Connected Car News: Tesla, Mercedes-Benz, VW, On Semi, Irdeto, SmartDrive, Luxoft, Molex, INVECAS, Cinemo an Panasonic.

In connected car news this week were Tesla, Mercedes-Benz, VW, On Semiconductor, LinkMotion, Irdeto, SmartDrive, Luxoft, Molex, INVECAS, Cinemo and Panasonic.

Best a’ Tesla

Tesla pushed out an update (2018.10.4) that only features “minor fixes and improvements” and as well as the ability to open the trunks of Tesla vehicles with the mobile app. Tesla drivers report that that it improves Autopilot improvements as well as more efficient Traffic Aware Cruise Control.

Uninsured Motorists Numbers Increase

Nearly one in eight U.S. drivers was uninsured in 2015, putting insured drivers at greater risk in the event of an auto accident, according to a new study.

The study, directed by the Insurance Research Council (IRC) and co-sponsored by The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc.  found that 13 percent of all U.S. motorists were uninsured in 2015, up from 12.3 percent in 2010, following a seven-year decline.

New Plant for Fuel Cell Tanks by Toyoda

Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd. has established a new plant in the city of Inabe, Mie Prefecture, Japan to produce high pressure hydrogen tanks, a crucial component of fuel cell vehicles (FCVs). Preparations for the start of production are currently underway.

Production capacity at the new plant for these tanks will be built up gradually to meet growth in demand with the expected increase in number of FCV models as these vehicles come into wider use.

Mercedes-Benz New Headquarters in Atlanta

Mercedes-Benz USA  held the official grand opening of its new headquarters in Sandy Springs, 14 miles outside of the heart of Atlanta. Among the distinguished guests joining Dietmar Exler, MBUSA president and CEO, were Nathan Deal, Governor of Georgia; Keisha Lance Bottoms, Mayor of Atlanta; Axel Harries, Daimler vice president sales Mercedes-Benz Cars and product management Mercedes-Benz Passenger Cars; and Rusty Paul, Mayor of Sandy Springs.

The 200,000 square-foot building, located on a 12-acre campus near Georgia 400, at the intersection of Mercedes-Benz Drive (formerly Barfield Road) and Abernathy Road, is made entirely of glass that is supported by a steel structure. Glass, which runs the full length of the building, was chosen as the exterior material because of the sleek, modern aesthetic and transparency enabling employees to enjoy natural daylight anywhere in the building.

ON Semi AEC-Q100 CMOS & X-Class

ON Semiconductor (Nasdaq: ON), driving energy efficient innovations, a leading supplier of automotive image sensors, is now offering a fully AEC-Q100 qualified version of its popular 2.1 MP CMOS image sensor, AR0237 for the burgeoning OEM-fitted dash cam or before-market in-car DVR market.

The AR0237AT is a cost-optimized, automotive qualified version of the same sensor selected by many manufacturers producing after-market dash cams, which offers Full HD video capture at 1080p/60fps, as well as still image capture. With the application moving into the before-market category, there is mounting demand from the automotive industry for a solution that can operate across the full automotive operating temperature range of -40°C to +105°C and deliver the right performance at the right price point. The low-light performance of the AR0237AT is further improved when it is coupled to a Clarity+™ enabled DVR processor. ON Semiconductor’s Clarity+ technology employs innovative filtering to optimize the SNR of automotive imaging solutions, which can deliver an additional 2X increase in light capture.

The AR0237AT is now available in an IBGA-80 package, measuring 10 mm x 10 mm.

ON Semiconductor announced its X-Class image sensor platform, which allows a single camera design to support not only multiple product resolutions, but also different pixel functionality. The first devices in the new platform are the 12 megapixel (MP) XGS 12000 and 4k / UHD resolution XGS 8000 image sensors, which provide high-performance imaging capabilities for applications such as machine vision, intelligent transportation systems and broadcast imaging

The initial devices in the X-Class family, the XGS 12000 and XGS 8000, are based on the first pixel architecture to be deployed in this platform – an advanced 3.2 µm global shutter CMOS pixel that features superior imaging performance, high image uniformity and low noise. The XGS 12000 provides 12 MP (4096 x 3072 pixel) resolution in a one-inch optical format to supply the imaging detail and performance needed for modern machine vision and inspection applications. The device is planned to be available in two speed grades – one that fully utilizes 10GigE interfaces by providing full resolution speeds up to 90 frames per second (fps), and a lower price version providing 27 fps at full resolution that aligns with the bandwidth available from USB 3.0 computer interfaces. The XGS 8000 provides 4k / UHD (4096 x 2160 pixels) resolution in a 1/1.1 inch optical format and is also planned to be available in two speed grades (130 and 75 fps), making the device ideal for broadcast applications.

