Watch: Dubai Tests Flying Taxi Drone For Future Ride-Hailing Service

International Business Times

Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority announced it successfully tested autonomous taxi drones in the city. Volocopter, the German company that built the flying drones, said this week's test is the "first-ever public flight of an autonomous urban air taxi." Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority announced the flying drones at the 2017 World Government Summit in February. The drone taxi is powered by 18 rotors and includes an "intelligent autonomous control system," said Volocopter.

GPS spoofing makes ships in Russian waters think they're on land


Researchers are calling these "mass GPS interferences" and they appear to be linked to the intentional transmission of false GPS signals to provide incorrect time or location information, possibly to veil certain facilities from attack. Putin has long been rumored to have a lavish secret estate on the Black Sea coast near Gelendzhik, where researchers found one instance of GPS spoofing. The report's authors initially started to examine instances of GPS misdirection after a vessel master in the Black Sea reported his GPS showing him to be at the Gelendzhik airport, in southern Russia, about 25 miles from his real location, said Dana Goward, president of the non-profit Resilient Navigation and Timing Foundation. The authors of the report found three specific instances of GPS spoofing in which ships' GPS-based navigation systems told them they were many miles from their location: at Russia's Gelendzhik Airport and Sochi International Airport near the Black Sea and St. Petersburg Airport near the North Sea.

Dubai's autonomous flying taxi has finally taken to the sky


Dubai's autonomous flying taxis have finally been cleared for takeoff. The self-styled "Future City" just held the first test flight for its autonomous aerial taxi (AAT) service, showing off the craft that will ferry passengers around the city for what the Dubai Road and Transport Authority (RTA) is calling the world's first self-flying taxi service. There were no passengers in the craft for the trial flight, which was attended by the city's transportation authorities and Crown Prince of Dubai Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed. The trial flight is the first step in a proposed five-year collaboration between the the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority and the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority to establish a suitable framework for the taxi service.

Dubai begins testing drone taxi service


Dubai has announced the first test flight for its taxi drone, which saw the driverless flying transport service hover around 200 metres above the ground during a five-minute flight. Following the trial, Volocopter CEO Florian Reuter said the company plans to launch the flying taxi service within five years. Vahana, which Airbus is hoping to test during 2017, is designed to travel at around 230km/h, Airbus A3 head of autonomous systems Arne Stoschek said, and will have to skirt airborne obstacles without the ability to apply brakes. Telstra CTO Håkan Eriksson had last week suggested that regulatory difficulties could be solved by treating drones as flying mobile phones and allowing network operators to offer a "drone-control-as-a-service" offering.

Air New Zealand recruits a 'digital human' for its customer service team


Sophie, the'digital human', greeted guests at the recent US launch of Air New Zealand's global marketing campaign A Better Way to Fly. Air New Zealand worked with Soul Machines to create'Sophie' as it explores how artificial intelligence and other disruptive technologies can be used to help travelers. Soul Machines says the technology behind Sophie uses neural networks and brain models to bring its digital humans to life from their cloud based human computing engine which sits on top of an artificial Intelligence platform powered by IBM Watson. Luxon says artificial intelligence is one of the areas they are focusing on to achieve this, starting with Oscar the Bot, and now, with Sophie.

How Advanced Analytics are Transforming the Aviation Industry


For example, airlines have long tried to decipher travel patterns and passenger preferences, but recent advances in analytics, using machine learning algorithms, makes it possible to understand the nuances of whether passengers can or are willing to pay for additional ancillary services related to air travel – by making that transactional data visible and most importantly, actionable. Through the intelligence gained from advanced analytics, airlines can further hone their services based on passenger preferences – offering discounts on the types of food or retail that they know the passenger prefers – which ultimately leads to customer loyalty and retention, in addition to establishing new opportunities to generate revenue. The future of customer service in air travel will involve custom-built itineraries and curated add-on services, based on individual preferences, that provide real-time suggestions based on choices you've made before. Machine learning and predictive analytics is the next big wave in airline digitization that uses data, analytics and predictive algorithms to determine a traveler's propensity to spend, and presents airlines with a wealth of opportunities.

Robots and AI – the technology coming to airports will blow your mind


Now airports are getting in on the act, and it's all part of a paradigm shift towards self-service and interactions with technologies that offer "personal" information to help us on our way through the terminal. "Passengers can easily chat with the bot program, receiving updates around the clock regarding the flight of their interest, special retail offers, timetables and airport parking services." Copenhagen Airport launched the first airport app to use AR to enable passengers to find their way around the terminal and obtain information on restaurants and other facilities. "We're opening the door for a wide range of tech savvy airport providers, including our airlines and retailers, to launch new real-time services that can help passengers find their way around the airport, avoid missing flights or receive timely offers that might save them money," said Abhi Chacko, Gatwick Airport's head of IT, commercial and innovation.

Ruling gives FAA more power over drones than local governments


When it comes to drone regulations, the FAA's rules trump anything local governments conjure up. Newton resident Michael Singer filed the lawsuit in a bid to eliminate some of the city's rules that don't align with the FAA's, including having to register with every municipality it has to fly over and to maintain an altitude of 400 feet and above over private and Newton city property. US District Judge William G. Young explained that "Newton's choice to restrict any drone use below this altitude (400 feet) thus works to eliminate any drone use in the confines of the city, absent prior permission. Since we're still figuring out which drone rules and regulations work, the judge's decision could influence similar cases and even local authorities' decisions regarding drone use in the future.

The Sky's No Limit


Terwilliger – an Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide assistant professor of aeronautics and program chair for the Master of Science in Unmanned Systems degree in the College of Aeronautics – investigates outreach and engagement efforts between airports and the unmanned aerial systems (UAS) operational communities. Richard Stansbury, an associate professor and unmanned and autonomous systems engineering master's program coordinator at Embry-Riddle's Daytona Beach Campus in Florida, serves as the university's primary investigator on the project, while Terwilliger leads stakeholder engagement efforts and more. After graduation, he worked for more than 10 years in aviation and aerospace – leading integration testing, simulation and training development – and he developed documentation as a software/test engineer at Rockwell Collins Simulation and Training Solutions and ENSCO, Inc. Named Embry-Riddle Worldwide Campus Faculty Member of the Year (2013-2014), Terwilliger served as the lead for the Real World Design Challenge Development Team (2013-2015). He currently chairs the UAS subcommittee for the National Business Aviation Association's Business Aviation Management Committee, and he sits on the editorial board for the Journal of Unmanned Aerial Systems.

The Perils of Letting Machines into the Hive Mind - Issue 52: The Hive


In the preface to Saint Joan, his play about Joan of Arc, the teenager whose visions of saints and archangels stirred soldiers into battle early in the 15th century, George Bernard Shaw makes a surprisingly compelling argument that following Joan of Arc's mystical visions was at least as rational as following a modern-day general into today's battlefield full of highly technological and incomprehensible weapons of war. If we don't know calculus, we can't understand the beauty of imagining time disappearing by letting it shrink into a moment and how that relates to the tangent of a curve. If you have used the Internet recently to work on a task, you'd find it hard to assess your ability as an individual to perform the task since it is so intertwined with the contribution of the Internet. In another study we asked people to search the Internet for the answers to simple questions about finance, like "What is a stock share?"