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  • Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)

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Drone Express Partners with Microsoft to Develop Artificial
Intelligence (AI) Delivery Drones

Drone Express, an innovative last-mile logistics company, has
partnered with Microsoft to launch a new version of their DE-2020
drone using Artificial Intelligence (AI) for in-flight navigation
systems. This creative collaboration will equip delivery drones
with Microsoft Azure to host the AI solutions and use Azure Machine
Learning to train machine learning models. With AI implemented,
drones can safely make live, in-flight decisions to deliver
packages in an urban environment. The first aircraft with this
specific hardware will enter production at the end of 2022 and
provide customers with safer and faster last-mile delivery

“While our competitors are focusing on how to carry more
weight, we are focusing on building a more intelligent
aircraft,” said Beth Flippo, Chief Executive Officer.
“This technology, combined with our proprietary mesh
networking capabilities, will propel our aircraft to the forefront
of autonomous airborne logistics.”

Drone Express is currently on track to become one of the first
companies to attain a Part 135 Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA) certification for autonomous drone delivery.

Read the Article

Drone Use in Health Care Expanding

Susan Stone helps manage her 87-year-old mother’s
medications. She says she takes as many as 15 different medicines a

“There are times when I can’t be here, and if she runs
out and if there’s one that she needs for that day, she could
get it immediately,” Stone said.

Stone is talking about the drone that could eventually deliver
her mother’s medications in minutes.

Zipline, a logistics and delivery system, has partnered with
InterMountain Healthcare to deliver prescriptions and medical
products directly to people’s homes in the Salt Lake Valley
area of Utah.

This isn’t a first-of-its-kind partnership in the U.S.
Zipline has partnered with other health systems in North Carolina.
Drones helped move medications and kept pharmacies stocked and
personal protective equipment (PPE) flowing during the height of
the pandemic.

The company also works with Walmart near its Arkansas
headquarters, delivering over-the-counter medications and other
essential items. Soon it will expand work in Washington State to
include flying things like lab samples and test kits in-between
medical facilities.

Read the Article

UK Announces £12 million in Grants for 24 Drone Delivery

Science Minister George Freeman has today (November 30) awarded
up to £12 million to U.K. regulators to help drive forward
innovation, remove red tape and establish the U.K. as world leader
in technologies of the future—from AI to help treat rare
diseases to drones monitoring safety on construction sites. The
Regulators’ Pioneer Fund is funding 24 regulator and local
authority led projects across the U.K. that will help to remove
regulatory barriers to innovation, supporting businesses across key
U.K. sectors—from net-zero to health care—bring their
products and services to market more quickly.

If successful, these projects could lead to faster deployment of
low carbon technologies like carbon capture and hydrogen, more
tailored treatment for disease in the National Health Service (NHS)
and drones to deliver cargo and medicines safely.

Minister for Innovation George Freeman said: “The pace of
new technology – from AI in healthcare to drone delivery to
nutraceuticals – is creating a huge opportunity for the UK to
be a global leader in testing new technologies and setting
appropriate regulatory standards, which are key to investor &
customer confidence. That’s why our Innovation Strategy and
Taskforce on Innovation Growth & Regulatory Reform (TIGRR)
reforms are key to making the UK a global testbed and innovative
regulator. Today’s funding will support 24 pioneering testbeds
to experiment and innovate, while helping our brightest businesses
in bringing game-changing products and services to

Read the Article

Walmart Drone Delivery Service Launches in Arizona, Florida and

The launch in three new states fits into Walmart’s wider
plan to build the capacity to deliver 1 million packages per year
by drone.

The retailer aims to expand its DroneUp network to cover 4
million U.S. households across six states. This includes the states
involved in Thursday’s announcement, along with Arkansas, Utah
and Virginia. DroneUp has already launched three delivery hub sites
at Walmart stores in Northwest Arkansas. The release didn’t
mention the current status of drone delivery in Utah and

Thirty-four stores in 23 cities will have drone delivery
available by year end, per Thursday’s release.

“Drone delivery makes it possible for our customers to shop
those last-minute or forgotten items with ease, in a package
that’s frankly really cool,” said Vik Gopalakrishnan,
Walmart U.S. vice president of innovation and automation, in a

Companies are pushing to advance drone delivery as a more
efficient method to quickly deliver lightweight payloads versus
ground vehicles. But even for companies with deep pockets like
Amazon, drones have proven difficult to scale in the face of
regulatory hurdles and technological limitations. Walmart, which
has made a strategic investment in DroneUp, aims to break through
those barriers.

Read the Article


Uncrewed Aviation Highlights of 2022

Autonomous Black Hawk: DARPA and Sikorsky in February conducted
the first fully autonomous flights of a UH-60 Black Hawk with no
one aboard the helicopter. In November, the modified S-70A
optionally piloted vehicle, fitted with Sikorsky’s Matrix
autonomy system, conducted three flights at Yuma Proving Ground in
Arizona to demonstrate contested resupply and casualty evacuation
by an autonomous utility helicopter.

Eurodrone launched: The 7 billion euro ($7.4 billion) contract
to develop the four-nation Eurodrone medium-altitude,
long-endurance uncrewed aircraft system was signed by Airbus and
European defense materiel agency the Organisation for Joint
Armament Cooperation (OCCAR) in February. Airbus, supported by
subcontractors Dassault and Leonardo, subsequently selected
GE’s Catalyst turboprop for the twin-engine aircraft.

Japan’s Global Hawk: The first of three Northrop Grumman
RQ-4 Block 30(I) Global Hawks arrived in Japan in March, landing at
Misawa Air Base. All three will be operated by the Japan Air
Self-Defense Force Reconnaissance Air Group. Japan and South Korea
could be the only operators of the Block 30 in the coming years as
the U.S. Air Force is planning to mothball the older Global Hawks
in favor of the Block 40 model.

Read the Article

FCAS Remote Carrier Launched from A400M Atlas Aircraft

Airbus, in conjunction with Germany’s Bundeswehr, the German
Aerospace Center DLR, and SFL and Geradts, has carried out the
world’s first successful launch and operation of a Remote
Carrier flight test demonstrator from a flying A400M Atlas
aircraft. Remote Carriers are air-launched autonomous platforms
designed to carry out a variety of military functions. Multiplying
the force and extending the range of unmanned systems will be one
of the future roles of Airbus’ military transport aircraft in
the Future Combat Air System (FCAS).

Remote Carriers will be an important component of FCAS. They
will fly in close cooperation with manned aircraft and support
pilots in their tasks and missions. Military transport aircraft
such as the A400M will play an important role: as motherships, they
will bring the Remote Carriers as close as possible to their areas
of operation before releasing up to 50 small or up to 12 heavy
Remote Carriers. These will then join manned aircraft, operating
with a high degree of automation although always under a
pilot’s control.

The device for launching Remote Carriers from a flying A400M was
developed in just six months. For the test flight, it was loaded
onto the ramp of a Bundeswehr A400M, from which the Remote Carrier
demonstrator, a modified Airbus Do-DT25 drone, was launched. After
the release, the Do-DT25’s engines were started and it
continued in powered flight mode. The crew on board the A400M then
handed over control to an operator on the ground, who safely
commanded and landed the drone.

To get the A400M UAV Launcher ready for the test campaign,
Airbus, the Bundeswehr Technical Centre for Aircraft and
Aeronautical Equipment (WTD 61), DLR, SFL and Geradts applied new
ways of working such as rapid prototyping and a joint flight
testing approach. This enabled the multidisciplinary team to
develop and integrate the system, bringing it into the needed
systems-of-systems context in a very short time, ready for flight
testing. Throughout the development, this flexible industrial setup
and new collaborative ways of working were supported by the German
procurement office, BAAINBw.

Read the Article


Nuclear-Fusion Breakthrough Accelerates Quest to Unlock
Limitless Energy Source

The Energy Department (DOE) said Tuesday that scientists at a
federal research facility had achieved a breakthrough in research
on nuclear fusion, long seen as a potential source of clean,
virtually limitless energy.

A controlled fusion reaction at Lawrence Livermore National
Laboratory in Livermore, Calif., produced more energy than it
consumed, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and other government
officials said during a press conference from DOE headquarters in
Washington, D.C.

The milestone, known as fusion ignition, is unprecedented,
according to the DOE.

“This is what it looks like for America to lead, and
we’re just getting started,” Secretary Granholm said,
adding that the breakthrough “will go down in the history

Researchers at the lab’s multibillion-dollar National
Ignition Facility have been studying nuclear fusion for more than a
decade, using lasers to create conditions that cause hydrogen atoms
to fuse and release vast amounts of energy. Since the facility
began operations in 2009, the goal of a fusion reaction that
produces a net gain of energy—a key step toward transforming
fusion into a practical source of energy—had eluded

But an experiment at the facility conducted on December 5
produced 3.15 megajoules of fusion energy, compared with 2.05
megajoules of energy used to trigger the reaction.

