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[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 to spend >$40B over next 5 years to develop electric mobility, autonomous driving, new mobility services and digitalization

November 17, 2017

The Volkswagen Group will spend more than €34 billion (US$40 billion) by the end of 2022 on the development of electric mobility, autonomous driving, new mobility services and digitalization.

Most of this investment will go into the electrification and hybridization of all Group models. This marks another move to advance the Roadmap E electrification offensive which was announced in September; the goal is to electrify the entire model portfolio by 2030. (Earlier post.)

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Toyota’s Collaborative Safety Research Center to study societal acceptance of connected and automated vehicle technologies

November 16, 2017

Toyota’s Collaborative Safety Research Center (CSRC) announced five new research projects focused on better understanding how drivers use and respond to advanced vehicle technologies, including automated driver assistance systems. The new projects, undertaken in partnership with five US research institutions, will launch as part of CSRC Next, the Center’s new five-year program designed to support and inform a safe transition to future mobility.

Emerging vehicle technologies, including automated driver assistance systems, offer tremendous promise to help improve road safety, but important questions remain about the most beneficial interaction with drivers, and how drivers can be educated about their safe operation. Four of the five research projects will focus on societal acceptance and generate data-driven insights into the use of these technologies. This data can help support their effective integration, foster safer driving behaviors, and offer potential countermeasures to risky driving behavior.

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Sumitomo Electric and DOCOMO testing 5G real-time traffic monitoring

November 10, 2017

Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. and NTT DOCOMO, INC. have been jointly testing the real-time collection and delivery of traffic information using high-definition sensors connected via a fifth-generation (5G) mobile communications system for advanced driving support.

The system networks sensors that have been mounted on vehicles and installed along roadsides or in buildings to collect traffic information that is analyzed in real time and then fed back to drivers and pedestrians. The results of the test will be presented at an event, Mietekita Chotto Saki no Mirai (A Peek into the Near Future), which will be held at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan) from 9-11 November.

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GM demonstrates V2I communication on public roads in Shanghai

November 06, 2017

GM successfully demonstrated its Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) capability on public roads outside Jiading Auto Innovation Park in Shanghai. Conducted in collaboration with Shanghai International Auto City and Shanghai Song Hong Intelligent Automotive Technology Co. Ltd., the demonstration featured testing vehicles that can receive real-time data from traffic lights on signal phasing and timing.

Based on the V2X application layer industry standard, the Green Light Optimization Speed Advisor (GLOSA) V2I application can provide drivers an advised speed for reaching the next intersection when the traffic light is green. This alert would help drivers avoid the dangerous decision of braking abruptly if their view is impeded and better control their driving speed to go through an intersection without stopping.

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Volkswagen Group to support Hamburg, ITS Germany in hosting of 2021 World Congress for ITS; projects beginning now

The Volkswagen Group will support Hamburg and ITS Germany in 2021 for hosting the World Congress for Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) as a main partner and chair of the Host Organizing Committee. ERTICO (ITS Europe), organizer of the World Congress, announced the decision to stage the event in Germany with Hamburg as the hosting city at the ITS World Congress in Montréal.

With this decision, the mobility partnership between Hamburg and Volkswagen will be strengthened. Decisions have been taken on specific projects to develop Hamburg into a model city for future urban mobility. For the implementation of these projects, the Volkswagen Group will be calling on the broad-based competence of its brands.

Germany had submitted its bid to host the ITS World Congress 2021 together with the City of Hamburg and the active support of the Volkswagen Group. The application was part of the strategic mobility partnership between the Hanseatic City and the Volkswagen Group. The objective of the mobility partnership is to shape the urban mobility of the future together and to develop and position Hamburg internationally as a model city for forward-looking, sustainable and integrated urban mobility.

With the announcement concerning the 2021 World Congress, the joint implementation of a large number of future-oriented projects will start: for example, in connection with the objective of Hamburg to become a pioneer in autonomous driving in urban areas, the Group will send autonomous test vehicles to Hamburg’s city center.

In addition, MAN intends to test the use of autonomous trucks in the port of Hamburg and on selected highway sections. This allows the driver to carry out other work on the road; from the point of arrival in the port area, the truck will be operated fully autonomously. For safety reasons, a driver will initially remain on board. This way, the Volkswagen Group will help make private and goods traffic flow more efficient, safer and more environmentally compatible.

Another project involves the intelligent use of data acquired from sensors in vehicles of the Group fleet operated by the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg. Using smart algorithms, additional information and services will be provided for the citizens and administration of Hamburg.

In addition, MOIA, the Volkswagen Group’s company for mobility services, is working on a project to develop new environmentally compatible mobility services for Hamburg. Within the framework of the project, a shuttle-on-demand service using eco-friendly electric vehicles is to be launched in 2018. This project will supplement public transport and offer an attractive alternative to private cars. Hamburger Hochbahn AG is the partner for this project.

In addition to implementing these projects, the Group intends to play a key role in the ITS World Congress 2021. The Group is a main partner and will also assume the chair of the Host Organizing Committee (HOC) for the planning and organization of the congress.

Beyond the projects in Hamburg, the Volkswagen Group is also actively involved in the development of intelligent, sustainable transport systems within the framework of TOGETHER - Strategy 2025. A key element of this commitment is the Group’s e-mobility offensive. At the Frankfurt International Motor Show, Volkswagen announced its “Roadmap E” comprehensive electrification initiative. By 2025, Group brands will be supplying more than 80 new electrified models to customers, including 50 all-electric vehicles and 30 plug-in-hybrids. (Earlier post.)

Another key topic is autonomous driving. Audi recently established an independent company, Autonomous Intelligent Driving GmbH, for self-driving systems. The development of the new Mobility Solutions business area is one of the key elements of “TOGETHER – Strategy 2025” on the way to becoming a mobility provider. For this purpose, the Volkswagen Group is developing intelligent future solutions – such as the pilot project “We by Volkswagen Deliver” of the Volkswagen brand in Berlin and at MOIA.

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AT&T, Ford, Nokia and Qualcomm launch Cellular-V2X tech trials in US

November 01, 2017

AT&T, Ford, Nokia, and Qualcomm Technologies Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated announced the first Cellular-V2X (C-V2X) trials in the US. (Earlier post.) Testing is expected to take place in the San Diego Regional Proving Ground with the support of the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), Caltrans, the City of Chula Vista, and intelligent transportation solutions (ITS) provider McCain, Inc.

The goal of the trials is to demonstrate the potential of C-V2X technologies, including support for improved automotive safety, automated driving, and traffic efficiency. The trials will also be aimed at demonstrating to automakers and road operators the anticipated cost-efficient benefits associated with embedded cellular technology in vehicles and synergies between the deployment of cellular base stations and roadside infrastructure. Initial testing is expected to begin later this year.

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New MIPI Alliance group collaborating with automotive industry on interface specifications

October 13, 2017

The MIPI Alliance, an international organization that develops interface specifications for mobile and mobile-influenced industries, has formed an Automotive Birds of a Feather (BoF) Group to solicit industry input from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and their suppliers to enhance existing or develop new interface specifications for automotive applications. The group is open to both MIPI Alliance member and non-member companies to represent the broader automotive ecosystem.

Automobiles have become a new platform for innovation, and manufacturers are already using MIPI Alliance specifications as they develop and implement applications for passive and active safety, infotainment and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS).

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Volkswagen Truck & Bus outlines roadmap for automated driving, connectivity, and alternative drive systems

October 12, 2017

At its Innovation Day in Hamburg, Volkswagen Truck & Bus—which includes the MAN, Scania, Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus, and RIO brands—outlined its technology roadmap to transform the logistics chain in a sustainable way. Volkswagen Truck & Bus is focusing on automated driving, connectivity, and alternative drive systems.

On the development side, Volkswagen Truck & Bus is pooling its brands’ resources with the aim of leveraging synergies and incorporating the strengths of the individual brands. As one key example, Volkswagen Truck & Bus is working on electric solutions for use in both medium- and heavy-duty distribution transport and city buses. The jointly developed “e-drivetrain” will form the basis of any electric architecture in the future. This electric powertrain is designed in a way that means that it can be used to drive future distribution trucks and city buses manufactured by the Volkswagen Truck & Bus brands as a universal modular element.

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Renault’s new 2017-2022 plan: 8 EVs, 12 electrified models, 15 autonomous models

October 06, 2017

Groupe Renault announced “Drive The Future,” a new six-year plan to deliver annual revenues of more than €70 billion and achieve a group operating margin of more than 7% by the end of the plan, with a floor at 5%, and positive free cash flow every year. Drive The Future is aligned with the Groupe Renault vision: sustainable mobility for all, today and tomorrow.

