FILTER POSTS SHOW ALL AVIATION MARITIME
FILTER POSTS SHOW ALL AVIATION MARITIME

Fly Low Sweet Chariot

The majority of drone marketing reports have been quite remiss in devoting little space to the discussion of the development of drone taxis. Indeed, the 2016 Valour Consultancy report only mentions the Ehang 184 in the section devoted to that company and only mentions the Urban Aeronautics AirMule in passing but in April 2017 the company made its debut test flight of the Cormorant.

Yet in mid-2017, we find that Dubai is planning to introduce the Ehang as a city-wide taxi service in July this summer and Las Vegas will trial them later in the year if it is cleared by the FAA after testing in Nevada. Still, there is some research ongoing as predictive algorithms are required to compensate for the greater inertia that a loaded aerial taxi possesses. In addition, it has taken slightly longer than anticipated to set up the command and control centre. Although the vehicle is completely autonomous, every parameter of the craft and its flight is monitored and checked by a team of operators in a specially-built centre. This gives passengers the reassurance that there is a human to talk to should the need arise.

Before we get carried away with the potential shown by driverless cars and drone taxis, we need to look at the market they are entering. The mechanical transportation market has developed over two centuries with incremental safety features arrived required, generally after some horrific incident.

Rail, buses, taxies and trucking are established industries that have more pull with the legislators, employ more people and are more heavily unionised than the technologically innovative transport such as drone taxis, driverless trucks and driverless taxis. There are even plans for unmanned ocean freight vessels. Yet in some parts of the world, the most obvious candidate for automation, the train, has yet to move to unmanned operation. There are nearly 80 Grade 4 (totally unmanned) metro systems in the world. These are all purpose-built and for such innovation to become feasible on traditional trainlines, there would need to be considerable investment which would be outside the capabilities of any commercial train operator.

Why is this relevant or pertinent to drone taxis? For free-flying service around a city, the number of safeguards would again require an almost inhibitive investment. The reliability and safety of this service has to be unparalleled. Remember that the airline Qantas has not had an accident related fatality since 1951. Drone taxi services must be better than this to win the public trust.

For this reason, perhaps the initial trial service might be over a fixed route where uncontrolled landing would not cause additional problems. It has been suggested that a taxi service for business travellers from a city centre to the city airport might be appropriate. This makes some sense since the taxi payload is limited to less than 100kg.

Once FAA approval is obtained, tourist flights over the Grand Canyon would be a great publicity boost especially if the body was made of a clear material. It would definitely compete favourably with the Skywalk.

Tactical Robotics which is a subsidiary of Urban Aeronautics has had the Air Mule unmanned supply and rescue ‘Fancraft’ on its development drawing board for a decade. It is not known if the Israeli Defence Force has yet had a chance to test it in a conflict situation. This vehicle has a significant payload of 500kg and a range of 50 km making it an ideal solution for disaster recovery scenarios. Of course, the main target audience is the military who have budgets enough to underwrite its development.

Another innovative possibility has been unveiled in March this year at the Geneva Motor Show by a collaborative venture between Airbus and Italdesign. This is called the “Pop.Up” and the concept is essentially a passenger pod that can hold two folk. This pod can either be latched to a self-steering four-wheeled ‘ground module’ or an eight-fan ‘air module’. Needless to say, this is all controlled via a Smartphone App. You plan your route on your phone and the App offers the most convenient combination of ground and air travel. Given the stated objective of freeing commuters for city congestion, the purpose of the ‘ground module’ seems a little vague. However, if they are going multimodal, it would not take a great stretch of the imagination to have to passenger pod mountable on to train bogie also thus providing door-to-door service for dormitory town residents.

Valour Consultancy does not believe this niche market has immediate potential for growth but can envisage a time in the not too distant future when unmanned Ubertaxis and autonomous Überpassengerdrones may be the main form of city transport.

