Connected Car News Tips: Tesla, Apple, Lumiar, GM, Honda, Baidu, Sony, SpotHero & HERE

In connected car news this week were Tesla, Apple, Lumiar, GM, Honda, Baidu, Sony, SpotHero, Fuji Electric and On Semiconductor,

Tesla Keeps On Truckin’

Elon Musk revealed in Tweets that “Tesla Semi truck unveil set for September. Team has done an amazing job” and “Pickup truck unveil in 18 to 24 months.”

Apple Gets Self-Driving License

Apple now has a license to test self-driving cars in the state of California.

Lumiar Lights Up LiDAR in the Dark

Silicon Valley startup Luminar showed its latest high resolution LiDAR tech which it claims to “see” objects at 75 mph that are 200 meters away.

GM Expands Cruise Automation.

General Motors  announced that it will add more than 1,100 new jobs and invest $14 million in a new research and development facility for Cruise Automation in San Francisco. These investments will allow Cruise Automation to expand development of self-driving technologies that will transform personal mobility.

Cruise Automation and GM engineers are currently testing more than 50 Chevrolet Bolt EVs with self-driving technology on public roads in San Francisco; Scottsdale, Arizona; and metro Detroit.

The new investment will include repurposing an existing facility in San Francisco that will more than double Cruise Automation’s research and development space. The Cruise Automation team plans to move into the new space by the end of the year and hire more than 1,100 new employees over the course of the next five years.

Honda Expands Connected Car R &D with Innovations

Honda Silicon Valley Lab, the global open innovation hub within Honda R&D Americas, Inc., will expand its areas of focus beyond vehicles and broaden its responsibility to develop partnerships as a new company, Honda R&D Innovations, Inc., to be known as “Honda Innovations.” The new company will seek transformative collaborations within all areas of Honda’s activities. Honda Innovations will remain located in Mountain View, CA, and will operate globally as it seeks to partner with innovators ranging from startup and global brands to design and development communities.

Honda Innovations’ focus areas include Connected Vehicle/Internet of Things (IoT) services, Human Machine Interface, Machine Intelligence/Robotics, Connected Services, Personal Mobility, Sharing Economy, and Industrial Innovation. Additionally, Honda Innovations will facilitate discussions on technical collaboration with Waymo to integrate Waymo’s self-driving technology with vehicles from Honda.  A memorandum of understanding between Honda R&D Co., Ltd. and Waymo was signed in late 2016.

Bauidu Buys xPerception

Baidu, announced the acquisition of xPerception, a U.S. technology company that provides visual perception software and hardware solutions for a range of applications, including robotics, virtual reality (VR), and devices for people who are visually impaired.

The acquisition further strengthens the use of Baidu’s visual perception technology in key projects like augmented reality (AR) and autonomous driving, accelerating the development of artificial intelligence-based products.

xPerception is a technology start-up with world-class talent from both China and the United States. The co-founders of the company, Dr. Bao Yingze and Dr. Chen Mingyu, were early key engineers at AR start-up Magic Leap.

Following the acquisition, the core xPerception team will join Baidu Research and continue developing xPerception’s core technology, visual inertial simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM).

RBmedia Buys

RBmedia announced its acquisition of, an innovator in the on-demand audiobooks sector.

With, RBmedia not only produces spoken audio content, it also offers a technology platform that distributes more than 700,000 digital media titles. RBmedia has good consumer reach through, 10,000+ library partnerships, and consumer digital re-sellers.

Sony’s New CMOS

Sony Corporation announcied the commercialization of a new 2.45 effective megapixel CMOS image sensor for automotive cameras, the IMX390CQV type 1/2.7. Sony will begin shipping samples in May 2017.

This image sensor is equipped with an LED flicker mitigation function that reduces flickering when shooting LED signs and traffic signals, as well as an HDR function capable of 120dB wide dynamic range shooting. The IMX390CQV is the first in the industry that can simultaneously mitigate LED flicker and shoot in HDR, a capability made possible by Sony’s original pixel structure and exposure method. It also offers high-sensitivity performance capable of producing high-quality color images even in light conditions as low as 0.1 lux, which is equivalent to moonlight.

In recent years, LEDs have been widely adopted for traffic signs and signals, and also for car components such as headlights and brake lights. Another trend has been the need for automotive cameras to be able to capture high-quality images with a wide dynamic range, even in situations of dramatic contrast, such as when entering or exiting tunnels during daylight hours. This image sensor simultaneously uses both the LED flicker mitigation and HDR functions to deal with these types of situations, providing more precise recognition in the diverse real-world traffic environments that drivers encounter.

SpotHero Finds More Parking with Parking Panda

SpotHero, the nation’s leading parking reservation service, announced that it has acquired Parking Panda, the leader in event parking reservations in the United States and Canada. This move firmly positions SpotHero as the category leader across all major off-street parking verticals, including daily, monthly, business, event, and airport parking. On track to park 20 million cars in 2017 and offering nearly 5,000 parking locations across North America, SpotHero is a driving force in the parking industry’s evolution as it embraces technology and focuses increasingly on customer experience.

Drivewyze Integrated into Transflo Mobile

Pegasus TransTech, a leader in enterprise mobility, telematics, and business process automation for the transportation industry,  announced that Drivewyze has joined the Transflo Connect Partner Program and will be integrating weigh station bypass features into Transflo Mobile.

The new Drivewyze PreClear app integration offers several top-rated conveniences:

  • More bypass opportunities than any other weigh station bypass service.
  • Bypass over 600 fixed weigh stations and mobile inspection sites in 39 states and provinces.
  • Works on the same mobile devices carriers and drivers use to run Transflo Mobile – no additional transponder required.
  • Quicker load delivery and reduction in time spent in inspection lineups.
  • Improved road safety, avoiding lane changes and traffic merges.
  • Saves time, money and hassles

ON Semi CCD’s

ON Semiconductor  driving energy efficient innovations, is expanding its portfolio of Interline Transfer Electron Multiplication CCD (IT-EMCCD) image sensors with new options that target not only low-light industrial applications such as medical and scientific imaging, but also commercial and military applications for high-end surveillance.

The new 4 megapixel KAE-04471 uses larger 7.4 micron pixels than those found in existing IT-EMCCD devices, doubling the light gathering capability of the new device and improving image quality under light starved conditions. The KAE-04471 is pin and package compatible with the existing 8 megapixel KAE-08151, allowing camera manufacturers to easily leverage existing camera designs to support the new device.

The new KAE-02152 shares the same 1080p resolution and 2/3” optical format as the existing KAE-02150, but incorporates an enhanced pixel design that increases sensitivity in near-infrared (NIR) wavelengths – an improvement that can be critical in applications such as surveillance, microscopy and ophthalmology. The KAE-02152 is fully drop-in compatible with the existing KAE-02150, and both devices are available in packages that incorporate an integrated thermoelectric cooler, simplifying the work required by camera manufacturers to develop a cooled camera design.

New ICs from Fuji Electric

Fuji Electric has announced the addition of two new control integrated circuits (IC), a power supply control IC (Model #FA1A60N) and an LLC current resonance control IC (Model #FA6B20N), to their semiconductor portfolio as part of their ongoing commitment to make equipment more energy efficient and to help reduce operational costs.

Both products are currently available and have begun shipping to customers around the world. Power supply control ICs are installed in AC adaptors and other power supply devices used for LCD televisions, office automation (OA) equipment, LED lighting, communications equipment, industrial equipment (machine tools, robots) and more. Their function is to convert commercially available (AC) home and factory power sources to the DC power used to run these devices and equipment. Since more efficient power conversion minimizes electricity loss, power supply control ICs play a key role in energy conservation.

HERE Integrates with adsquare

adsquare, the neutral mobile data exchange for advertisers and media buyers, is enhancing its platform with high quality location data from HERE Technologies as part of a new agreement between the two companies.

adsquare will draw on HERE Places Extract, HERE’s global database of places, to better understand consumers’ real-world behavior and support contextually relevant and effective advertising for its customers. HERE continuously updates its places data by drawing on thousands of different sources, including from social media partners, and by applying machine learning to identify true locations and remove irrelevant or duplicated information. Today, HERE Places Extract covers 70 million places, each accurately geocoded to the map.

adsquare serves as a marketplace enabling advertising agencies and their buying partners to make better audience segmentation and inventory bidding decisions. Its real-time platform supports buying decisions in a scalable, secure and privacy-friendly way. With a fast-growing business in 11 European markets, the company recently expanded into the United States.

Renesas Autonomy & ADI

Renesas announced two new intiatives its autonomous and ADAS platform as well as a new demonstrator that combines two cutting-edge technologies that include the RH850/V1R-M microcontroller (MCU) from the Renesas autonomy Platform and with Analog Devices’ Drive360 advanced 28nm CMOS RF-to-bits technology.

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