BMW demonstrates new concepts for autonomous and electric cars at CES

Klaus Frohlich at CES
Klaus Fröhlich, BMW’s head of development, at CES

lockBMW has showcased some of its concepts, ideas and developments for autonomous and electric cars at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. 

The company says the projects incorporate “technically revolutionary innovations in automated driving, intelligent connectivity and interior design”.

BMW has committed itself to launching its iNext self-driving, electric and fully connected car by the year 2021. It already has the i3 electric car and the i8 plug-in hybrid sports car.  Continue reading BMW demonstrates new concepts for autonomous and electric cars at CES

BMW to start research with IBM Watson artificial intelligence system

Auto giant to locate research team at IBM’s Munich Watson IoT HQ, as computing colossus explores conversational interfaces in BMW i8 hybrid sports cars

IBM has entered into a new collaboration with the BMW Group, through which the companies will work together to explore the role of Watson cognitive computing in personalizing the driving experience and creating more intuitive driver support systems for cars of the future.

As part of the agreement, the BMW Group will collocate a team of researchers at IBM’s global headquarters for Watson Internet of Things (IoT) in Munich, Germany and the companies will work together explore how to improve intelligent assistant functions for drivers.

IBM recently pledged to invest $200 million to make its new Munich center one of the world’s most advanced facilities for collaborative innovation as part of a global investment of $3 billion to bring Watson cognitive computing to the Internet of Things.  Continue reading BMW to start research with IBM Watson artificial intelligence system

Samsung buys Harman to enter connected and autonomous car race

harman kardon

The biggest smartphone manufacturer in the world has signalled its intention to enter the globally accelerating connected and autonomous car race.

Samsung, which makes the Galaxy phone among others, has agreed to buy Harman, the manufacturer of incar entertainment equipment and other products.

The total value of the purchase is will be $8 billion, according to Samsung, which says Harman will continue operation as a standalone business, albeit as a subsidiary.  Continue reading Samsung buys Harman to enter connected and autonomous car race

Electric car industry sparks into life

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Two of the world’s biggest automakers have made moves which would suggest electric cars will become mass-market vehicles much sooner than perhaps some may have expected. 

General Motors has decided to bring forward its production of the all-electric Chevy Volt, according to a report in Manufacturers’ Monthly, which quotes a report on Associated Press.

The vehicles will go on sale towards the end of this year for around $30,000.  Continue reading Electric car industry sparks into life

Harman and Airbiquity launch ‘first end-to-end cyber intrusion detection system’ for connected vehicles

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Harman, a provider of connected technologies for automotive markets, and Airbiquity, which specialises in connected vehicle services, have launched what they claim is the first automotive grade end-to-end intrusion detection system for connected vehicles.

The companies say that with the increasing dependency on software to power vehicle systems and features, cybersecurity has become a threat to connected vehicles and the introduction of new driving assistance, vehicle-to-vehicle communication, and autonomous driving capabilities.

By combining Harman’s Intrusion Detection and Prevention System inside the vehicle with Airbiquity’s cloud-based Choreo service delivery platform and software and data management solution, the two companies say they now deliver “the most robust connected vehicle security threat detection and response capability for automotive customers and their consumers alike”.  Continue reading Harman and Airbiquity launch ‘first end-to-end cyber intrusion detection system’ for connected vehicles

Suzuki and Toyota to collaborate on advanced driver systems and autonomous vehicle technologies

Environment, safety, and information technology fields to also feature prominently in the new business partnership

Suzuki and Toyota have agreed to collaborate on advanced driver systems and autonomous vehicle technologies, although the details were not discussed. 

The companies say they have started exploring ideas that are directed towards a business partnership.

In a statement, Toyota and Suzuki say they recognise the environment surrounding the automotive industry has been changing “drastically and rapidly in an unprecedented fashion”.  Continue reading Suzuki and Toyota to collaborate on advanced driver systems and autonomous vehicle technologies

Electric cars: Germany to ban petrol engines from 2030

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The Jaguar C-X75 supercar, a concept plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. Picture courtesy of Autocar.co.uk

Some say the traditional petrol-driven internal combustion engine is on the way out. 

It would seem inevitable, given that the alternative – the electric engine – is less harmful to the environment at the point of use.

The implications of the rise of the electric engine for the global oil business is beyond the scope of this article, but oil will probably continue to be important going forward because of its role in powering so many other sectors of industry.

But as far as the demands on the oil industry that road-going vehicles will make, it seems there is a definite downward trend emerging.

Perhaps the most significant recent development is the German government’s decision to ban the combustion engine effective 2030.  Continue reading Electric cars: Germany to ban petrol engines from 2030

Volvo and Autoliv to create joint venture to develop autonomous driving technology

volvo autoliv

Autoliv, a provider of advanced driver assistance systems, and Volvo Cars, the car maker, have agreed to form a new jointly-owned company to develop next generation autonomous driving software.

The planned new company will have its headquarters in Gothenburg, Sweden, and an initial workforce taken from both companies of around 200, increasing to over 600 in the medium term. The company is expected to start operations in early 2017.

