[Due to the increasing size of the archives, each topic page now contains only the prior 365 days of content. Access to older stories is now solely through the Monthly Archive pages or the site search function.]
Volkswagen Group’s new Future Tracks program targeting digitalization era in auto industry; “James 2025”
March 10, 2014
At the Geneva Motor Show and now at the IT trade fair CeBIT in Hanover, Germany, Volkswagen Group executive management has begun to outline its “Future Tracks” program which will address, among other things, what Chairman of the Board of Management Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn calls an approaching new era of digitalization.
In an address at the opening ceremony of CeBIT 2014 in Hanover in the presence of Federal Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel, the British Prime Minister David Cameron, the Minister-President of Lower Saxony Stephan Weil and Prof. Dieter Kempf, President of BITKOM, the IT industry Association, Winterkorn declared that the increasingly intensive networking of cars with their surroundings and automatic driving would be the key topics for the intelligent mobility of the future.
IHS forecasts 11% rise in China automotive semiconductor market in 2014 due to safety and navigation features
February 26, 2014
|Click to enlarge.|
The fast-growing semiconductor market for China’s automotive industry is set for double-digit expansion in revenue this year, propelled by an increasing desire among Chinese car buyers for added vehicle safety features and helpful infotainment applications such as car navigation, according to a new report from IHS Technology (NYSE: IHS).
Chip consumption in 2014 by the country’s automotive industry will amount to $4.6 billion, up a solid 11% from $4.1 billion last year. This year’s projected revenue growth improves on the already strong 10% rise of the China automotive chip market in 2013, and three more years of similar notable increases will take place. By 2017, revenue will reach $6.2 billion.
CEN and ETSI deliver first set of standards for Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) in Europe
February 18, 2014
Standards organizations CEN and ETSI recently confirmed, at the 6th ETSI workshop on ITS in Berlin, that the basic set of standards for Cooperative Intelligence Transport Systems (C-ITS), as requested by the European Commission in 2009, have now been adopted and issued. The Release 1 specifications developed by CEN and ETSI will enable vehicles made by different manufacturers to communicate with each other and with the road infrastructure systems.
When they have been applied by vehicle manufacturers, the new specifications should contribute to preventing road accidents by providing warning messages, for example about driving the wrong way or possible collisions at intersections, as well as advance warnings of roadworks, traffic jams and other potential risks to road safety. This vision of safe and intelligent mobility can be achieved by utilizing wireless communication technologies to link vehicles and infrastructure and identify potential risks in real time.
NHTSA awards Virginia Tech Transportation Institute $1M for V2V framework project
February 14, 2014
Following a US Department of Transportation decision to move ahead with require vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication technology for all cars and light trucks on the nation’s highways (earlier post), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has awarded the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) a $1-million follow-on to a $3 million project managed by the transportation institute.
The goal of the project is to design, to test, and to disseminate the initial recommended framework that controls how motorists receive communications—traffic warnings, the too-close approach of another vehicle, weather warnings, or text messages—while driving. Focus will be placed on the communication’s format, visual or audible, and the order and timing of such messages.
Calif. ARB releases GHG scoping plan update; more ZEVs, “LEV IV”, MD and HD regulations; ZEV for trucks; more LCFS
February 11, 2014
The California Air Resources Board released the draft proposed first update to the AB 32 Scoping Plan, which guides development and implementation of California’s greenhouse gas emission reduction programs. The Air Resources Board is required to update the Scoping Plan every five years.
Among the actions proposed or considered in the transportation sector include aggressive implementation of the light-duty Zero Emission Vehicle standard; LEV IV emissions regulations for the light-duty fleet post-2025 (GHG reductions of about 5% per year); Phase 2 GHG regulations for medium and heavy-duty (MD and HD) vehicles; a possible ZEV regulation for trucks; more stringent carbon reduction targets for the Low Carbon Fuel Standard; and others.
Mitsubishi Electric develops ultra-simple and fast HMI for in-car device operation
February 10, 2014
Mitsubishi Electric Corporation has developed an “Ultra-simple HMI” (human-machine interface) that predicts a car driver’s needs for the safe and easy operation of vehicle equipment in one or two steps and no more than 15 seconds. Mitsubishi electric has filed for 25 patents on the technology in Japan and 42 abroad; pending design patent applications number five in Japan.
Mitsubishi Electric’s highly intelligent human-machine interface (HMI) technology bases its predictions on operational history and current conditions to minimize the steps and time required to operate the vehicle’s four primary on-board devices: navigation system, phone, air conditioner and audio-visual equipment.
Renault unveils Next Two autonomous electric vehicle prototype for 2020
February 06, 2014
|The Next Two prototype. Click to enlarge.|
Renault has unveiled the Next Two concept—the company’s current vision of an autonomous drive (AD) capable electric vehicle for the year 2020.
The Next Two prototype—based on a Renault ZOE—focuses on two areas: the delegation of driving functions under certain conditions and connectivity. Using sensor technologies, Next Two enables the delegation of driving functions from the driver to the car in congested traffic up to km/h (18.6 mph) on main roads. It also offers an Automated Valet Parking function which permits the vehicle to park itself completely autonomously in car parks equipped to cater for automated vehicles. This includes both finding a parking place and the necessary maneuvering.
Renault introduces ZE-ready concept with drone Flying Companion; targeting new markets
February 05, 2014
|The KWID CONCEPT comes with a Flying Companion drone stored on the roof. Click to enlarge.|
Renault unveiled the KWID CONCEPT at the Delhi Auto Show—the first Renault concept car unveiled outside Europe. The KWID CONCEPT features a “Flying Companion”—a small drone that can be operated in one of two modes. Automatic mode uses a pre-programmed flying sequence and GPS location; manual mode enables the companion to be controlled using a dashboard-integrated tablet.
The Flying Companion is the first of its kind in the automotive world. It takes off from the rotating rear portion of the KWID CONCEPT’s roof. Renault suggests that the Flying Companion could be used for a variety of purposes, including scouting traffic, taking landscape pictures and detecting obstacles on the road ahead.
NHTSA to move ahead with regulations for vehicle-to-vehicle communications for light vehicles
February 03, 2014
The US Department of Transportation’s (DOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced it will begin taking steps to enable vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication technology for light vehicles as the next generation of auto safety. This technology would improve safety by allowing vehicles to communicate and ultimately avoid many crashes altogether by exchanging basic safety data, such as speed and position, ten times per second.
DOT research indicates that safety applications using V2V technology can address a large majority of crashes involving two or more motor vehicles. With safety data such as speed and location flowing from nearby vehicles, vehicles can identify risks and provide drivers with warnings to avoid other vehicles in common crash types such as rear-end, lane change, and intersection crashes. These safety applications have been demonstrated with everyday drivers under both real-world and controlled test conditions.
Ford kicks off new automated driving research projects with MIT and Stanford University
January 22, 2014
|Ford Fusion Hybrid automated research vehicle with four LiDAR sensors. Click to enlarge.|
Building on the capabilities of the automated Ford Fusion Hybrid research vehicle unveiled last month (earlier post), Ford is working with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Stanford University to research and to develop solutions to some of the technical challenges surrounding automated driving.
The MIT research focuses on scenario planning to predict actions of other vehicles and pedestrians, while Stanford is exploring how a vehicle might maneuver to allow its sensors to peek around obstructions. Put another way, the purpose of the MIT project is enhance the utilization of the line-of-sight data already acquired by the Fusion’s sensors to provide augmented predictive capability, especially for pedestrians. The purpose of the Stanford work is to enhance the acquisition of non-line-of-sight data.
TU München team develops new technique for accurate distance measurement by advanced driver assistance systems using cooperative transponders
January 21, 2014
|Basic concept for range detection using cooperative transponders. Click to enlarge.|
As part of the “cooperative transponder” research project Ko-TAG (earlier post), researchers at the Technische Universität München (TUM) developed a new approach to distance measurement to enable advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) in cars to pinpoint the location of pedestrians and cyclists even in non-line-of-sight situations—i.e., when they are hidden from the driver’s view.
In this scheme, pedestrian’s and cyclist’s cell phones serve as transponders. On-board positioning systems compute the projected trajectory of the transponders and initiate an emergency braking sequence in case a pedestrian or cyclist moves into the path of a car.
Audi wraps up Audi Urban Intelligent Assist (AUIA) project
January 10, 2014
Audi has wrapped up a three-year partnership launched in 2011 involving the Volkswagen Group’s Electronics Research Laboratory (ERL) in Silicon Valley and four leading US research universities to develop innovations in predictive driving technology that would allow a car to anticipate future traffic trends and to “learn” a person’s driving habits for a customized driving experience on each commute. (Earlier post.)
Audi this week demonstrated some of the early concept results of the Audi Urban Intelligent Assist (AUIA) project to media in San Francisco. The demonstration focused on two primary applications: Driver Centric Urban Navigation and Urban Assistance.
CAR report quantifies automotive’s position as a leading high-tech industry
January 08, 2014
|Percentage of Global R&D Spending by Industry, 2013. Source: Booz & Company “Global Innovation”; Battelle R&D Magazine; Center for Automotive Research 2012. Click to enlarge.|
A newly-released report by the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) concludes that the automotive industry is not only “high-tech,” it is frequently a leader in technological developments and applications. The report, supported by the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, measures the technological nature of today’s auto industry and compares it to other sectors of the economy often viewed as technologically advanced.
