TRAVEL – Creative Disruption
 

Category: TRAVEL

Travel

MERCEDES-BENZ SHOWS THE INTERIOR OF THE NEW E-CLASS

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Passengers in the E-Class can enjoy a new control experience with high-resolution visualisations and animations, the developers have focused on the use of newly implemented presentation and display techniques to make it more intuitive – for the driver to register and experience information.

For example, animated displays are used to show the mode of action of assistance systems, or of Dynamic Select. The likewise animated ECO display in the instrument cluster helps the driver to adopt an economical driving style in an easily understandable manner.

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Depending on the transmission, the new E-Class comes with two differently designed centre consoles. Models with automatic transmission have a straight-through centre console, with dynamically rising, sportily high connection to the cockpit, by a control panel in a “Black Panel” glass look. Other controls, such as in the doors, also feature the “Black Panel” look. Models with manual transmission are provided with a centre console in the form of two separate trim parts.

The improvements to the Mercedes-Benz is good news for UK corporate chauffeur services such as Cars Exec. It’s no secret that the business world loves the Mercedes-Benz, and chauffeur services typically include these cars in their lineup of vehicles used to transport corporate clients.

The interior lighting makes exclusive use of durable, energy-saving LED technology. The same applies to the optionally available enhanced ambience lighting. With 64 colours, it offers a host of possibilities for personalisation. It adds touches of light, for example, to the trim parts, central display, front stowage facility on the centre console, handle recesses, door pockets, front and rear footwells, overhead console, mirror triangle and tweeters.

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The E-Class is optionally available with a MULTIBEAM LED headlamp system with ILS (Intelligent Light System) and Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus. The MULTIBEAM LED headlamps are immediately identifiable. They provide new, visual highlights with passively illuminated, blue light surfaces. These outline the hallmark E-Class “torch effect” of the daytime running lamps and side lights and, even when low beam or high beam is switched on, create a blue setting for a fascinating look. This lends an unmistakable character to the light design of E-Class models with MULTIBEAM LED headlamps.

This characteristic look also points to a new dimension in headlamp technology, because MULTIBEAM LED headlamps use 84 individually controlled high-power LEDs in each headlamp. This makes them bright and precise, as they automatically illuminate the road surface with a previously unsurpassed, precision-controlled distribution of light – without dazzling other road users.

tech air travel

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND TRAVEL INDUSTRY AUTOMATION

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They were dead set on changing the way you book your travel. In the building next to me on the Microsoft campus in 1996, there was a team that was absolutely convinced they would radically alter the travel industry by allowing customers to directly access a huge database of flights via the web. It turns out they were right, and within a few years, Rich Barton, who led the team, convinced Steve Ballmer to spin the project called “Expedia” out of Microsoft.

Expedia and its competitors did go on to change the world of travel. Their user-friendly interfaces to databases, once reserved for professionals, gave us a self-serve option for booking flights, hotels, and car rentals. In the process, they seriously shook up the travel industry, knocking out a large portion of the travel agent profession.

In the United States, there are currently around 13,000 travel retail locations, down from a peak of 34,000 in the mid-1990s when Internet travel websites were just getting started. The real toll, though, is most visible when you look at Department of Labor statistics on actual employment in the travel agent sector. There are now less than half the number of travel agent jobs than there were just two decades ago.

Automation is never a simple story. What creates traumatic economic displacement for some, often brings convenience and lower prices for others – and sure enough, the cost of air travel has dropped significantly over this same period. Of the top twenty markets, Las Vegas and Phoenix are the only two cities were prices have actually increased. For the remaining eighteen, prices have all fallen. On average, airfares in these top twenty markets last year were 30% less than they were twenty years earlier.

Airline deregulation undoubtedly played a critical role in these airfare decreases, but there also seems little doubt that the easy comparison shopping that services like Expedia has enabled is also an important factor.

Technology giveth and technology taketh away. Those travel agencies that survived had to move up market, away from purely transactional ticket-booking to more consultative services, where domain expertise and the ability to provide useful advice really mattered. I actually used a firm like this earlier this year on a family trip to China and it was quite valuable.

But now, even these firms may soon be at risk, thanks to new computing technologies that will gradually take over some of the domain expertise in travel.

The first wave of automation to hit the travel agency market was transactional – the result of giving end users direct access to a reservations database. This next wave of automation builds on the first wave, but is knowledge-based and relies on a new layer of artificial intelligence.

This next wave of automation will replace travel agents with “personal travel concierges,” able to sift through mountains of information to give you tailored advice on how to plan your trip. That, at least, is the plan of the startup called WayBlazer.

The most interesting thing about WayBlazer is that it has the Jeopardy-winning IBM Watson under its hood. WayBlazer’s not yet on the market: its first prototype application will be for the Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau, but you can get a taste for what the user interface might look like on its Formula 1 racing app.

One thing worth noting about IBM is that it is rolling out Watson services as a business-to-business offering, targeting vertical industries through partnerships in retail, several healthcare applications, talent management, and now travel. The only way that you will get to experience IBM Watson artificial intelligence is through an IBM partner. Even WayBlazer, a Watson partner itself, will only be available through partners, rather than its own consumer-facing website. This is what you might call a ‘vertical’ strategy for the artificial intelligence market.

Contrast that with what companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo and LinkedIn are likely up to, which is more of a ‘horizontal’ strategy for artificial intelligence. They won’t deep-dive into specific vertical markets, but instead choose broader, more utility-like approaches for processing the broad range of topics their end users are likely to need. Your interaction with the artificial intelligence may feel a bit different across these services, but this horizontal approach will be part of the way you make sense of the world. It will become an increasingly central part of your relationships with these companies and the value you derive from their services.

So, when it comes to using artificial intelligence to help you plan your vacation in 2018, will you use a general purpose artificial intelligence with Google or Facebook, or will you work through some entity like an airline or local tourism bureau, using an industry-specific artificial intelligence like WayBlazer and its Watson engine?

In the short-run, it’s very possible that a vertical approach like WayBlazer might produce superior results. My bet, though, is that competitive advantage in the artificial intelligence market will depend on having a high volume of user interactions. Today’s machine learning approaches to artificial intelligence learn and improve by interacting and getting feedback from people, and that means the technologies with greater scale in user interactions are more likely to learn faster. That’s why, in the longer-run I’m betting that Google, Facebook and the horizontal players will eventually have the edge over IBM.

HELICOPTER CHARTER PRICES NOW REASONABLE FOR MANY TRAVELERS

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So you feel that a private helicopter is exclusively a luxury existing for the really wealthy or celebs? You might want to consider again. Recently, chartered helicopters continue to increase in popularity — not only as a means for specifically displaying success but rather as a somewhat higher-priced convenience to get about crammed metropolitan areas like Chicago. If the uncertainty of ground transport leads to challenges for getting to your desired destination in time, follow these suggestions to plan a chartered helicopter.

Look for a nearby charter helicopter service and discuss a consultation. As easy as it may seem, not each and every helicopter firm features chartered offerings or has time to accommodate your excursion. Ask about costs. Once you look around and discover the best fit, inquire about the amount an outing will set you back. Fees differ between agencies, even if it’s a given that smaller sized groups and faster trips are priced cheaper than longer, larger outings. You can go to My Private Helicopter to get an idea of helicopter charter prices in Chicago, IL and other large metropolitan area.

Helicopter Charter Prices Dropping

Just where do you plan to go? The charter business will need to know the length of the journey you plan on taking. After getting the site picked, determine the location where the pilot intends on landing. This might be at one of the local airports around the city, or may be a field far from telephone wires. Helicopter charter services is usually useful in the corporate community. Businesses will be able to gain through the offerings by employing chartered helicopters in their company.

Countless large corporations do business across the country. Nowadays, where the attitude is time is money, wasting time about the daily schedules of the major airports is often constraining. Using helicopter offerings, business staff may travel on their time. As opposed to dealing with the headaches of chaotic air terminals and traffic, an employee may take a helicopter to a far off business conference.

Almost any company will clearly show a prospect they mean business by offering them a customized helicopter trip. Grant prospects a overall viewpoint of real estate and projects using a charter helicopter company. There is no better technique for a major company to show clientele that they are prosperous and ought to work with them then getting them on a trip in a helicopter.

Custom helicopter charter services allows a firm’s staff depart on their time and get where they’re heading swiftly. Save time and money with chartered helicopters, regardless if it will be for a business excursion, to attract clientele, or to get to corporate occasions at various other points. To be able to schedule a helicopter trip, you merely need to stick to a couple of guidelines. Scheduling isn’t very hard and you only need to know what kind of helicopter ride you need.

It is important to select an area. Will you be scheduling a chartered helicopter to look at the scenery? Exactly what areas will you see? The greatest task concerning picking a helicopter trip is picking out exactly where you wish to tour. Be aware the destination decided on must be a place that’s accessible. If it is just not an easily-accessible destination, be certain to make proper traveling preparations so the day moves as well as possible.