Read the Article

UN Says New Biodiversity Credits Can Succeed Where Carbon
Offsets Failed

The United Nations (UN) is backing biodiversity credits as a way
to boost conservation financing but critics warn the new financial
instrument could give companies another tool to burnish green
credentials without changing the way they do business.

The research published Monday by the United Nations Development
Programme and the International Institute for Environment and
Development (IIED), a U.K.-based think tank, comes as negotiators
gather at the UN’s flagship biodiversity summit in Montreal,
Canada, with the hope of finalizing a global agreement to halt and
reverse biodiversity loss by 2030.

Biodiversity—the breadth and variety of life and
ecosystems on earth, from polar bears to plankton—is
declining at an unprecedented rate, posing a threat to the planet
and the financial system and accelerating the pace at which the
planet is warming. The World Economic Forum estimates that roughly
half of global gross domestic product, or about $44 trillion of
economic value, depends on the natural world in some way, meaning
its destruction also carries an enormous financial toll.

More than 100 financial institutions representing some $17
trillion have called on world leaders to agree effective measures
to reverse nature loss by the end of this decade, a deal akin to
the 2015 Paris Agreement that’s set a clear goal to limit
global warming.

Record attendance from corporates and finance executives is
expected at this year’s summit, marking a step-change from the
past where private sector attention was largely focused on the
climate equivalent that took place in Egypt last month.

Still, the finance sector has struggled to find a clear entry
point to plug the annual $700 billion financing gap for efforts to
preserve and protect nature, a key sticking point for negotiators.
That’s not for want of trying: the last couple of years have
seen record biodiversity fund launches and a host of new financial
instruments from human-wildlife conflict insurance to debt-nature
swaps to rhino bonds.

So-called biocredits—measurable, traceable and tradeable
units of biodiversity—could offer that entry point and help
break the negotiating deadlock, the UN and IIED researchers

Read the Article

Nearly Every Country Signs on to a Sweeping Deal to Protect

Roughly 190 countries early on Monday approved a sweeping United
Nations agreement to protect 30 percent of the planet’s land
and oceans by 2030 and to take a slew of other measures against
biodiversity loss, a mounting under-the-radar crisis that, if left
unchecked, jeopardizes the planet’s food and water supplies as
well as the existence of untold species around the world.

The agreement comes as biodiversity is declining worldwide at
rates never seen before in human history. Researchers have
projected that a million plants and animals are at risk of
extinction, many within decades. The last extinction event of that
magnitude was the one that killed off the dinosaurs 65 million
years ago.

While many scientists and advocates had pushed for even stronger
measures, the deal, which includes monitoring mechanisms that
previous agreements had lacked, clearly signals increasing momentum
around the issue.

“This is a huge moment for nature,” Brian
O’Donnell, director of the Campaign for Nature, a coalition of
groups pushing for protections, said about the agreement.
“This is a scale of conservation that we haven’t seen ever
attempted before.”

Read the Article

The Money Rush into Climate Startups Isn’t Dominated by VCs
Any More

This past fall, one of the busiest investors in climate
technology wasn’t a blue-chip venture capital (VC) firm or a
specialist decarbonization fund. It was a Swiss conglomerate that
makes circuit breakers, light switches and electric car

ABB Technology Ventures, the investment arm of ABB Ltd., was
among the most active financiers that collectively put $10.7
billion into climate tech businesses in the third quarter,
according to clean energy research group BloombergNEF. It’s an
unusual name to top this list—and its executives say the
heavy spending will continue.

Investing in the sector is “certainly becoming more and
more of a focus,” said Andreas Wenzel, ABB’s head of
corporate strategy and mergers and acquisitions. “I would
expect it continues.”

ABB has cut 10 checks to startups totaling $100 million in 2022,
a record sum for the industrial giant that only invested $250
million over the prior 11 years. Earlier investments were mostly in
robotics or industrial automation. More recently, ABB has looked
for startups to supplement its business making electric vehicle
charging equipment. And it’s branched into software—last
month, ABB backed Tallarna, a British data analytics firm that
helps companies manage energy projects.

