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

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Sumitomo Electric to deliver Aquantia's automotive Multi-Gig Ethernet

Sumitomo Electric Industries and Aquantia announced a strategic partnership for Sumitomo Electric to deliver Aquantia's Multi-Gig Ethernet connectivity products to global manufacturers of autonomous vehicles.

The products, Sumitomo Electric connectors, cables and subsystem capabilities combined with Aquantia AQcelerate automotive PHYs, are targeted at In-Vehicle Networks (IVNs) that enable new levels of autonomous driving. The agreement will allow the two companies to co-develop new capabilities for Aquantia AQcelerate devices that meet the needs of Sumitomo Electric’s global customers.

“By including Aquantia’s Multi-Gig capabilities with our automotive product offerings, Sumitomo Electric is making a landmark contribution to the autonomous vehicle ecosystem,” said Toshiaki Kakii, Managing Executive Officer of Sumitomo Electric. “A Multi-Gig IVN ensures the highest level of safety for drivers, passengers and anyone else sharing the road. Autonomous driving requires massive amounts of data transfers within the vehicle, and the combination of Sumitomo Electric and Aquantia will help make it seamless for Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) customers to create a safe, enjoyable in-car experience.”

Aquantia intros automotive Ethernet portfolio- multi-gig over copper

Aquantia, which is known for its multi-gig Ethernet over copper PHY technologies, introduced an automotive networking portfolio and announced a collaboration with NVIDIA to provide Multi-Gig networking support for the NVIDIA DRIVE Xavier and DRIVE Pegasus platforms.

The market for automotive Ethernet could be many times larger than the data center, enterprise and access segments where multi-gig Ethernet-over-copper used today. Future vehicles, especially Level 4/5 autonomous vehicles, will require high-performance onboard networks to connect cameras, sensors, and displays with GPUs and CPUs.

Level 4/5 requirements include multiple high-resolution videos cameras, some of which are expected to be up to 4K60p at 20-bit resolution requiring full 10 Gbps connectivity. The network must be secure and redundant. It must also use reliable and low-cost cabling. For these reasons, Aquantia believes its multi-gig Ethernet over copper technologies are best suited for the task.

Aquantia's AQcelerate Automotive product line includes the following devices, which all support data rates up to 10GbE:
  • The AQV107 Multi-Gig PHY
  • The AQVC107 PCIe Multi-Gig MAC+PHY Ethernet controller
  • The AQVC100 PCIe Multi-Gig controller (MAC only)

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Molex showcases Enhanced Automotive Ethernet Network Platform

Molex will showcase the next evolution of its 10 Gbps Automotive Ethernet Network Platform at this week's annual Automotive Ethernet Congress (AEC) in Munich, Germany.

At the system’s core is the Molex gateway, a secure networking hub that aggregates and processes data from all domains and devices, seamlessly integrating multiple hardware and software systems as well as legacy automotive protocols.

Molex’s multi-layered security approach includes enhanced hypervisor capabilities that allow the platform to run multiple virtual machines and applications simultaneously, giving automakers more flexibility, while also providing powerful encryption and certification technology for a more layered and secure network. Safety enhancements include new multi-zone, fail-functional, and redundancy capabilities. The reliable interface necessary to seamlessly connect the high-bandwidth, data-intensive applications is the Molex HSAutoGig high-speed Ethernet cabling solution designed for greater vehicle autonomy, delivering best-in-class 20 Gbps+ data speeds.

“We are deeply committed to a leadership role addressing increased demand for a high-bandwidth end-to-end Ethernet-based open architecture solution,” stated Alex Bormuth, director of business development for the German market, Molex. “The next evolution of our Ethernet-based platform delivers fast and reliable data transmission, support for IP protocols, network traffic prioritization, and stringent security protocols that are all essential to designing next-generation intelligent, autonomous and connected vehicles.”

Monday, January 21, 2019

Toshiba expands line of automotive Ethernet ICs

Toshiba Electronic Devices & Storage expanded its lineup of automotive Ethernet bridge portfolio with new “TC9562 series” ICs. Sample shipments will start in February, and volume production will start in October.

The Ethernet AVB specification offers real-time reliable data transmission and is increasingly used in vehicles. Toshiba currently offers the TC9560 series of Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000Mbps) solutions compliant with IEEE 802.1AS[3] and IEEE 802.1Qav.

https://toshiba.semicon-storage.com/ap-en/product/automotive/interface-bridge.html

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Baraja raises $32 million for Spectrum-Scan LiDAR

Baraja, a start-up based in Sydney, with offices in San Francisco and China, announced $32 million in Series A funding for its Spectrum-Scan LiDAR for autonomous vehicles.

In July, Baraja launched a novel LiDAR system that uses prism-like optics and shifting wavelengths of light. By changing the wavelength of the laser, the system can scan different angles instantaneously. The design eliminates the need for spinning lasers.

The funding was provided by Sequoia China, Blackbird Ventures, and the CSIRO Innovation Fund managed by Main Sequence Ventures.

“As Baraja ramps up manufacturing capabilities, we are well-positioned to capitalize on growing demand for scalable, high-performance LiDAR that can realistically be integrated into vehicles,” said Rod Lopez, Baraja COO. “We are very proud of the depth of talent and maturity in our manufacturing capabilities, and our recent attainment of ISO 9001 certification.”

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Cambridge Mobile Telematics announces $500M backing from Softbank

Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT), which is known for its DriveWell platform used by insurers, fleet operators, cellular carriers, and large entreprises to measure driving risk, announced a $500 million investment from the SoftBank Vision Fund.

CMT, which is located steps from the MIT campus, said the investment will boost its growth in automated crash and claims management, video analytics, and safety for emerging vehicle and mobility systems. The investment is subject to regulatory approval.

“CMT is breaking new ground in the application of telematics, machine learning, and behavioral analytics to solve challenging problems in insurance and safety,” said Akshay Naheta, Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers. “CMT is uniquely positioned to help insurers develop the insights to better support customers and advance their operations, while promoting long-term improvements in driving standards around the world.”

“Over the past few years, the DriveWell platform has helped make roads safer by making drivers better in a world where crashes are rising due to factors like distracted driving,” said Hari Balakrishnan, CMT’s Chairman and CTO, who founded CMT with Bill Powers (CEO) and Sam Madden (Chief Scientist). “Our rapid growth has been fueled by a culture that values collaboration with our customers and invests in research to improve our solutions and develop new products. This partnership with the Vision Fund is the start of the next stage of our journey to bring safe mobility solutions for people and goods at massive scale.”

CMT has pioneered many innovations since its inception, in 2010, from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab. CMT deployed the first service to efficiently gather and process sensory data from phones for auto insurance (2012), use phone sensors to measure phone distraction (2013), and induce better driving with gamification (2014). Together, these innovations created the category of “behavior-based insurance”, also known as “mobile usage-based insurance”. Results from the field are compelling: the driving feedback, rewards, and contests delivered via the DriveWell platform reduce phone distraction by 35% on average with 30 days, and at-risk speeding and hard braking by 20%. These improvements lead to significant measurable reductions in crashes and insurance claims.
  • 2010 - company conceived at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab
  • 2012 -  first service to efficiently gather and process sensory data from phones for auto insurance
  • 2013 - first use phone sensors to measure phone distraction
  • 2014 - first use of phone sensors for better driving with gamification 
  • 2014 - introduced its DriveWell Tag, the first fully wireless “Internet of Things” (IoT) device to measure vehicle dynamics for actuarial scoring and for real-time impact alerts with roadside assistance
  • 2018 - CMT shipped its 6 millionth Tag. 


http://www.CMTelematics.com

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Molex advances its 10 Gbps Automotive Ethernet Network Platform

Molex introduced the next evolution of its award-winning 10 Gbps Automotive Ethernet Network Platform designed to support OEMs in the development and design of autonomous vehicles.

The Molex HSAutoGig high-speed Ethernet solution is designed for greater vehicle autonomy, delivering 20 Gbps+ data speeds with a reliable interface necessary to seamlessly connect smart-sensor systems and Ethernet network platforms. The high-speed HFM FAKRA Mini Coaxial Cable Solution is designed to perform up to 20 GHz supporting autonomous and connected vehicle technologies.

Molex said it is investing in the connected mobility ecosystem through internal innovation and ongoing and new collaborations with the automotive industry’s best-in-class technology service and solution providers including Accenture, Allgo, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Aquantia, BlackBerry (QNX and Certicom), Broadcom, Cypress, Excelfore, Laird CVS, Microchip, Texas Instruments, and Rosenberger.

