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NIO doubles down on autopilot with important new hire


NIO, the Chinese electric car company with tens of billions of dollars in cash on hand, has accelerated its expansion and begun to invest more in its automated driving software. Jamie Carlson, the North American-based vice president in charge of NIO's automated driving business, left the company in June, and Ren Shaoqing, formerly Momenta's director of research and development, has joined NIO, hinting that NIO will increase its investment in automated driving technology, according to 36Kr. Ren Shaoqing serves as assistant vice president and reports directly to NIO CEO Li Bin, the report said, adding that a NIO executive confirmed the information. Jamie Carlson, who left Apple in October 2016 to join NIO's North American R&D center, has returned to Apple's Special Projects Group, where the company's Titan car project is based. According to the report, the departure of Jamie Carlson and the addition of Ren Shaoqing is in line with NIO's return to China to focus its self-driving strategy.

Data Science: The Key Tool Cities Need To Reduce Carbon Emissions


A cyclist passes electric automobiles charging at Ubeeqo SAS electric vehicle charge stations in ... [ ] Paris, France, on Wednesday, May 27, 2020. President Emmanuel Macron's plan includes incentives for the purchase of electric cars, cash-for-clunkers to encourage consumers to trade in older, more polluting cars and subsidies for struggling car-parts makers. In November 2019, the first case of Covid-19 was reported in Wuhan, China. During the early days of the outbreak, local authorities attempted to clamp down on sharing information about the virus, but as the transmission strengthened in the region, the government imposed lockdown measures across China's Hubei province to control the spread of Covid-19. On January 22, Wuhan became the first major city under quarantine, and in the months that followed, many cities followed suit that caused a shock to the global economy.

Battery breakthrough makes lithium-ion tech 90% cheaper – and manufacturing is easy as 'buttering toast'

The Independent - Tech

A battery pioneer has invented a new kind of battery that is 90 per cent cheaper to produce than standard lithium-ion batteries, and potentially much safer. Hideaki Horie – who has worked on battery technology since 1990 and led Nissan's development of the Leaf electric car – discovered a way to replace the batteries basic components in order to speed up and simplify the manufacturing process. "The problem with making lithium batteries now is that it's device manufacturing, like semiconductors," Mr Horie told The Japan Times. "Our goal is to make it more like steel production." Manufacturing the new batteries is significantly simplified by replacing the metal-lined electrodes and liquid electrolytes typically found within lithium-ion units with a resin construction.

Tesla Very Close to Level-5 Autonomous Driving Technology, Musk Says


U.S. electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc is "very close" to Level-5 autonomous driving technology, its chief executive, Elon Musk, said on Thursday. Musk added that he was confident Tesla would attain basic functionality of the technology this year, in remarks made via a video message at the opening of Shanghai's annual World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC).

Recyclers turn to AI robots after waste import bans


When China restricted the importation of recyclable waste products in 2018, many western companies turned to robotic technologies to strengthen their processing capabilities. "The ban exposed how vulnerable the current infrastructure for recycling is," says Chris Wirth, vice-president of marketing and business development for AMP Robotics, a Denver-based industrial recycling artificial intelligence company. To recycle in a cost-effective, comprehensive and safe way, goods must be broken down into their constituent commodities to be sold on, in a process that has been likened to "unscrambling an egg". Roboticists think that computer vision, neural networks and modular robotics can enable a more intelligent, flexible approach to recycling. AI-enabled robotics can identify items based on visual cues such as logos, colour, shape and texture, sorting them and taking them apart.

NIO Sets Sales Record In May But Is Still Far Behind Tesla


The Chinese new car market has been topsy turvy lately, primarily because the government keeps playing around with its NEV (new energy vehicle) incentive program. China really, really wants people to buy electric cars -- either plug-in hybrids or battery electrics -- but found its original incentive program was costing too much money. So it modified the program, several times in fact, which caused confusion among car companies and customers. In general, people who are confused postpone buying decisions until things get clearer, and that's exactly what Chinese new car shoppers did. The second factor, of course, was production shutdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Dyson launches purifying, humidifying fan that cleans and wets the air

The Independent - Tech

Dyson has released a fan that both cleans and wets the air as well as cooling users down. The fan is intended both to humidify the air and purify it, with the aim of improving the conditions inside people's houses. The new fan – known as the Dyson Pure Humidify Cool – costs £599.99. It is made up of a large unit with a tank at the bottom for water, which is expelled using the bladeless fan at the top. While the company made a humidifier before, under the name AM10, it did not have the ability to purify the air that it expelled.

Apple update changes how Macs charge to protect their battery life

The Independent - Tech

Apple is rolling out a new feature called "battery health management" that will change how laptops charge themselves. The update will mean that laptops may not charge themselves all the way up all of the time, if the computer believes doing so will protect the life of the battery. It aims to avoid a problem that means fully charging a laptop's battery puts a strain on it, because of the chemicals inside. Leaving a computer charged up in this way can therefore reduce its capacity, leading the battery life to fall over time. Instead, if the computer believes that it is not likely to need 100 per cent battery in the future, it will only charge up some of the way.

Billionaires investing in China's electric cars face shakeout

The Japan Times

Some of China's wealthiest tycoons steered billions of dollars into electric-car companies in order to fuel the country's dreams of becoming a leader in the field. Now a reckoning may be looming as car sales slow and the government reduces subsidies for the nascent industry. That leaves the flagship companies of Jack Ma, Pony Ma, Hui Ka Yan and Robin Li facing an increasingly steep path to profitability on their bets that electric vehicles can be smartphones-on-wheels connecting passengers to other businesses. Their capital, along with dozens of startups raising $18 billion, helped inflate an electric bubble that now looks to be in danger of popping. China's car market is experiencing a prolonged sales slump, prompting EV-makers to slash earnings outlooks.

Tesla Profits, Health Care Algorithm Bias, and More News


Tesla looks to Shanghai and Joker fans head to the Bronx, but first, today's cartoon: What's rarer than a unicorn? Here's the news you need to know, in two minutes or less. Want to receive this two-minute roundup as an email every weekday? Good news out of the Gigafactory: Tesla is back in black. On Wednesday, the electric carmaker announced a positive net profit in its quarterly report, the first record of earnings for the company since the end of 2018.