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Archive for the ‘travel’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Land Rover Teams With Clarks for New Men’s Shoe Collection

Land Rover has launched a new line of footwear, in collaboration with shoe brand Clarks. The new collection, called the “Life.Limitless” range, starts with three designs for Fall 2018, specifically the CLR.51N, CLR52.N, and the CLR53.N. Each shoe draws on a specific function and purpose that adheres to the core principles of the two brands. The partnership between Land Rover and Clarks will run for five years and will include two Life.Limitless releases every year, one in the spring and one in the fall.

PostHeaderIcon New Hyperloop Pod Unveiled, Could Go Into Service Next Year

Meet the world’s first full-scale hyperloop capsule, called Quintero One (quintero in Spanish means “fifth”), a 32-meter/105-foot plane without wings or windows, for lack of a better comparison. It’s expected to be “optimized and ready for passengers” in 2019, and its makers are touting it as possibly the safest form of transportation in the world.

PostHeaderIcon The Boring Company Releases a Map Showing Potential Tunnel Routes Under Los Angeles

Just a few months after receiving approval to begin tunneling from the SpaceX parking lot into Los Angeles, Elon Musk and The Boring Company have released a map that shows a conceptual layout for tunnels throughout the city. None of this is official and will require approval from Los Angeles County, the City of Los Angeles, and other city Governments in the county area, but serve as a basis for feedback from said governments and the public. This could be our first real preview as to what the layout of the tunneling system will be like upon completion. Let’s take a better look at it!

Long Beach to Sherman Oaks; LAX to Dodger Stadium


The Boring Company Releases a Map Showing Potential Tunnel Routes Under Los Angeles - image 750611
“The longest part of the map stretches from Long Beach Airport in the southeastern corner of LA County all the way to Sherman Oaks Neighborhood, just north of downtown Los Angeles”

As you can see, Musk and the Boring Company have been hard at work connecting the dots, if you will. The longest part of the map stretches from Long Beach Airport in the southeastern corner of LA County all the way to Sherman Oaks Neighborhood, just north of downtown Los Angeles. For those of you not familiar with the area, this is practically the same route of the 405 and would also allow for smaller tunnels to connect areas like Santa Monica, South Bay, LAX, and SpaceX’s home, Hawthorne, among many others. There’s also a route from LAX all the way to Dodger Stadium, running roughly the same path as State Route 110.

So, at this point, you’re probably wondering about the difference between the red and blue tunnels. Well, the idea is that The Boring Company will dig out a conceptual tunnel that runs pretty much between Inglewood and West L.A. This portion of the tunnel will serve as a testbed for verification of construction logistics, operating procedure development, line-switching demonstrations, safety testing, and overall system testing. This is considered phase one, and wouldn’t be used for public transportation purposes until the tunnel construction, safety, and operation is approved not only by the Boring Company but by the county and city governments as well.

“Phase two, which are represented by the blue tunnels, is the proposed routes that may or may not happen after the fact”

Phase two, which are represented by the blue tunnels, is the proposed routes that may or may not happen after the fact. Should the public, various governments approve this exact map, all of these tunnels could eventually be dug out and connected to allow high-speed travel. However, they will likely change at some point as feedback comes in from various sources. For what it’s worth, I wouldn’t expect to see the map change much as it seems to connect most of the important areas, including UCLA, Venice, LAX, and even USC and the LA Stadium.
Should Phase 1 go according to plan, I’d expect to see Musk push for the digging south first toward LAX and Hawthorn while other crews would complete the North tunnels. Once the areas practically under the 405 are in operation, the remaining tributary tunnels will be dug out in priority of most-needed to least-needed at the time.

What do you guys think? Do these proposed tunnels look like they will do the trick? Where would you like to see entrance and exit points along the path? Let us know in the comments section below.

References


Elon Musk Receives Official Approval for The Boring Company's First Tunnel under L.A., but it Doesn't Mean what you Think - image 729019

Read more about Hyperloop One.


So, Elon Musk Really is Serious About Making Tunnels - image 715029

Read more about The Boring Company.


Elon Musk Wants A 5-Mile Hyperloop Test Track - image 611786

Read more about Elon Musk.

PostHeaderIcon The Boring Company Releases a Map Showing Potential Tunnel Routes Under Los Angeles

Just a few months after receiving approval to begin tunneling from the SpaceX parking lot into Los Angeles, Elon Musk and The Boring Company have released a map that shows a conceptual layout for tunnels throughout the city. None of this is official and will require approval from Los Angeles County, the City of Los Angeles, and other city Governments in the county area, but serve as a basis for feedback from said governments and the public. This could be our first real preview as to what the layout of the tunneling system will be like upon completion. Let’s take a better look at it!

Long Beach to Sherman Oaks; LAX to Dodger Stadium


The Boring Company Releases a Map Showing Potential Tunnel Routes Under Los Angeles - image 750611
“The longest part of the map stretches from Long Beach Airport in the southeastern corner of LA County all the way to Sherman Oaks Neighborhood, just north of downtown Los Angeles”

As you can see, Musk and the Boring Company have been hard at work connecting the dots, if you will. The longest part of the map stretches from Long Beach Airport in the southeastern corner of LA County all the way to Sherman Oaks Neighborhood, just north of downtown Los Angeles. For those of you not familiar with the area, this is practically the same route of the 405 and would also allow for smaller tunnels to connect areas like Santa Monica, South Bay, LAX, and SpaceX’s home, Hawthorne, among many others. There’s also a route from LAX all the way to Dodger Stadium, running roughly the same path as State Route 110.

So, at this point, you’re probably wondering about the difference between the red and blue tunnels. Well, the idea is that The Boring Company will dig out a conceptual tunnel that runs pretty much between Inglewood and West L.A. This portion of the tunnel will serve as a testbed for verification of construction logistics, operating procedure development, line-switching demonstrations, safety testing, and overall system testing. This is considered phase one, and wouldn’t be used for public transportation purposes until the tunnel construction, safety, and operation is approved not only by the Boring Company but by the county and city governments as well.

“Phase two, which are represented by the blue tunnels, is the proposed routes that may or may not happen after the fact”

Phase two, which are represented by the blue tunnels, is the proposed routes that may or may not happen after the fact. Should the public, various governments approve this exact map, all of these tunnels could eventually be dug out and connected to allow high-speed travel. However, they will likely change at some point as feedback comes in from various sources. For what it’s worth, I wouldn’t expect to see the map change much as it seems to connect most of the important areas, including UCLA, Venice, LAX, and even USC and the LA Stadium.
Should Phase 1 go according to plan, I’d expect to see Musk push for the digging south first toward LAX and Hawthorn while other crews would complete the North tunnels. Once the areas practically under the 405 are in operation, the remaining tributary tunnels will be dug out in priority of most-needed to least-needed at the time.

What do you guys think? Do these proposed tunnels look like they will do the trick? Where would you like to see entrance and exit points along the path? Let us know in the comments section below.

References


Elon Musk Receives Official Approval for The Boring Company's First Tunnel under L.A., but it Doesn't Mean what you Think - image 729019

Read more about Hyperloop One.


So, Elon Musk Really is Serious About Making Tunnels - image 715029

Read more about The Boring Company.


Elon Musk Wants A 5-Mile Hyperloop Test Track - image 611786

Read more about Elon Musk.

PostHeaderIcon Elon Musk Hopes to Connect O’Hare International to Downtown Chicago via High-Speed Loop

Elon Musk’s The Boring Company is going to submit a bid to fund, develop, and operate a high-speed transit system in Chicago. The decision comes in response to the local government’s request for proposals from applicants who are interested in designing, building, financing, operating, and maintaining a transit system that connects Chicago O’Hare Airport to the city’s downtown area, delivering passengers between the two points in 20 minutes or less


Elon Musk Hopes to Connect O'Hare International to Downtown Chicago via High-Speed Loop - image 749324

It didn’t take long for Musk to jump at the opportunity to announce plans for a bid. That’s not surprising considering that projects like this are one of the reasons why The Boring Company was started in the first place. For those who don’t know its history, The Boring Company aims to build “fast to dig, low-cost tunnels” with the goal of solving “the problem of soul-destroying traffic” through a “large network of tunnels many levels deep below cities. These are the same words on the company’s website.

It is interesting that Musk resisted the urge to characterize the company’s bid as a “Hyperloop,” opting instead to refer to it as a “high-speed loop.” He also didn’t say if the proposal will feature an underground system or one that’s above ground. Musk did confirm that electric pods will be part of the proposal, though he added that rails may or may not be part of the proposal.

The importance of this bid should not be understated. Chicago is in need of a high-speed transit system that can cut down the travel time from O’Hare airport to the downtown area and vice versa. The travel time between those two locations currently takes up to 40 to 45 minutes. The goal of this project is to cut travel time down in half to around 20 minutes or less and services commuters “at least every 15 minutes for the majority of the day.” The city also wants the project to offer cheaper fares to its commuters, a lot of whom pay roughly $60 for a taxi ride and about $40 for Uber rides between the two locations.

