Connected Car News: Honda, Continental, Freightliner,  VW, Nuvve, Envoy, Daimler, E-Transit, Kandi, Lexis/Nexis, FLIR & Arcure

In connected car news are Honda, Continental, Freightliner,  VW, Nuvve, Envoy, Daimler, E-Transit, Kandi, Lexis/Nexis, FLIR and Arcure.

New Honda Civic Reveal 11/17

Honda is giving gaming and automotive enthusiasts a first glimpse of what’s in store for America’s best-selling car1 with the world debut of the all-new 11th-generation Civic, in prototype form, Tuesday, Nov. 17 live on Honda’s Head2Head Twitch channel. This special edition episode of Honda Head2Head on Twitch will begin live at 5 p.m. PST, with the Civic reveal set to start at 6:45 p.m. PST. The reveal also will feature an exclusive live performance by Grammy-nominated ART@WAR/Atlantic Records recording artist, Cordae.

Setzer Chairman of Continental AG

The Supervisory Board of Continental AG appointed Nikolai Setzer (49) as new Executive Board chairman until March 2024, effective December 1, 2020. He succeeds Dr. Elmar Degenhart (61), who, as already announced, is stepping down from his position for health reasons, with the consent of the Supervisory Board, effective November 30, 2020.

Freightliner Fleet Goes .5 Million Miles

The 38-vehicle fleet of battery-electric Freightliner eCascadias and eM2s have surpassed 500,000 miles in real-world operation by Freightliner customers, who include some of the largest private and for-hire fleets in North America. The Freightliner Electric Innovation and Customer Experience (CX) Fleets consist of pre-series production battery-electric medium- and heavy-duty trucks, and are used to test integration of the technology into large-scale fleet operations while providing real-time feedback and data to help shape the future of CO₂-neutral transportation.

“The more miles our trucks operate in real-world operations, the more knowledge we gain, and the more experience our customers have with our pre-production trucks is integral to Freightliner’s approach to electrifying the trucking market,” said Richard Howard, senior vice president, on-highway sales and marketing for Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA). “There are no shortcuts to delivering safe, reliable, dependable trucks. Real customers, running real freight against the rigors of multiple scenarios is the only path to an electric future. Through our process of co-creation, and along with our fantastic customers, Freightliner is delivering the future, mile by mile, every day.”

Announced in 2018 and beginning operation in 2019, the Freightliner Electric Innovation Fleet includes 30 battery-electric trucks in operation by NFI and Penske Truck Leasing and its customers. The fleet is supported by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (South Coast AQMD) which focuses on improving air quality in the South Coast Basin of Southern California and partially funded the project. All trucks in the fleet operate in the South Coast Basin and are doing real work in applications ranging from port drayage, to regional and local delivery, to food distribution, to parcel delivery.

VW Battery Lab in TN

Volkswagen of America today marked the start of construction of its Battery Engineering Lab at its Chattanooga Engineering and Planning Center. The approximately $22 million dollar facility will test and validate electric vehicle cells and battery packs for the North American region.

The new lab will join Volkswagen Chattanooga’s under-construction 564,000 square-foot electric vehicle production expansion and 198,000 square-foot battery pack assembly facility to form Volkswagen’s hub for EV production and engineering here in the region. Volkswagen will test and optimize Georgia-manufactured battery cells at the new lab. This testing will include batteries for the Volkswagen ID.4 all-electric SUV, scheduled to begin U.S. production in 2022.

Nuvvee Acquired

Green energy technology company Nuvve Corporation (“Nuvve”), the global leader in vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology, and Newborn Acquisition Corp. (“Newborn”) (NASDAQ:NBAC, NBACU, NBACR, NBACW) a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company with approximately $57.5 million of cash in trust, today announced the signing of a definitive merger agreement to take Nuvve public. The companies today also announced the signing of definitive purchase agreements with institutional investors for the investment of approximately $18 million in the combined company through a PIPE and bridge financing. Upon closing of the business combination, the combined company will be named Nuvve Holding Corp. (“Nuvve Holding”) and is expected to remain listed on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “NVVE”.

