Car Electronics 2012

The Year of The EV article tells that We can dub 2011 the year of the EV (electric vehicles) and gives a timeline what happened 2011. The end result is that today there are enough Volts on the road (along with competitors like Nissan’s Leaf, various hybrids, and an electric Ford Focus) that it might be safe to suggest that the electric car is here to stay.

There has been many different car charging connectors in use on electronic vehicles. Electric Car Charging Standards Split article tells that many car manufacturers have agreed on a single EV charging port connector standard that has been in development by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) for several years. European car companies have been divided on standards for both AC and DC charging. The new single connector will support fast DC charging as well as be backward compatible with the J1772 AC charger that is standard on many plug-in electric vehicles today. I think that use of that standard will rise in 2012, and common charging standard will speed up the EV deployment.


Automotive electronics: What’s hot in 2012 article tells that in automotive electronics, 2012 looks to be a year of consolidation as technologies introduced previously become more widespread across model lines. In particular, voice recognition, with different features and interfaces, is seen as a way of distinguishing one brand from another, while electrified power trains in the form of hybrids and pure electric drives will be available in more models. In keep costs down driven auto industry the more mature the technology that goes into a car, the less risk of failure and costly warranty claims.

Cars and smartphones start to communicate using MirrorLink technology to allow new features. MirrorLink™ has been developed with the objective to provide a technology, offering seamless (extremely simple from the consumer perspective) connectivity between a smart phone and the in-vehicle infotainment system. It uses IP technologies in order to be independent of the physical transport mechanism and supports many car connectivity solutions (Bluetooth, WLAN, USB etc.). Whereas MirrorLink™ does allow any legacy application on the mobile device to show-up on the car display, it specifically enables easy development of mobile device based automotive applications.

Ethernet for Vehicles is gaining momentum in in the car. Ethernet for Vehicles Advances article tells that Ethernet technology in the car (a concept that was once unthinkable for the automotive industry) has been gaining momentum lately. Special interest group, known as the OPEN (One-Pair-Ether-Net) SIG, is aimed at driving broad-scale adoption of Ethernet in vehicles, largely to serve the expected boom of camera-based applications in cars. Many vehicles now have backup cameras, and many others are going to add cameras for such applications as lanekeeping, adaptive cruise control, and collision avoidance.

There is going to be an increasing number of Driver Information applications that involve displaying complex images and graphics. Xilinx Paves the Way for a New Generation of Automotive Driver Assistance and Infotainment Systems at CES 2012. World’s first Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) based Ethernet Audio/Video Bridging (EAVB) network implementation optimized for carrying high-speed data traffic within the automobile was shown at CES 2012. The IEEE 802.1 EAVB standard is already gaining the attention of a number of leading automotive manufacturers even though the specifications are still being finalized. OMG! Amazing home displays and automotive Ethernet AVB stuff from Xilinx article gives some more details what is expected in near future.


New electronics features are making challenges for developers. Automotive Electronics: Do We Really Need All This Stuff? article tells that everyone in the auto industry knows that the number of electronic control units (ECUs) in vehicles is nearing the point of unmanageability. Low-end vehicles now incorporate between 35 and 40 ECUs, while luxury cars may have 80 or more. “We’re right up against the limit right now. We need to find unique ways to integrate features and functions, and give our customers what they want without overloading our controllers.” The number of automotive features and functions keeps rising.

Would Cellphone Ban Secure Car Safety? article tells that the proliferation of in-car entertainment technologies (internet routers, smartphone links, MP3 connections, capacitive touch screens, etc.) are great for selling cars. Auto executives understand what consumers want: Many people don’t want a car with no extra features. Those new extra features have also sparked a serious debate about driver distraction dangers. “According to NHTSA [the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration], more than 3,000 people lost their lives last year in distraction-related accidents.” “You’re dealing with human nature here. People want what they want. And sometimes they want more than they should have.”


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Automotive Fatality: Is Connectivity Killing Us?

    Given that taking connectivity away from drivers is nearly impossible (well, it won’t happen), what is the key to reducing accidents?

    Just before Thanksgiving, the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released preliminary data showing that the number of deaths from traffic accidents in the United States jumped 8.1 percent in the first half of 2015, compared with the same period last year.

    The data is troubling not only because it reverses the slight decline in traffic deaths in the United States in 2014, but also because it suggests that smartphones and other connected devices are causing a lot of dumb — and dangerous — driving.

    NHTSA cites a litany of human misbehavior contributing to the rise of traffic deaths in 2014 — including drunk driving (representing one-third of fatalities), wearing no seat belt (49 percent of passenger vehicle occupants killed were not belted in), motorcyclists in states without strong helmet laws and drowsy driving (2.6 percent of all crash fatalities).

    Most alarming in NHTSA’s announcement is the fact that distracted driving accounted for 10 percent of all crash fatalities, killing 3,179 people in 2014.

    In a press briefing last week, Mark Rosekind, who heads the NHTSA, said, “The increase in smartphones in our hands is so significant, there’s no question that has to play some role. But we don’t have enough information yet to determine how big a role.”

    We all know that constantly connected drivers are also distracted drivers. We also know that there are no effective state laws that prohibit the use of hand-held smartphones while driving.

    I don’t think I’m alone in my frustration with the tech industry’s typical response to traffic safety issues. These companies usually throw more technology at the problem while opting for silence on public policy.

    Certainly, the tech industry’s push for Connected Cars (V2V), ADAS and the ultimate self-driving cars fits nicely into a narrative full of safety slogans, while conveniently generating the potential for more profit for carmakers.

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Make HUDs to Inform, Not Entertain

    The head up displays now becoming popular in automotive design need to avoid feature creep.

    What began in military aircraft and has long been confined to sports cars and luxury vehicles is now making its appearance in the mass market. The head-up display, or HUD, is a rapidly emerging automotive technology – and that is a great thing. The trick will be to avoid overdoing it.

    There are a variety of HUD concepts out on the road right now. On the higher end, you’ll find this new technology in cars like the BMW 7 Series, Cadillac CTS, 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, and Lexus RX 350. In the more moderately-priced vehicle category, HUDs are now available in the Mazda3 and Hyundai Sonata. As technology improves and costs decrease, I suspect that the HUD will become a new standard across the board.

    Car tech junkies can’t help but get excited about the increasing availability of head-up displays. Without even a glance at the information cluster, drivers can get all sorts of information like speed, vehicle status, light status, lane departure information, and warnings. Driving directions are overlaid atop the road with a compass to indicate which direction the car is driving. You can make and receive calls or texts, get social media notifications, and even tweet without having to look away from the windshield.

