Week In Review: IoT, Automotive & Security

CES IoT, automotive; electric trucks; California privacy laws.


Internet of Things
Qorvo, the company whose products sent pictures back from Pluto and Arrokoth (formerly Ultima Thule) on New Horizons, is showing off a couple smart home, IoT products at CES 2020 in Las Vegas next week. The company says its new transceiver chip QPG7015M will simplify gateway IoT design because the chip can simultaneously handle all open, smart home protocols, including ZigBee, Bluetooth Low Energy and Thread protocols. The QPG7015M is sampling now.

Qorvo is also introducing a Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) integrated front-end module (iFEM) with its BAW filter that the company says will open up the full 2.4GHz Wi-Fi bandwidth for smart home gateways. The module, the QPF7219 — in a compact package of 5.0 x 3.0 mm — can broadcast farther using flat power produced by Qorvo’s BAW filter with edgeBoost. Flat power appeases the FCC while keeping channels fully powered. “Optimizing the PA for a 5 V supply voltage that conserves power consumption while maintaining the highest linear output power and leading edge throughput across all Wi-Fi channels 1 through 11 without need to reduce transmit power to meet the FCC regulatory limits,” is what the product overview says. The module includes a 2.4 GHz power amplifier (PA) with power detector, FCC edgeBoost BAW filter, regulator, transmit-receive switch and by-passable low-noise amplifier into a single device.

Aeris will demonstrate its Aeris Fusion IoT Network at CES 2020, a connectivity management platform for enterprise that pulls data from IoT devices about their connections and helps simplify creating a global IoT network.

Electric truck predictions for 2020 through 2030 from IDTechEx Technology say that medium and heavy-duty truck market will not be left out of electrification. “The days of the fossil fuel-powered combustion engine are numbered,” says IDTechEx in a press release about its new report. Not only are CO2 emissions being restricted for trucks — goals which the ICE (internal combustion engine) can not achieve — but urban populations just don’t want the air toxins that the ICE produces. “It is already clear that it is impossible for ICE-powered fuel efficiency improvements to deliver the required emission reductions in the long-term. The future is either battery-electric or fuel cell electric vehicles…pass[ing] the burden of decarbonization from vehicle manufacturers on to the generators of electricity…. All major truck OEMs are now investing in zero-emission trucks projects for fear of being left behind,” concludes IDTechEx.

Israeli startup UVeye is demonstrating a high-resolution inspection system for vehicles right off the assembly line at CES 2020 in Las Vegas (Jan. 7-10) that automates finding defects — scratches or dents as small as two millimeters in diameter — on vehicle chassis components, suspension systems, sheet metal and tires. Using high-resolution cameras that generate thousands of images per second at multiple angles, sensor fusion, algorithms, AI and machine technology, UVeye’s system — called Atlas — detects and records exterior defects and damage from assembly line and post-production handling. It can also find missing components and other quality-related issues, says the company in a press release. UVeye is part of the Honda Xcelerator program. The company reports that Volvo plans to install the technology in a assembly-line inspection system in Sweden.

AISIN Group will unveil an all-electric automated concept vehicle at CES 2020 that looks like people mover for ride sharing. Called i-mobility Type C-20, the vehicle is intended for driving people short distances. AISIN will also show off its i-mobility Type-T and a personal mobility vehicle that looks like a cross between a Segway, a scooter and a hand cart, but with a little seat that be lowered for a different mode, called ILY-Ai. ILY-Ai is a multi-functional electric cart/scooter with AI and LiDAR. It can drive by itself — with a non-human load — or be driven by a human. Regardless of the load, it is programed to slow down if an object is detected crosses its path. AISIN also plans to use the data it collects from vehicle products to provide services like “detecting road surface conditions by using location information platforms (such as the logistics support system based on car navigation technology) and actuator information technology,” says the company’s press release.

ABI Research says 10.46 million more connected cars will join the roadways worldwide in 2020 and some of them may be sharing information among themselves or at least through an ingestion platform that can spread road- and traffic-condition warnings for the first time. The tech market advisory firm proclaims 2020 is the year “cooperative mobility” will start. The firm cites the upcoming release of 802.11p V2X technology on the Volkswagen Golf in Europe as one proof that low-bandwidth and low-latency broadcast communications among some connected cars will grow.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is showing off three connected hybrid electric Jeeps at CES. All Jeep models will offer electrification options by 2022, says FCA in a press release. Also at CES will be FCA’s electric concept vehicle the Fiat Concept Centoventi.

Privacy, Security
With the turn of the year, the U.S. State of California’s new law on privacy went into effect. The law makes gives consumer the right to request info about and opt out of data that businesses collect, including the categories and specific pieces of personal information that the business collects about the consumer and why that information is collected. “We’re excited about the law coming into effect. Not necessarily because it’s a perfect law, if there is such a thing as a perfect law. I personally don’t have any misconceptions that the law is perfect. But it is an indication of what’s needed for IoT,” said Jack Ogawa, senior director of marketing for Cypress Semiconductor, in a VentureBeat interview. California also strengthened existing laws about surveilling people, making it illegal to use a drone or other electronic devices to surveil a person when that person is in a place where privacy is expected.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is supporting Remote IDs for drones, according to a press release. The proposed rule (FAA-2019-1100) requires the remote identification of unmanned aircraft systems, and says this is a building block of traffic control of UASes (unmanned aircraft systems). The public comment period close on March 2, 2020.

Some D-Link and Ruckus Wi-Fi routers have been found recently to have vulnerabilities. The Ruckus routers were used as mesh networks, called Unleashed, at airports, conferences, and hotels, and in ZoneDirector, a LAN controller with smart Wi-Fi features. The D-Link is affected by command execution vulnerabilities. The Ruckus patches have been issued.

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