Technology Bulletin

    • Volvo Advances Towards Electric Autonomous Trucks
    • Sep 21, 2018
    • Volvo unveiled its truck “Vera” which is an electric, autonomous truck. Its unique design excludes a cab. However, it’s still under developmen... View More

      Volvo unveiled its truck “Vera” which is an electric, autonomous truck. Its unique design excludes a cab. However, it’s still under development from security and safety perspective. Vera will be equipped with the same battery pack (capacity between 100 and 300 kWh for a range of up to 300 km) as Volvo’s other EV trucks. Moreover, it is much slower than any normal truck due to precautionary measures by Volvo. It is expected to be used primarily on closed sites.
      The other auto players are also moving in this direction. Mercedes-Benz revealed Vision URBANETIC, a hybrid van based on an autonomous driving platform that targets both passengers and cargo.
        - Satyajit Sinha

      (Source: Electrek)

    • NXP Eyeing Japanese V2X Market
    • Sep 21, 2018
    • After acquiring Freescale and gaining its competencies in MCUs, NXP has become aggressive in emerging technologies such as IoT, AI and automotive. The company h... View More

      After acquiring Freescale and gaining its competencies in MCUs, NXP has become aggressive in emerging technologies such as IoT, AI and automotive. The company has partnered with Hitachi to launch DSRC-based V2X package in Japan, in which NXP will provide the V2X modem and processor while Hitachi will provide the software stack. Japan is a prospective market to launch V2X solutions, having a progressive government and home to automakers like Nissan and Mitsubishi. 
      Earlier this year, NTT DoCoMo, Ericsson, Nissan, OKI, Continental and Qualcomm Technologies planned to carry out their first C-V2X trials in Japan. Launching DSRC based V2X solution, NXP has gained first mover advantage in Japan. Automakers who want to integrate DSRC based V2X capabilities in their vehicles could integrate NXP modem chipsets in their vehicles. The solution’s ability to work on both 5.9GHz and 760MHz bandwidth makes it reusable and scalable for EU, US and Japanese markets, saving customization costs. - Aman Madhok

      (Source: NXP)

    • Are Autonomous Bikes The Next Future?
    • Sep 21, 2018
    • BMW is researching autonomous motorcycles that can balance and drive themselves on the road. The key here is not the autonomous bike, but the data collected, fo... View More

      BMW is researching autonomous motorcycles that can balance and drive themselves on the road. The key here is not the autonomous bike, but the data collected, for example the bike’s footprint changes with the lean angle (when the bike takes a turn). This can be crucial for V2X communication. This should give riders advanced features such as enhanced stability in critical situations, making the ride safer. - Parv Sharma

      (Source: Mobile Geeks)

    • OLA to Challenge Uber in New Zealand
    • Sep 21, 2018
    • OLA is aggressively expanding its overseas operations, entering New Zealand after it entered into the Australian and UK markets earlier this year. Many industry... View More

      OLA is aggressively expanding its overseas operations, entering New Zealand after it entered into the Australian and UK markets earlier this year. Many industry participants believe that by entering Uber-dominated geographies, OLA is pressurising Uber to merge its Indian operations with it. Softbank, a common investor in both companies, also wants them to merge their operations and end price-wars in India, just like in China, where Didi merged with Uber. OLA is said to have had talks with Uber last year about merging their operations in India.
      To gain share in New Zealand, OLA is following the strategy it followed in the UK and that many new entrants follow i.e. lure drivers by offering introductory lowest industry commissions. OLA is also promising daily payments to drivers, and enhanced passenger safety via 24/7 voice support, screened drivers, option to share details and emergency contacts.
      Apart from Uber, local ride-hailing company Zoomy and female-only ride hailing company, DriveHer, which starts operations in late 2018, are its major competitors.
      Aman Madhok

      (Source: Money Control)

    • Component Suppliers To Compete With OEMs
    • Sep 21, 2018
    • ZF, one of the largest automotive suppliers, is looking to invest in autonomous vehicles. The company is geared to invest $14 billion over the next 5 years to d... View More

      ZF, one of the largest automotive suppliers, is looking to invest in autonomous vehicles. The company is geared to invest $14 billion over the next 5 years to develop a self-driving van to rival Volkswagen’s Crafter or Ford’s Transit van. The automotive industry's shift towards EV and self-driving vehicles is opening the horizon for new competitors. The technological boom is creating opportunities for component suppliers to target various roles in automotive ecosystem. Shobhit Srivastava

      (Source: Auto News)

    • Grab and Go-Jek Indonesian Rivalry Set to Enter Ot...
    • Sep 21, 2018
    • Ride-hailing firm, Go-Jek plans to expand in Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand and Philippines with $2 billion of funding it is seeking from its investors. Earlier t... View More

      Ride-hailing firm, Go-Jek plans to expand in Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand and Philippines with $2 billion of funding it is seeking from its investors. Earlier this year, Go-Jek raised $1.5 billion from its investors. Grab too has raised $2 billion this year and plans to raise another $1 billion before the year ends. 
      Grab is using its funds to follow Go-Jek’s strategy and include related mobile dependent businesses – such as food-delivery and courier services – in its push to gain share in Indonesia. Fearing losing the Indonesian battle, Go-Jek is keeping other options open. This is the right move by Go-Jek as ride-hailing is an industry with low market entry and exit costs. Expansion in other countries should also increase Go-Jek’s prospects, if there is any chance of merger/acquisition by Grab. - Aman Madhok

      (Source: Tech Crunch)

    • Hyundai Betting On Hydrogen
    • Sep 21, 2018
    • Various countries have put deadlines in place for eradication or severe limitation on internal combustion engines. While most are betting on battery powered EVs... View More

      Various countries have put deadlines in place for eradication or severe limitation on internal combustion engines. While most are betting on battery powered EVs, including Volvo for its autonomous truck line, Hyundai is opting for hydrogen fuel cells to generate the electricity required for long-distance, high-torque applications such as trucks. Trucks need to maintain high utilization rates to be economically viable. Frequent recharging stops don't work in this scenario. Fuel cells can be recharged relatively quickly and so work better for trucks. There does need to be recharging infrastructure though, which is costly and complex. Hyundai is not solely betting on hydrogen fuel cells though, as affiliate company Kia is also planning a full range of battery EVs. -Peter Richardson

      (Source: Reuters)

    • Short Term Win but Long-Term Loss!!
    • Sep 21, 2018
    • The alliance, which manufactured 10.6 million vehicles in 2017, is the largest automaker in the world. The agreement is a big win for Google, as it will conside... View More

      The alliance, which manufactured 10.6 million vehicles in 2017, is the largest automaker in the world. The agreement is a big win for Google, as it will considerably increase the penetration of Android OS in automobiles. Android OS will be installed in the cars manufactured by the alliance starting from 2021. Earlier, companies like Volvo had embedded Android OS in their cars. But with the largest automaker choosing to embed a third-party OS, it may lead other automakers to re-think their digital strategy.
      Embedding Android OS is different from how many passenger cars are using Android Auto, in which the apps from a smartphone are just projected on the central display, but with Google having no control on the resulting data. 
      The agreement might seem to be a lucrative option in short term, as it saves the cost of developing competitive digital and connected services and OS. However, in long term the alliance would need to share valuable driver data with Google, likely affecting its future revenue generation from digital services.
       - Aman Madhok

      (Source: Nissan)

    • ChargePoint Makes Landmark Commitment to The Futur...
    • Sep 14, 2018
    • EV industry growth could be a chicken-egg problem. To ensure robust growth of the EV segment, EV charging infrastructure is the key. One of the industry's t... View More

      EV industry growth could be a chicken-egg problem. To ensure robust growth of the EV segment, EV charging infrastructure is the key. One of the industry's top independent EV Charging Stations Infrastructure vendor, ChargePoint, pledged to roll out 2.5 million spots by 2025 to catalyze the e-mobility growth; from vendor's current 54000 charging spots. The majority of these will be split between North America, Europe and some coming from Oceania (Australia, NZ). According to ChargePoint, EV drivers have completed more than 43 million charging sessions saving more than 44 million gallons of gasoline. We estimate that these 43 million sessions indicate more than 4 billion electric miles so far. Players like ChargePoint will be key to drive EV market growth alongside players such as Tesla with their proprietary networks. - Neil Shah

      (Source: ChargePoint)

    • Uber Is Entering Japan with One Small Step at a Ti...
    • Sep 14, 2018
    • After facing protests in the UK and Germany and learning from other companies like OLA, Uber has realized the importance of partnering with government bodi... View More

      After facing protests in the UK and Germany and learning from other companies like OLA, Uber has realized the importance of partnering with government bodies and local taxi companies. Uber’s strategy in Japan is a retreat from a “standalone rapid expansion” to a slow, partnership-based expansion, based on market understanding. 
      This is the right approach from the new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, who cannot afford to risk $16-$17 billion Japanese taxi market, among the largest in the world, especially after Uber’s exit from China and other Southeast Asian countries. Starting small will also help Uber to understand local customers well, a skill mastered by Grab. Dara Khosrowshahi’s enthusiasm for Japan echoes with that of Brooks Entwistle, Uber's Asia head, who commented that Japan would be the major focus for Uber in 2018. This is a turnaround from previous CEO Travis Kalanick, who largely left the country’s business in the hands of a country manager. Sony, Nihon Kotsu, and Didi Chuxing are the major competitors of Uber in Japan, all offering some variations of taxi-hailing services in the country. Aman Madhok

      (Source: Travel Trade)

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