Tesla CEO Elon Musk has confirmed that the highly-anticipated “Smart Summon” feature will be available for all Autopilot vehicles with hardware 2.0 and above. The announcement comes just nine days after Musk said that the Summon software was “almost perfect“.
After Tesletter posted V10 release notes regarding “Smart” Summon on their official Twitter, a follower asked Elon Musk whether owners operating under Hardware 2.5 would have the capability to experience a feature on Tesla’s driving-assist software that will allow a vehicle to find its owner through the Tesla app. Musk replied, clarifying that the newly released “Smart” Summon will operate normally with all vehicles running at least Hardware 2.
At the moment, select Tesla owners under the company’s Early Access Program have access to Version 10 features, including Smart Summon.
By tapping Summon > Advanced Summon and then holding Come to Me, the vehicle will begin approaching the geographical location of the phone, as long as it is within 213 feet of the car. The location can be adjusted through the map.
Autopilot was first announced in 2014. Dubbed “hardware 1”, Model S and Model X were fitted with a camera at the top of the windshield, along with a radar in the lower grille and ultrasonic sensors fitted in the front and rear bumpers for 360-degree vision around the car. Tesla did not release hardware version 2 for another two years.
Any Tesla vehicle that was manufactured after October 2016 will have the capability to run “Smart” Summon. Musk clarified that customers who were running older hardware versions 2 or 2.5 and purchased Tesla’s Full Self-Driving suite would be able to upgrade to Hardware 3 at no additional cost.
Tesla continues to set the industry standard when it comes to vehicles that are capable of operating with an award-winning driver assistance system. With the announcement that Tesla owners who are operating with older hardware will be able to experience the new “Smart” Summon feature, it ensures that cars will not be left behind.
Updated: Canadian Solar has attained what it describes as a new milestone for PV cell conversion efficiency, taking five months to break its own record in the field.
The ‘Solar Module Super League’ (SMSL) member said this week it has achieved 22.8% conversion efficiency for its p-type multi-crystalline silicon ‘P5’ cell, a gain on the 22.28% mark it claimed to have reached in April.
According to Canadian Solar, the cells behind the 22.8% record were 246.66-square-centimetre silicon wafer products. The performance gains were helped along by the use of metal catalysed chemical etch (MCCE) black-silicon texturing, the PV firm explained.
“[The P5 milestone] proves that our multi-crystalline silicon technology can achieve efficiencies very close to mono while still enjoying the cost advantage of multi,“ Dr. Shawn Qu, Canadian Solar’s chair and CEO, said in a statement marking the solar cell breakthrough.
The multi-crystalline cells – featuring 157mm x 157mm wafers – incorporate selective emitters, multi-layer anti-reflection coating, “advanced” surface passivation and “optimised” grid design and metallisation, Canadian Solar explained.
Canadian Solar’s efficiency feats follow its move last month to upscale module assembly capacity by 1GW in response to strong demand, paving the way for nameplate capacity to hit 12.22GW by the end of this year.
However, the record results also highlight whether the ‘cast mono’ process developed by GCL-Poly and major wafer supplier to Canadian Solar – can still be categorised as multicrystalline – not least for transparency and limiting market confusion.
GCL-Poly has claimed that the cast mono process enables a comparable wafer to standard monocrystalline wafers.
Earlier this year, GCL System Integrated, highlighted that its standard multicrystalline wafer-based PERC cells from sister company GCL-Poly had average conversion efficiencies of up to 21%, in mass production. The average efficiency of GCL’s cast mono PERC cells had reached conversion efficiencies of 21.87%.
Conversion efficiencies above 22% for mono-cast PERC cells were claimed to have been achieved with a multi-busbar technique but would be in mass production in three years.
With additional reporting by Mark Osborne, founding senior news editor.
What may be viewed as the world’s smallest incandescent lightbulb is shining in a Rice University engineering laboratory with the promise of advances in sensing, photonics and perhaps computing platforms beyond the limitations of silicon.
Gururaj Naik of Rice’s Brown School of Engineering and graduate student Chloe Doiron have assembled unconventional “selective thermal emitters”—collections of near-nanoscale materials that absorb heat and emit light.
Their research, reported in Advanced Materials, one-ups a recent technique developed by the lab that uses carbon nanotubes to channel heat from mid-infrared radiation to improve the efficiency of solar energy systems.
The new strategy combines several known phenomena into a unique configuration that also turns heat into light—but in this case, the system is highly configurable.
Basically, Naik said, the researchers made an incandescent light source by breaking down a one-element system—the glowing filament in a bulb—into two or more subunits. Mixing and matching the subunits could give the system a variety of capabilities.
“The previous paper was all about making solar cells more efficient,” said Naik, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering. “This time, the breakthrough is more in the science than the application. Basically, our goal was to build a nanoscale thermal light source with specific properties, like emitting at a certain wavelength, or emitting extremely bright or new thermal light states.
“Previously, people thought of a light source as just one element and tried to get the best out of it,” he said. “But we break the source into many tiny elements. We put sub-elements together in such a fashion that they interact with each other. One element may give brightness; the next element could be tuned to provide wavelength specificity. We share the burden among many small parts.
“The idea is to rely upon collective behavior, not just a single element,” Naik said. “Breaking the filament into many pieces gives us more degrees of freedom to design the functionality.”
The system relies on non-Hermitian physics, a quantum mechanical way to describe “open” systems that dissipate energy—in this case, heat—rather than retain it. In their experiments, Naik and Doiron combined two kinds of near-nanoscale passive oscillators that are electromagnetically coupled when heated to about 700 degrees Celsius. When the metallic oscillator emitted thermal light, it triggered the coupled silicon disk to store the light and release in the desired manner, Naik said.
The light-emitting resonator’s output, Doiron said, can be controlled by damping the lossy resonator or by controlling the level of coupling through a third element between the resonators. “Brightness and the selectivity trade off,” she said. “Semiconductors give you a high selectivity but low brightness, while metals give you very bright emission but low selectivity. Just by coupling these elements, we can get the best of both worlds.”
“The potential scientific impact is that we can do this not just with two elements, but many more,” Naik said. “The physics would not change.”
He noted that though commercial incandescent bulbs have given way to LEDs for their energy efficiency, incandescent lamps are still the only practical means to produce infrared light. “Infrared detection and sensing both rely on these sources,” Naik said. “What we’ve created is a new way to build light sources that are bright, directional and emit light in specific states and wavelengths, including infrared.”
The opportunities for sensing lie at the system’s “exceptional point,” he said.
“There’s an optical phase transition because of how we’ve coupled these two resonators,” Naik said. “Where this happens is called the exceptional point, because it’s exceptionally sensitive to any perturbation around it. That makes these devices suitable for sensors. There are sensors with microscale optics, but nothing has been shown in devices that employ nanophotonics.”
The opportunities may also be great for next-level classical computing. “The International Roadmap for Semiconductor Technology (ITRS) understands that semiconductor technology is reaching saturation and they’re thinking about what next-generation switches will replace silicon transistors,” Naik said. “ITRS has predicted that will be an optical switch, and that it will use the concept of parity-time symmetry, as we do here, because the switch has to be unidirectional. It sends light in the direction we want, and none comes back, like a diode for light instead of electricity.”
Proteins are essential for every living cell and responsible for many fundamental processes. In particular, they are required as bio-catalysts in metabolism and for signaling inside the cell and between cells. Many diseases come about as a result of failures in this communication, and the origins of signaling in proteins have been a source of great scientific debate. Now, for the first time, a team of researchers at the University of Göttingen has actually observed the mobile protons that do this job in each and every living cell, thus providing new insights into the mechanisms. The results were published in Nature.
Researchers from the University of Göttingen led by Professors Kai Tittmann and Ricardo Mata found a way to grow high-quality protein crystals of a human protein. The DESY particle accelerator in Hamburg made it possible to observe protons (subatomic particles with a positive charge) moving around within the protein. This surprising “dance of the protons” showed how distant sections of the protein were able to communicate instantaneously with each other—like electricity moving down a wire.
