Connected Car News: Bird, Hyundai, Ford, Prisma, Innovusion, AutoTalks, Porsche, Iteris, Renesas, Veoldyne & Lear

In connected car news this week were Bird, Hyundai, Ford, Prisma, Innovusion, AutoTalks, Porsche, Iteris, Renesas, Veoldyne and Lear.

Bird Pecks Up Scoot

Bird and Scoot announced that Bird is acquiring Scoot, the San Francisco-based electric vehicle pioneer. The acquisition is a strategic decision from two like-minded companies. Together, Bird and Scoot will offer riders more vehicles featuring the latest technology advancements for the sharing market, and provide service in more communities, while helping cities meet their ambitious goals of reducing both automobile traffic and climate-changing carbon emissions. Scoot will continue to operate as Scoot, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bird.

Hyundai Kia Invests in Aurora

Hyundai Motor Group (the Group) and Aurora Innovation Inc. today announced that Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors Corporation have invested in Aurora to accelerate development of autonomous vehicle technologies.
The move will strengthen the strategic partnership formed between the companies in 2018, under which Hyundai, Kia, and Aurora have been collaborating on self-driving technologies on Hyundai’s flagship fuel cell vehicle NEXO. With the new investment, the companies have agreed to expand research to a wide range of models and to build an optimal platform for Hyundai and Kia’s autonomous vehicles.

AA Asks FCC for 5.9GHz

On June 12, 2019, the Auto Alliance submitted comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on the importance of automotive safety being a priority in the 5.9 GHz spectrum. Automakers believe it is important to ensure that intelligent transportation systems (“ITS”) and vehicle-to-everything (“V2X”) technologies are able to operate in the 5.9 GHz band free from harmful interference.

Ford in Israel

Ford Motor Company opened its Ford Research Center, Israel in the heart of Tel Aviv’s burgeoning technology community.

The new center will serve as a research hub augmenting Ford’s global Research and Advanced Engineering team. It will also support Ford’s automotive and mobility businesses by identifying technologies and start-up companies in the fields of connectivity, sensors, automated-systems research, in-vehicle monitoring, and cyber security.

Paper Seating from Prisma

Yanfeng Automotive Interiors (YFAI) and Prisma Renewable Composites announced today that the companies have entered into an agreement giving YFAI exclusive use of Prisma’s lignin-based material in the development of automotive interiors.

Prisma’s BioLAN material is produced using lignin, a natural byproduct of the pulp and paper making process. Lignin is essentially the “glue” that surrounds the cell walls of living plants like trees and grasses. It contains a vast amount of the world’s carbon and has the potential, if modified correctly, to replace many of the petrochemical-based products we use in everyday life.

Through Prisma’s lignin technology, petrochemicals are partially replaced by natural polymers. The resulting BioLAN material improves key properties of traditional ABS plastic, including cost, higher UV resistance, and higher tensile strength while reducing total greenhouse gas emissions

Innovusion Solid-State Lidar Cheetah

Innovusion Inc., the worldwide leader in the design and development of innovative hybrid Solid State LiDAR systems for vehicle safety applications, has announced the availability of its Cheetah system. Based on its innovative rotating polygon optical architecture, Innovusion has melded together proprietary detector electronics, advanced optics and sophisticated software algorithms to offer a system that has no equal in the long-distance, high-resolution LiDAR vehicle mobility system industry.

Key specifications of the Cheetah system include a screen resolution of 300 vertical pixels, while simultaneously maintaining a frame rate of 10Hz. Picture like resolution is achieved though its 0.13-degree resolution over its 40-degree vertical FOV, and 0.14-degree resolution over its 100-degree horizontal FOV. Because of the efficient rotating polygon architecture, Cheetah draws under 40W, making it the most energy efficient system of any high- performance LiDAR currently available. The Cheetah LiDAR platform is miniature and robust with the sensor head dimension measuring 112 mm (h) x 145 mm (w) x 105 mm(d), with a roadmap to substantially reduce the future footprint and form factor.

