Connected Car News: Tesla, Apple, Uber, Mobileye, Qualcomm, Toyota, Ford, smart cities, Google, Hella & Carma Car

In connected car news this week were Tesla, Apple, Uber, Mobileye, Qualcomm, Toyota, Ford, smart cities, Google, Hella and Carma Car.

Best a’ Tesla

Musk Tweeted that if workers at the Fremont plant join the union, they may loose stock options.

A class action lawsuit over the delay of the Autopilot feature was settled in a San Jose. Tesla will compensate “all customers globally in the same way,” even though only U.S. customers brought the lawsuit. Customers who bought he Autopilot features for Tesla Model S and X will receive from $10 t0 $280 while Tesla created a $5M fund to pay buyers and legal fees.

The Center for Auto Safety and Consumer Watchdog today called on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate dangerously misleading and deceptive advertising and marketing practices and representations made by Tesla Motors, Inc. regarding the safety of Autopilot.

Apple Bytes into Self-Driving VW Vans

According to the NY Times Apple is working with Volkswagen to turn the T6 Transporter vans into self-driving shuttles for Apple employees. The vans will be re-made into electric self-driving shuttles in Turin, Italy, at Italdesign. The vans will have new components such as dashboards, seats, computers, EV battery and sensors.

Uber Defeats

Uber ended its self-driving program in Arizona. NHSTA authorities discovered that the Uber self-driving car involved in the death of a bicyclist had its automatic braking disabled and was supposed to rely on the human driver who was not paying attention.

Mobileye Loses Sight of Stop Light

At news event in Jerusalem, a demo Mobileye autonomous car, ran through a red light with the driver doing nothing. Interference from wireless news cameras was blamed for the incident where no one was hurt.

Qualcomm AI Research: NXP Completed

Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM), announced the formation of Qualcomm AI Research, a cross-functional, cooperative effort that encompasses all of the cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) research taking place across the company. Qualcomm Technologies began exploring fundamental AI research over a decade ago when it investigated spiking neuron networks for computer vision and motion control applications. Today, Qualcomm AI Research’s work is diverse, spanning across power efficient AI, personalization, and data-efficient learning that builds on Qualcomm Technologies’ leadership in connectivity and computing. This fundamental research has already helped deliver commercial solutions for smartphones, automotive, and IoT and is foundational for expanding on-device intelligence to many new industries.

Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) today announced that Qualcomm River Holdings B.V., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Qualcomm, has extended the offering period of its previously announced cash tender offer to purchase all of the outstanding common shares of NXP Semiconductors N.V.

New Toyota FCEV Facilities

Toyota sees global sales of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) increasing significantly after 2020, to at least 30,000 per year from today’s 3,000. To prepare for this growth, the company unveiled plans for two major new facilities : a brand-new building near its original automobile factory for expanding fuel cell stack mass production, and a new line in an existing plant to manufacture high-pressure hydrogen tanks. The FC stack is what generates the on-board electricity from hydrogen and oxygen which propel FCEVs with zero emissions, and the tanks store the hydrogen fuel. Manufacturing both components at scale is critical to achieving lower system costs and wider availability for further growth and sales of FCEVs.//////

As a technology, fuel cells are mature and ready to scale up. Toyota took the lead in bringing to market the mass-produced fuel cell sedan, the Mirai, in December 2014. Annual production and sales have increased yearly, going from about 700 units in 2015, to around 2,000 units in 2016, and, most recently, approximately 3,000 units in 2017. However, in order to encourage more widespread use of hydrogen-powered zero-emission vehicles, popularization needs to start by the 2020s. Toyota aims for annual sales of FCEVs to top 30,000 units globally from around that time.

At present, Mirai is sold in eleven countries: Japan, the United States, and nine countries in Europe. Toyota is working to develop an environment that will allow FCEVs to be sold in more countries and regions in the future. As part of this, demonstration tests of Mirai are currently under way in Australia, Canada, China, and the U.A.E., and Toyota is examining demand for FCEVs while continuing to help with initiatives to promote hydrogen infrastructure development.

Ford Autonomous Vehicles Moves to Corktown

Marking its return to the Motor City, Ford is moving its electric vehicle and autonomous vehicle business teams into a refurbished former factory located in Detroit’s historic Corktown neighborhood. Much more than just a relocation, the move is a purpose-driven strategic decision, offering a new work environment and customizable workspace that will enable the acceleration of Ford’s push into electrification and strengthen its development of self-driving vehicles.

The historic 45,000-square-foot building has undergone extensive renovation to bring about optimal working conditions for employees dedicated to autonomy and electrification.

Corktown employees are part of cross-functional global teams working with product development, purchasing, and marketing, sales and service groups around the world to deliver the right vehicles for customers in each region.

Traffic Light Signal Future Cities

Spanning 18 months, the new collaboration brings together researchers and software engineers with expertise across mathematics and data interaction, from the Turing and the Universities of Cambridge and Manchester, and mobility expertise from the Toyota Mobility Foundation. They will be working with data providers, and government managers underpinning Future Cities, as well as drawing upon expertise from the Turing and partner universities’ ongoing work in the area with the Greater London Authority.

