News This Week: Autonomous Vehicles, Connected Vehicles, Clean Mobility, Shared Mobility, Research and India

The post presents some important developments that took place this week in the field of Autonomous Vehicles, Connected Vehicles, Shared Mobility, Clean Mobility, and Research.

Volkswagen Group teams up with Microsoft

Strengthening its capabilities in the development of automated driving (AD) solutions , Volkswagen Group has announced that its software company Car.Software Organisation will collaborate with Microsoft to build a cloud-based Automated Driving Platform (ADP) on Microsoft Azure and leverage its compute and data capabilities to deliver automated driving experiences even faster at global scale.

With ADP running on Azure, Car.Software Organisation aims to increase the efficiency of the development of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and AD functions for passenger cars across Volkswagen Group brands. Volkswagen and Microsoft have been strategic partners on the Volkswagen Automotive Cloud since 2018.

Ford working with Hermes to trial a sustainable courier service

Ford is working with Hermes to trial a sustainable courier service that could both reduce the footprint of parcel deliveries in cities – and make them more timely. The approach comprises of Ford’s smart MoDe:Link software that coordinates traditional delivery vans with pedestrian couriers, identifying safe locations for drivers to park within walking distance of multiple delivery addresses. From there, the final leg of the journey is completed on foot.

The couriers use a simple smartphone app that advises the location of the van and shows the most economical routes and itinerary to deliver the parcels. The app integrates with Hermes’ tracking systems to ensure customers have real-time visibility of the status of their deliveries. The companies believe that if adopted, the initiative could make more effective use of vans on the road as well as helping tackle air pollution and ease congestion.

Forward31 and Lufthansa Innovation Hub launch Mobility startup

Forward31 and the Lufthansa Innovation Hub launched their partnership with the new startup, RYDES. The company builder Forward31 is a business unit of Porsche Digital, its focus is on building up a portfolio of digital platform business models. Lufthansa Innovation Hub is the “digital innovation” unit of the global aviation conglomerate Lufthansa Group.

RYDES creates mobility solutions and bundles numerous forms of mobility solutions offered by various providers on one digital platform. Among others, these include car and bike sharing offers, e-scooters, shared taxis and public transport services. Users can plan and book their journeys individually via the app. The service is aimed at companies that want to offer their employees individually bookable mobility offers as an additional service. For this purpose, companies can provide their employees with a so-called “mobility budget” via the app.

Hyundai unveisls Ultimate Mobility Vehicle Concept

Hyundai Motor Group recently revealed TIGER (Transforming Intelligent Ground Excursion Robot), the company’s second Ultimate Mobility Vehicle (UMV) and the first designed to be uncrewed. The concept vehicle is intended to carry payloads over remote and inaccessible terrain and designed to operate as a four-wheel drive vehicle or a four-legged walking machine.  The vehicle is being developed by Hyundai Motor Group’s New Horizons Studio in partnership with Autodesk and Sundberg-Ferar.

TIGER’s capabilities are designed to function as a mobile scientific exploration platform in extreme, remote locations. Based on a modular platform architecture, its features include a sophisticated leg and wheel locomotion system, 360-degree directional control, and a range of sensors for remote observation. It is also intended to connect to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), which can fully charge and deliver TIGER to inaccessible locations.

ŠKODA AUTO and energy services provider ČEZ expand partnership to  push renewable energies

From the second half of this decade, the energy required for the manufacture of vehicles and components at ŠKODA AUTO’s Czech plants will come entirely from renewable sources.  The automaker is expanding its collaboration with energy supplier ČEZ for this purpose. Part of the sustainably generated electricity at ŠKODA AUTO comes from photovoltaic systems. The next joint project between the companies is the construction of the largest roof photovoltaic system to be built on the roofs of the ŠKODA Parts Centre in the Czech Republic.