European industrial companies like ABB are racing to curb their
greenhouse gas emissions and deal with the continent’s energy
crisis. Early in the pandemic, industrials saw a surge in demand as
factories, power plants and other customers, short on labor, sought
to automate more of their operations. But inflation and a slowing
economy has dampened that growth, and fed an urgency to find new
markets, said Omid Vaziri, an analyst with Bloomberg

Read the Article

Climate Policy Has Become Central in the Fight for Global

The latest trade tensions between the U.S. and the European
Union (EU) underscore just how critical climate policy has become
for geopolitical jockeying.

The U.S. Inflation Reduction Act incorporates a raft of
climate-friendly industrial subsidies to bolster domestic
investment, while new EU trade laws will impose a levy on some
high-carbon imports. The initiatives show how major economies are
trying to create incentives to contain the damage from global
warming while also keeping pace with high-stakes technological

The EU’s fossil-fuel exit strategy—made more urgent by
the energy crisis stemming from Russia’s war in
Ukraine—calls for massive investment in renewables and
low-carbon technologies, while the bloc’s planned Carbon Border
Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) would place additional costs on goods
from countries with laxer climate policies to protect local

“Climate is becoming an integral part of numerous economic
sectors; it’s not just energy anymore but also industry,
farming, buildings or transport,” said Joanna Pandera,
president of the Forum Energii think tank. “The world needs to
ensure that trade plays by the green rules too.”

In Europe, the energy crisis and soaring prices have tightened
the links between climate and economic policy, and efforts to
implement the EU’s Green Deal accelerated Sunday, when
officials reached provisional deals on the design of CBAM and a
reform to bolster the bloc’s carbon market.

“The only effective way out of Europe’s energy
challenges remains the same: the transition to low-carbon
solutions, like home-grown and affordable renewables,”
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a letter
to member states last week laying out the bloc’s efforts to
respond to its rift with the U.S. over environmental subsidies.

Read the Article


Electric Vehicle Charging Investment Approaches the $100
Billion Mark

BloombergNEF recently released its updated Zero-Emission
Vehicles Factbook, which estimates cumulative investment in
electric vehicle (EV) charging hardware and installation will reach
$62 billion at the end of this year, with $28.6 billion having been
invested just in 2022, up 228 percent from the year before. Of the
total investment in 2022, 61 percent is attributed to more than
600,000 public chargers built in China.

Cumulative investment globally probably will pass the $100
billion mark in 2023 if China keeps up its relentless pace.
It’s a milestone that hints at the transition to a new phase of
the EV charging sector lifecycle. As Jigar Shah at the U.S. Loans
Program puts it, $100 billion of deployed capital indicates an
ability to address systemic industry challenges and opens up access
to low-cost capital that’s required to ultimately reach $1
trillion scale.

There are many signs the transition is underway. Factories are
scaling up and purchase commitments are increasing. There’s an
influx of infrastructure investors and coordination across the
charging ecosystem, with automotive, charging, utility and retail
sectors working together.

Read the Article

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems Market Value to Reach $72.2
Billion by 2030, Says P&S Intelligence

According to the latest market research study published by
P&S Intelligence, in 2021, the advanced driver assistance
systems (ADAS) market size was $25.84 billion, and it is predicted
to advance at a 12.1 percent CAGR from 2021 to 2030, to hit $72.2
billion in 2030.

The major reasons behind the growth of this market are the
snowballing acceptance of autonomous vehicles, developing
automotive industry, growing research and development (R&D)
activities in developing nations and rising population across the

Moreover, the rise in the acceptance of safety features in
passenger vehicles and government support in terms of guideline
implementation and financial benefits are contributing to the
market growth.

The tire pressure monitoring system category has the largest
revenue share, of over 18 percent. The snowballing incorporation of
electronic systems in vehicles, escalating need for tire pressure
management, rising awareness about vehicle safety, surging
concentration on improving the service life of tires and
mushrooming manufacturing of vehicles are driving this

The category of adaptive cruise control system also had a
substantial share in the past. This can be credited to the growing
number of vehicles on the road, rising popularity of ADAS in
developing countries, increasing occurrence of traffic jams, and
shift of consumers to vehicles with advanced driving

Read the Article

AAA Expanding Service; Offers Mobile Electric Vehicle Charging
in Select Cities

AAA is expanding its services for electric vehicle owners across
the United States. The motor club is launching a pilot program,
offering roadside charging for EVs in 16 metro areas.

“AAA is prepared to service any vehicle type, whether gas
or electric,” said Montrae Waiters, AAA-The Auto Club Group
spokeswoman. “Range anxiety remains the number one barrier
between consumers and wider EV adoption. AAA will help ease this
anxiety by deploying specialized trucks equipped with mobile
electric vehicle chargers, providing enough range to get drivers
home or to the nearest charging station.”