    All of this information and all of these capabilities are exactly what one would expect a connected vehicle to have. In fact, many of these features would show up on any wish list for a new infotainment system.

    The HUD is a very unique scenario, however – far different than the infotainment system. The HUD sits directly in the line of sight of the driver. And therein lies the issue.

    Automakers want to win the head-up display market by making their HUD as sexy as they can. As with all new technologies, there is a tendency here to over-design. The temptation to fill the windshield with every bell and whistle available is real.

    But making too much information available all at once is a big problem. A HUD can quickly get graffiti-like

    The whole point of the HUD is to display necessary data from instruments so that a driver need not remove his eyes from the windshield to understand critical vehicle status. The HUD is intended to decrease user distraction. Making too much data available on the windshield at one time will inevitably distract the driver and sidetrack him from his sole purpose – driving.

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    TomTom warns cameras – for free

    The navigator manufacturer TomTom has introduced the ranks of Android applications free application that tells you real-time alerts as well as fixed and mobile speed cameras on the location of the driver in use by itinerary.

    TomTom Speed ​​Cameras app sends the user’s smartphone alert you of upcoming fixed and mobile traffic cameras as well as providing a general speed limit information area. Solid traffic camera locations themselves are maintained by TomTom, the user community, in turn, reported the locations of mobile cameras.


  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Apple and Google are two of the world’s most innovative companies. Third, has risen Elon Musks founded by the electric car company Tesla. This is shown by the Boston Consulting Group The Most Innovative Companies 2015 report.

    The report said the world’s top innovative companies combine four things: speed, agile development processes, utilization of technological platforms, as well as the systematic exploration of new markets.

    These criteria research directors of large companies have listed the best innovators. It should be noted that the tip of the cell phone business in addition to car manufacturers. The car is now clear from the beginning that can innovate much.


  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Prototype Sodium Ion Batteries in 18650 Cells

    French researchers have announced a prototype of an 18650 sodium-ion battery prototype. If you’ve bought a powerful LED flashlight, a rechargeable battery pack, or a–ahem–stronger than usual LASER pointer, you’ve probably run into 18650 batteries. You often find these inside laptop batteries and –famously– the Tesla electric vehicle runs on a few thousand of these cells. The number might seem like a strange choice, but it maps to the cell size (18 mm in diameter and 65 mm long).

    A Battery Revolution in Motion

    The first prototype of a sodium-ion battery has just been revealed by the RS2E, a French network bringing together researchers and industrial actors. This technology, inspired by the lithium-ion batteries already used in portable computers and electric vehicles, could lead to the mass storage of intermittent renewable energy sources.

    The information may not sound exciting to non-specialists… Yet scientists across the globe, including the US, Japan, the UK, and Israel, are working on this technology—which today is considered the most serious alternative to the lithium-ion batteries that equip practically all portable electronic devices (portable computers, tablets, smartphones…)—and are beginning to take a serious look at electric vehicles. The battery used for Tesla cars, for example, is nothing more than the combination of several thousand “18650″ lithium-ion batteries.

    “The sodium-ion battery unveiled today is directly inspired by lithium-ion technology,”

    For the moment, its creators have not disclosed the composition of the materials wrapped around the two electrodes of their sodium-ion battery—a trade secret. However, the performance of the prototype presented today is better known. With 90 watt-hours/kilogram, “its energy density (the quantity of energy that can be stored per kilo of battery) is comparable to certain lithium-ion batteries, such as the Li-ion iron/phosphate battery,”

    Considered desirable objects today, sodium batteries have nevertheless come a long way. In the late 1980s, this technology had in fact been set aside in favor of lithium, whose superiority seemed obvious to all: thanks to a voltage of 3.5 V, lithium in theory provides the most energy.

    “When the electric vehicle market began to develop, we feared a surge in lithium prices, and sodium thus entered the race again,” Tarascon recalls. True enough, it has the significant advantage of being abundant (2.6% sodium can be found in the Earth’s crust, compared with barely 0.06% lithium), and widely accessible, notably in seawater in the form of sodium chloride (NaCl).

    In 2012, the French researcher decided to take the bull by the horns and make the most of France’s know-how in sodium batteries. “For lithium, all fundamental research had been conducted in Europe, especially in France,”

    A global market worth $80 billion

    The commercial possibilities are indeed immense. The global market for batteries should reach 80 billion dollars in 2020, twice that of today. Too large for the time being to equip portable electronic devices, sodium-ion batteries could secure a privileged position in the electric vehicle market, as well as in the storage of intermittent renewable energies, such as wind or solar power.

    “The 18650 format enables us to provide proof of concept , and compare the performance of our batteries with those of similar format that are already available on the market. However, other formats will need to be designed to meet new requirements,”

    Time is of the essence, as Toyota are working relentlessly on a prototype of a sodium-ion car battery, while the British startup Faradion, in association with Oxford University, made a first demonstration this year of an electric bicycle powered by a sodium-ion battery.

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Inside The Hack Rod, The World’s First AI-Designed Car

    The brainchild of the Primordial Research Project, this car is based on billions of data points plugged into generative-design software.

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Lance Whitney / CNET:
    Ford releases software update with Siri Eyes-Free support for 5M Sync-equipped vehicles sold since 2011

    Ford Sync car owners to get Apple’s Siri Eyes-Free

    The automaker is rolling out an update to its Sync-enabled cars that will let drivers turn on the Siri voice assistant with the touch of a button.

    Owners of iPhones and Ford cars equipped with the Sync infotainment system now can tap into Siri to perform a variety of tasks while keeping their eyes on the road.

    Silicon Valley companies are increasingly looking to cars as a place to embed their technology. Carrying over their rivalry from the smartphone market, both Apple and Google offer software designed to help you control your in-car entertainment systems, make hands-free calls, check your email and keep tabs on the route you’re traveling. Looking farther down the high-tech road, companies including Google, Tesla Motors and even ride-hailing service Uber have plans for fully self-driving cars, which could become a reality for consumers as soon as five years from now.

    “Sync, Ford’s entertainment and communications system, was designed to be flexible and updatable, just like other mobile technologies, so our customers are able to get the most out of their smartphones while behind the wheel,” Sherif Marakby, director of Ford Electronics and Electrical Systems Engineering, said in a press release.

    As a simple software update, Siri Eyes-Free provides a convenient way for drivers to get new features. But many Ford owners are waiting for the automaker to equip new vehicles with Apple’s CarPlay, a more advanced, higher-end system that offers touch-screen controls, onscreen maps and a built-in media center. A Ford spokesman confirmed that the automaker plans to support both CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto with Sync version 3 but could not give a specific time frame for availability.

