Connected Car News: Tesla, Audi, Luxoft, Intel, HERE, BMW & what3words

In connected car news this week were Tesla, Audi, Luxoft, Intel, HERE, AWS, Sionic, Xevo, EB, SpotHero, Xilinx, Faurecia, BMW, Parkmobile, what3words,, Crystal Group, Mistubishi Electric, INFINITI, Green Hills and PolyCharge.

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The Tesla Model 3 configurator now shows that the lower-priced small standard battery pack as being available in “early 2018.” Tesla 3 models can now be seen in the New York City, Boston and Miami showrooms. Dual motor all-wheel drive Tesla 3 models are expected in Spring 2018.

San Francisco police arrested a drunk man stalled in a Tesla S in the center lane on the Bay Bridge who claimed the car was in AutoPilot.

Audi Smart Energy Network

In a pilot project the Audi Smart Energy Network for the first time interacts with the power grid. As part of a research project, Audi is running a pilot project with households in the Ingolstadt area and the Zurich region in conjunction with other partners. This involves combining various sizes of photovoltaic systems with stationary storage batteries. The control software by the Zurich start-up company Ampard distributes the solar power intelligently based on the current or plannable demand from car, household and heating system. A unique feature of the pilot project is that it also interacts with the power grid: Over a built-in communication interface, all systems are interconnected to form a virtual power plant, and constitute a smart grid.

he connected home storage devices can provide what is known as balancing power. In other words, they balance out the fluctuations between power generation and consumption, and stabilize the grid frequency by temporarily storing smaller amounts of energy in stationary units at short notice. This optimizes internal consumption: Operators of photovoltaic systems increase their proportion of own-use solar power while cutting their power procurement costs.

Luxoft & Intel ARP for Digital Cockpit

Luxoft, a global IT service provider, and Intel have co-developed a solution for a new Automotive Reference Platform (ARP), designed to power the Digital Cockpit of next-generation vehicles. Designing for a vehicle’s instrument cluster, head unit display, cockpit occupant monitoring and driver assistance systems can now all be integrated on the ARP.

The ARP is based on a new high performance computing architecture, designed in collaboration with technical experts from Intel, and was created to make it easier and faster for leading Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and suppliers to develop hardware and software solutions for digital cockpit systems.

The ARP is built around several Intel devices and is supported by Luxoft’s PELUX / Qt Automotive Suite Digital Cockpit software platform, a Linux based Open Source software platform, which enables the flexible integration of third party applications into the car and minimizes the effort and cost for manufacturers deploying Linux based Digital Cockpit systems.

HERE Location Services throug Amazon Web Services

Location data and services provide essential functionality for today’s products, services and solutions. HERE Technologies, the Open Location Platform company, collaborated with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to offer developers seamless access to an array of location services through the recently launched AWS Serverless Application Repository.

Through this collaboration, HERE and AWS are increasing the speed and ease in which developers can access and integrate core location services into their applications. Because HERE location services are available in the AWS Serverless Application Repository, developers can rapidly deploy AWS Lambda into their own AWS account that serve as proxies to HERE location services, and thus allows for a microservices approach to calling the HERE locations services. This approach also provides developers with benefits from Amazon API Gateway and AWS Lambda capabilities such as cache, throttling, and authentication.

Ford Chariots Columbus Ohio

Ford is launching a Chariot shuttle service in Columbus, Ohio, through a partnership with JPMorgan Chase as part of the Smart Columbus initiative. Smart Columbus is focused on improving the transportation infrastructure to relieve congestion and accommodate a regional population that’s expected to grow by 1 million residents over the next two decades. Like us, the group wants to develop a comprehensive multimodal approach to transit that drives economic growth, provides better access to jobs and reduces pollution.

Sionic Mobile & Xevo Expanded Merchant Network for Connected Cars

Sionic Mobile, a cloud-based connected commerce provider, and Xevo Inc., the global leader in data-driven user experiences for the automotive industry, today announced from the CES conference they have partnered to bring major restaurant, fuel, and retail brands to the connected-car experience for multiple automotive manufacturers. For both Sionic and Xevo, this partnership accelerates initiatives in progress with General Motors, and expands an already robust merchant network of participating brands.

EB Speaks Amazon Alexa

Elektrobit (EB), a leading developer of cutting-edge, embedded and connected technology solutions for the automotive industry,  announced it will create solutions aimed at helping auto manufacturers integrate Alexa into the car. This integration will leverage EB’s automotive software expertise and Amazon Alexa’s voice service to enable carmakers to extend their vehicles’ onboard capabilities and leverage Alexa to provide a more holistic and natural human machine interface (HMI) experience in the car.

