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  • #36. 🧂US road salt addiction | ⚡️nuclear fusion breakthrough | 🤖AV deep learning object detection

#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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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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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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The loan will be used for the GM/LG joint venture Ultium Cells, with factories to go up in Ohio, Tennessee, and Michigan.

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.

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.


Thank you so much for reading, see you tomorrow!-Marc

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