Florence Priscilla on her autoped, 1916 (Public Domain)
In a year of old-school dystopian catastrophes, here's one that's refreshingly futuristic: the UK is making it legal to use small electric scooters on Britain's roads, but not your small electric scooters. You must rent them, not own them.
It is expected to recommend that helmets be worn, although they will not be mandatory, and vehicles will be limited to a speed of 15mph.
Privately owned e-scooters will not be legalised.
Under the new rules to be set out by the Department for Transport, e-scooter companies could launch scooter-sharing schemes in UK towns and cities and it will be legal to ride one of these scooters on the road from Saturday.
The reality of rental scooters is that they become obstructions and annoyances, abandoned on pavements and in parking spots, with the companies running the schemes unable to track, recover or maintain them properly.
The UK government has an ongoing scandal over cash-for-contracts and no political bandwidth available to close the loopholes, so cynicism may be warranted as well as sighs. Making a particular vehicle road-legal in the same breath as mandating they be rented from hinky tech startups is going to make a lot of money for someone.
Ford is testing new software for its Police Interceptor Utility Vehicles that heats the vehicle’s interior to 133 degrees for 15 minutes to kill COVID-19. Ideally, this happens when nobody is inside the car. The new disinfecting technique–not unlike a kitchen oven’s “self cleaning” feature–is based on research conducted with the Ohio State University Department […]
From the stately and elegant Batmobile Cadillac seen in the 1943 movie serials to the latest militaristic models, this is the on-screen history of Batman’s Batmobile. Of course the true high point was the 1955 Lincoln Futura tricked out by George Barris for the 1960s TV series.
Jalopnik’s Jason Torchinsky bought his first new car on Alibaba. He paid $930 for the electric Changli NEMECA, batteries not included. The batteries, likely lead-acid, were an additional $350. Then came all the fees to bring the car from China to the USA and get it through customs. The final total for the car is […]
We’ve all had those nights where we’re working on a laptop or scrolling through our phone before glancing at the time to find it’s actually a lot later than we thought. Most nights, you’d be fast asleep or at least dead tired at midnight or 1 or 3 a.m. But after staring at a screen, […]
If you’re a fan of ABC’s entrepreneurial feeding frenzy “Shark Tank,” then you know complete buyout offers from the expert Sharks don’t happen all that often. But back in 2017, that’s exactly what happened when inventor Logan Riley debuted his instantly eye-catching creation the RokBlok to the agog Sharks. Part of the reason that happened […]
Back in the 50s and 60s, it was no big deal in most areas to make a call to your local liquor store and have beer, wine and spirits delivered right to your house with little to no restriction. However, that ease and simplicity certainly isn’t in place today. Alcohol delivery laws in 2020 are […]