Disrupting the vertical agriculture market
PITTSBURGH, PA—A startup founded by MBA student Austin Webb and incubated at Carnegie Mellon University, aims to disrupt the $60 billion U.S. vertical agriculture market. Fifth Season offers a proprietary automated system that grows fresh produce indoors year-round in vertical trays, using artificial intelligence, robotics and data to control light, water and nutrients, and harvest leafy greens.
Fast Company recognizes George Kaiser Family Foundation
TULSA, OK–Citing the success of the three-year-old Tulsa Remote program, Fast Company has named the George Kaiser Family Foundation (GKFF) to its annual list of Most Innovative Companies in the “Not-for-Profit” category. This year’s list honors organizations that are making the biggest impact on their industries and culture as a whole. Tulsa Remote has also been the subject of Harvard Business School and McKinsey research.
Clean hydrogen tech
DURHAM, NC—Hydrogen will play a critical role in helping the world address its net-zero needs immediately. 8 Rivers Capital and London-based company Johnson Matthey will collaborate to produce clean hydrogen technologies. This collaboration will combine 8 Rivers’ clean hydrogen process and Johnson Matthey’s tech for producing blue hydrogen, with the goal of rolling out more global projects.
University of Akron named best for polymer science
AKRON, OH—The University of Akron was recently named as the top university in the world for polymer science and plastics engineering according to global ranking site EduRank. The School of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering offers polymer research centers, testing facilities, workshops and laboratories equipped with advanced instrumentation and process capabilities. The faculty represent one of the largest concentrations of polymer expertise in the U.S., having invented more than 300 issued and pending patents.
Stoplight tech at Purdue
WEST LAFAYETTE, IN—It’s called the “dilemma zone.” It’s that moment when a traffic light turns yellow and a driver has to make the decision to stop or clear the intersection. It’s also where a lot of accidents occur. Technology developed between Purdue University researchers and the Indiana Department of Transportation can extend green-time or indicate yellow-time as early as necessary to ensure intersection safety on a 0.1-second basis. A wireless communication device is placed at traffic signals and in vehicles, and specialized control logic at the signal controller brings it all together.
Ford files patent for hands-free EV charging solution
DETROIT, MI—It’s no secret that Ford is increasing its investment in EVs and the tech surrounding them. Now they have filed a patent for a hands-free charging solution. The solution means that the vehicle could presumably charge itself with no interaction from the owner. Additionally, the patent seems to explore the idea of developing a charging system that wouldn’t require PHEV owners to install a charging station in their homes, or even connect the vehicle to a charger at all.
Self-driving cars making test runs
FLYOVER—Ford is also venturing into self-driving vehicles territory by collaborating with Pittsburgh-based Argo AI. The companies rolled out a couple of test vehicles in Nashville. They were being manually driven by Argo AI operators on what were termed “mapping missions.” The test runs are part of the companies’ plans to run a fleet of more than 1,000 autonomous test vehicles on public roads via the ride-hailing service Lyft over the next five years.