Connected Car News: Altium, Nexar, SilconExpert, Continental, Netradyne & Cipia

In connected care news are Altium, Nexar, SilconExpert, Continental, Netradyne & Cipia.

Altium Altimade

Altium LLC (ASX:ALU) and MacroFab, Inc. announced that Altimade, the electronics industry’s first “design WITH manufacturing” application, is now available to the Altium user community. Available on the Altium 365 cloud platform and connected directly to MacroFab’s fully digital, elastic manufacturing platform, Altimade enables customers to request an instant quote and place an order to produce their PCB assembly without ever leaving their design environment.

While the electronics industry is known for producing very high-tech products, the process of getting a newly designed printed circuit board manufactured has remained stubbornly low-tech. Old-school communication methods, incompatible tools and data formats, and a lack of up-to-date supply chain information slow the process and lead to costly rework for both design engineers and their manufacturers. Altimade modernizes and accelerates the prototype manufacturing process by connecting design, manufacturing, and supply chain data and professionals on the Altium 365 cloud platform to provide an easy, convenient user experience.

“By integrating Altium’s cloud platform for PCB design with MacroFab’s modern, digital-first manufacturing platform, Altimade represents a huge step towards the digital transformation of the electronics industry,” said Ted Pawela, Chief Ecosystem Officer of Altium. “We’re no longer designing FOR manufacturing as a separate activity, but designing WITH manufacturing in a collaborative environment.”

“Altium and MacroFab have modernized PCB design and manufacturing, by bringing them to digital-first, cloud platforms,” stated Misha Govshteyn, CEO at MacroFab. “Combining them truly redefines the PCB design to the manufacturing process and has the potential to accelerate product development and unlock enormous value for our customers.”

Using Altimade, Altium customers have access to continuously updated component and manufacturing prices and lead times at their fingertips and can place an order to produce their printed circuit boards directly within the design environment. All data required for manufacturing is shared via the secure, cloud-based Altium 365 platform, without file translations and exports. Orders are fulfilled by MacroFab’s network of manufacturers in a fraction of the time and effort compared with the traditional process of going from design to manufacture. Altimade creates, maintains, and displays a complete and continuous digital data trail that represents a true “golden record” for every step in the design, procurement, and manufacturing processes of a PCB. Any changes to the original bill of materials or design details automatically update the golden record.

Altimade helps customers achieve higher quality PCBs by maintaining a digital thread between the design intent and what is physically produced, leaving no room for errors from misinterpretation. In addition, Altimade helps engineers ensure manufacturability since the Altium Designer software runs design rule checking (DRC) to ensure the design meets MacroFab’s manufacturing specifications.

The MacroFab digital platform is used by supply chain teams to build everything from PCB assemblies to fully tested and packaged electronics products. MacroFab aggregates unused capacity at 75+ factories in the US, Canada, and Mexico to give mid-market companies an alternative to offshoring, where capacity is increasingly constrained and lead times are impacted by supply chain and freight disruptions. MacroFab turns its network of factories, logistics centers, and warehouses used in manufacturing into a cloud resource, driven by software and connected to Altium 365 through modern APIs.

Altimade is now available to all Altium Designer 22 and Altium 365 users. Visit altium.com/altimade for more details, images, and the latest Altium Stories video featuring Altimade.

SiliconExpert Joins Nexar’s Ecosystem

-Nexar, a business unit of Altium LLC (ASX:ALU), announces that SiliconExpert, one of the most respected purveyors of part data for electronic components, has joined Nexar’s ecosystem of electronic innovators. The partnership aims to address component lifecycle issues that the printed circuit board (PCB) design community experiences by bringing the comprehensive part data from SiliconExpert into the Altium PCB design tool workflows.

“It’s critical for PCB designers to know whether the components they select are going to be available throughout the entire lifecycle of their products,” said Ted Pawela, Chief Ecosystem Officer at Altium and Head of Nexar. “Altium customers recognize the value in having access to SiliconExpert’s data so that they can make better, more informed decisions and reduce risk.”

Inaccurate or incomplete component availability data can cause significant delays to the design and production of electronic products. Providing designers access to the most comprehensive component lifecycle information within their design environment is crucial to ensuring designs can be produced on time and on budget.

“SiliconExpert and Altium are equally driven in ensuring designers have access to component information right at their fingertips without the frustration of having to go through multiple design re-spins,” said Martin Chatterton, General Manager of SiliconExpert. “Altium is our most requested integration, so we’re eager to work together to address this need.”

SiliconExpert will be at the AltiumLive 2022 CONNECT summit presenting “Getting the Information to Create Successful Designs Quickly” among the topics in the event’s supply chain track. To see the full AltiumLive agenda, visit the summit page at altium.com/summit.

Altium’s integration with SiliconExpert’s component data will be available within the Altium ecosystem later this year. To learn more about Nexar or to become a Nexar partner, please visit www.Nexar.com.

Continental Cockpit in BMW iX

The technology company Continental supplies essential elements for an intuitive and attractive user experience in the new BMW iX. In response to vehicle digitalization, the electric vehicle integrates Continental’s Cockpit High Performance Computer. It manages the increasing software complexity as well as the rapidly growing functional scope in the cockpit. The computer also provides the necessary computing power for the functions in the supplier’s head-up display and the large-scale display landscape in the vehicle. Together with the driver camera integrated in the digital instrument cluster, Continental offers essential building blocks for a seamless interaction between the driver and the vehicle with a new type of user experience. Furthermore, Continental is also equipping the electric model with ultra-wideband transceivers for digital vehicle access with smartphones. Other solutions from the supplier, such as the smartphone terminal with close range communication for inductive charging, the electronics for the intelligent panoramic roof called BMW Sky Lounge as well as soft and low-emission surface materials ensure exciting design in addition to comfort, ergonomics, and user-friendliness.

“The user experience is becoming an increasingly important decision criterion for vehicle buyers. With our building blocks for an intuitive, safe, but above all, attractive interaction between the driver and the vehicle in the BMW iX, as well as our expertise in software development and systems integration, we help to promote sustainable mobility”, said Nikolai Setzer, CEO Continental.

The electronics architecture in the BMW iX bridges the gap from today’s distributed to an integrated and centralized vehicle architecture of the future. Instead of relying on multiple electronic control units, BMW’s new electric vehicle concentrates the computing power of various functions in a few central computers. Continental’s powerful cockpit domain controller is responsible for various software functions and manages all input and output devices in the vehicle interior centrally, on a single electronic control unit. As such, it offers new opportunities for a unique and consistent user experience throughout the vehicle. This also merges functions from infotainment and instrumentation so that they can now be freely configured. This allows maximum personalization for drivers and passengers as well as greater freedom in vehicle design. The central high-performance computer also opens the door for third-party apps and cloud services and supports hardware-independent software integration. Combined with the solution for over-the-air software updates, this creates timeliness and expandability for the cockpit.

The cockpit and the human-machine interface are thus increasingly transforming from being a driver’s workplace to a multimodal companion that adapts to the driver’s needs. This approach is particularly evident in the display system in the windshield and with the supplier’s driver camera in the curved display. The head-up display projects all relevant information, such as speed, important warning messages and navigation arrows, in the direct field of vision of the driver, keeping your eyes on the road and close to the traffic. The driver camera in the instrument cluster of the BMW iX, which is seamlessly integrated into the display, analyzes camera images of the driver’s head position, direction, eye opening and line of sight, ensuring that the driver is warned in the event of distraction from traffic or lack of attention due to fatigue. Accordingly, the two solutions additionally promote intuitive user experience and safety in road traffic. Other electronic safety components of Continental’s active and passive safety, such as control units for brakes, chassis and airbags as well as sensors, also contribute to driving safety in order to ensure a holistically positive user experience.

Continental is supplying the transceiver modules for the BMW iX electric vehicle, thus contributing to the digitalization of the traditional car key. As an essential building block for keyless access via smartphone, the mobility supplier’s modules measure the distance from the smartphone to the vehicle. This allows precise localization of the digital key for passive access and engine start without the driver having to pick up the smartphone. Thanks to ultra-wideband (UWB) technology, the solution offers maximum convenience combined with significantly improved security against relay attacks (man-in-the-middle) for the first time. For instance, vehicle thieves are no longer able to intercept and extend the key signal to gain access. The vehicle owner can also generate up to five digital keys simultaneously via the My BMW app from the vehicle manufacturer and conveniently share them with family and friends.

The global standard for passive vehicle access is being developed in the cross-industry Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC). This is where companies from the automotive industry, smartphone manufacturers and technology companies come together to drive forward the networking between smartphones and vehicles. The CCC also aims to identify further applications for vehicle localization based on UWB technology. At the CCC, Continental, together with other renowned companies such as BMW and Apple, is dedicating itself to the basic development of the UWB radio standard for vehicle access.

