Dekra takes over Lausitzring race track to turn it into an autonomous vehicle testing circuit

lausitzring track
The Lausitzring race track has been the venue for many races

A company called Dekra will take over the Lausitzring race track on November 1, 2017, and turn it into an autonomous vehicle testing ground.

Together with the Dekra Technology Center, in immediate proximity to the race track in Klettwitz, Brandenburg, since 2003, the site will be made into the innovation center for the testing of the mobility of the future.

It will become a central component of the international testing network for connected and automated driving, which Dekra is establishing in Europe and Asia, and will bring “new, high-quality jobs to the region”, says the company.  Continue reading Dekra takes over Lausitzring race track to turn it into an autonomous vehicle testing circuit

Volkswagen and Kuka research ways to use robots for future electric and autonomous cars

Volkswagen’s new concept autonomous and electric car, Sedric
Volkswagen self-driving concept car, which it calls Sedric

The Volkswagen Group is researching ways in which robots can be used in the future when cars become more electrified and computerised as a result of increasing demand for clean and autonomous vehicles. 

The German automaker, which owns the Audi, Bentley, Seat, Porsche and Lamborghini brands among others, is working one of the world’s largest industrial robotics and automation providers, Kuka, to research and develop a number of ideas.

The current area of interest for the strategic partnership between Kuka and Volkswagen is the area of service concepts for vehicles of the future, and the two companies have agreed a contract to jointly develop robot-based innovation concepts for vehicles of the future.  Continue reading Volkswagen and Kuka research ways to use robots for future electric and autonomous cars

New Russian plane looking for room in global market dominated by Boeing and Airbus

An MS-21 medium-range passenger plane, produced by Irkut Corporation, takes off in Irkutsk, Russia, May 28, 2017. Courtesy of Irkut / via Reuters

By Tim Hepher, Reuters

Russia’s new jetliner, which conducted its maiden flight on Sunday, may have a hard time challenging the sales duopoly of Boeing and Airbus, but it does point the way to radical changes in how they could be building jets in the future.

The MS-21, a new single aisle airliner produced by Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation, and its associate company Irkut, is the first passenger plane borne aloft by lightweight carbon-composite wings built without a costly pressurised oven called an autoclave.

The manufacturing process provides a test for a technology already being assessed by Western rivals, who are looking for cheaper and faster ways to build some of their aircraft with composites, according to aerospace executives and suppliers.  Continue reading New Russian plane looking for room in global market dominated by Boeing and Airbus

Video: F&P Robotics boss says he wouldn’t trust the thinking, feeling robots of the future

The founder and managing director of F&P Robotics says he wouldn’t trust the robots of the future because they will become conscious and capable of taking over the world, and possibly enslaving humans. 

The experienced roboticist, who has a background in natural sciences and brain research, says it’s only a matter of time before artificial intelligence-powered robots start thinking about big questions – like, who created the universe and what is the point of humans.

In an interview with RoboticsAndAutomationNews.com, recorded at Hannover Messe in Germany (video above), Dr Hansruedi Früh says the only difference between humans and robots, at the moment, is “self-reflection, which only humans and very few animals have”, but robot learning is progressing and that their consciousness is inevitable.  Continue reading Video: F&P Robotics boss says he wouldn’t trust the thinking, feeling robots of the future

Designworks collaborates with Shell to improve hydrogen refuelling

Ergonomic nozzle of Shell H2 Dispenser Concept_ by Designworks

BMW Group subsidiary Designworks and Shell have collaborated in the development of an innovative hydrogen dispenser that will improve the refuelling experience.

Designworks and Shell say that hydrogen vehicles have proved to be “increasingly suitable” for everyday use and offer the potential to become an important low carbon transport option for the future.

The new dispenser design will create a seamless experience for hydrogen drivers on the forecourt and help to encourage the adoption of hydrogen as a transport fuel of the future.  Continue reading Designworks collaborates with Shell to improve hydrogen refuelling

World’s oldest consultancy claims new car tech will change auto manufacturing

auto manufacturing Geely_assembly_line

Arthur D. Little, which claims to be the world’s first consultancy company, predicts how future mobility solutions will affect automotive manufacturing.

In a new report, The Future of Automotive Mobility, the company says – somewhat surprisingly – that the future vehicle technology will depend less on consumer preferences than government regulations.

The company draws its conclusions on a global survey of 6,500 participants, including customers, industry players and regulators. Its research examines how the megatrends of electric mobility, car sharing and autonomous driving are likely to impact on the global automotive ecosystem and future original equipment manufacturing sales.  Continue reading World’s oldest consultancy claims new car tech will change auto manufacturing

Volkswagen launches its first autonomous and electric concept car

Volkswagen’s new concept autonomous and electric car, Sedric
Volkswagen’s new concept autonomous and electric car, Sedric

Volkswagen has unveiled what it says is its first autonomous concept car, describing it as a “comfortable lounge on wheels”. 

The company claims to be the first automobile manufacturer to present an integrated mobility concept for mobility of the future in road traffic, including a concept car developed from scratch for autonomous driving.

Volkswagen says “Sedric”, the name of the new self-driving car, provides an insight into the future of individual mobility that can be used by everyone, but which can be geared to personal needs.

Volkswagen says Sedric highlights the major importance of fully automated driving in the future strategy of the company.  Continue reading Volkswagen launches its first autonomous and electric concept car

Daimler does deal with Uber on autonomous vehicles

Concept EQ, Interieur

Daimler says it has agreed a deal with Uber that aims to bring more self-driving vehicles onto public roads.

