Connected Car News: Michigan, Clarion, Continental, Mercedes-Benz, Silicon Labs, Mentor Graphics, Silicon Mobility, Infiniti & TomTom.

embeddedchipstipstinyWhile the U.S. celebrated Thanksgiving and went shopping on Black Fridy, there were embedded chips and connected car news tips from Michigan, Clarion, Continental, Mercedes-Benz, Silicon Labs, Mentor Graphics, Silicon Mobility, Infiniti and TomTom.

Michigan Willow Runs for Self-Driving Cars

Gov. Rick Snyder joined state officials and automotive technology leaders to celebrate the official groundbreaking of the long-anticipated American Center for Mobility at Willow Run in Ypsilanti Township, which will serve as a state-of-the-art global center for testing, education and product development for connected and automated vehicles.

Located on the 335-acre Willow Run site, where B-24 bombers were made during World War II, the Center will be a purpose-built facility designed for research, education, testing, standards-convening, product development, validation and self-certification for connected and automated technologies as well as future mobility.

Clarion Adds BestParking & Glympse

Clarion Corporation of America, a leader in consumer and commercial mobile electronics, announced today the addition of BestParking, a service designed to help drivers find and compare rates for short- and long-term parking, and Glympse, a developer of innovative location sharing app, to its cloud-based Smart Access platform.

Drivers of new and current vehicles equipped with either a factory-installed or aftermarket system featuring Clarion’s Smart Access cloud-based infotainment platform will now be able to access BestParking and Glympse directly from the screen of their vehicle without having to touch their smartphones.

Silcon Labs Intros ERM8 Microcontrollers

Silicon Labs has introduced two families of automotive-grade EFM8 microcontrollers (MCUs) designed to handle a wide range of in-cabin touch interface and body electronics motor control applications. The new AEC-Q100-qualified, ultra-low-power EFM8SB1 Sleepy Bee family provides advanced on-chip capacitive touch technology enabling easy replacement of physical buttons with touch control. The EFM8BB1/BB2 Busy Bee family features high-performance analog and digital peripherals, making these devices a versatile choice for controlling motorized rear view mirrors, headlights and seats

All EFM8 MCUs deliver best-in-class 8-bit performance through a combination of advanced features and capabilities including a high-speed pipelined 8051 core, ultra-low power, precision analog and enhanced communication peripherals, on-chip oscillators, small-footprint packages, and a patented crossbar architecture that enables flexible digital and analog peripheral multiplexing to simplify PCB design and I/O pin routing.

Mentor Graphics Support Silicon Mobility Support

Silicon Mobility, the technology leader developing semiconductor solutions for cleaner, safer and smarter mobility, announced today that the company has signed an agreement with Mentor Graphics for supporting Silicon Mobility’s OLEA solution by integrating the Mentor Graphics Precision Synthesis tool into OLEA’s standard development flow. Mentor Graphics Precision Synthesis tool for FPGAs provides advanced optimizations, award-winning analysis, and industry-leading language support to accelerate time to market, eliminate design defects, and deliver superior quality of results.

OLEA is the first ever automotive-qualified microcontroller family with embedded, robust, and secured programmable logic (AMEC®). This addresses the need of flexibility, real-time data processing, and safety for powertrain electrification and ADAS applications. OLEA provides numerous breakthrough technologies compared to traditional semiconductor vendors, including a completely standardized, worldwide adopted and fully supported programming flow for its AMEC FLU patented technology.

As part of Silicon Mobility’s effort to establish the automotive micro-controller eco-system, Mentor Graphics will adapt its market-leading Precision Synthesis tool to optimize Silicon Mobility’s programmable logic for designers and system engineers. The AMEC FLU, a programmable logic area combining Look-Up-Tables, Flip-Flops and Signal Processor Unit hard macros, will benefit from Mentor Graphics expertise in FPGA design.

Infiniti Affects Brain Waives?

Infiniti Middle East, in collaboration with Emotiv Inc., has announced the launch of an innovative new study where Infiniti will seek to identify and measure the level of human excitement unleashed when individuals get behind the wheel of the recently launched Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400.

Over the course of the next four weeks, customers around the Middle East region will have the opportunity to drive the Q50 Red Sport 400 wearing the pioneering Emotiv Insight headsets that will measure their mental performance indicators and sub-conscious responses to characterize their driving experience.

Rolled out under the banner of #UnleashYourPotential, the study aims to demonstrate how the changes in brain activity when driving the powerful sports sedan can affect enjoyment, excitement, engagement and focus, improving driving performance and thereby increasing their potential.

Wireless Smartphone Charging for Mercedes-Benz E-Class

For drivers of the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan, spare batteries, power banks and cable clutter for smart devices are a thing of the past: The Multifunctional Smart Device Terminal (MFST) from the international technology company Continental is making its debut in the automobile manufacturer’s current model. A key functionality: the new terminal allows drivers to wirelessly charge their smartphone and operate a range of device functions in the vehicle safely and conveniently.

To wirelessly connect the smartphone to the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the driver simply places the device in the compartment in the center console. Virtually any mobile device can then be charged inductively. The only requirement is that the smartphone meets the “Qi” standard specified by the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) or that it can be upgraded to do so. This standard provides a similar charging current to a USB charging connection and therefore has similar charging times to those of cable charging systems.

In the E-Class, the Multifunctional Smart Device Terminal also offers automatic wireless bluetooth pairing of the phone with support of the external antenna and the head unit in the vehicle. The driver only needs to activate the Near Field Communication (NFC) function. In addition, the NFC technology that Continental deploys allows using the smartphone as a digital vehicle key for secure authentication. To start the engine, the driver simply places the smartphone on the Multifunctional Smart Device Terminal and presses the Start-Stop button. The terminal also supports wireless antenna coupling, thus the mobile phone receives significantly better signal quality when transmitting and receiving phone calls and data.

TomTom Amsterdam & Lodz

TomTom and the City of Amsterdam will collaborate on the development of traffic and travel concepts to improve traffic flow and parking in the Dutch capital. Together with the city of Amsterdam, TomTom will investigate new ways to measure traffic flow, understand parking behavior and enable city planners and inhabitants to make smarter traffic decisions.

Using the insights from TomTom’s Traffic data, the city government will now be able to make better decisions about accessibility and mobility throughout the city. As a result of the agreement, traffic measures, such as road closures in the city centre, will be monitored in more detail, leading to rapid intervention if changes occur in the traffic situation. The cooperation will enable TomTom to gain even more insights into the needs of a city in terms of mobility and to further develop products to help a city’s mobility in the smartest way possible.

TomTom also announced the official opening of its brand new office in Łódź, to accommodate its growing engineering unit. The Polish city is a strategic map making and location technology engineering hub for TomTom globally.