Connected Car News: Zenuity, Innoviz, Luminar, Trak Global, IMS, Zoox, Xaltic and AVL.

In connected car news this week were EV Safe Charge, Zenuity, Sony, Daimler Trucks,
PerceptIn, Unity Tech, WirelessCar, Innoviz, Luminar, Trak Global, IMS, Zoox, Xaltic and AVL.

EV Safe Charge for Jaguar NA

EV Safe Charge, a US-based Electric Vehicle charging installation and services company, today announced its role and involvement at Jaguar Electrifies Experience, a multi-city national tour to promote the brand’s first-ever, all-electric performance SUV, the I-PACE. Jaguar North America is leveraging EV Safe Charge’s portable electric vehicle (EV) charging solution, EV Charge Mobile, as one of the suppliers to Jaguar Electrifies Experience to power the I-PACE vehicles on-site.

Zenuity HAAS Safety Partnership

HAAS Alert, a Chicago-based startup building the world’s most reliable, real-time roadway hazard streaming data service, and Zenuity, a Sweden-based ADAS and automated driving (AD) software company, announced that they have entered into a strategic partnership to enhance their respective automotive product offerings.

The HAAS Alert Safety Cloud sends alerts to connected cars, mobile apps, and autonomous vehicles when they are in close proximity to responding emergency vehicles and other fleet vehicles impacting mobility on the roadways. By receiving this information in advance, drivers and vehicles can make safer and smarter driving decisions. The partnership with Zenuity allows HAAS Alert to leverage Zenuity’s expertise, technology, and business relationships in the automotive industry to accelerate adoption of the HAAS Alert Safety Cloud.

New Sony CMOS

Sony Corporation announced today that it has released the 1/1.55 type, 5.4-effective-megapixel*1 IMX490 CMOS image sensor for automotive cameras. Sony will begin shipping samples in March 2019.

The new image sensor simultaneously achieves HDR and LED flicker*3 mitigation functions at the industry’s highest*2 5.4-effective-megapixels*1. This makes it possible to capture a wider angle of view while maintaining the same resolution as with existing lower resolution sensors, enabling the sensor to recognize traffic conditions and objects such as obstacles, signs, and traffic signals across a broader field.

Sony has also improved the saturation illuminance through a proprietary pixel structure and exposure method. When using the HDR imaging and LED flicker*3 mitigation functions at the same time, this offers a wide 120dB*4 dynamic range, about three times higher than that of the previous product. This means highlight oversaturation can be mitigated, even in situations where 100,000 lux sunlight is directly reflecting off a light-colored car in the front, and the like, thereby capturing the subject more accurately even under road conditions where there is a dramatic lighting contrast such as when entering and exiting a tunnel.

First eM2 Freightliner Commercial Truck Delivered

Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) delivered the first vehicle in its Freightliner Electric Innovation Fleet – a Freightliner eM2 – to Penske Truck Leasing, fulfilling its promise to put an electric commercial truck in customer hands in 2018. This delivery marks a key milestone in the real-world application of battery-electric commercial vehicles, as well as an important step towards emissions-free mobility.

PerceptIn AV in Fukuoka

PerceptIn, a world-class full-stack visual intelligence company focused on robotics,  announced a collaboration with the city government of Fukuoka to deploy its autonomous vehicle, the DragonFly Pod, at the Hakozaki area of Fukuoka.

With the support of The Japan Research Institute, Limited, the number one business incubation and acceleration program in Japan that supports startups for social impact, PerceptIn’s goal is to launch a completely new and affordable micro-mobility service that will reduce the burden on local governments for transportation costs. As part of its partnership with Fukuoka city government and MIRAI Future Smart City Challenge, PerceptIn will carry out field tests and demonstrations in the Hakozaki area in Kyushu.

PerceptIn’s electric low-speed small vehicle (LSE) DragonFly Pod is available as an autonomous mobility service that students, faculty, staff and elderly can hail for free via a mobile application. The DragonFly vehicle aims to roll-out within Hakozaki area in September 2019, when local citizens will be invited to experience the autonomous driving technology.

