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How Anglo American Developed the World’s Biggest Hydrogen-Fueled Truck

May 13, 2022

Four years ago, Anglo American Plc couldn’t find any industry partners to support its idea of replacing open-pit mining’s monster diesel trucks with climate-friendly, green hydrogen-fueled vehicles.

After investing as much as $70 million on its own to back the concept, the global miner revealed last week a new 220-ton vehicle capable of carrying about 290 tons of ore without producing global warming emissions in the process…

Anglo American, like rivals such as Glencore Plc and Rio Tinto Group, are feeling pressure from investors who are concerned about global warming to cut carbon pollution. Replacing the mine haul trucks with hydrogen-fueled ones would slash emissions at Anglo’s open-pit mines by 80%, a key step in reaching the company’s target of carbon neutrality by 2040.

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How Seoul is creating a metaverse for a smarter city

May 13, 2022

The city of Seoul, South Korea, is planting the seeds for a metaverse ecosystem called “Metaverse Seoul” for all areas of its municipal administration. The effort combines digital twins, virtual reality (VR) and collaboration to improve city services as well as planning, administration and support for virtual tourism…

The platform will help consolidate access to various city services. It will also make it easier to expand services that take advantage of 3D digital twins to improve access to local security footage, report fires and improve public infrastructure. For example, the S-Map service already provides a digital twin for urban planning, real-time fire monitoring and wind path analysis. A safety service called the Ansimi App connects users with Seoul police services, who can tap into local location data and camera feeds to speed investigations.

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China’s Highway Research Institute to deploy blockchain system

May 13, 2022

Beijing BotAioT Intelligent has been tapped by China’s Highway Research Institute to provide electronic blockchain data and certificate storage platform services to enable the institute to improve highway transport infrastructure and equipment calibration test efficiency and traffic flow rates.

BotAiot will build a blockchain-based electronic certificate consortium chain for the Highway Research Institute to store and encrypt data collected by online metering and calibration-testing equipment of commercial transportation vehicles originating from both highways and vehicles.

BotAiot’s electronic consortium chain will also provide consortium chain member management, intelligent contract development, certificate issuance, query, cancellation, management and other functions, as well as blockchain custody services.

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Revel aims to charge up NYC’s EV infrastructure

May 13, 2022

Fully electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles made up only 3.4 percent of NYC’s new passenger vehicle sales last year, far behind San Francisco (22 percent), Los Angeles (11.9 percent) and Seattle (11.7 percent), according to Atlas Public Policy, a research group based in Washington D.C. New York even lags the national average of 4.4 percent…

Revel, a Brooklyn-based electric mobility company founded in 2018, wants to help solve this electrification conundrum. The brainchild of Staten Island native-turned-Brooklyn resident Frank Reig — co-founder and CEO — Revel is best known for its sky-blue rental mopeds, which can be found in San Francisco; Washington, D.C.; and Miami, in addition to NYC…

In addition to the moped rentals, the startup last summer kicked off an Uber-style rideshare service, with 50 Tesla Model Ys operating in Manhattan. At the same time, Revel opened an EV charging “superhub” in Brooklyn, in an easily accessible parking lot where 25 fast chargers are available to the owners of any EV brand on a 24/7 basis.

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Autonomous trucking firms launch partnerships with freight transportation providers

May 13, 2022

The market for self-driving trucks took three significant steps forward last week with the news that technology providers Embark Trucks Inc., Torc Robotics, and Volvo Autonomous Solutions had announced partnerships with the freight industry heavyweights U.S. Xpress, Penske Truck Leasing, and DHL Supply Chain.

Autonomous technology developer Embark Trucks Inc. on Friday said that truckload carrier U.S. Xpress had joined its “partner development program” and plans to add its terminals to Embark’s transfer point network. The company uses such transfer points to move freight from driverless, long-haul trucks completing “middle mile” legs to driver-enabled trucks for first- and last-mile delivery. Since launching that model in 2019 with sites in Los Angeles and Phoenix, Embark says it has conducted hundreds of hauls through the points.

