7 companies steering the self-driving car craze

May 3, 2017 by  
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Tech heavyweights like Alphabet and Apple are just two of the contenders to watch in the fast-evolving market for autonomous vehicles.

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7 companies steering the self-driving car craze

Apple self-driving car spotted in California

May 1, 2017 by  
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Apple is full of surprises. Just last fall sources told Bloomberg the technology giant wasn’t going to build a self-driving car anymore. They may have scrapped plans to construct their own car, but it appears they didn’t abandon autonomous vehicles altogether. People in California recently spotted a white Lexus RX450h SUV with self-driving apparatus drive out of an Apple Silicon Valley facility. Bloomberg obtained images of the sneaky self-driving car, glimpsed around two weeks after the company got a permit to test autonomous cars. The Lexus SUV was reportedly decked out with Velodyne Lidar Inc’s 64-channel lidar, as well as an array of other sensors. An industry expert said the equipment looked like it was purchased off the shelf, not custom-built. An Apple spokesperson would not give Bloomberg a comment on that. Related: Apple announces goal to make products from 100% recycled materials Here's the vehicle Apple's using to test autonomous driving https://t.co/prbKCuJBq6 pic.twitter.com/8oUvrXv7qC — Bloomberg (@business) April 28, 2017 Apple is known for building their own software and hardware, as opposed to companies like Microsoft that focus on software usable on other companies’ hardware. But it appears they may be going a different direction with their self-driving cars, pursued under the name Project Titan . Last fall Bloomberg said the tech company would focus on software to be used in existing cars, which could help them get their product to market faster. They’re already up against tough competition: big players like Tesla , Uber , and Waymo, which began as Google’s self-driving project, have all made strides on their technology. Project Titan has gone through its ups and downs. When Apple decided to zero in on software, they reassigned or laid off hundreds of engineers. Leadership changed around a year ago, with veteran executive Bob Mansfield taking over, and he’s scaled back ambitions. So far California has given out permits to test self-driving vehicles to 30 companies, including startups, tech companies, and automakers. According to California’s DMV, Waymo and startup Zoox Inc. are also testing their technology with Lexus RX450 models. Via Inc. and Bloomberg Images via Wikimedia Commons and Paul Miller on Flickr

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Apple self-driving car spotted in California

Apple announces goal to make products from 100% recycled materials

April 26, 2017 by  
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The electronics industry is notoriously harsh on the planet. Around 60 million metric tons of e-waste end up in landfills each year, and children are sometimes put to work to mine necessary rare earth elements. Technology giant Apple aims to fix these issues in their company. They recently announced plans to use 100 percent recycled materials in all of their devices. Apple’s aims are ambitious. In addition to using only recycled materials, the company also wants 100 percent of their supply chain to run entirely on renewable energy . They want their packaging to be made of 100 percent responsibly sourced and recycled paper. And they want to stop mining the earth. Related: Apple just unveiled a blazing fast iPhone recycling robot Apple has already made progress in many areas. Their data centers are 100 percent powered by solar, wind, or hydropower. 96 percent of their worldwide facilities run on renewable energy and over 99 percent of their packaging is already made with recycled and responsibly sourced materials. But they still have a long way to go. Apple didn’t offer a specific timeline for their mining goal. “It sounds crazy, but we’re working on it,” the company writes on their website. “We’re moving toward a closed-loop supply chain.” In their 2017 Progress Report , they said they’re challenging themselves to “one day end our reliance on mining” but that will require many years. They pointed to recycling programs and their recycling robots as evidence of progress. Apple Vice President of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives Lisa Jackson told Vice , “We’re actually doing something we rarely do, which is announce a goal before we’ve completely figured out how to do it. So we’re a little nervous, but we also think it’s really important, because as a sector we believe it’s where technology should be going.” Greenpeace Senior IT Analyst Gary Cook said in a statement Apple’s goal “highlights the need for greater urgency across the sector to reduce resource consumption and e-waste that are causing significant impacts on the environment and human health …While transitioning to 100 percent recycled materials is critical to reducing the sector’s footprint, it is also fundamental for Apple and other major IT companies to design products that last, are easy to repair, and recyclable at the end of their life.” Via Apple and 9to5Mac Images via Maurizio Pesce on Flickr and screenshot

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Apple announces goal to make products from 100% recycled materials

Can Apple close the loop? Tech giant targets 100% recycled material

April 24, 2017 by  
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Apple is aiming to use 100 percent recycled materials to make its iPhones, Macbooks and other electronics products in the future in a bid to reduce its reliance on mined raw materials, the company revealed last week.

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Can Apple close the loop? Tech giant targets 100% recycled material

Apples stunning spaceship campus revealed in new drone footage

April 21, 2017 by  
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Apple’s beautiful new campus nears completion and employees are set to move in this month. Videographer Duncan Sinfield’s got the latest visual scoop on the tech giant’s “spaceship” campus—officially named Apple Park—with his stunning drone footage of ongoing construction and a special nighttime close-up of the building interior. Hit the jump for the newest sneak peek into Apple’s futuristic campus. Drone pilot Sinfield has consistently provided the public with monthly visual updates of Apple’s 175-acre park in Cupertino since July 2015. Nearly two years later, his latest drone footage shows the campus transformed with the hilly landscape slowly filling in with trees, although turf has yet to be installed. Once complete, the site’s rolling hills will be covered with grassy fields, jogging paths, and over 9,000 native and drought-resistant trees. Designed in collaboration with Foster + Partners , Apple Park prides itself on energy efficiency and will be powered entirely by 100-percent renewable energy. Rooftop solar amounts to 17 megawatts in one of the world’s largest on-site solar energy installations. The 2.9-million-square foot main ring-shaped building will be clad in the world’s largest panels of curved glass. The building is also projected to be one of the world’s largest naturally ventilated structures, requiring no heating or air conditioning for nine months of the year. Related: Apple’s $5 billion spaceship campus to open in April as “Apple Park” The new 4K drone footage shows a nighttime peek of the interior, where construction workers are working around the clock to prep the campus for occupancy. The process of moving over 12,000 employees into the campus will begin this month and is expected to take over six months while construction continues through the summer. Apple Park will also feature a visitor’s center with an Apple Store and cafe open to the public. Screenshots via Duncan Sinfield

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Apples stunning spaceship campus revealed in new drone footage

Apple announces plans to make all products from recycled materials

April 20, 2017 by  
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Apple just announced plans to close the loop and make all of its products from recycled materials. We tend not to realize how damaging our electronics are for the environment – from mining materials to the toxic effects when we dump them . Apple starting tackling these problems last year with its  recycling robot , and now the electronics giant wants to only use recycled materials in its devices. Apple recently released its latest environmental report, and in it, the company claims that it is working towards using recycled materials to create its next generation of products. This will happen, in part, by reclaiming and re-using old Apple devices. Obviously they aren’t there yet, but Apple has never been shy when setting goals. Related: Apple just unveiled a blazing fast iPhone recycling robot Apple has been steadily shifting towards renewable resources. Its data centers all run on renewable energy , and it has partnered with or built its own solar and wind farms to generate the energy it needs. The company has also been recycling old devices, which saved Apple over $40 million in gold re-use alone. Via Engadget

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Apple announces plans to make all products from recycled materials

Partnerships: The key to getting green chemistry tech to market?

March 15, 2017 by  
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How companies such as Levi’s, Apple and Dow are engaging in the pursuit of new materials and industrial ingredients.

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Partnerships: The key to getting green chemistry tech to market?

8 ways cities are upping the ante on building efficiency

March 15, 2017 by  
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Leading by example and linking up with utilities are among the strategies cities are deploying.

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8 ways cities are upping the ante on building efficiency

Apple’s $5 billion spaceship campus to open in April as "Apple Park"

February 23, 2017 by  
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Apple’s new headquarters in Cupertino is all set for a planned move-in date of April 2017. Steve Jobs first presented his vision and building plans for the “spaceship” campus to city managers in 2011, and the company just announced that its new headquarters will officially be called “Apple Park.” The building will pump out 17 megawatts of solar power via panels on its massive roof – that’s enough energy to power most of the 175-acre site. More than 12,000 apple staff will inhabit the complex, which will include a 1000-seat auditorium dubbed the “Steve Jobs Theater.” According to Apple, the campus’ ring-shaped 2.8 million-square-foot main building is covered in the world’s largest curved glass panels. The entrance to Jobs’ namesake auditorium consists of a 20-foot-tall glass cylinder that’s 165 feet in diameter and supports a metallic carbon roof. Said theater sits on top of a hill, at one of the highest points of land in Apple park, where it looks out over surrounding meadows in the Santa Clara Valley and the campus’ main building. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VCvkYA5dR8 “Steve’s vision for Apple stretched far beyond his time with us. He intended Apple Park to be the home of innovation for generations to come,” says Apple CEO , Tim Cook. “The workspaces and parklands are designed to inspire our team as well as benefit the environment. We’ve achieved one of the most energy-efficient buildings in the world and the campus will run entirely on renewable energy.” It will take employees as long as six months to move in and get settled away in the massive building . After doing so, they’ll be able to take advantage of a café that’s open to the public, a 100,000-square-foot fitness center, secure R&D facilities, a theater, as well as two miles of paths for walking and running, an orchard, a meadow and a pond. Related: Jaw-dropping scale of Apple’s spaceship campus revealed in new drone footage Apple Park was designed in collaborating with Foster + Partners , and it takes the place of what was once 5 million square-feet of asphalt and concrete. The land is now planted with grassy fields, and native and drought-resistant trees. Via Digital Trends and Apple Images via Apple

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Apple’s $5 billion spaceship campus to open in April as "Apple Park"

Sources say Apple is no longer building mysterious self-driving car

October 17, 2016 by  
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Apple ‘s mysterious Project Titan appears to have lost steam, according to sources ” familiar with the project .” Bloomberg spoke to people who say the tech giant won’t be building an autonomous car under Project Titan any longer, but will rather hone in on self-driving car software . These people say hundreds of employees working on Project Titan have either been let go or reassigned. Anonymous sources told Bloomberg there have been several issues with Project Titan. According to one person, “It was an incredible failure of leadership.” Project Titan head Steve Zadesky, who used to be an engineer at Ford , left the project earlier this year to work elsewhere at Apple . Bob Mansfield, a manager with experience developing the iPad , eventually came on the team to lead in April. Related: Apple sinks $1B into China’s biggest Uber rival Around a month afterwards, Mansfield announced a ” strategy shift ” at a company meeting, according to Bloomberg which received information from people present at the meeting. Mansfield said Apple wouldn’t create a self-driving car that could compete with those from companies like Tesla ; rather Project Titan would zero in on self-driving car software. But after that meeting, engineers began to leave Project Titan. In August and September employees were let go. Others left on their own. Some people suspected Apple battled supply chain struggles as well. The tech giant typically holds exclusive rights for smartphone parts, but such a strategy didn’t seem to work in the autonomous car game. Suppliers likely didn’t want to grant exclusive rights as Apple may not have sold many cars at the beginning. Center for Automotive Research analyst Eric Paul Dennis told Bloomberg about Apple, “When they started digging into the details of what that would entail it likely became an intractable problem.” According to Bloomberg’s sources, the engineers still with Project Titan are working on “autonomous programs, vision sensors, and simulators for testing the platform in real-world environments.” Regulatory specialists are still part of the team as well. Via Bloomberg Images via Automobile Italia on Flickr and menithings via Freelancer.com

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