Showing posts with label Automotive. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Automotive. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Bosch enters ridesharing business

Bosch, which is one of the world's leading suppliers of automotive subsystems, announced its entrance into the ridesharing business and its acquisition of Splitting Fares, a start-up based in Detroit that operates a platform that allows companies, universities, and municipal authorities to offer their workforces ridesharing services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The SPLT app connects people who share the same route to their place of work or study. The app finds the best composition for the ride-share, and computes the fastest route.

“Increasingly, smartphones are becoming the most important means of travel,” Heyn added. Connecting road users and modes of transportation is making flexible, multimodal mobility possible: in a matter of seconds, everyone can decide how they want to travel, and make the necessary bookings. “With this sustainable and affordable mobility service, we want to fundamentally change the way people get from A to B,” said Anya Babbitt, the co-founder and CEO of SPLT.

Bosch said it is pursuing a range of IoT activities encompassing solutions for connected mobility, connected manufacturing, as well as for connected energy systems and buildings.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Will mobile networks be ready for Waymo's driverless ride-hailing service?

by James E. Carroll

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has confirmed an order for several thousand of the Pacifica Hybrid minivans to be delivered to Waymo, the autonomous car subsidiary of Alphabet (Google's parent company) this calendar year for deployment in several U.S. cities. Although the actual size of the order was not disclosed, it is believed to be between 3,000 and 10,000 autonomous vehicles. You may have already seen driveless Waymo minivans on the streets in live testing. Last year, FCA delivered 500 of the Pacifica minivans, adapted for self-driving, to Waymo for the test fleet. An earlier batch of 500 Pacificas was delivered in late 2016. The vehicles have racked up over 4 million miles (6.4 million kilometres) of testing on U.S. streets so far.

With this order for thousands of self-driving Waymos, the prospect of a commercial launch is in sight. For mobile network operators, this could be a golden opportunity. The question is whether mobile operators are bidding for this business.

"With the world's first fleet of fully self-driving vehicles on the road, we've moved from research and development, to operations and deployment," said John Krafcik, CEO of Waymo. "The Pacifica Hybrid minivans offer a versatile interior and a comfortable ride experience, and these additional vehicles will help us scale."

Although we do not know which mobile operator(s) Waymo has been working with, we do know that the connection from vehicle to the network must be LTE at best, as none of the big four operators have 5G trial networks in place for this level of testing.

Two conclusions can be drawn. (1) The autonomous vehicle R&D programs are ahead of the 5G movement. (2) the first generation of autonomous vehicles may not require 5G at all.
In many ways, 5G networks promise to be an ideal platform for autonomous vehicle fleets. Think about:
(a) reduced network latency
(b) dense small cell deployments ideally near street level in urban cores
(c) high bandwidth throughput
(d) network slicing
(e) enhanced security

Autonomous vehicle fleets would also be the ideal 5G customer for mobile operators. Let's say an operator such as Waymo procures and deploys a fleet of 5,000 vehicles. The connectivity requirement will be 24/7. These vehicles are described as "data centers on wheels." Some estimates say each autonomous vehicle could generate 4TB of data daily. Of course only a percentage of that data would need to be offloaded in real time, if at all, but clearly the

Background on Waymo

Waymo began developing its self-driving platform in 2009. At the time it was known as Google's Self-Driving Car project and was led by Sebastian Thrun, former director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and co-inventor of Google Street View.  The Waymo identity was adopted in December 2016. The company remains based at the Google campus in Mountain View, California.

Late last year, Waymo began test driving the Pacifica minivans in the Phoenix metro region without anyone in the driver's seat for some months. The test program has been expanding rapidly since then. Just after the New Year, Waymo announced that Atlanta would be its 35th test city,
In its 9-year of development, Waymo has worked on every aspect of its forthcoming Transportation-as-a-Service platform.  Its software is perhaps the key differentiator that will set it apart from the many fast followers. It is also the subject of the ongoing lawsuit launched by Waymo against Uber regarding purportedly stolen intellectual property.

Beside Fiat-Chrysler, we know that Waymo is working with a few other technology suppliers. Waymo’s cloud service provider, of course, is Google. On the hardware side, Intel has disclosed that it supplied sensor processing, general compute and connectivity technologies for Waymo's test fleet of Pacifica minivans. This includes Xeon processors, Arria FPGAs, and Gigabit Ethernet and XMM LTE modems. The partnership between Intel and Waymo was cited in a blog post by  Brian Krzanich in September.

Collecting mapping and other data from the fleet

At CES 2018, Intel disclosed that its Mobileye next-generation aftermarket collision avoidance system is capable of "collecting dynamic data to make cities smarter, safer and Autonomous Ready."
The idea is to harvest valuable information on city streets and infrastructure to create high-definition crowdsourced maps. Mobileye is developing a Road Experience Management (REM) to make this easier. Many companies, as well as government authorities, will see value in harvesting this data from the vehicle. Collecting this data need not require an autonomous vehicle. Plenty of regular buses, taxis, and trucks criss-cross cities every day on established routes. Retrofitting these vehicles for mass-scale data gathering can be as simple as installing a single camera and sensor, along with a mobile broadband connection. In fact, Mobileye has announced a number of players who are already moving in this direction:

  • The city of Dusseldorf, Germany is expected to equip 750 vehicles with Mobileye 8 Connect to investigate the suitability of Dusseldorf’s existing infrastructure for autonomous vehicles and connected driving. The project is funded by the German federal government.
  • London black cabs will be fitted with Mobileye 8 Connect to create an HD map of the city. Gett, a start-up working on mobility solutions, will equip approximately 500 London black cabs this year.
  • New York City will also get an HD map based on Mobileye crowdsourced data. Buggy TLC Leasing, which provides leasing of vehicles for ride-sharing services such as Uber, is expected to outfit approximately 2,000 New York City-based vehicles with Mobileye Aftermarket.
  • Berkshire Hathaway GUARD Insurance will equip approximately 1,000 to 2,000 trucks with Mobileye 8 Connect to generate an HD map of where these vehicles operate.¬¬¬


Monday, February 12, 2018

Combining Ride Hailing, Smart Cities, and Networking – part 1

Preamble: The world’s largest ride-hailing service is integrating its “DiDi Smart Transportation Brain” with the traffic planning authority in Beijing and other major Chinese cities to optimize the routing of its vehicles and lessen urban congestion. The AI system will pull data from traffic sensors and connected vehicles in a massive network application that will require the most advanced mobile and backhaul network.

On an average day, DiDi Chuxing, the ride-hailing service that acquired Uber China in August 2016, is enabling up to 25 million rides. Its app has been downloaded more than 450 million times. By the company’s reckoning, this makes it the world’s leading mobile transportation platform. There are over 21 million drivers in China signed up for DiDi and by some estimates, 80% of taxi fares in the big cities are now booked via its app.

DiDi has moved well beyond basic car rides. Its app now lets the user pick from a range of transportation options: Taxi, Express, Premier, Luxe, Hitch, Bus, Minibus, Designated Driving, Car Rental, Enterprise Solutions and even Bike-Sharing though the ubiquitous bluegogo brand. Hiring a bike on a short-term basis no longer requires a deposit –just the DiDi app and a valid user account. DiDi is now a simple and cashless way of travelling through China’s municipalities.

Business is booming too for Uber.  However, Uber and to some extent Lyft often finds itself in contentious relationships with the communities it serves. In the UK, Uber is beset by numerous legal and social difficulties. In September, Transport for London, stripped Uber of its license, accusing the company of being “unfit to operate.”  Last week, a protest against Uber by London black cab drivers caused gridlock across the city. Other municipalities are taking action as well. The City of York is the third British municipality that has acted to strip Uber of its license. In the EU, a recent ruling from the European court of justice (ECJ) has determined that Uber is a taxi operator and not an information service, requiring it to accept stricter regulation and licensing terms.  Even in its home market, Uber faces a slew of lawsuits from investors, ex-employees, customers and cities for a list of management missteps, improprieties, questionable business practices, data breaches and possibly criminal behaviour.

In contrast, DiDi Chuxing enjoys the implied endorsement of the Chinese government and the investment of all three of China’s Internet giants – Alibaba, Baidu, and Tencent – as well as Apple and dozens of other high-profile investors. Better yet, there is a regulatory framework for the company to grow.  In July 2016, China became the first country to officially legalize ridesharing. This came about when seven of China's ministries, including the Ministry of Transport, jointly published "Preliminary Rules on the Management of Online Car-Booking".

DiDi Chuxing, which is headquartered in Beijing, was founded in 2012 by Cheng Wei, a former employee of Alibaba. The company’s inception came approximately three years after Garrett Camp and Travis Kalanick established Uber, but in many ways, its brief life as a business has been just as eventful and even more meteoric.

From the outset, there were local rivals backed by various tech giants and a series of price wars. There were also protests by established taxi companies and their drivers. To gain size and stature, a merger with the biggest rival was necessary, followed by the acquisition of Uber China in August 2016, a deal that some called a forced marriage and others a marriage of convenience. (Uber retained a 5.89% interest in DiDi Chuxing, while DiDi Chuxing also got a minority interest in Uber Global).  The deal effectively consolidated the market in China, leaving this one big player and a much simpler regulatory job for government authorities.

DiDi Chuxing recent milestones
• Completed 7.43 billion rides in 2017. Launched accessible vehicles services with UNDP for disadvantaged people.
• Established a partnership with Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.
• Started new joint venture projects to build EV charging networks.
• DiDi Labs opens new campus in Mountain View.
• Adopted Apple Pay as a new payment method
• Announced a strategic partnership with Taxify, a rideshare leader in Europe and Africa.
• Announced a strategic partnership with Careem, the leading ride-hailing and internet platform in the Middle East and North Africa.
• Released DiDi's first open source software, VirtualAPK, a flexible, lightweight and powerful plug-in framework for Android.
• Closed over USD 5.5 billion financing round to support global strategy and technology investments.
• Signed new Smart Transportation partnership with Shenzhen, after Tianjin, Nanjing and Shenyang.
• Launched an overseas car rental service

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Telefónica and Huawei test 5G-V2X Radio for uRLLC Assisted Driving

Telefónica and Huawei are running a Proof-of-Concept (PoC) testbed for 5G based vehicle communication networks (known as 5G-V2X) in their 5G Joint Innovation Lab at Madrid.

The 5G-V2X test is based on the latest 5G NR specs and includes advanced services such as vehicles platooning, extended sensors, advanced driving and remote driving, among others.

The so-called Ultra-Reliable and Low-Latency Communication (URLLC) mode for 5G NR offers the flexible design to support services with low latency and high-reliability requirements.

Huawei said the PoC demonstrates that URLLC can effectively support V2X with higher system capacity and better coverage. The exercise achieved 99.999% reliability with a low latency of 1ms required for autonomous driving in a typical macro cellular outdoor environment, such as dense urban, suburban and rural areas.  In the 5G-V2X PoC, a novel self-contained frame structure for radio transmission was used, both from the base station to the vehicle and from the vehicle to another vehicle. This allows much faster transmission feedback, enabling very low-latency communications. The great flexibility of the NR system framework allows the support of some advanced features, like Polar coding for small V2X packet error correction, an optimized HARQ (Hybrid Automatic Repeat Request) procedure for increased transmission reliability, or an ‘Inactive State’ for instantly sending short packets to control the car maneuver. To further enhance performance, another key technology, ‘SCMA-based (Sparse Coded Multiple Access) Grant Free Access, was tested.

Mr. Enrique Blanco, Telefónica Global CTIO, said: “This PoC between Telefónica and Huawei is another step towards 5G commercialization and a fully connected society. We will strengthen our collaboration by verifying 5G key technologies. Multiple novel use cases will be developed and provided to our customers.”

Dr. Wen Tong, Huawei Fellow and Huawei Wireless CTO, said: “We are pleased with our further collaboration with Telefónica in 5G technologies. The 5G-V2X PoC is another joint effort to pave the way for commercialization of 5G and lay a solid foundation to realize the 5G vision of enabling cooperative autonomous driving.”

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Ford acquires Palo Alto-based Autonomic for cloud platform for mobility apps

Ford Motor Company announced its acquisition of Autonomic, a start-up based in Palo Alto, California that is developing an open cloud-based platform "for connecting and empowering tomorrow’s mobility systems." Financial terms were not disclosed.

Autonomic said it is working on building blocks for smart mobility applications and services. Ford said the acquisition will accelerate the automaker’s mission to establish the Transportation Mobility Cloud platform and support its plans to scale up other key mobility initiatives, including the drive toward full connectivity, Chariot and non-emergency medical transportation.

Ford also announced the acquisition of TransLoc, a Durham, North Carolina-based provider of demand-response technology for city-owned microtransit solutions.

“We believe transportation done right – as part of a systems approach – can bring life back to our cities,” said Marcy Klevorn, president, Ford Mobility. “By accelerating our delivery of mobility services through the changes we are making today, we are enabling that revival, enhancing our competitiveness and creating long-term value for Ford shareholders.”

Ford has outlined a strategy with the following components:


  • Transportation operating system: The company’s open, cloud-based platform – the Transportation Mobility Cloud that manages information flow and basic transactions between a variety of components in the transportation ecosystem – will be expanded beyond Ford to include other automakers, suppliers, partners and cities; a developer network to build and support the system also will be launched.
  • Connectivity: Preparing to deliver digital services to personal, fleet and city customers, Ford’s mobility team will deliver on the company’s commitment of 100 percent connectivity of new vehicles in the United States by 2019 and push toward its goal of 90 percent connectivity globally by 2020.
  • Ride sharing: Chariot, the cornerstone of Ford’s microtransit solutions, will see an acceleration of city launches globally this year; launches will be based on a major shift in focus to the unit’s enterprise business, which provides employee transportation services for businesses. Just last week, Ford announced the launch of service in Columbus, Ohio – Chariot’s fifth city.
  • Non-emergency medical transportation: Tapping into the growing healthcare transportation market, Ford Mobility will expand its non-emergency medical transportation operation from a Southeast Michigan pilot with Beaumont Health into a full business serving multiple medical systems.
  • Vehicle Management as a Service: Founded in 2017, Ford Commercial Solutions is leveraging vehicle connectivity to deliver data services and fleet optimization to the commercial segment, building on the automaker’s historical strength in serving fleet customers. Ford Commercial Solutions will expand its offerings globally this year.


Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Silicon wars heat up in 2018 – the autonomous vehicle opportunity

Preamble: autonomous vehicles represent an enormous opportunity for the tech industry, including for mobile operators and network equipment suppliers. The first and second parts of this article looked at recent developments at Intel and at Qualcomm, both of which are moving rapidly to consolidate an early lead into a full-fledged platform for autonomous vehicles. This part of the article looks at two other players with newly-announced platforms: NVIDIA and Molex.

NVIDIA building the world's first autonomous machine processor

NVIDIA is pursuing a “holistic” strategy for the autonomous vehicle challenge, choosing to develop silicon, the software stack, the tools, and the development necessary to achieve driverless safety at the ISO 26262 certification level.

At this year’s CES 2018, the company unveiled its NVIDIA AI autonomous vehicle platform for automakers. At the heart of the system is a new NVIDIA Xavier autonomous-machine processor, which the company describes as the most complex system on a chip ever created. The chip, which is expected to begin sampling this quarter, is built around a custom 8-core CPU, a new 512-core Volta GPU, a new deep learning accelerator, new computer vision accelerators and new 8K HDR video processors. The SoC has over 9 billion transistors. Everything on-chip is designed for redundacy and diversity. NVIDIA said it invested $2 billion over four years to develop the chip. Over 2,000 engineers worked on its development.

NVIDIA is not just pitching silicon, but instead talking about process, technologies, and simulation systems, as described below:

Process: Sets out the steps for establishing a pervasive safety methodology for the design, management, and documentation of the self-driving system.

Processor Design and Hardware Functionality: Incorporates a diversity of processors to achieve

fail operation capabilities. These include NVIDIA-designed IP related to NVIDIA Xavier covering CPU and GPU processors, deep learning accelerator, image processing ISP, computer vision PVA, and video processors – all at the highest quality and safety standards. Included are lockstep processing and error-correcting code on memory and buses, with built-in testing capabilities. The ASIL-C NVIDIA DRIVE Xavier processor and ASIL-D rated safety microcontroller with appropriate safety logic can achieve the highest system ASIL-D rating.

