This week in Automotive: Autonomous electric cars, route assistance, & solid-state battery technology, key areas of R&D

Latest Industry Insights from Draup Braindesk

Market leaders are developing more connected cars with enhanced navigational and visualization systems using advanced 5G technologies. They are using a sophisticated computation framework for gathering and analyzing a large volume of data generated in all aspects of vehicle operations using Big Data technologies.

Companies are working on 5G TCU (Telematics Control Unit) to improve automotive safety with real-time data. 

  • BMW group partnered with Samsung Electronics Co. to supply a 5G-based telematics control unit (TCU) to BMW’s all-electric sport utility vehicle iNEXT. The 5G-based TCU in iNEXT collects and provides real-time data for drivers with high-resolution contents and maps.  
  • Audi partnered with Deutsche Telekom to use the advanced 5G technology in their telematics Control Unit (TCU). It makes urban mobility safer and sustainable and has become an essential communication element between different road users, automated driving, and connections to the Internet of Things (IoT). 
  • Harman International has launched a New Dual-Mode V2X System to Improve Automotive Safety. This dual-mode v2x system features software and hardware that can operate either with Harman’s telematics control units (TCU) or as a standalone unit for vehicles utilizing separate TCU’s.

Motor companies are putting their resources into navigation and route assist systems adding to the travel assistance feature.  

  • Tesla to introduce an autopilot navigation assistance set as per the driver’s preferred destinations. Navigate on Autopilot is part of Tesla’s full self-driving suite and continues to improve its ability to perform lane changes, handle interchanges, and turn by turn route guidance on models with navigation by way of Tesla’s evolving neural network.
  • Yamaha Motor Company partnered with Sony Corporation to develop a Sociable Cart called “SC-1” with image sensors capable of vision beyond human capacity on all sides of the vehicle. The SC-1 gathered A.I.-based analysis from the vehicle’s surroundings from advanced image sensors, ultrasonic sensors, and ranging (LIDAR) systems, enabling optimal travel assistance as well as the ideal information route guidance. 

Vehicle crash/collision avoidance features are appealing to the audience resulting in increased sales. 

  • Kia Motors’ upgraded version of the Stinger sports car has new advanced safety features. The safety features include front collision avoidance, highway driving assist, and lane, keeping assist systems to boost sales in the domestic market. 
  • Volvo introduced their latest sedan edition, “S-60,” that comes with the latest collision avoidance systems, including some features and tech not even offered in rival models, like Run-Off Road Mitigation. 

Latest Reports Published in Draup

Honda account intelligence report: Honda’s focus is on its vehicle capabilities for an enhanced driving experience. Through this model, Honda will position its future goals in improving its capabilities across digital offerings. Its revenue earnings decreased in FY2020 compared to 2019, with decreased sales performance. Read More>>
Polaris account intelligence report: Polaris is transitioning towards transitioning digital offerings across its business domains and autonomous vehicle manufacturing. With this effect, Polaris will strengthen its capabilities to meet future market demands. They generated USD 7 Bn in sales in F.Y. 2020 due to ORV sales. Read More>>

Key Funding Alert

Ford, BMW lead Solid Power’s USD 130 Mn Series-B round  

Louisville-based solid-state battery developer Solid Power raised the funding round to power the future of transportation. Solid Power’s solid-state batteries lack a liquid electrolyte, making it safer. Solid Power says its batteries can provide a 50% to 100% increase in energy density than rechargeable batteries. Read More>>

Startup Spotlight

Company – MotorK
HQ Location – Milan Area, Italy
Total Funding – USD 55.68 Mn
Year of Inspection – 2010
Company Type – Private
About: MotorK offers integrated digital products and services to support automotive dealers and sales teams. Its products are DriveK (designed for original equipment manufacturers, OEMs) & DealerK (designed for auto dealers), and Internet Motors (digital automotive training & events). Read More>>

