Swedish automaker Volvo Cars said it is testing wireless charging technology for electric vehicles in urban areas to see its potential. Over the next three years, stations in Gothenburg will provide wireless charging for Volvo XC40 Recharge electric vehicles operated by taxi company Cabonline.
Charging stations for this testing program are provided by Momentum Dynamics, a supplier of wireless electric vehicle charging systems.
Wireless charging starts automatically when the electric vehicle is parked above the charging pad built into the roadway. The charging station located under the road surface sends energy, which is captured by the receiving unit of the electric vehicle.
The chargers will provide more than 40kW of power to Volvo XC40 Recharge electric vehicles, charging batteries nearly four times faster than an 11kW AC wired charger and comparable to a 50kW DC fast wired charger.
As part of the wireless charging trial, Volvo-branded taxis will operate 12 hours a day, driving around 100,000 km a year. Thus, Volvo Cars will also use this program as the first endurance test of its electric vehicles in a commercial use case.
Headquartered in Torsland, Sweden, owned by the Chinese conglomerate Geely Holding Group, Volvo Cars has made great strides in electrification in recent years. It plans to become an all-electric brand by 2030.
To implement this plan, Volvo Cars creates the necessary production infrastructure. In particular, plans have been announced to build jointly with Northvolt in Thorsland, on the outskirts of Gothenburg, a battery plant with a total capacity of 50 GWh per year. The volume of investments in this enterprise is estimated at 3.28 billion dollars.
Tesla autopilot caused crash, driver charged with murder
There was a new incident involving a Tesla car with autopilot on, which resulted in the death of two people. A Tesla Model S passed through a red traffic light at 119 km/h and crashed into a Honda Civic, killing the occupants of the last car.
The investigation confirms that the autopilot function was active in the car at the time of the accident. However, in the report, the judicial department believes that the fault lies with the driver and has nothing to do with the autopilot.
According to the Los Angeles District Court, the owner of the car was charged with “manslaughter in a vehicle.” By definition, vehicular homicide is the crime of causing death by gross negligence. This may involve drunk driving, reckless driving, or speeding.
The punishment for this varies greatly. For example, if minor speeding results in death, it carries a prison sentence of up to one year. However, if the driver is drunk or under the influence of drugs, the punishment will be much more severe. Based on the description of this charge, there is evidence that the driver was grossly negligent while driving.
A Los Angeles court said there was enough evidence to charge the Tesla driver with murder. However, the trial in this case has only just begun.
As we have already reported, Tesla has created a department dedicated to responding to litigation within the company. It includes both passive response and active pursuit. Elon Musk says this new department reports directly to him.
Skoda Afriq sports crossover unveiled
Skoda presented the finished car Skoda Afriq, created at the company’s Academy in Mladá Boleslav. For the first time, we wrote about a sports crossover, which was created by a group of students, in November. Now it has become a reality.
With the name Afriq, the concept car pays homage to the legendary Dakar Rally, and technically it is similar to many other rally cars. The students were actively assisted by the Skoda Motorsport factory team participating in the rally on Skoda Fabia hatchbacks.
Externally and in size, the Skoda Afriq is similar to the Kamiq crossover. The distinctive sides were welded rear doors, enlarged wheel arches and an increase in overall length from 4241 to 4362 mm. The rear wing, ventilation system and almost the entire interior, including the steering wheel, instrument panel, seats, seat belts and intercoms, were transferred from the Skoda Fabia Rally2 Evo racing hatchback.
Skoda Afriq received transmission from Skoda Octavia 4×4. We are talking about a 2.0-liter 190-horsepower turbo engine, a seven-speed DSG “robot” and an all-wheel drive system with a clutch on the rear axle. To install the latter, the Czechs had to shorten the driveshaft and literally make the entire exhaust system from scratch.
The gas tank for the Afriq was also taken from the Skoda Octavia 4×4, and for independent suspension, the students completely redid the bottom of the donor Kamiq. The mass of the car was only 1350 kg, and in the back of it fit a portable water generator capable of producing drinking water from moisture in the air.
The car was created in a single copy.
Elon Musk called the month of the appearance of fully unmanned Tesla
The Tesla CEO visited Brazil on Friday. The reason for the trip was a partnership with the local government to launch a program to connect Amazon regions to SpaceX Starlink satellite internet.
Speaking to reporters, Elon Musk said that in a year (in May 2023) Tesla will already have cars with an unmanned driving system that does not require the presence of drivers behind the wheel. It is worth noting that Elon Musk has repeatedly made such statements in the past, but he has always been wrong in his predictions.
He previously claimed that there will be a million Tesla robot taxis on the roads in 2020. This year, Musk changed the goal to 1 million Full Self-Driving (FSD) beta users, which is a big difference.
The Full Self-Driving (FSD) beta version has the features of the autonomous driving system, but they sometimes fail, requiring the driver to be constantly behind the wheel, aware of the situation and ready to take control.
Tesla continues to improve the Full Self-Driving system and collect data to train its neural networks. Tesla hopes that with enough improvements, its FSD system will eventually be secure enough to be used without driver oversight.
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