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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.]

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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Volkswagen CES2017 show app previews emerging Volkswagen digital Ecosystem

Volkswagen has developed a special app for CES 2017, available now at the App Store (iOS) and at Google Play (Android). Visitors to CES can use the show app at the Volkswagen booth to experience how human, car and environment will, in the future, be intelligently interconnected in the Volkswagen Ecosystem via the Volkswagen User-ID.

In the future, Volkswagen users will manage all of their mobility and infotainment services via their individual Volkswagen User IDs on a digital platform—the Volkswagen Ecosystem. (Earlier post.) This makes it easy to configure personal settings, integrate any services from third-party sources and port them wherever they wish. Regardless of which Volkswagen model users might step into (personal or rental car), in the future, the car will always prepare their favorite music, configure the display screen and make the right seat adjustments. Volkswagen is working to create a new user experience.

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MIT CSAIL, Cornell study finds rides-sharing theoretically could cut taxi traffic in NYC by 75%

A new modeling study by a team from MIT CSAIL (Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory) and Cornell suggests that using ride-sharing from companies like Uber and Lyft theoretically could reduce the number of taxis on the road in New York City by 75% without significantly impacting travel time. A paper on their work will be published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Led by Professor Daniela Rus of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), the researchers developed a dynamic ride-sharing algorithm that found that 3,000 four-passenger cars could serve 98% of taxi demand in New York City, with an average wait-time of only 2.7 minutes. The team also found that 95 percent of demand would be covered by just 2,000 ten-person vehicles, compared to the nearly 14,000 taxis that currently operate in New York City.

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FCA and Google collaborate on a Uconnect system concept powered by Android OS

January 02, 2017

FCA is collaborating with Google on next-generation connected car systems enabled by the power of an open platform and the ecosystem of the Android open-source operating system. At CES 2017 this week, FCA and Google will demonstrate a seamless integration of the Uconnect 8.4-inch connected vehicle system with Android inside a Chrysler 300 sedan.

CES attendees will be able to get one-on-one demonstrations of the Uconnect system powered by the latest version of Android, 7.0 Nougat, which includes core infotainment features such as radio and comfort controls. (This is quite different than Android Auto, which basically uses an Android smartphone to broadcast the Android interface onto the supporting car’s touchscreen.)

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HERE and Mobileye to partner on crowd-sourced HD mapping for automated driving

December 29, 2016

High-definition (HD) mapping company HERE and Mobileye, developer of computer vision and machine learning, data analysis, localization and mapping for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems and autonomous driving, plan to enter a strategic partnership that links their respective autonomous driving technologies into an enhanced industry-leading offering for automakers.

Under the partnership, Mobileye’s Roadbook—a detailed, cloud-based map of localized drivable paths and visual landmarks constantly updated in real-time—will be integrated as a data layer in HERE HD Live Map, HERE’s real-time cloud service for partially, highly and fully automated vehicles. Roadbook information will provide an important additional layer of real-time contextual awareness by gathering landmark and roadway information to assist in making a vehicle more aware of—and better able to react to—its surroundings, as well as to allow for more accurate vehicle positioning on the road.

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Volvo Cars adds Microsoft’s Skype for Business to 90 Series; looking ahead to autonomous cars

Volvo Cars will introduce Skype for Business, Microsoft’s collaborative productivity app, to its new 90 Series cars. Volvo Cars is the first carmaker to launch such an in-car productivity tool.

Skype for Business is actively used by millions of people at work around the globe. In Volvo’s 90 Series cars people will be able to view their upcoming meetings and participant details, and join meetings with one click via the large center display.

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Automotive Grade Linux releases latest version of open infotainment platform

December 28, 2016

Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) has released the latest version of its infotainment platform. Developed through a joint effort by dozens of member companies, the AGL Unified Code Base (UCB) 3.0 is an open-source infotainment platform positioned as a de facto industry standard.

The goal of the UCB infotainment platform is to provide 70-80% of the starting point for a production project. This enables automakers and suppliers to focus their resources on customizing the other 20-30% to meet their unique product needs. As part of UCB 3.0, AGL is also releasing a software development kit (SDK) that enables rapid application development on the AGL platform. The AGL UCB 3.0 is suited for deploying navigation, communications, safety, security and connectivity. It includes several key features:

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Study finds hands-free just as distracting as handheld mobile phone use behind the wheel

Talking hands-free on a mobile phone while driving is just as distracting as a conversation using a hand-held phone, according to a recent study by researchers at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Australia.

Dr. Shimul (Md Mazharul) Haque, from QUT’s School of Civil Engineering and Built Environment and Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety – Queensland ( ), presented the findings at a Driving Distraction Seminar held at QUT. The study is published in Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies.

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MIT systems analysis identifies optimal vehicle platooning strategies

December 21, 2016

MIT engineers have studied a simple vehicle-platooning scenario and determined the best ways to deploy vehicles in order to save fuel and minimize delays. Their analysis, presented this week at the International Workshop on the Algorithmic Foundations of Robotics (WAFR 2016), shows that relatively simple, straightforward schedules may be the optimal approach for saving fuel and minimizing delays for autonomous vehicle fleets. The findings may also apply to conventional long-distance trucking and even ride-sharing services.

Platooning for heavy-duty trucks is on the cusp of market introduction. Peloton plans to bring its first platooning system to market in 2017, and ARPA-E is funding research into platooning technology as part of its NEXTCAR project. (Earlier post.)

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NHTSA proposes rule to mandate vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication on light vehicles

December 13, 2016

Citing an enormous potential to reduce crashes on US roadways, the US Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a proposed rule today that would advance the deployment of connected vehicle technologies throughout the US light vehicle fleet.

The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) would mandate vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication technology on all new light-duty vehicles, enabling a multitude of new crash-avoidance applications that, once fully deployed, could prevent hundreds of thousands of crashes every year by helping vehicles “talk” to each other.

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Hyundai Motor accelerating development of its connected car operating system

December 09, 2016

Hyundai Motor is accelerating development of its advanced ccOS (connected car Operating System), the core platform technology for its future connected cars. The software will optimize the high-speed transmission and reception of data within the vehicle to support increasingly complex features that will lead the connected car market.

Hyundai outlined the development of ccOS in November, and has established an Infotainment Software Development Team in its Namyang Research and Development Center dedicated solely to developing ccOS technologies. In November, Hyundai said that ccOS would incorporate open source software including an open In-vehicle Infotainment (IVI) platform of the GENIVI Alliance.

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Continental presenting eHorizon swarm intelligence system for two-wheelers at CES 2017

December 02, 2016

Continental will use the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this coming January as the venue to present the eHorizon system for two-wheelers. The eHorizon system interconnects bikers, offers a shared platform to motorcyclist communities, and allows motorcyclists to share important route information. eHorizon for two-wheelers is based on swarm intelligence, which continuously supplies the digital map in the backend with accurate and up-to-date information.

Continental first introduced eHorizon at the 62nd IAA Commercial vehicles event in 2008 as a concept for a control unit providing other vehicle systems with a digital map preview. The eHorizon constantly sent small data packages via vehicles’ data network (CAN bus); the packets contained information about the stretch of road ahead as well as topographic information. Using this information, the engine control unit, the transmission control device or the driver assistance systems optimized their respective functions.

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BMW Group expands BMW i Ventures role with new €500M fund; widened scope of investment, greater independence

December 01, 2016

The BMW Group is expanding the remit of its BMW i Ventures venture capital unit and creating a new fund of up to €500 million (US$531 million) over ten years to support it. The new fund will allow BMW i Ventures to make investments in a wider range of areas, such as autonomous driving and digitalization, and to secure continued access to the technologies of the future.

BMW i Ventures’ previous focus on mobility services and electro-mobility will be expanded to cover the BMW Group’s full innovation spectrum in all areas of Strategy Number ONE > NEXT, even those outside of the traditional automotive value chain. Future topics for exploration will focus on “Enabling Technology and Digital Vehicle Technology”, “Mobility and Digital Services”, “Customer Experience” and “Advanced Production Technology”.

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ORNL study finds even low penetration of CAVs delivers significant fuel economy benefits, but increases travel time slightly

A new study by a team at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) suggests that low penetration rates of connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) can deliver significant fuel consumption benefits, but that the total travel time increases slightly. The study, presented presented at the 9th ACM SIGSPATIAL on Computational Transportation Science, also found that benefits in travel time increase with higher penetration rates of CAVs.

The study—one of the first that captures the impact of different penetration rates of CAVs on fuel consumption and travel time—builds off of earlier work done by the team of Jackeline Rios-Torres and Andreas Malikopoulos to develop an optimization framework and an analytical closed-form solution that addresses the problem of optimally coordinating connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) at merging roadways to achieve smooth traffic flow without stop-and-go driving. (Earlier post.)

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Delphi & Mobileye to showcase Centralized Sensing Localization and Planning (CSLP) autonomous driving system in public demo at CES 2017

November 30, 2016

Delphi Automotive PLC and Mobileye will showcase their Centralized Sensing Localization and Planning (CSLP) automated driving system—which will be ready for production by 2019—on a 6.3-mile urban and highway combined public route in Las Vegas for CES 2017. (Earlier post.)

The partners said that CSLP is the first turnkey, fully integrated automated driving solution with an industry-leading perception system and computing platform. (Intel will provide the system-on-a-chip (SOC) for the systems.) The Las Vegas drive will tackle everyday driving challenges such as highway merges, congested city streets with pedestrians and cyclists and a tunnel.

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Nissan announces new strategy for customer ownership experience; leveraging connected car, big data, and personalization

November 29, 2016

In Japan, Nissan announced a new, comprehensive strategy to transform its customer aftersales experience through innovative technology and enhanced services. The company anticipates that, as a result, connected car services and greater choice in accessories and personalization will increasingly drive growth in its aftersales business, anticipated to contribute 25% of aftersales revenue by 2022.

Connected car technology and expanding use of big data will enable Nissan to offer new services, improve the dealership experience and increase customer retention. In the future, Nissan cars will provide customers advance notice when servicing is needed, as well as automatically order parts to ensure dealership availability on customer visits. Connected car technology will also dramatically streamline Nissan’s global supply chain, bringing just-in-time logistics to increase manufacturing efficiency, from plants to the dealer.

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NHTSA proposes guidelines to address driver distraction caused by mobile devices in vehicles

November 23, 2016

The US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has proposed guidelines to help address driver distraction caused by mobile and other electronic devices in vehicles. The release marks the second phase of voluntary guidelines to address driver distraction on US roads; the first phase, released in 2013, focused on devices or systems built into the vehicle at the time of manufacture. (Earlier post.)

Currently, no safety guidelines exist for portable device technologies (e.g., smartphones, tablets, and navigation devices) and aftermarket devices (i.e., devices installed in the vehicle after manufacture) when they are used during a driving task. The proposed proposed, voluntary guidelines encourage manufacturers to implement features such as pairing, in which a portable device is linked to a vehicle’s infotainment system, as well as Driver Mode—a simplified user interface.

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Volvo Cars’ 90 Series cars receive powertrain, safety and connectivity updates including Android Auto

Volvo Cars is updating its 90 series cars with new powertrain, safety and connectivity updates. The new Drive-E powertrain variants include a D3 4-cylinder diesel engine coupled to a new manual 6-speed transmission; estimated fuel economy is 4.3 l/100 km (54.7 mpg US) NEDC in the S90 with emissions down to 114 g/km CO2.

A new automatic 6-speed transmission coupled to the D3 will deliver 114 g/km CO2 and 4.3 l/100 km. The D3 will also now be available with All-Wheel Drive.

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U-Michigan, China enter two new automated and connected vehicle partnerships

November 17, 2016

The University of Michigan is entering two separate agreements with Chinese institutions targeting automated and connected vehicles. Together with a third new agreement focused on clean water, the three agreements add up to more than $54 million to advance research in these key areas.

First, a $27-million research agreement with Shenzhen-based investment firm Frontt Capital Management will advance autonomous, connected vehicles and robotic technologies. This agreement puts in place measures that U-M and Frontt agreed to in a memorandum of understanding signed last month in China. It establishes a Joint Research Center for Intelligent Vehicles at U-M. It contributes toward construction of the recently approved Robotics Laboratory and a vehicle garage on U-M’s North Campus near Mcity, the simulated urban-suburban environment for testing connected and automated vehicles.

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Mitsubishi unveils new electric compact SUV concept; 400 km range

November 16, 2016

Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA) introduced the Mitsubishi eX Concept, a compact SUV with a next-generation EV system, at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show. The concept car is a showcase of Mitsubishi’s electric vehicle (EV) technologies, a new iteration of the Dynamic Shield front design concept, autonomous driving capabilities, Artificial Intelligence (AI) as well as a range of other technologies.

The system is configured with a new drive battery that greatly improves energy density of previous batteries and front and rear compact high-output motors. Together with the reduction in weight and higher efficiency of the new EV system, a non-compromising reduction in the weight of the body has given the Mitsubishi eX Concept a cruising range of 400 km (248.5 miles).

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U-M offers open-access automated cars to advance driverless research

New University of Michigan research vehicles will be open testbeds for academic and industry researchers rapidly to test self-driving and connected vehicle technologies at a world-class proving ground. These open connected and automated research vehicles (CAVs) are equipped with sensors including radar, LiDAR and cameras, among other features. They will be able to link to a robot operating system. An open development platform for connected vehicle communications will be added later.

The open CAVs are based at Mcity, U-M’s simulated urban and suburban environment for testing automated and connected vehicles. While a handful of other institutions may offer similar research vehicles, U-M says that it is the only one that also operates a high-tech, real-world testing facility.

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Hyundai adds Blue Link skill for Amazon Alexa

At AutoMobility LA, Hyundai announced the addition of a Blue Link skill for Amazon Alexa. (Earlier post.) Hyundai owners now have the convenience of locking, unlocking and remote-starting their vehicles from the comfort of their couch, kitchen or bedroom using voice commands. The new Blue Link skill for Amazon Alexa is available across Alexa-enabled devices and Hyundai vehicles equipped with the second generation of Blue Link.

Adding even more convenience to the ownership experience, owners of the all-new Hyundai IONIQ Electric and Plug-in Electric vehicles are able to start and stop the charge of their cars with the ease of simple voice commands with the Blue Link skill. Hyundai owners can request various functions of their car including:

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Intel to invest more than $250M over next two years in autonomous driving; “Data is the new oil”

November 15, 2016

In a keynote address at the AutoMobility LA conference, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich announced that Intel Capital is targeting more than $250 million of additional new investments over the next two years to make fully autonomous driving a reality. This is the first time Intel is keynoting at an automotive conference, signifying how critical the automotive market has become for the company.

