Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing

Auto sensor fusion; ADAS report; flying cars get approval; 100% zero-emission trucks in California; Port of Nagoya hack; major SiC deal; GM acquires battery SW startup; Rolls Royce EV; Google’s new scraping policy to train AI.


Joby Aviation and Alef Automotive each received a Special Airworthiness Certificate from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for an electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. Joby will now begin flight testing the prototype, and the aircraft will move to Edwards Air Force Base in 2024 as part of a contract with the U.S. Air Force. Alef’s model is the first U.S. government-certified eVTOL that also can be driven on public roads and parked like a normal car. It can carry one or two people with a road-range of 200 miles and a flying range of 110 miles. Welcome to the world of George Jetson.

Fig. 1: Joby’s all-electric aircraft. Source: Joby Aviation

California inked a first-in-the-nation deal with top truck manufacturers advancing the development of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs), including a commitment to 100% clean truck sales by 2036.

A major port in Japan was knocked offline by a ransomware attack, preventing some shipping containers from entering. The Port of Nagoya plays a key role in car exports, as well as the country’s general economy. The LockBit cybercriminal group is a suspect, but the group has not yet claimed responsibility.

Google’s latest privacy policy, effective July 1, states that the company uses “publicly available information to help train Google’s AI models and build products and features like Google Translate, Bard, and Cloud AI capabilities.”

A key strategy for fully autonomous vehicles is the ability to fuse together inputs from multiple sensors, which is essential for making safe and secure decisions, but it’s turning out to be much harder than first imagined.

Renesas and Wolfspeed announced a wafer supply agreement with Renesas, including a $2 billion deposit to secure a 10-year supply of silicon carbide bare and epitaxial wafers from Wolfspeed. The agreement will give Renesas more efficient power semiconductors for automotive and industrial applications.


Amazon is rolling out more than 300 new electric Rivian vans in the Munich, Berlin, and Dusseldorf regions of Germany as part of a €1 billion euro investment to electrify its European transportation network and reduce carbon emissions.

General Motors (GM) acquired most of the assets of ALGOLiON, an Israeli battery software startup. The software uses algorithms to quickly identify miniscule changes that could impact battery health, without additional hardware or sensors, while the battery is still operating.

Rolls Royce launched Spectre, a luxury electric vehicle (EV) with two Separately Excited Synchronous Motors (SSMs). The front electric motor delivers 190 kW / 365Nm, while the rear delivers 360 kW / 710 Nm, equating to 430 kW (584 hp) with 900 Nm of torque. The car has a range of 530 km (329 miles) and can charge from 10% to 80% in 34 minutes using a 195kW (DC) fast charger.

Denza, a Mercedes-Benz and BYD joint venture, launched the N7 with a range of 702 km and 230 kW of power. The car is set to rival Tesla’s Model Y, according to CNBC.

Stellantis launched a new Fiat 600e B-segment featuring lithium-ion batteries with a capacity of 54 kWh and a range of more than 400 km (about 249 miles) in the WLTP combined cycle and more than 600 km in the urban cycle. It has a 100-kW fast charger system and the company says it takes under 30 minutes to charge the battery to 80%. The engine has an output of 115 kW.

Fig. 2: Fiat 600e. Source: Stellantis

Stellantis also introduced STLA Medium, a battery electric vehicle (BEV) design platform that can host several brands’ passenger cars, crossovers, and SUVs in C and D segments. It has a range of over 700 km (435 miles) with a performance pack while a standard pack reaches 500 km (310 miles) WLTP with energy of up to 98 kWh using a 400-volt electric architecture. The battery can charge from 20% to 80% in 27 minutes.

In Europe, sales of passenger electric vehicles (EVs) rose by more than 13% YoY in Q1 2023 with Germany in the lead, according to Counterpoint. Battery EV (BEV) sales soared 32% YoY but plug-in hybrid EV (PHEV) sales dropped 13%. Tesla Model Y topped sales, followed by the Volvo XC40, Tesla Model 3, Volkswagen ID.3, and Audi Q4 e-tron.

Infineon and Kontrol entered a strategic partnership that will make it easier to provide necessary regulatory updates for their customers at any time, ensuring road safety in line with current standards, and safely integrating autonomous vehicles with intelligent driver assistance systems.

Kentucky is the first state requiring electric vehicle charging companies to include Tesla’s North American Charging Standard (NACS) if they want to be part of a federally-funded state program to electrify highways, according to Reuters. The state mandate comes in addition to federal requirements to include the Combined Charging System (CCS) 1 connector.

Nikola is liquidating Romeo Power’s assets and has started a “proceeding under the California Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors (ABC) statutory scheme,” according to Reuters. The action comes less than a year after Nikola bought the battery maker.


A growing number of standards and regulations within the automotive ecosystem promises to save development costs by fending off cyberattacks.

The Common Weakness Enumeration (CWE) released its annual report of the Top 25 Most Dangerous Software Weaknesses and said a number of types moved higher this year, including Use After Free, Missing Authorization, Improper Privilege Management, and Incorrect Authorization.

The U.S. Department of Commerce implemented the EU-U.S. Data Privacy Framework (EU-U.S. DPF), which was announced in March 2022, reflecting a shared commitment to facilitating data flows while protecting individual rights and personal data.

The European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) found that ransomware accounts for 54% of cybersecurity threats in the health sector, but only 27% of surveyed organizations have a dedicated ransomware defense program. Patient data and health records was the target in 30% of cyberattacks while 46% of hackers aimed to steal or leak health organizations’ data.

CISA issued an alert concerning targeted denial-of-service (DoS) and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, and said multiple organizations in multiple sectors had been targeted.

Pervasive Computing

Retailers are deploying robots to cut costs and improve efficiency, opening new opportunities for chipmakers as well as a host of new challenges.

Eric Schmidt, Google’s former CEO, explains how AI will transform science and provide assistance with tasks such as climate modeling, identifying antibiotic-resistant pathogens, controlling plasma in nuclear fusion, creating self-driving labs, and more.

Infineon and Teledyne e2v created a reference design for powerful space systems, using Teledyne’s QLS1046-Space edge computing module and Infineon’s radiation-hardened NOR flash memory. Reducing the number of components in the computing system and enabling AI computation at the edge can decrease latency and overcome communication restrictions.

Global extended reality (XR) headset shipments dropped 33% YoY in Q1 2023, according to Counterpoint. “Meta was the best-selling global XR headset brand during Q1 2023 with the Quest 2 as its long-time best-performing VR headset.”

Floating wind turbine manufacturer SeaTwirl secured a purchase order to develop a smaller model, currently called S1,5, designed to withstand conditions in the North Sea. The company is working with Kontiki Winds to electrify offshore oil and gas assets and other applications.


The AAA released a report on Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), explaining how drivers’ lack of knowledge about the systems can lead to misusing or mistrusting the technologies, especially in edge cases.

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University published a technical paper titled “Slow Down, Move Over: A Case Study in Formal Verification, Refinement, and Testing of the Responsibility-Sensitive Safety Model for Self-Driving Cars.”

Researchers at MIT developed a dataset so they can train AI and machine-learning models to write “precise, semantically rich” automatic captions for high-quality charts.

MIT researchers also developed a technique involving perovskite nanocrystals. “High-density nanoLED arrays could be used for on-chip optical communication and computing, quantum light sources, microscopy, and high-resolution displays for augmented and virtual reality applications.”

Researchers at Brown University and the Artificial and Natural Intelligence Toulouse Institute developed a tool that unlocks how neural networks see, process, and classify images.

A team of international researchers proved that “machine learning on quantum computers requires far simpler data than previously believed.”


Find upcoming chip industry events here, including:

  • DAC 2023 – Design Automation Conference, July 9 – 13, San Francisco
  • Rambus Design Summit, July 18 and 19, online
  • 2023 Flash Memory Conference & Expo, August 8 – 10, Santa Clara, CA
  • 32nd USENIX Security Symposium, August 9 – 11, Anaheim, CA
  • SPIE Optics + Photonics 2023, August 20 – 24. San Diego, CA
  • DARPA: Electronics Resurgence Initiative (ERI), August 22 – 24, Seattle, WA

Upcoming webinars are here.

Further Reading

Read the latest automotive, security, and pervasive computing articles, or check out the latest newsletter.


Leave a Reply

(Note: This name will be displayed publicly)