Category: Smart Cities

Australia Launches Database for Smart Cities Framework

The Australian government launched the first smart city database dubbed the National Cities Performance Framework, which was meant to track productivity and progress within the 21 largest cities in the nation.

The framework is meant to support the Smart Cities Plan of the government and the 6 main policy priorities that would assist in achieving objectives of the plan include, Infrastructure and investment, livability, innovation, digital opportunities, jobs, governance as well as planning and regulation.

Source: Hortonworks

The performance of the Australian cities would be measured according to indicators such as performance and context. The open online dashboard will begin by utilizing some of the data that was collected during the time of the 2016 census though data from both the public as well as, private sectors would be added via the annual updates.

This would be to assist industry, governments and the community when it comes to targeting better cities policy and investments including via the means of City Deals. The framework has about 46 indicators and draws on consistent, comparable as well as, reliable data sets.

Australian Smart Cities Key Indicators

  • Housing price to the income ratio: a lack of affordable housing would weigh on the economic performance of a city and would undermine the social cohesion as well as increase the issue of wealth inequality gap. On average, across the largest cities in Australia, a median-priced dwelling would cost about 6.2 times the median annual income.
  • Business creation: Within a dynamic and innovative economy high rate of business creation is needed. This is needed for the Australian cities to thrive in fast-paced and competitive global environments.
  • Youth unemployment: at the present, the average rate of youth unemployment is at 11.9 percent.
  • Job Accessible in 30 minutes; access to employment positions is a driver for quality and accessibility. Across the largest cities, 85.4 percent of employment positions are accessible within 30 minutes by vehicle.

This is in league with the commitment of Australia to provide open and accessible data sharing. The main focus of the performance framework is in the nation’s largest cities which each have a population that tops 80,000. The framework is also a living resource which can be improved over the course of time through annual updates as well as, yearly reviews.

Source: The Urban Developer

Dive Insight

The system provides the Australian government and the private sector with increased access to better monitor the cities’ policies and investment. It would be favourable considering it compiles reliable and comparable datasets within an easily accessible online type of format.

Source: Smart Cities World Forums

It would also provide a better way to find areas where cities fall short and would be the best means to target for investments. Though one operational approach would not work for every city as the framework would allow municipalities to see exactly what works for everyone and maybe borrow concepts from time to time.

This would allow for better understanding of challenges and opportunities within each individual city. The data received from the dashboard would assist cities to ascertain strategies for attracting and retaining talent while also spurring on economic growth.

Smart Cities Are Prone to Terrorist Attacks: What Can Be Done?

We live in a world where technology is taking over our daily lives. We’re now at a point where several cities around the world have adopted the monicker of smart cities, and that has a lot to do with the rise of self-driving cars, drones, and other things that are designed to make life easier.

Folks from all walks of life are moving to these cities just to experience what they have to offer, but is it the safe thing to do? You know, one might believe that when a city gets smarter, it ultimately becomes safer, but that might not be the case here.

Source: Pixabay

Lack of new security measures is a significant problem

Here’s the thing, The Economist Intelligence Unit believes companies and authorities need to improve security at the same pace as new technologies if they want to keep these smart cities safe. There need to be unique rules in terms of physical and digital security seeing as attackers can take advantage of several vulnerabilities in this new world.

The EIU went on to add that should hackers manage to gain access to power supplies, an entire city could be left in chaos should they decide to shut down everything. Therefore, city officials must come up with a new plan to combat such a scenario.

“The rapid deployment of digital technologies in pursuit of the ‘smart city’ has also exposed vulnerabilities. While smart city technologies no doubt bring benefits, the rush to embrace them carries considerable risk,” said the EIU in its “Safe Cities Index” report. “If investments in digital technologies are not accompanied by commensurate investments in cyber security, the consequences could be dire.”

Each year, the EIU ranks cities around the world in its Safe Cities Index. It takes several matters into considerations such as personal safety, health security, digital security, and infrastructure safety. We understand that 60 countries were ranked in the 2017 indexed, and the top 10 is a mixture of Asian, European, and American cities.