BlackBerry releases QNX Hypervisor 2.2

Bolstering its Embedded Software Portfolio, BlackBerry has announced the release of QNX Hypervisor 2.2. The real-time embedded software, Hypervisor 2.2, aims to empower manufacturers and other embedded system suppliers with design flexibility and scalability to consolidate multiple systems with mixed criticality and different operating environments onto a single hardware platform, reducing both the initial development and long-term costs of ownership for a wide variety of embedded systems – from rail and robotics controllers to vehicle digital cockpits and battery management ECUs. It is based on the QNX Neutrino Real-time Operating System (RTOS) 7.1

BlackBerry’s QNX Black Channel Communications in Motional’s Driverless Platform

BlackBerry ‘s QNX Black Channel Communications Technology will be used in Motional’s next-generation driverless vehicles.  QNX Black Channel Communications Technology is based on the safe data communication requirements identified in IEC 61508 and mitigation measures defined in AUTOSAR End-to-End communications protection profiles. The technology enables Motional to provide safe data communication exchanges within the vehicle’s safety systems. The product makes the nodes of data communication in embedded systems functionally safe by safely encapsulating the data being exchanged and validating it with essential safety checks.

ŠKODA vehicles to feature Bosch’s wrong-way driver warning system

ŠKODA vehicles will feature Bosch’s wrong-way driver warning system. The directly warns the drivers via the display in the vehicle cockpit. It sends alert to drivers in the vicinity and the wrong-way driver themselves. The cloud-based warning system is installed directly in the head unit as a vehicle approaches a freeway entrance or exit, the system automatically sends its current anonymized GPS position to the cloud. In the Bosch cloud backend, the software then compares the vehicle’s current direction with the permitted direction of travel. If these two pieces of information clash, the system will alert the wrong-way driver to their mistake by flashing a warning on the display.

EIB finances research projects related to technologies designed to reduce CO2 emissions

The EIB has approved a 600 million euro financing package to fund Valeo’s research and development projects in Europe, mainly in France. An initial loan of 300 million euros has just been signed.  The loan, set to be paid out by May 2022, will be dedicated to research projects in the areas of electrification and the improvement of vehicle energy efficiency (48V systems, battery cooling systems, energy-efficient thermal comfort systems, etc.), as well as safety improvement (driving assistance and autonomous driving systems, smart lighting and wiper systems, etc.), areas.

TrueCar partners with HyreCar

TrueCar , digital automotive marketplace, and HyreCar, the car-sharing marketplace for ridesharing, food, and package delivery services, have entered into a partnership. The companies have also launched HyreCar Auto Buying Program powered by TrueCar. The partnership will leverage TrueCar’s online vehicle research, trade-in, pricing, and innovative payment tools. TrueCar’s national dealer network will assist HyreCar customers to acquire a new or used vehicle or to sell or trade-in their vehicle.

ŠKODA AUTO Traffication Infotainment App

ŠKODA AUTO is introducing the Traffication Infotainment App with traffic warning alerts across the board. The app alerts drivers to traffic hazards and inadvertent wrong-way driving. After installation via the Shop, the new application runs in the background but immediately shows an alert on the central infotainment display when the driver could encounter a traffic hazard on an upcoming stretch of road. The models ŠKODA SUPERB, SCALA, KAMIQ, KAROQ and KODIAQ are the first to have this app. The company believes that this application will enhance drivers’ safety by alerting them to traffic hazards such as stranded vehicles.

Aurora enters into a long-term, global, and strategic collaboration with Toyota and Denso

Aurora has entered into a long-term, global, and strategic collaboration with Toyota and Denso to build and globally deploy self-driving cars at scale. According to the company blog, the purpose of the collaboration is to bring engineering teams together to develop and test driverless-capable vehicles equipped with the Aurora Driver, starting with the Toyota Sienna. By the end of 2021, the companies expect to have designed, built, and begun testing an initial fleet of these Siennas near our areas of development, including the Aurora Test Site Network.

The companies together will also lay the groundwork for the mass-production, launch, and support of these vehicles with Toyota on ride-hailing networks, including Uber’s, over the next few years. As part of this long-term effort, the parties will be exploring mass production of key autonomous driving components with Denso and a comprehensive services solution with Toyota for when these vehicles are deployed at scale, including financing, insurance, maintenance, and more.

Hyundai KONA Electric and IONIQ Electric added to ‘Onto’

Onto has expanded its fleet to include the new Hyundai KONA Electric Premium SE (64kWh) and the Hyundai IONIQ Electric Premium (38kWh). This is under a new direct supply agreement for 2021 signed between Hyundai Motor UK & All-inclusive electric car (EV) subscription service ‘Onto’. Hyundai helps the subscription service to further solidify its position as the UK’s largest all-EV fleet. Subscription model has gained importance in EV market as it gives customers an affordable, all-inclusive and flexible opportunity to drive the latest electric cars.

Grupo Antolin and Net4Things to develop connected car together

Grupo Antolin and Net4Things have signed strategic agreement to develop connected car. The companies specialize in mobility and data-driven services. As part of its strategy to lead innovation in mobility from the car’s interior, Grupo Antolin wants to explore the potential of new solutions and business opportunities for connectivity and driver services based on data analysis, thanks to the Global Mobility Platform developed by Net4Things which is an in-house architectural design that allows to run your mobility service at scale in your own private and secure space.  The joint value proposition will benefit from all the experience acquired through connecting vehicles and building data-based, aftermarket services for drivers.

Ford announces investment plans in EV and AV space

Ford recently reported its 2020 fourth-quarter and full-year financial results.  The company in a Media Release said that it plans to invest about $7 billion on autonomous vehicles over 10 years through 2025 – $5 billion of that from 2021 forward – as part of its Ford Mobility initiatives. During the quarter, the robust algorithms of Argo AI’s comprehensive self-driving system enabled address-to address autonomous deliveries of fresh produce and school supplies through a charitable goods pilot in Miami. Separately, Ford’s Spin subsidiary improved its per-trip economics in 2020, while winning an overwhelming majority of the scooter permits it applied for from U.S. municipalities. The company also said it will invest at least $22 billion in electrification through 2025, nearly twice what the company had previously committed to EVs.

Goodyear Ventures invests Tusimple

Goodyear Ventures has invested in TuSimple, a global autonomous trucking technology company. The company operates self-driving trucks out of their facilities in Arizona, Texas, China, Japan and Europe using an ecosystem made up of digital maps, strategic terminals and an autonomous fleet operations system. The company is developing a commercial-ready Level 4 autonomous driving solution to transform the logistics industry. Last year, Goodyear announced a strategic partnership to provide tires and tire management solutions to TuSimple’s Autonomous Freight Network (AFN. As an AFN partner, Goodyear will conduct wear studies to better predict maintenance, understand tire longevity and reduce the carbon impact of fleets.

Precisely and TomTom to work on data integrity through location technology

TomTom will provide Precisely with its map and traffic datasets, helping Precisely customers leverage important context to make better-informed, more confident business decisions. Precisely will use TomTom’s highly accurate map information as well as its historic and real-time traffic data – sourced from connected devices. This map and traffic data can help financial services organizations reduce fraud, enable insurance companies to better manage location risk, and improve targeted retail marketing campaigns by providing better customer insights.

Target 1m EV public chargers by 2024, joint letter by ACEA, T&E and BEUC suggests EU

In a joint letter by ACEA, T&E and BEUC to the European Commission on the revision of the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive, the Carmakers, environmentalists and consumer groups have called on the EU to set targets per country for the deployment of electric vehicle charging points. In a common letter today, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), Transport & Environment (T&E) and the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) asked the EU climate, transport, industry and energy commissioners to use this year’s revision of the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure law to require 1 million public charging points across the bloc in 2024, and 3 million in 2029.

