News

Delivery Drones

In April, Alphabet’s Wing became the first drone delivery company to gain Federal Aviation Administration approval to make commercial U.S. deliveries. Just five years ago, 63% of Americans thought it would be a “change for the worse” if commercial drones were given permission to fly through most U.S. airspace. But then again, you can’t have consumers assess future technologies because they have little understanding of its inherent potential. That is underscored by Morgan Stanley’s prediction that autonomous aircraft could become a $1.5 trillion industry by 2040. Meanwhile, Amazon has unveiled the latest iteration of its Prime Air delivery drone. Video below in our innovation video gallery.

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News

Bird Launches Cruiser Electric Moped

Scooter-sharing company Bird will offer an electric moped in select markets this summer, called the “Cruiser” the first to include a seat. Mopeds can be used like a bike, with the electric motor offering assistance to make pedaling easier, or as a motorcycle with feet on the pegs. The Cruiser features a 52-volt battery that lasts for 50 miles. It has disc brakes, a padded seat, an LCD screen, and is limited to a 30-mph speed. On June 12, Santa Monica-based Bird announced that it would acquire San Francisco-based Scoot. As we reported previously, the electric scooter market is heating up with Harley-Davidson recently launching one. Bird has raised a total of $415 million in funding over five rounds.

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News

KLM Flying V Jet

Dutch airline KLM, working with researchers at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, has launched the Flying V jet concept, named after an iconic Gibson guitar featuring a similar shape. The Flying V was conceived by Justus Benad, a former student at the Technical University of Berlin. The Flying V is projected to use 20% less fuel than traditional designs, while accommodating 314 passengers in its oversize wings. Commercial release is slated for 2040. Boeing predicts that the airline industry will need 790,000 pilots in the next 20 years.

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Trends

Harley-Davidson Electric Scooter

America’s 74 million Baby Boomers have been noticeably missing from Harley-Davidson’s recent motorcycle sales. The company recently reported a 9% decline in fourth-quarter revenue. In order to attract new customers, read “millennials,” America’s favorite Easy Rider symbol has turned its attention to electric vehicles.

But a funny thing happened along the route. Feedback to its $30,000 electric motorcycle, LiveWire, has been drowned out by the noise produced by the company’s prototype electric scooter.

That’s significantly higher than Zero, whose base DS ZF7.2 retails for $11,000 (see gallery below). Harley’s electric scooter should be priced closer to Taiwan’s Gogoro 2 scooter, which sells for $3,000. Electric scooters form the backbone of the exploding shared scooter market, which is being sparked by billion-dollar startups Bird and Lime.

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Smart Cities
Trends

Smart Cities

From the earliest days of the Mesopotamians, humans have been searching for ways to improve shared spaces, usually creating a central square around which other structures were built. But no

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Innovation

Boom

In 1971, U.S. Congress halted federal funding of a next-generation supersonic transport, dubbed the “SST.” It was one the dumbest acts ever perpetrated in the name of the American public,

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Innovation

Cobalt Valkyrie Co50

Cobalt has introduced the Co50 Valkyrie ($699,000), a high-end aircraft inspired by fighter jets. The Valkyrie is the fastest private aircraft in its class, able to travel at speeds of up to 260 knots, compared to 242 knots for similar aircraft.

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