With Good Friday right around the corner, March ends on a holiday high. Let’s look back at the most interesting Industry 4.0 stories from this first quarter of the year, from supply woes to automotive innovations.
Goodyear Tyres Photosynthesize Electricity
Inspired by the circular economy, a tyre manufacturer is trying to give back by incorporating Internet of Things (IoT) technologies into its urban products.
Goodyear has unveiled a concept tyre called Oxygene, which is 3D-printed and will contain living moss within its sidewall. The living moss sits in a unique open structure and a ‘non-pneumatic construction which is 3D printed with rubber powder from recycled tires’, according to The Manufacturer.
The tyre would aim to absorb and circulate water and moisture from the road surface, recirculating it to product its own electricity, which would in turn power embedded electronics such as onboard sensors. The moss in the tyre would also take in carbon dioxide, leading to photosynthesis and the production of oxygen as well.
It’s daring and ambitious, that’s for sure.
Singapore Pushes Companies Towards Industry 4.0
Singapore, on the other hand, is giving 300 manufacturers the tools to start on the first steps of their Industry 4.0 journey.
After the release of the Singapore Smart Industry Readiness Index in November last year, the next step has been to implement it, and the local Economic Development Board (EDB) has announced that 300 manufacturers across industries will be getting a free assessment of their Industry 4.0 readiness.
The Senior Minister of State for Ministry of Trade and Industry, Dr Koh Poh Koon, said that “the government will work closely with Trade Associations & Chambers to drive the use of the index, as well as to deepen engagements with companies and extend the necessary support and guidance to help businesses transform”, as per Channel News Asia.
Electric Cars Will Get Cheaper Very Soon
One of the most common reasons for the slow adoption of electric cars has been the price, thanks to the high costs of the lithium-ion batteries that power the vehicles.
That might change in the next 7 years, as a new report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance shows. According to Industry Week, “Some models will cost the same as combustion engines as soon as 2024 and become cheaper the following year”, making electric cars affordable by 2025. That requires the prices of the lithium-ion batteries to continue to drop steadily, and the increase in mass manufacturing of these batteries should 'help drive battery prices to as low as $70 a kilowatt hour by 2030'.
The demand for affordable electric cars that incorporate Industry 4.0 technologies are reflective of countries’ needs to clean up their cities as they race to meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. Combining this with the leaps in automotive Industry 4.0 we’ve seen so far, we would not be surprised to see more innovative electric cars appear soon.
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