Aston Martin reveals its wild flying taxi concept to the public

20 Jul 2018

Aston Martin’s Volante Vision concept in flight. Image: Eleanor Bentall/Aston Martin

Earlier this week, Aston Martin joined a growing list of companies to showcase a flying taxi concept, making the technology more and more mainstream.

If recent developments at some of the world’s biggest companies are anything to go by, the skies above our cities are about to get a lot more crowded with the advent of the flying taxi.

In the same week that Rolls-Royce debuted its electric vertical take-off and landing (EVTOL) concept, Aston Martin also unveiled its truly futuristic design called the Volante Vision.

In this instance, Rolls-Royce was willing to help out its fellow luxury car manufacturer in aiding with the development of the Aston Martin craft’s engines. But, while Rolls-Royce has announced more of a flying taxi, this is more of a luxury vehicle geared towards transporting the high-rollers from place to place.

The vehicle can hold three people on board and, unlike the Rolls-Royce concept, is powered by a hybrid-electric engine with autonomous technology built into its systems.

“With the population in urban areas continuing to grow, congestion in towns and cities will become increasingly demanding,” said Aston Martin president and CEO Dr Andy Palmer.

“We need to look at alternative solutions to reduce congestion, cut pollution and improve mobility. Air travel will be a crucial part in the future of transportation. The Volante Vision concept is the ultimate luxury mobility solution.”

Electronic stickers to streamline large-scale IoT

A team of researchers from Purdue University in the US believes its new range of electronic stickers could help push forward the adoption of the internet of things (IoT) en masse because its design is so flexible.

According to Science Daily, the thin-film circuits are peelable from nearly all surfaces and, most importantly, eliminate several manufacturing hurdles and the costs that come with them.

Called ‘transfer printing’, the design does away with the need for high temperatures or chemicals to remove the sensor, as it can be simply removed at room temperature with just a little water.

With this capability, anything can effectively become a sensor, and the researchers now hope to tweak the design to facilitate wireless communication in order to become a true IoT device.

Speaking of the design, Chi Hwan Lee said: “We could customise a sensor, stick it onto a drone, and send the drone to dangerous areas to detect gas leaks, for example.”

Limerick IoT firm wins international awards at Microsoft conference

Limerick-based IoT solutions provider ActionPoint has caught the world’s attention having taken home two international awards at Microsoft’s Inspire conference.

The first award placed ActionPoint as Microsoft’s ‘Data and AI Partner of the Year’ and recognised the Irish firm’s work developing IoT solutions for the manufacturing sector worldwide.

The second award, from the International Association of Microsoft Certified Partners, was in recognition for its software project in partnership with California based company, General Networks.

The company’s IoT-Predict software recently secured a distribution deal with Tech Data, which has 22,000 resellers worldwide.

“We have already shipped IoT-Predict to more than 10 countries in three continents since its launch this year and can clearly see that the manufacturing market recognises the opportunity that IoT brings,” said ActionPoint’s head of IoT, Ivan O’Connor.

“We are delighted to be at the leading edge of this technology with our US partners.”

IIoT software developer Seeq secures $23m in Series B funding

A Seattle-based industrial IoT (IIoT) analytics software developer called Seeq has just secured considerable Series B funding to the tune of $23m.

The funding was led by the Altira Group with participation by Chevron Technology Ventures, Next47, Second Avenue Partners and other existing investors.

Founded in 2013, Seeq publishes software applications for manufacturing organisations including the sectors of oil and gas; pharmaceutical and renewable energy.

The company said the funding enables it to significantly expand its development, sales and marketing resources, and also increase its presence in international markets.

“Our collaboration with the Altira Group and other investors speaks to the need for new analytics offerings for manufacturing customers,” said Steve Sliwa, CEO and co-founder of Seeq.

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Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic