Connected Car News: Helios, Continental, Ethernovia, Avanci, BMW, Mapbox, Porsche, SEMA, Honda, UltraSense, Flex Logix, Diodes Inc., Garmin, Toyota & Caruso

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Helios, Continental, Ethernovia, Avanci, BMW, Mapbox, Porsche, SEMA, Honda, UltraSense, Flex Logix, Diodes Inc., Garmin, Toyota and Caruso.

Helios Rugged Display-Controller

Helios Technologies, Inc. a global leader in highly engineered motion control and electronic controls technology for diverse end markets, has unveiled the new PowerView™ P70, as part of the all-new Pro Series, Helios’ next-generation of premium rugged display-controllers. The new Pro Series is the first in a portfolio of products that will be tailored to meet different market requirements and is offered through Enovation Controls, part of Helios’ Electronics segment.

“We are pleased to introduce the PowerView™ P70, which represents a major step forward in rugged display-controller technology,” said Josef Matosevic, the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “With its combination of advanced features, premium display quality, and rugged durability, the PowerView™ P70 is the perfect solution for both powersports and industrial customers who demand the best. This is another great example of Helios leveraging a new platform across more than one end market to achieve a multiplier effect. We are also thrilled to announce an initial multi-million-dollar customer award for this product reinforcing the demand we have been hearing from customers.”

The PowerView™ P70 is the result of combining the best features from the highly sought after PV485 and PV700 products while retaining the ruggedness expected from an Enovation Controls’ display-controller. With a 7-inch edge-to-edge, all glass, full-color touchscreen format like the PV700, the all-new P70 sets the industry standard for sunlight-readability from its optically bonded 1000 Nit glove-friendly display. It also boasts the full I/O (input/output) complement of the PV485, making it a powerful and versatile device. The PowerView™ P70 is another innovation from our world class engineering design and validation capabilities that have been gained from decades of experience.

The P70 will initially be available in two forms, a powersports model and an industrial model. It is packed with features such as an internal GPS receiver and 2.5 zone audio out, making it the best choice for powersports OEMs who demand top performance and functionality. 2.4GHz Wi-Fi will also be available in a future software release. For the industrial market, it offers the same core technology, rugged reliability and high-performance as the PV700 in a higher value format. Designed with all-weather durability, it features a rugged, IP67-rated housing that protects against water, dust, and shock, making it suitable for use in the harshest environments.

Core hardware features on the powersports model include Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, CAN, and GPS which are integrated directly into the P70 giving OEMs complete control. It will also allow for digital and analog inputs, low-side outputs, and a touchscreen designed for wet and dry use. The industrial model will have a subset of those features based on customer requirements.

Commercial availability for both the powersports and industrial models are targeted for early fourth quarter of 2023.

Continental & Ethernovia for SDVs

Continental and Ethernovia, Inc. announced a development partnership to create a high-bandwidth, low-latency switch in an automotive-qualified 7nm process to efficiently and securely move data within software-defined vehicles (SDVs).

“Continental’s expertise in building High-Performance Computers for the automotive sector and designing complex electrical/electronic architectures in vehicles perfectly complements our know-how in developing communication components for transferring and processing data within the automotive market’s unique requirements, including functional safety.”

Initially, Continental and Ethernovia will work together to make the advanced switch fit for series use in High-Performance Computers (HPC) developed by Continental. Second, the partners will collaborate on the development of a highly integrated network chip for automotive use.

“With Ethernovia, we have the perfect partner at our side to develop a particularly innovative and urgently needed technology solution for the mobility of the future,” said Jean-Francois Tarabbia, Head of Architecture and Networking Business Area at Continental. “New functions in the vehicle drive an increase in computing power, and with it an increased amount of data to be absorbed and acted upon. Conventional computing topologies are reaching the limits of their performance. With the new approach of a switch tailored to meet the needs of the automotive customers, in combination with innovative design of High-Performance Computers, we can offer our customers an effective, power efficient, and cost-efficient solution.”

“This partnership allows us to help shape tomorrow’s mobility,” said Ramin Shirani, CEO and co-founder at Ethernovia. “Continental’s expertise in building High-Performance Computers for the automotive sector and designing complex electrical/electronic architectures in vehicles perfectly complements our know-how in developing communication components for transferring and processing data within the automotive market’s unique requirements, including functional safety.”

Continental and Ethernovia expect the new switching technology to deliver solutions for effectively accelerating data exchange within vehicles, as connectivity solutions, new driver assistance systems, highly automated and future autonomous driving functions all require the exchange and processing of more and more data in near real time.

Avanci 5G for BMW

Avanci, the independent global leader in joint licensing solutions,announced that BMW Group, a world leading manufacturer of premium automobiles, has signed an Avanci 5G Vehicle license, covering the group’s BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brands.

The Avanci 5G Vehicle program provides a license to patented technologies essential for 5G, 4G, 3G and 2G connectivity, including cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) which enables vehicles to directly communicate with other vehicles, cyclists, pedestrians, and transportation infrastructure. The program, launched in August 2023, already includes 61 participating licensors, together responsible for the vast majority of essential cellular technologies.

Mapbox Funded for More AI

Mapbox, the location platform powering navigation for Toyota, General Motors, and BMW,  announced the completion of a $280 million Series E funding round, led by SoftBank Group Corp. and its affiliate (together, “SoftBank”), to fuel investments into AI location services and further broaden its footprint in the automotive industry. The company has long been the go-to location platform for powering mobile apps and logistics, from rendering animated radar maps for The Weather Company to helping Instacart deliver groceries on-time. Now, Mapbox has firmly established itself in the automotive industry, working with brands known for leading the market in innovation.

This new funding accelerates Mapbox efforts to bring AI into the car, with new ADAS features for automated driving and safety that work across a wider range of roads and more geographic locations. The unique Mapbox map allows vehicles and devices to share 28 billion global daily map detections. With an increasingly sophisticated set of sensors inside vehicles, automakers need embedded AI processing to enable fast decision making.

Mapbox will leverage its real-time map to give automakers the required data and AI to comply with new safety standards such as Europe’s GSR and NCAP. The AI map also plays a role in automotive electrification by integrating with in-vehicle battery systems to monitor energy consumption, intelligently forecasting range, suggesting charging stations based on real-time availability, and facilitating secure payment processing.

Beyond automotive, delivery companies will gain access to local details that efficiently guide drivers to destinations. App developers gain richer 3D map content to create engaging virtual environments in travel, fitness, and weather. And companies of all kinds can leverage the live map to analyze how their business performs through the lens of location intelligence.

Porsche Rennsport App

Atlanta. With just over a week to go before more than 80,000 fans gather for the largest Porsche gathering in the world, Porsche Cars North America (PCNA) is announcing the launch of a useful companion to the event – the Rennsport Reunion 7 App. The innovative mobile application is designed to keep participants up-to-date on announcements and events and to allow visitors to Rennsport to create their own tailored schedule.

“We have so many wonderful activities and surprises planned for our guests at Rennsport Reunion 7 that seeing them all takes careful planning,” said Ayesha Coker, Vice President of Marketing at PCNA. This app will help them create a personalized experience and learn more about the Porsche people and cars they are seeing.”

With the App, users can easily explore the paddock with an interactive map, view the racing schedule, and find places to eat and things to do off the track. Users can also learn more about the iconic cars and people of Porsche. There are also camera frames for social media and a scavenger hunt sponsored by Mobil 1™ with prizes to be won.

Download the Rennsport Reunion mobile app on the Google Play or Apple App store.

Rennsport Reunion 7 will be held at the legendary WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca from September 28 – October 1, 2023. For tickets and information, please click here.

New SEMA Award for Engineering

The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) has announced a special new award that will recognize a featured vehicle at the 2023 SEMA Show that showcases exceptional engineering. The SEMA Best Engineered Vehicle of the Year Award will honor and celebrate a build that demonstrates quality engineering throughout the entire vehicle, or an aspect of the vehicle that goes beyond just physical appearance.

The award aims to inspire more engineers to enter the automotive aftermarket by highlighting their impact on the automotive specialty equipment industry and places a spotlight on the symbiotic relationship between a vehicle’s design and engineering.

“While vehicle aesthetics have always played a crucial role in the automotive aftermarket, this award recognizes the intricate engineering that transforms a vehicle into a masterpiece of design and functionality,” said Chris Standifer, SEMA Manager of Recognition Programs. “It also sheds light on the technical brilliance behind the build and provides a platform for engineers to showcase their transformative innovations.”

To be considered for the award, builders must upload a photo, video, description of the engineering content included in the build, and the location of the displayed vehicle at the SEMA Show into their submission. Entries are being accepted until October 25 atthis link.

The SEMA Best Engineered Vehicle of the Year Award winner will be announced at SEMA Central on Thursday, Nov. 2, at the 2023 SEMA Show.

Honda EPA E3 Award

Honda announced that the environmental team at the company’s East Liberty Auto Plant (ELP) has been honored with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) prestigious Encouraging Environmental Excellence (E3) Platinum Achievement Award. This recognition highlights the unwavering commitment and dedication of the Honda team toward sustainability and its effort to work toward the company’s Triple Action to Zero approach.

The Ohio EPA’s E3 program recognizes organizations that demonstrate exceptional environmental leadership and sustainability practices. Achieving the platinum level is a testament to the commitment of the Honda team at ELP to minimizing its environmental footprint while contributing positively to the community and the planet.

UltraSense TouchPointQ

UltraSense Systems  introduced UltraSense TouchPoint Q, the world’s first piezoelectric strain sensor designed to bring a better touch experience to automotive interfaces. Automotive tier-suppliers are integrating TouchPoint Q to augment their solid-state capacitive touch systems for center and overhead consoles, steering wheels, and door panels for an enhanced user experience.

How TouchPoint Q Improves Capacitive Touch Systems
Traditional capacitive touch systems have suffered from oversensitivity, causing frustrating false triggers, or from lack of sensitivity, creating a poor user experience. When earlier force-sensing technologies were added to capacitive touch systems (i.e. optical, parallel plate capacitance, or piezoresistive), results were sub-par: a non-premium feel, required visual movement of the surface, and/or expensive calibration steps across the manufacturing process. As a result, some auto makers released first-generation solid-surface capacitive touch systems to less-enthusiastic reviews.

TouchPoint Q now solves the challenges of previous capacitive touch systems, offering auto makers the ability to improve next-generation designs. According to Data Intelo, the global automotive touch sensor market is expected to grow at a 6.5% CAGR from 2022 to 2030. Forward-thinking automotive makers are now rapidly transforming car interfaces from mechanical to digital – just as phone makers did 15 years ago, migrating from mechanical buttons to flat screens.

“TouchPoint Q enables automotive tier-suppliers to deliver a new generation of more capable touch sensing functions,” said Daniel Goehl, UltraSense Systems Chief Business Officer. “TouchPoint Q can easily and cost-effectively augment already designed capacitive systems with a better force-sensing solution to improve the user experience and manufacturing scalability.”

Unique MEMS architecture
The patented UltraSense QuadForce architecture of TouchPoint Q uses a MEMS process to etch four microscopic strain sensors per chip into a piezoelectric film material applied to the surface of an ASIC processor wafer. The strain sensors, using the Piezoelectric Effect and as an inherent AC sensor (vs DC), detect surface deflection down to the 100-nanometer level – movement not detectable with the human eye.

