Week In Review: Auto, Security, Pervasive Computing

U.S. EV push; Qualcomm, Magna want Veoneer; self-parking tests; an EV’s long road trip; digital radar.


The New York Auto Show has been canceled due to concerns over the COVID-19 Delta variant. The show, which usually occurs in April, was scheduled for August 20 through 29th.

Semiconductor company Qualcomm has offered to acquire Veoneer, an ADAS company, for $37 per share in cash. Automotive Tier 1 Magna International already has a definitive merger agreement to acquire Veoneer, which that company announced on July 22. (Veoneer acknowledged receipt of Qualcomm’s proposal and said its board will evaluate it.) Magna, which designs ADAS among other automotive systems, recently developed a digital radar for autonomous vehicles called ICON Radar that continuously scans around the car in four dimensions. Uhnder, an Austin, Texas-based startup that makes an automotive radar-on-a-chip, helped develop ICON Radar with Magma. The digital radar debuts on the EV Fisker Ocean next year and is supposed to solve some of the issues with analog radar.

United States President Biden signed an executive order calling for 50% of cars sold in the U.S. by 2030 to be electric vehicles (EVs). In response, Ford, GM, and Stellantis jointly announced that they want to achieve sales of 40–50% of annual U.S. volumes of EVs (which includes battery electric, fuel cell, and plug-in hybrid vehicles) by 2030. GM further specified that its goal is battery electric vehicles. Among other car makers, Toyota said in a statement, “You can count on Toyota to do our part.”

Also, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Transportation (DOT) proposed new emissions rules for passenger cars and light trucks. The proposal would establish more stringent standards for each model year starting in 2023, improving emissions by 10% over existing rules for model year (MY) 2023 vehicles and then 5 percent greater emissions improvement each year after. The EPA estimates the proposal would avoid 2.2 billion tons of CO2 emissions through 2050. EPA also announced it will soon look at heavy duty trucks emissions.

Fig. 1, The MPG sticker that consumers would see will be in than 38.2 MPG range, according to this table from EPA’s fact sheet about the new proposed rules. Source: EPA

Fig. 1, The MPG sticker that consumers would see will be in than 38.2 MPG range, according to this table from EPA’s fact sheet about the new proposed rules. Source: EPA

Renault Group and Vulcan Energy formed a five-year partnership within the Zero Carbon Lithium Project to acquire between 6,000 and 17,000 metric tonnes per year of battery grade lithium chemicals, produced in Germany partly using geothermal energy. Renault intends to achieve carbon neutrality worldwide in 2050, and this deal helps the company estimates it will avoid from 300 to 700 kg of CO2 for a 50 kWh battery. The car OEM company expects to reach “the greenest mix in the European market in 2025, with over 65% of electric and electrified vehicles in the sales mix and up to 90% battery electric vehicles mix in 2030,” according to a press release.

Automotive Tier 1 supplier Denso’s first-quarter financial results showed its revenue up 73.3% from same quarter last year. Its Q1 consolidated revenue for Q1 — ending June 30, 2021 — was 1,356.9 billion yen (US$12.3 billion), operating profit totaled 107.2 billion yen (US$969.3 million). Tier 1 Continental AG reporting Q2 sales in the Automotive Technologies group sector increased in its second quarter by 47.8 percent to €3.8 billion (US$4.5 billion) over Q2 2020 (€2.6 billion, or US$3 billion). “After an already subdued start to the year, the ongoing shortage of semiconductors severely slowed automotive production in the second quarter, as expected. The chip bottleneck and rising raw material prices are set to weigh on the automotive industry throughout 2021,” said Nikolai Setzer, Continental CEO. Revenue from Continental AG’s Rubber Technologies business was strong. Continental AG also announced it has made automotive tires out of plastic waste. From 2022, Continental AG intends to enable the use of recycled PET bottles in tire production, according to a press release. The Tier 1 developed the tires working with fiber specialist OTIZ, Oriental Industries (Suzhou) Ltd.

