Fleet IoT as we know is clearly going to be a very innovative market going forward, but what interests many market watchers are the vehicles that are going to come out of it. Freelance technology writer, Antony Savvas sums up an exciting few weeks when it comes to the vehicles we will not be controlling on our own.

Quanergy Systems, a specialist in solid state LiDAR sensors, has struck a deal with Vrco, the designer and manufacturer of the luxury high-end e-VTOL (electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing) craft, the NeoXcraft XP2.

Beauty

This beauty (pictured) is a two-passenger high-speed land, air and water capable craft that is due to launch in 2020. The craft can scan and memorise take-off locations and store the data for use on the next approach to the same location.

Quanergy’s S3 solid state LiDAR sensor will be used for downward and forward scanning to enhance the craft’s safety, providing the NeoXcraft with the ability to detect, sense and avoid objects upon takeoff, approach and landing. The technology enables electronic laser beam steering for real-time scanning and situational analysis without any moving parts.

“The use of the S3 LiDAR sensor provides a new level of enhanced safety for the NeoXcraft,” says Michael Smith, chairman of Vrco. “Moving forward, all NeoXcraft will feature the S3 sensors as standard.” And we all can’t wait to try it out, seems much more fun than a fairground ride, and for work too.

Winter’s coming

And staying in the work routine, Avinor will be testing autonomous snowploughs (pictured) at Oslo Airport n Norway. “In the future, many tasks in aviation will be resolved in other ways than today,” says Margrethe Snekkerbakken, executive vice president for safety, environment and strategy with Avinor. “Avinor wants to test autonomy and sees potential through new solutions for winter operations and in other areas.”

Testing will take place under normal winter operations, starting at the turn of the year and lasting until April 2019. “Last winter we saw more than three metres of snow and prepared the runway systems a total of 814 times, so conditions should be well suited for testing here at Oslo Airport,” says director of air-side operations at the airport, Henning Bråtebæk.

And certainly not bringing up the rear is Idemia, a specialist in augmented identity, that is teaming up with Altran to develop Columbia (pictured), a connected, autonomous and multi-use vehicle integrating Artificial Intelligence.

Multi-use identity

Columbia is designed to be an assisted-driving car for personal use based on a shared transport concept, and also a transport solution for professional users, including dropping off and collecting items along a route.

Idemia, with its technology in biometric and facial recognition, provides security and enhanced user convenience by creating a strong digital identity. Biometrics ensure reliable data recording when users sign up for the driving service, and strong authentication of individual vehicle users, it promises.

Antony Savvas

Its e-KYC (know your customer) system is a digital user enrolment pathway that creates an identity. A digital car key solution allows the end-user to use a digital key stored in their smartphone to open and start the vehicle. This solution is cloud-based to securely send the digital key to the smartphone, with a secured smartphone environment to store the key and facial recognition to enable the key.

The DMS (driving monitoring system) is an on-board camera system that monitors driver behaviour and interacts with the driver to return human control of the vehicle in the event of unforeseen circumstances. More than 20 sensors are embedded in the vehicle to deliver the main features.

“This new solution allows us to meet the needs of both end-users and B2B players in one combined offering,” says Pascal Brier, executive vice-president for strategy, technology and innovation at Altran.

The author of this blog is freelance technology writer, Antony Savvas.

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