Today, we touch on ways to increase the population in Hungary, decisions that self driving vehicles will have to make and a massive solar farm in Morocco among other stories from around the world.
Get married and get a loan
In the European Union, the average number of children that a woman will have in her lifetime is 1.58. However, in Hungary, the average is 1.45. Now, the Hungarian government wants to increase that average and are introducing some measures to achieve that. Any woman under 40 years of age who gets married for the first time will be offered a low interest loan of up to 10 million Hungarian Forints. This is equivalent to more than US$35 000. Secondly, women who have at least four children will now be exempt from paying income tax for the rest of their lives. Some, might wonder what this has to do with business. Well, it has everything to do with business. Government is trying to increase the country’s population and what better way to do so than to give exciting incentives which will drive business growth. The banks which will manage those loans will experience some kind of growth. Women will have access to loans which they can use to start businesses. It’s a win-win for both government and its citizens. Good business.
Tracking devices for knife crime offenders
Tracking device manufacturers are in for brisk business as knife crime offenders are going to be fitted with GPS trackers upon release from prison. This will assist authorities to track their location at all times and check this against scenes of reported crimes. The pilot scheme which starts on 18th February this year will initially target 100 people and its success in combating knife crimes will determine is it will be scaled up. Can a similar scheme be used to deal with machete (mabhemba) wielding criminals who have become a menace in most gold mining areas of our country? Food for thought.
Solar farm the size of 3 500 soccer fields
Some countries are taking the use of solar energy seriously. Morocco has built a solar farm which is more than 3 000 hectares. This is equal to 3 500 football fields. The farm produces 580 megawatts of electricity and saves over 760 000 tonnes of carbon emissions. That farm also has a 243 metre tower where melted salt stores heat that can be used for power when needed. Morocco is targeting 42% of its power to come from renewable sources by 2020 and they are currently on 35%. Zimbabwe can learn a thing or two from this project seeing that our Gwanda Solar Farm got embroiled in controversy before it even kicked off.
A self driving car can choose who dies in an accident!
As we move closer to the age of full automation, we need to start thinking about critical ethical considerations that these developments will have to come with. Recent research is trying to understand what decisions an autonomous vehicle will make as it drives itself on our roads. One such scenario is when a fatal accident is imminent. The car may need to make one of two potentially fatal options. For example, does the car choose to swerve towards a group of people or one person? Does it opt to spare the life of a young person or an older one, an animal or a human being? These are worthwhile questions which need to be incorporated into autonomous cars’ decision making processes. It’s a scary thought, but one that needs to be faced and dealt with before autonomous cars flood our roads.