Newsletter #60 - February 2021

Motional is now testing fully autonomous vehicles in Las Vegas 02/22/2021:  Read more

The Hyundai-Aptiv joint venture joins the Level 4 club. Add Motional to the very short list of companies that have tested fully autonomous vehicles on public roads. The Hyundai-Aptiv joint venture announced that it has tested its vehicles without safety drivers behind the steering wheel on public streets in Las Vegas.(...) 

Baidu is the sixth company approved to test fully driverless cars in California 01/27/2021:  Read more

The Chinese search giant can test its vehicles in Sunnyvale. Baidu has gotten the green light to test fully autonomous vehicles on public roads in California. The Chinese search giant is the sixth company to receive a fully autonomous testing permit from the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (the others being Cruise, Waymo, Nuro, Zoox, and AutoX).(...) 

New Eyes, New Ears, New Brains: Inside the Next Generation Argo AI Self-Driving System01/22/2021:  Read more

Safe and reliable: Those are the watchwords for everything we do at Argo. We are committed to building a self-driving system that, above all else, makes the roads safer for everyone who uses them. But we’re also dedicated to making self-driving work as a business. As such, every sensor, circuit board, and wire harness that goes into our partners’ autonomous vehicles needs to be manufacturable at scale.(...) 

Aurora Partners With Toyota And Denso To Test And Build Automated Driving02/09/2021:  Read more

Palo Alto-based Aurora Innovation is on a bit of a roll recently having just closed on a deal to acquire Uber’s automated driving unit and announcing a deal to work with PACCAR on automated trucks. Today, Aurora has two more big partnerships to announce with Toyota and its biggest supplier Denso.(...) 

General Motors and Qualcomm Extend Long-Standing Relationship to Transform Next Generation Vehicles 01/26/2021:  Read more

Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and General Motors (GM) today announced their continued relationship to deliver premium experiences to upcoming vehicles.  Building on the companies’ long-standing relationship spanning across multiple cellular technology generations.(...)Through this relationship, Qualcomm Technologies is working with GM to power digital cockpits, next generation telematics systems and future advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), to meet the evolving needs of providing best-in-class experiences for consumers.(...) 

Ford and Google Establish Team Upshift to Boost Connected Vehicle Experiences 02/02/2021:  Read more

Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn and Google in Silicon Valley have announced a unique strategic partnership to accelerate the automaker’s transformation and reinvent the connected vehicle experience. Ford also has named Google Cloud its preferred cloud provider to leverage Google’s expertise in data, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML).(...) 

Nuro’s Acquisition of California’s Deployment Permit Signals a New Era 02/03/2021:  Read more

For autonomous vehicle (AV) and related technology companies, 2020 might be remembered primarily as the year of the Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) given the number of companies, including Luminar Technologies, Nikola Corporation, Canoo Holdings and Velodyne Lidar, that utilized these so-called blank-check companies to go public.(...) 

VW and Microsoft Are Teaming up to Develop Autonomous Driving Tech   02/05/2021: Read more

VW's Car.Software unit will use Microsoft Azure cloud computing services for quicker development. Volkswagen is already developing its own autonomous driving technology, even having shown off a working Level 4 prototype a couple of years ago. Now it's teaming up with Microsoft to develop a whole range of automated driving systems including a cloud-based Automated Driving Platform (ADP) based on Microsoft Azure to speed up development.(...)

Ford Will Invest $29B in EVs and AVs, Reports $36B in 2020 Revenue   02/05/2021: Read more

Dearborn’s Ford Motor Co. ended 2020 with $36 billion in revenue and plans to invest $22 billion in electric vehicles and $7 billion in autonomous vehicles. “The transformation of Ford is happening, and so is our leadership of the EV revolution and development of autonomous driving,” says Jim Farley, president and CEO. “We’re now allocating a combined $29 billion in capital and tremendous talent to these two areas, and bringing customers high-volume, connected electric SUVs, commercial vans and pickup trucks.”(...)

Creating an Automated Shuttle for America’s Backroads 01/26/2021:  Read more

This summer, a partially-autonomous shuttle is set to hit the rural roads of Iowa to better inform automakers of the unique challenges that come from desolate landscapes. The shuttle’s deployment is the next phase for the University of Iowa’s Automated Driving Systems for Rural America project.(...) 

