This week on Automotive: Key players pivot to intelligent manufacturing of smart vehicles, vehicle cybersecurity, and EV battery production

Latest Industry Insights from Draup Braindesk

AI implementation is driving the research into autonomous vehicles and advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) 

  • Motional selected Ambarella’s Cvflow family of A.I. processors for its driverless vehicles and partnered with Lyft to deploy a fully driverless, multimarket rideshare service. 
  • Continental AG intends to research and test the driverless transportation of people and goods for the enhanced connectivity of road users using the development platform and HMI. 
  • Hyundai Mobis partnered with Israel’s Cognata for advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), and autonomous vehicle technology can be safely tested and validated. 
  • Mercedes-Benz Research and Development India’s initiatives seek to advance the ADAS functionality of its vehicles with high-end safety systems to keep the driver secure. 
  • Daimler Trucks & Buses continues to level up autonomous technology solutions to enable the safe deployment of highly automated trucks and shape the future of trucking through its strong partners. 

Auto manufacturers are optimizing digital capabilities and autonomous systems with data and analytics. 

  • Motional also focuses on the optimization of data sets by partnering with SiaSearch on data set optimization. 
  • Total (China) Investments aims to drive the digital transformation of Total’s position in China by utilizing Alibaba’s digital capabilities and technology across e-commerce, online payments, local services, supply chain, big data, and organizational management. 
  • Daimler Trucks & Buses are increasingly looking to drive connectivity across the commercial vehicle industry and to transform it into a data-driven organization to enhance quality, innovation, and customer satisfaction. 
  • Continental AG aims to increase its digital potential by adopting A.I. in the supply chain and collaborative robots in the production line. 

New entrants to the EV-fold are bringing innovation, tech-excellence, and design to improve battery technology, create intelligent charging technology and sustainable charging tech. 

  • Harley-Davidson introduced an e-bicycle division called Serial-1 with core brand attributes of innovation, tech-excellence, and style. 
  • Lotus Cars collaborated with the Alpine co-development of the E.V. sports car by leveraging the resources, expertise, and facilities of the organizations in France and the United Kingdom and with Centrica to create new model electric vehicles (E.V.s) that incorporate future mobility and energy. 
  • General Motors collaborated with merchants Fleet to electrify its portfolio with BrightDrop, which offered electrical first-to-last-mile products and software services. With Navistar to supply its Hydrotec fuel cell power cubes for use in its production model fuel cell electric vehicle. 
  • MBRDI also focuses on improving the production and quality of its electric vehicle line through several research in battery development and ADAS systems. 
  • Total implemented intelligent charging technology, which allows high electricity consumption and sustainable charging where the cost of energy is more affordable. 
  • Daimler Trucks & Buses intends to extend its portfolio of series-produced vehicles with fuel cell-powered electric trucks, which will drive forward the series-ready development, production, and marketing of fuel-cell systems for use in heavy-duty commercial vehicles and other fields of application. 

Vehicle-tech companies are working on connected solutions to make mobility safer, more efficient, and convenient. 

  • Panasonic Automotive System partnered with Envisics and launched SPYDR 2.0 to focus on in-vehicle infotainment and improve user experience. Panasonic Automotive Systems India (PASI) also planned to launch new connected solutions for safety and comfort devices in passenger vehicles and two-wheelers. 
  • Harman India focuses on developing Connected vehicle Solutions that reimagines the in-vehicle experience through an expanded Harman India ExP Technology Suite that solves modern mobility needs and Harman Turbo Connect (TBOT). This software agent anticipates and mitigates vehicle connectivity discrepancies on the road. 

Latest Reports Published in Draup

Ford Motor autonomous vehicle outlook: Ford has been testing vehicles with the support of its partner Argo AI to begin transporting goods and people in automated cars in Miami and Washington. It acquired Quantum Signal, a mobile robotics company, to advance its self-driving vehicle development. Read More>>
Total S.A account intelligence report: Total (China) Investments aims to drive the digital transformation of Total’s position in China by utilizing Alibaba’s digital capabilities and technology across e-commerce, online payments, local services, supply chain, big data, and organizational management.
Read More>>

Key Funding Alert

Australian lidar firm Baraja raises
USD 31 Mn in funding

Founded in 2016, Sydney-based Baraja offers a key technology for navigation in self-driving vehicles by rendering precise images of their surroundings. Baraja will use the funds to hire and accelerate the development of its lidar technology. Read More>>

Startup Spotlight

Company – Zippity
HQ Location – Greater Boston Area, USA
Total Funding – USD 9.52 Mn
About: Zippity is an onsite service experience platform delivering B2B SaaS operating system. It enables incredible digital customer experiences across all automotive segments: mobile tire, mobile detailing, mobile brakes, mobile glass, mobile dent, and more. 
Read More>>

Key Insights and Signals in Automotive

Mergers and Acquistions
Lippert Components buys chassis maker as it responds to R.V. demand
Lippert says it needs more manufacturing capacity to keep up with market demand primarily created by the COVID-19 pandemic. The company is seeing a renewed interest in the outdoors and R.V. lifestyle, viewed as a safer way to travel. Read More>>
BMW Group and Daimler Mobility intend to sell PARK NOW Group to EasyPark Group
PARK NOW Group’s planned acquisition enables EasyPark to grow further and become a global pacesetter in parking-related digital mobility services. Read More>>
Lear expands connection systems business portfolio
The addition of M&N Plastics further increases Lear’s vertical integration capabilities to engineer and produce complex parts for electrical distribution, including high-voltage wire harnesses and power electronics. Read More>>
NSK Ltd.’ acquires Brüel & Kjær Vibro from Spectris Plc
The strategic acquisition of B&K Vibro, headquartered in Germany with sister companies in Denmark and the U.S., will help NSK accelerate innovation and its business in the growing CMS market. Read More>>
Recycling startup Redwood Materials is partnering with Proterra to supply E.V. battery materials sustainably
Under the agreement, Proterra batteries will be sent to Redwood’s recycling facilities in Carson City, Nevada. Proterra has sent around 26,000 pounds of battery material to Nevada for recycling since entering the partnership. Read More>>
PG&E, BMW Group taking next step in powering E.V.s, supporting grid reliability
In the future, PG&E and the BMW Group believe vehicles could play a larger role in supporting the grid as new vehicle technologies are developed. These efforts could help bill savings for customers driving E.V.s and include testing the use of E.V. batteries for backup generation and other grid services. Read More>>
SAIC, Haier said to unite in latest big push into smart cars
The agreement also involves Haier investing in setting up a SAIC unit to develop autonomous driving tech. The duo will cooperate in areas including autonomous driving and lightweight-material development and establish a fund to invest in areas such as intelligent manufacturing. Read More>>
McAfee and Panasonic partner to work on vehicle cybersecurity
The subscription-based service will collect data from compromised cars and send its findings to car brands. The said car brand will then use this data to take appropriate actions like releasing security updates. Read More>>
Hyundai to have joint clean energy R&D with Shell
This agreement is to work towards solving the problems of rising pollution levels and creating environment-friendly products. There was a discussion on supplying energy. Developing supply stations installed for people to be able to commute through electric vehicles. Read More>>
Executive Movement
Barna to Become CEO of Yokohama Tire Corp.
Jeff Barna, President of Yokohama Tire Corp. (YTC), will become the company’s CEO on March 30. Shinichi Takimoto, whom Barna will replace as CEO of YTC, will remain Chairman of the company and president and CEO of Yokohama Corporation of North America. Read More>>
Venu Srinivasan to step down as CMD of TVS
TVS Motor Company appointed auto industry veteran and former JLR CEO Ralf Speth to its board of directors, besides bringing in Kuok Meng Xiong as an independent director. Venu Srinivasan, Chairman of TVS Motor Company, will become Chairman Emeritus effective January 2023. Speth will succeed him as Chairman. Read More>>
Dr. Anish Shah appointed Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd.
In November, when Mr. Anand Mahindra transitions to the Non-Executive Chairman’s role, Dr. Anish Shah will become the first professional M.D. and CEO in the Mahindra Group’s history to have complete oversight of and responsibility for the Mahindra Group businesses. Read More>>
Nicolas Maure to take the CEO role at Renault Russia
The role is newly created as Renault moves from appointing chairpersons of different regions to assigning CEOs of brands within them. Maure will report to Groupe Renault CEO Luca de Meo. Read More>>
Center setup and expansion
Human Horizons smart factory setting benchmark for intelligent vehicle manufacturing
Human Horizons built the assembly line in a repurposed gasoline-powered vehicle plant in Yancheng, Jiangsu province. Mass-production has already commenced, and deliveries may begin in May 2021. One major highlight at the new production facility is that the HiPhi X will autonomously drive itself off the assembly line and park in the nearby lot. Read More>>
Daimler launches EQS battery production
The production of the cells themselves is supposedly CO2-neutral. The goal here is that all Mercedes-Benz passenger car and van plants will be CO2-neutral from 2022 – which means that Hedelfingen will also be CO2-neutral by next year at the latest. Read More>>
Opel expands battery center to cover eCMP models
Opel has upgraded its battery center at its headquarters in Rüsselsheim. Additionally, the batteries of all Opel models on the eCMP platform and Combo-e, Vivaro-e, and Zafira-e Life are now tested and, if necessary, repaired there. Read More>>
Deals and Deal renewals
Varroc Engineering to produce E.V. chargers for Canada-based Delta-Q
Varroc would manufacture Delta-Q’s chargers in India to support the expansion of the electric two and three-wheeler market. The combined capabilities of the two partners will create business synergies and strengthen the foothold in the country. Read More>>
Mando Signs 1.4 Tn Won (USD 1.2 M) deal to supply suspension systems to Volkswagen
Mando will build 50 million suspension components from June 2022 through 2033 in its European factories. The deal will boost its bid to tap into the European electric vehicle component market, as the world’s No. 2 carmaker is in the midst of a significant shift toward battery-powered cars. Read More>>
DHL Express ups order for Lightning eMotors’ electric transit vans
These new electric vans serve DHL customers better and help couriers more efficiently and effectively deliver packages. They are assisting DHL to meet its commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve urban air quality, and reduce noise on the streets. Read More>>
Hitachi Rail uses Knorr-Bremse for Turin Trams
Hitachi Rail has selected Knorr-Bremse to manufacture the hydraulic brake systems, entrance, and HVAC systems for 30 new light rail vehicles for Turin, Italy. The contract includes an option to fit the systems for 40 additional units. Read More>>
Ford may drop Mahindra engines from the future line-up
Ford is likely to drop its plan to use Mahindra-sourced engines in its upcoming products. Instead, the carmaker could rely on its own set of engines. The report also states that Ford is re-evaluating alternatives for the CSUV.  Read More>>
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