Here’s the top 10 cities ranked by the EIU

  1. Tokyo
  2. Singapore
  3. Chicago
  4. Amsterdam
  5. Hong Kong
  6. Toronto
  7. Los Angeles
  8. San Francisco
  9. New York
  10. Dallas

For those who do not believe in what the EIU is doing, one only need to revert to 2016 when hackers attacked San Francisco’s light rail transit system’s computers. All data were encrypted, and from there the hackers proceeded to demand a ransom.

Now then, due to the cities capabilities and resources, the issue was rectified the next day. However, the EIU pointed out that if the hack had happened during the week, several commuters wouldn’t have made it to work on time.

The attack could have also affected children going to school. Furthermore, if hackers had attacked the power grid, well, it would have bee quite devastating.

Smart Architecture is the Future – Tree-Based Buildings and All

Wars, territorial divisions, and modernization have been imposed inevitably throughout the whole history of civilization. While we are transformed in the midst of our struggle with those forces that oppose renewal, there’s a must for the human race today that’s directly linked to finding a balance between what the Earth gave us before our arrival, the natural environment, and what the manpower is spreading, as smart architecture, structures, and the wide range of technological ideas to improve our staying here.

In this way, what’s been happening is that there has been no real harmony between both worlds: rural and urban. Indeed, we can count by one hand the city landscapes across the world that really mix them to respect the environment and still technologically upgrade, whether because it’s too late after the received heritage by older breeds, or just because nor governments or citizens do give enough importance to the subject.

smart architecture

Source: Aprilli

Nevertheless, there’s always a first time for everything, and that’s the reason why the Urban Skyfarm, a smart architecture project emerging in Seoul, Korea, will probably make a groundbreaking trend worldwide in which concern to fusion rural and urban as soon as possible.

Urban Skyfarm: a smart architecture center proposal

smart architecture

Source: Aprilli

So introducing that desperately needy rethinking of modernization future based in smart architecture, the US Aprilli Design Studio did take action, suggesting a project that depart from an urban + rural concept where the main proposal is to start mixing them up both, as much as possible, by building tree-shaped premises, or some sort of vertical farms in other words.

Normally, for a giant, strong, and beautiful tree, it could take hundred of years to flourish. In this way, without having to wait thousand turns in the sun, but keeping the earth-friendly philosophy, the Urban Skyfarm aims to recreate those tree-inspired vertical farms and then put a considerable number around the cities, right in their busy hearts, with the help of some futuristic infrastructures.

Smart Architecture

Source: Aprilli

On the other hand, the Urban Skyfarm structures would, contribute to improving the environmental quality through water, air filtration and renewable energy production at the same time. In fact, environmentally speaking, the Urban Skyfarm represent smart architecture turned into an ecological monster who will be filtering water, air, and providing green around the whole facility by itself.

When big cities need more trees

The Tree-like form creates plays an important role, more than just decorating or aesthetics purposes, considering that since always the symbol of a tree had represented a strong iconic figure in different civilizations, which have been evolving and now becomes into a symbol of well being and sustainable development.

As a song says, “all my friends are turning green,” and it’s good to see that. Technology is giving a free VIP pass to nature, making her a main character of innovation. From cars to buildings, not necessarily literal gardens, but seeding awareness through at least the excessive consumption and the diverse ways of using the environmental sources properly.  Though, are we producing enough innovation to save us? Time goes by and both, urban versus rural, tech against environment, they need to come to terms before it’s too late.

Chicago’s Mayor Wants to Make His City the Health Tech Center of the Universe

Attracting tech startups to your city is a great way to bring in jobs, and possibly a little boost in hipness and credibility, too. If your city can become a major focus for such companies, you may even end up as a new Silicon Valley and enjoy the perks (yeah, dollars) that come with it. Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel is looking to give health tech a home in his city.

The term “health tech” encompasses a lot of things, of course, from diagnostics to patient record keeping. When you put them altogether, we are talking serious potential. According to some analysts, “the healthcare IT market is projected to reach $280.25 Billion by 2021 from $134.25 Billion in 2016.”

Rahm Emanuel believes Chicago is well placed to take advantage of the possibilities that health tech presents. With all major areas of healthcare already covered in the city, including health insurance companies, frontline providers and pharmaceutical companies, Chicago has ready made partners for health tech startups to work with.

Emanuel told Business Insider:

“That makes Chicago really unique in the country,” he said. “It doesn’t lean just on pharmaceuticals, it doesn’t lean just on medical devices, it doesn’t lean just on insurance companies, and it doesn’t just lean on healthcare, hospital systems. It has all of them in one place.”

Health tech

Rahm Emanuel has big plans for Chicago. Source: New York Times/Tannen Maury/European Pressphoto Agency

Health tech competition is fierce

Chicago has some major advantages, then. But it also faces stiff competition from huge cities like New York and Boston, not to mention from Silicon Valley.

So how is it doing so far?

The city places reasonably well in a list of high-tech cities that were ranked based on number of patents filed per capita, startups, how many tech venture capitalists there are, how much smartphone use is going on, and ranking in other innovation datasets. (Home of Silicon Valley San Francisco came first, perhaps unsurprisingly, while Chicago came fifth).

Probably Chicago’s most prominent health tech startup at the moment is Outcome Health, which provides educational health footage alongside ads to doctors’ offices and waiting rooms.

CEO Rishi Shah said the company was looking to find new headquarters in 2018 as well as aiming to have 2,000 jobs in the Chicago area within five years.

Could Chicago get Amazon?

Health tech startups are not Emanuel’s only route when it comes to making Chicago a center of tech business.

Amazon is currently deciding where to locate its second North American headquarters, to add to its home in Seattle. With the prestige that would bring to a city, not to mention around 50,000 jobs, it’s not surprising that a lot of cities have shown interest. Fifty have, in fact. But Emanuel believes Chicago is ahead of all of them.

“If you’re Amazon, and you want to grow to X, what city today on day one can say every June from its universities and the Big Ten 150,000 freshly minted four-year colleges coming out of Madison, Ann Arbor, Notre Dame, Purdue, University of Iowa?” Emanuel said, citing a figure from a World Business Chicago analysis of the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.

“Every year, guaranteed, 150,000. Only one city can say that in the United States: Chicago.” On the subject of air travel, he added: “What city can say to you if you want to get to Seattle or New York and have six options a day? What city can say that to you on two different carriers? Only one city.”

“What city can say to you, unlike Seattle or San Francisco or New York, is one-third of the cost of living of those cities and has a cultural attraction equal to those cities?” the mayor said. “That makes Chicago the most competitive city.”

Is Elon Musk’s Underground Traffic Tunnel a Copy of Disney Space Mountain?

If anyone dares to say that Instagram is boring, it must be because she or he aren’t one of the 1.5M Elon Musk followers, who a few hours ago just left all us open-mouthed with his last post: a test run preview of his next underground traffic tunnel.

However, if you just ate you’ll have to be sure the digestion process is completed, and perhaps avoid viewing the clip when accompanied by your grandma, since the experience will probably be similar to taking a ride on an extreme amusement park attraction like Disney Space Mountain.

The Hyperloop: progressively closer!

Musk says that going from Westwood to Los Angeles International Airport, a trip that usually takes around thirty minutes, will be completed in five minutes through the electric sled in the futuristic tunnel, upon which one car will be parked to be carried at the speed of 125 mph.

So Elon Musk is not only giving us more hope of colonizing Mars and taste extraterrestrial french fries there, he’s also demonstrating that he’s a man of his word. Just one month ago showing off a concept, and today presenting footage of real testing evidence. That’s how successful people do it; there’s no time to lose!

In fact, it isn’t only about how the Tesla CEO takes advantage of his time, but how he envisions all of his projects as if they were the same one. This fast first testing may only be the result of mixing up two of his personal challenges: aiming to revolutionize both land transport and space travel, or better said in two words, the Hyperloop.

Resultado de imagen para hyperloop competition

In this way, the signs of progress with the hyperspace-like tunnel are an immediate consequence of the Hyperloop Pod Competition, celebrated at the very beginning of this year, and which comes with its second part next summer.

Elon Musk, first and foremost committed to Earth

Some experts in the transportation field, being more realists (we’ll avoid saying “skeptical”), are working on upgrading car tires and boosting automobiles skills so that cars can be driven, and the proposals have been very well received overall.

What do the people think about this Elon Musk idea? The comments on his Instagram account go from people making suggestions like using multi-colored lights throughout the tunnel, or starting with a drive-through car wash, to others who wonder if he’s actually an alien. A thought that might make sense, since he’s looking for them: he could be actually wishing to go back home to outer-space!

Lots of ‘what ifs’ have surged as well. For example, the traveled distance of the preview video was not revealed by Musk, nor if the path will be in a straight line or curved either.

How many cars will be able to do the ride at the same time is another mystery. Thus, people imagine long traffic lines for the service similar to Disney parks attractions. The notion of some sort of fast passes or VIP tickets isn’t ridiculous.

Resultado de imagen para space mountain gif

No matter if the man in charge of Tesla, SpaceX, OpenAI, and Neuralink is an alien from another world, he’s helping to save our planet with the groundbreaking tunnel – a technological contribution to a world less polluted.

Finally, I can’t deny there’s enough potential in the project, though, only time will tell if plans were feasible. The range of fault must be zero, considering lives are at stake. Indeed, I bet the first human who will have to test it personally will need to be Musk himself.

[See more: Elon Musk Says You Will Get to Sleep While Your Car Drives You Around]

Austin was Chosen From 130 Applicants to Develop Smart City

On the February 8, the Smart Cities Council made an announcement concerning the five winners of the Smart Cities Council Readiness Challenge who included Austin, Indianapolis, Miami, Orlando and Philadelphia.Austin, being the first of the winners of the challenge, recently hosted a readiness workshop and began working with the Smart Cities council.

The Chief Scientist of the council, Stuart Cowan, kicked off the workshop presenting an overview of the smart city development process. According to the definition, a smart city is one that, “Uses information and communications technology to enhance its liability, work-ability and sustainability.”

Panelists for the challenge program included the president and founder of Austin City UP, Jay Boisseau, Erik Hromadka CEO of Global Water Technologies and Ellen Hwang, program manager at the Office which is a collaboration of both public and private firms that share the same goal which is to create an integrated, inclusive and sustainable smart city infrastructure.

He was quick to state that the focus is not particularly on Austin but actually integration at the scale of the city. Boisseau also stated there are a number of smart city projects which are in operation but there are no smart cities as of yet.

He also admitted smart cities are an expansive and challenging issue with several moving parts. There is the stakeholder, the visitors, firms and domains including housing, safety, health and employment sectors.

Cities have little money, which is discretionary, while there is rough constant revenue that comes from taxation, a lot of the smart city projects usually go above the stated budget.

Selection Criteria for the Smart Cities Challenge

Austin, as a city, was selected because of its drive to assist with underserved populations and making their voices heard at City Hall. These groups do not particularly have a say when it comes to municipal politics considering mobility and housing issues.

According to Austin Mayor, Steve Adler, “This will help Austin use new technologies to meet old challenges of mobility and affordability.” The winners were chosen from a pool that had over 130 applicants across the nation.

Every city partnership entry had to organize across different departments and agencies to demonstrate that everyone was on board with the projects ranging from solving the issues of homelessness to the creation of better transport alternatives.

Each of the cities is going to get a host of products and services from the council member corporations such as the Internet of Things starter kits and building design optimization training as well as assistance.

The readiness workshop was also meant to be tailored for each host each time it would be held, thus focusing on issues which are particular to the city’s jurisdiction.

Closing the Mobility Gap

Austin particularly focused, the readiness workshop in utilizing the Readiness Workshop on using technology meant for closing the gap for the underserved populations while searching the mobility options.

Cowan stated, “Austin is a smart city that also cares deeply about social equity, regional culture, and sustainability.”

Participants of the workshop suggested the setting up kiosks and other methods of communicating within the undeserved neighborhoods in a bid to improve access for everyone to the city’s municipal government.

[See More: How Will the Internet of Things Change Government and Democracy?]

