Would You Ride in a Driverless Uber?

February 20, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

When Uber began testing driverless cars in several cities (and battled with California over its right to do so without a permit) last year, select passengers who wanted to try the experience weren’t the only passengers in the car. That’s because Uber is conducting research and has operators in the vehicles as it tests them in real life scenarios.

As Uber engineers test the automation, several things are proving to be troublesome for the artificial intelligence to interpret. First and foremost, the unpredictability of human drivers makes it challenging for the AI to compensate. For example, crossing over into the left lane to make a right-hand turn is a scenario that does not compute for the software.

Self-driving Uber prototype being tested in San Francisco

Self-driving Uber prototype being tested in San Francisco

Another quandary is bridges, so the company chose Pittsburgh specifically because of its many bridges, as a way to iron those bugs out. Bridges are difficult for driverless cars to handle, said Uber’s engineering director Raffi Krikorian, because they lack environmental cues that streets have, namely buildings. According to Business Insider, Krikorian said Pittsburgh was the “double black diamond of driving” and he believes conducting research in that city will help the research advance quickly.

Weather is also proving a challenge because snow, for example, obscures lane markings, making navigation tricky. Uber is also finding other challenges from nature during its tests, such as trees. The cars rely on high-definition maps with landmarks to navigate. In Pittsburgh, the images on those maps were taken in the winter when there were no leaves on the trees, so the car can’t determine what the new objects on its route are.
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Shopping for Luggage: Selecting Luggage Based on Trip Length

July 18, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Deciding what type of luggage you’re going to need for a trip can be almost as challenging as determining your destination. If it’s a business trip, the wardrobe specifications can make that selection easier, but if you’re heading out for a seven- to ten-day vacation, do you use a duffel, a carry-on, a medium Rollaboard® bag, or the biggest suitcase you can buy?

Travelpro Crew 11 is our new luggage collection

The new Travelpro Crew 11 luggage collection has a size for every type of travel.

In order not to get overwhelmed by your options, ask yourself some questions first:

  • Am I traveling by car or plane?
  • Do I want to avoid checked bag fees or need extra space for souvenirs so that I don’t exceed the 50-lb. weight limit?
  • How efficiently can I pack?

If you’re traveling by plane, my preference would be to use a carry-on. It provides you with complete control of your bag during travel and you avoid waiting at the baggage carousel upon arrival. You also avoid the checked baggage fee, and won’t risk running afoul of any overweight baggage fees.
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Busting Thanksgiving Travel Myths In Time for the Holiday

November 3, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Whether you live across town or across the country, everyone dreads the travel hassles that seem to accompany Thanksgiving. This year we want to ease your stress by debunking some of the common myths surrounding turkey travel — you already have enough stress spending time with family.

We found a recent USA Today article that debunked a lot of Thanksgiving travel myths, and will hopefully put your mind at ease.

While many think the day before Thanksgiving is the busiest travel day of the year, that’s not the case. According to Julie Hall, public relations director for AAA, it is the busiest travel day of the Thanksgiving weekend, but it isn’t the busiest travel day of the year.

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In fact, the busiest travel day of the year in 2014 was August 8, according to the Department of Transportation statistics. The day before Thanksgiving is only in the top 10. See, we’ve already reduced your stress a bit.

Another myth is that more airline delays coincide with Thanksgiving; this also is wrong. According to Christine Sarkis at SmarterTravel.com, Thanksgiving travel has averaged a 19 percent delay record over the past three years, while there has been an average delay of 22 percent in travel just from January to August of this year alone. So, we’re already three percent better.

Frequent fliers also have reason to be relieved. Most airlines no longer have blackout dates, but they do charge more miles for tickets during Thanksgiving week. So, just avoid traveling back on Sunday, when airlines really jack up the “points price,” and you can get back home without losing your shirt.

In fact, you might even be surprised to find a last-minute deal to a popular tourist destination and decide to ditch the extended family gathering altogether! After all, the “you’ll never find a last minute airfare deal” myth is just that: a myth. Just don’t bank on it. Plan ahead as much as possible.

