Press release: Highways England unveils self-driving trucks set to speed up roadworks

first_img We are delighted to have received the backing of Highways England and their Designated Funds grant for this trial and are grateful for the support and commitment of our technology providers in making it a reality. Dump trucks are used to transport excavated soil to fill large areas on construction sites.One autonomous dump truck is being tested in a controlled environment on the A14 scheme. The truck is programmed remotely to follow a pre-determined route and has the capability to detect and avoid obstacles, other vehicles and the like, along the route as it drives.Highways England has committed £150,000 from its innovation designated fund into the A14 dump truck trial.The designated funds provide protected money that enable Highways England to provide environmental, social and economic benefits to the people, communities and business alongside the Strategic Road Network both now and in the future.Niall Fraser, Director of earthworks services supplier CA Blackwell, said: Once testing is complete, Highways England hopes to adopt the technology to modernise UK construction sites.It is expected to be another two or three years before autonomous dump trucks are in full operation.General enquiriesMembers of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.Media enquiriesJournalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer. The dump trucks, which move huge amounts of earth, have the potential to work around the clock, so could help reduce the length of time roadworks are on the ground.And by being autonomous they reduce the risk of road workers being involved in incidents on site.Previously tried and tested in Australia, the concept is now being trialled on Highways England’s improvement of the A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon.Deputy Project Director on behalf of Highways England for the A14 Julian Lamb said: We’re increasingly looking to technological advances to help us safely bring improvements to drivers on England’s motorways and major A roads. Road construction has changed massively over the years and the testing of trucks such as these promises to allow us to work efficiently, speeding up roadworks, giving more protection to road workers, and moving jobs to other skilled areas. The trial we are leading with our partner CA Blackwell will enable the construction industry as a whole to be in a more informed position to make key decisions about autonomy on UK construction sites.last_img read more

Author discusses transformative battle with breast cancer at book launch

first_imgThe difficult but transforming experience of facing and surviving cancer takes center stage in the personal and professional saga, Beauty Without the Breast, by Felicia Marie Knaul (Harvard University Press, 2012). An economist who has lived and worked on health and social development in Latin America for 20 years, Knaul is director of the Harvard Global Equity Initiative and associate professor at Harvard Medical School. She documents her personal and family experience, while directing a lens to the majority of women with cancer throughout the world, with a particular focus on poor women in low- and middle-income countries who face not only the disease, but also stigma, discrimination, and poor access to health care.The wrenching contrast is the cancer divide, an equity imperative in global health. Knaul is dedicated to closing the gap—in prevention, treatment, and survival rates—that exists between these disparate worlds and their health care systems. “To think about other women who could not get the care I received because they had no money made me physically nauseous. There’s no justice there,” said Knaul.At a book launch event at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston on October 22, 2012, Knaul, her husband Julio Frenk, dean of Harvard School of Public Health, their two daughters, and several colleagues presented myriad perspectives on the facts and dynamics of breast cancer, a growing global epidemic.last_img read more

Professor connects Tolkien, Homer

first_imgWhile J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy may be dear to fans young and old, philosophy professor David O’Connor said Tuesday he believes the trilogy is meant to reflect on a darker side of nostalgia at the core of human nature. In the second installment of Tolkien 2012, the Center for Ethics and Culture’s 10th annual Catholic Literature Series, O’Connor offered a talk titled “Tolkien and Nostalgia,” in which he framed his approach to Tolkien’s great work as a re-imagining of some of the themes of Homer’s “Odyssey.” “I would like to approach J.R.R. as a Catholic author from the perspective of approaching him as a pagan author,” O’Connor said. “I have in mind especially ‘The Lord of the Rings’ as a modern epic, an epic in the tradition which for us has at its foundation Homer and his ‘Odyssey.’ “ For O’Connor, both Homer and Tolkien’s epics revolve around the central quest to return home. Much like Frodo’s perilous wanderings to Mordor away from the Shire, Odysseus was delayed and entrapped by a number of foes and tempters, O’Connor said. “The descent into hiding, into darkness is an enactment of a time of death, a time when Odysseus is dead to the world … it’s an inability to go home, to have no homecoming,” he said. Especially relevant to the theme of nostalgia and the detachment from home are the two caves in which Odysseus gets stranded, O’Connor said. The two caves of Polyphemus and Calypso represent the two extremes of human nature that can draw heroes away from their ultimate goal of returning home. “The problem when you’re in Polyphemus’s savage world is that you forget how to get home … you lose your mindfulness of what it means to live a human life,” he said. “In Calypso’s, you lose your mindfulness of homecoming because you are mindful of nothing but sensual ease.” Frodo’s fellowship falls into perils not unlike those Odysseus’s men faced, which sought to make them forget home. “When the travelers enter the realm of Lothlórien, they lose sense of time,” he said. “That timelessness is something they need to shake off to go on with their quest.” In Tolkien’s story, Frodo’s entourage comes in danger of falling into the elvish conception of nostalgia, a failure to move forward or progress, he said. “The elves suffer from a negative side of nostalgia,” he said. “They’re willing to live in memories, not productive or creative. We can be addicted to nostalgia as a mere participation in the past rather than a path to push forward into the future.” Nostalgia accounts for much of the internal change in Frodo over the course of his journey, O’Connor said. “Frodo cannot go home to the Shire in part because of the pain he’s reminded of,” he said. “But he can’t go home because he no longer has the heart for the condition of humanity. He’s been infected by a kind of nostalgia.” O’Connor said connections can be drawn from the Homeric theme of a return from a dark or dangerous place to Tolkien’s more modern epic. “Some would say that Homer was nostalgic, that in ‘The Odyssey,’ he insisted on a happy ending … so too ‘The Lord of the Rings’ has a happy ending,” he said. Tolkien’s happy endings take on a more imperfect or human element than many tales, O’Connor said, drawing a symbolic meaning from Frodo’s maiming injury in the final pages of the epic. “The ending isn’t all happy,” he said. “The pain that is required to get to the happiness does not disappear,” he said. “Frodo has nine fingers, they don’t grow back. … His brokenness is an emblem of the price we pay for an epic with a happy ending.”last_img read more

University places restrictions on travel to Level 3 coronavirus areas

first_imgIn preparation for spring break, any student, faculty or staff member who chooses to travel to China, South Korea, Italy or Iran — which have been placed at a Level 3 travel advisory warning because of COVID-19 — may not return to campus until they have self-isolated for 14 days and received proof of medical clearance from a physician, said Paul Browne, vice president for public affairs and communications, in an email to the campus community.Cristina Interiano | The Observer Any visitors or residents from a country which has been designated a Level 3 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) must also self-isolate for 14 days and obtain medical clearance, the email said.In addition, the University has cancelled its 2020 summer programs in China and Italy. Other study abroad programs will continue, provided that travel advisories for the countries in question remain below Level 3.The 106 Notre Dame students who’ve returned to the U.S. from Italy will work with Notre Dame International and their relevant academic deans to discuss individual academic plans. While Browne said some of the students will return to Notre Dame, some may stay home but still have the option to return if their academic plan allows.The Emergency Operations Center and Emergency Response Policy Committee have worked together to monitor coronavirus developments and orchestrate responses as the situation changes.“Words cannot adequately express the appreciation we have for the many people who worked tirelessly to execute on the decision to suspend the programs and bring our students back,” Browne said in the email.Tags: coronavirus, COVID-19, Paul Browne, travel advisorylast_img read more

U.S. Under Secretary for Political Affairs Visiting South America

first_img U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William J. Burns traveled to Chile on 9 December and will continue on to Argentina and Brazil in order to “expand relations with key regional partners,” according to a statement by the State Department. In Chile, Burns will meet with Foreign Minister Alfredo Moreno and Interior Minister Rodrigo Hinzpeter to discuss trade issues, nuclear security, and joint projects, the statement explained. In Argentina, the Under Secretary will meet with Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman as well as with leaders of civil society, also in order to discuss nuclear non-proliferation. Finally, in Brazil Burns will meet with high-ranking members of the administration that will take office in January, in order to discuss economic initiatives and joint projects with the United States, the statement concluded. By Dialogo December 10, 2010last_img read more

Tax law changes bring new excise tax

first_imgChances are you’re still trying to make sense of the recent tax law changes. The changes affect nearly all taxpayers, and touches a wide variety of taxes, including corporate, estate, partnership and “pass through” business entities, and individual. The changes also impact tax-exempt organizations. Known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts (TCJA), the tax law changes amend the Internal Revenue Code (tax code). The TCJA created Section 4960 which provides for an excise tax on tax-exempt entities like credit unions. The excise tax, paid by the credit union, applies on (1) compensation in excess of $1 million and (2) parachute payments for highly-compensated employees. BFB Gallagher recently explained the ins and outs of the new excise tax during a webinar for the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions. The recording and slides are available online »Of course, since we’re talking about taxes, there are details upon details, all explained in the webinar. I’ll fast forward to the good news – Using a split dollar plan can help you avoid the excise tax because plan payments do not count as compensation when calculating the excise tax. A split dollar plan also converts the benefit from a liability to a growing asset. You can also restructure an existing 457(f) plan to reduce or eliminate the excise tax.BFB Gallagher can help you determine if your credit union is subject to the excise tax. Better yet, we can help you develop an executive benefits program that is regulator-friendly and tax-advantaged. Feel free to contact me to schedule a 30-minute discovery call. And, just in case you’re interested in the full text of the new law, you can find it here » 8SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Liz Santos As Chief of Staff for the Executive Benefits practice, Liz supports the teams that design and service client benefit plans. Formerly BFB, Gallagher Executive Benefits consults with organizations on securing … Web: www.GallagherExecBen.com Detailslast_img read more

Building the digital and human bridge: Six ways credit unions can learn from Peloton

first_imgI’ve been running since I was 11. When I first started running cross country, I remember feeling like running for 20 minutes was as challenging as climbing Mt. Everest. Gradually, and with consistent daily effort, the miles got easier and I began to look forward to the time I spent putting one foot in front of the other. My early morning run became my time to think, decompress and reenergize. I loved that no matter where I was or virtually whatever the weather, as long as I had my chosen shoes and the right workout clothes, I could head out and enjoy the road.With a six-day-a-week running ritual, I also found that I inevitably would fall about once a year. Typically, these falls were painful and embarrassing, but usually just left me with skinned knees, elbows or palms and I’d soon be back at it. Unfortunately, when I took my annual tumble in mid-2018, the years started to catch up with me. My clumsy stumble landed me on my right knee and I didn’t bounce back like I had so many times before. The deep bruise required physical therapy and a rest from running.It was rough for me as running is such a big part of who I am. My physical therapist was wonderful and helped me come up with alternative workouts and eventually got me back to running.  During that journey, I found Peloton. I had done group cycling classes before but really liked the flexibility of having equipment in my home that fit with my schedule.From the moment of placing the order, the Peloton experience was exceptional. The website was easy to use and the ordering process was fast. Once ordered, they invited me to set up an online account, including a fun screen name. They also encouraged me to download the app so that I was familiar with the interface and ready to go once the bike arrived. Having ordered several treadmills, I was quite concerned about delivery and installation. The Peloton bike was delivered within five days of my order and the folks that delivered it ensured it was installed. It was ready for me to use that night after work.When I got home that evening, I was excited to hop on and try it. The bike came with an integrated monitor and as soon as I turned it on, there was a quick and fun video hosted by one of the instructors, sharing how to use the bike. Peloton created two different ways for riders to engage on the bike. There are open road courses, where you can ride and immerse in scenery, and there are instructor-led classes. The instructor-led classes come in two forms as well. You can take them “live” during the exact time they are taught, or you can take them any time as recordings. During the live classes, the instructors will do “shout outs” to individuals taking the class for a great performance, for milestone rides, and even for birthdays.The instructor-led courses are taught by several different individuals. They have vibrant personalities and all share a passion for fitness and the Peloton community. As you ride, you stay engaged with that community. On the far-left side of your screen, your user profile lines up with other riders that either currently or have recently completed the course you are taking. You can high five one another, see stats of fellow riders, and even more deeply engage by following users you know or wish to get to know. Many of the instructors are involved on social media and encourage connection as you take classes.Peloton does a great job of keeping you engaged with the community through various online and offline means. When you finish 100 rides, you get a small congratulatory package which includes a Peloton “100” t-shirt. The instructors have favorite sayings and t-shirts for purchase that include those sayings. You can download playlists from Peloton to Spotify from classes that you enjoyed. The Peloton app allows you to track your fitness progress from anywhere, find other Peloton riders, view upcoming classes and integrate with fitness trackers like Apple watches.If you are traveling and can find another bike, you can take classes using the app to continue your fitness efforts. They’ve also expanded the community to include a treadmill, along with non-equipment dependent classes like yoga, lifting, and stretching.As credit unions look to attract and retain the next generation of consumers, we can leverage lessons from Peloton that play on our greatest strengths of trust, service, and personal engagement, and marry those with digital options to truly transform financial services. Here are six things your credit union can do to create even stronger omni-channel engagement grounded in who we are:Keep people at the center. Often when I hear credit unions talking about their digital strategies, one of the questions raised is, in a technologically advanced world, how do we continue to serve people, build trust and stay personally connected?Peloton demonstrates just how technology can help us build a bridge between the online and offline world and help elevate our great human connections leveraging digital tools. Consider, how might you incorporate some of your most engaging and connected frontline team members within your website or mobile app? How might you bring forward the personalities and financial expertise of your best team members digitally so that even more members could hear from them? In what ways might you use social media to extend the ambassadors that already exist for your credit union? Think of technology as an enabler to deepen relationships and grow loyalty with the incredible people that your members already love.Build a bridge between your branches and your technology. While many Peloton instructors live in New York City, most Peloton riders live across the world. Most of the classes they take are on bikes in their homes or via the mobile app. However, when riders visit New York City, Peloton invites them to come into the studio and take a class in-person. This fun moment enables riders to “meet” the instructors and see Peloton in a new way. How might you create moments of surprise and delight for digitally engaged members when they visit a branch? What extra value could you provide to make the ongoing digital path even stronger because of an occasional in-person connection?Be a connector. Peloton connects people. Not just instructors to riders, but also riders to riders. They have fun stories of riders who met through Peloton, and grew friendships beyond their rides. Connection matters, according to Cigna’s 2018 U.S. Loneliness Index study, “46 percent of Americans report feeling lonely sometimes or always.” The trust that members feel for their credit unions is unique. How might we leverage that trust to build even stronger bonds between members? Imagine a virtual community of members that could share financial tips together to help one another and support each other with their financial journeys. The credit union could create the mechanism for connection and help bring people with common goals together either digitally or in-person.Make it a game. Even if we may be tired of hearing about it, gamification really works. I love to see how I’m progressing on the Peloton leader board, both against myself and in comparison to other riders. Many credit unions have created Savings Challenges. Imagine if we could use that same approach with digital elements that allowed people to compete and share a host of financial efforts. Some might be focused on retirement goals, others might be working to reduce spending, while others might be building an emergency fund. The credit union could create the mechanism for engagement through the game and bring people together. Maybe the credit union could even bring a bit of surprise and delight for those that reach their goals.Create memorable moments. The delivery of my Peloton started my experience on a very strong footing. It arrived quickly and they ensured that, upon delivery, the bike was installed and ready to go. This was an iterative improvement that Peloton CEO, John Foley invested in. According to a strategy + business interview, Foley shared that when Peloton was first on the market, the delivery experience was often not a good one for customers. In fact, Foley said, “The delivery guys weren’t on time. They weren’t on brand. They didn’t educate customers on the product or the software. And, as a result, the customers weren’t going to recommend Peloton to their friends. And that was very frustrating to me because I knew if we did it ourselves, we could delight our [customers]. I went to our board and suggested that we take this in-house. ‘Let’s lease a van, let’s hire a team, let’s paint Pelotonon the side and have our Peloton people who are highly trained deliver the bikes.’” Which parts of our member experience are preventing our members from having remarkable engagement with our credit unions? How might we make iterative improvements that can turn our members into raving fans? Investing in each element of the member experience can move us towards stronger loyalty and even more robust growth.Build the bridge. Our new digital world doesn’t mean that human engagement is less important. As we build our strategies, really thinking about how we can use our strengths of trust, service and people to integrate and elevate them through digital means, could these strategies enhance our trajectory and shift the ways consumers see credit unions? 18SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Tansley Stearns Tansley is a dynamic force of nature, fiercely crusading on behalf of all credit unions while tirelessly driving forward the brand image and family spirit of Canvas. She joined us … Web: https://www.canvas.org Details The loyalty I feel to Peloton is real. After I returned from a recent vacation and hopped back on my bike, my husband asked, “Was it nice to be back with your friends?” When I meet other Peloton riders, we talk about the instructors and those that we love to join for class. This loyalty matters and it spreads. Anytime a friend asks me about new exercise equipment, I talk about Peloton first. According to PwC’s 2019 Digital Banking Consumer Survey, “more than 50% of consumers under 35 say they will open a primary bank account based on a trusted referral.” As our members have exceptional experiences with us and share that, it will build the future of our organizations.While I will always have a special place in my heart for running that no other exercise can replace, Peloton integrated me into their community and now that I’m nearly healed from my latest tumble, I continue to include cycling in my routine. Peloton drove this deep engagement I feel through humans via digital channels. Credit unions can do the same. If done well, it will be yet another thing that sets credit unions apart and makes us the best choice for all American consumers.last_img read more

The Garage Learning DIY Kits bring tech and engineering skills to filmmaking » Gadget Flow

first_img– Advertisement – Making visual engineering accessible and empowering everyday people, The Garage Learning DIY Kits inspire creativity and give you the skills and tools you need to create amazing videos. Use them in conjunction with The Garage Learning’s online courses—available in beginner, intermediate/advanced, and pro—because these DIY kits suit anyone and everyone. In fact, they’re for filmmakers, photographers, food stylists, tinkerers, hobbyists, bloggers, entrepreneurs, makers, and more. The collection of kits include LED Lights, Triggering Devices, Catapults, Sliders, Turntable, Dropper, and Pourer. LED Lights to teach the basics of electricity and how to solder and work with LED strips. Additionally, Triggering Devices teach you how to power objects in a repeatable and programmable fashion, DMX basics, and Arduino. Furthermore, Catapults can launch liquids, solids, and products. Sliders move cameras, models, and objects in a smooth, controlled fashion. And Turntable, Dropper, and Pourer kits spin products, pour liquids, and drop objects.last_img read more

Drug bust nets P105-K ‘shabu’

first_imgThey were nabbed after selling suspected shabu to an undercover cop for P1,500 around 7 p.m. on May 4, it added. The 25-year-old Rigor Capana, 21-year-old Juncel Cuenca and 27-year-old resident Jerald Flores yielded the suspected illegal drugs, a police report showed. BACOLOD City – Nine sachets of suspected shabu weighing about seven grams valued at around P105,000 were seized in a buy-bust operation in Barangay Mambulac, Silay City, Negros Occidental.center_img The suspects were detained in the lockup cell of the Silay City police station.Charges for violation of Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 will be filed against them./PNlast_img read more

Leising named chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture

first_imgState Sen. Jean Leising will chair senate agriculture committee.INDIANAPOLIS – State Senator Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg) has been appointed the chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and ranking member of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources for the upcoming General Assembly.“I am honored and excited to take on these new leadership positions,” Leising said.  “My experience in owning and operating a farm provides a useful perspective and gives Indiana’s farmers a strong voice at the Statehouse.”The 2015 legislative session ceremonially began Tuesday, Nov. 18, with Organization Day. Legislators will reconvene early January, and by law must conclude by April 29.last_img read more