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Busan to create a ‘smart’ container to ship lithium batteries safely

May 11, 2022

Municipal authorities in Busan, home of South Korea’s busiest container port, have chosen the design and development of a “smart” container, which can transport batteries safely, following increasing publicity about the dangers of carrying lithium batteries in containers.

Busan authorities will work on the so-called Battery Safe Transport Smart Container and its system technology development with South Korea’s largest container manufacturer, Vesta, pallet rental company Korea Pallet Pool and Busan Techno Park.

The parties propose a design featuring fire insulation and flame retardancy, sensors and shock protection, alongside the development of a blockchain-based transport information system.

The number of battery shipments has been rapidly increasing in tandem with rising demand for electric vehicles. However, lithium batteries, especially, have been known to burst into flames, causing port authorities and ship operators to require such cargo to be declared as dangerous goods.

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White House Aims to Boost Electrical Grid With Grant Program

May 11, 2022

Launching a $2.3 billion effort for states and tribes to revamp the national power grid is the latest White House effort to bolster electricity usage to modernize transportation infrastructure.

The national power grid is facing numerous challenges resulting from extreme weather, insufficient transmission capacity to transfer power across regions and aging transmission lines and transformers (70% are more than 25 years old), according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Upgrading and expanding the transmission system will improve the national electrical grid’s reliability and resilience while facilitating integration of clean energy sources.

“There is no question that a modernized grid is the linchpin to President [Joe] Biden’s goal of a nation powered by reliable, renewable clean energy,” Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said April 27 in announcing a new formula grant program under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).

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Pennsylvania taking baby steps away from gas tax, toward fee for miles driven

May 11, 2022

Following a slowly growing national movement, Pennsylvania may be ready to try the idea of charging drivers a mileage-based fee to make up millions in transportation revenue lost to more fuel-efficient hybrid and electric cars.

Melissa J. Batula, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s acting executive deputy secretary, said the department is working with the General Assembly to draft legislation establishing fees for those who pay little or nothing toward road maintenance. That’s because the state gets about 75% of its road money from the gasoline tax.

A commission appointed last year by Gov. Tom Wolf recommended a series of steps to phase out reliance on the gasoline tax, including creating a method for hybrid and electric vehicle owners to help pay for transportation costs.

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Streetlights Offer Path to Rapid mmWave 5G

May 11, 2022

Under the terms of their agreement, Ubicquia will use Movandi’s technology to create an mmWave smart repeater that plugs into a streetlight’s photocell socket in minutes — the system is said to be compatible with 360 million existing streetlights worldwide, to accelerate broad 5G mmWave coverage and FWA deployment. These would install in just minutes and lock onto host RAN signals automatically to ensure repeater–to–repeater connectivity without the need for fiber connectivity to the core network. The mmWave smart repeater also integrates with all major RAN/Open RAN technologies, including Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia, and Samsung, and supports all global mmWave spectrum bands.

The streetlight repeaters, expected to enter test and deployment in 2023, meet utility power, protection, metering, weight, and wind loading requirements, and can ensure optimal outdoor coverage and user experiences by extending the range of 5G mmWave gNBs and redirecting signals around obstacles.

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The University of Alabama Team Sets Driverless Car Blistering Speed Record but Does Anyone Care?

May 11, 2022

Teams from the University of Alabama and Politecnico di Milano formed an Indy Autonomous Challenge team. The Team PoliMOvE says they got a modified, driverless Indy car to hit a blistering 192.2 mph on a NASA runway at Kennedy Space Center…

I get that many people believe autonomous cars are cool, and all autonomous car news is exciting car to news to them. However, the hard part of designing autonomous cars seems to be having them avoid obstacles. Inversely, getting them to go in a straight line just isn’t that interesting. As much as I love to see the University of Alabama win at anything (Roll Damn Tide), I just can’t see the value in this. The other part that makes it silly is that land speed records are only really cool because of the mortal element. A car going really fast in a straight line with a computer behind the wheel just isn’t an interesting development.

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GM Aims to Make U.S. Roads Safer

May 10, 2022

General Motors and Inrix are collaborating on a new cloud-based initiative to make U.S. roads safer.

The project, Safety View, is described as a software-as-a-service (SaaS)-based solution that allows connected GM cars to provide data on roads, vehicles and vulnerable road users to road transportation authorities.

The data has been tailored to complement the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Safe Streets and Roads for All program, and Vision Zero, a drive to eliminate fatalities or serious injuries on the road. Once received, it will allow relevant officials to gain insights into how well road safety initiatives are working and what can be done to improve them.

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Fern Hollow Bridge collapse, as residents push design changes for new bridge By Mark Scolforo | Associated Press, Margar

May 10, 2022

Video footage from a transit bus of the Fern Hollow Bridge collapse this year shows one end of the structure had already fallen when an expansion joint at the other end was pulling apart, federal investigators said Thursday.

The National Transportation Safety Board issued an update on the Fern Hollow bridge collapse, saying the video is giving them more information about the sequence of events.

So far there’s no evidence of “widespread deficiencies” in the “rigid K-frame superstructure types” that form the bridge’s basic structure, the report said.

The investigative update said that all aspects of the disaster are still being looked at and that the cause has yet to be determined. Investigators plan mechanical and chemical testing on material samples and will examine plate dimensions and weld quality.

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VW’s 2022 supply of EVs is ‘basically sold out’ in the US and Europe

May 10, 2022

Volkswagen’s CEO, Herbert Diess, says that the company is “basically sold out on electric vehicles in Europe and in the United States” for the year, according to a report from the Financial Times. This means that anyone hoping to get an EV from VW, Audi, or any of the group’s other brands may have to wait until 2023, as the company tries to navigate the chip shortage and production issues from COVID shutdowns in China.

According to the report, VW expects its backlog of orders to keep growing. It currently has plenty of people on the list waiting to get an EV and expects to add more throughout the year. But supply chain issues will make those difficult to fill. Almost every automaker has had to halt or slow down production thanks to a lack of chips. Some have even resorted to stripping out features from their vehicles just to get them off the assembly line.

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Porsche leads $400 million investment in EV battery startup Group14

May 10, 2022

Electric vehicle battery startup Group14 has raised $400 million from a group of investors led by Germany’s Porsche (PSHG_p.DE), the firm said on Wednesday.

Part of that money, which boosts Group14’s valuation to more than a billion dollars, will be used to build a second battery materials factory in eastern Washington state, a few hours from the firm’s current site in Woodinville, outside Seattle, Chief Executive Officer Rick Luebbe said in an interview…

Because Group14’s silicon-carbon anode material enables lithium-ion batteries to hold up to 50% more energy, Luebbe said they can provide the same range as current graphite-based batteries, but with fewer cells, thus reducing the overall cost and size of the battery pack.

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Mercedes-Benz Drive Pilot Level 3 Autonomous First “Drive”: We Try a World’s First Driverless System

May 10, 2022

Late last year I became one of the first people in the world not employed by Mercedes-Benz to legally use the company’s Level 3 Drive Pilot autonomous system on a public road. German transport authorities had approved the system for use by regular drivers less than 24 hours earlier.

Fast forward to May 2022, and the Level 3 Drive Pilot system can now be ordered as an option in Germany on Mercedes-Benz S-Class and EQS models. It’s not cheap—Drive Pilot will cost the equivalent of $5300 on the S-Class, and $7900 on the EQS, where it must be combined with the $2600 Driver assistance Package—but the future never is.

Before the official on-sale date I spent some time in a Drive Pilot-equipped EQS on the traffic-choked autobahn that curls around the south and west of Berlin, Germany, in the jovial company of Jochen Haab, who heads the testing of advanced driver assistance systems at Mercedes-Benz.

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Check out this solar electric RV that is both a camper and an electric boat… and an e-bike

May 9, 2022

Electric campers have a certain charm to them, being able to explore the open road powered by the free sun rays beaming above you. But what if you could combine that freedom with the versatility of an electric boat and an electric bike? That’s exactly what Aigars Lauzis sought to capture when he designed the BeTriton electric camper.

It may not be the first three-wheeled electric RV we’ve spotted, but it’s definitely the most versatile.

The Latvian-made electric camper isn’t designed for cross-country trips, at least not quick ones. The smaller size means less battery, and that results in a range of around 30 miles (48 km).

But it’s what you can do over those 30 miles that really seems to count. The BeTriton (formerly known as the Z-Triton 2.0) doesn’t only house a typical sleeping area for overnights, but the entire contraption also transforms into a boat for water voyages.

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Toyota reinvesting in collaborative safety research

May 9, 2022

To adapt to a swiftly changing mobility ecosystem, Toyota announced on April 27 a new five-year, $30-million investment in its Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Collaborative Safety Research Center (CSRC). Created in 2011, the CSRC focuses on foundational safety research, and the $85 million apportioned over its first ten years funded research including the factors that lead to distracted driving, and developing tools and testing procedures related to advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS)…

The nine new projects will engage the expertise of: University of Massachusetts – Amherst; Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; University of Iowa; Virginia Tech; and Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis.

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ABB to support Shell’s global EV charging ambitions

May 9, 2022

ABB E-mobility and Shell are taking their collaboration to the next level to bring flexible and quality charging to millions of electric vehicle drivers.

As a leader in EV charging infrastructure, ABB E-mobility has signed a new global framework agreement with Shell to supply ABB’s end-to-end portfolio of AC and DC charging stations. The portfolio ranges from the AC wallbox for home, work or retail installations to the Terra 360 which is ideal for refueling stations, urban charging stations, retail parking and fleet applications.

Through this collaboration, ABB E-mobility and Shell will help address two of the challenges to increasing EV adoption. Firstly, charging infrastructure availability, with Shell targeting the operation of over 500,000 charge points globally by 2025 and 2,500,000 by 2030, either at residential, commercial or Shell retail sites. Secondly, the speed of charging, with ABB’s portfolio of charging stations including its Terra 360 charger.

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Cities steadily adding more EV chargers for public to use

May 9, 2022

Local governments are making headway as they develop their electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure. “Progress varies depending on what stage governments are at in the electrification strategy and funding availability,” says Brandon Branham, assistant city manager and chief technology officer for Peachtree Corners, Ga., which is part of the Atlanta metro. Its 2022 population is estimated at 45,099.

Branham’s community has been working on its electrification strategy for the past seven years. It installed its first public charging infrastructure in 2014, only two years after incorporation as a municipality. “Since then, the city has gone onto testing roadway applied, solar-powered EV charging and it has expanded the public charging network throughout the city…

Last month, Lakewood, Ohio (2022 population, 48,676; it’s part of the Cleveland metro) began collecting an EV charging fee of 24 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) at its seven stations located throughout the community. EV drivers had been getting a free charge when powering up at one of the city’s many charging stations.

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Baker Administration Developing E-Bike Incentive Program

May 9, 2022

The Baker administration is developing a new financial incentive to help more Bay State residents purchase electric pedal-assist bicycles, according to officials in the Governor’s Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA).

At April’s virtual meeting of the state’s Zero Emission Vehicle Commission, Dan Gatti, Director of Clean Transportation Policy at the EEA, shared a slide presentation that mentioned the state’s intention to “provide an e-bike incentive through 2025.”

According to the same presentation, the program is being designed to “provide incentives for e-bike purchases focused on vehicles used by commuters or delivery applications,” and could be carried out under existing executive authority at the Governor’s office, without necessarily waiting for legislative approval.

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World’s First Flying Car Airport Opens, But You Can’t Fly To Or From It

May 6, 2022

Urban-Air Port is opening its first Air-One demonstration site that previews plans for a smart vertiport. Urban-Air Port believes its new Air-One Vertiports will be epicenters of the coming green air transportation revolution. With plans to break ground on its very first location, Urban-Air Port hopes to demonstrate the use case for its planned global infrastructure of automated vertiports.

Urban-Air Port plans to build a national network of Air-One Vertiports around the United Kingdom. Their first Air-One Vertiport will open in Coventry where the ambitious project will undergo feasibility testing and real-world data analysis. This innovative project is backed by the UK government to help get things off the ground. According to Urban-Air Port, their network of Air-One Vertiports will allow for the movement of both material goods and people and offer a green automated solution to remedy road congestion, especially in urban settings.

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Smart, Convenient Screws Keep Bridges & Machines Secure Without The Excess Labor

May 6, 2022

Have you ever wondered how large infrastructure like bridges, wind turbines, or giant machines stay intact? Well, turns out most of them require workers to spend many man-hours conducting checks to ensure nothing’s amiss.

Now, researchers at the Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence Cognitive Internet Technologies CCIT have come up with a solution that can cut down the manpower needed to keep these structures safe, by designing a ‘Smart Screw Connection’ that monitors the reliability of screws from miles away…

Enter the Smart Screw Connection, which addresses this problem by equipping each screw with a washer and piezoresistive DiaForce thin film. Upon tightening the screw, its sensors take note of the preload force and consistently monitor any changes to the figure.

If the preload force were to change due to the screw becoming loose, a change in electrical resistance occurs in the film, which is then “reported to a radio module located on the screw head.”

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How a pilot’s near-death experience helped inspire a weather app for truckers

May 6, 2022

In 2014, Paxton Calvanese launched a unique aviation weather app called Wx24 Pilot. In the ensuing years, he developed a similar road weather app called Drive Weather. With constant refinements and updates, it’s now a popular tool for truckers.

Calvanese loves hearing the positive feedback, Some truckers have told him it’s a life-changer. “It probably saved a life or two somewhere along the way,” he said.

Perhaps that’s a fitting reward, given that Calvanese’s own near-death experience was the motivation behind creating the initial app…

He designed Drive Weather so truckers could enter their destinations and all the stops they wanted to make along the way. The app then shows the weather forecast at the expected times the drivers would get to each point on the trip, automatically updating forecasts and starting points.

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A City Turns to an Algorithm to Prioritize Streetlight Repairs

May 6, 2022

With 5,000 broken streetlights and a repair staff short 10 workers, San Diego developed an algorithm to help prioritize fixes.

“My team looks at ways to improve the workflow in a way that outcomes are better for employees and also shorten repair and wait times for city residents,” said Kirby Brady, the city’s chief innovation officer and director of the Performance and Analytics Department…

The algorithm, which the city has been using for about two months, takes data from about 10 datasets focused on location, residential density, the presence of schools or parks, traffic collision information and streetlight work orders from the city’s Transportation Department. A script combines the data and does the calculations.

Factors such as equity, increased traffic collisions or the presence of a park that needs to be well-lit are weighted to produce a ranking of all 5,000 malfunctioning streetlights. In all, San Diego has 65,000 to 70,000 streetlights.

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Ford F-150 Lightning electric pickup needs a $3,900 home device to use it as backup power

May 6, 2022

Ford has confirmed the price of its “Home Integration System,” which enables the F-150 Lightning electric pickup to power your home in case of an outage.

It will cost $3,895 before installation which is actually quite a good price…

When Ford unveiled the F-150 Lightning, one of the features that created the most buzz was its support for bi-directional charging: Ford intelligent Backup Power.

It means that the electric pickup truck can send power back to power a home, another vehicle, or virtually anything it can plug into.

In March, Ford unveiled the Ford Charge Station Pro, a bi-directional home charging station that works with the upcoming F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck.

At the time, we were impressed by the cost of the home charger. At $1,310, it is way more expensive than your average home charging solution, but it is rated 80-amp and it offers bi-directional capacity – two very valuable features.

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