Autotalks Supplies V2X 2 NoTraffic

Autotalks, a world leader in V2X (Vehicle-to-Everything) communication solutions, is supplying its chipset to NoTraffic’s autonomous traffic management platform, which enables the delivery of infrastructure sensor information to vehicles through V2I communications. The integrated solution is capable of identifying a whole range of objects including vehicles, motorcycles, pedestrians and communicate this information using DSRC or C-V2X to oncoming vehicles. The vehicles will alert drivers and, in the future, automatically brake to avoid an accident in a time of danger. Autotalks and NoTraffic will be spotlighting their integrated solution at the 7th EcoMotion Main Event, a show exhibiting Israel’s smart transportation sector, being held at Pavilion 1 at EXPO Exhibition Grounds in Tel Aviv on June 11th, 2019.

Autotalks’ deployment-ready, 2nd generation V2X chipset is the world’s first available solution which supports both DSRC based on 802.11p/ITS-G5 standards and C-V2X based on 3GPP release 14 and 15 specifications with embedded V2X cyber-security functionality. The chipset allows customers to easily toggle between DSRC and C-V2X communications. NoTraffic’s platform includes fusing various sensor data (camera, radar, V2X) at intersections working directly with a centralized system in the cloud to enhance traffic flow and road user safety. The integration of Autotalks’ V2X chipset enables NoTraffic to use vision sensors to improve V2X effectiveness.

Electrify USA & ChargePoint–WEX and ChargePoint

Electrify America and ChargePoint announced a roaming partnership that will further expand access to electric vehicle (EV) charging across the United States. The interoperability agreement will allow drivers to seamlessly charge their EVs on public chargers between both networks using their existing account credentials to start a session, without incurring any additional fees.

Beginning later this year, drivers will be able to access public chargers on either the ChargePoint or Electrify America networks without having to create new memberships, registrations or payment configurations. The plan will connect more than 30,000 Level 2 (L2) and DC fast chargers from Electrify America and ChargePoint across the U.S., adding significant public access as the number of EVs on the road significantly increases in the coming years.

WEX a leading financial technology service provider, and ChargePoint, the world’s largest electric vehicle (EV) charging network, have signed a deal to expand electric vehicle charging to fleets throughout the U.S.

Under the agreement, WEX and ChargePoint have developed and deployed an EV payment system that allows up to 11 million WEX Fleet card holders to pay for charges at more than 66,000 places to charge on the ChargePoint network.

Porsche Custom Designs

Individual design at the push of a button: Porsche Digital launches the “Second Skin” online configurator that enables in future to apply customised livery designs to vehicles. In addition to classic designs stemming from motorsports, it will also be possible to implement designs inspired by, for instance, fashion and the arts. Genuine and previously unavailable Porsche colours will also be available for selection. For this purpose, the platform is collaborating with renowned artists, design studios, foil providers and vinyl paint manufacturers.

Iteris & Cisco

Iteris, Inc. , the global leader in applied informatics for transportation and agricultureannounced that Cisco will now support Iteris detection solutions as part of Cisco’s Connected Communities Infrastructure solution. The Cisco Connected Communities Infrastructure solution officially launches at this week’s Cisco Live conference in San Diego, California.

Iteris will demonstrate the power of Iteris’ Vantage Next® video detection platform with Cisco’s advanced networking and software capabilities at the Cisco IoT Connected Communities Village within Cisco Live. In-booth demonstrations will highlight the seamless connectivity and high-definition analysis of multimodal data from vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians to improve traffic flow and reduce congestion.

In January 2019, Iteris announced a new focus to promote the analysis of traffic data through the Cisco Kinetic platform. This included the integration of Cisco communication systems into current and future projects, ensuring its mutual customers have the most secure and reliable communication infrastructure for their end-to-end transportation systems. Additionally, Iteris has certified that by integrating Cisco hardware and software at the edge, the Iteris intersection-as-a-service™ offering supports advanced capabilities for edge processing, as well as larger data sets and connected vehicles applications.

Free Gas

Groupon , the global marketplace for local services, experiences and goods, announced a U.S. distribution partnership with GasBuddy, the company that helps consumers avoid paying full price for fuel. Under the terms of the deal, Groupon will provide GasBuddy with local food and drink merchants’ card-linked offers content. Consumers will be able to load offers directly to an eligible payment card after an easy opt-in enrollment in the GasBuddy app. Once customers visit businesses with these offers and pay with their enrolled card, they’ll receive GasBuddy GasBack redeemable for free gas at 95 percent of gas stations across the United States through the Pay with GasBuddy program.

Renesas Memory in a Flash

Renesas Electronics Corporation announced the development of a new flash memory technology that achieves larger memory capacities, higher readout speeds, and over-the-air (OTA) support for automotive microcontrollers (MCUs) using the next-generation 28nm process. This new technology achieves the industry’s largest capacity of embedded flash memory on an MCU – 24 MB – and reaches 240 MHz random access read speeds, the industry’s fastest for embedded flash memory. The technology also achieves low noise write operations when performing OTA wireless software updates, and high-speed and robust operation for OTA software updates.

The newly developed flash memory technology addresses these demands with:

24 MB on-chip flash memory – the industry’s largest in an MCU

Renesas continues to adopt the high-speed, high-reliability SG-MONOS (note 1) technology for the embedded flash memory used in its MCUs. The memory cell size of the 28nm generation developed here is reduced by more than 15 percent, from the earlier 0.053 µm² to smaller than 0.045 µm². While suppressing increases in the chip size, this new technology allows the inclusion of 24 MB of code storage flash memory, the industry’s largest capacity for embedded flash memory. Renesas has also included 1 MB of data storage flash memory in the test chip for parameters and other data.

HonkTAP Smartphone Payments Through NFC

HonkTAP is a groundbreaking innovation in parking – Instead of paying for parking using traditional parking machines which are known to experience vandalism, periods of downtime and lineups, consumers can simply tap their smartphone on any Honk signage, enabled by Smartrac’s Block On-Metal NFC tags, and pay for parking in seconds with no app download or user registration required. The signage can be as simple as a sticker on a parking meter or as robust as integrated signage or a standalone structure. HonkTAP provides a seamless 2-click payment process by fully leveraging Apple Pay and the underlying NFC functionality of smartphones. Android users get the same great experience of HonkTAP via Google Pay, PayPal and all major credit cards.

With the Tap-to-Pay application, enhanced consumer experience and embedded NFC technology, HonkTAP is the first major parking service fully leveraging Apple Pay’s payment service.///

Liberty Mutual Invests in Edge Case Research

As part of its ongoing efforts to help brokers, businesses and consumers better manage risks from emerging autonomous vehicle technologies, Liberty Mutual has invested in Edge Case Research, a leading firm that helps companies go to market with autonomous vehicle technologies and services that are safe, secure and reliable.

Liberty’s partnership with Edge Case Research is a strategic venture that promises mutual benefits for both companies and the customers they serve. One notable collaboration already underway is a pilot of Edge Case Research’s Hologram product – which tests the software and hardware used by autonomous vehicles to perceive their environment. This research will help Liberty develop new and enhanced risk management options for companies offering autonomous vehicle solutions, as well as better understand risk selection and pricing for these firms.

Lear Partners with Plug and Play

Lear Corporation  and Plug and Play, a global startup accelerator and corporate innovation platform headquartered in Silicon Valley, today announced a strategic partnership focused on advancing mobility innovation in the automotive industry. The partnership will be coordinated through the Silicon Valley office of Lear Innovation Ventures (LIV) in San Mateo, California.

This relationship provides Lear with the opportunity to collaborate with and mentor startups in the Plug and Play ecosystem and heightens Lear’s involvement in the mobility technology space. Plug and Play has developed global accelerator programs, corporate innovation services and an in-house venture capital (VC) fund to make technological advancement progress faster than ever before.

Natron Energy Grant from CEC for Prussian Blue Chemistry Energy Storage

Natron Energy, a provider of battery products using Prussian Blue chemistry, has been awarded a $3 million grant by the California Energy Commission (CEC) for “Advanced Energy Storage for Electric Vehicle Charging Support.” Natron will utilize the funds to manufacture and install a high powered, long cycle life energy storage system at an EV Fast Charging station.

The project will result in a cost-competitive, at-scale alternative to Li-ion batteries, and offer superior performance for the high-power/short-duration dispatch and long cycle life requirementsof the EV Fast Charging market. Natron’s patented technology uses Prussian Blue pigment which stores and releases energy in the form of sodium ions. Unlike electrode materials found in most Lithium-ion batteries, Prussian blue enjoys widespread availability and low cost that make batteries using Prussian blue electrodes economical, safe, and environmentally friendly.
The system will be installed on the University of California San Diego’s campus. UCSD is a national leader in microgrid and EV Fast Charging installations.

Dataspeed Connects to Ouster

Dataspeed Inc., a leading drive-by-wire provider and autonomous vehicle (AV) solution integrator, has announced that their customers will now have access to Ouster’s portfolio of LiDAR technology. This distribution agreement builds upon Dataspeed’s expertise in providing companies and universities with a fully equipped AV platform.

Ouster’s multi-beam flash lidar architecture enables superior vision, reliability, and compactness at a lower cost. With a 360 degree field of view, a single lidar sees up to 120m in all directions. The OS1-64 outputs dense and rich point clouds for improved object detection, path planning, and localization. The unique structured lidar data output of perfectly correlated 2D and 3D camera-like images advances machine learning algorithms and perception capabilities. Ouster’s technology seamlessly pairs with Dataspeed’s combination of in-house and Autoware software to allow customers access to an array of object detection and avoidance capabilities.

Velodyne at CVPR

Velodyne Lidar, Inc. t announced it is sponsoring the CVPR 2019 conference, which takes place on June 16-20 in Long Beach, Calif. and brings together academic and industry experts in computer vision, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. At the event, Velodyne will showcase its smart, powerful lidar solutions which are an essential technology for autonomous vehicles (AVs), advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), and other intelligent computer vision applications.

Eyesight Tech Partners with Ambarella

Eyesight Technologies, a leading provider of computer vision solutions for the automotive market,  announced a partnership with AI system-on-chip (SoC) supplier Ambarella (NASDAQ: AMBA). Eyesight Technologies’ ultra-advanced DriverSense™ driver monitoring system (DMS) software is now available on Ambarella CVflow® automotive SoCs — including the CV25, CV22, and CV2 — delivering a market-ready driver state, action, and recognition system for incorporation into vehicles by OEM and Tier-1 automotive manufacturers.

Ubimax Supplies BMW/MINI Dealers with RealWear

Ubimax announced that it will supply all 347 BMW Centers and selected MINI Dealers in the U.S. with Ubimax Frontline running on RealWear HMT-1 devices. The Ubimax solution will offer faster access to technical information and real-time remote-support from BMW engineers with the goal of reducing repair and maintenance times, increasing workshop efficiency and ultimately improving customer satisfaction.

As part of BMW of North America’s all-new technical information system, Ubimax Frontline running on RealWear HMT-1 devices adds to the success of BMW’s after-sales process efficiency. Technicians in workshops can now connect with engineers and other experts at BMW directly via Ubimax’s hands-free remote support solution xAssist and jointly resolves issues in a fast and more efficient manner. The expert can project step-by-step technical bulletins and schematic drawings onto the display inside the technicians’ display, as well as take screen shots and enlarge images for better visibility. Having full access to the Ubimax Frontline Platform further allows technicians to open and view documents via voice instructions, directly document defects and problems during the repair process using speech-to-text functionality and the built-in camera for photo and video capture.

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