Key Insights and Signals in Automotive

Centre set up and expansion
GKN Automotive workers present plan to keep Birmingham plant open 
In January, a campaign to save the facility was launched when venture capital firm Melrose, which bought GKN in 2018, announced that it would close in 2022, despite promising to create a “British manufacturing powerhouse.” It will also save 500 Jobs. Read More>>
Construction of the Volkswagen plant in Pakistan will officially commence within this quarter 
Volkswagen would invest USD 135 Mn to set up an assembly unit in Pakistan. While the company had initially planned to start production in 2021, the plant’s construction was delayed due to the global pandemic. Read More>>
Mahindra sets up ‘Advanced Design’ center in the U.K. to shape future cars, electric SUVs 
Mahindra is setting up a new design based in the U.K. named the Mahindra Advanced Design Europe (MADE) center. It will be a part of Mahindra’s global design network, which includes the Mahindra Design Studio in Mumbai and Pininfarina Design in Turin. Read More>>
Deal and Deal renewal 
Tesla, Apple supplier Delta to pour USD 7 Mn in A.I. semiconductor startup amid chip shortage  
Tesla Inc and Apple Inc power components supplier Delta Electronics is backing Kneron, an artificial intelligence startup that develops semiconductors. The acquisition will complement Kneron’s existing business as it makes efforts to expand to the smart car industry. Read More>>
Reviver™ and Future Automotive Group announce agreement to sell digital license plates 
The Future-Reviver agreement provides both companies with a path to direct sales of Reviver’s Rplate and a shared revenue stream. Rplates will be offered with new Nissan vehicles and through Future Nissan’s service lanes. Read More>>
PowerCell receives USD 2.9 Mn fuel cell order from Bosch 
The agreement includes joint development of the S3 and a license whereby Bosch gets the exclusive right to produce and sell the new and improved version of PowerCell S3 for automotive applications such as cars, trucks, and buses. Read More>>
Michelin partners with Arity to make U.S. roads safer 
Michelin and Arity will develop data-powered solutions for transportation departments and cities to improve road safety across the U.S. It combines the unique data science expertise of MICHELIN Driving Data to Intelligence (DDI) around data and driving behavior analysis and Arity’s database of driving behavior data collected from nearly 100 million consumer connections. Read More>>
Honda partners with PayMaya, GCash for payments    
The automobile unit of Honda in the Philippines has teamed up with digital wallet providers GCash and PayMaya to provide customers a convenient payment option at its dealerships and service centers to serve customers better. Read More>>
Executive Movement
McLaren hires telecommunications exec as finance chief 
Kate Ferry took over the role from Paul Buddin. Before that, she worked as group corporate affairs director for telecommunications company Dixons Carphone. Read More>>
Lucid Motors announced the appointment of Sherry House as CFO   
Ms. House from Waymo, bringing two decades of experience in capital markets as a technology investor, investment banker, and Financial operating executive. Read More>>
Adient announces Rick T. Dillon to join automotive seat supplier’s Board of Directors 
The company is pleased to have Rick join Adient’s Board of Directors. His experience as a successful CFO and numerous other accomplishments complements our board’s skills and strengthens our resolve to enhance shareholder value. Read More>>
Mergers and Acquisitions
Bharat Forge acquires Nouveau Power as SPV for Sanghvi Forgings acquisition 
This is part of the resolution plan approved by the National Company Law Tribunal’s (NCLT) Ahmedabad Bench to acquire Sanghvi Forgings & Engineering under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016. Read More>>
LMP announces closing of Hometown Subaru acquisition 
LMP Automotive Holdings, Inc., an e-commerce and facility-based automotive retailer in the United States, announced the closing of its acquisition of Hometown Subaru – Hometown Subaru is a part of our Stage One acquisition agreements. Read More>>
New product development
General Motors is using artificial intelligence to build its future vehicles 
G.M. is experimenting with various design strategies for vehicle components and parts that leverage generative design motivated by artificial intelligence and cloud computing. Read More>>
Ford and BMW invest in Colorado startup to power the next generation of electric cars  
The companies announced a USD 130 Mn investment led by the U.S and German automakers. The company will use the money to add at least 60 jobs at its Louisville headquarters by the end of next year, doubling its current workforce. Read More>>
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