Category Archives: News

PARK(ing) Day Dublin

So its the 16th of September again and that only means on thing PARK(ing) Day. To celebrate PARK(ing) Day 2016 ParkYa has partnered with the Dublin PARK(ing) Day group to bring the cities a population a handy app to help them find the parking installations around the city.

The app displays the locations on a map view and when selected provide some details of each installation.

You can download the apps using the links below.

Parking Day - Details

Parking Day - Details

 

If you’d like to download ParkYa please use the links below.

A Car that won’t allow you to drink drive!

We all know how stupid it is too drink drive, however a vast number of us still do it. Well now thanks to new technology soon our car won’t let us. A new prototype system is currently being developed which has the ability to block drivers who are under the influence from driving.

DADSS The system is called the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety or DADSS for short. It was conceived through a joint venture with the American National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and a number of leading motor industry representatives. All of whom came together to try and eliminate the number of death on the roads related to drink driving.

So how does it work? Well the system itself is very clever, it has two detection features; a breath based system and a touch based system. The breath system tests the driver as they breath normally, while the touch based system test the driver when they touch either the push start button or the cars gear stick. This testing method means that it is not necessary to rely on the driver to take a test, the car tests the driver without there knowledge and determines their ability to drive based on their blood alcohol. The system can measure the drivers blood alcohol level in less that one second.

The system can also be tailored to each driver, meaning that it can be programmed to have a lower acceptable measurement for teenagers than say adults, this feature means that parents can implement a zero tolerance when it come to their teenage children attempting to drink drive.

DADSS is the most impressive system we have come across in the fight against drink driving and although the system is not expected to be available for about another five years it will be sure to have a positive impact when it eventually hits the roads.

To see more about the car that won’t allow you to drive drunk, check out the video below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yykyT4YRw4A

Plan suggests removing cars from Dublin City Centre

A new plan proposed by Dublin City Council has suggested some of the most radical changes to Dublin City Centre has ever seen.

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The new plan call for private cars and taxis to be banded from certain area’s of Dublin City Centre and in turn the creation of wider footpaths, more cycle lanes and pedestrianised streets.

The streets which the study has suggested should be pedestrainised are Suffolk Street and St.Stephen’s Green which will link up with the already pedestrianised Grafton Street. It is suggests that College Green become public transport only, with no private cars or taxis allowed only Dublin Bus and The Luas permitted along with cyclist and pedestrians. To accommodate these changes Dublin City Council suggests widening the footpaths and introducing two way cycle lanes.

Other streets mentioned in the study are Westmoreland Street, Bachelor’s Walk, D’Olier Street and Georges Quay. Westmoreland Street would be reserved for public transport and local access only. Bachelors Walk would be closed entirely to private vehicles but would allow taxis and public transport. D’Olier Street would again be public transport only with local access available. And Finally George’s Quay would mirror Bachelors Walk and be closed to private cars, but would allow taxi’s and public transport.

The new plan was undertaken as part of a study to improve the transport corridors that currently exist between College Green and Parnell Square. The hope is to redirect traffic around the centre of the city, but still provided access for deliveriess and carparks. The study proposes a €150 million investment in improving Dublin City Centres public transport and cycling and pedestrian facilities. Some of the suggested plans are expected to come into effect as early as 2017 when the new cross city Luas line arrives, with the remaining being implemented by 2023.

If you would like to view the suggested plans, they will be available online on the Dublin City Council website from Thursday 11th of June & also on in the various city libraries.

Ford Launches Go-Drive in London

Ford has launched a new car-sharing serivce in London called Go-Drive. The service is part of the motoring groups ongoing effort to explore smart mobility.

Ford Brings Dynamic Car-Sharing Experiment to London; First Serv

So how does it work? Well the system is very similar to that of the GoCar service we have here in Dublin. The Ford offering currently has 50 cars in 20 locations across London all of which are in busy or commuter areas. The scheme is currently in the testing phase with 2,000 people invited to test the service.

The cars available for Go-Drive are the Ford Focus Electric and the Fiesta EcoBoost. The service is a pay as you go service, with all costs included (even the London Congestion Charge), users can see the running cost via the convenient smartphone application. There service also offers a one way service and guaranteed parking on arrival.

Membership to the London based go-Drive is currently free and new members get £20 free credit to set them on their way. Ford are also testing similar car-sharing projects in Germany, India and America.

To see Ford’s Go-Drive in action check out the video below!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CALemUGQD6g

Tesla Powerwall

So you might be familiar with electric car company Tesla… we talk about them quite a bit here at ParkYa. They are one of the most popular electric vehicle manufactures in the US and they have recently begun expanding around the world. Well last week they announced a serious game changer but this game changer is not a car… its a energy source and its called the Tesla Powerwall.

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The Tesla Powerwall will see the companies bring its existing battery technology into the home as part of the companies overall vision of making the world use more renewable energy.

The Tesla Powerwall is a home battery that is powered mainly through renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power. Before the Powerwall anyone using solar energy was unable to use it during the night because well there simply was no sun and they were unable to store the energy that was acquired earlier that day, as a result they had to rely on the national grid for power during the nighttime hours, but with now the Powerwall thats all changed.

So, how does it work? Well when the sun is shinning the battery gets charged this is done via installed solar panels which are connected to the Powerwall. When nighttime falls power is taken from the battery which means that the need to draw power from the grid is greatly reduce, resulting in very low energy cost and in some case even profit as the unsued energy can be sold back to the grid.

So what make the Tesla Powerwall so special? Well although there have home batteries before none have been this affordable. The Tesla Powerwall starts at only $3,000! Its so reasonable because unlike the manufactures before Tesla have vast experience in the mass production of these batteries for their electric vehicles.

As you can imagine demand for the Powewall is high with over 38,000 orders already been taken since its launch, meaning Tesla are already sold out until the middle of 2016! When or even if the Powerwall ever makes it to Ireland remains to be seen but one thing is for sure at a price like that its popularity is only set to rise.

To find out more about the Tesla Powerwall check out the Tesla website or watch the video below!

Volkswagen : The Reduce Speed Dial

Volkswagen New Zealand have come up with a genius way to help parents reduce their speed when driving.. by enlisting their children to help.

The idea is that the children create the speed dial visuals which will be displayed in the car and in turn seen by their parents everyday. The children were asked to write all the speed dial numbers as well as a special message which will be visible at a certain speed. The messages are taken via an iPad and then a custom speed dial is created and fitted. It is hoped that these personalised messages will make drivers think twice about speeding!

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Its all part of a bigger experiment that Volkswagen are running. The experiment aims to disrupt driver behaviour at critical moments… that’s why the message only appears at a certain speed, for example at the speed limit of the road the driver most frequently takes.

The company have created four of these custom speed dials which are currently being used by four families in New Zealand. Volkswagen are following their progress closely and so far one family has recored no speed infringements since its installation. Another family managed to reduce their average speed by 19km (from 123km to 104km) and three out of four drivers have reduced their speeding in 100km zones by half!

To read more about this clever idea from Volkswagen check out their website or check the heart warming video below!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gqN2n4VRzY

 

Amazon Prime now delivering to your Audi?

Amazon Prime and Audi are working together on a pilot scheme which will enable them to start delivering right to your Audi.

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The service will be offered on a trail bases in Audi’s native Germany and will only be available to Amazon Prime customers. The service offers to have packages delivered to your car if you will not be at home or in the office to receive them.

So how does it work? Well that’s where it get interesting… The service will see Amazon Prime, Audi and DHL all come together to enable each delivery. The Amazon Prime user will have to give DHL exact instructions to their cars location, once the car has be found a code which has been provided to the delivery driver via Amazon & Audi will give the driver a one time only access to the cars boot. This is done through an Audi feature called Remote Hatch Release.

Amazon and in particular Amazon Prime are constantly looking for more convent ways to deliver their products to their customers, we all remember the drone video last year don’t we! However unlike that attempt this does seem like a valid method, however the idea a stranger having access to their car is not sitting well with people..

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the Poll below.

 

The Hitch-Hiking Knights

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If you happen to be traveling around the Clare or Galway area today and you see two hitch-hiking knights don’t worry you aren’t going mad! Behind the armour is Brendan and Jack, two members of Medieval Combate Ireland who are trying to raise money to enable them to compete in the IMCF World Championships in Poland next month.

The guys are looking for both sponsorship and an actual lift. They are aiming to hitchhike from Waterville in Kerry to the site of the 1504 Battel of Knockdown, in County Galway. So far they have had great success from the very kind people of Ireland, with the two arriving in Ennis last night and on route to Galway today.

You can follow their story on twitter or Facebook and if you happen to be in the area be sure to help a knight out :)

Best of Luck Guys! 

Ford opens tech lab in Silicon Valley

The line between the automotive and tech industry is becoming increasingly blurry. As we have seen in recent years technology is beginning to play a major part in our driving experience, this is due to a number of developments including; satellite navigation, parking assist and of course intuitive smartphone applications like ParkYa :). All of these technologies have contributed greatly to the changing landscape that is the automotive industry.

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Because of this recent development it probably doesn’t come as a huge shock to discover that Ford, who are one of the major players in the Automotive world have just opened their very own research centre right in the heart of Silicon Valley. This move showcases the companies intended vision going forward within this ever changing industry. Ford have stated that this new centre would develop new technologies as well as further improve existing technologies for the mass market.

The lab will be led by Dragos Maciuca, a man who is very familiar with technology innovation having previously been a senior engineer at Apple. The main focus over the next few years is expected to be the continuing development of onboard internet and autonomous driving (driverless cars) which may possibly lead to Ford becoming a car service leader in the future. Another interesting advancement Ford are rumoured to be working on is Modular Updates. This technology means that you would no longer have to update your car in order to the get the latest technology instead certain hardware such as your infotainment system could be easily swapped out & updated at your local dealership.

Ford however aren’t the only automotive company to have their own research centre, many companies have had similar ideas and have actually been in Silicon Valley a lot longer. Companies such as Mercedes-Benz, General Motors, BMW and Nissan all have development centres in the area. Although with around 125 employees Ford will be the largest, adding further weight to the argument that cars and technology now go hand in hand.

 

Call for stricter penalties for cycle lane parking

Concerns have been raised by a number of cycling groups after recent Garda figures revealed that only three fines a week are imposed for cycle lane violations. The figures which were revealed by the Garda Press Office show that 144 tickets were issued in 2014 for cycle lane offences, these fines are issued under two categories;

  • Failure to comply with traffic signs.
  • Prohibited driving in a cycle lane.

Both of these offence come with a €60 fine and one penalty point.

According to the cycling groups the relatively low figures display the lack of detection and enforcement for these offences. They argue that although the government are continuing to encourage and promote cycling in the country they are not enforcing the laws which are established to protect the cyclist, such as the dedicated cycle lane system. Because of this the groups are calling on the Transport Minister to change an existing law which allows drivers to park in cycle lanes for up to 30 mins if they are delivering goods, they say this law creates a loophole for drivers and it needs to be rectified to enable further enforcement.

The enforcement of cycle lane violations is predominately done by the Garda, although some county councils such as Cork have enabled their traffic wardens to issue tickets regarding cycle lanes violations.

What are your thoughts on cycle lane parking, let us know by taking our poll below!