Posts Tagged ‘Wi-Fi’

Emirates launches internet connection on A380s

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

Passengers boarding some of Emirates Airlines’ fleet of Airbus A380s will be able settle back and log onto the internet, check emails, tweet friends and surf the web as the Dubai-based carrier launches it Wi-Fi service. The technology is provided by OnAir, an industry leader.

Customers in possession of laptops, tablets and smart phones follow a few easy steps after requesting the service, and they are logged on. Many Emirates passengers may already have been able to go on line during their journeys as the carrier started to trial the system last year.

According to a spokesman for the airline, the roll out on just a few A380 superjumbos a year ago gave the airline the chance to see what passengers really wanted to get from the OnAir service. He added that Emirates understood that remaining connected while in the air was becoming more important to customers. He went on to say that the airline intended to continue to develop the product.

By the middle of next year, all new Airbus superjumbos being delivered to Emirates will come with the Wi-Fi service on-board. The carrier currently has 71 planes on order with the European planemaker.

Providing a Wi-Fi service for passengers to access the net or in-flight entertainment is something that many larger airlines around the globe are currently investing in. Virgin Australia said it intends to offer the service as of the middle of 2012. The carrier recently signed a deal with Lufthansa to provide and install the system.

Talking cars could reduce road accidents

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

Scientists are due to begin road testing new software which allows vehicles on the road to talk to each other. An Italian team working at the University of Bologna has come up with a system which will allow cars to tell one another what is happening up ahead long before they get there.

Unlike conventional telematics, which requires radar to tell a car if there is an obstacle in the road, the new system allows all vehicles to be in constant contact. If there is a problem, such as rapid deceleration in one car, then an alarm will be activated which will be passed along the chain of cars approaching the location allowing them to take the appropriate action long before reaching the scene of the problem.

In computer simulations, the software has been shown to reduce motorway pile-ups by as much as 40 per cent. Road tests in conjunction with manufacturer Toyota are due to take place in Los Angeles next month.

Head of the team working on the project, Professor Marco Roccetti, said the aim is to have all vehicles on the road communicating with each other all of the time. He explained that the software avoided being overloaded with information by being able to tell which vehicle is the best to receive the relevant data in order to pass it on to the next car.

Integrating the software into a sat-nav system, a car’s dashboard or a wi-fi enabled phone will cost around £25 per vehicle, according to professor Roccetti.

Emirates voted Airline of the Year

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

Dubai-based Emirates Airlines has been chosen as the 2011 Airline of the Year by industry magazine Air Transport World. The publication’s editors singled out the Middle Eastern carrier because of its commitment to safety, its outstanding customer service, reliability and excellent financial performance.

Since 1985, when the service was first launched, Emirates has consistently tried to improve the travelling experience for its customers. It was the first airline in the world to offer all of its passengers a seat-back entertainment system and the first to allow them to use mobile phones while the aircraft was moving. The judges were also impressed by the way the carrier tries to conserve fuel and cut back on CO2 emissions.

The prize for Regional Airline of the Year has gone to Spain’s Air Nostrum. The judges were particularly impressed by the carrier’s customer service attitude as well as its safety record. Even though Spain was definitely not immune to the financial troubles which gripped the world recently, Air Nostrum has managed to build itself into the second biggest independent regional carrier in Europe.

San Francisco-based Virgin America will walk away with the top prize for Passenger Service. The judges felt that innovations in the cabin, including leather seats and mood lighting, were something other airlines should learn from.

Virgin’s entertainment system also impressed the magazine’s editors for the 3000 MP3s contained in the music library, 30 films and 18 live television channels. Customers can also access a Wi-Fi service and use their seat-back screens to order a meal.

Drivers can now operate vehicles via their iPhone

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

Researchers in Germany have now added yet another application to the iPhone. This one allows users to operate a motorized vehicle directly from their handheld device. A camera installed on top of the vehicle sends a live video feed to the mobile phone which in turn has separate buttons that allow the ‘driver’ to control actions such as braking and accelerating. The iPhone’s motion sensitivity means that anyone operating it can also steer the vehicle. Using Wi-Fi technology and a special rig within the car the iPhone allows users to move an actual vehicle as if it were a video game.

A team of researchers from the Free University of Berlin have been testing the idea which was developed by the Appirion firm. The new application is not commercially available but uses artificial intelligence to demonstrate how one day we might have cars that are capable of being autonomous of human beings. The new research brings us one step closer to a world which could have cars driving themselves by reacting to the environment they are driving in.

The artificial intelligence team have been testing the car on a runway at Tempelhof Airport and have managed to collect footage of an iPhone operator controlling a vehicle simply by pushing buttons and tilting the mobile phone. The specially kitted out car has been named Spirit of Berlin and is capable of performing very tight turns at the behest of an iPhone operator standing only a small distance away. Although the new system could theoretically control a vehicle of any size the team decided to demonstrate it using a minivan weighing in at two tonnes.