WePod, Google, Skeleton Technologies, AVL.
Driverless bus goes public: In Dutch Wageningen, an autonomous electric bus is rolling up and down a 200 metre stretch of road. The WePod goes 8 kph tops, but nevertheless uses public streets. The pilot will eventually expand to cover a 6 km long route, while the WePod will gradually speed up to 25 kph. The city looks to roll out an entire fleet over the coming years.
reuters.com, theguardian.com, wepods.com
Google eyes Austria: The IT giant is looking to test its self-driving pods in conditions not usually found in Silicon Valley, looking to Austria, where it will find snow, mountains and narrow curves. Autocluster AC Styria already signed a letter of intent with Google.
wirtschaftsblatt.at (in German)
Ultracap backed up: Skeleton Technologies received a 4m euro (4.4m USD) cash injection from KIC InnoEnergy, an investment company with shareholders like ABB, EDF, and Total. Skeleton aims to reach the ambitious target of a 20 Wh/kg energy density for its graphen-based technology by 2020.
greencarcongress.com, businessgreen.com, skeletontech.com
New technology centre: AVL’s latest technology centre has begun operations near Stuttgart, Germany. It features nine test beds for the development and testing of engines, powertrains and vehicles, including EVs. The modular design allows the addition of another 16 test beds.
BMW, Lexus, Borgward, WEpod, Skeleton Technologies.
New hybrid supercars planned: BMW and Lexus are rumored to be collaborating on a successor of the Lexus LFA. Motoring reports that a prototype already exists and that the BMW version will be powered by a plug-in hybrid drivetrain, while the Lexus supercar will feature a detuned version of the hybrid drivetrain from the TS040 race car with roughly 800 hp. Meanwhile, Autoblog writes that Mercedes-AMG is reportedly developing a hybrid supercar with a 12-cylinder mated to an electric motor.
motoring.com.au (Lexus & BMW), autoblog.com (Mercedes-AMG)
Borgward goes all-electric: The freshly revived Borgward brand, which recently presented its plug-in hybrid SUV BX7 at the Frankfurt Motor Show, is already working on an all-electric model. This is reported by German magazine Automobil Produktion, citing Borgward CEO Ulrich Walker.
automobil-produktion.de (in German)
Driverless electric transport: The first self-driving electric shuttle for use on public roads was recently delivered to the Netherlands. The WEpod can carry six people at a maximum speed of 25 kph and will transport passengers in the province of Gelderland from November this year.
Supercap-powered UGV: Skeleton Technologies will supply graphene-based supercapacitors to a multipurpose UGV (unmanned ground vehicle) to be showcased at this month’s DSEI 2015 in London. The hybrid vehicle was developed by Estonian defence solutions provider Milrem and Skeleton Technologies’ supercaps will be used to deliver increased energy efficiency and product reliability.