Hyperloop Transportation Technologies Takes One Step Closer to First US Track

Hyperloop Transport Technologies (HTT) has brokered agreements with the North Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency and the Illinois Department of Transportation for feasibility studies pertaining to its mass transit technology. This work will determine whether or not it’s practical to construct a route linking Cleveland with Chicago.

HTT CEO Dirk Ahlhorn described the collaboration as the “first real public-private partnership to bring Hyperloop travel to the US,” according to a report from Tech Crunch. If it comes to pass, the Hyperloop would allow passengers to travel between the two cities in just 28 minutes.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in January 2018, Ahlhorn said that HTT’s first track would be officially announced in 2018, and could be operational within three years. However, there’s no indication that the Chicago-Cleveland line would be the company’s top priority.

In September 2017, HTT came to an agreement with the Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board which will bring a Hyperloop system to India. And although the timeline for construction is still not clear, Ahlhorn indicated during last month’s address that Asia or the Middle East could be a smart place to start, economically speaking.

Of course, the company’s various international projects are expected to develop alongside one another. HTT has already submitted a letter, supported by a number of congressional representatives, that requests federal funding for the construction of necessary infrastructure.

Between HTT and Virgin Hyperloop One, projects inspired by Hyperloop technology, and Elon Musk’s plans for a high-speed railway system, there’s certainly a lot going on in the sphere of public transportation. However, most of it is still in the planning stages – it will be interesting to see which initiatives break ground first.

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Unity Technologies Announces Strategic Integrations With MediaMath and Oracle’s Moat

Unity Technologies, creator of a leading real-time development platform, announced Monday what it calls “key integrations” with MediaMath, a programmatic company for marketers, and Moat, a SaaS analytics measurement company for marketers and publishers that recently became part of the Oracle Data Cloud.

According to the details shared, the partnership enables MediaMath to access Unity’s advertising reach of 1.2 billion devices, further strengthening Unity’s Unified Auction.

The Moat integration allows advertisers the ability to verify and measure attention metrics with confidence across scalable in-app programmatic inventory. Together, the integration of MediaMath’s programmatic platform combined with Moat’s robust viewability and attention metrics provides brands with a powerful way to both reach highly-engaged consumers on Unity’s platform, and uniquely evaluate advertising campaign performance in mobile gaming beyond traditional mobile advertising platforms.

Since integrating with Moat, Unity has demonstrated industry-leading ad quality scores. In January, Moat measured 98.5% valid and viewable rates for Unity, nearly doubling the in-app benchmarks of 49.2%, and video completion rates of 81.6% compared to averages of 33.6% (source: Moat Analytics Benchmarks: Q3 2017, Unity: January 2018). Now advertisers can confidently run their ads in a brand safe environment with some of the highest viewability and completion rates available.

“Unity’s partnership with MediaMath provides clients with direct access to Unity’s premium audiences within 100% professionally-developed, often exclusive content,” said Julie Shumaker, VP of Advertiser Solutions at Unity. “To add to this advertiser value, Unity’s integration of Moat now validates unparalleled view completion rates and viewability scores nearly double the mobile in-app video benchmark. Integrating with Moat allows Unity to further validate viewability and present MediaMath, and all Unity unified auction buyers verified traffic.”

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Why smart city technologies are set to drive ‘trillions’ in economic growth over the coming decade

Smart city technologies are set to drive the economic development of cities by more than 5% and drive more than $ 20 trillion in additional economic benefits by 2026, according to an ABI Research report.

The report, titled ‘Roles of Smart Cities for Economic Development’, was commissioned by InterDigital on behalf of its Smart Cities-focused business, Chordant. In order to capitalise on the economic benefits, cities must begin preparation and investment now, the report noted.

Jim Nolan, executive vice president, Chordant at InterDigital, said: “These recent findings further emphasize the importance of technology as a driver for economic development in our future smart cities. The benefits are clear: trillions in incremental GDP growth will significantly transform the way we live and how our cities operate. But it’s not as simple as deploying technology and hoping it sticks. Cities will have to become strategic in the way they deploy smart city technology to ensure that it maximizes its potential.”

Smart city technologies are set to impact three dimensions majorly over the next decade. They are Open Data Policies, having a potential incremental GDP growth of nearly $ 1 trillion without investments in physical infrastructure; public investments multiplier effect of up to 10 times, with a potential incremental GDP growth of $ 10 trillion; and structural smart urban economy growth, with an expected increase of 2.8% by 2026, driven by next-generation technologies like AI and blockchain.

Similarly, Cisco is also working towards the smart cities initiative. The company had in November contributed $ 1 billion to the City Infrastructure Financing Acceleration Program, a smart cities fund, wherein Cisco teamed up alongside Digital Alpha Advisors, a private equity firm, and pension fund investors APG Asset Management and Whitehelm Capital. Alongside this, Cisco has also added a new functionality to its Cisco Kinetic for Cities digital platform.

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Hyperloop Transportation Technologies CEO Teases an Upcoming Track

Hyperloop, Go!

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) CEO Dirk Ahlborn used his platform at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland to tease an upcoming announcement about the placement of its first hyperloop track. At the conference, Ahlborn said, “This is going to be a busy year. We are expecting to announce the first commercial track this year.”

This puts HTT in line to be among the very first Hyperloop systems in the world. Ahlborn expects that the system could be open for public use within the next three years.

An artists representation of a hyperloop train, a streamlined bullet-shaped feature in color blocked silver and slate, with a red stripe. We may see the first hyperloop track announced in the coming year.
Image Credit: Hyperloop Transportation Technologies

Ahlborn was sparse with details about where the first system might be built, but did afford a small piece of information: that locations in Asia and the Middle East could be a smart move, economically. He also noted that the first passenger capsule for the system was already being manufactured, and that it was “not some sort of test pod, this is the sort of capsule that you and I are going to be riding in a little bit.”

Yet Ahlborn recognized that before any system would be operational, regulations must be in place. This is the biggest hurdle that any emerging transportation technology must overcome.

Next-Gen Transport

HTT is just one of the many companies that are working to develop Elon Musk’s vision for a faster mode of land travel. The concept involves propelling passengers in pods at speeds rivaling what is possible in airplanes, using magnetism. 

This Infographic Highlights All You Need to Know about the Hyperloop
Click to View Full Infographic

These systems could entirely rely on renewably generated power, making them both economical and better for the environment. Hyperloop systems could also do wonders for traffic-plagued areas common in India and along the U.S.’s Pacific Coast. Trips that would normally take hours could likely be cut down to mere minutes.

The future of Hyperloop technology, in all of its iterations, is certainly exciting. It has the potential to revolutionize travel in any area fortunate enough to benefit from a route, and could be an integral part of creating a new era of megacities. Luckily, if HTT gets its way, we won’t have to wait too long to find out what that might look like.

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These 7 technologies ruled 2017


Another year has passed; the newest iPhone’s been released; and TNW’s writers have been replaced by robots. It’s time to look back on 2017 as we settle into the holidays, snug and warm in our beds, with visions of cryptocurrency bubbles popping in our heads. Here, we’ve gathered several breakthroughs we had the privilege of reporting on in 2017, that we hope will inspire you to do great things 2018. Quantum computers are real A practical quantum computer is no longer the stuff of far future science fiction. IBM, Google, and Microsoft are all creating systems that will serve as…

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