Silicon Labs partners with IIITH Smart CityLiving Lab to launch Wi-SUN

Silicon Labs partners with IIITH Smart CityLiving Lab to launch Wi-SUN

IIITH Smart City Living Lab, an initiative of the Union ministry of electronics and IT, National Cities Mission and the Telangana government, has partnered with wireless technology firm Silicon Labs to launch a campus-wide Wi-SUN (Wireless Smart Utility Network). This will aim to enable research and solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart cities. 

Wi-SUN is leading IPv6 sub-GHz mesh technology for smart city and smart utility applications according to Silicon Labs. It is an open-standard protocol enabling interoperable solutions through open-source software with multi-layer security.  

Wi-SUN will enable utilities, municipalities, and other enterprises to deploy long-range, low-power wireless mesh networks connecting thousands of IoT nodes. 

Additionally, the Wi- SUN network will add to the existing modes of sensor communications including Wi-Fi. There is no need for any pricey communications infrastructure and allows sensors to easily connect to the cloud said IIITH.

The project aims to convert all 100 streetlights over campus to Wi-SUN smart streetlights, to build a network which allows other sensors to utilise these lights as router nodes to send sensor data. 

Applications will be able to connect on a technology architecture designed to scale across a wide range of IoT applications such as: smart meters, streetlights, parking, weather monitoring, and waste management to coverage onto one IoT network, according to the company. 

The new Wi-SUN alliance is said to be ‘responsible for the development of the standard and is a global ecosystem of member companies seeking to accelerate the implementation of Field Area Networks and IoT.’ 

Pedestrian, bike and transit projects in D.C. area get federal funding boost

Pedestrian, bike and transit projects in D.C. area get federal funding boost

A proposed bicycle and pedestrian crossing that would create a walkable connection from Northern Virginia’s growing Crystal City neighborhood to the District’s Southwest Waterfront area is getting a $20 million federal grant. 

In Southeast Washington, a long-planned 3.8-mile trail off South Capitol Street is getting $10 million, just under half the project’s budget. Across the Maryland line, Prince George’s County is securing $20.5 million to enhance bus connections, add sidewalks and bike lanes, and improve access to the New Carrollton station. 

The projects are among five in the greater Washington region receiving nearly $60 million in federal funding under the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program. 

“We are proud to support so many outstanding infrastructure projects in communities large and small, modernising America’s transportation systems to make them safer, more affordable, more accessible, and more sustainable,” said Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg 

The project, in the early stage of design, will connect Long Bridge Park in Arlington and East Potomac Park in the District. Recently unveiled concepts show a bridge with a deck about 14-feet wide, aligned about 25 feet north of the proposed new Long Bridge. 

Once built, the bridge will create a “safe, direct, and a more pleasant experience,” said Michael McLaughlin, the rail authority’s chief operating officer. 

Work on the trail is expected to begin next year. The remaining funding will come from a mix of federal and local funding sources, city officials said. 

BRP pushes forward with electrification plan by introducing all-electric Can-Am motorcycles and all-new electric Sea-Doo Hydrofoil

BRP pushes forward with electrification plan by introducing all-electric Can-Am motorcycles and all-new electric Sea-Doo Hydrofoil

Picture: BRP

BRP has announced that in addition to electrifying its existing product, it is aiming to seize the opportunity to enter new markets with game-changing electric products. 

BRP has unveiled the first two models of its Can-Am all-electric motorcycle lineup, the Can-Am Origin and Can-Am Pulse. Building on its already existing motorcyle legacy, BRP is opening the door to a new generation of riders and electric vehicle enthusiasts.  

Additionally, BRP is announcing a completely new electric hydrofoil board bearing the Sea-Doo signature: the Sea-Doo Rise. All of these products are said to be available in mid-2024. 

“Today, our story of innovation reaches new heights with the reveal of market-shaping electric products that will enhance consumer experience on the road and on the water, ” said José Boisjoli, President and CEO of BRP. 

“Half a century ago, Can-Am roared to victory on the track and the trail, and today, a new legacy begins. With the Can-Am Origin and Can-Am Pulse, the first two models of our electric 2-wheel family, we are gearing up to reclaim our motorcycle heritage by crafting thrilling riding experiences for a whole new generation.” 

The Can-Am Origin is a tribute to Can-Am’s Track n’ Trail heritage. This dual-purpose model is designed to bring new exhilaration to both the street and the trail for a more modern multi-terrain experience.  

The Can-Am Pulse is a balanced and agile motorcycle designed to immerse riders in the energy of the city and transform their daily commute into an electric joyride. Both models feature stunning, modern design, built to showcase state-of-the art technology, like the high-performance LED headlamp, a unique visual signature. 

