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Saudi Arabia’s First Electric Air Taxi Completes Test Flight

The week-long program was a collaboration between NEOM representatives, Volocopter, and Saudi aviation authorities.

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saudi arabia's first electric air taxi completes test flight

Representatives from NEOM — the massive Saudi Arabian smart city development project — and urban air mobility company Volocopter have announced the successful completion of a test flight by an eVTOL (electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing) air taxi service.

The week-long test flight program was the first of its kind to receive the go-ahead from Saudi officials, and was conducted in collaboration with the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA).

NEOM and Volocopter aim to implement and scale a complete electric UAM ecosystem in the upcoming smart city development as part of their shared vision for a clean, sustainable future.

volocopter evtol in saudi arabia neom

NEOM CEO, Nadhmi Al-Nasr, said: “The successful test flight of a Volocopter eVTOL is […] another milestone towards creating NEOM’s innovative, sustainable, multimodal transportation system. Driving the development of smart, sustainable, and safe mobility systems will improve livability and connectivity in cities worldwide and reduce carbon emissions, creating a cleaner future for all”.

Meanwhile, Volocopter Chief Commercial, Christian Bauer, was equally enthusiastic about the results of the test flight: “It is beyond exciting to see our work from the past 18 months come to fruition. As the first eVTOL aircraft to ever test in Saudi Arabia, we are proud to have laid the groundwork for our future collaboration here in NEOM”.

Also Read: Dubai Hospital Delivery Drone Completes Successful First Trial

Volocopter’s eVTOLs will be powered by 100% renewable energy from solar and wind sources. The electric craft will also be multi-use, with plans to deploy them as taxis, emergency response vehicles, and more. The electric helicopters should be easily adaptable, cheaper to run than conventional models, and a good deal quieter. Meanwhile, smart and autonomous capabilities ensure high levels of safety in confined cityscapes.

The air taxi test flight announcement comes after NEOM’s EUR 175 million investment into Volocopter, which recently confirmed that its production plant in Bruchsal, Germany, now had the capacity to build over 50 helicopters per year.

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Adobe Teases New AI Editing Tools And Updates In Premiere Pro

The video editing app will be enhanced with a generative extend tool, text-to-video, improved timeline waveforms, and more.

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adobe teases new ai editing tools and updates in premiere pro
Adobe

After launching the generative AI model Firefly last year, Adobe is now showcasing how the technology will be used in upcoming versions of the editing app Premiere Pro. In an early sneak peek, the company demonstrated several new features, including Object Addition and Removal, Generative Extend, and Text to Video.

The first new feature, Generative Extend, targets a common video editing problem by using AI to “Seamlessly add frames to make clips longer, so it’s easier to perfectly time edits and add smooth transitions”.

Meanwhile, Premiere Pro’s Object Addition & Removal tool will leverage Firefly’s generative AI to “Simply select and track objects, then replace them. Remove unwanted items, change an actor’s wardrobe or quickly add set dressings such as a painting or photorealistic flowers on a desk,” Adobe states.

Adobe also showcased another new feature that can automatically generate new film clips using a text prompt. To use the content creation tool, editors can “Simply type text into a prompt or upload reference images. These clips can be used to ideate and create storyboards, or to create B-roll for augmenting live action footage,” Adobe explained. The company seems to be commercializing this particular feature extremely quickly, considering generative AI video only appeared a few months ago.

Also Read: UGREEN Unveils Nexode RG 65W Charger For Middle East

The new additions to Premiere Pro will be added later this year, but Adobe is also introducing smaller improvements to the editing app in May. The changes include interactive fade handles to enable easier transitions, an Essential Sound badge that uses AI to “automatically tag audio clips as dialogue, music, sound effects or ambience, and add a new icon so editors get one-click, instant access to the right controls for the job”, along with effect badges and a new look for waveforms in the timeline.

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