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Volkswagen CEO says smart cars are 'gamechanger', not e-cars – The Globe and Mail

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Herbert Diess, CEO of German carmaker Volkswagen AG, sits in an ID.3 pre-production prototype during the presentation of Volkswagen’s new electric car on the eve of the International Frankfurt Motor Show IAA in Frankfurt, Germany on Sept. 9, 2019.

Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters

Volkswagen head Herbert Diess on Sunday said autonomous cars, not electric vehicles, were the “real gamechanger” for the auto industry, which is facing the end of combustion engines in Europe by 2035.

Diess’ comments signal the pace at which the 62-year old tries to transform Europe’s largest carmaker by basically saying that the shift towards battery-powered electric vehicles (EV), which still needs to be backed up by actual sales, was sealed.

“Autonomous driving is really going to change our industry like nothing else before,” Diess said in Munich ahead of the official opening of the IAA car show, adding the shift towards electrified cars was “kind of easy” in comparison.

“The real gamechanger is software and autonomous driving.”

Diess spoke as environmental pressure on the auto sector is ramping up, with the European Commission in July proposing an effective ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2035.

On Friday, Greenpeace and German environmental NGO Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) said they would take legal action against German carmakers, including Volkswagen, if they failed to step up their policies to tackle climate change.

Diess, who was confronted by Greenpeace activists before entering the venue on Sunday, is therefore not only aiming to overtake Tesla and turn Volkswagen into the world’s largest seller of electric vehicles by 2025.

He also wants to make software services for autonomous cars a key pillar of the group’s future business, which is why Volkswagen has bought into self-driving software startup Argo AI, a competitor to Alphabet Inc’s Waymo.

Traditional carmakers and tech firms have poured billions of dollars over the past decade to realise the vision of driverless cars, but robotaxis remain elusive due to technical and regulatory hurdles that require continued human presence.

Volkswagen expects 1.2 trillion euros ($1.43 trillion) of software enabled sales in the car sector by 2030, accounting for about a quarter of the global mobility market, which is expected to more than double to 5 trillion euros as a result.

“By 2030 … about 85% of our business is cars, private cars, privately owned, shared rental cars. And about 15% of mobility should be shuttles, mobility as a service,” Diess said.

This ties into the group’s recent move to lead a consortium in an acquisition of car rental firm Europcar, a bet on potentially lucrative mobility services that still need to become reality.

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Some gasoline stations in U.K. run out of fuel as pandemic supply chain crisis deepens – CBC.ca

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Britain’s retail industry warned the government on Friday that unless it moves to alleviate an acute shortage of truckers in the next 10 days then significant disruption was inevitable in the run-up to Christmas.

As the world’s fifth-largest economy emerges from COVID-19 lockdowns, a spike in European natural gas prices and a post-Brexit shortage of truck drivers have left Britain grappling with soaring energy prices and a potential food supply crunch.

BP had to close some of its gas stations due to the driver shortages while queues formed at some Shell stations as pumps ran dry in some places. 

“We are seeing an increased demand today for fuel at some of our stations, which may in some instances result in larger queues. We are adapting our delivery schedules to ensure sufficient supplies for our customers,” a spokesperson for Shell said.

ExxonMobil’s Esso said a small number of its 200 Tesco Alliance retail sites had also been impacted in some way.

In a rush to fill up, drivers also queued at some gas stations in London and the southern English county of Kent. Diesel ran out at one station visited by Reuters.

For months supermarkets, processors and farmers have warned that a shortage of heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers was straining supply chains to breaking point — making it harder to get goods on to shelves.

“Unless new drivers are found in the next 10 days, it is inevitable that we will see significant disruption in the run-up to Christmas,” said Andrew Opie, director of food & sustainability at the British Retail Consortium, the retail industry’s lobby group.

“HGV drivers are the glue which hold our supply chains together,” Opie said. “Without them, we are unable to move goods from farms to warehouses to shops.”

A lorry pulls a Hanjin Shipping Co. shipping container along the dockside at the Port of Felixstowe, England. Experts have warned for months that a shortage of heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers was straining supply chains to breaking point – making it harder to get goods on to shelves. (Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg)

The next 10 days are crucial because retailers ramp up supplies in October to ensure there are enough goods for the peak Christmas season.

Hauliers and logistics companies cautioned that there were no quick fixes and that any change to testing or visas would likely be too late to alleviate the pre-Christmas shortages as retailers stockpile months ahead.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government has insisted that there will be no return to the 1970s when Britain was cast by allies as the “sick man of Europe” with three-day weeks, energy shortages and rampant inflation.

‘Don’t panic’

As ministers urged the public not to panic buy, some of Britain’s biggest supermarkets have warned that the shortage of truck drivers could lead to just that ahead of Christmas.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said that Johnson, whom he met in New York, had asked him for an “emergency” agreement to supply a food product that is lacking in Britain, though the British embassy disputed Bolsonaro’s account.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said there was a global shortage of truckers after COVID halted lorry driver testing so Britain was doubling the number of tests. Asked if the government would ease visa rules, he said the government would look at all options.

“We’ll do whatever it takes,” Shapps told Sky News. “We’ll move heaven and earth to do whatever we can to make sure that shortages are alleviated with HGV drivers.

“We should see it smooth out fairly quickly,” he said.

British ministers are due to meet later on Friday in an attempt to hash out a fix.

The trucking industry body, the Road Haulage Association (RHA), has called on the government to allow short-term visas for international drivers to enter Britain and fill the gap, while British drivers are being trained for the future.

“It’s an enormous challenge,” Rod McKenzie, head of policy at the RHA, told Reuters. In the short-term, he said, international drivers could help, even if it may be too late to help Christmas, and in the longer term the industry needed better pay and conditions to attract workers.

“It’s a tough job. We the British do not help truckers in the way that Europeans and Americans do by giving them decent facilities,” he said.

The British haulage industry says it needs around 100,000 more drivers after 25,000 returned to Europe before Brexit and the pandemic halted the qualification process for new workers.

Shapps, who said the driver shortage was not due to Brexit, said COVID-19 exacerbated the problem given that Britain was unable to test 40,000 drivers during lockdowns.

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How to unwind after a long day at the office

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Whether you are returning to the office after working from home or starting a new job. Being among other hardworking people and maybe even having a boss breathing down your neck can be nerve-wracking. You might even experience that you’re more tired than usual when you climb into bed at the end of the day.

 

That’s why it is important to find the right way for you to unwind and clear your mind after a long day of hard work.

 

Stay active

A quick run is great for clearing the mind. A trip to the gym can help you relieve some aggressions you might have developed throughout the day. Kicking a ball around with your friends can help you calm down. The possibilities are endless, but the results can be great.

 

Exercise is wonderful for your mind as well as your body. If you even bring along a couple of friends, you are sure to have a great time and forget what was bothering you to begin with.

 

Forget the world with online gaming

Sometimes, what you need is a distraction. A great book can help you forget the world but maybe you are too wound up to focus. In that case, a great alternative is trying an online casino in Canada. You do not even need to stay focused to have fun and forget your troubles.

 

The best part is that you can enjoy online casinos anywhere. On the couch in front of the TV, on the train ride home, or in bed before you go to sleep. Playing on your phone is convenient and easy. Before you realize it, you completely forgot about your stressful day.

 

Cook a nutritious meal

You might not feel like cooking if you are agitated after a long day. But something about creating beautiful, delicious food can be almost therapeutic. Eating meals that you love can help shift your mood without you even realizing it. At the same time, you might be able to get rid of some irritations by taking your frustrations out on the vegetables that need to be chopped. Just remember to protect your fingers.

 

Spend time with a loved one

Being able to vent about your day or simply get a hug can be all you need. If you live with your significant other, try to let them be there for you when you need some extra love and understanding. If you live alone, try to make time to get a cup of coffee with a friend or family member. Do not underestimate the effects of human contact. Soon, you will feel recharged and ready to take on a new day.

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5 Ways to be Productive at Work

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Concluding a long day with all the items on your list ticked off is the most satisfying and rewarding feeling in the world.  In addition, knowing that you have worked on top of your game with optimal efficiency and a high sense of gratification is the perfect way to cap a workday. But, on the other hand, there are moments that we are not winning in the productivity game. Instead, we spend most days fire-fighting, exhausted, and slumped with unfinished tasks. Good thing there is a way to change this.

Productivity killers are bad habits we are unable to shake off that disrupt our workflow. Similarly, the lack of proactivity hinders us from progress. Here are five ways to be more productive at work to get yourself out of the rut of unsatisfactory workdays and performance.

 

Segment tasks accordingly, take on the hard ones at your most active time of the day.

 

Plan your day by categorizing tasks from the most mentally or physically demanding to the least. Next, take on the tasks that consume too much thought, emotions, or energy depending on the dayparts that you are typically at your best. For example, if you are a morning person, best to do most of the heavy lifting in the morning and reserve mental breaks for chores, playing online casino Canada or answering emails after lunch. But, of course, these would all fail if you are a night owl. Ultimately, gauge yourself and identify your most productive time of day and take on demanding tasks at this point.

 

Build a to-do-list every night

To-do lists are fantastic productivity tools because they encourage planning and organization. Planning and organization are the building blocks of productivity. As you go through the day, they provide clarity and focus, tackling tasks from the significant to the mundane. A simple list on paper will do, or you can even utilize the notes app on your phone. For next-level productivity aids, explore applications like AnyDo or Trello, for they can be synched with calendars and with other people like family and colleagues. Finally, creating and updating a to-do list every night is the best way to take on the following day. It provides the proper head start rather than scrambling on finding things to do at the beginning of the workday.

 

Delegation is the key.

 

Strategic delegation is the machinery behind productivity.  Delegation of jobs and tasks to capable hands can free up time for you to take on tasks that require more focus and creativity.

 

Veer away from distractions

 

The key to optimal productivity is shutting down the noise and actively eliminating them. Distractions in this day and age are social media and emails. For tasks that demand focus, best to turn off your phone or notifications.

 

Never multitask

 

Multitasking is the most effective productivity killer because it takes too much energy and resources to switch tasks from one to the next. In addition, multitasking negatively impacts the focus, accuracy, and precision of the job at hand. Therefore, be at your best by taking on tasks one at a time.

 

Bottomline

 

Ultimately, to be the best version of yourself at work requires impeccable planning, organization, seamless focus, and delegation. In addition, allowing yourself a few mental breaks throughout the day keeps you healthy mentally and ready to take on tasks.

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