Under the Drive The Future plan, Groupe Renault forecasts that unit volumes will grow more than 40% to more than 5 million units, compared with 3.47 million units2 sold in 2016, as the company expands its product range, including in LCV and new electric vehicles and builds on success of its global access range. The plan will also leverage the R&D and global economies of scale from Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, the world’s largest automotive alliance, while maintaining financial discipline and cost efficiency.

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Univ. of Utah study finds many infotainment systems too distracting to be used when vehicle in motion

October 05, 2017

Many of the infotainment features in most 2017 vehicles are so distracting they should not be enabled while a vehicle is in motion, according to a new study by University of Utah researchers. The study, led by University of Utah Psychology Professor David L. Strayer, found In-Vehicle Information Systems take drivers’ attention off the road for too long to be safe.

The study, conducted the study for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, reviewed infotainment systems in 30 different 2017 vehicles. Participants were required to engage in four types of tasks using voice, touch screen and other interactive technologies. The tasks were to make a call, send a text message, tune the radio or program navigation while driving.

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Ford outlines strategic plan to investors; connected, smart vehicles and services, EVs and financial fitness

October 04, 2017

In New York yesterday, Ford Motor Company provided a strategic update to investors; the presentation follows a four-month deep dive into Ford’s strategy and business operations led by President and CEO Jim Hackett and Ford’s senior leadership team. Hackett said Ford will improve its operational fitness, refocus capital allocation and accelerate the introduction of smart vehicles and services. Ford reaffirmed its 2017 full-year financial guidance and said its 2018 outlook will be provided in January.

To deliver on its long-term goal of an 8% automotive operating margin (Ford delivered 6.7% in 2016), the company said it is expanding its scope to include vehicles and services—all designed around human-centered experiences. Specifically, Ford is:

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Mercedes-Benz Vans, Matternet and siroop start pilot project for on-demand delivery of e-commerce goods; Vans & Drones

September 29, 2017

Mercedes-Benz Vans, US drone systems developer Matternet and Swiss online marketplace siroop have started a pilot project in Zurich to test an efficient van and drone-based system for on-demand delivery of e-commerce goods. The drone delivers the shipment not to the consumer, but rather to the delivery van, which handles delivery for the final segment of the last mile.

The pilot project, which started with first trials on 25 September, represents a significant milestone for autonomous aerial systems: it is the first time that extensive beyond-line-of sight drone operations with the use of vans as landing platforms are taking place in a major urban area to test a fully-automated e-commerce drone network. The development of the overall system uses an iterative approach and is based on early testing and continuous optimization.

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Toyota Research Institute outlines progress in automated driving; Platform 2.1; new Luminar LiDAR

September 27, 2017

Toyota Research Institute (TRI) outlined some of its progress in the development of automated driving technology and other project work, including the development of robots for in-home support of people.

Since unveiling its Platform 2.0 research vehicle in March 2017 (earlier post), TRI has quickly updated its automated driving technology to Platform 2.1. In parallel with the creation of this test platform, TRI said it has made strong advances in deep learning computer perception models that allow the automated vehicle system to more accurately understand the vehicle surroundings, detecting objects and roadways, and better predict a safe driving route.

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Bosch showcasing wide range of future commercial vehicle technologies at NACV; automated, connected and electric

At the North American Commercial Vehicle Show (NACV) in Atlanta this week, Bosch is showcasing its portfolio of automated, connected and electrified technologies for commercial vehicles.

At NACV, Bosch will debut its 15-inch freely programmable cluster, the largest digital cluster available for the commercial vehicle industry. The optically-bonded display enables future safety and automated solutions as it is easily integrated with advanced driver assistance technologies. Bosch’s 15-inch monitor has two variants, one in landscape mode as a dashboard solution and another in portrait mode as part of a mirror camera system that can replace side mirrors and improve vehicle efficiency by reducing drag.

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Navistar and Volkswagen to develop electric medium-duty truck for US and Canada; targeting 2019 or 2020 launch

September 26, 2017

At the North American Commercial Vehicle Show, Navistar International Corporation announced it expects a number of new product offerings and integrations with alliance partner Volkswagen Truck & Bus (earlier post), including plans to develop an electric-powered, medium-duty vehicle for the company’s core (US and Canada) market.

Troy A. Clarke, chairman, president and CEO of Navistar, said that the company was targeting the Class 6/7 vehicle as ideal for electric powertrain solutions in the near term, given the abundance of packaging space in the vehicles; that these vehicles typically run short distances; and that they can return to base to recharge at the end of the day. Navistar expects to be in a position to launch its first such medium-duty electric-powered vehicle in late 2019 or early 2020.

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Daimler Trucks testing truck platooning on public highways in the US

September 25, 2017

Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) is testing connected trucks in platooning operations on public roads in the US. In truck platooning, connectivity and automated driving improve safety within the vehicle convoys, support drivers and enhance efficiency through closer distances between the connected trucks.

Having started with successful trials on Daimler Trucks North America’s proving ground in Madras, Oregon, DTNA has received the appropriate permission from the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT). In a first step called “pairing”, Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) is testing its platooning technology in two connected Freightliner New Cascadia truck trailer combinations.

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JRC study explores impacts of Coordinated Automated Road Transport (C-ART)

September 22, 2017

A new report by the EU’s Joint Research Center (JRC) explores how connected vehicles and intelligent systems could change transport and the (r)evolution these changes could bring to people’s lives. The report serves as a first input to anticipated policy formulation and also points to the need for further research in the field.

The JRC study “The r-evolution of driving: from Connected Vehicles to Coordinated Automated Road Transport (C-ART)”, explores Coordinated Automated Road Transport (C-ART) scenarios and determines that transport will face three major shifts in the future: from conventional vehicles to connected vehicles; from connected vehicles to connected and automated vehicles; and from connected and automated vehicles to C-ART.

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China’s first V2X application layer standard released

September 19, 2017

The first standard designed for the V2X (vehicle-to-everything) application layer in China has been officially released. The standard (T/CSAE 53-2107) was developed by a working group led by General Motors, together with Tsinghua University and Chang’an Auto, with the support of the China Industry Innovation Alliance for the Intelligent and Connected Vehicles.

As one of the group standards under SAE-China, the new standard provides a framework that is independent of basic communication protocols, enabling different automakers to develop interoperable V2X applications for data interaction. It offers a mechanism for automakers to use a single communication technology for the development and commercialization of all V2X applications.

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GM to introduce at least 10 new New Energy Vehicles in China from 2016-2020; focus on autonomy, connectivity and sharing

September 16, 2017

At a press conference in Shanghai, General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra said that the company will introduce at least 10 new energy vehicles (NEVs) in China. These include the Cadillac CT6 Plug-In, the Buick Velite 5 extended-range electric vehicle and the Baojun E100 electric vehicle—all of which have been introduced in China within the past 12 months.

By 2025, nearly all models from GM’s global brands in China—Buick, Cadillac and Chevrolet—will offer electrification technology. To support GM’s growing NEV fleet planned for China, its SAIC-GM joint venture is opening a new battery assembly plant in Shanghai this year.

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Qualcomm Technologies offering C-V2X chipset and reference design; first commercial solution

September 15, 2017

Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated recenetly introduced its first-announced Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) commercial solution based on 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) Release 14 specifications for PC5-based direct communications, the Qualcomm C-V2X Reference Design, which will feature the 9150 C-V2X chipset with integrated GNSS capability, and include an application processor running the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) V2X stack and a Hardware Security Module (HSM).

C-V2X’s overarching technologies encompass two transmission modes of direct communications and network-based communications, which are designed to serve as key features for safety conscious and autonomous driving solutions, while complementing other Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) sensors, such as cameras, radar and LIDAR, to provide information about the vehicle’s surroundings, including non-line-of-sight (NLOS) scenarios.

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Continental invests in Cellular-V2X technology; announces C-V2X trials

September 14, 2017

Continental will accelerate initiatives based on Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) technologies (earlier post) and will conduct C-V2X field trials in select regions across the globe.

Anticipating to utilize the Qualcomm C-V2X Reference Design with the integrated Qualcomm 9150 C-V2X chipset (earlier post), Continental will build connected car systems for field trials focused on demonstrating the capabilities of Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V), Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) and Vehicle-to-Pedestrian (V2P) direct communication, as well as Vehicle-to-Network (V2N) wide areas communications to serve next generation connected car and automated driving use cases.

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Toyota develops new hybrid cloud/on-board computing navigation and voice recognition functions

September 11, 2017

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) has developed hybrid navigation and voice recognition functions that operate through a combination of cloud computing and on-board computing, as part of Toyota’s “connected strategy” based on Data Communication Module (DCM) standard settings. Starting this autumn, Toyota will begin to roll out the new technologies in navigation systems (manufacturer option) installed in new models sold in Japan.

The hybrid navigation function calculates driving routes and location searches in the cloud by tapping into databases that combine DCM-equipped vehicle probe data gathered from other vehicles and external data. The driving routes and location search results are then transmitted to on-board devices. With its hybrid design, the function automatically switches to on-board computing when the vehicle is outside the range of communication networks or when faster processing is required for rerouting.

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Ricardo and Roke to collaborate on next-generation vehicle cybersecurity

September 08, 2017

Ricardo plc and Roke Manor Research Ltd have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop solutions that will make autonomous and connected transport robust against cyber attack.

Providing and assuring cyber security is a fundamental requirement if the benefits of future connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) are to be fully realized. Many of today’s new vehicles are already connected over the air for telematics and maintenance, for safety systems such as eCall, by consumers using insurance-based monitoring technology, and by the many smartphone apps available to vehicle owners. With the increasing CAV content being included within new vehicles—including aspects of vehicle control through driver assistance systems, and ultimately, fully autonomous vehicle technologies—he potential vulnerabilities to cyberthreats will increase significantly.

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Audi’s work with HERE manifesting in enhanced new A8 software and services

September 07, 2017

At the end of 2015, Audi AG, the BMW Group and Daimler AG purchased HERE Technologies, a leading software company for high-resolution digital navigation maps and location-based services, from Nokia. (Earlier post.) HERE is designed as an open platform; since its takeover by the automaker consortium, the company has steadily been expanding its network of expertise in IT through new participations and strategic partnerships.

The new A8 features an array of technologies and connected vehicle services created by the map developer. One of the more obvious results is the new map view with direct destination input—the latest version of Audi’s modular infotainment platform (MIB2+) offers a navigation map with much clearer graphics. It combines highly detailed 3D models of cities worldwide with correspondingly realistic representations of many buildings.

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Volkswagen and IBM enter 5-year partnership to develop digital mobility services

September 06, 2017

Volkswagen and IBM intend to develop digital mobility services together. Jürgen Stackmann, Member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen brand responsible for Sales, said that the objective of the agreement between the two companies—initially set for a term of five years—is the development of personalized digital services for the driver, with a view to shape actively the growing trend towards networking between vehicles and drivers.

“We Commerce” is to be the first joint development within the Volkswagen WE digital ecosystem. This will be an integrated service to provide drivers with recommendations for action at the right place and time. After the customer’s permission has been obtained, the cognitive abilities of the IBM solution will ensure that these services learn from the driver’s preferences and habits in order to make recommendations that are as personalized as possible.

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smart vision EQ fortwo autonomous electric concept for ride sharing; emodying all of CASE

August 31, 2017

smart has unveiled the smart vision EQ fortwo, embodying a new vision of urban mobility and individualized highly flexible, efficient local public transport: the autonomous concept vehicle picks up its passengers directly from their chosen location.

The smart vision EQ fortwo is also a car in which all of the individual fields of expertise that make up the CASE corporate strategy are combined, allowing users in the city intuitive access to individual mobility. CASE stands for the strategic pillars of connectivity (Connected), autonomous driving (Autonomous), flexible use (Shared & Services) and electric drive systems (Electric). (Earlier post.)

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UK launching $10.4M road trial of truck platooning

August 25, 2017

The UK Department for Transport (DfT) and Highways England has commissioned the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) to lead the first real-world operational trial of platooning vehicles on UK roads. The £8.1-million (US$10.4 million) trial will see TRL lead a consortium of partners including DAF Trucks; Ricardo, which worked with TRL to deliver a HGV Platooning feasibility study for the DfT in 2014; and DHL.

The platooning trials will see up to 3 heavy goods vehicles, traveling in convoy, with acceleration and braking controlled by the lead vehicle. All trucks in the platoon will always have a driver ready to take control at any time.

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Toyota and industry partners to form consortium for network and computing infrastructure of automotive big data

August 10, 2017

DENSO Corporation, Ericsson, Intel Corporation, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT), NTT DOCOMO, INC., Toyota InfoTechnology Center Co., Ltd. and Toyota Motor Corporation have initiated the formation of the Automotive Edge Computing Consortium. The objective of the consortium is to develop an ecosystem for connected cars to support emerging services such as intelligent driving, the creation of maps with real-time data and driving assistance based on cloud computing.

It is estimated that the data volume between vehicles and the cloud will reach 10 exabytes per month around 2025—approximately 10,000 times larger than the present volume. This expected increase will trigger the need for new architectures of network and computing infrastructure to support distributed resources and topology-aware storage capacity.

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Daimler’s moovel Group acquires Familonet GmbH, provider of location messenger app Familonet

August 07, 2017

moovel Group, a subsidiary of Daimler AG, has acquired all of Familonet GmbH based in Hamburg. The team from Familonet will be bolstering the moovel development team at the Hamburg site from now on. The Familonet app, with 2 million registered users, will still be offered in the future.

moovel creates an operating system for urban mobility that offers access to various mobility services including booking and payment. In Germany, the mobility app moovel—available to download free of charge from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store—combines local public transport, the carsharing provider car2go, mytaxi, rental bicycles and Deutsche Bahn.

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UK issues new guidance on automotive cybersecurity

The UK government has issued new guidance on vehicle cybersecurity. The 8 principles—each with more detailed sub-principles—in the guidance set out how the automotive sector can make sure cybersecurity is properly considered at every level, from designers and engineers, through to suppliers and senior level executives.

The government is also looking at a broader program of work announced in this year’s Queen’s speech under the landmark Autonomous and Electric Vehicles Bill that aims to create a new framework for self-driving vehicle insurance.

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Toyota to invest additional $95M in Preferred Networks; joint R&D on deep learning AI tech in mobility-related fields

August 04, 2017

With the aim of accelerating joint research and development of artificial intelligence technologies in mobility-related fields, such as automated driving technology, Toyota Motor Corporation will invest an additional ¥10.5 billion (US $95 million) in Preferred Networks (PFN). (Earlier post.) Toyota will acquire stock in PFN through the allocation of new shares to a third party.

Toyota and PFN have been working on joint research and development since October 2014, and for the purpose of strengthening the relationship, Toyota invested approximately ¥1 billion (US $9.02 million) in PFN in December 2015. To date, the joint research and development has focused on object-recognition technology and analysis technology of vehicle information. This additional investment will further enhance the relationship between Toyota and PFN and spur joint research and development.

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Toyota CSRC launches new research tracks on autonomous & connected vehicle technologies; 11 projects with 8 institutions

August 02, 2017

Toyota’s Collaborative Safety Research Center (CSRC) announced a sweeping set of new research programs studying the opportunities and addressing the challenges of emerging vehicle technologies. The eleven projects—launched in partnership with eight leading research institutions in North America—mark the first projects launched under CSRC Next (earlier post), which is the Center’s new five-year program that continues to support a safer transition to the future of mobility.

The research projects will focus on the impact of advanced technology on broader road safety trends, and the interaction between humans and machines. Specific research challenges include: The integration of advanced active safety systems—such as automatic emergency braking—and passive systems; human experience design for advanced technology vehicles; driver state detection; and using analytics to help improve the study of naturalistic driving data.

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Toyota to collaborate with the American Center for Mobility; $5M to support connected and automated vehicle testing

July 31, 2017

Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) and the Toyota Research Institute (TRI) will support the American Center for Mobility (ACM) (earlier post) as a Founder-level sponsor with a $5-million contribution.

The ACM is a non-profit testing and product development facility for future mobility, designed to enable safe validation of connected and automated vehicle technology, and accelerate the development of voluntary standards. The American Center for Mobility will be a uniquely purpose-built facility at the 335-acre historic Willow Run site in Ypsilanti Township in Southeast Michigan.

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HERE launches new generation of Real-Time Traffic service with integration of live data from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz vehicles

July 27, 2017

HERE Technologies has launched the new generation of its HERE Real-Time Traffic service—the first global service on the market that integrates live vehicle sensor data from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz vehicles with traffic probe information, resulting in significantly higher accuracy and more precise information about traffic conditions.

HERE Real-Time Traffic, available to all current and future customers from any industry and covering more than 60 countries, offers significant improvements in traffic flow data, especially on arterial roads. For more than 30 of those countries, the service also provides incident information with features such as Traffic Safety Warning. Aided by new hard-braking sensor data HERE is now processing, this feature now allows more relevant and timely notifications to the vehicle.

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Autonomous vehicle company Nauto closes $159M round; Softbank, Greylock join BMW, GM, Toyota

July 20, 2017

Autonomous vehicle technology company Nauto (earlier post) closed a $159-million Series B financing round, led by a subsidiary of SoftBank Group Corp. and Greylock Partners. Other participants include previous strategic investors BMW iVentures, General Motors Ventures, Toyota AI Ventures and the venture unit of global financial services and insurance provider Allianz Group, and Series A investors Playground Global and Draper Nexus.

The funds will fuel Nauto’s growth and the deployment of its retrofit safety and networking system into more vehicles around the globe, as well as support the expansion of the Nauto data platform in autonomous vehicle research and development across multiple automakers.

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Microsoft joins Baidu Apollo project to advance autonomous driving; global Azure cloud support

July 18, 2017

Microsoft Corp. and Baidu Inc. plan to partner to take the technical development and adoption of autonomous driving worldwide. As a member of the Baidu-launched Apollo alliance (earlier post), Microsoft will provide global scale for Apollo outside of China with the Microsoft Azure cloud.

The Apollo project, announced earlier this year, intends to provide an open, complete and reliable software platform for its partners in the automotive and autonomous driving industry to develop their own autonomous driving systems with reference vehicles and hardware platform.

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Tec team develops modular EV with Android-based control ecosystem

July 17, 2017

A team at the Monterrey Institute of Technology (Tec) in Mexico has developed an electric vehicle featuring modular design, multimotor, power source, digital control, autonomy, and connectivity—the EvTec project.

In an open-access paper in the journal Advances in Mechanical Engineering, the EvTec team discusses the use of the Android-based Control Ecosystem, which integrates the Operating System Android, as part of the open-source control of the vehicle. The The objective is to design a platform that enables connectivity with the cloud for monitoring and remote controlling purposes.

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Audi A8 features new dynamic all-wheel steering, AI active suspension

Audi’s new A8 is a technology showcase for the brand, from powertrains (earlier post) and materials (earlier post) to autonomous driving and advanced driver assistance systems (earlier post).

The A8 also features two new technologies for the suspension. New dynamic all-wheel steering combines direct, sporty steering with unshakable stability. The steering ratio for the front wheels varies as a function of speed; the rear wheels are turned in or against the direction of steering depending on the speed range. The car’s handling becomes even more dynamic and precise with the sport differential. This actively distributes the drive torque between the rear wheels, complementing the quattro permanent all-wheel drive that is now standard in the new A8.

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DOE awarding $19.4M to 22 advanced vehicle technologies projects; Mercedes-Benz, GM Li-S battery projects

July 12, 2017

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is awarding $19.4 million to 22 new cost-shared projects to accelerate the research of advanced battery, lightweight materials, engine emission control technologies, and energy efficient mobility systems (EEMS). Among the awardees are Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America and GM, with separate projects on Li-sulfur batteries, as two of the fifteen Phase 1 “Battery Seedling” Projects.

The Battery Seedling projects are aimed at innovative battery materials and approaches that complement the Vehicle Technologies Office Battery500 Consortium’s research to more than double the specific energy (to 500 watt-hours per kilogram) of lithium battery technologies. These projects enable smaller, safer, lighter weight, and less expensive battery packs that ultimately will make electric vehicles more affordable. Promising phase 1 awardees will be competitively down-selected at the end of 18 months for a second phase of research.

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Volkswagen to start fitting vehicles with pWLAN technology as standard from 2019 on for V2X communication

June 28, 2017

From 2019, Volkswagen will start fitting its first models with pWLAN as standard in order to serve as an additional communication technology for the exchange of selected information relevant to traffic between cars made by different manufacturers.

This will involve information being exchanged both between vehicles (car-to-car), as well as between vehicles and the transport infrastructure (car-to-X) (also fitted with pWLAN technology). This will, for example, enable information about the current traffic situation, accidents and other situations relating to traffic conditions to be shared with the local environment, within a radius of approximately 500 m, even faster than has been possible in the past.

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AOS and IBM developing logistics and transportation solution built on IBM Blockchain and Watson IoT

June 21, 2017

IBM and AOS, a Colombian company specializing in providing business solutions, are collaborating to create a solution to enhance efficiency in the logistics and transport industry throughout the country, built on IBM Blockchain and Watson IoT on the IBM Cloud.

Blockchain works as an immutable ledger that records transactions between members of a business network. In the supply chain, this creates visibility for all permissioned members into the exchange of information throughout the transport cycle, enabling greater transparency in the registration of data and trades.

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Michelin to acquire commercial truck telematics provider NexTraq; pushing to grow its services business

June 14, 2017

Michelin will acquire NexTraq, a US provider of commercial fleet telematics, in an all-cash transaction. Based in the Atlanta area, NexTraq is a subsidiary of FLEETCOR Technologies, Inc., a leading global provider of fuel cards and workforce payment products.

NexTraq provides solutions for driver safety, fuel management and enhancing fleet productivity. Since its inception in 2000, NexTraq has become a leading provider of GPS fleet management solutions for fleets of small commercial vehicles (classes 3‒5) ranging from two to 50 vehicles.

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ABI Research: V2X gaining momentum in automotive; deployment remains problematic

June 13, 2017

ABI Research sees V2X (Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) and Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) communications) finally gaining momentum in the smart mobility industry. Illustrating this is a growing number of initiatives, trials, and product launches. Cellular V2X, aggressively promoted by the 5G Automotive Association (5GAA), now offers a potentially more flexible alternative to the legacy IEEE 802.11p.

V2X use cases will now include collective perception, remote sensor fusion, and cooperative mobility. This is happening as awareness grows surrounding the critical role of V2X to bring the reliability and robustness needed for level 4/5 vehicle automation.

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Autotalks launches bike-to-vehicle (B2V) technology to prevent motorcycle accidents

June 08, 2017

Israel-based Autotalks, a provider of V2X (Vehicle-to-Everything) communication solutions, is launching its bike-to-vehicle (B2V) solution, a technology for the prevention of motorcycle accidents. The solution is based on the B2X (Bike-to-Everything) chipset developed by the company.

Bosch announced on 23 May that it is carrying out a development B2V study that incorporates Autotalks’ B2V technology alongside Ducati’s motorcycles and Cohda Wireless’ software stack. The company also said that according to Bosch accident research, the B2V technology could prevent nearly a third of all powered two-wheeler accidents with casualties in Germany.

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Taoglas launches low-profile, compact multi-antenna reference design for the next generation of connected car

Taoglas, a leading provider of automotive, IoT and GNSS antenna products, introduced Axiom, a reference design for a low-profile, compact multiple-antenna solution for the next generation of Connected Cars. The reference design will help automobile manufacturers overcome one of the biggest challenges of the Connected Car: where and how to place the multitude of antennas needed for maximum performance.

As many as 18 antennas are needed to power the next-generation Connected Car. This includes multiple cellular antennas for network connectivity; Wi-Fi for hotspot connectivity; GNSS for navigation, emergency call systems and other location-based technologies; satellite radio; AM/FM antennas; radar antennas for object detection; Bluetooth antennas for smartphones and other devices, and dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) antennas for vehicle-to-vehicle/infrastructure applications.

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Cadillac demonstrates V2I capability with traffic siginals

June 05, 2017

Cadillac’s CTS sedan, one of the first production vehicles to contain Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) communication (earlier post), has now successfully demonstrated Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) capability in Michigan. Cadillac CTS development vehicles received real-time data from traffic controllers on signal phasing and timing during successful demonstrations recently conducted in collaboration with Michigan road agencies.

V2I connects the Cadillac development vehicles to its surrounding infrastructure, allowing the vehicle to alert the driver of safety, mobility or environment-related conditions ahead.

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New low-voltage W-band millimeter-wave technology; applicable for cars, bikes, cellphones

Hiroshima University and Mie Fujitsu Semiconductor Limited (MIFS) have developed a low-power millimeter-wave amplifier that feeds on 0.5 V power supply and covers the frequency range from 80 GHz to 106 GHz. It was fabricated using MIFS’s Deeply Depleted Channel (DDC) technology.

This is the first W-band (75−110 GHz) amplifier that can operate even with such a low power-supply voltage. Details of the technology are being presented this week at the IEEE Radio Frequency Integrated Circuits Symposium (RFIC) 201 in Honolulu, Hawaii.

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Kaspersky Lab and AVL Software and Functions to cooperate on automotive cybersecurity

June 02, 2017

Kaspersky Lab and AVL Software and Functions GmbH will work together to develop advanced, embedded security technologies for next generation automotive system development.

A steadily increasing number of vehicle features—such as remote diagnostics, telematics and infotainment—are using communication channels between vehicles and the cloud or other infrastructure. While the data exchange from, and to the car, provides many new technological opportunities, these channels are also increasingly turning into cyberattack targets. The growing risk of a vehicle being attacked, violating its safety, privacy and financial values, requires methodical, organizational and technical measures to ensure the protection of all vehicle features.

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DOE releasing $20M in funding to ARPA-E awardees; NEXTCAR and REFUEL projects

June 01, 2017

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is honoring additional commitments to 10 previously selected Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) awardees for a total of $20 million. This completes the approval process for projects selected in ARPA-E’s Next-Generation Energy Technologies for Connected and Autonomous On-Road Vehicles (NEXTCAR) (earlier post) and Renewable Energy to Fuels Through Utilization of Energy-Dense Liquids (REFUEL) (earlier post)programs.