The “general agreement” is intended to pave the way for the supply and operation of self-driving Mercedes-Benz vehicles on Uber’s network.

The two companies say they intend to cooperate on the supply and operation of self-driving vehicles.

Under the terms of the cooperation Daimler plans to introduce self-driving vehicles also on Uber’s global ridesharing network in the coming years.

Daimler is the first auto company to join with Uber as it opens up its platform for manufacturers to introduce their own self-driving cars.  Continue reading Daimler does deal with Uber on autonomous vehicles

Daimler offers vision of future cities built around autonomous vehicles

daimler future cities
Daimler’s vision of future cities includes autonomous vehicles, such as cars and drones, as shown in this artist’s illustration. Image credit: Daimler

The Daimler and Benz Foundation is funding what it says is a new interdisciplinary research project which looks at the possible effects of autonomous driving on European cities.

The Foundation says the project is aimed at answering the question: How will autonomous vehicles shape the cities of the future?

Formally entitled “Avenue 21 – Autonomous Transport: Developments in Urban Europe”, the Foundation’s team of scientists is examining the question of how European cities will evolve through autonomous driving – and the influence of urban structures on the development of autonomous traffic.  Continue reading Daimler offers vision of future cities built around autonomous vehicles

Piaggio, maker of Vespa, launches mobile robot as part of its newly created robotics-oriented business unit

piaggio gita
Gita, the object-carrying mobile robot from Piaggio, being driven round the bend

Piaggio, the company behind the iconic Vespa motor bikes, is launching a cylindrical mobile robot with a carrying capacity of 40 lb 

Piaggio Group, which claims to be the largest European manufacturer of two-wheel motor vehicles such as the famous Vespa, has launched Piaggio Fast Forward, a newly-established company based in the US formed to pioneer future robotics-oriented technology.

Piaggio was founded over 130 years ago, but the company says its new division is aiming to “fundamentally rethinking the movement of people and goods”.

Michele Colaninno, chairman of PFF, says: “We have established Piaggio Fast Forward to reinvent the future of mobility and this is best accomplished with PFF as a separate entity, but with the backing and experience of the Piaggio Group. You can expect to find Piaggio Fast Forward blurring the lines between transportation, robotics, and urban environments.”  Continue reading Piaggio, maker of Vespa, launches mobile robot as part of its newly created robotics-oriented business unit

Mercedes invests in Starship Technologies delivery robots

Mercedes-Starship combo
The mothership can’t save you so yo’ robots is gon’ get left… the Mercedes-Starship combo

Mercedes-Benz Vans has invested a large amount of money in Starship Technologies, the maker of small delivery robots making the headlines for taking pizzas here and there.

The company says the move furthers its strategic future initiative, dubbed “adVANce”.

Mercedes-Benz Vans calls Starship Technologies “the world’s leading start-up company for the development of ground-based, autonomous delivery robots”.  Continue reading Mercedes invests in Starship Technologies delivery robots

SAP logistics boss says ‘robotics and automation are the future’

trenitalia

The head of logistics at software giant SAP says the future of the digital supply chain is robotics and automation. 

SAP is one of the world’s largest software companies in any sector, with more than 300,000 clients in around 190 countries, and its logistics division has customers such as luxury automaker Porsche, and large transport operations such as Trenitalia.

In an interview with em360tech.com, Hans Thalbauer, SVP of extended supply chain and IoT at SAP, says industries are becoming smarter because of these technologies.

However, Thalbauer adds that robotics and automation needs to be effectively integrated into the overall business processes, otherwise they won’t work.  Continue reading SAP logistics boss says ‘robotics and automation are the future’

Faraday Future unveils electric car as Continental boss talks of job losses

faraday future ff 91
The new electric vehicle from Faraday Future – the FF 91

The much-publicised electric car company, Faraday Future, revealed its new hybrid vehicle at the Consumer Electronics Show this week. 

The presentation was said to have had a slight glitch in that when the autonomous, self-parking technology was called on, it didn’t immediately answer.

The hiccup may have been unplanned for Faraday’s billionaire owner, Jia Yueting, especially as the company has invested a lot of money in developing autonomous technology, but with a total of $600 million backing the vehicle venture, there’s plenty of money to smooth out small problems.  Continue reading Faraday Future unveils electric car as Continental boss talks of job losses

Robotics industry will be bigger than car industry, says Michio Kaku

One of the world’s most famous scientists says the robotics industry will be bigger than the auto industry within decades. 

Professor Michio Kaku, who lectures at the City University of New York Institute of Advanced Study, is a familiar face who’s known for explaining complex science to the average person.

Kaku has written many articles in a variety of scientific journals and is a contributor to hundreds of documentary films and television programmes. He is also the author of numerous books, including his most recent, The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the MindContinue reading Robotics industry will be bigger than car industry, says Michio Kaku

Manufacturing: The future of obsolescence management

gears

Jonathan Wilkins, marketing director of EU Automation, looks at managing obsolete automation components in the factory of the future

In 10 years’ time robots will cease to be subservient/submissive, manufacturing won’t exist as we know it and we’ll be 3D printing our own clothes before we go out.

Do any of these sound like familiar predictions you’ve heard over the last five years? We thought so. With this in mind, we’ll tread lightly when talking about what the highly interconnected future has in store for industrial automation.

Oh, did we mention that this factory could be ordering your replacement parts for you?  Continue reading Manufacturing: The future of obsolescence management