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The UK is about to start its first test of 5G-enabled autonomous vehicles

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This article was originally published by Christopher Carey on Cities Today, the leading news platform on urban mobility and innovation, reaching an international audience of city leaders. For the latest updates follow Cities Today on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube, or sign up for Cities Today News.

The UK’s first commercial lab to trial driverless cars using 5G and satellite technology has been launched as part of a four-year program supported by telco O2 and the European Space Agency.

The Darwin SatCom Lab – based at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire – will collaborate with firms looking to test connectivity solutions for connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs).

Companies are being invited to test proofs of concept using two Renault TWIZY electric cars, which the operator has converted into CAVs and fitted with LIDAR sensors to allow them to be controlled from the lab and driven around the Harwell campus.

Dr. Joanna Hart, Harwell Space Cluster Development Manager at Harwell Campus, said the lab “offers forward-looking companies the opportunity to harness the power of 5G and satellite communications and make their ideas a commercial reality,” adding the project is open to local and international firms  “who want to put theory into practice”.

Last mile

One proof of concept already underway at the campus tracks CO2 emissions of vehicles using LIDAR sensors, with satellite imagery being used to see the areas vehicles are traveling through and monitor local biodiversity.

The laboratory team is then able to calculate the emissions savings of taking different routes based on carbon capture from nearby trees, with O2 hoping the research will inform how its retail partners carry out last mile deliveries.

Derek McManus, Chief Operating Officer, O2, said the lab is “the next step in getting autonomous vehicles on the road and making the UK’s transport network greener.”

CAV growth

Over the past two years, interest in CAV technology has grown substantially in the UK, with the government’s 5G Urban Connected Communities scheme establishing testbeds across the West Midlands region.

In London, the Smart Mobility Living Lab – launched in 2018 as part of a collaboration between different partners in the mobility space, including the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL), Transport for London, Cisco, Zenzic and DG Cities – officially opened its doors last week, hosting a virtual ribbon-cutting.

The lab uses 24 kilometers of public roads in the borough of Greenwich and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford to create a complex testing environment for businesses and public sector organizations to test future mobility options.


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Published October 21, 2020 — 13:00 UTC

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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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Apple will replace AirPods Pro for free with faulty noise cancellation, static or crackling

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Today, exactly one year after Apple first launched the AirPods Pro — and thus the same day the very first AirPods Pro owners will see their one-year warranties expire — Apple has launched a repair program that offers free repairs or replacements for another whole year if your AirPods Pro experience issues with noise cancellation or static.

Specifically, Apple will fix:

Crackling or static sounds that increase in loud environments, with exercise or while talking on the phone

Active Noise Cancellation not working as expected, such as a loss of bass sound, or an increase in background sounds, such as street or airplane noise

Apple says only a “small percentage of AirPods Pro” are affected by the issues, but it apparently wasn’t just an early batch — Apple says affected units were manufactured “before October 2020,” meaning every AirPods Pro ever made might be eligible. That’s quite a recall if so. Apple says it will repair faulty AirPods Pro for two years after you first buy them.

We’ve heard complaints about degraded noise cancellation before, and at least one Verge editor has replaced their AirPods Pro under warranty. It’s nice to hear that Apple isn’t just cutting buyers off as soon as that warranty expires.

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This 55″ 4K TCL Smart TV Hangs on Your Wall for $200

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

TCL 55″ S434 4K Smart TV | $200 | Best Buy

Best Buy has an insane deal going for a brand new 55″ 4K TCL smart TV. It’s the S434, which is pretty baseline for TCL’s lineup, but at just $200, there’s little to complain about. TCL’s panels are plenty sharp and accurate, and with this set, you’ll get HDR10 compliance for enhanced color and brightness in supported games and video content. This model has Android TV onboard for all your app needs, and with an included voice remote, all your favorite content is just a shout away with the help of Google Assistant.

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