Could electrified, autonomous air mobility be a catalyst for a rural renaissance? Although most of the hype at CES was around the George Jetson future of flying air taxis and flying cars in city centers, the reality is that the adoption of the third dimension for everyday travel will be evolutionary and will start in areas away from major population densities.
Speaking at this week’s Vertical Flight Society’s Transformative Vertical Flight 2020, Nathan Diller, Assistant Director of Aeronautics, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, suggested that the path will start with restricted air space to rural areas and finally urban areas. He encouraged revenue-generating testing and trials (e.g. cargo, medical shipments) from the beginning to help the segment grow as it hits inevitable hurdles.
From this outsider’s viewpoint, the industry seems similar to where broadband was a few decades ago when the basic high-speed transmission technology worked, but questions remained around operations, marketing, and relevant use-cases for what became a revolutionary product. Stay tuned over the next few months for several ViodiTV interviews on the topic of electrified air mobility and its relevance to rural areas.
In the meantime, one of the proof points that there is something to this market is that, in addition to the hundreds of start-ups, there is the presence of long-established aircraft manufacturers, such as Bell. Known for their helicopters, Bell continues to build on a story, which started at CES a couple of years ago with a mock-up of an air taxi cabin. At CES2020, they showed a fully electric, 4-rotor version of an Air Taxi, but it was the back-end, the Bell AirOS, and the conversations they facilitated with public officials in the Dallas-Fort Worth area that symbolized the seriousness of their efforts and, in general, the potential opportunities for this nascent market.
Products that improve health and well-being seem to be an ever-increasing part of CES and CES2020 was no exception. The video at this link provides a glimpse of some of the solutions shown at this enormous tradeshow that promise to improve the quality of life for people of all abilities. Stay tuned over the months for interviews with the folks behind these innovations.
“We needed to provide a platform that could rate-shift down, could go up in quality, could go down in quality, to fit what the customer had,” said Matt Weller, president of All West Communications. Weller is speaking of the challenges of delivering video over multiple access technologies and All West Communications has virtually all of them, including xDSL, hybrid fiber-coax, and fiber to the home. Weller explains how they had an app developed to offer up a low-cost, skinny line-up of video channels that would work across these various copper and fiber access networks.
At WEC2019, Open Vault launched an initiative, OV Cares, that allows attendees to drop off sundries, that would otherwise go to waste, at the Open Vault booth. They then bring these items to a local agency that distributes them to those in need; a great effort that reflects the community outreach that ACA Connects and NCTC members exhibit in their communities every day. OV Cares will return to WEC2020 in a few weeks in Las Vegas
- Best news of 2020 is to see the return of SmartDrivingCar & Princeton’s Alain Kornhauser. Unfortunately for him and Matt Polka, he didn’t wake up to find the Steelers in the Super Bowl.
- Regarding autonomous mobility – @Microsoft working with @Faurecia to improve interiors and customer experience. They have 2 Minimum Viable Products showing 3 use cases, including immersive audio and gaming and mobile office. The innovation may be as much about the business model, as @Faurecia is talking about pay per use for features, such as turning on noise cancelation on a per-trip basis.
- Thanks, Ken Schmidt for finding this nugget which captures the fear some have of the negative impact of the proliferation of small cells associated with 5G deployments.
- Congratulations Bern Grush for being named the project leader for a new ISO standards effort: ISO/PWI/TR4448, “Sidewalk and Kerb Behaviour for Automated Vehicles: Arriving, Stopping, Parking, Waiting, and Loading.”
The decade that Gary Arlen has been talking about for at least a decade is finally here and ViodiTV caught up with him at the CES Unveiled exhibition on the eve of CES2020. This is a follow-up of sorts to our 2010 interview where Gary made predictions and talked about his button, “2020 I can’t wait.”
In this current interview, we talk about past interactive television efforts, as well as some of the automation, particularly around artificial intelligence, that is still in the early stages but may prove to be a huge disruption to creative talent in Hollywood and beyond.