Technology

With news that Volvo will only be making electric and hybrid vehicles from 2019, many are questioning if the UK's energy infrastructure can cope with a huge increase in electric cars. The number of electric vehicles registered last year leapt by 50%, but that only amounts to 100,000 vehicles – compared to the overall figure of 30 million cars on our roads. Volvo evidently believes there will be a huge take-up of electric cars very soon. But how will our power grid cope?
A new update for Apple's operating system will make it easier to avoid being distracted by phone calls, messages and other alerts when driving. The iOS 11 update that arrives in Autumn for iPhones and iPads will include a Do Not Disturb feature which, when turned on, can detect when the user is driving and block calls and other alerts which may be a distraction from the road.
Airbus plans to test a flying car prototype by the end of 2017, in a development that could dramatically ease congestion in the future. The news was revealed by Airbus's chief executive, Tom Enders, at a recent technology conference in Germany. Airbus, one of the world's biggest aircraft manufacturers, set up a special unit last year to develop flying vehicles, called Urban Air Mobility.
Finally, Google has branded its self-driving car unit: Waymo is a self-contained entity spun out from the tech firm’s Alphabet holding firm. The unit’s chief executive, John Krafcik, spoke about the new name at an event in San Francisco on Tuesday, calling Waymo a “new way forward in mobility”.
Back in 2010, the electric car revolution appeared to be underway. Car makers around the globe were revealing all kinds of EVs – either in development, or, like the Tesla Model S, about to go to market. But fast-forward six years and the electric car industry simply hasn't ballooned into the success story manufacturers and governments hoped for. In the United States, the segment has grown from 2.3 per cent of the industry in 2008 to just 2.8 per cent in 2016
Ford is testing new technology which will help drivers avoid red lights. The system works by taking traffic light timing data from roadside units and providing motorists with a recommended speed in order to hit the next green light. Ford says UK motorists who drive every day spend an average of two days a year at red traffic lights, so the prospect of such a system will be welcomed by many.
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