Most Read This Week: Electric Air Taxi Flies Over New York, BMW to Offer ‘Hands-Off’ Tech

Also inside, California company unveils a stealth drone and more

Scarlett Evans, Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

November 17, 2023

4 Min Read
Joby Aviation showcased one of its vehicles in New York City
Joby Aviation

Here are IoT World Today’s most read stories this week:

Electric Air Taxi Flies Over New York City; New Heliport Coming

Electric air taxi company Joby Aviation showcased one of its eVTOL vehicles at a news conference at the Downtown Heliport in Manhattan, flying it over New York City during the conference and hovering in front of a crowd of press.

Joby said its four-passenger electric aerial vehicle (EAV) is designed for rapid, back-to-back flights and can fly up to 100 miles on a single charge. According to JoeBen Bevirt, founder and CEO of Joby, the journey from Manhattan to JFK Airport can be done in seven minutes using the vehicle. 

Joby, under a partnership with Delta Air Lines, has slated New York as one of its early launch markets, once approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). 

See the eVTOL in action here >>>

BMW to Offer ‘Hands-Off, Eyes Off’ Technology Next Year

BMW has confirmed that it will offer Level 3, hands-off, eyes-off highly automated driving in its 7 Series next year.

The new feature, dubbed Personal Pilot L3, will reportedly be offered this spring on selected versions of its 7 Series models. The tech combines GPS location finding with the latest generation ultrasonic, radar and lidar sensors to enable precise positioning and monitoring of the area around the vehicle. 

Related:Most Read This Week: Humanoid Robot CEO Takes Charge, Self-Driving Taxi Production Suspended

The German automaker said the system is also capable of operating in the dark – making it the first of its kind. BMW also said the system will work at speeds of up to 37 mph on motorways with structurally separated carriageways. 

According to BMW, the system is designed to allow drivers to concentrate on other activities in slow-moving traffic or tailbacks. These could include sending emails, taking telephone calls or even streaming videos on the car’s central display.

Find out more about Personal Pilot L3 >>>

Stealth Drone Unveiled by California Company

A new rendering of a tactical stealth drone has been unveiled, intended for potential military, surveillance and reconnaissance use cases.

Created by California-based Kratos Defense and Security Solutions, the drone is dubbed Thanatos, after the Greek mythological figure who was the personification of death, 

Plans for the drone were first announced in 2019, though the rendering marks the first public look at its design.

The rendering shows the U.S. Air Force logo on the side of the drone, though it has not been confirmed whether the agency is the customer.  

Kratos already has several projects underway with the U.S. military, including a $95 million contract to supply unmanned target systems to the Army.

Take a look at the drone here >>>

Flying Vehicle Sales Drive $10B to Honeywell

Honeywell has announced it has signed contracts worth $10 billion with numerous eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) vehicle companies including Archer Aviation, Lilium, Hyundai’s Supernal, Pipistrel and Vertical Aerospace.  

The $10 billion revenue number represents Honeywell’s estimate of the value of the awarded contracts including the number of advanced air mobility (AAM) vehicles expected to be built.

“As we celebrate this milestone, we’re looking toward the future,” said Jim Currier, president and CEO of Honeywell Aerospace. “If you’re developing an AAM vehicle, the time to explore a partnership with Honeywell is now.”

Read more about the deals here >>>

GE Uses Cabinless Self-Driving Trucks for Deliveries

Swedish company Einride said its unmanned cabinless trucks are now performing regular commercial deliveries for GE Appliances (GEA).

Einride's cabinless trucks use cameras, lidar and radar sensors to achieve its self-driving capabilities, with a team remotely monitoring its progress in case of any incidents.

The deployment marks the latest stage of the companies’ partnership.

Last year, Einride and GEA successfully completed the first pilot of an electric autonomous heavy-duty vehicle without a driver on board on public roads in the U.S., with the pilot taking place at GEA’s Selmer, Tennessee facility. 

The success of these programs has prompted the companies to ramp up activities at Selmer, and the futuristic autonomous vehicle (AV) is now moving finished goods between the GEA plant to a warehouse 0.3 miles away.

Read more about the autonomous truck's deployment here >>>

About the Author(s)

Scarlett Evans

Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

Scarlett Evans is the assistant editor for IoT World Today, with a particular focus on robotics and smart city technologies. Scarlett has previous experience in minerals and resources with Mine Australia, Mine Technology and Power Technology. She joined Informa in April 2022.

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