May 19, 2020

BMW Group passes 250,000 milestone for electric vehicles on the road

BMW Group
Electric vehicles
BMW Group strategy
BMW Group electric vehicles
Johan De Mulder
2 min
BMW Group passes 250,000 milestone for electric vehicles on the road

BMW Group has reached the major milestone of 250,000 of its electric vehicles being on the road around the world.

Announcing its sales figures for April following a record-breaking first quarter, the German automotive giant revealed that it had shipped nearly 10,000 EVs in that month alone, pushing it past the quarter of a million mark.

Major growth was achieved in the United States, United Kingdom and China markets, with 9% of all vehicles sold in the UK in April powered by electric, with that figure reaching more than a quarter in the mature markets of Scandinavia.

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"We are delighted to announce that there are now over a quarter of a million electrified BMW Group vehicles on the world’s roads,” said Pieter Nota, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Sales and Brand BMW.

"Combined sales of BMW i, BMW iPerformance and MINI Electric vehicles were up 52% in April (9,831). We are well on track to deliver on our stated target to sell over 140,000 electrified vehicles this year."

In a statement, BMW also confirmed that it sold a total of 799,520 vehicles to customers worldwide in the first four months of the year, up 2.5% on the same period last year.

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Jun 16, 2021

SAS: Improving the British Army’s decision making with data

SAS
British Army
3 min
Roderick Crawford, VP and Country GM, explains the important role that SAS is playing in the British Army’s digital transformation

SAS’ long-standing relationship with the British Army is built on mutual respect and grounded by a reciprocal understanding of each others’ capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Roderick Crawford, VP and Country GM for SAS UKI, states that the company’s thorough grasp of the defence sector makes it an ideal partner for the Army as it undergoes its own digital transformation. 

“Major General Jon Cole told us that he wanted to enable better, faster decision-making in order to improve operational efficiency,” he explains. Therefore, SAS’ task was to help the British Army realise the “significant potential” of data through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to automate tasks and conduct complex analysis.

In 2020, the Army invested in the SAS ‘Viya platform’ as an overture to embarking on its new digital roadmap. The goal was to deliver a new way of working that enabled agility, flexibility, faster deployment, and reduced risk and cost: “SAS put a commercial framework in place to free the Army of limits in terms of their access to our tech capabilities.”

Doing so was important not just in terms of facilitating faster innovation but also, in Crawford’s words, to “connect the unconnected.” This means structuring data in a simultaneously secure and accessible manner for all skill levels, from analysts to data engineers and military commanders. The result is that analytics and decision-making that drives innovation and increases collaboration.

Crawford also highlights the importance of the SAS platform’s open nature, “General Cole was very clear that the Army wanted a way to work with other data and analytics tools such as Python. We allow them to do that, but with improved governance and faster delivery capabilities.”

SAS realises that collaboration is at the heart of a strong partnership and has been closely developing a long-term roadmap with the Army. “Although we're separate organisations, we come together to work effectively as one,” says Crawford. “Companies usually find it very easy to partner with SAS because we're a very open, honest, and people-based business by nature.”

With digital technology itself changing with great regularity, it’s safe to imagine that SAS’ own relationship with the Army will become even closer and more diverse. As SAS assists it in enhancing its operational readiness and providing its commanders with a secure view of key data points, Crawford is certain that the company will have a continually valuable role to play.

“As warfare moves into what we might call ‘the grey-zone’, the need to understand, decide, and act on complex information streams and diverse sources has never been more important. AI, computer vision and natural language processing are technologies that we hope to exploit over the next three to five years in conjunction with the Army.”

Fundamentally, data analytics is a tool for gaining valuable insights and expediting the delivery of outcomes. The goal of the two parties’ partnership, concludes Crawford, will be to reach the point where both access to data and decision-making can be performed qualitatively and in real-time.

“SAS is absolutely delighted to have this relationship with the British Army, and across the MOD. It’s a great privilege to be part of the armed forces covenant.”

 

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