Driverless cars to be allowed on Swansea roads from next year

DRIVERLESS cars are to be allowed on public roads including in Swansea and south west Wales from next year.

Companies like Google have already made such technology famous by using such vehicles.

But the UK Government wants Britain to be at the forefront of the technology.

Measures to boost research will be announced by Business Secretary Vince Cable later.

Tests with driverless cars have so far been restricted to private roads.

MIRA, the automotive engineering firm, has tested its vehicles at an 850-acre site in the Midlands.

But the Government hopes to catch up with places like the US States of California, Nevada and Florida which have all paved the way for the vehicles to use public highways.

Google’s driverless car has done more than 300,000 miles on the open road in California.

Japan and Sweden have also made moves in this area, with 1,000 autonomous Volvos to be allowed on the roads by 2017.

Google plans to manufacture 100 self-driving vehicles. One prototype has just a stop/go button, with no steering wheel or pedals.

Toyota, Audi and Lexus have used Google’s technology, while manufacturers such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan and General Motors, are developing their own vehicles.

Some vehicles, such as certain models of Mercedes, already have some autonomous controls for parallel parking.

But the FBI has warned that driverless cars could be used as lethal weapons.

Swansea gets its very own Milky Way as Wales’ first starpath is laid

A glow-in-the-dark pathway known as a “Starpath” has been introduced in a Welsh park for the first time.

Groundbreaking technology means the path that runs through Bryn-y-Don Park in Swansea’s North Hill district now lights up at night.

Swansea Council is behind the UV-powered project with funding from the Welsh Government’s Tidy Towns initiative.

The spray-on technology generates its own energy during the day and then the special chemicals in the path interact to produce a glow at night.

Sybil Crouch, Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Sustainability said of the project: “This is the latest in a number of schemes to significantly improve Bryn-y-Don Park in North Hill for nearby residents and people who pass through the area every day.

“Not only does the Starpath look lovely at night, but it’s also sustainable and energy-efficient, capturing sunlight to enhance safety in unlit areas.

“It’s our goal to work with local residents to transform Bryn-y-Don Park from a neglected patch of land into a valued asset for the many communities it serves. This project shows how serious we are about realising our objective.”

Cloe Gerrard, who chairs the Friends of Bryn-y-Don Park group, said: “We’re thrilled with the new path and so happy that Swansea Council has been able to provide this for our community. It gives the Friends of Bryn-y- Don Park a fantastic point to progress from and you’ll hopefully be able to see many more positive changes soon.”

Hamish Scott, Owner of Pro-Teq Surfacing (UK) Ltd who invented the Starpath, said: “We’re delighted that Swansea Council recognise the benefits of Starpath, and our innovative re-surfacing methodology is now on the pathway that runs through Bryn-y-Don Park in North Hill.

“We’re overwhelmed by the public and media response for this product globally, and now Swansea has the first Starpath in Wales.”

Other recent improvements to Bryn-y-Don Park include a new play area for children. Swansea Council’s parks and highways departments have also cut back overgrown vegetation, cleared rubbish, made entrances more accessible and planted wildflowers.

New shrubs will also soon be planted.

Shark spotted off the coast of Britain could be heading to Swansea Bay…oh, and she could be pregnant

A 2,000lb shark may be making its way to Swansea Bay and experts believe she is pregnant.

The hulking great white shark which has been sighted 800 miles away from Britain could be pregnant – meaning a whole school of potentially killer fish.

The shark, which has been named Lydia, has become the first of its species, which are endangered, to be recorded crossing the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and she may be heading for our coastline with the intention of giving birth here.


[NEWS] Taxi drivers in credit fraud

TORONTO – Limo drivers and cabbies operating out of Pearson International Airport have allegedly been ripping off visitors to the GTA with a credit card fraud scheme.

Peel Regional Police say their investigators — in partnership with the Greater Toronto Airports Authority — recently discovered the scam, which targets travellers who use limousine and taxi services after landing at the airport.

“The credit card fraud occurs when the traveller pays for a limousine or taxi service with a credit card and the driver processes the payment with a manual swipe machine on a carbon copy receipt,” police explained. “This process records the victim’s full credit card number and personal details, which exposes the card owner to multiple fraudulent billings.”

The airport division criminal investigation bureau is actively investigating the fraud scheme, police said.

“When an electronic payment option is not available, travellers are encouraged to pay in cash when possible,” police advised. “Make sure to obtain the limousine or taxi license number if you have any concerns.”

