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Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

MTA’s New Cardless Fare System

MetroCard, NYC subway, MTA

According to amNY, advocates and experts say the new “contactless” technology could make the system more equitable through a policy called fare capping: riders pay per ride until the daily or weekly capping rates are reached, with every ride being free after that.

The new system, set to replace the plastic card by 2023, will also allow customers to create personalized transit accounts online to check ride history, add value and report lost or stolen cards.

The current payment system gives benefits to riders willing to spend $121 on the spot for an unlimited monthly pass by saving them on cost-per-ride fares. For New Yorkers who cannot afford to spend over $100 on a single purchase, there are no savings when buying the weekly or daily pass. Advocates say the contactless system could make commuting more equitable.

MTA board member David Jones told amNY, “… With the [new] technology, if you in fact swipe through enough times in a month you could automatically be given the 30-day benefit. The technology is so sophisticated that it can tally how many times you are using the system.

Fare capping, a policy Cubic has implemented for London’s transit fare system, would no longer force riders to choose between a daily or weekly pass; straphangers pay per ride until the daily or weekly capping rates are reached and pay nothing after that.

While a fare capping policy has been backed by transit advocacy group Riders Alliance, the MTA Board has not decided whether it will implement it as part of the new system.

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NASA Engineer Building Flying Cars For Uber

Uber brings in NASA engineer to build flying cars

Uber recently announced that NASA engineer Mark Moore will be spearheading its plans for an on-demand aviation service, known as Uber Elevate. Credit: Ube

To expand their ride-sharing services to the skies, Uber recently hired NASA aerospace engineer Mark D. Moore to spearhead Uber Elevate. For 30 years, Moore has worked for NASA, researching advanced aircraft and technologies and vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) applications. 

As skyscrapers allowed cities to use limited land more efficiently, urban air transportation will use three-dimensional airspace to alleviate transportation congestion on the ground. A network of small, electric aircraft that take off and land vertically (called VTOL aircraft for Vertical Take-off and Landing, and pronounced vee-tol), will enable rapid, reliable transportation between suburbs and cities and, ultimately, within cities.

Such a plan would not only rely on VTOL network to bypass the usual infrastructure of roads, railways, bridges and tunnels, but would also call for the repurposing of parts of the urban landscape. Uber’s plan calls for transforming the tops of parking garages, existing helipads, and unused land surrounding highway interchanges to create a network of “vertiports” and “versistops”, complete with charging stations for their vehicles.
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Uber flying taxi rendering

 

Bargain-flight apps, Affected By Google’s Change

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The change probably has something to do with Google Flights and Google Trips. Google used ITA’s tool to create Google Flights, which aggregates airline prices directly inside its powerful search engine. The product competes with companies like Priceline Group Inc.’s Kayak.com and Chinese travel giant Ctrip.com International Ltd.’s Skyscanner.

New Technology For Booking Travel

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Instead of entering a hotel search and receiving a page with hundreds of options, new data-driven travel agents—using humans, AI or both—are tailoring options based on a traveler’s personal preferences. These new agents use chatbots or messaging to communicate with travel bookers. Elaine Glusac, writing at The New York Times, offers these examples of data-driven travel planners.

Pana caters to frequent travelers. For a monthly fee, Pana is available 24 hours. It uses member profiles and past trips to funnel travel requests to human agents.

Mezi uses chatbots to handle travel booking. If a complicated issue arises then humans get involved; afterward they train the bots to handle it in the future. The more you book with Mezi, the more it learns about your preferences.

Savanti Travel helps frequent travelers cut costs while gaining status with travel companies. It doesn’t operate on commission to avoid the urge to find more expensive bookings.

Hello Hipmunk is a travel-planning messaging system. It runs through Facebook Messenger, Skype or Slack, and lets you topic hop as if you were talking to a human. It can offer tips such as on the cheapest times to travel.

Flightfox specializes in complicated itineraries. The service books flights only; for a fee, agents find the best prices and send you links so you can do the booking yourself. It also uses points systems to find the best deals.

Beautiful Trains Stations

CFM Railway Station, Maputo, Mozambique

3 of 14 Thomas Cockrem / Alamy

CFM Railway Station, Maputo, Mozambique

Sirkeci Station, Istanbul

4 of 14 imagebroker / Alamy

Sirkeci Station, Istanbul

Gare du Nord, Paris

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Gare du Nord, Paris

Union Station, Washington, D.C.

11 of 14 Steven Milne / Alamy

Union Station, Washington, D.C

St. Pancras International, London

2 of 14 Courtesy of St Pancras Renaissance Hotel

St. Pancras International, London

Kanazawa Station, Kanazawa, Japan

6 of 14 mikecranephotography.com / Alamy

Kanazawa Station, Kanazawa, Japan

Atocha Station, Madrid

7 of 14 iStock

Atocha Station, Madrid

Union Station, Los Angeles

8 of 14 PCL / Alamy

Union Station, Los Angeles

São Bento Station, Porto, Portugal

10 of 14 James Osmond Photography / Alamy

São Bento Station, Porto, Portugal

Grand Central Terminal, New York

14 of 14 Lyndsey Matthews

Grand Central Terminal, New York

 

 

 

The Future Of London’s Trainstation & It’s Creepy Technology

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The LondonTube may do away with Oyster Cards and barriers in the future and replace it with your body with the new technology that’s being developed.

Cubic Transportation Systems is working on a set-up that would recognize your face or patterns in your palm veins to pay for your daily commute.

Transport for London, Tfl, Gateless Gateline

After pre-registering your face, cameras and infrared sensors would scan it as you head down the station corridors as a way of checking if you’ve paid.

As for palm scanning, the advantage is that veins aren’t mired by grub that gets in the way of fingerp

The company is still developing a warning system to put off fare dodgers, and is working on a trial for stations without barriers.

Transport for London, Tfl, Gateless Gateline

It is also researching how Bluetooth signals from your phone could be detected for payment purposes.

Transportation Administration Approves New Technology For Travelers

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Analogic Corporation’s ConneCT system uses computed tomography technology and 3D imaging to give security officers at airport security checkpoints a 360-degree view of each bag, so they can more easily see through clutter and locate prohibited items.

The goal is to allow passengers to keep their personal electronic devices and bottles of liquids in their bags and speed up the screening process.

The motivation behind the technology is to keep “the traveling public moving through airports faster and safer than ever before.”

ConneCT’s first customer, American Airlines, which came on board in June, demonstrated the system at Phoenix Sky Harbour International. It also has been in testing in the U.K. A similar system also was tested at London’s Luton Airport.

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