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Futuristic electric flying taxis like those seen in the movie “Blade Runner” could offer a more sustainable – and much faster – way to travel long distances than traditional car journeys, academics at the University of Michigan said on Tuesday.
Several firms are working to develop car-sized vertical takeoff and landing aircraft (VTOLs) that can lift passengers above congestion, cruise at over 100 miles per hour (160 km), and land in small spaces within crowded urban centers.
The vehicles could slash greenhouse gas emissions in half for three people on a 100-km (62-mile) trip, said researchers, though much of the savings come by assuming passengers will be more willing to share their space than they are in cars.
“It was very surprising to see that VTOLs were competitive with regard to energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in certain scenarios,” said Gregory Keoleian, from the university’s Center for Sustainable Systems, in a statement.
“VTOLs with full occupancy could outperform ground-based cars for trips from San Francisco to San Jose or from Detroit to Cleveland, for example.”
Academics working with researchers at the carmaker Ford found that VTOLs require a large amount of energy to take-off and climb but they were more efficient than cars once cruising.
As a result, they produced more emissions than land vehicles over short trips of the type which account for most journeys, but were more efficient over longer distances, according to the study in the journal Nature Communications.
Researchers also argued each seat in a flying taxi is likely to be sold separately, as is the case with planes, meaning they would normally be fully occupied unlike cars which have an average occupancy of about between one and two people.
A flying taxi holding one pilot and three passengers could make a 100-km trip in about 27 minutes, said researchers. It would produce about 52 percent less greenhouse gas per passenger than two petrol-powered vehicles making the same journey by road, they calculated, and 6 percent less than two electric cars.
However, if the VTOL had just one occupant, the emissions savings would be reduced to 35 percent compared to one petrol car and would be 28 percent higher than one electric vehicle.
Despite the appeal of flying cars, it is “a fantasy” to imagine they could offer sustainable mass transport, said Jemilah Magnusson of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy.
“A much more efficient and easier way to improve the state of long-distance car travel is to provide public transit options and to provide incentives for people to not drive solo in their cars,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
The University of Michigan study did not offer a timeline of when to expect VTOLs to take passengers on their first flights. (VOA)
A total of 120 top Bollywood and other celebrities are expected to attend the wedding of film stars Katrina Kaif and Vicky Kaushal which is scheduled on December 9 in Rajasthan, said Rajendra Kishan, the District Collector (DC) of Sawai Madhopur district of the state on Friday. The District Collector told mediapersons: "These 120 guests shall follow all COVID-19 protocols and fully vaccinated guests will get entry in the much-hyped celebrity wedding."
Kishan said that the organisers have been asked to strictly follow all Covid-19 protocols. Also, those who are not vaccinated, will not be allowed without the negative RT-PCR test report, he added. "We have been informed by organisers that a total of 120 guests are invited to the wedding and the events will take place between December 7 to December 10," he added.
Earlier at 10.30 a.m., Kishan called a meeting which was attended by administrative, police and forest department officials, hotel and event managers to ensure adequate arrangements for crowd control, smooth regulation of traffic, and law and order situation amid the VIP movement. The wedding venue Fort Barwara, that has been converted into a heritage hotel, is situated in the panchayat samiti Chauth Ka Barwara. The venue is around 22 km away from Sawai Madhopur and is around 174 km from Jaipur. Sawai Madhopur district is famous for the Ranthambore National Tiger Reserve and as per reports, the guests are likely to be taken for a tiger safari. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: Rajasthan, December 9, Vicky Kaushal, Katrina Kaif, film stars, celebrities, Bollywood, Katrina-Vicky)
The National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), which confirmed the first two cases of the Omicron variant in Bengaluru on Thursday, is continuously monitoring the situation in four cities - Bengaluru, Hyderabad, New Delhi, and Pune. The NCBS is a part of a consortium of national laboratories performing genomic surveillance across four city clusters. The consortium was established four months ago with support from The Rockefeller Foundation's Pandemic Prevention Institute, and is led by the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad.
Dr Rakesh Mishra at the CCMB said on Friday that the consortium is continuously monitoring the situation in all the four cities and has upscaled its efforts to sequence as many samples as possible Apart from the CCMB and the NCBS, the consortium includes CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology - IGIB in New Delhi and the Pune Knowledge Cluster, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, and CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory in Pune.
The first case of the Omicron variant was detected in South Africa and reported to the World Health Organization on November 24. | Unsplash
The consortium is focused on upscaling genomic surveillance as part of national efforts led by the INSACOG - Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium - to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. The consortium intensified its sequencing efforts after the World Health Organisation announced Omicron as a Variant of Concern. Such an intensified effort enabled the Bengaluru team at the NCBS, a member laboratory of INSACOG, in collaboration with Strand Life Sciences and the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), to detect, rapidly sequence and verify the existence of the omicron variant in samples from two Covid-19 infected individuals.
They hope this will aid in a rapid response to contain the spread of variants of concern. Prof Satyajit Mayor from the NCBS conveyed the information to local and national authorities, and the Indian government released a statement on December 2, all within four days of receiving the samples. Both SARS-CoV-2 genomes have also been uploaded to the global repository for SARS-CoV-2 sequences, GISAID, so that they can be publicly available to the scientific community, the NCBS said. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: Hyderabad, New Delhi, Pune, Bengaluru, The National Centre for Biological Sciences, Situation, NCBS, Omicron)
Never-before-seen concerts by renowned performers such as the Berklee Indian Ensemble and Women of the World, a collection of inventive artists from throughout the world, are among the highlights of The Museum of Art & Photography (MAP) Bengaluru's 'Art is Life: SoundFrames', a three-day digital festival in collaboration with Berklee College of Music.
MAP, is one of India's leading private museums dedicated to making art and culture accessible to a wide range of people. Sound of the City, a sonic public engagement in which composers and producers create music influenced by the sounds of cities across India (Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, and Delhi), is another collaboration between the two institutions. Songwriting, music therapy, and vocals are just a few of the immersive programmes offered as part of the cooperation event between MAP and Berklee.
The festival will take place from December 3-5, 2021, and will also provide a variety of music-related educational and immersive programmes. | Photo by Simon Noh on Unsplash
The festival will take place from December 3-5, 2021, and will also provide a variety of music-related educational and immersive programmes, some of which are co-sponsored by the Indian Music Experience (IME) museum. Art is Life: SoundFrames celebrates music and its power to bring people together as part of MAP's aim to bring art to the heart of the community and develop bridges between varied art forms and audiences. Over 25 events inspired by music will be presented over the course of three days, including concerts, performances, panel discussions, film screenings, educational workshops, and exhibitions.
More than 65 artists from India and around the world will perform at the festival, including SubraMania's Ambi and Bindu Subramaniam, Grammy-winner Ricky Kej, musical talents from IndianRaga, young Hindustani maestro Pandit Sanjeev Abhyankar, and the Durbari Qawwals of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya Dargah." Register for the online festival at www.artislife.events. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: art and culture, private museums, MAP, Life: SoundFrames, Music, India)