Manufacturing News from the Engineered Designer Perspective

Solar Challenge 3,000 kilometer “race” tests solar capabilities and technologies

The future of automotive technology is vastly changing. As Toyota makes waves with its Concept-i series and its new tech company, other companies and innovators are following suit and making their own mark on the world.

The annual World Solar Challenge, which began in 1987, has seen fierce competition. This year, a Dutch family car made headlines when it was dubbed “the future.” The World Solar Challenge began in Darwin with 41 vehicles making a 3,000-kilometre trip.

While the Nuna 9 finished the race in first place for the third year in a row, another car took the spotlight with its solar capabilities. The Dutch Stella Vie combines the practicality of a family vehicle with the sleek design, energy efficiency, and innovation worthy of a car of the future.

 

 

Event director Chris Selwood hailed the vehicle as a practical car of the future, saying that it was “designed with the commercial market in mind” and that it has “all the features you’d expect in a family, luxury, or sporting car.” He went on to congratulate the car’s developers, Team Eindhoven, on their achievement in creating “the most energy-efficient solar car in the field, capable of generating more power than they consume.” The Stella Vie achieves this by not only harnessing solar energy but also supplying energy back to the house or the electric grid.

Team Eindhoven’s goal in designing the car was to find the right blend of aerodynamics and aesthetics. Additionally, the vehicle contains a smart charging and discharging system capable of tracking energy prices, user agenda, etc. and determining the optimal time to charge or discharge. A smart thermostat also allows users to easily check the vehicle’s charging status at all times. The battery and solar array are smaller than those of the Stella Vie’s predecessor, Stella Lux, though they do not hinder the car’s performance. The vehicle is said to achieve a range of 1,000 kilometres on a sunny, summer day in the Netherlands.

The futuristic car also features a solar navigator that utilizes height profile maps to find the most efficient routes. The navigator also displays the energy savings compared to standard, fossil fuel-powered cars. An advanced, solar parking system allows the vehicle to self-park using height maps, parking probability maps, weather data, and more. The vehicle will choose the spot that yields the most solar energy, allowing it to charge while it is parked.

A built-in lighting system alerts the driver when he or she is either breaking or accelerating too quickly, and the vehicle’s V2X technology warns the driver of upcoming traffic conditions. Large doors, five ergonomically-optimized seats, spacious interior, and intuitive controls provide a comfortable driving experience.

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Solar Challenge 3,000 kilometer “race” tests solar capabilities and technologies

Solar Challenge 3,000 kilometer “race” tests solar capabilities and technologies

​The future of automotive technology is vastly changing. As Toyota makes waves with its Concept-i series and its new tech company, other companies and innovators are following suit and making their own mark on the world. ​The annual World Solar Challenge, which began in 1987, has seen fierce competition. This year, a Dutch family car…

Air-Breathing battery development increases storage capacity with greater longevity at a fraction of the cost of other batteries.

Air-Breathing battery development increases storage capacity with greater longevity at a fraction of the cost of other batteries.

  A team of researchers from MIT have developed an air-breathing battery capable of storing electricity with greater longevity and at a fraction of the cost of other energy sources. The development solves intermittency issues that often keep power sources from connecting to the grid. Yet-Ming Chiang, Kyocera Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at…

First drone crash with a commercial aircraft in Canada triggers safety review and possible new rules

First drone crash with a commercial aircraft in Canada triggers safety review and possible new rules

According to a statement by Transport Minister Marc Garneau, a collision between a drone and a Canadian passenger plane occurred last month. As stated by the minister, the October 12 incident was “the first time a drone has hit a commercial aircraft in Canada.” He expressed his relief over the safety of the passengers and…

“I will destroy humans” says life-like robot: Elon Musk’s claim that artificial intelligence poses a threat to mankind may be justified?

“I will destroy humans” says life-like robot: Elon Musk’s claim that artificial intelligence poses a threat to mankind may be justified?

It may have been a glitch, but during a media interview, a “smart learning” robot named Sophia declared: “Okay, I will destroy humans.”     Although this was in response to an interview question from a journalist, it came across as a little jarringly frightening — rather than as the joke that might have been…

Smart winery? Environmental Health Monitoring Technology to boost plant production; pilot with Ontario winery with Bell in partnership with Huawei

Smart winery? Environmental Health Monitoring Technology to boost plant production; pilot with Ontario winery with Bell in partnership with Huawei

Bell announced a new partnership with Ontario-based BeWhere, an Internet of Things (IoT) solutions company, and China-based tech company Huawei, the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker. Huawei worked with Bell to develop “an environmental monitoring solution to help improve the health and quality of plants at the vineyard.” Steve Lu, President of Huawei Canada said:…

$6.5 million Small Business Innovation Challenge to develop technologies in “Vehicle Occupancy Detection” and “Digital Identity”

$6.5 million Small Business Innovation Challenge to develop technologies in “Vehicle Occupancy Detection” and “Digital Identity”

Funded by the Ontario Government, the Small Business Innovation Challenge is helping companies develop new technologies in Vehicle Occupancy Detection — used to detect how many people are in an automobile for high occupancy toll roads (HOT) — and Digital Identity to help secure government services. To date, $6.5 million has been allocated, with $3.76…

Ontario launches Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network in Stratford to highlight privonce as the “go to” for Autonomous tech

Ontario launches Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network in Stratford to highlight privonce as the “go to” for Autonomous tech

Ontario is reinforcing its status as a go-to destination for developing automated vehicles by launching AVIN, the Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network, in Stratford. This unique demonstration zone is among the first of its kind in Canada and will allow researchers to hone the technology and test an AV in a wide range of everyday, real-life…

GO Transit may deploy hydrogen-power rather than electric; consults with Canadian fuel cell technology company that worked on world’s first hydrogen-powered train

GO Transit may deploy hydrogen-power rather than electric; consults with Canadian fuel cell technology company that worked on world’s first hydrogen-powered train

  Canadian hydrogen generation and fuel cell products developer Hydrogenics Corporation will formally undertake feasibility study for GO Transit to potentially deploy hydrogen-powered trains for Ontario. These trains have aleady proven successful in Europe, using technology developed in Canada at Hydrogenics. The Ontario Government announced the consultation yesterday, as part of its $13.5 billion RER…

100,000 watt laser firing 10,000 pulses per second would “deorbit” tons of dangerous space debris

100,000 watt laser firing 10,000 pulses per second would “deorbit” tons of dangerous space debris

The Extreme Univese Space Observatory telescope, originally built to detect cosmic rays, could be used to target space debris in orbit. According to scientists, a powerful laser can then be used to de-orbit space junk that endangers the International Space Station and other satelites. The laser system would be armed with a 100,000 wat ultraviolet…

Women will represent 50% of leadership positions at Oath (AOL-Yahoo merger) says CEO Tim Armstrong

Women will represent 50% of leadership positions at Oath (AOL-Yahoo merger) says CEO Tim Armstrong

In a move toward equality and inclusivity, Oath CEO Tim Armstrong has announced a mission to fill at least half of the company’s leadership positions with women by 2020. He had the opportunity to discuss this mission in a recent episode of CNN’s Boss Files with Poppy Harlow.     The CEO of Oath —…

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