Posts tagged well

Connected cars need to play well with smart cities

Road intersection

As autonomous vehicles and smart city investments continue their blistering growth, experts say it’s vital that these two connected juggernauts work in better synchronicity.

An article by IT Online discusses recent findings by the International Data Corporation (IDC) its report “Collaboration Between Automotive OEMs and City Leaders for Implementing Connected Car and Smart City Solutions.”

In the report IDC looked at the interplay between these two massively transformational technologies which are generating huge levels of investment.

Global spending on autonomous cars will reach $29.6 billion by 2017, while governments around the world plan to spend $16.5 billion on intelligent transportation systems in the same timeframe.

IDC says that private-sector leaders of connected car technology must better collaborate with state and local governments to develop further advancements in urban environments.

Specifically, IDC says these two factions must work together on developing solutions for such issues as urban congestion, environmental impacts, street safety, better vehicle design and more value-added services for citizens.

“Connected cars have reached critical mass, and their interaction with the transportation infrastructure within Smart Cities is ongoing,” said IDC report authors Heather Ashton and Ruthbea Yesner Clarke.

“Automotive OEMs and smart city leaders will need to work closely to ensure the continued development of, and support for, connected car capabilities and services such as vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications that will increasingly include autonomous operations.”

But are smart cities projects tackling real problems?

IDC’s recommendations come amid reports that predict that annual revenues from smart city projects will grow to nearly $89 billion by 2025. Despite this spending most smart city initiatives, include smart transportation projects, are focusing on solving peripheral issues, with few big projects tackling core city problems.

Meanwhile, connected car technology is witnessing a global race between technology giants like Tesla, Google and traditional auto manufacturers to develop the category killing robot vehicle. Yet these proponents of autonomous vehicles are focusing more on the technical self-sufficiency of their cars in urban environments, and less on how they integrate into the larger fabric of the reconfigured smart city of the future.

The post Connected cars need to play well with smart cities appeared first on ReadWrite.

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Well, of course, Larry Page invested in two flying car startups

High-speed taxicab flying over traffic jams

Google co-founder and Alphabet CEO Larry Page is much quieter than other leaders in the industry, rarely attending events (even Google I/O), speaking in public, or publicizing his investments.

So it comes as a surprise when earlier this week a Bloomberg report revealed one of Page’s secret interests: flying cars. The chief executive has invested heavily into two flying car startups and provided space for them near Google’s campus in Mountain View, California.

See Also: Are Apple, Google, Microsoft making the right bets on wearables?

The first of these two startups is Zee.Aero, which launched in 2010. Page invested in the company and provided them with the ground floor of a 30,000 square foot building a few blocks away from Google’s HQ.

In the five years since it launched, Zee.Aero has become one of the more famous flying car startups. It went from 10 to 150 employees, moved into the second floor of its HQ (which was Page’s pad) and expanded to the Hollister airport, where it tests flying car prototypes.

Page has invested a total of $100 million into Zee.Aero, but in the past year has switched his sights to a new flying car startup, called Kitty Hawk.

The new startup is led by Google X founder and one of the lead voices for the self-driving car project, Sebastian Thrun. Page supposedly started investing to make Zee.Aero more competitive, though we don’t know that for certain since all parties declined to comment.

There are other flying cars, too

Zee.Aero and Kitty Hawk are not the only flying car startups in the world. AeroMobil, a Slovenian-based startup, has shown footage of its flying car transitioning from a car to a consumer plane in under two minutes, and is pushing for legalization.

Page’s fascination with flying cars may come from the same vein that approves self-driving, smart cities, and clean energy solutions. His Google I/O speech in 2013 revealed that ad sales and search results were of negligible interest to the chief executive, who would much rather talk about publicizing medical records and fundamentally changing society.

Flying cars are still a far away fantasy. The regulation and safety hazards could take even longer to get around than self-driving cars and drones, however, for Page, the man that built the most valuable company in the world, it may just be one step away from reality.

The post Well, of course, Larry Page invested in two flying car startups appeared first on ReadWrite.

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