Connected Car News: Audi, BMW, Bridgestone, U-M research, Magna, BMW, Maven, Pull Up n’ Go, CalAmp & AutoBrain

In connected car news this week were Audi, BMW, Bridgestone, U-M research, Magna, BMW, Maven, Pull Up n’ Go, CalAmp and AutoBrain.

We Need Cars to Buy Food

A thought to ponder ist that Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods suggests that car ownership will be impacted. A British survey suggests that 65% say grocery shopping would be very difficult without a car. Americans make 1.5 trips per week to the grocery store. However if all groceries were delivered by Amazon there would be 1-2 trips fewer reasons to need a car.

Gas Prices & Economy Affect Car Affordability

Americans love their pickup trucks, SUVs and minivans—as long as they believe they can afford them, reports a University of Michigan study. Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle of U-M Transportation Research Institute examined the relationship between relative sales of cars (passenger cars and stations wagons) and light trucks (pickup trucks, SUVs, vans) up to 14,000 pounds gross vehicle weight and three economic factors: disposable income, price of gasoline and unemployment rate.

Sivak and Schoettle calculated percentages of car sales for 36 possible future scenarios based on different levels of disposable income per capita ($35,000, $40,000 and $45,000), prices of gas per gallon ($2, $3 and $4) and unemployment rates (3, 5, 7 and 9 percent). These predictions were derived by using the best-fitting regression model for the 2007 through 2016 data.

Bridgestone Invests in ClearMotion Road Sensing

Bridgestone  made a strategic investment in ClearMotion, a venture-backed technology company developing road sensing software and hardware that dramatically improves ride performance in cars. As part of the investment, Bridgestone will have opportunities to integrate and leverage ClearMotion’s forward-looking technology to rapidly engineer new and innovative solutions for the automotive industry. The investment amount is not being disclosed.

Audi A8 Premieres in Spider-Man Homecoming Premier

Movie fans worldwide will get an exclusive first look at the new Audi A8. The luxury sedan can be seen for the first time on-screen with the debut of ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming,’ in US theaters on July 7.

Making its film debut, the Audi A8 features the latest in future Audi AI technology, including the Audi AI traffic jam pilot used by ‘Happy Hogan’ while chauffeuring ‘Peter Parker’ (Tom Holland). While driving, ‘Happy’ takes his hands off the steering wheel and, like magic, it continues to turn all on its own. Under certain conditions, Audi AI traffic jam pilot will allow the A8 to take over the task of driving for short periods of time when the feature is activated.

Inomize Oryx FMCW LiDAR

Inomize analog team, together with Oryx’ engineers, will implement the company’s next generation FMCW LiDAR technology in an advanced ASIC solution that will enable superior vision capabilities for future vehicles.

The combined engineering teams developed a single mixed signal silicon chip that incorporates state of the art low noise trans-impedance amplifiers array with all the supporting circuits needed to shape and drive the large amount of data generated by the Oryx sensor.

TomTom Traffic Coverage in More Cities

TomTom Traffic offers up-to-date information on road conditions such as traffic jams, roadworks and accidents. This information can be used by drivers to find the most optimal route and avoid congestion, but also by cities and road authorities to monitor, analyse and influence the traffic.

Maven Gigging in SF

Maven car for all of their driving gigs. Maven Gig is expanding its initial offering in San Diego to now include San Francisco. The service will launch in Los Angeles later this year.Maven Gig serves as a singular portal allowing access to vehicles that can be used for multiple sharing services with endless possible gigs.

Maven Gig members can reserve a Chevrolet Bolt EV for $229 per week plus taxes, which includes insurance (minus deductibles), maintenance, unlimited miles and free charging at EVgo stations for a limited time.

Managa Produces BMW 530e

BMW’s new 530e plug-in hybrid will be produced at Magna’s contract manufacturing plant in Graz, Austria, starting in summer 2017. As a contract manufacturing partner for two premium electrified vehicles – the BMW 530e and the previously awarded Jaguar I-PACE – Magna’s Graz facility is demonstrating its value proposition to its customers.

RepairPal Pairs with TECHNET

RepairPal and TECHNET Professional Automotive Service have announced that they will work together to drive higher levels of quality in auto repair.

TECHNET supports more than 9,200 Member shops with extensive marketing solutions, ongoing training, and helpful business resources. RepairPal has built its own network of 1,950+ RepairPal Certified shops by rigorously examining each one to ensure high quality, high customer satisfaction and fair prices.  RepairPal Certified shops receive new customers from the 4+ million monthly visitors to, as well as from partners such as USAA, that count on RepairPal to find the right shops to offer to their customers.

New Ridesaring Service Charges Drivers Less for More

Pull Up n’ Go, the new Nevada based ridesharing service, sets new standards in the industry by offering a weekly flat fee of $14.99 for their drivers. By directly attacking the Uber and Lyft model that charges drivers a huge percentage of every ride, Pull Up n’ Go is poised for explosive growth as it presents a huge benefit to the average rideshare driver.

With Pull Up n’ Go, drivers pay a small flat fee each week and keep 100 percent of their earnings from every single ride. Under this flat fee model drivers are able to accomplishing their financial goals without paying a huge share of their income to huge corporations. The company, which is still in beta test mode, is picking up momentum fast and anticipates a launch date in the very near future.

Santa Clara Plugs In More EV Charging Stations

Santa Clara Convention Center, Levi’s Stadium, or California’s Great America theme park and running low on your Electric Vehicle (EV) charge? There are no worries in Santa Clara as the city has one of the largest public multi-standard EV charging facilities in California located in a 6-story parking garage central to the city’s major entertainment venues. In all, the structure features 49 charging stations including 48 Level 2 chargers and one DC Fast Charger.

The 6-story garage features a 370-kilowatt photovoltaic installation and uses battery technology from Green Charge Networks. “We are letting our visitors know that these electronic vehicle charging stations are available,” says Lisa Moreno, general manager & CEO of the Santa Clara Convention Center and Convention and Visitors Bureau.  In addition to the city garage stations, there are six EV chargers at the Santa Clara Convention Center and 12 in the Levi’s Stadium parking lot.

CalAmp OBD Devices Intergrates into Autobrain

CalAmp and Autobrain, a connected car platform that turns any car into a smart car in minutes, announced the integration of CalAmp’s plug-and-play OBD devices and telematics systems into Autobrain’s platform. Consumers can purchase CalAmp-supported Autobrain devices online now or at major retail establishments across the United States starting on July 1,

Aircharge to Wirelessly Charge iPhones in  BMW 5 Series

Aircharge and the BMW Group have signed a global deal to provide an exclusive, customised Wireless Charging Case for iPhone to take full advantage of the new in-car wireless ecosystem, which debuted in the new BMW 5 Series Sedan earlier this year.

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. All Aircharge case models carry the official ‘Made for iPhone’ (MFi) certification by Apple and are also certified to the global wireless charging standard Qi.

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