While both have their own unique design and features that can benefit users in many ways, however, they both are powered by the new Rotax E-POWER technology. 

The Sea-Doo Rise on the other hand, is another unique model and is designed with innovative and dynamic features that transform the board as riders gain experience over time. Full specs are expected to be revealed in August 2023. 

Rolls-Royce says hybrid-electric propulsion could unlock new doors for eVTOL companies

Rolls-Royce says hybrid-electric propulsion could unlock new doors for eVTOL companies

Rolls-Royce is developing turbogenerator technology that could support hybrid-electric aircraft in performing longer-range, higher payload missions than those that use all-electric propulsion systems — a development, says Rolls-Royce, that could unlock new doors for eVTOL companies.

As part of Rolls-Royce’s electrical propulsion product portfolio, the company said it is developing turbogenerator technology, which includes a new small engine designed for hybrid-electric applications. The system will be an on-board power source that can be scaled to serve a power range of between 500 and 1,200 kilowatts. It will be used to either recharge batteries after take-off or power propellers directly, allowing aircraft to switch between power sources in flight.

Rob Watson, president of Rolls-Royce Electrical, said the company is aiming to be the leading provider of all-electric and hybrid-electric power and propulsions systems for the advanced air mobility (AAM) industry.

“As part of our strategy, we are looking at offering the complete sustainable solution for our customers,” Watson said in a press release. “This means extending routes that electric flight can support through our turbogenerator technology. This will advance hybrid-electric flight and mean more passengers will be able to travel further on low to net zero emissions aircraft.”

Watson said Rolls-Royce also plans to build on its existing network and offer maintenance services for electrical systems.

“Furthermore, Rolls-Royce Power Systems is able to offer mtu microgrid solutions to support fast-charging of electric aircraft and deliver reliable, cost-effective, climate friendly and sustainable power to vertiports,” he said.

Earlier this year, the company announced its partnership with Luxaviation Group to provide the charging and energy infrastructure for Luxaviation’s planned vertiport networks. Rolls-Royce had said it would also provide maintenance support services for electric aircraft, and digital solutions for Luxaviation’s vertiports.

The turbogenerator program is being led by Rolls-Royce engineers in Germany, Norway and Hungary, and is partly funded by the German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action.

Last year, Rolls-Royce announced its intention of reaching net zero carbon emissions with all of its new products by 2023, and with all existing products by 2050.

Britishvolt sets out roadmap for high-performance battery development

Britishvolt sets out roadmap for high-performance battery development

British battery technology company Britishvolt has announced it is working on a larger format high-performance lithium-ion battery cell designed specifically for high-performance electric vehicles.

The 4690 format is to be developed and prototyped at the recently acquired EAS facility in Germany before being transferred to the UK for scale-up at the company’s Hams Hall facility in the Midlands ahead of large-scale production at the company’s Northumberland Gigaplant battery manufacturing facility now under construction.

Orral Nadjari, Founder and CEO of Britishvolt, said, “Britishvolt understands the importance of larger format cells, which is why our recent acquisition of EAS, of which the importance needs to be fully grasped by the market, and our scale-up facility in the Midlands will help us deliver 4690 cells that our customers require. Critically, we will be able to build these game-changing cells in a truly sustainable, low carbon way.

The 4690 cell development makes use of Britishvolt’s digital-twin simulation and modelling capabilities to drive engineering and bring technology to market quicker and more efficiently.

“We start with digital twin simulation modelling, exactly the same way we did with our 21700 cell development, and then move on to physical prototyping. This improves efficiency, reduces waste, lowers costs and makes us leaner and more agile. We can also tailor the length of the cell to suit specific applications. This is a unique Britishvolt proposition that will also help anchor the UK as a global battery leader and home to leading battery innovation. We are helping reindustrialise the UK.”

Graham Hoare, Deputy CEO and Global President of Operations at Britishvolt, added, “It’s great to be announcing the development roadmap of our 4690 battery technology. Britishvolt will be a leader in the most important race facing humanity and our planet – the race to net zero. We will be a positive force not just for our customers in helping them to achieve their decarbonisation goals, but also to those in the communities where we and our suppliers operate, ensuring that they too have a brighter future.

Earlier this year, Britishvolt signed memorandums of understanding with both Lotus Cars and Aston Martin. The work with Lotus Cars will see Britishvolt and the Norfolk-based car maker develop an electric sports car powered by Britishvolt cells and with advanced electric propulsion technologies developed by Lotus Cars. The collaboration with Aston Martin supports plans to launch the first battery electric Aston Martin in 2025.

Eve and Fahari reveal ambition to develop urban air mobility in Kenya

Eve and Fahari reveal ambition to develop urban air mobility in Kenya

Eve Air Mobility, the eVTOL subsidiary of Brazilian multinational aerospace manufacturer Embraer, has signed a letter of intent with Kenya Airways’ subsidiary Fahari Aviation. The deal includes a pre-order for up to 40 of Eve’s eVTOL aircraft, with deliveries expected to start in 2026.

The agreement will also see the groups form a working group to conduct joint studies to develop and scale the urban air mobility (UAM) market, as well as a business model for cargo drone operations in Kenya.

This recent partnership builds off of the eVTOL developer’s existing relationship with Fahari, when the two partnered last year to develop a UAM network for Kenya Airways’ customers.

“This is a new chapter of the Eve and Fahari Aviation partnership to strengthen both companies’ commitment to establishing the foundations that will sustainably support the ecosystem for urban air mobility in Kenya,” said Andre Stein, co-CEO of Eve. “Last year, we announced a collaboration to develop operational models for Fahari Aviation’s key markets, and this announcement confirms that it is evolving successfully.”

Fahari Aviation is the unmanned aircraft systems division of Kenya Airways, with an initial focus on applying drone technology in training, operations, and traffic management. The division is also tasked with developing innovative and sustainable transportation solutions to carry out passenger services, aerial sightseeing, parcel delivery, and wildlife protection.

“Urban air mobility is the future of transport and we are honoured to be the champions of this in the region,” said Allan Kilavuka, group managing director and CEO of Kenya Airways. “The journey to realise the dream of eVTOL vehicles in Kenya is on course, and the partnership with Eve is a key achievement for us as part of the strategy to adopt new technologies as a growth strategy for the sustainable development of Africa.”

Solar acquisition could turn Belgium EV drivers into renewable energy producers

Solar acquisition could turn Belgium EV drivers into renewable energy producers

EDI, Belgium’s leading installer of charge points for electric vehicles, has acquired Belgium solar panel installation company Go-Solar

The acquisition, says EDI – a contraction of Electric by D’Ieteren – offers motorists the opportunity to be both a producer and a consumer of green energy. D’leteren will now offer photovoltaic panels and batteries, alongside EV charge points.

Denis Gorteman, CEO of D’Ieteren says, “The acquisition of Go-Solar by EDI is a strategic operation which, by simplifying the customer experience through a complete offer, will contribute to promoting electromobility in Belgium. It contributes to reducing the carbon footprint of mobility and is directly in line with our mission to work towards fluid and sustainable mobility for all.”

Founded in 2008, Go-Solar is a family business active in the Flemish regions and the plan is to extend its activities to the whole country by capitalising on the business potential offered by its merger with EDI.

Nicolas Paris, CEO of EDI added, “Vehicles equipped with a charging socket should occupy a 50% share of new vehicle sales from 2025. By acquiring Go-Solar, we are seeking to make life easier for our customers by offering them a complete electrical ecosystem and relying on the recognised expertise, the quality of the teams and the reliability of the Go-Solar installations.”


UK adopts European eVTOL safety standards to avoid duplicating effort

UK adopts European eVTOL safety standards to avoid duplicating effort

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has confirmed it will adopt the Special Condition (SC) standards used by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) as the basis for eVTOL certification in the UK.

Rob Bishton, CAA’s group director for safety and airspace regulation said, “The decision to adopt SC-VTOL as our certification basis will support UK manufacturers and enable them to easily access the global market for eVTOL aircraft.”

Special conditions allow manufactures and aviation authorities to develop safety requirements and provide a basis for approval as new eVTOL technology emerges. The CAA says harmonising these standards across nations helps maintain high levels of safety, reduces industry costs and avoids duplicating efforts.

In implementing these new standards, the agency said it will continue to collaborate with other aviation authorities to share approaches, lessons learned and safety insight. This includes continuing to work with the US Federal Aviation Administration to facilitate certification, smoothing the path for eVTOL developers to receive concurrent validation.

The CAA’s announcement was welcomed by eVTOL developers looking for a clearer path to certify in both regions. UK based eVTOL developer Vertical Aerospace said the news supports the company’s plan to obtain concurrent type certification in the UK and Europe and the decision will “enable swift validation of its VX4 aircraft worldwide.”

“The UK confirming these high standards is a pivotal and positive step toward building a world-leading zero emissions aircraft in Britain,” said Michael Cervenka, president of Vertical. “It is vital that passengers and the public have the same trust in eVTOLs as in today’s passenger planes, as we try to make flying faster, smarter, and greener.”