e-Chips & Connected Car News Tips: Apple Car, DOJ, Tesla, Volvo, Ford, Toshiba, TomTom, Toyota, Infineon, Land Rover, Volkswagen & Continental

embeddedchipstipstiny Embedded chips and connected car news tips this week involve the Apple self-driving car lay-offs, DOJ, Tesla, Volvo, Ford, Toshiba, TomTom, Toyota, Infineon, Land Rover, Volkswagen and Continental.

Bye-Buh Apple Self-Driving Car Play?

Apple reportedly is shelving part of its self-driving car research and laying off “dozens of employees,” reported the New York Times.  The self-driving project is being rebooted to see what Apple can do that other companies can’t. The project is under guidance of the iPad leader, Bob Mansfield.

US DOJ Investigates Cybersecurity in vehicles & IoT

The U.S. Justice Department has formed a threat analysis team to study potential national security challenges posed by self-driving cars, medical devices and other Internet-connected tools.

Tesla Autopilot 8 Update

Elon Musk reported that AutoPilot on Tesla cars will be improved with stronger radar-based system software that will  be better at recognizing hazards and sends beams through rain, snow or dust as well as bounce its beam under the vehicle in front of it. The previous system depended more on cameras.

Autosteering will disengage if the driver ignores three warning in an hour to keep hands on the wheel. The driver then has to pull over to the side of the road to turn Autosteer back on.

“I do want to emphasize that this does not mean perfect safety.  Perfect safety is really an impossible goal. It is about improving the probability of safety.   That’s really all you can accomplish,” said Musk.

Volvo Self-Driving Truck in Ground

Volvo’s fully autonomous truck is the first in the world to be tested in operations deep underground in the Kristineberg Mine. The self-driving truck is part of a development project aimed at improving the transport flow and safety in the mine. The truck will cover a distance of 7 kilometres, reaching 1,320 metres underground in the narrow mine tunnels.

Ford TechStars

Imagine an in-vehicle navigation system that uses human-driven, social media data such as most-photographed areas and food truck locations to build an interactive map. Or a world where advanced notifications warn drivers of approaching emergency vehicles. Or one in which ride-share vehicles double as convenience stores, enabling passengers to buy common items in the car without having to make an extra stop.

These scenarios could become reality as Ford Motor Company collaborates with three 2016 Techstars Mobility startups – Spatial, HAAS Alert and Cargo – to pursue next-generation mobility solutions.

New Chipsets from Toshiba

Toshiba Electronics announced two new compact, N-Channel MOSFETs for load switching in automotive applications. The 60V SSM3K341R and the 100V SSM3K361R deliver class leading[1] low ON-resistance and are qualified according to the AEC-Q101 standard. As a result, they are ideal for use in power management, including DC-DC converter or load switch applications which are of increasing importance for the ever developing electronic systems in vehicles.

Increased industry demand for power-saving LEDs has seen growth in requirements for the N-channel MOSFETs that are used as switches for LED drivers. Toshiba’s SSM3K341R and SSM3K361R small-package MOSFETS address this demand class-leading typical RDS(ON) ratings (@VGS = 4.5V) of 36mΩ and 65mΩ respectively. In addition, both devices support a maximum channel temperature of 175°C, which enables wide spread use in a range of automotive applications.

TomTom Bridge Connected

TomTom announced TomTom BRIDGE Connected, with a built-in modem for wireless functionality. Wireless connectivity allows drivers to directly connect with their customers, get updates as they happen and communicate with their home office easily. TomTom BRIDGE is a rugged navigation device built for vehicle fleets that seamlessly connects business applications with TomTom maps, traffic, and navigation.

Prius Pollutes Less

The new, fourth generation Prius has delivered exceptional results in an academic test of its ability to run on electric power and with zero exhaust emissions on busy commuter journeys.

Data gathered from more than 2,200km of driving on a typical Rome commuting journey reveal that the test Prius cars spent an average 73.2 per cent of the journey time (62.5 per cent of the journey distance) producing no tailpipe emissions. These figures included periods when the car was stationary, with the engine automatically switched off.

The results were even better in urban areas, where noise, pollution and air quality are of special concern. On these sections of the route, Prius achieved zero emissions for 79.4 per cent of the journey time and 76.3 per cent of the route distance.

This level of performance was possible thanks to the quality of Toyota’s latest Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain. Almost 45 per cent of the car’s drive power was sourced from the electric motor, with 34.3 per cent of its electric energy produced by the regenerative braking system. Thus, more than one-third of the electric power used to drive the wheels of the test cars was produced simply by the act of braking or slowing down.

Infineon New Modcan Security

Infineon Technologies  and Mocana Corporation take IoT security to the next level. Embedded systems security specialist Mocana integrates support for the Infineon OPTIGA™ TPM (Trusted Platform Module) security controller as a standard feature into its latest Security of Things Platform™.

Developers who choose Mocana’s platform for smart factories, infrastructure, automotive and other security-critical IoT designs can now quickly and easily integrate hardware protection into their devices. In addition, millions of IoT devices that already incorporate OPTIGA TPMs from market leader Infineon could benefit from the advanced security features offered by the Mocana software platform.

Bear Grylls Changes Seats While Sky Diving

Bear Grylls took to the skies to put the New Discovery’s Intelligent Seat Fold technology to the ultimate test. The system allows Discovery owners to configure their vehicle seating through the InControl Remote app on their smartphone from anywhere in the world – even in mid-air.

Having jumped from a plane with six members of the Royal Navy Parachute Display Team and freefalling at 125mph, Bear was able to change the vehicle’s seating layout at the touch of a button on his smartphone before he had to deploy his parachute.

VW Opens Doors from Car-Net

Together with DoorBird, the Berlin-based start-up, and Hörmann, the gate and door manufacturer, Volkswagen showed a world exclusive at the IFA a way to connect to the door station at home using your vehicle’s infotainment system.

Flex Work at Continental

For the first time, international technology company Continental is formulating global regulations for flexible working conditions. The package includes offers for mobile working, part-time and flexi-time hours, and extended professional leave (sabbaticals). Continental is offering these flexible conditions in 21 countries, at all levels and for all employees based at these locations. The company’s offer is therefore extended to around 200,000 employees and covers over 90 percent of the global workforce.

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