TouchPoint Q Advantages
TouchPoint Q’s integrated MEMS strain sensors and mixed-signal ASIC processes a surface touch into a force. Placing one TouchPoint Q under a touch surface of one or more buttons has several advantages over previous strain-sensing technologies, including:

  1. Truly solid-state interface with no visual movement of the surface
  2. No residual stress from manufacturing assembly or aging over time
  3. Immunity to temperature sensitivities that can cause signal saturation
  4. Wider adhesive selection due to limited material thermal coefficient mismatch
  5. One-time system calibration in the manufacturing process
  6. Accurate touch and gesture detection using pattern recognition with machine learning

TouchPoint Q Availability
TouchPoint Q samples are available today to select customers and shipping in mass production this month to global automotive tier-suppliers. TouchPoint Q is available in a 3.0 x 3.0 x 0.6mm 24-pin QFN package

Flex Logix Reconfigurable Block RAM

Flex Logix® Technologies, Inc., the leading supplier of eFPGA IP, announced the availability of Reconfigurable Block RAM with ECC and Parity Options.

“Our customers want Block RAM (BRAM) that is flexible.  The majority of customer designs use BRAM. But they have different requirements. Some want deep memory with a 16-bit data path width. Others want very wide data path widths. BRAM access can be configured for single port or two port or true dual port,” said Geoff Tate, CEO of Flex Logix. “Many applications also want a level of data checking for soft errors. Some want parity and others want full Error Detection and Correction. In the past they had to implement these features in Verilog adding complexity and using LUTs, or requesting customization from us at the cost of time and money. Now we have a single Reconfigurable Block RAM that can meet all of these needs.”

The Reconfigurable BRAM is available now for Generation 2.4 EFLX eFPGA designs in multiple popular process nodes.

Diodes Inc. High-Sens Hall-Effect Sensors

Diodes Incorporated (Diodes) (Nasdaq: DIOD) introduced a new portfolio of high-sensitivity Hall-effect sensors. Devices in the robust AH39xxQ series provide accurate speed and directional data or two independent outputs. These sensors are designed for industrial and automotive applications such as detecting rotational and linear speed/direction and determining the angular position of a rotating shaft.

In line with automotive battery requirements, the AH39xxQ series Hall-effect sensors operate over a wide supply voltage range of 2.7V to 27V. They also have a 40V absolute maximum rating, enabling them to safely handle 40V load dumps. Additionally, -18V of reverse voltage protection guards against incorrect battery connections. For added robustness, the electrostatic discharge (ESD) protection provided by these devices exceed the automotive norms of 5kV human body model (HBM) and 2kV charge device model (CDM).

Three BOP/BRP options are offered, with typical values of 10/-10 gauss, 25/-25 gauss, and 75/-75 gauss, while their narrow operating window ensures accurate and reliable switching points. Dual-channel operation means these sensors can replace two latch switches, reducing PCB space and overall component costs. Combining chopper-stabilized amplifiers with an advanced Hall plate design mitigates switch point drift, ensuring accurate measurements over a broad temperature range.

The self-diagnostic features of the AH397xQ make them suitable for ISO 26262-compliant systems. For extra reassurance, these devices enter a safe operating mode if an error, such as overtemperature or undervoltage lockout, is detected.

The AH39xxQ series Hall-effect sensors from Diodes are AEC-Q100 Grade 0 qualified, manufactured in IATF 16949 certified facilities, and support PPAP documentation. They are supplied in TSOT25 packages. In 1,000 piece quantities, the AH396xQ series are available at $0.40 and the AH397xQ series are available at $0.44. These, and the full portfolio of Hall-effect sensors are included in the Hall-effect sensor part selector.

IA Op Shows SIC in Detroit

IA optronics AG (NYSE: VIAO) (“VIA” or the “Company”), a leading supplier of interactive display systems and solutions, announced that it will present an exhibit at the Society for Information Display (SIC) Vehicle Displays & Interfaces 30th Annual Symposium & Expo. The event will take place on September 26th and 27th, at Huntington Place in Detroit, Michigan.

Roland Chochoiek, CEO of VIA optronics, commented, “It´s a pleasure to participate at SID’s annual symposium again, and we look forward to having another opportunity to exhibit our portfolio of interactive display solutions. Our team is excited to meet and engage with our customers and partners.”