India Specific News:

Road crashes in India increase household poverty and debt: World Bank Report

More than 75 percent of poor households in India reported a decline in their income as a result of a road traffic crash, says a report by World Bank. The financial loss for the poor amounted to more than seven month’s household income, while it was equivalent to less than one month’s household income for rich households, said the report. Titled “Traffic Crash Injuries and Disabilities: The Burden on Indian Society,” the report highlights the disproportionate impact of a road crash on poor households that pushes them into a vicious cycle of poverty and debt. It sheds light on the links between road crashes, poverty, inequality, and vulnerable road users in India. 

Goa drafts Electric Vehicle Promotion Policy

The government of Goa has drafted the Goa Electric Vehicle Promotion Policy. The govt plans to have by 2025 30% of vehicles registered annually as electric. The policy also aims to establishing charging stations every 25km on highways and every 3km within city limits. The plan also is to encourage startups and investment in the field of electric mobility and related sectors such as autonomous vehicles, connected vehicles, mobility as a service (MaaS) etc and have around 10,000 direct and indirect jobs in the sector.

Gulf Oil Lubricants exploring in EV charging space

Gulf Oil Lubricants India is exploring opportunities in the electric vehicle charging space. According to a report by PTI, the company has entered into an agreement with Gulf Oil International (GOI) to participate and co-invest in Gulf Oil International”s recent investment along with the Clean Growth Fund (CGF – a UK venture capital fund) in a UK-based smart energy and electric vehicle technology company Indra Renewable Technologies. The partnership will give the India based company to an established technology in electric vehicle (EV) charging space and help it to adopt the same for Indian conditions.

Omega Seiki unveils electric three-wheeler for last mile delivery

Omega Seiki Mobility recently unveiled its refrigerated electric three-wheeler Rage+ Frost in collaboration with TransACNR, an air-conditioning and refrigeration solutions provider for buses and trucks. The refrigerated carriage has been designed for pharmaceuticals and food delivery, and aims to play its role in distribution of Covid 19 Vaccine. The vehicle is battery-powered vehicle and has the capacity to store vaccines for 72 hours in a stationary state at a temperature as low as -20 degrees Celsius.

ION Energy to supply BMS for RAY electric scooter

ION Energy will supply its BMS technology to RAY electric motors. The company claims that its BMS has been deployed in over 60,000 electric vehicles in India and Europe. RAY electric motors is a Barcelona-based startup that has recently launched its first smart electric scooter, the RAY 7.7. The e-scooter is powered by a 10.7 kW motor and has 7.7 kWh battery lithium-ion battery. The escooter has a top speed of 125 km/h and a range of up to 150 km with fast charging support, say media reports.

OLA to rely on ABB robotics and automation solutions at its mega-factory for electric scooters

Ola has selected ABB as one of its key partners for robotics and automation solutions for its mega-factory in India that will roll out the much-anticipated Ola electric scooter. Ola’s scooter mega-factory is expected to be ready and operational in the coming months. The ABB robots will be digitally integrated into Ola’s AI-enabled mega-factory, to optimize robot performance, productivity and product quality. The use of ABB’s robots and automation solutions will ensure remote digital connectivity and monitoring of the robots that will ride on Ola’s proprietary AI engine and tech stack.

Pi Beam launches electric two-wheeler

Pi Beam, an IIT Madras-incubated start-up, has launched an electric two-wheeler. According to news reports the two wheeler can charge faster than a smartphone and has a range of 50 km.

Komaki SE electric scooter launched.

A Delhi-based electric vehicle manufacturer, Komaki, has launched its electric scooter. Priced at Rs 60,000 Komaki SE has a 3kW BLDC electric motor and delivers a range of up to 125km on a single charge, said the reports.

Delhi government to set up 100 charging stations for electric vehicles

The Delhi government has floated a tender to set up 100 charging stations for electric vehicles across the city. The government plans to set up these stations within a year, the each station will have five charging points and 10% of these charging points will be fast charging points.

(Based on News Reports and Press Releases)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *