Carbon fiber was first discovered in the 1970’s when extensive research was happening to find alternative materials for metals. Initially, carbon fibers were not widely accepted due to its limited compression strength and high price. However, today, a lot of developments have been made on carbon fiber, and its use is extensive in various end-use industries such as aerospace & defense, automotive, sporting goods, wind energy, marine, civil engineering, pipe & tank, electrical & electronics, oil & gas, 3D printing, high-speed rail, hydrogen gas storage, and others. Carbon fiber is a long, thin strand of material made from carbon. The carbon content is more than 90% for standard modulus industrial grade and almost 100% for high modulus aerospace grade. Carbon fiber is produced from raw materials such as PAN, pitch, rayon, or other organic fibers.
Beyond Meat Inc. forayed into the public arena, with its stock price soaring up to more than double. Burgers with no meat but taste like they do—this is what Beyond Meat is serving to the customers.
The role of renewable energy is becoming more eminent in the global energy mix. The power generated by renewable energy in 2018 accounts for more than 25% globally with total installed capacity of 2,350 GW. As integration of renewable energy keeps on increasing at an average of at least 8% year on year (International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)), there is a lookout for newer ways to conserve and store power generated by the renewables.
On 3rd March 2019, Volvo Electric Buses and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU) launched Volvo 7900, the world’s first full size, autonomous electric bus. The single deck electric bus is 12 meters long and has a full capacity of 80 passengers. The autonomous electric bus is equipped with Global Positioning System, numerous sensors, stereo video cameras for recording the surround view, and navigation controls managed by a comprehensive artificial intelligence.
There was a time when an in-display fingerprint sensor feature was only available in premium smartphones, but nowadays, it is also available in mid-range smartphones. Usually, this feature was provided for OLED displays as LCD panels cannot transmit light. However, in most cases, OLED display panels are installed in high-end premium smartphones and very few mid-range smartphones. To overcome this challenge, a Chinese firm named Fortsense has announced the development of an in-display fingerprint sensor for LCD panels.
On 4th March 2019, Sono Motors, a German electric vehicle start-up, unveiled an updated production design of the Sion, an electric car with full-surface integrated solar cells. These solar cells are embedded in hard-wearing and resilient polymer, which also contribute to the vehicle’s design aesthetic. The Sion is aimed at the European market. Sono Motors started registering pre-orders for Sion and has successfully recorded registrations for more than 9,000 units. The company declared that it would initiate the production of Sion in Sweden by mid-2020.
In April 2019, Google became the first drone operator to receive government approval as an airline, an important step that gives it the legal authority to begin delivering products to customers.
Firmenich (Switzerland) has agreed to acquire a majority stake in VKL Seasoning Pvt. Ltd (India), an Indian specialist in seasonings and flavors, on 1st May 2019, with a view to expanding its capability and customer reach in India.
Tesla plans to launch the first robotaxis as part of a broader vision for an autonomous ride sharing network in 2020, CEO Elon Musk said during the company’s Autonomy Day. Musk confirmed that there will be more than a million Robotaxis on road next year. Robotaxi is an upcoming megatrend in the automotive industry. It is a disruptive technology that can lead to the development of new mobility models and provide vast opportunities for infrastructure development.
Just Vertical (Canada), a manufacturer of home-based hydroponic farming solutions, announced its agreement with NexTech’s Aritize (Canada) on the 23rd of April 2019. Just Vertical manufactures hydroponic farming units which are integrated into home furniture to minimize space requirements for farming while also seeking to maximize farming functions in a residential environment. It provides a home-based growing solution with pods, seeds, lights, and the necessary rail systems that are integrated into a single product. The partnership with NexTech’s Aritize is expected to overhaul Just Vertical’s existing infrastructure and provide augmented reality support to its website to help consumers analyze the product in a virtual space in their homes.