Connected Car News: Fisker, Cpia, Crank Software, Nexar, Agero, Blink, Alexa, Faraday Future, Hyundai Mobis, Premergy, Acrimoto, Veoneer, GTT, FORSEE & VisIC

In connected car news are Fisker, Cpia, Crank Software, Nexar, Agero, Blink, Alexa, Faraday Future, Hyundai Mobis, Premergy, Acrimoto, Veoneer, GTT, FORSEE and VisIC.

Fisker Operates with Magna

Fisker Inc. (NYSE: FSR) (Fisker) – designer and manufacturer of the world’s most emotion-stirring, eco-friendly electric vehicles and advanced mobility solutions – announced it has entered into definitive “operational phase” platform-sharing and initial manufacturing agreements with Magna International Inc. (collectively with its affiliates, “Magna”), which clarify and finalize key aspects of the framework agreement previously announced on Oct. 15, 2020.

The Fisker Ocean will initially be manufactured exclusively by Magna in Europe, where it currently produces several high-quality vehicles on behalf of global brands. Interest in the Ocean continues to build at an encouraging pace, with global paid reservations now standing at more than 10,400 as of today. Fisker plans to unveil a production-intent prototype of the Ocean in the summer of 2021.

The Fisker Ocean SUV will use a modified version of a Magna-developed EV platform. According to Fisker, “Taking Magna’s EV platform as the starting point, Fisker engineers are further developing FM29, and in the process, creating new IP that is unique to Fisker. To suit our requirements for the Ocean and other vehicles, we are redesigning the front-end structure and both lengthening and widening the platform. FM29 provides us the flexibility to accommodate a large battery, increase occupant space and enable the signature Fisker wide vehicle stance, while delivering purchasing cost efficiencies to bring the Ocean to market at a starting price below $40,000. Available on the range-topping Ocean Extreme model, the large battery format enabled by FM29 is also projected to support an Ultra Long Range (ULR) option with a potential range of more than 350 miles.”

Cpia Intro Fleet Sense

Cipia, formerly Eyesight Technologies, an AI computer vision in-cabin automotive solutions provider, announced the general availability of Fleet Sense, the company’s new driver monitoring (DMS) device. Fleet Sense was designed for fleets and telematics service providers (TSP), to help reduce fatigue and distraction related accidents and the related costs. The device serves both the driver and the fleet manager, by issuing real-time life-saving alerts directly to the driver, and customized alerts to the dispatcher and fleet manager.

According to a recent report by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 2018 saw roughly 500,000 accidents attributed to large trucks (over 10,000 lb) in the US alone, and the rate of trucking related fatalities rose to its highest in 30 years, cementing trucking as the most dangerous job in the US. The recent rise in trucking related deaths, despite an overall drop in accident related fatalities, underscores the need for new solutions to improve the safety of trucking and reduce the high costs of accidents.

With combined decades of experience in the fleet industry as well as computer vision AI algorithm development experts, Cipia is able to utilize the company’s strengths to anticipate the needs of fleet managers and TSPs, and provide a tailored solution to fit the unique requirements of the industry. Fleet Sense offers fleet managers and TSPs a robust driver monitoring solution (DMS) already trusted by OEMs around the world. The DMS software provides drivers with real-time alerts when drowsiness, distraction or dangerous actions are detected to mitigate resulting accidents, while the Fleet Management System (FMS) receives tailored real-time alerts according to their needs, enabling optimization and increasing the efficiency of fleet manager or dispatcher rather than drowning them in useless alerts.

Crank Software  Partners with Aptera

Crank Software, a leading global provider of GUI development tools for the embedded systems market, announced its partnership with Aptera Motors and Andromeda Interfaces to develop and launch the central infotainment display for the world’s first solar electric vehicle (sEV) that requires no charging for most daily use. The Crank Professional Services team, along with its industry-leading Storyboard software, was instrumental in bringing user experience (UX) designers and developers together to satisfy demanding timelines and design targets for the new sEV, which became available for preorder December 4.

For this new take on electric vehicles, the Aptera Human Machine Interface (HMI) team needed to convey concepts to drivers in an intuitive way, including focusing on efficiency and range versus autonomous driving. Ensuring these needs were met, while keeping all project stakeholders aligned, was critical in meeting launch deadlines. Aptera and Andromeda Interfaces chose to partner with Crank to meet the demands of tight prototyping and development schedules, and support the skills required for building feature-rich automotive HMIs.

Nexar New Platform

Nexar, whose dash cams enable crowd-sourced vision, announced the launch of a platform for automotive OEMs that uses AI to make use of the raw images captured by in-car cameras and to create insights on top of them. This data can then be used for a range of connected vehicle services and driver apps including ‘parking mode to record collisions and theft, real-time street-level images, open parking spot notifications, road hazard alerts, and much more.

The automotive camera market is expected to double over the next six years, however, because of technological obstacles, the immense data that a camera can provide is mostly left in the car. These challenges include the prohibitive costs of uploading and managing data in the cloud, the difficult problem of creating a robust on-board device to handle the rigors of AI, and the critical issue of protecting the privacy of drivers by scrubbing any personal information before reaching the cloud.

Agero Blink Roadside for Alexa

Agero, which delivers technology-enabled breakdown and accident assistance for more vehicles than any other provider in North America, today announced the Blink® Roadside skill for Amazon Alexa, one of the first voice-activated skills to deploy roadside assistance services for Alexa customers. With the Blink Roadside skill, it is now easier than ever for Alexa customers to get help when they need it most—simply utter common roadside request phrases such as, “Alexa, I have a flat tire” or “Alexa, my car won’t start” to launch Agero’s award-winning roadside assistance. There is no need for customers to enable Blink Roadside before first use or even ask Alexa for it by name – greatly reducing the hassle drivers often experience during a breakdown.

Leveraging Agero’s extensive network of service partners and digital customer experience – the same used by many of the top automobile clubs, manufacturers and insurance carriers and servicing 100 percent of zip codes in the U.S. – Blink Roadside gives Alexa customers the best and broadest nationwide breakdown assistance coverage all for an affordable flat fee, saving customers money on services that can often top $100. Fast and convenient payment options are also available for Amazon Pay customers so no additional sign-up or complicated log-in is required.

The new Blink Roadside skill can be accessed on all Alexa-enabled devices or vehicles with Alexa. Customers can engage the service through many common utterances, including:

  1. “Alexa, I have a flat tire”
  2. “Alexa, I need someone to jumpstart my car”
  3. “Alexa, my car ran out of gas”
  4. “Alexa, I need roadside assistance for my car”
  5. “Alexa, my car won’t start”
  6. “Alexa, my car is broken down”//

FF Partners with Philips

Faraday Future (FF), a California-based global shared intelligent mobility ecosystem company,  announced a joint development agreement with Philips Intellectual Property & Standards to collaborate and showcase vehicle features that use a select set of Philips technologies. Philips’ health technology and software add significant differentiators to FF’s product vision and its upcoming FF 91 and FF 81 luxury electric vehicle

FF continuously strives to incorporate new ideas to improve vehicle performance, reliability, safety, and user-focused features in FF’s overall design ideology. From expressive aerodynamic exteriors to thoughtfully improved and driver-focused technologies, our talented engineers and designers embrace this vision and pursue exciting new approaches to remedy long-standing issues in the traditional automotive industry.

According to FF’s production launch plan, FF 91 will kick off production approximately nine months following the closing of a successful round of funding. The newly announced FF 81 EV and development preparation for future models and next-generation core technologies will follow the introduction of FF 91.

GoFor Funded

GoFor Industries, a leader in last-mile, on-demand and same-day delivery, announced  it had closed a $20 million (CAD) Series A growth investment to continue its ongoing expansion into the U.S. The funding follows record growth for GoFor, which has recently developed partnerships with multiple Fortune 500 retailers to provide rapid delivery for construction, building materials and other consumer goods.

Hyundai Mobis Buys Hyundai Autron

Hyundai Mobis  announced that the board of directors approved the acquisition of the semiconductor division of Hyundai Autron. Upon receiving the approval, Hyundai Mobis and Hyundai Autron signed a contract to transfer all related employees and assets. The acquisition cost was $122 million (KRW 133.2 billion).

With this acquisition, Hyundai Mobis plans to develop the capability of designing, developing and verifying semiconductors for vehicles and subsequently differentiate its integrated control technology in the future automotive field. Vault Micro has announced that its automotive IP-based diagnostic software, VCS DoIP/UDS passed the functional safety process examination of ISO 26262 (ASIL B), the international standard for functional safety in automobiles from the Korea Association of Process Assessment (KAPA).

ISO 26262(ASIL B) is an international standard for automotive functional safety established by ISO in 2011. As the demand for the safety performance of automobiles was increasing in the global market, it was designed to prevent accidents caused by malfunction of electric and electronic systems installed in vehicles. ASIL refers to Automotive Safety Integrity Level. It is a risk classification system for the functional safety of road vehicles and is measured based on three variables: severity, risk exposure, and controllability.

Premergy May Sell

–Premergy, Inc., a U.S. vehicle and energy technology development company,  announced that the Company is exploring strategic alternatives, which may include a potential sale of the intellectual property associated with its electric vehicle battery management and optimization system. The Company has retained Stephens Inc., a leading investment bank, to help evaluate options for shareholders.

Premergy’s patent-protected battery management and control technology is configurable with any battery electric vehicle and is proven to increase vehicle range by more than 20% while also moderating battery heat. The decision to explore the sale of the technology and the associated patents comes on the heels of recent design and development achievements and inbound interest from parties looking to integrate and commercialize the technology.

According to chief engineer and co-founder Richard Botts, “Cost effectively increasing vehicle range and managing battery heat and stress are key hurdles facing the electric vehicle marketplace. Premergy’s technology is proven to address both issues and can do so across vehicle classes with minimal weight or volume impact to the vehicle. Our engineering efforts and the years of development and real-world testing of the technology have brought us to an exciting point for our organization. We look forward to exploring opportunities for our company and further positioning this technology to play an important role in the continued advancement of the global electric vehicle marketplace.”

Arcimoto Expands

Arcimoto,  makers of affordable, practical, and joyful pure electric vehicles for everyday commuters and fleets,  announced the next step in its nationwide expansion plan by opening the state of Florida for customer reservations.

Veoneer 4th Gen Thermal Sensing

The automotive technology company Veoneer, Inc., has commenced production of its 4th generation thermal sensing system, called Night Vision. Debuting on the 2021 Cadillac Escalade, the Night Vision system enhances forward visibility by using a wider field-of-view thermal camera with four times greater resolution compared to the previous generation, to extend road coverage, improve detection capability, and display a sharper image to the driver.

Veoneer’s thermal camera is integrated into the front grille of the Cadillac Escalade and the thermal image is displayed in front of the driver on Cadillac’s new 38-inch curved OLED screen.  Veoneer’s system senses very small temperature variances to differentiate objects from their surroundings at extended ranges. The system uses enhanced analytics to help drivers see beyond their headlamps and detect pedestrians, vulnerable road users, and animals up to 200 meters in good weather. The system alerts drivers of potential dangers in total darkness and other low visibility conditions including fog, smoke, and blinding on-coming headlights.

Veoneer’s business supports the Global Sustainable Development Goals and its technologies supports goal #3, halving the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents. According NHTSA1, more pedestrian fatalities occur in the dark (76%) than in daylight (20%), dusk (2%), and dawn (2%). Compared to the 3rd generation system, the camera size is 50% smaller and 50% lighter enabling Veoneer to include more cameras per pallet during shipment, reducing carbon.

GTT Adds GNSS

Global Traffic Technologies (GTT) announced that it has added the Global Navigation Satellites System (GNSS) to its Opticom™ solutions. This collection of satellites transmits positioning and timing data to GNSS receivers, which use this data to determine location.

Though they might not realize it, most Americans have used the Global Positioning System – i.e., GPS – before. In fact, many connected vehicle applications, including emergency vehicle preemption and transit signal priority, rely on GPS to determine the real-time location of vehicles. But while that single satellite system employs 31 satellites, GNSS utilizes 89 satellites from four different satellite navigation systems around the world, including GPS (America), Galileo (European Union) and either GLONASS (Russia) or China’s BeiDou (GTT is using GLONASS).

“It’s well-documented that urban canyons and multipath effects can negatively impact the accuracy and overall performance of GPS-based locating,” GTT VP of Product Development Ravi Shah said. “The advantage of adding GNSS is that it gives our customers access to multiple satellite networks, thereby reducing interference and increasing accuracy while providing reliable redundancy and availability.”

Adding GNSS will enable more consistent, reliable priority control in dense urban areas with obstructions such as bridges, tunnels and tall buildings. It will reduce the kind of performance issues that can diminish priority control’s effectiveness by helping ensure the correct intersection receives the request for a green light as priority vehicles approach intersections. Better location services will minimize disruptions to traffic, and help fire and emergency personnel, bus drivers and light rail train conductors navigate dense urban areas in safer and faster.

Even with access to more satellites, communication to these satellites can be lost temporarily in areas with tall buildings, tunnels or multi-level roads. To address this, GTT has also added the ability to more effectively determine vehicle position in these areas with software-based “dead reckoning.” If satellite communication is lost, dead reckoning can calculate a moving vehicle’s position by estimating its direction and distance traveled from its last known geo-location. GTT’s software-based dead reckoning solution functions with sensors built into the Opticom devices, with no additional vehicle wiring required.//

FORSEE Storage eMMC

The FORESEE automotive storage product line offers three types of products: industrial-grade eMMC, industrial wide-temperature eMMC, and automotive-grade eMMC.

FORESEE’s industrial-grade eMMC adopts a firmware program independently developed by Longsys. It is available in 16GB/32GB/64GB/128GB capacities, and has an operating temperature range of -25°C to 85°C. In addition to its stellar performance and stability, it also features superb environmental reliability. These products are widely used in fields such as smart TV’s, industrial PC’s, security surveillance, instrument control, and medical applications, and are designed with a service life of 10 years.

FORESEE’s Industrial Wide-temperature eMMC products are available in 8GB/16GB/32GB/64GB/128GB capacities, and have an operating temperature range of -40°C to 85°C. They can be used in the automotive, industrial automation, safety protection, and IT-based emergency response fields. Every aspect of the product (including R&D, design, material selection, production, testing, and quality control) is subject to rigorous industrial-grade guidelines in order to ensure it operates continuously and stably in harsh environments. The firmware has been developed specifically for industrial application scenarios so that data storage and service life are enhanced.

FORESEE’s automotive-grade eMMC, which has passed the AEC-Q100 Grade 3 certification, is available in 8GB/16GB/32GB/64GB capacities, and has an operating temperature range of -40°C to 85°C. In addition to high reliability and stability for automotive-grade use scenarios, its comprehensive pre-sales technical support services, three-year warranty service, and more than three-year supply guarantee ensures customers can continue to use the product safely and worry-free.

Regardless of the changes brought on by time, products will always serve the market. FORESEE has been operating in the storage sector for 9 years, offering high-quality storage products based on industry changes and market demands. Automotive electronics is the fastest-growing sector, and there will be a greater demand for storage in the future, as well as more rigorous requirements.

VisIC Low Resistance EV Inverter

-VisIC Technologies Ltd., a global leader in gallium nitride (GaN) devices for automotive high-voltage applications, is proud to announce its new low resistance product for EV Inverter application that will improve efficiency and manufacturing cost of electric cars. The new 8mOhm product is another step in the ongoing effort to support our customers and improve the power conversion systems.

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