May 16, 2020

Siemens set to unveil world’s first autonomous tram

Siemens
autonomous
Technology
Manufacturing
Sean Galea-Pace
2 min
The Germany-based automation company, Siemens, is set to unveil the world’s first autonomous tram through its division Siemens Mobility, Global Rail N...

The Germany-based automation company, Siemens, is set to unveil the world’s first autonomous tram through its division Siemens Mobility, Global Rail News reports.

Siemens, alongside its development partner Verkehrsbetrieb Potsdam (ViP), will present their findings at InnoTrans 2018 to show how a tram will drive autonomously in real traffic on 18-21 September.

It is expected to provide multiple lidar, radar and camera sensors that use “digital eyes” by filming the tram and its environment around traffic.

The tram reacts to trackside tram signals, stops at tram stops and responds autonomously to hazards like pedestrians and other vehicles due to its artificial intelligence capability.

It is anticipated that the project will reveal the technological challenges of autonomous driving under everyday conditions, which can then be developed and tested to accelerate research.

See more:

Siemens Mobility CEO, Sabrina Soussan, said: “Our autonomous tram can already master essential operating tasks in real road traffic at this stage of development."

“By relying on the “Siemens Tram Assistant” collision warning system being used in, among other places, our Avenio M tram operating in Ulm, Germany, we have already reached series maturity – an important milestone on the way to autonomous driving."

“By making trains and infrastructure intelligent, we can guarantee availability and enhance safety in local and long-distance travel.”

The tram is believed to have been created solely for research and development uses only, with it not thought to be utilised for commercial use.

Share article

Jul 30, 2021

First Solar to Invest US$684mn in Indian Energy Sector

FirstSolar
Energy
Manufacturing
India
Elise Leise
3 min
First Solar will launch an advanced PV manufacturing plant in Tamil Nadu to support Indian solar independence

First Solar is about to set up a new photovoltaic (PV) thin-film solar manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu, India. The 3.3GW factory will create 1,000 skilled jobs and is expected to launch its operations in Q3 of 2023. According to the company, India needs 25+ gigawatts of solar energy to be deployed each year for the next nine years. This means that many of First Solar’s Indian clients will jump at the chance to have access to the company’s advanced PV. 

 

Said Mark Widmar, First Solar’s CEO: ‘India is an attractive market for First Solar not simply because our module technology is advantageous in its hot, humid climate. It’s an inherently sustainable market, underpinned by a growing economy and appetite for energy’. 

A Bit of Background 

First Solar is a leading global provider of photovoltaic systems. It uses advanced technology to generate clear, reliable energy around the world. And even though it’s headquartered in the US, the company has invested in storage facilities around the world. It displaced energy requirements for a desalination plant in Australia, launched a source of reliable energy in the Middle East (Dubai, UAE), and deployed over 4.5GW of energy across Europe with its First Solar modules

 

The company is also known for its solar innovation, reporting that it sees gains in efficiency three times faster than multi-crystalline silicon technology. First Solar holds world records in thin-film cell conversion efficiency (22.1%) and module conversion efficiency (18.2%). Finally, it helps its partners develop, finance, design, construct, and operate PV power plants—which is exactly what we’re talking about. 

How Will The Tamil Nadu Plant Work?

Tamil Nadu will use the same manufacturing template as First Solar’s new Ohio factory. According to the Times of India, the factory will combine skilled workers, artificial intelligence, machine-to-machine communication, and IoT connectivity. In addition, its operations will adhere to First Solar’s Responsible Sourcing Solar Principles, produce modules with a 2.5x lower carbon footprint, and help India become energy-independent. Said Widmar: ‘Our advanced PV module will be made in India, for India’. 

 

After all, we must mention that part of First Solar’s motivation in Tamil Nadu is to ensure that India doesn’t rely on Chinese solar. ‘India stands apart in the decisiveness of its response to China’s strategy of state-subsidised global dominance of the crystalline silicon supply chain’, Widmar explained. ‘That’s precisely the kind of level playing field needed for non-Chinese solar manufacturers to compete on their own merits’. 

 

According to First Solar, India’s model should be a template for like-minded nations. Widmar added: ‘We’re pleased to support the sustainable energy ambitions of a major US ally in the Asia-Pacific region—with American-designed solar technology’. To sum up: Indian solar power is yet the next development in the China-US trade war. Let the PV manufacturing begin. 

 

Share article