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France

Grenoble will be the first city outside of Japan in which Toyota has installed the Ha:mo s...

Solving the problem of urban transportation has vexed town planners since the days of Julius Caesar. It isn't just a matter of coming up with a better bus or shared cars. Unless you want people to end up slogging the last mile of their journey in the rain, a city’s transportation system needs to be comprehensive and integrated. The French city of Grenoble is taking a stab at the problem by introducing Toyota's Ha:mo (Harmonious Mobility) system into its broader transport management scheme.  Read More

France’s Minitel information service is shutting down for good after 30 years of service (...

After 30 years of service, France’s Minitel information service is shutting down for good. Launched in 1982 by the French state telephone company Poste, Téléphone et Télécommunications (PTT), which later became France Télécom, it was France’s answer to the World Wide Web before the Web was even created. However, despite remarkable initial success, it proved unable to compete with the modern internet and on June 30, 2012 it will be switched off.  Read More

A hotel in France is offering guests the chance to stay in fully-furnished, clear-plastic ...

Last year, designer Pierre Stephane Dumas unveiled his line of room-sized, transparent bubbles that allow people to sleep with almost nothing blocking their view of nature. His goal was to create a portable space that was both comfortable while giving the feeling of being out in the middle of any natural environment - and without disturbing the area very much. As enticing as those might be though, not many people are going to be able to afford the €7766 (US$10,987) price tag just to buy one for their weekend camping trip. Luckily for those keen on a see-through sleeping experience, the Attrap’Rêves hotel has recently opened in France to offer visitors a range of fully-furnished bubbles in different scenic locales to use in place of a typical hotel room.  Read More

Future generations will no doubt wonder at the  carnage we have allowed to develop on our ...

It is a great irony that alcohol has been almost universally legislated into becoming man's most commonly used recreational drug, as it's also the ONLY drug that causes more harm to others than to the user. This is most evident on our roads, where even in supposedly civilized first world countries with low road tolls, alcohol still accounts for between a third and a half of all road deaths and injuries. Now France is attempting a bold solution - from July of this year, it will become law in France to have a working breathalyzer in every car on the road. Don't laugh! The world is fast running out of tolerance for the road toll and tougher laws everywhere are inevitable.  Read More

The 26-ton electric refuse truck is powered by five strings of seven interchangeable batte...

All of the different places I've lived in have had one thing in common – an early morning wake up call when the refuse truck appears in the street. Any move to make such things a little quieter is very welcome indeed, and if it benefits the environment too, then that's another tick in the plus column. Dow Kokam and PVI have announced that a fleet of much less noisy electric refuse trucks is to be rolled out in 2011 by SITA Ile de France, offering similar power and performance levels as their fossil-fueled counterparts.  Read More

The Sunseeker uses an alternative energy source

A new annual competition in Vichy, France will take place for the first time this July in order to develop and bring attention to sustainable energy-economy in the motorized ultralight aircraft (ULM) industry. Calling to mind the wacky inventiveness of the Red Bull Flugtag, the Eco Marathon ULM aims not to achieve furthest flight through human power, but by the least possible fuel, and the competitors will undoubtedly hope to amaze more than amuse.  Read More

Electric vehicle charging stations similar to this one are expected to populate parking lo...

As France’s car-makers push their plans to increase sales and give motorists more electric and hybrid-powered vehicle choices, the French Government has added its support by announcing it intends to spend €1.5 billion (about US$2.2 billion) on creating a battery-charging network for electric vehicles across the country. Part of its spend will also go towards further encouragement of clean vehicle technology and battery manufacturing.  Read More

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