Smart Factory Institute moving to Cleveland, Tennessee

The Smart Factory Institute of Tennessee is moving its headquarters from Chattanooga to Bradley County’s Partnerships in Industry & Education (PIE) Innovation Center.

The institute, in a new partnership with the Cleveland-Bradley Chamber of Commerce and Bradley County Schools, is moving its operation from the Volkswagen Academy, officials said.

The PIE Center is the former site of the American Uniform Co. factory in Cleveland. The 256,100-square-foot complex was recently revamped into a $33 million vocational training and business facility after gaining support from a coalition of greater Chattanooga area businesses along with federal, state and local governments.

“Throughout the past year, our incredible community, sponsors, and technology partners have shown extraordinary enthusiasm for our Industry 4.0 workforce and advanced manufacturing programs — at a level we could not have imagined when we first launched the nation’s first Deutsche Messe Technology Academy right here in Chattanooga,” said Denise Rice, president and CEO of Peak Performance,Inc., which operates the institute.

The institute will occupy a 9,000-square-foot space in the PIE Center and will continue to provide training and workforce development programs to support manufacturing and adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies while partnering with businesses, government agencies, educational institutions, and other professional organizations, officials said.

 

3 Volkswagen SUVs earn ‘good’ ratings

The 2021 and 2022 Volkswagen Atlas, Atlas Cross Sport and ID.4 EV earned “good” ratings in the new side-impact test conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), according to Volkswagen of America.

Of the 18 midsize SUVs tested, 10 earned good overall ratings, three of which were Volkswagen vehicles, the company said.

The Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport are built in Chattanooga and ID.4 is slated for production at the plant this summer.

The Volkswagen ID.4 EV was the only electric vehicle tested and was one of two models tested to earn “good” ratings across all areas of evaluation. The overall IIHS side-impact rating includes evaluations of vehicle structure and cage safety along with driver and rear passenger injury measures including head, neck, torso and pelvis protection.

 

Federal agency probes Tesla crash that killed 3

The U.S. government’s road safety agency has dispatched a team to investigate the possibility that a Tesla involved in a California crash that killed three people was operating on a partially automated driving system.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Wednesday confirmed that it had sent a special crash investigation team to probe the May 12 crash on the Pacific Coast Highway in Newport Beach. The investigation is part of a larger inquiry by the agency into crashes involving advanced driver assistance systems such as Tesla’s Autopilot.

Since 2016, the agency has sent teams to 34 crashes in which the systems were either in use or suspected of operating. According to a NHTSA document released Wednesday, of the 34, 28 involved Teslas.

 

Warner is touted as major network

In what was essentially the company’s public debut, executives at the new Warner Bros. Discovery media giant showed they have big dreams. Its leader, David Zaslav, portrayed the company as effectively a fifth broadcast television network in the United States, and said the goal was to build the most dynamic media and entertainment company in the world.

The company was holding its first “upfront” presentation, where content companies present their wares to Madison Avenue executives in the hope that they invest in ads. The presentation featured Jennifer Hudson trying out her new role as a talk show host, and a colorful appearance by singer Lizzo.

— Compiled by Dave Flessner