This $50,000 attachment turns your Tesla Cybertruck into a campervan – and it even comes with a Starlink dish

CyberLandr Forest with Chair
The CyberLandr can be added to a Tesla Cybertruck.

  • Stream It has launched pre-sales for an attachment to turn a Tesla Cybertruck into a campervan.
  • The CyberLandr fits in normal parking spaces and comes with a shower, kitchen, and bed.
  • It also has a water-filtration system, voice automation, and Starlink dish for Internet access.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Tesla’s Cybertruck hasn’t even got a release date yet – but a company has already launched pre-sales for a $50,000 attachment, which will turn the electric vehicle into a campervan for road trips.

Stream It, a Las Vegas-based analytics company, has designed the CyberLander to make the Cybertruck multi-use so you can use it as a portable home for weekend trips or even in emergencies.

Stream It says that, unlike most campervans, the CyberLandr fits in normal parking spaces and doesn’t obstruct outward visibility when you’re driving your Cybertruck.

Pre-orders are already available, with the first 20 costing $40,000, rising up gradually to its regular retail price of $50,000.

Steam It noted that the final production specifications haven’t yet been announced and that the product’s features could change. It said it will manufacture the CyberLandrs in Texas, where Tesla also plans to make its Cybertrucks.

They will be ready for delivery around when Tesla begins shipping CyberTruck pre-orders, which is set to be late 2021, according to the company.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed the Cybertruck in November 2019, saying it could be “completely adaptable for your needs.” The company showed this by teasing its own rendering of the Cybertruck as a “Cybercamper” with a pull-out kitchen and pop-top roof.

Tesla Cybercamper
Tesla teased a mock-up of a Cybercamper in 2019.

Tesla has since remained silent on both the Cybercamper and the launch date of the Cybertruck, though a Canadian concept artist has created his own mock-ups of what it could look like. Steam It has now jumped in with an alternative.

The CyberLandr comes with a shower, voice automation, and Starlink dish

The CyberLandr is apparently easy to stow and pull out. When stowed, the CyberLandr disappears entirely within the bed of the Cybertruck, which, according to the company, means you can take it through more rugged terrain than most trailers.

The CyberLandr has a minimal impact on how far the vehicle can travel on one charge: The attachment, which has a dry weight of 1,200 lbs, only brings the vehicle’s range down by around 5%, Steam It says.

CyberLandr Mountain Stowed
Steam It says the CyberLandr isn’t visible when it’s stowed away.

Because of this, the CyberLandr is ideal for people who want to get off the grid, as well as for first responders, fishing trips, and even emergencies, Steam It says.

Inside, it has freestanding chairs that recline and transform into an RV-size queen bed. There is additional sleeping space underneath this, which Steam It says makes it suitable for two adults and two children, or three adults, and a 32-inch 4k UHD Smart TV, alongside surround sound audio.

During the day, the chairs can also be moved outside of the CyberLandr to enjoy the scenery.

CyberLandr Forest with Chair
The chairs can be removed from the CyberLandr.

The kitchen area contains more than 5 square feet of working space, an invisible induction cooktop, and a sink with a smart faucet you can control with your voice.

It has a “spa-style” recirculating shower, which Steam It says means you won’t run out of hot water. There is also a dry-flush toilet with a self-cleaning bowl. The bathroom area also comes with one heated porcelain floor tile.

You can top up the vehicle’s water supply using clear water from a stream or lake, which is then filtered by an on-board system with UV sterilization.

CyberLandr Kitchen
The CyberLandr has a compact kitchen space and comes with a smart TV.

The campervan attachment also comes with a range of technology, including a Starlink dish, developed by Musk’s aerospace company SpaceX, though CyberLandr owners will have to buy their own subscription to this.

Like the Cybertruck, the CyberLandr is completely powered by electricity and has built-in voice-activated controls, which let you change the climate and lighting and even dim its windows.

The CyberLandr is also controlled by an app, which you can use to deploy and stow the campervan attachment, as well as view its surround surveillance system. The company says the CyberLandr also supports over-the-air updates so it continues to improve over time.

Stream It is enthusiastically forging ahead but without a concrete release date for the Cybertruck, it remains to be seen whether the company’s strategy will all go to plan.

