Why wireless vehicle charging makes sense for smart cities

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Image of proposed wireless charging stations

Investments we make today in urban EV infrastructure must take into account future requirements for ride sharing, transit and utilities

 

As the world’s population grows increasingly urban — it’s expected that by 2050, 70 per cent of individuals will live in urban areas — it’s critical for these regions to have the infrastructure in place to support quick, convenient and electric mobility. From autonomous vehicles, to electric urban transit, to effective energy management by utilities, successful deployment depends on cities investing in the proper accompanying charging infrastructure. To that end, there’s a good case to be made that investing in wireless charging is critical for the prosperity of urban areas.

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New Hampshire is first state to allow flying cars on the road

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Will New Hampshire suddenly look like GTA 5? No, but the state’s ready to let them hit the road legally.

This is the Switchblade, which was supposed to arrive last year.

We’ve been promised flying cars for seemingly decades, and although we still don’t have one ready for production, New Hampshire has gone ahead and given them the OK.

On Wednesday, the Granite State passed House Bill 1182, aka the “Jetson Bill,” into law, and the transportation bill includes a prevision that makes flying cars legal on public roads. There aren’t any to hit the roads today, but it’s a future forward gesture, I suppose.

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24 million EVs is the limit for current U.S. power grid until 2028

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This PNNL study could help the U.S. power system keep ahead of the EV adoption curve.

 Getting the world to work without oil will not be easy. Apart from increasing EV adoption, we have to make sure the world can cope with them. Think about it: would the power grid stand too many electric cars demanding a charge at the same time? PNNL – Pacific Northwest National Laboratory – answered that question with a study saying the current US power grid can handle 24 million EVs until 2028. If the demand increases, we’ll need improvements.

It may seem far-fetched considering the entire US now has 1.5 million EVs on the roads, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. Demand for EVs tends to grow, especially when electric pickup trucks such as the Tesla Cybertruck and Rivian R1T are available.

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Quarterly sales of new cars in California down almost 50%

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Rosendo Nevarez makes the rounds at John Hine Mazda in Mission Valley on May 26, cleaning surfaces to maintain hygiene standards during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The numbers are in and the economic consequences wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic landed a body blow to new car sales in California, with dealers reporting a drop of 48.9 percent in the second quarter of this year compared to the same three-month period of 2019. Year-to-date vehicle sales are off 26.9 percent.

The statistics reflect the full effect of safety and social distancing protocols that kicked in by mid-March and dramatically curtailed or even temporarily shuttered some showrooms across the state.

“Obviously, with the fuller impact of the pandemic, it was very clear sales were going to drop at the end of the first quarter, beginning of the second quarter,” said Brian Maas, president of the California New Car Dealers Association. “The good news is they didn’t drop nearly as far as we initially feared. And while a nearly 27 percent drop is not ideal, it’s a lot better than it could have been.”

Dealerships have reported signs the market is regaining some footing as the economy tries to crawl back to some sense of normalcy. Economists with the new car dealers association predict new vehicle registrations in California will finish the year 22 percent lower than in 2019, falling from 2.09 million units to 1.63 million. They project the number to rise to 1.81 million in 2021.

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Tesla launches its own car wrap service

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Tesla has launched its own car wrap service through delivery centers starting with five cities in China. Could it be introduced in other markets?

Over the last few years, Tesla has reduced the number of color options on its vehicles in order to streamline production and facilitate repairs at service centers.

It resulted in many owners turning to wraps in order to get different colors and differentiate their vehicle from the increasingly larger Tesla fleet.

They had to rely on third-party suppliers and installers to wrap their cars.

But now Tesla is launching its own service through delivery centers in China.

The official Tesla customer service Weibo account announced it yesterday:

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Long-range 4D imaging radar on a chip unveiled

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Developer of affordable imaging radars for the automotive industry, RFISee is unveiling the first Phased Array 4D imaging radar on a chip. RFISee’s all weather radar has proven its ability to detect cars from 500 meters and pedestrians from 200 meters, with an angular resolution greater than 1°.

The company’s engineers have adapted Phased Array antenna technology, used in military systems including the F-35 fighter jet and in air defence systems, while at the same time reducing the price to the current level of automotive sensors. Prototypes of RFISee’s radar are under evaluation by top automotive OEMs and Tier-1s.

Unlike many traditional and new types of radar, RFISee’s patented 4D imaging radar uses a powerful focused beam based on proprietary Phased Array radar technology. The focused beam created by dozens of transmitters rapidly scans the field of view. The receivers ensure a much-improved radar image, a better signal to noise ratio, and a detection range of obstacles such as cars and pedestrians that is six times broader when compared to existing radars. The competitive edge of RFISee’s radar prototype has already been proven in extensive testing.

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What the future of fuel cell EVs looks like…

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Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs) and Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) are considered by the most, as two competing technologies. Although both technologies power an electric motor, they have different properties and each of them is well suited for some uses more than others.

BEVs market is increasing, with the major automotive companies, like BMW, and Mercedes, starting to introduce into the market an increasing number of electric battery vehicles, in parallel to the main BEVs company like Tesla, and Toyota. FCEVs on the other hand are still at the demonstration stage.

In April 2019 Daimler stepped back from the development of the GLC F-Cell, after many years of investigation of fuel cells technologies. Besides this decision, Daimler did not completely abandon the hydrogen powertrain, but mostly shifted its focus to a different application. In fact, a collaboration with Volvo to develop fuel cell heavy-duty vehicles will possibly begin in September 2020, which will define a new chapter for the hydrogen technologies.

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Exploring the three elephants in the autonomous vehicle room

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The expression “elephant in the room” refers to an important question that everyone knows about but no one wants to discuss because it makes them uncomfortable.

Today, in the area of Autonomous Vehicles (AVs), there are three elephants in the room which are worth exploring.

Let’s get started.

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Renault arms entire french town with free electric cars

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Renault wants people to know that it’s easy to go electric.

The automaker giant Renault has gifted an entire village in France its Renault Zoe electric vehicle in a recent power move. The move comes as an effort to demonstrate that EVs are suitable for not only urban areas but also rural communities just as well as gas-powered cars.

Renault offered three-year leases of its Zoe EV to every house in Appy, a small town in the Ariege region of France. There is only one thing the automaker requires them to do: giving Renault periodic updates on whether they like the car and EV ownership or not.

Accordingly, this move will help Renault “understand the way customers interact with and use electric vehicles day to day.”

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Elon Musk says Tesla is launching an insurance company

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Tesla is about to get into the auto insurance game, CEO Elon Musk announced Wednesday.

On a call with investors, Musk said that Tesla is in the process of “building” what he called a “major insurance company,” Business Insider reports. By the end of the year, he hopes to have launched in a handful of U.S. states, generating premiums and rates for drivers based on data collected by their cars’ internal sensors.

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World’s first fully self-driving car will be ready this year, Elon Musk claims

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Tesla’s Autopilot software, which relies on various cameras and sensors to operate, can be updated remotely.

‘I’m very confident about full self-driving functionality being complete by the end of this year,’ he says. ‘It’s because I’m literally driving it’

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said the electric car maker will have fully self-driving vehicles on the road by the end of the year.

During an earnings call with investors on Wednesday, the serial entrepreneur revealed that he is already testing an updated version of the firm’s Autopilot software on his commute to work in Los Angeles.

“It’s almost getting to a point where I can go from my house to work with no interventions, despite going through construction and widely varying situations,” he said.

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The ‘android of self-driving cars’ built a 100,000x cheaper way to train AI for multiple trillion-dollar markets

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Level 5 self-driving means autonomous cars can drive themselves anywhere, at any time, in any conditions.

How do you beat Tesla, Google, Uber and the entire multi-trillion dollar automotive industry with massive brands like Toyota, General Motors, and Volkswagen to a full self-driving car? Just maybe, by finding a way to train your AI systems that is 100,000 times cheaper.

It’s called Deep Teaching.

Perhaps not surprisingly, it works by taking human effort out of the equation.

And Helm.ai says it’s the key to unlocking autonomous driving. Including cars driving themselves on roads they’ve never seen … using just one camera.

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