Connected Car News Tips: BMW, Lexis/Nexis, Zenuity/Volvo, Commsignia, Nexteer, Nio, Altair, Honda, U-M & Mentor Graphics

In connected car news this week were BMW, Lexis/Nexis, Zenuity/Volvo, Commsignia, Nexteer, Nio, Altair, Honda, U-M and Mentor Graphics.

Wireless Charging/Infotainment for 2017 BMW 5’s

The 2017 BMW 5 Series is the first car on the market to be released with a completely wireless infotainment solution, meaning iPhones are able to wirelessly integrate with the BMW iDrive system by connecting to the car over Bluetooth instead of through a traditional Lightning cable.

Integrating the smartphone into the vehicle’s system allows the iPhone to be comfortably operated directly via the screen in the car, the iDrive Touch Controller, voice commands or gestures, avoiding potential distractions whilst at the wheel. Where heavy usage of apps, navigation and music may translate in a drained battery at the end of the drive, the addition of wireless charging solves this issue by keeping the device fully powered whilst in operation.

With Apple yet to launch a smartphone with the wireless charging function integrated into its hardware, the German carmaker went to wireless charging leader Aircharge to design an exclusive case to instantly add on these capabilities and bring the convenience of wireless charging to BMW owners.

LexisNexis Telematics Risk Solutions

LexisNexis Risk Solutions, y announced the new milestones for its telematics platform. The Telematics Exchange platform will be collecting data from the OEMs and other third party data sources in addition to aftermarket devices including the new 12-Volt device and OBDII dongles, black boxes and smartphone apps. The collected data is then cleansed, normalized and filtered to be ingested as part of insurers’ UBI programs. The platform helps insurers maintain UBI program continuity regardless of the data sources used and future technological disruptions.

With one of the largest provider-held insurance telematics databases in the world with associated loss histories, LexisNexis is also able to provide a package of data and analytics solutions to better fit the needs of OEMs, enabling them to gain a deeper understanding of their customers, a faster speed to market for enhanced telematics insurance products and an overall greater ROI.

Commsignia Safer on the Road

Commsignia announces that it has successfully implemented its “Safer on the Road” V2X software stack on the Autotalks Craton2 V2X chipset launched late 2016. In so doing, Commsignia is the first Autotalks’ partner to achieve this important milestone and so provide OEM / Tier 1 and Smart mobility projects with a market ready Craton 2 based software suite for truly secure IEEE802.11p V2X applications.

V2X (Car2X) is the next evolutionary step in connected vehicles. It allows the exchange of information between connected vehicles and infrastructure, even in non line-of-sight situations such as inclement weather and poor lighting conditions. V2X connectivity provides the information to enable safer driving, thereby helping to prevent accidents, reduce congestion and lower emissions through optimized mobility and traffic co-ordination.

Commsignia’s work continues its longstanding partnership with Autotalks that has seen the companies collaborate to equip the Frankfurt Rhine Main area with V2X Roadside Units (RSU’s) as part of the European “Intelligent Transportation System (ITS)” smart corridor deployment. Both companies also cooperate in SAFERtec Horizon2020 project for assuring security of V2I services..

Zenuity Self-Driving Softare Opens

Zenuity, the joint venture between Volvo Cars and Autoliv, Inc started operations. Zenuity is a new entrant in the growing global market for autonomous driving software systems. It marks the first time a premium car maker has joined forces with a tier one supplier to develop leading advanced driver assist systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving (AD) technologies.

“Volvo Cars combined its know-how with Autoliv’s to create a world leader in autonomous driving safety systems. With Zenuity starting operations we move a step closer to delivering this exciting technology,” said Håkan Samuelsson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Volvo Cars.

 Headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden and with additional operations in Munich, Germany, and Detroit, USA, the initial workforce of close to 300 people is from Volvo Cars and Autoliv as well as some new hires. The joint ventures workforce is expected to grow to over 600 employees in the medium term.

Both Volvo Cars and Autoliv license and transfer intellectual property for their ADAS systems to the joint venture. From this base, the joint venture will develop new ADAS products and AD technologies. Zenuity is expected to have its first ADAS products available for sale by 2019 with AD technologies following shortly thereafter.

