Category: new york city

UPS Wants to Convert 1,500 Delivery Trucks in NYC to Electric by 2020

Electric Fleet

Most of us only think about UPS trucks when we’re expecting a parcel or wondering whether it’s true that they never make left turns. As the company’s senior vice President Bob Stoffel explained to Big Think, it is, in fact, the company’s practice to have drivers avoid making left turns to promote safety and fuel efficiency. According to an announcement made on Thursday, the company is forging ahead in their commitment to those goals with the intent to convert their New York city truck fleet from diesel to electric. UPS has partnered with Unique Electric Solutions LLC (UES LLC) to design, build, and test the converted vehicles.

“Public-private partnerships help push innovation forward and transform industries,” Carlton Rose, president for global fleet maintenance and engineering at UPS, said in a press release. The plan is also supported by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), which is providing $500,000 for the development and testing of the conversion system.

The converted vehicles will use the UES-developed uniqueEV technology, whose vehicles supposedly have a single-charge range between 64.3 to 201 kilometers (40 to 125 miles). “This program will help UPS develop and deploy electric delivery trucks faster and more affordably. Because they are cleaner and quieter, electric vehicles are ideal for dense urban environments like New York City and are a critical part of our strategy for the future,” Rose added.

Supporting NYC’s Clean Energy Goals

The trucking industry is the latest to have joined the move towards electric vehicles, with long-haul delivery services anticipating electrification thanks to efforts by Tesla and Mercedes-Benz’ parent company Daimler AG. It seemed only a matter of time before parcel delivery services like UPS would join in on the trend, converting smaller delivery trucks into EVs. Royal Mail, the oldest postal service in the United Kingdom, has already started using electric vans for deliveries.

NYSERDA hopes to have the first production version out by spring of 2018, which would put the company on track to meet their goal of converting 1,500 UPS delivery trucks (66 percent of the NYC fleet) to electric by 2022. That’s in line with New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s goal of reducing the city’s carbon emissions 40 percent by 2030.

“This project is a prime example of the State’s investment in new and innovative technology that can help us meet Governor Cuomo’s nation-leading clean energy goals,” NYERDA president and CEO Alicia Barton said in a press statement. “I applaud UPS and Unique Electric Solutions for their leadership in developing this system that can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and has tremendous potential to be used by the entire delivery industry.”

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General Motors Will Soon Test Self-Driving Cars in New York City

Cruise Automation wants to make self-driving cars in New York City a reality as soon as 2018. The self-driving car wing of General Motors has announced plans to test Chevy Bolts in an area of Manhattan spanning five square miles, beginning as early as next year. Previously, the company has evaluated how its vehicles perform in an urban setting by testing them out on the streets of San Francisco.

In May 2017, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo detailed a one-year pilot program that would give automakers the opportunity to apply for permission to test self-driving cars in New York starting in 2018. Cruise Automation has submitted a request, which is expected to be granted, according to a report from CNN.

Pedestrians will likely pose the greatest challenge for the Bolts let loose on the streets of Manhattan. Though, the vehicles are programmed to slow down when a human enters their path — a frequent occurrence in crowded city streets.

Up until now, the west coast has been the biggest hotspot for tests of self-driving cars — a trend that appears to be continuing: California is currently tweaking legislation that would allow autonomous vehicles to operate without a human driver, via ordinance which will go into effect next year.

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These Incredible Images Reveal the Evolution of NYC

While its place on the list is the subject of great debate, there is no doubting that New York City is among the greatest cities in the world. Of course, the city hasn’t always been a concrete jungle of skyscrapers, taxi cabs, and pizza rats, but it is still quite difficult to imagine that New York was, once upon a time, fertile farmland.

The Museum of the City of New York has collected a great number of paintings, drawings, lithographs, and photographs documenting the evolution of the city into the “…rows of monotonous straight streets, and piles of erect buildings” that famous landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted predicted.