These investments will drive the development of technologies that push the boundaries on next-generation connectivity, communication, context awareness, deep learning, security, safety and more. Drilling down into the areas that will be fueled by the fresh investments, Krzanich highlighted technologies that will drive global Internet of Things (IoT) innovation in transportation; areas where technology can directly mitigate risks while improving safety, mobility, and efficiency at a reduced cost; and companies that harness the value of the data to improve reliability of automated driving systems.

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Peloton in ARPA-E NEXTCAR project to cut HD truck fuel use by 20% with smart powertrains and platooning

Peloton Technology, a connected and automated vehicle technology company developing platooning technology for heavy-duty trucks (earlier post), is participating in the Next-Generation Energy Technologies for Connected and Autonomous On-Road Vehicles (NEXTCAR) program sponsored by the US Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). (Earlier post.)

The Peloton project, led by Purdue University (earlier post) will apply next-generation truck platooning technology and concepts for smart, cloud-connected powertrains to achieve 20% fuel savings for tractor-trailers.

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GENIVI Alliance showcasing Remote Vehicle Interaction (RVI) technology with latest functionality at AutoMobility LA

The GENIVI Alliance is a non-profit alliance of more than 140 automakers and their suppliers focused on developing an open in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) and connectivity software platform for the transportation industry. At AutoMobility LA this week, GENIVI is demonstrating its latest Remote Vehicle Interaction (RVI) technology in the Technology Pavilion at Los Angeles Convention Center.

GENIVI provides a standardized means for communications between the vehicle and its remote services over a number of different protocols. (Earlier post.) GENIVI’s technical deliverables consist of individual software components, standard interfaces/APIs, a flexible technical architecture, and a pre-integrated, reusable IVI software platform.

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Rolls-Royce and VTT Technical Research Centre partner to develop remote and autonomous ships

November 14, 2016

Rolls-Royce and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd have formed a strategic partnership to design, to test and to validate the first generation of remote and autonomous ships. The new partnership will combine and integrate the two companies’ unique expertise to make such vessels a commercial reality. (Earlier post.)

Rolls-Royce is pioneering the development of remote-controlled and autonomous ships and believes a remote-controlled ship will be in commercial use by the end of the decade. The company is applying technology, skills and experience from across its businesses to this development.

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Samsung Electronics to acquire HARMAN for ~$8B, accelerating growth in automotive and connected technologies

Samsung Electronics will acquire HARMAN for $112.00 per share in cash, or total equity value of approximately $8.0 billion. Upon closing, the transaction will immediately give Samsung a significant presence in the large and rapidly growing market for connected technologies, particularly automotive electronics, which has been a strategic priority for Samsung, and is expected to grow to more than $100 billion by 2025.

HARMAN is a leading provider of connected car solutions, with more than 30 million vehicles currently equipped with its connected car and audio systems, including embedded infotainment, telematics, connected safety and security. Approximately 65% of HARMAN’s $7.0 billion of reported sales during the 12 months ended 30 September 2016 are automotive-related, and its order backlog for this market at 30 June 2016 was approximately $24 billion.

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Volkswagen unveils updated Golf; Millerized engines, semi-automated driving, digital cockpit and gesture control

November 10, 2016

Volkswagen presented a major update of the Golf in an event at the Autostadt in Wolfsburg. In addition to some design enhancements, the new Golf features new engines (including the Millerized 1.5L EA211 introduced at the Vienna Motor Symposium in April, earlier post), new assistance systems and a new generation of infotainment systems. As a world-first in the compact class, the top-of-the-range “Discover Pro” infotainment system can be operated by gesture control.

With its 9.2-inch screen it forms a conceptual and visual entity with the Active Info Display (digital instrument panel), which is also new to the Golf. (earlier post) The updated Golf is also one of the first compact cars to be available with semi-automated driving functions—the new Traffic Jam Assist function can guide the Golf at speeds of up to 60 km/h (37 mph) in strenuous stop-and-go traffic. It steers, brakes and accelerates the new Golf.

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NXP and DAF Trucks commit to set new benchmark in truck platooning: 30x faster than human reaction time

November 08, 2016

NXP Semiconductors N.V. and DAF Trucks announced plans to empower truck platoons to react 30 times faster than humans in 2017, enabling a reduced distance between platooning trucks. Achieving this goal would mark a significant milestone in the introduction of platooning to fleet operators who expect considerable efficiency and safety gains while maintaining a maximum level of data security.

In Munich, NXP and its partners are showcasing the progress of secure intelligent transport systems in advance of this year’s electronica show. The demonstrations include platooning live on Munich roads, traffic signal and vehicle synchronization, and technology that protects vulnerable road users based on secure vehicle-to-everything technology (V2X). Platooning promises to increase fuel efficiency up to 10%, improve road safety and reduce exhaust emissions.

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Toshiba advances deep learning with extremely low-power neuromorphic processor; supporting IoT edge devices

November 07, 2016

Toshiba has developed what it calls Time Domain Neural Network (TDNN)—a neural network using a time-domain analog and digital mixed signal processing technique—based on a new, extremely low-power consumption neuromorphic semiconductor circuit to perform processing for Deep Learning. (The acronym TDNN (time-delay neural network) is also used broadly to describe feed-forward neural networks, first described in a 1989 paper (Waibel et al.).

Deep learning—as could be applied, for example, in autonomous driving—requires massive numbers of calculations, typically executed on high performance processors that consume a lot of power. However, bringing the power of deep learning to IoT edge devices such as sensors and smart phones requires highly energy-efficient ICs that can perform the large number of required operations while consuming extremely little energy.

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Daimler and Valens partner to bring HDBase T Automotive to vehicles in near future

At Electronica 2016 in Munich, Israeli HDBaseT chip maker Valens and Daimler announced their collaboration to bring HDBaseT Automotive into cars in the near future. Daimler has selected HDBaseT Automotive as the technology of choice to guarantee high performance of advanced infotainment, ADAS, and telematics systems.

Valens, as the inventor of HDBaseT and founder of the HDBaseT Alliance, brings the technology and expertise to accomplish the goal of commercializing HDBaseT-enabled vehicles in the near future. (Earlier post.)

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New Telit autonomous navigation IoT module relies on internal sensors to deliver class-leading dead reckoning accuracy

November 06, 2016

Telit announced commercial availability of the SL869-3DR, a GNSS (global navigation satellite system) module for global use which leverages information from internal gyros, accelerometers and a barometric pressure sensor to perform dead reckoning (DR) navigation for application areas such as track & trace and in-vehicle systems.

The module delivers accurate position data either directly from its multi-constellation receiver or from a fully autonomous DR system, requiring no connections to external devices or components other than an antenna for satellite signal reception and power. The module allows integrators to design zero-installation, in-vehicle navigation and tracking devices for fleets and other commercial or consumer applications that operate simply perched on the dashboard, connected only to vehicle power.

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GM demos 8 connected vehicle safety applications in Shanghai

November 03, 2016

General Motors demonstrated eight safety applications for its latest intelligent and connected vehicle (ICV) technology for the first time in China at the National Intelligent and Connected Vehicle Pilot Zone in Shanghai, which opened in June.

GM has been supporting the development of connected vehicle technologies for more than a decade in the US. The company highlighted six vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) safety applications, including Intersection Movement Assist, and Electronic Emergency Brake Light and Control Loss Warning enabled by V2V technology. It also introduced two newly developed vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) safety applications: Red Light Violation Warning and Reduced Speed Zone Warning.

