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Car shows are back! Germany is playing host to fun new ideas at the 2021 IAA Mobility Event in Munich. It officially starts tomorrow but just like tech conferences, much of the good stuff is announced in pre-event launches.
And at the top of the list nowadays are electric vehicle and autonomous driving details and concepts, with the likes of Mercedes-Benz, VW, BMW, various startups, and so on, spilling out new concepts:
- Topping the list are Mercedes’ latest EVs including a G-Class concept and the EQE sedan.
- The new G-Wagen or concept EQG was shy on details, indicating more concept than production vehicle, but just look at it: glowing accents everywhere, moon rover-style 22-inch wheels, all-wheel drive, and a low and high gear despite being an EV.
- Here’s someone looking at it in a video including the interior, which is all the wilder.
- Mercedes also launched the EQB, an electric SUV with up to seven seats, an answer to the Tesla Model Y, Mustang Mach-E, Audi Q4 e-tron, and so on. No pricing was announced but reports have indicated around a $50,000 price tag, with the vehicle coming late this year or early next depending on region — and over 200 miles range expected via EPA standards.
- And there’s a new concept Mercedes-Maybach EQS, as “a near-production one-off” model.
- VW unveiled its new VW ID.Life, an electric car concept that previews its upcoming ~$24,000 EV set for a 2025 release, with the CEO of the VW brand saying “The ID. Life is our vision of next-generation fully electric urban mobility,” with recyclable materials and design decisions made for accessibility.
- The battery pack remains a huge portion of the cost of an EV, something unlikely to change by 2025.
- By the way, Tesla aims to release a $25,000 electric car in 2023, with Elon Musk telling employees it likely will not have a steering wheel, which would be something.
- Also in VW news, the company along with Argo AI revealed the partnerships’ first ID Buzz test vehicle for autonomous driving for light commercial vehicles: six lidar, eleven radar, and fourteen cameras, to be worked on over the next four years.
- BMW went a little more out there, with a 100% recyclable i Vision Circular Concept EV with a very weird crystal interface:
- The V-shaped dashboard has a 3D-printed crystal sculpture that uses lighting to simulate the vehicle “thinking.”
- BMW also showed off a more practical and nifty looking high-speed electric bicycle with 300km of range, plus a low-speed electric motorcycle, with massive batteries compared to what we see from VanMoof, et al.
- Interestingly, both have the same performance figures. That means the electric bike isn’t quite a motorbike or a bike, and, in its highest power mode, doesn’t fit legal designations in most countries.
- BMW says it’s launched the ebike in the hopes to “prompt the introduction of such legislation and, by consequence, developments of this nature.”
- The motorbike is more strictly a standard registration affair, in theory.
🧱 Pixel 3 phones are bricking left and right, no clear answer as to why, and the mode the phones fail into means there’s little that can be done for now (Android Authority).
🔧 Phone makers may be forced to provide seven years of updates in Germany, two years longer than the EU’s proposal (Android Authority).
📳 Vivo X70 series specs leak: Three chips from three chipmakers (Android Authority).
🍎 Mark Gurman suggested Apple might announce its next major event as soon as this week, and suggested the coming Apple Watch Series 7 will be in tight supply which added weight to previous rumors (Bloomberg).
🍏 Apple quietly postponed its CSAM scanning initiative on Friday night heading into a holiday, saying: “…we have decided to take additional time over the coming months to collect input and make improvements before releasing these critically important child safety features.” (Android Authority). Over 100 policy and rights groups, including the EFF and American Civil Liberties Union, had asked Apple to recalibrate. One take said the issue was “Apple trying to solve a problem like this inside the Apple Park vacuum while adhering to its annual iOS release schedule.” iOS 15 is expected in the next few weeks. (TechCrunch).
🧬 Microsoft Excel continues to give gene scientists headaches: 30% of published papers contain mangled gene names, due to problems like SEPT4 (septin 4) and MARCH1 being automatically changed to 4-Sep and 1-Mar (Nature).
🤖 Dyson could be designing a robot vacuum helper thing that can climb stairs (Bloomberg).
🚲 A desk bike looks weird but per this review, “having a desk bike is actually pretty great.” Huh. (Ars Technica).
🛫 NASA starts flight testing with Joby’s electric air taxi or electric VTOL aircraft (Engadget).
🎮 Sony to offer free Horizon Forbidden West PS4 to PS5 upgrade after criticism (The Verge).
🔴 The Perseverance rover on Mars confirms it has collected and stored its first rock sample, after initial problems (CNET).
🚁 NASA’s helicopter on Mars, Ingenuity, has clocked up 12 flights and is going so well that its mission has been extended indefinitely, though the approaching Martian winter will be a challenge (ScienceAlert).
🌲 “Where does the CO2 absorbed by trees end up?” (r/askscience).
Coders at Apple thought of this, back in the day, when writing and testing Apple’s chess engine that has been baked into MacOS for the longest time:
Or in text form:
// Paradoxically enough, moving as quickly as possible is
// not necessarily desirable. Users tend to get frustrated
// once they realize how little time their Mac really spends
// to crush them at low levels. In the interest of promoting
// harmonious Human – Machine relations, we enforce minimum
// response times.
Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor