July 7th, 2017 News of the Day: VW partners with Kuka, Tesla to build battery factory in Australia

July 7th, 2017 News of the Day: VW partners with Kuka, Tesla to build battery factory in Australia

Author: Claire   

VW partners with Kuka on robots on electric driverless cars

German carmaker Volkswagen and robotics company Kuka are cooperating to develop robots that can help drivers of electric and autonomous vehicles, Volkswagen said in a statement on Friday.

The two are developing on a system to connect EVs to charge points with the help of robots. Kuka was previously bought by Chinese home appliance maker Midea.

"The driver simply has to position the electrically powered automobile in a designated parking space. The robot takes care of connecting up the charging cable for the driver," The statement said, adding that the two companies are planning to develop other projects.

Tesla to build world's largest battery storage facility in Australia


Tesla will build the largest lithium-ion battery storage facility in the world, for Australia's Hornsdale Wind Farm, with an expected completion date of December 1st, 2017.

The facility will use Tesla's commercial battery storage Powerpack, which stores energy generated from the wind farm's turbines during peak hours, and makes it available consistently throughout the day when the grid needs it.

The system is sufficient to power 30,000 homes at maximum, but the major goal is to help stabilize the South Australian electric power grid, by controlling power delivery according to peak demand. launches an $88 universal car interface called Panda


According to TechCrunch,'s founder George Hotz, aka Geohot, is launching the company's latest product - an $88 universal car interface called Panda. This is the first bit of hardware that Hotz will sell after the cancellation of Comma One last year.

The product is a black-and-white dongle that can be ported into a car to gather a wide range of data. It will pair with an app called Chffr, which is basically a cloud-connected dashcam, and will record the driving data and software from all the sensors in a vehicle. The driver will be able to see when he accelerates, how much gas is in the tank at the moment, and how hard one hits the brake.

"Think of it like a Fitbit but for your car. People like seeing data their bodies and I want to give them that same access but for their car." Hotz said.

FAA is refunding drone registrations


The US Federal Aviation Administration(FAA) is refunding drone users the $5 registration fees and removing their names from its registration database.

The organization started requiring drone owners to register their small aerial vehicles on December 21st, 2015. The process will cost a fee and be valid for three years. But on May 19th, the US court of Appeals ruled that the registration policy violated the FAA Modernization and Reform Act, which bans model aircraft regulation. FAA is now gradually phasing out the registration policy, but hasn't given a final word on it. A special committee is discussing a proposal for remote drone identification system, which could lead Congress to reinstate the registration requirement. The group will meet again on July 18th and likely propose the plan to the FAA in September.

BMW to cut $1.14 billion cost by 2019

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Luxury carmaker BMW Group plans to cut 1 billion euros ($1.14 billion) in indirect procurement cost by 2019, Markus Duesmann, the automaker's head of production told a German daily newspaper.

Later a BMW spokesperson confirmed the figure.

Currently, BMW spent about 20 billion euros a year on indirect procurement costs, however the manufacturer wants to save money to invest more in electric and self-driving car technology.

Also while being interviewed by German media Handelsblatt, Duesmann mentioned that BMW is seeking damages from supplier Robert Bosch after a shortage of steering components slowed production, which is worth a "mid two-digit million-euro sum" and affected delivery of about 8,000 cars.

Claire Peng has over 6 years of professional experience in the media industry, covering TV, newspaper and online media. She was once a reporter and producer for Fairchild Television based in Toronto Canada, and worked as an English news reporter for the Global Times in Beijing. She writes mainly about self-driving, companies investment, and the enterprise lab.
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