Connected Car News: GM, RapidDeploy, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz & Mixel

In connected car news are GM, RapidDeploy, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and Mixel.

GM Invests in RapidDeploy for Next Gen 911

GM Ventures today announced its participation in the $40 million Series B funding round for RapidDeploy, a public safety technology company working to accelerate Next Generation 911.

This investment will enable RapidDeploy to help improve the public safety community’s situational awareness with a cloud-native, data-driven solution. The announcement underscores General Motors and OnStar’s commitment to working with the public safety community to support and accelerate Next Generation 911 technology adoption and to advance efforts to keep communities safer.

Earlier this year, OnStar and RapidDeploy launched a first-of-its-kind program to supply every 911 call center in California with OnStar’s Automatic Crash Response1 notifications. Using built-in sensors on vehicles with an active OnStar service plan, OnStar Automatic Crash Response notifications can:

  • Help detect a moderate-to-severe crash and send notifications directly to 911 Centers via RapidDeploy RadiusPlus maps.
  • Deploy without having to rely on verbal relay of information, including the location, make and model of the vehicle and available crash details.
  • Indicate the probability of severe injury and whether the vehicle involved in a crash is electric, providing first responders with information they need to respond safely, and quickly rescue occupants, when applicable.

When a moderate-to-severe crash is detected, OnStar Automatic Crash Response can also automatically connect to a specially-trained Emergency-Certified Advisor2, who can offer help if a member is involved in a crash. OnStar Emergency-Certified Advisors are Emergency-Medical-Dispatch-certified and can provide medical assistance until help arrives, ensuring members will not face the emergency alone.

Today’s investment will accelerate the work of RapidDeploy and OnStar in 911 Centers across jurisdictions within the United States.

VW IQ.Drive for Most Models

Volkswagen of America, Inc. announced its changes for the 2022 model year today. Across the lineup, most models receive a standard Volkswagen Digital Cockpit and now offer IQ.DRIVE® driver assistance technology as standard or available equipment. The compact Taos SUV joined the Volkswagen family earlier this year; redesigned Golf GTI and Golf R models and refreshed Jetta, Jetta GLI, and Tiguan models round out the major changes.

Volkswagen’s IQ.DRIVE advanced driver assistance technology includes hands-on semi-automated capability. On the highway, IQ.DRIVE features lane centering and a capacitive steering wheel to make driving easier. Around town, IQ.DRIVE can alert you to surprise obstacles in front of you, and can keep an eye around you to help make driving safer.

IQ.DRIVE technology utilizes front and rear radar, a front camera, and several ultrasound sensors to collect data from the surrounding area, enabling Travel Assist (semi-automated driving assistance); Front Assist (Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Monitoring); Active Blind Spot Monitor; Rear Traffic Alert; Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) Stop and Go; Lane Assist (Lane Keeping System); and Emergency Assist (semi-automated vehicle assistance in a medical emergency).

MBZ EQS Detects Potholes, Speed Bumps & More

New C-Class and S-Class models as well as the EQS[1] can detect potholes or speed bumps. If the chassis control unit registers such an event, and the “Car-to-X Communication” service is activated, the information is sent to the Mercedes-Benz Cloud in real time via the mobile phone network, together with positional data. Mercedes-Benz passenger cars in the vicinity are informed, and the events are displayed with icons on the navigation map. About ten seconds before the relevant lane section is reached, an audible warning is given and the icon is visually highlighted.

Mercedes-Benz passenger cars produced from 2016 onwards can receive the warning information. In total, that’s over three million vehicles worldwide. Prerequisites are a Mercedes me account as well as activation and online availability of the “Car-to-X Communication” service. In these vehicles, warnings are given with the familiar voice output “Traffic event ahead”. In the new C-Class, S-Class and EQS, the audible warning is “Look out, pothole!” or “Attention, speed bump”. The new alerts are now available in selected markets worldwide, and in all 36 languages recognised by the infotainment system.

Mercedes-Benz developed the new Car-to-X functions completely in-house. The new pothole detection system was tested at the Immendingen Test and Technology Centre (PTZ), among other locations. More than 30 different test and trial tracks are available there over an area of 520 hectares, including what are known as comfort tracks with bumps and potholes of all kinds.

New-generation C-Class and S-Class models and the EQS can detect potholes when a certain threshold value is reached during sudden suspension compression and rebound, and this also occurs at the rear axle after the front axle with a certain time delay. A similar algorithm is used to detect speed bumps: in this case detection is via the compression and rebound sequence.

Another Car-to-X function from Mercedes-Benz uses the information from Crosswind Assist: If this assistance system becomes active in the event of a strong crosswind, and supports the driver with targeted braking or steering interventions, the Mercedes-Benz Cloud is also notified. Drivers following behind can therefore be specifically warned of gusts.

Because the sensors of other cars are also used, the Car-to-X technology significantly expands the coverage of the vehicle’s own sensor technology, e.g. the radar or camera systems. The Car-to-X technology allows a look around the corner, so to speak.

Here is an overview of which Car-to-X warnings are currently sent and received by Mercedes-Benz:

Event Trigger[2] in the transmitter vehicle
Broken-down vehicle Information from the infotainment system of the broken-down vehicle
Accident site Information from the infotainment system of the accident vehicle
Hazard warning lights on Hazard warning lights activated, no breakdown or accident
Risk of skidding/ice Is recognised by ESP®
Heavy rain Highest windscreen wiper speed switched on
Fog When the rear fog light is switched on
Temporary roadworks Info. from Federal Highway Research Institute (BaSt)
Heavy braking Severe deceleration is detected by the vehicle’s sensors.
General hazard Triggered manually by the driver, using the infotainment system
Crosswind Supportive intervention by ESP®
Potholes Suspension control unit of new-generation
C-Class and S-Class models and the EQS
Road humps (“Road bump”) Suspension control unit of new-generation
C-Class and S-Class models and the EQS

Background: Car-to-X technology at Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz already introduced mobile networking in 2013, establishing a technology that allows danger warnings to be transmitted and received. Since 2016, Car-to-X Communication has been installed as standard in combination with navigation systems – initially in the E-Class and now in all Mercedes-Benz vehicles.

In order to use the “Car-to-X” service, the customer must have a Mercedes me connect account and have activated the service. Only then are data registered in the vehicle, and the vehicle-related Car-to-X data are sent to the backend, where they are anonymised. The service is available free of charge for the first three years, and can then be renewed on payment of a fee. Mercedes-Benz drivers can easily activate or deactivate the service via the user account in the Mercedes me Portal or in the Mercedes me App. This is where they can also object to the transfer of data.

Mixel ISO 9001 & ISO 26262

Mixel, Inc. announced that it has achieved ISO 9001 Quality Management System Certification by DEKRA Certification, Inc. and ISO 26262 certification for automotive functional safety by SGS-TUV Saar GmbH. In order to achieve each respective certification, Mixel had to meet the requirements for ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System (QMS) standard for its IP development process. Once ISO 9001 certified, Mixel then followed its ISO 9001 QMS to demonstrate that both its processes and products met the requirements for ISO 26262:2018. Both ISO certifications covers Mixel’s headquarters in San Jose, California, and its satellite operations in Cairo, Egypt.

The ISO 9001:2015 standard is based on key quality management principles including a strong customer focus, the role of top management, the process approach, and continual improvement. The standard provides guidance and tools for companies and organizations that want to ensure that their products and services consistently meet customers’ requirements, and that quality is continually enhanced.

“We are proud to certify Mixel to ISO 9001:2015,” said Cem Onus, Managing Director of DEKRA Audit North America. “It was evident throughout the process that Mixel’s leadership is strongly committed to quality management, with dedication to continual improvement throughout the organization.”

ISO 26262 is an international standard for functional safety and expected reliability of electrical and electronic systems installed in series production road vehicles. Mixel product development process was developed to ensure meeting the strict ISO26262:2018 ASIL-D automotive safety requirements.

To achieve full ISO 26262 certification, Mixel went through generic process audit and MIPI® products functional safety assessment with SGS-TUV. Mixel showed that its MIPI IP products follow systematic functional safety development flow requirements. In addition, Mixel’s MIPI IP follow its ISO 9001 certified QMS and delivered with comprehensive functional safety documentation including Safety Manual; Safety Case Report; Failure Modes, Effects, and Diagnostics Analysis (FMEDA); Design Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (DFMEA); and other safety related documentation.

“Mixel’s certification for ISO 26262:2018 is based on SGS-TUV Saar’s thorough inspection and review of Mixel’s functional safety documentation and development processes,” said Wolfgang Ruf, head of Functional Safety for Semiconductors at SGS-TÜV Saar GmbH. “By achieving full certification, Mixel demonstrates its commitment to automotive SoC designers, providing a level of confidence that Mixel’s IP complies with the industry’s stringent functional safety requirements.”

In addition to functional safety deliverables included with the ISO 26262 certified IP, Mixel has developed additional test capabilities of its IP, the TX+ and RX+ configurations. The patented RX+ and proprietary TX+ configurations give automotive SoC designers the full-speed loopback testability of a universal configuration without the area penalty.

“Mixel has been a trusted partner for many years and has provided us with IP for multiple generations of our flagship ICs,” said Mike Leary, vice president of engineering at NXP. “Achieving this certification helps to reaffirm our decision to partner with Mixel as we develop our next generation of products.”

“Mixel has been delivering high-quality IP to help our customers minimize bring-up time and integration risk since 1998,” said Ashraf Takla, CEO of Mixel. “Achieving ISO 9001:2015 QMS certification validates our system and processes and demonstrates our commitment to continuous improvement. Achieving ISO 26262:2018 certification allows Mixel to provide our customers a high-quality IP that meets their target FuSa requirements when designing automotive SoCs.”