• Stellantis: FCA and Groupe PSA merger confirmed

    Stellantis: FCA and Groupe PSA merger confirmed

    The merger between Groupe PSA and FCA has been finalised creating the world’s fourth largest manufacturer by volume. Carlos Tavares, former PSA boss, will run the newly formed company as CEO, while other managerial positions will be confirmed in the coming days. The name Stellantis refers to the Latin word “stello,” meaning “to brighten with stars.” Based on the most recent sales figures, Stellantis should have an annual production volume of 8.7 million units, which places the firm behind only the Volkswagen Group, Toyota and the Renault-Nissan Alliance. The newly combined company will also become the world’s third largest manufacturer by revenue, with an annual turnover of €170 billion (£144.3 billion). The merger looks to be an advantageous move for both parties – PSA will gain access to American markets and FCA may be able to make use of PSA’s newer (and electrified) vehicle platforms. Further opportunities, such as autonomous and connected vehicle projects, may also be in the pipeline. Ownership of the merged company will be split 50/50 between PSA and FCA shareholders. The former brand’s investors will be allocated a €5.5 billion (£4.7bn) dividend, while the latter firm’s shareholders will receive a reported €3 billion (£2.6bn). PSA: moving towards the American market As it stands, the merger could put PSA’s proposed plans to enter the North American market on hold, according to Tavares, given FCA’s strong presence there already. “We see the strength of FCA in North America is outstanding, and we have 12 months ahead [while the merger process concludes] to think about it.” However, should the US introduce any regulatory changes related to CO2 emissions, PSA would be primed to introduce its low-emission vehicles there. Tavares added: “All the electrification know-how we have developed for the European market would be a very significant asset to bring to the US market for the appropriate level of improvement.” We’ll have to wait for the first fruits of the merger, but potentially no longer than a couple of years. Mike Manley, former FCA CEO, noted the quick development time of the new Opel/Vauxhall Corsa after the brands were acquired by PSA, saying that “it shows you that, with the speed and the focus, you can actually converge on platforms very quickly.” Profit, mergers and global partnership trends FCA had net revenues of €115.4 billion (£99.66bn) on sales of 4.84 million vehicles across brands including Fiat and Jeep in 2018, on which profits of €5bn (£4.3bn) were generated – an increase of 34 per cent over the previous year. Groupe PSA, meanwhile, sold 3.88 million vehicles in 2018, generating €74 billion (£63bn) in revenue and €3.295 billion (£2.844bn) in consolidated net income – which was up 40.4 per cent on 2017. Car companies are increasingly seeking business synergies and mergers as markets become ever-more competitive and crowded – and regulations continue to make the future of vehicle production uncertain. In April 2019, news brok...
  • International Specifications Promote The Safe Network Of Vehicles

    International Specifications Promote The Safe Network Of Vehicles

    With the development of vehicle information system and networking system, vehicle information security incidents are increasing year by year. According to the statistics of information security incidents disclosed by Upstream, there were 34 information security incidents in 2015, which increased to 79 in 2018 and 192 in 2019, an increase of 2.4 times compared with the previous year.  The ISO/SAE 21434 vehicle safety management standard was jointly developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and SAE International to promote the automotive industry to pay attention to the issue of vehicle safety. The potential attack pipeline of vehicle information security can be divided into wired communication, wireless communication, sensor and other interfaces. In the wired communication terminal, the vehicle is equipped with the vehicle On-Board Diagnostics port and the USB connection port on the console. In the situation of vehicle security, hackers would invade the vehicle communication system, such as CAN Bus (Controller Area Network) and ECU (Electronic Control Unit), through communication channels such as OBD, to find out the available wireless communication path of the vehicle, and then they can invade other vehicles of the same type remotely. With the development of automotive technology towards networking, electronics and automation, the wireless communication end of vehicles, such as satellite positioning, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and NFC of vehicle information communication system, may be the way for hackers to invade. OTA (Over-the-Air Technology) developed in recent years may also become one of the ways for hackers to invade. In sensors and other interfaces, such as cameras, radars and other environmental sensors used in ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) and self-driving function, information can be judged by interfering with the operation of sensors and destroying the system; charging holes used for electric vehicle charging and various vehicle detectors, if illegal users change information in series, may become a breach of information security. In order to prevent hackers from invading the vehicle system and causing accidents, the vehicle manufacturers should introduce the concept of security by design into the vehicle life cycle, design defense lines in the Vehicle Information Communication system, in Vehicle Network and ECU Gateway Design, and construct an in-depth information security protection mechanism.
  • China’s Horizon Robotics Raises $400 Million to Develop Autonomous Driving Chips

