Chip Shortage Impacts Auto Manufacturing, U.S. Takes on Climate Change and Microsoft Enters Self Driving Technology

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On today's episode, there's a new headwind for automakers worldwide: a shortage of integrated circuits. ICs have proliferated in modern automobiles, with some models containing up to 150 chips, and multiple automakers have begun shutdowns due to the supply crunch.

Newly inaugurated Pres. Joe Biden spent his first day in office by signing a flurry of executive orders, 17 in all. Two of the orders have direct implications for the engineering sector in United States. The first is the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline project, intended to bring Canadian oil from the province of Alberta into the US distribution network for transport to US refineries.

Microsoft is joining General Motors and Honda as part of the Cruise self driving program. The $2 billion investment brings the market value of Cruise to proximally $30 billion. Microsoft brings their Azure cloud and edge computing platform to the table, which Cruise describes as essential for commercializing autonomous vehicle systems at scale. Microsoft will use the collaboration to optimize the Azure platform for transportation industry customers worldwide.

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