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September 20, 2017 News of the Day: Intel & Waymo Team Up on Fully Autonomous Vehicles, Delphi & BlackBerry Form Partnership on Self-Driving Software System

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【Summary】September 20, 2017 News of the Day

Original Eric Walz    Sep 20, 2017 11:20 AM PT
September 20, 2017 News of the Day:  Intel & Waymo Team Up on Fully Autonomous Vehicles, Delphi & BlackBerry Form Partnership on Self-Driving Software System

Intel and Waymo Team Up on Fully Autonomous Vehicles

Intel announced this week that it's partnering with Waymo, the self-driving car division of Google parent company Alphabet, to develop its autonomous vehicle technology.

The new team seeks to bring Level 4 and Level 5 autonomy to Waymo's driverless vehicles using the computing power from Intel's processors.

Waymo's already using technology developed by Intel in its latest driverless Chrysler Pacifica minivans, from sensor processing to overall connectivity. Now, he companies want to make it more official.

"By working closely with partners like Intel, Waymo's vehicles will continue to have the advanced processing power required for safe driving wherever they go," Waymo said in a Medium post about the collaboration.

One of the big promises of artificial intelligence (AI) is our driverless future. Nearly 1.3 million people die in road crashes worldwide every year – an average 3,287 deaths a day1. Nearly 90 percent of those collisions are caused by human error.

Self-driving technology can help prevent these errors by giving autonomous vehicles the capacity to learn from the collective experience of millions of cars – avoiding the mistakes of others and creating a safer driving environment.

Waymo's newest vehicles, the self-driving Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans, feature Intel-based technologies for sensor processing, general compute and connectivity, enabling real-time decisions for full autonomy in city conditions.

As Waymo's self-driving technology becomes smarter and more capable, its high-performance hardware and software will require even more powerful and efficient compute. By working closely with Waymo, Intel can offer Waymo's fleet of vehicles the advanced processing power required for level 4 and 5 autonomy.

With 3 million miles of real-world driving, Waymo cars with Intel technology inside have already processed more self-driving car miles than any other autonomous fleet on U.S. roads.

Delphi & BlackBerry Form Partnership on Self-Driving Software System

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Delphi Automotive has entered into a commercial partnership with BlackBerry for the development of its turnkey automated driving platform.

The supplier said Wednesday that it will use BlackBerry's QNX operating system in its self-driving offering to host and secure its proprietary software. The end-to-end platform is expected to launch in 2019.

"With the complexity of these systems, we need partners with proven capability who can take care of things we need to be taken care of, especially for safety critical aspects," said Glen De Vos, Delphi's chief technology officer, in a meeting with reporters to announce the partnership. "You have to put all these pieces together, otherwise you just have a demo."

Delphi's automated driving platform uses Mobileye's EyeQ chip for sensor processing and its real-time mapping technology. The platform also incorporates software from Ottomatika — a startup out of Carnegie Mellon University that the Delphi acquired in 2015 — to act as the "brain" of the vehicle.

The partnership with BlackBerry will focus on ensuring safe operation of the platform as well as adding a layer of cybersecurity.

"We're witnessing a very fast push toward connected and autonomous vehicles, and it's necessitating a change to vehicle architecture," said John Wall, general manager of BlackBerry QNX. "This requires mission critical, functionally safe and secure operating systems."

Delphi also is working with BMW, Intel, Continental and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles on a jointly developed platform as a systems integrator, ensuring the technology can be used in vehicles built by any automaker.

Nikola Motor Co. and Bosch Team Up on Long-Haul Fuel Cell Truck

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SALT LAKE CITY — Nikola Motor Company and German auto components giant Bosch are teaming up to build the Nikola One and Nikola Two, a pair of hydrogen-electric, long-haul trucks that will compete with the handful of other low-emissions trucks and powertrains that have been announced in mid-2017.

Last December, Nikola Motor Company announced that it would build a hydrogen-electric truck that would be able to travel 1,200 miles on a tank of hydrogen and deliver 1,000 horsepower and 2,000 foot-pounds of torque. The company said at the time that its truck, deemed the Nikola One, would be market-ready by 2020.

Now, that market-ready date has been pushed back to 2021, but adding Bosch's powertrain experience helps firm up Nikola Motor Company's projections. According to a press release Nickola's class 8 Nikola One and Nikola Two will now be built on Bosch's eAxle—an integrated unit blending motor, power electronics, and transmission. Bosch's eAxle was announced this January.

The Nikola trucks will both pair hydrogen fuel cells with a 320 kWh battery pack and offer a payload capacity of 65,000 pounds. That number demonstrates just how much bigger long-haul trucks need to be compared to short-haul trucks. For comparison, Daimler announced a new all-electric short haul truck last week with a payload capacity of about 7,000 pounds.

At the moment, Nikola Motor Company's primary competitor would be Cummins, the diesel truck engine maker that announced an all-electric powertrain capable of hauling 22 tons, or about 44,000 pounds, on a 140 kWh battery pack for 100 miles. Cummins said the power train could be paired with an onboard diesel generator to triple the truck's range.

Another obstacle is charging infrastructure for the trucks. Nikola Motor Company added that it would build 364 hydrogen fueling stations throughout North America starting in 2018.

The dual-motor design and the fuel cell system in the Nikola One and Two will also be developed with Bosch's help, with a view to maximizing the truck's range. The truck's controls and software will also be a product of the Nikola/Bosch partnership.

Volvo to Invest 1$ Billion More in New U.S. Factory

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Volvo is expanding plans for a plant near Charleston, South Carolina, sources tell CNBC.

Volvo will add a second production line to a factory now under construction near Charleston, S.C., a Volvo spokesman said. The auto maker plans to make the S60 sedan at the plant starting in late 2018 along with another unnamed vehicle.

Geely, which owns Volvo,  wants the South Carolina factory to be an anchor for the company's bid to grow in the U.S., the Wall Street Journal reported. Once the plant is up and running at full capacity, it is expected to produce 100,000 vehicles per year and employ 3,900 people.

Volvo, which is owned by the Chinese automaker Geely, is coming off of record sales in the U.S. in 2016. Last year, the automaker sold 82,726 vehicles in the U.S., according to the automotive research firm Autodata.

"We clearly see a momentum and you can imagine we are very happy with the momentum we have created in the U.S. since the past two years," he said.

New York City to Get Fast EV charging Stations

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NEW YORK — New York is adding fast EV charging stations the city's Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Wednesday. The joint effort is with local utility company Con Edison, to invest $10 million creating fast car charging hubs in each borough next year.

The mayor said the stations, which can fully charge a car in 30 minutes, would incentivize motorists to choose environmentally friendly cars. Existing hubs in the city can take as long as eight hours to charge a vehicle.

Flanked by cars from the municipal fleet being charged in a Whole Foods parking lot in Brooklyn, the mayor said in a press conference that he wants 20 percent of new car registrations in New York to be electric cars by 2025.

"When we do something better, the earth feels it. It helps the earth," the mayor said.

The locations, which the mayor said will not take up valuable parking spaces, will be determined by a number of factors including traffic, proximity to amenities and the number of electric vehicles located in the neighborhood. Each hub will have between 10 to 20 chargers and they will all be able to service 1,200 cars weekly, according to Mark Chambers, director of the Mayor's Office of Sustainability.

The city will take input from the public on the initial hub locations, according to Chambers. By 2020, the city plans to have 50 charging hubs online.

"The goal is aiming to look at places where they can get the most use," Chambers said.

The announcement is part of the de Blasio administration's goal to combat climate change, a move the mayor says is a necessary rejoinder to President Donald Trump's promise to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord.

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