#MWC17 Connected Car Roundup: Nissan, Ford, BMW, Bosch, Qualcomm, Sierra Wireless, Octo & SK

Mobile World Congress is turning into “Connected Car Congress.” Here are connected car, 5G, Over-the-Air Updates, ADAS, parking, wireless, mobility and autonomous vehicle technologies coming out of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain this week.

LEAF Unboxed

Nissan  ‘unboxed’ its new software-enabled vehicle, the Nissan LEAF 30 kWh, as some of the largest names in technology gather in Barcelona for the opening day of the GSMA Mobile World Congress 2016.

As well as boasting a 26 percent increase in driving range (250 km on a single charge) via a new 30 kWh battery, the new MY16 LEAF is changing the connectivity landscape with an improved version of the brand’s acclaimed NissanConnect EV infotainment system.

Nissan marked the event with a live ‘unboxing’ of the new MY16 Nissan LEAF 30 kWh while debuting a new film highlighting a raft of new updates available on the latest edition of the bestseller.

The ‘unboxing’ marks the first time Nissan has exhibited at the show, closing the gap between the automotive and technology worlds, and showcasing the manufacturers’ innovative approach to in-car technologies.

Ford SYNC 3 & Ford Pass for Europe

Ford CEO Mark Fields unveiled the new Kuga SUV and will confirmed Ford’s SYNC 3 connectivity technology is coming to Europe and commit to tripling Ford’s engineering investment in semi-autonomous vehicle technologies as the company continues to expand its Ford Smart Mobility plan.

Fields’ keynote at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona will focus on Ford’s transition from an automotive company to an auto and a mobility company through Ford Smart Mobility – the company’s plan to be a leader in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, customer experience, and data and analytics.

Fields confirmed FordPass, the company’s new customer experience platform, debuts this year in Europe. New partners for FordPass include BP and Mobile City, a leading mobile parking payment company. FordPass also will integrate Ford Carsharing, run with Germany’s Flinkster Carsharing.

BMW Crowd Cells for Better Signals

At this year’s Mobile World Congress i the BMW Group is unveiling the research project “Vehicular CrowdCell”. This project extends the concept of the “Vehicular Small Cell” presented last year in Barcelona. While the “Vehicular Small Cell” is a mobile femtocell that optimizes the mobile radio reception inside vehicles, it is now also capable to enhance the capacity and coverage of mobile radio networks. The BMW Group is teaming up with peiker and Nash Technologies to present a prototype of the “Vehicular CrowdCell” integrated into a BMW research vehicle.

The rapid growth of mobile data traffic, e.g. due to the increasing use of multi-media services such as music or video streaming with mobile devices, requires even more powerful mobile radio networks in the future. One strategy to increase the capacity and coverage of future networks is the integration of a large number of small cells and relays in addition to the existing base stations.

The benefits of Vehicular CrowdCells in practice.
One possible application of “Vehicular CrowdCells” are car-sharing fleets – in particular with electric vehicles. Here, a large number of vehicles spread over cities and regions could serve as local radio relays when parked. If one or more users are located close to a mobile femtocell, it is activated on demand in order to increase the bandwidth or provide additional network coverage. In such a way, the performance of the existing network can be dynamically optimized. Benefits for mobile phone users in hotspots include a higher data rate and the absence of reception white spots – especially in areas where the signal coverage is low.

“The “Vehicular Small Cell” will optimise in-vehicle connectivity of mobile devices for our customers,” explains Dr. Peter Fertl, project manager at the BMW Group. “At the same time, the integration into a network of “Vehicular CrowdCells” will enable the ubiquitous and seamless availability of high-quality mobile radio connections outside the vehicle as well.”

Bosch IoT

Bosch is showing smart IoT solutions at MWC 2017 in Barcelona. The global supplier of technology and services is presenting innovative solutions at the trade show for connected mobility and sensor technology. These technologies make everyday life easier, more comfortable, and safer. Bosch can be found in the Hall 6 at booth 6E20.

At MWC 2017, Bosch is presenting a concept car that shows how different spheres of life will be seamlessly interconnected in the future beyond the vehicle itself. Personalized communication between the car and its driver will also be expanded. The Bosch Forward ShowCar comprises a broad range of innovative technologies: The Driver Monitoring Camera makes face recognition and personalization possible from the moment the driver is in the car. For instance, the car sets the steering wheel, mirrors, interior temperature, and radio station according to the driver’s personal preferences. The concept car also includes the first ever gesture control with haptic feedback, that uses ultrasound sensors that sense whether the driver’s hand is in the correct place. Thanks to the touchscreen with haptic feedback, the buttons that appear on the touchscreen feel like real buttons. Drivers can thus keep their eyes on the road, and this improves safety. The Mirror Cam System is a camera-based solution that replaces both exterior mirrors. The video sensors can be integrated into the vehicle interior, and images are shown on displays close to the A-pillars on the right and left sides of the car.

Perfectly Keyless is a user-centric vehicle access system that offers the driver full passive entry and passive start functionality using the smartphone as a digital car key. With the encrypted digital key on the phone, the vehicle can be unlocked and started without any interaction. When approaching the vehicle, the system will automatically identify the secret key on the smartphone and perform a distance measurement: within a specified range to the car (approximately two meters), the access is allowed. In a similar way, starting of the car is only permitted if Perfectly Keyless localizes the mobile device inside the car.

Community-based parking

With community-based parking, the car is becoming a parking space locator. When driving down the road, the car detects gaps between parked cars with its on-board sensors. The data gathered is then transmitted to a digital street map. High-performance Bosch algorithms assess the plausibility of the data and make forecasts on the parking spot situation. A cloud-based service that uses this data to create a real-time parking map, saves the driver a great deal of time and money, and also helps reduce stress, as well as traffic, when looking for a parking space. In cooperation with Mercedes-Benz, Bosch is currently testing the community-based parking concept in the city of Stuttgart and in further European cities.

Cloud-based wrong-way driver warning

The new Bosch cloud-based wrong-way driver warning alerts the driver and the endangered road users within seconds much faster and more precise. To detect wrong-way driving, the algorithm compares when a vehicle is approaching a highway entrance ramp or exit ramp and the vehicle’s actual movements with the permitted direction of travel. If the two sets of information clash, the wrong-way driver is alerted to their error. At the same time, drivers of oncoming vehicles are also warned. The function relies on regular, anonymized reporting of each vehicle’s position on highway entrances to the cloud. The more connected vehicles there are, the denser the invisible safety net and the more road users can be alerted of wrong-way drivers. The wrong-way driver warning system is available as in-app functionality as a smartphone ver¬sion. This app can be integrated as part of a Software Development Kit (SDK) into pre-existing apps from other partner applications or into automobile manufac¬turers’ infotainment solutions.

With the Transport Data Logger (TDL) Bosch brings transparency into the entire supply chain. By being attached to the shipment of sensitive industrial goods, e.g. industrial machines, and recording relevant measured parameters such as temperature, humidity, tilt, and shock, the TDL makes the delivery process to be monitored and tracked.

Sierra Wireless

Sierra Wireless will exhibit in the GSMA Innovation City, . It is showcasing applications using its latest cellular technologies for the IoT, including:

A chance to drive the world’s fastest connected car. The BLOODHOUND Supersonic Car Driving Experience lets speeders see what it’s like to blast across the desert at 1,000mph / 1,600kmph. Sitting in a race seat, visitors will have to keep the car on the line, throttling the jet engine and firing the rockets at the optimum time to reach max velocity before using the three braking systems to slow the car beside the turnaround crew. BLOODHOUND SSC will utilize Sierra Wireless AirPrime® LTE embedded modules and AirLink® gateways to send and receive critical data, including live streaming video feeds in its attempts at the world land speed record.

Winner of Tech CARS Octo Telematics

Oberthur Technologies and Omoove, a company by Octo Telematics, a European leader in providing innovative technological solutions dedicated to shared mobility, to announced that they are joining forces to transform user experience and increase security for car sharing services. The two companies will present EasyOpen, a service powered by OT’s Secure IOT Cloud that transforms smartphones into car keys, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

EasyOpen combines OT’s expertise in secure service enablement for smartphones and wearable devices with Omoove’s multiple years of experience in car sharing platforms and on-board technology.

Until now, the majority of car sharing fleet systems relied on direct communication between components installed in vehicles and a central management system. These purely online systems tended to create latencies for the users, and potentially made the vehicles vulnerable to illicit use. To offer a superior level of reliability and solve latency issues, EasyOpen introduces the use of a smartphone with Near Field Communication (NFC) technology to quickly and safely manage access to vehicles enabling users to directly interact with the vehicle using a device they already own, even if their smartphone is out of range of network coverage or runs out of battery. The service can also be extended to any wearable device equipped with an eSE (embedded Secure Element) supporting NFC technology.

Qualcomm 5G NR

Qualcomm  announced the Company’s first successful 5G connection based upon the New Radio (NR) work in 3GPP, which is expected to become the global 5G standard. The connection, which was completed utilizing Qualcomm Technologies’ sub-6 GHz 5G NR prototype system capable of operating at mid-band spectrum from 3.3 GHz to 5.0 GHz, demonstrates how advanced 5G NR technologies can be utilized to efficiently achieve multi-gigabit-per-second data rates at significantly lower latency than today’s 4G LTE networks. The successful connection serves as a significant milestone towards rapid validation and the upcoming commercialization of 5G NR technologies at scale.

5G NR will make the best use of a wide range of spectrum bands, and utilizing spectrum bands below 6 GHz is critical for achieving ubiquitous coverage and capacity to address the large number of envisioned 5G use cases.

Qualcomm Technologies will be demonstrating the prototype system publicly at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona from February 27 through March 2 in the Qualcomm booth (Hall 3, Booth 3E10), as well as in the China Mobile Communications Corporation’s booth (Hall 1 Stand 1G50) as part of their ongoing collaboration.

PSA & Qualcomm

PSA Group and Qualcomm  announced plans to integrate the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 820 Automotive (820A) processor in the PSA Group’s next generation vehicles.  The Snapdragon 820A processor can support the PSA Group’s infotainment systems to deliver immersive in-car experiences, such as music and video streaming, 3-D navigation, support for multiple high-resolution displays, and superior GPU performance with intelligent pre-emption and context switching.

The Snapdragon 820A processor is expected to begin appearing in select PSA vehicles beginning in 2020.

Airbiquity OTA Updates

Airbiquity, will showcase its over-the-air (OTA) Software & Data Management solution at Mobile World Congress 2017. Airbiquity will demonstrate an industry-leading connected vehicle service delivery capability which allows automotive manufacturers and tier 1 suppliers to remotely orchestrate and automate multi-electronic control unit (ECU) vehicle software updates and data collection—at scale—from the cloud.

Airbiquity’s multi-ECU Software & Data Management solution is well-positioned to help deliver these benefits with automotive grade features like highly-refined vehicle and device targeting, discrete policy and privacy controls, customizable consumer notifications, campaign approval and results reporting, and a variety of hosting options. Airbiquity will demonstrate the integration of telematics and connectivity processors from STMicroelectronics (ST), a global semiconductor leader. The two companies joined forces to integrate Airbiquity’s OTA service delivery capability with ST’s new Telemaco3 telematics processor Evaluation Board (EVB) acting as a safe and secure automotive OTA Gateway.

Airbiquity be found in the Smart Driving area of ST’s Mobile World Congress exhibit:

SK Telecom

SK Telecom announced that it will participate in the 2017 GSMA Mobile World Congress. The company has set this year’s theme as “Connect Everything” and will be showcasing a wide variety of innovative technologies and services that will transform people’s lives in the future.

At its booth SK Telecom will display ‘5G Connected Car,’ a vehicle with 5G connectivity and services; artificial intelligence (AI) platform NUGU and NUGU-powered devices; technologies and services for IoT-dedicated networks; and immersive media based on virtual reality technologies

SK Telecom will display ‘T5,’ which is the world’s first 5G connected car the company has successfully demonstrated in Korea in November 2016. Connected car, realized through a combined set of key 5G technologies, dramatically enhances driving safety and provides immersive in-vehicle entertainment services via the 5G network that supports ultra-high speed and ultra-low latency transmission of massive data. In November 2016, SK Telecom has built the world’s largest 5G testbed at BMW driving center located in Yeongjong Island and demonstrated interworking between the end-to-end 5G system and the 5G Connected Car.

SK Telecom will also participate in the 5G Automotive Association (5GAA) forum – to be held in Barcelona from February 21 to 23 – to engage in discussions on 5G-based autonomous driving services and platform.