Most Read This Week: Cruise Self-Driving Taxis Plan for Return, Cyberattacks Close Emergency Rooms, Impact Online Holiday Shopping

Also inside, a flying 40-seater Skybus deal signed and more

Scarlett Evans, Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

December 1, 2023

4 Min Read

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

Cruise Self-Driving Taxis to See Small-Scale Return

General Motors’ self-driving subsidiary, Cruise, is planning to relaunch operations following several turbulent weeks for the company. 

Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt stepped down earlier this month, and the company was forced to pause all operations across the U.S. and launch an extensive internal review of procedures, following an incident involving one of its self-driving taxis in San Francisco at the start of October.

Now, the contents of an internal email sent to employees were leaked to several different outlets and Cruise released a statement confirming its planned return, saying: “Our strategy is to relaunch in one city and prove our performance there, before expanding.”

Although there is no suggestion yet as to which city Cruise will focus on, it seems unlikely that it will be San Francisco, which has been the company’s core hub to date.

Read more about the announcement >>>

Flying 40-Seater Skybus Deal Signed; 10 Ordered for India in $420M Deal

Vman Aero Services has signed a pre-order for a 40-seater electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicle from Lyte Aviation, dubbed the Skybus.

Under the $420 million deal, 10 of the vehicles are set for use in India for urban and regional passenger travel. The range of the Skybus is 620 miles with a top speed of 190 mph with a tandem tilt-wing design.

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

Vishok Mansingh, Vman’s CEO, said the deal will help position the company as the “front runners of mass transit disruption in India.” 

A full-scale prototype of the Skybus is being planned within 24 months, with serial production estimated for within the next five to six years.

Read more about the deal >>>

Cyberattack Closes Emergency Rooms in Three States

Ardent Health, a hospital operator that oversees 30 hospitals in the U.S., says it was the target of a cyberattack over Thanksgiving in an incident that shut down emergency rooms in three states.

The hospital operator said the attack was identified as a ransomware attack impacting several  computerized services at sites in Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas. 

While Ardent said it “cannot confirm the extent of any patient health or financial data that has been compromised,” it responded by taking its network offline and suspending user access.

“In an abundance of caution, our facilities are rescheduling some non-emergent, elective procedures and diverting some emergency room patients to other area hospitals until systems are back online,” the company said in the release.

An investigation to determine the cause and impact of the attack is currently underway, with Ardent saying it is “too soon” to know what data was impacted and how long the investigation may take.

Read about the ransomware attack >>>

Staples Cyberattack Disrupts Online Orders

Staples is the latest victim of a cyberattack that disrupted online orders at the height of the holiday shopping season.

The company said it took proactive steps to mitigate the impact of the attack and protect customer data, but those measures impacted online ordering and processing. 

The company has not disclosed what, if any, data was obtained in the breach, but a company notice said Staples “identified a cybersecurity risk” which impacted the company website’s processing and delivering capabilities, as well as its communications channels and customer service lines. 

Staples says it expects to return to full functionality shortly. Meanwhile, its stores are open and operating without issue. 

Discover more about the attack >>>

Flying Taxi Company Expands Into China; Electric Jet Service Coming

In additional news from Lilium, the company is partnering with a Chinese offshore helicopter company to provide regular eVTOL services in the Greater Bay Area.

The partnership with Citic Offshore Helicopter Company (COHC) will see the establishment of an electric aerial vehicle operation network in China. Additional future services are planned for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, Hainan Island, and Tianjin.

“The partnership highlights the shared aspirations of COHC and Lilium to create a sustainable and efficient aerial transportation system,” said Klaus Roewe, Lilium’s CEO. “China is expected to account for close to 25% of the eVTOL market and this announcement reaffirms our commitment to the region.”

Lilium also recently announced a partnership with other suppliers in China, including Heli-Eastern and the Bao’an District of Shenzhen municipality.

Read more about the service >>>

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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