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September 12, 2017 News of the Day: Continental Introduces New Tire Technology Concepts for Safety & Comfort, Honda Unveils Urban EV Concept Vehicle

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【Summary】September 12, 2017 News of the Day

Original Eric Walz    Sep 12, 2017 1:00 PM PT
September 12, 2017 News of the Day: Continental Introduces New Tire Technology Concepts for Safety & Comfort, Honda Unveils Urban EV Concept Vehicle

Continental Introduces New Tire Technology Concepts for Safety & Comfort

Continental is introducing two new tire technology concepts that will make for even greater road safety and comfort in the future. The two systems enable continuous monitoring of the tire's condition, as well as situation-matched adaptation of tire performance characteristics to prevailing road conditions.

The technologies, called ContiSense and ContiAdapt, will make their public debut at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) accompanied by a tire study.

ContiSense is based on the development of electrically conductive rubber compounds that enable electric signals to be sent from an embedded sensor in the tire to a receiver in the car. Rubber-based sensors continuously monitor both tread depth and temperature. If the measured values are above or below predefined limits, the system at once alerts the driver.

If anything punctures the tread, a circuit in the tire is closed, also triggering an immediate warning for the driver – faster than the systems used to date, which only warn the driver when the tire pressure has already begun to fall.

In the future, the ContiSense system will feature additional sensors that can also be utilized individually. Thus information about the road surface, such as its temperature or the presence of snow, can be "felt" by the tire and passed on to the driver. The data can be transmitted to the vehicle electronics or via bluetooth to a smartphone.

ContiAdapt combines micro-compressors integrated into the wheel to adjust the tire pressure with a variable-width rim. The system can thus modify the size of the contact patch, which under different road conditions is a decisive factor for both safety and comfort.

Four different combinations allow perfect adaptation to wet, uneven, slippery and normal conditions. For example, a smaller contact patch combined with high tire pressure make for low rolling resistance and energy-efficient driving on smooth, dry roads.

By contrast, the combination of a larger contact patch with lower tire pressure delivers ideal grip on slippery roads. The system also permits very low tire pressures of below 1 bar to be set, to help ease the vehicle out of a parking space in deep snow, for example, or traverse a dangerous stretch of black ice.

ContiSense and ContiAdapt are joined by a concept tire that enables the benefits of both systems to be fully leveraged. The tire design features three different tread zones for driving on wet, slippery or dry surfaces. Depending on the tire pressure and rim width, different tread zones are activated and the concept tire adopts the required "footprint" in each case. In this way, the tire characteristics adapt to the prevailing road conditions or driver preferences.

Continental considers both these tire technology concepts promising solutions for the mobility of the future as tires are adapted to meet the needs of automated driving and electrification. Low rolling resistance, for example, makes it possible for electric cars to cover greater distances on a single charge. At the same time, the tires can be adapted to suit the driver's personal preferences or in response to sudden changes in the weather.

EVgo, BMW, REI and Nissan Celebrate National Drive Electric Week in Colorado

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DENVER -- EVgo, the largest U.S. network of public electric vehicle (EV) fast charging stations, BMW, outdoor recreation retailer REI, Nissan and the Regional Air Quality Council celebrated National Drive Electric Week in Colorado to increase awareness of electric vehicles and the state's $5,000 state tax credit for EV buyers. These more convenient charging options allow EV drivers to travel even farther with increased access to Colorado's varied terrain and beauty.

As part of the National Drive Electric Week celebration, EVgo will unveil a DC Fast public charging station in Colorado during a ribbon cutting ceremony at REI's Denver flagship store, on September 12.

This 50 kWh dual-port charger is the 975th DC Fast charger on the EVgo network and one of 224 EVgo DC Fast chargers to be installed across 33 states by the end of 2017 as a result of EVgo, BMW and Nissan's joint efforts to increase the growth of DC Fast charging infrastructure across the country for all EV drivers with DC Fast-capable vehicles. The expansion of public fast charging stations provides EV drivers with the charge they need and can enable wider adoption of plug-in EVs.

The new DC Fast charging station, which is capable of charging up to 150 miles of range per hour, will give REI customers the ability to charge their electric vehicles easily while shopping for the latest outdoor equipment. EVs fit well into REI's customer's active and sustainability conscious lifestyles, as they're able to charge up quickly before heading on to their next adventure in the great outdoors.

EVgo's DC Fast chargers are 50 kW stations capable of charging EVs up to 80 percent in about 25-30 minutes, as compared to the longer time required to recharge at a Level 2 (240V) charger, currently the most commonly available public charging station. EVgo charging stations are strategically located near shopping and dining establishments along convenient, well-traveled routes to allow EV owners to travel with confidence.

The opening of the REI station marks the continued expansion of EVgo, BMW and Nissan's multi-year partnerships to increase public access to DC Fast charging stations across the U.S. As a result of their work together, more than 90 percent of BMW i3 and Nissan LEAF drivers can easily take advantage of EVgo's DC Fast charging stations nearby, in 33 states.

"At EVgo we are extremely proud to partner with BMW, Nissan, REI, the Regional Air Quality Council and National Drive Electric Week to continue to build out EV charging infrastructure," said Rob Barrosa, Vice President of OEM Strategy and Business Development at EVgo. "Our partners are committed to building awareness for the EV revolution and preserving the environment through new technology, such as our DC Fast Chargers. This technology allows for customers to charge faster and travel farther, inspiring more customers to consider purchasing an electric vehicle."

The State of Colorado has one of the greatest electric vehicle incentive programs in the country. On top of the federal tax credit, Colorado will also provide a $5,000 state tax credit. This has significantly reduced the cost of entry to the electric vehicle market in the state. With EVs becoming more available, the need for charging sites has increased steadily and Colorado is one of the state's leading the charge with their forward-thinking approach to charging infrastructure.

EVgo currently operates the largest public DC Fast charging network in the country, with over 975 fast chargers in 66 of the top-selling automotive metro areas in the US, and supports all current charging standards.

Honda Unveils Urban EV Concept

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FRANKFURT — Honda has revealed its new EV Concept and the Frankfurt Auto Show on Tuesday. This new concept from Honda, the Urban EV, is reminiscent of the first Civics from the 1970's.

Honda city car of the future will have a retro look The automaker says that a production version of the incredibly cute Urban EV Concept it unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show will be on sale within two years.

The new Honda is built on an entirely new platform and displays the direction Honda is taking EV technology on future models.

Smaller than a Honda Fit, the mini Urban EV sports round headlights and rectangular grill graphic, which contains a display screen that can show messages to the outside world.

The retro theme continues throughout the interior with front and rear bench seats upholstered in basic grey cloth, with wood finishes on the dashboard, seat squabs and armrests. Rear-hinged coach doors allow passengers access into the cabin, which includes bench-style seating to create a lounge feeling. The car's dashboard console houses the steering wheel column, a simple set of buttons and a panoramic display screen.

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The dashboard is finished with a wraparound screen that runs behind the console and extends into the doors – providing a range of information such as the battery level.

"This is not some vision of the distant future; a production version of this car will be here in Europe in 2019," he added, confirming that the concept is set to be launched within two years.

At the front of the car, interstice multilingual messages can be displayed between the headlights including greetings, advice for other drivers or charging status.

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Honda has included the advanced Automated Network Assistant, which acts as a personal concierge which is said to learn from the driver and detect emotions behind their judgements. It can then use this information to make make new choices and recommendations to the driver.

The EV is expected to enter the market within the next two years  but pricing or specs for the vehicle have yet to be fully confirmed.

Secure Payments "On The Go" With Blockchain Technology From ZF, UBS and IBM

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FRANKFURT -- ZF, UBS and IBM will soon be jointly developing an open automotive transaction platform for mobility services based on blockchain technology. Car eWallet has the potential to radically change the way manufacturers, suppliers and service providers process digital transactions and considerably simplify the use of vehicle services.

Auto manufacturers, technology companies, suppliers and mobility service providers are all driving the development of driverless cars. To support autonomous driving, however, these vehicles require a digital agent that can independently carry out tasks and authorize payments without the owner or user having to be active themselves.

Car eWallet is an innovative, digital assistant in the car that allows secure and convenient payments even on the go. The technology can also perform other tasks, like opening the trunk or doors. The Car eWallet is based on the IBM Blockchain technology, which makes it possible to synchronize the information of each participant in the network in a reliable and unchangeable data record. At the same time, it ensures that users only have access to the information that they are permitted to see and use.

This makes secure transactions almost in real time possible without needing a central instance or a reliable third party. The open automotive transaction platform for mobility-related services has the potential to radically change e-commerce between manufacturers, suppliers, service providers and customers.

"The trend toward car-sharing and future autonomous vehicles requires, now more than ever, a transaction ecosystem that everyone can use," explains Dr. Stefan Sommer, CEO of ZF Friedrichshafen AG. "The Car eWallet technology will reduce risks and costs while dramatically improving convenience for owners and users."

The platform is built on IBM Blockchain technology, which is provided through the IBM Cloud and driven by Hyperledger Fabric 1.0, a blockchain framework and one of the Hyperledger projects hosted by the Linux Foundation. With this public cloud service platform the partners intend to build a secure blockchain network that can collect fees for parking, toll, as well as future use cases such as car-sharing, energy provisioning to the power system or delivery services.

"The world of mobility is quickly evolving with self-driving vehicles, electric cars and new mobility services having quickly evolved from visionary concepts into reality. Time of great change requires transformational solutions," said Dirk Wollschlaeger, General Manager IBM Global Automotive, Aerospace and Defense. "Together with UBS and ZF, we are engineering a new mobility platform to redefine how, when and where traditional transactions occur."

Veronica Lange, Head of Innovation at UBS adds: "In today's digitally connected world, no single institution works in isolation. As a leading financial services institution we pursue the development of a new platform that will transform how transactions and payments between vehicles and other machines can be done efficiently and safely."

Micron Reveals Critical Technologies for Autonomous Vehicles

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SAN FRANCISCO — Autonomous vehicles require safe, secure and highly-responsive solutions, relying on split second decisions powered by enormous amounts of data. To quickly analyze the data necessary for future autonomous vehicles, higher bandwidth memory and storage solutions are required. U.S. based, global Semiconductor manufacturer Micron is working to fill this need.

The company announced today that it has started shipping LPDDR4x, running at 4266 megatransfers per second, the highest speed grade permitted by the LPDDR4 specification, to key chipset partners. This technology can enable overall system bandwidths of up to 100GB/s and provides a foundation for the next-generation of autonomous vehicle design. Micron is already deploying automotive-grade low-power DDR (LPDDR) memories to multiple automotive customers.

By 2020, the storage requirements for a connected vehicle could reach 1 terabyte. According to Micron, memory system bandwidths of 300 gigabytes per second (GB/s) and beyond will be required to power full autonomous driving.

Micron has also announced its commitment to deliver high-bandwidth GDDR6 memory solutions for the automotive market. Graphics memory (GDDR) is a high-performing memory commonly found today in gaming, graphics and virtual reality applications. Micron plans to leverage its strength in graphics memory to provide the highest bandwidth solutions designed to meet stringent auto qualifications.

The company is actively engaged with leading automotive partners and customers to enable GDDR technologies that will meet the needs of level 4 and 5 autonomous driving and beyond.

Autonomous driving, AI and machine learning are rapidly converging in tomorrow's vehicles, which will become the ultimate Internet of Things and edge computing devices. While cloud connectivity in modern vehicles creates new service opportunities, it also creates security management challenges and vulnerability concerns.

Micron's Authenta security solution can secure boot a system based completely on Authenta-enabled memory. The technology will provide a unique level of protection for the lowest layers of device software in automotive ECUs, starting with a secure boot process.

The company announced that it plans to make Authenta software and hardware development kits available to general automotive and IoT customers by the end of the year.  

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