Sunday, October 29, 2017

Interesting News in Engineering, IoT, PLM, Industry 4.0, and Telecom - Vol 8

These 59 news stories caught my attention last week. These stories are across automotive, aerospace, drones, AR, robotics, 3D printing, software, telecom, semiconductor, IoT, and PLM.

Tesla strikes a deal with Shanghai to build a factory in China. The arrangement could enable electric-car maker to slash production costs; firm would still likely incur 25% import tariff. (Read here).

Daimler is jumping the gun on Tesla by showing off a battery-powered heavy-duty truck weeks before the California electric-car maker's own planned unveiling. The E-Fuso Vision One prototype can carry 11 tons of cargo as far as 220 miles before recharging. (Read here).

Uniti says it will manufacture its light electric cars in Landskrona, Sweden. The company is set to launch the new electric vehicle at the new manufacturing facility on December 7, 2017. (Read here).

Toyota will keep in-house what it calls its "game-changing" solid state battery technology, despite working with Mazda and Denso on a new architecture for electric cars. (Read here). Toyota sees traditional gas engines phased out of its line by the 2040s. (Read here).

EV news from India. Maruti Suzuki to make electric cars. (Read here). Tata Motors began a pilot-run of its 9-meter electric bus in Assam and claimed that it has become the first automaker to get Arai and homologation certifications for its 9-m and 12-m electric buses. (Read here).
Amazon got the patent for developing a drone that can connect to transfer electricity to a car in motion. (Read here).

Delphi buys Nutonomy for $400 million to scale and deliver autonomous vehicles. (Read here).

Waymo targets snowy roads for self-driving cars. (Read here).

Kiekert is developing Autonomous Door Systems. (Read here).

Singapore’s first driverless truck makes debut at Jurong Island. (Read here).

Daimler aims to bring its self-driving snowplows to airports. (Read here).

BMW office was searched by European Union officials investigating an alleged cartel among five German carmakers (BMW, Daimler, VW, Audi, and Porsche) to limit their spending on emissions technology. (Read here). Daimler and VW offices were also raided subsequently. (Read here).

Fiat Chrysler accused of obstructing diesel inquiry. (Read here). And also, Fiat Chrysler sues shippers over alleged price fixing. (Read here).

From Toyota, vehicles driven by emotions. The common thread is an artificial intelligence system that taps deep learning to absorb the driver's habits and behavior, make predictions and suggestions and protect the occupants. (Read here).

Kia Motors America Inc. is recalling 342,381 Souls for the second time in the U.S. because an initial repair may not have fixed a steering flaw. (Read here).

Subaro set to recall up to 400,000 vehicles in Japan in the wake of improper inspections by uncertified workers. (Read here).

Honda to install faster-filling hydrogen stations across Japan. (Read here).

Tesla, Apple, and Google scrambling for Graphite supplies. (Read here).

BMW i Ventures and Penske invest in flexible car ownership app, Fair, which attracted nearly $1 billion in offers from investors. (Read here).


The aviation industry may have a major crisis on its hands, as the number of pilots needed to fly commercial airliners is dwindling. Between 2017 and 2036, about 640,000 new pilots will be needed to fly commercial airplanes worldwide. As the demand for pilots grows, so does the retirement rate among current aviators operating commercial aircraft. (Read here).

Singapore Airlines formalized a deal with for 20 Boeing 777-9s and 19 787-10 “Dreamliners" –valued at $13.8 billion at list prices. (Read here).

Glitches in Pratt & Whitney's engines used by IndiGo and GoAir on their new Airbus A320neo planes have led to as many as 64 of them having to be removed for repair and replacement by the two airlines in the last year and a half on 32 aircraft, said people aware of the matter. That, according to experts, is more than six times the usual number, leading to hundreds of canceled flights (Read here).
Saudi Arabia plans $1 billion investment in Virgin's space tourism. (Read here).

Dassault Aviation said it would invest €100 million in its defense joint venture with the Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group. The facility will manufacture several components of the offset obligation connected to the purchase of 36 Rafale fighters from France. (Read here).

We all know about bird strike analysis in the aircraft design. Here are some statistics - In 2017 alone, there have been 18 incidents of bird strikes at the Bangalore airport. The Bangalore  Airport Limited (BIAL) wants to conduct a special ornithological study for evaluating bird activities in and around the region in the backdrop of its expansion plans. (Read here).

JetBlue plan to add more seats to its Airbus SE A320 planes is running into an obstacle: broken toilets. The Space Flex lavatories supplied by Zodiac Aerospace are crucial to JetBlue’s plan to reconfigure its fleet of A320 jets. (Read here).

