Hydrogen Vehicle Systems has revealed that it has been awarded a £6.6 million to develop and deliver a revolutionary, world-first, autonomous zero-emission HGV for the UK market.
This will accelerate towards the next generation of transportation and logistics. The Hub2Hub consortium will create a self-driving heavy goods tractor unit, which will begin vehicles trials in 2024, with major UK retailer, ASDA, supporting end user needs as strategic partners, said the release.
It’s hoped that the cost savings an autonomous lorry could provide will speed up the adoption of zero-emissions vehicles by the freight sector, reducing the industry’s contribution to climate change.
The £12 million venture has been selected by the Centre for Connected Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) as a recipient for its joint industry and government-funded project with the aim of showcasing the potential of autonomy in the transportation sector with unprecedented levels of efficiency, safety and operational cost savings for logistics operators, as well as providing new employment opportunities.
HVS will receive£3.4 million as one of seven grants being announced today from the CCAV and Connected and Automated Mobility (CAM) programme.
The consortium is made up of Fusion Processing Ltd and ASDA, will build two prototype vehicles that will allow Level 4 autonomous driving.
The first hydrogen-electric HGV prototype will be fitted with a driver’s cab and tested on the road in autonomous operation, using the Fusion Processing Ltd’s Automated Drive System, CAVStar®, with a human safety driver at the wheel.
The second prototype will have the driver’s cab removed and replaced by an aerodynamic fairing. During the project this vehicle will be evaluated on test tracks, with the CAVStar system in this application allowing a remote human driver, located in a control hub, to operate the vehicle.
HVS CEO Jawad Khursheed commented: “A transport revolution is taking place in the UK and HVS, together with the consortium, is at the forefront of the innovation. We are engineering the world’s first autonomous hydrogen-electric powered HGV to demonstrate hub-to-hub logistics to a leading retailer, ASDA, to elevate public perception, showcasing the potential autonomy can deliver thanks to increased safety and fuel savings, and develop new business models.”
Together these two prototypes point to an optimised future logistics system where vehicles could be operated in autonomous mode on a hub-to-hub route, with a remote driver then taking control to drive the vehicle from the hub to its end destination stated the release.
The innovative HGV aims to decarbonise one of the biggest polluting vehicle sectors on the road and with Fusions collaboration, the project will see the development and integration of its advanced CAVstar system where a fusion of vision systems, AI and route planning can deliver a fully autonomous vehicle that takes over from a human driver and hands back control at pre- determined hubs on a route.
Fusion Processing CEO Jim Hutchinson said: “Our market analysis indicates that the commercial vehicle segments such as haulage are where we will see autonomous vehicle technology first used in large scale deployments. Hub2Hub is a perfect showcase of what the advanced version of our CAVstar Automated Drive System can achieve. Combining SAE Level 4 autonomous driving with tele-operation to deliver safer and more efficient vehicle operations.”
The release highlights that forecasts predict that by 2035, 40% of new UK car sales will have self-driving capabilities, with a total market value for connected and automated mobility worth £41.7 billion to the UK. This could create nearly 40,000 skilled jobs in connected and automated vehicle (CAV) technology.
Polestar has signed up a further eight partners for the Polestar 0 project. This is the company’s goal to create a truly climate-neutral car by 2030. New members of the project include Vitesco Technologies, Schloetter, Autoneum, Stora Enso, TMG Automotive, Gränges, Borgstena and Stena Aluminium.
The company’s cover a wide range of countries including Germany, Switzerland, Portugal, Finland and Sweden, they cover the areas of electrical inverters, electroplating, interior and exterior materials, renewable solutions in packaging, biomaterials, and wooden construction, coating and textiles, flat rolled aluminium, knit and woven materials, and recycled aluminium, said the release.
Hans Pehrson, Head of the Polestar 0 project, comments: “My conviction in the success of the Polestar 0 project is reaffirmed every time we meet with new collaborators. It’s clear that there is immense potential to tap into around the globe. Achieving the seemingly impossible is never a one-man show. It is only through collective action that we can achieve the breakthroughs that truly make a difference and find the transformative solutions that go beyond the car industry.”
The Polestar 0 project launched in 2021 with the sole belief that the car industry needs a full reset. The company highlights that they “recognise the need to urgently address emissions that stem from production”.
The end goal of the project is to eliminate all sources of CO2e throughout the supply chain, delivery and end of life without relying on misleading offsetting schemes.
The release states that more partners, both from the academic and corporate fields are needed, and the search continues for partners on raw materials, bio-based chemicals, polymers, electric components, noble gases, and other base material production. With a goal of delivering the car by 2030, solving the missing elements is critically urgent.
Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall has annouced that the city will join the Vision Zero Network, a national strategy to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries on City streets, while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all.
“Our residents deserve to travel safely to and from our incredible neighborhoods, regardless of what time of day they travel, or how they travel,” Mayor Mendenhall said. “Vision Zero is not more of the same. It is a significant departure from the status quo that will further solidify Salt Lake City’s commitment to safe streets.”
Vision Zero states that road systems and related policies should be designed to ensure that inevitable mistakes by users do not result in severe injuries or fatalities.
This means that system designers and policymakers need to improve the roadway environment, implement policies such as speed management, and other related systems to lessen the severity of crashes, said the release.
Salt Lake City will join more than 45 other cities across the nation who are already doing the work, with an ultimate goal of zero deaths and zero serious injuries due to traffic violence by 2035.
The city plans to create a strategic plan and engage with the community to address the changes necessary to move forward.
“This is an exciting announcement that provides focus to our ongoing traffic safety efforts,” said Jon Larsen, Transportation Division Director. “This will require a shift in mentality for everyone that getting there safely is more important than getting there fast.”
Stellantis and aiMotive have today announced that they have entered into an agreement for Stellantis to acquire aiMotive.
This enhances Stallantis’ artificial intelligence and autonomous driving core technology, expands its global talent pool, and boosts the mid-term development of the all-new STLA AutoDrive platform.
“Acquiring aiMotive’s world-class artificial intelligence and autonomous driving technology is an important contribution to becoming a sustainable mobility tech company,” said Yves Bonnefont, Stellantis Chief Software Officer. “aiMotive’s class-leading expertise and startup spirit will accelerate our journey to deliver our Dare Forward 2030 goals.”
AiMotive’s technology product portfolio is focused on four key areas within artificial intelligence and autonomous driving: aiDrive, aiData, aiWare and aiSim.
They company have said that Stellantis’ software teams are already developing the three all-new technology platforms (STLA Brain, STLA SmartCockpit, STLA AutoDrive) that will be deployed at scale across the four all-new STLA vehicle platforms (STLA Small, STLA Medium, STLA Large, STLA Frame), which will begin in 2024.
The software strategy is expected to generate approximately €20 billion in incremental annual revenues by the end of the decade as part of the Dare Forward 2030 strategic plan bold objectives, backed by more than a €30 billion investment in electrification and software, said the company’s press release.
Stellantis has said that it will establish a Board of Directors to oversee aiMotive while preserving its startup mindset of rapid innovation. aiMotive team will also be fully part of the Stellantis autonomous driving and artificial intelligence teams.
Completion of the acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including the satisfaction of antitrust requirements.
Understanding the future of the automotive industry requires a pragmatic mindset, a new way of thinking, and openness to new technology. Automotive consultancies, for years, have provided experience and a global presence in order to transform the industry of tomorrow.
Right now, we are experiencing one of the most exciting periods of growth in the automotive industry, with breakthroughs in autonomous vehicles, ride sharing, micromobility and electric vehicles. They are here, and they are ready to change the world.
However, has the industry jumped too far? A year ago, many experts were predicting an easier transition into 2022 but with supply chain challenges, labor shortages and geopolitical instability, the vision proved to be overly ambitious.
BCG automotive consulting has estimated that dealers are currently undersupplied by about 3.5 million vehicles- “pent-up demand that has served to insulate the industry from the slowdown in growth, increased inflation, and rising interest rates”.
To put it straight, the future of the mobility industry is in question. To deliver significant change in this world, transformative technology and business models will require many new cultures and practices, to further understand change and innovation.
McKinsey & Company prides itself in partnering with industry disrupters and traditional companies to make quick, intelligent implementations. Recently, the company has launched a Sustainability Academy to upskill workers for the net-zero transmission.
In the company’s press release, partner Pietro Sorrentino said “Making our economic system more sustainable and more inclusive is an imperative that is felt by all types of stakeholders, from governments and regulators, to clients, suppliers, and end consumers. Private organizations have a central role to play to decarbonise our economy, but to do so they must build skills and capabilities that today they do not have.”
