This week, during the 2017 Web Summit in Portugal, Uber announced plans for its UberAir flying taxi service. Promoters call the event “the largest tech conference in the world.” Nearly 60,000 people from more than 170 countries attended.
According to Uber executive Jeff Holden, Uber plans to start UberAir in Los Angeles and Dallas by 2020.
“We’re trying to work with cities in the early days who are interested in partnering to make it happen, while knowing that there will be pitfalls along the way,” Holden said.
By the 2028 Olympics, Holden expects that people living in Los Angeles will be making “heavy use” of UberAir.
The ride-hailing company has also worked with NASA to develop new unmanned traffic management systems. NASA’s systems will enable appropriate air traffic control for aircraft flying at low altitudes in urban environments.
(Sources: latimes.com, usatoday.com, forbes.com)
NAVYA Shows Self-driving Cab
NAVYA unveiled its new Autonom Cab to the press in Paris earlier this week. The new vehicle is an all-electric, driverless van.
The Autonom Cab is able to carry up to six passengers. It can travel up to 55 mph, but will average closer to 30 mph to conform with local speed limits. As an autonomous vehicle, it has no cockpit, steering wheel or pedals.
NAVYA plans to unveil the Autonom Cab during the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January 2018. The company anticipates starting service with a new vehicle in the second quarter of 2018. It will be produced in France and the USA.
NAVYA is known for its ARMA all-electric, driverless shuttles. The ARMA is a global leader in first and last mile transportation solutions. A total of 45 of their driverless vehicles are in use throughout the world. The French company recently opened a plant in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to manufacture the ARMA for the North American market.
(Sources: electrek.co, businesswire.com, curbed.com, navya.tech/en)
South Korea Builds City Without Cars
South Korea is building a city where mass transit is a priority and cars an unnecessary option.
The $35 billion International Business District in Songdo is about the size of downtown Boston. IBD features a mixed-use urban plan. Housing is close to retail, office space, parks, medical facilities and schools. Over 100 of its buildings are LEED-certified (the world’s most widely used green rating system).
Developers are making the city an eco-friendly place to live. One of their strategies is to reduce the need for cars.
Gale International is the developer behind IBD. They expect the project, which started in 2002, to be complete by 2020.
(Sources: businessinsider.com, en.wikipedia.org)
BWAT General Manager