The package dimensions of both devices combine with a low thermal profile enabled by the low-voltage, low-power architecture of the X-Class interface to make them fully compatible with compact 29 x 29 mm2 camera designs.

Link Motion CarBrain Partners with Irdeto

Link Motion Inc.  a leading smart car and smart ride company, has reached an agreement with Irdeto, the world leader in digital platform security to integrate its new smartphone-based secure vehicle access and safety solution, Keystone, into the Link Motion CarBrain platform. Automobile OEMs that implement Link Motion’s CarBrain will now provide consumers with the simplicity they expect to safely manage and operate today’s connected cars and autonomous vehicles, especially in new ride-sharing business models.

Announced in collaboration with Conjure at CES 2018, Keystone is a mobile phone enabled, fully secure, policy-based vehicle access, sharing and safety solution. By integrating the solution into the Link Motion CarBrain platform, OEMs are able to provide consumers with the ability to customize their driving experience by sharing keys with authenticated drivers, including teen drivers, family, friends, valets, parcel delivery people and many others while setting rules around the usage of the vehicle. From controlling the speed limit of the car, time of use, geolocation, trunk or glove box access, number of passengers in the vehicle and much more, car owners have the flexibility and freedom to customize their driving experience by enforcing vehicle usage policies.

Ridecell Wins SXSW Award

Ridecell Inc., the leading platform developer for carsharing and ridesharing operators, today announced that its Autonomous Operations Platform was chosen as a winner of the 2018 South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Innovation Awards. The top contender in the New Economy category, the Ridecell platform was selected by the SXSW judges as the most exciting tech development amongst sharing economy award finalists.

SmartDrive Transportation Intelligence Platform

SmartDrive Systems, a leader in video-based safety and transportation intelligence, announced the launch of the SmartDrive Transportation Intelligence Platform and SR4 hardware, which deliver breakthrough driving performance insights and analytic intelligence by fusing data from all systems, all sensors and the operating environment. The platform helps commercial and transit fleets improve safety and efficiency, as well as manage an entirely new set of business challenges arising from the progression of more autonomous technology on the vehicle. Unlike other camera systems that are increasing in size as computer vision capabilities are added, the SR4 next-generation hardware delivers the compute power required for computer vision, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving applications—all in a small, flexible footprint.

Supporting the SmartDrive Transportation Intelligence Platform, the SR4 hardware offers:

  • A purpose-built controller unit featuring intelligent monitoring and recording functions, expandable solid-state storage and 4G/LTE and Bluetooth 4.x communication protocols
  • Significantly smaller road and cab-facing cameras, which minimize impediments to the driver’s field of view and facilitate compliance with government regulations
  • A separate sensor bar that allows more flexibility in camera placement
  • A keypad that enables manual event recording while supporting unique identification codes and a privacy mode for drivers
  • A wireless key fob, putting the power of manual recording in the hands of the driver whether inside or outside the vehicle

Luxoft Joins AUTOSAR Consortium

Luxoft Holding  a global IT service provider, announced that it has joined the AUTOSAR Consortium, a cooperation of automotive manufacturers, suppliers and tool developers, to help develop a reference platform for its new Automotive Open System Architecture (AUTOSAR) called AUTOSAR Adaptive Platform (AR-AP). The move is part of the Consortium’s push to develop a running code base for the AR-AP that is accessible by all its members, which will accelerate the deployment of the new platform.

Luxoft is building reference platforms for two key areas of automotive high-performance computing for the AUTOSAR Adaptive platform: Digital Cockpit/IVI (including informational ADAS) and Autonomous Driving – both will be made available on open source.

Molex & INVECAS Infotainment

Molex and INVECAS announced a joint collaboration to develop an Automotive Infotainment Media Module for intelligent vehicles.

The new Infotainment Media Module incorporates a powerful solution designed by INVECAS, a leading provider of proven IP and embedded software and system-level solutions for the automotive industry and other market segments, and manufactured by GLOBALFOUNDRIES, a leading global full-service semiconductor foundry. GF’s automotive-qualified platform is a cost effective solution for a broad range of products, ranging from wearable devices to automotive MCU’s.