Many businesses face sustainability challenges and according to McKinsey, only 40% believe they have the knowledge and capabilities to achieve their targets. Industry benchmarks are sometimes set too high for companies to even begin their road to net-zero.
Sustainability challenges are only the beginning of hurdles the automotive industry faces. Supply chains need to adapt to emerging risks and global political uncertainty. Traditionally, companies have sold products and services through “linear value chains”. In order to keep up with the digital ecosystem, government policies and hybrid ways of cooperation and competition, companies must rethink the way their chains are structured.
2. Supply Chains
As technology, demographics and government legislation changes within the industry, supply chains and operations must undergo a radical reshaping to meet demands of performance and innovation. Many consultancies advise embracing supply-base relationships and make strong partnerships to increase transparency through the supply chain.
EY offers a Supply Chain Reinvention Framework which provides end-to-end visibility for clients to manage costs and supports enterprise growth. The framework can offer unique insight through analytics and process mining.
They also offer the Supply Chain Transformation solution that helps customers move away from a traditional linear system to fully autonomous supply chains that will drive the growth of businesses.
The industry needs to be reengineered to enable large-scale automotive digital transformation projects. The global automotive industry must tackle present issues and organic future growth and the changes that are yet to come.
3. Energy and Resources
The current disruption the energy and resources sectors are facing brings a lot more challenges and opportunities for companies. The conflict in Ukraine has triggered spikes in energy prices and security of supply concerns and the geopolitical uncertainty means that companies need to expand their focus to face this common challenge.
Consultancies aim to tackle this challenge by helping businesses reshape by focusing on structure, services and technologies to meet objectives needed today. Many companies combine growth strategies and digital technologies to create lasting transformation.
Many OEMs enter the market and are moving from one level of technology to the other and do not have the resources to use software/embedded technology. As emission levels have increased the ability to copy technology has become more difficult. While physical attributes are easy, the technology behind software and innovation is increasingly more difficult.
Some consultancies will offer complete manufacturing facilities or be able to support generic engine/powertrain developments. As technology infrastructure develops, adoption of new technologies is driving internal innovation.
5. Mining and Metals
Mining and metals are one of the key areas within the mobility industry that must be developed sustainably in order to change the world.
McKinsey serves most of the world’s largest metals players across the region and helps them shape strategy, transform operational performance and build agile organistaions.
Consultancies, according to McKinsey, “help mining businesses navigate a volatile world and deliver sustainable and progressive performance”. Companies are continually committing to climate goals and therefore, this raises the need to source sustainable materials.
We must accelerate innovation and create environments that allow for more creativity and productivity. Partnerships must be formed between industry disrupters to challenge industry norms and push for new models and ways of working. Forging the partnerships is one challenge but maintaining them is something new entirely. A longer more-robust relationship drives greater success and will fuel sustained value and attract talent.
Consultancies play a key role in this growth. They offer innovative solutions to help aid forward thinking and adaptive preparation for the future. While the industry has faced many setbacks from the pandemic, supply chain and geopolitical challenges, the movement is moving faster than ever, and we must collaborate and cooperate to help each other go forward.
MOVE has become a critical meeting place for buyers and sellers across the mobility value chain. For the 2022 event, we are expecting over 3000 attendees from across the mobility ecosystem.
WHAT IS MOVE? OUR STORY
Once upon a time there was a planet called Earth that came to being destroyed by its people.
Every day carbon-based industry and transport chipped away at Earth’s fragile eco-system and made its people sick.
One day, eminent scientists and wise men warned of the coming carbon apocalypse.
Because of that, Earth’s citizens pledged to end their fatal carbon addiction and ICE-based transport.
Because of that, we created MOVE to promote and develop sustainable urban transport.
Until finally Earth will have a sustainable, exciting and creative transport system that is full of possibilities.
“The most relevant people in the field of new mobility coming together in one place.”
“MOVE provides a unique platform to hear diverse perspectives from across industries”
MOVE DELEGATES LEARN HOW GLOBAL MOBILITY LEADERS ARE:
Forging new business models and partnerships
Facilitating equitable access
Establishing holistic EV charging infrastructure plans
Planning multimodal transport systems that work for all citizens
Harnessing data to create novel and efficient mobility services
Redesigning urban centres for sustainable mobility
Transforming automotive OEMs into mobility service providers and transitioning to the world of electric vehicles
Devising next generation last mile delivery strategies
Benchmarking the most exciting tech and innovations from start-ups and solution providers globally
Shaping ethical and sustainable standards to create visibility across the entire supply chain
MOVE brings together the entire mobility value chain. Government, OEMS, Transport Operators, Transit Authorities, Road & Highway Operators, Energy & Electricity, VCs and Investors, Logistics and Supply chain and Tech.
