#36. 🧂US road salt addiction | ⚡️nuclear fusion breakthrough | 🤖AV deep learning object detection
Plus: G7's climate club | global emissions chart | EU's clean EV battery law | solar stickers | GM's $2.5B battery factory loan | 25 years of AVs
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🌡 CLIMATE CHANGE
G7 establishes climate club to fight global warming (quick read)
The club will be open to all countries — not just those in the G7 (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK, US) — that wish to cooperate in the global endeavor to curb climate change. Goals include the acceleration to renewable energy and further cut emissions.
The U.S.’ addiction to road salt is out of control. Cities are trying to cut back (long read)
Road salt poses a risk to lakes and rivers as snow and ice melt, endangering wildlife and humans alike. It is also responsible for some $5B in damage each year to roads and cars, and even serves as a delicacy for deer and moose: the animals like to lick it up, increasing the chance for accidents with vehicles. Salt use has exploded from 1 million tons in 1954 to 24 million tons in 2019. Alternatives like chemical solutions and organic options like beet juice either come with their own adverse side effects, or at too limited in quantity, or both. The best approach for now seems to simply scale back application of salt; apply it more sparingly; and reduce homeowners’ liability for slips and falls on or in front of their property.
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The World Cup of O&G emissions (quick read)
This is a somewhat tongue-in-cheek bracketed contest for countries’ oil and gas emissions, pulled together using data from the Oil Climate Index plus Gas and Climate TRACE.
🔋 CLEAN ENERGY
EU passes law to make electric car batteries cleaner (quick read)
The new law aims to further increase efficiencies around the sourcing, production, and recycling of EV batteries. From July 2024, battery manufacturers will henceforth need to share data on their battery production’s entire carbon footprint, from mining to production to recycling; this information will then be used to set a CO2 limit for batteries’ entire life cycles from July 2027.
U.S. to reveal scientific milestone on fusion energy (quick read)
For the first time in history, scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Berkeley, CA have successfully operated an experimental nuclear fusion reactor to produce (slightly) more power than it required for operation. Details will be available tomorrow.
Ultra thin printed solar cells from MIT can electrify everything (long read) [VIDEO]
The flexible, adhesive cells are thinner than a human hair, weigh just 1% of conventional solar panels, and produce 18 times more power per kilogram.
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🚗 AUTONOMOUS & ELECTRIC VEHICLES
Biden gives GM and LG a $2.5B loan to build 3 battery factories in 3 states (quick read)
The loan will be used for the GM/LG joint venture Ultium Cells, with factories to go up in Ohio, Tennessee, and Michigan.
Bolstering the safety of self-driving cars with a deep learning-based object detection system (long read)
A group of researchers from Incheon National University in Korea have developed a smart Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled end-to-end system for 3D object detection in real time based on deep learning and specialised for autonomous driving situations. The team used the YOLOv3 algorithm, which achieved an extremely high accuracy of detection for both 2D and 3D objects, outperforming other state-of-the-art detection models. The method can be applied to autonomous vehicles and future autonomous robots. A link to the paper can be found here.
25 years of autonomous vehicles: The challenge towards Level 5 (long read)
This is a pretty great, if somewhat abbreviated, bird’s eye view of the entire landscape of AV advancements over the last 25 years broken down by year.
🎉 THAT’S ALL FOR TODAY!
Thank you so much for reading, see you tomorrow!