Google’s self-driving car CTO departs the project

Google’s self-driving car CTO departs the project

Google’s self-driving car project is losing Chris Urmson, who served as the unit’s CTO and lead technical resource after going the company from Carnegie Mellon. Urmson has considerable status among roboticist in the world of autonomous vehicles, but said in a Medium post announcing his departure that he was “ready for a fresh challenge,” without specifying what exactly he’s doing next.

Urmson called being part of the project “a tremendous privilege and honor,” and said he has “every confidence act the mission” of building a fully self-driving car at Google is in “capable hands.”

He isn’t the only member of that team to depart recently, however: The New York Times reports that two other engineers on the project, Dave Ferguson and Jiajun Zhu, who work specifically on machine vision tech, have also left, with the specific aim of building a new, still stealth startup.

The move comes just a day after Google self-driving car unit CEO John Krafcik spoke to Bloomberg about the project. Krafcik spoke about the team’s makeup in his interview, saying it contained ” a surprising number of car geeks,” and that the group included “a lot of hard-core software-coding types as well.”

Krafcik joined Google in September 2015 from Hyundai, where he was CEO and President of the company’s U.S. operation.

Via Recode

Featured Image: Chesnot/Getty Images
Source: TechCrunch

Tecla’s tech makes Pokémon Go more accessible for wheelchair users

Tecla’s tech makes Pokémon Go more accessible for wheelchair users

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Toronto-based B corporation Komodo OpenLab thought Pokémon Go using its Tecla product, an assistive hardware device designed to make it easier to use smartphones, tablets and users for people who might not generally be able to interact with these gadgets, including, for example, wheelchair users with spinal injuries or multiple sclerosis.

As you can see from the video above, the Tecla controller installed on the users’ wheelchairs allow control over iOS or Android devices paired via Bluetooth. A control unit switches the target device for the hardware controller between their wheelchair, and the smartphone, and it also works with single or dual switches, including those that respond to light touch and sip-and-puff switches for users with less range of motion in their hands.

The team behind Tecla first did some feasibility testing around use of their system with Go in late July, but were able to run an actual field test with the help of local Toronto Tecla users Neil and James. The result? Some freshly caught Pokémon, as you can see in the video above.

Source: TechCrunch

The social app redundancy engine

The social app redundancy engine

Tumbled glass has a definite appeal: It’s eye-catching, has a pleasant variety of colours, and feels nice in the hand. And making it just takes time, and repetitive motion – throw some glass in a rock tumbler for about a week and voila – what comes out is better than what came in. But it’s also ultimately just glass.

The social apps we use every day are starting to look a lot like tumbled glass.

If you subscribe to the notion that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, this past week has made Facebook the sincerest technology company in existence, and Snapchat the most flattered.

On Tuesday, Instagram launched Stories, which didn’t even bother changing the name of the product it was copying, Snapchat Stories. Facebook-owned Instagram wasn’t shy about the similarity, either: Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom freely gave Snapchat credit for the concept, which if you’re out of the social loop, involves letting users post photos and videos strung together in a “story” that expires after 24 hours.

Then, on Friday, Facebook proper began testing an experiment whereby the mobile app opens directly to a camera window atop a user’s feed, which makes use of Facebook acquisition MSQRD’s selfie filters for an Olympics tie-in. Sure, it’s a special case tied to a specific event, and available only in Brazil (makes sense, Olympics are there) and Canada. Canada is the more interesting component, because the great white north is normally where companies run tests ahead of big U.S. roll outs, since the market is so similar but low-risk due to its much smaller size.

TechCrunch Facebook Camera Feed

Opening direct to a camera definitely drives that kind of engagement, especially with younger audiences. We know that because that’s how Snapchat works. Which is where Facebook got this idea. In an interview with The Verge, FB product manager Sachin Monga explained it’s designed to give everyday users “this magical AR experience.” It’s no Systrom-style shoutout, but Snapchat is widely regarded as pioneering broad consumer use of augmented reality through its own dynamic selfie filters.

These two examples so close to one other in time would probably be enough to make my point, but TechCrunch’s Josh Constine also found out that Facebook had fully built but then scrapped the launch of a Snapchat Stories clone on Facebook itself.

Meanwhile, it’s not entirely a one-way street. Snapchat launched Memories earlier this month, which is a pretty directly comparable offering to Facebook Moments. It not only brings some Facebook style permanence to a social network that perviously leaned heavily on ephemerality, but it also introduced the ability to pull content from your camera roll to snap, which allows brands and publishers to treat it more like Facebook and Instagram as an audience engagement channel.

Snapchat MemoriesI’m all for refinement, and I don’t think any technology company is wrong for identifying an effective interaction model or product, and trying to make it even more effective, or better suited to their own audience: That’s how we get nice things. But I can’t escape the feeling that the social space is starting to feel like so much tumbled glass, with a lot of retread and few new paths.

Sure, with more novel efforts, we’ve had some goofs. Beme. Peach. Twitter (I kid, sort of). It’s a list that includes some companies with a lot of early excitement, and founders who should know a thing or two about social. At least, though, they had some sharp edges, and it’d be nice to see a few more of those coming from the players who can stand to absorb the most risk.

Source: TechCrunch

Pokémon Go drives a surge in smartphone backup battery sales

Pokémon Go drives a surge in smartphone backup battery sales

Early on in the Pokémon Go hype cycle, there were signs that players were driving a significant uptick in sales of backup batteries, like the Mophie units you may be familiar with that offer USB connections for topping up mobile devices while you’re away from an outlet. Now, research from analytics firm NPD Group goes beyond early anecdotal evidence to show that in fact, unit sales across the portable power pack segment saw a 101 percent spike in the two weeks spanning July 10 and July 23, as compared to the same period last year.

Overall demand for mobile batteries has been high in general this year – NPD days sales are up 35 percent year-over-year on a 12-month measure as of June 2016. But between that time and the launch of Pokemon Go in early July, the tracker was actually showing a slowdown in sales for the category overall, with only a four percent increase for the six weeks prior to Go’s debut. Total sales for the two weeks where the big Go spike occurred were at almost 1.2 million units in total.

The growth wasn’t necessarily entirely organic: backup battery makers have been pitching press and customers alike hard with the Pokemon Go angle. RAVPower had reps on-hand at a meetup event in San Francisco for the game, and Griffin offered a discount on units to capitalize on similar outings. And in a Fortune article, RAVPower, Scosche and Anker all said they saw considerable uplift in sales for their portable powerhouses.

This is obviously good for companies that make portable smartphone chargers, but its’ not great for users, and not just because of added expense. The batteries that power most of our mobile computing devices measure their effective life in cycles – that is, the more times you fully deplete them and then charge them up again, the shorter they’ll last. Go sessions rapidly reducing charge means more cycles, which means less time until you need to get the battery swapped out or buy a new phone, external powerbanks or no.

But enough fun-policing: The bottom line is that a mobile game with the consumer reach of Pokemon Go can have significant impact on the broader ecosystem, even beyond the realm of people directly targeting the market like companion app makers.

Featured Image: PokemonGoItems on Etsy
Source: TechCrunch

Mercedes-Benz said to plan EV sub-brand, with multiple SUVs and sedans

Mercedes-Benz said to plan EV sub-brand, with multiple SUVs and sedans

Mercedes-Benz isn’t just planning one or two all-electric vehicle options to woo customers away from competitors including BMW and Tesla who are further along with their EV lineups – they have four models in the works, according to sources speaking to Bloomberg. These cars will be offered under a new sub-brand with a new name, per the report.

The first of these will likely come at the Paris Motor Show, which happens in October, and at which Mercedes-Benz CEO Dieter Zetsche has also promised an electric vehicle from the company will be revealed. But Bloomberg says the lineup will include two electric SUVs, and two electric sedans, all of which are currently set to go to market by 2020. The first, which is the one that we’ll apparently see at the Paris show, will be an SUV, with an impressive max range of about 500 km (310 miles) on one charge.

This prototype vehicle, if it indeed boasts that kind of range in addition to the cargo capacity advantages of a sport utility, would have a lot of potential among EV competitors. Tesla’s Model X, which is the closest production vehicle comparable to what it sounds like Mercedes is going to reveal, notably hits the exact same max range when the 250-257 mile on the P90 and P90D variants is translated into the European testing method.

Of course, there are a lot of caveats there, not least of which is that the Mercedes truck doesn’t actually exist yet, while Tesla is shipping Model X units to customers. We also don’t know much about the German automaker’s consumer plans beyond what Bloomberg is reporting – though the results of its efforts in transport trucks is a promising sign it has its legs underneath it when it comes to electric drivetrains and battery tech.

Mercedes has the hybrid E-Class and the electric drive option B-Class in terms of existing electric vehicles, but the B-Class boasts a max range of just 87 miles, so it’s not exactly a Model S killer. In general, more EV competition in the consumer space is good for the entire market, so here’s hoping Mercedes does indeed have some strong offerings that actually hit the roads over the next few years.

Source: TechCrunch

Nissan’s working BladeGlider sport EV prototype calls to car lovers

Nissan’s working BladeGlider sport EV prototype calls to car lovers

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Nissan is bringing a working version of the BladeGlider all-electric sport concept it first revealed in 2013 to Rio to ride the hype wave of the Olympics. The car is cool enough to merit hype in its own right, as a performance-engineered zero emission EV from a company that typically stays in the more conservative end of the market with staid offerings like the Nissan Leaf.

Now, first, let me preface what I’m about to say by acknowledging that the BladeGlider is indeed cool, as a car, as something that looks like a convincing set piece from a Luc Besson sci-fi epic, and as an engineering project. It’s a technological feat that many engineers and designers clearly put a lot of time and effort into.

But I find it very hard to ignore that the name “BladeGlider,” along with its two color options of “Cyber Green” and “Stealth Orange,” make it sound like product we’re talking about here is actually the latest 5-bladed, garishly colored razor monstrosity from Gilette or Schick.

Okay, branding aside, this “EV for car lovers,” as it’s described by Daniele Shillaci, Executive Vice President of Global Marketing and Sales at Nissan, is genuinely interesting as a fully functioning example of where the automaker sees the performance end of the EV market heading.

  1. Nissan BladeGlider brings cutting edge Intelligent Mobility to l

    RIO DE JAMEIRO, Brazil (August 4, 2016) – Nissan Motor Co., Ltd today unveiled the working prototype of its futuristic BladeGlider vehicle, combining zero-emissions with high-performance in a revolutionary sports car design. The vehicles, developed from concept cars first shown at the Tokyo Auto Show in 2013, have arrived in Brazil to symbolize future technologies that will combine Intelligent Mobility, environmentally friendly impact and sports-car driving capabilities.
  2. Nissan BladeGlider brings cutting edge Intelligent Mobility to l

    RIO DE JAMEIRO, Brazil (August 4, 2016) – Nissan Motor Co., Ltd today unveiled the working prototype of its futuristic BladeGlider vehicle, combining zero-emissions with high-performance in a revolutionary sports car design. The vehicles, developed from concept cars first shown at the Tokyo Auto Show in 2013, have arrived in Brazil to symbolize future technologies that will combine Intelligent Mobility, environmentally friendly impact and sports-car driving capabilities.
  3. Nissan BladeGlider brings cutting edge Intelligent Mobility to l

    RIO DE JAMEIRO, Brazil (August 4, 2016) – Nissan Motor Co., Ltd today unveiled the working prototype of its futuristic BladeGlider vehicle, combining zero-emissions with high-performance in a revolutionary sports car design. The vehicles, developed from concept cars first shown at the Tokyo Auto Show in 2013, have arrived in Brazil to symbolize future technologies that will combine Intelligent Mobility, environmentally friendly impact and sports-car driving capabilities.
  4. Nissan BladeGlider brings cutting edge Intelligent Mobility to l

    RIO DE JAMEIRO, Brazil (August 4, 2016) – Nissan Motor Co., Ltd today unveiled the working prototype of its futuristic BladeGlider vehicle, combining zero-emissions with high-performance in a revolutionary sports car design. The vehicles, developed from concept cars first shown at the Tokyo Auto Show in 2013, have arrived in Brazil to symbolize future technologies that will combine Intelligent Mobility, environmentally friendly impact and sports-car driving capabilities.
  5. Nissan BladeGlider brings cutting edge Intelligent Mobility to l

    RIO DE JAMEIRO, Brazil (August 4, 2016) – Nissan Motor Co., Ltd today unveiled the working prototype of its futuristic BladeGlider vehicle, combining zero-emissions with high-performance in a revolutionary sports car design. The vehicles, developed from concept cars first shown at the Tokyo Auto Show in 2013, have arrived in Brazil to symbolize future technologies that will combine Intelligent Mobility, environmentally friendly impact and sports-car driving capabilities.
  6. Nissan BladeGlider brings cutting edge Intelligent Mobility to l

    RIO DE JAMEIRO, Brazil (August 4, 2016) – Nissan Motor Co., Ltd today unveiled the working prototype of its futuristic BladeGlider vehicle, combining zero-emissions with high-performance in a revolutionary sports car design. The vehicles, developed from concept cars first shown at the Tokyo Auto Show in 2013, have arrived in Brazil to symbolize future technologies that will combine Intelligent Mobility, environmentally friendly impact and sports-car driving capabilities.
  7. Nissan BladeGlider brings cutting edge Intelligent Mobility to l

    RIO DE JAMEIRO, Brazil (August 4, 2016) – Nissan Motor Co., Ltd today unveiled the working prototype of its futuristic BladeGlider vehicle, combining zero-emissions with high-performance in a revolutionary sports car design. The vehicles, developed from concept cars first shown at the Tokyo Auto Show in 2013, have arrived in Brazil to symbolize future technologies that will combine Intelligent Mobility, environmentally friendly impact and sports-car driving capabilities.
  8. Nissan BladeGlider brings cutting edge Intelligent Mobility to l

    RIO DE JAMEIRO, Brazil (August 4, 2016) – Nissan Motor Co., Ltd today unveiled the working prototype of its futuristic BladeGlider vehicle, combining zero-emissions with high-performance in a revolutionary sports car design. The vehicles, developed from concept cars first shown at the Tokyo Auto Show in 2013, have arrived in Brazil to symbolize future technologies that will combine Intelligent Mobility, environmentally friendly impact and sports-car driving capabilities.
  9. Nissan BladeGlider brings cutting edge Intelligent Mobility to l

    RIO DE JAMEIRO, Brazil (August 4, 2016) – Nissan Motor Co., Ltd today unveiled the working prototype of its futuristic BladeGlider vehicle, combining zero-emissions with high-performance in a revolutionary sports car design. The vehicles, developed from concept cars first shown at the Tokyo Auto Show in 2013, have arrived in Brazil to symbolize future technologies that will combine Intelligent Mobility, environmentally friendly impact and sports-car driving capabilities.
  10. Nissan BladeGlider brings cutting edge Intelligent Mobility to l

    RIO DE JAMEIRO, Brazil (August 4, 2016) – Nissan Motor Co., Ltd today unveiled the working prototype of its futuristic BladeGlider vehicle, combining zero-emissions with high-performance in a revolutionary sports car design. The vehicles, developed from concept cars first shown at the Tokyo Auto Show in 2013, have arrived in Brazil to symbolize future technologies that will combine Intelligent Mobility, environmentally friendly impact and sports-car driving capabilities.
  11. Nissan BladeGlider brings cutting edge Intelligent Mobility to l

    RIO DE JAMEIRO, Brazil (August 4, 2016) – Nissan Motor Co., Ltd today unveiled the working prototype of its futuristic BladeGlider vehicle, combining zero-emissions with high-performance in a revolutionary sports car design. The vehicles, developed from concept cars first shown at the Tokyo Auto Show in 2013, have arrived in Brazil to symbolize future technologies that will combine Intelligent Mobility, environmentally friendly impact and sports-car driving capabilities.
  12. Nissan BladeGlider brings cutting edge Intelligent Mobility to l

    RIO DE JAMEIRO, Brazil (August 4, 2016) – Nissan Motor Co., Ltd today unveiled the working prototype of its futuristic BladeGlider vehicle, combining zero-emissions with high-performance in a revolutionary sports car design. The vehicles, developed from concept cars first shown at the Tokyo Auto Show in 2013, have arrived in Brazil to symbolize future technologies that will combine Intelligent Mobility, environmentally friendly impact and sports-car driving capabilities.
  13. Nissan BladeGlider brings cutting edge Intelligent Mobility to l

    RIO DE JAMEIRO, Brazil (August 4, 2016) – Nissan Motor Co., Ltd today unveiled the working prototype of its futuristic BladeGlider vehicle, combining zero-emissions with high-performance in a revolutionary sports car design. The vehicles, developed from concept cars first shown at the Tokyo Auto Show in 2013, have arrived in Brazil to symbolize future technologies that will combine Intelligent Mobility, environmentally friendly impact and sports-car driving capabilities.
  14. Nissan BladeGlider brings cutting edge Intelligent Mobility to l