Police suggest travellers check their credit card statements for any unauthorized transactions.

And they urge anyone who has experienced “fraudulent billing” or “suspicious transactions” after using limo or taxi services at Pearson to “notify their credit card provider immediately.”

Anyone with information regarding this credit card fraud scheme should call investigators at 905-453-2121, ext 3133, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

Limousine Services Have Very Little To Do With Driving!

Strange as it may sound, a chauffeur is not a driver. One of the many responsibilities of a chauffeur is to drive, but being a chauffeur is so much more. Drivers provide one thing; transportation from point A to point B. Drivers operate cabs, taxis, delivery trucks and tractor trailers. Chauffeurs provide complete service in every sense of the word. From the most luxurious limousine to the smart and humble town car service to the airport or other destination; every chauffeur knows that the experience must be flawless and without compare.

According to the all-knowing, great and powerful Oz (Wikipedia), the word chauffeur is derived from a French term meaning ‘stoker’. In the early 1900s, only the very wealthy were able to afford an automobile. Additionally, some of the very earliest automobiles were steam powered and required the firebox below the boiler to be stoked. These first automobile owners employed a chauffeur to heat-up the engine before a departing, chauffeur the owner around wherever they needed to go, and maintain the vehicle in the interim. The chauffeur was entrusted with the complete care of the automobile including learning how to fix it because of the frequent breakdowns. If the automobile was one of the first internal ‘explosion’ engines, the chauffeur was also given an allowance to make sure that they purchased enough essence from the local drug store. That’s right; essence, also known as good ‘ol gasoline or petrol, was first sold in drug stores along with cocaine cola and aluminum powder for “The remedy of any ailment under the sun!”.

Now as then, the chauffeur is someone to be trusted; a guardian of your pride after a little too much to drink, a trusted confidant on a long ride back from business, a good friend after years of repeat service. It doesn’t matter if you only use chauffeured service for your wedding limousine once in a lifetime, or you book corporate airport limo or sedan service twice a week! Every client is treasured and treated as the wealthiest landowner would have been more than a century ago at the advent of the chauffeur profession. Every chauffeur here at Sentinel Limousine knows that to provide the best limo service in Rhode Island and throughout the world we must know where we came from and who we really are. We are chauffeurs, and we are here to serve you.

Comedian Tracy Morgan discharged from hospital

Former 30 Rock star Tracy Morgan has been discharged from hospital, five weeks after being badly hurt in a car crash that left a fellow comedian dead.

The comedian will continue his recovery at home with an “aggressive outpatient program,” said spokesman Lewis Kay.

“He asked me to pass along his sincerest gratitude to everyone who has helped him get to this point.”

Morgan’s legs, nose and ribs were broken on 7 June when a Walmart truck crashed into his vehicle in New York.

The wreck killed comedian James McNair, who went by the stage name Jimmy Mack.

Morgan’s assistant, Jeffrey Millea and comedian Ardie Fuqua Jr were also injured in the crash.

Driver ‘was speeding’

On Thursday, Morgan’s lawyers sued Walmart for negligence, claiming the retailer should have known that its driver had been awake for more than 24 hours, and that a 700-mile commute from his home in Georgia to work in Delaware was “unreasonable”.

“As a result of Wal-Mart’s gross, reckless, wilful, wanton, and intentional conduct, it should be appropriately punished with the imposition of punitive damages,” court papers said.

The truck driver has separately pleaded not guilty to charges of death by auto and assault by auto charges.

Prosecutors said Kevin Roper had not slept for more than 24 hours before the crash on the New Jersey Turnpike, when he swerved to avoid traffic that had slowed down, ploughing into Morgan’s limo bus.

A report by the National Transportation Safety Board, said Mr Roper had been driving at 65mph in a 45mph construction zone shortly before the crash.

He had been on the clock for 13-and-a-half hours at the time of the crash, the report concluded. Federal rules permit truck drivers to work up to 14 hours a day, with a maximum of 11 hours behind the wheel.

In a statement issued Saturday, Wal-Mart said it was “cooperating fully” in the ongoing investigation.

“We know it will take some time to resolve all of the remaining issues as a result of the accident, but we’re committed to doing the right thing for all involved,” the retailer said.

Morgan was a series regular on Saturday Night Live for seven years and earned an Emmy nomination for best supporting actor for his role in the sitcom 30 Rock, in which he starred alongside Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin.

He was returning from a stand-up performance in Delaware when the crash occurred last month.