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.

Ford and Google partner

Ford and Google have entered into a partnership to create unique services and capabilities for Ford and Lincoln customers, and to accelerate Ford’s transformation plan. The automaker has also named Google Cloud its preferred cloud provider to leverage Google’s expertise in data, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML)

As part of this new six-year partnership—and beginning in 2023—millions of future Ford and Lincoln vehicles at all price points will be powered by Android, with Google apps and services built-in. The companies are also establishing a new collaborative group, Team Upshift, that will push the boundaries of Ford’s transformation, unlock personalized consumer experiences, and drive disruptive, data-driven opportunities

Tesla may license Autopilot to other OEMs

Tesla is considering providing Autopilot to other OEMs, according to some News Reports. The move will allow Tesla to have access to more data that can help in further development of its autonomous software along with adding an additional source of revenue for the company. The question regarding this was raised by an institutional investor during Tesla’s Q4 FY 2020 earnings call to which Elon Musk responded that the company is in preliminary discussions and would be more than happy to provide Autopilot to other OEMs.

TomTom launches GO Discover

TomTom has launched GO Discover – which it claims will be its quickest and most powerful navigation device – with a new 7-inch high-definition (HD) touchscreen display. The company said in a Press Release that GO Discover includes the most up-to-date maps a satnav can offer. Maps will never be more than a week old and can be updated up to 3x quicker via Wi-Fi. Drivers can connect to the device via Bluetooth to get access to trusted traffic information and services like speed camera Alerts, fuel prices information, off-street parking availability and electric vehicle charging points.

Volkswagen Group Components commences battery recycling

Taking a step towards sustainable future, Volkswagen Group Components opened a plant for recycling electric car batteries in Salzgitter. The aim is the industrialized recovery of valuable raw materials such as lithium, nickel, manganese and cobalt in a closed loop together with aluminium, copper and plastics, achieving a recycling rate of more than 90% over the long term. The company said that the plant will only recycle batteries that can no longer be used for other purposes. Before the battery is recycled, an analysis determines whether the battery is still powerful enough to be given a second life in mobile energy storage systems such as the flexible rapid charging station or the mobile charging robot. The plant has been designed to initially recycle up to 3,600 battery systems per year during the pilot phase – this is the equivalent to approximately 1,500 tonnes.

 Porsche Car Configurator using artificial intelligence for personalised recommendations

Porsche is using artificial intelligence to make configuration process easier for its customers. The company is equipping its Car Configurator with a new advisory function that uses artificial intelligence to make suggestions for individual vehicle options. Called ‘Recommendation Engine’ the AI determines the suitable options from billions of possible combinations. It is based on several million data points from the Car Configurator.  The automaker said in a Press Release that to implement it, more than 270 machine learning models were trained for specific markets and derivatives – so-called neural networks. The company claims with the use of AI the recommendations are more than 90 percent accurate – meaning there is on average a 90 percent likelihood that a suggested feature will match a customer’s interest.

Sensata Technologies acquires Lithium Balance

Sensata Technologies has acquired Lithium Balance. Sensata Technologies is an industrial technology company that develops sensors, sensor-based solutions, including controllers and software while Lithium Balance is a Battery Management System (BMS) provider based in of Denmark. Founded in 2006 Lithium Balance is working on development of the next generation BMS technologies for lithium ion batteries, including its XOLTA brand of fully modular, cloud connected energy storage systems (ESS).  This strategic acquisition is expected to advance Sensata’s electrification business and strategy in the clean energy markets.

Airbiquity, Cloudera, NXP Semiconductors, Teraki, and Wind River join forces on The Fusion Project

Airbiquity, Cloudera, NXP Semiconductors, Teraki, and Wind River are joining forces to accelerate data management for connected and autonomous vehicles. As connected vehicle technology continues to advance, the amount of available data is exponentially increasing. This data can be used to power new data-centric features for consumers and revenue-generating opportunities for automakers. But efficiently collecting, analyzing, and managing vehicle data presents unique challenges to automakers because of fragmented data management across the machine learning lifecycle, inaccuracies caused by static machine learning models, limited capabilities in intelligent edge computing, and insufficient in-vehicle computing power.

The Fusion Project addresses these challenges by pre-integrating technologies from five industry providers into a solution that automakers can easily evaluate and introduce into vehicle design and production cycles for next generation connected and autonomous vehicles.

The first application for The Fusion Project is specifying a solution for intelligent vehicle lane change detection utilizing synergistic technologies from each company:

  • Airbiquity – Over-the-Air (OTA) Software Management
  • Cloudera – Data Lifecycle Solutions from the Edge to AI
  • NXP – Vehicle Processing Platforms
  • Teraki – Edge Data Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Wind River – Intelligent Systems Platform Software

The solution aims to create a capable and efficient data lifecycle platform from data ingestion through OTA machine learning model updates without a loss of data fidelity while maximizing system decision accuracy.

Vayyar launches in-cabin safety solution

Vayyar, a company known for its 4D imaging radar, has launched in-cabin safety “combo” solution. Powered by a single sensor, solution delivers multifunctionality on a single-chip platform. Some of the features of the solution according to the company are:

-4D imaging radar platform claims to enhance safety, reduces complexity, lowers risk and offers significant cost savings, bringing leading-edge safety within reach of all vehicle models

– Vayyar’s multifunctional single-sensor platform addresses Euro NCAP current and upcoming safety requirements, offering vehicles up to 10 in-cabin points while reducing complexity and costs

– The single-sensor solution offers application combination (“combo”) of Child Presence Detection plus enhanced Seat Belt Reminders preventing hot car incidents that have killed thousands of children worldwide, as well as deaths and injuries from failure to wear seat belts

– High-resolution 4D data enables OEMs and Tier 1s to independently develop multiple advanced safety and comfort applications over the platform, creating a safe in-cabin ecosystem

– One high-performance 4D imaging Radar-on-Chip covers entire cabin, reducing hardware, wiring and overall costs, while replacing seven in-car sensors

Navistar, General Motors, and OneH2 join hands to launch Hydrogen Truck Ecosystem

Navistar is collaborating with General Motors and OneH2 to launch Hydrogen Truck Ecosystem. Hydrogen fuel cells have higher density of energy, fast refueling and additional range that can be very useful for heavy duty. The new hydrogen truck ecosystem combines vehicles with the hydrogen fuel cell technology of General Motors and the modular, mobile and scalable hydrogen production and fueling capabilities of OneH2.

Navistar plans to make its first production model International RH Series fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) commercially available in model year 2024.  The International RH Series FCEV will get its energy from two GM Hydrotec fuel cell power cubes. Each Hydrotec power cube contains 300-plus hydrogen fuel cells along with thermal and power management systems. They are compact and easy to package into many different applications. Under its partnership agreement with Navistar, OneH2 will supply its hydrogen fueling solution, which includes hydrogen production, storage, delivery and safety.

Scania testing self-driving trucks in Sweden

Scania is testing self-driving trucks in Sweden. The company was granted permission by the Swedish Transport Agency to test self-driving trucks on the E4 motorway. The tests will occur in collaboration with TuSimple, a company involved in development of autonomous vehicles and a key partner in Scania’s and TRATON group’s investment in this field.  The tests will cover technology according to level 4 on the 5-point SAE scale for self-driving vehicles, which means that the trucks are driven autonomously but for safety reasons are supervised by a driver. A test engineer will also be on board during tests with the task of monitoring and verifying the information which is transmitted to the truck from the sensors that enable autonomous driving. 

Qualcomm and Amazon deepen strategic engagement

Qualcomm Technologies and Amazon plan to pre-integrate the Alexa Custom Assistant with the Qualcomm Snapdragon Automotive Cockpit Platforms. The Alexa Custom Assistant is built on Alexa technology and can be tailored to each vehicle brand with unique wake words, voices and capabilities. The new system uses the Snapdragon Automotive Cockpit Platforms with the Qualcomm Smart Audio Platform and Voice Assist technologies featuring multichannel echo cancellation noise suppression (ECNS), allowing for easy access to Alexa services, even when multiple people are speaking within the car cabin. Additionally, the system uses the voice identification and zonal interference cancellation technology for a personality-aware voice assistant. The new functionality can also be made available via Qualcomm Car-to-Cloud services designed to keep cockpit and telematics systems up-to-date.

Mumbai-based startup launches electric two wheelers

Earth Energy EV, a Mumbai-based startup, recently launched three electric two wheelers in the country. The models named GLYDE + and Evolve Z have been introduced at Rs 92,000, Rs 1.3 lakh respectively and Evolve R at Rs 1.42 lakh. The models come with a range of up to 110 km at full charge. According to a report by PTI, the vehicles also have an in-built app for smartphones which helps the rider to keep live navigation status, incoming calls/messages alert, trip history, and current destination on-screen for the confidence-inducing uninterrupted ride.

MG Motor EV available for subscription at Rs 49,999 per month

MG Motor India has made its ZS EV available for subscription at Rs 49,999 per month for tenure of 36 months with Zoomcar and ORIX under MG Subscribe. Zoomcar, a Bangalore based Indian self-drive car rental company, is offering its end-to-end technology solution for its vehicle subscription platform called ‘MG Subscribe’. ORIX, a Japan based company having roots in leasing, is also a development partner. MG ZS EV retails in the price range of Rs. 20.88 – 23.58 Lakh (ex-showroom price, Delhi). 

(Based on News Reports and Press Releases)

Leave a Reply

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