    RIO DE JAMEIRO, Brazil (August 4, 2016) – Nissan Motor Co., Ltd today unveiled the working prototype of its futuristic BladeGlider vehicle, combining zero-emissions with high-performance in a revolutionary sports car design. The vehicles, developed from concept cars first shown at the Tokyo Auto Show in 2013, have arrived in Brazil to symbolize future technologies that will combine Intelligent Mobility, environmentally friendly impact and sports-car driving capabilities.
  15. Nissan BladeGlider brings cutting edge Intelligent Mobility to l

    RIO DE JAMEIRO, Brazil (August 4, 2016) – Nissan Motor Co., Ltd today unveiled the working prototype of its futuristic BladeGlider vehicle, combining zero-emissions with high-performance in a revolutionary sports car design. The vehicles, developed from concept cars first shown at the Tokyo Auto Show in 2013, have arrived in Brazil to symbolize future technologies that will combine Intelligent Mobility, environmentally friendly impact and sports-car driving capabilities.

It definitely looks race track-inspired, with a narrow nose and a wider back Nissan says provide “aerodynamic efficiency” and more stable handling, plus there’s wonderfully absurd rear-hinged doors Nissan freely admits is aimed at generating dramatic effect.

The powertrain comes from UK’s Wiliams Advanced Engineering, and demo models can exceed 190km/h (around 115mph) with a zero to sixty time of less than five seconds in testing. It’s the motors on each of its real wheels that provide that propulsion generate a combined 268 hp, which is a lot for the relatively light 2,866 lb vehicle.

Nissan didn’t just go bare-bones on the interior, either; the roof is open to give you the feeling of being connected to the road, and the race-style seats with four-point harnesses provide room for a driver and two offset passengers behind them. The dashboard is simple and clean, but still offers three monitors to keep an eye on things, including a central display offering real-time data from the car, with the flanking screens showing feeds from rear-view cameras seated behind the front wheels.

I can forgive Nissan the trespasses of the razor naming conventions, since the razor industry basically lifted that macho garbage from the auto industry to begin with. And since we could use more cars like the BMW i8 and Model S that push the limits of what we think of as high-end EV, it’s nice to see Nissan push this one past the concept stage and into something drivable.

Source: TechCrunch

Shoka put a brain for your bicycle in a connected smart bell

Shoka put a brain for your bicycle in a connected smart bell

Connected bikes could be huge assets to the future of urban transit, especially as cities and cars grow more connected, too. But smart cycles can be very expensive, and cyclists also tend to be very particular about, and attached to, their bikes. Shoka’s new Shoka Bell is an accessory that adds a heavy helping of intelligence to your bike without requiring the purchase of an entirely new one – and it even lays the groundwork for communicating with the smart cities and smart motor vehicles of the future.

The Shoka Bell, which is already fully funded on Kickstarter, has a built-in navigation system, a front light, a proximity based motion alarm and yes – a bell. The unit is about the size of an old, somewhat bulky Nokia flip phone, and attaches to any standard bike handlebars via a standard clamp. The internal battery will keep it running for up to 200 hours, and it turns on and off automatically when you start and finish your ride in order to make the most of its onboard powerhouse.

Shoka purple backBut Shoka Bell is a bell by name, and indeed, it has a number of bell-related features. A hardware joystick controller on the back lets you activate one of eight customizable sounds, to that you can use a different bell tone for cars and for pedestrians, or even play a pre-recorded message of your own creation. Useful for keeping some recorded swears on hand for easy blasting when you get cut off by a taxi in the bike lane.

Beyond the bell, Shoka has navigation built-in, which works with the app to provide alerts about upcoming turns, as well as real-time updates to help you avoid busy intersections, and even notifications about nearby friends so you can join up to form a critical mass.

Anti-theft features include a motion sensor that’s built into the clamp, not the Shoka Bell’s main unit, which means that if someone tries to swipe your bike it’ll set off a loud alarm that will ring your Bell even if it’s in your pocket up to 250 meters (820 feet) away.

The hardware pairs with Shoka’s existing bike trip tracking app, but on the software side a more interesting feature is one planned for the future: a developer program to help connected cars detect and communicate with Shoka Bell, which could help with future obstacle avoidance systems and ultimately decrease accidents.

Shoka Bell is looking to ship its first units to backers in March of next year, with backer reward units currently available starting at $99. The Hungary-based startup also has backing from Ruvento, a hardware VC based in Singapore.

