The concept of electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft should be familiar to all fans of sci-fi literature, movies, and video games.
Because of their ability to take off and land vertically, such aircraft are suited for operation in densely populated urban areas that would easily trap even small airplanes. Since eVTOL aircraft rely on electric propulsion, they generate much less noise pollution compared with traditional helicopters.
Now, Volocopter, a German eVTOL aircraft manufacturer based in Bruchsal has established a joint venture (JV) company with NEOM, a planned smart city in the Tabuk Province of northwestern Saudi Arabia that aims to realize a daring vision of what the future could be.
The goal of the new company is to design, implement, and operate the world’s first bespoke public vertical mobility system in NEOM. Once operational, the system will provide air taxi and logistics services and integrate with the rest of NEOM’s multi-modal and zero-emissions public mobility system.
“We are incredibly excited and proud to partner with Volocopter to make vertical mobility a reality here at NEOM. Volocopter is internationally recognized for leading innovation in the eVTOL industry and is a perfect match for our ambitious goals to create the first truly sustainable, shared, and seamlessly integrated mobility system in the world” said Florian Lennert, Head of Mobility, NEOM.
The JV has so far ordered 10 VoloCity passenger and 5 VoloDrone logistics aircraft from Volocopter, and plans are already in place to scale up activities from the beginning of 2022.
These first eVTOL aircraft will connect NEOM’s core urban development, called the Line, with other regional destinations. The Line is supposed to be a 170 km long linear city without conventional cars, and it will be home to over 1 million citizens when finished.
Cisco Unveils Strategic Vision For Enterprise Cloud Security In MENA
At the heart of this vision is Cisco Security Cloud, a global, cloud-delivered, integrated platform for end-to-end security across hybrid multi-cloud environments.
The global pandemic has accelerated cloud adoption by forcing companies to embrace the hybrid work model. But as companies move more and more of their information technology systems to the cloud, they discover that traditional security measures become less and less effective. To help cloud adopters of all sizes overcome the challenges associated with enterprise cloud security, Cisco has unveiled its new strategic vision for the MENA region.
At the heart of this vision is Cisco Security Cloud, a global, cloud-delivered, integrated platform for end-to-end security across hybrid multi-cloud environments. The platform unifies the management and policy administration of public and private clouds to protect users, devices, networks, applications, and data.
“With the complexity of hybrid work, continued acceleration of cloud adoption, and the ever-advancing threat landscape, organizations are looking for a trusted partner to help them achieve security resilience,” said Jeetu Patel, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Security and Collaboration at Cisco. “We believe Cisco is uniquely positioned due to its scale, breadth of solutions and cloud-neutral business model to meet their needs.”
Cisco Security Cloud is based on the zero trust security model, which, as its name implies, describes an approach to security where no access request is trusted without verification regardless of where it comes from.
To make the verification process as robust and user-friendly and possible, the necessary identity checks take place in the background, allowing users to focus on their work without being constantly interrupted by log-in prompts and other identity verification mechanisms.
Cisco is also building session trust analysis using OpenID Foundation’s Shared Signals and Events standards, which allow cloud services to instantly communicate security alerts and status changes of users.
These and other parts of Cisco’s new strategic vision for enterprise cloud security should help companies accelerate their cloud adoption initiatives. According to a survey of IT professionals in the Middle East, a lack of cybersecurity is among the main reasons why such initiatives proceed at a slow pace.