Tatum, Texas might not seem like the most obvious place for a revolution in artificial intelligence (AI), but in October of 2020, that's exactly what happened. That was when Wayne Brown, the operations manager at the Vistra-owned Martin Lake Power Plant, built and deployed a heat rate optimizer (HRO). Vistra Corp. is the largest competitive power producer in the United States and operates power plants in 12 states with a capacity of more than 39,000 megawatts of electricity--enough to power nearly 20 million homes. Vistra has committed to reducing emissions by 60 percent by 2030 (against a 2010 baseline) and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. To achieve its goals, the business is increasing efficiency in all its power plants and transforming its generation fleet by retiring coal plants and investing in solar- and battery-energy storage, which includes the world's largest grid-scale battery energy-storage facility.
Hyundai will allocate an additional $5 billion toward investments in the US, the automaker announced on Sunday. The funds will support the company's work in electric vehicles, robotics, air taxis, self-driving cars and artificial intelligence. The announcement follows the recent news that Hyundai plans to build a $5.54 billion electric vehicle plant in Georgia. With that facility included, the automaker intends to invest $10 billion in the US by 2025. Some of the money will go toward supporting Boston Dynamics, which Hyundai acquired in 2021.
At BlackBerry's analyst summit this week, a great deal of time was spent on the company's secure QNX operating system, its IVY platform for software management on cars, and other tools and utilities designed for the next generation of personal transportation. This conversation can't happen soon enough. A growing concern of mine is that automobile companies don't yet seem to fully understand the risk they are taking with platforms that aren't secure enough for products tied to human transportation and safety. Having someone hack your phone or PC is bad, but having someone hack your car could be deadly. So when the industry is talking about putting apps in cars, safety and security should be a far higher priority for many of the automotive OEMs than it seems to be.
Apple has arguably changed our lives more than any other company in the world during the past two decades or so. But aside from its digital devices such as iPhones, laptops, watches and operating systems, is there another direction it could go? The somewhat tentative answer to that has been transport, in the form of electric self-driving vehicles. Is Apple gearing up to challenge electric vehicle market leader Tesla, and what progress has been made so far? An Apple-branded car has been mooted for some years now, with sporadic reports of progress being made.
You could be forgiven for believing that we've already achieved the era of autonomous vehicles. Tesla, the electric car manufacturer run by Elon Musk, refers to a version of its Autopilot software as "Full Self Driving". The company released a (misleadingly edited) video of an autonomous vehicle navigating city streets, its drivers' hands on their lap – a style replicated by enthusiasts. Musk has repeatedly assured in speeches and interviews that autonomous vehicles were one to two years away – or, as he put it in 2015, a "solved problem" because "we know what to do and we'll be there in a few years." But the existing Autopilot technology has not yet realized those promises and, as a new New York Times documentary illustrates, the gap in expectation and reality has led to several deadly crashes.
Hyundai's Genesis brand is now taking orders for its first electric vehicle, the GV60. The EV, which follows the G80 hybrid, starts at $58,890 and comes with three years of 30-minute charging sessions at Electrify America stations at no extra cost. US sales will be limited at the outset, however. To begin with, the GV60 will only be available for purchase at select retailers in California, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York. The EV will be available in two dual-motor trims, Advanced AWD and Performance AWD.
Uber announced a few big plans at its product event on Monday, including autonomous deliveries and the ability to specify if you want your ride to be an electric vehicle. Now, to be clear, these new features will not be rolling out to everyone right away. Uber rolled out its Comfort Electric program in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, and Dubai, while promising it would add more cities soon. The feature lets riders choose an electric ride, similar to how you can order a larger vehicle (Uber XL) or a ride with your pet (Uber Pet). "It's as simple as tap a button and request a ride in a premium EV like a Tesla or Polestar," the company wrote in a press release.
Uber has unveiled plans to trial autonomous'sidewalk robots' to deliver food to people's doorsteps. The US ride-hailing giant announced the idea as part of a raft of new features and services for its customers. These included an option for those in certain cities to specifically request a ride in an electric car, which Uber said was part of its global commitment to becoming a zero-emissions mobility platform by 2040. Comfort Electric is now available in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and Dubai, with more cities to come soon. The sidewalk robot concept is one of two autonomous delivery pilot programs being trialled in California.
We love it when people exceed expectations. Whether it's an athlete who steps up to replace an injured starter or a team that pulls together to deliver exceptional results, it is inspiring to see long-held assumptions about potential turned upside down. Now, service organizations have an opportunity to exceed traditional expectations in the same way. Instead of being considered simply a means of connection and cost containment post-customer purchase, intelligent service teams can become a strategic driver to direct value back to the business. Focusing on speed, insights, and accuracy, SAP Service Cloud resolves customer issues at unmatched speed -- protecting the brands promise and securing future growth.
For the JIT model to work, the quality and supply of raw materials, the production of goods, and the customer demand for them must remain in alignment. If any one of the links in the chain breaks, stalls, or falls out of sync, the impact on the supply chains that crisscross the world can be felt immediately. For companies, unable to deliver on orders in a timely fashion, they risk losing not only efficiency gains but also brand credibility, market share, and revenue. Now, companies are seeking new ways of managing their supply chains that offer greater flexibility and transparency. In the automotive sector, some companies including Nissan and JIT pioneer Toyota are increasing chip inventory levels, while others including Volkswagen and Tesla are trying to secure their own supplies of rare metals.