In embedded chips and connected car news tips this week were Mercedes-Benz, 5GAA, Nissan, TomTom, EPA, Mentor Graphics, Continental, GM, Infinenon, NNG Cyber Security, Autoneum and On Semiconductor.
Some of the companies in this article are nominated for Tech CARS Awards, please let us know what you think by voting.
MB Googles in Home
Mercedes-Benz will integrate features of the Google Assistant on Google Home. Google Home, a voice-activated personal assistant, makes it possible to interact with the Mercedes-Benz vehicle from home. The feature will be available to Mercedes-Benz customers in 2017.
The collaboration with the Google Assistant is part of Mercedes-Benz long-term goal of creating an intelligent ecosystem around cars, and leveraging cutting-edge technology to make everyday life more convenient for their customers. With this integration, Google Home users can send destination to their Mercedes-Benz Cars; set and activate heating and cooling systems within their vehicles; find out fuel and charge levels; check lock status as well as interact with their cars in order to lock doors and many more—all from the comfort of their home.
Streamlining the customer’s digital lifestyle by connecting the car to the IoT has been a rapid evolution during the last few years. With using machine learning and artificial intelligence this endeavor becomes even more efficient. Mercedes-Benz launched the Companion App in 2015 to integrate contextual intelligence into customers’ driving experience. In addition to door-to-door navigation, the Companion App uses machine learning to provide a personalized user experience by learning from customers’ actions and their environment. It extends customers’ existing behavior on their mobile phone seamlessly into Mercedes-Benz vehicles.
MB Invests in Starship
Mercedes-Benz Vans invests in Starship Technologies, the world’s leading start-up company for the development of ground-based, autonomous delivery robots. As lead investor, Mercedes-Benz Vans participates in the 16.5 million euro financing round (convertible note). The two companies already introduced the so-called mothership concept back in September 2016.
According to a new research report by Berg Insight, the number of telematics service subscribers using embedded systems will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 36.4 percent from 26.5 million subscribers at the end of 2015 to 170.2 million subscribers at the end of 2021.
Berg Insight forecasts that shipments of embedded car OEM telematics systems worldwide will grow from almost 13.8 million units in 2015 at a CAGR of over 25.1 percent to reach 52.8 million units in 2021. In Europe, uptake will increase rapidly due to the eCall initiative in the EU and ERA-GLONASS in the Eurasian Customs Union, scheduled to be fully implemented in 2018 and 2017 respectively. Connected car services have evolved from being a differentiating factor to a common feature with a high attach rate among the premium car brands and are rapidly becoming increasingly common in mid-range vehicles.
GM’s OnStar was launched 20 years ago and is today the market leader worldwide with more than 7.0 million paying subscribers and well above 10.0 million active users in total. BMW includes telematics hardware as a standard feature on all its cars sold in 43 markets worldwide and has the second largest user base with 3.4 million equipped vehicles. PSA is in third place and manages 1.8 million connected vehicles in Europe.
“Carmakers and car owners are starting to see the benefits of connected car services as a growing number of new vehicles are equipped with the technology”, said Jonas Wennermark, IoT/M2M Analyst at Berg Insight. However, the really exciting development will happen when we move from telematics services as an add-on to actually design a vehicle with connectivity in mind. Starting with Tesla, several car makers have introduced vehicles with large dashboard touchscreens and the ability to receive Over-the-Air updates. “We have also seen Volvo and Bentley launch interesting concierge services for the premium segment, such as fuel-delivery to the customer’s vehicle”, added Mr Wennermark.
New 5GAA Members
5GAA announced that it Ficosa, CMCC, Viavi, SAIC, Samsung, Rohde & Schwarz, ZTE, NTT DOCOMO, Continental and Danlaw as new members of the association.The new members significantly grow 5GAA membership base and diversity, both in term of geography and expertise. This will allow 5GAA to further connect communication and automotive industry to develop end-to-end solutions for future mobility and transportation services.
Nissan Demos Self-Driving in U.K.
Nissan will bring real-world demonstrations of autonomous driving cars to Britain next month.
Showcasing next-generation technology through the world’s best-selling electric vehicle, the on-road demonstrations will take place in London, enabling the vehicles and their passengers to cover a diverse city environment.
Passengers, including government officials and technical and safety experts, will be given the opportunity to experience and test the technology in a live environment in a modified Nissan LEAF.
