Tata Elxsi has created collaboration with the Indian research center of Hyundai Mobis (Mobis), which is the biggest auto part maker of South Korea, to come up with needed 3D software and images. This came since 3D mobile game software will be fully utilised by Mobis to develop autonomous driving system. By end of 2019, simulation program is set to be created, based on the contract with Tata Elxsi. All kinds of driving conditions can be created with high-definition video game images. As a result, Mobis will be able to safely check its cameras as well as carry out more efficient checks.
Japan's Hitachi Automotive Systems announced that its regional headquarters in the People's Republic of China, Hitachi Automotive Systems (China), will organize a booth at the Chongqing International Auto Parts and Service Exhibition 2018, to be held at the Chongqing International Expo Center from 19 September to 21 September 2018. At this expo, Hitachi Automotive Systems (China) will introduce various technologies, including autonomous driving and electrification technologies necessary for achieving next-generation mobility, and system technologies.
Hitachi Automotive Systems established Hitachi Automotive Systems (Chongqing) in Liangjiang New Area, Chongqing City, in April 2016 to address requests for local support from automakers. The company is aiming to expand its business, manly for chassis products.
At the Chongqing International Auto Parts and Service Exhibition 2018, the company's exhibition booth will mainly focus on eco-cars and autonomous driving technologies. A wide range of products and services offered by the Hitachi Automotive Systems Group will be introduced. This includes compact stereo cameras and autonomous driving ECUs that support autonomous driving systems, as well as motors, inverters and other electronic powertrain system technologies and also engine powertrain system technologies, including variable valves.
Swedish bus company Nobina has received the right to expand tests self-driving buses on public roads from the Swedish Transport Agency (Transportstyrelsen). Currently Nobina are testing self-driving buses in Kista but will now expand the trials to Barkarbystaden and a one-day test on 16 September in Kungsträdgården. Nobina's tests are done in collaboration with Stockholm's public transport company SL.
Volvo Trucks has unveiled a self-driving truck called Vera in Berlin. Vera does not have a cockpit and navigates with centimetre precision while connected to a centre which monitors the vehicles position, load and battery. However, Volvo says a truck without a driver won't be on the roads any time soon.
Volvo Cars has gotten the rights from the Swedish Transport Agency (Transportstyrelsen) to test its self-driving cars on Swedish roads. Volvo Cars has the goal of releasing a self-driving car by 2021 and believes that this was an important step to reach that goal.
On 14 September 2018, three self-driving vehicles will be tested for several days in Japan on public roads. The experiment will use three self-driving vehicles that were created by Gunma University. When residents of a local condominium make an online request, the rides will be available from the vehicles. Gunma University will be working with NTT Data for the experiment. The test will also take place on both 17 September and 18 September 2018 in the Toyosu district. The minivans will have laser sensors and cameras that can be used to monitor their surroundings.
In Taiwan, an autonomous driving sub-system technology R&D program was launched by the Ministry of Science and Technology. Possible cooperation partners under the program included Chimei Motor, Lite-On Technology, TungThih Electronic, Hua-Chuang Automobile Information Technical Center and Mobiletron. In the first stage which will span from December 2018 to July 2019, a subsidy of TWD 2mn (EUR 56,118.11 USD 64,901.21) to TWD 3mn will be offered to each of ten academic R&D teams to develop sub-systems such as autonomous control, location and navigation, decision planning and environment sensing. In August 2019, four to five teams will be chosen and will receive annual subsidy of TWD 10mn-20mn annually until July 2022 when the second stage ends.
Japan-based DENSO subsidiary NSITEXE, a developer of key semiconductor components enabling automated driving, announced its investment in US-based ThinCI, an AI hardware startup developing computing platforms. ThinCI's programmable computing architecture can accelerate deep learning, AI and other algorithms relevant to the automotive industry and will provide somewhere around five to 10 times the computing power and performance offered by the next best solution.
The successful close of ThinCI's USD 65mn (EUR 55.95mn) series C funding round was led by DENSO and Singapore's Temasek. ThinCI's technology provides the computing power to make autonomous driving and advanced electric vehicles the industry norm.
In a bid to achieve practical use of semiconductor devices necessary for automated driving technologies, DENSO established NSITEXE in 2017 to design and develop a next-generation, high-performance semiconductor devices to advance autonomous driving solutions. One of NSITEXE's current focuses is its Data Flow Processor, or DFP, which is a brand-new type of processor that enhances the functionality of central processing units (CPUs) and graphic processing units (GPUs).
Lithuania and Poland have signed a memorandum of understanding on the development of autonomous driving on the Via Baltica highway, Lithuania's Ministry of Transport and Communications announced. The memorandum was signed by Poland's Infrastructure Minister Andrzej Adamczyk and Digital Affairs Minister Marek Zagórski, and Lithuania's Transport Minister Rokas Masiulis and Economy Minister Virginijus Sinkevicius. The memorandum would help create a transport corridor to test self-driving cars equipped with sensors and accelerate the introduction of 5G technology. The two countries expected to receive EU funds from the Connecting Europe Facility for the projects. In addition, Lithuania planned to sign a trilateral memorandum on a transport corridor for self-driving cars with Latvia and Estonia in late September 2018.
The German government is to start its autonomous driving action plan in the fourth quarter of 2018; the plan will bring together the funding for research in this area. It is also to publish a battery research strategy paper by the end of the year; both are part of the Hightech Strategy 2025. The research budget rose from EUR 60bn (USD 69.39bn) in 2006 to EUR 92bn in 2016, which means that Germany has achieved the Europa 2020 target of spending 3% of GDP on research.
In Tucson city in the US state of Arizone, operations of self-driving truck solutions provider TuSimple will be enlarged in 2018. According to the firm, the expansion project will generate overall economic effect worth USD 1.10bn (EUR 945.76mn) in the next five years. In the state, the firm has been testing its Level 4 Class 8 autonomous trucks for over a year. TuSimple targets to have 500 trucks across the globe and 200 trucks in the US by 2019. Also, the company will hire 500 employees.
Grand Rapids is mulling a tie up with May Mobility to introduce a driverless shuttle in the US city. The trial run of one year will begin in March 2019, joining the city's complimentary Dash West shuttle service. The electric, six-seat shuttle will be offered for free for riders until March 2020. Grand Rapids will support up to USD 250,000 (EUR 214,944.87) of the approximately USD 750,000 trial run, while May Mobility will bear USD 250,000. The balance USD 250,000 will be funded by private-sector partners. May Mobility will be in charge of insurance, proper permitting and licensing for the shuttle.
Western Australian motor insurer and services provider RAC WA has brought the Intellicar to Australia as the country's first on-demand driverless car, bought from France-based tech developer Navya for EUR 300,000 (USD 346,953.30). It will conduct trials at a private facility in Perth before using it on public roads in the first half of 2019. The Intellicar has six passenger seats and no steering wheel, and navigates with cameras and radar. All trials will have an onboard supervisor and run at 20-40 km/h (versus the vehicle's top speed of 90 km/h). Previously, RAC WA had deployed an Intellibus service.
Group CEO Terry Agnew said that driverless vehicles could cut road crashes by a potential 90% and will be the main vehicles on roads within two decades. Perth is one of only three cities worldwide testing the Intellicar.
GM Korea (GM), a subsidiary of US-based automaker General Motors, is establishing a separate R&D entity through split of its design centre in South Korea. The new unit will focus on SUV development and is scheduled to be launched by end-2018 despite opposition raised by second largest shareholder, the Korea Development Bank (KDB), and the company's labour union. It is said that KDB is looking to block the establishment of the R&D entity through an injunction lodged at a court recently.
US' Uber is planning to invest CAD 200mn (EUR 131.93mn USD 153.44mn) in its autonomous vehicle research and also its new engineering hub in Toronto in Canada. The ride-hailing company will expand to over 500 employees in the coming years, from about 200 employees at present. It is working to expand Uber's service offering. In addition, Uber has launched a new product dubbed 'Uber Express Pool' on 13 September 2018. The original Uber Pool service had been introduced in 2016 in Toronto. The service offered cheaper rates if a rider has no problem sharing the car with someone else who is going in the same direction. Uber has aspirations to become a broad transportation platform, and not just a simple ride-hailing app.
Colombian drinks company Postobon and private university Universidad Postobon will participate in the Ilumen European Challenge, a solar car race taking place in Belgium on 21-23 September 2018. Postobon and EAFIT sponsor Kronos car, a vehicle powered by 138 photovoltaic cells generating 350 watts and a lithium battery. The interior of Krotos was built with 8,000 Tetra Pak containers. The solar car earned its place in the European race after winning in two categories of the Global Space Balloon Challenge. Krotos will face the competition of another 20 solar vehicles.
In South Korea, car maker GM Korea has reasserted that separating its R&D division from the company will enhance the division's efficiency and capacity of management and employees. The firm intends to establish its R&D division into a separate corporate entity. Its intention to separate the R&D division surfaced in July 2018 after the Korean subsidiary of US-based General Motors (GM) revealed it will invest USD 50mn (EUR 43.23mn) in South Korea. The investment will be used to obtain new models to be made locally and to expand export.
On the other hand, labour union of GM Korea said that the separation of R&D division is part of an effort by the company to cease its operations in South Korea but this allegation has been dismissed by the company. Instead, the firm stated that more job opportunities will be available. Also, Korea Development Bank had revealed it filed a preliminary injunction to block the firm's attempt in separating its R&D division. Korea Development Bank is the second biggest stakeholder in GM Korea.
