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:
Fleet management for robotaxis +++ Making lithium-metal batteries safer +++ Air taxis in Guangzhou +++ Invisible solar cells +++ Mini-brains on the International Space Station
Future of Transport // Autonomous
Swiss startup Bestmile offers fleet management software that connects together a wide range of mobility players: public transportation, automakers, ride-hailing taxis, microtransit services, self-driving shuttle services and even robotaxis. In the future, the software could also incorporate various kinds of urban air mobility. To offer the most efficient fleet solutions, the management platform uses real-time weather, traffic, demand and vehicle telemetry data.
Researchers at Stanford University have found a way to make lithium-metal batteries safer: A new coating that extends their service life also changes their dendrite structure, reducing combustibility. Lithium-metal batteries produce a third more power than conventional lithium-ion batteries and are much lighter. If they were safer, they could be suitable for next-generation EVs.
The city of Guangzhou is working with EHang, a company specializing in urban air e-mobility, on a pilot project for an urban air taxi network. Self-flying, electrically powered shuttles are expected to transport freight and passengers over short distances at low altitudes. Working with EHang, the city hopes to develop an air taxi infrastructure including, among other things, a control center that would stop taxis flying in stormy weather.
Renewables // Electric
Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) have developed solar panels for EVs that are available in any color – meaning they can be made the same color as car roofs. The coloration only reduces the efficiency of the solar cells by 7 percent; the special coating that makes them almost invisible was inspired by the morpho butterfly. The mini-panels are arranged similarly to roof shingles.
Researchers at the University of California sent clusters of nerve cells grown from stem cells up to the ISS. Where they multiplied – and suddenly started producing brain waves. When connected to robots to measure their neural activity, the cells were found to be generating complex patterns similar to those of premature babies. Could this be proof that researchers can create at least partially conscious life in the laboratory?
HIGH 5 is published by Lab1886. If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact us using the following email address: David Menzel (firstname.lastname@example.org)