The automotive world is being disrupted by a new wave of upstart and tech entrants.
Join Andrew each day for a glimpse into the future of automotive, direct to consumer retailing, connected cars, robotics and more.
New players in Automotive Blockchains and Electric Skateboards
Carzaam automotive news #19 | Blockchain - Lime buys electric skateboard company
Welcome to Carzaam news where we talk about the future from the automotive industry, including the latest from autonomous, connected and electric vehicles.
- Sony will develop a MAAS blockchain
- GM develops a mapping blockchain
- Lime buys electric skateboard company
Read more: www.carzaam.com/blog
All the Plant shutdowns due to COVID-19
Carzaam Automotive News #18: Plant shutdowns due to COVID-19
Hello everyone, it’s Chilli here with another episode of Carzaam news where we talk about the future of the automotive industry including the latest from autonomous, connected and electric vehicles.
Today we have a great episode, I am going to roll through each of the manufacturers and give their latest updates relating to the Coronavirus impacts … Enjoy!
COVID-19 and the auto industry: All the plant shutdowns due to coronavirus
Automakers across the US and Europe have declared temporary shutdowns, including Detroit's Big 3, and many have extended shutdowns beyond their original dates.
Read more: www.carzaam.com/blog
Flying cars are on the way...
Carzaam Automotive News #17 | Flying cars - Mercedes online - March VFacts
Hello everyone, it’s Chilli here with another episode of Carzaam news where we talk about the latest in Autonomous Connected and Electric vehicles.
Today we have a great episode including the imminent launch of a flying car Formula 1, another Manufacturer going direct to consumer and all the fallout from the March Vfacts figures in Australia … Enjoy!
Australian New Vehicles Sales March 2020
Australian new vehicle sales took a hit in March as expected, but it wasn’t the disaster many may had feared. At least not in the numbers. VFACTS data showed that new car sales fell by 18% compared to March last year, at 81,690 sales.
Airspeeder Flying Electric Car Grand Prix
In something like a mashup of the Red Bull Air Race, Formula E and Podracing at Mos Espa, a new electric flying car race series is about to be launched. The series is a step closer as Alauda, the Australian manufacturer of the Airspeeded electric flying car announced the successful completion of a seed investment round.
The Airspeeder electric flying racer will compete against others in a bid to help advance eVTOL technology for future sustainable transport. The idea is akin to Enzo Ferrari’s belief that racing motor cars, the white heat of competition, accelerates the technical development of the road car.
Mercedes-Benz launches direct-to-consumer sales model for the EQC Electric Vehicle
Mercedes-Benz is going to sell the EQC electric car direct to consumer in Australia reducing the role of dealerships in a bid to address buyer concerns. For those of you who follow me, you know I am always tuned into any news about manufacturers selling direct to consumer online, I think this will be the sales model of the future including Subscription, especially as we see fewer models released into the future.
The model is to be exclusive to the EQC and the six other ‘EQ’ electric Mercedes models due in Australia by the end of 2023 and for now only nine Mercedes-Benz dealers are signed up.
For the full episode and notes head to www.carzaam.com/blog or find out more about Car Subscription at www.carzaam.com/subscribe
Driverless car startup raises $462m at $3bn valuation
Carzaam Automotive News Episode 16: Pony AI - Nissan Switch - Uber
Driverless car startup Pony.ai raises $462 million at a $3 billion valuation
In a sign that investors’ still have enthusiasm for driverless cars, Pony AI has secured $462m in fresh funding, including $400m from Toyota.
The capital infusion brings the startup’s total raised amount to about $800m at a valuation north of $3bn.
After this round, Pony.ai is the second-most valuable independent autonomous driving company in the world now positioning themselves as a global autonomous driving company, now located in both the U.S. and China.
Pony.ai and Toyota last year announced a partnership to explore driverless mobility services across a range of segments and industries, and this new financing cements and expands that existing relationship.
Switching it up: Nissan launches subscription service in the U.S.
A future where roads are dominated by vehicle fleets is one step closer after the launch of Switch, an entry-level subscription car service by Nissan.
Subscription plans, which start at $699 per month plus a $495 one-time fee, provide subscribers with a vehicle rented for a maximum of 180 days, or 3,200 km–whichever is first.
Four vehicles are offered under the basic plan including the Altima, Frontier, Pathfinder and Rogue.
A $900-per-month premium membership also gives subscribers access to more vehicle models including the 370Z, Armada, Leaf Plus, Maxima, Murano and Titan.
For an additional $100-per-day, premium members may also rent a GT-R but this is capped at a maximum period of one week.
Uber Inks Deal With Adomni to Put Ad Displays Atop Vehicles
Uber has signed a deal with ad-tech company Adomni to introduce ad displays on top of a thousand vehicles in three cities by April 1.
While individual Uber drivers could previously install ad displays on top of their vehicles from third-party operators like Firefly, this agreement marks the first time Uber has rolled out a company-sponsored ad platform of its own.
Uber and Uber Eats drivers in Atlanta, Dallas, Texas, and Phoenix will be compensated to participate in the pilot program, which will launch with commercial advertisements on April 1.
Read more at: https://www.carzaam.com/post/carzaam-automotive-news-episode-16-pony-ai-nissan-switch-uber
Interested in Car Subscription, check out www.carzaam.com/subscribe
Coolest automotive tech, trends and takeaways from CES 2020: Part 2
Carzaam Automotive News Episode 15
Nissan Turns Over a New Leaf
The biggest car debut – of a real car – at CES was the Nissan Ariya. It’s a crossover / SUV that’s intended to replace the 10-year-old Leaf, Nissan’s flagship EV model.
The Ariya is bigger than the Leaf, offers two motors where the Leaf has one, and gets up to 300 miles on a charge versus 225 for the Leaf.
Nissan will use the second generation of its ProPilot Assist self-driving technology, which provides Level 3 hands-off driving and should be priced to start around $40,000.
The ProPilot Level 3 autonomy means self-driving on some roads (typically freeways), but you will have to keep your eyes on the road (and they’ll be tracked by an optical monitor).
Most importantly drivers will need to take over control when exiting a highway but also if the car cannot cope with a complex driving situation.
Where the Leaf drives the front wheels only, the Ariya will offer all-wheel drive, with motors both front and rear and the modulated use of regenerative braking to minimize pitch and dive.
Other than Chevrolet Bolt EV, the Nissan Leaf is the best-selling non-Tesla EV in the US, even despite sales being 60% off their 2014 peak. From Nissan’s perspective The Ariya can’t come soon enough.
Amazon knocks it out of the park at CES2020
Amazon celebrated the start of the new year with a focus on the comprehensive integration of Alexa into the automotive sector and revealed its extensive partnerships with multiple auto manufacturers.
Amazon announced that Alexa would soon be the digital voice assistant for Lamborghini and EV startup Rivian. Lamborghini plans to introduce the built-in Alexa feature in its Huracán Evo model and EV startup Rivian plans to integrate the voice-enabled services in its R1T pickup truck and R1S SUV.
Alexa will allow the driver to make phone calls, get navigation help, play music and also connect to the drivers home Echo device, allowing the user to switch on lights or regulate the temperature.
Because Lamborghini caters to the premium segment and not the mass consumer market, Amazon also launched its pocket-friendly car assistant Echo Auto which is soon to be sold globally.
Cars as pods only as OEMs lose control
A major trend that emerged from CES in Las Vegas this year was the depth of the identity crisis that has hit the auto industry. Toyota openly admitted that it had no idea where its long-term future lay.
“Mobility”, the word carmakers use these days to describe the point of their industry in a future where autonomous robotaxis hold sway, suggests that personal transport will become an undifferentiated utility.
Toyota presented a vision in which cars were reduced to bland pods shuttling people around a smart city. If this is only one element in a bigger urban system, then Toyota has followed the thought to its logical conclusion: it says it will start construction next year on a test city to help shape its future strategy.
The prototype city named Woven City will start with a 175-acre site not far from Mount Fuji in Japan where the automaker used to build cars.
Toyota is planning to build an all-encompassing city of the future where the automaker can conduct research right where people live their everyday lives. Toyota wants to have 2,000 people living in the city full-time once it opens. The idea is to bring together autonomous driving technology, hydrogen fuel cell power production and real-world learning.
Read more: www.carzaam.com/post/carzaam-news-episode-15-coolest-automotive-tech-trends-and-takeaways-from-ces-2020-part-2
Coolest automotive tech, trends and takeaways from CES 2020: Part 1
Carzaam Automotive News Episode 14
Mercedes-Benz VISION AVTR
Mercedes-Benz was the talk of CES2020 where it revealed its take on the vehicle as a "living creature" with a futuristic new model called the Vision Avatar which was developed in close collaboration with James Cameron and the team behind the sci-fi fantasy film of the same name.
Unveiled at this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the Vision AVTR concept car is a more imaginative version of Mercedes' Vision EQS luxury saloon which was unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2019 and is set for production in 2021.
Both models feature a structure that Mercedes-Benz calls a "one bow" proportion, which features a stretched profile with a long cabin, short bonnet and expansive doors.
The front and rear axles of the car can be driven in the same or opposite direction, enabling the car to move sideways by around 30 degrees "like a crab” giving the vehicle a reptile-like appearance even in its movement.
In the keynote speech at CES 2020, Mercedes-Benz chief design officer Gordon Wagener said "We didn't want to create a car, we wanted to create something like a living organism.
We created a futuristic vehicle that had to authentically look like it came out of the amazing Avatar world of Pandora”.
Nobody saw this coming. Sony, the company that used to define Consumer Electronics Shows of the past, rolled out an electric concept car, the Vision-S.
The Vision-S was created, quietly and with zero publicity, as a testbed for the various sensors and infotainment systems that can be used in passenger cars. Sony is looking for more sales, and more respect, for the automotive technology it has developed and is chasing the Samsung-Harman juggernaut that sells multiple suites of safety, entertainment and advanced driver-assistance systems to manufacturers.
The Vision-S looks like a Tesla from many angles and uses the now-common skateboard concept with heavy batteries as a slice at the bottom of the vehicle, improving stability.
The car has 33 sensors embedded in the car which can detect and recognize passengers in the cabin and their location relative to the nearest Sony screen. Other sensors track vehicles and pedestrians outside the car.
Automotive applications are the next logical step for biometrics after their successful implementation in smartphones and laptops to reduce password use.
Automakers are exploring the potential of fingerprint sensors, eye scans, voice and facial recognition to provide access to the car and start its engine and these were all born out in the prevalence of automotive biometrics at CES 2020.
EyeLock partners with SiriusXM
EyeLock announced a collaboration with SiriusXM to apply its iris biometric authentication technology to create a highly secure, touchless e-wallet gateway.
SiriusXM plans to offer the e-Wallet to automakers to allow drivers and passengers to conduct in-car commerce including to find and pay or for coffee, gas, movie tickets or parking while on the go
Byton SUV uses voice and facial biometrics
Also at CES 2020, electric carmaker Byton is showing off its new M-Byte SUV with personalized dashboards provided for different users through biometric facial recognition. The vehicle also features voice control with biometric voice recognition to enable drivers and passengers to call up playlists, contacts, and preferred apps.