Nissan Develops Self Parking Chair

We use them every day, sometimes we pay a lot of attention and sometimes we just forget about them as we go about our business. I’m obviously talking about chairs, from the PL-6000 Gaming Chairs to those simple little pieces of plastic that you get at schools and offices. So why not use some technology to upgrade them, that’s what Nissan thought at least when they decided to use their self-driving car technology to upgrade their office chairs.

Typically self-driving cars can go from A to B, even managing to park themselves. Amongst the many car companies, Nissan is one of many companies working on self-driving cars for some time now, but in their latest reveal, they’ve put that very same technology into the office chairs, enabling them to “park themselves” at the clap of a hand.

Using computers hidden within the base of the chairs and a central command unit, the chairs are given their commands and return to their tables, neatly tucking away after a busy day in the office. In the video, it shows the chairs used in everything from boardrooms to classroom set ups.

While they have no plans to produce the technology and furniture for the public, I can see plenty of offices and schools wanting to save those precious moments at the end of the day when you just want to go home.

Mark Zuckerberg’s Neighbours Unhappy Again!

Mark Zuckerberg is not really ingratiating himself with his neighbours within the local but admittedly expensive community that is Liberty Hill in San Francisco. The extensive construction and the accompanied noise and disruption has not been a favourite with the fellow residents and now a parking dispute has again caused friction between the Facebook founder and his neighbours.

The aforementioned parking dispute involves Mark Zuckerberg’s security team “permanently’ and illegally occupying desirable parking spots in the area with two silver SUVs”. Below is an image to illustrate the alleged problem that has annoyed the fellow residents, as you can see, these vehicles are stationed next to the social network founder’s house.

It has annoyed the community to such an extent that it has distributed a letter to residents urging them to “complain to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) about the vehicles and also contact Zuckerberg’s residential security manager, Tim Wenzel” Below is an image of the letter that was obtained.

In response, a spokesperson for Mark Zuckerberg states “The security team’s cars are parked in accordance with local parking laws. The team strives to be sensitive to neighbour’s concerns and regrets any inconvenience.”

Disputes, in this case, can be perceived as rather silly with the potential to escalate out of all proportion, I think this has evolved from allegations in 2014 of persistent and noisy construction work followed by further allegations involving an apparent restraining order which had reportedly been filed by Mr Zuckerberg’s security team against a 62-year-old local man, leaving him temporary homeless in 2015. I do think there is also a perception that “rich” individuals do not respect the social etiquette within the community, but rather zoom in and develop an area without any consideration for residents.

It will be interesting to see if there are any further reports of alienation between both parties in the future.

Image courtesy of dnaindia

Is E-Ink The Future of Remote Controlled Traffic Signs?

Wouldn’t it be better to have signs that change themselves when you want to if you live in a city with a lot of traffic or events? Sydney’s State of New South Wales’ Road and Maritime Services seems to agree and started using Visionect’s digital signage to help with all the traffic changes happening around the city.

Sydney is well-known for having a lot of football and cricket matches events, so on those days, drivers are faced with a hectic traffic. Up until now, RMS used to put up and take down different signs to show traffic changes, but since they started using the e-ink signs, they say things just got a lot faster and easier.

The e-ink displays were used for the signs due to the fact that they use a lot less power, so hooking them up to a solar-powered battery wouldn’t be a problem. The signs are also equipped with wireless broadband and can be updated remotely, so you can update and turn them on or off with the press of a button. Now imagine placing them, taking them down and changing them manually… it’s a really great improvement, isn’t it?

For now, RMS rolled out 15 of these signs on George Street in the Sydney CBD and some in Moore Park area. However, the signs are so time and cost efficient that they can almost replace every sign which requires to be changed every now and then to reflect traffic changes. Will this be the future of traffic signs? What do you think?

Thank you The Register for providing us with this information

Almost 10,000 UK Driving License Details Leaked Online

It looks like the NSA or other government agencies might not be the only ones that have access to your personal details. Everyone with Internet access could have seen your address, name, email and photo just by navigating to a website. This is the case of a private parking ticket company by the name of PaymyPCN.net, who allegedly published one of their clients’ database online. It is said that a security flaw on the private parking firm’s website allowed public access to around 10,000 motorists.

“[The] breach at PaymyPCN.net demonstrates that even with basic IT security measures in place, perimeters are still permeable.” said Sol Cates, CSO at security vendor Vormetic. “In this case, it appears that, while motorists’ data and fine payments were encrypted once inputted into the PaymyPCN.net website, a backdoor link left the computer database wide open – providing access to private information provided to PaymyPCN.net by the DVLA. Although the information was encrypted, just as important is the control of access to the encrypted information – and this is where PaymyPCN.net appears to have failed,” he added.

Michael Green, a consumer activist, is said to be the one who uncovered the flaw after it had been “sent to a motorist in error”. The site is said to have been taken offline by PaymyPCN.net immediately after the breach, but it has since returned. PaymyPCN.net activities involve the collection of parking charge notices, acting as an agent of both private and public sector parking operators.

Thank you The Register for providing us with this information

Let RAY, the Robot Valet, Park Your Car

Here’s a valet you won’t feel obliged to tip: RAY, the robot valet, has started parking cars for visitors of Dusseldorf Airport in Germany. RAY is an automated forklift truck that will lift your car and park it into pre-designated parking bays.

The machine was developed by Serva Transport, and is designed to help travellers who are in a hurry. Slots can be booked in advance via a smartphone app. The traveller then drops off their car at a designated area, books in on the touchscreen monitor, and RAY does the rest. When the traveller returns, the car is brought back to the designated area – RAY has access to flight itineraries, so knows when you’re due back at the airport – and the owner drives away.

Since the drivers enter and exit their vehicle at the designated area, there is no need to for door clearance when parking, which saves space, meaning that RAY can squeeze 249 cars into its parking area.

Source: CNN

London To Get Smart Parking Sensors Installed In Roads From Next Week

Next week will see Westminster Council installing what they’re calling smart sensors in to their entire road network, these sensors will detect whether or not a parking bay is vacant and then relay that information to a smartphone app. The idea is simple, a spot becomes available and it appears on the smartphone app, your phone will then give you directions to that spot in the hope that it will cut the time people spend looking for somewhere to park. The end result is less frustration for the driver, less traffic and less carbon emissions by getting cars parked sooner. Of course, you then have the issue of 15 people going for the same spot at once, but it’s still better than driving around blind and unable to find any parking spaces.

This follows on from other parts of the world such as the scheme in Dublin, where the service ParkYa uses data from the council, local authorities and private operators to provide it’s own parking app. You’ve likely even seen newer multi-story car parks being fitted with realtime bay availability maps and bay lights, all in the aid of helping people park quicker.

Should the new scheme in Westminster prove successful the sceme could be rolled out across the rest of London, perhaps even in other cities around the UK and of course the rest of the world.

So what do you think, great idea, or a waste of money?

Thank you BBC for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia.