New MEMS Mics from Knowles Corp
Knowles Corporation, a market leader and global provider of advanced micro-acoustic microphones, speakers, audio processing, and precision device solutions, today announced the availability of two new SiSonicTM MEMS microphones for automotive applications: SPH1878 and SPH9855. The new microphones by Knowles are engineered to a higher standard of quality and supply assurance to support the increasing demands of the automotive market for hands free calling, advanced voice assistance and in-cabin noise cancellation for passenger comfort.
The launch of these latest microphones marks Knowles’ further commitment to the automotive market, building on its industry leading high quality and innovation standards. The microphones follow the AEC-Q100/103 qualification requirements set by the Automotive Electronics Council, the standardization body for establishing standards for reliable, high quality electronic components for use in the harsh automotive environment.
TomTom Offers AmiGO for Android Auto
TomTom, the location technology specialist, today announced the availability of TomTom AmiGO on Android Auto. This means that drivers with an Android device are now able to interact with TomTom AmiGO on their vehicle’s (Android Auto-compatible) infotainment screen.
TomTom AmiGO is a free navigation and traffic app with community at its heart. Drivers can easily report and share what’s happening on the road, enjoy clear routing and guidance, and receive real-time warnings for speed cameras, danger zones, jam tails, and blocked and closed roads. All this with a beautifully uncomplicated and ad-free user interface.
“There are three things that our community of drivers will love about our navigation app AmiGO: it’s free, has a beautifully clean design with zero ads, and drivers can help each other out by tapping the app when they spot a jam or speed cam,” commented Mike Schoofs, Managing Director, TomTom Consumer. “TomTom AmiGO’s compatibility with Android Auto now allows more drivers to get to where they need to go, faster and safer.”
One of the first navigation apps to be included in Android Auto’s new third-party driving apps portfolio, TomTom AmiGO can be downloaded for free via Google Play, as well as the App Store and Huawei AppGallery.
GM Will Build EV Silverado
General Motors President Mark Reuss announced Chevrolet will introduce a Silverado electric pickup truck that will be built at the company’s Factory ZERO assembly plant in Detroit and Hamtramck, Michigan.
The Chevrolet Silverado electric full-size pickup is designed from the ground up to be an EV, harnessing the best of the Ultium Platform and Silverado’s proven capability. The electric Silverado will offer customers a GM-estimated range of more than 400 miles on a full charge*.
Retail and fleet versions will offer customers a variety of options and are expected to be in high demand. The announcement affirms Chevrolet’s commitment to build on the brand’s 100 years of truck expertise and leadership, while transitioning to an all-electric future in the light-vehicle space.
Continental Get Orders for 5G V2X
The technology company Continental has won a serial order from a leading European commercial vehicle manufacturer to equip its vehicles with the 5G V2X telematics platform (V2X: Vehicle to Everything). It enables data exchange for classic telematics usage scenarios, plus super-fast connectivity for real time-based applications. With this order, Continental is continuing on its growth path as one of the leading providers of connected mobility. In the passenger car sector, the company has already won several orders from major European manufacturers for 5G telematics units in recent years. “Connectivity plays a decisive role as an efficiency driver, particularly in the commercial vehicle industry, and V2X and 5G further expand the spectrum of possible services and applications in areas such as automated driving. Equipping such platforms forms an important foundation for the future expansion of these products and services,” says Gilles Mabire, Head of the Commercial Vehicles and Services business unit at Continental.
For the new production order, Continental is integrating V2X technology into the vehicle’s existing telematics unit. The NAD (Network Access Device) mobile radio module developed by Continental is at the heart of the technology. It is used for telematics and fleet management applications in 4G and 5G networks. For the direct transmission of signals to other road users or to the traffic infrastructure, Continental is using Wi-Fi-based Dedicated Short Range Communication technology (DSRC) for the current order.
In principle, however, Continental’s platform can also map the mobile radio-based Cellular V2X standard, so the platform combines both of the main V2X standards in one device and can be used in all global markets without the need for major adaptations. This significantly reduces the number of versions and consequently the costs per vehicle.
Humanising Autonomy Partners with Streamax
Humanising Autonomy, a behaviour AI company, announced today its commercial partnership with Streamax Technology, an AI-powered industrial management solutions provider for commercial vehicles, in a move to significantly advance fleet safety for Streamax customers. The licensing agreement will enhance Streamax’s already market leading ADAS software with HA’s Behaviour AI Platform, and is available on selected models. Humanising Autonomy’s specialised human perception will further enable enhanced driver perception in ADAS and blind spot detection systems. The software runs on Ambarella Silicon, and will advance vulnerable road user safety for Streamax fleet customers globally.
In addition to cutting-edge Streamax features, predictive behaviour AI means Streamax customers will benefit from real time, non-intrusive driver advisories and alerts. Post-incident analysis means fleets can now identify safety challenges and key coaching opportunities, and map safer routes by looking at incident statistics and patterns. Furthermore, liability losses will be significantly reduced with easy-to-access incident footage.
Said Humanising Autonomy’s chief executive officer Maya Pindeus: “The Streamax partnership is the tip of the iceberg. Advanced driver and vulnerable road user (VRU) perception is not just valuable to fleets anymore – it’s a necessity.” She continued, “The work we’re delivering together ultimately means fewer fatalities on the road, enabled by safer, more efficient fleets on our streets.”
Streamax Technology marketing director Jerry Li also commented on the partnership: “We are committed to providing the most advanced products on the market. Humanising Autonomy’s Behaviour AI means our fleet customers will be the safest on the road.”
Fujikura Ltd. (President & CEO: Masahiko Ito) has succeeded in high-speed vehicle-to-infrastructure communication*1 using an electric pole and in-house developed 60 GHz millimeter-wave wireless communication modules in a demonstration of safe driving support. The demonstration was conducted in Himeji City, Hyogo Prefecture, for four days from March 15 to 18, 2021, in corporation with Kansai Transmission and Distribution, Inc., KYOCERA Corporation, Shinki bus Co., Ltd., Panasonic System Networks R&D Lab. Co., Ltd. and Magellan Systems Japan, Inc.
The demonstration was performed to confirm the effectiveness of the safe driving support system for local bus services by vehicle-to-infrastructure communication using an electric pole and by vehicle-to-vehicle communication*2 with bicycles at intersections with poor visibility without traffic lights. This safe driving support demonstration using a local bus in service will be the first of its kind in Japan.
In this demonstration, Fujikura installed a communication device equipped with the module on both electric poles and a local bus to establish a wideband wireless connection between the two. By using the wireless connection, the module has successfully uploaded in-vehicle camera images in real time and also has transmitted the GNSS (global navigation satellite system) correction data*3 necessary for high-precision vehicle positioning which is required for supporting safe driving.
In addition, our module featuring world-class high communication speed (>2Gbps) and long-distance transmission capability (>500 m) has also enabled immediate connection for mobile communication. Consequently, we will accelerate our studies of applying this technology to various V2X (vehicle-to-everything)*4 systems to be incorporated in transportation-related vehicles such as general vehicles, buses and trucks, construction/work vehicles, and AGVs (automatic guided vehicles)*5 used in factories.
EVgo More Fast Charging
EVgo, the nation’s largest public fast charging network for electric vehicles (EVs) and only platform powered by 100% renewable electricity, announced today the company brought 10 stations online in the last 10 days of March 2021.
Growing to meet the increasing charging demands of the expanding EV marketplace, EVgo’s expansion push included a 10 day window with 10 new stations representing 38 fast charging stalls coming online in new locations spanning California, Florida, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington and the District of Columbia.
Cadence Design Systems V2X
Cadence Design Systems, Inc. announced the availability of an automotive-optimized Cadence® digital full flow for Samsung Foundry’s 14LPU process technology. The Cadence flow was demonstrated using the high-performance, low-power Cadence Tensilica® ConnX B10 digital signal processor (DSP) for automotive radar, lidar and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) applications. By collaborating with Samsung Foundry, the new Cadence reference flow enables automotive designers to quickly deliver accurate first-time silicon and achieve power, performance and area (PPA) goals.
In addition to enabling first-pass silicon and optimal PPA, the Cadence flow ensures that designers meet critical criteria for automotive designs:
- Quality/Reliability: The flow reduces defects out of the manufacturing process, meeting the AEC-Q100 Grade 1 requirement for automotive reliability, thereby ensuring the device meets requirements throughout its lifetime.
- Safety: The flow enables system-on-chip (SoC) designs that avoid unreasonable risk due to hazards caused by malfunctions, meeting ASIL B requirements.
The complete Cadence RTL-to-GDS full flow that has been validated for the Samsung 14LPU process technology includes the Genus™ Synthesis Solution, Modus DFT, Innovus™ Implementation System, Quantus™ Extraction Solution, Tempus™ Timing Signoff Solution, Tempus ECO Option, Tempus Power Integrity Solution, Voltus™ IC Power Integrity Solution, Conformal® Equivalence Checking, Conformal Low Power, Litho Physical Analyzer and Cadence CMP Predictor. To speed the delivery of automotive designs, the flow achieved a “Fit for Purpose – Tool Confidence Level 1 (TCL1)” certification, enabling automotive semiconductor manufacturers, OEMs and component suppliers to meet stringent ISO 26262 automotive safety requirements.
The Tensilica ConnX B10 DSP used to validate the flow was also previously certified in accordance with the automotive ISO 26262:2018 functional safety standard, making it the ideal DSP for customers considering the Samsung 14LPU platform for safety-critical applications. The certification confirmed that the Tensilica ConnX B10 DSP was designed in accordance with functional safety management processes compliant with ASIL D systematic processes. Additionally, a certified Safety Element out of Context (SEooC) study demonstrated that the Tensilica ConnX B10 DSP achieved ASIL B random hardware fault metrics. These requirements are critical for designing autonomous driving, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and other automotive SoCs.
The BMW Group is publishing an anonymisation solution based on artificial intelligence (AI)that can anonymise objects in photos and videos. Building on the BMW labelling tool Lite, these algorithms (github.com/BMW-InnovationLab) enable targeted protection of relevant information: The user-friendly software tool uses AI to block out or blur objects or people. The granularity and degree of anonymisation can be intuitively adjusted.
“AI applications supports us with quality assurance, such as inspection of parts and components, as well as development of our autonomous, smart logistics robots. The AI anonymisation algorithms now published also ensure optimal data privacy and information protection,” explains Markus Grüneisl, head of Production System, Digitalisation at the BMW Group. “Making the anonymisation solution intuitive to operate was an important aspect of development for us, to ensure it can easily be used for a wide range of applications.”
The BMW Group uses artificial intelligence for object detection in production, since it offers a particularly high level of robustness – even under highly variable boundary conditions. AI-based image processing contributes in this way to maintaining premium quality. The recently released anonymisation solution also relies on artificial intelligence. AI automatically classifies image areas according to their features, so any areas that need to be made unrecognisable can be blocked out – for example, when processing photos from production. Different modes of anonymisation can be selected: Respective areas in photos or videos can be blurred, blacked out or pixelated.
The main technology used is the BMW labelling tool Lite, which allows users to label photos and train the AI with just one click. Each label serves as a digital tag that describes the information contained in the photo.
With no-code AI, production staff can create their own artificial intelligence solutions to support them in their individual processes. The new modular anonymisation algorithms allow photos to be processed automatically. In the BMW production system, for instance, areas containing people are deliberately made unrecognisable. Thanks to this AI-based anonymisation solution, there are no limitations on the use of image processing systems.
The published algorithms are freely available to software developers around the world – so they can use the algorithms and view, modify and further develop the source code. The BMW Group will also benefit from these further developments. A special feature of this now freely available software package is its simple and uncomplicated application based on the plug-and-play principle. The user does not require any programming skills, specific hardware or additional software.
The BMW Group published selected AI algorithms used in the production system for the first time in 2019. “The tremendous amount of feedback we received on the algorithms we published overwhelmed us. Our BMW AI community is very happy with the appreciation we are receiving worldwide. We are seeing many further developments based on our source code and no-code AI approach. We will continue following this approach and sharing our no-code AI algorithms so artificial intelligence can be made accessible to a wide range of users,” explains Kai Demtröder, head of Data Transformation and Artificial Intelligence.
The BMW Group uses a variety of applications from the field of artificial intelligence (AI) in production and logistics. AI technology reduces the strain on employees, by relieving them of particularly monotonous or tiring control tasks.
AI applications are used in the BMW Group production system to recognise and classify objects in images. For example, this ensures all vehicles are built in the customised configuration as ordered and that all components are in flawless condition. Another area of application for the anonymisation algorithms is the development of autonomous smart logistics robots – STR. The anonymisation algorithms simplify development significantly by using real images to train the robots directly. To make AI accessible to a wide range of users, programmers from the TechOffice in Munich are developing so-called no-code AI, so every user can train an AI model without having to programme a single line of software code. Numerous applications have already been realised in the BMW production system with the help of this AI self-service option.
Nikola Intros Service Partners
Nikola Corporation, a leading designer and manufacturer of heavy-duty commercial battery-electric vehicles (“BEVs”), fuel-cell electric vehicles (“FCEVs”) and energy infrastructure solutions, announced today its first step in establishing a nationwide plan for its Class 8 truck sales and service coverage. Nikola, in partnership with RIG360 Service Network, a network of heavy-duty truck service and maintenance centers, plans to provide sales and service products for commercial customers at more than 65 RIG360 dealer locations throughout the Southeast, Midwest and Northeast regions of the United States.
In addition to providing service and maintenance for Nikola’s complete portfolio of Class 8 trucks, this dealer association is intended to provide customers with a well-known and reputable sales and distribution channel to be established for Nikola BEV and FCEV vehicles and ancillary products and services.
Li-Cycle Granted Patents
Li-Cycle Corp. (“Li-Cycle” or the “Company”), an industry leader in lithium-ion battery resource recovery and the largest lithium-ion battery recycler in North America, today announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) has granted it two utility patents, No. 10,919,046 and No. 10,960,403, which further strengthen Li-Cycle’s IP position in the U.S. and as a technology leader.
Li-Cycle is a technology-focused business and receiving these patents demonstrates the Company’s strong technology position in the U.S. market. The Company has a robust and growing patent portfolio, with a focus on innovation, research and development, as well as continued commercialization of its proprietary battery recycling technology.
DTNA Freightliner Open for Orders
Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) announced that the Freightliner eCascadia and Freightliner eM2 are now available to order. The eCascadia and eM2 are the first all-electric trucks from the company, and are the longest-range commercial battery electric vehicles in customer hands in North America today.
“From reveal of proof of concept in 2018, to a demonstration fleet that’s in the hands of real customers, running real freight in the real world, to today’s moment where we are ready to formally welcome the nation’s fleets to all-electric freight movement, the entire team at Daimler Trucks North America is incredibly proud of our progress,” said Richard Howard, senior vice president, on-highway sales and marketing, DTNA. “Moreover, we are very excited to take this next important step into the future of carbon-neutral freight transportation with our great customers and dealers.”
With the opening of the order books to customers, market-leading Freightliner and DTNA are getting ready for start of production in late 2022. In addition, customers can benefit from an integrated approach that enables them to select and specify, as an additional service, the resources of an eConsulting team that will assist and advise on the holistic ecosystem needed to integrate battery electric vehicles into their fleets. And thanks to the large and dedicated network of Freightliner dealers, the company is prepared to support the end-to-end process of fleet electrification.
At start of production, both Freightliner battery electric models will come equipped with industry-leading technology from Detroit®, a brand at the forefront of delivering purposeful innovation to help fleets realize the lowest total cost of ownership through the highest levels of performance, quality, efficiency, and uptime. Detroit technologies included in the series-production eCascadia and eM2 are: the all-new Detroit ePowertrain; the Detroit Assurance suite of safety systems; and the advanced telematics service of Detroit Connect.
Comprised of an eAxle design and available with a single or dual motor system, the Detroit ePowertrain offers up to 23,000 lb-ft of torque, giving it ample power for the eCascadia’s GCWR of 82,000 lbs. And with maximum range specifications in excess of 230 miles on a full charge for the medium-duty eM2 and 250 miles for the Class 8 eCascadia tractor, both trucks are uniquely suited for a wide variety of applications.
Added Howard, “Powered by Detroit, customers who order a Freightliner eCascadia or eM2, stand to benefit from not only the best technologies in the industry, but the best customer experience as well.”
In lead-up to series production of the eCascadia and eM2, and in cooperation with the South Coast Air Quality Management District (South Coast AQMD) and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (Bay Area AQMD) who financially supported pilot fleets, Freightliner has placed 38 trucks into operation with fleets covering a variety of applications, including drayage, regional and local pickup and delivery, and food and beverage delivery. Nearly 750,000 collective miles have been accumulated on the early Freightliner electric fleet to-date, providing valuable data, and customer and driver perspective to Freightliner and DTNA, while allowing myriad customers to test electrification integration into their own fleet operations.
Magna Intros Driver Monitoring
As distracted driving remains one of the leading causes of vehicle accidents around the world, Magna is combining its expertise in cameras and mirrors to help automakers make roads safer. Magna’s new Driver Monitoring System is an advanced technology that alerts drivers when they take their eyes off the road for too long.
The market-ready solution is integrated into an interior mirror and meets global regulations related to the detection of distracted driving. It utilizes proven camera-based technology to monitor the driver’s head, eye and body movement to detect distracted behavior, drowsiness and fatigue.
In addition, the technology accounts for normal driving actions, such as looking in the side-view mirrors. If distracted behavior is detected, the driver is alerted through customizable audible or visual notifications. Integrating the camera with the interior mirror provides the best unobstructed view to the driver and offers the best vantage point for additional occupant monitoring features. The system is scalable to also include features such as child presence detection, seat belt detection and identifying specific passengers to enable user preference memory settings.
FTA Federal Funding for BRT
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced a total of $187 million in federal funding will be allocated to four Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) infrastructure projects in California, Utah, and Washington State. Funding is provided through FTA’s Capital Investment Grants (CIG) Small Starts Program.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said, “Millions of Americans rely on public transit to get to work, services, and family – and communities need support to create more public transit options. The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to modernizing and expanding our public transit systems, and that includes support for these great projects.”
The four BRT projects receiving allocations are nearing completion of the statutory and regulatory requirements in order to receive a grant agreement. The projects must meet these additional requirements before a grant can be awarded.
BRT is a high-quality bus-based transit system that delivers fast and efficient service that may include dedicated lanes, busways, traffic signal priority, off-board fare collection, elevated platforms and enhanced stations. Because BRT contains features similar to a light rail or subway system, it is often considered more reliable, convenient and faster than regular bus services. With the right combination of features, BRT systems can help passengers avoid the delays that can slow regular bus services, like being stuck in traffic and queuing to pay on board.