BMW is joining Mercedes-Benz and pulling out of the annual Detroit auto show. The announcement comes six weeks after the German rival said it would not attend the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.
Major exotic sports car manufacturers like Jaguar, Porsche, Land Rover, Mazda and some ultraluxury brands skipped the Detroit show this year.
The European brand decided to pull out of the annual show as the North American International Auto Show officials are planning to move the show to October starting in 2020, the event is currently held every January. They will recast it as a less-expensive show that is more focused on products and technology and likely change its name. More »

Two-person, 110mph electric craft made by Google co-founder’s drone company begins regulatory approval process in New Zealand

Kitty Hawk is the “flying car” company that is financially backed by Google founder Larry Page. The firm has announced that it will begin the regulatory approval process required for launching its autonomous passenger-drone system in New Zealand. Kitty Hawk has already conducted secret testing under the cover of another company called Zephyr Airworks.

The all-electric craft, called Cora with a wingspan of 36ft has been eight years in the making. It can fly autonomously up to 3,000ft above ground.
The two-person craft is a 12-rotor plane-drone hybrid that can take off vertically like a drone, but then uses a propeller mounted at the back to fly at up to 110 miles an hour for around 62 miles at a time.

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Ford is planning to test its self-driving vehicles on the streets of downtown Miami and Miami Beach.

The Michigan-based automaker has started a pilot program that includes delivery service, testing self-driving cars around the city and setting up a fleet-management center.

The company’s commercial plans for robot cars include ride-hailing and deliveries, the automaker announced a few days ago. The tests will find out what works for both customers and companies. In addition, the company needs to figure out how to run an armada of autonomous cars which means to focus on maintaining and operating a whole fleet of robot delivery cars. That is why the Detroit automaker is going to build its first operations terminal in Miami.
The vehicles arrived last week, and tests are already underway. More »

Lockheed Martin allowed a rare tour of the classified F-35 Mission Simulators on Wednesday, which are in an Air Force-restricted building. It is usually open only to pilots, instructors and other key personnel.

The simulators are part of the $1 trillion F-35 program which is being developed by the defense giant at its Training and Logistics Solutions facility in East Orlando.

 

 

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China’s Geely buys a $9 billion stake in Daimler.

Li Shufu, the founder of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. has acquired a nearly 10 percent stake in Daimler AG, the German company said in a regulatory filing Friday.

The stake, which is worth just over $9 billion at the current market price for Daimler shares, makes Li Shufu the biggest single shareholder in the maker of Mercedes Benz cars, trucks and vans and marks the biggest investment in a global automobile manufacturer by a Chinese company. More »

Sony is developing an AI-based taxi hailing system. Algorithms would predict when you are likely to need a ride.

As Sony wants to expand its artificial intelligence presence in both the commercial and business sectors, Sony is forming a joint venture with five taxi operators in Japan. The joint venture is going to launch a taxi-hailing system that will use artificial intelligence to predict customers’ demands.

Sony’s partners in the creation of an AI-powered hailing platform include Tokyo-based Taxi operators Checker Cab, Hinomaru Kotsu, Daiwa Motor Transportation, Kokusai Motorcars, and Green Cab. More »

The autonomous cars and robots will lead to mass unemployment.
Аccording to Dr. Subhash Kak, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and a leading expert from Oklahoma University, artificial intelligence, and self-driving cars could put a third of all people out of work.
Vehicles that transport people using artificial intelligence are increasingly becoming a part of our everyday life. Dr. Subhash Kak believes a third of jobs will be lost.

Dr. Kak also warns that as robots are taking control of the world, humans are heading for a dystopian future with mass unemployment. Autonomous cars and artificial intelligence are making an impact in all business sectors. Dr. Subhash Kak says that as one-third of the people in any advanced economy are engaged in transportation, those employees will lose their jobs as soon as self-driving cars become widely adopted. Kak predicts a world where robots replace humans and machines will work at a cheaper price and longer hours without getting tired. More »

According to the American Automobile Association, the number of travelers hitting the road from Wednesday through Sunday, is expected to swell to levels not seen in the last 12 years, triggering record traffic delays in some of the country’s biggest cities, including Chicago.

 

 

According to Chicago Tribune.

Fisker has filed patents for a radical ‘solid-state battery’ and technology that will slash charging times and improve range. Officials for the company claim the battery would be able to power a car for 500 miles and recharge in just a minute.
Fisker is a very small company that makes luxury electric cars. The technology will be on display at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. Along with the battery module equipped with advanced thermal management, the company will also be launching its Fisker EMotion luxury electric sedan at the show.

According to the firm, its batteries deliver 2.5 times the energy density of typical lithium-ion batteries and is estimated to cost one-third of the 2020 projected price for those batteries, due to advances in materials and manufacturing.

Solid-state batteries would charge very quickly and should not have the fire issues with lithium-ion batteries. However, they are known to have a number of drawbacks, such as low power and low rate capability as a result of the layered electrode structure.

Dr. Fabio Albano, vice president of battery systems at Fisker Inc. commented that this breakthrough “marks the beginning of a new era in solid-state materials and manufacturing technologies”.

 

According to Autoblog.

United Airlines is now flying an 18-hour flight between Los Angeles and Singapore that’s now the longest regularly scheduled route ever flown by a U.S. airline and the world’s longest by flying time.
The Chicago-based carrier officially claimed that late Friday, when it launched a non-stop service on the 8,700-mile route between Los Angeles and Singapore. The flight is anticipated to take nearly 18 hours.
The route is scheduled to run from Los Angeles International Airport to Singapore’s Changi Airport. The distance is about 8,700 miles which are about 7,560 nautical miles. More »