DARPA awards contracts for autonomous ‘Sea Train’

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DARPA concept

 The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has awarded contracts for its Sea Train program, which seeks to enable autonomous vessels to perform long-range transit operations.

In September, Applied Physical Sciences Corp., Gibbs & Cox Maritime Solutions and Mar Technologies were chosen for the program, which will include two 18-month phases.

The contract awards’ total potential values were $31.2 million, $30.4 million and $28.5 million, respectively. Through the effort, DARPA wants “to provide some operational flexibility for medium-sized unmanned surface vessels,” said Andrew Nuss, a program manager within the agency’s tactical technology office. Each company is “developing a unique approach to be able to address the goals of the Sea Train program.”

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Lexus is addressing autonomous car anxiety with innovative designs

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Lexus is reimagining the future of self-driving cars.

Although the future of autonomous cars is certainly exciting, much of what it will look like remains unknown. Will we still sit in the “driver’s” seat or will the interiors of new cars look more like a café? This is one of thquestions that Lexus is trying to answer.

The luxury carmaker partnered with two TED fellows to try and figure out what the future of self-driving vehicles will look like. Moreover, the project aims to lessen some fears about taking away the interactive part of driving.

Although true autonomous cars won’t be a reality for most consumers anytime soon, addressing these problems now will help make their adoption much smoother.

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Virgin Hyperloop hits an important milestone : The first human passenger test

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For the first time, two people rode a hyperloop pod through a nearly airless tube at 100 mph

VirginVirgin Hyperloop announced that for the first time it has conducted a test of its ultra-fast transportation system with human passengers.

The test took place on Sunday afternoon at the company’s DevLoop test track in the desert outside Las Vegas, Nevada. The first two passengers were Virgin Hyperloop’s chief technology officer and co-founder, Josh Giegel, and head of passenger experience, Sara Luchian. After strapping into their seats in the company’s gleaming white and red hyperloop pod, dubbed Pegasus, they were transferred into an airlock as the air inside the enclosed vacuum tube was removed. The pod then accelerated to a brisk 100 miles per hour (160 km/h) down the length of the track, before slowing down to a stop.

It’s an important achievement for Virgin Hyperloop, which was founded in 2014 on the premise of making Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s vision of a futuristic transportation system of magnetically levitating pods traveling through nearly airless tubes at speeds of up to 760 mph (1,223 km/h) a reality.

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This $500,000 motorcycle transforms into a flying quadcopter in just 60 seconds

 

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For decades, we have been waiting for a fully-functional flying car – an idea mostly made popular by sci-fi movies. However, it still remains to be an unrealized dream. But, guess what? It turns out that someone has been successful in building a motorcycle, instead of a car, that can fly! A French company called Lazareth recently demonstrated a futuristic-looking motorcycle, which looks like it came straight out of the sets of Transformers, and it can actually transform into a flying hoverbike in just 60 seconds. Called the Lazareth LMV 496, the flying motorcycle is being hailed as “the very first motorcycle in the world that can be transformed into a quadricopter.” Affectionately dubbed La Moto Volante, it’s the brainchild of designer Ludovic Lazareth and his team. The company even published a video of the motorcycle showcasing its capabilities.

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Virgin Hyperloop selects West Virginia to test its futuristic transport system

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The certification center will serve as the location for testing, developing, and validating the technology

 Virgin Hyperloop One announced its plan to build a $500 million certification center to advance its vision of the future of high-speed transportation in West Virginia. The state will serve as a locus for testing, developing, and validating the technology that underpins the still-theoretical hyperloop system.

There is no fully functional hyperloop in the world, and it has never been tested with human passengers. But the federal government has recently laid out the framework for regulating the hyperloop, giving hope to companies like Virgin Hyperloop One that it may eventually break ground on a full-sized operational hyperloop system. To do so, it will still need to raise millions of dollars in funding, acquire the enormous tracks of land, and certify that the hyperloop can be operated safely. Which is all to say, the hyperloop is still very far off.

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Hyundai creates division for walking robots and Transformer-like mobility vehicles

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The Korean automaker will dip its toes in the field of freaky-looking robots.