Source: TechCrunch

Netflix’s first original VR content is a creepy trip inside Stranger Things

Netflix’s first original VR content is a creepy trip inside Stranger Things

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Regardless of whether you’ve seen Netflix’s original show Stranger Things (you should go start after you read this post if you haven’t), watching the video above with any kind of 360 VR viewer, like Google Cardboard or Gear VR is quite the experience. Stranger Things is a perfect starting point for Netflix to dabble in VR, given how atmospheric, immersive and spooky the 80s throwback world is that provides the setting for the show.

This 360 YouTube clip, which lasts just a little under two minutes, lets the viewer feel as though they’re right in the middle of a slightly altered version of a particularly tense moment from the show. Also, be sure to follow any instructions provided within, or you might miss the big shock at the end.

Netflix has not been very demonstrably excited about creating VR content so far, but it has acknowledged it’s watching the space. Back in February, the company’s VP of Product Innovation David Jaffe told Trusted Reviews that VR “has a great place in gaming” currently, and that the company has “interest in where it could go in storytelling.” The company also launched an app for Gear VR, but the virtual component isn’t in the content – it’s in the viewing environment, which lets you watch 2D Netflix from a virtual couch.

“Yes, this is the first time we’ve used Google Cardboard and VR to promote a specific show (if you don’t count 360 video),” Netflix told TechCrunch in a statement. “Stranger Things is a uniquely atmospheric series that inspired us to create a fun way to immerse viewers in the rich world, allow them to experience the thrills and mystery of the story and excite them to watch the series.”

This Stranger Things teaser is well-executed experiment, and shows that Netflix is indeed paying attention to how VR might best suit storytelling. We’ll have to see if these early steps end up resulting in long-form VR forays later on.

Source: TechCrunch

GOG returns The Lion King and Aladdin to their 16-bit SNES glory

GOG returns The Lion King and Aladdin to their 16-bit SNES glory

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Where were you in 1993 and 1994? I was probably playing Aladdin, and then The Lion King (yes for the entire two years), two surprisingly great 16-bit platformers created by Disney and Virgin Games. Now you can relive them in all their SNES splinter on your Windows, Mac or Linux PC thanks to retro digital game seller GOG. Oh, and you can play The Jungle Book, too, but I have no nostalgic associations to exploit in writing for that game.

GOG’s Disney offerings are all on sale for $8.99 individually at launch (regular price is only a slightly more expensive $9.99) and you can get them all in one bundle for $19.98. If you haven’t played the games (perhaps you are a youth), then they’re still worth checking out as early examples of platformers that manage to do a lot with limited game mechanics. They’re also pretty stellar examples of what capable animators can do with the limits of a 16-bit palette.

The GOG versions of the games are DRM-free, and have very modest system requirements that should let most people join in. And remember: Never let the past die.

Source: TechCrunch

Nissan says EV chargers will outnumber gas stations in the UK by 2020

Nissan says EV chargers will outnumber gas stations in the UK by 2020

A new study by car maker Nissan predicts the UK will have more electric vehicle charging locations than gas stations by 2020. It’s a bold prediction to estimate that EV chargers will outnumber places to gas up in just four short years, but Nissan is counting on both a continued decline in the number of operational gas stations, as well as new charge points coming online.

The attrition rate for gas stations in the UK is high: Nissan found that over 75 percent of those operational four decades ago have closed and not been replaced, leaving a total of just 8,472 in the country from a high water mark of 37,539 in 1970. Following that curve, the car maker guesses that by 2020, the number will have dropped to 7,870.

Chargers are on the rise, however, and while currently, the UK boasts only 4,100 locations, its rate of growth is such that it should hit 7.900 charging spots in the next four years. Electric car registration is also growing at a rapid clip: a joint government and car maker campaign to promote low emission vehicles found that in the beginning months of 2016, a new electric car was registered every 13 minutes on average.

Now Nissan has reason to hype the growth of EV infrastructure: It claims the honor of being the first to market with a “mass-produced electric vehicle” (the LEAF) and continues to push its all-electric cars as an ideal solution for UK urban commuters.

But even if Nissan has a clear interest in the market, its optimism is something that others can probably get behind. If the pace of EV infrastructure support is truly not the rise, even if primarily in markets like the UK where the average driver isn’t worried about range anxiety on long trips, that’s something to celebrate.

Source: TechCrunch