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In order to entice electric vehicle manufacturers to build in their home states, governments are giving out big incentives for car manufacturers at remarkable speeds. GM recently received $824 million in incentives to build EVs in Michigan. Ford received a $250 million loan, a 1,500-acre site, and $36 million for workforce training for its battery plants in Kentucky. Rivian was lured to Georgia with what may be the largest incentive package in Georgia’s history. If you want to play, you have to pay.
In other EV News
- Lucid Motors released its OTA Software Version 1.1.4 to update improvements to the Lucid Air’s navigation system and Access & Profiles menu. Lucid is also releasing updates to DreamDrive in two parts with improvements to traffic sign recognition, lane departure protection, automatic emergency braking, and more.
- Which EV is the best for towing? Gear Junkie recently reviewed the Hyundai Tucson, Kia EV6, Polestar 2, Audi E-Tron AWD, Tesla Model Y, Rivian R1T, and more. Check out the best EV’s for towing here.
- The U.S. Army revealed its first climate strategy that focuses on protecting and training soldiers against climate disasters and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The branch plans to reach zero emissions by 2050 through installing microgrids on all installations and having a fully electric non-tactical fleet by 2035. On the tactical side, Oshkosh Defense recently unveiled its hybrid Joint Light Tactical Vehicle which has a 30 kWh battery that charges in about 10 minutes.
- The state of Massachusetts is providing $13 million in grants to install more than 300 electric vehicle fast-charging stations at around 150 locations. The grants cover all costs for charging stations on government-owned properties and 80% at all other locations, up to $50,000 per port.
- Rolls Royce's Spectre EV will feature a revised, more aerodynamic version of the Spirit of Ecstacy with a shorter stance and altered flowing robes. The silver lady’s knees are also now slightly bent.
Autonomous cars have been a thing since the 1920s, and in 1964, General Motors unveiled the Firebird IV at its Futurama Exhibit at the New York World’s Fair. The vehicle required a system of “electric highways” and came with a fridge and a TV. The idea was that the Firebird steered automatically via a programmed guidance system. The Firebird was just a concept and never made it on the roads, but certainly was an idea ahead of its time.
It took until 1986 for the first autonomous vehicle to make its way onto the streets. An autonomous Chevy Van built by Carnegie Mellon’s Navigation Laboratory, cruised the streets of Pittsburgh, PA going relatively unnoticed. History.
In other AV News
- Since December 2021, TuSimple has been test-driving autonomous semi-trucks between Tucson and Phoenix without a driver. TuSimple plans to deliver actual freight this spring for Union Pacific.
- Apple has been officially granted a patent for Project Titan, a project focused on the creation of an autonomous electric vehicle. With the patent, Apple has received permission to conduct research with Machine Learning systems and algorithms connected to reasoning, decision making, and motion planning to advance technology and safety for future AVs.
- Seoul is beginning a commercial operation of autonomous vehicle-hailing services with four self-driving vehicles driving to cover two different routes of 3.2 miles. Seoul has a bigger goal of a total of 50 AVs for public transportation by 2026.
- Embark has given autonomous trucks to Knight-Swift in a business transaction the companies are calling “the first instance of a carrier owning and operating autonomous trucks as part of its fleet.” The goal is to finally commercialize autonomous trucking through this pilot program.
- Gatik’s CEO: “we’re not rushing anything [when it comes to autonomous delivery vehicles from companies.]” But they want to make sure they do it right. The CEO sees a big future need for autonomous delivery trucks in the next decade, and he’s excited to officially commercialize Gatik’s technology.
- A group of ex-SpaceX engineers has created Parallel Systems, a firm currently developing fleets of autonomous trains that can transport freight containers throughout the U.S. The company has raised $49.55 million so far.
- The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) is funding a $4.8 million project run by the Boston University College of Engineering in their quest to manufacture an AV that runs on light.