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:
McDonald’s list EV charging prices +++ Mass adoption of self-driving vehicles +++ Lime abolishes “juicers” +++ Delivery bots in 100 college towns +++ Autonomous drones on Mars
Electric // Marketing
McDonald’s, the global fast-food chain, is competing with filling stations in Sweden; 55 drive-in branches are already equipped with EV chargers. The chain is highlighting the service in an effective marketing campaign; the day’s per-minute EV charging price now appears next to the Big Mac price beneath each branch’s logo.
People usually overestimate what can be achieved in one year – but tend to underestimate what can be achieved in ten years. This means we won’t be seeing Level 4 autonomy by 2020. Nevertheless, commercial opportunities abound: AV companies are shifting their strategies to prioritize mining and agriculture, as well as logistics activities with high levels of automation. But it’s unlikely that the consumer car market will be fully automated in the near future – automating private vehicles is the least profitable way forward.
E-scooter hire company Lime has given up working with freelancers in Paris. Under the “juicer” model, freelancers collected e-scooters with empty batteries and recharged them overnight. Now Lime only wants to work with subcontractors capable of managing the entire fleet. Initially, freelance juicers were paid EUR 20 per charged e-scooter; later, the fee dropped to just EUR 5.
Starship Technologies, an autonomous food delivery startup, is focusing on the U.S. college-town market. By 2022, self-driving bots should be delivering orders on 100 campuses, with 20 to 25 bots deployed per campus. Starship doesn’t need to comply with municipal regulations or obtain municipal authorization to make on-campus deliveries.
Space Travel // Autonomous
When NASA’s Mars mission takes off next year, it will be carrying an autonomous mini helicopter. The flying machine (about 80 centimeters or 2.6 feet tall) will explore the planet’s surface from the air. It will also help to establish whether autonomous drones are capable of flying in the extremely thin Martian atmosphere.
Source: Spaceflight Now
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