For AAA members, this service is provided at no additional
charge. AAA will continue to assess the demand for mobile electric
vehicle charging and will add locations as needed. As part of this
evaluation, AAA will also explore various mobile charging methods
to deliver the best experience to its members.

This is the second pilot of its kind that AAA has brought to the
marketplace in the last decade. The purpose of the first pilot,
launched in 2010, was to explore a few prototype technologies that
could be used to charge electric vehicles at the roadside. After 10
years of service, all the original prototype vehicles (five total)
were retired. AAA took learnings from that pilot to inform this
next iteration.

Read the Article

Themes from Bosch Connected World 2022: The Role of
Cybersecurity in Software-Defined Vehicles and the IIoT

I recently had the opportunity to attend the 2022 Bosch
Connected World conference in Berlin, which highlights
state-of-the-art Internet of Things (IoT) and AI technologies
through best practices and real use cases. Bosch has held the
Connected World conference annually since 2014, offering an online
option for the first time this year, as a way to bring together its
closest technology and business partners to drive thought
leadership, innovation, and networking.

I must confess that previously, I mostly knew the Bosch brand
from their home appliances like refrigerators, washing machines,
dryers, robotic lawnmowers and automotive subsystems (Bosch
democratized the anti-lock brake back in the 1970s). All of this
was certainly on display at the conference, but there was also so
much more, especially around industrial IoT (IIoT) solutions.

From roaming the tradeshow floor to attending keynote sessions,
everything Bosch had to offer was highly informative to the biggest
trends surfacing in our increasingly connected world—which
now extends well beyond those home appliances. Here are my top
takeaways from what I got to see and experience.

Read the Article

Uber, Motional Launch Robotaxi Service in Las Vegas

U.S. ride-hailing firm Uber Technologies Inc. and driverless
tech-maker Motional said on Wednesday they launched their public
robotaxi service in Las Vegas.

Tough regulatory scrutiny and delayed commercial adoption of
autonomous vehicle technology have delayed deployment of robotaxi
services, leaving investors worried.

The launch is part of a non-exclusive 10-year agreement between
both the companies for driverless vehicles, with a rollout in Los
Angeles expected to follow.

In the multi-market deal, Motional’s autonomous vehicles
would also ferry both passengers and delivery items for Uber and
its Uber Eats division.

Riders are currently not being charged as part of the early days
of launch, Uber said in an interview with Reuters, but added that
they plan to start charging for their driverless commercial

The companies said they would have vehicle operators for now,
although they are working to make a fully driverless experience
available to the public by 2023.

If an autonomous vehicle is available to complete the trip, Uber
will match the rider to the vehicle and they will receive an offer
to opt-in before the autonomous trip is confirmed and dispatched to
pick them up.

Read the Article

How Artificial Intelligence is Driving Robotaxis from Science
Fiction to Reality

In December 2022, Cruise Automation announced the launch of its
fully driverless robotaxi service in Austin, Texas, and Phoenix,
Arizona. This is the first expansion beyond robotaxi launch in San
Francisco this summer by Cruise Automation. It plans to launch its
fully driverless commercial service in more cities in 2023. This
month, Uber also announced that it has launched its first robotaxi
for commercial use in Las Vegas.

Cruise Automation was acquired by General Motors (GM) in 2016
for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition price was not disclosed,
but the deal was rumored to be valued at over $1 billion. The
acquisition was made in order to accelerate GM’s efforts in
developing autonomous vehicles, as Cruise Automation was a leading
player in the field of self-driving technology.

Cruise Automation is a self-driving car technology company that
has been at the forefront of the development of robotaxis, or
autonomous taxis. Founded in 2013, Cruise has made significant
strides in the development and deployment of autonomous vehicles,
with a focus on creating a network of robotaxis that would
revolutionize transportation as we know it.

The journey of Cruise Automation began with the development of a
self-driving car kit, which was designed to retrofit existing
vehicles with autonomous driving capabilities. This kit was aimed
at helping companies and individuals test and evaluate the
potential of self-driving cars, and it quickly gained traction in
the market.

Read the Article


Annual Aviation Issues

January 8-12, 2023

Maui, HI

2023 Autonomous VTOL Technical Meeting and Electric
VTOL Symposium

January 24-26, 2023

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