Uber already has self-driving cars, and now it’s on to the next frontier: Flying cars. The ride-hailing company on Thursday posted a white paper outlining its plan for “on-demand aviation,” aka flying Ubers. “On-demand aviation, has the potential to radically improve urban mobility, giving people back time lost in their daily commutes,” Uber wrote in its white paper. Along with a lengthy analysis of the economics and mechanics of flying cars, Uber published a bunch of illustrations of next-generation airborne transportation.
The “Digital Motorway Test Bed” is a joint initiative between the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, the Free State of Bavaria, the automotive and supply industry as well as the IT sector.On several sections of the A9 between Nuremberg East and Munich North, transmitters and sensors connect cars with their surroundings as well as with other vehicles. Audi is involved in six projects here. Three of them focus on structural measures and the remaining three on communication technologies.Alejandro Vukotich, head of development for automated driving at Audi, says: “As part of the Digital Test Bed, Audi is participating in development activities to make the autobahn infrastructure even more reliable and therefore support piloted driving.
In 2018, Nissan expects to unveil a “multiple-lane control” application that can autonomously negotiate hazards and change lanes during highway driving. Two years later, it plans to add the capability for the vehicle to navigate city driving and intersections without driver intervention.
THE POLITICS OF TRANSPORTATIONWhile most eyes are on the 2016 U.S. election, Tesloop CEO Rahul Sonnad is looking ahead to 2020, and he sees autonomous vehicles as a much bigger political talking point than they are currently.In a video interview with TechCrunch contributor Andrew Keen, Sonnad talks about transportation in terms of politics, remarking that the current U.S. administration has been “remarkably grown-up and rational” about transportation, particularly with regards to autonomy.While he notes that the current election cycle hasn’t yielded much significant discussion of the transportation industry, Sonnad predicts the 2020-2024 administration period is “going to be completely transformative” for the U.S.’s transportation landscape.“The technology will be there to have a car that is safer than a human driver by that point,” says Sonnad.“I think the implications of that are really staggering in terms of both making transportation much cheaper, but also I think you’ll start to see at that time a lot more electric transportation, which will make it much cleaner.”He goes on to predict that autonomous vehicles will eliminate traffic, eventually be used to move freight, and even change our roads themselves, with high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes becoming autonomous car lanes.
An Anheuser-Busch autonomous tractor-trailer drove more than 51,000 cans of beer across Colorado this week, marking what it says is the “world’s first” self-driving truck delivery.The journey was made possible by Otto, a San Francisco-based startup recently acquired by Uber. Its truck hauled 2,000 crates of Budweiser from Fort Collins, through Denver, to Colorado Springs.
Toyota will start selling its clean air hydrogen bus, the Toyota Murai, starting in 2017.Fuel cell engines create clean water and don’t emit greenhouse gases — but synthesising hydrogen for the engine does.Toyota’s new Murai hydrogen-powered buses will take to the streets of Toyko starting in 2017, the company has announced. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has already purchased two buses, but the automotive manufacturer plans to sell 100 before the 2020 Olympic games hosted in Japan’s capital.
NXP itself last year bought Freescale for $12 billion. The deal gave NXP access to the market for micro-controllers, in which Freescale is one of the leading companies.And in a separate, similarly large deal, Japanese communications colossus SoftBank recently agreed to buy the British chip designer ARM for $32 billion. Although this website is more about technology than finance, these deals likely have implications for the types of robotics and automation technologies which will emerge in the future.Board at work A “leaked” picture of Apple A10 processor for the iOS devices, as published on BGR.comQualcomm is estimated to be the leader in the market for smartphone processors, with around 30 to 40 per cent share, depending on the type of processor we’re talking about.Other companies doing well in smartphones are Mediatek, and Apple – yes, Apple makes smartphone applications processors, apparently.