Investment in artificial intelligence: Porsche has invested in start-up "Urgent.ly". The American company sees itself as the leading global platform for mobility and roadside assistance. The financing round amounted to 21 million U.S. dollars (18.5 million euros). Alongside "Porsche Ventures", other companies obtained shares in Urgent.ly, including "BMW i Ventures" and "InMotion Ventures", the venture capital division of Jaguar Land Rover.
The U.S. start-up's platform supports roadside assistance services in North America, Europe and Asia.
Using artificial intelligence and geolocation, Urgent.ly connects drivers, service providers and automotive manufacturers in real time, thus coordinating the best and fastest help in the event of a breakdown.
This means that, from the very beginning, the customer is provided with transparency regarding the location (exact to the second) and the expected arrival time of the roadside assistance provider. In the USA, more than half of all roadside assistance providers are already connected to the platform, which serves around 45,000 networked vehicles.
"Urgent.ly is an innovative platform solution which impresses with its speed and transparency. It is also internationally scalable. We are convinced that it can help increase customer satisfaction levels in critical situations," says Kilian Sauerwald, Director Aftersales Region and Market Development at Porsche. "The team at Urgent.ly sets itself apart due to its well founded expertise within the customer and technology business. This is why we chose a strategic investment."
"The support of our investors confirms our strategy and business model. We are aiming to create a range of services for the mobility and roadside assistance industry which meets the expectations and requirements of our customers," says Chris Spanos, CEO and cofounder of Urgent.ly. "We look forward to continuing to advance our connected services across the global automotive, insurance and mobility markets."
Porsche Ventures seeks strategic investments in business models relating to the customer experience, mobility and digital lifestyle, as well as in future technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain and virtual and augmented reality. Through its venture capital activities, the sports car manufacturer Porsche invests in new companies that are in the early and growth phases.
Amongst the latest investments there has been the Berlin-based start-up Gapless. Their blockchain-based solution allows customers to digitally manage their vintage vehicles, including the entire history, and to share it with other users in a forgery-proof way. Porsche also holds shares in the fast-growing Swiss technology company WayRay.
This start-up develops and produces holographic augmented reality head-up display technologies and is working on the ability to seamlessly integrate virtual objects into the driving experience. Porsche also has invested in the start-ups Anagog, Miles and homeiX, as well as technology and sports car company Rimac.
PepsiCo, one of the world's leading food and beverage companies, and The Global FoodBanking Network (GFN), a non-profit organization that develops and supports food banks in more than 30 countries, delivered more than 85 million servings of fresh food to communities in need in 2018 as part of their partnership to strengthen food banks around the world.
PepsiCo invested $500,000 with GFN to support training and development for food bank staff and purchases of essential equipment like trucks and refrigerated storage space – investments that help food banks enhance their operations and deliver fresh fruits, vegetables, whole foods and dairy to those suffering from hunger and malnutrition. This investment supports food banks in addressing logistical and financial challenges that often prevent food from reaching those in need and provided fresh servings to nearly 175,000 people in 2018 alone.
For the third consecutive year, there was a rise in the population suffering from hunger in 2018. According to the U.N., 1 in every 9 people experiences chronic hunger, which can have harmful impacts on children's physical and cognitive development, women's reproductive health and communities' safety and economic vitality. Food banks play an essential role in helping food reach the communities and populations who need it most. PepsiCo's partnership with GFN helped relieve hunger and strengthen food banks in Colombia, the Dominican Republic, South Africa, Israel, Bulgaria, Australia, Argentina, Guatemala and Peru. GFN and PepsiCo identified these countries based on local nutrition need and the capacity of existing in-country programs to significantly expand their distribution of fresh food with additional financial support.
"Global hunger is both a problem of food production and logistics," said Laxman Narasimhan, CEO of PepsiCo Latin America, Europe Sub-Saharan Africa. "We're proud to support grassroots, community-led interventions like food banks, whose food distribution efforts are critical in the fight against hunger. As violent conflicts, economic downturns and natural disasters put more families at risk, we must continue to invest in proven solutions, like food banks, so they have the resources and support they need."
"While hunger is a solvable problem, one in four people in the world are malnourished. At the same time, one-third of all food produced for consumption is wasted. Food banks capture food poised to be wasted and redistribute it to those in need. Thanks to the generosity of PepsiCo, we have an incredible opportunity to broaden the impact food banks have on communities around the world," said Lisa Moon, GFN President and Chief Executive Officer.
At the Geneva International Motor Show (GIMS) 2019 PAL-V unveiled the distinctive features of the PAL-V Liberty Pioneer, world's first production model flying car. The 90-piece limited edition is based on the PAL-V Liberty which was unveiled last year at the GIMS. It will open the next chapter of mobility.
According to Dingemanse, CEO of PAL-V: "The Pioneer Edition is for those that want to be part of a unique group that writes history with us. They will be at the forefront of a mobility revolution, where we will no longer have cars that can only drive.They will be the first carflyers in their country, FlyDriving to any destination. Last year we already announced that we were going to start with a limited edition of the PAL-V Liberty. This year we show the special elements of this limited edition of which delivery starts in 2020," says Dingemanse.
Amongst other features, the PAL-V Liberty Pioneer Edition is equipped with a dual control cockpit and the Electronic Flight Instrument System. The full carbon package clearly distinguishes the Pioneer from the standard Liberty as well as a tailor-made interior and exclusive characteristic two tone colour scheme.
Developing a flying car takes a long time and a lot of persistence. It's a revolutionary development, especially as PAL-V developed a commercial vehicle that complies with existing regulations, very different from an interesting technical concept.
With the launch of the PAL-V Liberty Pioneer, PAL-V will open the next chapter of personal mobility. The Pioneer edition gives 90 people in the world the possibility to go above and beyond.
Modular micro-farms provide additional food production to meet global needs, and bring healthy produce to underserved areas.
GP Solutions a leading developer of automated micro-farms, announced its new systems can help meet the food production needs for the future. Earth's population is 7.68 billion, and is expected to grow to over 9 billion within 30 years.
According to a report from the University of Minnesota, "To feed those who are currently hungry - and the additional 2 billion-plus people who will live on the planet by 2050 - our best projections are that crop production will need to increase between 60 and 100 percent."
However, with scarcity of land and resources, this poses immense challenges. "Further expansion of agriculture is a poor solution to meeting future needs because we're using nearly all of the land that's suitable for agriculture already," the report emphasized.
"Relying on increased production will be an important solution, but not a sufficient one." Additionally, food isn't being grown near where it is needed. According to the United Nations, 815 million people in the world are under-nourished.
GrowPod is part of the solution.
GrowPods are modular, scalable, transportable, indoor "micro-farms" that grow high quality, pathogen-free foods using a fraction of resources required for conventional farming.
The system utilizes both hydroponics and soil-based platforms along with proprietary air and water filtration, to create the perfect environment for growing food virtually anywhere, in any season or climate. GrowPods can be installed in just hours, so as demand rises or shifts, it is easy to put additional pods into service.
GP Solutions: GP Solutions designs "GrowPods" – innovative indoor micro farms that provide optimum conditions for plant cultivation with total environmental control.
For more information: www.growpodsolutions.com