    China’s Horizon Robotics Raises $400 Million to Develop Autonomous Driving Chips

    Horizon Robotics, a Chinese startup that develops artificial intelligence (AI) chips for smart vehicles, has bagged $400 million in a new funding round led by Baillie Gifford, YF Capital and battery-maker CATL, according to a company statement on Thursday. The new funding comes at a time when China increasingly pursues a policy of self-sufficiency in high-tech industries including AI, semiconductors and information technology amid mounting tech and trade tensions between Beijing and Washington. Proceeds from the new round, which is the second tranche of its series C funding round in which Horizon Robotics aims to raise $700 million, will be used to accelerate the development and commercialization of its chips designed for autonomous vehicles, as well as build a partner ecosystem in the industry, the statement said. The Beijing-based startup, which was founded in 2015 by a former head of Baidu’s autonomous driving unit, said that it plans to launch its Journey 5 chip that features computing power of 96 trillion operations per second, enabling Level 3 and Level 4 autonomy. Horizon Robotics completed the first tranche of the series C round in December when it received $150 million from a group of investors including 5Y Capital, Capital Today and Hillhouse Capital’s venture capital unit GL Ventures. ——
  • Hyundai Motor may buy EV batteries from Samsung SDI for 1st time

    Hyundai Motor may buy EV batteries from Samsung SDI for 1st time

    Hyundai Motor said Monday it has selected Samsung SDI as one of the final candidates to supply batteries for its electric vehicles to be rolled out in 2023. South Korea’s largest automaker is currently shopping for the third batch of batteries for its EVs to be assembled using its platform E-GMP. Designed by Hyundai Motor, E-GMP is a platform dedicated to EVs that allows the carmaker to load batteries under the car’s floor instead of engine bay. If selected, Samsung SDI, together with SK Innovation, will supply batteries worth 25 trillion won ($23.1 billion) to Hyundai Motor’s electric SUV Ioniq 7. The deal will become the first EV battery supply contract between the two companies. Hyundai Motor and Samsung SDI declined to comment on the ratio of nickel inside the third batch of batteries. The first batch of batteries, which will be loaded on Hyundai’s EVs based on E-GMP this year, will be supplied from SK Innovation. The second batch, which will power Hyundai’s EVs to be introduced next year, will be supplied exclusively by LG Energy Solution and China’s CATL. The size of the first and second batch is 10 trillion won and 16 trillion won, respectively. ——
  • Application Development of Internet of Vehicles

    Application Development of Internet of Vehicles

    The evolution of Internet of Vehicles (IoV) technology evolved from the early self-development of automotive manufacturers to open platform in recent years, emphasizing intelligent control, real-time control, data analysis and management, and the development for automobiles toward intelligence and networking. IoV in the passenger vehicles, it provided by car manufacturers with special functions for car owners. Through the self-development system, we can monitor the starting motor, gasoline pump, battery and other equipment. If any problem is found, in addition to providing information to the driver, it can also upload the cloud system to inform the maintenance plant.  After 2018, the IoV has rich operating systems and functions. At this stage, the IoV applications introduced by automobiles focus on the connection between mobile phones and vehicles. The functions can be operated through the mobile phone network, or the mobile phone can be connected to the vehicle panel (such as digital cluster and central control panel), and the mobile phone applications can be operated through the vehicle panel; and even the car can be controlled through the mobile phone, such as unlocking, turning on the air conditioner. The development of Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) to semi-autonomous driving control are closely related to IoV. Different from the use of the IoV for passenger vehicles, IoV of commercial vehicles focuses on the improvement of business performance. The most common way to introduce the IoV into application is through the smart fleet management system, and it integrates the vehicle engine, sensors, system platform, cloud / big data integration functions through the smart fleet management system, so as to create more diversified services. The operation process includes the collection of decentralized data, information monitoring and analysis, safety monitoring and diagnosis. Through the system integrator, the owners can solve the pain points, improve the operation efficiency of the fleet, control the safety risks and reduce the operating costs. All these are achieved by the Internet of Vehicles technology. With the advent of 5G networking, the application of 5G technology in the Internet of vehicles scenario makes the Internet of vehicles have a more flexible architecture.
  • Bosch introducing CVT for electric vehicles: CVT4EV

    Bosch introducing CVT for electric vehicles: CVT4EV

    Bosch is introducing a continuously variable transmission (CVT) with Bosch push belt, specially designed for electric vehicles: the CVT4EV. CVT4EV is a compact variable ratio transmission that supports the performance demands of electric vehicles for a wider audience. The system improves the economy and performance of the electric powertrain, while maintaining the smooth and comfortable character of the electric motor. The variable gear ratio of the CVT4EV delivers an optimal trade-off between efficiency and performance. The system controls the speed and torque of the electric motor and improves the vehicle’s performance. This results in faster acceleration, higher top speeds and more torque at the wheels for towing and off-road performance. Continuous shifting allows maximum power to be applied continuously, allowing the vehicle to accelerate better and drive faster up the mountain. Power also remains more available across the vehicle speed, leading to higher top speeds and lower energy consumption. By running the electric motor at its most efficient operating point, the CVT4EV also enables lower energy consumption. In the combined efficiency of the inverter, electric motor and CVT, the system finds the optimum operating point of the electric powertrain by controlling the transmission ratio of the CVT. That is the point where the power and torque are delivered in the most efficient way. Due to the reduced torque and speed requirement of the electric motor, the CVT4EV makes a more compact electric motor possible. Alternatively, a larger driving range with the same motor can be selected. Bosch says that CVT4EV provides an additional cost advantage for car manufacturers due to its versatility. CVT4EV makes a single drivetrain suitable for a wide variety of applications, be it a mid-size car, sports car or light commercial vehicle. This solution consists of one platform with a CVT4EV module, an inverter, an electric motor and a final drive with a ratio adapted to the vehicle. This creates a major cost advantage for car manufacturers, with less cost and complexity in the development, production and aftermarket of their applications and vehicles. This variability also offers an improved user experience through the availability of different driving modes (eg uphill, highway or individual mode). The variability of the CVT4EV also offers car manufacturers a way to differentiate themselves with their vehicles by offering typical driving behavior related to their brand in all segments. As a result, the driving experience by the end user is still linked to the car make. Unlike alternative multi-stage solutions for electric vehicles, the CVT4EV introduces fewer restrictions on torque and revs. In addition, it offers completely smooth shifting without shifting shocks. Extra measures to mask switching shocks are therefore not necessary; in addition, the potentially larger control range of the CVT reduces the revs of the electric motor, resulting in an even smo...
  • Canadian Automotive Industry Under the Influence of Covid-19

    Canadian Automotive Industry Under the Influence of Covid-19

    Since 2010, Canada's annual automotive production has been maintained at more than 2 million units, accounting for about 17.0% of the North American Free Trade Area (NAFTA). In the following five years (from 2011 to 2016), NAFTA's overall automotive production increased year by year, while Canada's share gradually declined. Only 1.92 million units will be produced in 2019, accounting for only 11.4% of NAFTA, which shows the Canadian vehicle production has been transferred to the United States and Mexico.  Start in the second quarter of 2020, the outbreak of Covid-19 affects the automotive industry. Auto production capacity is estimated to decrease by 20%. The output of Canada is estimated to be about 1.53 million units, and that of NAFTA is estimated to be 13.5 million units. Canada's automotive industry is facing transformation. In addition to reducing vehicle production lines and human resources, traditional car manufacturers also use the advantages of artificial intelligence and networking related units in the Great Lakes Region for research intensive research, and set up R & D centers.   Moreover, the top three suppliers of Tier 1 in Canada in 2019 are Megna, Linamar and Martinrea, which used to supply North American car factories. In recent years, they have actively expanded other regions, including Europe and Asia, to reduce their dependence on the North American market.
  • Honda to Stop Selling Gasoline-Only-Powered Cars in Europe by 2022

    Honda to Stop Selling Gasoline-Only-Powered Cars in Europe by 2022

    By adding new electrified vehicles to their model lineups or investing more in electrified powertrains, automakers are having to make large changes as more countries introduce stricter emissions regulations. For example, Britain recently announced a ban on the sale of new gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles beginning in 2030, causing some automakers to scramble. As a response, Japan's Honda Motor Co., as Autocar reports, will stop selling vehicles that only run on gasoline or diesel within the next few years. Only Electrified Vehicles By 2022 As the outlet reports, Honda is looking to phase out pure internal combustion engines from its European lineup before the end of 2022. Ian Howells, the automaker's senior vice president, confirmed the news. "It [Honda's line-up] will be a combination of full electric and hybrid," said Howells. "Obviously, if the legislation starts to move as we approach 2035, or transitions away from hybrid as well, then we'll move our technology away from that." Take a look at Honda's current electrified lineup and the automaker looks like it's on the back foot. The brand only has one electric vehicle with the e and doesn't have any full electric offerings in the U.S. In fact, Honda's been one of the few automakers to really fall behind the competition when it comes to electrified vehicles. Toyota, Hyundai, Volkswagen, General Motors, Kia, and Ford all have plans that involve a variety of electrified vehicles. That isn't the case with Honda, which still seems to be waiting to see if electrification is the way forward. Since Honda can't wait much longer, the automaker will reportedly take a few pathways to reduce its carbon footprint in the UK. Instead of just looking into electric vehicles, hybrids, and plug-in hybrids, Honda believes there are other uses for different tech. "There's a role to play for e-fuels, for biomass, for hydrogen, to some degree for conventional fuels, and also batteries," said Howells. ——
  • Apple developing LiDAR mapping tech & touch sensitive contextual dashboard for Apple Car

    Apple developing LiDAR mapping tech & touch sensitive contextual dashboard for Apple Car

    Apple is continuing its development of technology that could end up in a potential Apple Car, including LiDAR barrier detection systems and touch-sensitive dashboards. The company's "Project Titan" initiative has long been a poorly kept secret, and is thought to be involved in designing systems and services for self-driving vehicles. Though concrete details are still scarce, it's clear that Apple is still developing vehicular technologies. LiDAR barrier detection systems and touch-sensitive dashboards. The company's "Project Titan" initiative has long been a poorly kept secret, and is thought to be involved in designing systems and services for self-driving vehicles. Though concrete details are still scarce, it's clear that Apple is still developing vehicular technologies. On Tuesday, for example, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted Apple a patent for a barrier detection system that could be critical for autonomous vehicles. The patent, titled "Barrier detection," details a system that can use LIDAR to detect obstacles in a path. "For example, lidar data may be used by an automated vehicle controller to detect objects in the environment of the vehicle and this information can be used for navigation and/or motion planning in a dynamic environment," the patent reads. The system could take that LIDAR data and apply it to a bird's-eye view map of an environment. From there, a machine learning could apply different classes to objects in the map based on their characteristics. "This object classification data can be used as a mask for down-stream object trackers and/or map localizers. Analysis of these birds-eye-view maps may enable improvements in accuracy and efficiency of object recognition and tracking, which may in turn improve performance of automated vehicle control systems," the patent contends. The patent's inventors are listed as Tarin Ziyaee and Tarek El-Gaaly. Of the two, Ziyaee has been previously credited as an inventor of an Apple patent related to depth perception for computer vision. Apple was also granted a patent for a specific type of light guide display technology that could be useful in a vehicular environment. The patent, "Light-based devices with light guide arrays," describes a light-based device that could display images or other light output to a user. Beyond that, it could also gather user input through touch. "A light-based device may be used in an electrical system to provide images and other light-based output to a user. If desired, the light-based device may include a sensor for gathering user input. For example, a capacitive touch sensor that overlaps the surface of a light-based device may be used to gather touch input from a user," the second patent reads. Apple notes that the light guide array for the device could be formed from a bundle of fibers, including plastic or other trasparent ones that are surrounded by a low index cladding material. Interestingly, the patent specifically notes that it's aimed at i...
  • Overview of Canadian Automotive Industry

    Overview of Canadian Automotive Industry

    The automotive industry is a key industry in Canada. In 2019, the export of automotive related products amounted to CAD $78.4 billion (about US $60 billion), accounting for 13.2% of Canada's total export volume. The Great Lakes region of Ontario, Canada, is close to Detroit in the United States. Because of lower energy and operating costs than the United States, and Canada is rich in mineral resources, it attracted five major foreign automotive manufacturers and component manufacturers to settle in, and local auto parts suppliers also flourished. In addition, British Columbia and Quebec, driven by government policies, have formed new settlements for hydrogen energy and electric vehicles. According to Statistics Canada, in 2010, Canada's automotive industry contributed about $13.4 billion to its GDP. The automotive OEM industry accounted for 46.4% of the total, 48.2% of the auto parts and components, and 5.4% of the body. The contribution of the automotive industry to GDP has increased year by year, reaching $16.6 billion (about US $13 billion) in 2019, of which nearly $8.9 billion of auto parts and components, accounting for 53.5%. However, the proportion of GDP of the vehicle OEM industry is decreasing year by year, from 46.4% in 2010 to 39.2% in 2019. Canada's automotive industry has transformed from vehicle OEM to technology R & D, and in 2017, it promoted the Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network (AVIN). In addition, the Great Lakes Region of Ontario is densely populated with artificial intelligence (AI) and networking related academic research units. General Motors, Ford and other car manufacturers have transformed vehicle bases into R & D centers, and developed self-driving automotive companies such as Uber, Google and Apple to set up Internet of vehicles laboratories, forming a science and technology research and development corridor.
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