Uber and NASA team up to launch flying taxis by 2020

November 8, 2017 by  
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Although Uber has suffered some setbacks recently in Europe, having recently been banned from London’s streets , it seems to be clear skies in the United States for the ride-hailing/future self-driving car company. In a speech at the Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal, Jeff Holden, head of product at Uber, announced that the company has signed a Space Act Agreement with NASA to design and enact an air traffic control system for its prospective flying taxi fleet as part of its Uber Elevate service. Uber hopes to get its taxis airborne by 2020, with three cities – Dallas-Fort Worth, Dubai, and now Los Angeles – serving as test sites. With its agreement to develop software with NASA, Uber has taken one step closer towards take-off. In a video shown at Uber’s NASA collaboration announcement, the public is offered a look into how Uber Elevate would function. Just as it is for its earthbound service, users would hail a cab using the app. After booking a flight , users would head towards a designated port, shown on top of a tall building in the video, where they would board their taxi. The video demonstrates the flying taxi’s traffic dodging ability by showing riders soaring over gridlock and highways-turned-parking-lots. The company claims that the flying taxi service could turn an hour and a half drive from LAX to the Staples Center in Los Angeles into a half hour pleasure cruise. “Closer than you think” is the tagline that concludes the video, hinting that the long-promised future featuring flying cars may finally be arriving. Related: Airbus’ flying electric taxi is on track to soar next year Uber’s flying taxis, and those of other companies hoping to get into the game, are known as vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) craft. By design, they are easier to land and take off because of their ability to hover in place. Uber is partnering with five companies, Aurora Flight Sciences, Pipistrel Aircraft, Embraer, Mooney and Bell Helicopter, to procure its vehicles, all of which will be electric . Uber is similarly partnering with ChargePoint to enable its vehicles to quickly recharge at vehicleports. Perhaps most ambitiously, Uber intends for its Elevate service to be priced similar to its UberX service. With credible collaborators in tow and a globally established brand, the sky seems to be the limit for Uber . Via Engadget Images via Uber

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Uber and NASA team up to launch flying taxis by 2020

Lilium’s all-electric flying taxi could travel from Manhattan to JFK in 5 minutes

September 6, 2017 by  
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A startup from Germany has secured $90 million to build the all-electric flying taxi of the future. Albeit still under development, Lilium’s five-seater commercial jet could be ready for take off as soon as 2019, and, according to a company statement, it could get users from Manhattan to JFK airport in just five minutes. The Verge reports that the $90 million will be used to build the company’s five-seat commercial Lilium Jet, as well as grow its team by at least 70 people. The envisioned Lilium Jet would be able to stay in the air for approximately one hour on a single charge and travel at speeds exceeding 180 mph. At that pace, the jet could travel from London to Paris in an hour. Integrated technology would allow passengers to order an air-taxi to a nearby landing pad. (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = “//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.10”; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’)); Lilium Jet's all-electric flying car Watch this all-electric ‘flying car’ take its first test flight. Posted by The Verge on Thursday, April 20, 2017 Lilium has now raised more than $100 million. Investors in the latest funding round include Skype co-founder Niklas Zennström’s Atomico, Tencent, Twitter co-founder Ev Williams’ Obvious Ventures, and a private banking group. CEO and co-founder of Lilium , Daniel Wiegland said, “This is the next stage in our rapid evolution from an idea to the production of a commercially successful aircraft that will revolutionize the way we travel in and around the world’s cities.” Related: Lilium is the world’s first personal aircraft designed for vertical takeoff and landing In a study conducted by Swiss bank UBS , more than half of the 8,000 people surveyed were unwilling to travel in a pilotless vehicle — despite the mode of technology being less expensive than conventional forms.  Perhaps as self-driving cars become more mainstream and fatalities reduce as a result, the concept of traveling in a driver-less flying taxi will become easier to accept. In the meantime, this vessel will be crewed. We can’t wait to see what happens net. + Lilium Via The Verge Images via Lilium

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Lilium’s all-electric flying taxi could travel from Manhattan to JFK in 5 minutes

MIT says 3,000 ride-sharing cars could replace all New York City taxis

January 3, 2017 by  
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Over 13,000 taxis roam the streets of New York City , but those gas-sucking, polluting vehicles could be replaced by ride-sharing cars, according to a new MIT study . Drawing on an innovative algorithm, researchers discovered 3,000 four-passenger cars could fulfill 98 percent of the city’s taxi demand, with passengers waiting around a mere 2.7 minutes for their ride. Less cars on the road would mean less traffic and less pollution , and MIT researchers even say drivers would make as much money as they do today. Researchers led by Daniela Rus of MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) developed an algorithm which utilizes data from three million cab rides. The algorithm reveals carpooling options from companies like Lyft or Uber could take thousands of cars off the road and even vastly improve commutes. Related: GM exec confirms plan to launch a self-driving Chevy Bolt EV with Lyft Rus said in a statement, “Instead of transporting people one at a time, drivers could transport two to four people at once, results in fewer trips, in less time, to make the same amount of money. A system like this could allow drivers to work shorter shifts, while also creating less traffic, cleaner air, and shorter, less stressful commutes.” Going a step further, just 2,000 10-person vehicles could fulfill 95 percent of taxi demand. MIT’s algorithm can also work to reroute cars, in real time, and proactively dispatch idle vehicles to high-demand locales, accelerating service by 20 percent, according to the researchers. Rus said the system could be easily adapted for autonomous cars , as vehicles are rapidly rerouted to fulfill requests. She said, “To our knowledge, this is the first time that scientists have been able to experimentally quantify the trade-off between fleet size, capacity, waiting time, travel delay, and operational costs for a range of vehicles, from taxis to vans and shuttles.” The Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences recently published the team’s research. Via CSAIL and The Verge Images via Daniel Wehner on Flickr and Pixabay

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MIT says 3,000 ride-sharing cars could replace all New York City taxis

WOHA’s deep-green Enabling Village is a beacon of universal design

January 3, 2017 by  
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WOHA ‘s latest project in Singapore proves that universal design can be incredibly sexy. The team just revamped a defunct 1970’s building into Enabling Village , a verdant multi-use community center in Redhill. Designed to be both sustainable and accessible, the renovation serves as a beacon of inclusion for locals. WOHA chose to reuse the former school compound’s original structure and basic layout, but updated it with a number of accessibility features. Visitors with disabilities will find various elevators, low-gradient ramps, tactile floor indicators, as well as hearing loops and braille signs located throughout the building. Related: WOHA’s solar-powered SkyVille in Singapore boasts a deep-green public skypark The center includes six main spaces that are named for their uses: “Nest”, “Playground”, “Village Green”, “Hive”, “Hub” and “Academy.” All of the spaces feature bright wall murals specific to their use, and all are seamlessly connected for easy access. The timber-clad Nest greets pedestrians as they enter the center, and garden walkways lead out to the rest of the buildings. In addition to making the structure all-inclusive, WOHA used a number of upcycled materials throughout the building. Pre-cast concrete pipes were installed as sitting and reading nooks, old sea containers were used as bridges, and recycled oil drums have been repurposed as large planters. The architects have become known for their love of greenery , and it shows in the Enabling Village’s serene landscaping and water gardens, which were planted with a variety of native species. To bring visitors closer to nature, there are plenty of peaceful walkways, verandas and cabanas that look out over the adjacent pond. Thanks to its impressive array of all-inclusive features, the Enabling Village was awarded the Platinum BCA Universal Design Mark Award in May, 2016. + WOHA + Enabling Village Via Archdaily Photography by Patrick Bingham-Hall and Edward Hendricks

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WOHA’s deep-green Enabling Village is a beacon of universal design

All-electric UniCab to make NYC green in the future

June 2, 2010 by  
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Eco Factor: Zero-emission concept vehicle powered by electricity. The New York Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) started its search for a vehicle that would replace the taxis of New York City in 2008 and has already seen some brilliant concepts. One of the more interesting concept is something called the UniCab

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All-electric UniCab to make NYC green in the future

The Unicab EV Could be New York’s Taxi of Tomorrow

June 1, 2010 by  
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Think it’s time for New York City to update its cab design? The New York Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) has been hunting for the so-called “taxi of tomorrow” — a cab that integrates safety, comfort, energy efficiency, and superior design — for the past two years. The TLC hasn’t chosen a new taxi yet, but we like the looks of the Unicab, a four-seater EV decked out with so many eco features that barely resembles today’s cabs

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Chicagoans to Hail Green Cabs Instead of Inhaling Fumes

February 4, 2010 by  
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North America’s oldest and largest taxicab fleet recently announced that it is going green! Yellow Cab’s parent company, Yellow Group , runs about 3,000 taxis in the Chicago area, and they just unveiled plans to add 100 new compressed natural gas (CNG) taxis to the fleet, with plans to add more in the future. Read the rest of Chicagoans to Hail Green Cabs Instead of Inhaling Fumes Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “clean energy” , chicago , CNG , compressed natural gas , fuel , greenhouses gases , illinois , taxi , taxicab , yellow group , yellowcab

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Chicagoans to Hail Green Cabs Instead of Inhaling Fumes

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