The Boring Company has until January 24, 2018, to submit its bid for the future project.

References


Elon Musk Receives Official Approval for The Boring Company's First Tunnel under L.A., but it Doesn't Mean what you Think - image 729019

Read more about Hyperloop One.


So, Elon Musk Really is Serious About Making Tunnels - image 715029

Read more about The Boring Company.


Elon Musk Wants A 5-Mile Hyperloop Test Track - image 611786

Read more about Elon Musk.

PostHeaderIcon On-Demand Aviation Could Be Closer To Reality Than We Think

The prospect of air taxis has long been a pipe dream for this world. But it might not stay that way anymore now that Uber and NASA have finalized a partnership that will sensually turn “on-demand aviation” from fantasy to reality. Together, the two companies hope to start doing test runs of flying taxis by 2020 – yes, that’s a little over two years away – in certain locations around the world, including Los Angeles, Dallas, and Dubai.

The announcement was made by no less than Uber’s own head of product, Jeff Holden, who laid out new details about the company’s ambitious Project Elevate program. Included in his speech at the Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal is the announcement that the ride-hailing service has signed a Space Act Agreement with NASA, which aims to create a new air-traffic control system that will specifically manage the low-flying, possibly autonomous aircrafts that Uber plans to develop to make up its fleet of air taxis. The goal, according to Holden, is to bring UberAir into the forefront of public transportation by “performing far more flights on a daily basis than it has ever been done before.” Holden added that the road to getting there will be made easier by “combining Uber’s software engineering expertise with NASA’s decades of airspace experience.”

Whereas the full details of the Uber-NASA partnership haven’t been made clear, this partnership is far from a cosmetic one. There’s already a groundswell of support growing for the propagation of this technology, most notably from Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti, who’s leading the charge in turning Los Angeles into a true city of the future in time for the 2028 Summer Olympics. Rest assured, as the project evolves and becomes more feasible, expect more and more cities, and possibly countries, to jump aboard the prospect of seeing a full-fledged, fully operational, on-demand aviation offering in their locales.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

The future is coming to the skies

For those who are still skeptical of Uber’s Elevate program, I understand where the cynicism is coming from. It’s hard to imagine a world where flying taxis actually exist because we’ve constantly been teased and promised it for years, and it’s become kind of an old hat to even put any stock in it.

But, there is something different now given how technology has advanced to the point that it’s actually becoming possible to do it. I’m not going to pretend to know the intricacies of the technology or the specifics on how far Uber has progressed in the development of the tech, but it is emboldening for all of us to start dreaming now when you consider that Uber isn’t the only company that’s putting in the work to put these flying taxis to the sky. Airbus is in on it too with CityAirbus; its version of a VTOL taxi that will take to the skies for test runs in 2018. Then there’s Volocopter, which broke ground on aerial testing over in Dubai back in September. Clearly, this technology is within reach enough that some of the biggest transportation and aviation firms are in a veritable arms race to see which company can be the first to bring the technology to life.

Uber’s inclusion of Los Angeles as a test city is a big deal

Previously, Uber only announced that it’s Project Elevate program had the green light to do test runs in Dubai and the Dallas-Fort Worth area. But now, Los Angeles is in the fold and this is important for a number of reasons. The first and most obvious reason is the city’s current traffic situation, which is horrible to put it lightly. It’s the most traffic congested city in the world as the city clocked in a staggering average of 104 hours of traffic jams in 2016 alone. What’s a good way, then, to ease the prevalence of gridlocks in such a densely-populated city? Offer air taxis to the public.

Then there’s Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti. He may not have universal popularity in the City of Angels, but he remains committed to turning Los Angeles into a city of the future. He’s been proactive in welcoming and embracing technology and innovation to the city, all with the goal of preparing it for the future, which now includes the hosting of the 2028 Summer Olympics.

If the tech succeeds, expect more cities to follow suit


On-Demand Aviation Could Be Closer To Reality Than We Think - image 744018

This is what’s at stake for companies like Uber and Airbus who are pioneering air taxi technology. If this revolutionary way of public transportation succeeds and becomes reality, it could literally decongest traffic gridlocks in cities all over the world, thus giving the population of these places more effective use of their time. I don’t think that it’s going to completely eradicate traffic, but it’s far and away one of the most ambitious plans out there. And, for what it’s worth, it’s also, ironically, one of those solutions that could become a reality sooner than we think.

PostHeaderIcon On-Demand Aviation Could Be Closer To Reality Than We Think

The prospect of air taxis has long been a pipe dream for this world. But it might not stay that way anymore now that Uber and NASA have finalized a partnership that will sensually turn “on-demand aviation” from fantasy to reality. Together, the two companies hope to start doing test runs of flying taxis by 2020 – yes, that’s a little over two years away – in certain locations around the world, including Los Angeles, Dallas, and Dubai.

