HIGH 5! Here is the news update of the latest trends from the global technology and startup scene. HIGH 5 is published by Lab1886. This week’s topics are:
Autonomous vehicles compete with short-haul flights +++ Big data for cleaner combustion engines +++ Drone transformed into tricopter +++ AI platform for employee innovations +++ Bicycle infrastructure
A survey conducted by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University shows that passengers would prefer to avoid short-haul flights and switch over to autonomous vehicles to avoid airport waiting times, delays, possible loss of luggage and security checks – as well as having to rent a car at their destination. Respondents expressed this preference for journeys representing between 5 and 21 hours of driving time. Even for 45-hour journeys, one in six respondents still preferred autonomous driving over flying.
Data analytics and machine-learning tools could help to reduce emissions from internal combustion engines. A study funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science analyzed combustion and fuel data sets to extract information for improving combustion methods and reformulating nine different fuels. The aim is to use less energy and make engines cleaner and more efficient.
Seeking to combine the stability of multicopter drones with the speed and energy efficiency of VTOL aircraft, German startup Quantum Systems is breaking new ground. In its “Vector” configuration, the firm’s 2-in-1 drone – made of Kevlar and fiberglass – has two fixed wings with vertically mounted propellers. After take-off, the propellers rotate to the horizontal position to provide forward thrust. In its “Scorpion” multicopter configuration, the wings are removed and replaced by three arms with vertically mounted propellers.
Source: New Atlas
The airline is working with startup Swae to develop an AI-based innovation platform. During the pilot project, employees can suggest ideas for solutions or business opportunities. They can also vote for, comment on, and provide constructive feedback on ideas. The AI analysis is intended to escalate the best ideas to the next level, where they will receive support and funding from the airline’s Innovation Lab.
Quantity does not equal quality. The challenge of designing bike lanes that are suitable for all cyclists is changing urban planning. The Canadian city of Vancouver hopes that by 2030, residents will make two thirds of all trips in the city by walking, cycling or public transit. Part of this involves upgrading all bicycle lanes to the city’s AAA standard – meaning that they are suitable for all ages and abilities (hence AAA) – to encourage inexperienced cyclists to make the changeover.
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