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Connected Car News; Tesla, VW, TomTom, Lucid Motors, DENSO, Lexar, Xevo, Hyundai, Pioneer, Xevo & Lexar

In connected car news this week were Tesla, VW, TomTom, Lucid Motors, DENSO, Lexar, Xevo, Hyundai, Pioneer, Xevo and Lexar.

Tesla 3 Camera Watches Passengers

Elon Musk revealed why there is an interior facing camera in the Tesla Model 3

“It’s there for when we start competing with Uber/Lyft & people allow their car to earn money for them as part of the Tesla shared autonomy fleet. In case someone messes up your car, you can check the video.”

VW Testing Autonomous Driving

Volkswagen Group Research is testing automated vehicles in urban traffic in Hamburg. This is the first time Volkswagen has begun to test automated driving to Level 4 at real driving conditions in a major German city. From now, a fleet of five e-Golf, equipped with laser scanners, cameras, ultrasonic sensors and radars, will drive on a three-kilometer section of the digital test bed for automated and connected driving in the Hanseatic city. The results of the test drives, which will be continuously evaluated taking full account of all data protection rules, will be incorporated in the Group’s numerous research projects on automated driving, and will test customer-centric services and optimize individual transport.

TomTom Telematics Sold to Bridgestone

Location technology specialist TomTom completed the sale of its Telematics business to Bridgestone Europe NV/SA for a purchase price of €910 million.

“Today is an important milestone for TomTom. With strong innovation and a renewed focus on the Automotive and Enterprise segment, we will advance the future of driving with highly accurate maps, navigation software and real-time traffic information and services,” commented Harold Goddijn, CEO, TomTom. “We will invest in further improving the efficiency of our map-making platform and launch leading-edge products to enable automated driving and developer applications.”

As agreed at the Extraordinary General Meeting held on 18 March, TomTom will return €750 million of the net proceeds of the sale to its shareholders, expected to occur in the second quarter of this year.

Pioneer Dual Camera Safety System

Pioneer has been offering an ADAS solution called Intelligent Pilot since April 2017. This is a driving assistance solution which aims to support safer driving through the use of its digital map-based accident risk prediction platform and connected IoT devices.

In the latest development, to prevent car accidents caused by driver fatigue and drowsiness, it has augmented its lineup with a connected dual camera drive recorder equipped with a driver monitoring function that is able to detect drowsiness and driver distraction (planned introduction in April into Japan). This feature will make it possible to monitor the state of the driver in real-time and provide improved assistance for safe driving.

  • A driver monitoring.
  • Drowsiness detection.
  • Distraction detection.
  • Safe driving assistance function that detects dangerous driving on the part of the driver through a forward camera.
  • Front Car Proximity AlertLane Veering Detection.
  • Issues alerts and warnings based on accident risk prediction.
  • Predicts the risk of an accident in real-time based on various data including digital maps,
    probe data, accident-prone spots and weather as well as driver tendencies, and alerts or
    warns the driver only when there is a high risk of an accident
  • AI scoring feature

Daimler Invests in Torc

Daimler Trucks, a division in the Daimler Group, the inventor of the truck and world’s largest manufacturer of heavy and medium trucks, and Torc Robotics, a pioneer in autonomous driving solutions, are joining forces in a one-of-a-kind combination to commercialize highly automated trucks (SAE Level 4) on U.S. roads. Going beyond an OEM/supplier relationship, the companies signed an agreement  for Daimler AG’s subsidiary Daimler Trucks and Buses Holding Inc., to acquire a majority stake in Torc Robotics for an undisclosed sum. Closing of the acquisition is subject to approval from U.S. authorities.

Hyundai Cradles Berlin

Hyundai Motor Company has officially opened its Hyundai CRADLE Berlin office in Germany establishing its third CRADLE office worldwide.

Hyundai Motor Company has officially opened its Hyundai CRADLE Berlin office in Germany establishing its third CRADLE office worldwide, with additional bases in Silicon Valley (USA) and Tel Aviv (Israel).

Toyota Core Components to Denso

Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) and DENSO Corporation (DENSO) announce that they have made a formal decision and reached agreement toward concluding a contract to transfer core electronic component operations to DENSO. In June 2018, both companies reached a basic agreement to consolidate the core electronic component operations of both Toyota and DENSO within DENSO, and began detailed studies.

Lexar Buys Xevo

Lexar Corporation  a global automotive technology leader in seating and electrical and electronic systems, today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Seattle-based Xevo Inc., a leading automotive software supplier that develops solutions for cloud, car, and mobile devices.

Xevo’s Journeyware suite of products combines a user-friendly interface with a cloud-based framework that allow drivers to seamlessly interact with in-car content and mobile applications utilizing real-time data. Xevo Market, an automotive commerce and services platform, connects consumers with popular food, fuel, parking, hotel, and retail brands through in-vehicle touchscreens and OEM-branded mobile applications.//

Hyundai Mobis’ AI

On March 31, Hyundai Mobis ( announced during its meeting at the KINTEX Seoul Motor Show that the company would be the first in Korea to secure the global-caliber ‘deep learning-based high-performance image recognition technology’ for recognizing vehicles, pedestrians and geographical features of the road by the end of the year, and begin to mass-produce front camera sensors supporting autonomous driving in 2022.

The ‘deep learning-based image recognition technology’ consists of ‘image recognition artificial intelligence’ that uses the automation technique to learn image data. If Hyundai Mobis acquires the technology this year, the company will possess most of the software and hardware technologies applied to autonomous driving camera sensors. In particular, it is planning to elevate the object recognition performance, which is the essence of the image recognition technology, to a level equal to that of global leaders.

DENSO in PA

DENSO,  the world’s second largest mobility supplier, today announced the opening of the Connected Services Pennsylvania Technical Center in Scranton. It was previously part of EASE Simulation, Inc., an automotive diagnostics developer, that was fully acquired by DENSO in 2018. The technical center will operate under DENSO Products and Services Americas, Inc., and further enhances DENSO’s ability to deliver cutting-edge aftermarket products and services – particularly as they relate to automotive inspection software, and telematics systems – to customers across North America. These technologies, in part, propel DENSO’s broader focus on services in the aftermarket space and enable greater access to vehicle data, which informs retailers and technicians how cars can be made more efficient and safe.

Founded in 1993 in Scranton, Pennsylvania, EASE and its products primarily focus on inspection, diagnostics, telematics and emissions. One of its leading products is VehicleMRI®, a precision tool used to inspect and analyze automotive electronic systems and pinpoint hidden problems past typical check-engine-light issues with maximum accuracy. In 2014, DENSO announced it acquired 72.1 percent of EASE to help accelerate research and development of its vehicle diagnostic and telematics business in North America.

Investment in Lucid Closed

Lucid Motors confirmed today that it has closed its previously announced $1bn+ (USD) investment from the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (“PIF”).  This latest round of financing further propels the company towards the commercial launch of its first electric vehicle, the Lucid Air, in 2020.

Dr. Tendü Yoğurtçu Wins

Syncsort, the global leader in Big Iron to Big Data softwareannounced that Dr. Tendü Yoğurtçu was named “CTO of the Year” at the prestigious Women in IT Awards. The award was announced at a gala event during the Women in IT Summit, a conference addressing emerging technologies, opportunities in cyber security, diversity, personal development and leadership.

The Women in IT Awards, the world’s largest tech diversity event, is organized by Information Age and DiversityQ, a site for professionals and business leaders that provides content and analysis to enhance, develop and promote workforce diversity and inclusion. The event provides a high-profile platform for celebrating women in IT and identifying new female role models in the industry. The winners of the Women in IT Awards are decided by an independent panel of judges.

Toyoda New Battery Case

Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd. has developed a battery case made of plastic to accommodate the large amount of batteries in electrified vehicles. These battery cases are used on the Corolla PHV and Levin PHV that Toyota Motor Corporation began selling in China in March 2019.

These cases increase the life of batteries by maintaining a gap between the stored batteries that allows them to be cooled by outside air brought in through ventilation holes in the sides. The cases are also insulated with internal conductors in the plastic to ensure safe performance.

Toyoda Gosei will continue to utilize its expertise as a rubber and plastic specialist in efforts to optimize the cooling systems around batteries and reduce weight to contribute to improved automobile performance.

Innolith Battery Tech Developing New Battery Tech

Innolith AG, the world leader in rechargeable Inorganic Battery Technology, announced that it is developing world’s first 1000 Wh/kg rechargeable battery. Under development in the company’s German laboratory, the new Innolith Energy Battery would be capable of powering an Electric Vehicle (EV) for over 1000km on a single charge. The Innolith Energy Battery would also radically reduce costs due to the avoidance of exotic and expensive materials combined with the very high energy density of the system.

In addition to its range and cost advantages, the Innolith Energy Battery will be the first non-flammable lithium-based battery for use in EVs. The Innolith battery uses a non-flammable inorganic electrolyte, unlike conventional EV batteries that use a flammable organic electrolyte. The switch to non-flammable batteries removes the primary cause of battery fires that have beset the manufacturers of EVs.

AVs Should Obey Higher Standards

In a Reuters/IPSOS poll 2/3 of survey respondents said self-driving cars should be held to higher government safety standards than traditional vehicles driven by humans.

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