Connected Car News: Volvo, Luminar, May Mobility, Mapfit, VW, NXP, HERE, Wind River, Toyota, Grab, Intagles, Synopsis, GeoTab & Iteris

In connected car news this week were Volvo, Luminar, May Mobility, Mapfit, Volkswagen, NXP, HERE, Wind River, Toyota, Grab, Intagles, Synopsis, GeoTab and Iteris

Volvo Invests in Luminar

Volvo Cars, the premium car maker, has completed the first strategic investment via its newly-founded investment fund by taking a stake in Luminar, a leading start-up in the development of advanced sensor technology for use in autonomous vehicles.

The investment in Luminar, based in Palo Alto, California, and Orlando, Florida, deepens Volvo Cars’ existing collaboration with the firm, which currently focuses on development and testing of its sensing technology on Volvo cars. LiDAR technology, which uses pulsed laser signals to detect objects, is a crucial element of creating safe autonomous vehicles.

May Partners with Magna in June

May Mobility, an Ann Arbor, Michigan startup building self-driving shuttles, has partnered with Magna, a mobility technology company and one of the world’s largest automotive suppliers, to retrofit and scale up May Mobility’s unique fleet of self-driving shuttles set to enter the US market.

This partnership is an industry-first, with Magna retrofitting low-speed self-driving micro transit electric vehicles from the chassis up. The initial fleet of vehicles will debut on June 26, 2018 with May Mobility’s first commercial deployment which will take place in Detroit, Michigan.

Inside the Magna facility, its team of experts is doing a full rebuild for May Mobility’s self-driving shuttle, including:

  • Body modifications such as custom doors and a panoramic moonroof
  • Drive-by-Wire Upfitting to convert the vehicles into an autonomous-ready state
  • Sensor integration, including mounting, cabling, and streamlined cowlings

May Mobility will continue to further retrofit the vehicles with its proprietary technology stack, bringing safer and more reliable self-driving vehicles to complex urban and residential environments.

Mapfit Vector Maps

Mapfit announced the launch of its map platform and the close of its $5.5 million seed funding round. The platform provides websites and app developers (iOS and Android) continuously-updated fast vector map serving and accurate geocoding, enabling best-in-class map experiences.

A significant benefit of Mapfit’s platform is its ability to heuristically determine the location of entrances for 95% of addresses assigned to building structures, enabling door-to-door navigation across major metropolitan areas. The last-ten-feet navigation problem had been a setback for consumer mapping applications and for autonomous vehicles envisioning entrance-to-entrance autonomous navigation.

Honeywell Rebranded as Garrett

Honeywell announced that its Transportation Systems business will rebrand itself “Garrett – Advancing Motion” upon successful completion of the previously announced spin which is expected to close before the end of the third quarter.

Designing the Future at VW

Design will play a key role in deciding which automobile brands survive in the future,” commented Michael Mauer. The Head of Design at the Volkswagen Group perceives new challenges for automobile designers over the coming years. This is because they will define no less than the future of mobility and the role that automobile design will play in that process.

New NXP Kinetics MCUs

NXP Semiconductors announced it has extended the product longevity for its popular family of Kinetis microcontrollers (MCUs) to 15 years. Strong market demand is fuelling NXP’s continued investment in its trusted Kinetis solutions that support developers and product managers across many markets throughout the lifecycle of their products

The Kinetis microcontroller portfolio includes the Kinetis K series of general-purpose MCUs based on Arm® Cortex®-M4 core and Kinetis L series MCUs based on Arm Cortex-M0+ core.  Application-specific MCUs include the Kinetis V series for motor control and power conversion, Kinetis E series MCUs for robust 5V applications, the Kinetis W series line for wireless connectivity and the Kinetis M series for metering. All Kinetis microcontrollers are supported by the unified MCUXpresso software and tool suite.

UBI to Increase

According to an new J.D. Power study, usage-based insurance programs, which leverage telematics technology to set insurance premiums based on how far and how safely a customer drives, are gaining converts. This year, 10% of insurance customers indicate participating in usage-based insurance programs, up from 8% in 2016 and 2017. While the most common reason for participating in a usage-based program is to obtain a discount, speeding alerts, vehicle tracking and driver coaching are gaining importance among customers currently using such programs.

HERE Opens Mobility Marketplace

HERE Mobility, the mobility unit of HERE Technologies, opened their Mobility Marketplace  in London, merging London’s transportation services onto one platform, with live schedule updates, pricing comparisons, and booking options. Businesses looking to facilitate mobility services to their customers, can now integrate the HERE Mobility Marketplace into their offering, providing door-to-door customer service and a superior customer experience. The platform will debut as a physical transit kiosk at the London Tech Week conference, where attendees can connect directly to the Mobility Marketplace and book travel from the widest offering of mobility providers available in their city, helping people travel to their destinations seamlessly.

Wind Rivers CMMI Level 3

Wind River is proud to announce that the CMMI Institute has appraised our Connective Vehicle Solutions and Professional Services at a Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) Level 3, underscoring our dedication to continuous improvement and producing quality solutions and services that make a difference.

CMMI is a globally-recognized set of best practices that enable organizations to improve performance, key capabilities and critical business processes. With a CMMI Maturity Level 3 appraisal, our work and processes have received the highest form of third-party validation. In particular, this rating is highly valued in industries such as automotive, aerospace and defense, as well as a wide range of markets where design, development and certification processes are of paramount importance.

This rating builds on Wind River’s past CMMI Level 3 achievements, the first of which was attained in 2006. This year, GillPage Associates, Inc. performed a CMMI SCAMPI ‘A’ appraisal in the Development discipline, rating Wind River in 18 process areas with an emphasis on engineering practices.

BorgWarner Tech Center in IN

BorgWarner has opened a new 100,000 square-foot technical center in Noblesville, Indiana. Combining operations from existing facilities in Anderson and Pendleton, Indiana, the new technical center features a state-of-the-art lab which increases the company’s research and development capacity to meet growing customer demand for these products by expanding the prototype building and testing capabilities for its electrified products. The building’s thoughtful, open concept office space is designed to spur employee collaboration and creativity to assist BorgWarner in maintaining its position as a global leader in providing clean and efficient vehicle propulsion solutions.

Toyota Grabs Grab

Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) announced today that it has concluded an agreement with Grab Holdings Inc. (Grab) to strengthen their existing partnership and expand the collaboration between Toyota and Grab in Southeast Asia to drive further advances in Mobility as a Service (MaaS) across the region. As part of this agreement, Toyota will invest $1 billion U.S. dollars (approximately 110 billion yen) in Grab. Furthermore, to accelerate decision-making, one Toyota executive will be appointed to Grab’s board of directors and a dedicated Toyota team member will be seconded to Grab to as an executive officer, with Toyota considering more personnel exchanges in the future.

Grab operates online-to-offline mobile platforms in transportation, food and package delivery, mobile payments and financial services in 217 cities in eight Southeast Asian countries. In March this year, it acquired Uber Technologies Inc.’s Southeast Asian assets, and is now the partner of choice for ride-hailing in the region.

Intangles Digitial Twinning

Intangles, after releasing Connected Vehicle and Advanced Telemetry technology, has now released Digital Twinning (DT) solution using Hybrid Analytics in Vehicle Life Cycle Management. Through digital twinning, Intangles creates virtual sensors for automobile components, thus predicting performance and failures, which are generally too late to detect or lead to vehicle breakdown.

Combining Deep Learning with Physics-based modeling, Ingenious predicts component-level failures by analyzing sensor data. The data gathered through their proprietary hardware feeds into the Physics + Deep Learning-based model, which transforms the data into a much higher realm where certain target features allow the algorithms to predict the health of the vehicle under study.

Synopsys Release LucidShape

Synopsys announced the latest release of its LucidShape software for the design, simulation and analysis of automotive exterior lighting. Sophisticated new simulation capabilities in LucidShape version 2018.06 make the design of automotive headlight and signal light systems faster and more efficient.

Geotab Buys FleetCarma

Geotab, a global leader in IoT and connected transportation,  announced the acquisition of clean-tech solution provider, FleetCarma. Specializing in Electric Vehicle (EV) telematics, FleetCarma is a forerunner in the electric vehicle industry, providing technology that has been critical to the adoption and operation of EVs for over 10 years.

The acquisition of FleetCarma accelerates Geotab’s long-standing commitment to investing in the people and technology required to be the global leader in telematics for EVs. With the adoption of electric vehicles increasing over the past several years, resulting in more than 3 million EVs on the road today, Geotab is positioned to be the global, dominant telematics player for electric vehicle fleet management.

Iteris for FL

Iteris, Inc.  announced that it has been awarded a $3.2 million sub-contract agreement to provide operations services and staff to the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) District 7 regional traffic management center (RTMC) in Tampa, Florida, representing an expansion of Iteris’ operations services business in a key geographic market.

Under the terms of the sub-contract, with Lucent Group, Inc., Iteris will supply traffic management center (TMC) operations services and staff for a minimum of five years. The program supports FDOT’s commitment to a “proactive operations culture,” which takes a more purposeful approach to seeking and anticipating traffic-related issues with the goal of improving road safety and efficiency for travelers.


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