With the explosive rise of voice services, the car is now becoming the third space for consumers to leverage this technology outside of their homes and workplaces.

With Alexa in the car, customers will be able to ask Alexa to answer questions, play music, hear the news, get weather and traffic reports, control your smart home, and more.

Google Assitant for SpotHero

SpotHero, North America’s leading parking reservation service, has launched a new integration that enables drivers to book parking with the Google Assistant using voice commands. With the Google Assistant’s recent integration into Android Auto, drivers with Android Auto will soon be able use SpotHero and the Google Assistant to find and pay for parking on the go, completely hands-free, in more than 50 major markets across North America. Starting today, drivers can book parking with the Assistant on eligible devices, including Android phones and iPhones, simply by saying “Hey Google, book parking.”

SpotHero’s latest integration with the Google Assistant in Android Auto is powered by HeroConnect, SpotHero’s end-to-end parking mobility platform. HeroConnect enables automotive, transportation, and technology companies to offer parking reservations and transactional parking functionality in their native platforms.

Xilinx Zyng UltraScale MPSoC for ADAS

Xilinx, Innounced availability of the automotive qualified Zynq UltraScale MPSoC family, enabling development of safety critical ADAS and Autonomous Driving Systems.  The Xilinx Automotive XA Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC family is qualified according to AEC-Q100 test specifications with full ISO 26262 ASIL-C level certification. The product integrates a feature-rich 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex™-A53 and dual-core ARM Cortex-R5 based processing system (PS) and Xilinx programmable logic (PL) UltraScale architecture in a single device. This scalable solution is ideally suited for various automotive customer platforms by delivering the right performance/watt while integrating critical functional safety and security features.

The XA Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC family has been certified to meet ISO 26262 ASIL-C level requirements by Exida, one of the world’s leading accredited certification companies specializing in automation and automotive system safety and security. The product includes a “safety island” designed for real-time processing functional safety applications that has been certified to meet ISO 26262 ASIL-C level requirements. In addition to the safety island, the programmable logic can be used to create additional safety circuits tailored for specific applications such as monitors, watchdogs or functional redundancy, effectively allowing ASIL decomposition and fault-tolerant architecture designs within a single integrated circuit.

Faurecia Opens Silicon Valley Tech Center

-aurecia, celebrated the opening of its Silicon Valley Tech Center. The new facility will support the company’s global R&D activities and expand upon its existing innovation network by strengthening its relationships with automakers, start-ups and leading universities in the region.

A primary mission of the new location will be the acceleration of new and disruptive technologies in the company’s strategic areas of focus: Sustainable Mobility and the Cockpit of the Future. With this new center, Faurecia reinforces its commitment to building a premiere innovation ecosystem to address the significant transformation of the automotive industry.  The facility is also a key center for Cockpit of the Future development with local customers. The tech center employs more than 30 experts dedicated to addressing future mobility challenges. The tech center will also host one of the Group’s Artificial Intelligence teams.

BMW Buys Parkmobile

Parkmobile, LLC, the leading provider of mobile parking solutions in North America, announced  a recapitalization of the business and investment by BMW Group.  Through this transaction, Parkmobile has consolidated its shareholder base and gained access to significant capital that will be used to accelerate growth and innovation.  BMW Group, which had been a minority investor in Parkmobile since 2014, will now be the sole outside investor after buying out the legacy shareholders in the business.  Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Daimler Finances what3words

Daimler AG is expanding cooperation with the start-up what3words. As part of the move, the company took part in a round of financing by what3words and acquired a share of around ten percent. In addition, Mercedes-Benz will be the first automobile manufacturer to integrate the new three-word address system and make it available to its customers.

what3words has divided the entire world into 57 trillion squares of three metres by three metres and has allocated each of these squares a unique three-word address – including places where there are no regular street addresses. This means that every one of these locations is unambiguously identified and easy to memorize. An algorithm applies the vocabulary list of approximately 25,000 words per language in such a way that potentially confusing combinations are very far away from one another and that both man and machine can easily notice input mistakes. In the meantime, the system is now available in 14 languages. Closed $112M Funding, a company that builds autonomous driving solutions, has closed a funding round of $112M. The Series A round was co-led by Morningside Venture Capital and Legend Capital. Seed round lead-investor Sequoia China and investor IDG Capital also participated in the round, along with Hongtai Capital, Legend Star, Puhua Capital, Polaris Capital, DCM Ventures, Comcast.

Crystal Group Launches Rugged Autonomous Computer Equipment

Crystal Group Inc., a leading designer/manufacturer of rugged computer hardware for industry and defense, is introducing the first product in the new Crystal Group RACE™ (Rugged Autonomous Computer Equipment) line, engineered to accelerate autonomous vehicle (AV), automated driving system (ADS), and unmanned (UAV) projects. The Crystal Group RACE0161 high-performance, rugged computer is specifically designed to help engineers shorten development time, bringing autonomous vehicle innovations to market ahead of their competitors. The fast-paced autonomous industry is estimated to be worth trillions of dollars.

Crystal Group’s latest autonomous vehicle computer provides the horsepower AV and ADS projects need, combining robust I/O, multiple GPU capacity, dual Intel Xeon Scalable Processors, sophisticated thermal management, and other high-quality components stabilized in a rugged, aluminum enclosure measuring just 6.5 x 14.1 x 15.6 inches and weighing 30 to 40 pounds. Processing real-time data of LIDAR, RADAR, image, and sensor fusion, the Crystal Group RACE0161 combines impressive compute power, data-handling capabilities, and storage capacity in a compact, rugged solution capable of withstanding harsh environmental conditions, including potholes, collisions, and extreme temperatures that are likely to cause traditional systems to fail.

Greenlots for PG&E

Greenlots, a leading provider of grid-enabled EV smart charging solutions, announced today that it has been selected to participate in Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s (PG&E’s) new EV Charge Network program as a technology and services provider. Greenlots will support a full suite of efforts within the program’s scope, including site recruitment; installation, operation and maintenance of EV chargers; and delivery of its software and mobile app to site hosts and drivers. Through the program, PG&E will install 7,500 EV chargers at multi-unit dwellings and workplaces across Northern and Central California over the next three years.

LiDAR in Magneti Marelli Headlights

Building on its recent investment in solid-state LiDAR company LeddarTech, Magneti Marelli has integrated a camera, radar and LiDAR into advanced projector headlamps and tail lamps to produce the fully functional Smart Corner, which is on display in a production vehicle. The Smart Corner solution provides OEMs with the required functionality for autonomous driving, while maintaining beautiful aesthetics and world-class lighting performance. The solution reduces weight, cost, and eliminates the need for separate packaging, wiring and connectors on the vehicle exterior.

Mitsubishi Camera Detects Objects @100meters

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation announced today that it has developed what is believed to be the industry’s highest performing automotive camera technology that detects various object types at distances of up to about 100 meters, which will enable drivers to receive advanced warning for enhanced driving safety in coming mirrorless cars. The solution, which is based on Mitsubishi Electric’s proprietary Maisart-brand artificial intelligence (AI) technology, is expected to help prevent accidents, especially when drivers change lanes. Mirrorless cars that replace rearview and side mirrors with camera-monitoring systems were approved for use in Europe and Japan in 2016, and the first commercial mirrorless cars are expected to be launched in Japan as early as next year.

Key Features

1) Instantly detects distant objects up to about 100 meters away

2) Real-time object recognition using Mitsubishi Electric’s proprietary Maisart AI technology

Mirrorless cars that replace rearview and side mirrors with camera-monitoring systems were approved for use in Europe and Japan in 2016. The first commercial mirrorless cars are expected to be launched in Japan next year. Object-recognition systems will alert drivers to dangerous situations by detecting and identifying objects in live video captured with on-board cameras.

INFINITI Goes Electric in 2021

INFINITI Motor Company will introduce new vehicles with electrified powertrains from 2021, according to Nissan Chief Executive Officer Hiroto Saikawa, speaking at the Automotive News World Congress:

  • New INFINITI models will offer electrified powertrains from 2021
  • INFINITI will launch its first pure electric vehicle in the same year
  • Electrified vehicles will comprise more than half of INFINITI global sales by 2025

A mix of pure electric vehicles (EV) and e-POWER vehicles will be offered – demonstrating the full range of ultra-low emission vehicle technology available to INFINITI as the premium brand within the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance.

Qt & Green Hills Deliver HMI

The Qt Company and Green Hills Software have announced a collaboration to deliver the latest in human machine interface (HMI) development platforms for integrated automotive digital cockpits, focused on production deployment.

To tackle this challenge, Qt has integrated its cross-platform Qt Automotive Suite framework with Green Hills safe and secure INTEGRITY Multivisor virtualisation offering to enable the integration of disparate HMI interfaces across multiple operating systems at different safety levels into a single multicore system while complying with the highest levels of automotive safety standards.

Delphi Invests in PolyCharge

Delphi Technologies PLC  a global leader in vehicle propulsion, announced an investment in PolyCharge America, Inc, a start-up established to commercialize a new capacitor technology. This technology helps to make high-power inverters smaller, lighter and more tolerant to high temperatures.


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