DENSO Invests in Envoy Tech

DENSO, a leading mobility supplier, today announced it has taken a stake in Envoy Technologies, an electric vehicle (EV) startup based in Culver City, California, that offers mobility services to the commercial real estate (CRE) industry. Through the investment, DENSO aims to create new revenue streams by offering the benefits of Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) to businesses, helping them move employees, customers and things more efficiently and safely.

Founded in 2017 by real estate and tech entrepreneurs Aric Ohana and Ori Sagie, Envoy partners with CRE industry leaders to offer onsite mobility services like electric carsharing and EV charging for apartments, offices, and hotels. Envoy’s Mobility as an Amenity service is a turn-key solution that includes technology to reserve and access vehicles, driver insurance, maintenance, and electric vehicle chargers. Even in the face of a global pandemic, the company has experienced record utilization amounting to more than 1.25 million electric miles driven. Envoy is currently available in 10 states and 14 markets in the U.S.

Daimler Connects to Connectivity

Daimler Truck AG has established the new Connectivity Services Group (CSG) global division to develop the next generation of vehicle connectivity solutions and digital services for customers across the globe.

CSG will be based at Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) headquarters in Portland, and be led by Sanjiv Khurana, currently head of Digital Vehicle Solutions at DTNA. Khurana will oversee the international teams to define the next set of Daimler’s connectivity solutions and set up the framework for fast and scalable software development and product management.

“Connectivity has proven to be a huge asset to improving our customers’ profitability around the world,” said Sanjiv Khurana, head of Connectivity Services Group, Daimler Trucks. “Daimler has led the industry in developing these solutions and the formation of CSG positions us to continue to help our customers maximize the profitability that can be achieved through data-driven insights.”

The group will focus on uniting the company’s end-to-end digital architecture, including in-vehicle software, cloud platforms and digital solutions. Daimler already has a strong portfolio of connectivity services, including Detroit Connect, Truckonnect, Mercedes-Benz Uptime, Fleetboard and Omniplus ON. The products and services that are developed by CSG will be easily adaptable across Daimler’s brands worldwide.

Partnerships with in-vehicle and Internet of Things technology providers will also fall under the CSG purview at Daimler Trucks, including the company’s work with Platform Science which will leverage Platform Science’s transportation specific Mobile Device Management solution, Remote Platform Management (RPM), beginning in 2021. RPM will allow customers to deploy and manage mobile device and mobile application solutions to fit their mixed fleet needs and seamlessly integrate those devices and apps into their trucks.

E-Transit Data Productivity

As E-Transit prepares to bring commercial vehicle customers more productivity, Ford is expanding its offering of fleet management tools to provide electric-vehicle data, charging reports and web-based pre-conditioning, plus new features that can help secure vehicles and help enhance driver performance.

With new fleet-wide energy monitoring and vehicle management tools from Ford Commercial Solutions, available through easy-to-use app and web-based interfaces, Ford is helping North American commercial fleets and businesses make a seamless transition to electric vehicles. These features will be available to E-Transit customers when the vehicle starts launching next fall.

Along with electric vehicle-specific services, Ford Commercial Solutions is expanding its fleet management offerings to help North American commercial vehicle customers better manage and optimize the efficiency of their fleets.

Kandi Goes Public Raises Money

– Kandi Technologies Group, Inc. announced that it closed a registered direct offering of 9,404,392 units (the “Units”) of its securities at a purchase price per Unit of $6.38, generating aggregate gross proceeds to the Company of approximately $60,000,000, before deducting fees to the placement agent and other estimated offering expenses payable by the Company.  Each Unit consisted of one share of our common stock, and 0.4 warrants to purchase a share of our common stock.  The warrants have an exercise price of $8.18 per share and a term of 30 months, but are not exercisable for the first six months following issuance.  The Company issued a total of 9,404,392 shares of common stock and warrants for the purchase of up to 3,761,757 shares of common stock to the investors in the placement.

GreenPower Provides School Buses

GreenPower Motor Company Inc.  a leading manufacturer and distributor of zero emissions electric powered vehicles serving the cargo delivery, shuttle, transit, and school bus markets, today announced the sale of six electric school buses (B.E.AS.T.), to Thermalito Union Elementary School District through Greenpower’s national distributor Creative Bus Sales.

The B.E.A.S.T. is a purpose-built Type D Battery Electric School bus with a leading class range of up to 150 miles and a 194.5kWh battery pack. The vehicles can charge up to 20KW on standard J1772 protocol and has CCS1 fast charging, with additional standard features like air ride suspension, pass through storage, and air disk brakes. The B.E.A.S.T. offers a Monocoque chassis design built from the ground up to be battery electric.

LexisNexis Adds Vehicle History

LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, a leading provider of data, analytics and technology for insurance, announced the inclusion of mileage information from connected vehicles in its LexisNexis® Vehicle History solution. The enhancement enables U.S. auto insurers to use connected mileage data for insurance quotes, at policy renewal to confirm miles driven, and on an ongoing basis to support mileage monitoring programs.

Where traditional mileage information has been infrequently available based on varying collection methods, LexisNexis Risk Solutions now receives odometer data directly from connected vehicles and delivers it seamlessly into an insurer’s workflow. The addition supplements accident information, branded title designations and other historical vehicle usage data currently delivered through the Vehicle History solution to provide an expanded set of vehicle-related attributes for insurers to consider as they strive to increase rating accuracy. In the future, this data can benefit claims adjusters seeking up-to-date odometer readings for purposes of estimating total loss payments.

FLIR Intros 2 Traffic Cameras

FLIR Systems, Inc.announced two intelligent traffic system cameras, the FLIR TrafiSenseAI* with thermal imaging and the FLIR TrafiCam AI visible camera, both with artificial intelligence (AI) to optimize traffic flow on roadways and at intersections. When combined with the FLIR Acyclica cloud platform, cities can apply the AI-camera data to predict traffic, prevent congestion and potential accidents, and create safer roads for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians 24 hours a day.

“FLIR traffic systems are currently installed in 75 countries, and with the addition of TrafiSense AI and TrafiCam AI, FLIR now offers a fully integrated solution that enables traffic engineers and city planners to apply AI-based learnings to continuously optimize traffic flow,” said Rickard Lindvall, General Manager, Solutions Business, FLIR Systems. “The integrated solution enables cities to improve urban roadway design to make cities safer and more livable.”

The AI-enabled cameras help control traffic dynamically at the edge through real-time data capture and processing, and provide input to traffic signal controllers at intersections, which improves traffic flow and safety in the moment. With the ability to capture heat energy data through a thermal sensor within the TrafiSense AI, and a visible low-light, high-definition sensor within the TrafiCam AI, cities’ traffic signals have complete continuous monitoring, in all weather conditions and even through smoke for tunnel monitoring. The cameras are also Wi-Fi enabled for travel time calculations and other origin-destination applications. In the future, the cameras can be retrofitted with 5G cellular antennas to support vehicle-to-everything (V2X) connectivity, which will further improve road safety.

The FLIR Acyclica cloud platform provides the tools and analytics needed to better understand traffic data. When TrafiSense AI and TrafiCam AI are paired with the Acyclica cloud platform, cities can apply their AI-based learnings to real time data to make predictive traffic pattern changes for more efficient and safer cities.

The new AI traffic cameras are available globally in the first quarter of 2021.

Arcure AI Connects with Blaxtair

Arcure, a French company specialising in artificial intelligence applied to image processing in industry, is extending its product range with Blaxtair Connect, a smart accident prevention solution.

Arcure has a unique and complete solution for managing pedestrian safety around industrial vehicles and machinery, in order to avoid collisions. Blaxtair Connect sends data from the 3D Blaxtair camera to the Cloud for analysis, in order to help Health and Safety Managers improve their site safety. Blaxtair Connect is designed to help companies proactively make changes to their site operations and to assist them in reaching their goal of zero vehicle/pedestrian incidents, by significantly reducing the risk of collisions.

Blaxtair Connect uses cellular connectivity, to gather data from fleets of vehicles equipped with Blaxtair (number of pedestrian detections, timestamps, GPS location, etc.), regardless of their global location. This data is presented on an online portal. It identifies areas where vehicles have the highest incidence of near misses with pedestrians, highlights the most dangerous machines, and determines the time and place where the risk of accident is highest. This key information gives companies the ability to make more impactful changes to their operating procedures and track the effectiveness of these preventive measures, resulting in a safer working environment.

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