NETWORKING is at the intersection of all that we do: the Showcase, the Learning, the Fun. We work to ensure you:
Form friendships and partnerships
Grow your professional network
Explore the future
Uncover new opportunities Before, during and after the event!
MOVE WILL GENERATE SOLUTIONS, NEW WAYS OF THINKING AND NOVEL PARTNERSHIPS TO SOLVE AMERICA’S MOBILITY CHALLENGE.
MOVE brings together the people and companies redefining the transport tech industry across the US. MOVE America will unite leading stakeholders from across the entire transport value chain.
MOVE America will provide a stage for start-ups engineering the future, connecting them to the world’s most influential companies, investors and media. MOVE will showcase the industry’s newest and brightest.
Investors come to the MOVE start-up village to find their next unicorn. Global media come to look for their next story. Companies come to look for partnerships and acquisitions.
Our community brings together change-agents, their technology and their attitude with stakeholders across all modes and disciplines: to dialogue, to create insight and to promote collaboration.
To solve the global mobility challenge we must think and act differently. Doing more of the same is just not an option.
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter MOVEMNT, a one-stop shop for global mobility news!
HQ and Lyft have just announced a partnership which will allow HQ to add on-demand Lyft rides to its aggregated supply of mobility solutions to corporate clients, which also provides black cars, taxis, shuttles and more.
HQ, the leading innovator in corporate mobility, provides mobility solutions to many of the world’s leading heavyweight companies including global investment banks and financial institutions, law firms, advertising and marketing firms, consulting companies, insurance companies and more.
HQ’s solution automates the entire process from bookings to billing, invoicing & payments, allowing companies to efficiently outsource all their mobility needs.
The partnership with Lyft Business allows HQ clients to use Lyft as part of their ground transportation program through being fully integrated into HQ’s enterprise platform solution from booking through billing & payment.
With employees going back to the office and business travel recovering quickly, employees need reliable business travel providers. Companies are leveraging HQ’s platform solutions with a variety of car provider options to ensure an optimal passenger experience.
HQ gives clients access to a variety of safe and vetted riding providers who are part of the HQ SummitGround platform.
Lyft Business provides affordable and reliable transportation solutions for thousands of organizations of all sizes to move the people they care about — from employees, to patients, customers, and more.
“At HQ, we provide employees with the best riding experience by always ensuring that there is a ride for them when and where they need it, including on demand. Our partnership with Lyft is a key next step to ensuring we have a large variety of options to serve our clients’ employees,” says Jeff LaFave, Managing Director of HQ.
“We are very excited about this new partnership and looking forward to having our clients’ employees get access to Lyft’s large network of drivers across the United States.”
“Improving people’s lives is at the center of what Lyft Business does. We’re thrilled to integrate with HQ to not only remove friction for their clients’ travelers but also elevate rideshare within corporate travel,” says Jordan Westcott, Director of Strategic Solution, Lyft Business.
Through the new partnership with Lyft, HQ expands HQ Connect (HQ’s network of car providers) to include an on-demand ride-hailing option across the US.
Debra Lam is the founding executive director of the Partnership for Inclusive Innovation, a statewide public-private partnership committed to investing in innovative work that catalyze inclusion and growth.
Lam is the recipient of numerous awards, including one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in Digital Government by Apolitcal, and 40 Under 40 by both the Atlanta Business Chronicle and Georgia Trend.
Debra will be joining us at MOVE America this September to appear on a panel on public-private collaborations powering the transportation networks of tomorrow.
“We at the partnership think about how we can build a stronger and more inclusive ecosystem around innovation, and how we can form synergies around that, that would not only benefit the larger ecosystem, but would benefit each of these individual projects”- Debra Lam
We caught up with Debra Lam to talk about current projects at the Partnership for Inclusive Innovation and what we can expect to hear from her at MOVE America 2022!
In her hometown in Nashville, Raven Hernandez created one of the most well-known eco-friendly ride-share companies called EarthRides: “It’s Uber but with Teslas”.The companies growth has been quick, back in 2021, the company transported more than 180,000 passengers, offsetting 230 million grams of carbon. Hernandez’s company has since expanded from Nashville to Austin, Texas, too, and now has some 100 employees.
“I was looking at LAX one day and thought, the pollution here is insane and I had become really passionate about my health, buying quality food and quality clothing, and so then to look at LAX and think what does all that matter if my earth is polluted? And so EarthRides was born out of the mission to accelerate the adoption of clean technology and we are doing that through electrifying rideshare”- said Raven.
One of EarthRides greatest attributes is her pride on her staffing and on the reliability, ride quality, and safety her company provides to her riders.
“We shouldn’t all just run to rideshare because its the easiest option and quite frankly it shouldn’t be the cheapest as drivers need to make living wages as well…we aren’t the cheapest option and we aren’t the fastest option and that’s something I am personally proud…you can’t have a cheap ride and pay your drivers fairly” said Hernandez.
Equality and equity is something that EarthRides prides itself in and is very admirable to those within the field. The company’s six-person leadership team is 50 percent female or POC. Forty percent of Earth Ride’s drivers are women.
The young founder has created an incredible business and did not wait around to become one of the most eco-friendly car sharing options, which is not the only bonus, you also have the pleasure of riding around in a Tesla!
Raven will be appearing at MOVE America this September in Austin to talk about purpose built commercial vehicles and will also be appearing on a panel talking about how MaaS reduce emissions and deliver on climate goals.
Volta trucks have revealed the first details of its first customer ‘Studio’ and headquarter building in Paris, as it prepares for the first full-electric Volta Zero commercial vehicles to start operating on the city’s streets by the end of the year.
The “Volta Trucks Studio” is on the historic Rue Edouard VII, off the Boulevard des Capucines in the 9thArrondissement of Paris, linking the Madeleine and Opera districts. The central facility is perfectly located amongst offices, shops, homes, restaurants, hotels and theatres, and near where many of the company’s customers will live and work.
The “Volta Trucks Studio” complements the recently announced “Volta Trucks Hub” facility that will deliver its Truck as a service maintenance and aftersales operations, as well as hosting admin offices, a Volta Trucks Academy training centre and a Call Centre that will provide the interface between customers and the company’s team of technical and commercial experts, 24/7/365.
The recently announced ‘Volta trucks Hub’ in Paris is in Bonneuil-sur-Marne, to the south-east of Paris, and will serve the important logistic centres of Rungis, Orly, Crèteil and Bonneuil-sur-Marne, where Volta Trucks customers have distribution warehouses.
“Since its inception, Volta Trucks has taken an innovative, industry-redefining, customer centric approach to commercial vehicles. The ground-up design of our full-electric Volta Zero and our unique Truck as a Service ownership model are two good examples. Now, we will redefine the face-to-face customer experience with the first of many Volta Trucks Studios, located near where our customers live and work.” Said Essa Al-Saleh, CEO and Board Member, Volta Trucks
Paris is one of two EU launch markets for Volta Trucks, as well as London. Under current legislation, diesel engine vehicles will be banned from operating in Paris from 2024 as all French cities of more than 150,000 residents adopt new Low Emissions Zones.
As part of this legislation, the French government is offering incentives of up to €100,000 for the transition to zero-tailpipe emission vehicles, making the acceleration of fleet electrification of paramount importance to French fleet operators.
The California Air Resources Board is planning to launch a new pilot program that aims to help small trucking fleets make the transition to zero emission technologies.
The Innovative Small e-Fleet pilot will focus on privately owned and nonprofit trucking fleets with 20 or fewer trucks and less than $15 million in annual revenue. The pilot falls under the umbrella of the larger Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus voucher Incentive Project.
This program aims to support truck operators who face strong challenges when trying to transition to emission free vehicles in the form of upfront costs, limited financing and complex planning for charging needs.
Those who are operating small fleets can work with a provider approved by CARB and HVIP to request a voucher. Approved providers will include truck dealers, financing partners, leasing and rental companies, or truck-as-a-service providers.
The CARB pilot program will provide $25 million for the implementation of a range of solutions that help small fleets make the transition to zero-emissions. The solutions intended are options such as flexible financing, short-term rentals, and full-service leases, such as all-inclusive truck-as-a service options with enhanced incentives and fueling support.
