Electric SUV Maker Raises $2.65B, Expands Charging Network

Plus, an AI-powered chess bot is designed to play like a human, SpaceX competitor OneWeb adds 500 low-earth orbit satellites to its ranks and renewable energy surpasses fossil fuels in Europe.

An electriv SUV from Rivan drives in a rugged landscape

$2.65B

Rivian, maker of “electric adventure vehicles,” raised $2.65 billion in January, bringing its total valuation to $27.6 billion. The new funding round will go toward this summer’s production of Rivian’s all-electric pickup truck and SUV, as well as expanding its EV charging network and building 100,000 commercial delivery vans for Amazon.
Source: TechCrunch

A Queen’s Gambit

Humans haven’t beat computers at chess since 2005, but a new AI engine is designed to change that. Maia, a chess bot based on research from Cornell University, the University of Toronto and Microsoft, was trained on moves from millions of online chess games played by humans, and its goal isn’t necessarily to win. Instead, multiple versions of Maia were trained at different human skill levels, from novice to strong amateur.

When Maia launched in December, it played more than 40,000 games in its first week.
Source: Engadget  

648

Many are looking at low-orbit satellites as a potential answer to expanding broadband Internet to rural and underserved areas, with companies like SpaceX’s Starlink grabbing headlines. A competitor called OneWeb aims to up its stake in the game, with a goal of expanding its current fleet of satellites to 648 by the end of 2022. That would add more than 500 low-orbit satellites to its roster, an ambitious goal for a company that declared bankruptcy in March 2020, before the U.K. and India’s Bharti Global bought a 45 percent stake.
Source: Engadget

Fossilizing Fossil Fuel

Renewables, chiefly solar and wind, provided 38 percent of electricity in the European Union in 2020, edging out fossil fuels (37 percent) for the first time. While the trend is a positive one, experts say renewable energy will need to grow at a faster rate to prevent climate change from causing more natural disasters. The remainder of the EU’s 2020 energy came from nuclear plants.
Source: The Verge

Lauren Harrison is the managing editor for Government Technology magazine. She has a degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and more than 10 years’ experience in book and magazine publishing.