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Lux Take on News: Weekly Round-Up December 10, 2021

Lux Research
December 10, 2021

Every day our researchers read through the top innovation headlines and provide their expert opinions on important developments and industry news. Our analysts then evaluate news based on potential importance ranking the developments from Truly Disruptive to Ignore.

On Fridays we highlight our Lux Take on the top news for the week. Check out our thoughts on the latest emerging technology and innovation news for the past week below. 

BP keeps opening its wallet and acquires Amply Power

Jessica Hernandez, Analyst, Lux Research

Jessica Hernandez, Analyst
Lux Take: Very Important

 

"During the second half of 2021, BP showed its intention to play a bigger role in the power sector by offering other energy services for buildings and owners of distributed energy resources through its acquisitions of Blueprint Power and Open Energi. However, electric mobility remains the key area to focus on for oil and gas majors. BP definitely gets it: Last month the company showed interest in battery swapping through its investment in Aulton, and now it's looking to provide charging infrastructure as a service with the acquisition of Amply Power. BP is clearly betting on alternative ways to power electric fleets.

Self-driving technology company Robotics Research raises $228 million in Series A funding

Anirudh Bhoopalam, Analyst, Lux Research

Anirudh Bhoopalam, Analyst
Lux Take: Very Important

 

"Robotics Research has delivered self-driving technology solutions for about 20 years. It plans to use this recent funding investment, led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Enlightenment Capital, to grow RR.AI (its commercial arm). The company produced AutoDrive, a vehicle-independent autonomous kit that is in about 150 heavy-duty vehicles globally. It is pointing to its military experience handling unfavorable weather and terrain as a differentiator in its autonomy stack, which uses stereo for motion and range imaging to estimate 3D structures from 2D images. With this funding and its prior experience, RR.AI could beat its competitors to commercialization. Companies should closely monitor RR.AI for updates on pilots and expansion.

Canadian grid operator and partners boost local energy market models with $2.7 million ($3.4 million Canadian) smart grid grant

Michael Sullivan, Analyst, Lux Research

Michael Sullivan, Analyst
Lux Take: Average Importance

 

"Grid operator Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) and partners are investing in three projects to better integrate local generation assets, including hydro, into grid operations. The initiative mirrors efforts, such as Centrica's local energy market trial, which demonstrated value for participants but highlighted the need for government support to further commercialize the market. IESO's projects include bringing supply and consumption data together at the local level, modeling how local distribution companies can operate local markets, and building a machine learning-based tool to model local demand. IESO's approach is a proactive role that other operators should emulate to strengthen their position in local markets."

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Mitsui Chemicals and Microwave Chemical join hands to commercialize microwave technology for automotive waste depolymerization

Marcian Lee, Ph.D., Research Analyst, Lux Research

Marcian Lee, Ph.D., Research Analyst
Lux Take: Average Importance

 

"Microwaves can directly monomerize hard-to-recycle automotive shredder residue and thermosetting sheet-molding compounds. While pyrolysis is another recycling option, an additional cracking step is needed to extract monomers, leading to additional costs and negative environmental impacts. This Mitsui Chemicals–Microwave Chemical partnership will verify the advantages of the technology with bench-scale equipment before scaling to demonstration tests. Companies interested in alternative chemical recycling technologies should monitor the progression to demonstration tests within the next year. If trials demonstrate good economics, the technology could also potentially transfer to other composite waste streams like end-of-life watercraft."

SP Group and Banpu NEXT partner to offer smart clean energy solutions in Asia Pacific

Jessica Hernandez, Analyst, Lux Research

Jessica Hernandez, Analyst
Lux Take: Average Importance

 

"The SP Group–Banpu NEXTpartnership intends to combine expertise on renewable power generation, energy storage, and smart energy solutions to tackle applications such as "district cooling systems," platforms for "cross-border renewable energy certificates (RECs), and smart city solutions." The goal is to drive decarbonization efforts in the Asia-Pacific region, while the companies explore more business opportunities in the energy transition. Companies should expect any district cooling developments to likely manifest over the next several years and wait for blockchain-enabled REC trading applications to prove value and applicability in the region."

Lux Research - Newsletter Research

Beijing allows Pony.ai to commercialize its autonomous robotaxi services

Anirudh Bhoopalam, Analyst, Lux Research

Anirudh Bhoopalam, Analyst
Lux Take: Average Importance

 

"With approval from Beijing, Pony.ai can commercialize its robotaxi services in the Beijing Intelligent Networked Vehicle Policy Pilot Zone, which spans an area of roughly 60 square kilometers, composed of both residential and commercial areas. The robotaxis will operate between about 200 travel stations from 8:30 am to 10:30 pm. While this operation is an encouraging step forward that companies should closely monitor for further updates, it should be noted that this is still a commercialization pilot that operates between fixed travel stations in a relatively small area. It should not necessarily be interpreted as a sign that autonomous vehicles will become a widespread reality before the end of the decade."

 

Did you miss last week's news round-up? Check out the blog here. Make sure you never miss a headline by subscribing to our newsletter.

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