    Users can download the update from the Ford owners website, install it on a USB drive and then plug it into the USB port in their cars.

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Uber rivals Lyft, Didi, Ola, GrabTaxi partner on tech and services; from Q1, people can use their local apps to order from alliance firms when in other markets

    Lyft, Didi, Ola And GrabTaxi Partner In Global Tech, Service Alliance To Rival Uber

    As Uber ramps up its business globally with yet more money, four of its regional rivals are getting closer to each other in a bid for more scale and service continuity. Lyft in the U.S., Didi Kuaidi in China, Ola in India and GrabTaxi in SouthEast Asia have now inked a strategic partnership to work together on technology and services. This will begin with customers of each company able to use their local apps to order transportation when they travel to the other markets in the network, starting in Q1 2016.

    The companies say that each country will handle “mapping, routing and payments through a secure API.”

    The four companies all say the plan is to keep their independence as regionally-focused companies and to keep growing in that way, rather than to view this news as a precursor to a merger or more growth for any individual company.

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Luka EV
    Build a road legal electric car powered by hub motors

    Project aims.
    Top speed. 130km/h
    Weight. Under 750kg
    Range. Over 300km on a singe battery charge
    Retail price. Under EUR20,000
    Project time frame. Must be Certified to drive on EU roads by Sept 1st 2015.
    Appearance. Must be a beautiful vehicle .

    LUKA EV. The most fuel efficient car in the world?
    5 days ago • 7 comments

    December 5th.

    Just adding some European numbers as Miles per gallon are confusing due to there being different USA & Europe gallons. In Europe, 1kWh = 0.1125L of petrol of diesel. Source.

    Luka has 20.48kWh so 2.529 equivalent liters. If we consider the range to be 250km, this is 98 km per liter. If we consider the range as 300kh, this is 118km per liter.

    Europe measure this based on

    In real life, I think we drive the car much harder than the EU test described in the link. However, some day we will get someone to put Luka through this test just to see what result we get. In effect, LUKA will be in the same general ballpark as the VW XL1.

    November Update
    6 days ago • 11 comments

    Nov 29th 2015.

    Unfortunately, there is not very much news to report. We are tied up in the EU approval process. All this means is that we are trying to understand the tests, the nature of the tests & the cost of the tests. It now seems inevitable that the testing process will cost much more than it cost to develop the car.

    Approval has another big negative point. It mean we need to draw a line in the sand & stop developments. Once the car is approved, we can not really change anything. If we change anything, it must be an official engineering change & we must submit it to the approval authority. They might then tell us that the entire car needs to go through the process again. Overall, the process is not just insanely expensive, it also stifles innovation.

    Another nasty issue is that it appears we need more than one car for testing. I think at least 2 full cars are required & then some ”part cars” such as a rolling chassis with a dashboard but with no battery & no body.. I was hoping to get one car approved before making any more..

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Volvo Trucks: Kid Tested, Mother Approved

    f that looks like a four year old with a remote control driving a full-size dump truck — that’s because it is. As part of their Live Test Series, Volvo made a ridiculous obstacle course, and then let a four year old take the wheel of one of their heavy duty dump trucks. Viral advertising maybe — but too awesome not to share.

    And don’t worry, there is a hack involved! The remote control setup in the truck isn’t that polished, and can’t possibly be a commercial “RC kit”. Which means some lucky hacker got to build a remote control system for a freaking dump truck. Consider us jealous.

    Volvo Shows Off New Trucks By Letting a Four-Year-Old Demolish Them

    Volvo really wants you to know how tough its trucks are. How tough are they? They let a four-year-old test driver take a spin using a remote control set-up and a host of GoPros, through a course of wreckage, fireworks and one poorly located house. And the truck miraculously survives, more or less.

    Volvo trucks: kid tested, YouTube approved.

  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:
    Nokia Closes Its $2.8B Sale Of Here To The Audi, BMW And Daimler Car Consortium

    One of the bigger makers of maps and location services used in mobile phones and connected cars has now been taken over by a consortium of car makers. Today Nokia completed its sale of Here to Audi AG, BMW Group and Daimler AG for €2.55 billion ($2.8 billion). The deal was originally announced in August, pending regulatory approval, at an original price of €2.8 billion, “subject to certain purchase price adjustments.”

    The deal puts a final period to a long-winded chapter over the future of the location services and mapping division, which remained a part of Nokia as the rest of its mobile handset business was sold to Microsoft in 2014, and never really grew to be a sizeable portion of Nokia’s revenues.

    Nevertheless, the rise of smartphones and connected cars have driven a large potential and actual market for location-based services, and Here, with its rich navigation and mapping data, is one of the biggest players in the space, so when it came on the market it generated a lot of interest.

    While there were a number of parties bidding for the company, including Uber and Baidu, ultimately the car consortium won out.

    The sale also leaves the door open for Nokia to focus more sharply on its networking business

  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Pino Bonetti / HERE 360:
    HERE wants to explore uses of anonymized sensor data from Audi, BMW, and Daimler vehicles for its next generation maps supporting autonomous driving

  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Watch: The fascinating physics of car crashes

    What happens when the energy equivalent of a Stegosaurus falling from a three-storey building has to dissipate?

  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The MAX14691–MAX14693 adjustable overvoltage, undervoltage, and overcurrent protection devices guard systems against overcurrent faults in addition to positive overvoltage and reverse-voltage faults. When used with an optional external pMOSFET

  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Samsung Drives Into Next-Gen Auto Components Market

    Consumer electronics giant Samsung is wading into the automotive market with a focus on autonomous driving technologies, in-vehicle entertainment, and satellite navigation, according to a company statement obtained by Reuters.

    The tech company will create a new division to develop the business, and that arm of the company will interact with Samsung’s existing companies to produce the technologies and components.

    Insight: Better late than never? Samsung IT arms push into autos

    Data compiled by Thomson Reuters IP & Science shows the world’s top smartphone maker and other Samsung Group tech affiliates are ramping up research and development for auto technology, with two-thirds of their combined 1,804 U.S. patent filings related to electric vehicles and electric components for cars coming since 2010.

    They haven’t yet landed significant business, and Samsung Group declined to comment on strategy, but the lure is obvious.

    Automakers already incorporate or are developing technologies to enhance safety and provide better smartphone connectivity and entertainment systems, creating an opening for tech companies to break into a market for software, services and components that is worth around $500 billion, ABI Research analyst Dominique Bonte said.

    “There are two trends: the car becomes a connected software device, and the entire mobile and ICT ecosystem is getting very interested in playing a part in that evolution,” Bonte said.

    That is particularly welcome as demand for smartphones, TVs and computers slows, but Samsung is arriving late at a party where some of the best partners are already taken.

    Cross-town rival LG Electronics Inc announced a major supply agreement with General Motors in October, sending LG’s shares surging, while U.S. chipmaker Nvidia Corp, known for graphics processors that power games consoles and laptops, says its chips will be in more than 30 million cars in the next three to four years.

    Unlike Apple and Google, there is no clear sign yet that Samsung is developing its own autonomous driving technology.

    Its Samsung SDI Co Ltd is now the world’s No. 6 electric car battery maker, counting BMW, Chrysler and Volkswagen among its clients.

    Samsung patent filings show a wide range of technologies

    Product development cycles in the auto industry are far longer than in consumer electronics, and carmakers are cautious about adding suppliers without a track record.

    Samsung Electronics could still catch up by taking the one-stop-shop approach, similar to that of LG Electronics, by working with sister companies to combine offerings such as batteries, chips, sensors and software such as the Tizen operating system into a single package, analysts say.

  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The road to collect energy from cars

    University of Texas researchers have been granted funding to enable them to develop the movement of cars on the road to collect the energy of the system. The idea is that the system is reaching to test one and a half years.

    Accumulated energy to electrify roadside notice boards, lights, electric car charging points and almost anything, the researchers envision.

    Piezoelectric pressure sensors are installed to a depth of two inches from the road surface. The materials used are inexpensive, the sensors do not in any way prevent road maintenance, the researchers promise.

    Such energy collection system is attractive because it does not require any additional space.

    An additional benefit sensor system could be used for road condition monitoring.


  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Roberto Baldwin / Engadget:
    Ford will test autonomous cars in California next year

    Ford will test autonomous cars in California next year
    Silicon Valley is getting more robot-driven vehicles.

  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    MOST150 Technology in New Audi A4

    Microchip Technology Inc. announced that AUDI AG is using MOST® technology to network the high-end Audi virtual cockpit system in the latest model year of its best-selling A4 Sedans. This follows a similar deployment in its Q7 SUV and TT Coupe models. Specifically, Audi is utilizing Microchip’s OS81110 and OS81118 MOST150 Intelligent Network Interface Controllers (INICs), which provide 150 Mbps performance and support all MOST network data types. The OS81118 also includes a High Speed USB 2.0 interface (PHY/HSIC), to seamlessly connect with the virtual cockpit’s System-on-Chip processor.

    To date, approximately 200 million MOST interface controllers have been installed in 194 car models since 2001. Audi and all major carmakers have for many years successfully implemented MOST technology in their multi-node infotainment networking systems, as it provides a field-proven, low-risk, whole-system solution. The MOST150 standard also provides Ethernet or Internet-protocol networking capabilities. This latest version of MOST technology continues to predictably and efficiently transport video, audio, packet and control data throughout the vehicle without time-synchronization protocols, using dedicated channels for minimal processor overhead in the main infotainment control unit processors.

    MOST150 also provides 150 Mbps performance and proven electromagnetic-compatibility (EMC) behavior.

  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Facebook and Uber Follow Asian Rivals in Plan to Enhance Messenger App

    For years, Asia’s technology giants have been one step ahead of Western companies in how they treat messaging apps.

    Instead of the relatively simple programs that Americans use to send messages and photos to friends, popular Asian services like WeChat have become digital Swiss Army knives: People can use them to hail a car, shop for games, buy virtual stickers to send to friends and even shop for physical goods.

    But recently, Facebook, the world’s largest social network, has begun to emulate its Asian rivals, making its Messenger service — with 700 million users — more of an all-purpose platform.

    On Wednesday, Facebook announced a partnership with Uber, the ride-hailing service, that will for the first time allow users in the United States to summon a vehicle from within the Messenger smartphone app. It is a significant move for both companies, which are expanding aggressively beyond their core markets.

  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The First Person to Hack the iPhone Built a Self-Driving Car. In His Garage
    George Hotz is taking on Google and Tesla by himself.

    A few days before Thanksgiving, George Hotz, a 26-year-old hacker, invites me to his house in San Francisco to check out a project he’s been working on. He says it’s a self-driving car that he had built in about a month. The claim seems absurd. But when I turn up that morning, in his garage there’s a white 2016 Acura ILX outfitted with a laser-based radar (lidar) system on the roof and a camera mounted near the rearview mirror. A tangle of electronics is attached to a wooden board where the glove compartment used to be, a joystick protrudes where you’d usually find a gearshift, and a 21.5-inch screen is attached to the center of the dash. “Tesla only has a 17-inch screen,” Hotz says.

    He’s been keeping the project to himself and is dying to show it off. We pace around the car going over the technology. Hotz fires up the vehicle’s computer, which runs a version of the Linux operating system, and strings of numbers fill the screen. When he turns the wheel or puts the blinker on, a few numbers change, demonstrating that he’s tapped into the Acura’s internal controls.

    After about 20 minutes of this, and sensing my skepticism, Hotz decides there’s really only one way to show what his creation can do. “Screw it,” he says, turning on the engine. “Let’s go.”

    Over the past couple years, Hotz had been on a walkabout, trying to decide what he wanted to do next, before hitting on the self-driving car idea as perhaps his most audacious hack yet.

    “Hold this,” he says, dumping a wireless keyboard in my lap before backing out of the garage. “But don’t touch any buttons, or we’ll die.” Hotz explains that his self-driving setup, like the autopilot feature on a Tesla, is meant for highways, not chaotic city streets. He drives through San Francisco’s Potrero Hill neighborhood and then onto Interstate 280.

    With Hotz still holding the wheel, the Acura’s lidar paints a pixelated image on the dash screen of everything around us, including the freeway walls and other cars.

    Breakthrough work on self-driving cars began about a decade ago. Darpa, the research arm of the Department of Defense, sponsored the Grand Challenge, a contest to see how far autonomous vehicles could travel. On a course through the desert in the inaugural 2004 event, the top vehicle completed just 7 of 150 miles. In subsequent years, the vehicles became quite good, completing both desert and city courses.

    Artificial-intelligence software and consumer-grade cameras, Hotz contends, have become good enough to allow a clever tinkerer to create a low-cost self-driving system for just about any car. The technology he’s building represents an end run on much more expensive systems being designed by Google, Uber, the major automakers, and, if persistent rumors and numerous news reports are true, Apple. More short term, he thinks he can challenge Mobileye, the Israeli company that supplies Tesla Motors, BMW, Ford Motor, General Motors, and others with their current driver-assist technology. “It’s absurd,” Hotz says of Mobileye. “They’re a company that’s behind the times, and they have not caught up.”

    Hotz plans to best the Mobileye technology with off-the-shelf electronics. He’s building a kit consisting of six cameras—similar to the $13 ones found in smartphones—that would be placed around the car. Two would go inside near the rearview mirror, one in the back, two on the sides to cover blind spots, and a fisheye camera up top. He then trains the control software for the cameras using what’s known as a neural net—a type of self-teaching artificial-intelligence mechanism that grabs data from drivers and learns from their choices. The goal is to sell the camera and software package for $1,000 a pop either to automakers or, if need be, directly to consumers who would buy customized vehicles at a showroom run by Hotz. “I have 10 friends who already want to buy one,” he says.

    The timing for all of this is vague. Hotz says he’ll release a YouTube video a few months from now in which his Acura beats a Tesla Model S on Interstate 405 in Los Angeles. The point of the exercise is twofold. First, it will—he hopes—prove the technology works and is ready to go on sale. Second, it will help Hotz win a bet with Elon Musk, chief executive officer of Tesla.

    He quit Vicarious in July and decided to put his conviction to the test. A friend introduced him to Musk, and they met at Tesla’s factory in Fremont, Calif., talking at length about the pros and perils of AI technology.

    There was a proposal that if Hotz could do better than Mobileye’s technology in a test, then Musk would reward him with a lucrative contract.

    “I’m happy to work out a multimillion-dollar bonus with a longer time horizon that pays out as soon as we discontinue Mobileye.”

    “I appreciate the offer,” Hotz replied, “but like I’ve said, I’m not looking for a job. I’ll ping you when I crush Mobileye.”

    Musk simply answered, “OK.”

    “For the first time in my life, I’m like, ‘I know everything there is to know’ ”

    Hotz has filled out since his days as a scrawny teenage hacker, although he dresses the same.

    It’s easy enough to draw a connection between Hotz and Steve Wozniak.

    There are two breakthroughs that make Hotz’s system possible. The first comes from the rise in computing power since the days of the Grand Challenge. He uses graphics chips that normally power video game consoles to process images pulled in by the car’s camera and speedy Intel chips to run his AI calculations. Where the Grand Challenge teams spent millions on their hardware and sensors, Hotz, using his winnings from hacking contests, spent a total of $50,000—the bulk of which ($30,000) was for the car itself.

    The second advance is deep learning, an AI technology that has taken off over the past few years. It allows researchers to assign a task to computers and then sit back as the machines in essence teach themselves how to accomplish and finally master the job.

    The theory behind this type of AI software has been around for decades. It’s embedded in products consumers take for granted.
    With the help of Google, for example, you can search for “pictures of the beach,” and AI software will comb through your photo collection to turn up just that. Some of the biggest breakthroughs have come in voice recognition, where smart assistants such as Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana can pick up a person’s voice even in noisy situations. The same goes for instantaneous translation applications, which have largely been taught new languages via deep-learning algorithms that pore over huge volumes of text. With his car, Hotz wants to extend the same principles to the field of computer vision.

    In the month before our first drive on I-280, Hotz spent most of his time outfitting the sedan with the sensors, computing equipment, and electronics.

    Once all the systems were up and running, he drove the vehicle for two and a half hours and simply let the computer observe him.

    Two weeks later, we went on a second drive. He’d taken the car out for a few more hours of training, and the difference was impressive.

    Hotz’s approach isn’t simply a low-cost knockoff of existing autonomous vehicle technology. He says he’s come up with discoveries—most of which he refuses to disclose in detail—that improve how the AI software interprets data coming in from the cameras.

    There’s really no telling how effective Hotz’s software and self-learning technology ultimately will be. His self-funded experiment could end with Hotz humbly going back to knock on Google’s door for a job. “Yeah, of course there will be skepticism,” he says. “This is part of a great adventure. All I can say is, ‘Watch.’ ”

  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Software Upgradable Cars Launch Platform Race
    Diverging strategies by Nvidia, NXP, Renesas

    There is little argument that Tesla Motors changed the conversation around automobiles in 2015, or that NVidia caught a ride on Tesla’s coattails.

    Tesla has set the stage for the automotive future by rolling out new autopilot features — such as lane keeping and self-parking — via over-the-air (OTA) software upgrades. Tesla showed a glimpse of the future in which consumers don’t need to buy a new car to add features. The presumptive car of tomorrow, behaving like a smartphone, is software upgradable.

    Of course, OTA isn’t a foreign concept to the automotive industry. Some car makers like Nissan have been sending software patches over the air. Ford is partnering with Microsoft to provide continual updates to its next-generation infotainment systems.

    But none of the automakers has added software upgradable features for engines, transmissions, brakes or suspensions — like what Tesla did in enabling some autonomous driving functions via software.

    To put it mildly, Tesla is freaking out car OEMs and Tier Ones.

    Today, none of the conventional carmakers can offer anything close to what Tesla does — “without changing the entire hardware and software architecture in a car,” explained Danny Shapiro, Nvidia’s senior director of Automotive.

    Armed with the company’s DRIVE PX platform based on its own Tegra X1 processor, Nvidia is coming to Las Vegas next month for CES, pitching its centralized CPU platform to “make cars better and improve their value,” Shapiro explained.

    Nvidia, a relative newcomer to the automotive field, has nothing to lose in prompting carmakers to start from scratch and embrace a brand new centralized CPU platform like its PX platform for their new models.

    In contrast, neither NXP nor Renesas Electronics – two leading automotive chip suppliers – can afford a grandstand move like Nvidia’s. A lot of their chips are already designed into millions of cars.

    Digital networking processor inside a car
    In an interview with EE Times, Kurt Sievers, executive vice president and general manager of NXP’s automotive business unit, said, “Nvidia certainly knows how to speak high-tech language” that gets people’s attention.

    A modern car already deploys more than 50 ECUs inside a vehicle, with each tasked to dedicated functions, much like a distributed computing architecture.

    Fully aware of the need for a powerful platform to perform software upgrades and complex sensor fusion, NXP, freshly merged with Freescale, is offering car OEMs high-performance multicore networking processors — originally developed by Freescale’s digital networking group. “We are letting our customers try these samples,” explained Sievers.

    Focus on security
    NXP believes that to increase the reliability of cars, it needs to go beyond a powerful CPU-based platform and offer much more secure vehicle network architecture.

