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   Technology StocksDriverless autos, trucks, taxis etc.

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From: Sam7/12/2020 8:54:29 AM
   of 403
This looks like it could be an interesting article but it requires a subscription which I am unwilling to do for one article. So I'll put this teaser here for now and ask Mr. Google for more information later.

Toyota moves Lexus LS to a higher level of automation

Automotive News

The lidar-based Lexus Teammate automated driving system will debut this year on the LS.

TOKYO — Toyota Motor Corp. will deploy its most advanced ...

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To: Sam who wrote (365)7/12/2020 9:02:23 AM
From: Sam
3 Recommendations   of 403
What is Lexus Teammate?
Beverly Braga | Jul 09, 2020

Lexus Teammate is an all-new advanced driving assistance technology, and the Japanese luxury brand’s first true foray into the realm of semi-autonomous driving. Beyond using radar, lidar, sensors, and cameras, Lexus Teammate also utilizes artificial intelligence to learn a driver’s habits and road conditions. This machine learning, coupled with other vehicle performance data, helps the system predict and react to a multitude of driving situations and environments.

Although its purpose is to provide an extra layer of safety and peace of mind during the driving experience, as with many advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), Lexus Teammate will complement comfort and convenience factors as well.

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This article gives an overview of where Toyota is at with Lexus automated systems that is accurate as of July 9. Guardian, Chauffeur, Advanced Park and Advanced Drive modes.

Lexus Teammate will debut in the upcoming 2021 Lexus LS due out in Japan later this year. Availability will eventually expand to other global markets, but the company is mum regarding specific timing for the U.S. Nevertheless, the Lexus LS is the flagship vehicle that launched Toyota’s luxury division back in 1989. North America remains an important market and consumers shouldn’t have to wait long to enjoy the latest Lexus technology.

Worth skimming. A little sparse but gives a quick summary of where they are at.

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From: Savant7/14/2020 12:49:36 PM
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AI device identifies objects at the speed of light: The 3D-printed artificial neural network can be used in medicine, robotics and security, *AND automotive* Science Daily
They say $50

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From: Sam7/30/2020 9:18:17 AM
2 Recommendations   of 403
Computing is the new horsepower, carmaker Audi says
REUTERS 9:15 AM ET 7/30/2020

Symbol Last Price Change
380.16 0 (0%)
QUOTES AS OF 04:00:00 PM ET 07/29/2020

* Team of 200 to work on new computer-driven vehicle system

* "Project Artemis" aims to better compete with Tesla

* New system will serve VW group, but be used at Audi first

By Edward Taylor and Jörn Poltz

INGOLSTADT, July 30 (Reuters) - Carmakers that once competed mainly over the power of their engines are now vying over a much less tangible sort of power as they race to develop automated vehicles - computing.

New Audi boss Markus Duesmann is assembling a team of about 200 engineers within parent company Volkswagen Group to develop a new computer-driven vehicle system, he told Reuters.

Dubbed "Project Artemis" after the Ancient Greek goddess of hunting, the plan is to chase down - and overtake - Tesla , widely viewed as the industry leader in software.

"When it comes to digitalisation we are lagging behind - for now," Duesmann said in an interview at Audi's headquarters in Ingolstadt, southern Germany.

With the advent of self-driving cars, vehicles need processors and software operating systems to analyse data from radar, lidar, and camera sensors to calculate driving reflexes so cars can navigate and avoid accidents on their own.

In the past, bigger cars with more powerful engines were automatically better. Now computing power and intelligence will be a key metric for defining what is premium, forcing Audi and Volkswagen to retool the way they design cars.

"Technical development of vehicles is no longer organised according to a vehicle's size, but by the car's electrical and electronic architecture," Duesmann said, explaining that premium and value models would now differentiate themselves according to their computing power and sensor levels.

To build the new system, Duesmann is assembling a "results oriented" engineering team to work on accelerating development of a scalable vehicle platform.

"(Project) Artemis will be smaller than a Formula One team. I am thinking around 200 staff," he said.

"To develop a new car with so many new features in this period until 2024 is so demanding that it is probably without precedent. That's why we have decided to work with a separate unit," said Duesmann, who is also head of research at Volkswagen Group.

The idea is that an agile development group will be less encumbered by the bureaucracy within Volkswagen Group, which owns brands including Bugatti, Bentley, Porsche, Skoda, and Lamborghini, as well as Audi and VW.

VW has more than 10,000 employees working in research and development at the company's Wolfsburg headquarters alone.

Artemis will be led by Alexander Hitzinger, who was responsible for autonomous driving at Volkswagen and built up the Porsche racing team that won Le Mans endurance race in 2015, 2016, 2017. Hitzinger also worked at Apple(AAPL), where he set up and managed product development for autonomous vehicles.

The Artemis team will harness the engineering know-how within Volkswagen Group, but also have the authority to use outside partners.

"If we gain speed with a supplier or with a software company, we will consider it. Speed is extremely important," Duesmann said. China will also play a role, Duesmann added, declining to elaborate.

Project Artemis will sit alongside Volkswagen Group's Car.Software organisation, also based in Ingolstadt.

"They need each other," Duesmann said, adding many of Artemis's staff would remain embedded within Volkswagen Group brands, but receive instructions from Ingolstadt.

"The result will be a common concept which is scalable for all of us," Duesmann said. "The first model will be an Audi." (Reporting by Edward Taylor and Joern Poltz in Ingolstadt, Germany and Paul Lienert in Detroit; Editing by Mark Potter)

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From: Eric8/5/2020 10:28:34 AM
2 Recommendations   of 403
Israel’s RFISee unveils long-range high resolution 4D imaging radar on a chip

05 August 2020

Israel-based RFISee, a developer of affordable imaging radars for the automotive industry, is unveiling the first Phased Array 4D imaging radar on a chip. The high-resolution, low-cost radar sensor will generate a real-time 3D location and velocity map of a car’s surrounding objects.

RFISee’s all-weather radar has proven its ability to detect cars from 500 meters and pedestrians from 200 meters, with an angular resolution greater than 1 degree. The company’s engineers have adapted Phased Array antenna technology, used in advanced military systems including the F-35 fighter jet and in air defense systems, while at the same time reducing the price to the current level of automotive sensors. Prototypes of RFISee’s radar are under evaluation by top automotive OEMs and Tier-1s, the company said.

Unlike many traditional and new types of radar, RFISee’s patented 4D imaging radar uses a powerful focused beam based on proprietary Phased Array radar technology. The focused beam created by dozens of transmitters rapidly scans the field of view. The receivers ensure a much-improved radar image, a better signal to noise ratio, and a detection range of obstacles such as cars and pedestrians that is six times broader when compared to existing radars. The competitive edge of RFISee’s radar prototype has already been proven in extensive testing.

The radar’s capabilities are designed to prevent the types of accidents with which many other existing radar systems are unable to deal. One example is the 1 June accident involving an autopilot-driven vehicle in Taiwan. In that accident, a car crashed directly into a large truck on its side, straddling two lanes of a highway. RFISee’s radar can detect trucks and other vehicles at a distance of hundreds of meters, allowing the driver to take over control or automatically stop and prevent this type of accident.

The company’s unique radar technology can also prove to be useful in other accident prevention scenarios by taking advantage of its numerous capabilities for dealing with bi-directional traffic, detection of multiple pedestrians, recognizing bike riders on the shoulder of the road, Automatic Emergency Braking for trucks and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) on highways.

RFISee has raised $2.75 million from Clear Future, Drive, NextGear and the Israel Innovation Authority. The company is planning a Series A funding round that will be earmarked for completing the development of its radar product line, providing samples to OEMs and Tier-1 suppliers in late 2021, and establishing commercial partnerships.

The market that RFISee is targeting is expected to grow rapidly in the years to come. According to Yole Research, the global automotive radar market will reach $8.6 billion in 2025, which represents a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of around 16% between 2015 and 2025.

Posted on 05 August 2020 in Autonomous driving, Driver Assistance Systems, Sensors

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From: Sam8/14/2020 12:17:58 PM
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Norwegian Taxis, Wirelessly Charging While They Wait for a Fare
Electric Jaguars in Oslo, using tech from a former NASA architect, will soon be able to recharge on special pads embedded under the road.
By Jamie Lincoln Kitman
Aug. 13, 2020

Starting next year, two dozen specially outfitted electric Jaguar taxis will roam the streets of the very green capital of Norway. And when they are idling at special taxi lines, they will be able to be recharged from the ground up.

This new program in Oslo would be the world’s first, and it brings together a British carmaker, a leading Nordic charge-point company and a former NASA architect who grew up in the Marlboro public housing project near Coney Island.

“In the building where a sniper shot from the roof in ‘The French Connection,’” said the NASA alumnus, Andrew Daga, referring to the 1971 police drama with a memorable car chase.

Today Mr. Daga is the chief executive of Momentum Dynamics in Malvern, Pa. The company, which he co-founded in 2009 with a focus on advanced electric vehicle charging, has been tapped to supply components that, beginning in the first quarter of 2021, will power 25 electric Jaguar I-Pace models for Cabonline/NorgesTaxi in Oslo. Inductive charge pads and associated equipment supplied by Momentum will be placed upon and beneath road surfaces at selected taxi queues, enabling fast, hands-off charging for the I-Pace.

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From: Eric8/27/2020 9:59:26 AM
3 Recommendations   of 403
  • Boeing & Aerospace
  • Business
  • Technology

  • SpaceX, Tesla veterans focus on self-flying planes for cargo

    Aug. 26, 2020 at 9:06 am Updated Aug. 26, 2020 at 6:05 pm

    In June, with approval from the Federal Aviation Administration, Reliable Robotics demonstrated a fully automated remote landing of a Cessna 208 Caravan turboprop owned by FedEx.(Business Wire)

    Dana Hull

    Silicon Valley has been hard at work on the vexing challenge of autonomous cars. Now veterans of SpaceX and Tesla are announcing what they’ve been up to: a new startup working on self-flying planes for cargo.

    Reliable Robotics isn’t trying to invent a new kind of aircraft. The idea is to bring autonomous capability to existing planes, starting with smaller aircraft that ferry cargo. In June, with approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Reliable Robotics demonstrated a fully automated remote landing of a Cessna 208 Caravan turboprop owned by FedEx.

    Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Robert Rose led flight software at Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies, then led the early Autopilot program at Tesla before joining Google. He co-founded Reliable Robotics in 2017 with Juerg Frefal, who worked at SpaceX for almost a decade.

    “When I first started taking flying lessons myself, my first thought was, why isn’t this automated?” Rose said. “I worked on autonomous rockets and spacecraft and cars. Aviation is so much more well understood compared to driving.”

    Based in Mountain View, California, the 35-person startup is focused on integrating automation into existing systems, starting with a small cargo aircraft. The plane flies on its own, but a pilot helps manage extreme weather or air traffic control from a control center on the ground.

    Developers of automated flying technology envision everything from small drones delivering packages to air taxis ferrying human passengers across cities. While the visions are bold, the ones that pan out will take years to materialize.

    “There are a lot of companies trying to get into this space, and it’s going to take time,” said Phil Finnegan, director of corporate analysis at Teal Group. “But a market will develop.” FAA regulators are being cautious, he said, “and there’s a lot of hurdles that need to be surmounted before you can have widespread cargo deliveries. Carrying people is years out.”

    Reliable has been in discussions with FedEx, which owns the Cessna used during recent test flights. The company is working with the FAA to get its system certified for use in civilian airspace and has raised $33.5 million in two rounds of funding led by Lightspeed Ventures and Eclipse Ventures, respectively.

    “I think we’ll see self-flying aircraft before we see massive adoption of self-driving cars,” said Greg Reichow, a partner at Eclipse Ventures who serves on Reliable Robotics’ board. “It’s a more achievable problem. When you are driving a car on the ground it has to deal with all of the variables of the streets: construction and kids and soccer balls and other cars. The air is more controlled: there’s controlled air space, air traffic control, and one regulatory agency in the FAA.

    Reichow, who was the vice president of manufacturing at Tesla before becoming a venture capitalist, says that Eclipse wanted to invest in autonomous aircraft and was looking for a strong team that had deep experience in building autonomous aerospace systems — and in actually shipping real products.

    “Reliable has a very thoughtful, pragmatic approach that is very different from a lot of companies that are new grads wanting to build an air taxi,” Reichow said. “The world of air cargo is the place to start.”

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    From: Sam8/29/2020 8:03:29 AM
    2 Recommendations   of 403
    Little-known EV and lidar firms are raising billions in Tesla’s shadow
    Companies are using the latest Wall Street fad, known as a SPAC, to go public. Timothy B. Lee - 8/26/2020, 10:55 AM

    Lidar startup Luminar is going public, the company announced on Monday. Instead of going with a traditional IPO, Luminar is jumping on the latest Wall Street fad: merging with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). Merging with a SPAC allows a startup to go public more quickly, with less paperwork and more certainty about the sale price. The deal gives Luminar, which only expects to sell about 100 lidar sensors this year, a post-money valuation of $3.4 billion.

    It's the latest in a string of companies connected to the electric and self-driving car revolutions that have gone public using a SPAC. Most have found strong interest from investors.

    In March, electric truck startup Nikola announced that it would go public with help from a SPAC. By the time the merger concluded three months later, Nikola's value had shot up seven-fold. It has since settled down to four times the initial sale value. That values Nikola—a company that has yet to deliver a single vehicle to customers—at $14 billion, about half the value of Ford.

    Further Reading
    The hydrogen fuel strategy behind Nikola’s truck dream

    Nikola's success triggered something of a gold rush among little-known electric vehicle makers. Luminar and another lidar company, Velodyne, have now joined the SPAC bonanza.