Once finalized, the joint venture will be a new entrant in the growing global market for autonomous driving software systems. It will mark the first time a leading premium car maker has joined forces with a tier one supplier to develop new advanced driver assist systems and autonomous driving technologies.  Continue reading Volvo and Autoliv to create joint venture to develop autonomous driving technology

Continental expands advanced driver assistance systems business in Asia

continental-adas

Continental is expanding its advanced driver assistance systems business in Asia and expects sales to reach $2.2 billion a year by 2020.

The company says it is on course to achieve €1 billion in sales this year, and is aiming to capitalise on this growth by developing its Asian operations.

Continental says it will increase production capacity for radar sensors in the Philippines and China, and accelerate its knowledge transfer and staff expansion.

Continental is estimated to be the market leader in advanced driver assistance systems, which is in essence autonomous car technology.

Continue reading Continental expands advanced driver assistance systems business in Asia

Advanced driver assistance systems trump driverless cars by stealth

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While everyone seems fascinated by driverless cars brought to us via Silicon Valley, established suppliers of advanced driver assistance systems are quietly doing a roaring trade 

The automotive industry is going through some fundamental changes, mostly because of computer technology. 

The changes include higher levels of computer processing, fully driverless vehicles, greater levels of autonomy, internet connectivity, and the switch from petrol-powered combustion engines to electric.

It’s probably inevitable that the combustion engine will be gone from most mass-manufactured cars within a couple of decades, and will eventually only be seen in antique cars and supercars, although even some supercars are going electric.

Which means the road-going vehicle of the near-future will essentially be computers with wheels, connected to the cloud, and largely autonomous – or, in other words, a robot. In fact, this is what is already happening because of advanced driver assistance systems, or ADAS.  Continue reading Advanced driver assistance systems trump driverless cars by stealth

Volvo claims to be ‘first in the world’ with self-driving truck in underground mine

Swedish automaker determined to take the lead in autonomous car technology

Volvo’s fully autonomous truck is the first in the world to be tested in operations deep underground in the Kristineberg Mine, in Sweden, according to the company.

The self-driving truck is part of a development project aimed at improving the transport flow and safety in the mine.

The truck will cover a distance of 7 kilometres, reaching 1,320 metres underground in the narrow mine tunnels.  Continue reading Volvo claims to be ‘first in the world’ with self-driving truck in underground mine

Akasol launches ‘pioneering’ new customisable battery technology for large vehicles

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Engineering company Akasol says it has developed a pioneering lithium-ion battery systems for series production commercial vehicles

High-performance, customisable batteries for demanding applications in commercial vehicles have traditionally been very costly, but Akasol is presenting the world premiere of a promising new solution at this year’s IAA Commercial Vehicles (Hanover 22–29 September 2016): the AkaSystem OEM.

The compact, modular lithium-ion battery system is particularly well-suited for use in commercial vehicles such as buses, lorries, construction vehicles or other specialised vehicles.

Experts at the German “pioneer of e-mobility battery storage solutions” claim they have succeeded in integrating standardised PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) modules from large battery manufacturers like those used in passenger car production to enable them to meet the demanding requirements of commercial vehicle drives.  Continue reading Akasol launches ‘pioneering’ new customisable battery technology for large vehicles

Mercedes autonomous bus takes passengers towards a future of ‘spectacular’ smart cities

Mercedes has launched an autonomous bus with a view to the future of integrated intelligent transport systems for smart cities. 

The company unveiled its Mercedes-Benz Future Bus with CityPilot, which it says is “a milestone on the way to the autonomous city bus, and a revolutionary mobility system for the future”.

Some of the key features of the new Mercedes technology are:

  • CityPilot: a software platform for autonomous driving in urban public transport
  • Mercedes-Benz Future Bus: autonomous vehicle with a “trailblazing” design

Continue reading Mercedes autonomous bus takes passengers towards a future of ‘spectacular’ smart cities

Nissan to launch ‘revolutionary’ new Serena autonomous car

The Nissan Serena, with ProPilot autonomous technology
The Nissan Serena, with ProPilot autonomous technology

Nissan is to introduce its new Serena autonomous car to the Japanese market

Nissan says the new Serena, scheduled to go on sale in Japan in late August, will come equipped with the company’s ProPilot autonomous drive technology. 

Nissan says ProPilot is a “revolutionary” autonomous drive technology designed for highway use in single-lane traffic.

Nissan claims to be the first Japanese automaker to introduce a combination of steering, accelerator and braking that can be operated in full automatic mode, easing driver workload in heavy highway traffic and long commutes.  Continue reading Nissan to launch ‘revolutionary’ new Serena autonomous car

Roke demonstrates ‘3D’ black box technology for vehicles

roke black box for cars

A UK company called Roke Manor Research has demonstrated what it claims is the “world’s first viable 3D black box technology for vehicles” using just a single dashboard camera.

Fitted to an autonomous Toyota Prius, Roke demonstrated how data captured via vision processing technology could be used to provide a precise 3D reconstruction following a road incident.

It’s set to offer insurers, drivers and, in the case of autonomous vehicles, manufacturers independent evidence of what happened. This will not just lead to safer vehicles but also help to build public trust in driverless vehicles.  Continue reading Roke demonstrates ‘3D’ black box technology for vehicles