Potential outcomes include

  • integrating an AI system for traffic lights (signal) control
  • building a platform for interactive data manipulation to monitor and predict traffic behaviour, and to test out planning scenarios
  • finding mechanisms for fleet operators and cities to work together, for example by sharing data about congestion or pollution hotspots, and rerouting around the problem before it becomes serious

ATI & TMF Collaborate for City Programming

The Alan Turing Institute and the Toyota Mobility Foundation are collaborating on a project to transform the way cities are planned and managed. The objective of this new project, ‘Optimizing flow within mobility systems with AI’, part of the Turing’s new AI programm, is to transition complex traffic management from static systems into dynamic, optimized systems that are managed in real-time across many types of mobility.

Google & relayr

Google and relayr, a leading provider of industrial internet of things (IIoT) solutions, have together helped Aluvation, an aluminum heat treatment company, disrupt the way automotive companies traditionally process aluminum components for vehicles.

Through an innovative “Heat Treatment as a Service” model, relayr’s IoT platform-connected heat treatment modules from Aluvation now take a few days to install – versus 6-12 months of installation time for heat treatment production lines – and start producing hardened components in a pay-as-you-go business model. With this visionary product, not only is Aluvation disrupting the aluminum production industry, relayr is revolutionizing how industrial devices are managed and monetized.

Toyota in Discussions with Suzuki

Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) and Suzuki Motor Corporation (Suzuki) have agreed  to start discussing new joint projects in the fields of technological development, vehicle production, and market development.

Discussion topics

  1. Denso Corporation and Toyota to provide Suzuki with technological support for a compact, ultrahigh-efficiency powertrain to be developed by Suzuki.
  2. Toyota Kirloskar Motor Private Ltd. (TKM) to produce models developed by Suzuki for sale in India through each of the Toyota and Suzuki brand network.
  3. Supply of models developed by Suzuki, including those to be produced by TKM (as mentioned above), from India to African and other markets by Toyota and Suzuki, employing each of the Toyota and Suzuki sales networks to sell such vehicles, and advancing cooperation in the domains of logistics and services.

Details related to the above are to be discussed going forward.

Hella joins eSync Alliance

The eSync Alliance announces that HELLA has become its latest member, joining existing Alliance members to build an industry wide bi-directional pipeline to electronic devices in the automotive market.

The eSync Alliance is a multi-company initiative for driving Over-the-Air (OTA) update and diagnostic data solutions in the automotive electronics sector. It is based around eSync, a platform of cloud and embedded software that provides a secure data pipeline between the cloud and electronic end devices installed in vehicles. eSync can deliver and update software and firmware over-the-air and can collect real-time diagnostics and telematics data from end devices in the vehicle.

Clean Mobility Contributes to Commerce

The clean mobility sector contributes $18.8 billion to Michigan’s economy and generates over $700 million in state and local tax revenue annually, according to a new economic analysis released today by Clean Fuels Michigan. The study was conducted by Public Sector Consultants and analyzed various economic benefits that result from private sector investments in research, development and commercialization of clean mobility technologies. Clean mobility includes vehicles that use less-polluting alternatives to fossil fuels, such as biofuels, propane, natural gas, hydrogen fuel cells, electrification and hybrids.//

Lowest EM Converters

Automotive designers can significantly lower EMI and increase efficiency with the pin-compatible MAX20073 and MAX20074 buck converters from Maxim Integrated Products, Inc.The compact converters, which offer the industry’s lowest EMI performance for low-voltage point-of-load applications, are ideal for automotive infotainment and ADAS applications.

The MAX20073/MAX20074 features higher efficiency than competitive solutions and offer the lowest EMI in the industry, reducing interference that can impact the function of sub-systems in a small solution size with ultra-low quiescent current. Combined with Maxim’s unique spread spectrum oscillator, SYNC IN functionality, forced PWM, skip modes and current-mode architecture, the system quality and performance dramatically improves, easing overall system designs. Additionally, backend point-of-load (POL) buck converters, such as the MAX20073/MAX20074, send very specific voltages to the many power rails that come with adding advanced modern features. Its output voltage accuracy makes it ideal for applications that have these tight processor and memory voltage requirements. The ICs also adhere to tight safety standards, operate with low-input voltages across a wide range of temperatures, and minimize radio frequency interference (RFI) while exhibiting high accuracy, high efficiency, and high reliability.

Subscription Cars From Many a Dealer

As local residents plan for summer travel, a new transportation option is available through Mobiliti, the first multi-dealer, multi-brand, national vehicle subscription service. New Yorkers who need vehicles for summer stays in The Hamptons, Jersey Shore, or other vacation destinations, can subscribe to a vehicle to drive anywhere from 30 days to several months.

Beginning June 2018, Mobiliti is partnering with Island Auto Group, a top-50 dealer group according to Automotive News, to offer consumers a range of vehicles for one monthly fee that includes insurance, maintenance, warranty coverage and roadside assistance.

Using the Mobiliti app, available now on the App Store and Google Play, customers will be able to view available inventory at Island Auto Group after launch and select the vehicles to fit their needs and budget. Each vehicle is uniquely priced based on make, model and mileage options. There is no cost to become a Mobiliti member, but approval requires a minimum age requirement, good driving record, credit card and valid US driver’s license.

Kyba Invests in Carma Car Vehicles Subscriptions

Kyyba Innovations today announced its investment decision in Carma Car, a vehicle subscriptions company. Carma Car was one of the finalist in TiECon Detroit’s mobility competition partnered by Kyyba Innovations and Planet M.


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