Software: including third-party software such as BlackBerry QNX’s 64-bit real-time operating system, which is ASIL-D safety certified, along with TTTech’s MotionWise safety application framework, which encapsulates each application and isolates them from each other, while providing real-time computing capability. NVIDIA DRIVE OS offers full support of Adaptive AUTOSAR, the open-standard automotive system architecture and application framework. The NVIDIA toolchain, including the CUDA compiler and TensorRT, uses ISO 26262 Tool Classification Levels.

Algorithms: The NVIDIA DRIVE AV autonomous vehicle software stack performs functions like ego-motion, perception, localization, and path planning. To realize fail operation capability, each functionality includes a redundancy and diversity strategy. For example, perception redundancy is achieved by fusing lidar, camera and radar. Deep learning and computer vision algorithms running on CPU, CUDA GPU, DLA and PVA enhance redundancy and diversity. The NVIDIA DRIVE AV stack is a full backup system to the self-driving stack developed by the automaker, enabling Level 5 autonomous vehicles to achieve the highest level of functional safety.

Virtual Reality Simulation: NVIDIA has created a virtual reality simulator, called NVIDIA AutoSIM, to test the DRIVE platform and simulate against rare conditions. Running on NVIDIA DGX supercomputers, NVIDIA AutoSIM is repeatable for regression testing and will eventually simulate billions of miles.

Based on this platform, NVIDIA published a flurry of press announcements touting its momentum:

Mercedes-Benz unveiled a new in-car infotainment system that uses AI powered by NVIDIA to transform how drivers and passengers interact with their vehicles. The 3D touch-screen displays can be controlled with a new voice-activated assistant that can be summoned with the phrase “Hey, Mercedes.”

Volkswagen is adopting the NVIDIA DRIVE IX platform.

Uber has selected NVIDIA technology for the AI computing system in its future fleet of self-driving cars and freight trucks.
Baidu and ZF, one of the world’s largest automotive suppliers, to create a production-ready AI autonomous vehicle platform based on NVIDIA’s DRIVE Xavier, ZF’s new ProAI car computer and Baidu’s Apollo Pilot.

Molex is building the in-vehicle network

Molex, which is well-known in the communications field for its electrical and fibre optic interconnection systems, is also jumping into to the autonomous vehicle field.  This week, the Lisle, Illinois-based company is highlighting its new, 10G Automotive Ethernet Network for connected and autonomous vehicles at CES 2018.

The Molex 10 Gbps Automotive Ethernet Network connects Electronic Control Units (ECUs) throughout a vehicle. It offers secure over-the-air software and firmware updates and diagnostics over IP (Dip) to help avoid the need for vehicle recalls and enabling in-vehicle security and diagnostics over IP.  Molex said its platform is compatible with existing network components, and that it provides flexibility for OEMs to accommodate different vehicle profiles.

The Molex 10 Gbps Automotive Ethernet Network incorporates an Aquantia chip optimized for Multi-Gig Ethernet to support data transfers between Electronic Control Units (ECU). Molex is also working with Silicon Valley-based Excelfore, which provides innovative middleware solutions for in-vehicle and vehicle-to-cloud smart mobility networks. This enables over-the-air (OTA) diagnostics, firmware and software updates to different automotive devices, from different vendors, running different operating systems, across multiple networks.

To connect the network to the car’s entertainment system, Molex has formed a partnership with AllGo Systems. AllGo's OTG and Media Solutions support iPhones and Android phones, as well as other smart devices within the car. The idea here is clearly wired and wireless infotainment in automotive cockpit systems. High-resolution navigation data could also be streamed over the in-car network from a head unit running Android to a digital instrument cluster running QNX. The companies envision multiple 4K high-resolution content streams from a network storage device to the head unit and played back on secondary displays.

Molex is also working with Microchip Technology Inc.  on USB Media Modules and USB power delivery solutions for these automotive infotainment systems. The work focuses on the increasing number of USB ports in vehicles, and how USB can deliver more power and bring driver assistance applications to the head unit display.

Finally, let us not forget security. Molex is working with BlackBerry to protect its 10 Gbps Ethernet Automotive Networking platform. This is being developed using the BlackBerry QNX Neutrino SDP 7.0 RTOS, which provides high performance and enhanced kernel-level security based on its microkernel architecture, file encryption, adaptive time partitioning, a high-availability framework, anomaly detection, and multi-level policy-based access control. Communication between modules and other vehicle ECUs and peripheral devices connected to the network will use the BlackBerry Certicom's Managed PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) Service to securely provision and authenticate. In-vehicle connections can be made via Ethernet IP-based devices or LIN, CAN, USB, and other supported legacy communication protocols. As part of the PKI, BlackBerry Certicom’s is providing an efficient and powerful Elliptic-Curve Cryptography (ECC) solution that can also be extended to communications between the vehicle systems and the cloud.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

UNH-IOL tests 1000BASE-T1 in automotive Ethernet

The University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL) is adding two new services to its Automotive Ethernet Test Services menu:

  • 1000BASE-T1 Physical Medium Attachment (PMA) sublayer testing and 
  • 100BASE-T1 interoperability testing. 

“With the standardization of single-pair Gigabit Ethernet (1000BASE-T1) coming two years ago, chip manufacturers and silicon vendors are now tasked with ensuring their offerings can provide reliable and resilient functionality in environments where noise and electromagnetic interference concerns must be thoroughly addressed,” said Curtis Donahue, Senior Manager, Ethernet Technologies UNH-IOL. “Ethernet is established as the base solution for advanced automotive applications, such as self-driving cars and assuring reliable network interconnectivity. Launching the 1000BASE-T1 test service at the UNH-IOL sets the stage for allowing silicon vendors and Tier 1 automotive suppliers to streamline product developments and advance technologies that will help drive further innovation in the industry.”

Monday, January 15, 2018

Pony.ai raises $112M for autonomous driving - former Baidu and Google X

Pony.ai, a start-up based in Fremont, California with R&D in Beijing, announced $112 million in venture funding for its autonomous driving solutions.

The Series A funding was co-led by Morningside Venture Capital and Legend Capital. Seed round lead-investor Sequoia China and investor IDG Capital also participated in the round, along with Hongtai Capital, Legend Star, Puhua Capital, Polaris Capital, DCM Ventures, Comcast Ventures, Silicon Valley Future Capital and other funding sources. Miracle Capital was the exclusive financial advisor in this round.

Pony.ai is headed by James Peng, co-founder and CEO, who was previously Chief Architect at Baidu, where he oversaw the technical direction of the autonomous driving division and other key areas such as big data and monetization platforms. Dr. Peng started his career at Google after earning a PhD from Stanford University, and he also holds a BS degree from Tsinghua University. Tiancheng Lou, co-founder and CTO, worked on autonomous driving at both Google X (before it became Waymo) and Baidu.  Dr. Lou holds a BS and PhD in Computer Science from Tsinghua University.

Pony.ai is developing level 4 autonomous driving technology. Its test vehicles are already running on Bay area roads.

Pony.ai said it is also making considerable progress in Guangzhou, China, where it began testing its fleet of autonomous driving vehicles on public roads this past December.

“We are excited and honored to welcome our new group of investors to the team and are grateful for their support!” says co-founder and CEO, James Peng. “Autonomous driving has the potential to bring about massive benefits to society, and we hope to work closely with our outstanding investors to realize this future.” Co-founder and CTO, Tiancheng Lou, adds: “We very much look forward to working with our investors to achieve our mission of bringing the safest and the most reliable autonomous driving technology to market!”

Sunday, January 14, 2018

DENSO invests in ActiveScaler for #AI-powered fleet management

DENSO, one of the world’s largest automotive suppliers, has a significant seed investment in ActiveScaler, a start-up based in Milpitas, California that is developing Managed MaaS (Mobility-as-a-Service) systems powered by artificial intelligence. Financial terms were not disclosed.

ActiveScaler's website says its FleetFactor AI-powered software leverages thousands of data points collected from a variety of sources such as internal vehicle data, in-vehicle computers, sensors, driver behavior, CRM/ERP, finance, dispatch and other systems.

"DENSO’s focus is to develop technologies that advance the future of mobility, and enable connected and automated driving," said Yoshifumi Kato, Senior Executive Director at DENSO Corporation. "These technologies directly influence the development of MaaS systems, which will disrupt the future of urban mobility for people and goods by making transportation solutions more seamless and accessible."

"We want to be the engine behind the future of MaaS – hence the term “Managed MaaS”, which will transform current fleet businesses to provide next generation mobility services," said Abhay Jain, CEO of ActiveScaler. "Traditional fleet management services and systems are quickly becoming obsolete because of issues like high upfront software and hardware costs, poor ecosystem integration, and lack of flexibility, which are limiting the type and quality of services that can be offered.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

First Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) trials planned for Japan

The first Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) trials in Japan will get underway this year with participation from NTT DOCOMO, Nissan, OKI, Continental, Ericsson and Qualcomm.

The testing will focus on the range, reliability and latency benefits of C-V2X direct communications operated in 5 GHz band. Additionally, the C-V2X trials are designed to demonstrate the complementary benefits of network-based communications utilizing LTE-Advanced (LTE-A).

C-V2X provides non-line-of-sight (NLOS) low latency awareness with longer range than Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) sensors, such as radar, lidar, and camera systems. It is to extend a vehicle's ability to see, hear and communicate further down the road, even at blind intersections, while complementing ADAS sensors.

C-V2X was defined by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) in their Release 14 specifications.

The C-V2X trial is expected to begin in 2018. Several use cases are planned, including: Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V), Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) and Vehicle-to-Pedestrian (V2P) direct communications, as well as Vehicle-to-Network (V2N) operations over cellular network-based wide area communications with cloud access.

Some highlights:

  • Continental will utilize the Qualcomm C-V2X Reference Design, which features the Qualcomm® 9150 C-V2X chipset with integrated Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) capability to build connected car systems and integrate the systems into Nissan vehicles. 
  • Nissan will perform V2X use case selection and develop test scenarios with key performance indicators (KPIs) for C-V2X technology validation. 
  • OKI will bring their expertise in roadside unit (RSU) infrastructure and applications to demonstrate V2I as a viable technology for advanced traffic applications by integrating the Qualcomm 9150 C-V2X chipset into their RSU. 
  • Ericsson will join the V2N use case discussion involving the combination of direct communication and LTE-A network technologies. 
  • NTT DOCOMO will provide LTE-A network and V2N applications to demonstrate the benefits of the complementary use of network-based communications for a variety of advanced automotive informational safety use cases.

"The C-V2X solution is unique in that it, within a common technology and eco-system, offers both network-based and direct communication for V2X services. With the network-based communication, there is a possibility to provide traffic safety and traffic efficiency services utilizing already existing coverage and penetration of cellular modems and smartphones. It also provides connectivity to various cloud-based services, providing a range of applications and value-added services. In these trials, all stakeholders are present to showcase the strength of the complete solution covering both connectivity and different applications. Ericsson is contributing with leading 4G, 5G radio, and network expertise and by leveraging our understanding of the IoT ecosystem," said Erik Ekudden, chief technology officer at Ericsson.

"This collaborative project will bring together the invaluable knowledge and experience of world leaders in the automotive and telecom domains, and will it be imperative for all parties to underpin their roles in the era of connected cars toward improved road safety and comfort. NTT DOCOMO is determined that our experience in telecommunications systems will be indispensable to maximize the values of C-V2X. This project will set a clear path toward connected cars and roads of the future that materialize the power of C-V2X," said Hiroshi Nakamura, Chief Technology Officer at NTT DOCOMO.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Molex intros 10G Automotive Ethernet Network

Molex introduced its 10G Automotive Ethernet Network for connected and autonomous vehicles.

The Molex 10 Gbps Automotive Ethernet Network connects Electronic Control Units (ECUs) throughout a vehicle. It offers secure over-the-air software and firmware updates and diagnostics over IP (DoIP) to help avoid the need for vehicle recalls and enabling in-vehicle security and diagnostics over IP.  Molex said its platform is compatible with existing network components provides OEMs the design flexibility to accommodate different vehicle profiles and integrate evolving new technologies.

Aquantia partnership - The Molex 10 Gbps Automotive Ethernet Network incorporates an Aquantia chip optimized for Multi-Gig Ethernet to support data transfers between Electronic Control Units (ECU).

“The collaboration with Aquantia supports fast, reliable connectivity to keep data flowing smoothly and securely within a vehicle and beyond to the cloud,” said Bill Fitzer, vice president and general manager, connected mobility solutions, ‎Molex. “Our 10 Gbps Ethernet platform delivers seamless end-to-end V2X connectivity and superior signal integrity in intelligent vehicles and autonomous driving.”

Excelfore partnership - Molex is working with Silicon Valley-based Excelfore, which provides innovative middleware solutions for in-vehicle and vehicle-to-cloud smart mobility networks. A demonstration at CES shows how Excelfore solutions integrated with the Molex 10 Gbps Ethernet Automotive Network enable over-the-air (OTA) diagnostics, firmware and software updates to different automotive devices, from different vendors, running different operating systems, across multiple networks.

AllGo Systems partnership - Molex and AllGo Systems have teamed up to develop advanced infotainment systems for intelligent connected vehicles. AllGo's OTG and Media Solutions support iPhones and Android phones, and distributed media playback to other smart devices within the car. At CES 2018, Molex and AllGo are demonstrating OTG Hubs and Media Modules incorporating AllGo solutions for wired and wireless infotainment in automotive cockpit systems. Demonstrations will include an OTG Hub running Apple CarPlay over USB, and Android Auto 8.0 and QNX on the head unit and digital instrument cluster. An OTG Hub and Adaptor enable the head unit to support CarPlay in either USB Device or Host mode. An AllGo Video Streaming Solution enables seamless media sharing between cluster, head unit and network storage device. High-resolution navigation data is streamed from the head unit running Android to a digital instrument cluster running QNX. Running in parallel, 4K high-resolution content is streamed from a network storage device to the head unit and played back on a secondary display.

Microchip partnership - Molex and Microchip Technology Inc. are collaborating on the development of integrated USB Media Modules and USB Power Delivery Solutions for automotive infotainment systems. The work focuses on the increasing number of USB ports in vehicles, and how USB can deliver more power and bring driver assistance applications to the head unit display.

Blackberry partnerhip - Molex is working to integrate BlackBerry's security solutions with its 10 Gbps Ethernet Automotive Networking platform. The collaboration leverages:

  • BlackBerry QNX Neutrino SDP 7.0 RTOS, which provides high performance and enhanced kernel-level security through an array of features including microkernel architecture, file encryption, adaptive time partitioning, a high-availability framework, anomaly detection, and multi-level policy-based access control. 
  • BlackBerry Certicom's Managed PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) Service, to securely provision, authenticate, and communicate between modules and other vehicle ECUs and peripheral devices connected to the network. In-vehicle connections can be made via Ethernet IP-based devices or LIN, CAN, USB, and other supported legacy communication protocols. As part of the PKI, BlackBerry Certicom is providing an efficient and powerful Elliptic-Curve Cryptography (ECC) solution that can also be extended to communications between the vehicle systems and the cloud.


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Ford partners with Qualcomm on C-V2X - cellular vehicle-to-everything

Qualcomm and Ford are collaborating on the development of advanced connectivity systems for vehicles using Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) technology.

C-V2X is designed to allow vehicles to directly communicate with other vehicles, pedestrian devices, and roadside infrastructure, such as traffic signs and construction zones, without the involvement of a cellular network, or cellular network subscription.

C-V2X field validations are expected to begin in 1H 2018 in San Diego, along with additional trials in Detroit.

Qualcomm's first C-V2X chipset is expected to be commercially available the second half of 2018.

Qualcomm and Ford are also working on automotive telematics platforms with integrated Qualcomm Snapdragon LTE modems.

"Our goal is to provide the smartest and best connected, human-centered experiences for our customers around the world," said Don Butler, Ford Motor Company. "Ford and Qualcomm Technologies believes that C-V2X holds great potential for the cars of the future. We're excited to prove its ability to create a more connected environment where people can move more freely."

Cisco develops 1 Gbps in-vehicle network with Hyundai

Cisco has teamed up with Hyundai for the production of a hyperconnected car.

A key innovation is the use of a Software Defined Vehicle (SDV) architecture -- an in-vehicle, 1 Gbps Ethernet network with integrated, multi-layer security and allowing for sensor integration. It will also enable new, high-speed services through an integration layer between software and legacy hardware. The in-vehicle network w

The development of first-generation solutions to enable 1Gbps Ethernet. This will significantly increase the in-vehicle bandwidth. The solutions will provide flexibility, lower costs, and improved security. By enabling IP and Ethernet services, legacy buses and devices will work together with the new Ethernet attached devices and services.

Hyundai will feature this new in-vehicle network in their premium 2019 vehicles. 

Ruba Borno, Vice President, Growth Initiatives and Chief of Staff to CEO, Cisco: “Cisco is pleased to bring a standards-based approach in partnership with the automotive industry; one that will help accelerate innovation and increase the value to the consumer. By creating a flexible, scalable, and secure platform, we are allowing automotive companies to deliver better cars – faster.”

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Didi Chuxing opens Silicon Valley Lab

Didi Chuxing, the leading ride sharing service in China, opened a U.S. research facility in Mountain View, California.  The offices encompass 36,000 square feet and offer capacity for more than 200 employees.

DiDi Labs, which was officially launched in March 2017, focuses on AI-based security and intelligent driving technologies.

Bob Zhang, CTO of Didi Chuxing, said at the campus opening, “It’s been an exciting year for DiDi Labs. Our talented team is growing fast and making important contributions across our key tech areas, from smart-city transportation management, AI ride-matching, to security and new product innovation. ”

Didi Chuxing now has over 450 million users and is handling over 25 million daily rides.

DiDi acquired Uber China in August 2016.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

DOCOMO and Sumitomo Electric test real-time traffic monitoring with 5G

Sumitomo Electric Industries and NTT DOCOMO are looking to 5G to power the real-time collection and delivery of traffic information using high-definition sensors.

Tests, which are being conducted at a course within the Yokohama Works of Sumitomo Electric, use sensors installed along the course and in vehicles.
Traffic information is analyzed in real time and then fed back to drivers and pedestrians.

The vehicles are also equipped with DOCOMO 5G terminals that communicate with DOCOMO 5G base stations at the course.

Sumitomo Electric and DOCOMO will continue to develop their advanced driving-assistance system based on 5G mobile communications.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

New Automotive Edge Computing Consortium Gets Underway

A new Automotive Edge Computing Consortium is being organized with a mission to develop an ecosystem for connected cars to support emerging services such as intelligent driving, the creation of maps with real-time data and driving assistance based on cloud computing.

Founding members include DENSO, Ericsson, Intel, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT), NTT DOCOMO, Toyota InfoTechnology Center Co., and Toyota Motor Corp.

The organizers said thet plan focus on increasing network capacity to accommodate automotive big data in a reasonable fashion between vehicles and the cloud by means of edge computing and more efficient network design.

The consortium will define requirements and develop use cases for emerging mobile devices with a particular focus on the automotive industry, bringing them to standards bodies, industry consortiums and solution providers. The consortium will also encourage the development of best practices for the distributed and layered computing approach recommended by the members.

https://www.ericsson.com/en/news/2017/8/consortium-for-automotive-big-data


Monday, March 13, 2017

Intel to Acquire Mobileye for $15.3 Billion - Automated Driving

Intel agreed to acquire Mobileye, a developer of machine vision systems for automated driving, for $63.54 per share in cash, representing a fully-diluted equity value of approximately $15.3 billion and an enterprise value of $14.7 billion. The acquisition will couple the best-in-class technologies from both companies, including Intel’s high-performance computing and connectivity expertise and Mobileye’s leading computer vision expertise to create automated driving solutions from the cloud through the network to the car.

Mobileye, which is based in Israel, claims the leading market position in computer vision for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). Its portfolio includes surround vision, sensor fusion, mapping, and driving policy products. Mobileye's EyeQ chips are already installed in ~16M vehicles as of 2016. Its upcoming EyeQ4 and EyeQ5 chips for Level 3/4 autonomous driving programs go into production in 2018 and 2020 respectively. Mobileye currently has OEM relationships with GM, VW, Honda, BMW, PSA, Audi, Kia, Nissan, Volvo, Ford, Renault, Chrysler, SAIC and Hyundai. Mobileye reported 2016 revenue of $358 million and gross margin of 76%.  The company has approximately 660 employees.

Intel said the merger will accelerate innovation for the automotive industry and position Intel as a leading technology provider in the fast-growing market for highly and fully autonomous vehicles.  Intel estimates the vehicle systems, data and services market opportunity to be up to $70 billion by 2030.

“This acquisition is a great step forward for our shareholders, the automotive industry and consumers,” said Brian Krzanich, Intel CEO. “Intel provides critical foundational technologies for autonomous driving including plotting the car’s path and making real-time driving decisions. Mobileye brings the industry’s best automotive-grade computer vision and strong momentum with automakers and suppliers. Together, we can accelerate the future of autonomous driving with improved performance in a cloud-to-car solution at a lower cost for automakers."

Intel also noted that it expects by 2020 autonomous vehicles will generate 4,000 GB of data per day.

http://intelandmobileye.transactionannouncement.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Intel-to-Acquire-Mobileye-.pdf

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

OpenSynergy Develops Automotive Safety Hypervisor for ARM Cortex-R52

OpenSynergy, a developer of automotive software based in Berlin, is working on a software hypervisor for the ARM Cortex-R52 processor. The hypervisor turns any chip based on the Cortex-R52 into several virtual machines capable of simultaneously executing separate software tasks.