A view of the attack against Fort Washington and rebel redouts near New York on the 16 of November 1776 by the British and Hessian brigades. Image credit: Thomas Davies/The New York Public Library

Even at the time of the American Revolution, the Manhattan landscape was much greener than you will see today, with rolling hills and more trees than buildings or people. Today, the site is a public space called Bennett Park.

Image credit: David Fass/Wikimedia Commons

The second half of the 19th century saw the beginnings of the demolition of those hills to make way for level roads as they began to sprawl across the island.

Image Credit: The New-York Historical Society

Here is the same view looking north up Central Park West at W. 106th street.

Tenement buildings began to be erected to house the city’s poor and the many immigrants who began pouring into the United States through Ellis Island.

Image Credit: NYPL

Thus began the formation of “superblocks,” which became the template for growth for New York even through today.

Image credit: Museum of the City of New York

Since then, New York has grown exponentially (with an estimated population of 8.5 million and growing), and the urban sprawl that started in Manhattan has long since spread to the outer boroughs. Still, the city is showing no signs of stopping now. As the author O. Henry once said of New York, “It’ll be a great place if they ever finish it.”

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New U-Shaped Skyscraper in NYC Could Become World’s Longest Building

Maybe the only way isn’t up after all: newly released concept drawings by a Greek architect for a skyscraper in Manhattan bend more than just minds.

According to architect Ioannis Oikonomou, New York’s zoning laws are prompting developers to explore new ways to maximize a building’s height. To that end, his studio is exploring substituting height with length.

Image Credit: Oiio Studio

Apart from being a novel addition to Manhattan’s impressive skyline, the structure — dubbed The Beg Bend — could essentially become a viable architectural solution that addresses the height limitations of buildings in the city. It could even be an answer to the city’s expensive housing — giving the building the prestige of a high-rise while maximizing the limited space.

In renderings, the building is shown to be a 4,000-foot-long, glass-lined tower. It will also come equipped with an elevator that can travel in curves, horizontally, and in continuous loops.

Image Credit: Oiio Studio

On the Oiio Studio website, the architect’s said

“If we manage to bend our structure instead of bending the zoning rules of New York we would be able to create one of the most prestigious buildings in Manhattan. The longest building in the world.”

Image Credit: Oiio Studio

Also, interestingly, if you were to stretch The Big Bend out vertically, it would be double the height of the tallest buildings today.

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For $4.9 Million, You Can Live in This Futuristic NYC Apartment Building

Zaha Hadid was an Iraqi-born British architect whose work impacted the skylines of the world. Her sudden death just this past year left everyone in shock, but the lasting influence of her work on our society will be seen for years to come.

Hadid’s first ever building in NYC was also her last project. The structure stands a tall 41 meters (135 feet) at 520 West 28th Street on Manhattan’s west side. The $20 billion neighborhood has 50 percent of its units under contract and is set to open in 2024.

A New York City Apartment with Automatic Valets and a Private IMAX Theater

The 11-story building will house 40 condos and two $50 million penthouses with the rooms providing a peak at the High Line and West Chelsea. The apartments themselves will range from 185 sq m (2,000 sq ft) to 613 sq m (6,600 sq ft), providing the options from two- to five-bedroom layouts.

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Credit: Related Companies

The building will also have an automated car garage that will house movable platforms that lift like elevators when tenants park their cars.

A New York City Apartment with Automatic Valets and a Private IMAX Theater

Adjacent to the lobby is a private IMAX theater that holds 12 people, a private spa, fitness center, and a 23-meter (75-foot) pool with a skylight.

undefinedCredit: Related Companies

The building itself showcases some of Hadid’s signature styles, ranging from the loud curves to the opulent and easy-to-use design. The Pritzker Prize-winning architect had her design chosen for the location because of its optimistic view of the future and its modern design.

A New York City Apartment with Automatic Valets and a Private IMAX Theater

The only catch is that each apartment begins at $4.9 million.

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