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ARPA-E awards $32M to 10 new projects to improve connected and automated vehicle efficiency

The Energy Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) announced up to $32 million in funding for 10 innovative projects as part of the Next-Generation Energy Technologies for Connected and Autonomous On-Road Vehicles (NEXTCAR) program. (Earlier post.) With a goal of reducing individual vehicle energy usage by 20%, NEXTCAR projects will take advantage of the increasingly complex and connected systems in today’s—and tomorrow’s—cars and trucks to improve their energy efficiency.

Connected and automated vehicle (CAV) technology utilizes on-board or cloud-based sensors, data and computational capabilities to help a vehicle better process and react to its surrounding environment. This knowledge could include the location of stop signs and intersections, the actions of nearby vehicles, the location of congested areas, and much more. Currently, CAV technologies predominantly improve upon vehicle safety and add driving convenience. NEXTCAR projects will leverage these rapidly evolving technologies to greatly reduce vehicle energy use.

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BlackBerry signs agreement with Ford for expanded use of BlackBerry’s QNX and security software

November 02, 2016

BlackBerry Limited has signed an agreement with Ford Motor Company for expanded use of BlackBerry’s QNX and security software. The deal signifies an acceleration in BlackBerry’s pivot from hardware to software in support of the automaker’s goal of providing connected vehicles and mobility to its customers.

As part of this agreement, BlackBerry will dedicate a team to work with Ford on expanding the use of BlackBerry’s QNX Neutrino Operating System, Certicom security technology, QNX hypervisor and QNX audio processing software. The terms of the deal are confidential.

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Test deployment of new on-demand hub & shuttle mobility system at U Michigan; connected & automated vehicles & big data

November 01, 2016

A test deployment of a new hub-and-shuttle urban mobility system will take place on the University of Michigan’s North Campus. Its creators say the proposed system could deliver riders to their destinations in as little as half the time of the existing bus system at a lower cost, eventually using a fleet of autonomous shared vehicles. The limited test deployment would likely mark the world’s first on-the-ground implementation of such a system.

Called Reinventing Public Urban Transportation and Mobility (RITMO), the proposed system combines aspects of Uber-style ridesharing, fixed-route buses and light rail into the hub-and-shuttle system. It would combine high-frequency buses serving the busiest transportation hubs with a fleet of about 50 on-demand shared shuttles to get riders to and from those hubs.

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HARMAN and Airbiquity announce first automotive-grade end-to-end intrusion detection solution for connected vehicles

October 31, 2016

HARMAN International and Airbiquity, a provider of connected vehicle services, announced the first automotive grade end-to-end intrusion detection system (IDS) for connected vehicles at TU-Automotive Europe 2016 in Munich, Germany.

With the increasing dependency on software to power vehicle systems and features, cybersecurity has become a threat to connected vehicles and the introduction of new driving assistance, vehicle-to-vehicle communication, and autonomous driving capabilities. By combining HARMAN’s Intrusion Detection and Prevention System inside the vehicle with Airbiquity’s cloud-based Choreo service delivery platform and Software & Data Management solution, the two companies say they will deliver the most robust connected vehicle security threat detection and response capability for automotive customers and their consumers.

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Shanghai OnStar launches four new key service packages

October 28, 2016

Shanghai OnStar has upgraded its key service portfolio by rolling out four innovative new service packages covering mobile apps, security and safety, smart fleet management and telematics data reports. It has also introduced a first-of-its-kind B2B service platform in China that allows corporate users to enjoy onboard telematics services.

OnStar Mobile App 7.0. Shanghai OnStar, China’s leading smart onboard telematics service provider, has ramped up its investment in mobile app development since introducing its first smartphone app in 2011. The new OnStar Mobile App 7.0 provides more comprehensive functions than any other onboard telematics remote app due to its vehicle control functions. It will serve as Shanghai OnStar’s major service platform.

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GM and partners demonstrate cross-brand V2X application layer interoperability in China

At the 2016 SAE-China Congress & Exhibition from October 26-28 in Shanghai, General Motors teamed up with the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT), Tsinghua University, Chang’an Auto, Yanfeng Visteon and Shanghai International Auto City to demonstrate the interoperability of the emerging China connected vehicle (V2X) application layer standard for the first time.

A complete set of communication standards is necessary for underpinning an intelligent transportation system (ITS) using connected vehicles as a key component. GM, Tsinghua University and Chang’an Auto are leading a working group for the development of the V2X application layer and application data-exchange service standard with the support of SAE-China and C-ITS (China ITS Industry Alliance).

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Volkswagen unveils Atlas; new MQB-based 7-seat SUV; first VW Digital Cockpit in US

Volkswagen unveiled the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas SUV at an event on the Santa Monica Pier. Built in Chattanooga alongside the Passat, the seven-passenger Atlas offers a full slate of available driver assistance and technology features—including Volkswagen’s first Digital Cockpit in a vehicle for the US—a spacious interior and a choice of two gasoline powertrains.

Atlas, said Hinrich Woebcken, CEO of the North America Region, Volkswagen and President and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, is the brand’s first entry into the mid-size SUV segment, “the heart of the American market.” The largest Volkswagen the company has built in the US, Atlas features Volkswagen-style driving dynamics and attention to detail, and will be priced to be attractive in the volume family SUV segment.

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Qualcomm to acquire NXP for ~$38B; semiconductor engine for connected world

October 27, 2016

Qualcomm Incorporated will acquire NXP Semiconductors with an equity offer worth some $38 billion; including debt, the deal is worth roughly $47 billion. The boards of directors of both companies unanimously approved the definitive agreement.

NXP is a leader in high-performance, mixed-signal semiconductor electronics, with innovative products and solutions and leadership positions in automotive, broad-based microcontrollers, secure identification, network processing and RF power. As a leading semiconductor solutions supplier to the automotive industry, NXP also has leading positions in automotive infotainment, networking and safety systems, with solutions designed into 14 of the top 15 infotainment customers in 2016. NXP has a broad customer base, serving more than 25,000 customers through its direct sales channel and global network of distribution channel partners.

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Intel introducing new processor series dedicated for automotive applications

October 26, 2016

Intel is developing a new processor series dedicated for automotive applications. The A3900 series will enable a complete software-defined cockpit solution that incudes in-vehicle infotainment (IVI), digital instrument clusters and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS)—all in a single, compact and cost-effective SoC.

Intel announced the new automotive processor family along with its introduction of the new Intel Atom processor E3900 series for the Internet of Things (IoT). The A3900 series will allow car makers to offer new levels of determinism for real-time decision-making required in next-generation cars. It is currently sampling with customers and will be available in Q1 2017.

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GM and IBM bring OnStar and Watson together for new cognitive mobility platform: OnStar Go

General Motors and IBM are partnering to bring the power of OnStar and IBM Watson together to create OnStar Go, the auto industry’s first cognitive mobility platform. Starting in early 2017, OnStar is expected to give millions of GM drivers the ability to connect and interact with their favorite brands. The platform will deliver personalized content through the dashboard and other digital channels supported by the OnStar Go ecosystem to make the most of time spent in the car.

Combining OnStar’s vehicle connectivity and data capabilities with IBM Watson’s APIs will create experiences that allow drivers and passengers to achieve greater levels of efficiency and safety, the partners said. These experiences could include avoiding traffic when low on fuel, then activating a fuel pump and paying from the dash; ordering a cup of coffee on the go; or getting news and in-vehicle entertainment tailored to personality and location in real time.