We caught up with Emma Kay, founder and CEO of WalkSafe, to discuss what we will be hearing from her at MOVE and what the future holds for public safety.
Mobility innovations are key to changing our cities and the world itself. As the mobility ecosystem develops with the latest technologies, we must ensure that the personal safety of users is at the forefront of this development.
At MOVE 2022, Emma will be hosting a talk on ‘How mapping can protect the vulnerable’ and will also be appearing on a panel on ‘The mobility innovations that are changing the world’.
Emma will be talking about how to change the existing infrastructure of cities to challenge the narrative and pave the way for a safer future.
She has said: “I really want to challenge and disrupt the industry by showing safety is not just something that affects people on a Saturday night. It’s a 24/7 thing. I think businesses have a role to play in ensuring everyone is safe. For us, that is what we will be focusing on in the next 12 months.”
She continues to say: “I think what needs to be addressed more by businesses is their duty of care towards their users when they are using technologies such as, escooters and charging points. Just thinking about the welfare of the users, are they (chargers) being put in safe locations? Are we thinking about, for example, what time of night they will be using these products? Safety of users’ needs to be always at the forefront”
MOVE 2022 will see a variety of panel discussions and presentations around the development of smart cities. Don’t miss panels/presentations on the following topics:
Developing an ecosystem to drive equitable & smart cities
Electric charging points and cycle lanes: what is appropriate allocation of road space?
Crowd density management for safer streets and transport networks.
How data policy and digitalisation is reducing inequity
How one city is using the cloud and edge computing to safely store its data
The future of our cities is more exciting than ever, however, increased innovation comes with greater responsibility to ensure public safety.
Emma has said that she will be using MOVE to “learn and be inspired by others at the event. We are very excited to be there.”
Ryan Fisher from strategic research provider Bloomberg NEF identifies the remaining gaps if we are to achieve net-zero fleets by 2050. Slides presented in the security, liability and regulation track at Move 2021 in London on 9 November.
Human efforts to achieve flight date back to the ancient world, says Rani Plaut, CEO and Co-Founder of AIR. Clearly the Wright brothers’ 1903 triumph hardly marked the end of this millennia-long quest for elevated mobility, but are we about to experience a paradigm shift in personal aviation?
Less than a generation after the Wright brothers’ success at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Glenn Curtiss introduced the first “flying car,” dubbed the Autoplane, at the 1917 Pan-American Aeronautic Exposition. From The Jetsons to Blade Runner: 2049, popular culture is filled with futuristic visions of worlds where people move from A to B in flying vehicles.
Of course, such vehicles have yet to hit the skies. There was even a popular Internet meme about how the realities (and absurdities) of 21-Century life fail to match up with long-ago predictions that we’d all be whizzing around in a flying-car utopia by now.
But recent technological advances have fuelled a burgeoning Electric Vehicle Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) scene, with investors pumping billion into innovative startups in the hopes of seeing Curtiss’s century-old dream take flight.
With forecasters predicting that the eVTOL market will ascend to $14.7 billion by 2041, the coming decades will give rise to a new mobility ecosystem that truly reflects humans’ longstanding ambition to touch the skies – not only on the occasional business trip or a family vacation but in their everyday lives.
Halted Mobility in the Era of COVID-19
As recently as one year ago, the wide-open skies seemed to have closed in. The nascent COVID-19 pandemic ground air travel to a virtual halt in the late winter and early spring, with international air travel plunging 60% over the course of 2020. Predictions that flights wouldn’t return to pre-pandemic levels until mid-decade seemed far from unreasonable. Few would have expected that US flights leading into the Independence Day 2021 holiday weekend would actually exceed those levels – but they did, underscoring the resilience of the human desire to hit the skies and see the world.
At the same time, the pandemic – which has significantly diminished but is not yet over – has spurred a new look at more personal, social distancing-friendly forms of travel, which helps explain why personal auto sales have surged of late. This development is where our abiding desire to move around and seek out new forms of adventure dovetails with the resurgent interest in private forms of mobility.
A Mobility Renaissance
From expanding drone delivery programs to increasing demand for cleaner, greener forms of transportation amid global climate change, the eVTOL market is poised to benefit from larger commercial and economic trends that have reshaped how people think about air transportation and fostered greater interest in alternatives to traditional vehicles.
