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Waymo self-driving vans and trucks coming to New Mexico and Texas

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Alphabet’s Waymo announced today that it’s expanding to new markets, revealing that it’s bringing some of its vehicles to Texas and parts of New Mexico. More specifically, those living in Texas and New Mexico can expect to see Waymo’s Chrysler Pacificas and long-haul trucks on the road in the near future.

Waymo hasn’t shared a ton of details about this roll out, merely announcing it in a tweet today. At the moment, there’s no post about it on the Waymo blog, so more specific details aren’t available. Check out the tweet Waymo shared today below.

The tweet, despite being brief, tells us a couple of important things. The first is that this roll out is happening this week, and the second is that Google picked New Mexico and Texas for their “interesting and promising commercial routes.”

Waymo has been busy in recent months, but most of its activity has been centered around Phoenix, Arizona. The company has been testing its autonomous cars in the area for more than a year, offering up rides to residents by way of iOS and Android apps. Waymo, of course, has been experimenting with its self-driving technology in a variety of markets for a number of years, but one of the key points about Phoenix is that it’s offering fully-autonomous rides to users that don’t even have a back-up driver in some cases.

While the Phoenix testing seems to mostly be centered around consumer applications, the testing in New Mexico and Texas will apparently be more commercially focused. We’ll see what happens from here, as we imagine it won’t be long before Waymo shares more about its plans for Texas and New Mexico.

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Lincoln Model L100 Concept Is Hyper-Luxury Electrification With Wild Doors And A Disco Floor

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Certainly, the exterior of the Model L100 Concept is memorable. Lincoln describes it as “the tension between exuberant elegance and subtle restraint,” and it’s clear that aerodynamics have played a big role in deciding the overall silhouette. We’ve seen how that chase for slipperiness through the air can lead to electric cars looking like relatively amorphous blobs, though that’s something Lincoln manages to avoid.

Instead, it plays with light, glass, and scale. The Model L100 Concept hunkers low to the ground, with a glass panoramic roof and reverse-hinged doors to add drama as well as make entering and exiting more straightforward. Sensors track the owner’s approach, meanwhile, with the promise of a curated light show both outside and inside. Then, the doors — which extend all the way back to the rear bumper — gape outward, while the entire glass roof section lifts up.

The concept is finished with a satin digital ceramic tricot metallic paint, shifting between cool blue and soft white. Instead of the traditional chrome, frosted acrylic has been used as a more sustainable alternative. The whole floor of the cabin, meanwhile, is one big digital panel capable of showing shifting graphics, colors, and patterns. 

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Here’s How Drones Could Change The Medical Industry

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UKRI’s program also has major implications for the medical industry in particular, both in terms of its future sustainability as well as efficiency. University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) Director Phil Woodford told BBC the Future Flight Challenge could help reduce traffic, pollution, and transport sensitive medical supplies, all at the same time. The project’s first phase will start with drones traveling between the Royal Lancaster Infirmary, Wesmorland, and Furness General Hospitals in Cumbria, using a dedicated 250ft airspace. Based on routes in Google Maps, the average driving distance of such trips more or less range from 20 to 40 miles.

The thing is, current means of delivering medical samples in Lancashire involves traveling to different hospitals several times a day using vans, taxis and motorcycles. Compared to such rudimentary means of travel, which Woodford said takes an hour or more depending on traffic, using medical drones are said to shorten the overall trip to just 15 minutes. Woodford argued that medical drone deliveries can make the process faster, safer, and doesn’t put unnecessary load on drivers and the environment. While drones have proven to be quite handy in space, properly integrating them on Earth’s busier air space is another story. Fortunately, the project is building a roadmap to tackle just that.

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Air Taxis Are About To Change The Future Of Travel

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An air taxi is basically a very small plane or helicopter that is capable of taking people on short trips. Unlike a regular taxi, an air taxi won’t be picking you up from or dropping you off at your front door. Instead, these aerial vehicles travel between pre-determined destinations that have purpose-built facilities. Do you need to get from the airport to the beach ASAP? Hop in an air taxi, and you’ll save a bit of vacation time. Along with Archer Aviation, several companies are developing the vehicles in anticipation of an industry boom; notable names include Bell Flight, Joby, Vertical Aerospace, and Wisk. 

Although air travel and the amount of fuel it uses is a favorite target of environmentalists, the chances are air taxis won’t find themselves in the firing line. While there probably won’t be enough of them available to impact road traffic, air taxis like the Joby Aero won’t really be adding to emissions, either. The Joby is electrically powered and can fly an amazing 150 miles on a single charge. In terms of price, taking an air taxi ride isn’t going to be cheap and it’s hard to see that changing. As with first-class flights, there will certainly be plenty who can afford the trips and will appreciate the convenience. However, most people will probably be sticking to standard taxis, at least for the foreseeable future.

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