Investment in artificial intelligence: Porsche has invested in start-up "Urgent.ly". The American company sees itself as the leading global platform for mobility and roadside assistance. The financing round amounted to 21 million U.S. dollars (18.5 million euros). Alongside "Porsche Ventures", other companies obtained shares in Urgent.ly, including "BMW i Ventures" and "InMotion Ventures", the venture capital division of Jaguar Land Rover.
The U.S. start-up's platform supports roadside assistance services in North America, Europe and Asia.
Using artificial intelligence and geolocation, Urgent.ly connects drivers, service providers and automotive manufacturers in real time, thus coordinating the best and fastest help in the event of a breakdown.
This means that, from the very beginning, the customer is provided with transparency regarding the location (exact to the second) and the expected arrival time of the roadside assistance provider. In the USA, more than half of all roadside assistance providers are already connected to the platform, which serves around 45,000 networked vehicles.
"Urgent.ly is an innovative platform solution which impresses with its speed and transparency. It is also internationally scalable. We are convinced that it can help increase customer satisfaction levels in critical situations," says Kilian Sauerwald, Director Aftersales Region and Market Development at Porsche. "The team at Urgent.ly sets itself apart due to its well founded expertise within the customer and technology business. This is why we chose a strategic investment."
"The support of our investors confirms our strategy and business model. We are aiming to create a range of services for the mobility and roadside assistance industry which meets the expectations and requirements of our customers," says Chris Spanos, CEO and cofounder of Urgent.ly. "We look forward to continuing to advance our connected services across the global automotive, insurance and mobility markets."
Porsche Ventures seeks strategic investments in business models relating to the customer experience, mobility and digital lifestyle, as well as in future technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain and virtual and augmented reality. