This month in automotive innovation: atlatec news

News from Daimler, Bosch, HERE, Mitsubishi, Tesla and more: December 2019 in Automotive Innovation

Tom Dahlström
December 31, 2019 0 Comment

I hope you had lovely holidays and would like to extend my best wishes for the new year! 2020 is going to be an exciting one for us at atlatec, and I hope the same is true for you. Speaking of exciting stuff, here’s some news from our industry that stuck out this month – enjoy the read:

“Bosch and Daimler Launch San Jose Robotaxi Pilot” – via Forbes

Just a few weeks after Daimler’s new chairman Ola Källenius announced the company would cut down its investment in robotaxis, the car maker has now launched a pilot service in San Jose, collaborating with Tier1 supplier Bosch. The service is only open to a select group of pilot users (who are company employees) and there’s going to be both a safety driver and a separate engineer on board with passengers. However: “Daimler and Bosch hope to begin offering service to the general public in San Jose as soon as possible” – let’s see when that will turn out to be.

“Mitsubishi, NTT to buy 30% stake in digital mapping company HERE” – via Reuters

It’s been 4 years since BMW, Daimler and Audi teamed up to buy HERE from Nokia, aiming to build proprietary mapping competence rather than relying on (and being dependent upon) US tech companies. Now they’re going to share with Mitsubishi and Japanese telco provider Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT). The goal, according to HERE’s CEO Edzard Overbeek: “[F]urther diversifying our shareholder base beyond automotive, which is important given the appeal and necessity of location technology across geographies and industries.”

“Tesla Release Electric Car Patents To Public” – via IFLScience

60 years ago, when Volvo invented the 3-point seat belt, they decided to open the patent to other car makers for free: The potential for saving lives was more important than clinging to intellectual property. If you thought such decisions for the common good couldn’t happen in today’s economy (like I did), Elon Musk proved you wrong this December, opening Tesla’s EV patents to other companies. The move might also make sense from a business standpoint, however: If it helps to drive the electrification of traffic as a whole, it stands to reason that more customers will look to buy an EV – and thus consider a Tesla.

“We Need to Move Beyond the Car” – via Cruise Automation/Medium

This one’s less of a news item in the sense that it describes a new technological feat by GM’s self-driving car company Cruise – but I felt it’s an important piece, taking a step back to reflect on the automotive industry’s overall approach and asking the question whether we’re even solving for the right problems: “Despite making up less than 1% of all vehicle miles traveled, ride-sharing has added further congestion, more emissions, and potentially even decreased safety in our cities from over-tired and overworked drivers.”

“Real-world road and traffic data for simulation” – via atlatec/YouTube

In closing, I have some atlatec news to offer in the form of a video: We are now able to offer real-world traffic data (in addition to maps) for use in simulators, such as IPG’s CarMaker. We and our pilot OEM customer for this technology are confident that this kind of real-world content will be very helpful for digital validation of AV/ADAS systems that are supposed to react to traffic and other moving agents, such as adaptive cruise control, cross-traffic alerts, adaptive high-beam control and more – what do you think?

That’s it for this month – have a happy new year and see you at CES in Vegas!


If you have any remarks about the pieces linked above, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or reach out! I’m always happy to have a conversation and remain available by email or on LinkedIn. Speak soon!

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