In addition, Tittmann’s group obtained high-resolution data for several other proteins, showing in unprecedented detail the structure of a kind of hydrogen bond where two heavier atoms effectively share a proton (known as “low-barrier hydrogen bonding”). This was the second surprise: the data proved that low-barrier hydrogen bonding indeed exists in proteins resolving a decades-long controversy, and in fact plays an essential role in the process.
“The proton movements we observed closely resemble the toy known as a Newton’s cradle, in which the energy is instantly transported along a chain of suspended metal balls. In proteins, these mobile protons can immediately connect other parts of the protein,” explained Tittmann, who is also a Max Planck Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen. The process was simulated with the help of quantum chemical calculations in Professor Mata’s laboratory. These calculations provided a new model for the communication mechanism of the protons. “We have known for quite some time that protons can move in a concerted fashion, like in water for example. Now it seems that proteins have evolved in such a way that they can actually use these protons for signaling.”
The researchers believe this breakthrough can lead to a better understanding of the chemistry of life, improve the understanding of disease mechanisms and lead to new medications. This advance should enable the development of switchable proteins that can be adapted to a multitude of potential applications in medicine, biotechnology and environmentally friendly chemistry.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has announced Rivian, an electric vehicle startup that took a $700 million investment from the online retailer, is going to make 100,000 electric delivery vans for them.
At the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Bezos announced plans to address climate change, and the new electric delivery vehicles were part of the announcement.
The CEO said that the agreement was made official, and Amazon is committed to buying 100,000 electric delivery vans from Rivian to be deployed between 2021 and 2024.
To date, Rivian has only announced plans to build an electric pickup truck, the Rivian R1T, and an electric SUV, the Rivian R1S.
It looks like Bezos jumped the gun and announced that Amazon was buying a product that hasn’t been announced yet, but we are told that Rivian is going to announce more details next about its electric van.
Apple Music is now available on Alexa devices in Canada By Dean Daley@deancwdaleySEP 18, 201911:39 AM EDT0 COMMENTS
Apple Music is now available on Alexa devices in Canada. Those with an Apple Music subscription can now listen to music from the platform on their Echo devices with Alexa. Additionally, customers with Alexa built-in devices, like the Sonos One and Sonos Beam, are also able to stream Apple Music via Alexa. First you to enable the Apple Music Skill and link it to your ccount, with either the Skills Store in the Alexa app or on Amazon.ca. With this functionality, you can start listening to Apple Music’s 50 million songs and ask Alexa to play your favourite songs, artists or albums. You can even ask the voice assistant to stream from Apple Music’s radio stations or play music from playlists made by Apple Music’s editors from around the world.
IBM continues to push its quantum computing efforts forward and today announced that it will soon make a 53-qubit quantum computer available to clients of its IBM Q Network. The new system, which is scheduled to go online in the middle of next month, will be the largest universal quantum computer available for external use yet.
The new machine will be part of IBM’s new Quantum Computation Center in New York State, which the company also announced today. The new center, which is essentially a data center for IBM’s quantum machines, will also feature five 20-qubit machines, but that number will grow to 14 within the next month. IBM promises a 95% service availability for its quantum machines.
IBM notes that the new 53-qubit system introduces a number of new techniques that enable the company to launch larger, more reliable systems for cloud deployments. It features more compact custom electronics for improving scaling and lower error rates, as well as a new processor design.
“Our global momentum has been extraordinary since we put the very first quantum computer on the cloud in 2016, with the goal of moving quantum computing beyond isolated lab experiments that only a handful organizations could do, into the hands of tens of thousands of users,” said Dario Gil, the director of IBM Research. “The single goal of this passionate community is to achieve what we call Quantum Advantage, producing powerful quantum systems that can ultimately solve real problems facing our clients that are not viable using today’s classical methods alone, and by making even more IBM Quantum systems available we believe that goal is achievable.”
The fact that IBM is now opening this Quantum Computation itself, of course, is a pretty good indication about how serious the company is about its quantum efforts. The company’s quantum program also now supports 80 partnerships with commercial clients, academic institutions and research laboratories. Some of these have started to use the available machines to work on real-world problems, though the current state of the art in quantum computing is still not quite ready for solving anything but toy problems and testing basic algorithms.