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AUTO Connected Car News Shorts – Uber, Ford, VW, Enterprise, Dogs, u-blox, Volvo & ZF TRW

2auotconnectedcarlogonews2s2r2As automakers gear up for the 2016 model year releases, there continued to be more connected car news that was too short to report. Companies in the news include Uber, Ford, Volkswagen, Enterprise, dogs, u-blox, Volvo and ZF TRW.

Jeep Hackers Hired by Uber

The media darling hackers Charlie Miller and Chris Valesek revealed that they will be working for Uber.

Ford Mobility Experience Hits the Road

The Ford Smart Mobility Experience  will visit five cities – Louisville, Orlando, Seattle, Denver and Los Angeles — this summer and fall. Company leaders will share Ford’s Smart Mobility Plan to deliver the next level in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience and big data.  The tour also showcases the company’s driver assist technologies that help improve the driving experience. Participants will get the chance to experience  the company’s current semi-autonomous and driver assist technologies including active park assist, blind spot monitoring, lane keeping aid and Pro Trailer Backup Assist as well as SYNC 3, Ford’s all-new communications and entertainment system.

German Mini-sters Visit VW Silicon Valley

Federal Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Andrea Nahles visited the Volkswagen Group of America Electronic Research Lab (ERL) in Belmont, Calif. Ewald Goessmann, executive director, ERL, provided Minister Nahles and Reiner Hoffmann, Chairman of the German Trade Union Confederation, with an in-depth look at the future of mobility and projects currently underway at the lab including advanced driver assistance systems and piloted driving technology as well as in-vehicle innovations such as connectivity, infotainment, and machine learning.

The ERL is the largest advanced technology laboratory for Volkswagen Group outside of Germany, with more than 160 employees. At the ERL, experts from many technological disciplines work together to make vehicles more intelligent, connected, and efficient. The visit included a tour of the facility and a ride in “Jack” the piloted Audi A7.

Enterprise CarShare Pa-a-a-ahks their Ca-a-ahs in Hava-a-a-d Ya-a-a-a-h-ds

As part of its DriveBoston program, the City of Boston is awarding 40 public parking spaces to Enterprise CarShare, a service of the Enterprise Rent-A-Car brand and part of the world’s largest car rental company.

The Enterprise Rent-A-Car network has operated in the Boston area since 1989, and today includes more than 100 fully staffed neighborhood and airport locations in the region. Three years ago, Enterprise entered the Boston retail car sharing market when it acquired Mint Cars On-Demand. Since then, the Boston Enterprise CarShare fleet and membership have increased more than 300 percent.

Boston’s new municipal 18-month pilot program marks the first time that Enterprise CarShare will access public parking in the area. Enterprise – a member of the CarSharing Association – applied to be part of the DriveBoston program in February.

Dog Owners Own Cars that are Dog Friendly

Wednesday was National Dog Day More than 54 million American households own a dog, so it’s no surprise that 56% of dog owners actively seek out cars and trucks that can accommodate their four-legged friends. In fact, a recent survey revealed that 22% of Autotrader visitors have taken their pet, or would consider taking their pet, on a test drive.

u-blox Announced TOBY-L201

u-blox, a global leader in wireless and positioning modules and chips, announces TOBY-L201, the world’s first 4G LTE Cat 4 module with 3G WCDMA fall-back, which works on AT&T and Verizon networks.  TOBY-L201 switches automatically or via AT command to AT&T’s or Verizon’s network, without the need to load new firmware. Depending on which carrier’s SIM card is inserted, TOBY-L201 recognizes the carrier and starts on that carrier’s network.  If devices are equipped with two SIM cards or a configurable SIM chip, TOBY-L201 can be switched between operators on-the-fly via a simple AT command.

Keyless Fobs Key to Lawsuit

A class action lawsuit points out a problem with keyless starting of cars. The automakers include BMW, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Nissan, Toyota, Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz, as well as several of their brands such as, Infiniti, Kia, Acura and others.

The alleged defect occurs because consumers mistakenly believe that removing the keyless fob from the vehicle’s vicinity turns off the engine, which isn’t the case.

Volvo Elastofoams Engines for Passenger Safety

Volvo collaborated with Austria-based Polytec Car Styling to achieve passenger safety objectives. After multiple tests, they settled on crafting the engine cover using Elastofoam I, a flexible polyurethane integral foam, by BASF. Not only does it achieve the desired pedestrian protection sought by Volvo, but it is also capable of being processed in a single step, making it a more cost-efficient option than traditional engine covers.

The engine cover’s ability to absorb the energy of an impact is due to its open-cell foam structure. It provides an additional passive safety measure for pedestrians in the event of impact against the vehicle’s hood. The material on the front side forms a coherent skin with an attractive surface finish.

ZF TRW Wins Award for Safety Domain ECU

ZF TRW announced that it has won two business awards with North American and European vehicle manufacturers for its second generation Safety Domain ECU (SDE 2). The central controller will launch in Europe and the US starting in 2018.

ZF TRW’s Safety Domain Electronic Control Unit acts as a central integration hub – processing millions of bytes of data from environmental sensors of the vehicle’s state and surroundings. By interfacing with the steering, braking and drivetrain systems, a multitude of functions can be enabled while reducing the number of control units and simplifying the vehicle’s electronic architecture. It is also a key enabler for automated driving functions.

The SDE acts as a central integration hub – processing millions of bytes of data from environmental sensors of the vehicle’s state and surroundings. By interfacing with the steering, braking and drivetrain systems, a multitude of functions can be enabled while reducing the number of control units and simplifying the vehicle’s electronic architecture.