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Ford to invest US$1bn in artificial intelligence

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Ford Motor Company has announced that it’s investing US$1 billion during the next five years in Argo AI, an artificial intelligence company, to develop a virtual driver system for the automaker’s autonomous vehicle coming in 2021 – and for potential license to other companies.

The team of experts in robotics and artificial intelligence is led by Argo AI founders Bryan Salesky, company CEO, and Peter Rander, company COO. Both are alumni of Carnegie Mellon National Robotics Engineering Center and former leaders on the self-driving car teams of Google and Uber, respectively.

“The next decade will be defined by the automation of the automobile, and autonomous vehicles will have as significant an impact on society as Ford’s moving assembly line did 100 years ago,” said Ford president and CEO Mark Fields. “As Ford expands to be an auto and a mobility company, we believe that investing in Argo AI will create significant value for our shareholders by strengthening Ford’s leadership in bringing self-driving vehicles to market in the near term and by creating technology that could be licensed to others in the future.”

Partnerships

The current team developing Ford’s virtual driver system – the machine-learning software that acts as the brain of autonomous vehicles – will be combined with the robotics talent and expertise of Argo AI. This partnership will work to deliver the virtual driver system for Ford’s SAE level 4 self-driving vehicles.

Argo AI will join forces with Ford’s autonomous vehicle software development effort to strengthen the commercialisation of self-driving vehicles.

“We are at an inflexion point in using artificial intelligence in a wide range of applications, and the successful deployment of self-driving cars will fundamentally change how people and goods move,” said Salesky.
“We are energised by Ford’s commitment and vision for the future of mobility, and we believe this partnership will enable self-driving cars to be commercialised and deployed at scale to extend affordable mobility to all.”

The collaboration supports Ford’s intent to have a fully autonomous, SAE level 4-capable vehicle for commercial application in mobility services in 2021.

Majority stakeholder

Also complementing the relationship will be Ford Smart Mobility LLC, which will lead on the commercialisation strategy for Ford’s self-driving vehicles. This includes choices for using autonomous vehicles to move goods and people, such as ride sharing, ride-hailing or package delivery fleets.

Ford will be the majority stakeholder in Argo AI. Importantly, Argo AI has been structured to operate with substantial independence. Its employees will have significant equity participation in the company, enabling them to share in its success.

The US$1 billion investment will be made over five years and is consistent with the autonomous vehicle capital allocation plan shared last September as part of Ford Investor Day.

Source:bizcommunity
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Manufacturing

BGI Ethiopia Gets New keg tracking solution- Keg Track&Trace

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BGI Ethiopia (Source: 8Sigma)

Montelektro, a leading system integrator in the brewing industry, and 8Sigma, a premium MES provider delivered solution KegTNT (Keg Track&Trace) to a brewery in Addis Ababa.

KegTNT is a software solution that tracks kegs throughout their life stages while inside the brewery and within the whole supply chain.

In addition to the mentioned brewery, during 2021, KegTNT will be implemented in two more breweries owned by the same company, BGI Ethiopia, whose long brewing tradition dates to the first half of the 20th century. The BGI Ethiopia’s owner is French Castel Group, one of the largest African and among the world’s ten largest beer producers.

The Ethiopian customer required a new, modern solution that will enable them to better manage its keg fleet, reduce costs related to the ownership of kegs, improve quality control, ensure better maintenance supervision, and to prevent possible keg losses.

Montelektro and 8Sigma’s scope of supply included the implementation of KegTNT solution that collects and saves all the data about kegs’ lifecycle, tracking it by using the RFID technology.

Its main purpose is to provide real-time tracking and traceability of each keg in the fleet, and better maintenance and quality control.

The scope also included a tablet application for tracking operations inside the brewery and a smartphone application for the sales agents. From now on, maintenance, laboratory, and warehouse staff can use tablets equipped with an RFID reader to manage everyday tasks related to the keg fleet. Sales agents can also report, track, and resolve all complaints through the application on their smartphones. All information is available in real-time, so staff can react immediately and identify potential problems even before they happened.