Boeing stopped loading new airplane sections onto its 777 assembly line as workers scrambled to catch up on a growing amount of unfinished work, which has grown in recent months as the company continues to implement new automation into the widebody’s fuselage assembly process. (Read here). Automation can delay production in the short term!

Industrial Equipment

Pentair's electric division spinoff will be called nVent Electric. (Read here).


Alphabet’s Project Wing now delivers burritos by drone in southeastern Australia. (Read here).

After a natural disaster, the process of finding survivors can be a dangerous and arduous undertaking. There might be downed power-lines, impassable flooded streets, or unstable ground to work around. A new drone from Parrot has the potential to help. Outfitted with a thermal camera, the Bebop Pro Thermal can fly over devastated areas and feed a live image back to an app, providing up-to-date status information and identifying hot spots -- including the heat given off by a survivor's body. (Read here).


Augmented War: New combat helmets are equipped with Microsoft’s HoloLens. (Read here).

Software/ High-Tech

Amazon is launching a service that will let couriers open people's front doors and put deliveries inside. Users of Amazon Key will need a smart lock and Cloud Cam camera. ( Read here).
The Google recently launched Pixel 2 XL and  reports began to surface that the device’s OLED screen was already exhibiting signs of burn-in, which left UI elements faintly evident after switching screens. (Read here).

Amazon Wine is shutting down. (Read here).

eBay launches visual search tools that let you shop using photos from your phone or web. (Read here).

Amazon will soon let you order from restaurants using the Amazon app on your phone. (Read here).

Telecom/ Semiconductor

Finnish mobile operator Elisa and the mobile payments company Fortumo announced a partnership for the launch of direct carrier billing. More than 2 million Elisa subscribers can now make purchases in app stores, inside games, and for digital content by charging payments to their mobile phone bill. (Read here). While credit card ownership in Finland is relatively high, standing at 63%, carrier billing has become a popular payment method thanks to its simplicity and security. The main benefits of carrier billing over card-based payments are that the payments take only a few seconds to complete and do not require users to share personal data.

Cisco acquires BroadSoft for $1.9 billion. Broadsoft sells unified communications software tools and fits in Cisco’s strategy to move from hardware to software. This is Cisco’s 200 the acquisition. (Read here).

Australia’s ambitious NBN program is in trouble. Govt looks to courts to salvage NBN model. (Read here). It raises the question whether FTTx broadband model is commercially viable beyond densely populated urban areas.

Nokia trials Asia's first fall prediction video analytics application. (Read here).


Robotic underwater miners can go where humans can’t. The goal is to extract mineral resources from abandoned, flooded mine sites previously considered too dangerous or costly to access. (Read here).

Kindred robots are learning to grab and sort clothing in a warehouse for the Gap. (Read here).
Microsoft has stopped manufacturing the Kinect sensor, which has given robots affordable eyes since its launch in 2010. (Read here).  Earlier this year Google sold its robotics arm, Boston Dynamics. It looks like Google and Microsoft are not bullish on the robotics prospects.

3D Printing

GKN and GE Additive sign MoU for additive manufacturing collaboration. (Read here).

RTI Surgical, a global surgical implant company,  announced the introduction of TETRAfuse® 3D Technology, providing surgeons a solution they have been seeking. From the beginning, surgeons have had to choose between bone in-growth, radiolucency or mechanical strength when selecting a spinal interbody implant. TETRAfuse 3D Technology is the first 3D printed polymer implant material that has demonstrated trabecular bone ingrowth while maintaining radiolucency and bone-like mechanical properties. (Read here).


Meet the “connected cow.” Dairy herds are being connected to sensors and mobile phones. (Read here).

Exelon signed a deal with GE Power to sift the data with Predix, GE’s IoT platform. (Read here).

PLM / Industry 4.0

Autodesk launches services marketplace geared for the AEC industry. (Read here).
Siemens and FFG partner for digitalization strategy. (Read here).

Dassault Systèmes to acquire No Magic, leader in model-based systems engineering, and modeling solutions. (Read here).

REHAU Automotive to deploy Siemens software exclusively across all 15 plants. (Read here).
Imagine a fully loaded Boeing 747 crashing four times a week, every week, with no survivors. Over a 52-week period, that would result in about 100,000 lives lost. That’s roughly the same number of deaths in the United States each year that can be attributed to infections contracted in hospital operating rooms. HUNTAIR is using BIM to solve this challenge leveraging its semiconductor’s clean room expertise. (Read here).


Saudi Arabia announced plans to build a $500 billion mega-city that's 33 times the size of New York City. (Read here).

GE explores divesting its transportation, healthcare IT businesses. (Read here). Will any Indian IT service provider interested in GE’s healthcare IT business?

The Chinese government plans to launch its Social Credit System in 2020. The aim? To judge the trustworthiness – or otherwise – of its 1.3 billion residents. (Read here).