The Molex Infotainment Media Module can significantly reduce the time to implement an automotive module. A module can combine data, navigation, and in-vehicle infotainment features for audio, and video. Configurable for wired and wireless connectivity, a module can be integrated with the vehicle head unit, in-dash HMI displays and media systems. Molex demonstrated USB media modules featuring bring-your-own-device compatibility and for in-vehicle data sharing, with multiple devices charging and operating simultaneously, such as an Android Auto running a navigation app, while an iPad streams music. The use of high-power USB Type-C connectors (up to 100W) supports fast-charging profiles and optimizes design flexibility for custom power and data requirements.

Cinemo & Panasonic Continue Infotainment

Cinemo and Panasonic have announced a further extension of their cooperation on latest infotainment systems.

Cinemo and Panasonic are currently engaged in the development of multiple In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) projects to OEMs, several of them already shipping to the market. This new collaboration will again offer performance, automotive grade quality and feature-rich multimedia environment as Cinemo leverages its expertise in delivering powerful and advanced use cases for Panasonic’s Android based platform.

Mojio New Investments

eading connected car cloud platform company, Mojio, has secured new investment from strategic partners to accelerate the global adoption of its connected car solutions for mobile network operators and automotive manufacturers on both sides of the Atlantic. Adding to the company’s $30M CAD Series B raise in late 2017, Mojio welcomes Iris Capital and TELUS Ventures to its growing roster of strategic backers.

Digi Int’l Dev Platform

Digi International, a leading global provider of Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity products and services, today announced that SmartDrive, a leading provider of telematics and fleet management services, has selected the Digi ConnectCore 6UL secure, wireless System-on-Module (SOM) as the development platform for its recently announced DriveOps GPS Real-Time Fleet Management system

Dealer Market Joins Linux Foundation

Dealer Market Exchange PR LLC (DMX) has officially become a Silver Member of The Linux Foundation after becoming a general member of Hyperledger; announced in January. Co-Founder and CEO Jason Bennick said, “Hyperledger truly provides a broad vision for open blockchain technologies and standards across industries. The introduction of distributed ledger solutions is a key focus across our platform. We’ve made this commitment to accelerate delivery of our blockchain solutions with the end game of bringing dealerships and car manufacturers well into the 21st century.

VW Procures E-Mobility Batter Tech

The Volkswagen Group is driving forward with the transformation to e-mobility. 16 locations around the globe are to produce battery powered vehicles by the end of 2022. This was announced by Matthias Müller, CEO of Volkswagen AG, at the Group’s Annual Media Conference in Berlin. The Group currently produces electric vehicles at three locations, and in two years’ time a further nine Group plants are scheduled to be equipped for this purpose. To ensure adequate battery capacity for the massive expansion of environmentally-friendly electric mobility, partnerships with battery manufacturers for Europe and China have already been agreed. The contracts already awarded have a total volume of around EUR 20 billion. A supplier decision for North America will be taken shortly.

Mercedes-Benz Connected Business

Future mobility solutions are based substantially on connected vehicles. With a view to the needs of fleet managers, Mercedes-Benz Connectivity Services GmbH is extending its “connect business” offering to include the “Driver Messaging” service. It facilitates secure and efficient communication between fleet managers and drivers. Those responsible for fleets can quickly and easily pass on information such as maintenance or wheel-change appointments to the drivers. Via the “connect business” portal they can send messages to individual drivers or groups. The messages are received via the “connect business” App. Via intelligent search functions and the creation of driver and vehicle groups, the recipients can be selected quickly and easily. All the fleet-relevant data are pooled on the “connect business” platform and the fleet controlled centrally.

15,000 vehicles have been connected since the start of “connect business” nearly a year ago. Since the start of this year the connectivity services have also been available in Belgium and the Netherlands. “The market launch of ‘connect business’ was very successful. Our connectivity services help fleet and business customers in their daily work”, explains Christoph Ludewig, Head of Mercedes-Benz Connectivity Services GmbH. “We want to continue growing with ‘connect business’. To this end, we are extending our portfolio to include further services and rolling out our offering in further markets.”

Mercedes-Benz announced it is investing 100 million euros (~$120 million USD) in a battery factory in Thailand.


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