Molex’s multi-layered security approach includes enhanced hypervisor capabilities that allows the platform to run multiple virtual machines and applications simultaneously, giving automakers more flexibility, while also providing powerful encryption and certification technology for a more layered and secure network. Safety enhancements include new multi-zone, fail-functional, and redundancy capabilities.

Molex USB Hubs and Media Modules support wired and wireless device-to-vehicle connectivity needs,including USB Type C. The advanced design considers cascading USB hubs via USB and Ethernet to optimize multiple devices connecting from the front to the back of the car.

“In close collaboration with our OEM customers, we translated the need for a safe, secure, reliable and connected vehicle foundation into a high-performance computing network on wheels. By integrating features such as signal integrity, network traffic prioritization, system scalability and security, we have ensured that our solution addresses the demand for more in-vehicle processing power while helping automakers redefine what’s possible for autonomous vehicle technology,” states Dave Atkinson, director of business development, Molex.

https://www.molex.com

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Broadcom samples Automotive Gigabit-capable PHY, Secure Switch and Smart Camera MCU

Broadcom expanded its portfolio of automotive Ethernet devices designed to advance in-vehicle connectivity, infotainment, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and smart mobility. The launch includes:

  • 100BASE-T1 / 1000BASE-T1 Ethernet PHY: BCM8988x
  • 100BASE-T1 / 1000BASE-T1 switches with full security: BCM8955x
  • Camera MCU with computer vision functionality: BCM8910x

Broadcom says Ethernet has become the de-facto networking technology for connecting various electronic systems in the car, such as body electronics, infotainment, and ADAS. High speed Ethernet links are essential in getting endpoints such as cameras, RADAR and LIDAR to transfer large amounts of data across the network for accurate real time decision making.

“We are excited to be leading the next evolution of in-vehicle connectivity and networking. Broadcom has been instrumental in developing the automotive One Pair Ethernet technology and ecosystem from inception. As new technologies make inroads into vehicles, Ethernet will play a crucial role in the next wave of automotive applications. Our latest offering of Gigabit capable portfolio and our continued efforts to define next generation PHY technologies, is empowering auto manufacturers to bring new innovations to next generation connected vehicles,” said Ali Abaye, senior director of marketing of the Physical Layer Products Division at Broadcom.

To date, Broadcom has shipped more than 50 million automotive 100BASE-T1 BroadR-Reach PHY and switch Ethernet ports.

Monday, September 3, 2018

NXP acquires OmniPHY for automotive Ethernet

NXP Semiconductors has acquired OmniPHY, a provider of automotive Ethernet subsystem technology. Financial terms were not disclosed.

NXP said OmniPHY's interface IP and communication technology along with NXP’s own automotive portfolio will form a “one-stop shop” for automotive Ethernet. The companies’ technology synergies will center on 1.25-28Gbps PHY designs and 10-, 100- and 1000BASE-T1 Ethernet in advanced processes.

“Our heritage in vehicle networks is rich and with our leadership positions in CAN, LIN, and FlexRay, we hold a unique viewpoint on automotive networks,” said Alexander E. Tan, vice president and general manager of Automotive Ethernet Solutions, NXP. “The team and technology from OmniPHY give us the missing piece in an extensive high-bandwidth networking portfolio.”

"We are very excited to join NXP – a leader in automotive electronics, for a front-row seat to the autonomous driving revolution, one that will deliver profound change to the way people live,” said Ritesh Saraf, CEO of OmniPHY. “The combination of our teams and technology will accelerate and advance the delivery of automotive Ethernet solutions providing our customers with high quality and world-class automotive Ethernet innovation."

Friday, August 3, 2018

Audi looks at 5G for enhancing its production facilities

Audi is evaluating 5G as a future-proof communication technology that can meet the high demands of automotive production. Audi and Ericsson have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and in the coming months, experts from both companies will run field tests in a technical center of the “Audi Production Lab” in Gaimersheim, Germany.

Frank Loydl, Chief Information Officer at AUDI AG, says: “The fully networked factory will have a significant impact on the production of the future. A powerful network architecture that can respond in real time is of decisive importance for us. As part of the project with our partner Ericsson, we are testing the opportunities offered by 5G technology for industrial applications in the smart factory.”

In addition to the Ingolstadt plant, Audi and Ericsson are exploring whether 5G can be used in other Audi Group factories.

Erik Ekudden, Group CTO at Ericsson, says: “Ericsson is already running 5G industry programs all over the world to help manufacturers boost productivity and create new business opportunities. This project is a great opportunity to see what is possible when we bring 5G into an automobile production environment to truly enable smart wireless manufacturing.”

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Baidu integrates Intel's Mobileye into its autonomous vehicle project

Baidu will integrate Mobileye’s Responsibility Sensitive Safety (RSS) model in its open source Project Apollo and in its commercial Apollo Pilot programs. Baidu will also adopt Mobileye’s Surround Computer Vision Kit.

RSS is an open and transparent formal model that provides safety assurance of AV decision-making. RSS does this by formalizing common sense human-centered concepts of what it means to drive safely. Examples: always maintain a safe following distance and right-of-way is given but not taken.

The Mobileye Surround View Camera kit includes 12 cameras positioned around the vehicle plus Mobileye's computer vision (CV) hardware and software, which leverages the cameras combined view into a unified and comprehensive CV solution for autonomous cars.

“Our team recognizes the value and critical role that Mobileye’s RSS model plays in safely deploying autonomous driving. Project Apollo will integrate RSS to successfully enable safe driving today, and drive further autonomous research on China’s roadways,” stated Weihao Gu, general manager of Baidu’s Intelligent Driving Unit.

https://www.mobileye.com

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Nuro tests its autonomous vehicles for grocery delivery

Nuro, a start-up based in Mountain View, California, will work with Kroger, one the largest grocery store chains in the U.S., to test a fully-autonomous vehicle for home delivery service.

Nuro said this is the the first application test for its autonomous vehicle hardware and software. The pilot testing is expected to begin this fall.

"Unmanned delivery will be a game-changer for local commerce, and together with Kroger, we're thrilled to test this new delivery experience to bring grocery customers new levels of convenience and value," said Dave Ferguson, Co-Founder, Nuro. "

https://nuro.ai/

Monday, April 23, 2018

Molex and Rosenberger sign dual-sourcing agreement for automotive coaxial connectors

Molex and Rosenberger have signed a dual-sourcing agreement allowing Molex to produce High-Speed FAKRA-Mini automotive coaxial connectors based on the Rosenberger HFM design, which support data rates up to 20 Gbps. Rosenberger HFM FAKRA-Mini system is designed for a range of existing and future automotive applications, such as advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), navigation, infotainment and intelligent connected vehicles.

With the dual sourcing agreement, the companies provide a high-quality, high-speed, cost-optimized intermateable interface with identical mechanical and electrical performance and features. The solution delivers seamless backward compatibility for the automotive market.

“Molex is excited to collaborate with Rosenberger to launch the dual-sourced HFM solution that enables high-speed data transmission fundamental to connected vehicle technology,” said Ryan Price, networking segment director, Molex. “Our shared vision is to deliver a high value, cost effective solution that provides design flexibility and backward compatibility.”

“Ensuring safety is the ultimate priority of ADAS and autonomous driving systems, and HFM connectors play a key role in processing the high data volumes from cameras, sensors, navigation sources and other external objects in real time,” said Dr. Tosja Zywietz, CEO, Rosenberger. “We are pleased to collaborate with Molex on making this next-generation coax connector widely available to the automotive industry as a quasi standard.”

https://www.molex.com/automotive



Aquantia partnership - The Molex 10 Gbps Automotive Ethernet Network incorporates an Aquantia chip optimized for Multi-Gig 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Nokia and KDDI test 4G LTE connected vehicles in Japan

Nokia and KDDI have conducted a series of tests in Japan to assess the use of 4G LTE for low-latency connectivity for vehicles.

For the proof-of-concept trials in Japan, Nokia and KDDI focused on vehicle to network use case and used non-integrated systems in cars interacting with sensors via the Nokia Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) platform, which enables significantly reduced network latency.

The testing included LTE broadcast, implementing the evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service standard in two connected car applications, and demonstrating the potential of cellular technology to enable fully automated driving in the future.

