This week in Automotive: Fundings and collaborations give a fillip to charging infrastructure and development of in-vehicle data analytics

Latest Industry Insights from Draup Braindesk

By focusing on mobility, connectivity, and advanced propulsion, companies aim to develop environmentally sustainable and appealing products. 

  • Aptiv PLC launched a smart vehicle architecture system, which reduces the number of connections and devices within a vehicle. It reduces complexity, accelerates development, and enables the manufacturing of feature-rich and highly automated vehicles.
  • Stellantis’s evolutionary technology across five levels of automation leads to autonomous driving. It deployed ‘Uconnect,’ a connectivity platform enabling users to access remote lock/unlock, media control, and stolen vehicle tracking using their phones. 
  • Daimler has announced the launch of ‘Level-4’ cars by 2024. Mercedes-Benz has been working on its own proprietary ‘MB.OS’ operating system to be developed in-house and planned to launch in 2024.

Automakers are investing in acquiring robotics-based start-ups to enhance their traditional business segments. 

  • Daimler AG has acquired Torc Robotics Inc. to develop its software and to commercialize highly automated trucks. 
  • Waymo acquired Latent Logic, a UK start-up that uses imitation learning to simulate models of human behavior on the road. 
  • Volkswagen and Ford have invested in Argo AI, an autonomous vehicle start-up. It intends to integrate Argo AI’s Level-4 Self-Driving System (SDS) into its vehicles. 
  • Ford acquired Quantum Signal to achieve its goal of launching self-driving vehicles, making use of its extensive experience in real-time simulation and algorithm development. 

Latest Reports Published in Draup

Geely account intelligence report: Geely’s focus is on enhancing 3D printing, self-parking facility, and driver assistance capabilities to accelerate the driving experiences for users across the world. The company will position its future goals its capabilities across electrification and connected vehicle solutions. Read More>>
ZF Friedrichshafen account intelligence report: ZF is focusing on producing the ibeoNEXT Lidar system, a new type of solid-state photon laser measurement technology to generate a high-res 3D model of its environment in real-time, with the capability to recognize crash barriers and road markings. Read More>>

Key Funding Alert

Self-driving delivery company Nuro raises USD 500 Mn
Nuro’s new funding round is the first investment by Woven Capital, a new growth-stage fund from Woven Planet (a Toyota subsidiary). This additional funding signifies confidence in Nuro’s vision for autonomous delivery from a group of renowned investors. Read More>>

Startup Spotlight

Company –  Dive Technologies 
HQ Location – Greater Boston Area, US
Total Funding – USD 7.01 Mn
About: Dive Technologies develops reliable Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs). Its rapid adaptations to the core vehicle platform showcases versatility and efficiency while remaining steadfast on uncompromised reliability and affordability. Read More>>

Key Insights and Signals in Automotive

Mergers and Acquisitions
Panasonic to buy AI logistics firm Blue Yonder for USD 7.1 Bn 
The deal will make Blue Yonder a wholly-owned subsidiary of Panasonic, which holds 20% of Blue Yonder since July last year. The Covid-19 pandemic has dramatically heightened the need for more intelligent, autonomous, and edge-aware supply chains. Read More>>
Bilia acquires Upplands Motor Stockholm AB, a Mercedes dealer for cars, transport vehicles, and trucks 
The business that is acquired reported for 2020 a turnover of about SEK 1,200 Mn (USD 144 Mn) and an operating profit of SEK 48 Mn (USD 5.7 Mn). The number of employees is about 250. The operation’s capital employed and agreed surplus values amount to about SEK 220 Mn (USD 26.4 Mn). Read More>>
AAM Group partners with data analytics firm 
The AAM Group has partnered with data software company Phocas to provide enhanced analytics and savings to its warehouse distribution members, known for its speed and user-friendly interface. Read More>>
Continental AG, Horizon Robotics to build intelligent driving joint venture 
Both parties will leverage their advantages in product quality management, supply chain, AI chips, and algorithm. This will provide advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) and autonomous driving software & hardware system solutions to global automakers, including China’s local carmakers. Read More>>
Audi and ABB join forces to offer high-power EV charging in Auckland city
Rated at 175kW, this charger is the first publicly available charger above 50kW, New Zealand’s largest city. It is connected to the ChargeNet Network, meaning that all-electric vehicles are welcome. Read More>>
Executive Movement
Daimler AG: Management Board appointments for Truck CEO Daum and Chief Financial Officer Wilhelm extended 
Martin Daum’s (61) appointment, a management board member for Daimler AG and Chief Executive of Daimler Truck AG, was extended until 2025. Read More>>
Former Audi head of fleet named Volkswagen UK head of sales operations 
James Douglas is appointed as head of sales operations at Volkswagen UK. Douglas joined the Volkswagen Group in 2012 as head of fleet in Audi. Read More>>
Center setup and expansion
Volvo, Mack Trucks open a new electric vehicle training facility 
The facility will provide technical vehicle knowledge, dealer operations training and provides customers with exclusive access to expert training. Read More>>
BMW’s new China plant for Mini EVs is progressing well 
JV with Great Wall to start output in 2023 for local and global markets – Companies teamed up to open a plant in China with an annual capacity of 160,000. Read More>>
Golden opportunity for Tesla to make electric cars in India, says union minister Nitin Gadkari 
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said American electric car maker has a golden opportunity to set up its manufacturing facility in India given its thrust on e-vehicles. Tesla is already sourcing various auto components from Indian automakers and setting up a base here would be economically viable for it. Read More>>
Deals and Deal renewals
Kuka signs major contract with Daimler involving at least 1,000 robots, continuing 100-year partnership 
Daimler and Kuka have signed a new framework contract for the coming years. The deal encompasses a four-figure number of robots and linear units and other Kuka technologies such as software and controllers. Read More>>
Hankook Tire reveals Porsche deal as its tire supplier 
Hankook Tire signed a deal to supply tires for a model of Porsche sports car. The South Korean tire maker is the seventh-largest in the world based on sales. Read More>>
Volvo teams up with DiDi for self-driving taxis 
Volvo, the Swedish automaker, owned by China’s largest private automaker Geely, will supply XC90 SUVs to Didi Autonomous Driving, the self-driving technology division of China’s vehicle-for-hire company. 
Read More>>
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