• BYD's new blade battery set to redefine EV safety standards

    BYD's new blade battery set to redefine EV safety standards

    BYD has officially announced the launch of the Blade Battery, a development set to mitigate concerns about battery safety in  electric (EV). At an online launch event themed “The Blade Battery – Unsheathed to Safeguard the World”, Wang Chuanfu,  BYD Chairman and President, said that the Blade Battery reflects BYD’s determination to resolve issues in battery safety while  also redefining safety standards for the entire industry.  The Blade Battery has been developed by BYD over the past several years. The singular cells are arranged together in an array  and then inserted into a battery pack. Due to its optimized battery pack structure, the space utilization of the battery pack is  increased by over 50% compared to conventional lithium iron phosphate block batteries. While undergoing nail penetration tests, the Blade Battery emitted neither smoke nor fire after being penetrated, and its surface  temperature only reached 30 to 60°C. Under the same conditions, a ternary lithium battery exceeded 500°C and violently burned,  and while a conventional lithium iron phosphate block battery did not openly emit flames or smoke, its surface temperature  reached dangerous temperatures of 200 to 400°C. This implies that EVs equipped with the Blade Battery would be far less  susceptible to catching fire – even when they are severely damaged. The Blade Battery also passed other extreme test conditions, such as being crushed, bent, being heated in a furnace to 300°C  and overcharged by 260%. None of these resulted in a fire or explosion. He Long, Vice President of BYD and Chairman of FinDreams Battery Co., Ltd., covered four distinct advantages of the Blade  Battery including a high starting temperature for exothermic reactions, slow heat release and low heat generation, as well as its  ability to not release oxygen during breakdowns or easily catch fire. In the past few years, many EV manufacturers have fallen into a competition for ever-greater cruising range. When the range  becomes the prime factor to consider, this focus is then transferred to power battery makers, leading to unreasonable pursuits  of “energy density” in the battery industry. It is due to this unpractical focus on “energy density” that safety has been sidelined  from power battery development. BYD’s Blade Battery aims to bring battery safety back to the forefront, a redirection from the  industry’s tenuous focus on this crucial aspect.
  • New Cisco Annual Internet Report: 5G is expected to support more than 10 percent of global mobile Internet connections by 2023

    New Cisco Annual Internet Report: 5G is expected to support more than 10 percent of global mobile Internet connections by 2023

    According to the latest Cisco Annual Internet Report, 5G will support more than 10 percent of global mobile network connections by 2023, and the average 5G speed will be 575 megabits per second, or 13 times faster than the average mobile network connection. With powerful functions, 5G will provide more flexible mobile infrastructure for artificial intelligence and emerging Internet of things applications, such as autonomous cars, smart cities, telemedicine and panoramic video. For the past 50 years, there has been a new top mobile technology every 10 years. The requirements for mobile broadband have also evolved from voice calls and texting to ultra-high definition (UHD) video, as well as a variety of augmented reality or virtual reality (AR / VR) applications. With the gradual adoption of mobile applications by users, consumers and business users around the world are also increasing their demands and expectations for mobile networks. It is also clear that social networks, video streaming and downloading, enterprise business production, e-commerce and games will continue to drive the growth of mobile applications, and it is expected to reach nearly 300 billion downloads by 2023. Roland Acra, senior vice president and technical director of Cisco, said: "Cisco research has found that Internet users, devices and connections are growing, and the increase in Internet demand is beyond our imagination. As connectivity and applications continue to grow, the insights and expertise shared in Cisco Annual Internet Report help businesses, governments and service providers around the world prepare and protect the networks to cope with the continued growth of connectivity and applications. Strategic planning and partnerships are essential to the technological innovation and investment development of all institutions. " Summary of Cisco Annual Internet Report(2018~2023) Cisco Annual Internet Report covers mobile, wireless fidelity (Wi-Fi), and fixed broadband networks, and quantifies the growth of users, devices, connections, and network performance and related trends over the next five-year (2018-2023). Global mobile and Internet user projections by 2023 - More than 70 percent of the global population (5.7 billion people) will have mobile connectivity (2G, 3G, 4G or 5G). - Internet users will account for 66 percent (5.3 billion) of the global population. Global plant and connectivity projections by 2023 - 3.6 networked devices or connections per capita, while the average household has about 10 devices and connections. - Nearly half (47 percent) of the devices and connections will have video function. - Machine to Machine (M2M) connections that support a broad range of Internet of Things (IoT) applications will represent about 50 percent (14.7 billion) of global devices and connections. Global mobile projections by 2023 - 45 percent of the network devices will be mobile network connections, including 3G and below, 4G, 5G or Low-Power Wide-Area (LPWA) networks, ...
  • Coronavirus May Mean Automation Is Coming Sooner Than We Thought

