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September 27, 2017 News of the Day: Delphi to Split Into 2 Companies: Aptiv & Delphi Technologies, Luminar Technologies Forms Partnership with Toyota for LiDAR

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【Summary】September 27, 2017 News of the Day

Original Eric Walz    Sep 27, 2017 11:50 AM PT
September 27, 2017 News of the Day: Delphi to Split Into 2 Companies: Aptiv & Delphi Technologies, Luminar Technologies Forms Partnership with Toyota for LiDAR

Delphi to Split Into 2 Companies: Aptiv & Delphi Technologies

BOSTON — After Delphi Automotive spins off its powertrain division, it will become become two companies,  Aptiv, which will concentrate on technology related to self-driving vehicles; and Delphi Technologies, which will focus on powertrain development.

The company announced the new names to investors Wednesday at Delphi's Investor Day in Boston. The giant tier-one supplier had announced in May that it would spin off its powertrain business to intensify its focus on autonomous vehicle efforts and the technology that supports it.

The split is expected by March 2018 and is another step in Delphi's recent reinvention. Zachary Peterson, Delphi spokesman, said both companies will remain headquartered on Delphi's Troy campus.

Delphi recently transitioned into the high-margin automotive technology sector. Aptiv will continue that push toward developing self-driving systems, and aims to capitalize on capturing and monetizing big data, which is seen as the next big thing in the auto industry. Connected and autonomous vehicles are expected to generate billions of dollars in revenue, and auto suppliers and carmakers are looking for ways to make money off the information gathered from the cars of the future.

The Delphi Technology powertrain company moves to a very different set of dynamics than what automated driving and infotainment are moving to, said Glen De Vos, Delphi senior vice president and chief technology officer.

"When you think about the investor community behind us, these are suddenly becoming two different types of investors. And so the people that really are going to be focused on the powertrain investments, we're seeing the verge way from the investors that are really focused on more of the tech. We're at a great point right now where we've had two very healthy businesses with great outlooks, but at some point, they're going to start becoming in conflict with each other in terms of resource consumption, capital investment and those types of things."

Aptiv's technology efforts will be comprised of Delphi's current electrical and electronic facets of the company. The company will develop safety components, software and computing platforms to make the "brain and nervous system" of the vehicle, among other technological ventures.

Delphi Technology's powertrain development will work with both internal combustion engines and electrified cars.

"Both (new companies) will continue to embody Delphi's core themes of safe, green and connected, with the autonomy and expertise to react to the rapidly changing dynamics in the automotive industry and solve its customers' most complex challenges," Kevin Clark, Delphi president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. "The vehicle has evolved and so have we. We have expanded upon our heritage of industry firsts with advanced software capabilities and deep systems integration expertise, enabling us to develop intelligent solutions to meet mobility's toughest challenges."

The new companies will make their formal debuts at the CES technology show in Las Vegas in January.

Luminar Technologies Forms Partnership with Toyota on LiDAR

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Luminar Technologies, a Silicon Valley startup maker of LiDAR sensors has formed a key partnership with plans to supply Toyota's advanced research division with high-tech optical devices that give self-driving cars an ability to see that surpasses the human eye.

Luminar's LiDAR sensor is being used in the latest fleet of self-driving luxury Lexus sedans for Toyota Research Institute, which will be tested at Toyota R&D facilities across the U.S., James Kuffner, TRI's chief technology officer, told Forbes. They are a big part of a suite of technologies Toyota is using as it races to perfect vehicles able to drive themselves under all circumstances.

"We may have built the world's most perceptive autonomous vehicle platform, with all the sensors, radar, cameras and LiDAR," said Kuffner, who led Google's robotics program before joining TRI. "One of the things we're excited about is (Luminar's LiDAR) has excellent range and resolution that will give us some great capability."

