Travel

You have to watch Lilium’s electric VTOL personal Jet ace its first flight

You have to watch Lilium’s electric VTOL personal Jet ace its first flight

The promise of personal flying cars has always worked better in science fiction than real life, but Lilium is aiming to change that with its electric Jet. The vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) craft was originally intended as the flying alternative to a two-seater sports car, able to launch straight up without the need of a runway, but then transition into jet-mode once airborne. Now, there's the promise of a five-seater too.

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FCC Chair wants to keep phone calls banned on flights

FCC Chair wants to keep phone calls banned on flights

It isn't unusual for new administrations to overturn the decisions, mandates, and thrusts of the previous, especially when they come from opposite side. So far, the FCC, under the new chair Ajit Pai has undertaken the process of undoing Net Neutrality rules. Now it is taking aim at another controversial old FCC stance. Although still to be put to a formal vote, Pai has already made it formally known that he intends to maintain rule that bans making phone calls while a plane is in flight.

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Expedia taps VR to offer immersive virtual room tours

Expedia taps VR to offer immersive virtual room tours

We've seen VR used to ease patients' pain and increase the thrill of real-life rollercoasters, and now we're seeing it make its way into the travel industry. Booking website Expedia is planning to offer virtual reality tours of rooms to give prospective customers an immersive tour ahead of time. The idea here is that while photos on the website give some idea of what the room is like, VR is as close as the person can get to actually being in the room short of booking.

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Street View takes you up close and personal with a volcano

Street View takes you up close and personal with a volcano

As the name not so subtly hints, Google Street View was initially launched back in 2007 more as a navigation aid, showing locations, landmarks, and streets from the point of view of a person standing right in the middle of it all. Unsurprisingly, it didn’t take long for people to use Street View as a way of experiencing the vistas of a far-off location by proxy, a use case that Google has officially embraced. Now Street View has become a way to see places you otherwise would never be able to reach. Like the gaping maw of an active volcano.

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Japan’s great toilet mystery is about to be solved

Japan’s great toilet mystery is about to be solved

The first time I visited Japan, I knew what I really wanted to try first. Not the sushi, though that turned out to be superb, or the bullet train. No, my boyish excitement was all about the magical robotic toilets. For a button-loving geek who has long thought that the bathroom should have more unexpected warm water surprises, Japan's clever bidets or "washlets" are the Holy Grail.

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Carpooling can cut traffic congestion by 75%, MIT study

Carpooling can cut traffic congestion by 75%, MIT study

Ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft have been in the news a lot lately, but mostly because of their run ins with authorities and regulators. Few have probably given deep thought, not to mention devout an entire scientific paper, on their impact at large, for good or for ill. But that is exactly what researchers at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) accomplished under the charge of Professor Daniela Rus. They developed an algorithm that showed that carpooling service can potentially reduce road congestion up to three times and, in the long run, even save our environment.

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Google Maps now shows wheelchair accessibility info for locations

Google Maps now shows wheelchair accessibility info for locations

Google Maps is already a lifesaver for many of us, with the app spitting out locations with just a few taps and keeping us from getting lost with detailed directions. But now it can be even more vital for the millions of people in wheelchairs in the US. Now Google Maps will display wheelchair accessibility information for locations, right alongside details like store hours or dining options, under the "amenities" section.

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Airbnb compromises with New Orleans over rental regulations

Airbnb compromises with New Orleans over rental regulations

Airbnb may have revolutionized the way people travel and find places to stay, but the company still struggles to find acceptance in cities with strict regulations over short-term rentals, not to mention the hotel industry. But that seems to be changing in New Orleans, one of locations where Airbnb has had difficulty in operating, as the company has reached a new agreement with city officials, conceding on a number of registration and regulation policies.

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Google Flights tackles travel fears: Here’s 5 other ways to fly smarter

Google Flights tackles travel fears: Here’s 5 other ways to fly smarter

The holiday travel season is nearly upon us, and Google Flights is looking to make it a little less stressful. Google announced today that Flights will now let you know when prices are expected to go up for some routes and flights. This will happen when you select a specific flight - now, you'll be presented with a new card that tells you how many days or hours you have left until the price is expected to increase, and how much the price is expected to jump.

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Amtrak unveils next-gen high-speed trains slated for 2021 launch

Amtrak unveils next-gen high-speed trains slated for 2021 launch

Amtrak has taken the wraps off its next-generation high-speed trains, saying it plans to launch them in 2021. The trains will be an upgrade to the Acela Express fleet in the Northeast Corridor (NEC), the same region where it will be upgrading infrastructure as part of a larger 'modernization' program. The step is a necessary one to keep the (often criticized) company relevant and useful.

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China’s elevated bus gets tested, cars can pass underneath

China’s elevated bus gets tested, cars can pass underneath

China is no stranger to traffic congestion, having probably held the world's records in worst traffic jams and backups, like the one on the China National Highway 110 back in 2010 which lasted for an astounding 12 days. To help deal with such situations, without getting people stuck without transportation, China is testing a new type of "elevated" bus with a cabin large enough to hold 300 passengers but is also set high enough to let cars to pass underneath it on the highway.

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Olive suitcase is part Segway and part robot

Olive suitcase is part Segway and part robot

Frequent travelers know that once the excitement of going somewhere wears off, it can be a big hassle to roll your bag through an airport. A company called Ikap Robotics has invented a very cool suitcase that makes it much easier to schlep your bag through an airport or hotel. The bag is called Olive and it looks like a normal suitcase, but it has some interesting autonomous features to help you get around more easily.

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