    To that end, NXP is beefing up security throughout the in-vehicle network where critical data travels, explained Sievers.

    NXP is putting a tamper-resistant, secure hardware element — akin to a front-door lock — in each interface where external data enters a car via Bluetooth, cellular or V2V connectivity. If the data’s source can’t be verified, the hardware element can shut it down.

    The next issue is the data that floats around inside the vehicle network. “It’s like securing corridors inside a house,” said Sievers. This is easier said than done because the in-vehicle network’s domain structures include a number of branches. Without detailing how NXP plans to secure this network, Sievers said, “We have some ideas. We’re working on it right now.”

    Once the data reaches applications – “similar to getting inside a room at home,” Sievers said, “We will run security in software.”

    Protecting vehicles from hackers takes complex planning and execution. Egil Juliussen, director research, Infotainment & ADAS at IHS Automotive, observed that “hacking research has shown that nearly all access points can be compromised.”

    Can you undo changes?
    Amrit Vivekanand, vice president of automotive business for Renesas Electronics America, singled out “OTA software upgrades” as one of the biggest industry challenges.

    While attendees at the CES 2016 will see many enabling technologies for autonomous cars and V2V car communications, he said, OTA remains a huge deal for automakers. “There is no consensus on how to achieve necessary levels of security, memory, processors and gateways” for software upgradeable cars, said Vivekanand.

    In adding new automotive features via software upgrades, engineers worry about the security of the operation, robustness of the technology, and resources available inside a car, he explained.

    The “undo” imperative presents an interesting challenge to vehicle designers. “Do you double the size of a flash memory or add another bank of memory that can store the original state before the upgrade?” Neither is cheap, said Vivekanand.

    “But when a number of modules are due for software upgrades at the same time, there is always a risk that some software upgrades can go wrong.”

  22. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Making Interstate Safe for Cap’n Crunch
    Deep learning for inside and outside cars

    Startup Nauto plans to announce at CES 2016 a device based on cameras coupled with smart computer-vision algorithms to retrofit cars with driver-assistance technology that sets the stage for full autonomy.

  23. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Wall Street Journal:
    California DMV seeks public comment after releasing draft rules for self-driving cars, detailing vehicle and driver certification, privacy, cybersecurity — California Proposes Rules for Autonomous Cars — Companies are seeking guidance before eventually selling autonomous vehicles to consumers

    California Proposes Driverless-Car Rules
    State outlines guidelines for permitting autonomous-driving cars and licensing their motorists

    Gabe Nelson / Automotive News Automaker:
    Google says proposed DMV rules requiring steering wheel, pedals, and licensed drivers with special certification would inhibit progress — California DMV proposes ban on ‘driverless’ cars — Google ‘gravely disappointed,’ says rules would hold back progress

    California DMV proposes ban on ‘driverless’ cars
    Google ‘gravely disappointed,’ says rules would hold back progress

  24. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Tesla Motors:
    Tesla, in a “correction” of Bloomberg that states it will continue using MobilEye chips, argues George Hotz’s homemade self-driving car won’t succeed — Correction to article: “The First Person to Hack the iPhone Built a Self-Driving Car” — The article by Ashlee Vance did not correctly represent Tesla or MobilEye.

    Correction to article: “The First Person to Hack the iPhone Built a Self-Driving Car”

    The article by Ashlee Vance did not correctly represent Tesla or MobilEye. We think it is extremely unlikely that a single person or even a small company that lacks extensive engineering validation capability will be able to produce an autonomous driving system that can be deployed to production vehicles. It may work as a limited demo on a known stretch of road — Tesla had such a system two years ago — but then requires enormous resources to debug over millions of miles of widely differing roads.

    This is the true problem of autonomy: getting a machine learning system to be 99% correct is relatively easy, but getting it to be 99.9999% correct, which is where it ultimately needs to be, is vastly more difficult. One can see this with the annual machine vision competitions, where the computer will properly identify something as a dog more than 99% of the time, but might occasionally call it a potted plant. Making such mistakes at 70 mph would be highly problematic.

    We should also clarify that Tesla’s autopilot system was designed and developed in-house.

  25. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Automotive Power-Load Control Using a New Type of Pre-Driver and MOSFET

    Semiconductor switches and smart pre-drivers can help save weight, reduce size and enhance the reliability of automotive systems traditionally controlled using electromechanical relays.

    Today’s cars carry a huge variety of electric accessories and electronic safety aids that make vehicles more attractive, safer and easier to use. In addition, traditional hydraulic systems such as power steering and automatic transmission are being replaced with electrically operated equivalents to help reduce overall weight and improve fuel economy.

    As the trend towards greater electrification continues, the traditional electromechanical relay is still widely used for load switching. Relays help isolate vehicle occupants safely from high-power circuitry, and minimize the demand for expensive, bulky high-current wiring. Control logic is relatively simple, while form factors and pin-outs have become written into ISO standards that help simplify system design as well as supply-chain and inventory management.

    Superseding traditional relay
    There are some drawbacks, however. Although the standardized relay sizes and terminal patterns now include miniaturized formats such as Mini 280 and Micro 280, the Mini size has a 1-inch cube body while the Micro is 1″ x 1″ x 1/2″. In an era where designers are under relentless pressure to build extra circuitry into smaller ECUs, a more compact load-switching solution is needed. Relay reliability is also relatively weak: although mechanical lifetime can be significantly greater than one million operations, the electrical lifetime is typically only around 100,000 operations depending on the load and operating conditions.

    A conventional relay can also generate appreciable electromagnetic switching noise.

    Finally, there is demand for improved diagnostics throughout automotive electrical infrastructures, to enable enhanced information and safety systems and to assist service and repair. Conventional relays cannot support self-diagnostic functionality and load protection without additional circuitry.

    Designers are turning to automotive-qualified power MOSFETs to meet future goals in terms of reduced size and weight, improved reliability, better electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), and enhanced intelligence and diagnostics. MOSFETs with suitable current and voltage rating have on-resistance of just a few milliohms, which helps simplify thermal management.

    It is recommended to control the MOSFET gate using a pre-driver, since MOSFETs have relatively weak self protection and can be permanently damaged by over-voltage or over-current spikes. The ON Semiconductor NCV7518 six-channel pre-driver provides suitable protection, and also integrates fault-detection and diagnostic circuitry. Designers are free to scale their applications through choice of external MOSFETs.

