Atmosphere Inspires Edition 009

Sam Colyer
Atmosphere Inspires is our regular curation of news and views from the digital sphere; the lead stories that are affecting you and your business. In this edition we’re looking at the exciting impacts that technology innovations are having on the extensive travel industry.

Stories catching our attention

A step closer to reality for Hyperloop?

The description of the Elon Musk’s Hyperloop has a certain sci-fi feeling about it with passengers sent whizzing through a low pressure tube at airline speeds. There are many, many obstacles to overcome which may shape the final end product, but Richard Branson’s Virgin Group are definitely interested having announced an undisclosed investment in the concept last week. Founder Josh Giegel draws attention on improving the experience of the passenger: a good reminder that innovative digital concepts must always keep the consumer in mind in order to achieve real success.

Driverless cars on the streets of New York

If you really wanted to test out the capabilities of a driverless vehicle, then the busy streets of New York would give you a good challenge. State governor Andrew Cuomo is clearly ready for it having announced that General Motors and Cruise Automation are to begin the first fully autonomous vehicle testing in Manhattan. As the driverless concept evolves and becomes more established, it will no doubt instigate a race for automobile companies to develop and implement this technology. Crucially though, government backing and public buy-in will be key to any success.

What else is happening?

The taming of the drone

The development of drones has seen some negative media coverage around security, privacy and entering national airspace. DJI is looking to help alleviate some of these issues with AeroScope: a technology set to broadcast and monitor drone information, including altitude and serial number. Unprecedented developments in technology will inevitably lead to concerns around security, regulations and privacy, but having a proactive and positive attitude to address obstacles as they arise is good practice for any business looking to embrace digital transformation.

Blockchain to take off for the aviation industry?

As we mentioned in the last edition, all industries are exploring the potential benefits of blockchain, and last week Lufthansa struck a deal with blockchain travel platform "Winding Tree" to consider enhancing booking and itinerary management via the ledger technology. There are many potential advantages for the aviation industry and blockchain: this article from last month describes how it may also benefit airlines and passengers by rebalancing the value chain - surely an attractive concept for airline carriers.

A Stella idea

This futuristic solar powered car may be the future of travel and we just love the concept. Penned by a Dutch team, “Stella Vie” is the solar powered car which came first at the bi-annual World Solar Challenge this month. It’s a very relevant time for creations like this: Stella Vie generates enough energy to power itself, but also creates excess energy to feed back to the grid. To support the green ethos further, an in-built solar navigating system ensures the most efficient route is taken. We look forward to seeing more from Stella Vie, it’s a great example of how advancements in technology can have important positive impacts both for now and in the future.

Hitachi introduces EMIEW3

At just three foot tall, multi-lingual EMIEW3 takes artificial intelligence to the next level by liaising and assisting stressed out passengers at the airport. The ability to spontaneously learn and respond to queries in a number of different languages is impressive, but so is EMIEW3's method of standing back up after taking a tumble (demonstrated in the video!). The trend for sophisticated AI continues to grow, suggesting there’s a strong desire and need for advanced AI technology in our lives today.

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