Space hotel, télétransportation, Waymo et Lucid Motors battent Tesla, un bateau à voile portera 7000 voitures & more!

Bonjour à vous,

Vous recevez la newsletter Parlons Futur : chaque semaine (ou presque) une sélection de news résumées en bullet points sur des sujets tech, science, éco pour mieux appréhender le futur.

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(Je m'appelle Thomas, plus d'infos sur moi en bas d'email.)

Voici donc ma veille des dernières semaines :)


Et avant cela, petite annonce personnelle : je rejoins en tant “qu’Advisor” la startup de l’espace Orbital Assembly!

  • L’ambition est folle : assembler en orbite avant 2030 une station spatiale de 200 mètres de diamètre, en rotation sur elle-même pour créer de la Gravité Artificielle, qui pourra accueillir 400 personnes : agences spatiales, entreprises et touristes!

  • Regardez ce teaser video d’1 minute sur Youtube pour voir ce que cela va donner !

  • Après plusieurs années en “stealth mode”, l’entreprise va présenter son équipe, les prochaines étapes, et faire une annonce spéciale à ne pas rater cette fin de semaine : pour en profiter, et être tenu au courant de l’avancée de ce projet, vous pouvez simplement laisser votre email sur ce formulaire

  • Le projet est incroyable, mais nous avons une feuille de route claire pour y arriver, avec la démo d’une techno brevetée clef prévue ce semestre

  • Notre CTO, Dr. Tom Spilker, “worked for more than 20 years as both a scientist and engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the second decade of that as a Space Flight Mission Architect. Tom worked on NASA's Voyager, Cassini, and Genesis missions, and was a Co-Investigator for the MIRO instrument on ESA's Rosetta mission”


Limiter le réchauffement climatique à 2°C ne coûterait que 0.06% de croissance annuelle mondiale sur une base de 1.6 à 3% selon l'Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), bref on peut se l'offrir (source)


Waymo se considère bien plus en avance, de plusieurs ordres de grandeur, que Tesla! Voyez le tweet de Waymo en réponse à la question


Bonne nouvelle : 90% des nouvelles capacités de production d'énergie installées en 2020 dans le monde concernaient le renouvelable ! (source)


L'Oréal lance une ligne de "maquillage virtuel"! (Techcrunch, voir aussi la vidéo de 30 sec publiées sur Youtube par L'Oréal)


Ce bateau "porte-voitures" Ocean Bird est le plus gros bateau à vent jamais construit, ses voiles ne sont pas en toile mais ressemblent à des ailes verticales (source)

  • With capacity for 7,000 vehicles, the 200 meter-long vessel is a similar size to conventional car carriers, but it will look radically different. The ship's hull is topped by five telescopic "wing sails," each 80 meters tall. Capable of rotating 360 degrees without touching each other, the sails can be retracted to 60 meters in order to clear bridges or withstand rough weather.

  • The sails, which will be made of steel and composite materials, need to be this size to generate enough propulsive power for the 35,000-ton ship.

  • "This ship, at the top of the mast, will be more than 100 meters (328 feet) above the water surface,"

  • Large, conventional oceangoing car carriers use an average of 40 tons of fuel per day, generating 120 tons of CO2 -- equivalent to driving a car 435,000 km

  • The Ocean Bird:

    • Will take 7 days to cross the Atlantic, against 12 for a conventional oceangoing car carrier

    • Will generate 3 to 12 tons/day of CO2, against 120 tons/day

    • Will transport 7,000 cars, against 8,000

  • "Our ambition is to see Oceanbird sailing in 2024."


NAWATechnologies, basé à Aix-en-Provence, construit une batterie hybride qui devrait doubler l'autonomie des voitures électriques, et se recharger à 80% en 5 minutes! (TheEconomist)

  • NAWATechnologies, near Aix-en-Provence, France, claims its supercapacitor-like battery could more than double the range of an electric car, allowing it to be driven for 1,000km on a single charge.

  • One firm that NAWA does admit to working with is Saft, a large batterymaker owned by Total, a French oil giant keen to diversify from fossil fuels. Among Saft’s customers are several Formula 1 teams which use some electric power in their racing cars. Saft has also teamed up with PSA group, a big European carmaker, to manufacture batteries for electric vehicles.

  • NAWA is already constructing a mass-production line for its latest supercapacitors. The process used would, says Ulrik Grape, NAWA’s chief executive, transfer easily to an existing battery-production line and might even reduce battery-making costs. He expects the first versions of the supercapacitor-battery hybrids to be in production by 2023.


Voyez ce portail de la taille d'une cabine téléphonique qui permet de se télétransporter en temps réel par "hologramme" à l'autre bout du monde



Lucid Motors conçoit une voiture qui serait 17% plus efficiente  que la Tesla Model S (Wired)

  • The production version of the Lucid Air sedan that debuted in September arrives on seemingly solid corporate footing—thanks largely to a billion-dollar investment from Saudi Arabia—and with a new factory in Casa Grande, Arizona, that is already cranking out production cars for eventual sale early next year

  • the car could be the first to match Tesla’s powertrain efficiency and the first to beat its overall efficiency.