In the BMW iX, it is also possible to place the mobile device on the smartphone terminal from Continental with integrated near field communication (NFC) interface and charge it inductively, automatically establishing a connection between the phone and infotainment system. In addition, the vehicle can also be opened via NFC if the smartphone battery should run out.

With the control system for the so-called Sky Lounge, Continental is also making the panoramic roof intelligent. The large glass surface can be darkened electronically depending on the light conditions. The headliner thus offers a unique feeling of space, just like in nature.

Various surface materials, such as covers for the instrument panel, door balustrade and seats, from Continental also contribute to the pleasant indoor climate. The décor material Acella Lux used stands for high comfort and low-emission material properties.

Continental also offers different summer and winter tire models for the BMW iX at local tire dealers, whose performance is characterized by both short braking distances and excellent handling characteristics on dry and wet roads alike.

Netradyne AI New Accessory

Netradyne, a leader in artificial intelligence (AI) and edge computing focusing on driver and fleet safety,  announced the introduction of Driver•iHubX, the latest generation of its Driver•i® accessory that enables customers to add up to four external cameras to their existing installation for a complete 360 degree view around the vehicle. In addition to the new hardware, the company also announced a host of enhancements and new features to its vision-based safety platform.

Driver•iHubX retains the advanced features and functionality of its predecessor, while also offering additional storage to accommodate external camera views, low power wake-up for accessing external videos in standby mode and GPIO connectivity to vehicle sensors to trigger vehicle recording. Driver•iHubX also provides the driver with external camera views through an optional external monitor to promote safer driving.

“The release of Driver•iHubX and other enhancements are an example of how we are continuously improving our features and functionality to provide useful insights to our fleet customers,” said Avneesh Agrawal, chief executive officer, Netradyne. “As a result, fleets are better equipped to understand driving behavior and provide positive, corrective coaching to drivers while creating safer roads for all.”

Fleets using Netradyne’s Driver•i are able to achieve real impacts in safety, productivity and efficiency, all while achieving cost-savings thanks to reduced incidents and the critical video recording and data sets for reported events.

Driver•i‘s latest industry leading features and functionality include:

  • *New* DriverStar Streak: Recognizes safe driving for those drivers who consistently drive within the company’s speeding policy thresholds for posted speeding and fleet-specified threshold speeding. This feature is easily incorporated into a fleet’s driver recognition or incentive program.
  • Live Streaming: Enables an authorized user to view the outward or inward views of an installed Driver•i device in real-time. This functionality is helpful with specialized carriers and accident investigations. It also improves communication between the driver and fleet manager by allowing the driver to contact the manager for in-the-moment feedback and guidance on a situation as needed.
  • Camera Obstruction Alert: Identifies events when the driver cannot be detected by the camera due to an object or material placed over the inward camera lens or when there is an issue with the device such as improper installation of the camera, tilt of the camera, location of the camera or other hardware issue. Fleet managers can now easily identify obstruction events that are caused by a driver or passenger versus events that are the result of a hardware issue and manage as appropriate.

Cipia Supports SasS

Cipia (TASE: CPIA), an AI computer vision in-cabin automotive solutions provider, announced an expansion of its aftermarket offering to support SaaS platforms. As part of this strategic approach, Cipia is collaborating with Gurtam following the successful integration of Cipia-FS10 into Gurtam’s Wialon platform. Cipia’s aftermarket driver monitoring device is now available to Gurtam’s customers through the platform.

Since reaching its low point in 2009, there has been a 52% increase in the number of truck-related fatalities in the United States. To combat a major growing cause of accidents in the US and around the world, the Cipia-FS10 device is a fleet-focused aftermarket solution that utilizes AI and computer vision algorithms to detect driver drowsiness, distraction, identity, and dangerous actions such as holding a cellphone while driving. The system provides real-time life-saving alerts to the driver as well as tailored alerts to the fleet manager and dispatcher for smarter and more efficient fleet management. Additionally, the system supplies data and long-term statistics on the performance and efficiency of drivers and vehicle fleets for driver evaluation algorithms.

The integration and availability of Cipia-FS10 on Gurtam’s Wialon platform offers direct market penetration for the DMS solution to TSPs connected to the SaaS Platform, and a quicker proof of concept process (POC), compared to the process required working directly with a TSP or through distributors. The device will be available for purchase directly from Cipia for all Gurtam customers.

The new SaaS Platforms market approach comes in addition to Cipia’s work directly with large TSPs and via distributors globally, Cipia-FS10 driver monitoring device is already in POCs and initial deployments.

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