Four REFUEL projects are also part of DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) programs, which support groundbreaking technological innovation specifically in the small business community.

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Toyota’s Collaborative Safety Research Center launches 5-year, $35M program on autonomous and connected vehicle technologies

May 31, 2017

Toyota’s Collaborative Safety Research Center (CSRC) formally launched the next phase of its research mission, following on the successful conclusion of its first five years of auto safety research. The new research effort, named CSRC Next, will focus on the challenges and opportunities of autonomous and connected vehicle technologies over the next decade.

First announced in 2014, CSRC Next (earlier post) will direct $35 million through 2021 towards research designed to support a safe transition to the future of mobility. Projects will follow four research tracks:

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INFINITI selects 9 Internet of Things (IoT) and smart city startups for INFINITI LAB program in Canada

May 26, 2017

INFINITI LAB Toronto, an Internet of Things (IoT) and smart cities accelerator program from premium car brand INFINITI, announced the nine startups that will participate in the inaugural four-week accelerator program in Toronto.

The nine participating startups have raised $2.7 million in funding between them, and during the program they will receive education, mentorship and access to technology from corporate and technology partners including new partners IBM Canada and TribalScale, and existing partners including Techstars, OMERS Ventures, and the City of Toronto.

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Toyota Research Institute exploring blockchain technology for development of new mobility ecosystem

May 22, 2017

The Toyota Research Institute (TRI) is exploring blockchain and distributed ledger technology (BC/DL) (earlier post) for use in the development of a new mobility ecosystem that could accelerate development of autonomous driving technology. TRI is collaborating with the MIT Media Lab (MIT ML) and other industry partners to foster a digital environment in which users—both businesses and consumers—may securely share driving and autonomous vehicle testing data, manage ride-share and car-share transactions and store vehicle usage information that could be used in the setting of insurance rates.

Blockchain technology sends information over a network of independent computers (distributed ledger), intended to ensure that the transaction is secure and ownership rights over the data/property are protected. Blockchain originally underpinned Bitcoin, but has gained traction as a means to record and track the movement of assets. TRI believes blockchain may create transparency and trust among users, reduce risk of fraud and reduction or elimination of transaction costs, such as fees or surcharges applied by third party institutions.

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California ARB opens solicitations for $17M for On-Road Advanced Technology Demonstrations Projects; Class 7, 8 trucks

May 20, 2017

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) is seeking solicitations for up to $17 million in grants for the On-Road Advanced Technology Demonstrations Projects approved by the Board as part of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016-17 Funding Plan for Low Carbon Transportation and Fuels Investments and the Air Quality Improvement Program (AQIP).

Projects funded under this solicitation will demonstrate pre-commercial Intelligent Transportation Systems and Connected Trucks; Advanced Engines and Powertrains; and Zero-Emission Short and Regional Haul Trucks.

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DOE moving forward with $11.1M in funding for three ARPA-E projects

May 19, 2017

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced that it is honoring commitments to several previously selected Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) awardees, with funding of a combined $11.1 million. They are among the first awardees to move forward following the Department’s review of all taxpayer funded grants and projects, intended to ensure that each award applied good governance principles consistent with the new Administration’s policy directives.

The projects moving forward are part of ARPA-E’s Next-Generation Energy Technologies for Connected and Autonomous On-Road Vehicles (NEXTCAR) (earlier post) and Renewable Energy to Fuels Through Utilization of Energy-Dense Liquids (REFUEL) (earlier post) programs. Additional awardees are expected to move forward in the coming weeks.

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Juniper: V2V to feature in >50% of cars sold by 2022

May 17, 2017

A new report from Juniper Research projects that by 2022, 50% of new vehicles will be shipped with V2V (Vehicle-to-Vehicle) hardware, a technology that enables real-time short-range communication between vehicles.

The new research, Consumer Connected Cars: Applications, Telematics & V2V 2017-2022, found that the total number of V2V-enabled consumer vehicles on the road will reach 35 million by 2022, up from less than 150,000 vehicles in 2017. This strong growth rate (376% CAGR) reflects the early stages of roll-out for V2V, but will still only represent 2.7% off all vehicles.

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Honda begins joint research with Boston University in information security for AI; secure MPC

May 16, 2017

Honda Research Institute (HRI), a Honda R&D subsidiary, and Boston University have agreed to begin joint research in the area of data security and privacy for artificial intelligence (AI) research.

Honda intends to develop Cooperative Intelligence: AI that cooperates with people which will 1) empower: expanding the potential of people; 2) share experience: accommodating and growing together with people; and 3) empathize: be capable of understanding and relating to the emotions of people.

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Volvo Cars in strategic partnership with Google to build Android into next generation connected cars

May 15, 2017

Volvo Cars announced a “close” partnership with Google to develop the next generation of in-car infotainment and connectivity solution based on Android, offering access to a wide array of apps and services. It will launch on new Volvo models within two years.

The large catalog of popular Android apps—developed by Google, Volvo, or third party app developer—will offer connected and predictive services in and around the car.

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Continental showcases “Super Clean Electrified” connected, optimized 48V mild hybrid diesel; post-Eu6d

April 25, 2017

At the 38th International Vienna Motor Symposium this week, Continental is showcasing a 48-volt hybrid diesel vehicle which meets very stringent RDE (real driving emissions) limits on CO2 and NOx. The Continental Super-Clean Electrified Diesel combines electrification-based engine optimization and an electrically heated catalyst integrated in the exhaust aftertreatment system to achieve a 60% reduction in real-world NONOxx emissions and a simultaneous 2% reduction in CO2 emissions measured against the baseline Euro 6b vehicle.

The first 48-volt diesel hybrid has already gone into production in Europe, and a second production launch is already in the pipeline for 2017.

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Toyota, KDDI and Tokyo Hire-Taxi Association begin verification testing for connected taxis; big data for new services

In Japan, Toyota Motor Corporation and KDDI Corporation, together with the Tokyo Hire-Taxi Association (THTA), have begun verification testing on data collection for making connected taxis a reality. Such taxis, by communicating with data centers, are expected to make possible new services that will, among others, improve taxi-customer convenience and support taxi drivers.

The verification testing, which will center on the collection and analysis of data from taxis in the Tokyo metropolitan area, is being done to clarify technical requirements for taxi-related connected services and to enable practical application of large volumes of driving data.

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Continental testing eHorizon-based swarm weather service

Continental, in partnership with the French national weather service Météo-France, is testing a swarm weather service based on its eHorizon technology. eHorizon makes advanced use of navigation data for controlling vehicle systems to enable intelligent and safe vehicle navigation. The aim is to inform drivers of traffic conditions in advance to increase safety, convenience and efficiency. (Earlier post.)

Vehicles equipped with eHorizon.Weather supply exact weather information to optimize short-term forecasts and integrate real-time, location-specific weather data to alert drivers in advance of critical weather conditions. Continental is currently testing eHorizon.Weather in more than 200 vehicles in France to adapt and further improve the technology through direct user feedback.

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DOT to award up to $60M for advanced transportation and congestion management projects; V2X, ITS and mobility services

April 13, 2017

The US Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Highway Administration will award (693JJ317NF0001) up to $60 million to projects to develop model deployment sites for large scale installation and operation of advanced transportation technologies to improve safety, efficiency, system performance, and infrastructure return on investment. DOT is requiring a minimum cost share of 50%; i.e., the maximum Federal share is 50%. Total project values will thus be a combined minimum $120 million.

These model deployments are expected to provide benefits in the form of: reduced traffic-related fatalities and injuries; reduced traffic congestion and improved travel time reliability; reduced transportation-related emissions; optimized multimodal system performance; improved access to transportation alternatives, including for underserved populations; public access to real time integrated traffic, transit, and multimodal transportation information to make informed travel decisions; cost savings to transportation agencies, businesses, and the traveling public; or other benefits to transportation users and the general public.

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AT&T to acquire Straight Path in $1.6B deal to support development of 5G technologies

April 11, 2017

AT&T plans to acquire Straight Path Communications in an all-stock merger intended to qualify as a tax-free reorganization. The transaction has a total value of $1.6 billion which includes liabilities and amounts to be remitted to the FCC per the terms of Straight Path’s January 2017 consent decree. Straight Path shareholders will receive $1.25 billion ($95.63 per share), which will be paid using AT&T stock.

Straight Path is one of the largest holders of 28 GHz and 39 GHz millimeter wave spectrum. The transaction, which was approved by the Board of Directors of both companies, complements AT&T’s January acquisition of FiberTower and augments the company’s holdings of mmWave spectrum. The acquisition will support AT&T’s development of 5G, which will accelerate the delivery of new experiences for consumers and businesses such as virtual and augmented reality, telemedicine, autonomous cars, smart cities and more.