PerceptIn’s entrance into the Japanese market comes shortly after their launch of the DragonFly Intelligent Advertising Vehicle, which will be made available for purchase in the U.S to select customers in the first quarter of 2019 for $40,000. The company is now selecting customers for their self-driving vending machine pilot program in the U.S.

Unity with Baidu

Unity Technologies creator of the world’s most widely used real-time 3D development platform, announced  a collaboration with Baidu Inc., China’s leading Internet Giant, to develop a real-time simulation product that creates virtual environments allowing developers to test autonomous vehicles in simulated real-world situations. The Unity-based real-time simulation will now be available to developers taking part in Baidu’s Apollo platform: an open, comprehensive and reliable platform geared towards accelerating the development, testing, and deployment of Levels 3, 4, 5 autonomous vehicle

Volvo Sells WirelessCar to VW

The Volvo Group today signed an agreement to divest 75.1% of the shares in its wholly-owned subsidiary WirelessCar to the Volkswagen Group. The sales price amounts to SEK 1.1 billion. The divestment will, at the time of closing of the transaction, result in a positive impact on operating income of approximately SEK 1.5 billion and a positive cash flow effect of SEK 1.1 billion. Closing of the transaction is expected during the first half of 2019.

WirelessCar provides connected vehicle services and solutions to global producers of passenger cars.

Innoviz LiDAR Expands

Innoviz Technologies, a leading provider of high-performance, solid-state LiDAR sensors and perception software, announced  a host of milestones achieved including expansion into four new countries, enhanced manufacturing abilities, significant personnel growth and more, aligning with the company’s mission to provide LiDAR solutions that are available and affordable at a massive scale

A new, state-of-the-art 4,000 square meter facility will provide Innoviz with labs, garages for test vehicles, clean rooms and more that expand existing manufacturing capabilities. In addition, Innoviz’s simple assembly process, thanks to its proprietary chip designs, passes dramatic price reductions on to customers.

Innoviz has expanded globally with the opening of offices in four new countries including the U.S., Germany, China and Japan, with additional expansions planned in 2019.

Over the past year, Innoviz has doubled in personnel, bringing together the best talent available to help establish an industry leader in a very short period of time. Over the year ahead, Innoviz will focus personnel in several key areas, including: research and development, optics, MEMs, mechanics, system, hardware, perception software, business operations and sales.

Luminar Partners with AID

Luminar announced its collaboration with Autonomous Intelligent Driving GmbH (AID) to provide the forward-facing high fidelity and long-range LiDAR technology and accelerate plans towards AID’s first fully autonomous deployments in 2021. AID plays a key role as the urban autonomous driving technology supplier for the Volkswagen Group, including brands like VW, Audi and Porsche.

Trak Global Buys IMS

Trak Global Group (TGG), a British telematics company that provides the technology for almost 25% of usage-based insurance policies in the UK, is to acquire Canada’s Intelligent Mechatronic Systems Inc (IMS), based on Waterloo Region and operating globally, for an undisclosed fee.

The deal will give Trak Global Group, which is also Europe’s leading telematics supplier to the vehicle rental and mobility sector – significant and immediate scale in the North American market. The combined Group will connect over half a million vehicles and generate revenues of well over $50 million USD.

The newly-expanded Group will comprise around 300 people, a third of whom are based in North America, providing services to a customer base which includes a long list of insurance and mobility companies as well as major vehicle manufacturers. The Group will realign all its international activities within connected insurance under the IMS brand, and its services to the mobility market under the Trak Global brand.

Zoox Releases Safety Innovation

Autonomous mobility developer Zoox, Inc.  released “Safety Innovation at Zoox,” the company’s first safety assessment report provided to the Federal Government.

The report covers unique safety innovations that Zoox is pioneering during its testing phase that will be foundational to future commercialization. Today, Zoox tests its software and sensors on conventional vehicles with safety drivers across the San Francisco Bay Area. In the future, Zoox will operate a service of fully autonomous battery electric vehicles optimized for ride-sharing in cities.

