Taking commutes to new heights

Ride-hailing giant Uber recently announced plans to launch electric drone-helicopter hybrids to ease urban congestion in the near future.1

Another company that has taken steps to realise the futuristic vision of urban air mobility is Chinese drone maker Ehang. In February 2018, the company released footage of its fully autonomous, passenger-carrying quadcopters; as part of rigorous testing, the quadcopters have even flown human passengers over 1,000 test flights.

Not only could these flying egg-shaped vehicles, known as Ehang 184, ease commuting for passengers in crowded cities in time to come — said to be all-electric2, Ehang 184 could also contribute to the transport sector’s efforts to clean up its act as one of the world’s worst polluters.

Such innovations underscore the pressing issue of traffic congestion, which is on the rise. A 2017 report of global vehicle traffic by transportation consulting firm INRIX revealed that congestion cost the United States a whopping US$305 billion in 2017 — up by US$10 billion from 2016 — with factors such as lost productivity of workers sitting in traffic and wasted fuel accounting for this number.3

Technology will be an enabler not only to resolve environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues but also to help raise productivity. Eastspring Investments is on the lookout for trends that will reshape the investment landscape. Read our insights to find out more.

1 https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/uber-shows-off-its-vision-for-future-flying-taxi-10215694
2 https://www.theverge.com/2018/2/5/16974310/ehang-passenger-carrying-drone-first-test-flight
3 https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2018/02/traffics-mind-boggling-economic-toll/552488/

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