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

Groundbreaking quark fusion generates 10 time as much energy as nuclear fusion

November 8, 2017 by  
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Physicists at Tel Aviv University and University of Chicago have discovered that quark fusion, involving the tiny particles known as quarks of which protons and neutrons are made, is an even more potentially energy-packed reaction than much-touted nuclear fusion . Although the scientists were originally concerned about quark fusion’s potential destructive power and had considered keeping the discovery secret, they came to learn that the process, still theoretical, would most likely be safe for civilian use. The newly identified kind of reaction, which could yield up to ten times as much energy as nuclear fusion, could be the answer to endless clean energy someday. A fusion reaction, whether nuclear or quark, occurs when two or more atomic nuclei are close enough to each other to form at least one different atomic nuclei and subatomic particles. In fusing, the involved reactants and products release an enormous amount of energy, which could theoretically be harvested as nearly-infinite clean energy , the holy grail of renewable technology. A quark reaction, which could yield up to ten times as much energy as nuclear fusion, involves the fusion of bottom quarks, subsequently resulting in a larger subatomic particle, a spare particle known as a nucleon, and an enormous output of energy.  It’s reaction is so potent that it is potentially more powerful than the reaction at the center of an exploding hydrogen bomb. Related: These mini spherical reactors could help scale fusion energy by 2030 “I must admit that when I first realized that such a reaction was possible, I was scared,” said Marek Karliner, quark fusion co-researcher at Tel Aviv University, “but, luckily, it is a one-trick pony.” Nuclear explosions in hydrogen bombs gain their destructive power from chain reactions. Quark fusion, it seems, could not possibly be dangerous because bottom quarks disappear only a picosecond (1/1,000,000,000,000 of a second) after they form. There simply is not enough time for these subatomic particles to form a chain reaction. “If I thought for a microsecond that this had any military applications , I would not have published it,” Karliner said, according to Live Science. Although quark fusion remains in the theoretical stage, the researchers state that it could be achieved at the Large Haldron Collider, the world’s largest and most powerful particle collider located in France . Via Live Science / Engadget Images via CERN , lead image via Deposit Photos

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Groundbreaking quark fusion generates 10 time as much energy as nuclear fusion

Airbus and Italdesign unveil modular urban land and air transport system

March 17, 2017 by  
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Showcasing what could be the future of human transportation, Airbus and Italdesign unveiled their Pop.Up concept vehicle at the Geneva Motor Show yesterday – a modular ground and air transport system. With the goal of tackling rush hour traffic around the world, the companies have essentially created a car paired with a drone that can swoop down, pick it up and transport passengers far above the traffic below. Passengers use a smartphone app to call for the drone, and Airbus says the vehicle might one day be able to pair with future transport systems like Hyperloop . According to Airbus , their modular concept includes a capsule that connects to either a ground or air module, and can be integrated into other means of transportation. Trips in the vehicle are entirely managed by an artificial intelligence platform that offers passengers multiple optimized choices of transport combinations based on where and how they want to travel. Passengers can interact with the computer through their smartphone app, and enjoy the stress-free ride of an autonomous vehicle that travels on both land and air. Related: The world’s first flying car is finally available for pre-order The heart of the vehicle is the capsule, designed to house passengers. It becomes a city car by connecting with a battery-powered chassis ground module made of carbon fiber, to become an electric city car for two people. When traffic becomes too much to bear, the passengers can call on the air module powered by eight counter-rotating motors to come and pick up the capsule – leaving the chassis on the ground. It then essentially becomes a vertical-take-off-and-landing (VTOL), autonomous urban air vehicle . Airbus notes that upon depositing passengers at their destination, both the air and ground modules autonomously return to their respective charging stations to wait for their next customers. While it’s exciting, the project is likely to remain a concept for the time being, as neither Airbus nor Italdesign make any mention about production or launch of their new creation. Airbus technology incubator, A 3 is, however, hard at work on Project Vahana – a futuristic urban transit system that includes single-passenger aircraft. Via Airbus Images via Italdesign

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Airbus and Italdesign unveil modular urban land and air transport system

Why city transportation is on the brink of a revolution

December 28, 2016 by  
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New report shows that when it comes to the future of urban transportation, self-driving cars are just the start.