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Continental developing Road Condition Observer for active safety

April 04, 2017

Continental is developing a new system called Road Condition Observer that uses vehicle sensors and cloud data to classify a road surface as dry, wet, covered with snow or icy and to assess the grip of the road surface.

This knowledge, in turn, allows the vehicle to adjust the functions of advanced driver assistance systems to the actual road conditions, said Bernd Hartmann, Head of the Enhanced ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) & Tire Interactions project group within the Advanced Engineering department of Continental’s Chassis & Safety division.

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Volvo Cars CEO urges government & industry to share safety-related traffic data; will skip Level 3 autonomy

April 03, 2017

Volvo Cars is urging governments and car makers to share traffic data in order to improve global traffic safety, Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive, told a conference at the European Commission in Brussels on Monday. Sharing anonymized data related to traffic safety in real-time can provide a strong boost to overall traffic safety while safeguarding the privacy of individual road users, Samuelsson said.

Volvo started doing exactly this in Sweden and Norway two years ago, in collaboration with local authorities.

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IBM patents cognitive system to manage self-driving vehicles

March 31, 2017

IBM scientists have been granted a patent around a machine learning system that can dynamically shift control of an autonomous vehicle between a human driver and a vehicle control processor in the event of a potential emergency, providing a safety measure that can contribute to accident prevention.

IBM researchers developed the patented system using their understanding of biological cognition and behavior generation in the brain. Their background as computational neuroscientists led the inventors to devise a cognitive model and technique that employs sensors and artificial intelligence to dynamically determine potential safety concerns and control whether self-driving vehicles are operated autonomously or by relinquishing control to a human driver.

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Ford investing US$375M for R&D in Canada; doubling connectivity team, new research and engineering center

March 30, 2017

Ford is investing an additional C$500-million (US$375 million) in its Canadian research and development presence, adding connectivity software and hardware engineers and establishing a new Ottawa Research and Engineering Center. Ford is adding more than 400 connectivity engineers in Canada and the US—approximately 300 of whom will be based in Canada—more than doubling Ford’s mobile connectivity engineering team.

The new Ottawa Research and Engineering Center in Canada will focus on research and development across infotainment, in-vehicle modems, gateway modules, driver-assist features and autonomous vehicles.

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Tencent buys 5% stake in Tesla for $1.8 billion

March 28, 2017

China-based Tencent Holdings Ltd. has acquired a 5% stake (8,167,544 shares) in Tesla for an aggregate price of $1,777,842,836 (including commission), according to a Schedule 13G form filed by Tesla with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Tencent acquired the shares through Tesla’s latest registered offering of common stock (17 March 2017, earlier post) and through open market purchases.

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SAIC-GM Connectivity Strategy 2025 lays out roadmap to cloud-based connectivity, autonomy

SAIC-GM, GM’s Chinese joint venture with SAIC, announced its Connectivity Strategy 2025, which lays out a roadmap for its connectivity development from 2017 through 2025. The strategy will take advantage of its extensive customer base and global resources with a focus on vehicle information, infotainment and intelligent driving.

SAIC-GM will speed up the creation of a cloud-based platform and services, improve its vehicles’ connectivity to build a “people-vehicle-life” ecosystem, and aim to lead the development of a future intelligent vehicle society and lifestyle. In this effort, SAIC-GM is leveraging OnStar’s more than 20 years of experience. The high-level timeline is:

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Toyota and NTT agree to collaborate on ICT platform R&D for connected cars; 5G

March 27, 2017

Toyota Motor Corporation and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation have agreed to collaborate on developing, verifying, and standardizing technology in the connected car field, combining the automotive vehicle-related technologies of Toyota with the information and communication technologies(ICT) of NTT Group companies.

Toyota and the NTT Group (one of the world’s largest ICT companies), making use of big data obtained from automotive vehicles, will carry out joint research and development of technologies necessary for solving various issues including traffic accidents and congestion, and for providing customers with new mobility services. Four main areas of collaboration currently identified are:

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Volvo Cars expanding connected services; refreshed Sensus interface in the new XC60

March 14, 2017

Volvo Cars announced a range of updates to its global connected services program and its Sensus in-car user interface, starting with the new XC60 and the company’s existing and new 90 Series cars.

First, Volvo Cars is expanding its In-car Delivery service, a part of the Volvo On Call smartphone app, which launched in 2015 and allows one-time digital access for deliveries to a car, to five additional countries during 2017.

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Volkswagen partners with D-Wave on quantum computing; CeBIT premiere of research project for traffic flow optimization

Volkswagen partners with D-Wave on quantum computing; CeBIT premiere of research project for traffic flow optimization

Volkswagen Group IT is cooperating with leading quantum computing company D-Wave Systems on a research project for traffic flow optimization.

At CeBIT 2017 in Hanover, Volkswagen and D-Wave will be announcing their strategic cooperation and, as a world premiere, demonstrating a software program that optimizes traffic flow on a quantum computer. In the course of this project, experts from the Volkswagen Code Lab in San Francisco and the Volkswagen Data Lab in Munich and used data from approximately 10,000 taxis in Beijing.

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Intel to acquire Mobileye for $15.3 billion; targeting autonomous driving

March 13, 2017

Intel Corporation announced a definitive agreement under which Intel would acquire Mobileye, a global leader in the development of computer vision and machine learning, data analysis, localization and mapping for advanced driver assistance systems and autonomous driving. A subsidiary of Intel will commence a tender offer to acquire all of the issued and outstanding ordinary shares of Mobileye for $63.54 per share in cash, representing an equity value of approximately $15.3 billion and an enterprise value of $14.7 billion.

The combination is expected to accelerate innovation for the automotive industry and position Intel as a leading technology provider in the fast-growing market for highly and fully autonomous vehicles.

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Goodyear shows two concept tires targeting autonomous and shared vehicles; smart tires

March 12, 2017

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company showcased several new and emerging technologies in its latest concept tires at the Geneva International Motor Show. In the evolving mobility ecosystem, defined by the transition to driverless vehicles and shared mobility in urban centers, Goodyear aims to revolutionize the interaction between tires, vehicles and their surroundings.

The new concepts—an evolution of the the spherical-shaped Eagle 360 Urban (earlier post) and the IntelliGrip Urban smart tire—apply emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) connectivity.

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V2V safety technology now standard on Cadillac CTS sedans in US

March 11, 2017

Cadillac introduces Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) communications this month in the CTS performance sedan, which is in production now. V2V-equipped vehicles share information that can be used to alert drivers to upcoming potential hazards, laying the groundwork for a connected, safer future.

Cadillac’s V2V solution uses Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC) and GPS and can handle 1,000 messages per second from vehicles up to nearly 1,000 feet away. For example, when a car approaches an urban intersection, the technology scans the vicinity for other vehicles and tracks their positions, directions and speeds, warning the driver of potential hazards that might otherwise be invisible.

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Volkswagen Group launches Future Center Europe: focus on future mobility concepts

March 04, 2017

The Volkswagen Group has taken an additional important step to implementing its digitalization strategy with the launch of the Future Center Europe, located in Potsdam, Germany.

Volkswagen says that it intends to link the automotive and digital worlds in a way that benefits customers, society and the economy—and to promote the Volkswagen Group to become the leading mobility provider by 2025. The Future Center’s functions therefore go beyond standard product development.

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Volkswagen names Infineon first partner under TRANSFORM 2025+ strategy

March 01, 2017

Germany-based semiconductor supplier Infineon is Volkswagen’s first partner under its TRANSFORM 2025+ strategy (earlier post). Under the new partnership, Volkswagen will further intensify its direct dialogue with Infineon in order to define the requirements for future semiconductor solutions and thus pursue new joint development approaches.

A modern automobile is equipped with as many as 100 networked electronic control units (ECUs) and thousands of electronic components. Powerful ECUs ensure outstanding driving comfort and safety. They operate and regulate everything from the air conditioning system to the interior and exterior lighting systems, the adaptive cruise control radar and a whole range of driver assistance systems. Thus, a significant part of all vehicle innovations is based on electronic systems.

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Honda forming new R&D operation for “new value” areas: robotics, mobility systems and energy management

February 28, 2017

Honda R&D Co., Ltd., the R&D subsidiary of Honda Motor Co., Ltd., plans to create “R&D Center X,” a new research and development operation within the company, which will assume responsibility for “new value” areas that include robotics technology, mobility system and energy management, etc. The official establishment of R&D Center X will take place in April.

Honda has decided that evolving digital technologies such as artificial intelligence and “big data” offer potential for value creation in a wider range of fields beyond its current field of businesses. To address this opportunity, Honda R&D Center X will take a “non-traditional” approach to assume responsibility for the research and development in “new value” areas.

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Qualcomm and TomTom partner on crowdsourcing high-definition mapping data for autonomous driving

February 27, 2017

Qualcomm Technologies is working with TomTom on using the Qualcomm Drive Data Platform for high-definition (HD) map crowdsourcing, to accelerate the future of autonomous driving. Qualcomm Drive Data Platform intelligently collects and analyzes data from different vehicle sensors, supporting smarter vehicles to determine their location, monitor and learn driving patterns, perceive their surroundings and share this perception with the rest of the world reliably and accurately.

TomTom’s HD Map, including RoadDNA, is a highly accurate, digital map-based product, which assists automated vehicles to precisely locate themselves on the road and help determine which way to maneuver, even when traveling at high speeds.

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Peugeot unveils autonomous plug-in hybrid INSTINCT Concept; Samsung ARTIK Cloud for IoT; Sentiance for data analysis

In Spain, in conjunction with the annual Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Peugeot unveiled its INSTINCT plug-in hybrid concept, a Shooting Brake which offers the option of fully autonomous driving. However, the driver remains fully in control at all times and is able to determine whether he or she has a hands-on or autonomous drive.

The PHEV powertrain offers 300 PS, and the car features both ‘Drive’ and ‘Autonomous’ modes, affording the driver the choice between an engaging drive and the convenience of a fully autonomous vehicle. Peugeot INSTINCT is programmed with four distinct driving settings. In ‘Drive’ mode, drivers can opt for ‘Drive Boost’ or ‘Drive Relax’, and in ‘Autonomous’ mode they have the option of ‘Autonomous Soft’ or ‘Autonomous Sharp’.

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Qualcomm and LG bringing 5G and Cellular-V2X communications into vehicles

February 23, 2017

Qualcomm Incorporated, through its subsidiary, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., and LG Electronics (LG) announced coordinated efforts to facilitate testing and adoption of 5G and Cellular-V2X (C-V2X) communications into vehicles. Qualcomm Technologies and LG expect to showcase these next-generation wireless technologies through trials during the first half of 2018. This work builds on the long-established relationship between Qualcomm Technologies and LG since the two delivered their first telematics system in 2004.

On the path to 5G, LG is developing advanced automotive connectivity solutions based on Qualcomm Technologies’ connected car platform, which features support for Gigabit LTE speeds using the Qualcomm Snapdragon X16 LTE modem (earlier post), and is complemented by the QCA65x4 Wi-Fi 802.11ac solution. The connected car platform also supports 802.11p/DSRC and C-V2X, based upon 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) Release 14 specifications. (Earlier post.)

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Savari selected as major V2X technology provider for USDOT’s connected vehicle roll-out in Tampa

February 22, 2017

The Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA) and the partnering integrator company Brandmotion have selected Savari Inc. to equip the majority of vehicles with its V2X (Vehicle-to-Everything) connected car technology for the USDOT connected vehicle roll-out in Tampa. Tampa becomes the first city to feature Savari’s innovative and life-saving connected car technology following the US Department of Transportation’s new rule for car-to-car communications. Additional DOT connected car deployments are scheduled for New York City and a portion of I-80 in Wyoming this year.

Cars, trucks, buses and trolleys will be retrofitted with Savari’s On-Board-Units (OBUs) and connected car software to enable cars to communicate with each other through Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V), Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) and Vehicle-to-Pedestrian (V2P) software. Savari’s connected car solution in Tampa offers a wide range of transportation efficiency and safety applications.

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ARPA-E awards SwRI-led team up to $2.9M for connected and automated vehicle technology; NEXTCAR program

February 14, 2017

A team led by Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) has been awarded up to $2.9 million in funding to develop connected and automated vehicle (CAV) technologies aimed at improving fuel economy by more than 20%. The project is part of ARPA-E’s Next-Generation Energy Technologies for Connected and Autonomous On-Road Vehicles (NEXTCAR) program. (Earlier post.)s

The three-year project, “Model Predictive Control for Energy-Efficient Maneuvering of Connected and Automated Vehicles,” calls for the team to develop optimal control algorithms that leverage vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I), and other vehicle-to- everything (V2X) technologies to simultaneously optimize the vehicle’s route, speed profile, and power flows from the hybrid system.

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UC Irvine engineers develop powerful millimeter-wave signal generator; potential for 5G and V2X

February 10, 2017

Integrated circuit researchers at the University of California, Irvine have developed a silicon microchip-based millimeter-wave signal generator that emits signals in the G band (110 to 300 gigahertz). Waves of this frequency easily penetrate solid surfaces and provide extremely sharp resolution, enabling new, more effective methods of biomedical and security scanning and imaging. The chips also can perform a key role in point-to-point wireless communication.

The UCI engineers who created the technology said that tests in their lab have shown it to have the highest power and efficiency ever recorded in such a radiating element while exhibiting the lowest noise (interference from other sources of radiation).

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EPFL cooperative maneuvering control algorithm for integrating automated vehicles with legacy traffic; dynamic platooning

January 31, 2017

Researchers at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), as part of the AutoNet2030 project, have developed a cooperative maneuvering control algorithm allowing automated vehicles to operate in traffic alongside manually-driven vehicles. This is a key step in the shift towards autonomous driving expected to be achieved by 2030.

AutoNet2030, co-funded by the EU under the FP7 framework, sought to develop and test a co-operative automated driving technology based on a decentralized decision-making strategy which is enabled by mutual information sharing among nearby vehicles. The project, which wrapped up at the end of last year, aimed for a 2020-2030 deployment time horizon, taking into account the expected preceding introduction of co-operative communication systems and sensor-based lane-keeping/cruise-control technologies.

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ABI Research: automotive cellular V2X to challenge IEEE 802.11p/DSRC; spectrum issues loom large

January 26, 2017

With the LTE-V2X (LTE vehicle-to-everything) standard finalized and 5G standardization impending, the use of cellular technology for low-latency Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) and Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) (combined, C-V2X, earlier post) applications is now a realistic prospect—one that will challenge the legacy IEEE 802.11p Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC) standard.

In its new Intelligent Transportation Systems report, ABI Research notes that autonomous level 4 and driverless level 5 vehicles will require V2V and V2I capabilities to achieve ultra-high reliability levels; carriers such as Deutsche Telekom, Orange, SK Telecom, Telefonica, and Vodafone already performing trials on automotive 4G and/or 5G use cases.

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KPMG Survey: execs say connected car generates 10x revenue than a conventional vehicle; market share based on units “outdated”; BEVs #1 trend

January 24, 2017

Advancements such as connectivity, big data, autonomous vehicles and artificial intelligence are driving new economic models for automakers, and most see tremendous revenue potential and consumer value in leveraging driver and vehicle data to offer mobility services, according to the 2017 KPMG Global Automotive Executive Study.

The KPMG research, which polled nearly 1,000 executives with the world’s leading automotive companies, found that 76% say one connected car generates more revenue streams than 10 conventional cars. In fact, expectations for data-driven revenue are so great that 71% say measuring OEM market share based on units sold is outdated.

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Route Monkey working with NQIT to develop transport & mobility algorithms for quantum computers

January 19, 2017

Scotland-based route optimization specialist Route Monkey, a unit of telematics and big data company Trakm8, is working on a new generation of transport and mobility algorithms for quantum computers.

Route Monkey already works with Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh on creating and enhancing innovative algorithms for transport and travel (earlier post). The two are now joining forces with the Networked Quantum Information Technologies Hub (NQIT), led by the University of Oxford. Together, the three organizations will develop, test and commercialize quantum algorithms.

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NTU and NXP Semiconductors launch Singapore’s first Smart Mobility consortium; testing V2X on NTU campus

Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) and NXP Semiconductors have launched Singapore’s first Smart Mobility Consortium to focus on testing and developing smart mobility technologies. The technologies will be tested on the NTU campus, which serves as a living test bed, bringing together 12 industry partners to form the NTU-NXP Smart Mobility Consortium.

The 12 companies bring together their different expertise from the V2X (vehicle-to-everything) communications innovation ecosystem, such as wireless communication design, data analytics and network security. The industry partners include Panasonic, software multinational Red Hat, automotive system manufacturers Schaeffler and Denso, as well as ST Kinetics, the land systems and speciality vehicles arm of ST Engineering.

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Audi unveils Q8 plug-in hybrid concept full-size SUV; production version in 2018

January 09, 2017

Audi presented the Audi Q8 concept at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) 2017. Combining the spaciousness of an SUV with the lines of a coupe, the Q8 concept features a plug-in hybrid powertrain. The concept full-size SUV is the basis for a production model that Audi will launch on the market in 2018; whether or not the first production version will be a plug-in hybrid has yet to be determined.

The Audi Q8 concept uses production technologies for the drive system and suspension. The combustion engine in the Q8 e-tron concept is a 3.0 TFSI producing 245 kW (333 hp) and a maximum of 500 N·m (368.8 lb-ft) of torque. The electric motor—100 kW of power and 330 N·m (243.4 lb-ft)—is integrated into the eight-speed tiptronic along with a decoupler. The complete system produces 330 kW and 700 N·m (516.3 lb-ft) of torque.

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VW unveils fully autonomous, electric Microbus I.D. Buzz concept at Detroit; all-wheel drive, 270-mile range

Volkswagen is presenting a fully autonomous, electric Microbus concept at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Like the compact I.D. presented at the Paris Motor Show last year (earlier post), the I.D. Buzz is built off the Modular Electric Drive kit (MEB). With two-motor, all-wheel drive, a fully autonomous driving mode (“I.D. Pilot”) and a new generation of display elements and controls, the concept conceptually follows the new Volkswagen brand strategy.

The all-wheel drive system has a total output of 369 hp (275 kW) and an NEDC electric driving range of 600 kilometers (270 miles on a predicted US. driving cycle). One electric motor at the front axle and one at the rear each deliver a power output of 201 hp (150 kW), distributed between the two axles by an electric propshaft. The I.D. BUZZ shown in Detroit can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 5 seconds, with a governed top speed of 99 mph.

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Nissan CEO announces LEAF with ProPilot autonomy; other autonomous and connected technologies & partnerships

January 06, 2017

In his 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) keynote, Nissan chairman of the board and chief executive officer Carlos Ghosn made five key announcements of several technologies and partnerships as part of the Nissan Intelligent Mobility blueprint for transforming how cars are driven, powered, and integrated into wider society.

Among these is the plan to launch a new Nissan LEAF, with ProPILOT technology (earlier post), enabling autonomous drive functionality for single-lane highway driving. Nissan introduced ProPilot on the new Serena in Japan last year. Employing advanced image-processing technology, ProPILOT understands road and traffic situations and executes precise steering enabling the vehicle to perform naturally.

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Honda introduces “Cooperative Mobility Ecosystem” at CES 2017; Honda Riding Assist, NeuV concept w/ AI emotion engine

Honda unveiled its Cooperative Mobility Ecosystem concept at CES 2017 in Las Vegas, connecting artificial intelligence, robotics and big data to transform the mobility experience of the future. Featuring a number of prototype and concept technology demonstrations at CES, the Honda concept envisions a future in which vehicles will communicate with each other and infrastructure to mitigate traffic congestion and eliminate traffic fatalities, while increasing the productivity of road users and delivering new types of in-vehicle entertainment experiences. Vehicles will create new value by autonomously providing services when not in use by their owners.

Honda also announced collaborations with Visa, DreamWorks Animation and start-ups through the Honda Developer Studio and Honda Xcelerator open innovation programs based out of Honda Silicon Valley Lab. Further, as part of its effort to accelerate open innovation, Honda has established a new URL for areas including AI, Big Data and Robotics. Interested companies and individuals can access the following URL: http://www.honda.co.jp/openinnovation/.

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Panasonic Automotive and IBM partner to develop cognitive vehicle infotainment system with Watson

January 04, 2017

At CES 2017, Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America introduced the Panasonic Cognitive Infotainment platform designed to provide OEMs and fleet providers a set of cognitive vehicle solutions combining Panasonic’s infotainment expertise with IBM’s Watson and cloud technologies.

The platform leverages Watson cognitive capabilities, including deep natural language processing and understanding, to answer questions and provide recommendations as well as directions while en route. The platform also introduces e-commerce capabilities for convenient in-vehicle purchases to make the most of a driver's time, as well as possible future cognitive driving solutions that monitor the vehicle condition for safer driving.

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PSA Group, Ericsson, Orange partner on 5G connected car

PSA Group, Ericsson and Orange have signed a partnership agreement to conduct pilots of 5G technology for automotive applications as part of the “Towards 5G” initiative. The “Towards 5G” connected car partnership aims to leverage 4G to 5G technology evolution to address connected vehicle requirements such as intelligent transport system (ITS) to improve road safety, new automotive and in-car services.

The partnership is technically focused on Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) and Vehicle-to-everything (V2X) architecture and real-time performances for the deployment of ITS and connected services in vehicles. Initial tests use end-to-end architecture system with LTE technology and will evolve to LTE-V and 5G technology.

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Audi & partners form Connected Vehicle to Everything of Tomorrow consortium for 3GPP Rel. 14 Cellular-V2X trial

At CES 2017, Audi AG, Ericsson, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., SWARCO Traffic Systems and the University of Kaiserslautern announced the formation of the Connected Vehicle to Everything of Tomorrow (ConVeX) consortium to carry out the first Cellular-V2X (C-V2X) trial based on the 3rd Generation Partnership Project’s (3GPP) Release 14, which includes Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) communication.

The trial efforts are expected to focus on Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V), Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) and Vehicle-to-Pedestrian (V2P) direct communication, as well as Vehicle-to-Network (V2N) wide area communications. ConVeX will be executed by a cross-industry consortium that brings diverse expertise to the trial. ConVeX will be co-funded by the participating organizations and the German Federal Ministry of Transportation and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) within the scope of the “Automated and Connected Driving on Digital Test Fields in Germany” funding guidelines.

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Qualcomm Automotive Solutions to power next-gen infotainment for Volkswagen vehicles; Snapdragon 820A Processor, Snapdragon X12 & X5 LTE modems

At CES 2017, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. (QTI), a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, announced the integration of Qualcomm Technologies chipsets in the next-generation of Volkswagen AG vehicles. These chipsets include the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820A processor (earlier post) for advanced infotainment systems, as well as the Snapdragon X12 and X5 LTE modems, for connected car and telematics systems.

Volkswagen AG vehicles featuring the Snapdragon 820A processor are expected to be available in 2019, while vehicles utilizing Snapdragon X12 and X5 LTE modems are expected to be available in 2018.

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Qualcomm announces Gigabit-class LTE for next-gen connected vehicles; Snapdragon X16 LTE Modem

At CES 2017, Qualcomm announced that its subsidiary, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., has introduced a new variant of its connected car reference platform using the flagship Gigabit Class Qualcomm Snapdragon X16 LTE modem to help car manufacturers deliver the high-speed, high-quality and reliable connectivity required for advanced telematics and connected vehicle services—supporting peak download speeds up to 1 Gbps.

Building on the Company’s leadership supplying 3G/4G LTE modems for automotive, the reference platform is designed to allow carmakers quickly and easily to integrate the broad range of additional wireless and networking technologies required in today’s vehicles, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy and Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), with optional support for DSRC and Cellular-V2X. The platform also includes a module reference design for the Snapdragon X16 LTE modem to help automotive suppliers accelerate development and improve time-to-commercialization.

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Ford and Toyota establish SmartDeviceLink Consortium to accelerate industry-driven standard for in-vehicle apps

Ford Motor Company and Toyota Motor Company are forming SmartDeviceLink Consortium (SDL), a nonprofit organization working to manage an open-source software platform with the goal of giving consumers more choice in how they connect and control their smartphone apps on the road.

Mazda Motor Corporation, PSA Group, Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (FHI) and Suzuki Motor Corporation are the first automaker members of the consortium. Elektrobit, Luxoft, and Xevo join as the first supplier members. Harman and QNX have signed Letters of Intent to join.

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Liberty Mutual Insurance’s Solaria Labs unveils new developer portal for future products and apps; from safest routing to damage assessment

Solaria Labs, an innovation incubator established in 2015 by Liberty Mutual Insurance, is introducing an open API developer portal that combines public data with proprietary insurance knowledge, helping to inform future products and apps for customers. This technology will be able to help consumers do everything from finding the safest driving route—e.g., one on which you are less likely to have an accident—to assessing auto damage from a fender bender with a smartphone camera.

The Solaria Labs developer portal will aggregate public data on auto theft, parking citations as well as crashes using proprietary insurance knowledge. After signing up, developers and data scientists can analyze the aggregated data to identify, for example, the safest driving routes and places to park in major US cities. Providing this comprehensive collection of data will help fuel the development of future apps to improve safety for both drivers and passengers.

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FCA unveils Chrysler Portal concept: next-gen family transportation for Millenials; electric, semi-autonomous, connected, flexible

January 03, 2017

FCA US unveiled the Chrysler Portal concept, an all-electric, semi-autonomous (SAE Level 3) interpretation of the “fifth generation” of family transportation focused toward the millennial generation. (Earlier post.)

Millennials—the demographic cohort following Generation X, and defined as people born between 1982 – 2001—are tech-savvy, environmentally aware and cost-conscious. To balance those needs and to be an integral part of millennials’ lives, the Chrysler designed the Portal concept to maximize interior space with an impressive degree of flexibility between seating and cargo configurations; to enable users to include and expand their social media communities with seamless wireless integration between the vehicle and mobile devices; to take advantage of advances in battery-electric powertrains and the growth of a rapid recharging network; and to deliver these capabilities in a powerful, high-tech form.

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