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TECHNOLOGY

The Era of Flying Cars is Coming Soon

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The Era of Flying Cars is Coming Soon

For decades, the idea of flying cars has captured our imagination, presenting a vision of a future where we can soar above traffic and congestion.

Once confined to the realm of science fiction, recent technological advancements have brought us closer to turning this fantasy into a reality. Electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicles, commonly known as flying cars, have the potential to revolutionize transportation by offering enhanced efficiency, convenience, and accessibility. In this article, we will delve into the needs driving the development of flying cars, the challenges they face, the benefits they offer, the associated risks, and what the future holds for this transformative technology.

Why Do We Need Flying Cars?

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Managing Congestion and Traffic Woes

The growing urbanization and population density in cities worldwide have resulted in increasingly congested roads, longer commutes, and heightened frustration. Flying cars hold the promise of alleviating these issues by utilizing airspace, bypassing traffic, and reducing travel times. This could lead to a more efficient transportation system and improved overall mobility for urban dwellers.

Improving Transportation Accessibility

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Flying cars have the potential to address accessibility challenges by providing transportation options to areas with limited infrastructure. Remote regions, islands, and disaster-stricken areas could greatly benefit from the ability to fly above ground-based obstacles, connecting previously isolated communities. Bridging the gap between urban and rural areas, flying cars could foster economic development and social integration.

Providing Rapid Emergency Response

Revolutionizing emergency services is another potential benefit of flying cars. With faster response times and the ability to transport medical supplies, organs for transplantation, and injured individuals to hospitals, these vehicles could play a vital role in critical situations, such as natural disasters or hard-to-reach locations.

Challenges of Flying Cars

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Strong Infrastructure Requirements

The widespread implementation of flying cars necessitates a comprehensive infrastructure framework. This includes establishing designated landing and takeoff zones, creating charging stations for electric vehicles, designing efficient air traffic management systems, and establishing regulations for safe and efficient operations. Building such infrastructure poses a significant challenge that requires careful planning and coordination.

Lack of Safety and Reliability

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Ensuring the safety and reliability of flying cars is of utmost importance. New technologies, such as autonomous flight systems, collision avoidance mechanisms, and fail-safe protocols, must be developed and rigorously tested to minimize the risk of accidents and malfunctions. Setting safety standards and certifications will instill public confidence in this emerging mode of transportation.

Noise Pollution

Introducing flying cars in urban areas raises concerns about managing noise pollution. The sound of numerous flying vehicles could disrupt the tranquility of residential neighborhoods, causing annoyance or discomfort for residents. Efforts must be made to design quieter propulsion systems and establish regulations to minimize noise emissions, ensuring that the benefits of flying cars do not come at the expense of quality of life for those on the ground.

Benefits of Flying Cars

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Efficient Urban Mobility

Flying cars offer the potential to significantly reduce commuting times by bypassing congested roads, leading to increased productivity and improved work-life balance for city dwellers. Shortening travel times could also enhance overall quality of life by allowing people to avoid gridlock and traffic congestion.

Environmental Sustainability

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Electric-powered flying cars, when powered by renewable energy sources, could contribute to environmental sustainability. By shifting transportation from ground-based vehicles to the sky, flying cars could help reduce carbon emissions and mitigate the impacts of climate change. This transition to clean energy-powered transportation could improve air quality and contribute to a healthier planet.

Economic Opportunities

The development and deployment of flying cars can stimulate economic growth and create job opportunities. Manufacturing flying cars, building and maintaining the necessary infrastructure, and managing air traffic control systems will all require a skilled workforce. Additionally, new industries and services may emerge around flying car technology, further boosting local economies and fostering innovation.

Risks Associated with Flying Cars

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Air Traffic Management

Integrating flying cars into existing airspace systems poses significant challenges in air traffic management. Ensuring the safe coexistence of conventional aircraft, drones, and flying cars requires the development of robust communication and navigation systems. Cooperation between aviation authorities, technology providers, and regulators is crucial for establishing effective protocols and infrastructure to manage the complex airspace environment.

Cybersecurity Issues

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As flying cars become increasingly reliant on software and connectivity, the risk of cybersecurity threats arises. Safeguarding against hacking, system breaches, and data privacy breaches is essential to ensure passenger safety and protect against potential malicious activities. Implementing strong cybersecurity measures and protocols will be critical to ensuring the integrity and privacy of the systems controlling flying cars.

Regulatory Framework

Comprehensive regulations and policies are essential to govern the use of flying cars. Balancing innovation and safety while addressing concerns related to privacy, noise pollution, and liability requires careful consideration. Collaboration between governments, regulatory bodies, and industry stakeholders is necessary to establish a robust regulatory framework that ensures the safe and responsible deployment of flying car technology.

What’s the Future Outlook of Flying Cars?

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Innovative Tech Advancements Will Change the Automobile Industry

Continuous advancements in electric propulsion, battery technology, autonomous systems, and materials science will contribute to improving the performance, safety, and affordability of flying cars. Ongoing research and development are likely to lead to more efficient and environmentally friendly flying car models in the future.

Urban Air Mobility Ecosystems Will be Much Better

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The successful integration of flying cars will involve the creation of urban air mobility ecosystems. This requires collaboration between vehicle manufacturers, infrastructure developers, air traffic control authorities, policymakers, and communities. Establishing a robust framework encompassing infrastructure, regulations, and public acceptance is essential for the widespread adoption and safe operation of flying cars.

Public Acceptance Won’t be an Issue

Public acceptance plays a critical role in the successful integration of flying cars into society. Transparency regarding safety, privacy, and environmental impact is essential to fostering public confidence in this revolutionary mode of transportation. Effective communication and public engagement initiatives are vital for addressing concerns and gaining widespread acceptance and adoption of flying cars.

Flying Cars Hold the Potential to Transform Transportation and Reshape Urban Environments

By addressing the needs for efficient mobility, accessibility, and emergency response, flying cars offer promising solutions to the challenges faced by current transportation systems. Overcoming significant hurdles related to infrastructure development, safety, and regulation will be essential. With careful risk management and continued technological advancements, flying cars could usher in a new era of transportation that is efficient, sustainable, and accessible to all. The realization of this futuristic vision depends on collaborative efforts between industry, government, and society as we work together to turn this remarkable concept into a tangible reality.

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TECHNOLOGY

Next-gen chips, Amazon Q, and speedy S3

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AWS re:Invent, which has been taking place from November 27 and runs to December 1, has had its usual plethora of announcements: a total of 21 at time of print.

Perhaps not surprisingly, given the huge potential impact of generative AI – ChatGPT officially turns one year old today – a lot of focus has been on the AI side for AWS’ announcements, including a major partnership inked with NVIDIA across infrastructure, software, and services.

Yet there has been plenty more announced at the Las Vegas jamboree besides. Here, CloudTech rounds up the best of the rest:

Next-generation chips

This was the other major AI-focused announcement at re:Invent: the launch of two new chips, AWS Graviton4 and AWS Trainium2, for training and running AI and machine learning (ML) models, among other customer workloads. Graviton4 shapes up against its predecessor with 30% better compute performance, 50% more cores and 75% more memory bandwidth, while Trainium2 delivers up to four times faster training than before and will be able to be deployed in EC2 UltraClusters of up to 100,000 chips.

The EC2 UltraClusters are designed to ‘deliver the highest performance, most energy efficient AI model training infrastructure in the cloud’, as AWS puts it. With it, customers will be able to train large language models in ‘a fraction of the time’, as well as double energy efficiency.

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As ever, AWS offers customers who are already utilising these tools. Databricks, Epic and SAP are among the companies cited as using the new AWS-designed chips.

Zero-ETL integrations

AWS announced new Amazon Aurora PostgreSQL, Amazon DynamoDB, and Amazon Relational Database Services (Amazon RDS) for MySQL integrations with Amazon Redshift, AWS’ cloud data warehouse. The zero-ETL integrations – eliminating the need to build ETL (extract, transform, load) data pipelines – make it easier to connect and analyse transactional data across various relational and non-relational databases in Amazon Redshift.

A simple example of how zero-ETL functions can be seen is in a hypothetical company which stores transactional data – time of transaction, items bought, where the transaction occurred – in a relational database, but use another analytics tool to analyse data in a non-relational database. To connect it all up, companies would previously have to construct ETL data pipelines which are a time and money sink.

The latest integrations “build on AWS’s zero-ETL foundation… so customers can quickly and easily connect all of their data, no matter where it lives,” the company said.

Amazon S3 Express One Zone

AWS announced the general availability of Amazon S3 Express One Zone, a new storage class purpose-built for customers’ most frequently-accessed data. Data access speed is up to 10 times faster and request costs up to 50% lower than standard S3. Companies can also opt to collocate their Amazon S3 Express One Zone data in the same availability zone as their compute resources.  

Companies and partners who are using Amazon S3 Express One Zone include ChaosSearch, Cloudera, and Pinterest.

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Amazon Q

A new product, and an interesting pivot, again with generative AI at its core. Amazon Q was announced as a ‘new type of generative AI-powered assistant’ which can be tailored to a customer’s business. “Customers can get fast, relevant answers to pressing questions, generate content, and take actions – all informed by a customer’s information repositories, code, and enterprise systems,” AWS added. The service also can assist companies building on AWS, as well as companies using AWS applications for business intelligence, contact centres, and supply chain management.

Customers cited as early adopters include Accenture, BMW and Wunderkind.

Want to learn more about cybersecurity and the cloud from industry leaders? Check out Cyber Security & Cloud Expo taking place in Amsterdam, California, and London. Explore other upcoming enterprise technology events and webinars powered by TechForge here.

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TECHNOLOGY

HCLTech and Cisco create collaborative hybrid workplaces

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Digital comms specialist Cisco and global tech firm HCLTech have teamed up to launch Meeting-Rooms-as-a-Service (MRaaS).

Available on a subscription model, this solution modernises legacy meeting rooms and enables users to join meetings from any meeting solution provider using Webex devices.

The MRaaS solution helps enterprises simplify the design, implementation and maintenance of integrated meeting rooms, enabling seamless collaboration for their globally distributed hybrid workforces.

Rakshit Ghura, senior VP and Global head of digital workplace services, HCLTech, said: “MRaaS combines our consulting and managed services expertise with Cisco’s proficiency in Webex devices to change the way employees conceptualise, organise and interact in a collaborative environment for a modern hybrid work model.

“The common vision of our partnership is to elevate the collaboration experience at work and drive productivity through modern meeting rooms.”

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Alexandra Zagury, VP of partner managed and as-a-Service Sales at Cisco, said: “Our partnership with HCLTech helps our clients transform their offices through cost-effective managed services that support the ongoing evolution of workspaces.

“As we reimagine the modern office, we are making it easier to support collaboration and productivity among workers, whether they are in the office or elsewhere.”

Cisco’s Webex collaboration devices harness the power of artificial intelligence to offer intuitive, seamless collaboration experiences, enabling meeting rooms with smart features such as meeting zones, intelligent people framing, optimised attendee audio and background noise removal, among others.

Want to learn more about cybersecurity and the cloud from industry leaders? Check out Cyber Security & Cloud Expo taking place in Amsterdam, California, and London. Explore other upcoming enterprise technology events and webinars powered by TechForge here.

Tags: Cisco, collaboration, HCLTech, Hybrid, meetings

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TECHNOLOGY

Canonical releases low-touch private cloud MicroCloud

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Canonical has announced the general availability of MicroCloud, a low-touch, open source cloud solution. MicroCloud is part of Canonical’s growing cloud infrastructure portfolio.

It is purpose-built for scalable clusters and edge deployments for all types of enterprises. It is designed with simplicity, security and automation in mind, minimising the time and effort to both deploy and maintain it. Conveniently, enterprise support for MicroCloud is offered as part of Canonical’s Ubuntu Pro subscription, with several support tiers available, and priced per node.

MicroClouds are optimised for repeatable and reliable remote deployments. A single command initiates the orchestration and clustering of various components with minimal involvement by the user, resulting in a fully functional cloud within minutes. This simplified deployment process significantly reduces the barrier to entry, putting a production-grade cloud at everyone’s fingertips.

Juan Manuel Ventura, head of architectures & technologies at Spindox, said: “Cloud computing is not only about technology, it’s the beating heart of any modern industrial transformation, driving agility and innovation. Our mission is to provide our customers with the most effective ways to innovate and bring value; having a complexity-free cloud infrastructure is one important piece of that puzzle. With MicroCloud, the focus shifts away from struggling with cloud operations to solving real business challenges” says

In addition to seamless deployment, MicroCloud prioritises security and ease of maintenance. All MicroCloud components are built with strict confinement for increased security, with over-the-air transactional updates that preserve data and roll back on errors automatically. Upgrades to newer versions are handled automatically and without downtime, with the mechanisms to hold or schedule them as needed.

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With this approach, MicroCloud caters to both on-premise clouds but also edge deployments at remote locations, allowing organisations to use the same infrastructure primitives and services wherever they are needed. It is suitable for business-in-branch office locations or industrial use inside a factory, as well as distributed locations where the focus is on replicability and unattended operations.

Cedric Gegout, VP of product at Canonical, said: “As data becomes more distributed, the infrastructure has to follow. Cloud computing is now distributed, spanning across data centres, far and near edge computing appliances. MicroCloud is our answer to that.

“By packaging known infrastructure primitives in a portable and unattended way, we are delivering a simpler, more prescriptive cloud experience that makes zero-ops a reality for many Industries.“

MicroCloud’s lightweight architecture makes it usable on both commodity and high-end hardware, with several ways to further reduce its footprint depending on your workload needs. In addition to the standard Ubuntu Server or Desktop, MicroClouds can be run on Ubuntu Core – a lightweight OS optimised for the edge. With Ubuntu Core, MicroClouds are a perfect solution for far-edge locations with limited computing capabilities. Users can choose to run their workloads using Kubernetes or via system containers. System containers based on LXD behave similarly to traditional VMs but consume fewer resources while providing bare-metal performance.

Coupled with Canonical’s Ubuntu Pro + Support subscription, MicroCloud users can benefit from an enterprise-grade open source cloud solution that is fully supported and with better economics. An Ubuntu Pro subscription offers security maintenance for the broadest collection of open-source software available from a single vendor today. It covers over 30k packages with a consistent security maintenance commitment, and additional features such as kernel livepatch, systems management at scale, certified compliance and hardening profiles enabling easy adoption for enterprises. With per-node pricing and no hidden fees, customers can rest assured that their environment is secure and supported without the expensive price tag typically associated with cloud solutions.

Want to learn more about cybersecurity and the cloud from industry leaders? Check out Cyber Security & Cloud Expo taking place in Amsterdam, California, and London. Explore other upcoming enterprise technology events and webinars powered by TechForge here.

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Tags: automation, Canonical, MicroCloud, private cloud

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