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Savari and SAIC Motors partner on V2X technology for China

October 25, 2016

V2X company Savari Inc. signed an agreement with SAIC USA, a fully owned subsidiary of Chinese automaker SAIC Motors, to manufacture and distribute the Savari V2X communications solutions in the Greater China and selected ASEAN countries. The companies are already working to fulfil a substantial order from two customers (Shanghai International Automobile City and Tongji University).

Additionally, Shanghai International Automobile City and Tongji University plan to implement a live open-road smartcity testbed featuring both LTE-V and DSRC-based V2X solutions in the National Intelligent CV Pilot in Shanghai’s International Auto City. The smartcity will feature more than 10,000 vehicles equipped with Savari’s V2X solutions.

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NHTSA issues Federal guidance to the automotive industry for improving motor vehicle cybersecurity

The US Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released proposed guidance for improving motor vehicle cybersecurity.

The proposed cybersecurity guidance focuses on layered solutions to ensure vehicle systems are designed to take appropriate and safe actions, even when an attack is successful. The guidance recommends risk-based prioritized identification and protection of critical vehicle controls and consumers’ personal data. Further, it recommends that companies should consider the full life-cycle of their vehicles and facilitate rapid response and recovery from cybersecurity incidents.

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Ford trialing GLOSA app in Mondeo hybrids in UK; “riding the green wave”

October 21, 2016

In Europe, Ford is trialing its implementation of “Green Light Optimal Speed Advisory” (GLOSA) technology, which uses information on traffic light timings from a roadside unit to display to the driver the best speed to travel to get a green light.

GLOSA applications have been of prominent interest for intelligent transportation system (ITS) and connected vehicle research for a number of years due to the fairly obvious benefits. For example, a 2011 study by Katsaros et al. posited that implementation of a GLOSA could reduce both fuel consumption and congestion.

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Geely launches Lynk & Co; a new electrified and connected global car brand

China-based automaker Geely has launched Lynk & Co—a new global car brand designed and engineered in Sweden; every model will feature an electrified powertrain.

First in the range will be the Lynk & Co 01—an SUV featuring full premium specifications and characteristics as standard. Full mobile connectivity will also be standard, working in partnership with Ericsson. (Each vehicle will be a Wi-Fi hub, with the cellular data plan included in the price.) Geely claims that the SUV will be the most connected car to date, built around an open API and inviting developers’ creative ideas to enrich the automotive experience. (This open approach sounds similar to Volkswagen’s open-platform approach it is taking with MEB for its electric vehicles. Earlier post.)

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Infineon and Argus demonstrate cyber security solution for connected and automated cars; central gateway protection

October 19, 2016

At the VDI Kongress in Baden-Baden this week, Infineon Technologies AG and cyber security company Argus will demonstrate an integrated cyber security solution for connected and autonomous vehicles. The system is based on an Infineon AURIX multicore microcontroller with the Intrusion Detection and Prevention System (IDPS) and remote cloud platform from Argus. At the heart of a vehicle’s central gateway, the cyber security solution protects the vehicle’s internal network from remote cyber-attacks.

The central gateway is crucial in the automotive security architecture. It interconnects all electronic control units (ECU) of in-vehicle domains, such as those used in the powertrain, driver assistance, chassis, as well as body and convenience control. The central gateway routes and controls the complete data communication between the ECUs. In addition, it is the central access point for software updates over the air (SOTA) and for diagnostics processes and maintenance updates via the On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) port.

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Audi presenting piloted driving and Car-to-X technologies from Digital Motorway Test Bed; LTE-V for V2X

October 18, 2016

Twelve months after the launch of the “Digital Motorway Test Bed” in Germany, Audi is presenting new technologies for piloted driving and Car-to-X-communication at the German Federal Ministry of Transport. Audi is involved in six projects on the test bed; three of them focus on structural measures; the remaining three on communication technologies.

The Digital Motorway Test Bed is on the A9 between Munich and Nuremberg and enables the automotive industry, suppliers, the telecommunication and software industry as well as research centers to field-test their systems under development in mixed traffic. The “Digital Motorway Test Bed” is a joint initiative between the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, the Free State of Bavaria, the automotive and supply industry as well as the IT sector.

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DENSO & Toshiba partner on Deep Neural Network-IP for image recognition systems for ADAS & automated driving

October 17, 2016

DENSO Corporation and Toshiba Corporation have reached a basic agreement jointly to develop an artificial intelligence technology called Deep Neural Network-Intellectual Property (DNN-IP), which will be used in image recognition systems which have been independently developed by the two companies to help achieve advanced driver assistance and automated driving technologies.

The partners expect DNN, an algorithm modeled after the neural networks of the human brain, to perform recognition processing as accurately as, or even better, the human brain.

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Chinese firm invests $27M with U of Michigan to advance autonomous vehicle research and development

October 16, 2016

Frontt Capital Management Ltd, a Shenzhen-based investment firm focused on developing the intelligent vehicle industry in China, is making a $27-million investment to advance autonomous, connected vehicles and robotic technologies with the University of Michigan, along with industry and government partners.

Under the terms of a memorandum of understanding signed between Frontt and U-M, the funding will establish a Joint Research Center for Intelligent Vehicles at U-M to support faculty projects on autonomous vehicle technologies. The funding will also cContribute toward construction of the recently approved Robotics Laboratory and a vehicle garage on U-M's North Campus that would be located near Mcity, the simulated urban-suburban environment for testing connected and automated vehicles.

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UC Riverside team developing nav system that uses signals of opportunity; support for autonomous vehicles

October 14, 2016

A team of researchers at the University of California, Riverside has developed a highly reliable and accurate navigation system that exploits existing environmental signals such as cellular and Wi-Fi, rather than the Global Positioning System (GPS). The technology can be used as a standalone alternative to GPS, or as a complement to current GPS-based systems to enable highly reliable, consistent, and tamper-proof navigation.

The researchers say the technology could be used to develop navigation systems that meet the stringent requirements of fully autonomous vehicles, such as driverless cars and unmanned drones.

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Esri partners with Waze Connected Citizens Program to deliver open data-sharing options to governments

October 12, 2016

Leading geographic information systems (GIS) company Esri is partnering with Waze, the free, crowdsourced traffic and navigation app, to make it easier for governments to begin building intelligent transportation systems in their communities. Governments already using the Esri ArcGIS platform can now quickly and easily exchange data through the Waze Connected Citizens Program, a free, two-way data share of publicly available traffic information.

In 2014, Waze pioneered data standards for road closure and incident reporting, which are embedded within customized data feeds provided to each partner. Waze provides real-time, anonymous, Waze-generated incident and slow-down information directly from drivers themselves. In exchange, ArcGIS makes it easy to provide real-time construction, crash and road closure data to Waze to return one of the most succinct, thorough overviews of current road conditions today.

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VanDyne SuperTurbo and Allison Transmission collaborating to maximize benefits of downspeeding, supercharging and turbo compounding

VanDyne SuperTurbo Inc. and Allison Transmission Inc. are collaborating to co-develop a vehicle demonstrator. The companies plan to leverage the unique performance benefits of VanDyne’s mechanically driven turbocharger in combination with Allison’s TC10 transmission in a Class 8 tractor.