    Each channel of the NCV7518 has independent fault diagnostics, and is capable of detecting shorted-load faults when the channel is on, and short-to-ground or open-load faults when the channel is off. This allows the driver to be used with different types of loads, such as inductive or resistive loads, and to meet various national standards relating to environmental tests for automotive electronics.

    Each fault type is uniquely encoded as three-bit per channel fault data. This three-bit encoding allows the faults to be prioritized so that the most severe fault data is available at the next SPI read. Accordingly, shorted-load fault data has top priority, followed by short-to-ground and open-load fault data.

    As far as selection of the MOSFET is concerned, the maximum drain-source voltage (VDSS) of the chosen device must be higher than the maximum allowed fly-back voltage generated by inductive loads, since the MOSFET is configured in a low side driver. For inductive loads, external clamping diodes are used to protect the MOSFETs. For a 12V system, the fly-back voltage can be clamped to a maximum of 36V, thus a VDSS of over 40V is acceptable. Note that VDSS of 60V would be more appropriate when the fly-back clamps used have a 40V to 50V breakdown range.

    Save weight, increase reliability
    Semiconductor switches and smart pre-drivers can help save weight, reduce size and enhance the reliability of automotive systems traditionally controlled using electromechanical relays.

  26. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Musk, Others Want Volkswagen To Go Electric Instead of Fixing Diesels

    Volkswagen has put itself in a tough spot. After cheating emissions standards, the company faces billions in fines and repair costs to bring those vehicles into spec and make peace with regulators. But a group of business owners, investors, and environmentalists has a different suggestion. The group, headlined by Elon Musk, sent an open letter to the California Air Resources Board outlining their solution. They want Volkswagen to be released from its obligation to fix cars already on the road, and instead require that the company substantially accelerate its rollout of zero-emission vehicles.

    An Open Letter to California Air Resources Board Chairman Mary Nichols

    A giant sum of money thus will be wasted in attempting to fix cars that cannot all be fixed, and where the fix may be worse than the problem if the cars are crushed well before the end of their useful lives. We, the undersigned, instead encourage the CARB to show leadership in directing VW to “cure the air, not the cars” and reap multiples of what damage has been caused while strongly advancing California’s interests in transitioning to zero emission vehicles

  27. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ford is doing a Google and testing autonomous cars on California streets
    Self-driving Ford Fusion Hybrid sedans will hit the roads next year

    AUTO FIRM FORD is following in the footsteps of Google and testing fully autonomous Ford Fusion Hybrid sedans on the streets of California.

    The US company has announced that as of next year, as the Ford Research and Innovation Centre in Palo Alto continues positive growth, it will test autonomous vehicles on public roads in the Golden State as part of the California Autonomous Vehicle Testing Programme.

    “The testing is a further advance of Ford’s 10-year autonomous vehicle development programme and a key element of Ford Smart Mobility, the plan to take the company to the next level in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience, and data and analytics,” said the firm.

    Ford to Begin Autonomous Vehicle Testing on California Roads; Silicon Valley Lab Accelerates Smart Mobility Plan – See more at:

  28. Tomi Engdahl says:

    California Proposes Driverless-Car Rules

    State outlines guidelines for permitting autonomous-driving cars and licensing their motorists
    By Mike Ramsey and
    Alistair Barr
    Updated Dec. 16, 2015 7:21 p.m. ET

    California on Wednesday unveiled preliminary regulations for autonomous-driving cars, a long-awaited development required before any of the vehicles can be sold to consumers.

  29. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Baidu’s Robot Car Marks Self-Driving Milestone in Beijing

    China’s answer to Google’s self-driving car has set its own record on the roads of Beijing. The Baidu robot car became the first Chinese vehicle to complete a fully autonomous drive under a variety of road conditions that included navigating local road traffic and highway driving.

    The Baidu autonomous vehicle—a modified BMW 3 Series sports sedan made by the Chinese search giant—reached speeds of up to 100 kilometers per hour during the course of the test drive, according to a 10 December press release. Its robotic actions included making right and left turns, U-turns, slowing down when detecting vehicles ahead, changing lanes, and passing other cars. The car also successfully merged into traffic from on-ramps and exited from off-ramps.

  30. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Will Self-Driving Cars Get Nevada Certification In Time for CES Las Vegas?

    Two automakers are rushing to get their newest self-driving cars approved for use on Nevada’s roads before the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) next month. But the clock is ticking. Nevada is the only U.S. state that requires autonomous vehicles to undergo ‘self-driving tests’ in real world conditions before they’re allowed to be tested on public roads.

    According to documents obtained by IEEE Spectrum via a public records request, Daimler is seeking permission to operate autonomous versions of the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E200 and E300; Hyundai is seeking autonomous vehicle testing licenses for two Tucson fuel cell electric vehicles (EVs) and two Kia Soul EVs.

    In an application filed with Nevada regulators, Cynthia Albert of Daimler North America wrote, “Daimler is interested in obtaining license permits to operate two autonomous vehicles in the coming months and to showcase and demonstrate the vehicles at next year’s CES in Las Vegas.” Daimler told the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) that its autonomous E-class cars are equipped with GPS, front and rear radar sensors, and front stereo video cameras.

    Cars That Think

    Will Self-Driving Cars Get Nevada Certification In Time for CES Las Vegas?
    By Mark Harris
    Posted 14 Dec 2015 | 13:00 GMT
    Illustration: Daimler

    Update, 14 December 2015: The Nevada DMV informs us that Hyundai has received its license.

  31. Tomi Engdahl says:

    LED dimmer simplifies matrix designs

    An LED bypass switching device, the LT3965 from Linear Technology, enables independent dimming and diagnostics of eight individual LEDs or LED segments. The part, which works in conjunction with an LED driver circuit configured as a current source, can be used in automotive matrix LED headlights, industrial lighting, and large LED display lighting.

  32. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Sources: Google and Ford will create a joint venture to build self-driving vehicles

    Google Pairs With Ford To Build Self-Driving Cars

    Google and Ford will create a joint venture to build self-driving vehicles with Google’s technology, a huge step by both companies toward a new business of automated ride sharing, Yahoo Autos has learned.

    According to three sources familiar with the plans, the partnership is set to be announced by Ford at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. By pairing with Google, Ford gets a massive boost in self-driving software development; while the automaker has been experimenting with its own systems for years, it only revealed plans this month to begin testing on public streets in California. Google has 53 test vehicles on the road in California and Texas, with 1.3 million miles logged in autonomous driving.

  33. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Can you use supercaps to power electric vehicles?

