Google, GM, Li-ion batteries, Lingyun.
Self-driving minivans: Google is officially partnering with Fiat-Chrysler to further develop the former’s self-driving vehicle technology. The internet giant will more than double its fleet, adding 100 Google technology-equipped 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans. Some will already hit the road later this year.
Autonomous taxis: GM and Lyft will begin testing a fleet of self-driving Chevy Bolt electric taxis on public roads within a year. Details, including the location, are still unknown, but customers will be able to opt in or out of the pilot when ordering a taxi. At the beginning, the cars will still have a driver for safety reasons.
Longer battery lifecycles: The Technical University of Munich and the Research Centre Jülich have pinpointed what makes lithium-ion batteries wilt after several charges. They blame the production of a highly reactive singelt oxygen and expect lightweight alternatives to be the best solution.
idw-online.de (in German)
Futuristic concept: Lingyun presented a streamlined two-wheeled concept car at the 2016 Beijing Auto Show. The wheels can turn up to 90 degrees, enabling the car to turn on its own axis. Equipped with a 25 kWh battery pack, the company still claims a range of up to 400 km. That seems a lot, but is apparently possible due to the cars reduced weight and aerodynamics.