Self-driving cars use LiDAr to ‘see' road conditions and surroundings, and just like human drivers do with their eyes. Cameras and radar have become standard equipment on many new vehicles to alert drivers of pedestrians and nearby hazards, but LiDAR's ability to see in virtually all lighting and weather conditions and at long range makes it vital robotic cars.

Dozens of other LiDAr competitors have emerged over the past year, including Quanergy, Innoviz Technologies, LeddarTech, AEye and Oryx Vision touting sensors that are smaller, less expensive and more technically superior than Velodyne's.

Although Luminar just emerged from stealth mode in April, Austin Russell, its young CEO, believes the company's technology will ultimately prove to be the best option for autonomous cars.

"We have the ability to see out a couple of hundred meters, even dark objects on the road like tires, with less than 10% reflectivity," Russell said. Luminar LiDAR also has image resolution that's "a magnitude greater than existing systems that are used on autonomous vehicles today," he said, without identifying competing brands.

To date, Luminar has raised $36 million and employs about 250 people at its Silicon Valley headquarters and an R&D and production facility in Orlando, Florida. The company expects to begin the production phase by the end of this year.

Uber Confirms Shuttering of its Car leasing Business

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Uber is shutting its money losing car leasing business Xchange Leasing, which bought cars and loaned them to Uber drivers unable to purchase their own.

The car-booking app company confirmed the news in a email to Futurecar that it was backing away from establishing a fleet of cars: "We have decided to stop operating Xchange Leasing and move towards a less capital-intensive approach.", the company wrote.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Uber was losing about $9,000 on each of the 40,000 car titles held by Xchange Leasing, rather than the $500 the company had expected. It added that about 500 jobs would be affected.

Uber's sub-prime car leasing division offered flexible vehicle leases for Uber driver partners, who in turn would use the vehicle to pick up passengers. However, industry analysts criticized Uber for the large monthly payments and other costs associated with the leases.

DENSO Licenses NetSpeed IP for use in Advanced Automotive Platform SoCs

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SAN JOSE, Calif. — NetSpeed Systems Inc.. announced today that DENSO Corporation, a leading global automotive supplier of advanced technology, systems and components, has licensed NetSpeed's Orion on-chip network IP and Pegasus last-level cache for use in System-on-chip (SoCs) targeting Advanced Automotive Electronic Platforms including autonomous driving (ADAS, Autopilot) systems.

Design efforts once focused almost exclusively on mechanical power trains and body styling are shifting toward advanced sensing and processing. As cars become autonomous, the SoCs inside that drive them need to be designed differently.

SoC design must become much more efficient, error-free, and adaptable to meet next generation of challenges. DENSO hopes to lead the charge by spearheading systems and solutions targeted towards the ADAS and autonomous driving systems.

NetSpeed's interconnect technology, with its combination of IP and the Design Cockpit, brings together performance, sensing, and safety, and leverages automation for breakthroughs in automotive design.

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"NetSpeed's interconnect IP offer the outstanding performance, flexibility and advanced functional safety features needed for our products," said Hideki Sugimoto, General Manager, Semiconductor IP Department, Basic Electronic Technology Unit, DENSO at DENSO. "Furthermore, NetSpeed Pegasus offering is one of a kind IP that allows us to build scalable platform solutions delivering unprecedented performance, power results."

"We are excited to be working with DENSO, a company with world-class expertise, experience and an extensive technology portfolio," said Sundari Mitra, CEO and co-founder of NetSpeed. "DENSO is well positioned to deliver SoC products to drive tomorrow's automotive systems. With NetSpeed's IP and the advanced functional safety features it delivers - ISO 26262 ASIL D Compliance - DENSO will be able to utilize its IP more effectively to create richer and more powerful SoC solutions."

NetSpeed Systems was founded in 2011 and is led by executives from the semiconductor and networking industries. The company is funded by top-tier investors from Silicon Valley. NetSpeed Systems is based in San Jose, California and has additional research and development facilities in Asia.


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