Auto Technology

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Technology Conversations: Future of Mobility

We provide a list of the latest developments and biggest media conversations around the future of mobility in two main sections — general conversations and auto brands and big tech brands who are weighing in on the topic. For the first section, we list seven different news items and developments. For the second section, we were able to identify nine different news articles. All the developments included in the research have been published in the last three months. For each development or conversation, we included two to three sentences summarizing the key developments. We've done the same for auto brands and big tech brands who are weighing in on the topic.

GENERAL CONVERSATION

1. Several companies who are producing passenger drones and traditional flying cars are either getting ready to launch or are finalizing their product to be launched in the next 2 years. Currently most of the companies are focused on electric or hybrid-electric designs with VTOL capabilities.

2. AEROMOBIL is one of the companies ready to launch in 2020, and they just started their testing phase of flying cars. Another company doing the same thing is EHANG which expects to launch their flying car in 2018. E-VOLO's Volocopter also has a launch date by the end of this year.

3. The world's first smart folding mobility scooter has been introduced in January. It is a cross "between a scooter and a beautiful bit of luggage", and is manufactured by RELYNC. The company plans on selling 3,000 units of the product within the first year.

4. The mobility market is estimated to reach the size of $2.4 billion by 2021. The current market is experiencing a 5-10% annual growth rate in sales.

5. UK government is currently working on loosening the legal framework when it comes to testing self-driving vehicles. The government stated that the "British roads are already among the safest in the world and automated vehicles have the potential to make them even safer."

6. A team of researchers recently announced they developed a new laser-based system that can effectively produce images of objects that are hidden around a corner. This is a major development that could allow autonomous vehicles to "see obstacles before they come into the line of sight".

7. The current predictions estimate that by 2035, 80% of people will use robotaxis in cities where they are available. Because of that, urban car ownership will decline by 70%.

AUTO BRANDS WEIGHING IN ON THE TOPIC

1. In January 2018, Mercedes, Toyota and Nissan all presented their self-driving cars in different auto expos. The market is expected to be filled with autonomous cars without traditional controls by 2020.

2. General Motors announced in February that their new Cadillac Super Cruise will include eye-tracking technology, which is a first step towards introducing full sensor-based systems which would allow for a more secure introduction of autonomous cars.

3. Waymo is the self-driving car unit of Google’s parent company, and is currently planning to launch a special robotaxi service by the end of this year. As sensors for automatic vehicles currently cost more than the vehicle itself, robotaxis are a good solution as they will generate revenue.

4. Waymo is also planning on releasing a commercial taxi service in Phoenix in 2018 that will mostly feature fully driverless cars. Other companies such as Uber and Volvo are also investing large sums into driverless cars.

5. General Motors is at the latest stage of manufacturing their daughter company Cruise's driverless car design at scale. The company recently announced the testing should begin later this year.

6. Ford has invested in several projects when it comes to autonomous vehicle technology. Their current plan is to introduce fully driverless technology by 2021.

7. Volkswagen's Audi brand is currently in the lead when it comes to advanced driver assistance technology. Recently Audi announced the innovative Traffic Jam Pilot that enables fully automated driving in traffic jams when the car is going less than 37 miles per hour.

8. BMW developed an alliance with Intel and Fiat Chrysler in order to develop driverless car technology. Today BMW's partially automated driving systems are increasingly more capable and are currently in the testing phase.

9. At the Geneva International Motor Show this month, Goodyear debuted "a unique concept tire that is putting a new spin on sustainable urban mobility. The tire is lined with living moss that allows it to effectively act as an air filter. Goodyear estimates that Oxygene tires could generate nearly 3,000 tons of oxygen and absorb more than 4,000 tons of CO2 per year."

CONCLUSION

We provide a list of 16 different developments that happened in the last three months regarding the future of mobility.
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Technology Conversations: Connected Cars

We provide a list of the latest developments and biggest media conversations around connected cars in two main sections — general conversations and auto brands who are weighing in on the topic. For the first section, we list eleven different news items and developments. For the second section, we were able to identify six different news articles. All the developments included in the research have been published in the last 3 months. For each development or conversation, we included two to three sentences summarizing they key developments. We've done the same for auto brands who are weighing in on the topic.

General conversation on the topic

1. One of the largest current conversations is about the threat connected cars pose to consumers' security. While hackers still haven't started redirecting vehicles, the technology is evolving at a rapid pace and will soon allow for a lot of safety features of connected cars to be compromised. Therefore, the car companies and governments need to stay ahead of the technology when it comes to thinking of how to guarantee security of connected cars.

2. Chetan Sharma Consulting recently published a report where they state that 2017 saw "more new cars added to cellular networks than new cellphones". In particular, AT&T added a million or more new cars to its network in each quarter of 2017.

3. By 2020, "bundling and selling data from connected cars will be a massive new revenue stream" for manufacturers. Car companies are expected to bundle data together and then sell them to the highest bidder.

4. Big data is paving the way of success for connected cars. This is so because big data allows for companies to compile and understand huge amounts of traffic, weather and car system information at a rapid pace. This allows for elimination of human error when it comes to driving, which is currently the biggest reason of car accidents.

5. In order to stay ahead when it comes to security and privacy issues of connected cars, Canadian Senate Committee announced at the beginning of 2018 that they will be flagging privacy and security as major issues of connected cars. In Europe, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a regulation that is about to pass and will set the global bar when it comes to data privacy.

6. BlackBerry CEO John Chen recently unveiled Jarvis, the company's newest security platform that will be integrated into connected and autonomous cars. The software can scan the cars’ inputs as well as outputs for different protocols, and it also automatically identifies errors in code.

7. Millenials are driving the demand for connected cars with 84% of Millennials wanting to purchase a new car for their next vehicle. On top of that, 41% of Millennial car buyers are interested in having the most up-to-date technological innovations in their next car.

8. Fortinet is a world leader in integrated cybersecurity, and recently they announced the release of advanced cybersecurity capabilities for connected cars. They developed a "system-on-chip (SoC) to secure vehicle network domains, cloud-based services and applications".

9. By 2025, the projection for connected cars is $300 million, which is a huge increase from the $37 million in 2016. The annual revenues for connected car equipment and other services will surpass $250 billion by 2025.

10. At Mobile World Congress 2018, Cubic Telecom announced they have enabled over 1 million connected cars on their platform in the last 15 months. Currently, the cars which are connecting to their platform span across 35 countries and 40 mobile networks.

11. Samsung recently revealed an update on the first 5G-ready automotive solution or the Telematics Control Unit (TCU). TCU is a product that happened as a result of Samsung collaborating with Harman. 5G will be able to stream "8K video to a train going 60 miles an hour".

Auto brands who are weighing in on the topic

1. The initiative between Intel, BMW, and Mobileye has been one of the main news during 2017 and is also one of the main trends of 2018 because it has been developing in phases. First Intel acquired Mobileye, then Delphi and Fiat Chrysler joined the original project. The next stage started recently when Intel unveiled an innovation center for autonomous driving.

2. Jaguar Land Rover invested $25 million into Lyft in order to boost its push in driverless vehicles. The same development has been seen with their competitors, Uber. They bought tens of thousands of connected cars from Volvo to boost driverless car rides.

3. Ford announced a partnership with Qualcomm in 2018 where they plan on developing technology to connect cars to each other as well as connect the cars to the world around them. The main goal is to allow for an ease in congestion and to add other services for passengers.

4. Ford also pledged that they will have the largest connected car fleet in the next couple of years. They will be doing so by developing a cloud network which is planned to work with the existing SYNC 3 platforms, also developed by Ford. This platform has been present in Ford's cars for years now which is why even consumers with older cars can eventually use the connected car feature.

5. Honda recently announced a partnership with AutoNavi, which is a navigation and location-based provider. AutoNavi is owned by Alibaba, and together the companies want to develop new services for connected cars. The services will include making reservations using AutoNavi, and making payments using Alipay.

6. Nissan Motor announced that they started testing connected cars on public roads in Japan in January 2018. The project has the goal to verify the reliability of Nissan's Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything standard.

CONCLUSION

We provide a list of seventeen different developments that happened in the last 3 months regarding connected cars.
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Technology Conversations: Smart Home

Amazon has recently acquired two doorbell companies Ring and Blink and invested in Ecobee, a voice-controlled thermostat. These moves reflect a changing dynamic in the technology industry towards smart devices, especially ones that have voice recognition powered by companies like Google, Amazon, or Apple. The list of devices include appliances and home delivery systems. Car brands like BMW and Toyota are also weighing in on this new trend and supporting their vehicles with voice capabilities.

general conversation & BIG DEVELOPMENTS

Over the past 3 months, Amazon has dominated the news surrounding smart home technology. While the company has been involved in this industry for quite some time with its services like Cloud Cam and Amazon Key, it was brought into the spotlight in December 2017 after it acquired Blink, a startup that sells wire-free smart security cameras and video doorbells. Two months later it acquired another similar company named Ring which had a valuation of over $1 billion last year, showing that Amazon was serious about controlling this market.

Things did not end at doorbells as in March 2018, Amazon's Alexa Fund participated in a $62 million Series C funding round into Ecobee, a company that creates voice-activated intelligent thermostats. The Alexa Fund invests in hardware startups and helps them embed Alexa into their products. So it comes as no surprise that it is investing in Ecobee, a company that controls one-third of the smart thermostat market.

The most recent International Consumer Electronics Show or CES 2018 showed a glimpse of the latest innovations in smart home tech as well as an idea of the direction where this market was heading. Some of the products:

1. Smart home delivery systems: Major smart lock maker, August, partnered with Walmart to provide delivery pilots access to houses. This service called August Access can be monitored remotely via an app.

2. Connected appliances: Virtually every new smart home device at CES had some support for either Google Assistant, Alexa and/or Siri and that includes appliances like LG's Instaview refrigerator which can play music at your command and Lenovo Smart Screen that can run with the help of Google Assistant. Other appliance companies like Gourmia also announced that all of its products now support Assistant.

AUTO BRANDS

Mercedes: This automaker was one of the first major companies to offer voice controls in their vehicles two decades ago but it was an unfeasible attempt at best. Fast forward to January 2017, Ford became the first automobile company to bring Amazon Echo into their cars allowing owners to play audiobooks, order items on Amazon, and remotely start, lock or unlock doors. Today, companies like BMW and Toyota are making big strides in this field of automobiles thanks to services like Assistant and Alexa.

BMW: BMW has long maintained a stand to provide a voice assistant system that reflects its own values while being synonymous with its own luxurious brand. It has shied away from being a typical Alexa powered car with "Echo Dots in a cup holder." As a result, BMW has planned to merge the salient features of all major voice assistants into its BMW Connected Platform in order to provide the best possible user experience to its drivers.

Toyota/Lexus: Toyota announced in January 2018 that its cars with the Entune 3.0 system and Lexus models with the Enform 2.0 system will get Alexa capabilities this year. While the exact models have not specified, Toyota Camry 2018 was the first car to have Entune 3.0. Zack Hicks, senior vice president and chief information officer of Toyota Motor North America and chief executive officer and president of Toyota Connected, said that soon, owners will be able to speak to their cars "while on-the-go."

CONCLUSION

The smart home market is moving rapidly. Major companies are getting involved in it and their investments will result in a world where we not only interact intelligently with humans, but also with practically any other device out there. This is just the beginning of a big growth in the market for smart products. It will not be long before our daily travels and lifestyle will be influenced by AI-powered minds.
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Technology Conversations: Battery Technology and Powertrain

We provided you with a list of the latest developments and biggest media conversations around battery technology and power train topics in two main sections — general conversations and auto brands and big tech brands who are weighing in on the topic. For the first section, we list ten different news items and developments. For the second section, we were able to identify seven different news articles. All the developments included in the research have been published in the last three months. For each development or conversation, we included two to three sentences summarizing the key developments. We've done the same for auto brands that are weighing in on the topic.

GENERAL CONVERSATION

1. Exide Industries recently launched a new range of automotive batteries called Epiq in the Indian market. The new batteries come with a six-year warranty and are considered the highest level of premium batteries in India.

2. Roskill, a leader when it comes to metals and minerals research, published their forecast, where they expect primary nickel consumption to increase by 4% each year between 2017 and 2027. This growth rate is primarily driven by the increasing consumption by stainless steel manufacturers.

3. Engine builder Cummins recently acquired Johnson Matthey’s, one of UK's largest automotive battery systems firms. Cummins and Johnson Matthey are planning to work together on the development of automotive battery materials that will be used for commercial heavy-duty applications.

4. After BMW announced they will be starting to design electric versions of their X3 SUV and Mini cars, the price for 21 kilograms of cobalt, which is the amount required to power typical car batteries, was at $600. A bit over a year later, the price climbed to $1,700 and is increasing every day.

5. A recently released report by Grand View Research revealed that the global lithium-ion battery market is going to reach $93.1 billion by 2025. The automotive lithium ion battery pack market will reach the value of $32.3 billion by 2026.

6. It is getting increasingly harder to source material required to produce automotive batteries. In order to replace every car currently in use with Tesla's Model X would require two times the global reserves of cobalt. However, car manufacturers still feel the pressure to produce more cars with batteries as stricter emissions standards require more and more battery-charged car engines.

7. Despite almost all big automakers saying they believe that the future of the automotive industry is electric, 54% of executives working for car manufacturing firms say they think electric vehicles will fail commercially. They quote infrastructure challenges and charging times as main problems.

8. Automotive executives find automotive batteries to have an end date. They think that the future of car charging depends on fuel cell hydrogen vehicles.

9. Gehring and copperING Group recently announced they are joining their global product portfolios. They want to become one of the major suppliers of production systems when it comes to power train segments.

10. The European Investment Bank (EIB) announced they are offering a 70 million euro loan to AVL List GmbH (AVL). The loan is specifically aimed towards supporting projects for hybrid and electric power trains.

AUTO BRANDS WEIGHING IN ON THE TOPIC

1. Bosch announced they are eliminating their production of electric car batteries. This comes as a serious blow to European manufacturers in general as the competition from Asia and US is making huge efforts to expand their battery production. The big players involve Samsung, Panasonic, BYD and Tesla.

2. Nissan is in talks to start producing automotive batteries in Thailand. The company wants to invest in production of electric vehicles and batteries in the next five years.

3. Scania, part of the Volkswagen Group, announced they are planning to become the biggest battery cell manufacturer in Europe. They want to rival Tesla, a company that currently produces a total battery storage capacity of 32 GWh a year. Scania's plan is to match Tesla by 2023.

4. Toyota recently developed a new 2.0-liter class TNGA-based power train unit. The new release is a power train unit that enables continuous variable transmission and drastically improves driving as well as environmental performance. By the end of 2023, Toyota is planning on installing the TNGA-based power train units in 80% of Toyota cars.

5. Toyota also announced that the next step of their power train global strategy is to offer the next generation of the Auri line with three power trains. The power trains will include a 2L Turbo–4-cylinder, an 8L HEV power train, and a 2L HEV power train.

6. Volvo Trucks recently announced that their power trains now offer the option of remote updates. The remote programming system works on the proprietary engine and power train systems on some truck models.

7. Volkswagen announced that in 2019 they are switching to the MQB modular platform for their new Jetta models. The car will also feature "a turbocharged 1.4-liter inline-four engine good for 147 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque".

CONCLUSION

We provide a list of 17 different developments that happened in the last three months regarding battery technology and power train topics.
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Technology Conversations: Sensor Technologies

Conversations surrounding LIDAR and 2D and 3D motion analysis sensors focus on money raised and invested in the technologies as well as recent improvements in accuracy. In automotive image sensors and high resolution thermal cameras, conversations have focused on improving accuracy and reliability. General Motors is involved with LIDAR and high resolution thermal camera technology. Toyota is involved with 2D and 3D motion sensors technology and Baidu is involved with automotive image sensing.

Within the automotive sensor space, the biggest conversations surround LIDAR, 2D and 3D motion analysis sensors, automotive image sensors and high resolution thermal cameras. The biggest media conversations were considered to be those which made headline news in multiple reputable media sources such as Forbes.com and Nasdaq.com.

LIDAR

LIDAR is emerging as a key focal point for investors, technology firms and automotive companies alike. In terms of the latest developments, Ouster has recently received $27 million from Cox Automotive to support the development of its LIDAR technology. Innoviz Technologies has raised $65 million to accelerate its LIDAR technology for autonomous cars and Oryx Vision has raised $50 million to develop its LIDAR technology.

One of the key limiting factors with LIDAR is cost, often the highest end automotive LIDAR systems available cost $75000. However, recently, Ouster has claimed that its system will cost $12000 and is currently available for shipping. Ouster's 64 channel LIDAR sensor is already available for shipping. In a similar vein, Velodyne is quadrupling production of its main LIDAR product.

In January 2018, Innoviz Technologies released the InnovizPro a micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) based scanning LIDAR solution that will enable their LIDAR sensors to yield a performance more accurate and reliable than any other on the market today. This LIDAR system includes a long detection of up to 150 meters with precise clarity at a distance. A dense 3D point cloud with high accuracy and superior accuracy even in the darkest nights, the brightest sunlight, fast changing weather and at high speed travel.

General Motors and Cox Automotive are currently the biggest players in the LIDAR market. General Motors recently boosted its self driving car credentials with the acquisition of LIDAR start up Strobe.

2D and 3D Motion Analysis Sensor

In December 2017, Guardian Optical Technologies raised $5.1 million from Maniv Mobility and Mirai Creation Fund (a fund backed by Toyota Motor Corporation) to support its motion analysis sensor technology.
Volkswagen Group research, Bosch and Visteon recently collaborated in an 'Intelligent Car Interior' to develop a system that moves sensor technology to a vehicle's interior. This system offers a low cost solution that could be translated in to $200 million dollar savings.

Toyota Motor Corporation are involved with 2D and 3D motion analysis senors though the support of Guardian Optical Technologies. Volkswagen is involved in the development of the intelligent car interior and Mercedes has contracted Noveto Systems to integrate its sound technology in to its S class vehicles.

Automotive image sensors

At CES 2018, Sony showcased further breakthroughs in the field of automotive image sensors. Following on from the development of technology such as high end rear view cameras, premium 360 surround view cameras and advanced driver assistance systems such as blind spot detection, e-mirrors and lane-departure warnings, Sony showed how the sensors detect their 360 surroundings and help evade danger. Visitors to CES saw how wide angles, telescopic zooms, high speed and high sensitivity images improve what can be seen with the naked eye. Such technological advances show the development towards fully autonomous driving.

Baidu, an automotive company, has used ON semiconductor image sensors for its Apollo autonomous driving platform. This new collaboration helps to speed and simplify implementation of image sensing solutions.

High Resolution Thermal Cameras

FLIR has announced the availability of a high resolution Thermal Vision Automotive Development kit, featuring a high performance FLIR Boson thermal camera for automakers and innovators of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). This allows developers to add an affordable long-range thermal camera to their ADAS development vehicles to help advance reliability and redundancy required for self driving cars.

ST Microelectronics, a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications and AdaSky an Israel-based start up bringing far infrared (FIR) technology to the automotive market announced a collaboration. In this, AdaSky's FIT thermal camera embeds custom silicon co-designed with and manufactured by ST in its 28nm FD-SOI manufacturing technology. A complete sensing solution from AdaSky, called Viper, aims to enable autonomous vehicles to see and understand the roads and their surroundings in any condition.
CES 2018 in Las Vegas also saw Seek Thermal showing its first thermal imaging camera for automotive aftermarkets priced under $999. This provides enhanced vision and safety in the dark and in adverse weather conditions such as rain, fog, snow and glare.

General Motors, Peugeot, Mercedes, Audi and BMW all offer FLIR high resolution thermal cameras as an aftermarket system.

In summary, sensor technologies in vehicles are advancing rapidly. The general conversations surrounding sensor technology for vehicles concern LIDAR technology, 2D and 3D motion sensors, automotive image sensors and high resolution thermal cameras. General Motors, Volkswagen, Mercedes and Baidu are they key automotive companies currently weighing in on sensor technology.


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Technology Conversations: Big Data and Machine Learning

The research below highlights a list of the latest developments and biggest media conversations around Big Data and Machine Learning.

GENERAL CONVERSATIONS/DEVELOPMENTS

1. BIG DATA REGULATION THROUGH BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY

Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which is to be introduced by the EU in May 2018, businesses, companies, and individuals that rely on Big Data to fetch the individual's personal information, have to take permission from the person or businesses before using their personal information for targeting ads and other purposes. Blockchain technology can play a major role in the regulation of Big Data by controlling as well as securing personal information of an individual or business. This Blockchain technology will empower them to regulate and capitalize in the use of their personal information by any other company or business for their personal gains.

2. BIG DATA IN THE BUSINESS WORLD

The role of Big Data, once popularized by companies like Amazon and Netflix, is disrupting their own businesses with their competitors also using the data-dependent technology to excel in their businesses. Tech giants like Google and Yahoo once used big data management principles to solve specific business problems. With the diffusion of Big Data in other industries by them, the other businesses in the market, gauging its profitability, got attracted towards it and created a general trend of big data analytics in the business world.

3. MISCONCEPTIONS SURROUNDING ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND MACHINE LEARNING

Today, the individuals and businesses who treat the machine learning and Artificial Intelligence as something "dangerous," "counter-intuitive," or like a "Black Box" that could consume a large amount of data, don't know anything about these technologies. These technologies are just like tools which are simply used to do a particular job, and nothing more than that. The perception regarding these technologies is required to be changed before introducing them as a solution.

4. PROPER USE OF MACHINE LEARINING

In today's technologically advanced world, machine learning is struggling to find its proper place in the market to become a popular analytical tool, that could effectively solve real problems faced by the industries well in advance. The reason for its struggle is the lack of knowledge of properly using it and unavailability of processes or ways to make its deployment easier. If implemented properly, the technology can predict well in advance the future occurrence of a problem and take remedial action to prevent its occurrence.

5. FUTURE OF BIG DATA
To follow the hype of data-centric approach, tech giants like Google, IBM, Amazon Web Services are investing heavily in automation of both the "data engine and feature engineering" to create new avenues in the field of big data. This is because the traditional methods surrounding big data have now been exhausted with the increase in the big data industries in the market, and also the data regulation measures that are being implemented by a number of governments across the globe.

AUTOBRAND CONVERSATIONS/DEVELOPMENTS

1. PORSCHE USING BIG DATA, BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY

Porsche recently announced that it would be the first car manufacturing company that will deploy Blockchain technology in its cars. With the implementation of Blockchain the car would gather the real-time data from the roads and traffic, and encrypt the data using Blockchain technology to sell it to other integrators and drivers, and thus help create automated driving vehicles that operate on their own, through real-time data exchange from the swarm of encrypted data gathered by other vehicles, by employing AI and machine learning.

2. MAXIMIZING THE DATA USE

Data-driven machine learning is a new buzzword in the automotive industry, in which there is rising hype for self-driving cars that would gather tons of data to effectively travel from one place to the other. Google self-driving cars exchange a large amount of data through its advanced machine learning system, and as a result, its performance increased by 400% in comparison to other self-driving cars whose performance only increased by one-third. Thus, more the data, better the performance.

3. JOB CREATION IN AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY

These days, with the advancement of big data and machine learning in the automotive industry, huge job opportunities have been created for software professionals who also have some experience in autonomous vehicles' industry. With huge investment flowing in the autonomous vehicle industry, companies like Volkswagen, Toyota, Tesla, and many others like them are offering great opportunities to the software professionals from the fields of Big Data and machine learning.

4. RESPONSE OF AUTO-BRANDS TO TECHNOLOGY CHANGES

With the auto brands shifting their gears towards self-driving and electric vehicles, there is a huge demand for research and development in the sector that would cost the car companies a huge amount of funds and research. This is because those companies that are ready to take the pain in investing funds in R and D in order to provide "autonomous, connected, shared and electric transportation system," will experience a more profitable growth in the future. To move ahead with the technology trend, Daimler, the Germany-based automotive company, last month launched a new Mercedes-Benz A-Class with its "own machine-learning and voice recognition technology."

5. VOLVO LAUNCHES ITS OWN VENTURE CAPITAL FUND
Swedish car manufacturing company, Volvo, has recently launched its own Venture Capital arm, Volvo Cars Tech Fund, to invest in the technologies and startups in order to keep pace with the changing scenario of the automotive world, which is currently investing heavily upon startups and companies to adopt the latest technology trends focusing upon electrification, connectivity, and autonomy. "In January, Renault, Nissan, and Mitsubishi (which work closely together) jointly started Alliance Ventures, to spend $1 billion by 2023."

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, the technologies like Big Data and Artificial intelligece is revolutionizing the automative industry, which is currently investing heavily in research and devlopment based on these technologies to keep pace with the changing world and for more profitabilitiy,

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Technology Conversations: User Experience

We provide a list of the latest developments and biggest media conversations around user experience (UX) in two main sections — general conversations and auto brands and big tech brands who are weighing in on the topic. For the first section, we list six different news items and developments. For the second section, we were able to identify 11 different news articles. All the developments included in the research have been published in the last three months. For each development or conversation, we included two to three sentences summarizing the key developments. We've done the same for auto brands and big tech brands who are weighing in on the topic.

General conversation

1. The main drivers of UX currently are technology, AI, and blockchain. If used properly, clients will be able to judge the company's efforts as more successful compared to other companies and therefore win at UX.

2. Intelligent cloud ERP is delivering next-generation UX. The three main ways companies should exploit cloud-based solutions are machine learning, automation, and continuous improvements.

3. One of the biggest mobile UX trends for 2018 is creating well-curated and easily accessible content. This is done by decluttering the apps and allowing for a total clearance of visual hierarchy.

4. ContentSquare is a "cloud-based software that helps businesses understand how and why users are interacting with their app". It has recently picked up $42 million in Series B funding and is planning to be one of the main leaders of helping companies excel at UX. Their UX platform goes beyond "traditional web or mobile app analytics to not only enable companies to see how users interact with their digital experiences but to make the resulting insights actionable".

5. Adobe XD has recently unveiled a new series of icon kits which were designed by different studios, and mark the company's commitment to the highest UX. The studios designed icons that embody #GoodDesign principles and are free for download.