Remember the Hyundai Elevate concept from CES 2019? Probably not because so much happens at CES, it’s hard to keep track of the real breakthroughs, worthy attention-grabbers and the fluff. Well, we should definitely pay a little more attention to Hyundai and its Elevate concept because the Korean automaker announced a new division on Tuesday devoted to “ultimate mobility vehicles.”

If the Elevate concept defines what an “ultimate mobility vehicle” is, that means Hyundai just created a studio to design walking cars. They’re sort of freaky, honestly. The New Horizons Studio, as it’s called, will develop vehicles “to wander with unprecedented mobility,” the automaker said in the announcement. “Wander” is an appropriate word since the Elevate concept sports long legs that let the vehicle “walk” over what would typically be terrain a standard vehicle would never get past. Specifically, Hyundai imagined the Elevate as a perfect rescue vehicle to step over rocks, rubble and other debris with ease.

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World’s first hydrogen-electric passenger flight brings us ‘one step closer’ to zero -emissions air travel

‘The size of this commercially available aircraft shows that paying passengers could be boarding a truly zero-emission flight very soon,’ says ZeroAvia CEO

The world’s first hydrogen-electric passenger flight was successfully completed on 24 September, potentially bringing the aviation industry a step closer to zero-emissions air travel.

The six-seater aircraft did a taxi, takeoff, full pattern circuit and landing at an airfield in Cranfield, England.

ZeroAvia, the company behind the plane, said it was the first ever hydrogen fuel cell-powered flight using a commercial-grade aircraft.

The brand’s retrofitted Piper M-class is now the largest hydrogen-powered aircraft in the world.

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PriestmanGoode designs autonomous on-demand passenger and cargo vehicles for Dromos

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PriestmanGoode has designed an electric and autonomous concept vehicle that would be part of a transport network providing private trips for passengers and urban freight delivery.

 The modular concept car was chosen as winner of a competition by autonomous network transit (ANT) company Dromos to imagine a vehicle that would run on its own dedicated road-like system.

Aiming to reimagine mass transit for the 21st century, Dromos’ brief was to design a safe, reliable and affordable vehicle that focuses on modularity, sustainability and flexibility of use.

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First operational boring tunnel under vegas almost done, Elon Musk announces

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The company is as quick as a flash given the excavation was completed last February.

Elon Musk announced via Twitter that the first operational tunnel under Las Vegas was almost done on Tuesday. “Tunnels under cities with self-driving electric cars will feel like warp drive,” wrote the founder of The Boring Company.

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UAVOS presents concept SumoAir urban air taxi

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UAVOS has presented their air taxi SumoAir as an autonomous concept for vertical e-mobility.

 The all-electric, tandem rotor helicopter concept consists of a five-seater passenger including the pilot cabin that can be attached to either a car or a flight module.

The helicopter will be operated both manually and autonomously. The project is a part of UAVOS’ R&D efforts to explore and understand the fundamental technologies behind electric aircraft and the urban air mobility (UAM) market.

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Japan’s Sky Drive ‘flying car’ successfully carries out test flight with a person aboard

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A contraption that looked like a slick motorcycle with propellers lifted several feet off the ground

 The vehicle hovered in the air, over a netted area, for four minutes.

The decades-old dream of zipping around in the sky as simply as driving on highways may be becoming less illusory.

Japan’s SkyDrive, among the myriads of “flying car” projects around the world, has carried out a successful though modest test flight with one person aboard.

In a video shown to reporters on Friday, a contraption that looked like a slick motorcycle with propellers lifted several feet off the ground, and hovered in a netted area for four minutes.

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The forecast for passenger drones is sky high

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EHANG 184 AAV Manned Flight Test by EHANG CEO Mr. Hu Huazhi

A new forecast for passenger drones and the eVTOL aircraft market predicts dramatic growth over the next 10 years.

According to the new market research report from MarketsandMarkets on the “eVTOL Aircraft Market … Global Forecast to 2030”, the eVTOL aircraft market is projected to grow from USD 162 million in 2025 to USD 411 million by 2030, at a CAGR of 20.42% from 2025 to 2030.

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