Through the deployment of advanced control techniques, the two technologies will maximize the benefits of engine downspeeding, efficient supercharging and turbo compounding. The primary objective of the collaboration is to demonstrate how these two products, when paired with an intelligently controlled vehicle, can reduce carbon dioxide emissions and improve fuel efficiency without sacrificing performance.

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BMW Motorrad unveils its VISION NEXT 100 concept; electric and connected, augmented reality visor

October 11, 2016

Following the BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce Vision Vehicles (earlier post, earlier post), the BMW Group has now revealed the BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100.

The iconic elements in the BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100 make it immediately recognizable as a “genuine BMW” and include the black frame triangle, white lines and classic, boxer engine forms. The bike itself, however, is powered by a zero-emissions solution.

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Autonomous vehicle tech company Nauto enters strategic relationships with 3 automakers, including BMW and Toyota, and Allianz

October 08, 2016

Autonomous vehicle technology company Nauto has entered into strategic agreements with three major auto companies, including BMW i Ventures and Toyota Research Institute, as well as with Allianz Ventures, part of the leading global financial service provider and insurance company Allianz Group.

These companies have invested in Nauto and are working with the company on autonomous vehicle development using the Nauto cloud-based data learning platform. Nauto’s deep-learning technology also runs on retrofit devices that can be mounted in any vehicle.

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Renesas and Cohda collaborating on V2V and V2I communications; V2X reference solution available in 2017

Renesas Electronics Corporation and Cohda Wireless are collaborating in the fields of automotive vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communications. By bringing together Renesas’ V2X R-Car system-on-chips (SoCs) and Cohda Wireless’ V2X and CAV software solutions, the companies deliver a V2X reference solution that supports European and North American communications standards for V2X system development.

Cohda Wireless will demonstrate the jointly-developed V2X reference solution consisting of Renesas’ R-Car W2R and R-Car W2H SoCs combined as a starter kit and Cohda Wireless’ software at the ITS World Congress 2016 taking place 10-14 October in Melbourne, Australia.

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Renesas Electronics introduces V2V and V2I communications solutions

October 07, 2016

Renesas Electronics Corporation announced the global availability of its lineup of V2X solutions that will help accelerate the arrival of autonomous driving. The solutions include two system-on-chips (SoCs) that will ease the development process for vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication systems.

One of the solutions includes the R-Car W1R 760 megahertz (MHz) band wireless SoC for the Japanese market, and the new R-Car W2H SoC that features a high-performance security engine that is indispensable for V2X systems designed for the Japanese, US, and European markets. The other solution consists of the W2H SoC combined with the R-Car W2R 5.9 GHz band wireless communication SoC developed for US and European markets.

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BMW Connected update adds new services and devices

A new update to the BMW Connected adds new services and additional devices to the personal mobility companion. The launch of BMW Connected Version 3.0 for iOS includes new benefits, such as: Alexa integration, first-mile navigation, vehicle service alerts, a battery-saving mode, and an Apple Watch app. BMW Connected Version 1.0 for Android is also now available.

With the announcement of BMW Connected at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and its market launch earlier this year, BMW kicked off its vision of an intelligent, highly personalized network of digital services that integrate the vehicle seamlessly into the life of the consumer. Using its flexible platform—the Open Mobility Cloud—as a basis, BMW Connected services is available anytime, anywhere – inside or outside the vehicle. Additionally, with its ability to create an intelligent BMW ID based on a user’s travel patterns over time, BMW Connected users get a personalized experience over all available touchpoints, including smartphones, smartwatches, and Alexa-enabled devices.

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Volkswagen’s MEB for EVs: long electric range, open-platform, open-space, pricing for the volume market; “tablet on wheels”

October 05, 2016

Brands within the Volkswagen Group have been rolling out modular component matrices, or assembly toolkits, for their light-duty vehicles over the past few years. Until recently, the four main modular toolkits (modularen Baukästen) of the Group were: the MQB (transverse, driven by the Volkswagen brand); the MLB (longitudinal, driven by the Audi brand); the MSB (standard drive, driven by Porsche); and the NSF (New Small Family).

Development work on these continues; Audi, for example, is refining MLB evo—the second-generation of MLB and the foundation for the battery-electric e-tron quattro SUV due out in 2018. (Earlier post.) These four main kits are now joined by the all-new Modularer Elektrifizierungsbaukasten (“Modular Electric Drive kit”, or MEB), being developed by the Volkswagen brand. The MEB will be the foundation for an entirely new generation of battery-electric vehicles designed not only to be electric and feature extended range, but to be connected, autonomous, open and priced for the volume market as required by Volkswagen’s positioning.

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Daimler Trucks North America collaborates with AT&T and Microsoft on new connectivity solutions for HD trucks

October 04, 2016

Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) announced new collaborations with AT&T and Microsoft Corporation with the goal of delivering further enhancements to its Detroit Connect suite of connected vehicle services. (Earlier post.)

AT&T will provide cellular service for the new Detroit Connect Truck Data Center, an intelligent piece of hardware that connects the truck to the Internet of Things. Exclusive to the new Freightliner Cascadia, the box out of Daimler Trucks global modular system provides communications capabilities for the Detroit Connect telematics system. This includes Detroit Connect Remote Updates, which enables over-the-air engine updates and powertrain electronic firmware update capabilities for customers, as well as the ability to integrate third-party telematics applications.

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Volkswagen unveils I.D. EV concept; 1st MEB-based vehicle, to launch in 2020; up to 373 miles

September 28, 2016

At the Paris Motor Show, Volkswagen staged the world premiere of the I.D., a concept vehicle presaging the first of a new fleet of Volkswagen electric cars and highlighting Volkswagen’s vision for the future in a number of areas, including autonomous driving and a new Open Space concept for the interior.

The compact I.D. is driven by a 125 kW electric motor powered by a battery pack, and has a range of 400 - 600 km (249 - 373 miles) under European test conditions. I.D. will be the first Volkswagen built off the Modular Electric Drive kit (MEB). The production version of the I.D. is due to be launched in 2020 at a price on a par with comparably powerful and well-equipped Golf models. The I.D. concept car at the show further demonstrates a concept of autonomous driving for the year 2025.

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NVIDIA and TomTom developing cloud-to-car mapping system for self-driving cars; DRIVE PX 2

NVIDIA and TomTom, the Dutch mapping and navigation group, are partnering to develop artificial intelligence to create a cloud-to-car mapping system for self-driving cars.

The work combines TomTom’s extensive HD map coverage, which already spans more than 120,000 km (75,000 miles) of highways and freeways, with the NVIDIA DRIVE PX 2 computing platform (earlier post). Together, the solution accelerates support for real-time in-vehicle localization and mapping for driving on the highway.

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HERE unveils next-generation open platform real-time data services for automotive industry

On the eve of the Paris Motor Show, HERE, the high-definition mapping and location services business company acquired by Audi, BMW and Daimler (earlier post), announced next-generation vehicle-sourced data services. The HERE Open Location Platform will harness real-time data generated by the on-board sensors of connected vehicles—even from competing car brands—to create a live depiction of the road environment.

Drivers will be able to access this view of the road through four services that provide information on traffic conditions, potential road hazards, traffic signage and on-street parking at high quality. The goal is to ensure that drivers have more accurate and timely information with which they can make better driving decisions. HERE plans to make the services commercially available to any customers both within and outside the automotive industry from the first half of 2017.

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Telecommunications and automotive majors form global cross-industry 5G Automotive Association

September 27, 2016

Audi AG, BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ericsson, Huawei, Intel, Nokia and Qualcomm Incorporated have formed the “5G Automotive Association”. The association will develop, test and promote communications solutions, support standardization and accelerate commercial availability and global market penetration.

The goal is to address connected mobility and road safety needs with applications such as connected automated driving, ubiquitous access to services and integration into smart cities and intelligent transportation.

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Renault-Nissan and Microsoft enter multi-year agreement on next-gen connected driving

The Renault-Nissan Alliance and Microsoft Corp. have signed a global, multi-year agreement to partner on next-generation technologies to advance connected driving experiences worldwide.

The companies will work together to develop next-generation connected services for cars powered by Microsoft Azure, one of the company’s intelligent cloud offerings. These new services are intended to improve customer experience via advanced navigation; predictive maintenance and vehicle centric services; remote monitoring of car features; external mobile experiences; and over-the-air updates. The partnership will accelerate development of best-in-class infotainment and location-based services that will:

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Volkswagen Truck & Bus launches RIO: open cloud-based platform for transportation industry digitization

September 21, 2016

At the IAA Commercial Vehicles 2016 show in Hanover, Volkswagen Truck & Bus is presenting itself to the public for the first time as a group of strong brands: MAN, Scania, Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.

In addition to numerous new products, Volkswagen Truck & Bus is emphasizing alternative drives and connected commercial vehicles. In addition to electromobility for commercial vehicles—from the Volkswagen e-load up! to MAN’s heavy-duty distribution eTruck—Volkswagen Truck & Bus is launching RIO—a new brand bundling digital solutions for transportation & logistics into a cloud-based open platform that can serve as the “operating system” for the entire transportation industry.

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Cypress sampling new Traveo MCU solutions for secure, high-speed networking for automotive body electronics

September 19, 2016

Cypress Semiconductor Corp. is sampling new devices in its single-power-supply Traveo automotive microcontroller (MCU) family that provide secure, high-speed networking for body electronics applications.

The new S6J342xxx series supports the Controller Area Network Flexible Data-rate (CAN FD) standard for high-speed, in-vehicle networking, enabling large amounts of data to be exchanged between each CAN node. The MCUs address the critical need to secure data on in-vehicle networks with enhanced Secure Hardware Extension (eSHE) support, preventing unauthorized connections to electronic control units (ECUs).

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Audi deepening partnerships with Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent on connected cars in China

September 11, 2016

In China, Audi has signed tripartite memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with Alibaba, Baidu, and Tencent respectively. The partners will deepen their cooperation in the areas of data analysis, internet-vehicle platform building and urban intelligent transport.

The partnerships will be supported through the brand’s strong development capabilities in China. In Beijing, Audi operates its largest research and development facility outside of Germany. The R&D center is part of Audi China, a 100% Audi AG daughter-company, and puts a strong focus on key future technologies such as connected car, piloted driving, new energy vehicles and digital services.

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DENSO looks to increase holding in FUJITSU TEN, making it a group company

September 10, 2016

Auto parts supplier DENSO Corporation, Fujitsu Limited, and Toyota Motor Corporation have reached a basic agreement to start consideration of changing the capital structure of automotive electronics manufacturer FUJITSU TEN, in which the three companies have stakes. DENSO is part of the Toyota Group.

In the automotive field, the interface between the driver and vehicle is becoming increasingly important due to remarkable technological innovations. Against this backdrop, DENSO has agreed with Fujitsu and Toyota to review specific changes to make FUJITSU TEN a group company of DENSO and to enhance cooperation between the two companies in developing in-vehicle ECUs, millimeter-wave radar (earlier post), advanced driver assistance / automated driving technologies, and basic electronic technologies, among others.

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Fujitsu develops low power consumption technology for 5G

September 07, 2016

Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. has built a prototype wireless unit incorporating inter-subarray coding technology, which makes it possible to achieve high-speed transmissions, in excess of 10 Gbps, for 5G mobile wireless base stations and access points. It has achieved these high speeds while maintaining low power consumption levels on par with Wi-Fi.

In verification tests, the prototype successfully transmitted signals simultaneously to multiple devices. In order to achieve 5G ultra high-speed communications, for which development is ongoing with the aim of practical implementation by about 2020, attention is centered on technology that uses the millimeter waveband and multiple antenna elements to simultaneously transmit signals as beams to each individual device.

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Mercedes-Benz Vans launches new Vito in China; unveiling electric van of future this week

September 06, 2016

Mercedes-Benz Vans launched its new mid-size van—the Vito—at the Chengdu Motor Show in China on Friday. The first batch of the new Vito rolled off the production line at Daimler’s local joint venture Fujian Benz Automotive Co., Ltd. (FBAC) in Fuzhou in August. The new Vito will be ready for delivery to dealers at the end of September.

In an event to be held this Wednesday at its “Van Innovation Campus” in Stuttgart, Mercedes-Benz Vans will unveil its vision of the van of the future: connected and electrically powered. (In July, Daimler Trucks unveiled the Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck, an all-electric, short-radius distribution heavy-duty truck, based on a three-axle truck from Mercedes-Benz. Earlier post.)

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Japan 3D map JV beginning process of creating high-def 3-D maps for autonomous vehicles; dynamic mapping

September 05, 2016

The Nikkei reports that Tokyo-based Dynamic Map Planning (DMP), formed earlier this year by Mitsubishi Electric, mapmaker Zenrin and nine automakers, will begin creating high-definition 3-D maps for self-driving cars this month.

The project is supported by the Japanese government (SIP-adus, Strategic Innovation Promotion Program Innovation of Automated Driving for Universal Services) in support of an effort to have autonomous vehicles on the road by 2020 equipped with a dynamic mapping system that combines real-time, “dynamic” information with a high-definition 3D map base. The result, say the planners, is a “one stop” information source that can provide necessary information for automated driving.

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Baidu and NVIDIA team up on cloud-to-car platform for self-driving cars; HD maps, Level 3 control, automated parking

September 01, 2016

At the Baidu World Conference in Beijing, Baidu CEO Robin Li together with NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang announced a partnership to use artificial intelligence (AI) in the creation of a cloud-to-car autonomous car platform for local Chinese and global car makers.

NVIDIA and Baidu have a long history of working together on AI. The latest addition to their partnership will combine Baidu’s cloud platform and mapping technology with NVIDIA’s self-driving computing platform to develop solutions for HD maps, Level 3 autonomous vehicle control and automated parking.

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Researchers find vulnerabilities in cars with MirrorLink, even if disabled

In a study funded by GM, the NSF, and the US Department of Homeland Security, a team at NYU and George Mason University have reported vulnerabilities in MirrorLink that could allow a hacker access to a vehicle through a smartphone, even if MirrorLink is disabled. The team presented their findings at the 10th USENIX Workshop on Offensive Technologies (WOOT '16) in Austin, Texas.

The automotive industry is gravitating toward integrating trusted third-party apps with their In-Vehicle-Infotainment systems (IVI) via smartphones. This is typically facilitated by a pair of apps: one that executes on the smartphone and the other executes on the IVI which, in turn, is connected to the vehicle’s Controller Area Network (CAN) bus.

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ORNL team presents solution for coordinating connected and automated vehicles at merging roadways; reduced fuel consumption and travel time

August 29, 2016

A team of researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has developed an optimization framework and an analytical closed-form solution that addresses the problem of optimally coordinating connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) at merging roadways to achieve smooth traffic flow without stop-and-go driving.

