Dubai’s autonomous flying taxis will take flight later this year

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The crafts are fully electric, with 18 rotors and nine independent battery systems that can pick up the slack to keep the craft in the air if anything fails mid-flight. Volocopter claims the quick-charge battery can be fully juiced in as little as 40 minutes for a max flight time of about 30 minutes. That’s at the standard cruising speed of 50 km/h (around 30 mph) and a top speed of 100 km/h (about 62 mph).

Source: Dubai’s autonomous flying taxis will take flight later this year

Uber takes its self-driving tech north of the border

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Uber’s self-driving operations inside the US have had a checkered start, but that hasn’t stopped the company expanding its efforts beyond the border. It has today announced that it will set up a small research outpost in Toronto, Canada that will complement its ongoing work with autonomous vehicle technologies.The research center will be a new branch of Uber’s existing Advanced Technologies Group, which already has offices in San Francisco and Pittsburgh. Uber kicked off self-driving trials in both locations last year, though its momentum suffered a blow when the California DMV banned the trial in that state in December. It has since gotten the necessary permits, but suspended another trial in Arizona following a high-impact crash.

Source: Uber takes its self-driving tech north of the border

Uber puts a Beacon in its cars for easier pick-ups

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Spotting your Uber is about to become easier, with the ride-sharing firm set to roll-out its new Beacon feature. The Beacon is an LED light in the shape of the Uber logo that attaches to the inside of a windshield and glows in a color that the rider chooses.If the concept sounds familiar, it’s likely because Lyft announced a similar feature, called the Amp, last month. Whereas the Amp is being limited to only five or six colors as it is rolled out, though, Uber riders will be able to select from what the firm calls “an endless number of colors.”

Source: Uber puts a Beacon in its cars for easier pick-ups

Hyperloop One Just Received Millions to Make Superfast Transport a Reality

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DP World Group of Dubai has invested $50 million into Hyperloop One, a company that aims to build a theoretical rapid transit service capable of reaching speeds of 1,200km/h (800 mph).The investment brings Hyperloop One’s total funding to $160 million.

Source: Hyperloop One Just Received Millions to Make Superfast Transport a Reality

A self-driving Uber car went the wrong way on a one-way street in Pittsburgh — Quartz

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Uber, the world’s most valuable startup, with a $68 billion valuation, has rushed to be first-to-market with driverless technology. The company showed off its self-driving cars at a media event in Pittsburgh last month before putting four Ford Fusions into service for a small group of local riders. It plans to add 100 Volvo SUVs to the fleet by the end of this year. Uber is betting on truly autonomous vehicles to transform the economics of ride-hailing by eliminating its biggest cost—drivers. The company lost at least $1.2 billion in the first half of 2016, Bloomberg reported in August, with the majority of that spent on driver subsidies.

Source: A self-driving Uber car went the wrong way on a one-way street in Pittsburgh — Quartz

Uber’s Self-Driving Car Passengers Were Signing Their Lives Away

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Uber’s fleet of self-driving cars in Pittsburgh are super exciting for anyone interested in the future of transportation—but they could come at a huge risk for passengers riding in the vehicles.A new report from the Guardian, citing documents obtained under public record showed that until June, Uber required anyone riding in one of its self-driving cars to sign a legal document that kept the company free of liabilities in case of their injury or death.

Source: Uber’s Self-Driving Car Passengers Were Signing Their Lives Away

Elon Musk’s Latest Master Plan Tips Tesla Car Sharing | News & Opinion | PCMag.com

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Once autonomous driving goes mainstream, Tesla owners will have the option to add their vehicle to the shared fleet. “Have it generate income for you while you’re at work or on vacation, significantly offsetting and at times potentially exceeding the monthly loan or lease cost,” Musk said.Instead of gathering dust in your garage or tempting thieves in the parking lot, the Uber-meets-Zipcar concept enables your vehicle to earn money for you while it’s not in use—whether that’s a few hours a day or a few days a week.”This dramatically lowers the true cost of ownership to the point where almost anyone could own a Tesla,” according to Musk.And in cities where demand exceeds the supply of customer-owned cars, Tesla intends to operate its own fleet, promising available rides “no matter where you are.”

Source: Elon Musk’s Latest Master Plan Tips Tesla Car Sharing | News & Opinion | PCMag.com