    Supercapacitors (also called ultracapacitors) are a relatively recent fundamental technology innovation for passive devices, with the first ones coming to market in the 1970s with widespread use by the early 1990′s. Prior to their development, the “conventional wisdom” and textbook view that even a one-farad capacitor was impractical for real designs, as it would be the size of a desk. Yet today, the supercap is a standard component in the engineer’s bill of materials (BOM) kit.

    These capacitors have both advantages and disadvantages compared to rechargeable batteries. They typically can store 10 to 100 times more energy per unit volume or unit mass than standard electrolytic capacitors but have only about 1/10 the energy density of batteries (and thus are physically larger for a given amount of energy); can be charged and discharged more quickly than batteries; and tolerate many more charge/discharge cycles than rechargeable batteries. In many designs they replace or complement batteries for short- or long-term backup and operation.

    I’m not saying that such a design isn’t possible; we know that when it comes to technology advances, you should “never say never”. Nonetheless, the issues associated with such a dense power pack in an EV go beyond the storage component itself. The author proposes an array of 12,000 MLCCs of 5.5 F each, for a total of 66,000 F.

    That’s an amazingly high energy density and capacity, which bring in major issues of safety and actual system design. How do you reliably connect all these MLCCs? What happens when one or more MLCC fails open, or shorts internally? How do you deal with the large current flows and high voltages into and out of such a dense package?

    Will an array of MLCCs be the next big thing for EVs? I’ll admit it: I don’t know.

  34. Tomi Engdahl says:

    NFC transponder teams with automotive SoCs

    A dynamic dual-interface NFC transponder from Texas Instruments, the RF430CL330H-Q1, is AEC-Q100-qualified for use in automotive infotainment systems. The NFC Tag Type 4 device enables simple secure pairing (SSP) using the Out of Band (OOB) association model for Bluetooth, Bluetooth Smart, and WiFi between an NFC-enabled smart phone or tablet and an automotive infotainment system. Using the transponder, users can pair or execute NFC-enabled WiFi Protected Setup (WPS) with one tap to configure specific driver settings when entering the car, eliminating complicated manual procedures.

    RF430CL330H-Q1 (ACTIVE)
    Dynamic NFC interface transponder for automotive

  35. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Om Malik / New Yorker:
    In Silicon Valley Now, It’s Almost Always Winner Takes All

    focus on what Branson, a self-made billionaire, who is more often right than wrong, said about ride-sharing not being a “winner-takes-all” market. What Branson says is generally true for companies that sell analog products, such as packaged goods or soda, or analog services, such as air travel. Coke isn’t going to drive Pepsi out of business, and Toyota isn’t going to eliminate Honda. But in today’s Internet-always-on world, that maxim increasingly doesn’t hold true. Most competition in Silicon Valley now heads toward there being one monopolistic winner. And that is why it is hard not to see that, right now, the only competition that matters in ride-sharing is between the two largest companies: Uber and Lyft.

  36. Tomi Engdahl says:

    CAN I/O modules enable on-vehicle networking

    Janus-MM-LP isolated CAN I/O modules from Diamond Systems offer a choice of PC/104-Plus (PCI+ISA) and PC/104 (ISA only) bus configurations for use in a wide variety of rugged and on-vehicle embedded networking applications. Each form factor comes with two or four optoisolated CAN 2.0B ports, along with 16 programmable digital I/O lines.

    An onboard FPGA core houses the CAN controller logic and digital I/O logic, providing data rates of up to 1 Mbps. Each CAN port handles standard (11-bit identifier) and extended (29-bit identifier) frames, as well as extended transmit and receive message queues.
    Software support for the I/O modules consists of basic CAN drivers for Windows Embedded 7 and Linux Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, both of which support dual-independent and dual-redundant modes; Windows and Linux APIs; and a monitor program for observing traffic on the CAN ports and digital I/O lines.

    Prices for the Janus-MM-LP CAN I/O modules start at $225

  37. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Homemade Speed Trap Made By Former UVA CS Professor

    Irritated by speeders in his neighborhood and frustrated with the City of Charlottesville’s inability or unwillingness to enforce the speed limit, a former professor in the Computer Science department of the University of Virginia created a program in openCV to track vehicle speed on his residential neighborhood street: “You’ll find that almost 85 percent of the cars going by are violators [of the neighborhood's 25mph limit]“. This includes a city bus doing 34mph.

    If everybody is speeding, maybe the speed limit is too low.

    Authorities all over the world know that people will always go a little bit over the speed limit and hence set the limits accordingly. I know this isn’t what the road safety warriors want to hear but its the truth – if they want vehicles doing around 35 authorities will set the actual limit to 30 and so on.

    At least in California, other than the absolute maximum, and things like school zones, roads have to be surveyed periodically, and the speed limits must reflect the prevailing speed

  38. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Hertz teams up with Uber and Lyft

    Hertz is driving full-speed into the ride-sharing wars.

    People who want to be Uber and Lyft drivers but don’t have a car of their own can now rent one from Hertz (HTZ).

    The car rental service announced national supply agreements on Thursday with both rival ride-hailing platforms. It represents a new relationship with Uber and an expansion on a pilot program Hertz already had with Lyft.

    Wall Street cheered the deal, hoping it will give Hertz a new and growing home for the company’s older and less desirable rental cars.

    It’s not clear how much the rental cars will cost a week, but Hertz said it will be set rates and the vehicles can be used for personal use as well as picking up rides.

    Hertz said it will begin renting cars to Lyft drivers in Los Angeles and San Francisco and more markets are expected to follow soon. That’s in addition to the Las Vegas and Denver markets already in the Lyft pilot program. The Uber deal is starting in LA and moving to other markets as well.

    Hertz praised the “dramatic growth in the ride sharing”

  39. Danelle says:

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  40. Tomi Engdahl says:

    My DeLorean runs Perl

    After people get over seeing a DeLorean driving down the street, their next surprise is that it has an in-dash computer written in Perl.

  41. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Yet More Takata Airbags Are Causing Fatalities Despite Different Propellant Chemistry

    Takata Corporation has become well known as a lesson in product safety, thanks to their deadly airbags which were installed in cars worldwide. Despite filing for bankruptcy in 2017, their shadow lingers on as the biggest product recall in history continues to grow ever larger. Over time, the story grows deeper, as investigators find new causes for concern and deaths continue to mount.

    In late 2019, another Takata recall was announced — one which caused fresh worry among industry officials familiar with the case. Up to this point, the defective parts produced by Takata were the models based on ammonium nitrate propellants, a chemical that other manufacturers had deemed too dangerous to use. However, there have been reports of other models using different chemistries having fatally injuring motorists, raising the question of whether any Takata airbag could be considered safe.


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