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Autonomous driving software company nuTonomy closes $16M A round

nuTonomy Inc., a developer of software for self-driving cars, has completed a $16-million Series A funding led by Highland Capital Partners. The funding included significant participation from prior investors Fontinalis Partners and Signal Ventures. In Singapore, where nuTonomy has strong governmental support, the round included participation from EDBI, the dedicated... Read more →

New Georgia Tech MPPI technique controls autonomous vehicles at edge of handling limits

Researchers from Georgia Tech’s Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering (AE) and the School of Interactive Computing (IC) have developed a new control technique for autonomous vehicles that can help keep a driverless vehicle under control as it maneuvers at the edge of its handling limits. The Georgia Tech method—model... Read more →

GKN launches new e-axle all-wheel drive technology on global C-segment vehicle platform with BMW

GKN is launching electric all-wheel drive technology on a global vehicle platform. A series of new C-Segment vehicles will offer the option of adding plug-in electric all-wheel drive using GKN Driveline’s latest electric axle drive (eAxle) technology. GKN has secured orders for a major global platform and production is now... Read more →

New research published today (23 May) in Scientific Reports has found a marked and progressive 80% decline in atmospheric CO (carbon monoxide) in SE England since 1997, following adoption of strict controls on gasoline vehicle emissions begin in the 1990s. The decline is strongest (approximately 50 ppb per year) in the... Read more →

UMTRI: US driver preference for automation about the same as last year; most prefer retaining control

Despite greater coverage of driverless technology advancements the past couple of years, most Americans still prefer to drive themselves—at least partially, according to a new report by Brandon Schoettle and Michael Sivak of the U-M Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI). The new report is a follow-on to their study last year... Read more →

Amprius demonstrates new tool for roll-to-roll manufacturing of high-energy batteries with Si nanowire anodes

Amprius, a manufacturer of high-energy lithium-ion batteries using silicon nanowire anodes (earlier post), has demonstrated a novel tool for high-volume manufacturing. The new tool, a first-of-its-kind system for inline, continuous, and roll-to-roll production of three-dimensional silicon nanowire anodes, will enable Amprius to scale manufacturing and deliver lightweight and long-lasting batteries... Read more →

FMC Corporation to triple lithium hydroxide capacity to serve the growing EV market

FMC Corporation plans to increase its production capacity of lithium hydroxide by a total of 20,000 metric tons per year, effectively tripling its production. In response to the rapid growth of electric vehicle sales, and strong demand for FMC's battery grade lithium hydroxide, FMC will execute a three-phased capacity expansion... Read more →

CCM: China Li-ion industry booming; domestic outputs triples in 2015 to 15.7 GWh

In China, the development of alternative energy vehicles and the Li-ion battery sector are booming with the support of promotional policies from the Chinese government, according to new report from CCM, a leading market intelligence provider for China’s agriculture, chemicals, food & ingredients and life science markets. In May 2016... Read more →

Report: facelifted VW e-Golf late this year to boost capacity 48% to 35.8 kWh; 120 kW motor

Electrive.net reports that the facelifted VW e-Golf, due out late in autumn 2016, will boost its battery capacity 48% from 24.2 kWh to 35.8 kWh through the use of 37 Ah cells (up from the previous 25 Ah). (Earlier post, earlier post.) Range will be extended to around 300 km... Read more →

Baidu using Inspur server to support deep learning platform of driverless car

Chinese IT manufacturer Inspur announced that internet giant Baidu is using Inspur’s NF5568M4 server to provide hardware support for the deep learning platform of Baidu’s driverless car. Deep learning is one of the core areas of driverless technology. In December 2015, Baidu’s driverless car passed a road test starting from... Read more →

ULEMCo delivers first hydrogen-diesel dual-fuel refuse trucks to Fife Council in Scotland

ULEMCo, the developer of a hydrogen-diesel dual fuel conversion system for commercial vehicles, has delivered its first hydrogen dual-fuel refuse vehicles to Fife Council in Scotland. The trucks, which deliver reduced CO2 emissions as well as improving air quality for the local community, are planned for use in densely populated... Read more →