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[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent="no" equal_height_columns="no" menu_anchor="" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" class="" id="" background_color="" background_image="" background_position="center center" background_repeat="no-repeat" fade="no" background_parallax="none" parallax_speed="0.3" video_mp4="" video_webm="" video_ogv="" video_url="" video_aspect_ratio="16:9" video_loop="yes" video_mute="yes" overlay_color="" video_preview_image="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" padding_top="" padding_bottom="" padding_left="" padding_right=""][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" layout="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" border_position="all" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding_top="" padding_right="" padding_bottom="" padding_left="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" center_content="no" last="no" min_height="" hover_type="none" link=""][fusion_imageframe image_id="4986|full" max_width="" style_type="" blur="" stylecolor="" hover_type="none" bordersize="" bordercolor="" borderradius="" align="center" lightbox="no" gallery_id="" lightbox_image="" lightbox_image_id="" alt="" link="" linktarget="_self" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_direction="left" animation_speed="0.3" animation_offset=""]http://217.199.187.200/valourconsultancy.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Ehang-184-1024x576-1.jpg[/fusion_imageframe][fusion_separator style_type="default" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" class="" id="" sep_color="#ffffff" top_margin="20" bottom_margin="20" border_size="" icon="" icon_circle="" icon_circle_color="" width="" alignment="center" /][fusion_text columns="" column_min_width="" column_spacing="" rule_style="default" rule_size="" rule_color="" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_direction="left" animation_speed="0.3" animation_offset=""] The majority of drone marketing reports have been quite remiss in devoting little space to the discussion of the development of drone taxis. Indeed, the 2016 Valour Consultancy report only mentions the Ehang 184 in the section devoted to that company and only mentions the Urban Aeronautics AirMule in passing but in April 2017 the company made its debut test flight of the Cormorant. Yet in mid-2017, we find that Dubai is planning to introduce the Ehang as a city-wide taxi service in July this summer and Las Vegas will trial them later in the year if it is cleared by the FAA after testing in Nevada. Still, there is some research ongoing as predictive algorithms are required to compensate for the greater inertia that a loaded aerial taxi possesses. In addition, it has taken slightly longer than anticipated to set up the command and control centre. Although the vehicle is completely autonomous, every parameter of the craft and its flight is monitored and checked by a team of operators in a specially-built centre. This gives passengers the reassurance that there is a human to talk to should the need arise. Before we get carried away with the potential shown by driverless cars and drone taxis, we need to look at the market they are entering. The mechanical transportation market has developed over two centuries with incremental safety features arrived required, generally after some horrific incident. Rail, buses, taxies and trucking are established industries that have more pull with the legislators, employ more people and are more heavily unionised than the technologically innovative transport such as drone taxis, driverless trucks and driverless taxis. There are even plans for unmanned ocean freight vessels. Yet in some parts of the world, the most obvious candidate for automation, the train, has yet to move to unmanned operation. There are nearly 80 Grade 4 (totally unmanned) metro systems in the world. These are all purpose-built and for such innovation to become feasible on traditional trainlines, there would need to be considerable investment which would be outside the capabilities of any commercial train operator. Why is this relevant or pertinent to drone taxis? For free-flying service around a city, the number of safeguards would again require an almost inhibitive investment. The reliability and safety of this service has to be unparalleled. Remember that the airline Qantas has not had an accident related fatality since 1951. Drone taxi services must be better than this to win the public trust. For this reason, perhaps the initial trial service might be over a fixed route where uncontrolled landing would not cause additional problems. It has been suggested that a taxi service for business travellers from a city centre to the city airport might be appropriate. This makes some sense since the taxi payload is limited to less than 100kg. Once FAA approval is obtained, tourist flights over the Grand Canyon would be a great publicity boost especially if the body was made of a clear material. It would definitely compete favourably with the Skywalk. Tactical Robotics which is a subsidiary of Urban Aeronautics has had the Air Mule unmanned supply and rescue ‘Fancraft’ on its development drawing board for a decade. It is not known if the Israeli Defence Force has yet had a chance to test it in a conflict situation. This vehicle has a significant payload of 500kg and a range of 50 km making it an ideal solution for disaster recovery scenarios. Of course, the main target audience is the military who have budgets enough to underwrite its development. Another innovative possibility has been unveiled in March this year at the Geneva Motor Show by a collaborative venture between Airbus and Italdesign. This is called the “Pop.Up” and the concept is essentially a passenger pod that can hold two folk. This pod can either be latched to a self-steering four-wheeled ‘ground module’ or an eight-fan ‘air module’. Needless to say, this is all controlled via a Smartphone App. You plan your route on your phone and the App offers the most convenient combination of ground and air travel. Given the stated objective of freeing commuters for city congestion, the purpose of the ‘ground module’ seems a little vague. However, if they are going multimodal, it would not take a great stretch of the imagination to have to passenger pod mountable on to train bogie also thus providing door-to-door service for dormitory town residents. Valour Consultancy does not believe this niche market has immediate potential for growth but can envisage a time in the not too distant future when unmanned Ubertaxis and autonomous Überpassengerdrones may be the main form of city transport. [/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

The Scandinavian dream of maritime communications: A transformational agreement between Ericsson and Maersk

Despite the moderate adoption of new advancements on communication technologies and industrial IoT, the shipping industry is still lagging behind in their implementation of end-to-end solutions, data management, and operational processes for integral connectivity. With more than 90% of consumable goods being shipped around the globe, there are still some unimpeachable factors that need to be accounted for if connectivity is set to be the milestone for a new system of sustainable performance. Yet, there are key players that are beginning to act upon major changes, taking a step forward through strategic collaborations.

The transformational agreement between Maersk Line – the world’s largest shipping company – and Ericsson – the world’s leading provider of technology and services to telecom operators – serves as a chronological example of process innovations and virtual solutions to the importance of ship-to-shore connectivity. This combination of forces strongly adheres to the values and visions outlined by the Swedish corporation; “To lead transformation through mobility, where we as a leading innovator drive transformation of industries and communities towards a sustainable Network Society…”

Back in 2012, the initial agreement contemplated the ongoing installation of mobile and satellite communications technology that enabled the Danish giant to access real-time monitoring across its fleet. Whilst the common connectivity has made its progress throughout time, the core objectives have always been based upon the improvement of vessel operations, fuel consumption, and electric conditions. Again, with nearly 300,000 refrigerated containers annually scheduled to move around 343 ports at 121 countries, Maersk Line faces a logistical challenge and a plausible margin of error that was eclipsed by the use of a Remote Container Management (RCM) system.

Launched in 2015, and under sophisticated technicalities, RCM supports the tracking of ships around the vast oceans, relying on three components: A GPS unit to monitor the movement of a ship, a SIM card that withstands high temperatures and exposure, and a GSM antenna to strengthen data signals. By implementation, Maersk Line has been able to deliver vital statistics of performance that comprises temperature, location, and power supply. At the same time, the shipping company uses the available data to maximise safety, operational/process efficiencies, and cargo care, requiring less manual inspection prior, during, and after-trip missions.

This volume of data is also loaded onto the cloud and sent back to shore-based offices for analysis. But major cloud upgrades have also been employed by the Swedish corporation to enable shipping to benefit from high connectivity, industry applications, and systems integration. The Ericsson’s Maritime ICT cloud, which has already been fortified by the strategic addition of Inmarsat’s Ka-/L- high-speed broadband Fleet Xpress product, offers an end-to-end managed cloud solution that connects vessels at sea to shore-based operations including maintenance service providers, customer support centers, fleet/transportation partners, port operations and authorities.

As part of industry applications, Ericsson’s eye on shipping powers Maersk’s commitment to digital innovations and IoT in the launch of Plug and Play Supply Chain & Logistics. Adhering Plug and Play as a strategic unifier, this digital platform aims to connect corporations to startup companies, enabling an open supply chain and logistics ecosystem. Importantly, this holistic program is set forward to enable a powerful transformation of the freight and logistic industry via a better access of large amounts of data, new technology, and more channels for engaging customers.

Through careful implementation of RCM, ICT Cloud, and industry applications, Ericsson is committed to higher connectivity and bandwidth, and logistics architectures. Nevertheless, Ericsson and Maersk Line are gradually achieving superior integration through voyage optimisation (operations and environmental efficiencies), cargo monitoring (keeping track of cargo through wirelessly connected vessels and real-time communications), and crew morale. This latter factor enhances crew satisfaction and retention rates, efficient coaching and development, and increased ability to cope with health crises that may occur while at sea.

To justify the inclusion of communication technologies and IoT at sea, Orvar Hurtig, Head of industry and Society at Ericsson argues: “Vessels at sea do have systems in place that allow them to monitor critical functions and fuel usage, set and maintain an optimal course and ensure the welfare of their crew, but they are not particularly well integrated with fleet management systems onshore and they do not maximise the potential of real-time data. As the driving force behind the networked society and the world leader in telecommunications, Ericsson is the right partner to help connect these disparate systems and enable them to share information with low latency”

Inevitably, the importance of superior communications and IoT will keep redefining the nature of sea-to-shore connectivity. The transformational agreement between Ericsson and Maersk Line keeps progressing in their pursuit of successful shipping of consumable items, data management, safety/navigation planning, environmental impacts, and real-time communications. Though, it is recommended that ship operators take sea-to-shore connectivity at heart to excel at the abovementioned factors, since Scandinavian firms are sending signals that they are conquering the vast ocean through major investment in digital communications and networks.

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[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent="no" equal_height_columns="no" menu_anchor="" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" class="" id="" background_color="" background_image="" background_position="center center" background_repeat="no-repeat" fade="no" background_parallax="none" parallax_speed="0.3" video_mp4="" video_webm="" video_ogv="" video_url="" video_aspect_ratio="16:9" video_loop="yes" video_mute="yes" overlay_color="" video_preview_image="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" padding_top="" padding_bottom="" padding_left="" padding_right=""][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" layout="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" border_position="all" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding_top="" padding_right="" padding_bottom="" padding_left="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" center_content="no" last="no" min_height="" hover_type="none" link=""][fusion_imageframe image_id="4990|full" max_width="" style_type="" blur="" stylecolor="" hover_type="none" bordersize="" bordercolor="" borderradius="" align="center" lightbox="no" gallery_id="" lightbox_image="" lightbox_image_id="" alt="" link="" linktarget="_self" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_direction="left" animation_speed="0.3" animation_offset=""]http://217.199.187.200/valourconsultancy.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/container-158362_1280-1-1024x512-1.png[/fusion_imageframe][fusion_separator style_type="default" hide_on_mobile="small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility" class="" id="" sep_color="#ffffff" top_margin="20" bottom_margin="20" border_size="" icon="" icon_circle="" icon_circle_color="" width="" alignment="center" /][fusion_text] Despite the moderate adoption of new advancements on communication technologies and industrial IoT, the shipping industry is still lagging behind in their implementation of end-to-end solutions, data management, and operational processes for integral connectivity. With more than 90% of consumable goods being shipped around the globe, there are still some unimpeachable factors that need to be accounted for if connectivity is set to be the milestone for a new system of sustainable performance. Yet, there are key players that are beginning to act upon major changes, taking a step forward through strategic collaborations. The transformational agreement between Maersk Line - the world’s largest shipping company - and Ericsson - the world's leading provider of technology and services to telecom operators - serves as a chronological example of process innovations and virtual solutions to the importance of ship-to-shore connectivity. This combination of forces strongly adheres to the values and visions outlined by the Swedish corporation; “To lead transformation through mobility, where we as a leading innovator drive transformation of industries and communities towards a sustainable Network Society…” Back in 2012, the initial agreement contemplated the ongoing installation of mobile and satellite communications technology that enabled the Danish giant to access real-time monitoring across its fleet. Whilst the common connectivity has made its progress throughout time, the core objectives have always been based upon the improvement of vessel operations, fuel consumption, and electric conditions. Again, with nearly 300,000 refrigerated containers annually scheduled to move around 343 ports at 121 countries, Maersk Line faces a logistical challenge and a plausible margin of error that was eclipsed by the use of a Remote Container Management (RCM) system. Launched in 2015, and under sophisticated technicalities, RCM supports the tracking of ships around the vast oceans, relying on three components: A GPS unit to monitor the movement of a ship, a SIM card that withstands high temperatures and exposure, and a GSM antenna to strengthen data signals. By implementation, Maersk Line has been able to deliver vital statistics of performance that comprises temperature, location, and power supply. At the same time, the shipping company uses the available data to maximise safety, operational/process efficiencies, and cargo care, requiring less manual inspection prior, during, and after-trip missions. This volume of data is also loaded onto the cloud and sent back to shore-based offices for analysis. But major cloud upgrades have also been employed by the Swedish corporation to enable shipping to benefit from high connectivity, industry applications, and systems integration. The Ericsson’s Maritime ICT cloud, which has already been fortified by the strategic addition of Inmarsat’s Ka-/L- high-speed broadband Fleet Xpress product, offers an end-to-end managed cloud solution that connects vessels at sea to shore-based operations including maintenance service providers, customer support centers, fleet/transportation partners, port operations and authorities. As part of industry applications, Ericsson’s eye on shipping powers Maersk’s commitment to digital innovations and IoT in the launch of Plug and Play Supply Chain & Logistics. Adhering Plug and Play as a strategic unifier, this digital platform aims to connect corporations to startup companies, enabling an open supply chain and logistics ecosystem. Importantly, this holistic program is set forward to enable a powerful transformation of the freight and logistic industry via a better access of large amounts of data, new technology, and more channels for engaging customers. Through careful implementation of RCM, ICT Cloud, and industry applications, Ericsson is committed to higher connectivity and bandwidth, and logistics architectures. Nevertheless, Ericsson and Maersk Line are gradually achieving superior integration through voyage optimisation (operations and environmental efficiencies), cargo monitoring (keeping track of cargo through wirelessly connected vessels and real-time communications), and crew morale. This latter factor enhances crew satisfaction and retention rates, efficient coaching and development, and increased ability to cope with health crises that may occur while at sea. To justify the inclusion of communication technologies and IoT at sea, Orvar Hurtig, Head of industry and Society at Ericsson argues: “Vessels at sea do have systems in place that allow them to monitor critical functions and fuel usage, set and maintain an optimal course and ensure the welfare of their crew, but they are not particularly well integrated with fleet management systems onshore and they do not maximise the potential of real-time data. As the driving force behind the networked society and the world leader in telecommunications, Ericsson is the right partner to help connect these disparate systems and enable them to share information with low latency” Inevitably, the importance of superior communications and IoT will keep redefining the nature of sea-to-shore connectivity. The transformational agreement between Ericsson and Maersk Line keeps progressing in their pursuit of successful shipping of consumable items, data management, safety/navigation planning, environmental impacts, and real-time communications. Though, it is recommended that ship operators take sea-to-shore connectivity at heart to excel at the abovementioned factors, since Scandinavian firms are sending signals that they are conquering the vast ocean through major investment in digital communications and networks. [/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]