Connected Car News: Tesla, IBM, Affectiva, Xperi, Mazda, Octo, Synopsys, Solteria, NI, FLIR & Hella

In connected car news this week were Tesla, IBM, Affectiva, Xperi, Mazda, Octo, Synopsys, Solteria, NI, FLIR and Hella.

Besta’ Tesla

After a fatal accidental in a Tesla X in the Bay Area, Tesla sent engineer to remove the battery that went on fire.

Elon Musk deleted the company’s Facebook page as part of the ‘Delete Facebook’ movement due to the Cambridge Analytica  scandal.

If your Tesla catches on fire, be sure to use plenty of water ““If the high voltage battery catches fire, is exposed to high heat, or is bent, twisted, cracked, or breached in any way, use large amounts of water to cool the battery. DO NOT extinguish with a small amount of water. Always establish or request an additional water supply” is the suggested way to deal with Tesla battery fires.

Tesla is launching the Tesla 3 in Canada. The 3.3.3 update of the Tesla iOS app, enables Siri integration to work with the Model 3.

IBM Watson for Cars

Delivered through the IBM Cloud, Watson Assistant can be infused into a new set of industry-specific applications, including two designed for automotive and hospitality, which businesses can white-label and brand as they chose. Automotive manufacturers can now offer the smart assistant experience in their vehicles, and hotels can offer guests a smart assistant experience in their rooms.

Affectiva Automotive AI

Affectiva, the global leader in Artificial Emotional Intelligence (Emotion AI), announced Affectiva Automotive AI, the first multi-modal in-cabin AI sensing solution. Affectiva Automotive AI identifies, in real time from face and voice, complex and nuanced emotional and cognitive states of a vehicle’s occupants, to deliver comprehensive people analytics. This allows original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and Tier 1 suppliers to build advanced driver monitoring systems (DMS), as well as differentiated in-cabin experiences that span the autonomous vehicle continuum. Affectiva’s solution also enables developers of automated driving systems to improve their technology for use in robo-taxis and other highly automated vehicles (HAV) in the emerging Automated Mobility sector.

Interfacing with a vehicle’s safety systems, Affectiva Automotive AI can identify complex driver impairment states caused by drowsiness, physical distraction or mental distraction from cognitive load or anger. This is significantly more advanced than current systems that rely on simplistic head pose and eye gaze measurements.

Xperi DTS RadioDNS Compliance

Xperi Corporation announced its wholly owned subsidiary, DTS, a global leader in high-definition audio solutions, has successfully completed RadioDNS compliance testing. The DTS Connected Radio platform will enable an engaging in-car radio experience for drivers around the world. RadioDNS’ Project Logo service utilizes the RadioDNS standard in the delivery of hybrid radio content in connected broadcast radios and provides a valuable source of broadcast radio metadata from supporting broadcasters.

DTS Connected Radio delivers an innovative analog and digital (DAB and HD Radio®) AM/FM experience by pairing broadcast radio with IP-delivered content. DTS Connected Radio aggregates metadata, such as artist and song information, on-air radio program information, station contact information and more, directly from broadcasters around the world to deliver a single API with a cohesive visual experience in the vehicle.

Mazda & Ube Develop Lithium-Ion Batteries

Mazda Motor Corporation, ELIIY Power Co., Ltd. and Ube Industries, Ltd. have agreed to jointly develop lithium-ion batteries for use in automobiles. The three companies will work together to develop durable, heat- and impact-resistant 12-Volt lithium-ion batteries as a viable replacement for lead-acid starter batteries in motor vehicles by 2021.

Making use of the industry-leading computer-aided model-based development techniques it honed while developing SKYACTIV Technology, Mazda will conduct model-based research of the chemical reactions that occur inside batteries, develop technologies to manage high-performance batteries from a vehicle-total perspective and develop a general purpose model for their use.

Octo Telematics Powers Car & Away

Octo Telematics has announced that its telematics devices and big data analytics will be used to power the insurance for Car & Away’s new Gatwick Airport car-sharing scheme. The base technology for the scheme will draw upon Octo subsidiary Omoove’s car- and ride-sharing platform to provide services for the holidaymakers at Gatwick.

Car & Away is a new peer-to-peer car-sharing platform that allows vehicle owners to rent out their car whilst they are away on holiday. holidaymakers flying from the airport will be able to earn while on holiday as their cars are rented to other drivers. This means that they will still have the convenience of driving to the airport and will be able to offset some or all of the often-expensive long-term airport parking fees. In some cases, drivers may even be able to make a profit from short-term vehicle rentals.

Octo Partners with RCI Bank

Octo Telemeatcis., the number one global provider of telematics for the auto insurance industry, has announced that it has entered into a global partnership with RCI Bank and Services, the finance company from Groupe Renault to provide its telematics services and advanced big data analytics to enhance the driving experience of drivers worldwide.

As part of its sales process, RCI Bank and Services will offer customers the option to include an Octo device in their car to make their vehicle uniquely tailored to them and their driving style. Octo will use its market-leading big data analytics to develop a complete profile of each driver and vehicle. This profile will include a driving score which measures each motorist’s unique style, as well as monitoring the condition of the vehicle. This will allow RCI Bank and Services to provide made-to-measure services based on each driver’s driving profile. The gathering and analysis of data will take place on Octo’s IOT-enabled Next Generation Platform (NGP), which was developed with support from Salesforce, Software AG, SAS and SAP, as well as consulting firms Deloitte and Capgemini.

Synopsys Independent IS0 26262 Assessment & Cert

Synopsys, Inc.  announced the industry’s most comprehensive independent ISO 26262 functional safety assessment and certification for all the tools in the Synopsys Design Platform, enabled by Synopsys’ Fusion Technology. This certification allows automotive semiconductor component and system designers to meet the most stringent safety-related requirements for modern-era vehicles. The comprehensive ISO 26262 assessments have been performed by exida, an ANSI-accredited certification body for functional safety in automotive and other industries. ISO 26262 certification allows Synopsys tools and flows to be deployed in the development of automotive designs with safety requirements from ASIL A through ASIL D. These flows are the first to conform to the most stringent requirements of both the ISO 26262:2011 standard and the draft release of the upcoming ISO 26262:2018 second edition.

Synopsys & Renesas

Synopsys announced it has worked with Renesas Electronics to contribute to the development of Renesas’ latest R-Car V3H system-on-chip (SoC). The R-Car Family of SoCs is the core SoC family of the open, innovative, and trusted Renesas autonomy Platform which delivers end-to-end automotive solutions scaling from secure cloud connectivity and sensing to vehicle control. Synopsys enabled development of the highly power-efficient R-Car V3H SoC’s hardware accelerator that provides cutting-edge computer vision capabilities for smart cameras in Level 3 and Level 4 autonomous vehicles.

Synopsys provides the industry’s most comprehensive portfolio of certified tools and flows, as well as downloadable functional safety kits, enabling easy deployment by automotive OEMs, semiconductor, and component suppliers for their safety-related ASIL A through ASIL D designs.

The R-Car V3H SoC includes a new, highly power-efficient hardware accelerator for high-performance convolutional neural networks (CNNs). High performance is needed to detect traffic signs, lanes, pedestrians, vehicles, and other obstacles in real time. Front cameras are mounted next to the windshield where they are exposed to direct sunlight, so low power consumption is crucial to minimize further heat dissipation. Synopsys Design Compiler Graphical and IC Compiler II enable full-flow optimization for concurrent clock and data (CCD), wire synthesis, and logic restructuring, delivering high performance for computer vision while supporting low power consumption and a high level of functional safety.

Blackmore Raises MOre $$$

Blackmore Sensors and Analytics, Inc., a leading developer of frequency-modulated continuous wave (FMCW) lidar for the automotive industry, announced that it has raised $18 million in a Series B funding round led by BMW i Ventures. Additional investment comes from Toyota AI Ventures, Millennium Technology Value Partners and Next Frontier Capital.

Blackmore will use the investment to scale the production of its FMCW lidar sensor for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and self-driving markets. Increased production capacity will allow Blackmore to support the growing sector of autonomous driving teams demanding a superior lidar solution.

Soteria Battery Open Sources Battery Tech

Soteria Battery Innovation Group is forming a consortium to make its new lithium battery architecture available to every battery manufacturer worldwide. By eliminating excess metal and thermally unstable components of the battery, the new architecture virtually eliminates the possibility of the self-ignition that has plagued lithium ion batteries in applications such as hoverboards, smart phones, electric vehicles and airplane battery systems.

Batteries made with this technology will be able to pass much more aggressive safety tests than legacy technology. In addition to surviving in more aggressive test conditions, the cells continue to function after damage. This can be especially important in transportation, where the minivan might need to get out of the intersection, the plane to the ground, or the boat to shore ahead of a storm. In addition, the technology can be adopted in existing lithium ion battery plants without significant capital expense.

The technology has two components, each of which will provide reduced weight, improved safety and reduced manufacturing cost. The first is a current collector made from metallized film, eliminating over 90% of the metal in the battery. The lower metal content reduces cost and weight and is unable to carry large current densities associated with ignition events due to internal short circuits, acting like an internal fuse. The second component, a thermally stable separator, is lighter, less expensive to manufacture and much more stable than existing ceramic coated separators. Because these separators never melt or shrink, it becomes impossible for a small manufacturing defect to grow into a large internal short.

NI Announces Automakers Using NI HIL

NI (Nasdaq: NATI), the provider of platform-based systems that enable engineers and scientists to solve the world’s greatest engineering challenges, announced that major automotive manufacturers like Subaru are using NI hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) technology to simulate actual road conditions for electric vehicle testing, eliminating environmental factors to reduce test time and costs.

Traditionally, engineers have conducted vehicle tests using finished cars on test courses or public roads to check the vehicle’s performance and safety response. However, certain limitations, such as weather and fluctuating road surface conditions, can make it difficult to conduct reproducible tests on roads in a timely manner. Moreover, electric vehicles are extremely complex due to their many subsystems, which are all interdependent on each other. This complexity makes the job challenging for automotive test engineers with short development cycles and pressure to limit costs.

To combat these issues, Subaru replaced the roads in the validation tests with a NI HIL simulation solution built on NI PXI products and LabVIEW software. With the HIL system, Subaru can eliminate environmental factors and thoroughly and efficiently test a vehicle’s embedded controller in a virtual environment before running real-world diagnostics on the complete system.

FLIR TermiCam V2X Traffic Sensor

FLIR Systems, Inc. announced the launch of the FLIR ThermiCam™ V2X, a thermal traffic sensor for the emerging vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technology market. The FLIR V2X-enabled traffic sensor for urban traffic will allow vehicles and traffic infrastructure to communicate and share data in a system that aims to improve motorist, pedestrian, and bicyclist safety and efficiency.

The FLIR ThermiCam V2X mounts on existing traffic signals and detects vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists at intersections using thermal imaging data. Utilizing dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) technology, vehicles transmit real-time speed and direction data, while the ThermiCam V2X communicates the presence of pedestrians and bicyclists, along with data from other vehicles.

Hella Lighting Test Apps Android/iPhone

When consumers seek out a new car to buy, they typically take the car out for a test drive or two to see how smooth the ride is, but it’s rare for consumers to drive a new vehicle at night before buying it. With this in mind, HELLA created the NIGHTDRIVE app and has continuously updated it since its inception. Most recently, HELLA made significant changes to the app to help users inform themselves about current lighting options as well as the future of the automotive lighting industry.

Key aspects of this free app include:
• Now available in German, English and Chinese
• Incorporates a virtual test track, allowing users to test and compare all lighting functions during a night-time drive
• Allows users to better understand the types of lighting functions that are in the early stages of development at HELLA such as visual road-surface guidance, optical distance warning, ideal driving lines, cycle-path illumination and visual safety zones. In addition to testing the functions, users also can rate them.
• An “Endless Runner” driving game, which tests current headlamp functions in various levels on randomly generated test tracks. Functions that are tested include low and high beams, high-beam assistant, cornering and bend lighting, advanced front-lighting systems with country lighting, highway lighting, town lighting and adverse-weather lighting, etc.

The free app is available in the Google Play and Apple Stores. To learn more about the recent app updates, see the release below my signature. If you would like to speak to a HELLA lighting expert about the app, let me know and I can arrange an interview.

Univ. Bristol 5G Testing

University of Bristol, Smart Internet Lab, leverages Xilinx silicon technology to deploy and demonstrate the world’s first end-to-end 5G urban network.  This flexible and programmable 5G network testbed consisting of 5G NR radio heads connected to the 5G virtualized baseband pool using multiple protocols with dynamic low latency aggregation and elastic bandwidth allocation in to the fibre backhaul utilising an end to end SDN controlled environment. Use cases are demonstrated in a hyper-connected Smart City environment, Augmented Reality, Autonomous Transport, and Smart Tourism are being showcased with this 5G network testbed. The project is funded by the UK Government’s Department of Digital Culture Media and Sports (DCMS).


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