Space Travel, 101: Preserving Life Through Other Planets

Recent space discoveries make me think of the 1990 film Total Recall. It’s not exactly Schwarzenegger’s best, but the idea of humans on Mars makes us wonder – could people colonize other planets someday, and if so, how would we get there? Furthermore, what supplies could other worlds offer to help us survive?

Image result for total recall

60 new planets were just discovered near stars hovering in and around Earth’s solar system. That means they’re close… Very close. Right under our noses actually, and yet we’ve been unaware of them until now. Needless to say, it’ll be a while before the universe becomes our “galactic plaything,” but that does not say it can’t be done at all.

Image result for warming earth

The earth is a warming haven for environmental troubles. Between climate change, rising sea levels, coral bleaching and the depletion of national resources, one can’t help but feel a little concerned about the future, and the fact that our population will near 10 billion by 2050 is kind of scary.

How will we house everyone? What will we feed them? Droughts like those that occurred in Southern California proved resilient and difficult to tackle. Rain eventually picked up and filled our reserves past the flooding point, and many scientists now label the drought as over or near over, but if similar conditions were to ever strike again, the sentiment remains that they’re bound to be even harsher.

We need to be prepared

Naturally, we want to be prepared. In case things go haywire in the coming decades, humans want to make sure they have somewhere to go. The 70s introduced the term environmental refugee to our vocabulary. If things continue their present course, it’s possible we’ll all become “planetary refugees” before long.

So that means seeking out terrain that offers life-giving resources. It also means ensuring a safe voyage for those open to travel. So what’s the first thing scientists are seeking out? The one element every living creature needs… Water.

Image result for water on mars

Water is a bit of a mystery. Though scarce, it’s still so desperately needed. Whoever says the universe doesn’t have a twisted sense of humor isn’t paying attention. One source mentions that water covers over 70 percent of the planet’s surface, yet still classifies it as a rare substance.

Even more disturbing is the fact that Earth has lost about a quarter of its water since it first formed. Sure, Earth is billions of years old, but current data paints the future with a hint of black. It tells us that water is, for certain, disappearing, so what kind of shortages can we expect to face in 50 years? What about 100? 200?

Is there any good news?

It’s frightening, for sure, but scientists aren’t looking for a shoulder to cry on. They’re out in the field, eager to bring back some good news. The widespread cliché is that humans will eventually colonize Mars, but that scenario seems a bit far-fetched at this time. Mars did house water at one point, but it’s nickname “The Red Planet” has never been more fitting than it is today.

Water is non-existent on Mars’ surface; its dry, barren terrain was the subject of what researchers call a “catastrophic event” nearly four billion years ago, leaving a hazardous atmosphere in its stead and land riddled with dark craters. Its air is flooded with elements like carbon monoxide, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide. Sounds a lot like Earth, actually, with one little problem… Current levels on Mars pretty much make the air unbreathable.

Dr. Chris Webster at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California states, “As Mars became a planet and its magma solidified, catastrophic outgassing occurred while volatiles were delivered by impact of comets and other small bodies. Our… measurements are – for the first time – accurate enough to make direct comparisons with measurements done on Earth on meteorites using sophisticated large instrumentation that gives high accuracy results.”

For some time, scientists believed Mars lost its water in increments, but a recent study through the University of Colorado, Boulder suggests otherwise. A team of researchers says the planet’s changing seasons and temperatures (already warmer than Earth’s) may have helped hydrogen molecules dissipate at an alarming rate, and that Mars’ barren environment is older than many of us think.

Image result for mars

Unfortunately, this isn’t great news. It suggests that other planets aren’t prone to behaving like Earth, which puts their abilities to support life in serious doubt. Mars also suffers from the same climatic issues as Earth. Though ice clouds and polar ice caps exist directly on its surface, sources frequently melt due to rapid winds and dust storms, both of which are major problems on Mars.

But scientists aren’t giving up that easily. After all, it’s one of the galaxy’s brightest planets, and can be viewed easily from Earth through the use of a vast telescope. With their latest designs completed, NASA has announced it will be sending its newest rover, the Mars 2020, to visit the Red Planet in the summer of, you guessed it, 2020. We got about three years to go, but it’s probably worth the wait.

2020’s purpose is to visit three pre-determined drill sites and search for signs of past life. NASA researchers believe they can find ways to sustain human missions and eventually life on the planet if they’re able to understand past and present resources.

One of the sites, the Jezero Crater, previously housed a body of water the size of Lake Tahoe. This body was attached to a river that fed liquid into the sediment. Though barren in appearance, the crater flowed heavily with signs of life in the distant past, and scientists believe remnants could still be fooling around somewhere.

“Mars has resources needed to help sustain life, which can reduce the amount of supplies that human missions will need to carry,” says NASA associate director William Gerstenmaier. “Better understanding the Martian dust and weather will be valuable data for planning human Mars missions. Testing ways to extract these resources and understand the environment will help make the pioneering of Mars feasible.”

Image result for the moon

What about the moon?

Of course, Mars isn’t our only galactic neighbor. One of our closest residents, the moon, was discovered to contain water in 2010. Evidence also suggests the presence of water on Saturn’s moons. This got scientists to start looking above and beyond and broaden their searches to include seeking out hydrous minerals called phyllosilicates.

Phyllosilicates are produced through gas and dust-based disks called protoplanetary disks, which form around stars during the early stages of their development. Astronomy and physics professor at Missouri State University Melissa Morris says evidence of phyllosilicates usually suggests water is nearby.

“I’m a huge advocate for looking for water in our own solar system,” she explains.

Efforts to find water on other terrestrial bodies proved worthwhile again in 2013 when signs were uncovered through the Hubble telescope on five distant planets. All five worlds are scorching hot, according to NASA officials; though their chances at housing life are slim to none, the presence of water is indeed a positive sign.

“We’re very confident we see a water signature for multiple planets,” says Avi Mandell of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. “This work really opens the door for comparing how much water is present in atmospheres on different kinds of exoplanets – for example, hotter versus cooler ones.”

So now we know there are things beyond our world humans can utilize. The next step involves actually getting to them. Will we look for ways to bring the water back, or will WE go to the water?

Image result for black hole

The answer to this question is probably light years away, especially since space travel seems a little dangerous for the time being.

Black holes, for example, are strong enough to swallow stars and each other. One was recently caught “cannibalizing” its next-door neighbor, while a separate hole, dubbed XJ1500 0154, has been witnessed eating the body of a nearby star for over ten years…

And it’s still not done!

Earth won’t get sucked into a blackhole anytime soon

The good news is that Earth’s closest black hole is still too far away to be reached by any rocket ship. At the same time, there’s no telling what we’ll build in the future, and black holes can easily form without the slightest bit of warning.

Black holes emerge when stars run out of fuel and die. This is called a nova. When a neutron star becomes a Supernova, the energy literally tears a hole in space, thereby creating a strong gravitational pull.

Granted a spaceship did get close enough, it would likely encounter massive difficulties with the black hole’s activity. Movies like Event Horizon don’t seem so far-fetched, anymore.

Image result for space junk

And… then there’s the space junk

Space is also loaded with junk, and so far, attempts to clean it have failed. The amount of debris orbiting Earth stretches far beyond anything we could imagine. Consisting of things like metal from rockets, abandoned equipment and bits of retired satellites, the mass is big enough to damage anything that crosses its path, making space travel virtually impossible at the present time.

So let’s consider: could humans ever travel to or colonize other planets? The answer is, “It’s possible with time.” Eons and eons of time… We’re an innovative species that’s often strived to do the impossible, but will this happen during our lifetimes?

The day may come when humans find themselves lounging by the pool inside a Mars crater, but who will live to experience it is an entirely different story.

[See More: Russia is Teaching a Space Robot How to Shoot a Gun]

Dubai Creates Fleet of Autonomous Taxi Drones

If you did not yet make plans for July, let me suggest your next destination: Dubai. Pack up your essentials, download and start up your traveler friendly apps, and surrender completely to adventure. If not now, trust me my dear tech-addict, you have to get there at least once from here to 2k30!

