Airbus appears to be serious about its "Vahana" project, aimed at creating an autonomous passenger drone network, and thinks testing can begin as early as 2017. [...]
Airbus is also working on a drone delivery service [...] and plans to start testing it at a Singapore university by mid-2017. The cargo-laden vehicles fly automated routes in "aerial corridors," then drop them off and send delivery notifications to customers. — Engadget
Starting later this month, Uber will allow customers in downtown Pittsburgh to summon self-driving cars from their phones, crossing an important milestone that no automotive or technology company has yet achieved. Google, widely regarded as the leader in the field, has been testing its fleet for several years, and Tesla Motors offers Autopilot [...] But none of these companies has yet brought a self-driving car-sharing service to market. — Bloomberg
We are overloaded daily with new discoveries, patents and inventions all promising a better life, but that better life has not been forthcoming for most. In fact, the bulk of the above list targets a very specific (and tiny!) slice of the population. As one colleague in tech explained it to me recently, for most people working on such projects, the goal is basically to provide for themselves everything that their mothers no longer do. — Allison Arieff | the New York Times
Moscow City Hall has announced the launch of its own version of online game “Pokemon Go.” Russians will be asked to find and "catch" historical figures in the streets of the capital via an app called “Know Moscow.Photo.”
[...] people will be able to catch and take a selfie with [...] Yury Gagarin, Alexander Pushkin, Pyotr Chaikovsky, [founder of the first Russian university] Mikhail Lomonosov, Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great, Napoleon Bonaparte and the tsar Aleksei Mikhailovich,” [...] — The Moscow Times
Sidewalk Labs, a secretive subsidiary of Alphabet, wants to radically overhaul public parking and transportation in American cities, emails and documents obtained by the Guardian reveal.
Its high-tech services, which it calls “new superpowers to extend access and mobility”, could make it easier to drive and park in cities and create hybrid public/private transit options that rely heavily on ride-share services such as Uber. — the Guardian
Columbus, Ohio, has won a $50m prize for its plans to smarten up its transport system. The money is made up of a $40m Smart Cities grant from the Department of Transportation (DOT), a $90m fund put up by private sector partners and a further $10m from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s charity Vulcan, which will be used to finance electric vehicle infrastructure. — globalconstructionreview.com
If Mr. Ratti’s projections are correct, and self-driving cars can radically reduce traffic without cannibalizing existing mass transit—the hypotheticals pile up—it is possible that self-driving cars will make many cities livable in a way they aren’t now. Imagine if every U.S. city had a hybrid public-private mass-transit system on par with those in New York City or Washington, D.C., comprised entirely of self-driving vehicles. — wsj.com
The growing interest in blockchain has morphed its concept into something new. Before, the blockchain was simply the spine of the bitcoin network, but today the technology is being used on a burgeoning list of distributed ledgers with varying degrees of openness, security and complexity.
Ethereum, a public blockchain platform created by Russo-Canadian programmer Vitalik Buterin...proposes to do away with middlemen everywhere, not just in finance. — Wired
Hyper-Reality is a concept film by Keiichi Matsuda. It presents a provocative and kaleidoscopic new vision of the future, where physical and virtual realities have merged, and the city is saturated in media. — hyper-reality.co
Some people think VR is a second class reality. I am not sure of that — aeon.com
If the founders of a new face recognition app get their way, anonymity in public could soon be a thing of the past. FindFace, launched two months ago and currently taking Russia by storm, allows users to photograph people in a crowd and work out their identities, with 70% reliability.
It works by comparing photographs to profile pictures on Vkontakte, a social network popular in Russia and the former Soviet Union, with more than 200 million accounts. — the Guardian
"In future, the designers imagine a world where people walking past you on the street could find your social network profile by sneaking a photograph of you, and shops, advertisers and the police could pick your face out of crowds and track you down via social networks."For related content:France...
Google will introduce its much-anticipated entry into the voice-activated home device market on Wednesday, according to people who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Named Google Home, the device is a virtual agent that answers simple questions and carries out basic tasks. It is to be announced at Google’s annual developers’ conference in Silicon Valley.
Questions are already arising about privacy, disclosures and the quality of the information being doled out. — New York Times
"The idea that you can replace the 10 trips with one autonomous car and travel less distance, that’s the biggest misconception," says Fagnant. "You can get rid of vehicles, but not vehicle miles traveled. Without ridesharing, there's an 8 to 10 percent increase in vehicle miles traveled based on simulations we've run in Austin. You’re not replacing trips [..] the vehicle has to bounce between locations, and relocate to where it’s needed. Those in-between miles will create a lot of extra travel." — curbed.com
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