    Coronavirus May Mean Automation Is Coming Sooner Than We Thought

    We’re in the midst of a public health emergency, and life as we know it has ground to a halt. The places we usually go are closed, the events we were looking forward to are canceled, and some of us have lost our jobs or fear losing them soon. But although it may not seem like it, there are some silver linings; this crisis is bringing out the worst in some (I’m looking at you, toilet paper hoarders), but the best in many. Italians on lockdown are singing together, Spaniards on lockdown are exercising together, this entrepreneur made a DIY ventilator and put it on YouTube, and volunteers in Italy 3D printed medical valves for virus treatment at a fraction of their usual cost. Indeed, if you want to feel like there’s still hope for humanity instead of feeling like we’re about to snowball into terribleness as a species, just look at these examples—and I’m sure there are many more out there. There’s plenty of hope and opportunity to be found in this crisis. Peter Xing, a keynote speaker and writer on emerging technologies and associate director in technology and growth initiatives at KPMG, would agree. Xing believes the coronavirus epidemic is presenting us with ample opportunities for increased automation and remote delivery of goods and services. “The upside right now is the burgeoning platform of the digital transformation ecosystem,” he said. In a thought-provoking talk at Singularity University’s COVID-19 virtual summit this week, Xing explained how the outbreak is accelerating our transition to a highly-automated society—and painted a picture of what the future may look like. Confronting Scarcity You’ve probably seen them by now—the barren shelves at your local grocery store. Whether you were in the paper goods aisle, the frozen food section, or the fresh produce area, it was clear something was amiss; the shelves were empty. One of the most inexplicable items people have been panic-bulk-buying is toilet paper. Xing described this toilet paper scarcity as a prisoner’s dilemma, pointing out that we have a scarcity problem right now in terms of our mindset, not in terms of actual supply shortages. “It’s a prisoner’s dilemma in that we’re all prisoners in our homes right now, and we can either hoard or not hoard, and the outcomes depend on how we collaborate with each other,” he said. “But it’s not a zero-sum game.” Xing referenced a CNN article about why toilet paper, of all things, is one of the items people have been panic-buying most (I, too, have been utterly baffled by this phenomenon). But maybe there’d be less panic if we knew more about the production methods and supply chain involved in manufacturing toilet paper. It turns out it’s a highly automated process (you can learn more about it in this documentary by National Geographic) and requires very few people (though it does require about 27,000 trees a day—so stop bulk-buying it! Just stop!). The supply chain limitation here is in the raw material; we certainly can’t keep cutting down thi...
  • AR/VR/XR – Farewell to exaggeration, Get More Substance