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Why city transportation is on the brink of a revolution

Gogoro launches electric scooter sharing in Berlin – teams up with Bosch’s Coup

August 3, 2016 by  
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Gogoro is on a mission to bring clean, green transportation to cities around the world – and since launching last year in Taiwan they’ve sold over 10,000 electric Smartscooters , rolled out 225 battery swapping stations, and saved 850,000 liters of gas. Today Gogoro is bringing its innovative, stylish scooters to Europe for the first time – by launching a brand new vehicle sharing service in Berlin. Developed in partnership with Bosch, Coup lets you rent one of 200 Gogoro Smartscooters in four Berlin neighborhoods for 3 euros for 30 minutes or 20 euros for the whole day. We chatted with Gogoro CEO Horace Luke to learn more – read on for the scoop! Berlin is a progressive, tech-savvy capital with a history of innovation, so it’s a good choice for Gogoro’s first global expansion. The Coup vehicle sharing network launches today with 200 Gogoro Smartscooters in the neighborhoods of Mitte, Prenzlauer Berg, Friedrichshain, and Kreuzberg. Gogoro and Coup worked together to develop a streamlined, easy to use system that allows anyone over the age of 21 with a drivers license to rent a scooter for a short trip or a full day. The scooter sharing network works via cellphone, so no keys are required – simply locate the nearest Smartscooter , use the app to unlock it, and you’re good to go – there’s even a helmet stored in the seat. The platform allows Coup to monitor its entire fleet from a central location and analyze individual vehicles for battery charge, maintenance needs, location, and performance. Unlike Gogoro’s system in Taiwan, users will not need to purchase and maintain their own vehicles – they simply rent scooters as needed and Coup takes care of the rest. The only design difference between the programs is that Gogoro’s European scooters are limited to 45 kph so that they qualify as L1 vehicles, which can be driven without a specialized motorcycle license. “Gogoro is collaborating with the new Coup sharing service because we share the same vision to realize advanced urban mobility in cities,” said Horace Luke, co-founder and CEO of Gogoro. The company is also working to bring its battery-swapping Smartscooters to Amsterdam this year. + Gogoro

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Gogoro launches electric scooter sharing in Berlin – teams up with Bosch’s Coup

IDEO Envisions the Future of Self-Driving Cars

November 24, 2014 by  
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How will cars look in the future? No one is quite sure, but with the upcoming arrival of self-driving cars, the potential for wild new ideas is greater than ever before. Design firm IDEO has put together their vision of the “Future of Automobility,” which looks at how self-driving cars will impact the design of vehicles over the next 15 years. Read the rest of IDEO Envisions the Future of Self-Driving Cars Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: autonomous delivery vehicle , autonomous vehicle , autonomous vehicles , delivery vehicle , driverless cars , futuristic driverless cars , green transportation , IDEO , mobile office , the car of the future , urban planning , urban transportation , workplace on wheels

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Italian Studio Nucleo Crystallizes Ancient Pieces of Oak into Precious Stools

November 24, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Italian Studio Nucleo Crystallizes Ancient Pieces of Oak into Precious Stools Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: centenarian oak , crystallized stools , epoxy resin , Nucleo , Piergiorgio Robino , Souvenirs of the Last Century

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Italian Studio Nucleo Crystallizes Ancient Pieces of Oak into Precious Stools

The Urban Glider Lets You Zip Through Town on Just One Wheel

September 8, 2014 by  
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Forget about getting around town on four wheels, three or even two – now you only need one, thanks to the Urban Glider ! Designed by Austin Marhold, this tiny electric unicycle weighs just 24 pounds and it fits between your shins. It’s designed to be intuitive to ride, lightweight, and portable. Read the rest of The Urban Glider Lets You Zip Through Town on Just One Wheel Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: austin marhold , battery-powered unicycle , powered unicycle , self-balancing unicycle , unicycle , urban glider , urban transportation

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The Urban Glider Lets You Zip Through Town on Just One Wheel

KAIST Displays Tiny Electric Vehicle That Folds Down to Just 5 Feet

August 21, 2013 by  
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A team of Korean researchers has unveiled a tiny electric vehicle that folds down to just 5.24 feet, which is one third of the space that makes up a standard parking spot. Urban centers around the world are set to become increasingly polluted and crowded as populations explode and people flock to cities. In response to a need for smaller, compact and clean-running vehicles to mitigate the environmental harm and personal discomfort that comes with such overcrowding, the team from the Korean Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) built the Armadillo-T to roll up into its shell quite like the South America animal does when it is threatened. Read the rest of KAIST Displays Tiny Electric Vehicle That Folds Down to Just 5 Feet Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: carbon dioxide emissions , clean tech , electric cars , electric vehicles , ev , foldable cars , foldable EV from Korea , green transportation , kaist , korea , lithium ion battery , population expansion , urban expansion , urban transportation        

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KAIST Displays Tiny Electric Vehicle That Folds Down to Just 5 Feet

NBBJ Unveils New Plans for Biosphere Greenhouses at Amazon’s Seattle HQ

August 21, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of NBBJ Unveils New Plans for Biosphere Greenhouses at Amazon’s Seattle HQ Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “sustainable architecture” , Amazon , amazon headquarters , biosphere greenhouses , biospheres , campus , Denny Triangle , eco campus , eco design , eco office , green architecture , Green Building , green design , green office , greenhouse , NBBJ , Seattle , Sustainable Building , sustainable design        

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