  • the new Luci Air car scores 218 watt-hours per mile in overall efficiency—factoring in the car’s stated range, weight, drag, frontal area, and rolling resistance—while the Tesla Model S requires 250. (The lower the number, the less energy the car consumes with each mile.)

    • Using the same metrics, the Audi E-Tron comes in at 435 watt-hours per mile in overall efficiency; the Porsche Taycan clocks in at 420; the Jaguar I-Pace and Mercedes EQC both require 365 watt-hours per mile.

  • CEO and CTO Peter Rawlinson was the vice-president of engineering at Tesla during the Model S development a decade ago

  • The Lucid Air has a coefficient of drag of 0.21, which is a record for its class, beating the Tesla Model 3’s 0.23.

  • Ultimately, this nuanced, multipronged effort generated a vehicle that Lucid says is 17% more efficient than the Tesla Model S—2% of that improvement comes from the aerodynamic tweaks, 15% from faster-flowing electrons in the motor.

  • I’ve seen the missteps that Tesla has made with their charging network—they’re stuck at 400 volts charging capacity and can’t go higher—and their manufacturing struggles. We won’t make such mistakes.”

  • Lucid expects the cars to go on sale by the middle of 2021


Le géopoliticien en vogue Peter Zeihan nous explique pourquoi les Etats-Unis sont irremplaçables sur l'échiquier mondial

  • Even the least charitable reading of the American system credits it with a massive – and massively insulated – economy. Only about 11% of the U.S. economy is dependent upon trade, and nearly half of that is trade within Mexico and Canada.

    • J'ai vérifié sur Wikipédia : en 2017, les importations représentent respectivement 47%, 20% et 12% du PIB de l'Allemagne, de la Chine et des Etats-Unis, et les exportations 40%, 18% et 15%.

  • The shale revolution has not only made the United States net oil independent, it has reduced the costs of oil production in America to levels below that of the Persian Gulf. America's university systems remain without peer.

  • The United States also has the slowest aging population of the entire developed world save New Zealand, with even "young" countries like Indonesia, Brazil and India aging at least three times as quickly. The Chinese on average became older than the Americans back in 2018.

  • Alone of the significant states, the Americans only need engage with others economically should they choose to.

  • Militarily, the United States is the only country in the world that maintains a long-reach deployment-capable military force. Each of its ten (soon to be eleven) supercarrier battle groups can outsail and outshoot the rest of the world's combined navies. Only the United States can maintain open seas access out of reach of their own coastlines. As to boots, only the United States can deploy at a moment's notice a quarter-million troops anywhere in the world. Any other country would struggle mightily to shift one-tenth as many.

  • Peter Zeihan a écrit un livre fascinant, "Disunited Nations: The Scramble for Power in an Ungoverned World", que je présente et dont je résume les premiers chapitres dans ces épisode du podcast Parlons Futur (ou taper "Parlons Futur" dans votre appli de podcast favorite). 

  • cela fait écho à ce que dit Fareed Zakaria sur les différentes phases de déclin américain perçues depuis les années 60, dans son dernier livre Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World:

    • The 1st was triggered by the Soviet launch of Sputnik

    • the 2nd in the late 1960s by the US quagmire in Vietnam,

    • the 3rd by the oil shock of 1973,

    • the 4th by the hangover from Watergate and the stagflation of the late 1970s,

    • and the 5th by the rise of Japan in the late 1980s

    • In the years since, America has been so dominant that it has taken a lot to shake its confidence. But the Iraq War, the 2008 financial crisis, and now the Covid-19 debacle have produced what is clearly a 6th wave of declinism.

    • Sera-t-elle aussi passagère que les précédentes impressions ?


D'après l'économiste Tyler Cowen la crise du COVID renforce en fait l'avance des Etats-Unis sur la Chine (Bloomberg)

  • Start with the vaccines themselves. China has done surprisingly well, and some of its vaccines are likely to prove sufficiently effective and safe. But the U.S., working with the German BioNTech company, has produced an entirely new kind of vaccine platform, namely mRNA vaccines. They can be quickly manufactured and hold the promise of combating many future viruses. The China vaccines are mostly based on older methods, with the Chinese doing their utmost to scale up production quickly.

  • The point stands in other areas of technology as well. If you are wondering whether China or the U.S. with its allies is more likely to make a big breakthrough, in, say, quantum computing, ask yourself a simple question: Which network will better attract talented immigrants? The more that talent and innovation are found around the world, the more that helps the U.S.

  • China is likely to overtake the U.S. in terms of GDP, yet China has performed poorly in cultivating and developing reliable allies. The infrastructure emphasis of the “One Belt, One Road” plan no longer seems like such a great investment, with so many nations strapped for cash and the drop in travel and commuting. The notion of East Africa as a China’s sphere of influence now seems like a distant dream. In Pakistan Baloch separatists have attacked Chinese projects, due to fears of resource theft and encroaching influence.