Finally, keep in mind that while the Wednesday before Thanksgiving isn’t the busiest travel day of the year, remember that car travel that day will be its heaviest between 3 and 5 p.m., so you can avoid sitting and do more cruising if you get an early start, like in the morning. You can always nap when you get there.

Better yet, leave on Tuesday morning. Tell your boss we said it was okay.

Happy trails, and happy Thanksgiving, from Travelpro!

How Millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers Travel

June 18, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The differences between Millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers are never more evident than when we travel. Where we go, how we get there, what we do, and how much we spend all vary depending on our demographic. We’re alike in some ways, we’re very different in others.

Shullman Research studied households with an annual income of more than $75,000 to see how each group preferred to travel, and created an infographic to show us just what those differences were.

English: Dubrovnik old city and cruise ship.

Dubrovnik old city and cruise ship. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here are a few examples of what they found.

  • Millennials head to Hawaii more than Boomers and Gen Xers: 19% of Millennials travel to the 50th state, compared to 6% each of Boomers and Gen Xers. Meanwhile, 10% of Boomers prefer Nevada’s dry climate, while 18% of Gen X prefers Florida.
  • When it comes to international travel, 23% of Millennials visit Asia, Generation X heads to the Caribbean (22%) or Canada (21%), while we Boomers head to Europe (61%) or the Caribbean (my favorite; I’m part of the 48% who vacation there).
  • Flying is the preferred method of travel, with 28% of Millennials, 36% of Gen Xers, and 31% of Boomers taking to the air. But 39% of Gen X also prefers to travel by car, since they can turn this thing around if you don’t settle down back there.
  • When it comes to cruises, we were surprised to see Millennials actually prefer them more than their older counterparts — 16% versus 11% (Gen X) and 13% (Boomers).

For more insights and information, you can see the entire infographic at AdWeek.com, and get a better insight into how different demographic groups prefer to travel.

What are your travel preferences? Do you match up with your demographic group, or do you prefer going against conventional wisdom? Leave a comment and let us hear from you.

What Luggage Is Best For Car Trips?

July 21, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Over these last several months, we’ve chronicled how Travelpro rollaboards meet the varied needs of air travelers. For international business travelers and vacationing families alike, we’ve illustrated how our lightweight, durable bags maximize travel enjoyment by minimizing airport hassles.

But, the advantages of Travelpro luggage aren’t limited to air travelers. To anyone about to embark on an overnight car trip — whether you’re a lone salesman chasing your monthly quota or overwhelmed parents transporting a van full of kids to Disney World — we’ve got a range of bags that will make your life easier.

North Cascades Highway / Grande Coulee Dam Roa...

Image by DennisSylvesterHurd via Flickr

While airline size restrictions require air travelers to pack light, “road warriors” have much more latitude in the number of possessions they can take on their trip. Enter Travelpro’s comprehensive line of spacious garment bags, and versatile duffels and backpacks.

These expandable bags measure up to 28″ in length, and can easily accommodate a week’s worth or more of clothing and belongings.

The key to traveling with a large wardrobe is intelligent design and capacity. Most rollaboards offer roomy main compartments which expand 2.5 inches, maximizing space and packing flexibility. Some rollaboards and garment bags also feature a removable suiter sleeve and wrinkle-free foam bars which minimizesthe wrinkling of dresses, suits and other formal wear.

If your travel wear is more casual, the suiter sleeve also accommodates shirts, pants and other outfits while keeping them wrinkle-free. On certain collections, it also acts as a divider, separating “his” clothing from “hers” (and “theirs”), or dirty clothing from clean, which helps you stay organized.

Travelpro’s luggage also feature many side pockets. Use them to store small items, such as belts and portable electronics, that can wrinkle clothing. And don’t forget to utilize the top lid to store shirts and other folded garments.

Common sense plays a major role in effective packing. Place heavy objects, such as shoes and toiletry kits, on the bottom of the main storage compartment, then arrange your garments on top. Pack your formal wear properly in the suiter sleeve and secure your clothing with the interior tie-down straps to prevent shifting – and wrinkling – in transit.

So, whether your travel plans involve the friendly skies or the open road, remember to take along your Travelpro rollaboard. And, if you are hitting the highway (especially with the family), feel free to take more than one.

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