You either love them or hate them, or change your personal opinion according to different contexts. Drones have gained massive popularity among recreational users, and are rapidly becoming more and more affordable. 2017 may be the year of entry in the commercial space. Amazon is leading the “Game of Drones” race and has made some headway. The recent Amazon patent on the use of a flying warehouse shows where things are headed.
Uber has equally expressed aspirations through their white paper released a few months ago, on the feasibility of ultra-short-haul commercial flights in the urban space.
It’s predicting the rise of VTOL (Vertical Take-off and Landing) vehicles offering on-demand flights in urban areas leveraging existing infrastructure (e.g. parking rooftops) as vertiports (airports for aircraft that can take-off and land vertically). Some of the challenges mentioned in the paper include:
Virtual Reality (VR) is often associated with glasses that take you to a virtual world where your actual real movements are translated to the virtual world. On the other hand, perhaps even more relevant, Augmented Reality (AR) is more likely to penetrate the airline and airport space.
In an extreme scenario a passenger is expected to download the app of the car rental company, the airline, the departure airport, connecting airport, arrival airport, and the hotel. That’s 6 apps for a single trip, which may or may not occur again.
2017 is likely to be the year of dialogue around consolidated chatbot engines that could act as a single gateway for customers.
The airline distribution space is gradually making headway towards a more dynamic and nimble model where airlines are in control, travel agents empowered, and Global Distributions System provided with an opportunity to build new products and services. New Distribution Capability (NDC) industry program has been the driving force in the last couple of years making the necessary standards and guidance available to the industry.