Tech Geek Leaders = Futuristic Smart Cities

Within the objectives of the largest city in the United Arab Emirates, it stands as becoming an ‘Intelligent City’ before the next 15 years, based on a high degree of automation of transport And the appetizer looks just so tasty: self-driving taxi drones!

[More: Flying Cars: Just a Fascination for Enthusiasts or Reality in 2026?]

Although this time, it is not about the world’s first rotary skyscraper or the first office printed in 3D, Dubai seems like a city full of attractions to offer for those who dream of advanced-tech towns and who can not wait to discover the next step that technology can do.

The Ehang 184 "autonomous aerial vehicle" can transport one passenger and their bag for up to 23 minutes

While we cannot move to Mars and eat french fries, or conquer another Earth-like planet around the mysterious Milky Way, touring the planet we have may be a good idea.

Highlighting those cities like Dubai in which their tech-lover politicians are focused on boosting the culture in a futuristic, breakthrough style.

2k17: A Year to Fly and Conquer Skies!

So the year is barely starting, but we already know we are preparing to fly as a new norm, rather than the “old-fashioned” way of walking or driving. Chances are, you are probably a pro with lots of practice mileage in flying your camera drone. That’s why brands like Airbus think it is the perfect moment to take it to the next level by feeding our crazy fantasies of flying cars.

Imagen relacionada

As if this were not enough, in a century where there’s a race to see who will officially introduce the first self-driving vehicle, a young Chinese company who did its debut Ehang concept at CES 2016, left us speechless by becoming the first brand who will launch a flying, autonomous drone in a real life scenario —Dubai, here we go!

Ehang 184: the Self-flying Taxi Drone of Tomorrow’s Dubai

The city will use the Ehang 184 for the airborne service. It is a drone that can fly without human direction while carrying a single passenger on a journey of up to 23 minutes.

According to Mattar al-Tayer, head of Dubai’s transportation agency, it is not only a model, and they have actually already experimented with this vehicle flying in Dubai’s skies.


Dubai isn’t the only city that can’t resist the temptation to take the wheels off transportation; Las Vegas announced last summer that it would start a trial of drones for public use.

The Features

  1. It travels in a sustainable, eco-friendly way since it moves only with electric power.
  2. Can fly at an average speed of 60 km/h to and a maximum height of 3,500 m.
  3. The passenger only has to mark the destination on a screen and let the taxi drone do its thing as it communicates with a control center.
  4. To call for a flying taxi, all passengers will need to do is enter their destination into an app. Then it maps the route and starts your ride —Forever the app way, ha! 
  5. If an unforeseen event occurs, or in the case of an emergency, the flying taxi is scheduled to land at the nearest safe point.
  6. The communication between vehicle and control center, they say, is encrypted to avoid computer attacks —For our peace, otherwise futuristic terrorist cyber-attacks could mean dominating a city by its taxi drones, huh?
  7. Its propellers fold inwards as it lands so it can fit in a single car parking space.

Reader: what do you think would be more stressful, a trip to Mars or a ride over Dubai’s sky in an autonomous taxi drone?

[More: The Internet of Things: It’s Time to Wake Up!]

Will Masdar City be the First Completely Green Community?

Abu Dhabi relies almost completely on its massive amount of fossil fuels. Starting on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi is the first completely green community called Masdar City. Worth eighteen billion dollars, it is being built from the ground up with an intended forty thousand people, it started in 2008 to be the world’s most sustainable eco-city.

Through investments, it is showing how a community can house rapid urbanization, as well as, reducing energy, water and waste dramatically. It combines ancient Arabic architecture with modern technology to show an innovating city built to house many.


The community will have high-efficiency appliances. Low-flow showers (There will not be very much pressure in the shower head). A water tariff will also be used in the community and treated waste water will be recycled and reused for plant irrigation.

Additionally, they will use a wind tower as mother nature’s air conditioning. Now, more interestingly, is that 88,000 solar panels will be used, and any leftover power that the community does not use will be sent to Abu Dhabi.

