Volkswagen of America and Faurecia are collaborating to manufacture Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) items needed on the frontlines of the COVID-19 crisis response. Strategic planning with Volkswagen has allowed Faurecia—a fabrics and materials supplier for the brand—to begin production of facemasks and gowns to be used by medical professionals battling... Read more →


Hyundai Motor Company extends warranties for more than 1M vehicles worldwide

Hyundai Motor Company launched a warranty extension policy for its vehicles worldwide. The program aims to support Hyundai customers who may face difficulties in getting vehicles serviced and repaired during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hyundai vehicles with original warranties that expire between March and June 2020 will benefit from a warranty... Read more →


FTA allocating $25B to help US public transportation systems with COVID-19 reality

The US Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced a total of $25 billion in federal funding allocations to help US public transportation systems respond to shift in market reality caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding is provided through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed... Read more →


General Motors and Honda have agreed to develop jointly two all-new electric vehicles for Honda, based on GM’s highly flexible global EV platform powered by proprietary Ultium batteries. GM unveiled the platform and batteries in early March. (Earlier post.) The exteriors and interiors of the new EVs will be exclusively... Read more →


Having successfully deployed connectivity services for several market leaders in Europe, such as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Jaguar Land Rover, ranging from vehicle manufacturers to service providers, Transatel, a member company of NTT Group, has launched IoV Connect, a global cellular connectivity platform specifically designed for the sector of motorized... Read more →


Volvo, Veoneer autonomous driving JV Zenuity to be split back between the two

Assisted and autonomous driving software development company, Zenuity, currently a 50-50 joint venture between Volvo Cars and Veoneer, will be split into two parts to maximize the potential of Zenuity’s developments to date. One part is a new stand-alone company, focusing on the development and commercialization of unsupervised autonomous drive... Read more →


The BMW Group is using Blockchain technology in purchasing to ensure the traceability of components and raw materials in multi-stage international supply chains. In 2019, we conducted a successful pilot project for purchasing front lights. This year, we want to expand the project to a large number of other suppliers.... Read more →


The COVID-19 has hit the Chinese EV sector hard; CRU, a provider of business intelligence on the global metals, mining and fertilizer industries, believes that weak sales will last at least until early Q2 2020. Nonetheless, it continues to forecast Chinese EV sales growth in 2020 over 2019’s total. EV... Read more →


Faced with the compelling need for more respirators, the French government asked a group of French industrial companies led by Air Liquide to study the possibility of increasing the production of respirators so as to provide 10,000 respirators in 50 days, between the beginning of April and mid-May. In response,... Read more →


Ford Motor Company, in collaboration with GE Healthcare, will begin producing in Michigan the Airon pNeuton model A ventilator with the goal to produce 50,000 of the needed units within 100 days and up to 30,000 a month thereafter as needed. Established in 1997, Airon Corporation is a privately held... Read more →


The falling cost of making hydrogen from wind and solar power offers a promising route to cutting emissions in some of the most fossil-fuel-dependent sectors of the economy, such as steel, heavy-duty vehicles, shipping and cement, according to a new report from BloombergNEF (BNEF). Hydrogen Economy Outlook, a new and... Read more →


Via, a company that provides digital infrastructure to power public mobility in cities around the world (earlier post), has raised a Series E financing led by EXOR. The financing values the company at $2.25 billion and will enable Via to advance its vision of efficient, accessible, and equitable public mobility.... Read more →


The SEAT Leon line at the Martorell, Spain, plant is producing automated ventilators to collaborate with the healthcare system in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. Going from producing cars to ventilators in record time is the result of the intense work of many SEAT employees. The motivation of everyone... Read more →


The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) will cancel its June 2020 show in Detroit in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic sweeping across the world and the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s expected plans to repurpose TCF Center into a temporary field hospital. NAIAS will hold its next annual show... Read more →


On 20 March, GM announced a cooperation with Ventec Life Systems to increase production of Ventec’s multi-function ventilator VOCSN to support the growing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. (Earlier post.) One week later, on 27 March, President Trump invoked the Defense Production Act (DPA), directing the Scretary of Health and... Read more →


Volkswagen AG is releasing employees with medical qualifications for up to 15 working days with full pay if they volunteer for work in the public health service. As of 27 March, there were 42,288 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Germany—a country-wide average of 51 cases per 100,000 population (0.05%)—with 253... Read more →


Bosch Healthcare Solutions, together with Randox Laboratories Ltd., has developed one of the world’s first fully automated molecular diagnostic tests for COVID-19. The coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is posing major challenges for healthcare systems and medical institutions worldwide. An ability to rapidly diagnose the virus is of invaluable help in curbing its... Read more →


Brazil-based oil company Petrobras will direct part of the processing capacity of its high-performance computers (HPC) to contribute to the Folding@home Project effort on studying the coronavirus behavior in the human body and how the disease progresses, from the interaction of viral proteins, making way for for the development of... Read more →


Toyota Research Institute launches research into understanding and predicting human behavior for decision making; Machine Assisted Cognition

The Toyota Research Institute (TRI) is expanding its exploratory research with the launch of Machine Assisted Cognition (MAC), a new initiative to develop and demonstrate artificial intelligence tools that can understand and predict human behavior in the context of decision making. A key pillar of TRI’s charter is to explore... Read more →


INEOS, a leading chemcial manufacturer, announced it will build a UK factory to produce 1 million bottles of hand sanitizer per month within 10 days and will replicate this in Germany. These will be produced according to World Health Organisation specifications and be specifically designed to kill bacteria and viruses.... Read more →


EEA data show air pollution goes down as Europe takes hard measures to combat coronavirus

The European Environment Agency’s (EEA) data confirm large decreases in air pollutant concentrations—of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentrations in particular—largely due to reduced traffic and other activities, especially in major cities under lockdown measures. Reductions of around half have been seen in some locations. The EEA’s data are measured hourly, on... Read more →


Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd., and Quantum Benchmark Inc. of Canada will conduct joint research on quantum algorithms using Quantum Benchmark’s error suppression technology as they aim to advance the capabilities of current generation quantum computing platforms. Quantum Benchmark, a startup founded by leading researchers from the University of Waterloo’s Institute for... Read more →


Ford Motor Company, joining forces with firms including 3M and GE Healthcare, is lending its manufacturing and engineering expertise to expand quickly production of urgently needed medical equipment and supplies for healthcare workers, first responders and patients fighting COVID-19. In addition, Ford plans to assemble more than 100,000 face shields... Read more →


INRIX has published the first in what it says will be an ongoing series of reports on road traffic demand changes from the COVID-19 virus spread. The report finds that COVID-19 has reduced traffic by 30% nationwide so far in March. Source: INRIX. Total volume first dropped nationally on 13... Read more →


COVID-19 infection at Toyota Takaoka plant

Toyota announced that a second male, full-time employee in his 20s working as a line worker at its Takaoka Plant in Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture, Japan has tested positive for COVID-19. The employee in question (Employee “B”) was a close contact of the Toyota employee who tested positive for COVID-19... Read more →


A coalition of major oil & gas, power, automotive, fuel cell, and hydrogen companies have developed and released the full new report, a “Road Map to a US Hydrogen Economy.” The Road Map stresses the versatility of hydrogen as an enabler of the renewable energy system; an energy vector that... Read more →


GM and Ventec Life Systems, in cooperation with StopTheSpread.org, the US’ coordinated private sector response to COVID-19, are collaborating to enable Ventec to increase production of its multi-function ventilator VOCSN to support the growing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Ventec’s VOCSN seamlessly integrates five separate devices including a Ventilator, Oxygen... Read more →


Data from the ESA’s Tropomi (TROPOspheric Monitoring) instrument on board the Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite shows the variation of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) emissions over China from December to March. A decline in NO2 corresponds to the outbreak of COVID-19 and a subsequent resurgence corresponds to the succes of measures to contain... Read more →


More auto plant shutdowns for COVID-19

Joining BMW, Ford and FCA in suspension of production in the US due to COVID-19 (earlier post) are: Toyota is temporarily suspending production at all of its automobile and components plants in North America, including Canada, Mexico and the US, through 3 April. Nissan will suspend production of its manufacturing... Read more →


The BMW Group plans to invest more than €30 billion up to 2025 in research and development to underscore its position as an innovation leader, said Oliver Zipse, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, at the company’s Annual Accounts Press Conference in Munich. Oliver Zipse, Chairman of... Read more →


GM, Ford, FCA to suspend production temporarily in N. America

General Motors will begin a systematic orderly suspension of manufacturing operations in North America due to market conditions, to deep clean facilities and continue to protect people. The suspension will last until at least March 30. Production status will be reevaluated week-to-week after that. we have agreed to a systematic,... Read more →


Porsche has presented an innovative alternative to conventional bucket seat upholstery with the concept study “3D-printed bodyform full-bucket seat”. Here, the central section of the seat—i.e., the seat and backrest cushions—is partly produced by a 3D-printer. Customers will be able to choose between three firmness levels (hard, medium, soft) for... Read more →


The Thailand Board of Investment announced that Thailand has received more foreign direct investment supporting the country’s growing electric vehicle production ecosystem. According to the Electric Vehicle Association of Thailand, the number of companies that are part of Thailand’s electric vehicle industry has risen significantly since 2015, from 76 to... Read more →


Those living in polluted cities are more at risk from COVID-19, the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) warned today. Air pollution can cause hypertension, diabetes and respiratory diseases, conditions that doctors are starting to link to higher mortality rates for COVID-19. A 2003 study on victims of the coronavirus SARS... Read more →


Toyota Motor Corporation and Toyota Financial Services Corporation launched a cross-Group virtual organization, Toyota Blockchain Lab, in April 2019. The Blockchain Lab has moved forward with initiatives for using blockchain technology including, to date, verifying the usefulness of the technology through demonstration trials, and global collaboration with Group companies. Blockchain... Read more →


UCI-led study finds California’s strict air quality regulations have helped farmers

Researchers at the University of California, Irvine and other institutions have conducted a statistical analysis of pollution exposure and yields from 1980 to 2015 on a key sector making up about 38% of the state’s total agricultural output: perennial crops such as almonds, grapes, nectarines, peaches, strawberries and walnuts. They... Read more →


ExxonMobil evaluating significant near-term capital and operating expense reductions; COVID-19

ExxonMobil is looking to reduce spending significantly as a result of market conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and commodity price decreases. Based on this unprecedented environment, we are evaluating all appropriate steps to significantly reduce capital and operating expenses in the near term. We will outline plans when they... Read more →


According to recent figures published by global tech advisory firm ABI Research, a total of 41 million 5G connected cars will already be on roads by 2030. That number will rise to 83 million 5G connected cars by 2035. By then, 5G connected cars will make up more than 75%... Read more →


Toyota Motor Corporation has developed an airless paint atomizer that uses static electricity instead of air to replace the conventional air paint atomizers used in the vehicle body painting process. The newly developed airless painter, the first of its kind, achieves more than 95% coating efficiency (the amount of paint... Read more →


BloombergNEF has issued a research note highlighting some of the likely effects of the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak over the next year on the transition to a clean economy: including renewable power, energy storage, electric vehicles, heating, cooling and the circular economy. The global auto market is very sensitive to macroeconomic... Read more →


As the Volkswagen Chattanooga factory ramps up production of the new Atlas Cross Sport, and lays groundwork for assembling the next generation of Volkswagen electric vehicles planned to begin in 2022, engineers are using augmented reality (AR) goggles to design production lines and help spot potential issues. Different colors indicate... Read more →


Researchers at TU Wien (Vienna) have developed an ultra-fast image sensor with a built-in neural network; the sensor can be trained to recognize certain objects. They describe their work on ultrafast machine vision in a paper in Nature. Machine vision technology has taken huge leaps in recent years, and is... Read more →


By Michael Sivak, Sivak Applied Research. This is my latest update on the recent changes in the number of registered vehicles in the United States. In the previous analysis, I examined the data from 1984 through 2017. This analysis adds new calculations for 2018. The focus in this series is... Read more →


The European Commission (EC) presented a broad new European Industrial Strategy to help Europe’s industry lead the transition towards climate neutrality and digital leadership. The Strategy sets out the key drivers of Europe’s industrial transformation and proposes a comprehensive set of future actions, including a Clean Hydrogen Alliance to accelerate... Read more →


Global oil demand is expected to decline in 2020 as the impact of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads around the world, constricting travel and broader economic activity, according to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA’s) latest oil market forecast. The situation remains fluid, creating an extraordinary degree of uncertainty over what... Read more →


After a large increase of new vehicle registrations in Europe in December 2019, volumes for January decreased, marking another month of transition for the complex new car market. A total of 1,138,057 new passenger cars were registered in Europe in January 2020, representing a decline of 7.6% from January 2019,... Read more →


Following a year of rapid growth in 2018, in which sales nearly doubled from the previous year, sales of plug-in electric vehicles in the US declined in 2019, due to lower sales of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Sales of all-electric vehicles remained steady with a slight increase of about 3,000... Read more →


USDOT releases report on automated vehicles and adverse weather

The US Department of Transportation has published a report on how adverse weather and road conditions affect automated vehicles (AVs). The report, Automated Vehicles and Adverse Weather: Final Report, explores AV needs, opportunities, and potential shortcomings during adverse weather conditions. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) statistics show that more than 1... Read more →