  • Perhaps most important, the European Union has evolved from seeing China primarily as a customer to seeing China primarily as a rival. Even Germany, a longstanding advocate for closer ties with China, has become more skeptical. Furthermore, most European nations have ended up agreeing with the U.S. that Chinese telecom giant Huawei be kept out of the critical parts of their communications infrastructure.

  • In economic terms, the U.S. bounced back from major declines in GDP and employment more quickly than most economists had been forecasting, reflecting an underlying resilience in the economy.

  • Yes, the U.S. has botched its response to Covid-19. At the same time, its experience shows that America as a nation can in fact tolerate casualties, too many in fact. It had long been standard Chinese doctrine that Americans are “soft” and unwilling to take on much risk. If you were a Chinese war game planner, might you now reconsider that assumption?

  • Overall, it would be a mistake to be pessimistic about China. Its on-the-ground campaign against Covid-19 was very effective, its leadership pays great heed to science, it just signed on to a large Asia-Pacific trade deal, and its economic growth has resumed. Chinese supply chains proved remarkably robust through the major global crisis of the pandemic.

  • Still and all, the fact remains: When it comes to the ideas and the people that matter, America and the West are not losing the lead.


Les pilotes de chasse devraient bientôt "piloter" 2 avions en même temps au Etats-Unis grâce à l'IA (TheEconomist)

  • the next phase of DARPA’s ACE (air combat evolution) project belongs firmly in the future, for it will require the piloting programs to control two planes simultaneously.

  • The point of all this, putative Top Guns should be reassured, is not so much to dispense with pilots as to help them by “a redistribution of cognitive workload within the cockpit”

  • In theory, taking the pilot out of the plane lets it manoeuvre without regard for the impact of high g-forces on squishy humans. An uncrewed plane is also easier to treat as cannon-fodder. Still, most designs for new fighter jets have not done away with cockpits. There are several reasons for this:

    • One is that eliminating the pilot does not provide much of a saving. The cockpit plus the assorted systems needed to keep a human being alive and happy at high altitude—cabin pressure, for example—contribute only 1-2% of a plane’s weight.

    • A second is that even AI systems of great virtuosity have shortcomings. They tend not to be able to convey how they came to a decision, which makes it harder to understand why they made a mistake. They are also narrowly trained for specific applications and thus fail badly when outside the limits of that training or in response to “spoofing” by adversaries. An example of this inflexibility is that, at one point in the AlphaDogfight trials, the organisers threw in a cruise missile to see what would happen. Cruise missiles follow preordained flight paths, so behave more simply than piloted jets. The AI pilots struggled with this because, paradoxically, they had beaten the missile in an earlier round and were now trained for more demanding threats. “A human pilot would have had no problem,”

  • Of course, a human being could pilot an uncrewed plane remotely, says Mr Colosimo. But he doubts that communications links will ever be sufficiently dependable, given the “contested and congested electromagnetic environment”. In some cases, losing communications is no big deal; a plane can fly home. In others, it is an unacceptable risk. For instance, FCAS aircraft intended for France’s air force will carry that country’s air-to-surface nuclear missiles.

  • One example of such a handover comes from Lockheed Martin, an American aerospace giant. It is developing a missile-avoidance system that can tell which aircraft in a formation of several planes is the target of a particular missile attack, and what evasive actions are needed. This is something that currently requires the interpretation by a human being of several different displays of data.

  • Many air forces hope that, one day, a single human pilot might even orchestrate, though not micromanage, a whole fleet of accompanying unmanned planes.


Le graphique de la semaine


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Quelques mots sur moi

  • J'ai écrit plus de 50 articles ces dernières années, à retrouver ici, dont une bonne partie publiés dans des médias comme le Journal du Net (mes chroniques ici), le Huffington Post, L'Express, Les Échos.

  • Je suis CEO et co-fondateur de l'agence digitale KRDS, nous avons des bureaux dans 6 pays entre la France et l'Asie. Je suis basé à Singapour (mon Linkedin), également membre du conseil d'administration des think tanks Live with AI et NXU qui entendent chercher à comprendre comment nous pourrons apprendre à vivre avec l'intelligence artificielle et mieux anticiper les changements qu'elle va apporter.

  • Retrouvez-moi sur twitter en cliquant ici : je tweete des faits et infos contre-intuitives, brèves, à consommer sur place (et non pas des liens sans contexte vers des articles interminables), Jacques Attali est un de mes followers par exemple.

  • Retrouvez ici mon podcast Parlons Futur (ou taper "Parlons Futur" dans votre appli de podcast favorite), vous y trouverez entre autres des interviews et des résumés de livres.

C'est tout pour cette semaine !

Merci, et portez-vous bien !

Thomas

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