ROLLS-ROYCE EV HITS IT RICH All-electric vehicles (EVs) represent a relatively small share of the overall car market. Concerns over battery ranges and relatively high prices continue to limit their broader appeal. Electric vehicle prices, however, likely don’t matter much to buyers who inundated Rolls-Royce with orders for its debut EV, which comes with a $400,000 price tag. The British car company unveiled a prototype of the vehicle in summer 2022, and production is set to get underway this year. The Spectre ( pictured ) seats four and can travel 260 miles on a charge. It can go from zero to 60 in 4.4 seconds with 577 horsepower and 664 foot-pounds of torque. Rolls-Royce plans to phase out its internal-combustion vehicles this decade and transition to entirely electric vehicles by 2030. Initial demand for the Spectre could force the company to alter its production plans in order to meet it, according to company executives.
TIRE PRESSURE As part of a broader initiative to accelerate the use of sustainable technologies in the NTT Indycar Series, tire maker Bridgestone developed Firestone Firehawk race tires made with guayule natural rubber grown and extracted at the company’s guayule R&D facilities in Arizona. The company debuted the tires during the Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge on May 27, 2023. Bridgestone aims to commercialize the use of sustainable guayule natural rubber in tires by 2030, creating a promising new domestic industry. • Guayule is a heat-tolerant, woody shrub that thrives in America’s desert southwest. • The shrub can be farmed with existing row crop equipment, saving costs for farmers. • Guayule creates up to 10 new
GM SHIFTS TO CHATBOTS ChatGPT is “going to be in everything,” says Scott Miller, vice president of General Motors. To that end, the automaker is reportedly working on a new virtual assistant for its vehicles powered by advanced artificial intelligence (AI) technology. GM could implement chatbot-type technologies into its cars in coming years under an existing partnership with Microsoft, according to Reuters. GM’s virtual assistant research features the same AI models as ChatGPT, reports Semafor. An advanced virtual assistant could quickly provide answers ordinarily found in vehicle owners' manuals or help drivers with routine tasks, such as checking their schedules or opening garage doors.
industrial processing jobs per 1,000 acres of harvested crop.
• Guayule rubber has the potential to have a lasting
economic impact, Bridgestone says, while reducing the energy and other environmental impacts associated with the transportation of rubber sourced overseas.
May 2023 • Inbound Logistics 15
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