Nokia said its evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast service (eMBMS) hotspot solution allowed real-time information to be shared with multiple vehicles to enable awareness and road safety. The companies compared the efficiency of using LTE broadcast to the one-to-one communication enabled by LTE unicast, in two connected car applications:


  • Vehicle-to-network-to-vehicle (V2N2V) - in which cars maintained constant contact with the MEC system, sending real-time location, direction and speed data to roadside sensors. In an emergency situation, the driver can alert the application, with information distributed to other vehicles using eMBMS.
  • Network Real-Time Kinematic (network RTK) -trial of LTE to enhance fully automated in-vehicle navigation. It showed how eMBMS could more cost-efficiently use existing geo-location systems to communicate to many vehicles in real-time and ensure accurate navigation.

The trials were conducted by Nokia and KDDI at a rural location on the Japanese island of Hokkaido.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Ambarella intros next gen CV2 computer vision processor

Ambarella, which specializes in low-power, HD and Ultra HD video processing semiconductors, announced its next generation CV2 computer vision processor, which will provide up to 20 times the computer vision performance of CV1 in a fully-integrated SoC. Key features of the 10nm CV2 Computer Vision SoC:

  • CVflow processor with CNN/deep learning support
  • 4Kp60/8-Megapixel AVC and HEVC encoding with multi-stream support
  • Multi-sensor support for 3-channel electronic mirror and 4-channel AVM systems, multi-channel stereo sensing systems (up to 4 stereo pairs), and multi-imager IP cameras
  • Quad-core 1.2-GHz ARM™ Cortex A53 with NEON DSP extensions and FPU
  • Advanced security features, including OTP for secure boot, TrustZone and IO virtualization
  • Real-time hardware-accelerated 360-degree de-warping and Lens Distortion Correction (LDC) engine

Ambarella also demonstrated a fully autonomous EVA (Embedded Vehicle Autonomy) vehicle on Silicon Valley roads.

Ambarella's autonomous car leverages the company's embedded computer vision processors. The company said its EVA’s high-resolution stereovision cameras deliver the 360-degree short and long distance viewing capability required for advanced perception and precise self-location. EVA includes sensor fusion of the vision information with Radar and map data to provide the information necessary for path planning and merging maneuvers without the need for additional LiDAR systems.

“High resolution 8-Megapixel stereovision combined with superior perception in challenging lighting conditions allows EVA to “see” its surroundings with much higher reliability than was previously possible,” said Professor Alberto Broggi, General Manager of Ambarella Italy. “Moving to an implementation based on dedicated Ambarella CVflow processors brings us much closer to making self-driving cars a practical reality.”

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Marvell integrates its Automotive Ethernet Switch into NVIDIA DRIVE

Marvell confirmed that its 88Q5050 secure automotive Ethernet switch is integrated into the NVIDIA DRIVE Pegasus platform for autonomous vehicles.

Marvell said its secure switch can handle multi-gigabit applications for OEM car manufacturers to deliver an in-car network that supports sensor fusion, cameras, safety and diagnostics. Its switch design employs a deep packet inspection (DPI) engine and trusted boot functionality to ensure a robust level of security. The switch also supports both blacklisting and whitelisting addresses on all its Ethernet ports to further enhance its security especially against denial of service attacks.

The NVIDIA DRIVE Pegasus computing platform has been designed to handle Level 5 driverless vehicles and compute over 320 trillion operations per second. The platform combines deep learning, sensor fusion, and surround vision to understand what’s happening around the vehicle in real-time. The Marvell 88Q5050 layer 2 managed secure IP switch enables the fast and safe transmission of this data for next generation connected vehicles.

“The 88Q5050 is Marvell’s latest addition to the automotive portfolio of wired and wireless network solutions and is designed to prevent malicious attacks or compromises to data streamed in and out of the vehicle. Marvell has over 20 years of Ethernet IP experience and this partnership with NVIDIA demonstrates our continued commitment to innovating and leading in automotive technology. Marvell is excited about the future of automotive and will utilize its extensive portfolio to accelerate the adoption of automotive Ethernet,” said Thomas Lagatta, executive vice president of Sales and Marketing at Marvell.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Microchip Technology unveils MEMS oscillators for automotive

Microchip Technology Inc.unveiled a new DSA family of automotive grade Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) oscillators.

The company says its MEMS devices provide 20 times better reliability, 500 times better tolerance to shock and five times better vibration resistance than traditional quartz-based crystal devices. The DSA family also includes the industry's first multiple output MEMS oscillator, offering customers a solution that can replace multiple crystals or oscillators with one device. The solutions could be used for applications such as Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR), in-vehicle Ethernet and autonomous driving.

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.”

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