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NASA has chosen SpaceX’s Starship to land its next astronauts on the moon

elon musk starship happy success thumb 4x3
Left: The SN10 Starship prototypes soars above Boca Chica, Texas, March 3, 2021. Right: Elon Musk

NASA has picked SpaceX to put its astronauts on the moon for the first time since 1972.

The agency announced the partnership on Friday – a new $2.9 billion contract.

To accomplish this goal, NASA will work with SpaceX to turn its Starship mega-spaceship into the most advanced lunar lander in history – and the first fully reusable one. NASA officials say Starship could land two astronauts on the moon as soon as 2024 as part of the agency’s Artemis program.

starship moon human landing system
Illustration of SpaceX Starship human lander design that will carry NASA astronauts to the moon’s surface during the Artemis mission.

Through Artemis, NASA eventually aims to establish a permanent presence on the moon. The agency’s vision includes lunar habitats and a moon-orbiting space station. After that, it hopes to expand similar operations to Mars.

“We won’t stop at the moon. NASA’s long-term goal has always been to send humans to Mars, which is rich in discovery. And the moon is a natural stepping stone to getting us there,” acting NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk said during a briefing on Friday.

That’s a goal NASA shares with SpaceX founder Elon Musk. In addition to carrying astronauts to the moon, Musk has said that he plans to build 1,000 Starships in order to fly people and cargo to Mars and establish a settlement there.

Musk responded to Friday’s announcement with an emoji-filled tweet saying simply: “NASA Rules!!”

SpaceX beat out two competitors for the contract: Blue Origin, founded by Amazon tycoon Jeff Bezos, and defense contractor Dynetics. NASA was expected to choose two of the three for the new landing-system contract, but it settled on just SpaceX.

SpaceX’s $2.9 billion bid was much lower than the prices its competitors offered, according to NASA’s selection statement. The document notes that SpaceX plans to “self-fund and assume financial risk for over half of the development and test activities,” since the company wants to use Starship for its own commercial activities as well.

The first moon landing in 50 years

starship sn8 serial number 8 belly flop flip landing explosion boca chica texas 2020 12 10T004327Z_771613110_RC20KK9749O4_RTRMADP_3_SPACE EXPLORATION STARSHIP.JPG
SpaceX’s SN8 Starship prototype attempts to land at the company’s development facility in Boca Chica, Texas, on December 9, 2020.

NASA’s contract calls for SpaceX to conduct a full, uncrewed test flight before Starship carries any astronauts. For this demonstration, Starship would launch toward the moon using its 23-story Super Heavy booster – which SpaceX is still developing. The uncrewed Starship would then have to prove that it can descend to the lunar surface using its Raptor engines to control the landing. It’s not yet clear whether the lander will then lift back off to reenter lunar orbit or return to Earth.

If that goes well, NASA plans to conduct a crewed demonstration mission in which another Starship would land two astronauts on the moon. One of them would be the first woman to reach the lunar surface. NASA has pledged to send an astronaut of color on a future Artemis mission.

For that crewed demonstration mission, NASA plans to launch its own mega-rocket – the Space Launch System – towards the moon, with an astronaut crew tucked into the Orion spaceship atop it.

sls space launch system nasa
An artist’s rendering of the Space Launch System rocket lifting off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Then once in lunar orbit, the Starship and Orion would rendezvous so that two of the astronauts could move to the SpaceX vehicle. That moon-lander version of Starship will feature “a spacious cabin and two airlocks for astronaut moonwalks,” NASA said in a statement on Friday.

After landing, the plan calls for the astronaut pair to spend a week exploring the lunar surface before Starship launches them back to Orion, where their colleagues would be waiting to return to Earth.

Starship hasn’t landed yet without exploding

starship prototype explosions collage spacex boca chica spadre
From left to right: The SN8, SN9, and SN10 explosions.

SpaceX has been launching Starship prototypes from its rocket-testing facilities in Boca Chica, Texas, since last year. Four prototypes have flown to high altitudes – at least 6 miles above the ground – but they’ve all exploded or fallen apart upon their return to Earth.

The prototypes have, however, successfully demonstrated that the vehicle can fly and control its belly-flop fall back to Earth using four wing flaps.

The company hopes to nail the landing and get Starship to orbit by the end of the year. It’s an ambitious timeline, especially since the company will likely have to conduct an environmental review in order to get an orbital-launch license from the Federal Aviation Administration.

“NASA is providing insight throughout this development and is ensuring that this system will be safe for our astronauts,” Lisa Watson-Morgan, manager of the agency’s Human Landing System program, said in Friday’s briefing.


“We are confident in NASA’s partnership with SpaceX to help us achieve the Artemis mission, and look forward to continuing our work toward landing astronauts on the moon to prepare for the next giant leap towards Mars,” she added.

Read the original article on Business Insider

NASA has picked SpaceX’s Starship to land its next astronauts on the moon

elon musk starship happy success thumb 4x3

NASA has picked SpaceX to land astronauts on the moon for the first time since 1972, the agency announced on Friday.

Clinching the lunar-landing contact means SpaceX’s Starship spaceship will fly astronauts to the moon for NASA’s Artemis program, which seeks to put boots on the lunar surface by 2024. NASA has said that mission will include the first woman and the first person of color to reach the moon.

sn10 starship
The SN10 Starship prototypes soars above Boca Chica, Texas, March 3, 2021.

The company beat out two competitors for the contract, Jeff Bezos-founded Blue Origin and defense contractor Dynetics. The Washington Post’s Christian Davenport, who reported the new contract ahead of NASA’s announcement, added on Twitter that the $2.9 billion SpaceX bid was much lower than the competitors’ bids.

Securing the lunar landing contract puts SpaceX CEO and founder Elon Musk ahead of Bezos in the billionaire space race. NASA was expected to choose two out of the three finalists to make the landing system, but settled on just SpaceX, according to The Post.

Ars Technica’s senior space editor, Eric Berger, wrote on Twitter that awarding the contract solely to SpaceX “is going to be hugely unpopular in Congress,” and said that “one big reason” for the sole contract was “limited Congressional funding.”

Starship is undergoing a spectacular testing process

starship prototype explosions collage spacex boca chica spadre
From left to right: The SN8, SN9, and SN10 explosions.

SpaceX has been launching prototypes of the Starship spaceship from its rocket-testing facilities in Boca Chica, Texas. Four prototypes have flown to high altitudes – at least 6 miles above the ground – and exploded or fallen apart upon their return to Earth. The prototypes have successfully demonstrated the vehicle’s ability to fly, then control its belly-flop fall back to Earth using four wing flaps.

The company hopes to nail the landing and get Starship to orbit by the end of the year. That timeline is ambitious, especially since the company will likely have to conduct an environmental review in order to get an orbital-launch license from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Eventually, a roughly 23-story booster called Super Heavy would heave the Starship spaceship toward orbit. Musk has plans for Starship-Super Heavy beyond the moon. Eventually, has said, he plans to build 1,000 Starships in order to carry people and cargo to Mars and establish a settlement there.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Tesla settles lawsuit with former employee accused of stealing Autopilot trade secrets

Tesla Shanghai China Factory
Guangzhi Cao maintains he didn’t share any Tesla trade secrets with anyone.

  • Tesla and an ex-engineer who left the firm for rival Xpeng settled a lawsuit about trade secrets.
  • Tesla accused the employee of uploading Autopilot source code to his personal iCloud account.
  • The employee, Guangzhi Cao, maintains he never shared Autopilot information with anyone.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Tesla settled a lawsuit against an ex-engineer who copied the source code of its Autopilot driver-assistance tech before taking a job with a Chinese competitor, according to documents filed Thursday with a US district court.

Former Tesla employee Guangzhi Cao will pay the electric vehicle maker an undisclosed sum as part of the settlement, though he maintains he never did anything improper with the Autopilot code.

Tesla filed the lawsuit against Cao in 2019, claiming that he copied Autopilot source code to his personal iCloud storage account before abruptly resigning from the company in January of that year to join XMotors, the US arm of Chinese EV maker Xpeng. Tesla alleged that Cao had uploaded more than 300,000 files and directories related to Autopilot to his iCloud account.

Read more: 6 top startups propelling the electric car boom with new alternatives to expensive lithium-ion batteries

Autopilot is Tesla’s advanced driver-assistance system that comes standard on all of its new cars. The technology automates some elements of highway driving, like keeping a car in the center of its lane and keeping up with traffic. It’s considered to be one of the more advanced such systems on the market.

According to the documents made public on Thursday, Cao admitted that he saved the files to his personal account and that files remained on his personal devices when Tesla filed the lawsuit but says he intended to delete them before leaving Tesla.

In a statement to Insider provided by his attorney, Cao said that he never accessed any Tesla data after leaving the company and never shared any of the data with XMotors or anyone else. Tesla and Xpeng did not respond to requests for comment.

Tesla competes closely with Xpeng and other Chinese automakers in China, the world’s largest market for electric cars. Tesla operates a plant in Shanghai and is expanding its presence in the country to include a research and development facility where it will design a more affordable EV.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The CDC’s suggestion to block middle seats on planes is flawed but I’m still in favor of it after taking 32 flights during the pandemic

Flying Delta Air Lines during pandemic
My blocked middle seat and me.

  • Airlines are rejecting the CDC’s study suggesting blocking middle seats, citing newer findings.
  • Blocking middle seats, however, serve as a peace of mind measure for those returning to flying.
  • Not all airlines are following some of the recommendations of the studies they tout.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Airlines seemed to flat out reject a new suggestion from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday that middle seats should be blocked in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The airlines cited more recent studies that prove the efficacy of mask-wearing and air filters on aircraft.

“Since the onset of this crisis, U.S. airlines have relied on science, research and data to help guide decisions as they continuously reevaluate and update their processes and procedures,” a spokesperson for the trade organization Airlines for America, which represents the likes of American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines, told Insider.

“Multiple scientific studies confirm that the layers of protection significantly reduce risk, and research continues to demonstrate that the risk of transmission onboard aircraft is very low,” the organization said.

Delta is currently the last airline to still block middle seats but will stop doing so on May 1, the longest run of any US airline to block seats. The CDC’s study hasn’t deterred the airline either, which held firm on the policy shift when asked by CNBC on Thursday.

“Our experts tell us that with vaccination rates where they’re at and demand being as strong as it is it’s absolutely safe to sit in that middle seat,” Delta CEO Ed Bastian said.

Read More: Airline workers have lower rates of COVID-19 than the general population – and airline CEOs say it’s proof that flying is safe

Airlines and at least one aviation expert agree that the CDC study is flawed in multiple aspects including that it was performed in 2017 using maskless mannequins – while wearing masks on an airplane is now mandated by federal law – and wasn’t conducted on an actual airplane, unlike more recent studies.

But science aside, blocking middle seats served a valuable purpose during the pandemic: inspiring peace of mind among travelers returning to flying after months of being grounded.

My experience with blocked middle seats

I’m a life-long flyer and returning to the skies in June 2020 was not an easy decision. Like many, I’d feared catching the novel coronavirus and had a brief moment of panic when I boarded my first flight amid the pandemic.

I was lucky to be flying Delta, however, as I’m sure my panic would have been worsened if I was on a packed plane.

More Americans are returning to flying, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, and awaiting them come May are crowded flights now that every major US airline is filling aircraft to capacity. Plus, what traveler doesn’t appreciate having more room to spread out with an open middle seat?

I do realize that airlines need to be profitable in order for me to keep enjoying their services. Delta, after all, estimated that it lost up to $150 million in potential revenue from blocking seats in March.

But, not all of the country is vaccinated and even those that are still might not feel comfortable with being packed into a plane.

My hope is that airlines giving up on seat-block will double down on other efforts to drive home the fact that flying is safe. I’ve seen this on airlines like Delta and United but some have a way to come in their efforts.

The findings of studies promoting air travel as safe are predicated on airlines following their recommended precautions. But even the industry-funded study from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health specifically gives recommendations that some airlines aren’t following or enforcing.

One recommendation, for example, states: “Reduce the density of passengers embarking/disembarking the jet bridge at any one time.” Southwest Airlines just reverted to boarding in groups of 30 and doesn’t install social distancing placards, as Insider found on recent Southwest flights in February, even though the study recommends as much.

The Harvard study also mentions, “When one passenger briefly removes a mask to eat or drink, other passengers in close proximity should keep their masks on,” a rule not mandated by most US airlines.

So while crowded flights are here once more and justified by science, airlines aren’t completely off the hook and will still need to do their utmost to keep flyers safe.

Read the original article on Business Insider

An Uber shareholder is demanding more transparency about the impact of the company’s lobbying efforts

Dara Khosrowshahi
  • The Teamsters General Fund, an Uber investor, wants the company to reveal more about its lobbying.
  • The fund urged Uber shareholders to vote for its proposal requiring an annual report from Uber.
  • It said Uber’s “highly innovative” but “controversial” lobbying could hurt its brand and business.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters General Fund, an investor in Uber, sent a letter to other Uber shareholders Thursday urging them to vote for a proposal that would force the company to disclose more details each year about its lobbying efforts.

“Uber’s lobbying is not only substantial, geographically extensive and highly innovative, but is profoundly controversial and raises critical questions over the sustainability of the company’s business model,” Ken Hall, the fund’s general secretary-treasurer, wrote in the letter.

“It may be tempting to view Uber’s current disclosures as a good-faith effort to address concerns over the transparency of its lobbying activities; but this would be a mistake,” Hall added.

Uber investors will vote on the proposal – which would require Uber to publish an annual report disclosing its lobbying policies, how much it spent on direct, indirect, and grassroots lobbying, and which groups the money went to – during the company’s annual shareholder meeting on May 11.

Uber has urged investors to vote against the proposal, citing its “existing risk management practices and current high level of transparency and accountability around political and lobbying activities and expenditures.”

The ride-hailing company did not respond to a request for comment on this story.

Uber and other companies that depend heavily on cheap contract labor have ramped up their lobbying efforts over the past few years as federal and state regulators look to crack down on “gig” economy businesses that have for years operated in a regulatory gray area.

Uber spent a record $2.6 million lobbying the federal government in 2020, according to OpenSecrets. The company also contributed $30 million to a $200 million campaign to persuade California voters to pass Proposition 22, exempting it from a major state labor law, AB-5, and making Prop 22 the most heavily lobbied ballot measure in the state’s history.

A key aspect of that campaign was Uber’s indirect and “grassroots” lobbying through groups that helped the company broadcast its message to voters without telling them who the messenger was. In one case, an Uber-funded group sent mailers to California residents designed to trick them into believing progressive groups were supportive of Prop 22 (many prominent progressives actually opposed the measure).

In December, the Teamsters Union filed shareholder proposals at both Uber and Lyft, arguing both companies have failed to provide investors with sufficient information about the money they spend on lobbying – particularly grassroots lobbying, which is subject to less stringent disclosure requirements and often requires investors to dig through complicated and incomplete disclosures for each individual state.

The fund argued in its letter Thursday that Uber investors should push for more transparency so they can understand how much the company’s business model depends on its lobbying efforts being successful, and whether its reputation could suffer because of the positions it’s taking.

“Transparency is vital to understanding how Uber is navigating the acute reputational risks that come with lobbying around matters as emotive as wage theft and workers’ rights,” it wrote, adding: “But perhaps most crucially, disclosure is key to any evaluation of the long-term sustainability of a business model built around the heavy and controversial use of independent contractors.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Delta CEO Ed Bastian declares ‘it’s absolutely safe to sit in the middle seat’ in defiance of CDC suggesting airlines should block them

Flying on Delta Air Lines during pandemic
Flying on Delta Air Lines during the pandemic.

  • Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian said on CNBC Thursday flying in the middle seat is “absolutely safe.”
  • The airline will fill planes to capacity starting May 1 in an end to the year-long seat-blocking policy.
  • Guiding the airline’s decision are experts from the Mayo Clinic and Emory University.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Delta Air Lines is holding firm on its commitment to end a year-long middle seat block despite a newly released report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that recommends keeping middle seats open to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

CEO Ed Bastian appeared on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” Thursday morning and criticized the report’s shortcoming when asked, saying: “Our experts tell us that with vaccination rates where they’re at and demand being as strong as it is it’s absolutely safe to sit in that middle seat.”

Guiding Delta’s decision, according to Bastian, are experts from the Mayo Clinic, Emory University, and Delta Chief Health Officer Dr. Henry Ting, formerly of the Mayo Clinic. The airline deferred to trade organization Airlines for America when asked for comment on the CDC report.

“Since the onset of this crisis, US airlines have relied on science, research, and data to help guide decisions as they continuously reevaluate and update their processes and procedures,” a spokesperson for the organization said in a statement to Insider. “Multiple scientific studies confirm that the layers of protection significantly reduce risk, and research continues to demonstrate that the risk of transmission onboard aircraft is very low. “

Read more: Airline workers have lower rates of COVID-19 than the general population – and airline CEOs say it’s proof that flying is safe

Henry Harteveldt, an industry analyst and cofounder of Atmosphere Research Group, told Insider that the CDC study and its release were flawed for multiple reasons, chiefly because it doesn’t take into account the new realities of travel. Researchers ran the trials in 2017 using maskless mannequins while masks are now mandatory in airplanes under federal law.

Harteveldt and airlines instead point to more recent studies, including one by the US Department of Defense where masked mannequins were tested onboard a United Airlines wide-body aircraft. Airlines similarly tout a Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health study that declares the risk of air travel to be “below that of other routine activities during the pandemic, such as grocery shopping or eating out” when precautions are taken.

Both support the claims by airlines that flying is safe thanks to measures like mask-wearing and the use of high-efficiency particulate air filters, or HEPA filters, regardless of whether seats are blocked. Harteveldt noted, however, that the Harvard study was funded by the airline industry while the DOD study was not.

Delta was an early and ardent adopter of the seat-blocking policy and kept seats blocked the longest of any major US airline, most of which started filling planes in late 2020. The policy cost Delta up to $150 million in potential revenue in March but even still, the month was successful as the airline saw positive daily cash flow thanks to a surge in travelers.

“Thanks to the incredible efforts of our people, we achieved positive daily cash generation in the month of March, a remarkable accomplishment considering our middle seat block and the low level of demand for business and international travel,” Bastian said in an earnings statement, adding that he expects the airline to be profitable once more in September.

Come May 1, however, the American traveling public will not have an option to travel on a major commercial airline where middle seats are blocked.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The US is facing a supply-chain crisis as 21 cargo ships float off the coast of LA waiting to dock

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  • 21 ships were anchored off the coast of Los Angeles and Long Beach waiting to dock on Wednesday.
  • The California ports are congested and account for about one-third of US imports.
  • The delays are just the latest in a host of supply-chain issues.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A supply-chain crisis is quietly brewing off the coast of Southern California as massive freighters wait for dock space to open up.

California ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach account for about one-third of US imports. These ports operate as a primary source of imports from China and have been heavily congested for months.

On Wednesday, 21 ships were anchored off the coast waiting for a spot to open up to unload at Los Angeles and Long Beach ports, according to data from the Marine Exchange of Southern California.

Anchorages PM 1 Jan 2021

The Southern California ports are facing more congestion than ever, Kip Louttit, executive director of the Marine Exchange of Southern California, told Insider.

“The normal number of container ships at anchor is between zero and one,” Louttit said.

Some of the container ships have been waiting off the shore for weeks. One of the vessels has been at berth since April 3. Of the ships waiting to dock, half of them are what Marine Exchange calls “mega-container ships” or ships with the carrying capacity of 10,000 TEUs.

“Part of the problem is the ships are double or triple the size of the ships we were seeing 10 or 15 years ago,” Louttit told Insider. “They take longer to unload. You need more trucks, more trains, more warehouses to put the cargo.”

The ships carry millions of dollars worth of popular imports, including furniture, auto parts, clothes, electronics, and plastics, according to data from the Port of Los Angeles. Supplies of these materials could be heavily depleted in the US due to the backlog of ships.

Read more: The Suez Canal won’t be the last supply-chain fail. Here are 4 things your small business can do to benefit from the next one.

Louttit said increases in consumer spending and, as a result, a spike in imports, have overwhelmed the ports.

“The ports are setting records moving cargo,” Louttit said.

California port backlogs are already helping drive shortages and delivery delays in the US

California’s port delays seemed to have peaked in early February but have persisted in recent months.

On January 30, Southern California port congestion hit a record high when 38 container ships were waiting along the coast for room to open up to dock and unload.

Gene Seroka, a Port of Los Angeles executive, warned the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners in February that high import levels caused by increased spending during the pandemic were driving port congestion.

A video from the US Coast Guard shows dozens of ships anchored off the coast.

California port delays are just one of many factors piling onto a global supply-chain crisis

The boats waiting outside of the port, which can carry tens of thousands of shipping containers, are adding to a global container shortage, and, as a result, shipping delays.

Customers are already seeing the impact of shipping delays. During a third-quarter earnings call in February, La-Z-Boy executives said customers should expect delivery dates that are five to nine months out from the purchase date.

February’s Texas freeze and a shortage of computer chips have already pushed companies to increase prices and delay production. Several companies including Nike, Honda, and Samsung have already said they have been hampered by supply-chain issues.

As a result of California port delays and the global container shortage, customers will likely face rising prices and limited options as commodities become increasingly difficult to obtain and produce and companies are forced to compete for containers and delivery dates.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Mercedes-Benz unveils its first EV for the US, the luxurious EQS sedan with a 478-mile range and screens galore

Mercedes EQS lead image
The 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS could give the Porsche Taycan and Tesla Model S a run for their money.

  • Mercedes-Benz unveiled its first electric car for the US, the flagship EQS sedan on Thursday.
  • The EQS will have a 478-mile range and a gigantic 56-inch “Hyperscreen” as an option, Mercedes says.
  • It will hit US dealerships in the fall of 2021, likely carrying a starting price of around $100,000.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Mercedes is jumping into the US electric-vehicle market at long last.

[EMBARGO 4/15 12pm ET DNP] 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS.
2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS.

On Thursday, the German automaker took the wraps off of its first US-market EV, the flagship EQS sedan.

[EMBARGO 4/15 12pm ET DNP] 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS.
2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS.

There will be two models to start: the 2022 EQS 450+ and the EQS 580 4Matic.

[EMBARGO 4/15 12pm ET DNP] 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS.
2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS.

Both cars will arrive at US dealers in fall 2021.

[EMBARGO 4/15 12pm ET DNP] 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS.
2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS.

Mercedes hasn’t announced pricing yet, but expect it to be in line with the gas-powered S-Class sedan, which starts at around $110,000.

[EMBARGO 4/15 12pm ET DNP] 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS.
2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS.

But the EQS isn’t just a battery-powered S-Class. It’s the first Mercedes built on a dedicated electric platform that will underpin its future EVs.

[EMBARGO 4/15 12pm ET DNP] 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS.
2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS.

The 450+ comes with a single rear motor that delivers a rated 329 horsepower and more than 400 lb-ft of torque.

[EMBARGO 4/15 12pm ET DNP] 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS.
2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS.

Mercedes gave the 580 4Matic an extra motor up front, for a whopping 516 horsepower and 611 lb-ft of torque, the company says.

[EMBARGO 4/15 12pm ET DNP] 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS.
2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS.

The dual-motor model hits 60 mph in 4.1 seconds, according to Mercedes.

[EMBARGO 4/15 12pm ET DNP] 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS.
2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS.

Rear-wheel steering comes as standard to give the electric land yacht a more manageable turning radius.

[EMBARGO 4/15 12pm ET DNP] 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS.
2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS.

As for range, both models get a rating of 770 kilometers – around 478 miles – according to the European WLTP standard.

[EMBARGO 4/15 12pm ET DNP] 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS.
2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS.

The EQS will likely get a lower rating from the US EPA, but anything close to 478 miles would put it well ahead of nearly every other battery-powered car on the market.

[EMBARGO 4/15 12pm ET DNP] 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS.
2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS.

Plugged into a DC fast-charger, the EQS can go from 20% to 80% battery in 31 minutes.

[EMBARGO 4/15 12pm ET DNP] 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS.
2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS.

Judging by the numbers alone, Mercedes is diving into the electric market guns blazing, delivering an EV that can go toe-to-toe with lauded models like the Porsche Taycan and Tesla Model S.

[EMBARGO 4/15 12pm ET DNP] 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS.
2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS.

Mercedes also pulled out all the stops for the EQS’ interior.

[EMBARGO 4/15 12pm ET DNP] 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS.
2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS.

The centerpiece of the EV’s cockpit is a massive, 56-inch wide screen that spans the entire width of the car.

[EMBARGO 12pm 4/15 DNP] 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS
2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS.

The “MBUX Hyperscreen” is actually a single piece of glass with three OLED displays underneath: a 12.3-inch instrument cluster, a 17.7-inch center screen, and a 12.3-inch display for the passenger.

[EMBARGO 4/15 12pm ET DNP] 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS.
2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS.

That all comes on the upper-trim 580. The 450+ gets a more conventional center display instead of the Hyperscreen.

[EMBARGO 12pm 4/15 DNP] MBUX hyperscreen night
2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS.

Mercedes’ latest driver-assistance suite comes standard, including adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, and automatic parking.

[EMBARGO 4/15 12pm ET DNP] 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS.
2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS.

Lavish features like heated leather seats and 64-color ambient lighting also come standard.

[EMBARGO 4/15 12pm ET DNP] 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS.
2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS.

A long list of add ons are available, including doors that open and close electronically, an “Executive Rear Seat Package” with massaging seats and a tablet, and a heads-up display.

[EMBARGO 4/15 12pm ET DNP] 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS.
2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS.

Buyers can also add a gesture control feature that lets them do things like close the doors by waving their hands.

[EMBARGO 4/15 12pm ET DNP] 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS.
2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS.

In addition to the two models hitting the market this fall, Mercedes has plans for a performance model with 630 horsepower.

[EMBARGO 4/15 12pm ET DNP] 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS.
2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS.

Read the original article on Business Insider

4 award-winning airplane cabin designs show that the future of flying could look like coffee shops or gaming lounges

University of Cincinnati_Coffee House
University of Cincinnati ‘s Coffee House Cabin.

  • The eight winning designs for Hamburg Aviation’s 14th Crystal Cabin Award contest was announced.
  • Of these eight designs, four included new concepts for airplane cabins and seating.
  • These are the creative cabin designs, from coworking spaces to seats that can turn into gaming lounges.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The process of air travel has evolved greatly throughout COVID-19, and some organizations have taken this evolution one step further by creating renderings of completely redesigned airplane cabins for an international contest.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic first began, these organizations – which include the likes of Airbus, the University of Cincinnati, and Safran – submitted their “flying in the future” concepts to Hamburg Aviation’s 14th Crystal Cabin Award contest. Many of the designs that came out of these submissions look nothing like any cabin that currently exists and include touches like in-flight spas and capsule hotel-like sleeping spaces.

On March 30, Crystal Cabin announced the eight winners of its latest contest, which “make it clear that the aviation industry is not standing still despite the current crisis,” it wrote in a press release. Of these eight designs, four were of airplane cabins or economy seat concepts, while the rest included new ideas for trolleys, in-flight Bluetooth entertainment, and more.

These are the four winning cabin redesigns from the contest, which range from a “coffee house” look to private seats that can turn into gaming lounges. They’re not coming to aircraft any time soon, but they’re a hint at potential avenues the air travel experience might go down in the future.

1. Airbus’ flexible configurations

Airbus_Airspace Cabin Vision 2030
Airbus’ Airspace Cabin Vision 2030.

Airbus’ Airspace Cabin Vision 2030 went home with the “Visionary Concepts” award for its lounge-like “flexible” seating that can turn a guest’s space on the plane into a gaming lounge or a family hangout spot. The individual seats also provide some more privacy and options for customization as each seat can have its own “ambiance” setting.

The full Airspace Cabin Vision 2030 concept also includes an in-plane bar, sleeping bunks, and a gym, because who wouldn’t want to workout while a few thousand feet in the air?

2. Eviation Aircraft’s “fishbone” style

Eviation_Almadesign_Alice
Eviation Aircraft’s Alice design with “fishbone seating.”

If you prefer the window seat, you might like this next design. Eviation Aircraft’s Alice, an electric commuter jet, won the “Cabin Concepts” trophy for its “fishbone” style seating arrangement.

The electric jet can carry nine people a little over 620 miles. With this concept seating arrangement, each passenger will get a view of the skies out the window.

Read more: Meet the 8 electric aviation startups poised to blow past the jet age and modernize air travel and logistics, according to industry experts

3. University of Cincinnati’s “coffee house cabin”

University of Cincinnati_Coffee House
University of Cincinnati ‘s Coffee House Cabin.

If you’re on a deadline crunch, enjoy open-concept offices, or just want to feel productive on a flight, why not consider a coworking cabin space. The University of Cincinnati’s “coffee house cabin” took home the “University” award for its integration of a work table in the middle of the plane.

The concept is more than just a few chairs around a workspace. The table also comes with screens that can pop up, creating a physical separation for passengers sitting across from each other. And when the aircraft is taking off or landing, the chairs can turn to face the front of the plane, while the sides of the table can fold downwards.

In theory, the prices for these seats would be more expensive than basic economy, but more affordable than first class.

4. Safran Seats’ upgraded economy seats

Safran Seats_Modulair S
Safran Seats’ Modulair S economy concept.

If you’re stuck in economy and craving more comfortable seats, Safran may have a solution. Safran’s Modulair S concept took home the “Passenger Comfort Hardware” category award for its integration of neck rests, multi-level tables, and a designated space that can be used to prop up tablets.

Read the original article on Business Insider