Apple Car won't be a Hyundai or Kia project, Korean automakers confirm02/08/2021:  Read more

Hyundai and Kia this weekend firmly quashed rumors on their involvement with a rebooted Apple Car project. Bloomberg first reported the news after Hyundai and Kia each said they are not involved with the project. It brings the rumor mill to a screeching halt after weeks of back-and-forth reports surrounding the Korean marques' potential partnership with the iPhone-maker on an electric vehicle.(...) 

PODCAST: Motional’s Laura Major on the company’s ambitious AV strategy  Listen to the podcast

Laura Major, chief technology officer of the Hyundai-Aptiv joint venture, talks about the company’s recent driverless permit approval in Nevada, its newly released voluntary safety self-assessment and its plans to deploy a robotaxi with Lyft in 2023.(...)

Daimler's self-driving truck company Torc Robotics picks AWS as preferred cloud provider 02/18/2021:  Read more
Torc Robotics, the self-driving truck startup majority-owned by automotive giant Daimler, plans to use Amazon Web Services as its preferred cloud provider. The company, which operates as a semi-independent subsidiary, came out of the same DARPA self-driving challenge that led to the creation of Google's self-driving car project, now known as Waymo. Before shifting to trucks, Torc developed autonomous systems for the US military.(...)

TuSimple and Aeva Partner to Deploy 4D LiDAR for Autonomous Trucking 01/26/2021:  Read more

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aeva, Inc. (“Aeva” or the “Company”), a leader in next generation sensing and perception systems, today announced a partnership with TuSimple, a global self-driving technology company, to deploy Aeva 4D LiDAR on TuSimple’s self-driving trucks. TuSimple is in a global partnership with VW’s TRATON Group to develop an autonomous system for heavy-duty trucks and is co-developing Level 4 self-driving trucks with Navistar, targeting production in 2024. TuSimple and Aeva have been working together using Aeva 4D LiDAR on the roads since 2019.(...) 

Cupertino self-driving truck unicorn PlusAI scores $200M funding 02/10/2021:  Read more
Self-driving trucking startup PlusAI Inc. on Wednesday said that it raised $200 million to help it begin mass production and fill pre-orders of fleets in China... Plus technology is used to retrofit traditional semi trucks with self-driving driving technology that uses a combination of radar, cameras and lidar to help guide them. This is being used in China on new trucks and in the United States on trucks that are already on the road. (...)

Vulog raises $31M from the European Investment Bank and its existing investors Bpifrance, ETF Partners, Frog Capital, Inven Capital 01/22/2021:  Read more
PARIS, FRANCE, January 22, 2021] The world’s leading mobility tech provider closes new funding to further increase its market lead both in Europe and the Americas. Vulog builds the technology solutions that power the most successful shared mobility businesses in the world. It provides smart and flexible SaaS mobility solutions including advanced fleet management tools, consumer facing mobile applications and connected vehicle technology to launch large-scale fleets in three months. Vulog acts as the catalyst enabling large mobility operators as well as innovative startups to focus on sustained growth and profitability.



AUTOMOTIVE TECH WEEK 2021 - AUG 16-20, 2021, Detroit, MI & Online – Register
Following the success of the Festival of Automotive in August 2020; a co-located event offering expert intelligence from TU-Automotive Detroit, WardsAuto Interiors Conference, ADAS & Autonomous Vehicles, WardsAuto UX Conference and Connected Car Insurance USA, Informa Tech Automotive Group is excited to announce the continuation of this co-located offering into 2021 under a new name, Automotive Tech Week.

ITS AMERICA 2021 - Reimagining Transportation - DEC 07-10, 2021, Charlotte, NC – Register
"Join us at ITS America 2021 in Charlotte, North Carolina as we reimagine transportation and discuss how technology is a foundational piece of a new 21st century transportation system. This event will bring together the entire intelligent transportation community for (4) days of thought-provoking education, networking, technical tours and demonstrations exploring products, emerging technologies and solutions that will enable a better future transformed by intelligent mobility"

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