Lorry drivers are swiftly climbing the list of key workers the UK has neglected to the point of crisis. Now there’s gridlock outside petrol stations and squabbling within them, as haulage firms struggle to find the drivers to get fuel to the pumps. If logistical planners are to be believed, you can expect these unseemly scenes to continue through to Christmas, when there might be an extra bite to your supermarket scramble.

This would be a fortuitous time for a fleet of self-driving lorries to come riding over the horizon, gleaming with the promise of driverless deliveries. But fully automated trucks, we know deep down, are still a long way off. More proximate and realistic are remote-controlled HGVs, which you’ll be pleased to hear won’t be operated by those in the possession of gift vouchers. We’ve heard from two future transport experts on why this approach, combining automation with human oversight, could be our smartest way of solving future logistical nightmares.

Rumours that cold showers are good for your health abound on social media. It turns out there’s something in them: even a 30-second blast from the blue tap is associated with better health, though researchers aren’t quite sure why. And with China’s president, Xi Jinping, pledging that the country will no longer fund coal-fired power plants overseas, an international development expert has examined whether it will turn to renewable alternatives instead.

Alex King

Commissioning Editor, Science + Technology

WAEPPK. Jansos/Alamy

HGV driver shortage: remote-controlled lorries could prevent future logistical nightmares

Siraj Ahmed Shaikh, Coventry University; Giedre Sabaliauskaite, Coventry University

‘Teleoperated’ HGVs combine the efficiency of automation with the safety of human oversight.

Lars Zahner/Alamy Stock Photo

Cold showers are said to be good for you – here’s what the evidence shows

Lindsay Bottoms, University of Hertfordshire

Evidence is accumulating that a cold shower has many physical and mental health benefits.

Delphotos/Alamy Stock Photo

China will no longer build overseas coal power plants – what energy projects will it invest in instead?

Yixian Sun, University of Bath

China’s Belt and Road initiative offers advantages and drawbacks for renewable energy development worldwide.

Politics + Society

Health + Medicine

Arts + Culture

  • How Miles Davis electrified jazz

    Björn Heile, University of Glasgow

    Davis’s ability to innovate and incorporate other genres into his jazz has left a lasting impact on music.

Business + Economy


Featured events

COP26 Universities Climate Risk Summit

— Maxwell Centre, Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, CB3 0HE, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland — University of Cambridge

Manchester Festival of Climate Action

— The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, Manchester, M139PL, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland — University of Manchester

Future Directions for Urban Resilience

— Online, Zoom, Cardiff [Caerdydd GB-CRD], CF10 3BA, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland — Cardiff University

2021 Research Methods e-Festival

— Online, Southampton, Southampton, SO17 1BJ, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland — University of Southampton

More events

Contact us here to have your event listed.

For sponsorship opportunities, email us here