Cruise unveiled its production-ready driverless car called Origin, the product is a collaboration with parent company GM and investor Honda. The Origin has no steering wheel, no pedals, and is capable of travelling at highway speeds. The vehicle is designed for ridesharing services.
Inside you’ll find seats that face each other and accommodates the riders needs with conveniences such as personal USB ports to charge your devices. Overhead displays show travellers information about there ride. Riders will also notice that the doors slide open instead of hinge outward, which makes it convenient for bikers.
Although the Origin is production-ready, you won’t be seeing it on the public road anytime soon. The vehicle currently doesn’t meet US federal regulations. Until the regulations are met, you’ll find the Origin on private environments such as the GM facilities or Honda’s campus.
A Seattle engineering firm named MagniX and a nearby Vancouver air charter company named Harbour Air has partnered to create the first commercial all-electric plane. The test plane is vintage 1957 de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver, which was used for short flights from Anchorage to remote Alaskan villages. The modified DHC-2 Beaver has a 450 HP electric engine (this is the same power as the original engine) and runs on a bank of lithium-ion batteries.
Harbour Air’s founder Greg McDougall piloted the prototype aircraft on its first flight which lasted just under 15 minutes. MagniX chief Roei Ganzarski says the plane it tested for this flight could fly up to 100 miles, a perfect solution for short distances such as the corridor between Seattle and Vancouver.
The next step for the companies is to go through the regulatory test and paperwork, as well as, government safety rules. Harbour and MagniX expect this will take at least a couple of years, after which they can hopefully upgrade their entire fleet.
Many companies including Airbus, Boeing and the ridesharing giant Uber are in a race to bring personal flying vehicles to the masses. A startup called Kitty Hawk led by former Google employee Sebastian Thrun may be the closest yet. There latest design named “Flyer” has more than 25,000 successful flights.
The flyer is a one-person aircraft that looks like an oversized drone. It weighs 250 pounds, has 10 battery-powered propellors, and uses two joysticks for control. This aircraft won’t be breaking any altitude or speed records since it has a maximum elevation of 10 feet and a top speed of 20 mph. According to the company the Flyer can take off and land vertically and is so easy to fly that a person with no experience can learn it in 15 minutes.
As of this writing, there’s no word on pricing or availability.