Archive for the ‘transportation’ category

Jun 3, 2023

Deadly Indian rail crash shifts focus from new trains to safety

Posted by in categories: economics, government, transportation

Long considered the lifeline of the world’s most populous country, the 170-year-old system has seen rapid expansion and modernisation under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s push to boost infrastructure and connectivity in the fast-growing economy.

This year, the government made a record 2.4-trillion-rupee ($30 billion) capital outlay for the railways, a 50% increase over the previous fiscal year, to upgrade tracks, ease congestion and add new trains.

A new, semi-high-speed train built in India and called the “Vande Bharat Express”, or “Salute to India Express”, is showcased as evidence of this modernisation, with Modi himself flagging off the first journeys of many of the trains around the country.

Jun 2, 2023

SAS starts taking bookings for its first ever all-electric flight

Posted by in category: transportation

The journey will take place in 2028.

On Friday, Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) started taking bookings for its first-ever commercial flights on electricity-powered planes set to take flight in 2028. This is according to a press release by the firm.

At noon central European time, the airline opened registration for 30 seats on one of its three all-electric inaugural flights.

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Jun 2, 2023

Boeing Becomes Sole Owner of Air Taxi Manufacturer Wisk Aero

Posted by in categories: futurism, transportation

As it contends with a slowdown in 737 Max deliveries at present, Boeing also has its eye on the future.

According to reports this week, the aerospace powerhouse is now the sole owner of Wisk Aero, the self-flying air taxi manufacturer it has been backing since 2019, alongside Google co-founder Larry Page’s Kitty Hawk Corp. Kitty Hawk ceased operations last year but continued to invest in the electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft developer.

Now, Boeing has reportedly acquired Kitty Hawk’s shares in Wisk, making it a wholly owned subsidiary, though Wisk CEO Brian Yutko said the air taxi enterprise will retain its independence. Yutko did not disclose the terms of the agreement.

Jun 2, 2023

This autonomous robot saves you a parking spot and charges your EV

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

EV Safe Charge.

Ziggy, the portable robotic EV charger that Interesting Engineering reported on last year, will soon be installed at a U.S. airport in a bid to meet the growing demand for travelers owning EVs – so they can easily charge them while they fly.

Jun 2, 2023

VW unveils the larger ID.Buzz electric van headed to North America

Posted by in categories: mobile phones, sustainability, transportation

Volkswagen has finally unveiled the version of the ID.Buzz electric van that’s destined for North America, and there’s more to it than you might think. The three-row design with two extra seats is clearly the main draw for roadtrippers and growing families, but this isn’t just a stretched version of the modern Microbus. It boasts a larger 91kWh battery (versus 82kWh for the two-row), a more powerful 282HP motor for the rear-wheel drive trim (versus 201HP) and a higher 99MPH top speed (versus 90MPH). While there are no range estimates yet, there will also be an optional all-wheel drive configuration with a 330HP dual-motor system.

The interior tech hasn’t changed much from the two-row model, although that’s not necessarily a bad thing. You’ll still face a 5.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 12.9-inch infotainment display. The larger ID.Buzz now has the easier-to-use interface from the ID.7, though, and you’ll find a total of eight USB-C ports — helpful when friends in the back want to charge their phones. The three-row EV also comes standard with Level 2 driver assistance (including lane centering), and the customizable cabin lighting doubles as a status indicator for everything from charging levels to navigation directions.

The North American van also touts the largest panoramic roof of any car in the VW group at 67.4 inches long, and uses electrochromic glass to turn opaque when it’s not needed. You’ll also find a 110V outlet under the passenger seat area, and a 12V port in the cargo space can charge more of your gear. A nine-speaker audio system is standard, but you can upgrade to a 14-speaker Harman Kardon unit.

Jun 2, 2023

A new method to make high-performance magnets could minimize our reliance on rare earth elements

Posted by in categories: economics, sustainability, transportation

Wikimedia Commons.

These high-performance magnets, used in wind turbines and electric vehicles, are vital for building a zero-carbon economy. Currently, the best permanent magnets available require rare earth elements.

Jun 1, 2023

Replacing driver hand gestures with holography

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

How do you decide whether a pedestrian needs to wait or it’s safe to cross the road in front of a car? In today’s world, drivers and pedestrians simply exchange a brief eye contact or small hand gestures to express their intentions to one another. But how will future autonomous cars communicate? Researchers involved in the MaMeK project are seeking to answer this question. They will present their findings at the LASER World of PHOTONICS trade fair in Munich from June 27 to 30 (Booth 415, Hall A2).

Imagine a situation in which a cyclist isn’t sure whether an approaching car giving him way or not—but then a bright projection appears in front of the vehicle, indicating that it has detected the bike and is waiting for it. This is one example of how cars and humans might communicate with one another on the streets of the future.

Together with his team at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF in Jena, Norbert Danz is looking at scenarios of this kind within the MaMeK joint project, which is focusing on projection systems for human-machine communication and involves partners including Audi AG. Two technological approaches are being pursued as part of this: displays shown directly on the car itself and holographic projections on the ground surrounding the vehicle. Fraunhofer IOF is responsible for the technology on which the latter of these cases is based.

Jun 1, 2023

The death of self-driving cars is greatly exaggerated

Posted by in categories: business, robotics/AI, transportation

GM’s Cruise aims to turn self-driving into a billion-dollar business.

Jun 1, 2023

Silicon Valley Is Reviving the Dream of General-Purpose Humanoid Robots

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

Robots are nothing new. They build our cars, vacuum our floors, prepare our e-commerce orders, and even help carry out surgeries. But now the sci-fi vision of a general-purpose humanoid robot seems to be edging closer.

While disembodied artificial intelligence has seen rapid improvements in performance in recent years, most robots are still relatively dumb. For the most part, they are used for highly specialized purposes, the environments they operate in are carefully controlled, and they are not particularly autonomous.

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Jun 1, 2023

Tesla doubles discounts on Model 3 cars in US inventory

Posted by in categories: economics, sustainability, transportation

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) — Tesla Inc has doubled discounts on some already made new Model 3 electric cars and offered discounts on the Model Y and others in its U.S. inventory to entice buyers amid economic uncertainty, rising competition and the upcoming redesign of its mainstay model.

In California, a Model 3 variant in inventory was priced at $42,060, a discount of $2,680 to the price of newly ordered cars, according to its website. That is double the $1,300 discount on Model 3 cars offered less than two weeks ago.

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