    AR/VR/XR – Farewell to exaggeration, Get More Substance

    ‘’AR and VR and other real-world interactive technologies gradually get rid of hype and become more practical. In fact, AR / VR / XR and other technologies have found a more suitable place in the market for their technology applications.’’ From this year’s CES 2020, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) and other real-world interactive technologies are no longer as hyped as CES in previous years, but gradually become more practical. In fact, from safe driving, manufacturing site, consumer games to professional fields, AR/VR/XR has found more in line with the technology’s position in the marketplace. Althought CES has come to the end, we can still find the application of AR/VR/XR. For example, there were number of booths that used VR for demonstration purposes, especially the automobile manufacturers. Honda, Jeep and Audi demonstrated that used VR to simulate driving conditions. The Jeep 4×4 Adventure VR Experience was a simulated off-road journey on the famous off-road trail called Moab’s “Hell’s Revenge.” Each wheel of the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon is equipped with hydraulic cylinder, so that jeeps can respond to the location of the wheels on the driveway. The hydraulic system replicates the movement and sight that the driver experiences during the off-road journey when wearing VR glasses, making it seem to be in the resort of Moab off-road. In addition to taking off-road experience as the selling point of today's vehicles, Future Honda Mobility lets us preview the future action ecosystem using VR, which may be the actual situation in 2035 and beyond. Honda provides the future urban environment experience with V2X system, including safe driving, Autonomous Shared Mobility Pod, and take flight in a personal vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) vehicle. CES 2020 did not release any new AR / VR products, most of which were released in 2019; however, that hadn’t been the case in the past. This year's more breakthrough product is Nreal AR glasses. Nreal initially launched its developer edition product at Augmented World Expo (AWE) in 2019 and has been showing ever improved versions since. The company continues to work closely with Qualcomm to develop lightweight AR glasses for use with Snapdragon processor enabled mobile phones, or stand-alone computer devices using the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor. I have tried the glasses and have seen that the overlay image is quite bright and has a wide field of view. The glasses support six degrees of freedom (6-DoF) movement. This year, the Nreal light AR glasses finally came out of the consumer version, which tether to a Snapdragon-based phone. New user interface, Nebula UI, also helps bring 2D applications (APPs) into the 3D world, allowing users to launch 2D apps and place them anywhere in the 3D space. Oculus Quest now is the most popular VR headwear device, that was out of stock for weeks around the holidays. I order one on December 13, and finally got my product after CES. Oculus Quest head...
  • SpaceX upgrades the automatic recovery ship and installs a new rocket recovery robot

    SpaceX upgrades the automatic recovery ship and installs a new rocket recovery robot

    According to Teslarati, Space Exploration Technologies Corp (SpaceX) has kicked off a series of major upgrades planned for its East Coast Autonomous spaceport drone ship, and launched a new second tank-like rocket recovery robot. SpaceX named the rocket recovery robot ‘’Octagrabber’’. Since 2017, SpaceX has been using rocket recovery robot on drone ship OCISLY. While far from autonomous, Octagrabber helps SpaceX’s maritime rocket recovery team minimize the risks workers are subjected to and gives the company a bit more flexibility to attempt Falcon booster landings in less-than-pristine ocean weather. Although the Falcon boosters are relatively stable after landing, most of the air quality is concentrated around nine Merlin 1D engines, and even moderate waves can cause them to slip and slide around the drone ship deck. Aside from the discovery of a second Octagrabber being built at SpaceX’s former East Coast Starship factory, the nature of other upgrades planned for drone ship JRTI are more mysterious. For several months, the rocket landing platform has had almost a dozen massive generators and new thruster pods stored on its deck, seemingly waiting on an unknown impetus for their installation. In recent weeks, visible work to prepare the new hardware for installation has begun. Notably, the thrusters and power supplies installed in JRTI will be dramatically upgraded, which may allow the automatic ship to have higher power than the tug boat. In other words, SpaceX may try to make the automatic drone ship JRTI completely independent of the tug boat, potentially simplifying and lowering the cost of booster recoveries. While less likely, SpaceX will finally be able to fully automate the drone ships, with high-powered thrusters potentially giving JRTI the ability to leave port, cruise to Atlantic Ocean landing zones, deploy Octagrabber, and return to port with a booster that all without humans. This capability may not be realized in recent but powerful thrusters and generators would bring port-to-port drone ship autonomy within SpaceX’s grasp in the near future. News source: technews
  • Possible new 'mini moon' discovered orbiting Earth. It started to circle the earth three years ago

    Possible new 'mini moon' discovered orbiting Earth. It started to circle the earth three years ago

    In the earth's orbit, which is full of satellites and human-made debris and only one confirmed natural object: the moon. Recently, astronomers announced that there is a ‘mini moon’ in earth orbit that has been around the earth for three years, named 2020 CD3. The moon is the only natural satellite that has been steadily following the earth since ancient times. In fact, the earth's gravity often accidentally catches other passing small bodies in the solar system. The latter will be temporarily bound in the earth's orbit, and then walk around for a while before leaving again. In September 2006, scientists discovered that the 2006 RH120, a near Earth Asteroid, entered the temporary satellite capture (TSC) and returned to orbit around the sun in June 2007 after circling the earth for several times. In recent days, International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center (MPC) announced that there is a new temporary satellite capture object on earth. It was discovered by Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) that it was captured by earth gravity three years ago, named 2020 CD3 (C26FED2). The object is very small. The estimated diameter of the sunlight reflected from it is only 1.9-3.5 meters. It may leave the earth's orbit sometime in April this year and return to the normal orbit around the sun. If more observations later confirm this, it will be the second known Mini moon among nearly a million known asteroids. But scientists say further analysis is needed to determine whether the object is a space rock, rather than a large piece of space junk made by humans. We hope we can get the answer by April. ——Source:technews
  • McAfee researchers modify the sign of speed limit to easily trick Tesla's Autonomous Driving car from 35mph to 85mph