APWorks, a 100% subsidiary of Airbus Group, has unveiled the first 3D-printed motorcycle. Dubbed the Light Rider, the motorcycle is made using APWorks’ Scalmalloy material, and weighs only 35 kg (77 lbs). With a 6 kW electric motor powering it from zero to 80 km per hour in just seconds... Read more →

Geely raises $400M via Green Bonds sale to develop and produce TX5 range-extended electric London taxis

China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (ZGH) has raised $400 million through the first Green Bond sale on the offshore market from a Chinese automobile company to support the design, development and production of range-extended electric vehicles by its UK subsidiary, the LondonTaxi Company (LTC), manufacturer of the iconic London Black... Read more →

Toyota and Dean Kamen to partner to facilitate innovative mobility solutions for the disabled; launching iBOT

Toyota Motor North America is joining forces with DEKA Research and Development, the company founded by inventor Dean Kamen, to support mobility solutions for the disabled community. This agreement will help DEKA to proceed with plans to complete the development and launch the next generation iBOT motorized wheelchair. The iBOT... Read more →

Prieto Battery receives investment from Stanley Ventures to pursue commercialization of 3D Li-ion battery

Prieto Battery, a company commercializing a 3D Lithium-ion battery technology (earlier post), announced a strategic investment from Stanley Ventures, the newly-formed venture arm of Stanley Black & Decker, a world-leading provider of tools and storage, commercial electronic security and engineered fastening systems. Prieto Battery Inc. was founded in June 2009... Read more →

Researchers at the US Department of Energy (DOE)’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI), in collaboration with researchers at the University of California, San Diego, have developed a workflow that integrates various “omics” data and genome-scale models to study the effects of biofuel production in a microbial host. The development of omics... Read more →

Malaysia team finds adding graphene nanoflakes to lubricant improves thermal conductivity 17% with no change in viscosity

A team of Malaysian scientists from the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus and Taylor’s University are examining the effects of adding graphene nanoflakes to various commercially available lubricants. Graphene is an incredibly strong one-atom-thick layer of carbon with excellent thermal and electrical conductivity, and properties for reducing wear and friction.... Read more →

DOE awarding ~$4.75M to San Francisco and Strategic Analysis for hydrogen fuel cell vehicle and infrastructure projects

The US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) has selected the city of San Francisco for funding as the first Climate Action Champion to pursue hydrogen and fuel cell technologies for local transportation. (Earlier post.) In addition, new analysis projects by Strategic Analysis, Inc.... Read more →

Nissan Joint Research Center for Intelligent Mobility at Tsinghua University opens in Beijing

This week marked the opening of the Tsinghua University (Department of Automotive Engineering) - Nissan Joint Research Center for Intelligent Mobility (the Joint Research Center), a collaboration between Nissan and Tsinghua University in Beijing to work on research and development of electric vehicle and autonomous drive technologies for the Chinese... Read more →

Researchers from Hanyang University in Korea and the BMW Group have developed a new fully operational, practical Li-ion rechargeable battery combining high energy density with excellent cycle life. A report on their work is published in the RSC journal Energy & Environmental Science. A carbon nanotube (CNT)-Si composite anode with... Read more →

NanoSteel, a developer of nanostructured steel materials, and the company’s joint development launch partner, AK Steel Corporation, have won the Platts Global Metals “Breakthrough Solution of the Year” Award. This award is in recognition of NanoSteel’s advanced automotive sheet—produced by AK Steel—which brings the combination of both high strength and... Read more →

Toyota Motor Corporation announced that the cumulative figures for global sales of its hybrid vehicles reached 9.014 million units as of 30 April. This latest million-unit milestone was achieved in just nine months. The Prius family still accounts for the majority of sales: 5.691 million units, or 63% of the... Read more →

Peapod, the leading online grocer in the US, took delivery of its first two hydraulic hybrid delivery trucks this month. The vehicles, existing Workhorse walk-in vans with GM gasoline engines and equipped with the Lightning Hybrids Energy Recovery System (ERS), are in service on the streets of Chicago and were... Read more →

Uber has an autonomous driving test car on the roads in Pittsburgh. The car, a hybrid Ford Fusion, is from Uber’s Advanced Technologies Center (ATC) in Pittsburgh, and is collecting mapping data as well as testing its self-driving capabilities. The Uber ATC car comes outfitted with a variety of sensors... Read more →

ORNL team develops laser process for lower cost, more robust joining of carbon fiber and aluminum

Researchers led by a team from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have developed a new laser process that could make joining carbon fiber composites and aluminum for lightweight cars and other multi-material high-end products less expensive—as well as making the joints more robust. The process would replace the practice of... Read more →

Cummins unveils SmartEfficiency initiative for transit buses; diesel, hybrid and near-zero NOx engines

Cummins Inc. unveiled the SmartEfficiency initiative for transit buses, which focuses on improved uptime and reliability. As part of the SmartEfficiency initiative, Cummins revealed the 2017 L9 diesel and 2017 B6.7 hybrid engine systems; the ISL G Near Zero (NZ) NOx natural gas engine (earlier post); the isolated engine coolant... Read more →

Experian: Open automotive loans top $1T; lease balances hit record high

The total balance of open automotive loans in the US climbed 11.1% in the first quarter of 2016, surpassing the trillion dollar mark for the first time on record, according to Experian Automotive. The most recent State of the Automotive Finance Market report finds that loan balances reached $1.005 trillion... Read more →

ARPA-E issues RFI on enabling technologies for ultra-safe and secure modular nuclear energy systems

The Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) has issued a Request for Information (DE-FOA-0001598) on enabling technologies for ultra-safe and secure modular nuclear energy systems. ARPA-E seeks input from a broad range of disciplines and fields, including, but not limited to, nuclear science and engineering; materials science and engineering;... Read more →

Clariant to scale-up catalysts for Gevo’s Ethanol-to-Olefins (ETO) technology; renewable diesel and hydrogen

Gevo, Inc. has entered into an agreement with Clariant Corp., one of the world’s leading specialty chemical companies, to develop catalysts to enable Gevo’s Ethanol-to-Olefins (ETO) technology. Gevo’s ETO technology, which uses ethanol as a feedstock, produces tailored mixes of propylene, isobutylene and hydrogen, which are valuable as standalone molecules,... Read more →

ITF launches global initiative to decarbonize transport

The International Transport Forum (ITF) at the OECD has launched a major global initiative towards carbon-free transport. Transport activity currently contributes 23% of global CO2 emissions from fossil fuels, with the share expected to rise. The long-term objective of the project is to define a commonly-acceptable pathway to achieve zero... Read more →

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute in Dusseldorf, Germany, and MIT have developed a novel strategy to design nanostructured, bulk high-entropy alloys (HEAs) (earlier post) with multiple compositionally equivalent high-entropy phases. The new approach is described in a paper this week in the journal Nature. The result, says C. Cem... Read more →

Nissan lands world’s largest electric taxi fleet deal; 110 new LEAF 30 kWh units to Madrid

Nissan and La Ciudad del Taxi have announced the world’s largest 100% electric taxi fleet deal that will see 110 Nissan LEAF 30 kWh vehicles providing taxi services in Madrid. Announced at the Madrid Motor Show, the agreement signed between Nissan and La Cuidad del Taxi will introduce electric taxis... Read more →

GM’s Maven car-sharing reaches 1M miles driven in <4 months; Boston, Chicago, and DC joining lineup

In less than four months, Maven, General Motors’ personal mobility brand (earlier post), has grown to five markets: New York City, Ann Arbor, Mich., and is adding Boston, Chicago and Washington, D.C. Maven members have driven more than one million miles. In Chicago, the Maven City car sharing program is... Read more →

INRIX and Parkmobile bring end-to-end parking solution to the connected car

INRIX, Inc., a leading provider of dynamic connected car services worldwide, and Parkmobile, the leading provider of on-demand and prepaid mobile payments for on- and off- street parking and mobility solutions, announced a strategic partnership at the annual International Parking Institute (IPI) conference. The two will partner to develop an... Read more →

US International Trade Commission votes to investigate alledged hybrid patent infringement by VW Group

The US International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to institute a formal investigation of Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche based on Paice’s earlier complaint of infringement of its hybrid vehicle patents. (Earlier post.) An official evidentiary hearing will be held before an ITC Administrative Law Judge at a date to be... Read more →

