In 2016, the Zoox autonomous vehicle design was nothing more than a sketch on a napkin -- today, the idea is a reality. On SAE Tomorrow Today, Chris Stoffel, Head of Industrial Design, shares how their vehicle's bespoke lighting, audio design and seating configuration focuses on the needs and comforts of riders rather than the driver.
Gen. Mark Kelly, head of Air Combat Command, is calling for the US to prioritize the development of a sixth-generation fighter aircraft, citing the importance of maintaining US air superiority over rival powers China and Russia. Kelly says the classified Next-Generation Air Dominance program should be accelerated.
The Aerospace Industries Association is publicly supporting a new federal coronavirus vaccine requirement for companies with more than 100 workers. "Throughout the pandemic, AIA members have expanded benefits and implemented extensive measures designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as our essential work continued," said AIA President and CEO Eric Fanning.
Northrop Grumman is working with the US Navy to upgrade sensor and targeting capabilities of the MQ-4C Triton drone. Testing is underway using a modified Gulfstream IV twinjet aircraft.
The US Air Force is in need of new, longer range weapons for fighter aircraft, enabling attacks from further away to reduce the risk of being seen by the enemy, according to Gen. Mark Kelly, head of Air Combat Command. Kelly says US aircraft need both air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons with extended range.
Six customers have signed up for Northrop Grumman's on-orbit satellite services as the company prepares to launch a robotic vehicle designed to install new jet packs on aging satellites, extending the satellites' service life. The Mission Robotic Vehicle, expected to launch in 2024, is built by Northrop Grumman subsidiary Space Logistics.
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act to enable $768 billion in defense spending. "This year, like every year, we worked for months to identify policies where we agree, and where we don't, and engaged in thorough, thoughtful debate on all of them," said Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash.
Bob Galyen, former chief technology officer at Contemporary Amperex Technology in China who has worked for General Motors and Magna International, said auto manufacturers should not develop their own batteries for electric vehicles, calling it a "defensive move." Galyen adds, "Automakers excel in mechanical and electrical things, because these vehicles are terribly complex. ... The automaker can focus on those while the battery supplier is more versed in electrochemistry, packaging, how to put the battery together."
Three Norwegian companies have teamed up to test a self-driving public transit service next year in Bodo, Norway, which is located north of the Arctic Circle. "It is the first time in the world that a pilot project of autonomous technology is carried out on this scale in an Arctic climate," said Siri Vasshaug, project manager for Smarter Transport Bodo.
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