May Mobility’s Self-Driving Shuttles Hit the Streets of Ohio

Columbus is piloting a fleet of autonomous electric shuttles as part of a multimillion-dollar smart transportation initiative Visitors to Columbus, Ohio, have a new way to see the city’s downtown attractions. A fleet of electric, self-driving vehicles now shuttle passengers around a cluster of museums and parks, using sensors and software in lieu of engines and auto parts. The pilot project, which began in mid-December, belongs to a larger statewide effort to improve road safety and mobility in this car-dependent capital. “What we’re looking at is, how do we apply technology to improve people’s lives in a transportation context?” says Jordan Davis, director of Smart Columbus, which spearheads the fleet project. “We want to keep stretching the technology of self-driving vehicles to solve real use cases in our communities.” Smart Columbus, launched in 2016 after the city bested 77 mid-sized U.S. cities for a pool of “smart transportation” funding. The U.S. Department of Continue reading May Mobility’s Self-Driving Shuttles Hit the Streets of Ohio

Delivery Drones Use Bird-Inspired Legs to Jump Into the Air

Passerine’s fixed-wing drones can take off (and land) using a pair of legs Drones have a fundamental design problem. The kind of drone that can carry large payloads at high speeds over long distances is fundamentally different from the kind of drone that can take off and land from a small area. In very simple terms, for the former, you want fixed wings, and for the latter, you want rotors. This problem has resulted in a bunch of weird drones that try to do both of these things at once, usually by combining desired features from fixed-wing drones and rotorcraft. We’ve seen tail-sitter drones that can transition from vertical take off to horizontal flight; we’ve seen drones with propeller systems that swivel; and we’ve seen a variety of airframes that are essentially quadrotors stapled to fixed-wing aircraft to give them vertical take-off and landing capability. These sorts of compromises do Continue reading Delivery Drones Use Bird-Inspired Legs to Jump Into the Air