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Get Ready to Fly: The First Flying Train Is on the Way!

Imagine you sit comfortably in the train compartment and in a few minutes the whole thing turns into an airplane – and you take off.



Akka Technologies

Imagine you are sitting comfortably in the compartment of a train, then within just a few moments the whole thing has turned into an airplane – and you take off. That sounds like a scene from a science fiction film. But according to a few French engineers, this could soon become reality.

Behind the futuristic idea is the French company Akka Technologies, which has now presented its concept for a flying train under the name “Link & Fly”.

From train to plane to train…

Here’s the idea: the aircraft and train are to be built as separate modules that can be coupled together and taken apart as required.

As a passenger, you get on the train at a train station and drive to the airport. Once you arrive at your destination, however, you no longer have to get off the train. Instead, you simply remain seated while the train module rolls onto the runway and docks into the flight module. Then, you are ready to fly.

From the other direction, it should work just as smoothly. As soon as the aircraft has landed, the aircraft module decouples and the aircraft becomes the train that carries the passengers onward to the destination station.

Flying trains: Less stress for passengers

The dimensions mentioned in the video show that Akka Technologies has both goods transport and large passenger jets in mind with its concept.

This would of course be a great service for passengers. There would be no more stress about the train being late on its way to the airport. It could also save valuable time.

Instead of having to check in at the airport two or three hours before departure, passengers could easily do this in a flying train on the way. Akka Technologies has developed a retinal scan procedure for this purpose.

Akka’s managing director Maurice Ricci had this to say about the concept:

After cars become electric and autonomous, airplanes are the next big disruption.

Interested parties wanted

The company is currently looking for interested customers in Asia and North America. There could be several airlines interested in such a concept.

Akka Technologies would probably not build the flying train by itself, but in conjunction with the partners it will work with, Ricci hopes.

The principle would be nothing new for the company. It “lends” its experts to customers all the time, to help implement individual concepts or sub-concepts. This could also be the model for Link & Fly.

“We are in discussions with Boeing to understand where closer cooperation in our broad spectrum of aerospace expertise could come about. The Link & Fly concept is very helpful as a forward-looking innovation concept,” a company spokesman told Mobility Mag.

But there is still a long way to go. Up to now, the flying train has only been a concept in an advertising film. There isn’t even a prototype.

But in the world of rapid mobility, that doesn’t have to mean anything. Who knows, maybe we’ll see the first flying trains soon!

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Price Discrimination? How Travel Portals Fool You Without You Noticing

Price discrimination is called the largely hidden practice, with which travel portals in the net partially show completely different prices to the users for the same offer



Pixabay / nattanan2

How much is a flight to Tenerife? What do you pay for a rental car in Tuscany? That depends on the user! Price discrimination is a largely hidden practice where travel portals show completely different prices to different users for the same service – depending on things like their location, device, browser or even use of Wikipedia.


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Expansion In The USA: Flixbus Challenges Greyhound

Flixbus goes USA. The German long-distance bus operator has officially announced today that Flixbus is planning to expand its US operations.




Since Flixbus has already built a presence in 26 countries in Europe and transported over 30 million passengers last year, the long-distance bus company is now looking to try its luck across the pond. It is not yet clear when Flixbus plans to start its business and which routes will be offered. However, the first location and headquarters of Flixbus in the USA has already been established: Los Angeles.  “A small team is already on site and is responsible for setting up the American headquarters,”says Flixbus.

Greyhound is the biggest competitor

In the USA, Flixbus will have to compete with Greyhound, the bus company with the widest route network and the largest share of the bus market in the United States. Greyhound employs around 7,000 people and transports 18 million passengers per year. Greyhound is not the only competition, however. Megabus has also built up a considerable route network throughout the country.

But Flixbus founder André Schwämmlein believes that the American market is ready for a new player. “The American mobility market is undergoing significant change – public transport and sustainable travel are becoming increasingly important,” says Schwämmlein.

Flixbus wants to operate in the USA according to the same business model as in Europe. Flixbus does not operate its own buses, but works with medium-sized bus companies on site. “The same principle is to be followed in the United States of America, too.”

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Chinese “Train” Soon to Run Autonomously – On Painted Rails

As early as next year, the Chinese city of Zhuzhou wants to transport passengers in an autonomous “train” – on pre-painted rails.



China Train

The Chinese railway company CRRC wants to have an autonomous train in the inland city of Zhuzhou for 2018. The Autonomous Rail Rapid Transit (ART) is the name of this marvelous train which does not actual need any rails, but travels on painted tracks.

The train, which is actually a bus

The ART cheats a little bit. First of all, the ART avoids the typical problems that autonomous vehicles havebecause of its guide tracks. Autonomous vehicles must be able to recognize and evaluate traffic situations in real time and react accordingly. The ART will not have to deal with this challenge since it only travels on its painted tracks and, like a tram, is separated from the rest of traffic.

Secondly, the ART is not really a train, but a bus. Because even if the vehicle looks like a train in design, it is in reality an electric bus.

Environmentally friendly and cheap, but also safe?

The reason for the unusual design was probably also the intention to create an environmentally friendly transport solution for Zhuzhou. The ART should therefore have as little as possible in common with a diesel bus in terms of appearance. Well, and CRRC is a railroad company.

A “virtual bus track”is the name given for it by Feng Jianghua, chief developer at the Zhuzhou Institute, who has been developing the vehicle for CRRC since 2013.

The demand for public transport is great because like many cities in China, Zhuzhou, in the province of Hunan, has become a city of millions in just a few years. However, a subway for mass transport is too expensive, says Feng Jianghua. One kilometer of metro costs between $58 and $102 million. ART, on the other hand, cost only $2.2 million.

However, there are also concerns that the ART could quickly push ruts into the roadway by always taking the same route. It is also not yet clear how the bus would perform on the ice or snow.

One bus can carry up to 500 passengers

The e-bus runs on a fast-charging battery and can reach a top speed of 70 kilometers per hour. The standard model consists of three gondolas, is 30 meters long and can transport up to 300 passengers for 40 kilometers. The Maxi model is 50 meters long, with a capacity of up to 500 passengers. It is said that the gondolas can also be coupled in any way. The ART is also equipped with sensors that allow it to detect road dimensions and plan its own route.

The first virtual rail for the ART will pass through downtown Zhuzhou and be put into operation in 2018.

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