Researchers worldwide are discovering new ways to combat climate change. Geoengineering can make big difference through domestic innovations – and the car plays a vital role.
Startup Pivot Power is planning the world's largest battery network with a capacity of 2 gigawatts. Batteries are to be deployed in a grid-like manner at 45 sites across the United Kingdom. Pivot Power also wants to use the network's connections for charging stations. The electricity grid is made flexible for renewable energies and adapted for e-mobility.
Reading time: 4 min
Source: Greentech Media
The Israeli startup scene in the automotive sector is buzzing. The number of young companies has more than doubled in the last 7 years. Since 2015, investments have also tripled. The article focuses on the startups Guardian Optical, Cognata, and Regulus Cyber.
Reading time: 7 min
Source: The Times of Israel
Startup AEye has developed a new data type for autonomous vehicles. It combines the pixels of 2D cameras with the 3D information from LiDAR sensors. The format is far more efficient than previous solutions: It consumes up to 10 times less energy.
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The OneMap Alliance is a collaboration of mapping companies. It intends to have a map standard for self-driving cars on the market worldwide by 2020. The aim is a consistent HD map for the global transport network that will enable vehicles to drive autonomously across different countries.
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Mercedes me will launch a very special mobility service called Explore Sylt on June 1. In addition to a fleet of e-vehicles, users are provided with a customized portfolio of various services. These include lifestyle offers for a wide variety of target groups, such as wellness, sports, and gastronomy.
Insight: Explore Sylt from Mercedes me
Vattenfall has completed its largest energy storage facility in the UK. For this purpose, it connected a total of 500 BMW i3 battery packs to create a 22-MW battery. With used ZOE batteries, Renault has ventured a similar form of upcycling in Portugal.
Source: Power Technology
The venture capital business model has spread rapidly around the world—in the United States alone, some US$ 84 billion were invested in 8,000 tech startups in 2017. For an investor, an average of only 6% of his startups generate 60% of total returns. Hype or hope?
Reading time: 13 min
Insight: History of the German startup scene (German only)
Frost & Sullivan analysts predict that automakers will in-creasingly enter into cooperation agreements with software companies. For good reason: There will be 200 million connected vehicles by 2025. The partnerships will result in data-as-a-service models that will open up new lines of business for OEMs.
Source: PR Newswire
In a new study, UBS Bank assumes that Waymo will dominate as much as 60% of the self-driving car market in 2030. Only two car manufacturers will be able to bear up against the global player: Daimler and General Motors. According to UBS Bank calculations, 12% of vehicles sold will already be autonomous by 2030.
Uber dares a fresh start in Germany. The ridehailing company plans to start its activities already this summer. In addition to rental cars (uberX) and the UberBLACK limousine service, it also wants to implement e-bikes for local traffic and an air taxi service.
Startup Rivian identifies too much competition in the luxury electric sports sedan sector. That's why it is building an electric off-road vehicle, the A1T. The car will be launched in 2020. Rivian's chassis design is to be licensed out to other manufacturers so that they can save on development costs for their own platforms.
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Video: 2 min
Bosch has developed an unusual safety mechanism for motor-cycles. Sensors on the tires detect when the vehicle begins to slide sideways. An extremely powerful nozzle immediately ejects gas—repulsion force gets the motorcycle back on track.
Video: 1 min
Consulting firm Roland Berger has analyzed 3,500 AI compa-nies. Result of the study: The decisive innovation drivers are not large corporations but startups. Their success must be supported by a strong AI ecosystem. About 40% of the young companies come from the USA, followed by Europe with 22% in second place.
Insight: IDC study – AI in German companies
Source: Roland Berger
The German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) is heading the new joint project SATiSFy, whose partners also include Bosch and VW. The project aims to increase the safety of autonomous vehicles. Better start early: The work of SATiSFy already focuses on the development of self-driving cars.
Source: Springer Professional
Startup share2move is a scooter sharing service for rural areas. Until now it was considered difficult to introduce such services in sparsely populated areas. That's why the founder relies on cooperation with local companies. Only 2 weeks after the launch, 400 customers are already using the service.
Reading time: 5 min
Source: NGIN Mobility
Startup Verv has developed a home assistant for private energy consumption. In addition, its platform calculates the energy profile of houses and apartments. Now Verv has teamed up with blockchain startup Ocean Protocol. They are jointly designing a marketplace for energy information where the data can flow together.
Insight: Study on energy problems of the blockchain
Startup Cambridge Research & Development plans to build a battery-powered autonomous flatcar for package transport. This is to run on rails that are not used outside rush hours. The concept combines this solution with the agility of drones, which land on the roof to pick up and deliver packages.
Preferred Networks is one of the most valuable robotics start-ups in Japan. So far, it offers only one bizarre product: an AI that automatically colors manga cartoons. Actually, the young company is working on algorithms for smart industrial plants. Toyota even wants to use the programs for autonomous vehicles.
In a new study, the University of Michigan has analyzed the effects of driverless and connected cars on road traffic. A single connected vehicle was sufficient to prevent traffic jams that happen seemingly without a reason ("phantom traffic jams"). The flow of traffic became more constant, resulting in significant energy savings of up to 19%.
Source: The News Wheel
Startup RetailDeep aims to turn small and medium-sized businesses into fully automated shops. To this end, it develops a face recognition software to automatically invoice customers for their purchases. The technology could also find its way into autonomous vehicles so that drivers can already be recognized from a distance—also ideal for car sharing and the like.
Source: Biometric Update
Chemical company Clariant produces halogen-free pigments for electric cars: high-voltage cables in vehicles and at charging stations must be marked with warning colors. Halogens were often used for this, but they are toxic. Clariant conquers the Chinese market with its compatible solution.
For the future of transport, startup Transit X proposes a rail network that transports passengers in small, solar-powered pods. This visionary project is to be implemented in the Philippines and operate fully automatically. The first pilot system will be put into operation in Boston before the end of this year.
Source: Fast Company
Blade's "Shadow" streaming platform brings a high-end PC to the smartphone. In a monthly subscription, the gaming computer is provided from the cloud—the end device only needs an Internet connection. Streamed hardware could forever change in-car entertainment.
Startup Metawave is developing the AI-supported "Warlord" antenna: it scans the surroundings of the autonomous vehicle with highly focused radar beams. It defies adverse weather conditions and provides multidimensional information: distance, speed, object class, and angles of incidence.
Insight: Fraunhofer FHR develops radar simulation
Technology startup Masabi deals with mobile ticketing solutions for local public transportation. In a new study, it examines the popularity of multimodal mobility: 35% of those surveyed said they combined ride sharing with public transit. According to the report, the smooth integration of digital services leads to the promotion of public transportation.
Source: Smart Cities Dive
A study by the University of York and LEVC measured brain waves while driving an electric vehicle. The surprising result: drivers were less stressed. Their heart rate as well as the sound level of the drive remained pleasantly low. E-mobility apparently also provides for e-asing.
Software company PitchBook has identified the 30 most valu-able startups in the world of venture capital. Mobility of the future is obviously a game changer! One sixth of the most successful startups are ride-hailing companies: Uber, DiDi, Lyft, Grab, and Go Jek. Their total value: almost US$ 150 billion.
Wi-Fi Alliance has released a new standard for the intercon-nection of routers. With the so-called "EasyMesh", routers from different manufacturers can be combined into a network. A key technology for smart homes, free Internet when traveling, and smoother connections.
Insight: Lab1886 article: Car Mesh Networks
Source: The Verge
Startup Roadstar.ai is working on software for driverless cars. Its goal: Level 4 autonomy. For this purpose Roadstar.ai developed two systems. HeteroSync harmonizes the various sensor data of the vehicle. DeepFuse uses this data to create a model of the environment which the autonomous vehicle uses for orientation.
Insight: A Guide to Machine Learning
Source: China Money Network
Used cars can be easily bought and sold via the online platform of startup Carro. Carro has gradually expanded its services to include credit financing, breakdown assistance, and insurance brokerage. With the recently introduced Carro Express service, selling a vehicle can be completed in just 60 minutes.
Riversimple has built a hydrogen-powered car that drives 300 miles on 1.5 kilograms of H2. "Rasa" is scheduled to go into series production in 2020. A special feature is the open source publication of the technology designs. Their adaptation is an advantage for Riversimple: costs for suppliers could be reduced.
Video: 4 min
Researchers at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm have produced a wood-based material that exceeds the strength of all known bio-materials—even artificial spider silk. At the same time, the fiber is extremely light. Would it be possi-ble to integrate this innovation into the car?
Alphabet's subsidiary DeepMind is applying its AI programs to navigation. In the process, the researchers made a surprising discovery: The artificial neural networks formed grid cells that can also be found in mammalian brains. A further development of these already effective patterns could improve the navigation capability of DeepMind's AI.
Insight: I/O discussion on Phase 2 of AI
Source: Ars Technica
Startup ClearMotion is addressing the problem of motion sickness, which is a particularly pressing issue in autonomous vehicles. For this purpose, ClearMotion developed the electro-hydraulic system "Activalve". Mounted on the dampers, it detects unevenness on the road and counteracts it in milliseconds.
Source: The Connected Car
Ride-sharing giant DiDi has ambitious intentions: it plans to manufacture its own vehicle, which is specifically geared to ride-hailing services. To this end, the company wants to coop-erate with VW and CHJ Automotive, among others. DiDi aims to increase the number of users from 450 million to 2 billion by 2028.
According to a new study by management consultan-cy McKinsey, manufacturers of electric vehicles could quadruple their global production by 2020. This is actually necessary: the markets are growing rapidly, especially in China. In Europe, Germany and Norway have the highest demand.
Robotics company Boston Dynamics has developed a robot that can run like a human being. Investor Andy Rubin believes that mobility technologies of the future cannot get by without legs. They will be indispensable for last-mile services.
Video: 3 min
The main focus of Google's annual I/O Developer Conference is clearly directed towards artificial intelligence. 2 examples: On the one hand, an improved language assistant was introduced, who follows conversations and speaks with a deceptively real voice. On the other hand, the visual search tool Google Lens now also recognizes written words in addition to objects.
The platform from startup Otonomo collects and analyzes data of connected cars. These are then processed and sold to manufacturers and service providers. The autonomous vehicle in particular provides a unique opportunity for the big data startup: it produces around 4,000 GB of data per day.
Blockchain startup DOVU rewards drivers of rental cars who record their routes and share the data digitally. In return, cus-tomers receive a bonus in a specially created crypto currency. They can use the earned tokens to purchase services such as a tire change.
Insight: Facebook is launching its own Blockchain department