May 17, 2020

SmartBeam assist systems come to the Audi A7

Freddie Pierce
2 min
Gentex will supply Audi’s A7 with its SmartBeam high-beam assist system
Gentex Corporation, the Zeeland, Michigan-based manufacturer of automatic-dimming rearview mirrors and camera-based driver-assist systems for the autom...

Gentex Corporation, the Zeeland, Michigan-based manufacturer of automatic-dimming rearview mirrors and camera-based driver-assist systems for the automotive industry, announced that its SmartBeam(R) high-beam assist system is now available on the new 2011 Audi A7. The A7, a five-door coupe, is sold worldwide. SmartBeam is available in the European markets.

"This brings to 14 the number of Audi models that offer the Gentex high-beam assist system," Enoch Jen, Gentex Senior Vice President, said. "In addition to SmartBeam, Gentex also supplies the A7 with base feature interior and exterior auto-dimming mirrors. We are proud to be Audi's sole supplier for auto-dimming mirror technology."

SmartBeam uses a miniature camera-on-a-chip combined with algorithmic decision-making to automatically operate a vehicle's high beams in order to optimize their usage according to surrounding traffic conditions. The system maximizes forward lighting while eliminating the repetitive task of turning the high beams on and off manually.

SmartBeam is integrated into a Gentex auto-dimming mirror, which automatically darkens to eliminate glare from the headlamps of vehicles approaching from the rear.

Founded in 1974, Gentex Corporation is the leading supplier of automatic-dimming rearview mirrors and camera-based driver-assist systems to the global automotive industry. The company also provides commercial smoke alarms and signaling devices to the North American fire protection market, as well as dimmable aircraft windows for the commercial, business and general aviation markets.

Based in Zeeland, Michigan, the international company develops, manufactures and markets interior and exterior automatic-dimming automotive rearview mirrors that utilize proprietary electrochromic technology to dim in proportion to the amount of headlight glare from trailing vehicle headlamps.

More than half of the company's interior mirrors are sold with advanced electronic features, and more than 98 percent of the company's net sales are derived from the sale of auto-dimming mirrors to every major automaker in the world.

Edited by Kevin Scarpati

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Jun 21, 2021

Elon Musk's Boring Co. planning wider tunnels for freight

BoringCompany
supplychain
freight
elonmusk
2 min
Elon Musk’s tunnelling firm plans underground freight tunnels with shipping containers moved on “battery-powered freight carriers”, according to reports

Elon Musk’s drilling outfit The Boring Company could be shifting its focus towards subterranean freight and logistics solutions, according to reports. 

A Boring Co. pitch deck seen and shared by Bloomberg depicts plans to construct wider tunnels designed to accommodate shipping containers. 

Founded by Tesla CEO Musk in 2016, the company initially stated its mission was to offer safer, faster point-to-point transport for people, particularly in cities plagued by traffic congestion. It also planned longer tunnels to ferry passengers between popular destinations across the US. 

The Boring Co. completed its first commercial project earlier this year in April. The 1.7m tunnel system is designed to move professionals between convention centres in Las Vegas using Tesla EVs. It says the Las Vegas Convention Centre Loop can cut travel time between venues from 45 minutes to just two. 

 

Boring Co.'s new freight tunnels

The Boring Co.'s new tunnel designs would allow freight to be transported on purpose built platforms, labelled as “battery-powered freight carriers”. The document shows that, though the containers could technically fit within its current 12-foot tunnels, wider tunnels would be more efficient. Designs for a new tunnel, 21 feet in diameter, show that they can comfortably accommodate two containers side-by-side, with a one-foot gap between them.

The Boring Co.’s new drilling machine, dubbed Prufrock, can tunnel at a rate of one mile per week, which is six times faster than its previous machine, and is designed to ‘porpoise’ - mimicking the marine animal by ‘diving’ below ground and reemerging once the tunnel is complete. 

Tesla’s supply chain woes 

Tesla is facing its own supply chain and logistic issues. The EV manufacturer has raised the price of its vehicles, with CEO Musk confirming the incremental hike was a result of “major supply chain pressure”. Musk replied to a disgruntled Twitter user, confused as to why prices were rising while features were being removed from the cars, saying the “raw materials especially” were a big issue. 

Elon Musk Tweet

Car manufacturing continues to be one of the industries hit hardest by a global shortage in semiconductor chips. While China’s chip manufacturing levels hit an all-time high in May, and the US is proposing a 25% tax credit for chip manufacturers, demand still outstrips supply. Automakers including Volkswagen and Audi have again said they expect reduced vehicle output in the next quarter due to a lack of semiconductors, with more factory downtime likely
 

Top Image credit: The Boring Company / @boringcompany

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