Connected Car News: Microsoft Azure, arrival, Tobbi, eSync Alliance, Bridgestone, Magna, Qualcomm & Veoneer

In connected car news are Microsoft Azure, arrival, Tobbi, eSync Alliance, Bridgestone, Magna, Qualcomm and Veoneer.

Microsoft Azure for Arrival’s Digital Fleet

Arrival, the technology company creating electric vehicles (EVs) using its unique technologies, today announced it will be co-developing its digital fleet and vehicle capabilities for the automotive industry with Microsoft. This cloud-based approach using Microsoft Azure will enable advanced uses of telemetry, vehicle and fleet data management across vehicle fleets.

An ever-increasing amount of data is produced and stored in the cloud by individual vehicles and fleets globally, but there is currently no standardised way of managing and utilising that data flow. Arrival plans to develop models with Microsoft that simplify the sharing of data within a mobility and freight ecosystem. These multi-tenant data ownership models will also increase the utility of shared data and serve as a foundation for multiple different stakeholders – including OEMs, suppliers, cities, and freight and logistics companies – to securely and responsibly analyse these swathes of data and apply valuable insights to their business. This will provide these stakeholders full transparency and control over what data is shared and with who – enabling them to benefit from their data in ways never before possible. For example, this approach could allow easier access for an insurance company to process claims or set premiums to better understand and manage risk while remaining competitive in the market, or for cities to benefit from understanding more about traffic flows and how to collectively optimise the performance of transportation and freight providers.

The resulting open data platform will use Azure and machine learning to extract insights from the data, and edge computing to minimise vehicle-to-cloud data flow. By implementing a unified, canonical data standard and transparent data sharing policy, the insights drawn will enable improved vehicle designs, advanced fleet logistics and help spur advancements in mobility ecosystems and business models.

Arrival will be amongst the pioneers for this next generation of vehicle and fleet management and will demonstrate the many benefits of being able to manage and process data in this way. Its connected and intelligent vehicles combined with the development of new automotive capabilities will showcase best practice with regards to data management and analytics for this sector. Arrival will utilise data insights to increase the efficiency for its customers operations. Arrival will also be able to use the platform to share data with other partners looking to develop solutions based on those insights.

Tobbi Driver Monitoring

Tobii today announces its entry into mass market automotive integrations with the release of its Driver Monitoring System, Tobii DMS, the acquisition of Phasya, and several new partnerships.

Over the past 20 years, Tobii has built global leadership positions in eye tracking and attention computing across numerous markets, including Healthcare, Behavior Research, VR/AR, and gaming. Now, Tobii is adding another strategic high-growth focus area to its portfolio by announcing that it has adapted its leading eye tracking technology to the needs of the automotive OEM market. Tobii’s Driver Monitoring System (DMS), called Tobii DMS, has been in development since 2019 and will be available this autumn and is ready for deployment in conjunction with the expected mass market adoption in 2024-2025.

The announcement also includes an acquisition of Phasya, new collaborations with Tier-1 suppliers and OEM customers as well as new commercial partnerships with Sunny SmartLead and Nviso to enhance the Tobii DMS offering.

eSync Alliance Agent SDK

The eSync Alliance announces the launch of its eSync Agent SDK, a new Software Development Kit (SDK) for the eSync Over-The-Air (OTA) platform. This new SDK makes it simpler and quicker to integrate electronic control units (ECUs), smart sensors and other edge devices in a vehicle with the eSync OTA data pipeline, thereby enabling automotive OEMs and Tier 1s to rapidly configure eSync software to perfectly fit their devices’ requirements.

The new eSync Agent SDK is a downloadable software package that is available to all eSync Alliance member companies. The SDK includes a template Agent (with libraries), which allows users to create an eSync Agent for their particular edge device. It includes eSync Client software for either a PC or Raspberry Pi device to serve as the master, and is licensed for installation on up to five computers. Users can test OTA update functionality of their systems with a one-month hosted account on an eSync Server, which can subsequently be extended for additional months.

eSync is a software platform for building secure bi-directional data pipelines between the Cloud and electronic end devices in vehicles. eSync can deliver and update software and firmware over-the-air (OTA), and can collect real-time operational data from in-car devices such as ECUs, domain master ECUs, network gateways and smart sensors.

Mike Gardner, executive director of the eSync Alliance, said, “This new Agent SDK noticeably accelerates development processes for automakers and Tier 1s. Implementing an OTA solution in the automotive arena can be extremely complicated, since there are a great variety of electronic devices on multiple networks inside the car. Integrating all of these devices and their software into a single data pipeline also requires extensive verification. The eSync platform provides the standardization required to make these tasks simpler, and comes with growing industry support from the eSync Alliance. ”

Bridgestone  Buys Azuga

Bridgestone Americas (Bridgestone) and Sumeru Equity Partners, Danlaw, Inc. and other shareholders have reached an agreement for Bridgestone to purchase Azuga Holdings, Inc. (Azuga) and the Azuga fleet management platform for $391 million. The acquisition will accelerate Bridgestone’s efforts to develop and deploy sustainable mobility solutions as a central pillar of the company’s advanced mobility strategy. The transaction has been approved by each company’s board of directors and is expected to close by the end of the third quarter.

Qualcomm and Magna Vie for Veoneer

On July 22, Magna International Inc. (TSX: MG; NYSE: MGA) and Veoneer, Inc. (NYSE: VNE and SSE: VNE SDB)  announced that they  entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Magna will acquire Veoneer, a leader in automotive safety technology. Pursuant to the agreement, Magna will acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of Veoneer for $ 31.25  per share in cash, representing a total value of  $ 3.8 billion, and an enterprise value of $ 3.3 billion, inclusive of Veoneer’s cash, net of debt and other debt-like items as of March 31, 2021.

Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) on  August 5 announced it has submitted an offer to acquire Veoneer for $37 per share, in an all-cash transaction. Our offer has been approved by Qualcomm’s Board of Directors, does not require Qualcomm stockholder approval, and has no financing conditions.

This proposed acquisition is consistent with Qualcomm’s growth and diversification strategy. It reinforces the company’s commitment to bring advanced technologies to the automotive industry and represents a natural extension of Qualcomm’s digital chassis solutions. The company continues to see traction in automotive, with a revenue-design win pipeline of approximately $10 billion.

The automotive technology company Veoneer, Inc. on August 5 confirmed that it has received a non-binding proposal from Qualcomm Incorporated to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Veoneer at a price of $37.00 per share in cash.

Veoneer’s board of directors will evaluate the proposal from Qualcomm consistent with its legal duties and the terms of the Magna merger agreement. On July 22, 2021, Veoneer announced that it entered into a definitive merger agreement, approved by Veoneer’s board of directors, with Magna International Inc. The merger agreement remains in place.

This report is information that Veoneer, Inc. is obliged to make public pursuant to the EU Market Abuse Regulation. The information was submitted for publication, through the agency of the EVP Communications and IR set out above, at 19:10 CET on Thursday August 5, 2021.

On August 8, 2021 – The automotive technology company Veoneer, Inc. (NYSE: VNE and SSE: VNE SDB),  announced that Veoneer’s board of directors has determined that Qualcomm’s proposal to acquire Veoneer (the “Qualcomm Proposal”) would reasonably be expected to result in a “Superior Proposal”, as defined under the terms of Veoneer’s merger agreement with Magna (the “Merger Agreement”).

As a result of the Board’s determination, Veoneer may under the terms of the Merger Agreement engage in discussions with Qualcomm based on the Qualcomm Proposal and Veoneer intends to do so.

The Merger Agreement remains in full force and effect, and the board of directors of Veoneer has not withdrawn or modified its recommendation that the stockholders of Veoneer vote in favor of the approval of the merger, the Merger Agreement and the transactions contemplated thereby.

Background
Under the terms of the Merger Agreement, prior to the receipt of the stockholder approval of the transaction, Veoneer may under certain circumstances terminate the Merger Agreement to enter into a transaction based on a competing proposal such as the Qualcomm Proposal. Any such action would require (i) that the competing proposal, after completion of any diligence and negotiation of transaction agreements, provide final, actual terms for a transaction that the Veoneer board of directors determines to be a superior proposal to the one set forth in the Merger Agreement, and (ii) that Veoneer comply with certain notice and other requirements set forth in the Merger Agreement, including the payment to Magna or its designee of a termination fee of $110 million.

This report is information that Veoneer, Inc. is obliged to make public pursuant to the EU Market Abuse Regulation. The information was submitted for publication, through the agency of the EVP Communications and IR set out above, at 16.30 CET on Sunday, August 8, 2021.

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