Thursday, June 23, 2016

Columbus Ohio officially winner of DOT Smart City Challenge and $140 million in innovation grants

With the Columbus Dispatch (and many possible runner-up cities) reporting two days ago that Columbus was the winner of the Smart City Challenge, official word was silent until this afternoon.
Today in Columbus, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx officially recognized and announced—to a full house at the Douglas Community Center in the neighbor of Linden—that the city is indeed the winner and will reap the benefits of victory; a $50 million grant plus $90 million in local matching contributions.

Columbus Shows How a Smart City Puts People First

So by now, you’ve heard.
Ohio finally got to bring home the Larry O’Brien NBA Championship trophy.
While I missed the parade in Cleveland, today I was joined by Mayor Andrew Ginther in Columbus to congratulate them on a hard-fought yet deserving Smart City Challenge win.

Huawei signs smart vehicle deal with SamTech Middle East

Under the terms of the deal, SamTech will develop customized applications that integrate with Huawei’s connected vehicle service to improve public safety and comfort in buses, taxis and heavy goods vehicles. The connected vehicle offering is part of Huawei’s smart city solution set. “The regional transport industry is about to make a major leap into the future, with new ICT solutions enabling increased levels of capability in safety, efficiency and comfort,” said Safder Nazir, regional VP, Smart Cities and IoT, Huawei Middle East. “Huawei’s connected-in-vehicle solution coupled with SamTech’s intelligent software delivers on a key capability for regional Smart City initiatives whilst enabling critical control capability for transportation and emergency service stakeholders.”

Is This Electric Racing Car a Hint That Honda Will Challenge Tesla Motors?

Honda said on Monday that it will enter a battery-electric concept car into this year's Pike's Peak Hill Climb, a fiercely contested event in which racers compete for the fastest time up a steep and winding mountain road in Colorado. The Acura EV Concept, as the car is called, is based on the hybrid Acura NSX supercar and builds on technology that Honda used in another experimental race car at last year's event. It's a strong hint that Honda may be planning its own entry into the upscale battery-electric car market currently dominated by Tesla Motors.

Samsung SDI, LG Chem Face Setback in China on Electric-Car Batteries

South Korea’s two biggest electric-vehicle battery makers— LG Chem Ltd. andSamsung SDI Co.—have failed to get battery certifications from China, dealing a blow to their plans to expand capacity in the world’s largest auto market. LG and Samsung, which control one-third of the world’s battery market for electric vehicles, said Tuesday their recent applications for certification were rejected.
The decision by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology means that electric cars that use LG or Samsung batteries might be at risk of becoming ineligible for government subsidies. Chinese authorities recently said they are considering limiting the state subsidies presently offered for the purchase of electric cars to only those vehicles with certified batteries, starting as early as 2018.

Moscow to explore high-speed Hyperloop commuter transport system

A Hyperloop involves using magnets to levitate pods inside an airless tube, creating conditions in which the floating pods can shuttle people and cargo at speeds of up to 750 mph (1,200 kph).
“Hyperloop can improve life dramatically for the 16 million people in the greater Moscow area, cutting their commute to a fraction of what it is today,” Shervin Pishevar, co-founder of Hyperloop One, said in a press release. “Our longer-term vision is to work with Russia to implement a transformative new Silk Road: a cargo Hyperloop that whisks freight containers from China to Europe in a day,” he said.

Tesla boat: Elon Musk reveals secret Model S feature you didn't know about

When a video emerged online of a Tesla Model S owner sailing past floundering road users who were caught in flood water, the Tesla CEO responded on Twitter saying: "We *def* don't recommended this, but Model S floats well enough to turn it into a boat for short periods of time. Thrust via wheel rotation". The viral video was shot by a Tesla driver in Kazakhstan showing a flooded underpass where several cars were stranded in rain water several feet deep. Despite being in an electric car, the driver was not dissuaded from ploughing straight into the water. They then proceeded to niftily navigate around stricken vehicles and out the other side on to dry road.

More Cars Were Connected to Cell Networks Than Phones This Year

According to the consultancy firm Chetan Sharma, connected cars made up 32 percent of new connected devices between January 1 and March 31. Mobile phones, on the other hand? 31 percent. Tablets made up 23 percent, while connected devices belonging to the so-called "Internet of Things"—Nest thermostats, smart refrigerators, etc.—made up the remaining 14 percent.

That doesn't mean cars with built-in cell phone connections have quietly grown to outnumber the 330 million-plus cell phones currently in use across the United States. The data concerns new activations—new devices being added to the networks, not the total number of connected cars (or phones) across the board.

BMW seeks partners in race to build self-driving car's brain

BMW is accelerating plans to acquire technology expertise in a race with the likes of Apple and Google to make cars smart enough to react like human drivers. The automaker is pushing to acquire startups, partner with tech companies and hire talent to build an electronic brain for next-generation vehicles, Klaus Froehlich, BMW Group's head of development, said in an interview in Munich. At stake is billions of euros in potential profit as value in the auto industry gradually shifts to autonomous cars and taxis. "There's a power play going on with other companies buying up software competencies at a fast clip," Froehlich said. "We definitely need partners in this area, and we massively need to build out in-house resources too."

The Self-Driving Car Generation Gap

Cars are different. They represent individual freedom, the ability to go where you want, when you want. As Krystal D’Costa says in Scientific American, “Cars have long been symbols for personal freedom. With the open road before you you can go anywhere—from behind the wheel you really take control of your destiny. In this regard, cars are empowering. Ownership means that you have the means to be independently mobile, that you own not just a vehicle but choice as well.” You’re not buying two tons of material; you’re buying the open road. That’s why getting your driver’s license used to be the critical rite of passage for any adolescent American male.