December 5, 2017 News of the Day: Self-driving Costs Could Drop 90% by 2025 Delphi CEO says, Ford to Launch 50 New Vehicles in China by 2025

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【Summary】December 5, 2017 News of the Day

  Eric Walz  ·  Dec 05, 2017 12:19 PM PT
author: Eric Walz   

Self-driving Costs Could Drop 90% by 2025, Delphi CEO Says

DETROIT — Delphi Automotive PLC, which is changing its name to Aptiv Inc., wants to cut the cost of self-driving cars by more than 90 percent to around $5,000 by 2025, according to Chief Executive Officer Kevin Clark.

Aptiv, which starts trading on Tuesday under the stock symbol APTV on the New York Stock Exchange, also wants to help automakers rethink the way vehicles are engineered and built and make money on the data generated by autonomous electric vehicles. Aptiv will be working on the next generation of autonomous vehicles, smart cities and connectivity.

A spinout, Delphi Technologies, will continue to trade under the symbol DLPH on the New York Stock Exchange and will focus on traditional automotive and engine components. While Aptiv will concentrate on self-driving and other technologies. The changes are effective after the exchange closes on Monday.

While current estimates for the cost of a self-driving hardware and software package range from $70,000 to $150,000, "the cost of that autonomous driving stack by 2025 will come down to about $5,000 because of technology developments and (higher) volume," Clark said in an interview.

One of the biggest opportunities for cutting costs, Clark said, will come as automakers, working with companies such as Delphi/Aptiv, begin to re-engineer their basic vehicle platforms specifically to accommodate electric motors, batteries and self-driving sensors.

"We're working now with our customers to optimize" existing platforms, Clark said, and redesign future vehicle platforms that will have fewer components, but much more software, better communications capability and advanced safety systems.

"Looking five to 10 years out, given the amount of software going into the car, the complexity of (self-driving) systems and infotainment systems, the basic architecture of the vehicle needs to be rethought," he said.

Clark said Delphi, which said in October it was buying self-driving startup nuTonomy for $450 million "is always looking at acquisition opportunities to enhance our strategic position," but has no immediate targets.

The company will continue to invest in firms focused on data collection and analysis in order to help manufacturing customers "accelerate product development, reduce warranty costs and monetize data" in new ways, he said.

However, the high cost of self-driving systems means individual customers aren't likely to see such systems installed in personal vehicles in much volume before 2025, Clark said.

"You're going to see more acceptance and more deployment in the commercial market, where there's economic incentive" and where fleet operators "are in a better position to absorb that cost" than traditional automakers, he said.

RBC Capital Markets analyst Joseph Spak on Monday issued an outperform rating on the new Aptiv, with a price target of $100, and the spinout Delphi Technologies (DLPH_w.N), with a price target of $60.

Ford to Launch 50 New Vehicles in China by 2025

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SHANGHAI — Ford said it will launch 50 new vehicles in China by 2025, including 15 electric models, the U.S. firm said at an event in Shanghai on Tuesday, as it looks to expand in the market and shift towards cleaner electric cars.

Ford's sales in China have been weak in recent months, and the company is scrambling to come up with electric and hybrid vehicles to comply with strict Chinese quotas over production and sales for so-called new energy vehicles, or NEVs.

The U.S. automaker is undergoing a broad review of its China operations, part of a strategic effort under new CEO Jim Hackett, which will likely see the company focus on electric commercial vans as well as electric cars.

"Between now and 2025, we will launch 50 new vehicles in China, and of those 50 new vehicles, 15 of them will be all-new electrified vehicles," said Peter Fleet, Ford's head of Asia Pacific, pointing to big growth in the "utility" segment.

Fleet also said Ford's China revenue would grow by 50 percent over the same period.

China is pushing automakers toward electric and hybrid petrol-electric vehicles, setting tough quotas for NEVs that come into play in 2019, and has signaled a longer-term shift away from traditional internal combustion engine cars.

The major shift in the world's largest auto market has jolted some automakers, sparking a spate of recent electric vehicle (EV) joint ventures in the market. Ford has announced an EV tie-up with China's Anhui Zotye Automobile Co Ltd.

"We've never seen change like we do today," said Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford. "Everything is being disrupted" by the development of autonomous vehicles, trends such as ride-sharing and electric vehicles, he added.

"It's clearly the case that China will lead the world in EV development, and so we at Ford are investing enormous amounts of money both here in China and globally to bring electrification into fruition."

Lyft's Latest Funding Round Grows by 50% to $1.5 Billion

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SAN FRANCISCO — Lyft Inc. said its recent funding round is growing 50 percent to $1.5 billion, giving the ride-hailing startup much more financial strength to compete with its closest, yet troubled rival Uber.

The round, led by Alphabet Inc.'s CapitalG investment unit, brings Lyft's valuation to $11.5 billion, after the new cash injection, the startup said Tuesday in an emailed statement. Alphabet is the parent company for Google and self-driving car developer Waymo.

