All-electric race car made possible with electron beam metal 3D printing

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Supported by Innovate UK, the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) works to speed up industrial growth in the UK by creating and embedding future skills and developing and proving manufacturing processes, such as 3D printing. The latter is specifically what the National Centre for Additive Manufacturing (NCAM), part of the MTC, focuses on, and its DRAMA research project spent the last three years setting up a stronger AM supply chain for aerospace. But the NCAM also supports automotive and motorsports AM applications: a perfect example of this can be found in the recent work its Coventry team has done to help Oxford Brookes Racing (OBR), the Oxford Brookes University‘s formula student racing team, reach its 2020 all-electric goal.

OBR is one of the top UK formula student racing (FSUK) teams, and has worked with the MTC on a number of projects before. So the team knew that its NCAM would be the perfect partner to help them take things to the next level.

Continue reading… “All-electric race car made possible with electron beam metal 3D printing”

Hyundai delivers first fuel cell trucks to Switzerland

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LUCERNE, Switzerland (Reuters) – South Korean carmaker Hyundai on Wednesday presented the first seven hydrogen-powered trucks to customers in Switzerland, out of 50 such vehicles scheduled this year to bring zero-emission commercial vehicles to European roads.

For long haul, proponents say hydrogen-powered trucks have an advantage over electric rivals as they have a greater range and require less charging times but their uptake and mass production has been slow because they are expensive.

However, a McKinsey study in January said that once relative efficiencies of the power sources and lifetime costs of a truck are factored in, green hydrogen could reach cost parity with diesel by 2030.

Hyundai has been partnering with Swiss companies to build a value chain covering the production of green hydrogen from hydropower, hydrogen charging stations and the service and maintenance of the trucks.

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Hyundai creates division for walking robots and Transformer-like mobility vehicles

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The Korean automaker will dip its toes in the field of freaky-looking robots.

Remember the Hyundai Elevate concept from CES 2019? Probably not because so much happens at CES, it’s hard to keep track of the real breakthroughs, worthy attention-grabbers and the fluff. Well, we should definitely pay a little more attention to Hyundai and its Elevate concept because the Korean automaker announced a new division on Tuesday devoted to “ultimate mobility vehicles.”

If the Elevate concept defines what an “ultimate mobility vehicle” is, that means Hyundai just created a studio to design walking cars. They’re sort of freaky, honestly. The New Horizons Studio, as it’s called, will develop vehicles “to wander with unprecedented mobility,” the automaker said in the announcement. “Wander” is an appropriate word since the Elevate concept sports long legs that let the vehicle “walk” over what would typically be terrain a standard vehicle would never get past. Specifically, Hyundai imagined the Elevate as a perfect rescue vehicle to step over rocks, rubble and other debris with ease.

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Self-driving cars will hit the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in a landmark A.I. race

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Take a look at the ‘Road of the Future’

Next year, a squad of souped-up Dallara race cars will reach speeds of up to 200 miles per hour as they zoom around the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway to discover whether a computer could be the next Mario Andretti.

The planned Indy Autonomous Challenge—taking place in October 2021 in Indianapolis—is intended for 31 university computer science and engineering teams to push the limits of current self-driving car technology. There will be no human racers sitting inside the cramped cockpits of the Dallara IL-15 race cars. Instead, onboard computer systems will take their place, outfitted with deep-learning software enabling the vehicles to drive themselves.

In order to win, a team’s autonomous car must be able to complete 20 laps—which equates to a little less than 50 miles in distance—and cross the finish line first in 25 minutes or less. At stake is a $1 million prize, with second- and third-place winners receiving a $250,000 and $50,000 award, respectively.

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PriestmanGoode designs autonomous on-demand passenger and cargo vehicles for Dromos

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PriestmanGoode has designed an electric and autonomous concept vehicle that would be part of a transport network providing private trips for passengers and urban freight delivery.

 The modular concept car was chosen as winner of a competition by autonomous network transit (ANT) company Dromos to imagine a vehicle that would run on its own dedicated road-like system.

Aiming to reimagine mass transit for the 21st century, Dromos’ brief was to design a safe, reliable and affordable vehicle that focuses on modularity, sustainability and flexibility of use.

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Scientists claim to have created an algorithm that makes self-driving cars ‘accident-proof’ – as long as human drivers drive legally

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  • New research presents algorithm that ensures a fail-safe trajectory for vehicles
  • It works on the principle that other human drivers act responsibly on the roads
  • Getting self-driving cars to react to unique situations is an obstacle in a roll out

An algorithm makes self-driving cars ‘accident-proof’ as long as other human drivers on the road act responsibly, scientists claim.

German researchers developed the algorithm with data collected from vehicles in the real-world and tested it in computer simulations.

Continue reading… “Scientists claim to have created an algorithm that makes self-driving cars ‘accident-proof’ – as long as human drivers drive legally”

Germany in August – Electric vehicles crushing it at record 13.2 market share

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Germany, Europe’s largest auto market, saw a record 13.2% plugin electric vehicle market share in August 2020, up over 5× from the 2.6% result of August 2019. This comes immediately after July itself broke new ground at 11.4% market share. The overall auto market in August was down 20% from an unusually high August 2019.