As with any new form of transportation, public acceptance will be a key barrier for the eVTOL market to overcome.
Developing a robust urban air infrastructure and a viable set of regulatory standards will not only accelerate the industry’s growth but will also help soothe public fears about this newfangled technology. Deloitte projects that following a wave of successful pilot programs and growing public acceptance, autonomous passenger eVTOLs will see greater adoption beginning in 2030, with production costs plunging as manufacturers achieve economies of scale and battery costs decrease.
That means that the next decade will be critical in formulating the regulatory policies and developing the technologies necessary to make flying cars an everyday reality for consumers across the globe.
What starts as an impossible dream often becomes humdrum within a remarkably short span of time. And while flying cars have existed in the popular imagination for well over a century, they’re closer than ever to going from the stuff of science fiction and Internet memes to conveying passengers on their daily commutes. After a year when the skies seemed harder to reach than at any time in recent history, we’re on the cusp of reaching unprecedented heights of innovation and human achievement.
Rani Plaut is CEO & Co-Founder of AIR
About AIR – promising a paradigm shift in personal aviation
Israeli eVTOL start-up AIR is promising a “paradigm shift in personal aviation” based on what it calls “airEVs for the consumer market”. The company’s vision is for a “private electric aircraft parked by your house”. It says it combines sustainable aerospace innovation with automotive know-how to create airEVs that offer intuitive ‘fly by intent’ handling and a one-of-a-kind user-centric experience for the everyday flier.
While the vast majority of the sector is focused on building commercially piloted or autonomous air taxis for cities, AIR offers an alternative for those who want “to enjoy the ultimate freedom of flying on their own terms”. Thanks to its vertical take-off and landing capabilities and cutting-edge flight control system, the company’s vehicles, it says, offer a completely new and sustainable way to get to any destination.
“Everybody wants to fly, and with AIR, they finally can. We’re creating a fun and functional personal airEVs that will blaze a path towards a new era of air mobility accessible to everyone,” said AIR CEO and Co-Founder, Rani Plaut. “Our company is building airEVs for the reality we live in and the future of our dreams, putting usability, safety and thrill at the forefront of every product decision so we can put the power of flight in every person’s hands.”
A new report from IoT research analysts Beecham, sponsored by UK-based mobile virtual network operator Caburn Telecom, warns that in the race to deliver the EV charging network needed to support the rapid expected transition to electric vehicles, the importance of connectivity must not be overlooked.
As Caburn explains, IoT systems acquire data from devices, process it for use in applications, and generate real-time information that is communicated to third parties.
In EV charging, the public charge points are the devices. They process operational status, metering and user data and communicate the information so that the charge point operators (CPOs) can monitor their maintenance needs, users can be billed, and the utility and communications companies can be paid.
Uptime is critical, but the track record to date is poor. And that, says Caburn, is largely because the complexity of the connectivity part of any IoT solution is too often underestimated.
The report points to anecdotal negative media coverage and research data that indicates outages have already become a serious issue for EV charge points.
It says a UK 2019 survey conducted by Zap-Map found that almost 25% of public charge points were out of service. Of those, 7.5% were flagged with a problem, but 16% were not communicating their status.
This, say Caburn, suggests the charge point operators were either unaware of the status of the charge points or unable to rectify them remotely.
The key point, it says, is it is hugely frustrating for users – already subject to range anxiety – to find that available charging points are not working. And unless addressed this will become a major obstacle to the wide-spread adoption of EVs. That in turn could prove a significant blocker to the UK Government’s ambitious transport decarbonisation agenda.
A priority for CPOs, believes Caburn, is to ensure they offer high uptime for their charging points and provide accurate real time information on their status. And CPOs that fail to provide this, it warns, risk reputational damage and loss of market share that will become increasingly severe over time.
The solution, says Caburn, is CPOs should not by default simply turn to their regular enterprise mobility partner. Instead they should be looking to partner with a mobile virtual network operator that offers non-steered access to multiple networks, and a management platform that allows the CPO to monitor the charge-points in real-time and to remotely correct faults.
Multi-network roaming, it says, maximises geographical coverage and connection resilience. Non-steered access ensures that no network is prioritised and in the event of a connectivity issue the charge points can change between them automatically and with minimal delay.
And to meet driver expectations for trouble-free journeys, concludes Caburn, CPOs need to make a detailed evaluation of their requirements when selecting their communications partners. Connectivity is a crucial resource and must be planned at an early stage of any IoT project to ensure its long-term success.