Within this project, KegTNT was also integrated with a keg filling plant (capacity of up to 900 kegs/h) that is fully automated and robotized. This integration enables the brewery to automatically collect and analyze data about kegs’ filling, like production rates, reject rates, downtimes, and other elements required for an efficient production.

These features of KegTNT should help BGI Ethiopia not only to improve resource utilization and the management of keg fleet, but also to preserve its good reputation and a desirable market position.

“Last year was very challenging for the whole world. The brewing industry, just like all others, was in turmoil. We are satisfied because we have managed to conclude the project in one of the three contracted breweries in the circumstances of travel restrictions. On this occasion, we would also like to thank Montelektro for their trust and partnership on another project we have successfully delivered together.”, said Vladimir Lukić, director at 8Sigma.

Apart from the mentioned project, 8Sigma and Montelektro continue to cooperate. The most important common project is the development and implementation of MES (Manufacturing Execution System) solution for the brewing industry, named BeerVision.

BeerVision schedules, tracks, and manages all production activities inside a brewery, from raw materials to the finished product – beer.

During production, this Industry 4.0 solution collects and analyzes data about the brewing process in real-time and provides fully integrated data for all operational activities. It connects and integrates the process control system (PCS) with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).

With BeerVision, companies can make decisions faster and easier and manage their businesses much more efficiently. It also helps them improve their product quality and reduce costs.

Issued by 8Sigma

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Egypt, Toyota Tsusho discuss manufacturing natural gas-powered microbuses

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CAIRO – 13 October 2019: Egypt and Toyota Tsusho discussed on Sunday how the giant Japanese company can contribute to the government’s plans to manufacturing natural gas-powered microbuses.

During his meeting with President and CEO of Toyota Tsusho Mr. Ichiro Kashitani, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli emphasized Egypt’s keenness to best utilize its resources by reducing diesel exports’ expenses and transferring diesel-fueled vehicles to natural gas-powered ones or to bi-fuel vehicles that are capable of running on two fuels (natural gas and gasoline) through offering payment facilities.

Mabdouli further stressed that the transfer process needs to be implemented through manufacturing companies that working on Egypt’s soil, in order to enhance local manufacturing, and transfer expertise, according to a cabinet press statement about the meeting. He also ensured that the government is serious in its plans to implementing the transfer process through providing funding programs and incentives to encourage owners of old microbuses.

These ambitions go the lines with the government’s latest unveiled plan in August, aiming to turn 50,000 vehicles into gas-powered annually.

Mabdouli also stressed the government’s readiness to discuss the details of the implementation of the program and accelerate the process according to a specific schedule.

For their part, Toyota Tsusho delegation presented their proposal of “manufacturing high quality microbuses in a way that will meet the Egyptian government’s converting the fuel-powered vehicles.”

Also Read Switzerland’s Head of Economic Cooperation, Development at SECO to visit Cairo

In a previous interview with Business Today Egypt magazine, Toyota Tsusho Kashitani explained his company’s strategy about using diversified fuels, based on the global trend to electrification, while maintaining an environment-friendly technology.

“In order to realize the fuel transfer plan by government, natural gas field development would be necessary to be accelerated and we are ready to support it by expansion of the offshore rig project as referred above,” Kashitani added during the interview.

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Messe Frankfurt studies holding international textile exhibition in Egypt

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Shirts- CC via Maxpixel/ Sony Ilce-7

CAIRO – 19 May 2019: Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH is studying holding an international fair for textile products in Egypt for the first time, announced Egypt’s Ministry of Trade and Industry in a statement on Sunday.

“The exhibition will be an important platform for bringing together exporters and importers from around the world to exchange experiences and views in this field,” the statement read.

The exhibition comes in light of Egypt’s strategic plan to be a trade hub serving the African countries, the ministry said, noting that the country aims to be an international center for all international exhibitions.

Member of the Executive Board of Messe Frankfurt GmbH Uwe Behm said that the company has been cooperating with Egypt for 100 years, adding that the company aims to hold this big international exhibition due to Egypt’s distinguished and strategic geographic place in Africa and in the Arab World.

Egypt Today

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