Pure battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plugin hybrids (PHEVs) contributed fairly evenly to August’s plugin result, with 6.4% and 6.8% of the market, respectively. The year-to-date division of labour is 4.3% BEV and 4.8% PHEV, giving a cumulative plugin market share of almost 9.2% so far in 2020, up from 3.0% in full year 2019.

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New solar-powered truck bed cover captures the sun

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Solar power integration for pickup trucks just became more innovative.

 Worksport™, the manufacturer of tonneau covers and accessories for trucks, has debuted TerraVis™, a platform for versatile and cost-effective pickup truck solar power. The system combines the tonneau covers with a solar generation and energy storage system.

Solar panels built into the cover will collect the sun’s rays and store energy in multiple battery banks. The stored energy can be used to provide power to an electric motor or removed and used remotely.

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California approves largest ever utility program to expand EV charging

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 A charging station for electric vehicles is pictured in Pasadena, California

California on Thursday approved a $437 million effort to build thousands of electric vehicle chargers, its utility regulator said, calling it the nation’s largest ever utility program to expand charging infrastructure.

The money will go to utility Southern California Edison SCE_pe.A to fund the installation of nearly 40,000 chargers, the California Public Utilities Commission said in a statement.

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Tesla Model 3 bucks trend of electric vehicles depreciating rapidly

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The average vehicle coming off a three-year lease has lost 52 percent of its value, but a Model 3 only loses about 10 percent, one study finds.

On average, your average new sedan depreciates 39 percent in its first three years. Trucks go down 34 percent. But electric vehicles drop an astonishing 52 percent, according to iSeeCars, which evaluated values of cars coming off lease.

The outlier is the Tesla Model 3—both compared to other EVs and the market as a whole—which iSeeCars estimates is worth only 10 percent less coming off lease after three years than when it was new.

Tesla’s technological advantages—real and perceived—are a big reason the 3 keeps so much of its value. They help keep the Model S and X above average as well.

For people who buy new vehicles, expected depreciation can be an important factor in trying to estimate what their shiny new object will be worth in a few years. The U.S. used-car market in recent years has seen electric vehicles suffer from particularly high depreciation rates, but there’s at least one EV that’s done playing by the rules.

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Study finds global tipping points for EVs: 31-minute charging, 291 miles of range, $36,000

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To achieve mass adoption, the average electric car will need to offer 31-minute charging, 291 miles of range, and a base price of $36,000. Those three factors comprise a global tipping point for EVs, according to a new study commissioned by oil company Castrol, which is looking to sell so-called “e-fluid” lubricants for EVs.

Findings are based on surveys of 9,000 consumers, 750 fleet managers, and 30 automotive industry professionals in 8 countries—the United States, United Kingdom, Norway, France, Germany, India, China, and Japan.

Consumers surveyed ranked price as the most important factor in the potential purchase of an electric car, followed by charge time and range. Most car buyers seem to expect some breakthrough in battery technology soon, as 61% are adopting a “wait and see” approach, according to the study.

Fleet managers appeared cautious as well. While 58% said they felt “personally motivated” to go electric due to potential environmental benefits, 54% are waiting for competitors to make the switch before they do, according to the study.

Continue reading… “Study finds global tipping points for EVs: 31-minute charging, 291 miles of range, $36,000”

What Coronavirus mean for the future of self-driving cars

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It’s 2025 and driverless cars still aren’t zooming around everywhere. Where are the chilled out passengers on their phones, or napping, as an invisible “driver” navigates a crowded intersection?

 They’re still mostly stuck in the backseat as a human driver shuttles them around. They’re likely in a highly automated and autonomous-capable vehicle, but a human is still there monitoring the machine. That doesn’t mean robo-vehicles aren’t on the road. Instead they’re working behind the scenes. They’re picking up our groceries, filling trucks with our endless online shopping purchases, and hauling crates of produce across the country.

The pandemic made us more comfortable with the idea of autonomous vehicles, but most industry experts still predict a slow transition to their widespread adoption in the U.S. When you’re avoiding exposure to a deadly disease, perhaps a driverless robotaxi, like the Waymo One service in suburban Phoenix, looks more attractive. But autonomous tech and testing regulations won’t accelerate just because of sudden mainstream acceptance and new social distancing norms.

Motional, the new brand from self-driving startup Aptiv and Hyundai, asked just over 1,000 U.S. adults in July about autonomous vehicle (AV) perception. More than 60 percent said AVs “are the way of the future.” A quarter of those surveyed said they are interested in experiencing the tech regularly. A year ago, the American Automobile Association (AAA) surveyed a similarly sized group of Americans and found 71 percent were afraid to ride in a self-driving car. (Note: How the two groups’ demographics compare is unknown.)

The next five years will likely continue to shift and refocus how we think about self-driving technology. While self-driving ride-shares won’t be the norm, more people will have experienced autonomy on the road. Motional CEO Karl Iagnemma thinks that by 2025, “if you haven’t taken a driverless journey you will know someone who has.”

Continue reading… “What Coronavirus mean for the future of self-driving cars”

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