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2019’s Top 10 Tech Cars: Honda Insight

It adds electricity in three ways

2 min read
Photo: Honda
Photo: Honda

This Year’s
Winning Autos

Trivia question: What was the first hybrid automobile delivered to the United States, back in 1999? If you answered, the Honda Insight, congratulations! The Insight beat Toyota’s Prius to market by a few months, but Honda’s hybrids have mostly languished in Toyota’s shadow ever since. The new Insight deserves to change that impression. It matches the Prius’s EPA rating of 4.5 liters/100 kilometers (52 miles per gallon) combined city/highway driving, and it triumphs in design, power, price, and performance.

The Insight’s hybrid system starts with a 1.5-liter, 80-kilowatt (107-horsepower) gasoline engine for which Honda claims an impressive 40.5 percent thermal efficiency. That engine is paired with the industry’s first permanent-magnet drive motors that contain no heavy rare-earth metals. A powerful motor drives the front axle and a secondary motor operates as a starter and generator. Combined, the two produce 113 kW (151 horses), 25 percent more than the Prius’s 90 kW (121 hp).

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GPT Protein Models Speak Fluent Biology

Deep learning language models design artificial proteins for tricky chemical reactions

3 min read
Two protein structures labelled ProGen Generated and 25% Mutation.

By learning the "language" of functional proteins, the AI learned to prioritize its most structurally important segments.

SalesForce

Artificial intelligence has already shaved years off research into protein engineering. Now, for the first time, scientists have synthesized proteins predicted by an AI model in the lab, and found them to work just as well as their natural counterparts.

The research used a deep learning language model for protein engineering called ProGen, which was developed by the company Salesforce AI Research in 2020. ProGen was trained, on 280 million raw protein sequences from publicly available databases of sequenced natural proteins, to generate artificial protein sequences from scratch.

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Bosch Powers the Automotive Sector Toward an Electrified Future

The German company has optimized three-phase inverters and their DC link capacitors with a simulation-powered design process

8 min read
Digital art showing a 3D transparent car with the electric engine connected to batteries.

The global transition toward electric cars is getting a boost from industry suppliers like Robert Bosch, which provides electrical components and systems to car manufacturers. The Bosch team optimizes three-phase inverters and their DC link capacitors with a simulation-powered design process, which enables them to identify potentially destructive "hot spots" early in the development cycle.

This sponsored article is brought to you by COMSOL.

Just as tourists in Paris are drawn to the Louvre, visitors to Stuttgart, Germany, also flock to museums displaying the great works of the city. Stuttgart may not boast of Degas or Monet, but its prominent names are perhaps even more famous than Paris’ painters: Mercedes–Benz and Porsche. Each of these iconic automakers maintains a museum in the southwestern German city they call home. Their gleaming galleries feature many historic and influential cars, almost all of them powered by petroleum-fueled internal combustion (IC) engines. Looking ahead, Stuttgart will likely continue to be the heart of the German auto industry, but how long will the IC engine remain the heart of the automobile?

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