    McAfee researchers modify the sign of speed limit to easily trick Tesla's Autonomous Driving car from 35mph to 85mph

    Researchers stuck a piece of electrical insulating tape on the speed limit sign, which successfully cheated Tesla's electric vehicle to accelerate. It reveals various potential loopholes in the current autonomous driving systems. According to McAfee's research report, technicians pasted tape across the middle of the number of "3" on the speed limit sign of "35" mph, which led to the misjudgment of the speed limit of "85" mph, and then the vehicle's cruise control system accelerated automatically. McAfee said that the problem was not a serious risk for motorist, no one was injured during the experiment, and the researchers who drove the car slowed down safely. But during 18 months research last year, the results shows that autonomous machine learning systems have weaknesses. According to Steve Povolny, director of McAfee's Advanced Threat Research lab, other studies have also shown how changes in the physical world can easily confuse systems. McAfee said: such tests are not common in the real world These tests include the 2016 models s and X, which are using camera systems from Mobileye (now an Intel business unit). Although Tesla stopped using the Mobileye system in 2016, several automakers continued to use it. Mobileye's latest camera system test did not show same fault, and Tesla's latest model no longer relies on only identifying traffic signs, McAfee said. Tesla did not respond to any comment on this study. "Manufacturers and suppliers have been informed of this problem and have further understood and improved it, " Povolny said. "But this does not change the fact that there are many blind spots in the autonomous driving industry. To be sure, the threat to the real world is limited. First of all, autonomous driving is still in the developed stage,most will be tested when the driver can take over the steering wheel safely any time. Although many vehicles support ADAS now, they still need to pay attention to the road conditions. McAfee researchers can only cheat the system by copying a series of specific events, including turning on driving AIDS and encountering tampered speed limit signs. Manufacturers also integrate mapping technology into systems that respond to appropriate speed limits. "Until we have a real autonomous driving car, it is unlikely to see the above situation in the real world, or the attacker tries to exploit these loopholes. At that time, we hope that such defects can be solved as soon as possible. "Povolny said. Even driving can be fooled by such changes; the system that researchers tested was originally designed to aid driving, not to support autonomous driving, Mobileye said. In addition to sensing, autonomous driving needs to improve safety and fault tolerance through various technologies "Autonomous driving technology not only relies on sensing, but also receives various other technologies and data support, such as crowd sourced mapping. It’s for ensure the reliability of received information from camera sensors and pro...
  • China wants to make swappable electric vehicle batteries mainstream

    China wants to make swappable electric vehicle batteries mainstream

    Driving an electric car is, for the most part, exactly like driving an internal combustion engine vehicle, except when it comes to refueling. Charging an electric car can often take hours at a time, but China is making a push to support technology that could cut that down to just minutes. According to a Bloomberg report, which cites sources close to the matter, the Chinese government is pushing for common industry standards on battery swapping technology. The standards would allow EV drivers to change the depleted batteries in their cars for fully charged ones, rather than having to charge from an electricity source. China appears to be pushing the battery swapping technology in an attempt to further promote electric vehicles in the country. It’s already the biggest market for EVs in the world. One of the biggest hindrances with owning an EV is the time it takes to charge its batteries. An on-the-go battery swapping system would create a big opportunity for infrastructure not too dissimilar from conventional filling stations. In principle, EV drivers would be able to go to a battery swap station, have their old flat batteries removed, and new fully charged ones put in. The process could take minutes; no longer than it would take to fill a fuel tank. Another potential plus point is that electric vehicles could be sold without batteries, making them cheaper. Batteries would then be leased or bought on a separate plan based on the individual needs of the buyer, making them cost effective. A big ask of electric car makers It sounds great, but it’s not going to be easy. A number of companies have tried over the years, but none have succeeded in consumer markets yet. One startup called Better Place trialed its battery swap technology in Tel Aviv, Israel between 2007 and 2013, and only managed to sell 500 cars. It went defunct after losing over $800 million. Manufacturers just didn’t buy into Better Place’s vision. French marque Renault was the only automaker to give it a shot, and at that it made only one vehicle compatible with Better Place’s tech. Chinese car maker BAIC BluePark New Energy Technology Co. reportedly already has 187 battery-swap stations across 15 cities in China. But those are used solely to support 16,000 electric taxis. Given the size of the Chinese EV market and having government support, its car industry might be able to make progress where others have failed. But the same can’t be said for western markets. If swappable car batteries are going to become a reality, the tech needs to be supported by as many car brands as possible, and that’s a big ask. ——Source:
  • Mobile World Congress canceled after coronavirus outbreak makes conference ‘impossible’

    Mobile World Congress canceled after coronavirus outbreak makes conference ‘impossible’

    Mobile World Congress (MWC), the world’s largest trade show for the mobile phone industry, has been canceled amid fears over the coronavirus outbreak. The organizers behind the Barcelona-based event, GSMA, announced Wednesday it would no longer be holding MWC due to ongoing concerns over the spread of a new strain of coronavirus which originated in China. “With due regard to the safe and healthy environment in Barcelona and the host country today, the GSMA has cancelled MWC Barcelona 2020 because the global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel concern and other circumstances, make it impossible for the GSMA to hold the event,” GSMA said in a statement. Multiple firms had pulled out of the tech conference prior to the GSMA’s decision, putting pressure on the hosts to drop the event. LG, Sony, Ericsson, Nokia, Nvidia, Intel and Amazon are some of the biggest names to have suspended their attendance in recent days. Various tech firms have been monitoring the health crisis, with some deciding to pull out of MWC as they assess the risk it would have on their staff. While plenty had backed out altogether, some had instead scaled back their presence. Huawei, for example, said it would send its European staff to Barcelona to cover for stranded Chinese employees. ——Source:CNBC
  • CES 2020: The new IoT, or 'intelligence of things', is the major tech trend of the decade

    CES 2020: The new IoT, or 'intelligence of things', is the major tech trend of the decade

    LAS VEGAS - A new idea surrounding IoT will steer how technology will go in the new decade - instead of standing for the Internet of Things, the acronym should stand for the "intelligence of things", said Consumer Technology Association's (CTA) vice president of research Steve Koenig. "This new IoT bears testimony to the extent that artificial intelligence (AI) is permeating every facet of our commerce and our culture. "Now, commerce is pretty well-understood and we endorse that as we want to advance our economies around the world, but culture is really interesting to me as a researcher, because we're talking about technology's influence on human behaviour," he said. He brought up the example of how fast food giant McDonald's is looking at bringing AI-powered voice assistants to its drive-through restaurants in the United States. "People working in fast food - they've got a tough job. They've got to take the order, and they want to get that right, then they have to handle the transaction, and they better get that right so that they don't shortchange anybody, and then they've got to organise the order, you know, don't forget the ketchup... so by adding a little bit of intelligence for that first initial interaction of taking the order, frees the human worker to really focus on handling that money transaction and providing better service." Mr Koenig was speaking to the press at a media preview event before CES 2020, the latest edition of the biggest tech show in the world, officially opens its doors on Tuesday (Jan 7). Indeed, going by what was showcased at CES Unveiled last Sunday (Jan 5) night - a preview event of just some of the technology that will be seen at CES later in the week - AI continues to make its mark in the consumer tech world as it inches its way into almost every product imaginable. Japanese company Groove X showed off its Lovot companionship robots, which make use of AI via facial and speech recognition technology to identify its owners to ask for cuddles and stay by their side. The cute, pint-sized robots received many coos from onlookers as they waddled their way around the hall on their own. French beauty giant L'Oreal debuted the Perso, an AI-powered system that creates on-demand and personalised formulas for skincare, and custom shades for foundation and lipstick. Users can use a paired app to discover the perfect lip colour to match their outfits, for example, and have the exact shade mixed at home on the spot. Powering this new idea of the intelligence of things on a grander scale, of course, is 5G technology, added Mr Koenig. Even though 5G is the fifth wireless generation, he said, it is the first that will eventually be led by enterprise applications, whether it be for smart mobility or powering health operations remotely, among numerous others. He discussed, for example, how 5G can be used to help farmers better plan crop yields via drone fleets with sensors that can fly over massive plantations to look for plant dise...
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