Auto brands and big tech brands weighing in on the topic

1. Facebook recently announced that they are changing their centerpiece News Feed to put priority on what friends and family share, and reducing the amount of non-advertising content from brands. This is an effort from Facebook to achieve higher levels of UX after they experienced a decline in time spent on the platform by 5% in the last quarter.

2. Mercedes-Benz announced in January that they will be launching their own intuitive multimedia system that has the goal of maximizing UX. It is called MBUX — Mercedes-Benz User Experience and will enter series production in 2018 for the new AClass.

3. Ford is launching a series of self-driving tests in the state of Florida. In order to understand what the UX will look like with autonomous vehicles used for delivery, they are running tests where the vehicles used for the tests will only be modified to look like autonomous vehicles.

4. HiQ is using virtual reality technology to drive UX and get more consumers to understand the value of safety systems for Volvo cars. The VR experience is available for testing in Volvo's studio in Milan and Volvo showrooms globally.

5. Google put out a statement that they have updated their PageSpeed Insights tool. The tool now uses data from the Chrome user experience report, meaning it now shows the consumers how fast their pages load based on real user data, therefore driving UX.

6. At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Google announced the mobile Speed Scorecard, a tool that enables users to compare the website mobile speed with different websites. This approach is aimed towards raising UX with business customers.

7. Apple announced recently that they will never intentionally "degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades." This comes as a response to reports that the Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission are trying to get the information about Apple intentionally lowering the quality of older iPhones after a certain time.

8. Apple has been intentionally showing conservative estimations of trip times on Apple Maps. A scientific test showed that Apple's estimated trip times are normally 8% longer compared to Google Maps, while the real arrival times are on average 1% faster than the software initially predicts.

9. Tesla Model 3 has been rated as having lower UX experience when compared to the Tesla Model S or Tesla Model X. This is mainly based on the touchscreen interface which was less developed than in Model S.

10. Uber developed their own Customer Obsession Ticket Assistant (COTA) in order to help their agents resolve issues reported by consumers. The platform is able to resolve 90% of inbound support tickets quickly and is, therefore, Uber's primary way of helping drive UX.

11. Samsung is all set to launch the Galaxy S9 and the Galaxy S9+ and the reports say that the phones will feature exclusive UX. The software Samsung developed will be layered on top of the Android operating system and will feature never-before experiences and applications.

CONCLUSION

We provide a list of 17 different developments that happened in the last three months regarding user experience (UX).
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Technology Conversations: Highly Automated Driving

Alphabet, Google’s parent company, has caused auto manufacturers to worry by producing fully automated minivans through subsidiary Waymo. A key development in the automated driving industry is the HD Live Map developed by HERE that will be included within future BMW models, enhancing safety in Level 3 and Level 4 automated vehicles. Continental has produced a safety system which features a system with 2 control units that operate independently to develop safety redundancies for all potential mishaps in self-driving vehicles.

Below you will find out full overview of the conversations concerning highly automated driving.

General Discussion

This section concerns 7 articles published within the last 3 months regarding Highly Automated Vehicles (HAV) conversations. In these articles, the focus is the technology company’s developments and the perspective of those components manufacturers.

GOOGLE

According to The Verge, at the 2017 North American International Auto Show, the parent company of Google, Alphabet, caused a disruption in the auto industry with an autonomous minivan. Waymo, the self-driving division of Alphabet, has taken the #2 spot in the annual autonomous driving scorecard released by Navigant Research, just behind GM. Waymo is not alone, other tech companies are vying to produce self-driving cars, too, including Intel, Bosch, and Aptiv. Waymo plans to initiate a fully driverless mobility service in Arizona in the first half of 2018.
DATA-DRIVEN MAPPING
The fate of the autonomous driving car rests on many factors, with mastery of the road map one of the most vital to its survival. Self-driving cars will require data-driven mapping systems, allowing them to understand the road environment around them. If these systems are ever to materialize, this article in Ertico Network maintains that cooperation between auto manufacturers must occur. A present example of such cooperation is a collaboration between Audi, BMW, and Daimler. The competing auto manufacturers share their rich sensor data though a cloud-based program by HERE.
NVIDIA
A range of auto manufacturers have taken note of NVIDIA recently, electing to partner with the tech company due to its advanced AI computing systems. Auto Connected Car News presents several examples, including Chery in China has selected the ZF ProAI system by NVIDIA, a system powered by the tech company’s DRIVE AI self-driving technology. Uber has chosen NVIDIA for the fleet of self-driving vehicles it is producing. Volkswagon’s 2022 I.D. Buzz will feature NVIDIA DRIVE IX, the result will be an electric car with an AI co-pilot.
CONSUMER SAFETY CONCERNS
Consumer Reports details the results of a AAA study concerning consumer concerns about autonomous vehicles, a concern which is reportedly decreasing. Currently, 63% of U.S. drivers indicate they would be afraid to ride in a fully automated vehicle, down from 78% just 1 year ago.
CALIFORINIA HAV TESTING REGULATIONS
The Hill reports that California’s fully autonomous vehicle testing regulations are finally set to take effect, 3 years after the scheduled date. The regulations include strict standards for information gathering after crashes, even providing a model crash report for accidents involving HAVs. These reports can be used by those watching the industry to track the development of the technology.
INTEL
Intel unveiled its first self-driving test car in January, CNBC reports, the first in its 100 vehicle test fleet at the CES Expo. To further their AI driving goals, Intel purchased autonomous driving software developer Mobileye in 2017 for $15 billion. Intel announced that the Mobileye technology has been adopted by BMW, Nissan, and Volkswagon to build high-definition maps in 2018.
FUTURE RESEARCH NEEDS
VSI Labs discusses the areas where technology still lacks the advancement to make automated mobility services viable. For example, automated driving systems must be supported by digital infrastructure sufficient for fleets of automated vehicles. Safety and controls also remain unsatisfactory, requiring some sort of backup for the inevitable event where something goes wrong and the system fails.

Auto Brand Discussions

The 6 articles in this section specifically concern the actions and perspectives of auto manufacturers concerning HAVs.
MAY MOBILITY FUNDING
May Mobility is a startup developer of automated microshuttles, and Automotive News reports they have received some high-profile attention. The new company has raised $11.5 million in seed funding, with BMW and Toyota among the primary investors. BMW iVentures explained their investment as a response to the real solutions being provided by the startup, which already has vehicles on the road.
BMW
BMW Group plans to include HERE’s HD Live Map for automated vehicles in future models, with the commercial contract indicating they will begin deploying such vehicles in the early part of the next decade. Road Traffic Technology states the addition will serve to improve safety and comfort in cars with Level 3 and Level 4 automation. By the end of 2018, HERE’s HD Live Map will cover up to 1 million kilometers of roads in both Europe and North America. This information includes lane configurations, speed limits, shoulders, and a complete layer of roadside obstacles.
CONTINENTAL
Cebit reports that Continental and NVIDIA are collaborating in the development of new AI for HAVs, with the goal currently the development of a Level 5 driving platform, which includes no pedals or steering wheel. The first step is the development of an automated vehicle system which does not require constant monitoring by the driver.
CONTINENTAL
According to a press release, Continental has developed the safety system HAVs need, one which has 2 independent control units which detect potential uncertainties and develops redundancies and diversity to maintain safety and reliability. This technology is already in use in Continental’s Cruising Chauffeur, a technology for automated freeway driving.
VOLKSWAGEN
NASDAQ reports that Volkswagen has joined with Aurora Innovation to develop self-driving vehicles which utilize Aurora’s AI and machine learning hardware and software. The collaboration has been underway for 6 months and serves to advance VW’s states goal of introducing highly automated self-driving systems to consumers by 2021.
GM
Automo Blog reports that General Motors has submitted a Safety Petition with the Department of Transportation for the upcoming 4th generation of the Cruise AV. The new version of GM’s self driving vehicle would be the 1st production-ready vehicle that did not need a driver, steering wheel, or pedals for safe operation.

Conclusion

The 7 general conversations detail the developments within tech companies and the needs that must be addressed for self-driving vehicles to be safe options. The 6 conversations concerning auto manufacturers largely address those concerns, discussing the technology that has seen completion and the examples still under production.
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Technology Conversations: Smart Grid

Smart grids involve flagging local changes in the use of electricity using technology. In completing this request, we identified sites that cover this niche and decided on big conversations by analyzing content from different news sources to see which were reported by multiple news sites. Based on these criteria, we found that between December 2017 and February 2018 that there were big conversations around these digital communication systems. These conversations, dominated by government and auto brands, are helping to improve the technology around grid systems and create innovative solutions to problems of energy waste and clean energy.
Please find below a dive into this request.
GENERAL CONVERSATIONS
Government agencies have moved the conversation on grid systems forward in the past three months. The conversations have been focused on boosting innovation in the system. Innovations such as the block chain based smart grid builder will increase employment opportunities and reduce cost of power. Some conversations have been on vehicle-to-grid technology. This solution is about using technology to collect unused energy from electric vehicles and returning them to the grid.
KEY DEVELOPMENTS
Investments in smart grid systems are growing and will continue to grow.
The UK government is investing £30million in a revolutionary technology that will deliver energy from vehicles back to the grid. This solution is already being tested in Amsterdam.
On their own part, Ontario is putting down $10.5 million to help 12 Smart Grid Fund projects achieve their goal of improving electricity to individuals and businesses in Canada and create 18 jobs.

In South Korea, Korea Electric Power Corporation has signed a $320 million contract with General Electric to deliver 4 GW HVDC to the city.
Japanese firms are also investing in innovation in the smart grid system. Itochu Corporation is partnering Moixa, with an investment of €5million, to expand its grid-share platform in Japan.
AUTO BRAND CONVERSATIONS
Auto brand conversations are focused on expanding smart grid solutions to areas where they are hitherto nonexistent. Some of their conversations also echo general conversations on keying into the supply of clean energy. They are carrying out per grid experiments. Companies like Honda, Tesla and Audi are all selling users the opportunity to lower electricity costs by using solar powered batteries when they buy electric cars.
KEY DEVELOPMENTS
Honda is working with the French government to deliver a smart grid solution in Southern France by 2019. Honda believes that their system will balance supply, storage and demand.

Tesla is working with the Canadian government in a small town to see how they can develop a system that will provide power for 300 homes by using their Tesla Powerpack. They plan to scale this solution if it proves viable.

Audi is experimenting with its Smart Energy Network to create a virtual power plant that will have consumers feed power into a smart grid system in order to reduce energy consumption. Their plan is to help their customers save and also protect the environment.

CONCLUSION
General conversations around smart grid systems are about innovations that will reduce energy consumption and save cost. There are heavy investments on various systems that will help achieve these goals. Governments are also interested in creating new jobs. Auto brands are interested in moving these conversations forward. They are conducting pilot programs in various European cities, testing systems that can work. In the last three months, Honda, Tesla and Audi have joined in these conversations through various projects.

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Technology Conversations: Electric / Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles

The research below provides a list regarding the latest developments and biggest media conversations around electric/plug-in hybrid vehicles. Below you will find a deep dive of my findings.

GENERAL CONVERSATION ON ELECTRIC/PLUG-IN HYBRID VEHICLES

1. According to Bloomberg, in next five years, 127 new battery-electric models will be launched by the auto industry. In upcoming years, new technology updates, with innovation in electricity supply and power, are on the cards, for which lab research are being conducted every day across the globe, to prepare a better version of the present technology.

2. The current market for EVs is small at present, but it is growing, and competing with the gas-based vehicles in the scenario of low gas prices. To encourage its further growth the federal government of the US is providing incentives of $7,500 for every purchase of the EV.

3. EVs are now not the things of future, either somebody believes in this fact or not. It is true that hundreds of thousands of EVs are in operation today, and people are ready to adopt new lifestyle changes of plugging-in to recharge their vehicle.
4. The EVs market is small in comparison to that of gas-based vehicles, and its sales will remain in the minority, with the gas-based market to remain at 85% of the total by the end of 2025. The EV's market will come to terms with the gas-based market in price-parity by the end of 2029, as reported by Bloomberg.
5.EVs market is currently growing ten-times faster in comparison to that 25 years ago.
6. With advances in lithium-ion battery technology, its cost is declining with each passing day, along with a constant increase in power, as a result of which the EVs are becoming more economical and faster. The current market price of the power-train (motor) of an EV is about $16,000, while that of conventional power-train, it is $6,000.
7. There is a fear of a shortage of main ingredients of EVs batteries. The main ingredients of an EVs battery are Cobalt, Lithium, and Graphite. Car manufacturers are running behind to acquire as much as they can to avoid the scenario of price rise in case of shortage of ingredient supply. Three-quarters of world's Lithium reserves are found in China and Chile, and because of which these countries are at an advantage of Geopolitics, just like the same way, Saudi Arabia is at an advantage due to its petroleum reserves.
8. With the introduction of EVs in place of gas-based cars, due to the change in technology, the industries that manufacture the parts of gas-based cars have to change their businesses. Also, the skilled workers involved in the repair business of gas-based cars have to learn new skills for the new technology car repair.

AUTO-BRANDS CONVERSATION ON ELECTRIC/PLUG-IN HYBRID VEHICLES

1. "BMW sold 100,000 plug-in vehicles in 2017 and is aiming for 500,000 in total by 2020 and GM CEO Mary Barra says the company will sell over a million electric vehicles a year by 2026 and turning a profit doing so." On the other hand, Tesla's next three big launches could be the launch of "the Model 3, the Tesla Semi and pick-up, and the new Roadster. G."

2. In 2018, a number startups or small EV companies would be formed just like the Byton "which will unveil its new all-electric CUV with a giant computer screen for a dashboard at CES" in coming days. Byton will propose a direct challenge to the pre-established OEMs market. Another startup, Nikola, will launch electric-hydrogen semi truck in the next few years.

3. With the falling battery prices, and Tesla's increasing stock market value, new manufacturers are in the queue to launch their own products. General Motors Co. will soon launch 20 models by 2023. On the other hand, Volkswagen and Ford are planning to open electric line-ups in China. Additionally, Toyota Motor Corp. is planning to launch 10 EV models in the next decade.

4. In 2018, Tesla CEO Elon Musk is going to build more than 5 million electric cars, "although that timeline could be jeopardized by missed production targets for the $35,000 Model 3 sedans." The philosophy behind this mass production by Tesla is based on an old adage that says, "If you build it, they will come."

5. Ford at present is trying to build a battery that will be cost-effective and better than the traditional Lithium-ion batteries, while Toyota is trying to develop energy-dense solid-state batteries by collaborating with Panasonic Corp. Ford's Executive Vice-President of global markets, Jim Farley, believes in the philosophy of keeping high ambitions and working hard to achieve them.

6. "Toyota Yaris, Renault Scenic, and Suzuki's Booster jet-powered models" are some hybrid cars which are not fully electric. The electric motor provides extra power when the car is accelerated. Similarly, cars like Hyundai Ioniq and Kia Niro, along with Prius have larger batteries which makes the cars capable to run long distances with electric power alone.

7. Plug-in hybrids (PHEV) models like "the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, Volkswagen's GTE models or the Volvo XC90 Twin Engine" also includes an option to charge plugin their large capacity batteries which makes them capable to run 20 to 30 miles in complete electric mode.

8. BMW i3 is essentially an electric vehicle that also includes a small capacity internal combustion engine, which could also provide power, to internally charge its battery in case the car is out of power.

9. At the Geneva Motor Show 2018, Renault showcased the future-oriented car EZ-GO, which can accommodate at most 5 people and can even be controlled with a tap on a smartphone. The vehicle is a self-driving robotic vehicle, and Renault has planned to launch its standalone version by the end of 2022.

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, the list above provides detailed conversations about the latest advances and media conversations around electric / plug-in hybrid vehicles. The list highlights the examples of current research, new developments, future outlook, market size, any more factors of auto industry dealing with the electric / plug-in hybrid vehicles.
Sources
Sources