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Tesla Owners Are Driving in Bioweapon Defense Mode

It turns out that the feature isn't just a marketing gimmick. Also, China debuts artificial news anchors and BMW 3D prints parts for the i8 Roadster.

BMW Has 3D Printed 1 Million Parts

BMW Group is pushing 3D-printed components. In the last ten years, the company has additively manufactured one million parts, and the company has no intention of slowing.

This year, the BMW Group Additive Manufacturing Center will print more than 200,000 components, a 40+ percent increase from 2017.

BMW's one-millionth part was a 3D printed window guide rail for the BMW i8 Roadster. The part is located in the door and helps the window operate smoothly.

The rail only took five days to develop, and was quickly put into series production on the HP Multi Jet Fusion system, which produces about 100 guide rails every 24 hours.

This is actually the second 3D printed part in the i8. The first was an aluminum alloy fixture for the soft-top attachment. The metal component actually weighs less and is stiffer than its injection molded plastic counterpart.

BMW is not just hiding these components within the door panels either. With the MINI Yours Customized product, customers can actually design their own 3 3D printed dashboard trim and blinker inlays.

AI May Soon Replace News Anchors

Now, for our weekly sign of the apocalypse, I bring you artificial intelligence news anchors. It's not that it's fake news, it's that you're getting it from a fake person.

Chinese state run news agency Xinhua partnered with Sogou to create an AI anchor that was recently on display at the World Internet Conference.

The digital anchor was designed to mimic human facial expressions and gestures while reading reports.

Both anchors were modeled after popular Xinhua personalities. One of the anchors is based off of Zhang Zhao, borrowing both his voice, which has that autotune shimmer, and appearance, which has that CGI shine. It isn't clear whether or not the digital anchors will actually be used, or if this was more of a well-designed publicity stunt for the show.

The AI system reports text that is loaded into its system — though there was no specific information regarding the programming for facial expressions and or gestures as it reacts to the news. The system did, however, use machine learning algorithms to learn mannerisms from their human counterparts.

Telsa Owners Are Bioweapon Defense Mode

In June, Elon Musk said that Tesla's line of vehicles would have the most advanced air filter systems on the market. He called it "Bioweapon Defense Mode," and it significantly reduced the impact of air pollution on the car passengers. 

The filters are much larger than your average car filter and Musk says they are 100-times more effective. Critics believed that it was another superfluous feature, but now the Bioweapon Defense Mode is proving invaluable to people near the deadly California wildfires.

According to reports from Tesla owners in the area, the air quality inside the vehicles is exponentially better. One driver took a reading with the windows down and the Air Quality Index was 174 — in the "unhealthy" zone. With the windows up, the Air Quality was a 6. 

Elon Musk took to twitter to elaborate that the hospital grade HEPA filters on the Model S & X could be helpful for transporting people. He reportedly sent an email out to employees, that said, “If there’s any way for Tesla to be helpful, please provide assistance and don’t worry about payment.”

Musk credits Google co-founder Larry Page with the idea.

This is Engineering By Design. 

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