Friday, March 2, 2018

Transport Technology in New Town

Three electric buses have been delivered recently in New Town. These are procured jointly by Hidco and Coal India. These are air-conditioned, 32 seaters and have special charging stations at AA3 Bus Terminus, Pride Hotel Building Bus Terminus in AA1 and near Eco Urban Village at AA2. A committee with Hidco, NKDA and a representative of PVD (Public Vehicles Directorate) have been formed to suggest routes and timings where these buses would run. Initially, no fares would be levied during the trial runs, and the objective is to give a connectivity in certain pockets where buses don't reach and residents are dependent on totos and autos. I think of the inter-terminal coach services between the airport terminals in Delhi and other places. The buses have got safety certificates from ARA  (Automobile Research Association of India) at Pune and are awiting registration with PVD in Kolkata. Of course, the range of travel (150km on one charge), charging time safe speed, driver-helper shifts and other factors will have to be considered by the committee.

New AC Electric Buses in New Town
Recently, representatives of Zoomcars discussed with us the possibility of introducing self-driven electric vehicles on a public hiring scheme. Quite like the GPS tagged Apps driven public shared bicycles that are already in operation in New Town, the idea is to have driver-less rent-an-electric-vehicle (like e2o ) using apps. Of course, one has to register beforehand and have driving licence that will have to be scanned and uploaded and approved before registration on-line is approved. Public charging points will help take the matter forward as the EVs will have to be kept charged.

Recently, representatives of Pratt & Whitney discussed with us the possibility of having electric three wheelers on a shareable basis roughly like an Ola/Uber. Locating a local site for charging stations of 150 such eTotos is an area they are looking to solve, they informed. I suggested time sharing in existing parking lots near Axis Mall / Home Town etc where the eTotos could be charged during 10pm-6am on payment of a fee.

New Town Dockless Bi-Cycle Sharing (watch video)

Meanwhile, PEDL, who is operating the public cycle sharing scheme in New Town is looking at expanding to Sector 5 Salt Lake while Bike Taxis which are operating in New Town and Salt Lake are looking at expanding to KMC area. Also, at NKDA we have taken a decision that all paid parking areas would be slowly integrated with Apps and digital sensors (ultrasound or magnetic induction) so that car users would know in advance the availability of parking spaces, NKDA would be able to cross verify the quantum of revenues collected and discount pricing through intelligent software at the back-end could free up spaces taken up on roads at least during off-peak hours.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Institute For Future Cities: "Light As a Service"

Ms Manjari Chakraborty (Br DHC), Dr Richard Bellingham, me, Robert Rogerson, Debapriya Biswas,
Debjit Ganguly: Yesterday (28 Feb 2018) at Hidco

Daniel Broby, joining in from Glasgow, Scotland over Skype
At last BGBS, we from NKDA had signed an MoU with the University of Strathclyde's Institute of Future Cities. Yesterday, we had a detailed meeting at Kolkata with Dr Bellingham, Director of the Institute of Future Citiesand Robert Rogerson Deputy Director for Institute of Future Cities. Daniel Broby and George Pasky joined in from Glasgow, Scotland, UK over Skype. It was snowing in Sctland and weather was harsh and the connectivity wasn't very good. but we managed. Dr Robert is doing work on Blockchain and time stamping of blocks while the second professor is doing work on geothermal energy.

We decided to collaborate on several areas such as renewable energy, fintech and data observatory.

In renewable energy, the concept of 'light as a service' was discussed where the lifetime costs for illuminating streets could be lowered using geothermal  and solar energy as supplements, efficient light accessories, controlling level of illumination by smart controls, waste to energy, multitasking street poles for data connectivity, pollution monitoring and innovation district.

In Fintech, fast broadband access, large capacity local servers and blockchain stratups using the Institute's atomic clock for time stamping the blocks could be looked at.

In Data Observatory, a Centre of Observation in Kolkata was discussed, using public cycles and buses to monitor air quality parameters among other things.

A scoping memorandum would be proposed by Dr Bellingham shortly based on which future collaboration would be founded.