Weekly 'Pulse' Issue 43

Our weekly round-up of thought-starters, opportunities & ideas...

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A New Spark For Streetlights

Access to charging stations remains as one of the largest barriers to electric car usage, especially in denser cities where owners don’t have a garage to store and charge their car overnight. European startup Ubititricity, are addressing this issue by repurposing 70-year-old street-lights in London so they can be used to charge vehicles from the grid. Since it relies on existing infrastructure, this solution is cheap and easy to roll out at a large scale.

Read more at: https://goo.gl/dGexGu

How else can we repurpose existing, outdated infrastructure to address the urban challenges of today?  


Insuring Tomorrow's Deliveries

Zego have launched a new insurance platform that caters specifically to the gig-economy. The solution allows drivers for platforms such as Uber, Deliveroo, Foodora etc access to a completely flexible insurance policy that they can switch on and off when they work. Drivers are then only charged by the hour for the time they are working. The insurance of gig-workers, who exist in a grey area between employees and contractors is a very contentious topic, so it’s likely that products like Zego will see further proliferation as more individual move to these flexible employment models.

Read more at: https://goo.gl/z1BtxS

How can more flexible contracts in other areas better serve changes in usage patterns across society?


Going Underground

Elon Musk believes he has received a “verbal OK” from state governments in the US to proceed with another world changing initiative - The underground highway known as the “Hyperloop”, which is predicted to reduce interstate transit times by as much as 75%. The tunnel system uses a series of elevators to take cars down from the surface on an individual sled, which then hurtles the car through the tunnel at rapid speeds, before delivering it back to the surface. Similar systems have been discussed for a while, however Elon believes he has the means and technology to actually deliver it, and we wouldn’t write him off.

Read more at: https://goo.gl/yTovTD

How can blue sky thinking inspire us to break traditional boundaries?