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

Autonomous cars advance in Nevada – The Nevada Independent

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Gov. Brian Sandoval stopped by UNR on Friday to sign several pieces of legislation, including a bill that gives autonomous cars more freedom on the road and a measure providing more than $40 million in funding for a new engineering building at UNR.Sandoval arrived at UNR in an autonomous car provided by the university. He was met by UNR President Marc Johnson as well as a number of Nevada cheerleaders, engineering students and professors.AB69 allows for self-driving cars to navigate the streets with only passengers inside.

Source: Autonomous cars advance in Nevada – The Nevada Independent

France plans for conductorless ‘drone trains’ on tracks by 2023

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The conductor-free TGVs (the French acronym for high speed trains) would bring self-driving tech to some of the fastest vehicles in the world, which regularly travel at speeds around 200 mph.  The trains are projected to hit the tracks in 2019 for prototype testing, according to a FranceInfo report, and will only transport cargo to start. The TGVs could take on passengers by 2023 for routes between Paris and southeast France.

Source: France plans for conductorless ‘drone trains’ on tracks by 2023

First Transit signs exclusive partnership for autonomous vehicle innovation, research – Technology – Metro Magazine

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First Transit will join GoMentum Station and use the facility as a test site for innovative transit applications, including a pilot project with EasyMile and the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) to deploy the first SAV shuttle on public roads in the U.S. The pilot project, which began in late 2016, recently launched the second phase of testing at Bishop Ranch, an office park in San Ramon, Calif.

Source: First Transit signs exclusive partnership for autonomous vehicle innovation, research – Technology – Metro Magazine

World’s first all-electric autonomous container ship to set sail in 2018

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While self-driving cars are regularly in the news, we haven’t heard as much noise on the autonomous shipping front, which could have equally far-reaching ramifications. Now Norwegian company Yara has teamed up with maritime technology company Kongsberg to build the world’s first all-electric and autonomous container ship, which is set to hit the high seas late in 2018.

Source: World’s first all-electric autonomous container ship to set sail in 2018

A Flying Taxi Service Will Soar Through the Skies by 2018

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E-volo isn’t the only company working on flying cars, VTOLs, or a flying taxi service. Popular ridesharing company Uber has been working on one, too. Big companies and startups alike have been testing their own flying vehicles: there’s industry veteran Airbus, Larry Page’s Zee.Aero, and a Chinese startup called Ehang. More options should make the tech increasingly more affordable.

Source: A Flying Taxi Service Will Soar Through the Skies by 2018

Robotic ALIAS puts Cessna Caravan through basic maneuvers

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According to DARPA, the Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System (ALIAS) could provide a solution. Rather than retrofitting old airplane fleets with complex, expensive automated flight systems, ALIAS has been designed as an adaptable drop-in solution to lighten the load on crews. Although it’s all-new, the system has its roots in DARPA’s previous work in automated systems and unmanned autonomous vehicles.When it’s completely up and running, ALIAS should be able to handle a complex military mission from takeoff to landing. It should also be able to deal with emergency situations in the air, essentially reducing the human pilot to a mission supervisor by letting the computer deal with minute-to-minute flying.Having successfully tested the system on a Diamond DA-42 earlier this year, it was recently installed in a Cessna Caravan in an attempt to prove its versatility. It pulled off a set of basic in-flight maneuvers, with a human pilot sitting alongside. The team at Aurora is now working to install it into a Bell UH-1 helicopter.

Source: Robotic ALIAS puts Cessna Caravan through basic maneuvers