Carticipate – iPhone ridesharing/liftsharing app

Described here. Location aware seems to be the main differentiator from other similar apps (like the UK Liftshare). I think that could be useful sometimes, and not other times – if I am planning my return trip from somewhere, then having the app be aware of where I am now isn’t all that useful.

Both Liftshare and Carticipate are also Facebook apps, which seems to be the way the world is going. As with the web n years ago, if you are not on Facebook you don’t exist. Sad but true.

DIY bike navigation system

Based on Arduino open source hardware, and using an Android phone for the communications and OS. Featured in this video, with links to further information below. The most fun thing I’ve put on this blog for a while, and impossible to dislike. Funny how it’s a student project, and that none of the bike companies have developed anything like this. Are they not interested, or is it just too early?

Ericsson connected electric car project

Is described and displayed here, and it is a rather nice one. About using M2M/IoT technology to give drivers more control over charging, but also using smart grid technology to ensure that the cars charge themselves when electricity is cheapest. Assuming the price mechanism works correctly then this should be when loadings on the power grid are lowest, helping to even things out and thereby reduce emissions. And the cost-savings and additional control helps to make electric cars a bit more palatable.

Next Bus London – here at last!

Well, actually it’s been here for a while but I’ve just remembered to post about it. Still, it is absolutely marvellous. As a frequent bus traveller, I really appreciate it. It does for buses what the platform display does for the tube – lets you know when the next one is coming so that you can make decisions about what to do, and incidentally feel calmer about just how long you are waiting.

The best thing for me is that it isn’t just about the stop that you are at, but also offers nearby ones, so that you can make a sensible judgement about whether to take another route.

Where the innovation in automotive telematics is going

Not into sustainability, that’s where. Listen to this podcast about how the car industry needs to ‘bring content into the car’ so as to sell more cars; if you are a glutton for punishment, listen to this one too. Weep a little, then think about how what needs to be done to hold the industry’s feet to the fire to make it actually give a damn about sustainability, rather than pointless greenwash.

Virtual assistant for drivers from AT&T

Demonstrated by AT&T, and described in this press release here. Lots of really interesting technology and business model innovation, with partnerships and cloud, natural language parsing and so on. Aimed at minimising driver distraction while providing information services  – there is no explicit sustainability angle, though it’s easy to see how the information services could include ones that would help influence better (i.e. more sustainable) driving behaviour.