Espresso of Innovation: The Flying Squad

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Hello and welcome to this week’s Espresso of Innovation; the hottest news and strongest stories from the world of creativity and technology filtered into a quick shot of inspiration. This week your espresso is duty free.

Our colleagues travelled back from Cannes with horror stories of delays and passport control. But what if they (and you) didn’t have the ubiquitous travel gripes?ClipAir in Switzerland envisages a hassle-free world where you get on your train to the airport and then on arrival they just clip/unclip your carriage to the underside of a plane. By thinking about the relative ease of trains for transporting both goods and passengers, they’ve created a potentially game-changing new concept.

To get back to our beds in the meantime, we’re going to have to grab a taxi, hop on a shuttle or find our car parked in an overcrowded airport car park. We’ve already covered a few of the services currently available, but in a few years’ time Volvo might have another solution – a car that finds a parking space for you. Just drive up to the car park and the car will do the rest. And when you return just hit your location on your app and the car will come and find you.

And what will we be flying on for our next trip? The Airbus A350 took its maiden voyage this month but already manufacturers are looking to the next big thing. A lot of technology is already being put in planes such as the LEAP engine, which uses 3D printing to achieve greater mechanical intricacy. Maybe in the future we could print entire planes that run on a mixture of batteries, body heat and cow manure whilst creating no noise pollution thanks to a shape-shifting engine. Could we trust a 3D printed drone to get us to our destination? That’s the future some young inventors are hoping to make reality.

The key to cracking the travel market for ever-more demanding consumers lies with a combination of fuel-saving technology and simplifying the customer journey at every possible point. Investing in the former is not only corporately responsible, but also fiscally, as over time cleaner energy will lower overheads. The latter is just common sense, but as any traveller knows, often not the case. These two principles can be applied to many other business sectors. What new innovations could make your business simpler and greener?