If there is one area that new technology is making an impact it is surely the area of transportation.
With self driving cars, satellite based navigation systems and electrically powered vehicles the advent of new technology is already making a big impact on transport.
Personally my good self prefers the tried and tested methods of getting around indeed yours truly is more than content to be propelled around the roads of Wycombe by my trusty internal combustion engine with the use of a proper paper map if one should become lost.
Did you see the article that appeared recently in the news section of this site headlined ‘Showcase of new ‘smart’ transport technology held in Aylesbury‘?
Apparently Buckinghamshire, well Fairford Leys in Aylesbury to be precise, is to be a test bed for some new and innovative transport technology funded by a grant of £4.5m. According to the news article the trials of the new technologies will include testing on:
- Roadside sensors to collect data about traffic movements and weather conditions and help guide self-driving cars.
- ‘Smart’ lamp posts made from a composite material, which last longer and are cheaper to make and could even support solar panels and wind turbines.
- Road surfacing that generates energy from moving vehicles.
By George! Why isn’t the new technology being tested in a town like High Wycombe? Surely Wycombe is a better proving ground with the hills, flat areas and other ‘challenging’ features of terrain?
Is £4.5m really being spent on these new technologies when areas of Wycombe like Frogmoor are so urgently in need of improvement?
In my opinion the three areas of new technology (above) are not likely to be scalable in terms of cost or usefulness indeed my good self would question why so much money is being spent even developing ideas that are likely to turn into ‘dodo’ projects.
My good self has a far better idea for a new transport technology. Why not create an ‘app’ for one of the newfangled smart portable telephones that detects when the phone is moving in a car and uses the internal sensors in the phone to identify ‘bumps’ and ‘jolts’ caused by the vehicle running over potholes in the road. When a pothole is detected the GPS location sensor in the phone could send the location of the pothole back to the powers that be so it can be repaired.
Or how about a camera that can identify fly tipped rubbish dumped beside the road and make an automatic report to the refuse department of the nearest local authority to get the rubbish cleared? The cameras could be fitted to buses so they are driven around the main roads of the town. The boffins in their labs have come up with ‘facial recognition’ technology so what about ‘fly tipping recognition’ technology?
Perhaps ‘road tax evasion’ cameras could also be installed on the towns buses to clamp down on road tax dodgers? The technology already exists and is in use by the DVLA however it’s only fitted to their own vans. Why not roll it out to vehicles that are always on the roads such as buses too? Instead of identifying untaxed cars parked beside the road it could catch untaxed vehicles that are in motion being driven on the roads.
In my opinion the ideas that millions of pounds are going to be spent on in Aylesbury are just a waste of time, in fact as far as my good self is concerned they rank alongside the trial of a ‘Carve-O-Matic’ device documented in the video (from The Muppets YouTube channel) below:
If there’s £4.5m to spend lets see the money spent on projects that would make a difference to peoples lives rather than wacky experiments that are unlikely to help anyone.
What do you think?
My blogs are published regularly here on the WycombeToday.com website.