Connected Car News Waymo, Tesla, Amply, Penske, Mobica, Velodyne, Toyota, GetaRound, Munro Associates & TomTom

In connected car news this week were Waymo, Tesla, Amply, Penske, Mobica, Velodyne, Toyota, GetaRound, Munro Associates and TomTom.

Way Mo’ Waymo in Detroit

Waymo, formerly Google’s  self-driving company is taking over a closed American Axle plant in Detroit to  outfit it’s self-driving cars speding $13.6M and creating about 400 jobs.

The Best a’ Tesla

Musk claims an a fleet of one million Tesal robo-taxis by next year while showing a $700 million loss.

AMPLY Power Optimzes Charging

Continuing its mission to simplify the electrification process for fleet vehicles, AMPLY Power has released a charging optimization platform designed to give fleet operators and owners a complete view of charging activities at their depots. Called AMPLIFY, the automated, cloud-based software tracks current electricity rates, vehicle charge status, fleet sizes, and more to organize charging processes in a comprehensive, visually appealing dashboard. AMPLY manages and maintains AMPLIFY, allowing fleet operators to seamlessly track fleet operations with minimal effort or setup.

Fast Charging for Commercial Trucks

Penske Truck Leasing has opened commercial heavy-duty electric vehicle charging stations with 14 high-speed chargers at four of its existing facilities in Southern California. The company’s near term plan includes adding at least six more chargers, bringing the total number to 20. Penske believes these are the first DC fast charging stations in the U.S. designed specifically for heavy-duty commercial electric vehicles.

Located throughout Southern California at Penske Truck Leasing’s facilities in San Diego, Chino, Anaheim and La Mirada, these 14 chargers connect directly to a commercial truck’s battery charging system, providing a DC fast charging option for commercial electric fleets. Utilizing 50 kW to 150 kW chargers, this charging infrastructure allows Penske to power an all-electric class 8 tractor from zero to 100% charge in less than half a shift.

eSync Alliance Intros Mobica

The eSync Alliance announces that Mobica, a global software services company, has joined to become one of its newest members. Companies in the eSync Alliance include Alpine, Excelfore, HELLA, Molex and ZF, amongst others.

The eSync Alliance is an industry-wide initiative established to build a secure, multi-vendor platform for end-to-end over-the-air (OTA) updating and data services for the connected car, leveraging a global network of participating suppliers.

Velodyne Lidar Partners with Nikon

Velodyne Lidar, Inc.  announced an agreement with Nikon Corporation, under which Sendai Nikon Corporation, a Nikon subsidiary, will manufacture lidar sensors for Velodyne with plans to start mass production in the second half of 2019. The partnership cements Velodyne’s manufacturing plan and expands its lead in the global lidar sensor market.

Velodyne is the leading supplier of lidar sensors to the automotive industry with more than 250 customers globally.

Beyond AV and ADAS, Velodyne will leverage Nikon’s mass manufacturing prowess as lidar sales expand within other emerging markets. Accelerated by its partnership with Nikon, Velodyne’s low cost lidar solutions will benefit a range of business segments, including robotics, security, mapping, agriculture, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

Toyota Nixes DSRC

Toyota Motor Corp reported on Friday it was halting plans to install Dedicated Short-Range Communications technology on U.S. vehicles aimed at letting cars and trucks communicate with one another to avoid collisions. In a letter to the (FCC) Toyotat wrote “unfortunately we have not seen significant production commitments from other automakers.”

Birds Have a Better AV View

Cornell researchers have discovered that a simpler method, using two inexpensive cameras on either side of the windshield, can detect objects with nearly LiDAR’s accuracy and at a fraction of the cost. The researchers found that analyzing the captured images from a bird’s-eye view rather than the more traditional frontal view more than tripled their accuracy, making stereo camera a viable and low-cost alternative to LiDAR.

The paper, “Pseudo-LiDAR from Visual Depth Estimation: Bridging the Gap in 3D Object Detection for Autonomous Driving,” which will be presented at the 2019 Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, June 15-21 in Long Beach, California.

GetaRound Rounds-Up Drivy

Getaround acquired Drivy, a Paris-headquartered car-sharing startup that operates in 170 European cities.

Munro Associates with Lean Design

Munro & Associates, world leaders in the Lean Design® methodology, teardown benchmarking and design optimization, announced its strategic partnership with Hinduja Tech, known for its frugal engineering and global delivery model. This strategic alliance enables Munro and Hinduja Tech to provide a wide range of engineering services from concept through production for automotive and new mobility customers.

Over the last three decades, Munro ( has shown a proven track record of helping companies reduce time to market, R&D, engineering and manufacturing costs, all while increasing the quality of its customers’ products, processes and systems.

TomTom OEM Connect

TomTom Telematics, recently acquired by Bridgestone, has launched the OEM.connect program. The program uses a multi-stage approach to enable vehicle manufacturers to connect with the TomTom Telematics Service Platform, the core of TomTom Telematics’ award-winning fleet management solutions such as WEBFLEET and NEXTFLEET.

After joining OEM.connect, manufacturers’ vehicles with line fitted connectivity will roll off the production line WEBFLEET and NEXTFLEET ready. The owners of these vehicles can then access the standard TomTom Telematics’ applications, which help boost the efficiency, productivity and safety of their fleet operations.

If a fleet is made up of cars, light commercial vehicles or trucks from different manufacturers, the data from each vehicle will be presented to the user in the same standardised way on the same interface. This makes comparison and analysis simple.

Car manufacturers get the full advantage of TomTom Telematics’ experience in the connected car space and wide geographical scope.

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