    It's impossible to be sure what drives market prices. But one factor has undoubtedly been the rapid rise of Tesla's stock. Since the start of the year, Tesla's share price has more than quadrupled, making it the world's most valuable automaker. Investors seem to be looking around for the "next Tesla." That has made it easier for any company with a plausible claim to that title—or even just a Tesla-adjacent business model—to raise money.

    An EV gold rush

    Last month, after a reported bidding war among SPACs, electric vehicle maker Fisker announced a SPAC deal that valued the company at $2.9 billion. The value of the SPAC's stock—itself a proxy for Fisker—is up more than 30 percent since the announcement, a sign investors considered it a good investment.

    Earlier this month, a little-known electric truck maker called Lordstown Motors announced a SPAC deal that valued the company at $1.6 billion. The SPAC's stock has since risen by 50 percent.

    Last week, electric vehicle startup Canoo jumped on the SPAC bandwagon with a deal valuing the company at $2.4 billion. This deal has gotten a lukewarm reception from the market, with the SPAC's share price little changed since the merger was announced.

    Further Reading
    Tesla rival Rivian raises $2.5 billion to make electric trucks and SUVs

    Aside from Nikola, none of these companies have completed their mergers. Theoretically, the deals could still fall apart before closing.

    One of Tesla's most formidable EV rivals, Rivian, has not yet joined the SPAC bandwagon. But it has been raking in cash the old-fashioned way, with a $2.5 billion fundraising round last month.

    While investors may be thinking of these companies as possible "next Teslas," they all have a long way to go. Tesla has been selling cars for over a decade. It has demonstrated that it can sell hundreds of thousands of vehicles a year and generate a modest profit in the process. By contrast, none of these would-be Tesla killers has started delivering its products to customers. A lot could still go wrong on their path to commercialization. Investing in them is a big risk.

    Lidar makers join the SPAC party Last month, lidar company Velodyne announced a SPAC merger valuing the company at $1.8 billion.

    Velodyne is not a startup. Started as an audio equipment manufacturer decades ago, Velodyne has been selling lidar ever since founder David Hall invented modern lidar sensors in 2005. Aside from Tesla, most companies working on self-driving technology consider lidar sensors to be essential.

    Velodyne continues to be the lidar industry leader. Until recently, Velodyne was able to charge as much as $75,000 for its best sensors, creating a juicy opportunity for rivals. Its dominance is threatened by a number of startups that are trying to build better, cheaper lidar sensors.

    Further Reading
    Volvo plans cars with lidar and “eyes off” highway driving by 2022

    One of those rivals is Luminar. While Velodyne's classic lidar design mounts 64 (or, more recently, 128) lasers on a spinning gimbal, providing 360-degree coverage, Luminar sells a fixed sensor with a single laser that scans the scene in front of the vehicle.

    Luminar believes it can get the cost of its sensor down below $1,000, making it viable for the mainstream automotive market. Luminar scored a major coup back in May when it announced a contract to supply lidar to Volvo beginning in 2022. It was the first time an automaker had committed to purchasing high-end lidar sensors for use in production vehicles.

    Unsurprisingly, Luminar has rosy predictions for its own future. Luminar expects to sell only around 100 units in 2020. But Luminar hopes to ink more deals with automakers in the next couple of years and thereby ramp up sales to 600,000 units by 2025.

    Ironically, surging investor interest in electric vehicle and lidar companies comes in the wake of cooling venture capital interest in the closely related autonomous vehicle sector. Zoox, a startup widely respected for the quality of its self-driving software, was recently forced to sell to Amazon at a fire-sale price because it couldn't raise another round of funding.

    Zoox was unusual among self-driving vehicle companies because it was planning to design its own electric vehicle from scratch. If it could have held out for a few more months, it might have been able to jump on the SPAC gravy train.

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    To: Sam who wrote (372)8/29/2020 12:57:09 PM
    From: A.J. Mullen
    1 Recommendation   of 403
    The link about Volvo installing a cheap powerful lidar in 2022, is interesting to me, Enabling the car to take responsibility for driving on freeways: hands off the wheel and eyes off the road.


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    From: Sam8/30/2020 7:24:46 AM
       of 403
    Xpeng G3 — $21,383 to $29,102 Hot Electric Crossover (in China)
    August 29th, 2020 by Zachary Shahan

    Xpeng is a young (very young) electric vehicle startup in China that is getting a lot more attention in the US now that it has gone public on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). We’ve been covering the company for a couple of years — you can read an in-depth piece on the company here or look through the company’s history (and my evolving impression of the company) here. But we’ve never done a deep dive on the Xpeng G3, the electric crossover that got Xpeng off the ground. So, that’s the goal in this piece.

    There Is Only One Xpeng P7 Sporty Electric Car In The USA, And Guess Who Drove It

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