are right up the alley of nostalgic gamers.
The first game in the bundle, Crow by Sunside Games, was considered one of the best iPhone games ever when it was launched, back in 2012. This one combines the ancient battle of exploration with brutal battles, so chances are that you’ll be at the edge of your seat most of the time. One of the aspects that impressed critics the most is the visual gaming experience, which truly is stunning in Crow. It should also be noted that this video game was created using Sunside’s in-house game platform Radiance Glow.
Up next is Alum by Crashable Studios, a point-and-click adventure for the modern gamer. Available on Mac OS X 10.6+ and on Windows XP or later, Alum tells the story of a character that crosses icy lands and faces frightening epidemics. Over the 7 to 10 hours of gameplay, you’ll get to see more than 70 hand-drwawn backgrounds and will listen to an all original soundtrack while solving intuitive puzzles.
Deadly 30 by Headup Games, as its name suggests, brings 30 days and nights of horrific adventures. Even though it may look like a simple platformer, Deadly 30 combines elements of tower defense with retro Contra style gameplay. You get three characters with different characteristics, that you can play at the same time, and you are able to upgrade weaponry in order to slash through hungry zombies.
Not at last, Drive to Hell by Ghost Crab Games features five unique levels and four difficulty settings, and while it may not be a long game, it is a very entertaining one. With an endless survival mode and more than a dozen of power-ups and weapons, you need to get your revenge on the Demon King.
As usual with Pay What You Want items, you need to go to Walyou Deals, register an account and log into it, and pay an amount that you’re comfortable with. Paying at least $1 gets you Drive to Hell and Deadly 30, while beating the average will provide you access to the entire bundle. If you manage to enter the leaderboard at any point of the sale, you get an entry to our current giveaway, featuring Star Wars: The Complete Saga, and a BB-8 app-enabled droid. Furthermore, 10% of all proceedings go to the Save the Children charity.
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