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Uber is trying to make your ride more interesting with Trip Experiences

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When you take your Uber ride you typically chat with a driver or play with your phone. There is between 15-40 minutes when you are sitting idle doing basically nothing. This is a really long time to be utilized and Uber seems to understand it.

Today, the ride-hailing giant introduced what it calls Trip Experiences. It aims to let third-party developers give users fun or productive things to do during their trip. The idea is that other apps and services can push you content during your ride. Using Uber API give developers access to your trip data like your destination and ride duration. This can be used to customise content the apps will serve you. Uber shows 4 scenarios:

Entertainment

Entertainment: 10 minute playlists for a 10 minute trip

News

News:  A five minute news update for a five minute trip

Local Guides

Local Guides:  Insights and offers at your destination

Smart Home

Your home:  Turn on the heating when you’re headed home

Uber says it’s aware that with great power comes great responsibility, which is why the company claims that users will be in complete control of this feature. Also Uber’s developer terms prohibit them from using the tool to serve up unsolicited ads and promotions.

Uber Trip Experiences aim to enrich the user’s experience during the trip which is cool. It is also clearly in line with the company’s continuing mission to integrate with as many third-party apps as possible. Three weeks ago Uber partnered with Facebook to offer ride hailing directly from the Messenger app.

Trip Experiences are not a revolution but the feature brings Uber one step closer to it’s vision of becoming world’s top urban transportation service.

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Drones can avoid collisions by sharing knowledge

Drones are one of the fastest growing tech sector. Millions of these devices are flying around skies around us and the number of new units is growing exponentially. This is why the drone traffic management system is on everyone’s lips. FAA and NASA are working with  hundreds of researchers and multiple companies to bring this concept to life.

One of the teams from the Stanford Intelligent Systems Laboratory has come up with an interesting research paper. They developed a quick decision process which could be used to reroute drone trajectory and avoid collisions. The team ran over a million simulations testing different scenarios where conflict included between two and 10 devices. UAVs were provided with varying levels of information about each other and then were tested on their behaviour, response time and how often they ran into conflict.

“The Stanford researchers found that drones could make the quickest decisions when they were paired with the closest other drone, and the two solely considered the other’s behavior. The slowest response occurred when drones considered their own surroundings and then fed their results into a central system that sent decisions back to the entire group. Decision time always increased as more drones entered the simulation, but the system was always able to make a decision on rerouting a drone within 50 milliseconds.”

The researchers also found that drones communicating to a central decision-making system came to the slowest decisions. They were however less likely to encounter conflicts, which at the end made them safer.

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One of the most advanced drone air traffic management system has been developed by UAV software and services company PrecisionHawk. Their LATAS (Low Altitude Traffic and Airspace Safety) system has been tested by FAA with great results. The system can have a drone automatically take actions such as landing or turning around if it gets too close to a forbidden area such as an airport, or if a conventional aircraft suddenly appears. The system can use the cellular network, satellite links, or standard aircraft location beacons to monitor and communicate with drones.

The drone traffic management system will be most likely under development for the next several years. There is no single common standard yet and multiple market players would like you push their solution to win the race. Today PrecisionHawk is in the lead but the situation might change soon as it often happens in such a young and dynamic industries.

source: Technology Review

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