HIGH 5! Here is the news update of the latest trends from the global technology and startup scene. HIGH 5 is published by Lab1886. This week’s topics are:
Micromobility report +++ Amazon and the auto industry +++ Tackling climate change with machine learning +++ Study: e-scooters in Germany +++ New thermoelectric material
A recent survey by automotive association SAE International examines the behavior of e-scooter riders: 63 percent of e-scooter journeys cover less than one mile (1.6 km), mostly during the daytime at weekends. It also highlights the limitations: 22 percent of respondents use their cars to transport heavy objects over distances of up to a mile. And e-scooters are not a valid alternative in bad weather, or when transporting multiple passengers.
Source: SAE International
For some time, Amazon has been planning to expand the Alexa voice service to include embedded automotive software systems. Since 2016, Alexa development has focused on integration with in-car entertainment systems, via an app. Through partnerships with carmakers Audi and BMW, Amazon aims to provide users with a seamless experience across their home devices and in-car entertainment systems to fit with their digital lifestyles.
Sustainability // Machine Learning
Estimates suggest that the market for environmental sensors will be worth USD 3 billion annually by 2027. This could make it easier and more cost-effective for companies to detect, visualize and manage environmental impacts. And a University of Pennsylvania study identifies 13 areas where machine learning could be used to tackle climate change, such as energy production, CO2 reduction and solar geoengineering.
Source: National Geographic
Since June, consultants at Civity have been analyzing e-scooter location and movement data across Germany. In terms of numbers of scooters, Tier is in the lead with almost 3,000, followed by Lime with around 1,300. According to Civity, most e-scooters are only hired between one and three times a day. To become profitable, however, each e-scooter would have to be hired seven times a day, representing a service life of just three to four months.
Source: Business Insider (German)
Steering wheel too hot to handle? Researchers from the University of Houston and MIT have developed a thermoelectric material that can prevent electronic devices from overheating. This less expensive variant requires almost no tellurium – a major component in conventional solutions – and works at room temperature. This could encourage the development of thermoelectric modules capable of converting electricity into thermal energy for heating or cooling.
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