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World's First Electric Autonomous Cargo Ship Sets Sail

Plus, Seoul, South Korea, plans virtual reality for government services as part of a "metaverse," Nissan invests billions in electric vehicle development and Intel's first computer chip turns 50.

Yara Birkeland cargo ship


The world’s first electric and autonomous container ship set sail in fall 2021 off the coast of Norway in the Oslofjord. The Yara Birkeland will reportedly replace 40,000 trips by diesel trucks annually and cut 1,000 tons of CO2 emissions, according to Yara CEO Svein Tore Holsether. Set to go into commercial operation in 2022, the ship will transport mineral fertilizer while its technology is tested during a two-year period to become fully certified as autonomous and all-electric. Source: Yara


Move over, chatbots — Seoul, South Korea, is taking digital services to a whole new level. The city’s government has announced the creation of “Metaverse Seoul,” an immersive online experience that aims to create not only an online city hall, but also a virtual reality one. The project is valued at a U.S. equivalent of $3.9 million (3.9 billion in South Korean won), with plans to develop the metaverse platform by the end of 2022. In 2023, the city hopes to open the “Metaverse 120 Center,” where avatars will be available to handle resident concerns. Full operation of the system is anticipated in 2026, although citizen access to virtual reality headsets may be a barrier to broad adoption.
Source: Quartz


November 2021 marked a major milestone in personal computing: Intel’s first commercially available computer chip, the 4004 processor, turned 50. The chip premiered in an ad in Electronic News magazine that announced “a new era in integrated electronics.” It was the first time a complete CPU was put onto a single chip, and the 4004 was as powerful as the first-ever room-size computers built in the 1940s.
Source: New Atlas


That’s how much Nissan will invest in electric vehicle development as part of its “Ambition 2030” plan. By the end of the decade, the automaker plans to roll out 15 new EVs, which will then comprise half its vehicle offerings. The money will in part go toward developing new battery technology that would reduce charging times and bring down the cost of battery packs.
Source: Engadget
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.