Detroit connected car news: Continental, SiTime, DENSO, Toyota, Nissan, Audi, GAC & Yanfeng

There were annoucements from suppliers and new concept cars shown at NAIAS. Nexteer, Continental, SiTime, DENSO and Toyota made announcements. Yanfeng Automotive Interiors unveiled its vehicle interior concept, Nissan and Audi showed new concept cars. GAC introduced the GE3, new SUV GS7 and concept car EnSpirit. Vice President Joe Biden made an appearance.

About the revival of the American automotive industry, Biden said ““It’s alive. It was saved. Without it, it would not have survived as it is today. It’s one of the proudest things I’ve been involved in.”

Announcements at NAIAS

Nexteer Automotive and Continental announced during a press conference at the North American International Auto Show their agreement to form a joint venture focused on the advancement of motion control systems and actuator components for automated driving. This joint venture will combine Nexteer’s advanced steering and driver assistance (ADAS) technologies with Continental’s portfolio of Automated Driving and advanced braking technologies to accelerate advancements in vehicle motion control systems.

Nexteer and Continental will hold an equal 50-50 percent ownership position in the joint venture.  The joint venture will focus on R&D activities including rapid evaluation, design and prototyping.  Capitalizing on Nexteer and Continental’s history of innovation and leadership in the automotive industry, the joint venture will combine global resources and expertise and focus on enhancing the development of advanced motion control systems and components for automated driving.


SiTime Corporation, the leader in MEMS-based timing solutions and a wholly owned subsidiary of MegaChips Corporation introduced two families of ultra-robust AEC-Q100-qualified MEMS oscillators. The SiT2024/25 and SiT8924/25 oscillators deliver the highest performance and best robustness and are designed for ASIL (Automotive Safety Integrity Level) compliant automotive applications such as advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), in-vehicle Ethernet, powertrain and electronic control units (ECUs).

SiTime’s new automotive product families offer a unique combination of the widest frequency range, tightest stability at ±20 ppm and the best reliability. The SiT2024/25 oscillators are optimized for under-the-hood systems such as engine control, transmission control, active suspension control, electronic steering and other ECUs. These oscillators are available in a SOT23-5 leaded package to enable visual inspection and the best solder joint reliability, especially in hot and cold environments. The SiT8924/25 oscillators, available in industry-standard QFN footprints as small as 2.0 x 1.6 mm, are ideal for camera modules and other small form factor systems.

DENSO Announcements

DENSO announced the opening of the DENSO R&D Lab at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor to accelerate development of new auto safety technologies and create new research opportunities for engineering students.

The DENSO R&D Lab gives DENSO an opportunity to more closely collaborate with the University and North American automotive manufacturers on key safety technologies like machine learning, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and Automated Drive (AD). As part of the lab, 12 university students have been selected to participate in research projects, which will begin this month and run throughout 2017.

DENSO also announced it will open an onsite recruiting center during the event at Cobo Center in Detroit. Auto show attendees will have the opportunity to talk with DENSO recruiters and hiring managers at its booth.

A $5 million industry investment to date in a consortium that includes automakers, automotive suppliers, and global technology leaders is making the roads safer by addressing the leading cause of auto accidents – driver error – through a focus on supporting more effective in-vehicle attention management.

The Advanced Human Factors Evaluator for Automotive Demand (AHEAD) consortium has developed a safety-grounded Human Machine Interface (HMI) evaluation approach that is applicable for traditional vehicle control as well as increasingly automated driving. AHEAD was initially formed in 2013 by global automotive supplier DENSO, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) AgeLab and Touchstone Evaluations to address the challenge of distracted driving. The aim was to provide the auto industry with a driver attention assessment approach that better supports HMI evaluation in this period of continued and increased in-vehicle interface complexity.

AHEAD’s initial charter was in the context of HMI evaluation, but efforts are expanding to consider underload (including that induced by automation). As such, AHEAD’s perspective moves beyond current global regulatory approaches and other industry guidelines to allow for the assessment of HMI demands in the context of an attention management framework with strong ties to situation awareness. The resulting models are extendable into real-time attention management systems, applicable both to traditional vehicle control and automated driving.

Current members of the consortium include DENSO, Honda, Jaguar Land Rover, Panasonic Automotive and Google.


Nissan Vmotion 2.0

Nisan showed the Nissan Vmotion 2.0, a concept for tomorrow’s busy professionals. It was created to showcase Nissan’s new sedan design direction – futuristic, dynamic, and more cabin-focused. It showcases the evolution of the signature “V-motion” front design seen on many of today’s Nissan products. It provides hints at the future of “Nissan Intelligent Mobility,” including a future vision for ProPILOT functionality, one which allows autonomous driving on urban roads and in intersections with the latest HMI.

The car’s silhouette is characterized by a “floating roof,” with a line flowing seamlessly from the steeply-raked A-pillars to the trunk lip. A unique carbon finisher with thin silver threads accents the roof line. An extended wheelbase shows off the car’s generous cabin, while the distinctive body surface is defined by Nissan’s “Emotional Geometry” design language.

The rear of the vehicle exudes class and strength. The signature boomerang-style taillights emphasize the width of the vehicle. Similar to the grille, the rear diffuser glows when the car operates in ProPILOT mode. The dynamic high-tension body is crafted in a warm silver paint with copper undertones. With a layered effect for the paint finish, a glimpse of the body at different angles reveals a subtle but different hue.

Audi Q8 Concept with Integrated Huge Displays HUD & Virtual Cockpit

Audi presented the Audi Q8 concept at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) 2017. The Q8 concept stands for maximum prestige. It combines the spaciousness of an SUV with the emotional lines of a coupe. Propulsion is provided by  plug-in hybrid with 330 kW of system output and 700 Nm (516.3 lb-ft) of torque. The concept car is the basis for a production model that Audi will launch on the market in 2018.

The instrument panel with its distinctly horizontal character descends in steps toward the interior. The central control and display surfaces are integrated into the so-called “black panel” – a glossy black strip framed by an aluminum clasp. When switched off, the monitor is invisibly embedded in the surface and the lines flow harmoniously. When the display is in operation, it assimilatesinto the design line. In the front passenger area, the black panel encircles a graphical quattro badge. The arrow-shaped inlays in the doors pick up the expressive design. Filigree aluminum bars integrated into them serve as door openers. When dark, LED light guides illuminate the interior with white light.

The elegant interior architecture of the Audi Q8 concept merges with a “groundbreaking” control and display concept. Information and commands are passed primarily through touch displays augmented by the Audi virtual cockpit and a contact analogue head-up display. All displays feature a new “digital design” that concentrates systematically on the most important things.

The contact analogue head-up display projects important displays onto the windshield in the driver’s direct field of view, seemingly placing them in the real environment. A navigation arrow, for example, appears in the same position as an actual arrow on the road – an intelligent application of augmented reality. The notifications from the driver assistance systems also merge the virtual and physical worlds.

The Audi virtual cockpit future is even more dynamic thanks to new functions, and with a resolution of 1920 x 720 pixels displays graphics with more detail than ever before. In “auto” display mode, the 12.3-inch TFT display offers generous space for maps, lists and additional information. The top-down map view visualizes the selected route. When zooming in, the current position and surroundings are displayed in 3D. Through the buttons on the steering wheel, the driver can switch to “performance” mode. The needles of the speedometer and powermeter now appear in a foreshortened, three-dimensional display.

All other monitors in the Audi Q8 concept are touch displays. The great strength of this principle is the direct, fast and intuitive operation. Drivers select each function exactly where they see it. Audi was also able to reduce the number of buttons, switches and levers thanks to the touchscreens. The interior now appears even neater and cleaner.

The MMI monitor in center of the dashboard is used to control the infotainment system and for vehicle settings. A display for the climate control system is integrated into the diagonal section of the center console. The driver’s wrist rests comfortably on the low selector lever of the eight-speed tiptronic while using this display. If the sensors in the seat detect a front-seat passenger, the touchscreen displays their climate control settings. This function is not available when the driver is traveling alone. Another touchscreen is reserved for the lighting functions.

### VW I.D. BUZZ Surf Board Sold Separately

VWIDBUzzThe VW I.D. BUZZ is a concept microbus for a new era, the electric concept forges links between the origins of the Volkswagen brand and its electrifying future. The I.D. BUZZ, like the compact I.D. presented at the Paris Motor Show, is another new Volkswagen vehicle that gives compelling design to electric mobility and reflects a transformation of the brand and its models.

The I.D. BUZZ zero-emissions vehicle conceptually follows the new Volkswagen brand strategy. Its claim is: “We make the future real.” Four fields of innovation form the basis for this strategy:

  • Smart Sustainability—Volkswagen is advancing the development of innovative high-volume electric car models
  • Automated Driving—Volkswagen will make cars even safer and more comfortable by means of autonomous driving
  • Intuitive Usability—Volkswagen is focusing on cars that are intuitive to operate and feature new display and control concepts
  • Connected Community—In the future, Volkswagen will interconnect humans, cars and the environment with a Volkswagen user identity

Volkswagen is showing just how multifaceted electric mobility can be in Detroit with the I.D. BUZZ concept vehicle—maximum space utilization with all-wheel drive, electric motors at the front and rear axles, a fully autonomous driving mode (“I.D. Pilot”) and a new generation of display elements and controls.

I.D. knows who will be at the wheel, thanks to the Volkswagen User-ID. This is an individual profile that stores the personal seat and air conditioning settings, favorite radio stations and songs, sound system settings, exterior sound, configuration of the navigation system, type of ambient lighting and contact information for the driver’s friends and business associates. This profile can be retrieved securely via the cloud.

Consequently, the I.D. BUZZ also recognizes which person is entering the car or wants to take the steering wheel at any given time via the authorized user’s smartphone—the Digital Key. As soon as a person approaches the vehicle, the sensor surfaces for opening the door light up. If the person’s hand is very close to the surface, that individual door is opened. Using the Volkswagen User-ID and a relevant smartphone app, passengers in the vehicle can also control infotainment functions and input intermediate destinations into the navigation system. The route is shown on a tablet.

Toyota’s New Entune

Properly equipped 2018 Camrys, Dynamic NAV will have the Toyota Smart Center analyze a four square mile grid around the vehicle.  Any roads, or points of interest that are on the database in the Smart Center, but not in the onboard map will automatically be displayed on the head unit.

Dynamic NAV overlays the new road as you drive. And when you set a destination, the system verifies and updates the roads and POIs at your departure point, at your destination, and along your route so you can be sure to have the most up-to-date directions.

Another Toyota first is Dynamic Voice Recognition. Using the same approach as Dynamic Navigation, Dynamic VR processes voice commands offboard in the TSC in tandem with the onboard system. This allows us to verify the words spoken in a larger, more powerful database, so we can reduce system misrecognition and provide more accurate responses to voice initiated requests.

The connectivity provided with the next-generation of Entune also gives Toyota customers innovative services and convenience features.

Every DCM equipped Entune system delivers increased peace of mind with Safety Connect. Through this service, help can be dispatched through the push of an SOS button or automatically in the event of a crash with an airbag deployment.

Customers will also have access to a service we call Destination Assist.  With the push of a button, the driver is connected through the embedded DCM to a live operator who can provide assistance in finding points of interest or addresses.

Once the destination is found, it is transmitted from the call center to the vehicle’s navigation system. The route is calculated all with the driver’s eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.

There’s also Entune Remote, a mobile device app that allows the vehicle owner to remotely start and stop the engine, lock and unlock the doors and set alert parameters for guest drivers to make sure they’re not speeding or driving where you don’t want them to. Perfect for me with my newly licensed 16 year old son.

The Entune remote also allows you to monitor the vehicle’s status and even gives you alerts on your phone or computer if you left a door or window open.

Another feature, Service Connect, provides regular vehicle health reports and allows for remote diagnostics of vehicle issues.  In the event of an issue reports are pushed to the owner as well as to their preferred Toyota dealer. This allows for faster diagnostics, early parts ordering and peace of mind for our owners.

Service Connect strengthens the bond between the customer and their preferred Toyota dealer.

Yanfeng Experience in Motion

16-062 YF XIM17 Exterior

Yanfeng Automotive Interiors unveiled its vehicle interior concept, called the Experience in Motion demonstrator 2017 (XiM17), at the 2017 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. With a focus on Experience in Motion, the concept features more than 25 innovations, offering new consumer experiences for future autonomous vehicles.

Driving Mode is a traditional interior layout with all seats facing forward, allowing for a practical environment that facilitates driving and supports passenger lifestyles.

Family mode interior brings people together to better engage, where the seatback of the front seats rotate inward and the rear console moves forward allowing the rear seats to come together in the center.

Meeting mode is an extension of the office. The driver seat moves to the back of the vehicle, while the passenger seat moves forward and rotates 180 degrees allowing occupants to face each other. This creates a new and unique experience of the interior space.

Lounge mode is a transformational space helping transition from “tasking” to socializing. With the front seats moved to the rearmost position, is an environment that offers passengers the option to relax or work.

GAC Shows GE3, SUV GS7 & EnSpirit

China’s fastest growing auto brand GAC Motor has returned to  North America International Auto Show (NAIAS) for the third time with three new debuts including the first electric vehicle GE3, new SUV GS7 and concept car EnSpirit.

The new 5-seat SUV GS7 is a strong powered vehicle with intelligent technologies designed for consumers who seek fashionable design and carefree riding experience. EnSpirit, an electronic hybrid concept car featuring forward-leaning stance and iconic fastback, has combined the best of sedan, SUV and convertible all in one to propose an attitude and new lifestyle of freedom, progress and fun, while GE3 with clean “low-poly” shaped design is the first electric vehicle developed on GAC Motor’s new energy platform which aims at bringing a friendly and intelligent driving experience.