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A research group at the University of Michigan has developed a device to improve biometric identification by voice. The fingernail-size "VAuth" measures vibrations in the wearer's skin while speaking. Thanks to its small scale and a detection accuracy of 97%, it is an ideal supplement to biometric systems.
Reading time: 2 min
Source: New Atlas
Apple is developing autonomous technologies under the code name of "Project Titan". The co-founder of the AV startup Voyage has now released a video showing one of Apple's autonomous vehicles for the first time. The car is equipped with 6 laser radar detectors (LiDAR) mounted on the roof - including computer hardware. Is this going to be a new retrofit kit?
Startup MyServiceHistory provides an app for the service "biography" of one's own vehicle. It stores data on repairs, maintenance and insurance. Thanks to detailed information, dealers and garages can individually contact their customers via the app.
Reading time: 4 min
Source: The Irish Times
Mazda wants to transfer the principle of the Wankel engine to the electric drive in order to extend the range. In line with this, the Japanese automaker has teamed up with Toyota and car parts supplier Denso to set up the joint venture called "EV Common Architecture Spirit". To date, none of the manufacturers offers an all-electric car.
Reading time: 3 min
Startup Velodyne is known for its LiDAR sensors. Initially, however, the company produced subwoofers. The article tells the exciting story of the founder and enthusiastic inventor David Hall, who established a billion-dollar company at the age of 60.
Reading time: 15 min
Source: The Verge
Electric glass can darken and clear on demand. This is impressive enough, but soon glass will be programmed to perform an array of futuristic functions.
Garmin's new Speak navigation device now incorporates Amazon's Alexa voice assistant. Besides orientation on the road, it allows the user to stream music, shop online or access one’s calendar. Voice commands are increasingly taking over the function of the car’s classic controls.
Video: 1 min
Source: The Next Web
A remotely operated convoy of 4 Mercedes-Benz Arocs trucks has demonstrated at a test airfield what the next step towards autonomous driving looks like. The effort involved is considerable. All vehicles were equipped with double GPS tracking and state-of-the-art vehicle-to-vehicle communication. Moreover, the interaction of different interfaces with control and remote control units enables extremely fast and secure data exchange between the vehicles.
Insight: Documentation on Lab1886's 'Automated Airfield Ground Maintenance'
Cars from the new Polestar electric vehicle brand are not sold, but can only be leased. The models will be available to customers through a two- or three-year subscription including, for example, a pickup and return service when maintenance is required. The cars are ordered online.
Video: 2 min
Amazon has patented a drone for recharging electric vehicles. Cars that would not reach their destination with the current charge level can be topped off while driving. The drone carrying a battery is requested via app to a rendezvous location and then docks itself with the vehicle to supply it with electricity.
In a new study, think tank Brookings Institution has documented how much money has already been invested in the development of autonomous vehicles. To this end, it gathered the key figures of major manufacturers, suppliers and - if available - 263 startups involved. That way, Brookings determined a total investment volume of US$80 billion.
Source: Brookings Institution
Automotive suplier NXP has unveiled the S32 computing architecture for connected cars, which is reportedly ten times faster than previous platforms. Software development is also to be accelerated by a factor of 10: S32 provides a common software development environment across different application domains. This makes it possible to reuse code modules, for example.
Rinspeed is once again causing a great stir: the Snap Mobility Concept is not a car, but an autonomous platform for modular passenger pods. Depending on purpose and preferences, these can be easily exchanged. Snap Mobility is reminiscent of GM's recently unveiled SURUS concept.
A research team at the University of Texas has developed an economic model to calculate whether car ownership is worthwhile compared to the use of ridesharing services. Besides driving behavior and vehicle ownership, the evaluation of one's time was an important assessment factor.
Source: University of Texas
Startup WiTricity produces a wireless charging system for electric vehicles. It is compatible with all plug-in platforms and suitable for all vehicle types. Magnetic resonance technology enables energy transfer with an efficiency of over 90% - thus massively reducing the charging time. Japanese supplier Shindengen now wants to further develop the charging system in partnership with WiTricity.
Only in May 2017, Google launched AutoML a project for the development of a neural network that autonomously/independently programs machine learning models. Just 5 months after starting the project, the network created more precise image recognition software than human developers: machines that train machines.
The Smart City is just the beginning - all the sensor data that is gathered on its software platforms have made it possible to make forecasts and create models of urban life. The next step, the article argues, is the Responsive City. In real time, data will then change the way the city works: according to the needs of its citizens.
Reading time: 6 min
Following first public education campaigns on autonomous driving, Waymo now provides more information: in its new "Safety Report", the company explains its approach. The cars will only drive autonomously if detailed road maps can be accessed. Safety is the central objective of Waymo's vehicle development.
Insights: Waymo's complete white paper (43 pages, PDF)
Source: Ars Technica
As of now it is possible to order freshly prepared food directly via Facebook. The order is processed in collaboration with numerous delivery services. The highlight: the new feature is performed by an in-app browser - allowing Facebook to use all relevant user data to develop new business models.
Startup eNow has developed the "Rayfrigerator": an almost zero-emission refrigeration unit for trucks transporting fresh produce. For this purpose, the company designed a solar system to be mounted on the truck's roof, which with 1,800 watts generates enough power for cooling. This unit aims to reduce operating costs by 90%.
London's most famous junction, Piccadilly Circus, is undergoing a major upgrade: its more than 100-year-old billboards is equipped with a 790-square-meter screen (!). Furthermore, cameras monitor the environment, which is evaluated algorithmically. Depending on the color and model of the cars passing by, advertising will be able to adapt intelligently.
According to a recent Gartner survey, the volume of data transmitted by vehicles will increase to 280 petabytes by 2020. Short development cycles such as those in the computer industry cannot be readily transferred to the vehicle - safety standards are stricter and the service life is longer. The article highlights the special challenges of connected cars.
Autoliv, the world's largest supplier of automotive safety systems, is working on the driverless car. To this end, the company is teaming up with an MIT research team, which has recently subjected the Tesla Autopilot to a detailed analysis. In a joint venture with Volvo, the results of the partnership will then be integrated into their vehicles.
Insights: MIT researchers scrutinize the Tesla Autopilot (PDF)
Source: PR Newswire
According to a study from UC Davis, the use of ride-hailing services can lead to an increase in individual mobility: the services provided by Uber & Co. alone have raised the number of trips. More than one third of study participants also chose ride-hailing to avoid the sometimes frustrating search for a parking space.
Insights: Study from UC Davis
Morgan Stanley has calculated the cost of the global charging infrastructure assuming that about 526 million e-vehicles will be used by 2040: US$ 2.7 trillion. Even the traditional fuel industry does not want to miss out on the imminent change. Shell was the first oil company to acquire a major supplier of charging stations, NewMotion.
Google has already been around since 1998 - and has accomplished more than 200 mergers and acquisitions in the last eleven years alone. These include multi-billion dollar takeovers of companies such as DoubleClick or Waze. The article lists the biggest investments of the tech giant in a well-arranged infographic.
Source: CB Insights
V2X technology is based on established standards, which simplify communication by, for example, allocating frequency bands. The article describes in great detail the advantages of integrating V2X technology into drones. These include, among other things, lower costs and improved collision protection through a coordination of flight routes.
Reading time: 8 min
Source: E&E News Automotive
ZF teams up with NVIDIA to develop a control unit for autonomous vehicles - the ZF Pro AI. However, sensors and processors are not enough for the driverless future: the automotive supplier recently unveiled a rotating seat with airbags. ZF is also working on a steering rear axle to make the autonomous ride as smooth as possible.
In a few days, Deutsche Bahn will start the test operation of its new on-demand project ioki. The corporation is heading for the future with a mixture of an on-call bus and a shared taxi. The autonomous shuttle buses will pick up passengers at their front door if requested.
Source: FAZ Wirtschaft
A new breathing battery, which releases oxygen when it stores electricity, was developed at the MIT. The total cost of components is only one thirtieth of the cost of lithium-ion batteries. As a flow battery it is highly scalable, which makes it particularly interesting as a long-term storage medium for renewable energies.
Startup Mapper wants to develop a crowd-based map especially for autonomous vehicles. By means of a box called "S1" that is integrated in the car, the environment is captured and transferred to the map. Anyone who has equipped their car with an S1 receives a small remuneration for traveling predetermined routes to help complete Mapper's database and keep it up to date.
Reading time: 10 min
With the launch of its fourth Michibiki satellite, Japan significantly improves nationwide GPS reception. The further development of the "Quasi-Zenith" system facilitates navigation with almost centimeter precision, which is particularly advantageous for (semi-)autonomous vehicles. By 2023, seven Japanese satellites are to orbit the earth.
With MAX4 automotive industry supplier Magna enables the smooth integration of different sensors in autonomous vehicles. The scalable hardware platform is said to be suited for cars up to Level 4 autonomous driving. Max4 gives manufacturers great design scope since it does not restrict the vehicle’s cargo area or room provided for passengers.
Source: MM MaschinenMarkt
Snapchat is based on quick snapshots taken by its users, which only exist for 24 hours. The app, which is particularly popular with young people, will now integrate third-party services if a location-tagged "snap" is sent. Then the viewers of the photo can find restaurants nearby or book a trip via Lyft or Uber.
The market for electric aircrafts is dominated by startups, concludes management consultancy Roland Berger. In a study, it advises established companies to increasingly prepare for the imminent change: after all, rapid progress in the development of new technologies can also facilitate all-electric drives for large aircrafts.
Insights: Study of Roland Berger
The term "neurotech" covers all technologies that allow machines to interact with the human brain. The article lists 29 startups working to develop products and services for this sector. One of them is NeuroStar, which has devoted itself to the treatment of depression through non-invasive, magnetic brain stimulation.
Reading time: 7 min
Communications company MetTel provides new IoT solutions for fleet management: for global mobile network connectivity, its fleet management solutions integrate the services of 650 carriers in more than 170 countries. MetTel's platform thus enables global tracking and interaction with the fleet.
Source: Fleet Owner
NVIDIA has unveiled the world's first AI computer system for fully autonomous robotaxis: "Pegasus". It promises a tenfold increase in performance as compared to current systems, while drastically reducing hardware. Additionally, NVIDIA is working with other companies to develop a fleet of fully autonomous trucks.
After Ford acquired startup Autonomic, the automaker wants to use the software company's platform to develop new digital services. In the run-up to the acquisition, a first joint service has already been implemented: the "Non-Emergency Medical Transport" allows patients to request a trip to the hospital by app.
The OpenLV project aims to open up data from local electricity grids freely available. It should then be available to third parties to develop new services around the smart grid. In cooperation with grid operator Western Power Distribution, the project will be extended to the whole of the United Kingdom.
Source: Fleet News