Xtalic Enters EV Market

Xtalic Corporation, a leader in providing nano-scale metal alloys and coatings that solve customers’ mission-critical materials problems, has announced it has entered the electric vehicle market with products that extend the life of connectors in electric battery chargers by up to 40 times.

Xtalic has applied its XTRONIC and LUNA nanostructured alloys to lengthen the service lives of electric vehicle charger connectors. Traditional connector contacts employ a silver-over-nickel-over-copper construction that wears through after 250 charge cycles. Xtalic replaces these layers with its materials to significantly enhance the connectors’ hardness, durability, and corrosion resistance. The Xtalic alloys have achieved up to 10,000 charge cycles in high normal force applications.

Xtalic products also can operate at 150° C or higher — temperatures that may cause conventional materials to lose critical properties required for safe operation. All Xtalic materials are stable at high temperatures due to a carefully engineered crystal structure.

Connector companies and OEM’s are currently testing and qualifying the Xtalic materials, and the company expects to see them incorporated in the next generation of electric vehicles.

AVL Testing for CARB

AVL has been awarded the contract to provide nearly all the software and hardware for light and heavy duty vehicle, engine and powertrain testing at the new California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) lab in Riverside, Calif.

Another plus for California is 25 percent of AVL’s contract value will be sourced to small and disabled veteran-based businesses as part of the project.

With experience working on projects of this scale, AVL will provide vehicle testing solutions with flexibility to adapt over time. Because mobility systems continue to evolve, AVL’s seamless lab operating system coupled with its hardware will future-proof the facility so CARB is fully-equipped to achieve its goals for decades.

With AVL’s configurable software, CARB will not only be able to quickly create and run tests, but also monitor and control their systems and data from anywhere through wireless tracking via PCs and mobile devices.

Ambarella and Hella

Ambarella, Inc. a leading developer of high-resolution video processing and computer vision semiconductors, and HELLA Aglaia, one of the leading global developers of intelligent visual perception software, today announced that they are partnering to deliver a platform for the next generation of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). The platform is based on Ambarella’s CV22AQ CVflow computer vision processor, which offers a powerful Image Signal Processor (ISP) and massive Artificial Intelligence (AI) computing performance with extremely low power consumption, typically below 2.5 watts. Combined with HELLA Aglaia’s production-proven software, the platform enables forward-facing, single-box ADAS cameras with advanced AI features and highly-accurate image content recognition, requirements for safety-critical applications.

The CV22AQ’s CVflow architecture provides computer vision processing at full 4K or 8-Megapixel resolution at 30 frames per second (fps), to enable image recognition over long distances and with high accuracy. Its ISP provides outstanding imaging in low light conditions while High Dynamic Range (HDR) processing extracts maximum image detail in high-contrast scenes, further enhancing the computer vision capabilities of the chip. CV22AQ includes a suite of advanced security features to protect against hacking, including secure boot, TrustZone™, and I/O virtualization.

BMW i Ventures Invests in Graphcore

BMW i Ventures has announced a strategic investment in Graphcore, a company developing a new kind of computer processor and software specifically designed for machine intelligence.

Since the company’s founding only two years ago, Graphcore has helped innovators create next-generation machine intelligence solutions. Graphcore’s Intelligence Processing Unit (IPU) is the first processor to be designed specifically for Machine Intelligence and delivers higher speeds compared to conventional hardware.

Iteris ClearPath Weather

Iteris ClearPath Weather is based on Iteris’ Highway Condition Analysis and Prediction System (HiCAPS™) pavement condition model and leverages proprietary application programming interfaces (APIs) to access weather data. The cloud-based MDSS solution features an easy-to-use interface, and advanced visualization tools and mapping, which give state and local agency maintenance managers access to real-time information, such as looping radar, satellite imagery, weather forecasts, plow location, and route-specific weather and pavement conditions.

Nikon Invests in Velodyne

Velodyne Lidar, Inc.  announced Nikon Corporation (Nikon) as a new strategic investor with an investment of $25M. The parties further announced they have begun discussions for a multifaceted business alliance. Nikon is one of the world’s leading suppliers of products and solutions based on advanced opto-electronics and precision technologies.

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