The announcement was made by no less than Uber’s own head of product, Jeff Holden, who laid out new details about the company’s ambitious Project Elevate program. Included in his speech at the Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal is the announcement that the ride-hailing service has signed a Space Act Agreement with NASA, which aims to create a new air-traffic control system that will specifically manage the low-flying, possibly autonomous aircrafts that Uber plans to develop to make up its fleet of air taxis. The goal, according to Holden, is to bring UberAir into the forefront of public transportation by “performing far more flights on a daily basis than it has ever been done before.” Holden added that the road to getting there will be made easier by “combining Uber’s software engineering expertise with NASA’s decades of airspace experience.”

Whereas the full details of the Uber-NASA partnership haven’t been made clear, this partnership is far from a cosmetic one. There’s already a groundswell of support growing for the propagation of this technology, most notably from Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti, who’s leading the charge in turning Los Angeles into a true city of the future in time for the 2028 Summer Olympics. Rest assured, as the project evolves and becomes more feasible, expect more and more cities, and possibly countries, to jump aboard the prospect of seeing a full-fledged, fully operational, on-demand aviation offering in their locales.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

The future is coming to the skies

For those who are still skeptical of Uber’s Elevate program, I understand where the cynicism is coming from. It’s hard to imagine a world where flying taxis actually exist because we’ve constantly been teased and promised it for years, and it’s become kind of an old hat to even put any stock in it.

But, there is something different now given how technology has advanced to the point that it’s actually becoming possible to do it. I’m not going to pretend to know the intricacies of the technology or the specifics on how far Uber has progressed in the development of the tech, but it is emboldening for all of us to start dreaming now when you consider that Uber isn’t the only company that’s putting in the work to put these flying taxis to the sky. Airbus is in on it too with CityAirbus; its version of a VTOL taxi that will take to the skies for test runs in 2018. Then there’s Volocopter, which broke ground on aerial testing over in Dubai back in September. Clearly, this technology is within reach enough that some of the biggest transportation and aviation firms are in a veritable arms race to see which company can be the first to bring the technology to life.

Uber’s inclusion of Los Angeles as a test city is a big deal

Previously, Uber only announced that it’s Project Elevate program had the green light to do test runs in Dubai and the Dallas-Fort Worth area. But now, Los Angeles is in the fold and this is important for a number of reasons. The first and most obvious reason is the city’s current traffic situation, which is horrible to put it lightly. It’s the most traffic congested city in the world as the city clocked in a staggering average of 104 hours of traffic jams in 2016 alone. What’s a good way, then, to ease the prevalence of gridlocks in such a densely-populated city? Offer air taxis to the public.

Then there’s Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti. He may not have universal popularity in the City of Angels, but he remains committed to turning Los Angeles into a city of the future. He’s been proactive in welcoming and embracing technology and innovation to the city, all with the goal of preparing it for the future, which now includes the hosting of the 2028 Summer Olympics.

If the tech succeeds, expect more cities to follow suit


On-Demand Aviation Could Be Closer To Reality Than We Think - image 744018

This is what’s at stake for companies like Uber and Airbus who are pioneering air taxi technology. If this revolutionary way of public transportation succeeds and becomes reality, it could literally decongest traffic gridlocks in cities all over the world, thus giving the population of these places more effective use of their time. I don’t think that it’s going to completely eradicate traffic, but it’s far and away one of the most ambitious plans out there. And, for what it’s worth, it’s also, ironically, one of those solutions that could become a reality sooner than we think.

PostHeaderIcon Hyperloop One Gets a New Name and Another Elite Investor

If you didn’t think Hyperloop One had a serious chance of doing something amazing for the transportation world, well you better think again, as it just got a new vote confidence and a new investor. That investor is none other than Virgin Group founder, Richard Branson, another billionaire industrialist that resides somewhere in the same level of playership as Elon Musk. With this investment, Branson not only gives his seal of approval and confidence for the company but also finds himself sitting as a member of the board of directors and even brought about a name change too: Virgin Hyperloop One.

Now, there’s no word as to how much Branson has actually invested, but you know It’s a pretty significant amount of cheddar if the company is being rebranded to include “Virgin” in the name. And, whether or not the company even needed the investment remains to be seen, considering the fact that it has recently announced receiving $85 million in financing, which brings its grand total up to $245 million. Its total valuation is approaching 10-figure numbers at this point, but it should be pointed out that somehow this company has managed to suck up truckloads of cash without any type of product, revenue stream, proof of safety, or even government approval. So, let’s just say that there are a lot of people out there hoping that “Virgin HyperLoop One” is as successful as it’s been played up to eventually be.