The German car manufacturer Audi has announced that the US version of its new electric luxury SUV e-tron Quattro will have an integrated toll module for paying road fees. The transponder will be installed in the rear-view mirror, which will be supplied by the US specialist Gentex. It will give the driver access to toll roads in the US and Canada. The mirror will be able to be switched on and off through the central operating module. Drivers will also be able to register several toll accounts on to the system.
On 8 September 2018, orders can be placed by consumers for the 1.8-litre turbocharged sport utility vehicle (SUV) from Malaysian automaker Proton that features a six-speed automatic transmission. Known as the X70, the SUV is a Geely Boyue-based car that is also the maiden model from Proton to feature an alphanumeric nomenclature.
Prices for the SUV's four variants have yet to be revealed by the automaker. A deposit of MYR 1,000 (EUR 208.34 USD 240.95) must be placed by those who are interested. It is expected that in early December 2018, the X70 will be officially rolled out. In order to assess public response to the vehicle, a string of customer events will be conducted by Proton in seven cities and towns from 19 September to 4 November 2018. This is the maiden SUV of the national automaker.
Japan-based Lexus announces its introduction of the world' first Digital Outer Mirrors on the new ES.
By installing small exterior cameras on the front doors, Lexus vehicles will provide its drivers with a clearer view of the vehicle's surrounding area. The cameras in the Digital Outer Mirrors transmit the images onto five-inch display monitors located inside the cabin at the base of the front pillars. Another advantage the Digital Outer Mirrors have is that they are shaped to resist the accumulation of raindrops and snow.
The system automatically enhances the corresponding area when the turn signals are activated, or when the transmission is put into reverse. The view of areas around the car can be manually enhanced by the driver to obtain complete peripheral awareness of the area around the vehicle. By replacing the vehicle's conventional side mirrors with small cameras, side mirrors no longer block the view outside the front windows, resulting in improved visibility. Wind noise has also been reduced, resulting in a quieter cabin.
The digital mirrors will make their debut on the new ES, which will go on sale in late October 2018. At this time, the Digital Outer Mirrors will only be available in Japan.
The US-based SoundHound has been chosen as the latest MBUX user interface of Germany-based Mercedes-Benz. The voice assistant is highly configurable and personalised. The said technology will enable clients to 'talk' with their cars.
German automotive firm BMW has presents its new SUV iNext, which is all electric and drives autonomously. It is scheduled to begin production in 2021, as batteries will then be able to offer a range of 750km. BMW particularly sees a market for thevehicle in the US and China.
A three-pronged strategy has been unveiled by Chung Eui-sun, the Vice Chairman of South Korea-based Hyundai Motor (Hyundai) for the transition of the firm to become a smart mobility service provider. The strategy are connected mobility, freedom in mobility, and clean mobility. Hyundai is ready to churn out all kinds of electric vehicles (EV) that include fuel-cell EVs, EVs, and hybrid EVs. The transformation of the firm was part of the move from the company to manage the fast changes taking place in the automobile sector. Additionally, in the Indian market, Hyundai will introduce the Nexo fuel-cell EV retailing as well as three EVs.
During end of October 2018, a revamped Lexus sedan of Japan-based Toyota Motor (Toyota) will have a digital alternative for its side-view mirrors. This will be the first time ever that such device is utilised in a mass-produced vehicles. Japan will be the only market to get the option, which will be specifically for higher-grade Lexus ES sedans. Small cameras are available in the display monitors on both sides of the vehicles as well as side-view mirrors, according to the digital outer mirror system.
Prague City Council plans to call to tenders for setting up its own public carsharing system that will purely consist of electric cars. The first tender, for the construction of e-cars charging station bases, is worth around CZK 50mn (EUR 1.95mn USD 2.25mn). The second one is to select a company which will install the bases with charging stations and will receive a seven-year concession for operating the scheme. The total cost of the project is around CZK 191mn for 600 e-cars, with the start in mid-2020.The concessioner should see an income of CZK 830mn over the period of seven years, with the council contributing a further CZK 128mn. The project is being prepared by Operator ICT which is active in smart projects design for the capital. There are currently three carsharing companies in Prague, none of which really offer any e-cars, with the largest one Car4Way with a fleet of 400 vehicles.
US taxi and ride-sharing firm Uber is increasing the minimum price of journeys within Vienna from EUR 3 (USD 3.49) to EUR 5 from 17 September 2018. The price per minute is also to increase. Waiting time will also be chargeable. The cancellation charge will be reduced from EUR 8 to EUR 5 in the city centre. The company cannot say exactly how much more rides will cost but says passengers should expect an average increase of 25%. However, for journeys outside the city limits, the minimum price will fall from EUR 15 to EUR 8. Access to the Uber app will be blocked following damage to the driver's property, insults or unwanted contact with the driver after the journey and flirting with or touching other passengers. The booking system will remain unchanged. Despite legal disputes in Vienna, Uber is considering operating in other Austrian cities, with Graz, Linz and Salzburg being attractive. However, there are no definite plans for expansion.
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