They validated the effectiveness of the efficiency of their proposed solution through a simulation, showing that coordination of vehicles can significantly reduce both fuel consumption and travel time. A paper on the work is published in IEEE Transactions On Intelligent Transportation Systems.

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Audi introducing first vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) service: Traffic light information system

August 15, 2016

Audi of America, in conjunction with Traffic Technology Services (TTS), will launch the first vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) driver assistance system—Traffic light information—on select 2017 Audi Q7, A4 and A4 allroad models this fall.

Traffic light information, an Audi connect PRIME feature, enables the car to communicate with the infrastructure in select cities and metropolitan areas across the US. The car receives real-time signal information from the advanced traffic management system that monitors traffic lights. The link between vehicle and infrastructure is routed via the on-board LTE data connection and Traffic Technology Services, Inc. servers.

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Panasonic acquires German software company OpenSynergy; virtualization for integrated cockpit solutions

August 09, 2016

Panasonic Corporation has acquired all the outstanding shares of the German software company OpenSynergy GmbH, making it a subsidiary. OpenSynergy specializes in embedded automotive software for cockpit solutions; it products enable the convergence of instrument clusters, head units, advanced driver assistance systems, and car connectivity systems.

A current cockpit system is controlled by different systems: one handles multimedia functions such as navigation and audio; another for driver support functions such as warning signals on head-up display. To integrate such different functions going forward, and to provide a better and intuitively easier driving support, system integration needs to be achieved from the operating system level, Panasonic said.

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Fujitsu develops technology to enable high-speed deep learning

Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. has developed software technology that uses multiple GPUs to enable high-speed deep learning powered by the application of supercomputer software parallelization technology. This newly developed technology was implemented in the Caffe deep learning framework, where, in a test measuring learning time using AlexNet on 64 GPU-equipped computers, it achieved a learning speed that is 27 times faster than a single GPU.

Compared with before this technology was applied, it achieved learning speed improvements of 46% for 16 GPUs and 71% for 64 GPUs (according to internal comparisons). Using this technology, the time required for deep learning R&D can be shortened, such as in the development of unique neural network models for the autonomous control of robots, automobiles, and so forth, or for healthcare and finance, such as with pathology classification or stock price forecasting, enabling the development of higher-quality models.

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VW BUDD-e electric microbus named “2016 Concept Truck of the Year”

August 02, 2016

The Volkswagen BUDD-e battery-electric microbus concept (earlier post) has been named “2016 Concept Truck of the Year” at the 15th Annual North American Concept Vehicle of the Year Awards. Judges recognized the all-electric microbus concept for raising the standards of automotive design, with features that address both the utility and mobility needs of the present and future.

The first Volkswagen vehicle built using the company’s Modular Electric Toolkit (MEB), the BUDD-e captures the brand’s heritage, while offering a glimpse into the company’s next-generation connectivity, infotainment and EV technologies. The BUDD-e concept’s highlights include:

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Singapore LTA selects nuTonomy for trials of autonomous mobility-on-demand transportation service; new AV testing center

August 01, 2016

In addition to Delphi (earlier post), Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) has also selected nuTonomy to begin trials of an autonomous mobility-on-demand transportation service. The partnership will expand and accelerate the nuTonomy’s development efforts in Singapore as it progresses towards the launch of a commercial autonomous vehicle (AV) service in 2018.

Delphi and nuTonomy were shortlisted from several participants which submitted proposals for autonomous mobility-on-demand concepts under the Request for Information (RFI) issued by LTA in June last year. (Besides mobility-on-demand services, LTA is also exploring SDVs for other public transport applications, such as self-driving buses.)

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Singapore Land Transport Authority selects Delphi for autonomous vehicle mobility-on-demand program

The Singapore Land Transport Authority (LTA) has selected Delphi Automotive PLC as a strategic partner to implement autonomous mobility concepts.

Delphi will provide a fleet of fully autonomous vehicles (AVs) and will develop a cloud-based mobility-on-demand software (AMoD) suite, opening up new potential autonomous markets for Delphi’s customers. Delphi will conduct a trial of an urban, point-to-point, low-speed, autonomous, mobility-on-demand service in Singapore’s Autonomous Vehicles Test Bed located at one-north, a business park in the western area of the city.

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Audi AG developing automotive driver health as new business area; leveraging digitalization, connected vehicles

Audi AG has become a founding partner in Berlin’s “Flying Health Incubator”, a center supporting startups that develop digital innovations in the healthcare sector. The investment highlights Audi’s interest in developing “automotive health”—enhancing the customer’s health and fitness while driving—as a new business area. With the Audi Fit Driver offering, the brand is already testing innovative services and functionalities in this field.

In the Flying Health Incubator, Audi AG is entering into dialog with decision-makers from the startup scene and from the healthcare industry. Together, the partners will strive to identify trends, technical solutions and business models in the digital health market at an early stage.

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Daimler chief Zetsche: Daimler working toward swarm organization; mobility services, digitalization and e-mobility

July 25, 2016

In an interview with Germany’s Wirtschaftswoche, Daimler CEO Dr. Dieter Zetsche said that the company is implementing swarm organization management techniques to enable more rapid development in emerging critical areas such as digitalization, mobility services and e-mobility.

The swarm organization method, explained Zetsche, supplements the hierarchical-management pyramid with cross-functional and interdisciplinary groups and eventually replaces them.

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NIRA Dynamics, InfoCar expand availability of Road Surface Information software with OBD plug-in

Sweden-based NIRA Dynamics, a software company developing sensor-fusion-based systems for different vehicle applications, is rolling out its Road Surface Information (RSI) software more broadly, in partnership with InfoCar AB.

Road Surface Information (RSI) by NIRA continuously monitors the quality and tire grip level of the road surface—without stereo cameras, adaptive suspension or other expensive sensors. With sensor-fusion-based algorithms, RSI can determine the level of road roughness and road friction.

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Ford takes stake in Civil Maps; 3D mapping technologies for fully autonomous vehicles; AI and voxel hashing

July 16, 2016

Civil Maps, a start-up developing 3D mapping technology for fully autonomous vehicles, raised a $6.6-million seed funding round, led by Motus Ventures and including investment from Ford Motor Company, Wicklow Capital, StartX Stanford and Yahoo cofounder Jerry Yang’s AME Cloud Ventures.

Civil Maps’ mission is to make it possible for fully autonomous vehicles (SAE Levels 4-5) to drive anywhere smoothly and safely. The company’s focus is on building continental-scale maps for autonomous vehicles and providing precise localization using voxel-hashing algorithms. Although GPS and IMU (inertial measurement unit) technologies can in theory determine both position and orientation of vehicles, the accuracy is limited by atmospheric distortion, the start-up notes.

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NSF leads $400M federal effort to boost advanced wireless research

July 15, 2016

The National Science Foundation (NSF) will invest more than $400 million over the next seven years to support fundamental wireless research and to develop platforms for advanced wireless research in support of the White House’s Advanced Wireless Research Initiative. These investments will support the research community in experimenting with and testing novel technologies, applications and services capable of making wireless communication faster, smarter, more responsive and more robust.

This new program will enable the deployment and use of four city-scale testing platforms for advanced wireless research over the next decade and builds upon the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Spectrum Frontiers vote yesterday. (Earlier post.)

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