Tunnels scanning cars

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Here is your weekly curated list of happenings in the hospitality/travel sector:

  • Meet the city that’s leaving cars behind. A capital city recently announced its plans to build 350 km bike lanes by 2025 to promote sustainable transportation. With a well-established public transportation system in place, these bike lanes are expected to further reduce congestion and improve air quality in the city. But the benefits of smart transport solutions go beyond that – they can also positively impact tourism.
  • A scanning tunnel for rental cars. After the significant increase in passenger numbers in 2022 (total of 31.6 million), Munich Airport has teamed up to streamline car rentals by implementing a scanning tunnel from a leading AI-based automotive solutions provider. The new technology, implemented in collaboration with Assured Europe and Wenn AS, documents a rental car’s condition as it passes through the tunnel, detecting damage in seconds. Customers drive their rental cars through a structure at the entrance and exit of the parking garage, and cameras capture the car from various angles, with data automatically evaluated by AI. Munich Airport is the first in Europe to use the technology, and implementation at other airports is being planned.
  • Rising Chinese tourism sector. If you’re curious about what to expect from the reopening of China and how to prepare for this, then this PhocusWire article is for you. They summed up some key takeaways from the China Arising event. In partnership, WebinTravel, Travel Daily China, and Accor, discussed the latest insights and trends in the Chinese travel market so that business can adapt their strategies to engage the emerging Chinese traveler.
  • Travel Insurance Expansion. Insurtech Koala has secured €2 million in funding to expand its European operations and develop further travel protection products. The B2B2C startup has developed products such as cancellation insurance for any reason and trip disruption coverage for delays, cancellations and missed connections. The French company says its data-driven approach has been key to its success so far and aims to cover 500,000 travelers in 2023. Funding will go toward growing European operations and developing further travel protection products.
  • Audio content for destinations and airlines. Autio, the location-based audio entertainment app co-founded by Kevin Costner, has announced a raise of $5.9 million in funding. The new round will be used to expand across the US, grow the team, and support additional product functionality. Using GPS, the startup offers over 10,000 two- to four-minute stories about nearby landmarks and towns to “paint a picture you’re unlikely to get from a history book or visitor’s guide”. In addition, this funding announcement follows its recent partnership with JetBlue, which allows the airline’s passengers to access audio content for selected destinations. This marks Autio’s first in-flight integration and further expands its reach to new audiences.
  • Coming next in Shanghai. Shanghai will invest $15.7 billion in 28 culture and tourism projects to boost tourism in the Asia-Pacific region, which includes an indoor ski resort and memorial halls. The ambitious goal is to make Shanghai a world-renowned tourist city by increasing confidence, expanding consumption, grasping investment, and stabilizing growth, said the Shanghai Municipal Administration of Culture and Tourism director. Coming next in Shanghai: an indoor ski resort and a passenger cableway across the Huangpu River.
  • Growth boost for Nigerian mobility. Shared mobility company, Shuttlers, has raised $4 million in funding, with the investment going towards route expansion and technology development. The Nigerian company, which offers public transport and corporate mobility solutions, has also partnered to access hundreds more buses as it grows its 300 routes.