US: GM launches new active safety test area for ADAS and V2X

Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac will offer 22 different active safety technologies across their 2016 model year U.S. lineups, ranging from driver alerts to those that automatically intervene and…


Great to see that GM is investing further into V2X besides adding DSRC radios into Cadillacs beginning 2016. There is a lot more to safety than wireless radios that needs to be developed, and of course this tech needs to be on all cars, not just luxury models. Costs must go down to make that happen – collaboration is one key element to exploit.

What is Apple’s secret car project, code-named Titan?

Apple doesn’t invent new industries. It revolutionizes established ones. The company changed the way millions of people buy music, rewrote the rules for smart phones, cemented the look and feel of a tablet computer, and recently stormed the high-end watch market. Now, according to reports, Apple has its eye on the car industry.


If Apple started making cars, quality would be a high priority, perhaps Doug Betts could help with that. Will the “Detroit meets Silicon Valley” term be reversed to “Silicon Valley becomes Detroit”? Some people laughed when Elon Musk tried it, now he has a big factory there.

After Jeep Hack, Chrysler Recalls 1.4M Vehicles for Bug Fix

Welcome to the age of hackable automobiles, when two security researchers can cause a 1.4 million product recall.


Hacking a car is major consumer news, despite the awareness within industry that it is possible. Chrysler must want to contain this viral story using a USB delivered recall, but it will still cost millions. It’s too bad for them to be highlighted so much since almost all new cars have shipping vulnerabilities. It has to do with the pressure during product development to produce software in time for a pre-defined ship date (SOP). I think this demo proves the infotainment system is not isolated from the car safety critical parts and it needs to be treated as such. This will be a huge increase in complexity of development. Software collaboration on common problems could really help. The video by Wired is a must see: 

C3 at CE Week 2015: Connected Car Thought Leader Interviews – C3 Report – Connected Car Council and Conferences

One of the hallmarks of C3 events is that we bring together the top thought leaders in the connected car and future mobility space to discuss the issues that matter most. In addition to appearing on stage, we caught up with several of the distinguished panelists at C3 at CE Week 2015 in New York …


Tackling Connected Car Security and Privacy Concerns will be a topic for many years it seems, since it is so personal and important to each of us.

What Uber Can Teach Us About American Government

The introduction of Uber drastically improved New Yorkers’ options. From my perspective, a ride with Uber is superior to a New York taxi in literally every facet of the experience, from the cleanliness of the vehicles to the demeanor of the drivers.

But for the purported champion of the people, Bill de Blasio, Uber should not be allowed to continue to grow apace with demand. Per the Wall Street Journal, de Blasio is attempting to limit the number of Uber drivers operating in New York for a year or more, stifling both the firm’s chances to expand in its biggest market and consumer choice. Uber has retaliated with a multifaceted marketing and PR campaign, including the introduction of a “de Blasio” mode on its app per the above screenshot.


I was shocked by Uber last time I was in NYC. The driver was very polite, well dressed and clean. His car was no more than a year old (new car smell) and no obnoxious advertising on an LCD monitor or bulletproof glass crowding me and the driver with a little slot like a high crime gas station. I was also not pressured into giving a 30% tip on the credit card terminal. Maybe the mayor should learn from the customers rather than try to block the innovation

The View from the Front Seat of the Google Self-Driving Car, Chapter 2 — Medium

‘Summer is one of the most dangerous times of the year on U.S. streets’

“The most recent collision, during the evening rush hour on July 1, is a perfect example. One of our Lexus vehicles was driving autonomously towards an intersection in Mountain View, CA. The light was green, but traffic was backed up on the far side, so three cars, including ours, braked and came to a stop so as not to get stuck in the middle of the intersection. After we’d stopped, a car slammed into the back of us at 17 mph — and it hadn’t braked at all.”


Google’s experience with the research vehicles confirms that safety features take time to deploy though the infrastructure. Even the safest self-driving cars will be affected by other cars on the road and aggressive or distracted drivers. Their cars can still be rear-ended, resulting in a ticket and maybe some injuries.

Zero fatalities is a great goal, but sort of unrealistic. Autonomous and V2X suffer from these same time to deployment issues. Then again, how long did it take for all of us to be dependent on the internet and its related technologies?

New Audi tech emergency swerve steering & CarPlay

“Automotive News reported that there is a new ADAS feature coming from Audi using the powerful zFAS system. The next phase of ADAS safety is that the car is programmed to automatically swerve around an obstacle to avoid collisions.

In order to accomplish such a complicated task, the technology used will have backup systems and sensors in place in case of problems. The new approach will use with the zFAS central controller when it goes into production in two years in the Audi A8.

The zFAS controller incorporates technology form Dephi, NVIDIA Tegra KI and Mobileye.”


From what I recall, the zFAS systems was to deliver autonomous driving. If swerving to avoid objects qualifies we may have a new definition. Perhaps the computing requirements were too high. Interesting that Apple CarPlay gets almost as much attention, although I doubt Audi will wait until 2018 to ship that feature.

Renesas releases ADAS Starter Kit

Renesas Electronics has introduced the smallest R-Car-based development kit to date—the ADAS Starter Kit—based on Renesas’ high-end R-Car H2 System on Chip (SoC) and developed to help simplify and …


Small is big, and Renesas has good placement and timing with this ADAS development kit. Time to get started building the next generation.

Renesas DEVCON 2015, Oct 12-15 in Anaheim is a great place to begin.

Firms Back $10 Million Testing Ground for Self-Driving Vehicles – WSJ

ANN ARBOR, Mich.— Toyota Motor Corp. TM 0.49 % and a clutch of other companies are backing a $10 million testing ground at the University of Michigan for self-driving vehicles, an investment that could boost Detroit’s ability to compete in the auto industry’s emerging tech war. The 32-acre facility, dubbed Mcity and opening Monday, will give the auto industry a hub that can be used by anyone researching autonomous vehicles.


Great to hear Toyota is supporting this as their means to prove safety in US market. I imagine the vehicle prototypes used will be disguised in the usual way for protection of designs, although it mostly will be what’s inside that counts.

Tesla turns Insane up to Ludicrous, increases Model S range

In a press conference today, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced two performance upgrades and a new version of the Model S. Tesla amps up the P85D’s acceleration from Insane to Ludicrous mode, offers a battery pack upgrade from 85 kilowatt-hours to 90 kilowatt-hours, and makes a rear-wheel-drive Model S 70 available for $70,000.


Taking OTA to the extreme, and competing with the typical aftermarket approach, you can now upgrade your Tesla at the cost of some whole cars. I guess its only 5-10% of the original price so many owners will opt-in. Of course the new hardware is not delivered over the air, you have to visit your Tesla dealer.

Driving The Connected Car onto the Open Road