In connected car news this week were Local Motors, HERE, Renovo, Luxoft, G2, Xperi, Nikola, Macronix and Renesas.
Local Olli in Buffal0
Local Motors by LM Industries, known for 3D-Printed mobility solutions, announced the deployment and launch of operations of Olli at the University at Buffalo. Olli is the world’s first co-created, self-driving, electric vehicle, designed to reinvent the future of urban mobility and sustainability.
The University at Buffalo will leverage Olli for autonomous vehicle education and mapping while also testing the shuttles for campus transportation. The project, which is being co-managed by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the New York State Department of Transportation, supports Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s clean energy goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030.
HERE & Renovo
An open ecosystem of best-in-class technologies working seamlessly together will be at the heart of the automated transportation systems of the future. That is the shared vision of Renovo (Renovo.auto), a mobility software technology company, and HERE Technologies (here.com), a global leader in mapping and location services. Today, the two companies announced that they have entered into a partnership to deploy open interfaces for highly and fully automated vehicles. They believe an open-standards approach will fuel greater interoperability and data exchange across the transportation ecosystem, boosting safety, efficiency and comfort for passengers.
In the first phase of their collaboration, Renovo and HERE are working on a new technology interface to maximize the utility of sensor data generated by fleets of automated vehicles in the ‘self-healing’ of highly precise maps. The companies intend to make the interface available for fleets of highly automated vehicles powered by Renovo’s AWare operating system, enabling them to provide data that can be used to update a service such as HD Live Map, the mapping service for automated vehicles from HERE. This service uses different types of sensor data to identify change in the real world and provide a highly-precise, continuously-updating map across the road network. An automated vehicle equipped with HERE HD Live Map knows exactly where it is and has a better understanding of what lies ahead and what it should do in different scenarios.
Luxoft Buys Objective
Luxoft Holding, Inc (NYSE:LXFT), a global IT service provider, announces the acquisition of Objective Software GmbH, a provider of software development services and IP based solutions for autonomous vehicles, Advance Driver Assisted Systems (ADAS), high-accuracy positioning, innovative mobility and smart city applications.
Objective implements its advanced technology solutions in the automotive sector, with a focus on connected cars and autonomous drive services for leading Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and suppliers.
This acquisition expands Luxoft’s ADAS, Autonomous Drive and Connected Mobility practices and illustrates a commitment to meet the growing demand for these services. Upon completion of this transaction, Luxoft gains access to a range of IP-based solutions developed by Objective, including a tele-operated driving platform, cloud-based autonomous car-sharing, automotive cybersecurity solutions and a Lidar-based automated parking scanner. These solutions, combined with Objective’s domain expertise, will enhance Luxoft’s design, development and implementation of next-generation software that empowers our clients to succeed in the mobility revolution.
G2 & Urgent.ly
G2 Insurance Services announced it is working with Urgent.ly, the only global, digital roadside assistance platform, to contribute roadside assistance services to G2’s high-net-worth clients.
G2’s Personal Risk Management clients will be assigned a dedicated phone number that will allow access to Urgent.ly’s Intelligent Towing Solution™ which dispatches Urgent.ly’s connected towing vehicles to the scene of a mechanical disablement or accident. G2’s clients will receive live status updates and be able to watch in real-time as their assigned towing vehicle arrive
Xperi DTS Connected
–Xperi Corporation (Nasdaq: XPER) (“Xperi”) is pleased to announce that its DTS® Connected Radio™ technology is being integrated into the cars of a major global automotive brand and is planned for commercial launch next year. This commercial launch reflects the joint effort between DTS and a leading tier one supplier to integrate this next generation radio technology.
– With a $1.1 billion pre-money valuation, Nikola Motor Company’s emissions-free future is looking very bright. Nikola CEO Trevor Milton announced that he anticipates the $200 million C round will be oversubscribed with more than $100 million already raised and funded this month.
By 2028, Nikola is planning on having more than 700 hydrogen stations across the USA and Canada. The first 14 stations will be up and running by 2021.
Macronix & Renesas
Macronix International Co., Ltd. (TSE: 2337), a leading integrated device manufacturer in the Non-Volatile Memory (NVM) market, announced that Renesas Electronics has implemented dedicated octa peripheral interface to support Macronix memory devices with Serial Multi I/O. Among these memory devices, the MX25LW5124G Read-While-Write Flash is selected by Renesas for its high-end RH850/D1M1A automotive instrument cluster microcontroller (MCU) for Over-The-Air (OTA) update. The RH850/D1M1A is part of Renesas’ RH850 Family of MCUs that offers high performance balanced with very low power consumption over a wide and scalable range of automotive products.
Renesas has implemented dedicated octa peripheral interface to support Macronix memory devices with Serial Multi I/O, including the RWW Flash memory. Macronix’s RWW Flash memory is key to enabling customers to offer an effective, high performance and cost-effective OTA solution for a new generation of Instrument Clusters which will dramatically enhance the driver experience by offering configurable clusters with regular updates. Macronix’s RWW Flash memory solutions are manufactured with its own ultra-reliable, high quality 55nm Floating Gate technology, which is part of the 10-Year Macronix Product Longevity Program (MPLP).
Steering by Wire
The Schaeffler Group in cooperation with Roland Arnold and Paravan GmbH agreed on a master agreement for the formation of a joint venture company which was signed today. The transaction is pending regulatory approval by Germany’s Federal Cartel Office. The parties have agreed not to disclose the financial details of the deal. The object of the joint venture company, which will be called Schaeffler Paravan Technologie GmbH und Co. KG, is the further development of Paravan’s SPACE DRIVE drive-by-wire technology and the development and sale of mobility systems. As part of the transaction, the joint venture will acquire Paravan’s SPACE DRIVE technology. Schaeffler Technologies AG & Co. KG will have a 90 percent stake in the new company. A leading drive-by-wire technology, SPACE DRIVE was developed by Paravan GmbH to help drivers with physical disabilities by replacing cumbersome mechanical vehicle control systems with 100%-reliable, fully electronic systems.
Alongside electronic accelerator and brake activation, SPACE DRIVE features steer-by-wire functionality, which enables safe and reliable vehicle steering by purely electronic means, thereby eliminating the need for a steering wheel, steering column and associated mechanical linkages. Steer-by-wire is a key enabling technology for self-driving cars, for which safe and highly reliable steering is a fundamental requirement. Even in part-time autonomous passenger cars with steering wheels, the space saved by eliminating the steering column opens up completely new possibilities for vehicle and cab interior design. SPACE DRIVE features triple redundancy and is currently the only integrated drive-by-wire solution in the world to be manufactured in accordance with the highest quality and safety standards including certification according to the extremely exacting ISO 26262 ASIL D functional safety standard. Consequently, is the only system of its kind to be licensed for on-road use in multiple countries worldwide, while at the same time having the potential for technical and commercial viability in large-series automobile production. SPACE DRIVE also has an unblemished record of over 500 million kilometers of accident-free driving.
The new joint venture company will have its operational headquarters in Aichelau and Herzogenaurach and will be headed by a team comprising Paravan founder Roland Arnold as CEO, and Dr. Dirk Kesselgruber, head of the business division Chassis Systems at Schaeffler, and one other, yet-to-be-decide
Ample Gets Ample Funding
Ample, a technology company focused on solving the energy delivery challenge for electric cars, co-founded by Khaled Hassounah and John de Souza, announced today that it has closed a $31 million Series A round of financing. Shell Ventures led the investment round with participation from Moore Strategic Ventures, Repsol Energy Ventures, Hemi Ventures, and TRIREC. The financing will be used to deploy Ample’s technology in multiple locations over the coming months. Steve McGrath of Shell Ventures and James McIntyre of Moore Strategic Ventures will be joining Ample’s Board of Directors.
Ample has invented an economical, rapidly deployable and widely accessible platform that delivers a full charge to any electric car in minutes. An alternative to traditional charging, Ample uses autonomous robotics and smart-battery technology, making it feasible for anyone to own an electric car regardless of driving needs, economic means, or geographic location.
Funding for Dodiak
Dodiak Robotics, an autonomous-vehicle startup founded by Don Burnette, previously a co-founder of the self-driving trucking company Otto, and Paz Eshel, a former venture capitalist, tannounced it has raised $40 million in Series A financing led by global investment firm Battery Ventures. CRV, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Tusk Ventures also participated in the round.
Burnette and Eshel founded Kodiak Robotics to alleviate the current strain on the freight market through self-driving technology. In just three months, the two have assembled a world-class team of engineers with experience in actually shipping self-driving vehicles on public roads.
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