Keep reading to learn a little more about Virgin Hyperloop One

The Story Behind Hyperloop One

It’s pretty easy to assume that Elon Musk is the man with the power behind the Hyperloop One name, but that really couldn’t be further from the truth. The idea was first thrown around by Musk, who put together the idea of zooming from Los Angeles to San Francisco in less than 30 minutes. But, because SpaceX and Tesla was already such a plateful for the elite billionaire, he offered up the idea as open-source, ultimately allowing any company in the world to have a go at it. Well, Hyperloop One was later founded by Shervin Pishevar, but it didn’t take long for Elon to found The Boring Company, which is now set to build a hyperloop between New York and Washington DC. Well, to be clear, Musk has received verbal approval, but no official approval. On the other hand, he has received the Okay to start tunneling out the meat of the Earth under Los Angeles, so that may see the first hyperloop tunnel built by Musk – we’ll just have to wait and see.

It really is an odd turn of events considering Musk was kind of expected to make a large investment into whatever company made significant progress in Hyperloop technology, yet here he is himself digging tunnels and putting in work. Meanwhile, the official company is sucking in money like it’s going out of style and now has the backing of Virgin Group’s Richard Branson and his words of advice to work with too. Despite the fact that the whole Hyperloop thing is still half theory and has no regulatory approval, it has come a long way:

Hyperloop Test Run

The Boring Company Sled Test

Warning: this video could trigger a seizure in those with epilepsy or motion sickness, so please proceed with caution

References


Elon Musk Receives Official Approval for The Boring Company's First Tunnel under L.A., but it Doesn't Mean what you Think - image 729019

Read more about Hyperloop One.


So, Elon Musk Really is Serious About Making Tunnels - image 715029

Read more about The Boring Company.


Elon Musk Wants A 5-Mile Hyperloop Test Track - image 611786

Read more about Elon Musk.


Elon Musk Wants to Send You from Los Angeles to Shanghai in 36 Minutes - image 735056

Read more travel news.

PostHeaderIcon Elon Musk Wants to Send You from Los Angeles to Shanghai in 36 Minutes

I don’t know how many times I’ve come to you guys with news that Elon Musk is changing the world and revolutionizing travel, and yet, here I am again with another new development. Okay, to be fair, this isn’t really a new development, but more like a refreshed idea based on other ideas that have already been partially set in motion. Call it an expansion of Elon’s mind and the answer the question we were left with earlier in the week when Musk mentioned he had recognized some “unrealized applications” of SpaceX technology. Well, today the man finally got to speak his mind at the IAC2017 (International Astronautical Congress), and his main talk involved the redefining of his first manned mission to Mars. We’ll talk more about that later, as there are some pretty cool things to discuss, but what’s more important is that Musk is – for once – thinking with a more down to earth approach.

So down to earth, in fact, that he’s talking about traveling anywhere in the world – that’s right; from any location to any location – in less than an hour. We’re talking about Hong Kong to Singapore in 22 minutes or Los Angeles to London in just 32 minutes. Hell, a trip from L.A. to N.Y. would take just 25 minutes. That’s right; we’re talking about crossing the country in less than a half hour and crossing the world in less than an hour – now that’s what I like to call fast. Apparently, this will be possible with Elon Musk’s theoretical rocket, dubbed BFR or “Big Fucking Rocket” (no, we’re not kidding about the name,) which will lift a SpaceX spaceship into orbit around the earth. The ship with then target its destination and begin its descent back to the planet, ultimately settling on floating pads near most major cities. Neither the rocket or spaceship exist at this time, but Musk claims construction could hopefully start within the next six to nine months. Want to learn more about it? Keep reading!

So… from L.A. into Orbit, to Shaghai in 36 Minutes…. sound’s legit

In theory, passengers would load into a luxurious boat – most likely a Tesla boat because why not? – and will be taken to the floating launch pad. They will board the rocket, which happens to be the same one that will carry humans to Mars in 2024, and launch toward the heavens. This also involves hitting a maximum speed of 27,000 kph or 16,777 mph. Once in orbit, the rocket will break off (instead of heading to our red neighbor) and land itself at a predetermined location. Once the ship lands, passengers will disembark, make their way to another luxurious boat, and arrive safe and sound less than an hour later in their destination city. Now, the only thing left to sort out is how the U.S. government and other world governments will ruin the experience with security and how we’ll handle the sheer chaos involved with international travel. You know they’ll still require passports and luggage checks – there goes that half travel time, huh?

