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Transport

  • 2018 Sasol Solar Challenge will begin in September, end in Stellenbosch

    Get your sun hats, parasols and high-tech solar-powered vehicles ready. The latest edition Sasol Solar Challenge endurance event will kick off in September 2018. The competition's leaderboard is determined by total distance covered across a seven day period by vehicles powered by the sun's rays. The team with the most distance covered wins the title. And unlike traditional endurance racing, it's not the first team across the finish line who receives the plaudits. 15 teams from Australia, China, Japan, the Netherlands, the US and South Africa, will take part in the challenge, including two teams who have not competed in the...

  • ‘Small number’ of Boeing’s computer systems hit by WannaCry malware

    Remember WannaCry? It was 2017's big security story, infecting more than a quarter-million Windows computers at its most prolific point. But its prominence died down after tech doctors quelled its spread. But like a bad case of influenza, it's definitely not dead, and reports suggest aircraft manufacturer Boeing found that out the hard way on Wednesday. According to the Seattle Times, the firm's 777 assembly line in North Carolina was affected, but it was contained to a small number of machines. "The vulnerability was limited to a few machines. We deployed software patches. There was no interruption to the 777 jet program...

  • South Africa, you can now tip your Uber driver

    Feeling bad about not tipping your Uber driver for making your day? If saying "thanks" is just too cold for you, from today, riders can now give their drivers monetary appreciation through the app. The feature first hit the United States and Canada in July 2017, but has now been enabled in South Africa some seven months later. "Over the years, we’ve heard a lot of drivers asking us to roll out an in-app tipping function, so their clients can more easily reward great service and the act of going above and beyond what’s expected," explained Alon Lits, Uber sub-Saharan Africa's...

  • Uber autonomous car kills pedestrian in Arizona

    The autonomous car industry has been dealt a major blow this week. On Sunday, an Uber self driving vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona. The 49-year-old pedestrian was reportedly walking alongside her bicycle "outside the crosswalk" when she was hit. It's the first time a self driving car was involved in a pedestrian death. The car involved was a modified Volvo XC90 fitted with Uber's sensing technology, and occupied by a human in the driver's seat keeping tabs on the vehicle's systems. Additionally, said systems are supposed to react to obstacles in the vehicle's path and markings along the road,...

  • Uber launches Incident Response Team ‘call-back’ in South Africa

    Uber South Africa now has its own Incident Response Team, the company announced Tuesday. This incident system has been operational as trial since December 2017, however the system is this week live for all riders in South Africa. Riders can also now submit safety concerns (along with phone number and description of the incident) through the Uber app. They will then receive a "call-back" from Uber's response team. "We have listened to the hundreds of thousands of riders using the Uber app in South Africa and they've expressed the need to be able to speak with our teams in the event of...

  • NJ man orders a R19 000 Uber after a frat party brain fade

    The longest Uber trip ever recorded in South Africa spanned between Cape Town and Durban via Bloemfontein. We're not sure who this dedicated driver was, nor if the passenger knew that aircraft have been a viable form of travel for nearly a century now. But these long, seemingly unnecessary Uber trips aren't as rare as you may think. Just ask Kenneth Bachman a resident of New Jersey, USA. According to CBS, Bachman last week paid more than US$1600 (R19 000) for an Uber trip from a frat party at West Virginia University back home to the east coast of the country. Sorry,...

  • Sci-fi gone real: flying cars, commercial space travel and teleportation

    Sci-fi gone real is a series that focusses on the extravagant concepts dreamt up in the world of sci-fi, exploring just how close they are to becoming a reality. In this piece, we will be exploring the topic of transportation. From teleportation to flying cars, reality is rapidly becoming stranger than fiction. If you’re over the hassles and limitations of contemporary transportation, then this article might hold some hope for you yet. Teleportation Imagine a world without traffic jams or twenty-hour flights; a world where distance is merely the obstacle of scientific and mathematical endeavours. Well, this world might be a lot...

  • Still using BBM? You can now request an Uber via platform

    BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) has seen far better days in emerging markets, as WhatsApp usurps it as the favoured instant messaging platform. That hasn't stopped a major announcement this week, as BBM operator Creative Media Works announces that you can now request an Uber via the IM service. The move will let BBM users on Android and iOS book Uber trips via the IM app's Discover tab, an emailed press statement reads. The partnership sees BBM harness the m.uber.com portal to book rides. "When launched from the Discover menu, the new Uber service asks riders to sign in with their mobile number or...

