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TECHNOLOGY NEWS

CLEAN INVESTMENTS

KC Recycling, a Canadian firm, received US$852,000 from CleanBC Plastics Action Fund to go towards a US$1.2 million plant upgrade. The recycling company is an E-scrap and end-of-life battery specialist and they are currently renovating their facility in Trail, British Columbia. Peter Stamper, the CEO of the company, says that they are grateful for CleanBC Plastics Action Fund support. “The whole KC Recycling team is proud we’re expanding operations to enable the production of finished recycled plastic and providing a real circular economy solution right here in the Kootenays. It aligns with our mission of preserving a sustainable world for future generations,” Stamper says.“We’re thrilled our project meets the CleanBC Plastics Action Fund criteria to increase domestic recycling capacity as Canada makes changes to keep plastics out of the ocean and comply with the global Basel Convention.”

IT’S A JEEP THING

The Jeep Wrangler could become more durable. The popular, mud-slinging vehicle may soon have the option of a Gorilla Glass windshield. Gorilla Glass was first associated with smartphones when cellular manufacturers started using it for its crack and shatter proof technology. The ultra-strong glass, made by Corning, is on either side of a transparent glass with thin-ply material that can increase its strength by several factors. Jeep’s take on the product could include an interior ply on the windshield with an outer ply about 50-per-cent thicker. This would provide greater resistance to stones, tree branches and anything else a Jeep owner’s windshield might come across on the back roads. It’s suggested this option will be available on Wranglers and Gladiators this summer.

TO THE SKIES

Hyundai is prepared to take flight in the near future — the OEM says it could offer an air-taxi service as soon as 2025, Reuters reported last week. Hyundai’s global COO Jose Munoz told Reuters that the OEM is ahead of its previously stated timetable for rolling out air mobility vehicles. “We see this market as a significant growth opportunity,” Munoz told Reuters, adding that he is “very confident” of technology’s development. Hyundai is developing air taxis powered by electric batteries that can transport five to six people from highly congested urban centers to airports. Hyundai does not want to sell flying cars as a simple transaction, but believes it can develop services around the vehicles, Munoz said. General Motors also has its eyes on the skies; the OEM released a flying Cadillac concept in January. Though its executives are looking at a slightly longer timeline for its flying vehicles.

IHUB HYPE

FedDev Ontario is investing $10 million into an automotive, aerospace and advanced manufacturing network at McMaster University, which will bring new opportunities and help create a greener future through electrification. The Honourable Filomena Tassi, the Minister of Labour and MP for Hamilton West-Ancaster Dundas, says that these new jobs will help Canadian innovators thrive in the automotive and aerospace industries. McMaster President, David Farrar, says that iHub will bring many new opportunities and provide a way to bounce back from the economic downfall that resulted from the pandemic. “We’re grateful for the opportunity to advance our work with Canadian manufacturers in automotive and aerospace electrification,” he said.

 

BRING ON THE BUSES

The Government of Canada has invested $15 million in electric buses to move towards a greener future with zero-emission vehicles. François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, says that restoring the economy is at the forefront of the Nova Bus project. “As we continue to safely restart our economy, it is important to do so in a strategic way and with a long-term vision. One of the ways to achieve this is by helping Canada and businesses here at home become world leaders in the manufacture of green transportation vehicles,” he said. “Nova Bus is a vital part of this journey toward electrification and a future marked by sustainable growth, dependable jobs and global leadership. Our government will continue to support businesses to ensure they can participate in the efforts toward a clean growth economy, including by investing in sustainable public transit and zero-emission vehicles.”

SWEDEN STEEL-ING THE SPOTLIGHT

SSAB, a Swedish steelmaker, is partnering with Volvo Cars to explore the development of fossil-free steel to use in the automotive industry through their HYBRIT initiative, which aims to replace coking coal with fossil-free electricity and hydrogen. The initiative will result in virtually no carbon footprint. Håkan Samuelsson, chief executive at Volvo Cars, says that this collaboration will help ensure a greener future in the car manufacturers’ supply chain. Volvo says it is the first to work with SSAB and the first to secure SSAB steel made from hydrogen-reduced iron.

T-TOWN STARTUP

A Toronto woman with 20 years of experience working in AI is now starting her own autonomous vehicle company called Waabi. “I had thought about doing my own company for a while now,” Rachel Urtasun told Global News. “The more that I worked in the industry, the more it became clear that the traditional way of doing things is … I don’t think the way to go. There is a need for new technology and I have a very clear vision of what that technology is.” Urtasun initially worked as the chief scientist for Uber’s selfdriving unit, Advanced Technologies Group (ATG), but decided to leave Uber and go on her own. Waabi has been getting a lot of financial support through Series A funding that was spearheaded by Kosla Ventures and overall they were able to raise $83.5 million. “My goal with Waabi is to really put Canada at the forefront of self-driving. We have an amazing opportunity here and I think we have the talent here,” she said.

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