Anyway, with this in mind, it could be a really nice idea, but one really has to wonder how good it will be for the environment, whether or not it’s affordable enough to be feasible, and if your average joe could actually make the trip. After all, anyone going into space and dealing with the sheer force of traveling fast enough to leave this big ball of rock has to go through a pretty extensive medical evaluation. But, what do you think? Let us know in the comments section below. And, if you’re curious about the projected times between most major cities, check out the chart below – we’ve compiled a fairly huge list just for you.

Travel Path Time
Hong Kong – Singapore 22 MIN
L.A. – Toronto 24 MIN
L.A. – NYC 25 MIN
Bangkok – Dubai 27 MIN
Tokyo – Singapore 28 MIN
London – Dubai 29 MIN
London – NYC 29 MIN
NYC – Paris 30 MIN
Honolulu – Tokyo 30 MIN
Tokyo – Delhi 30 MIN
Melbourne – Singapore 30 MIN
Sydney – Singapore 31 MIN
L.A. – London 32 MIN
London – Cape town 34 MIN
London – Hong Kong 34 MIN
Sydney – Tokyo 35 MIN
L.A. – Buenos Aires 35 MIN
L.A. – Shanghai 36 MIN
Sydney – Delhi 36 MIN
NYC – Tokyo 37 MIN
Sydney – Johannesburg 37 MIN
Delhi – San Francisco 40 MIN
L.A. – Adelaide 42 MIN
Sydney – Dubai 40 MIN
Sydney – Athens 47 MIN
L.A. – Johannesburg 50 MIN
Sydney – Zurich 50 MIN

References


Unexpected Applications? Elon Musk has a Big Surprise for us at IAC2017 - image 734282

Read more SpaceX news.


Elon Musk Wants A 5-Mile Hyperloop Test Track - image 611786

Read more Elon Musk news.

PostHeaderIcon You Can Now Buy Snacks During Your Uber or Lyft Ride

A new startup is bringing somewhat unconventional vending services into the hands of Lyft and Uber drivers, allowing them to offer up thinks like snacks, pain relievers, and even phone chargers to their riders. The startup is known as Cargo and has a nifty little setup that includes a display case for the vehicle and inventory, as well as a web portal where customers pay for their purchase. Apparently, drivers get to sign up for free, and it appears as if the stock is given out on consignment and is even automatically tracked and delivered as needed, based on the driver’s sales. And, this isn’t some tiny little startup either, as the company has reportedly received as much as $1.75 million in seed funding and is already operating in New York City, Boston, and Chicago.

Of course, the company is still in the embryonic stages of deployment but claims to have received requests from drivers in 49 states. And, that’s really not surprising, considering that drivers are reportedly making $100 – $150 extra a month just from vending sales alone. The system operates rather simply for something that could be complicated. Customers simply insert a basic URL into their phone, plug in the number of the vending machine in their ride, and choose what they want to buy, be it an iPhone charger or a pack of spearmint gum. Payment is made electronically, and once completed, an alert is sent to the driver who then hands over you’re your goodies for the trip home. So how much do drivers get paid? Keep reading to find out.

PostHeaderIcon Google Trips Is A Must-Have For The Modern Tourist

Google is launching a new travel app called Google Trips. The app hopes to assist those stricken with wanderlust by providing one go-to solution for organizing everything involved with modern travel.

Speaking in an interview with The Verge, Richard Holden, VP of product management at Google, said the new app arrives after two years of development in the tech giant’s travel offerings.

Included in the trip planner and organizer is a way to consolidate plane tickets, rental car info, and hotel reservations, but the app also helps travelers after they’ve arrived at their destination, including visitor guides for over 200 cities.

Further fun ideas come thanks to activity recommendations, such as sightseeing, shopping, and restaurants suggestions, which are customized based on info pulled from your Google profile. According to The Verge, the app will even consider the length of your stay and the weather in its recommendations (so, for example, if it’s raining out, the app won’t suggest a walk in the park).

Travel can be pretty intimidating, so the app rounds out its offerings with all the critical stuff you might need, including currency information, and what to do in the event of an emergency.

However, one of the biggest features is the ability to use the app offline, which is particularly useful if you don’t want to pay out the nose for data when traveling internationally.

Google Trips is free to download, and will work on both Android and iOS devices.

Continue reading for the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Get Through the Airport at TopSpeed with the Modobag

If you’re someone who travels by air a lot, you probably spent a lot of time walking from one side of an airport to another. By the time you finally get through the long waiting lines, dealing with security (hopefully not getting stripped search on your way) and to your terminal, those cramped airline seats are almost comfortable. But, one company is hoping to make your travel through the airport fast and more efficient with the Modobag. Essentially an all-electric scooter in the form of a luggage bag, you can actually ride this thing through the airport. And, the best part is, its 100-percent approved by the TAA and TSA for carry on.

The bad itself has a weight limit of 260, so it’s accommodating even for taller and larger riders. With a compact and lightweight battery, the Modobag takes a full charge from a standard 120-volt socket in just one hour and can travel up to six miles on that single charge. There are even two speed settings – indoor and outdoor – that limit the bag’s speed to 5 mph inside and 8 mph outside. For the record, that’s two- to three-times faster than crossing the airport on foot. It’s built with a crush-resistant aluminum chassis and has a high-strength ballistic nylon shell for extra stability. According to Modobag, the built-in battery can last at least 4,000 charges, and there are two USB ports for charging mobile devices on the go as well.

For now, the total weight of the bag has yet to be disclosed, but Modobag is still undergoing the final stages of fine-tuning, so that’s understandable. From the looks of the video you’ll see in a moment, it doesn’t appear to weigh too much. For now, the Modobag is considered “InDemand” on Indiegogo and has raised a total of $388,704 as of the time of this writing. As of September 9th, 2016, this figure was 664-percent of the funds originally requested. Pricing is listed at $1,495 for a single bag, but it is currently on special through Indigogo for $1,095 plus shipping (about 26-percent off.) The company is also offering a tracking application for $69 (no more lost luggage,) a two-bad deal for $2,125 (28-percent off,) five bags for $5,225 (30-percent off,) or the “Company Pack” of 10 bags for $9,950 (33-percent off).

Keep reading to see the Modobag in action and to learn a little more about it.


PostHeaderIcon Soberanes Fires Continue To Burn, Monterey Car Week Undeterred

With the 66th annual Monterey Car Week kicking off in a few days, some 85,000 auto enthusiasts are expected to arrive on the central California coast to take part in various car shows, auctions, racing events, and cruises. However, attendees will need to share the road with the 5,000 firefighters currently battling a devastating wildfire located just south of Monterey.

One of the biggest issues is access to Highway 1, the main artery that runs north to south through the central coast. With the huge increase in traffic expected for MCW, concerns are being raised over whether or not firefighters will be able to get to and from the frontlines.

However, according to a report from local NBC affiliate KSBW, Cal Fire and the California Highway Patrol have given the event the go-ahead, and are working with organizers to make sure firefighting efforts aren’t hampered.

Some of the changes include a truncated route for the Tour d’Elegance, a classic car cruise that traditionally includes a run south into Big Sur. This year, the route has been shortened to 35 miles, rather than the usual 70. There will also be stricter parking enforcement, and additional law enforcement in high-traffic areas.

So far, the Soberanes wildfire has burned more than 70,000 acres and destroyed 57 homes. Hundreds of locals have been forced to flee, and the fire has been blamed for three injuries and one fatality. Acting Governor Tom Torlakson has declared a state of emergency in Monterey County.

Thankfully, the majority of the firefighting effort is now centralized south of Monterey, and it’s expected that the increase in traffic won’t have a major impact on firefighting efforts.

“We feel pretty comfortable that we are able to get in and out of the areas that we need to in case of emergency,” Cal Fire Capt. Mark Edria told KSBW.

Cal Fire is reporting that the fire is currently 60 percent contained. You can find updates on the firefighting efforts here.

The wildfire is thought to have originated from an illegal campfire in Garrapata State Park.

Continue reading for the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Who's This TopSpeed Superfan?

Here at TopSpeed, we’re used to seeing awesome cars. Bugattis, Ferraris, Lambos – they’re all an everyday occurrence around the office. But a certain fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro SS has just snatched our full attention. It was spotted wearing the TopSpeed logo at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, California.

The owner wasn’t around the car, so the photo is the only information we’ve got. Nevertheless, the car is proudly sporting our logo. Its black color nicely matches the car’s racing stripes, the blacked-out panel between the taillights, and the five-spoke wheels. Interestingly enough, the car also wears a U.S. Air Force license plate rather than official state tags. California law allows 90 days to obtain tags after a vehicle purchase, so perhaps this 2010 to 2013 Camaro SS is this superfan’s new baby.

Congrats on your purchase, superfan. And assuming you’re a member of the Air Force, thanks for your service to the country. Feel free to reach out. We’d love to hear from you! Lastly, thanks to my good friend Matt Nixon for spotting the car and grabbing the photo.


PostHeaderIcon Ladies And Gentlemen, China's Traffic Straddling Bus Is An Actual Thing Now

Note: Image above courtesy of Shanghaiist

If you have Facebook or any other social media platform, you’ve probably seen video renderings of the traffic straddling bus that’s supposed to cure traffic woes all over the world. It was a novel idea, and like many ideas of that ilk, it was subject to a lot of debate. A lot of people loved it. A lot of people hated it. And that was when the straddling bus was nothing more but a rendering. If by some miracle it actually ended up becoming the real thing, imagine what kind of debate it would create. Well, let the words fly now because China has actually built a working prototype of the traffic straddling bus. More incredibly, it’s about to go on a real-life test run.

To be fair, the traffic straddling bus isn’t just an idea that was thought of one day and created the next. The proposal has actually been on the table for years but it wasn’t until May 2016 when an actual mini model – yes, that happened too – was unveiled at the 19th China Beijing International High-Tech Expo and computer-generated renderings of the bus hit social media. Since then, the video has been shared viewed and shared millions of times with some people lauding the ingenuity behind it while others openly mocked the idea as a too much of a “Jetsons kind of thing.”

The reactions surrounding the proposal didn’t deter the developers of the bus, who, somewhat shockingly, only took a few months to actually create the first prototype of the Transit Elevated Bus (TEB), as it will come to be known from now one. That test run will take place in Qinhuangdao, Hebei province, about 186 miles southwest of Beijing. Since the TEB is still a long ways away from becoming fully functional, the initial run will only feature one bus carriage running on a controlled track measuring just 300 meters in length. It’s not much, but it’s a start.

Once it becomes fully operation – if it ever reaches that point – one TEB can will be able to carry as many as 1,200 passengers at a time and travel at speeds of about 37 miles per hour. More importantly, it would prove to be a far cheaper solution than building subways or train platforms. It still sounds a little silly thinking about it, but the TEB has made it this far to remain skeptical about its potential. All that’s left for the developers is to make sure that it lives up to that potential.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Eight hundred Miles in Chevy's New American Pony

It was the scorching, early morning sun that greeted me as I walked from the side door of the hotel into the parking lot. The sticky humidity hanging in the Florida air instantly salted my skin with perspiration. As my eyes adjusted to the daylight, I caught my first glimpse of Chevrolet’s newest pony car – the sixth-generation Camaro. There it was, in various trim levels and colors, all 11 examples that Chevy had brought for the trip.

My driving partner and I had the fortunate luck of drawing keys for a 2SS-trimmed model coated in Summit While and fitted with the six-speed manual transmission. This would be ours for the next 36 hours as we trekked north and then west through the pan handle of the southern most state. New Orleans was our destination, but two day’s worth of driving and nearly 900 miles lie in between.

All this was part of Chevrolet’s “Find New Roads” campaign, a somewhat unorthodox media event that traveled the country giving journalists some unprecedented seat time and free reign to plan routes and stops. Though the Orlando to New Orleans leg is what I traveled, the cars had been traversing states from the west coast to the east coast, traveling through the Midwest. This leg would point them west once more, though on a decidedly more southern latitude. Chevy’s goal: to get the new Camaro to all 48 contiguous states.

Completely redone for 2016, the Camaro underwent a significant diet in switching to the Alpha platform. It also hit the gym for more power with its trio of new engines and took cotillion classes for more refinement, especially within the interior. There’s no harder test on a vehicle’s livability than to road trip it. Chasing the sun for hours on end reveals the tiniest of details that would otherwise go unnoticed. Small annoyances become headaches while well-executed components can make the trip more enjoyable. I found both.

Continue reading for the full story


PostHeaderIcon Mercedes-Benz G-Class Explores 12 Countries In 15 Days

Mercedes-Benz continues its longtime partnership with the famed explorer, adventurer, and extreme athlete Mike Horn with his “Drive 2 Climb 2 Ski K2” expedition as he and his companions traveled across eastern Europe and central Asia with the ultimate goal of skiing down the world’s second-highest mountain.

Mercedes-Benz G-Class Explores 12 Countries In 15 Days originally appeared on topspeed.com on Friday, 12 June 2015 14:30 EST.

read more


PostHeaderIcon Video: The 2014 JK-Experience Is What Jeeps Were Made For

UPDATE 02/18/2015: The fourth and final installment to the JK Experience series is live on YouTube. Click past the jump to see all four videos.

Video: The 2014 JK-Experience Is What Jeeps Were Made For originally appeared on topspeed.com on Wednesday, 18 February 2015 12:30 EST.

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