These will be the first demonstrations of Nissan’s autonomous drive technology on public roads in Europe, representing the next step in Nissan’s Intelligent Mobility blueprint for transforming how cars are driven, powered, and integrated into wider society.
TomTom Real-Time Traffi Argentina & Colombia
EPA Keeps Strict Emissions
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy finalized her decision to maintain the current greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for model years 2022-2025 cars and light trucks. The final determination finds that a wide variety of effective technologies are available to reduce GHG emissions from cars and light trucks, and that automakers are well positioned to meet the standards through model year 2025 at lower costs than predicted.
EPA Issues Notice to FCA
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a notice of violation to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. and FCA US LLC (collectively FCA) for alleged violations of the Clean Air Act for installing and failing to disclose engine management software in light-duty model year 2014, 2015 and 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge Ram 1500 trucks with 3.0 liter diesel engines sold in the United States. The undisclosed software results in increased emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) from the vehicles. The allegations cover roughly 104,000 vehicles. EPA is working in coordination with the California Air Resources Board (CARB), which has also issued a notice of violation to FCA. EPA and CARB have both initiated investigations based on FCA’s alleged actions.
In response – FCA answered the accustaion with this statement:
“FCA US is disappointed that the EPA has chosen to issue a notice of violation with respect to the emissions control technology employed in the company’s 2014-16 model year light duty 3.0-liter diesel engines.
FCA US intends to work with the incoming administration to present its case and resolve this matter fairly and equitably and to assure the EPA and FCA US customers that the company’s diesel-powered vehicles meet all applicable regulatory requirements.
FCA US diesel engines are equipped with state-of-the-art emission control systems hardware, including selective catalytic reduction (SCR). Every auto manufacturer must employ various strategies to control tailpipe emissions in order to balance EPA’s regulatory requirements for low nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions and requirements for engine durability and performance, safety and fuel efficiency. FCA US believes that its emission control systems meet the applicable requirements.”
VW Reaches Agreement
Volkswagen AG has agreed with the U.S. government to resolve criminal and federal environmental and other civil claims against the company relating to the diesel matter. As part of the resolution, Volkswagen has agreed to pay penalties and fines totaling $4.3 billion and to a series of measures to further strengthen its compliance and control systems, including the appointment of an independent monitor for a period of three years.
Mentor Graphics Intros Mentor Safe
Building on its extensive portfolio of electrical and electronic design automation solutions for automotive markets, Mentor Graphics Corporation introduced Mentor Safe – one of the industry’s broadest and most comprehensive ISO 26262 qualification programs.
The program includes the Nucleus SafetyCert real time operating system, the Volcano™ VSTAR AUTOSAR operating system and BSW stack, and a growing array of ISO 26262 certified documentation and qualification reports for Mentor tools supporting design and verification of system-on-chip (SoC), system, mechanical and thermal applications. The Mentor Safe program enables customers to integrate Mentor tools and software into their safety-critical designs and verification flows at all criticality levels up to and including ASIL D.
Mentor Graphics TSMC Collaboration on Expedition
Mentor Graphics Corp. announced that TSMC has extended its collaboration with Mentor Graphics on the Xpedition® Enterprise platform in conjunction with the Calibre® platform for the design and verification of TSMC’s InFO (Integrated Fan-Out) packaging technology for multi-chip and chip-DRAM integration applications. Mentor developed new Xpedition functionality specifically to support InFO and enable the IC package designer to complete design tasks to TSMC specification. By leveraging the capabilities of both the Calibre and HyperLynx® technologies, the new Xpedition functionality minimizes the designer effort and design rule checking (DRC) cycles required to achieve a DRC-clean InFO GDS file.
The Mentor Graphics Xpedition Enterprise platform is a broadly used design flow for PCB, IC package, and multi-board system-level design, from architecture authoring through implementation to manufacturing execution.
Continental Cooperation with Urban Software
To contribute to the development of a “smart city” and intelligent transportation systems, international technology company Continental cooperates with the Urban Software Institute ( [ui!] – the urban institute® ). As such, Continental is also taking over the advisory board for car applications and becoming a strategic automotive partner, mainly to address issues related to “infrastructure data for vehicles.”
IHS Markit Recognizes GM
IHS Markit, a leading source of global automotive industry information, analysis and insight, has recognized General Motors as the company with the highest overall customer loyalty for the second consecutive year. In addition to the recognition of GM as the company with the best “Overall Loyalty to Manufacturer” during the 2016 model year, the Chevrolet Volt, GMC Yukon Denali XL and the Cadillac brand were also honored.
GM Supports Girls Who Code
GM and the national nonprofit Girls Who Code (GWC) announced a partnership to inspire and empower thousands of U.S. middle and high school girls to become future leaders in these fields.
Through the GM/GWC partnership, girls from underserved communities will gain increased access to computer science education, sisterhood, mentorship and projects that demonstrate the real-world impact of computing through a model that significantly increases young girls’ interest in pursuing technology and engineering degrees. GM is giving a $250,000 grant to expand GWC’s Clubs programs, which provide free after-school activities in schools, universities and community centers.
Autoneum in Sunnyvale
Autoneum is establishing a Competence Center for New Mobility in Sunnyvale, California. There, Autoneum is profiting from the proximity to other innovation leaders to evaluate the potential of current automotive trends and how they might be implemented in new technologies and products for acoustic and thermal management.
With the new Competence Center, Autoneum is pursuing its strategy for market and innovation leadership in vehicle acoustic and thermal management in order to support the company making a profitable contribution to the shape of mobility in the future. In the coming weeks, Autoneum’s acoustic and heat management experts will begin developing future-oriented components and systems at the Silicon Valley site. To take advantage of the market potential for new forms of mobility, Autoneum is building on its many years of expertise in developing multifunctional noise and heat protection components. Their lightweight construction contributes significantly to lower vehicle weight, with corresponding reductions in fuel consumption and emissions.
Infinenon LED Drivers
Infineon Technologies launched high-power LED drivers specifically designed for automotive front lights. The drivers are available within the new LITIX Power Flex series and the LITIX Power series. They address flexible DC/DC driver solutions supporting LED systems of up to 50 W and even above. Application setups can vary: many medium-power LEDs with string voltages of up to 55 V or few LEDs with high currents of up to 3 A and more.
Both LED drivers, the LITIX Power Flex TLD5541-1QV and the LITIX Power TLD5190QV, are well-suited for high-power and high-current LED applications. These include for example front lighting, laser and LED headlamps. They also suit high-efficiency supplies for LED applications working on battery voltage. Furthermore, they allow cost-optimized full-LED front light applications for cars and even motorcycles with their space limitations in the handlebar’s headlamp.
NNG Cyber Security
NNG Cyber Security announced the introduction of its new cyber security technology. The NNG Cyber Security solution brings groundbreaking innovation that detects and intercepts cyber threats for vehicles immediately, before they can cause any harm to the system of the car.
The ground-breaking technology analyzes the physical characteristics of the communication and determines its validity. As the analysis happens in real time, PIPS can stop the threats before they get to their destination, ensuring the security of the vehicle’s ECUs.
The technology is unique on the market because it can accurately track the origins of the communication, thus excluding the chance of impersonation attacks. PIPS can effectively identify these situations, and also stop the attempts, therefore neutralizing the malicious intrusion.
As opposed to available technologies where security systems only secure the communication flow between the segments where they were integrated, PIPS is integration agnostic. It can be connected anywhere on the CAN bus, which ensures full network coverage from one single point of integration.
On Semiconductor & Hexius
ON Semiconductor announced a collaboration with Hexius Semiconductor to qualify several of their analogue intellectual property (IP) blocks in its popular ONC18 0.18 µm CMOS process. This enables ON Semiconductor to better serve its customers with proven analogue IP that can ultimately reduce design cycles and time-to-market. The eight initial designs resulting from this collaboration include a variety of analogue-to-digital converters, digital-to-analogue converters, voltage references and current references. There is provision, if needed, for the designs to be custom-tailored to match particular application demands. Further data converter and PLL designs are currently being developed for introduction later this year.
ON Semiconductor’s ONC18 process relies on a 0.18 micrometre (µm) CMOS architecture and due to its high voltage capabilities is extremely well suited to automotive, industrial, military and medical deployment. By having access to an expansive portfolio of qualified IP that supports this process, customers will be able to benefit from ASIC implementations that are highly optimized for their specific requirements, without needing to allocate too much of their own engineering resources to the task. As a result, much quicker design cycles, reduced risk of re-spins and lower associated costs can all be realised.