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This New Drone is Designed to Transport Humans

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Ehang

Drones have been used to deliver everything from booze to pizza, and now there's one that can transport people too. 

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) earlier this week, Chinese drone maker Ehang debuted their new, 440-pound drone featuring a cockpit built for one. The Ehang 184 can carry a single passenger weighing 220 pounds or less, and fly them at speeds reaching 63 miles per hour. The rider starts the journey by inputting their flight plan, and from there they only instruct the vehicle when to take off and land. The drone takes care of the rest.

During the flight, passengers can read by the 184’s reading light while relaxing in the air-conditioned cockpit. And if anything should go wrong, a fail safe system kicks in that causes the drone to either revert to hover mode or find a safe spot to land. According to Derrick Xiong, the company’s chief marketing officer, the vehicle has been operated over 100 times, including several trips with human cargo. 

The Ehang 184 is not yet legal in the U.S., but the company told Mashable they’re currently in contact with the FAA. If the passenger drone does hit the market any time soon, it's expected to be listed between $200,000 and $300,000. You can watch the drone in flight in the video below.

[h/t: The Guardian]

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Animals
Meet Piper: The Border Collie Making a Michigan Airport Safer for Travelers
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Birds may look harmless on solid ground, but in the sky they pose a big threat to any aircraft crossing their path. The Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City, Michigan, uses a low-tech approach to the problem: a border collie named Piper.

Great Big Story profiled Piper and his handler, airport operations supervisor Brian Edwards, in a recent video. Piper’s job as the airport’s wildlife control canine is chasing away large birds that could strike incoming and outgoing planes, potentially causing anything from dents to engine failure. In Michigan, this usually means large waterfowl like ducks and geese, but it can also include crows, gulls, and snowy owls.

After he’s deployed from a moving car, Piper heads for the birds, scattering them away from the tarmac and teaching them to associate the area with predators. Piper is just doing what most border collies would do in the presence of a flock of birds, only in this case he gets to wear stylish protective goggles while following his instincts.

You can watch the full story below.

[h/t Great Big Story]

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travel
How to Win a Year of Free Flights From JetBlue
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JetBlue has an enticing offer for anyone resolving to travel more in 2018: Customers who book a non-refundable flight before December 15 will be automatically entered to win the airline's All You Can Jet Pass, Thrillist reports. That means a full year of free unlimited flights to 100 destinations in the U.S. and beyond.

If you already have, or are planning to, purchase a flight in the first half of December, no further steps are required: You're automatically in the running to receive one of the three available passes. And if you have no upcoming flights to book but a bad case of wanderlust, you’re also invited to enter. To do so, just mail a letter with your full printed name, address, phone numbers, and email address to: All You Can Jet Sweepstakes, Centra 360, 1400 Old Country Road, Suite 417, Westbury, NY 11590.

The randomly selected winner can start flying for free as soon as February 1, 2018.

All You Can Jet Pass flyers won’t be able to book multiple flights departing from the same city on the same day, and change and cancellation fees will still apply. Other than that, they can travel without limitations. Travelers get a complimentary plus-one for each flight they book, and they’re free to change their travel companion from trip to trip. There are zero blackout dates, so even on the busiest travel days of the year, winners can fly without paying a cent.

The free year of travel ends January 31, 2019. If they’re smart with their time, it’s possible for winners to visit every one of JetBlue's 100 destinations, including Jamaica, Los Angeles, and the Dominican Republic, by the time their pass expires. The only thing they'll need to worry about is finding the energy for all that travel.

[h/t Thrillist]

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