Nissan to debut its self-driving taxis in Japan

February 23, 2018 by  
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Nissan will begin testing its Easy Ride self-driving taxi service in Yokohama , Japan on March 5, 2018, with plans to launch the full service by the start of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. In collaboration with Tokyo-based mobile app developer DeNA, Nissan will run the trial service on a 2.8 mile-route running from their headquarters to the Yokohama World Porters shopping center. While limited to start, the opening of Nissan’s Easy Ride service marks an significant step forward into the future of autonomous vehicles and urban transportation. The Easy Ride system is designed to incorporate user interests into its presentation, offering helpful information on points of interest, events, and shops. To build further ties between the self-driving taxi and local business, Easy Ride will offer coupons for recommended restaurants and businesses for users to exchange after they’ve departed their self-driving taxi. Easy Ride will also record feedback from users regarding their ride experience and their opinion on what a fair fare should be. Related: Dubai tests the world’s first autonomous mobility pods Nissan’s initial trial is planned to run for only a few weeks. However, the company plans to conduct further, more extensive tests. Recognizing the need to serve an Olympic -sized constituency as well as Japan’s aging population, the automaker plans to add more routes, implement a multi-lingual interface, and refine arrival and departure procedures over the next two years. To assuage any concerns regarding the safety of the self-driving taxis, Nissan will link each taxi to a remote monitoring center, where workers observe each ride and could take the wheel from afar if necessary. Via Engadget Images via Nissan and aotaro/Flickr

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Volkswagen I.D. Vizzion electric sedan concept takes aim at Tesla’s Model S

February 19, 2018 by  
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With a driving range of 413 miles, Volkswagen’s latest concept sedan aims to beat the Tesla Model S at its own game. Volkswagen has released teaser photos of its new I.D. Vizzion concept, and it features a fully-autonomous system that lets passengers sit back and let the car do the driving. The I.D. Vizzion concept is the latest from the family of I.D. electric cars that VW has released, which started with the I.D. hatchback in late 2016. While the previous I.D. concepts have been previews of VW’s future electric models, the I.D. Vizzion takes it a step further by being the first to feature fully autonomous technology, which VW is going to debut next month at the Geneva Motor Show . Related: Volkswagen may offer more electric cars than any other brand Inside the I.D. Vizzion doesn’t have a steering wheel or pedals. Instead a “digital chauffer” is responsible for piloting the vehicle. The concept car drives, steers and navigates autonomously in traffic, while the passengers are given the freedom to do other tasks. The I.D. Vizzion concept also features a virtual host, which the passengers can interact with via voice or gesture controls. The system also automatically knows the personal preferences of the passengers. The I.D. Vizzion concept is the largest of all the I.D. concepts and previews a premium electric sedan. The concept is powered by two electric motors that generate a combined 302 horsepower that’s sent to all four wheels. A 111 kWh lithium-ion battery gives the concept a driving range up to 413 miles. VW has yet to announce when the production version of the I.D. Vizzion concept will arrive, but the first I.D. model, the hatchback, will go on sale in 2020. The electric hatchback will then be followed by the I.D. Crozz electric SUV and then the microbus-inspired I.D. Buzz . By 2025 VW plans to introduce more than 20 electric vehicles. +Volkswagen All images © Volkswagen

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Volkswagen I.D. Vizzion electric sedan concept takes aim at Tesla’s Model S

Why GM and Ford face a long road ahead in the race to low-carbon transportation

January 23, 2018 by  
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As electrification charges ahead, today’s leaders come from Germany and Japan.

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Why GM and Ford face a long road ahead in the race to low-carbon transportation

The ‘big push’ transforming the world’s energy systems

January 23, 2018 by  
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Why the price of renewable energy dropped far faster than even the optimists predicted.

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The ‘big push’ transforming the world’s energy systems

Intel and Nike use this investor engagement tactic most companies overlook

January 23, 2018 by  
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These four steps will bring investors into the fold on environmental, social and governance issues.

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Intel and Nike use this investor engagement tactic most companies overlook

Episode 107: State of Green Business hits and misses; mainstreaming climate risk

January 12, 2018 by  
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In this week’s episode, the bell curve for connected cars, corporate energy buyers face tax changes and climate disclosure gets serious.

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Episode 107: State of Green Business hits and misses; mainstreaming climate risk

Hyundai unveils new Nexo fuel cell SUV with an impressive 370-mile range

January 9, 2018 by  
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Hyundai plans to introduce at least 18 new eco-friendly car models by 2025, starting with the Hyundai Nexo fuel cell vehicle that made its debut at CES in Las Vegas. The Nexo is Hyundai’s second fuel cell SUV following the Tucson FCEV , which has received a long list of upgrades that will make it more appealing and easier to live with. The Hyundai Nexo is based on an entirely new platform that’s not only lighter, but also allows for better packaging of the fuel cell components and the large battery pack . Compared to the old Tucson FCEV, the Nexo is larger in every dimension, with more interior space, but the new lighter platform and more powerful hydrogen fuel cell powertrain gives the Nexo better all around performance. Related: Hyundai’s first long-range EV arrives next year For starters, the Nexo is powered by a more powerful 120 kW electric motor and a larger 40 kW battery pack. The Nexo can reach 60 mph three seconds faster than the Tucson FCEV, but the best part is the driving range. The Nexo can travel up to 370 miles, compared to the Tucson with its 265-mile range, and can be fully refueled in five minutes – try that with an electric car . When the Nexo arrives in early 2018, it will also debut several new driver assist technologies that are new to the Hyundai brand. A new Blind-spot View Monitor takes the conventional blind spot monitor a step further with cameras that display the views on either side of the vehicle on the center mounted screen. The system uses wide angle surround view monitors on each side of the vehicle giving drivers a better view of what cannot be seen with a traditional rearview mirror. The new Lane Following Assist with Highway Driving Assist automatically adjusts the steering to keep the Nexo centered in its lane. The system works at speeds between 0-90 mph and on both highways and city streets. The Highway Driving Assist system uses sensors and map data to automatically adjust the vehicle’s speed. Lastly, the Nexo will arrive with a new Remote Smart Parking Assist system that will enable the vehicle to autonomously park or retrieve itself from a parking space with or without a driver in the car. + Hyundai All images ©Hyundai

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Hyundai unveils new Nexo fuel cell SUV with an impressive 370-mile range

Toyota’s ultra customizable self-driving vehicle can transport people, goods, or services

January 8, 2018 by  
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Toyota is unveiling its vision of future mobility with the introduction of the innovative e-Palette concept. The e-Palette is a fully autonomous electric bus that can be customized for different uses within urban environments. To help bring the idea to life, Toyota is working along with innovative companies like Amazon, Mazda and Uber. The auto industry continues to change, especially in urban environments that are seeking new, more efficient ways to keep people moving. Toyota’s e-Palette concept is essentially an autonomous, electric bus that can be customized for different needs besides just moving passengers from one destination to the next. By teaming up with Amazon, DiDi, Mazda , Pizza Hut and Uber, Toyota is looking at ways that a single vehicle design can be adapted for many different uses. Related: All of Toyota’s cars will be either hybrid or fully electric by 2025 The e-Palette concept is designed to be scalable and customizable for a range of mobility options. Its open interior design layout can easily be outfitted with purpose-built interiors to serve different needs, like parcel delivery, ride sharing, or on-the-road e-commerce. Toyota envisions that the e-Palette Concept will be made available in three sizes, allowing not just need-specific applications, but also right-sized and right-place mobile solutions. Businesses will also be able to incorporate their own technology in the concept with an open control interface and a set of software tools to allow partner companies to mount their own automated driving system. Toyota hasn’t announced when the e-Palette concept will become a reality, but it plans to start testing it in the early 2020s. They revealed the concept at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas + Toyota All images © Toyota

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Toyota’s ultra customizable self-driving vehicle can transport people, goods, or services

Nanoleaf’s new dodecahedron Remote controls your smart home with a turn of the wrist

January 8, 2018 by  
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Nanoleaf is known for its brilliant lighting products – and now they’re launching an innovative dodecahedron-shaped remote that makes it easy to control any smart device in your house. The new Bluetooth -enabled Nanoleaf Remote just debuted at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) – and it promises to let you “fully customize your entire home with a quick turn of the wrist.” Nanoleaf ‘s new Remote allows users to easily control the company’s Light Panels and other HomeKit products. The device aims to take the frustration out of controlling multiple smart home products with numerous apps by simplifying tasks into the single controller. Users can program each one of the device’s 12 sides with commands to accomplish tasks like turning off lights, raising window blinds or your home’s temperature, or activating different pre-set scenes for events like parties or quiet nights in. Related: Nanoleaf’s new Rhythm module turns any Aurora array into a dazzling music visualizer Users rotate to the top the side they want to trigger, with the Remote glowing as it moves to offer feedback. On Nanoleaf’s website, prototype tester Pin-Yu from Singapore described the device as a “glowing ball of awesome from outer space.” Nanoleaf CEO Gimmy Chu said in a statement, “ Smart technology should cater to how people are using their products, making life easier and more enjoyable without being intrusive. The Nanoleaf Remote is designed to make the smart home smart again. We want to give people the option of controlling their smart home without always relying on their devices. Everyone is so glued to their phones these days, the Nanoleaf Remote offers the possibility to just sit back and enjoy living smarter.” The controller is incredibly light, weighing 0.13 kilograms, or around 0.28 pounds. The Remote is slated for release in February. + Nanoleaf Images courtesy of Nanoleaf

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Nanoleaf’s new dodecahedron Remote controls your smart home with a turn of the wrist

Affordable new all-electric SUV from Byton boasts a 323-mile range

January 8, 2018 by  
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New electric car brand Byton doesn’t want you to think of their product as a car, but as a smart device. They recently unveiled their first concept , an SUV, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this weekend, and while outside it may not look all that different from a regular SUV, inside a sprawling display screen replacing the center console and controlled with hand gestures is the first hint Byton aims to make the car of the future. “The future of design is digital,” Byton says on their website. Their electric SUV reflects that idea: it’s equipped with multiple screens allowing a driver to interact with the car. There’s an eight-inch tablet in the steering wheel and a 49 by 9.8 inch Shared Experience Display allowing for navigation, communication with others, or entertainment. Related: Renault’s Trezor is the electric car of the future Voice recognition, biometric identification, and touch control also allow a driver to interact with the car. Byton’s Life Cloud Platform connects devices, apps, and data so drivers can work or be entertained during a trip. It’s a key-less vehicle – a facial recognition camera allows or denies access. Rotating front seats can turn inward 12 degrees. That’s not to mention the car won’t be powered by polluting fuels. Instead, it can be equipped with a 95 kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery pack that will allow drivers to travel 323 miles on one charge. The base version beginning at $45,000 will have a 71 kWh battery pack offering a range of 248.5 miles. The company says users can charge a battery pack up to 80 percent in 30 minutes. Byton, which is the international brand of China-based Future Mobility Corporation, plans to bring the car to China in 2019 and the United States and Europe in 2020. Executives from Tesla , BMW, and Nissan started the company. Time will tell if the company will be able to bring their futuristic concept to production. + Byton Via Electrek and The Verge Images via Byton Facebook and website

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Affordable new all-electric SUV from Byton boasts a 323-mile range

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