ARM said this allows for the isolation of safety-critical functions from those that require less stringent control. In addition, it enables the consolidation of applications onto fewer electronic control units (ECUs) to both manage complexity and reduce cost.  Target applications include autonomous vehicles and industrial control systems.

"Mass-market autonomous vehicles will be engineered with greatly enhanced ECU compute capabilities and the ability to safely manage far more complex software stacks," said Richard York, vice president of embedded marketing, ARM. "The Cortex-R52 was purpose-built for this task, with hypervisor-enabled software separation protecting critical safety features while ensuring fast task execution. This will enable highly performant vehicles that can be fully trusted to take over from the driver."

"The ARM Cortex-R52 processor will bring virtualization technology to a much wider set of devices in the automotive market," said Stefaan Sonck Thiebaut, CEO, OpenSynergy. "In doing so, we look forward to enabling the next generation of vehicle architecture."

https://www.arm.com/about/newsroom/automotive-safety-hypervisor-announced-for-arm-cortex-r52.php

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

SiTime Delivers Automotive MEMS Oscillators

SiTime introduced two families of AEC-Q100-qualified MEMS oscillators that offer a combination of the widest frequency range, tightest stability at ±20 ppm and the best reliability.

The SiT2024/25 and SiT8924/25 oscillators are designed for ASIL (Automotive Safety Integrity Level) compliant automotive applications such as advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), in-vehicle Ethernet, powertrain and electronic control units (ECUs).

The new MEMS-based oscillators are available in a SOT23-5 leaded package to enable visual inspection and the best solder joint reliability, especially in hot and cold environments. The SiT8924/25 oscillators, available in industry-standard QFN footprints as small as 2.0 x 1.6 mm, are ideal for camera modules and other small form factor systems.

Some highlights:

  • SiTime’s automotive oscillators are 30 times more robust than quartz oscillators and deliver the following features and benefits.
  • AEC-Q100 qualified, Grade 1 (-40°C to +125°C), Grade 2 (-40°C to +105°C) and extended temperature range (-55°C to +125°C)
  • SiT2024/2025: SOT23-5 leaded package for best board-level solder-joint reliability and ease-of-use in manufacturing and test
  • SiT8924/8925: Five package options in industry-standard oscillator footprints
  • Excellent frequency stability at ±20 ppm for best timing margin
  • Highest reliability at over 1 billion hours MTBF (< 1 FIT)
  • Best shock resistance at 50,000 g
  • Best vibration resistance at 70 g
  • Lowest vibration sensitivity (g-sensitivity) at 0.1 ppb/g
  • Widest frequency range of 1 to 137 MHz with 6 decimal places of accuracy
  • Unique, programmable output drive strength for EMI reduction
  • Supply voltage options of 1.8V, 2.5 to 3.3V


“The automotive industry is going through a massive transformation, with new features such as advanced safety and driver assistance systems, electrification, automation and real-time big data analytics. The usage of electronic components in automobiles is increasing rapidly and requires stringent levels of quality, reliability and performance,” said Piyush Sevalia, executive vice president of marketing at SiTime. “MEMS technologies are playing a significant role in this transformation. SiTime is leveraging our revolutionary silicon MEMS, advanced analog technology and standard semiconductor packaging to provide unique timing solutions that deliver the highest reliability and dynamic performance under extreme temperatures, shock and vibration.”

Separately, SiTime also announced that its Elite Platform Super-TCXOs were named the Product of the Year by Electronic Products. The Elite Platform Super-TCXOs, which are designed for timing in telecom and networking equipment, deliver 30 times better dynamic performance, 10 times better dynamic stability, and 20 times better vibration resistance (g sensitivity).

http://www.sitime.com
https://www.sitime.com/news/635-sitimes-automotive-mems-oscillators-deliver-30-times-better-robustness

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Intel and HERE Work on HD Mapping with Centimeter Precision

Intel will acquire a 15 percent ownership stake in HERE, a developer of digital maps and location-based services based in the Netherlands. HERE is a private company, which is indirectly wholly owned by AUDI AG, BMW AG and Daimler AG.

Intel and HERE will collaborate on the research and development of a highly scalable proof-of-concept architecture that supports real-time updates of high definition (HD) maps for highly and fully automated driving. Additionally, the two companies plan to jointly explore strategic opportunities that result from enriching edge-computing devices with location data.

Intel will also work with AUDI AG, BMW AG and Daimler AG to test the architecture. Intel and HERE envision making the architecture broadly available across the automotive industry as a seamlessly integrated offering that simplifies and shortens time of development for automakers.

The companies said future HD mapping will support vehicle localization to within centimeters, enabling vehicles precisely position themselves on the roadway to enable reliable autonomous driving functionality.

“Cars are rapidly becoming some of the world’s most intelligent, connected devices,” said Brian Krzanich, Intel CEO. “We look forward to working with HERE and its automotive partners to deliver an important technology foundation for smart and connected cars of the future.”

“A real-time, self-healing and high-definition representation of the physical world is critical for autonomous driving, and achieving this will require significantly more powerful and capable in-vehicle compute platforms,” said Edzard Overbeek, HERE CEO. “As a premier silicon provider, Intel can help accelerate HERE’s ambitions in this area by supporting the creation of a universal, always up-to-date digital location platform that spans the vehicle, the cloud and everything else connected.”

http://www.intel.com

See also