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NNNCo deploys IoT network for cotton farmers

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(Image: NNNCo)

Australia’s cotton farmers will be gaining access to Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity, with Australia’s National Narrowband Network Company (NNNCo) to deploy a 3 million-hectare network during 2019.

The publicly available LoRaWAN network, being built in partnership with Goanna Ag, is aimed at enabling IoT-powered irrigation solutions for the cotton industry.

NNNCo will extend its existing LoRaWAN network to cover the area across the Murrumbidgee, Lachlan, Gwydir MacIntyre, Namoi, and Macquarie valleys, and the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area, with Goanna Ag funding the network through investment from Westpac and Graincorp Operations.

The network will provide data on soil moisture through the use of sensors including soil probes, rain gauges, local weather data, water and fuel tank monitors, and satellite imagery. This will enable better scheduling of irrigation, according to the companies.

The LoRaWAN network will enable this at a low cost compared to traditional cellular connectivity, Goanna Ag CEO Alicia Garden said.

“Every day that a cotton crop is under stress can cost a grower over AU$100 per hectare. We help growers schedule and apply just the right amount of water to use on crops at just the right time so they can optimise their performance and profit,” Garden said.

The first 100 gateways and 2,000 sensors will be deployed in cotton farms across New South Wales and Queensland this cotton season as part of Goanna Ag’s GoField and GoSense services. The company will also be offering data analytics.

“The network will significantly drive down the cost of connection for data communication and the cost of sensors using this technology,” NNNCo founder and CEO Rob Zagarella said.

“This will make the difference between isolated usage and widespread deployment of the sensors which will in turn provide more granular information and higher value to the industry.”

NNNCo in August also announced that it will be building out an IoT network for the City of Gold Coast covering more than 1,300 square kilometres, with plans to use the connectivity for digital water metering, waste management, and support for parks and fields.

“We’re developing a secure, scalable, commercial-grade IoT network that will enable infinite use cases by businesses, enterprise, and the council,” Gold Coast chief innovation and economy officer Ian Hatton said.

“We chose LoRaWAN technology because it supports large-scale deployments securely, reliably, and cost effectively. NNNCo have been engaged because of their proven ability to build the network and bring commercial solutions that have the potential to significantly add value to Gold Coast residents and businesses.”

NNNCo is similarly building out IoT networks across Newcastle and Lake Macquarie to enable smart city applications such as smart street lighting and water meters.

It has previously worked on IoT trials with Melbourne’s metropolitan water utilities to test coverage, data delivery, and battery life of digital water metering for City West Water, South East Water, and Yarra Valley Water.

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2022 BMW M8 Competition range revealed with bigger screens and better lights

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German automaker BMW has updated its 2022 M8 Competition sport-luxury car. You can still get an M8 Competition in three body styles (2-door Coupe, 2-door Cabriolet, and 4-door Gran Coupe), sharing the same 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine with 617 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque.

Images: BMW AG
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Tesla Cybertruck delayed again plus Elon Musk squashes $25k EV rumors

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Tesla closed out 2021 with a bumper year, besting Q4 estimates and pushing EV deliveries past 300,000, though Elon Musk tempered hopes for the arrival of the Cybertruck and more affordable models. Revenue in the year as a whole grew 71%, Tesla announced, describing 2021 as “a breakthrough year” for the automaker, but some of the most anticipated electric vehicles are still some way out.

Tesla

No Tesla Cybertruck until 2023

The most conspicuous project that Tesla has underway is undoubtedly the Cybertruck. The oddly-shaped all-electric pickup proved controversial when Elon Musk first revealed it, and glimpses of development prototypes in the intervening years haven’t dimmed its ability to polarize opinion. Undoubtedly the most frequently-asked question, however, is when Tesla actually might put the Cybertruck into production.

Tesla

Tesla’s investor deck continues with the same, vague timeline as has been stated in previous releases. “We are making progress on the industrialization of Cybertruck, which is currently planned for Austin production subsequent to Model Y,” the automaker says.

Speaking on the investor call, however, Musk confirmed that the Cybertruck wouldn’t go into production this year. The primary focus for Tesla, the CEO explained, would be ramping production of its existing models, like the popular Model 3 and Model Y. They’re still in strong demand, with orders for some configurations of Model Y not expected to be delivered until August 2022.

Tesla Cybertruck pricing

Tesla screenshot by SlashGear

For the Cybertruck, there are still technological hurdles to be worked through, Musk admitted. The automaker is also still trying to figure out how to make it affordable: there was widespread surprise when Tesla announced the full-size electric pickup would have a starting price of around $40,000 when it began taking reservations in late 2019. For the moment, Musk said, the hope is that production can begin sometime in 2023.

Don’t expect the Tesla Roadster any time soon, either

What goes for the Cybertruck, also goes for Tesla’s rebooted Roadster. Also the spur of no shortage of reservation deposits – or the full $250,000 apiece in advance for those wanting one of the first 1,000 “Founder’s Series” cars – the Roadster was originally intended to go into production in mid to late 2021. That was delayed to 2022, and then to 2023.

Tesla Roadster

Tesla

The good news is that it’s still, apparently, on track for that timescale, though as Tesla feels the impact of the supply chain issues affecting the whole auto industry that could still change in the meantime. Chip constraints were name-checked by Musk as being a primary bottleneck for 2021 production of its cars, arguing that if Tesla tried to introduce new models in 2022 it would only have the overall impact of cutting total production output. The need to assign resources to new models would take away from the ability to build cars like the Model 3 and Model Y, he pointed out.

Engineering and tooling-up for the upcoming Tesla models may still begin in 2022. However they won’t go into production until 2023 at the earliest.

The $25,000 Tesla isn’t happening

Tesla line-up

Tesla

Though Tesla hasn’t been affected by the “market adjustments” that have seen dealers of other brands add thousands or even tens of thousands to the sticker price of a new car, it’s clear that the EV-maker is still focused on the trims with the biggest profit margins. Despite previous chatter of a $25,000 Tesla that could undercut even the most affordable Model 3, Musk says that’s simply not on the cards.

“We have too much on our plate,” the CEO said during the investor call.

The reality is, while Tesla has been surprisingly well placed for dealing with the supply chain crunch – including making admirable use of existing chip supplies by reprogramming its software to suit – like most car companies it can’t build as many as it would like to. Focusing on maximizing the return on each vehicle is the inevitable result, not only by prioritizing the more expensive configurations, but on post-sale software enhancements too. Indeed, “over time, we expect our hardware-related profits to be accompanied with an acceleration of software-related profits,” the investor deck points out.

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This carbon 3D-printed Rolls-Royce Cullinan is a $500,000 upgrade

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The Cullinan is the Rolls-Royce of SUVs, so what does this make 1016 Industries’ carbon-fiber, 3D-printed Cullinan? You can call it anything you like, but it is indeed a dignified way to go sporty. We highly prefer it over the quirky Mansory Rolls-Royce Cullinan unveiled last year for the 50th founding anniversary of the United Arab Emirates, and it’s all thanks to the crafty use of 3D printing for the details.

Images: 1016 Industries
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