California SCAQMD petitioning EPA for national ultra-low NOx standard for trucks

The Governing Board of California’s South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) earlier this year voted to petition the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to adopt tougher emission standards for engines of heavy-duty trucks to help the region meet federal clean air goals. The petition requests EPA to adopt an... Read more →

Tesla to raise net $1.4-$1.7B in stock offering to ramp up Model 3 production

Telsa plans to raise approximately a net $1.4 billion in a common stock offering, after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses. The company said it intends to use the proceeds to accelerate the production ramp of Model 3. The net may increase to $1.7 billion if the... Read more →

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed increases in renewable fuel volume requirements across all types of biofuels under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program. The proposed volume requirements and associated percentage standards for are for calendar year 2017 for cellulosic biofuel, biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel.... Read more →

Volvo Cars unveiled two new 40 series concept cars, marking the official launch of its global small car strategy. The first new 40 series car is expected to go into production in 2017. The new concept cars will be the first built around Volvo’s new Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) (earlier... Read more →

Acura revealed its second-generation autonomous driving development vehicle in California, a modified version of the RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD luxury performance sedan. The RLX has been fitted with a new suite of radar, LiDAR, camera and GPS sensors, complemented by higher performance CPUs and GPUs, and improved cabling, heat management... Read more →

Mitsubishi Motors President, EVP resign over fuel economy scandal

Tetsuro Aikawa, President and COO of Mitsubishi Motors (MMC) in Japan, and Ryugo Nakao, Executive Vice President have resigned over the fuel economy testing scandal that emerged in April. (Earlier post.) The resignations are effective 24 June 2016. The company said it would decide on the successors at the board... Read more →

Suzuki reports fuel economy testing irregularities in Japan but says no need to amend values

Suzuki announcement that it has found “some discrepancies” between the automobile emission and fuel efficiency testing methodology it has used in Japan and the requirements from Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT). However, the company said, after retesting vehicles, it found that all certified fuel efficiency values... Read more →

FotoNation Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tessera Technologies, Inc. and a leading provider of computational imaging and computer vision solutions for consumer and enterprise applications, has partnered with Kyocera Corporation to develop advanced, intelligent, vision solutions for automotive applications. As part of the partnership and using FotoNation technology as... Read more →

SAE International approved for publishing “SAE TIR J2954 Wireless Power Transfer for Light-Duty Plug-In/ Electric Vehicles and Alignment Methodology,” a milestone industry guideline to establish wireless power transfer between infrastructure, vehicle suppliers and OEMs for plug-in electric and electric vehicles (PH/EV). (Earlier post.) The document will be available from the... Read more →

Sony invests in Cogitai; collaborating on R&D for next wave of artificial intelligence

Sony Corporation has teamed with Cogitai, an artificial intelligence (AI) start-up focused on next generation technologies. Specifically, Sony has invested in Cogitai and the two companies plan to collaborate towards the development of novel AI technologies using deep reinforcement learning with prediction technology that could be used as the basis... Read more →

California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard compliance rate is 98%

The California Air Resources Board’s report on the state of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) program for the compliance year 2015 indicates a compliance rate of 98%, with a total of 5.49 million credits generated in the year. These credits are roughly the same as removing 1 million cars... Read more →

Automotive supplier HELLA has introduced its latest electrically driven vacuum pump—UP5.0—for vehicle brake systems. The majority of brake boosters have until recently used the vacuum generated by the internal combustion engine’s intake section. With the advent of new powertrain technologies (e.g. hybrid vehicles, downsizing, plug-ins)—or under some specific operating conditions... Read more →

Researchers in China have directly synthesized gasoline- and diesel-range C6-C15 branched alkanes in high carbon yield (~80%) via the self-condensation of acetone and the subsequent hydrodeoxygenation over a dual-bed catalyst system. A paper on their work appears in the RSC journal Green Chemistry. Acetone is a by-product in the production... Read more →

India-based KPIT Technologies is being awarded the “Promising Innovation in Transport Award” 2016 during the 2016 Summit of the International Transport Forum in Leipzig, Germany for developing a system that can convert new as well as existing diesel buses into full battery-electric buses. KPIT has 20+ global patents for this... Read more →