Tier 1 Continental AG now has a minority stake in autonomous parking company Kopernikus Automotive, a Leipzig-based startup that specializes in platforms for autonomous vehicles that use sensors permanently installed in the infrastructure and AI that centrally moves the vehicles within a structure, such as a factory floor or a parking garage.

The U.S. State of Michigan, along with car manufacturer Ford, Detroit real estate and property management firm Bedrock, and Tier 1 Bosch, are opening a test lab in September 2021 for smart parking. The new Detroit Smart Parking Lab (DSPL) grew out of a demonstration that Ford, Bedrock, and Bosch held last year using Bosch’s automated valet parking technology in a Ford Escape, proving the car could drive and park itself at Bedrock’s Assembly garage. Now the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Office of Future Mobility and Electrification are offering grants for test projects using the lab. The first lab project will be rental car company Enterprise Rent-A-Car testing the efficiency and speed of automated valet parking and electric vehicle charging, aiming for quick turn-arounds. The American Center for Mobility to run the lab’s daily operations.

Since the first U.S. cross country road trip in 1903, driving across — or around — the continental U.S. or other large land masses have been a way to prove and market an automotive technology. EV long distance road trips — including solar-powered EV road trips — have been done before. Nevertheless, continuing efforts help prove that EVs and their charging infrastructure are ready for long-distance road trips. Infineon is a sponsor of Volkswagen’s VW ID.4 team of drivers who will take the Volkswagen’s newest EV, the ID.4 SUV, on a 37,000-mile journey across and around United States in 98 days. Long-distance driving expert Rainer Zietlow and co-driver Derek Collins are crossing over 48 states, visit 600+ Volkswagen dealers, stop at more than 200 Electrify America Stations, and drop in at five Infineon facilities. Infineon has over 50 semiconductors, used for energy-efficient electric drives and charging infrastructure, on board the ID.4 EV. The EV SUV takes 38 minutes to recharge and has a range slightly over 500 miles on a full charge. The trip is happening now. Watch the progress on a live map.

Speaking of solar, the Sonnenwagen 3 solar race car is being designed with software from Siemens Digital Industries Software. Siemens is sponsoring the Sonnenwagen initiative.

A report by Market Research Future (MRFR) says the wireless EV charging market will be worth US$258.65 Million by 2027, registering a CAGR of 48.82%. Elon Musk says EV company Tesla will open its supercharging network to non-Tesla EVs this year.

Foxconn (Hon Hai) Technology Group’s acquisition of Macronix International’s 6-inch wafer fab and equipment will enable Foxconn to produce automotive power ICs such as SiC MOSFETs.

The U.S. National Security Administration (NSA) and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released a Kubernetes Hardening Guidance. The NSA/CISA alert says Kubernetes, an open-source container orchestration platform for cloud services, is commonly targeted for data theft, computational power theft, or denial of service.

CISA also formed a new agency, the Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative (JCDC), to a new agency to lead the development of cyber defense operations plans. Industry partners, including, Amazon Web Services, AT&T, CrowdStrike, FireEye Mandiant, Google Cloud, Lumen, Microsoft, Palo Alto Networks and Verizon, are working with CISA on the effort.

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released a draft of “Developing Cyber-Resilient Systems: A Systems Security Engineering Approach” for public comment. NIST also put out requests for information to help develop an AI risk management framework that will help developers improve the trustworthiness of AI systems. NIST is part of the U.S. Commerce Department.

The Technical University of Munich (TUM) is working on a chip that efficiently implements post-quantum cryptography. The TUM researchers modified the core of a RISC-V design io accelerate the arithmetic operations. The ASIC has a purpose-designed hardware accelerator that could be used to detect hackers using quantum cryptography and if a hardware trojan was implanted into a chip.

Pervasive computing — IoT, edge, cloud, data center, and back
Huawei reported its largest ever revenue drop year-over-year in its smartphone business.

Marvell Technology will acquire Innovium, which makes switches for networking on the cloud and in edge data centers, for a net cost to Marvell of $955 million. The acquisition will expand Marvell’s Ethernet switching portfolio.

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