#14. 🇲🇽 Climate change destroys Mexican village | ♻️ Concrete as clean energy | 🇮🇱 Nvidia’s Israeli AV unit
🌡 CLIMATE CHANGE
Climate change threatening “things Americans value most,” US report says (long read)
This is an extremely long, deep dive article highlighting numerous facets of climate change’s impact on the US. The high level takeaway is that the US is warming 68% faster, on average, than the rest of the planet, impacting drinking water and infrastructure. Billion-dollar climate-fueled disasters have increased in frequency from once every four months, forty years ago, to once every three weeks at present; impacts of sea level rise in the US are some of the worst in the world.
COP27: Polluters must pay for climate change, poor nations tell rich (long read)
Poor countries, including and especially small island nations most imperiled by climate change-fueled sea level rise, demand a global carbon tax on the basis that they are bearing the disproportionate brunt of rich countries’ adverse impact on climate change.
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Mexican village blames climate change as sea swallows its homes (quick read)
Thirty homes in the small coastal community of El Bosque, in the Mexican state of Tabasco, have been swallowed by rising seas; 20 more homes and the village primary school could soon be lost in the coming months.
🔋 CLEAN ENERGY
Turning concrete into a clean energy source (long read)
Concrete accounts for 8% of global emissions. Maria Konsta-Gdoutos, a professor at the University of Texas, Arlington’s Center for Advanced Construction Materials (CACM), is pioneering TE-CO2NCRETE, a “thermoelectric carbon-neutral concrete, that will exhibit a high carbon dioxide uptake potential and storage capacity.”
In France, all large parking lots now have to be covered by solar panels (quick read)
Outdoor parking lots in France with at least 80 spaces, both new construction as well as pre-existing lots — must be covered with solar panels. This is part of French President Emmanuel Macron’s plan to 10x the amount of solar energy production and 2x the available wind power. SNCF, the French national rail system, also plans to install solar panels at 156 train stations to reduce energy use by 25% by 2030. Two offshore wind farms have also been approved, the first of which will generate 1 GW of power and, combined with the second, will power some 1.6 million people.
Here’s how much states and cities could save by converting to electric vehicles right now (quick read)
The Arizona PIRG Education Fund and Frontier Group “Electric Vehicles for Arizona” has demonstrated an $80M in available savings if 10 cities and towns in Arizona adopted EVs, while also saving $14M in economic value directly tied to a reduction in air pollution by switching from combustion to electric vehicles.
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🚗 AUTONOMOUS & ELECTRIC VEHICLES
Nvidia establishes autonomous driving units in Israel (long read)
Nvidia, a PC graphics card manufacturer-turned-autonomous vehicle powerhouse, is setting up an engineering team in Israel, home to numerous autonomous vehicle-related technology companies including Mobileye, recently acquired by Intel. The team will focus on developing SoC (system-on-chip) AV software.
Software is taking over the auto industry (quick read)
Despite perpetually slipping timelines, Goldman Sachs Research anticipates rising profits in the auto industry due to the rising importance of software. New projections for AV market penetration peg Level 3 and above AVs to account for 15% of all vehicle sales by 2030. This demand is projected to boost software revenue which will see its complexity increase to 650 million lines of code by 2025, up from just 100 million in 2015; this contrasts with smartphone operating systems and fighter jet aircraft which contain on the order of 20-40 million lines of code. On net, this should increase automakers’ margins by some 7-12%, or an increase in income to $3,750 per vehicle, up from $1,750 today.
Seeing through the fog: SWIR and event-based vision for autonomous vehicles, discussed by IDTechEx (long read)
Short-wave-infrared (SWIR) operates at 1000 nm to 2500 nm and is optimal for low-visibility conditions such as fog; the relatively longer wavelength of infrared allows it to pass through gas, dust, and water moisture without absorption and scattering. Hence why fog lights tend to be yellow rather than bright white or blueish. But manufacturing SWIR sensors requires pricy InGaAs (indium gallium arsenide) sensors, a type of room-temperature semiconductor, hence alternative approaches that utilize so-called “extended silicon” and quantum dot-on-CMS (QD-on-CMOS). Event-based vision considers only elements that change in a scene, making detection of pedestrians, for instance, against otherwise static backgrounds, more visible. In conjunction, then, SWIR and event-based vision offer a powerful set of technological augmentation to the existing suite of ADAS hardware stack including LiDAR, radar, and cameras. For more, read the IDTechEx report Emerging Image Sensor Techonlogies 2021-2031: Applications and Markets.