The mission for Zenuity is to use the latest ADAS/AD know-how to create robust and flexible solutions that are at the technological forefront – for today and tomorrow. This will be achieved by utilizing extensive experience and real-life tested solutions. Customers will be offered flexibility to choose based on a platform with modular solutions, all offered in a timely manner to the market. Zenuity is further committed to shape the industry through the delivery of spearhead solutions that continuously push the AD boundaries.

Nexteer Steering into Security

Nexteer Automotive, is strengthening its steering system offerings with market-leading cyber security technologies to protect against malicious intrusions and unverified steering commands.

These cyber security technologies consist of specifically designed hardware modules on the semi-conductor level, as well as a multi-layered cryptographic software structure, that identifies and authorizes information and command flow between the steering system and other in-vehicle or external controllers. As vehicles adopt advanced electronics to enable automated driving, internet connectivity and V2X communication, they become more susceptible to remote hacking.

As one of the first and leading electric power steering (EPS) system developers in the industry, Nexteer introduced many designs to ensure software and hardware compatibility and integrity within the intended application. Today, the company’s cyber security technologies are built using electrical architecture 4.0 to efficiently and accurately validate true steering commands and support multi-vehicle applications.

The company’s cyber security technologies are also enablers of its latest automated driving products – Steering on DemandTM and Quiet Wheel SteeringTM. Both introductions utilize Nexteer steer-by-wire technology, eliminating the mechanical link between the road wheels and steering wheel.

Steering on Demand enables the transition between driver and automated driving control, while also providing sport, comfort and manual override modes for a custom driving experience. Quiet Wheel Steering eliminates steering wheel rotation when a vehicle completes an automated directional change.

Nio ES8 4 Sale 4 Under 1.5 Million

At the Shangiah Auto Show Nio introduced the NIO ES8 which sells for $1.48 million USD

NIO’s new production vehicle for the China market is called NIO ES8. The NIO ES8 is a full size 7-seater electric SUV with a 2-3-2 seating arrangement. The length of the vehicle is over 196 inches long and the wheelbase is over 118 inches long. The ES8 has an all-aluminum body and chassis, front and rear motors with electric all-wheel drive, and active air suspension. The ES8 features the “design identity” of every NIO vehicle: the X-bar and signature “Spark Beat” tail lights. The vehicle’s swappable battery will provide a charging experience that surpasses refuelling at gas stations. The manufacturing and supply chain that will produce the ES8 is already in place.

Altair Semi Certified by Verizon

Altair Semiconductor , a leading provider of LTE chipsets announced that Verizon Wireless has certified a new vehicle telematics device manufactured by leading machine-to-machine (M2M) solution provider Queclink, and powered by Altair’s LTE CAT-1 chipset.

Queclink’s tracking products are designed for automotive tracking, fleet management, tracking & tracing, lone worker safety, mobile health care, remote monitoring and control of assets, and wireless alarms to cover most popular applications via the Internet. The newly launched mini vehicle tracking device can remotely immobilize a car if the owner defaults on their lease.

Honda Wind Tunnel in Ohio

Honda announced a new investment of $124 million to establish a multifunctional aeroacoustic wind tunnel facility to advance vehicle innovation and enhance the world-class testing facilities at the Transportation Research Center (TRC), in East Liberty, Ohio. The groundbreaking is slated for the late summer of 2017.

 U-M Robotics Lab Named for Ford

The University of Michigan announced  new state-of-the-art robotics laboratory on its Ann Arbor campus will be named in honor of Ford Motor Company following the automaker’s $15 million donation, which is also expected to help speed the completion of the $75 million building.

The four-story, 140,000-square-foot robotics facility will be named the Ford Motor Company Robotics Building and is now expected to open in late-2019, rather than the winter of 2020, as previously anticipated.

Ford expects to co-locate more than 100 researchers and engineers in the building, creating the company’s first research lab on a university campus in an effort to accelerate Ford’s development of autonomous vehicles.

Baidu Works with Bosch in China

In order to get automated driving off the ground in China, a promising concept is still needed for how to generate high-precision, up-to-the-minute maps. Bosch wants to change this and has signed a collaboration agreement with the Chinese internet group Baidu and the map providers AutoNavi and NavInfo. Together, the four partners are working on a solution that will let them use information collected by Bosch’s radar and video sensors in vehicles to generate and update maps. “Automated driving will not be possible without high-precision maps – not in China and not anywhere else in the world either,” says Dr. Rolf Bulander, member of Robert Bosch GmbH’s board of management and chairman of the Mobility Solutions business sector, in the run-up to Auto Shanghai. Bosch is pursuing an open, standardized approach. Automated vehicles will use the data collected by Bosch sensors to determine their own location, which is essential for automated driving. This data will be compatible with the three partners’ map data. Bosch, AutoNavi, Baidu, and NavInfo want to present their solution before the end of the year.

Mentor New GUI & RTOS Supports 64-bit ARMv8-A

Mentor, a Siemens business, today announced new formal-based technologies in the Questa Verification Solution that provide RTL designers and verification engineers with the ability to more easily perform exhaustive formal verification analysis. The new interactive multi-platform graphical user interface (GUI) for the Questa PropCheck and Questa CDC apps enables users to be productive anywhere. The Questa Verification Solution now also offers formal-based RTL-to-RTL equivalence checking flows with the Questa Sequential Logic Equivalence Checking (SLEC) app, which can reduce verification turnaround time by 10X. The app also offers expanded clock domain crossing (CDC) capabilities with the Questa CDC-GL app for gate-level CDC analysis to help avoid costly re-spins and ensure critical synchronization logic has not been disrupted.

Interactive debug capabilities are invaluable for shortening every step of the debug cycle—from failure detection to identification of the root cause of failures to development and validation of a fix. Using Mentor’s high performance Visualizer™ Debug Environment (itself built on the popular “Qt” platform), the Questa PropCheck app for formal verification enables users to more rapidly find root cause issues with their device under test (DUT) that the formal algorithms identify.

Additionally, with the industry-first web browser and mobile views, users can check on the progress of running jobs and analyze results when away from their workstations, enabling them to keep their projects on track 24/7. Using their employer’s VPN to provide a secure data link, users can access formal or CDC results and decide whether to re-run an analysis with new parameters, alert colleagues in different time zones to necessary corrective actions, or login to their employer-provided laptops to take more extensive corrective actions themselves.

Mentor, announced that its Nucleus real-time operating system (RTOS) now supports the 64-bit ARMv8-A architecture, enabling device manufacturers to develop leading-edge products for high-growth markets including the automotive, industrial, medical, mil/aero and networking spaces. This new support also allows the Nucleus RTOS to leverage the benefits of 64-bit processing for a full range of 64-bit system-on-a-chip (SoCs). The Nucleus RTOS additionally enables the ARMv8-A AArch32 (32-bit) execution mode, allowing users to run legacy 32-bit code on 64-bit SoCs.

The initial Nucleus reference implementation for the ARM architecture targets the NXP QorIQ LS2085A-RDB Reference Design Board. Device support is available for kernels including NEON, Nucleus Process Model, CPU and UART, and can easily be extended by the customer or via Mentor Embedded professional services. This architecture port can also support related SoCs such as NXP’s QorIQ LS2080A/40A, LS2045A, LS2084/44A, LS2088A/48A, LS1012A, LS1046A/26A, LS1043A/23A, and LS1088A/48A processors.

The Mentor Nucleus ReadyStart platform features the Nucleus RTOS support for ARMv8-A technology, and provides customers with a complete embedded development environment and source code, enabling embedded developers to quickly get products to market. The Mentor broadly-adopted Sourcery CodeBench integrated development environment (IDE) features ARM DSTREAM support for the QorIQ LS2085 device, and a prebuilt, hardened and supported GCC toolchain. The toolchain comes bundled with both AArch64 and AArch32 multilibs providing flexibility and choice to end users when working with ARMv8-A based processors. The Sourcery CodeBench IDE also includes the Sourcery Analyzer product, a powerful embedded design analysis solution combining a unique profiling and analysis engine with data visualization capabilities.

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