Wind Tower used within Masdar City

[Photos: First Solar Road in France Marks the Start of an Energy Revolution]


  • Buildings are a mix of both educational and recreational (Housing, retail, manufacturing and office space will all be in a single building).
  • Everything is close by, so no need for transportation.
  • Buildings are densely populated, allowing residents to live and work in the same location.


Masdar City offers a bundle of benefits to the people who choose to live in the city.

  • The freedom to operate with one-hundred percent foreign ownership and no partner in the United Arab Emirates needed.
  • Ability to move capital and profits outside the United Arab Emirates without restrictions.
  • No import tariffs, corporate taxes or individual taxes.
  • Zero currency restrictions.
  • Strong frame-work of intellectual property protection.

Plan your Visit

To Travel There

From anywhere in the United States to Abu Dhabi is around sixteen hours long with no layovers, costing around $1,652 for a round trip ticket.


Now, there are no hotels within Masdar City; you can get a room or multiple rooms in Abu Dhabi ranging from $68 to $270 a night.

The Visit

A visit to Masdar City can take 60 to 90 minutes, including the driver-less electric car that takes you into the city. Masdar is open daily for the general public to view as they please.

What are you waiting for? Would you go to Masdar City?

[More: US Solar Panel Sales Skyrocketed in 2016: Could Coal Pose a Threat?]

Will you Help Find Alien Spacecraft in our Galaxy From Your Phone?

One of the disadvantages of science is that, on many occasions, it cannot guarantee anything with one hundred percent certainty. In this way, it is often worth sowing new ideas and letting the data be the one to judge.

In many other places of the Cosmos, there must be life. It is a matter of mathematical probability, and it is difficult to think that we are alone or that we are the first.

For the first time in history, human beings have leftover technology to search for life beyond Earth. However, finding life in the vastness of the universe is like looking for a needle in a haystack.

How we Seek Life on Other Planets

So do not worry, because there are experts and curious minds working furiously to find whether there’s anybody out there in space, but perhaps they cannot see us nor communicate. And always bear «great minds think alike» in mind, ha!

What are we doing to meet some alien civilizations? It might seem like we are delayed when comparing technology advances against the poor information we have gathered (or lack of) concerning life beyond our habitat.

Among the ways in which researchers try to pick up signals that indicate extraterrestrial life beyond our space borders, we can mention a list that goes from the study and control of stars to the scan of radio waves.

Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence SETI Projects

Located around the globe, there are radio telescopes like the FAST in Guizhou, China —with the tiny size of thirty football fields— responsible for receiving or emitting signals with the intention of listening or being heard.

So did you know we have spent 120 years sending radio messages before the digital signals begin to silence our waves? Now only those civilizations within a radius of 0 to 120 light years could have detected us.

Message in a Space Bottle: Fast Radio Bursts

Just around two days ago, Abraham Loeb, a researcher at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, proposed that mysterious FRBs, rapid and strong radio flashes of unknown origin, could be emitted by alien civilizations from other far-flung galaxies.

How alleged alien signals, Fast Radio Flashes (FRBs) reach Earth!

He proposes that the flashes could come from gigantic planet-sized emitters used to propel large sailing ships of up to a million tons on their interstellar, even intergalactic voyages.

Alien Tinder Date? Turn on Your Smartphone and Let’s Find Out!

The same researcher asked for citizen collaboration with the help of their mobile phones in detecting rapid flashes of radio signal also in our galaxy. Since these radio frequencies coincide with those used by our smartphones and the home devices that connect to WiFi networks.

Thereby those who would like to collaborate could download a free app on their mobiles (which does not yet exist) that would run in the background, without disturbing the user, supervising the appropriate frequencies and sending the data to a processing center.

Loeb and colleagues argue that if thousands of mobile phones received a radio signal at almost the same time, it would be a very good sign that we have located a real event —A creepy but still exciting one, yeah!

Nonetheless, we have to be patient. The first FRB of just under two dozen was detected in 2007, and experts estimate that a new one could appear in the Milky Way once at intervals ranging from 30 to 1,500 years… *sigh* Resultado de imagen para phone concert

Reader: Do you dare get in touch with an Alien? Thousands of connected phones will never be beaten!

P. S.: Here some little secrets to always have enough battery for doing so!

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