Edinburgh Tram Tale

Edinburgh Tram

The city of Edinburgh, Scotland, has a new/old tram that is going live soon. BBC Scotland web editor Steven Brocklehurst chronicled the ups and down of the tram development below.

However, the downs are difficult to convey, but luckily the Edinburgh Evening News has this gem:

A MYSTERY prankster has tinkered with the Edinburgh Trams’ logo to create a more “honest” design amid plans to blanket the city with the re-branded insignia.

Tram stops are set to be plastered with stickers of the redrawn logo which reduces the original interconnecting route map design to a single line – a parody on the heavily culled tram network.

The simplified design already features on various lamp-posts across the city but it is understood Leith – the land of the promised trams – can expect to be carpeted by sticker vandals.

The Logo redesign is above.

The BBC article is a highly recommend read, as it has been very amusing to follow the crazy developments all these years:

Trams will return to Edinburgh’s streets for the first time in almost 50 years, when the service begins on Saturday. However, in the decade since the first money was allocated to the project, the price has doubled, the network has halved and it has taken twice as long to build as was first thought.

Edinburgh’s tram “network” is now just part of one of the original lines, stretching from the airport to the city centre. It had been intended to reach the waterfront at Leith and Newhaven, and there were to be other lines too, but they fell away as the troubled project rumbled on.

The worst parts of the whole ordeal was the Scottish Government had to financially bail out the Tram, repeatedly, and the people of Edinburgh had to deal with huge construction inconveniences. Building the Colorado Hyperloop will be a mess (hopefully better mess than with the tram) but it can and will be eventually built!

I’ll leave you with this music video… 😉 and then read this short story in the Scotsman.

Driverless Cars and the Colorado Hyperloop

Google Driverless Car

Google Driverless Car

Important development with Google wanting to develop and deploy more driverless cars. I dont believe it will negatively effect the use of the hyperloop. It may even bolster it as the hyperloop will be for long distance travel, but the short leg to and from the hyperloop station will be with the battery powered driverless cars. As with the hyperloop, everything about the cars will be automated, as the BBC reports.

The most significant thing about the design is that it does not have any controls, apart from a stop/go button.

For early testing, extra controls will be fitted so one of Google’s test drivers can take over if there is a problem.

The controls will simply plug in, and Mr Urmson believes that over time, as confidence in the technology grows, they will be removed entirely.

The rapid nature of development that will see them possibly in the next year. Will the general public be pursuaded? I think so:

Advocates claim that autonomous cars have the potential to revolutionise transport, by making roads safer, eliminating crashes, and decreasing congestion and pollution. In the year to June 2013, more than 23,500 people were killed or seriously injured in road traffic accidents in the UK, according to government figures.

The development of other technology will key to the hyperloops eventual adoption. Even if the “other” technology is point to point, rapid, efficient, driverless transit machines (cars, airplanes, boats, helicopters/segways….).