Welcome to the latest installment of The Mobility Briefing. It’s been another fast-paced and fascinating few weeks in the mobility sector with the concept of flying cars taking off in Geneva and an exciting announcement for a new accelerator in Melbourne.
Airbus reveals plans for flying car
Off-road took on a completely new meaning recently as Airbus unveiled its ambitious flying car concept at the Geneva Motor Show. The futuristic vehicle, which was designed in collaboration with Italdesign, could be a way to combat congestion and pollution.
Adding the third dimension to seamless multimodal transportation networks will without a doubt improve the way we live and how we get from A to B.
The flexible vehicle’s design will allow it to be attached to either a set of wheels or helicopter-like rotors, depending on the type of transport required. Airbus assured onlookers that the idea was a serious concept and not just a publicity stunt.
Purpose-built car-sharing vehicle concept unveiled
Design company Ideo has unveiled plans for a purpose-built car-sharing vehicle. The design, which resembles a current-day minivan, would allow users to book “individual seat pods”, giving passengers the option to interact with others or to travel in privacy.
Autonomous driving will decentralise activity in the car, opening the door to a new generation of vehicles designed for multiple, shared purposes.
Drivers would be given the option to remain alone from the beginning of the journey or to rent out the individual pods to prospective passengers, offsetting the cost in the process.
Startup connects car owners with on-demand personal drivers
Next Drive, an Indian tech startup, has launched a new on-demand driver service for car owners. The concept will connect owners to professional drivers in situations when they may not be able to drive themselves.
We have an extensive recruitment and background verification process to make sure the drivers are reliable.
The service will work through mobile app Driverzz and currently has over 500 customers and 60 drivers. There are plans to expand the workforce to 350 in the coming months.
“Smart street” solution to enhance smart parking
Chinese telecommunications company ZTE has unveiled its new “smart street” solution, which it says will make use of the Internet of Things, big data and cloud computing to help city administrators to develop intelligent public services.
ZTE’s Smart Street 2.0 is an innovative solution for unified, intelligent and efficient street management and administration in the era of smart city.
Among other things, the solution could be used to collect payment fees for smart parking systems and traffic violations. The solution’s creators believe that its implementation will take cities one step closer to becoming smart cities.
Report highlights best cities for startups
Silicon Valley unsurprisingly tops the list of best startup cities, according Startup Genome’s Global Startup Ecosystem Report and Ranking 2017. The San Francisco region pipped New York, London, Beijing and Boston to the top spot.
Our mission is to empower cities everywhere to capitalise on fast-moving trends in technology through benchmarking and global exposure.
The report, which is based on a year’s worth of research covering 10,000 startups, takes into account criteria such as performance, funding, market reach, talent and startup experience. Silicon Valley scored highly across the board, dropping points only in the ‘talent’ section.
Silicon Valley accelerator launches Down Under
A Silicon Valley accelerator has announced plans to make Melbourne its new Australian headquarters after securing a grant of AU$60 million from the government. 500 Startups will look to support over 40 startups over the next two years.
The Australian ecosystem is at an inflection point, with more venture funding available than ever before and government championing an innovation agenda to legitimise and support startups.
The accelerator will reportedly give new Australian startups access to its global network of venture capitalists, businesses and mentors as it tries to nurture a new wave of entrepreneurs in Australia.
The future’s bright for female African entrepreneurs
Solar energy has the potential to empower female African Entrepreneurs, according to Katherine Lucy, CEO and founder of Solar Sister. The nonprofit organisation is dedicated to helping women in Africa better their economic situation through the sale of solar powered products.
Being an entrepreneur and having access to energy … means she is more known in her community as a leader, and that makes her safer, she isn’t one of the vulnerable fringe.
So far, Solar Sister has helped over 2,500 women across Nigeria, Uganda and Tanzania, which has helped in bringing power to rural parts of Africa where energy poverty is a serious issue.