Connected Car News: Geely, Honda, Visteon, Toyota, Zubie, Octo, VW & TomTom

In connected car news this week were Geely, Honda, Visteon, Toyota, Zubie, Octo, VW, The LA Auto Show and TomTom.

Geely Buys Flying Car Maker

Chinese automaker Geely is buying flying car maker Terrafugia Transition that makes a plane with wings that fold so that the vehicle can be driven on the street.

Synopsys Partners with CEA

Synopsys, Inc. and the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), a key player in technology research announced their new partnership based on Synopsys ZeBu® Server-3 emulation solution for advancing their initiatives in automotive SoC and system design. With its high performance, capacity, scalability, and support for standard-based connectivity protocols, ZeBu Server enables full system verification of complex automotive SoCs and research of fault detection and fault recovery mechanisms. The partnership aims to shorten automotive system design cycles and increase design quality compliant with industry standards using ZeBu Server.

The new joint lab between the CEA and Synopsys will respond to this need through a relevant and strategic industrial partnership that will maintain a sharp focus on verification and hybrid emulation with the integration of ZeBu Server in a multi-physics automotive simulation environment.

SoftBank & Honda to Research Connected Cars

SoftBank Corp. a subsidiary of SoftBank Group Corp., and Honda Motor Co., Ltd., announced that SoftBank and Honda R&D Co., Ltd., a wholly owned R&D subsidiary of Honda, have begun discussions toward a joint research project to strengthen connected car technologies(1) which will offer new experiences and value by connecting mobility products, primarily cars, and various other things. The two companies will pursue this joint research with a view to the future adoption of 5th generation mobile communication system (5G) standards.

Visteon Tests at ACM

Visteon Corporation, a leading automotive cockpit electronics supplier, is joining forces with the American Center for Mobility (ACM) in Southeast Michigan to support the development and testing of connected and automated transportation technologies. With a $5 million strategic investment, Visteon is the first Tier 1 automotive supplier to join as a Founder-level sponsor of the Center.

Focus areas for Visteon’s testing and validation at the Center include:

  • Autonomous driving algorithms
  • Vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure technology and functionality, integrated with autonomous driving
  • Sensor technology
  • Security protocols

Located on 500-plus acres at the Willow Run site, the Center will be a purpose-built facility designed for testing, education and product development.

Monterey to Lake Tahoe EV Charging

DRIVETHEARC, a corridor of electric vehicle (EV) fast charging stations spanning from Monterey to Lake Tahoe,  announced the completion of the chargers’ deployment and its official grand opening on the one year anniversary of the project’s official launch. A collaborative effort between the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) (Japan’s largest public R&D management organization), and the State of California’s Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, in partnership with Nissan Motor Co., Nissan North America, Kanematsu and EVgo, DRIVETHEARC encourages longer and more frequent trips with EVs by increasing the ease of long distance travel along one of California’s most frequented travel routes. As an integrated, international cooperation, NEDO is funding the DRIVETHEARC corridor as part of its mission to improve energy conservation and promote new energy technologies, as well as to help facilitate government relations and research and information exchange between the U.S. and Japan.

Lincoln Continentals’ DMD

Automotive manufacturer Lincoln Motor Company, a division of Ford Motor Company is putting Continental’s head-up display with digital micromirror device (DMD) technology into production for the first time. The solution from the technology company was first integrated into the 2017 Lincoln Continental, followed by the 2018 Lincoln Navigator and enables an even better HMI experience for drivers. Head-up displays show all relevant information in the driver’s field of vision, reducing driver distraction and therefore making a significant contribution to enhanced comfort and safety. The Lincoln head-up display is one of the brightest and largest in its class and allows drivers to see the display even through polarized sunglasses. Moreover, due to the increased display area, more information can be displayed from other elements of the holistic human-machine interface. These characteristics then enable Lincoln to reduce redundancy between the head-up display and cluster. The DMD technology also forms the basis for augmented reality head-up displays.

Zubie Turns 1 Billion

Zubie, a leading telematics provider committed to providing smart, easy and simple solutions for businesses with small and medium-sized fleets, has hit a major milestone in the connected car industry.
Zubie has tracked one billion miles for its customers, whose fleets range from two to 200. This milepost is yet another proof point that the Zubie platform delivers the best value for vehicle owners and drivers across the four pillars of vehicle connectivity: vehicle location, vehicle health & diagnostics, driver safety, and trip management.

Octo P2P with GuideWire

Octo Telematics (Octo), the number one global provider of telematics for the auto insurance industry,  announced the platform-to-platform integration of its market-leading digital smartphone, smart tag solution, Glimpse Plus (Smart Tag in Europe) with Guidewire PolicyCenter, the policy administration system developed by Guidewire Software, a provider of software products to Property & Casualty (P&C) insurers.

WiTricity Partners with TI

WiTricity, the industry pioneer in wireless power transfer over distance,  announced it has collaborated with Texas Instruments (TI) to use automotive-grade semiconductor components in WiTricity’s DRIVE 11 wireless charging systems and reference designs.

WiTricity’s industry-leading DRIVE 11 wireless charging system enables drivers to park their electric vehicles (EVs) and be assured of rapid and efficient charging without having to handle charging cables. WiTricity’s TMN™ Controller utilizing TI’s C2000™ real-time control microcontroller (MCU) can enable DRIVE 11-based electric vehicles and charging stations to automatically optimize energy transfer between the source and vehicle in a wide range of real-world operating conditions including parking misalignment, differing vehicle ground clearance and varying battery voltage conditions.

Newsight Sees LeiShen for 3D V-LiDAR

Newsight Imaging, a leading developer of advanced CMOS image sensors for laser LiDAR and spectral analysis,  announced a partnership with LeiShen Intelligent, a global provider of high-performance laser LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) systems to deliver V-LiDAR, a game-changing 3D pulsed based LiDAR for automotive applications used in ADAS systems and in autonomous vehicles.

Newsight’s patent-pending eTOF (Enhanced Time-of-Flight) implemented in this venture bridges the gap between short-distance iTOF and the 200m distance automotive requirement by extending the dynamic range while retaining high accuracy.

Design of the V-LiDAR is the result of close collaboration between LeiShen and Tier-1 and Automotive OEMs. It is real solid-state (no moving parts, No MEMS), high resolution (VGA and above), with range and accuracy that meet the automotive industry definition, and with the appropriate ISO certifications. Newsight and Leishen have a track record of successful collaboration in the robotics market; LeiShen built a rotating head LiDAR based on the Newsight NSI3000 line sensor. The V-LiDAR™ will be offered at very competitive low cost for high volume orders.

Toyota Launches Launch Mobility Soon

Toyota Financial Services (TFS) has announced a partnership with Launch Mobility, a developer of shared mobility solutions. Both companies recognize the growing importance of mobility services and offer distinctive capabilities to address market needs. Together, TFS and Launch Mobility intend to develop a product that will make previously leased vehicles available for short-term rentals to rideshare drivers.

The companies are developing a pilot with the intent to deploy in select markets by the end of the calendar year.

Virgin Hyperloop Joins GENIVI

The GENIVI Alliance, a collaborative community of automakers and their suppliers developing open software for in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) and the connected car, today announced that Virgin Hyperloop One, the only company in the world that has built and successfully tested a full-scale hyperloop system, has joined the Alliance to work with the strong GENIVI ecosystem and leverage its proven history of open source software collaboration.

In the coming year, Virgin Hyperloop One will expand its entire electronics and supplier ecosystem and tap into the GENIVI community of open source-focused companies to assist in developing software quickly and cost-effectively.

Volkswagen Electrifies

Volkswagen is pluging into Roadmap E, the most comprehensive electrification campaign in the automotive industry: As a result of this campaign, around one in four new vehicles produced by the Group will be a battery-only electric vehicle. Depending on how the market develops, this could mean up to three million e-cars a year. The Company is planning to electrify its entire model portfolio by 2030. This means that by then there will be at least one electric variant of each of the Group’s around 300 models.

TomTom Route Monitoring

TomTom announced the launch of TomTom Route Monitoring, designed to address the growing road congestion challenges faced by Smart Cities worldwide. TomTom Route Monitoring is a service that helps traffic managers, event managers and emergency service dispatchers monitor travel times and delays on routes of interest – as they happen – and inform the public of delays and alternative routes through smartphones, in-car systems and variable message signs.

TomTom is enhancing its suite of traffic products that help connect and better inform all mobility stakeholders. TomTom Route Monitoring is available on the recently announced TomTom Maps APIs Developer Portal.


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