Apple, John Deere, Lilium Aviation, WiTricity.
Apple confirms autonomous car plans: In a letter to U.S. transport regulators, the tech firm for the first time acknowledged that it is working on self-driving technology. It urged the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to not introduce too many regulations on the testing of the technology and proposed that companies share data from i.e. crashes to make the autonomous driving even safer.
New e-tractor in town: John Deere unveiled a prototype of its new electric tractor SESAM (Sustainable Energy Supply for Agricultural Machinery). The machine features two electric motors with 150 kW each and a 130 kWh battery pack. The tractor is said to require less maintenance and last longer than its diesel equivalent.
electrek.co, youtube.com (video)
Cash injection: Skype co-founder Niklas Zennström has invested 100m dollars in Munich-based start-up Lilium. The latter is working on a two-seater electric jet (we reported), ready to take flight by 2018. Range is estimated at 500 km while the jet’s top speed is set at 400 kph.
Optimising inductive charging: WiTricity has presented its new Tunable Matching Network (TMN), said to automatically optimise energy transfer between the ground and vehicle using a wireless charging system. It could therefore “correct” real-world operating conditions, such as parking misalignment, different vehicle ground clearance or battery voltage conditions.