The Company will showcase a demonstration of its Interactive Display System (IDS) with multiple displays bonded on one curved cover glass. Further, the demo will include VIA’s unique copper metal mesh touch sensor technology for high-performing touch functions and automotive camera technology for mirror replacement.

Origin Material to Make BioMADE

Origin Materials, Inc. (“Origin,” “Origin Materials,” or “The Company”) (Nasdaq: ORGN, ORGNW), the world’s leading carbon negative materials company with a mission to enable the world’s transition to sustainable materials, announced that it has been awarded funding from BioMADE, a Manufacturing Innovation Institute catalyzed by the U.S. Department of Defense.

“These projects will help unlock the benefits of bioindustrial manufacturing for all Americans – from everyday consumers to farmers to warfighters”

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BioMADE announced a suite of projects last week that aim to aid in the advancement of Department of Defense supply chain resiliency and sustainability goals, re-shore manufacturing jobs to the United States, and enhance the domestic bioindustrial manufacturing ecosystem. Origin Materials is one of nine projects announced by BioMADE, totaling $18.7 million in funding.

As part of its project, Origin will leverage its technology platform to develop samples of bio-based polymers and bio-based carbon black, which can be used to make more sustainable tires and other products, which could support Department of Defense fleet decarbonization efforts.

Garmin Buys JL Audio

Garmin Ltd. (NYSE: GRMN),  announced it has completed the acquisition of JL Audio, a privately-held U.S. company that designs and manufactures audio solutions, including speakers, amplifiers, subwoofers and other audio components for marine, aftermarket automotive, powersports, home and RV customers.

“We are thrilled to welcome JL Audio to the Garmin team. JL Audio has a strong reputation for providing premium audio quality, and we are excited to integrate these highly regarded features into the Garmin ecosystem. Together, we look forward to providing a best-in-class audio experience for new and existing customers around the world.” –Cliff Pemble, Garmin President and CEO

JL Audio will continue operations at its current headquarters in Miramar, Fla., and in its facilities in Portland, Ore., and Phoenix, Ariz. The company employs more than 600 associates who will become part of the global Garmin team. The JL Audio brand name will be retained, and its products will be integrated into Garmin’s marine segment. Financial terms of the transaction will not be disclosed.

Connected Cars for Toyota from Caruso

CARUSO announces its partnership with Toyota to optimize connected car data for innovative fleet management solutions. By harnessing the power of telematics data generated by Toyota vehicles, the partnership aims to effectively tackle the complexity of in-vehicle data. With CARUSO at the helm providing vast standardization, specialized consultancy along with complementary services, their fleet customers can focus on enhancing their business operations by integrating in-vehicle data in their products. Using connected car data as a fleet ushers in a new wave of possibilities such as tracking vehicle mileage, maintaining detailed logbooks, among others. This diminishes the Total Cost of Ownership for fleets and facilitates highly efficient, data-driven decision-making.

Marvin Inden-Lohmar, Manager Data Business & Privacy at Toyota Motor Europe, said about the partnership. “We are delighted to have CARUSO become one of our fleet-management partners and continue providing Toyota customers with high-impact value. By utilizing connected vehicle data, we are helping their partners gain actionable insights that will enable them to achieve a safer and more efficient fleet.”

Speaking about the collaboration, Norbert Dohmen, Managing Director of Caruso GmbH said, “Richer data sets from connected vehicles are essential for digitizing commercial fleet operations and reducing total ownership costs for fleet managers. Our collaboration with Toyota will enable us to provide even more multibrand, standardized data and enable solution providers to solve fleet-facing challenges, without the need for external hardware. We are happy to be working with Toyota together.”

This partnership between CARUSO and Toyota is poised to augur a new era in the realm of logistics and fleet management, ushering in an unprecedented level of efficiency and sophistication.

Potential customers interested in leveraging the new agreement and services provided by CARUSO, can explore further details on their website,