Opportunities for incorporating new technology into products and services abound in the transportation industry. Consumers are ready to see the same user experience they have with desktop and mobile devices transition to their commute, and developers are doing their best to deliver. From self-driving cars to electric car-sharing services, transportation is undergoing a facelift. This week, we bring you the latest innovations and initiatives in the transportation industry, including cars, moon rovers, and hoverboards.
Rebooting the Automobile – MIT Technology Review
Cars are more computerized than the average consumer might realize. As Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto begin to appear in cars, the next frontier for tech companies may be developing entire car operating systems, which would connect all of the computer technology already built into automobiles. Automotive companies, such as Ford and Tesla, have their own development plans in mind to further digitize the way we interact with, and use, cars.
Two Self-Driving Cars Avoid Each Other on Californian Roads – The Guardian
Recently, two self-driving cars from Google and Delphi Automotive narrowly avoided colliding with each other on a California road. Though Reuters reported the near collision as a “close call,” Delphi points to the incident as an example of safety maneuvering capability within self-driving vehicles and cites it as a demonstration of how these cars are able to interact with one another.
French car-sharing service, Autolib, has introduced a small fleet of electric cars to London. The service has already seen great success in Paris, where there are 150,000 users. Since 2013, France has seen a 50%+ increase in registered electric cars. The UK is following suit, with a 300% increase in plug-in electric car registrations over the past year. Autolib plans to have 3,000 cars on London roads in the next five years.
Surprisingly, hoverboard technology has been around for a while. Learn the science behind the hoverboard featured in Lexus’ recent ad, which went viral overnight. The necessary infrastructure to make commercializing hoverboards is not a possibility…yet. But, in the meantime, we can marvel at what technology could bring to the automotive and transportation industries in the years ahead.
Google is hosting a competition, Lunar XPrize, with $20 million going to the first privately funded competitor to land on the moon, travel 500 meters, and stream HD video back to Earth. Companies from around the world are joining in, spending millions to get their technology to the moon, where they see future commercialization opportunities. NASA has already pledged to pay up to $30 million for any images and data these rovers collect.