Dott is the only company still operating in France, Belgium, Italy and Germany (at the time of recording). Henri Moissinac, CEO & cofounder, will present some key initiatives and lessons learned on rider usage after one month of confinement in most cities.
French car maker Renault has set new targets for the electrification of the brand in Europe.Speaking at the company’ on-line annual general meeting, CEO Luca de Meo announced that in 2025 the share of electrified passenger cars should be 65 per cent, increasing to at least 90 per cent by 2030.
Renault has the ambition in Europe to be the greenest automotive brand, de Meo said. However he did not set a dfinitive end date for the sale of internal combustion vehicles or specify the future mix of vehicles with respect to battery electric, plug-hybrid or hydrogen-fuelled cars.
Furthermore, the 65 per cent by 2025 target applied only to Europe with a lower figure of 35 per cent set globally.
The other significant announcement from the Renault Groupe AGM is the company would not develop a new diesel engine. Instead, de Meo said, an existing engine will be adapted for “the last generation diesel”.
A budget electric vehicle (EV) from China’s top automaker, state-owned SAIC Motor, is outselling Tesla in its home market and has jumped to second place in EV global sales.
The compact Hong Guang Mini EV sells for $4,500 (£3,200) helping it overtake the Shanghai-built Tesla’s Model 3 as the country’s most popular EV.
The cars, built as part of a joint venture with US car giant General Motors (GM), are marketed as “the people’s commuting tool”.
The tiny four-seater has a top speed of 100km/h (62mph).
It sold 25,778 models in China in January according to the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA). This compares to 13,843 for the Tesla Model 3. Sales for the second half of 2020 totalled 112,000, ranking second behind Tesla’s Model 3.
The Hong Guang Mini EV is now believed to be the second-best-selling electric model worldwide behind the Model 3.
While China has many small and cheap electric vehicles, the Hong Guang Mini is the first built by a major manufacturer potentially targeting an international market. Reports have linked it to a Latvian automaker who could sell a version of the car in Europe. However, the price is likely to be considerably higher due to European environmental requirements.
Research by Ford of Europe has shown how emerging technologies such as blockchain and dynamic geofencing can complement plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles (PHEVs) to help contribute to cleaner air in urban centres.
The findings follow an extensive three-year study into the potential for commercial PHEVs to help cities solve air quality challenges. More than 400,000 kilometres of data was collected during the programme with dozens of Ford Transit and Tourneo PHEVs deployed to a variety of municipal and commercial fleets in London; Cologne, Germany; and Valencia, Spain.
A key breakthrough was that with geofencing, the vehicle’s zero-emission electric-drive mode can be activated automatically whenever it enters a low‑emission zone, without intervention from the driver.
And the Cologne municipal fleet trial took this one step further, showing how blockchain technology can complement geofencing to further enhance efforts to improve air quality. The time a trial vehicle entered or left a geofenced zone was recorded into a blockchain – a secure and transparent digital ledger that creates permanent time‑stamped records which are saved on multiple computers – ensuring ‘green miles’ driven could be safely stored and potentially shared among relevant parties such as city authorities and fleet owners.
The trial also tested dynamic geofencing: instead of a fixed low-emission zone triggering the vehicles’ zero-emission modes, Ford’s dynamic geofencing pilot constantly adjusted the boundaries based on real-time air quality data.
As Ford’s connected PHEVs entered these constantly fluctuating zones, they automatically switched to low-emission mode – taking the decision making out of drivers’ hands, improving air quality for citizens and helping vehicles maintain compliance with local restrictions.
Both the Cologne and Valencia studies proved the value of connecting vehicles and cities to help reduce air pollution and develop low-emission zone compliance; of the 218,300 km covered by the 20 vehicles in Cologne and Valencia, almost half (105,600 km) were driven on purely electric power, rising to more than 70 per cent in the Cologne geofenced zones.
“Our pioneering research demonstrates that operators can get the best of both worlds with plug in hybrid electric technology, electrifying fleets for improved sustainability without compromising on productivity,” said Mark Harvey, director, enterprise connectivity, Ford of Europe. “With our latest studies in Cologne and Valencia, we’ve shown the additional sustainability and compliance benefits that connected technologies such as geofencing and blockchain can bring to cities, citizens and operators.”