Fidelity Investments, an Uber backer, and the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan took part in the latest round, along with existing investors including AllianceBernstein, Baillie Gifford, KKR, Janus Henderson, and Rakuten, Lyft also said.

General Motors invested $500 million in Lyft in January 2016 and GM President Dan Ammann sits on the company's board.

Lyft has gained significant market share in the U.S. this year after Uber's reputation was damaged following a string of scandals that culminated with the forced resignation of CEO Travis Kalanick.

A private investor document obtained by Bloomberg projected Lyft would stop losing money for the first time in 2018. However, the startup has ramped up spending more recently to take advantage of Uber's weaker position.

"We will continue to invest in our community and look forward to an even bigger 2018," Lyft co-founder John Zimmer said in Tuesday's statement.

car2go Brings Compact Mercedes-Benz Vehicles to New York

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NEW YORK — car2go, one of the fastest-growing one-way car sharing services in the world, announced that starting today, its 77,000-plus New York City members can rent new, all-wheel drive 2018 model year Mercedes-Benz CLA four-door sedans.

These new car2go Mercedes-Benz CLA's are joining hundreds of new generation smart fortwo vehicles, bringing car2go's shared vehicle network in New York City to approximately 600 vehicles. car2go expects to add the compact crossover Mercedes-Benz GLA in 2018.

"The addition of new Mercedes-Benz car2gos give our New York members the option to travel with more passengers and cargo in greater comfort," said car2go Regional Director Josh Moskowitz. "These new vehicles are family-friendly with LATCH car seat anchors, have 4MATIC all-wheel drive that's perfect for slippery winter driving conditions, and are still very easy-to-park vehicles complete with backup cameras and blind-spot sensors. car2go members have responded very well in every city where we have added new Mercedes-Benz vehicles, and we expect our New York car2go members will give this new added option the same great reception."

car2go currently serves over 77,000 New York members as part of the world's largest and fastest growing one-way car-sharing service.

car2go began in Brooklyn in 2014 and expanded into nearby NYC borough Queens. Since that time, membership has grown 70-percent year-over-year, making New York the fastest growing market in North America and helping to push car2go membership to nearly 1 million members in the U.S. and Canada.

The new vehicles deliver a smoother, faster and improved car2go experience. New York's car2go Mercedes-Benz vehicles seat up to five passengers and, despite their larger interior space, are very compact: both are shorter in length than a Honda Civic or a Toyota Camry.

According to car2go, renting a vehicle only when needed in New York City saves money. On average, vehicle ownership in the U.S. costs drivers $8,469 annually. The average annual cost of using car2go as main form of transportation is $940, meaning car2go can help save New Yorkers an average of over $7,500 per year.

LeddarTech to Showcase the First 3D Solid-State LiDAR IC for Autonomous Driving at CES 2018

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QUEBEC CITY — LeddarTech will be presenting the LeddarCore LCA2, the industry's first 3D solid-state LiDAR (SSL) integrated circuit (IC) enabling mass production of automotive LiDAR. At CES 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The LeddarCore LCA2 has been named a CES 2018 Best of Innovation Awards Honoree in two categories: Vehicle Intelligence and Self-Driving Technology, and Embedded Technologies. This product is the world's first solution enabling rapid industrialization of 3D solid-state flash LiDAR's that meet the automotive industry's stringent requirements in terms of cost, performance and reliability.

Delivering on LeddarTech's aggressive product roadmap to support autonomous driving applications, the LeddarCore LCA2 makes commercial SSL deployments by automotive OEMs possible as early as 2020.

The latest products based on the company's flagship LeddarCore solid-state LiDAR ICs will be on demonstration in the Leddar Ecosystem pavilion at CES 2018. These include LCA2 IC engineering samples and LCA2-based 3D Flash LiDAR modules (A-samples).

Also on display will be discrete implementations of LiDAR systems showcasing the LeddarCore LCA3, which is currently under development with the first samples to be made available in 2018.

The powerful LeddarCore ICs generate up to 245,000 digitized waveforms per second, from nearly 1.3 billion samples and as many sample-based arithmetic operations. These waveforms are further processed using LeddarTech's proprietary signal processing algorithms, which perform over 25 billion operations per second; this produces a rich LiDAR data set enabling the most advanced ADAS and autonomous driving applications.

LeddarTech is backed by a recent investment of US $101 million from strategic partners, in addition to multiple commercial agreements with key automotive industry players. LeddarTech delivers its core proprietary LiDAR know-how to Tier-1 manufacturers embedded within LeddarCore ICs, and partners with them to develop custom SSL reference designs that meet the specifications of individual OEMs. The strategic investors, who have also signed commercial agreements with LeddarTech, include Delphi, IDT, Magneti Marelli and Osram.

"More key suppliers and Tier-1 manufacturers are turning to us over other LiDAR vendors because we deliver on our promises," said Charles Boulanger, LeddarTech CEO. "They now see LeddarTech as a definitive reference in automotive SSL and recognize that the combination of our unique technology and flexible business model represents the safest and fastest path to high-volume production and deployment of LiDARs for autonomous driving applications." he added.

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