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Introducing Lilium Jet, The World’s First Electric Flying Taxi

The makers claim it can fly as fast as a Formula One car.

Flying cars may no longer be just a thing of the future. One Munich-based company has introduced what they claim to be the world’s first electric vertical take-⁠off and landing jet, which pretty much looks like a flying car. Lilium Aviation last year did a test flight of its all-electric, two-seater, vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) prototype called the Lilium Jet. They also call it an ‘air taxi.’

The Lilium Jet takes off vertically like a helicopter, and then accelerates into forward flight using wing-borne lift. It is powered by 36 separate jet engines mounted on its 10-meter long wings via 12 movable flaps. Only small and inexpensive landing pads that, according to the creators of the aircraft, can be made by anyone are needed.

The aircraft is still being further developed.

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According to the company’s timeline, they expect that their first fully functional jet will take off by 2019. By 2025, they aim to have on-demand air transport available to the public – like Uber for air travel. According to the company’s website:

“Lilium enables you to travel 5 times faster than a car by introducing the world’s first all-electric vertical take-off and landing jet: an air taxi for up to 5 people. You won’t have to own one, you will simply pay per ride and call it with a push of a button. It’s our mission to make air taxis available to everyone and as affordable as riding a car.”

The Lilium Jet is set to change the way we travel.

The company believes their flying taxi can make a great impact on the environment and on people’s lives. They say that people’s travel time will be reduced by a factor of 5, that there will be less for cars, and that there will be virtually zero operational environmental impact. Their further website says:

“Quiet electric vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) is the technology that will change travel forever. It enables you to access city centres with an aircraft. A large network of small and inexpensive landing pads and central places in cities will allow you to quickly enter an aircraft anytime and fly anywhere you want. Leaving the city after a stressful day will soon be transformed into a thrilling ride. By travelling through the air you’ll be able to avoid time-consuming traffic jams, while enjoying a magnificent view.”

Watch the Lilium Jet’s maiden flight that took place last year:

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Sci/Tech

Airfish 8: The Unique Sea-Craft That Could Revolutionize Island Travel

The Airfish 8 could revolutionize travel between thousands of islands in the Philippines, Indonesia, Polynesia and the Caribbean.

Traveling to popular or even secluded island destinations will require you to get on the plane or ride a boat. Even then, there are certain areas that ferries and boats cannot reach. But with the existence of the unique marine vessel, called Airfish 8, traveling to those areas can be a lot easier.

Running on a race car engine and bearing the look of a seaplane, the Airfish 8 can revolutionize the way people travel. Developed by Singapore-based firm Wigetworks, the craft doesn't need a runway to dock as it can easily land on water, which means harder-to-reach areas like remote islands will be much easier for holidaymakers.

Although it looks so much like a plane and hovers, Airfish-8 is registered as a merchant ship.

Source: CNA/YouTube
Airfish-8 can hover two to six meters above the water.

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Swedish Funeral Agency Plans To Use AI To Let Grieving People Chat With Dead Loved Ones

The chatbot will communicate as if it were the deceased person.

Wouldn't it be nice to get another chance to communicate with someone we have lost? That's what a funeral agency in Sweden hopes to give to people but not in the way you think.

Fenix, a Sweden-based agency, is looking to create artificial intelligence that can offer comfort to grieving people by giving them the chance to talk to dead loved ones. While it would be an interesting thought to be able to speak to "fully conscious copies of dead relatives," Fenix's mission is to develop a chatbot that contains files of the deceased and make them seem like the actual person.

Swedish funeral agency Fenix is looking for volunteers for the chat bot project.

The chatbot will be powered by AI to comfort grieving people who lost their loved ones.

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Meet Gladys West, The “Hidden Figure” Behind The Creation Of The GPS

The humble history of the woman who brought you Global Positioning System (GPS).

Gone are the days when people are contented with asking other people for directions while on the road. If you are using a smartphone, chances are you are using GPS as well. Now everyone knows what a GPS is, but do you know who Gladys West is? She made it possible for you to navigate easy peasy.

Gladys West is a mathematician, one of those who developed Global Positioning System. She isn't exactly a household name, but interested in her increased when she wrote a biography for a sorority function, in which she mentioned her important contribution.

Gladys West pictured with her husband.

When Gladys West, an 87-year-old dedicated member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, put together a short biography for herself to be recognized as one of her chapter’s beloved senior members. She had no idea that what she would share would be so noteworthy to the surprise of her sorority sisters. She outlined her outstanding 42-year career at the Dahlgren, VA Naval Base as a mathematician....

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