The report authors acknowledge the difficulty of defining “high-tech” in an ever-changing economic environment. After reviewing of the works of several researchers and government agencies, CAR developed a working definition to differentiate high-tech industries from other sectors. Broadly, high-tech industries generally have the following characteristics:
NVIDIA unveils Tegra K1 192-core mobile processor; ADAS applications on the way to autonomous driving
January 06, 2014
At CES in Las Vegas, NVIDIA unveiled the Tegra K1 mobile processor, a 192-core chip featuring the same NVIDIA Kepler architecture that powers the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti GPU. Among its targeted applications—notably mobile gaming—are a variety of automotive applications.
Tegra K1 will drive camera-based, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) such as pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning and street sign recognition, and can also monitor driver alertness via a dashboard-mounted camera.
Ford unveils Fusion Hybrid research vehicle for autonomous driving
December 13, 2013
|Ford Fusion Hybrid automated research vehicle with four LiDAR sensors. Click to enlarge.|
Ford, in conjunction with the University of Michigan and State Farm, unveiled a Ford Fusion Hybrid automated research vehicle that will be used to make progress on future autonomous driving and other advanced technologies.
The result of an ongoing project that builds on more than a decade of Ford’s automated driving research, the Fusion Hybrid automated vehicle will test current and future sensing systems and driver-assist technologies. Ford’s goal is to advance development of new technologies with its supplier partners so these features can be applied to the company’s next generation of vehicles.
Scania to lead 3-year European research project on vehicle platooning
December 11, 2013
Scania will take the lead role in a three-year European research project to develop a system for implementing truck platooning on roads. Introducing platooning on European roads can significantly contribute towards reducing the carbon footprint of trucks. The European Union has set a goal of reducing greenhouse gases by 20% by 2020; heavy vehicles currently account for 17% of total CO2 emissions.
Through the €5.4-million (US$7.45-million) COMPANION research project, of which €3.4 million (US$4.69 million) is funded by the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme, the partners will identify means of implementing the platooning concept in practice in daily transport operations. The project also includes Volkswagen Group Research; Stockholm’s Royal Institute of Technology (KTH); Oldenburger Institut für Informatik (OFFIS) in Germany; IDIADA Automotive Technology in Spain; Science [&] Technology Corporation in the Netherlands; and the Spanish haulage company Transportes Cerezuela.
Volvo Car Group in multi-year, large-scale pilot project with autonomous cars on public roads
December 02, 2013
Volvo Car Group will take a leading role in the first large-scale autonomous driving pilot project in which 100 self-driving Volvo cars will use public roads in everyday driving conditions around the Swedish city of Gothenburg.
The project “Drive Me – Self-driving cars for sustainable mobility” is a joint initiative between Volvo Car Group, the Swedish Transport Administration, the Swedish Transport Agency, Lindholmen Science Park and the City of Gothenburg. The aim of the “Drive Me” project, which is endorsed by the Swedish Government, is to pinpoint the societal benefits of autonomous driving and position Sweden and Volvo Cars as leaders in the development of future mobility.
TNO developing V2V Cooperative Automatic Emergency Braking system to help prevent accidents with cyclists
November 26, 2013
Dutch research organization TNO is developing a Cooperative Automatic Emergency Braking system (CAEB) for cars and trucks to help prevent accidents with cyclists, especially at and near junctions. The system relies on vehicle-to-vehicle communication between bikes, cars and trucks.
The system is based on TNO’s intelligent Vehicle Safety Platform (iVSP)—the same platform that enables automatic driving. The iVSP draws on various information sources (radar, communication, map data), seamlessly combining these data with the information gained from vehicle sensors and other information sources (surrounding infrastructure, bikes, pedestrians). With CAEB, the bicycle transmits its own position and speed with the aid of wireless communication, GPS and internal sensors.
Ford Edge Concept showcases new automated driving systems
November 20, 2013
|Ford Edge Concept. Click to enlarge.|
At the Los Angeles Auto Show, Ford introduced a set of new prototype automated driving technologies in the Ford Edge Concept. The sensor-based driver-assist technologies and semi-automated features in Edge Concept form the building blocks for the future of automated driving, and will help make driving safer and more efficient, Ford said.
Fully assisted parking aid, a prototype technology, lets customers park their vehicles at the touch of a button, or even by remote control. The concept builds on Ford’s current active park assist feature. It can find a perpendicular parking space using ultrasonic sensors.
UPS begins operational rollout of ORION advanced route optimization software
October 30, 2013
|ORION infographic. Click to enlarge.|
UPS has launched its ORION (On-Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation) advanced route optimization software. The rollout of ORION is intended to optimize 10,000 delivery routes by the end of the year, reduce miles driven and reinforce UPS’ sustainability efforts. US deployment to nearly all 55,000 routes is planned to be completed in 2017 and global deployments are planned for the future.
ORION contains more than 250 million address data points. The software combines customers’ shipping requirements with customized map data the company has compiled to provide UPS drivers with optimized routing instructions that meet service-level requirements, while reducing miles driven.
Euro NCAP releases first results of testing with autonomous emergency braking systems
October 29, 2013
|The tested AEB systems can offer two functions: automatic braking and forward collision warning. Source: NCAP. Click to enlarge.|
Euro NCAP (European New Car Assessment Programme) released the first results of rear-end crash avoidance systems tested against the upcoming 2014 rating protocol. The testing compared 8 vehicles with respect to their performance on the test track.
Real world claims data suggest that Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) systems can reduce rear-end crashes by one quarter or more and lead to a significant reduction of injuries. From January 2014, Euro NCAP will give credit in its rating scheme to vehicle manufacturers that equip their models with robust forward collision warning and/or automatic braking technology.
Panasonic develops high precision, wide field of view millimeter-wave radar technology for automotive applications
October 15, 2013
|The new high-precision radar keeps close objects separated. Click to enlarge.|
Millimeter-wave radar is capable of detecting pedestrians and other vehicles in night time and under poor weather conditions. Panasonic Corporation has developed high precision, wide field of view millimeter-wave technologies that are able to detect cars, pedestrians and bicycles separately in less than 0.1 seconds, on the condition that they are separated by 20 cm.
These technologies will be applied to 79GHz radar, and utilized in detection sensors to avoid accidents occurring at intersections, accelerating the adoption of advanced safety support systems. These technologies also allow the operation of multiple millimeter radars, enables for a wider field of view (FOV) system.
NXP delivers first RoadLINK Car-to-X communications chip; in sampling with major automotive OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers
October 11, 2013
NXP Semiconductors N.V. announced that the SAF5100, the first product from the RoadLINK range, is now available for automotive customer design-in. The SAF5100 is a flexible software-defined radio processor for car-to-car (C2C) and car-to-infrastructure (C2I) communication, helping to realize NXP’s vision for a complete C2X (C2C+C2I) solution.
Scheduled for mass production in the second half of 2014, the SAF5100 is also the first product to become generally available from the MK4 reference design for connected vehicles, following its unveiling in July by NXP and Cohda Wireless, a leading specialist in wireless communication for automotive safety applications. (Earlier post.)
Toyota to launch advanced driving support system using automated driving technologies in mid-2010s; new pedestrian safety system
Toyota Motor Corporation has developed a next-generation advanced driving support system—Automated Highway Driving Assist (AHDA)—which uses automated driving technologies to support safer highway driving.
AHDA links two automated driving technologies to support safer driving and reduce driver workload: Cooperative-adaptive Cruise Control, which wirelessly communicates with preceding vehicles to maintain a safe distance; and Lane Trace Control, which aids steering to keep the vehicle on an optimal driving line within the lane.
Opel bringing Ampera with special nav system and Meriva EVs to iZEUS project on intelligent electric driving and recharging
October 02, 2013
|iZEUS Ampera. Click to enlarge.|
Opel has presented a specially-equipped Ampera extended range electric vehicle to the Technical Institute Karlsruhe (KIT), marking the beginning of a field trial in the research project iZEUS (intelligent Zero Emission Urban System) in Stuttgart.
The research project iZEUS is developing concepts and practical examples for the integration of electromobility in private and urban commercial transport. The goal of the research is to develop one uniform transport concept that will be tested and demonstrated with the help of fleet tests made up of a significant number of test vehicles. These will ultimately include up to 30 vans (Mercedes-Benz Vito E-CELL) and some 90 electric cars (smart ed, Opel Ampera and Toyota Prius) for private transport.
Ford acquires software startup Livio to advance smartphone-based in-car connectivity
September 27, 2013
Ford has acquired startup connectivity application developer Livio for about $10 million. Livio—which started with Livio Radio—currently offers software development products including Livio Connect API, Livio Connect SDK, hardware emulators, reference code, libraries for iOS, Android and Blackberry, an authentication server, testing tools and a firmware update transfer feature.
Livio, co-founded by Jake Sigal and Massimo Baldini, will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Ford Global Technologies, which manages all aspects of intellectual property for Ford. Livio will function as a separate department within Ford Electrical/Electronic Systems Engineering, while integrated into Ford’s overall connectivity operations.
Nissan LEAF with semi-autonomous driver assistance systems cleared for public road testing in Japan; moving to Autonomous Drive
September 26, 2013
|The LEAF with semi-autonomous ADAS. Click to enlarge.|
Nissan President and CEO Carlos Ghosn took delivery of Japan’s first license plate for a car equipped with semi-autonomous advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). It clears the way for a Nissan LEAF equipped with the technology to be tested on the public roads in Japan for the first time. The research program will accelerate the development of technologies fundamental to Autonomous Drive (AD).
The systems are designed to allow the driver to manually take over control at any time. The license plate includes the number 2020, which reflects Nissan's goal to be ready with multiple, commercially-viable Autonomous Drive vehicles by the year 2020. (Earlier post.)
SwRI to launch Automotive Consortium for Embedded Security (ACES)
As vehicles become increasingly dependent on computers to operate integrated systems, from engine timing to anti-lock brakes, it is crucial to safeguard those systems from outside threats. To investigate leading-edge technologies and understand and reduce the risk of attack, Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) is forming the Automotive Consortium for Embedded Security (ACES).
The joint industry program aims to provide pre-competitive and non-competitive research in automotive embedded systems security to protect the safety, reliability, brand image, trade secrets and privacy of client members’ future products. It is open to original equipment manufacturers and affiliated businesses in the automotive industry.
Ko-Fas project finds cooperative transponders and cooperative perception technology could bring significant road safety benefits
September 25, 2013
The 17 partners—including vehicle manufacturers BMW and Daimler; suppliers Continental and Delphi; and universities, institutes of applied science and research establishments—in Germany’s €25-million (US$34-million), 4-year Cooperative Vehicle Safety (Ko-FAS) research initiative presented the final results from the project last week in Aschaffenburg, Germany. The results showed that use of cooperative transponder technologies in combination with cooperative perception technologies could bring important benefits for road safety.
The aim of this project was to improve road safety significantly, with an attendant reduction in the number of road traffic accidents and fatalities. The approach centered on accurate detection of traffic environments using cooperative sensing and perception, comprehensive situation assessment to precisely evaluate collision risks, and subsequent activation of appropriate advance protection measures.
NXP and TTTech partner on automotive Ethernet switch chip; infotainment, advanced driver assistance and OBD over single twisted-pair cable
September 19, 2013
NXP Semiconductors N.V. and TTTech signed a Memorandum of Understanding to develop jointly automotive Ethernet switch solutions supporting OPEN Alliance BroadR-Reach Ethernet PHY (physical layer transceiver) technology. The switch chip will be specifically designed for the automotive market, but will also be suitable for various demanding industrial real-time applications.
The jointly developed switch chip will enable applications with unshielded twisted-pair cabling with BroadR-Reach PHY technology. BroadR-Reach Ethernet automotive technology allows multiple in-vehicle systems (such as infotainment, automated driver assistance and on board-diagnostics) simultaneously to access information over a single unshielded twisted-pair cable. By eliminating cumbersome, shielded cabling, automotive manufacturers can significantly reduce connectivity costs and cabling weight.
Nissan project in Beijing demonstrates Dynamic Route Guidance reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions
September 13, 2013
Results from Nissan’s New Traffic Information System Model Project in Beijing (earlier post) have demonstrated that Dynamic Route Guidance System (DRGS) can help alleviate traffic congestion and reduce fuel consumption. A simulation based on the project results suggested that when 10% of all traffic in Beijing used DRGS, due to reduced traffic congestion, travel speed throughout the city would increase by approximately 10% and both fuel consumption and CO2 emissions would decrease by approximately 10%.
DRDS distributes real-time traffic information from the traffic information center to onboard devices via telematics; the onboard devices show drivers the fastest route on the display. This large-scale project, involving 12,000 vehicles, is the first to demonstrate and measure traffic dispersion effects in a real setting.
Mercedes-Benz S-Class INTELLIGENT DRIVE drives autonomously over 100km interurban and urban route with near-production technology
September 11, 2013
|Networked sensor systems of the S 500 INTELLIGENT DRIVE research vehicle. Click to enlarge.|
Mercedes-Benz has demonstrated the feasibility of autonomous driving on both interurban and urban routes with its S 500 INTELLIGENT DRIVE research vehicle. The company set the vehicle to cover a 100 km (62-mile) route from Mannheim to Pforzheim—retracing that taken by motoring pioneer Bertha Benz exactly 125 years ago when she set off on the first long-distance drive.
The self-driving S-Class had to deal autonomously with a number of highly complex situations such as traffic lights, roundabouts, pedestrians, cyclists and trams. The successful drive was achieved with the aid of near-production-standard technology, very similar to that already found in the new E and S-Class. The project thus marks a milestone along the way that leads from the self-propelled (automobile) to the self-driving (autonomous) vehicle, the company said.
Opel Monza Concept at Frankfurt features CNG extended range electric vehicle powertrain with new 1.0L 3-cylinder engine
September 10, 2013
|Monza Concept. Click to enlarge.|
Opel intends that its Monza Concept (earlier post), unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show, serve as a role-model for next-generation Opel cars, with particular emphasis on design, maximum connectivity, and optimum efficiency, including advanced powertrain flexibility.
The Monza Concept is based on a modular design to allow highest-possible flexibility when selecting a propulsion system. A variety of sustainable powertrains based on increasing electrification of the automobile are conceivable, Opel noted. For the Monza Concept displayed at the Frankfurt show, engineers conceived an electric drive with a CNG (compressed natural gas) range extender—a further development of the Ampera’s technology.
Ford studying space-based robot telematics with St. Petersburg Polytechnic to improve connected vehicle communication
August 30, 2013
Ford has begun a three-year three-year research partnership with the telematics department of St. Petersburg Polytechnic University in Russia in its association with that country’s space industry. The goal of Ford’s relationship with the university is to analyze space-based robotic communications systems, with potential for developing vehicle mesh networks to aid in connected vehicle communications applications.
Telematics—the long-distance transmission of digital information—developed for use on space stations provide excellent potential for improving the reliability of future vehicle-to-cloud (V2C), vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I), vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and other forms of communication (V2X), Ford suggests.
Honda demonstrates advanced vehicle-to-pedestrian and vehicle-to-motorcycle connected vehicle safety technologies
August 29, 2013
In Detroit, Honda demonstrated two experimental safety technologies based on Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) aimed at reducing the potential for collisions between automobiles and pedestrians and between automobiles and motorcycles.
These new technologies Vehicle-to-Pedestrian (V2P) and Vehicle-to-Motorcycle (V2M) technologies, while still in the research and testing phase, are part of a comprehensive effort being undertaken by Honda to develop leading-edge safety and driver assistive systems that can help predict and avoid traffic accidents through advanced sensing and communications technologies.
BMW unveils the production i3 in New York, London and Beijing; efficiency, dynamics and a supporting ecosystem of services
July 30, 2013
|The production version of the i3. Click to enlarge.|
In a simultaneous—and video linked—unveil in New York, London and Beijing, BMW introduced the production version of its i3 battery-electric vehicle on Monday. (Earlier post.) The i3 is the first series-production vehicle out of BMW’s i brand, and is purpose-built around an electric powertrain to serve needs of megacities customers, said Dr. Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, during his remarks in New York. With its new architecture, use of carbon fiber reinforced plastic, and premium mobility service offerings, the “i3 marks the beginning of a new mobility age,” said Dr. Reithofer.
On a full lifecycle basis, with an average European electricity mix, the i3 offers approximately a 30% lower carbon footprint over 150,000 km (93,200 miles) of use than the fuel-efficient diesel-powered BMW 118d, said Dr. Julian Weber, head of Innovation Projects e-Mobility at BMW. With a renewable electricity mix, that increases to about 50%. EVs in general currently have a larger carbon burden in the production phase than conventional vehicles (e.g., earlier post), but gain their advantage in the use phase. The crossover point for the i3 vs. the 118d is at about 50,000 km (31,000 miles), Dr. Weber said.
Ford aggregate driver data show its PHEV owners operate in electric mode nearly 60% of the time
Ford plug-in hybrid owners are operating in electric mode nearly 60% of the time, according to new aggregate data collected from Ford’s MyFord Mobile app.
MyFord Mobile is available on Ford’s plug-in (PHEV) and battery-electric (BEV) vehicles, Fusion Energi, C-MAX Energi and Focus Electric, and is available for download both through the App Store and Google Play. Early aggregate data collected through vehicles tied to MyFord Mobile show nearly 60% of total PHEV miles driven every day are in electric mode, and that there is an improvement in this figure over the first 30 days of vehicle ownership.
New roadside scattering model to improve vehicle-to-vehicle communication for intelligent transportation systems
July 17, 2013
Researchers from Trinity College (Connecticut), North Carlina State University (NCSU) and General Motors (GM) have developed a model to improve the clarity of the vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) transmissions needed to realize an intelligent transportation system.
V2V communication relies on transmitting data via radio frequencies in a specific band. However, the transmission is complicated by the fact that both the transmitter and the receiver are in motion—and by the reflected radio waves, or radio echoes, that bounce off of passing objects (scattering objects). These variables can distort the signal, causing errors in the data.
Bosch and PSA present first two OpEneR prototypes for increased range of electric drive vehicles
July 13, 2013
|OpEneR prototype at RIVE2013 in Alès. Click to enlarge.|
Bosch, PSA Peugeot Citroën and partners recently presented the first two Optimal Energy Consumption and Recovery solution (OpEneR) prototypes. OpEneR is a European research project under the Seventh Framework Programme designed to increase the range of future hybrid and electric vehicles by optimizing energy management.
Launched in 2011, OpEneR is developing new driving strategies and driver assistance systems that significantly increase the efficiency, driving range, and safety of electric vehicles without increasing battery size—and thus also by limiting battery price and charging time. This is achieved by merging data from on-board and off-board sources. A particular focus lies on an optimal cooperation between the electric drivetrain and the regenerative braking system, supported by data from radar, video, satellite navigation, car-to-infrastructure and car-to-car systems.
Volvo Car Group introducing autonomous steering, other new safety and driver assistance technologies on XC90 next year
July 05, 2013
Volvo Car Group will introduce a number of safety and driver assistance technologies in the all-new Volvo XC90 at the end of 2014, including the use of autonomous steering functions to avoid accidents and make driving more comfortable, according to Thomas Broberg, Senior Safety Advisor Volvo Car Group.
Pedestrian detection at night. According to STRADA (Swedish TRaffic Accident Data Acquisition), 44% of all the pedestrian fatalities occurred in darkness, at dusk or dawn. In the US, the traffic fatality rate is 3–4 times higher in darkness (VTI). Volvo’s new Pedestrian Detection in darkness feature will enable Volvo’s detection and auto braking technology to work effectively at night. The technology includes detection and auto brake for other vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists.
New Freescale microcontroller and 77 GHz radar transceiver chipset for mainstreaming automotive radar
June 25, 2013
Freescale Semiconductor has released its new Qorivva MPC577xK microcontroller (MCU) and MRD2001 77 GHz radar transceiver chipset which provide the embedded technology for affordable radar-based advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) solutions with fewer components, helping increase adoption in mainstream vehicles.
The Qorivva MPC577xK MCU provides the highest level of digital and analog integration in a single-chip solution for radar applications, removing up to four additional major printed circuit board (PCB) components and reducing system-level cost, PCB space and software complexity.
Mercedes-Benz to introduce smartphone-based Car-to-X technology in production vehicles by year-end
June 17, 2013
Mercedes-Benz will introduce Car-to-X (C2X) communication technology into series production vehicles by the end of the year. Through the use of C2X communication, information on potential road traffic dangers can be passed on to drivers at an early stage so that they can take appropriate action and even help to avoid critical situations arising in the first place, the automaker noted. (Earlier post.)
As part of the initial deployment of the technology, Mercedes will use the Drive Kit Plus, which, in combination with a smartphone and the Digital DriveStyle app developed by Mercedes-Benz, turns the vehicle into a simultaneous transmitter and receiver of information.
Cohda, BMW and Honda in V2V motorcycle study as part of DOT Safety Pilot Model Deployment
June 10, 2013
As part of the US Safety Pilot Model Deployment of connected vehicle technologies (earlier post), the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) will launch a motorcycle study to determine how cars, trucks, buses and motorcycles interact using V2V (Vehicle-to-Vehicle) communications technology.
Two tasks will be conducted in the Safety Pilot Model Deployment Geographic Area as a proof of concept for incorporating motorcycles into the connected vehicle environment: motorcycle communications feasibility testing and motorcycle-to-vehicle performance testing. UMTRI has partnered with two motorcycle manufacturers: Honda and BMW. Australia-based Cohda Wireless is providing the V2V connected vehicle equipment.
NHTSA issues preliminary policy on development of autonomous vehicles to provide guidance to states
May 31, 2013
The US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a preliminary policy statement concerning vehicle automation, including its plans for research on related safety issues and recommendations for states related to the testing, licensing, and regulation of “autonomous” or “self-driving” vehicles.
Self-driving vehicles are those in which operation of the vehicle occurs without direct driver input to control the steering, acceleration, and braking and are designed so that the driver is not expected to constantly monitor the roadway while operating in self-driving mode.
Toyota to launch new “Big Data Traffic Information Service” in Japan
May 29, 2013
|T-Probe traffic information (Traffic congestion status shown with color coding). Click to enlarge.|
Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) had developed and will launch in Japan the “Big Data Traffic Information Service”, a new traffic-information service utilizing “big data” including vehicle locations and speeds, road conditions, and other parameters collected and stored via telematics services.
Based on such data, traffic information, statistics and other related information can be provided to local governments and businesses to aid traffic flow improvement, provide map information services, and assist disaster relief measures. Toyota will begin accepting applications from local governments and businesses across Japan to use the service starting 3 June. Concurrently, the existing smart G-BOOK telematics service for smartphones will be upgraded to allow private users access to Big Data Traffic Information Service content.
U-M launches Michigan Mobility Transformation Center; model deployment for testing connected and automated vehicles and systems
May 14, 2013
The University of Michigan announced the establishment of the Michigan Mobility Transformation Center (MTC) as a partnership with government and industry to improve the safety, sustainability and accessibility of the ways that people and goods move from place to place.
A key focus of the MTC will be a model deployment that will allow researchers to test emerging concepts in connected and automated vehicles and vehicle systems in both off-road and on-road settings. The model deployment will build in part on a $25-million study for the US Department of Transportation now underway at UMTRI. (Earlier post.)
DOT to award up to $45M for vehicle-to-infrastructure application projects
May 03, 2013
The US Department of Transportation (DOT) is soliciting (FOA DTFH61-13-RA-00004) applications for cooperative pre-competitive projects designed to enable the successful deployment of vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) crash avoidance and driver information applications in passenger vehicles. Projects will last 60 months; estimated total program funding is up to $45 million.
V2I applications are those applications which vehicle-based sensors and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications are not considered adequate for development of information, alerts, or warnings for drivers. These V2I applications require additional information from the infrastructure to be enabled. These applications, however, are vehicle-based, in that they are programs resident in the on-board equipment of the vehicle.
Toyota to conduct verification tests of traffic alleviation system in Beijing
April 16, 2013
Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing (China) Co., Ltd. (TMEC), Beihang University and CenNavi Technologies Co., Ltd. have agreed to begin a joint verification testing project in which data from the Toyota-developed NETSTREAM (NETwork Simulator for TRaffic Efficiency And Mobility) traffic-flow simulator will be used in practical car-based applications to help alleviate traffic congestion in Beijing, China.
Toyota Central R&D Labs (CRDL) began developing NETSTREAM some 15 years ago, with the intention of predicting the introductory effects of intelligent transportation systems (ITS) for reducing traffic congestion, pollution reduction, and preliminary evaluation of traffic measures. In the early NETSTREAM I, CRDL used a block density method to calculate a wide-area traffic flow at high speed.
NXP and Cohda Wireless Sign CAR 2 CAR Communication Consortium memorandum of understanding; RoadLINK units
April 04, 2013
NXP Semiconductors N.V. and Cohda Wireless have signed the CAR 2 CAR Communication Consortium Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). (Earlier post.) The memorandum aims at implementing and deploying harmonized technology for the wireless communication between cars, or between cars and traffic infrastructure, in Europe. NXP and Cohda, a leading specialist in wireless communication for automotive safety applications, are the first automotive electronics suppliers to sign the MoU, following twelve major car manufacturers in October 2012.
In addition, NXP and Cohda have announced the introduction of RoadLINK as their new technology brand for marketing a total Car-to-X (C2X) communication and security solution for on-board units and road-side units in Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS). Automotive-ready modules based on RoadLINK are currently being developed by companies including lesswire AG in Germany.
Toshiba launches Visconti3 line of image recognition processors for automotive applications
April 02, 2013
|First device in the new Visconti3 series. Click to enlarge.|
Toshiba Corporation recently launched the third generation of its Visconti series of image recognition processors, Visconti3.
Toshiba initially developed the Visconti series of image recognition processors to advance the creation of camera-based vision systems for automotive applications. The processors recognize traffic lanes, vehicles, pedestrians, traffic signs and more. Both the Visconti2 and 3 series devices incorporate image processing accelerators that detect pedestrians with high level detection ratio in real time.
Honda tests congestion minimization technology on public roads in Indonesia, finds >20% improvement in fuel efficiency
March 21, 2013
|The amount of traffic and pattern of changes in average speed with vehicles equipped with the system. Click to enlarge.|
Honda Motor Co., Ltd. conducted public-road testing of its new traffic congestion minimization technology (earlier post) in Indonesia and verified the effectiveness of the technology in delaying the development of congestion and in improving fuel efficiency by more than 20%. The public-road testing was conducted from September 2012 through February 2013 on a toll road between Ulujami and Pondok Ranji in Jakarta.
Traffic congestion is caused by the disorderly flow of the traffic. Therefore, to minimize congestion, the driver of each vehicle needs to adjust driving behavior to the surrounding vehicles. Honda developed a smartphone app which changes the colors of the smartphone display to help the user to check at a glance whether his/her driving is aligned with surrounding vehicles.
Down to the wire for final round of public voting in DOE Apps for Vehicles challenge
Nearly 40 teams initially submitted ideas for the $50,000 Apps for Vehicles Challenge that seeks to improve safety and fuel efficiency through data innovation. Eight finalists were selected to move on to this second and final phase of the competition based on the business plans and product prototypes they submitted during the first phase.
Freescale introduces new automotive microcontrollers; streamlining body electronics networks and reducing vehicle weight
March 19, 2013
At Electronica China in Shanghai, Freescale Semiconductor introduced a new Qorivva vehicle body gateway network microcontroller (MCU) and two new S12 MagniV end-node devices to address increasing requirements for higher bandiwdth automotive networks, improved data security, increased functional safety and reduction of overall energy consumption.
As the number of electronic control units in a vehicle grows (up to 100 ECUs, requiring some 10 million lines of code, said Brad Loane, Freescale product manager) the amount of connectivity needed also increases. The average vehicle now includes several miles of copper wire—weighing up to 150 lbs (68 kg) or more—for in-vehicle networking. Integrating more functionality within the vehicle’s main ECUs and increasing the intelligence of its satellite nodes (i.e. modules in doors or electric motors) can help reduce the number of ECUs and the amount of associated wiring required, eliminating weight in the vehicle wiring harness and helping improve vehicle fuel economy.