  • Uber settles medical record lawsuit with woman raped by driver

    Uber has capped off its terrible 2017 by settling a lawsuit with a woman who accused top executives of illegally obtaining her medical records after she was raped by a driver in New Delhi, India in 2014. The anonymous US resident sued the company for intrusion into private affairs, public disclosure of private facts, and defamation. The woman claimed that then-CEO Travis Kalanick, president of business in Asia Eric Alexander, and senior vice president of business Emil Michael all believed her rape to be a conspiracy by rival companies. Her lawyer alleged that the company sought her medical records in an attempt to...

  • Brett Herron live-tweets ‘horrific’ Metrorail journey across Cape Town

    How difficult is it to take a train from Khayelitsha to Cape Town on a Thursday morning? Very. At least that's what MayCo member for transport Brett Herron discovered today. Live-tweeting his morning fact-finding commute to understand the conditions travellers face on Metrorail's trains, Herron was left "horrified & angry". The day began well enough. #TrainStories starting my day at Nolungile. Train delayed. Commuters abandoning train and heading for taxis “ayikho”! #Metrorail pic.twitter.com/6nf8LO0dPZ — Brett Herron (@brettherron) November 30, 2017 But the mood soon changed. "Commuters telling me to be prepared to cling onto the roof of the train it will be so overcrowded," Herron...

  • This Indian airport handled close to 1000 flights in a single day

    We're not sure what you were up to Friday night, but an airport in India had no time for partying. In fact, Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport this weekend broke the record for the most number of flights handled in a single day by a single airport. That new record stands at 969. The number includes both landings and take-offs within a 24 hour period recorded between 5.30am on Friday and 5.30am on Saturday. Overall, the airport processed more than 40 flights per hour, besting its own previous record of 935 in 24 hours. And more impressive still is the record in spite of the airport's layout....

  • London’s red buses to run on coffee waste

    London's iconic red buses will soon assimilate into the lives of Londoners by running, at least partially, on coffee. On Monday this week, a company called Bio-bean teamed up with oil giant Shell to introduce a small amount of oil extracted from coffee waste into the diesel and biofuel mixture already used by the buses. The company will produce 6000 litres of fuel a year -- less than 0.01% of the London buses' total use in 2015. But the city's authorities want to increase the number of buses fueled by a blend of diesel and biofuels. It's looking at using cooking oil waste, tallow (a form...

  • Uber-rival Lyft goes international, expands to Toronto

    For the first time in its history, on-demand ride-hailing company Lyft will expand to a city beyond the United States. On Monday the firm announced plans to jump the northern border to Canada. It's first destination will be the country's largest city, Toronto. "We’ve been looking forward to taking our brand of ridesharing international for some time, and we’re super pumped to share this with our close friends up north," Lyft wrote in a statement. The company has partnered with other ride-hailing companies outside the US, namely China's DiDi Chuxing and India's Ola, but its name wasn't associated with that expansion. The move...

  • UberEATS adds five-star ratings, tweaks recommendations and faves

    A star rating system, personalised recommendations and an improved layout for favourites is heading to the UberEATS app, the company announced Thursday. In similar vein to Uber's five-star rating system, users' ratings for restaurants will now be visible on the app appearing below the establishment's description. "Sharing ratings is a win-win, as restaurants can use this real-time feedback, including detailed comments on their Restaurant Manager dashboard to grow their business," added the company's product managers Ambika Krishnamachar and Calvin Lee. The company also confirmed that users will now receive "personalised menu recommendations" for each establishment they browse within...

  • NASA, Uber are serious about bringing flying taxis to cities by 2023

    In an unlikely partnership, NASA has sought the services of Uber to build air control software that will manage the flying taxis of the future. Yes, flying taxis. The partnership, announced today at WebSummit in Lisbon, is not beyond Uber's personal ambitions either. In April 2017, the company announced plans to launch a flying taxi programme -- dubbed UberAIR -- in Dubai and Dallas by 2020. Now Los Angeles will also be added to the roster. Uber has also previously toyed with using helicopters in Cape Town in what was more a marketing stunt than feasible city transport solution, but the aircraft Uber...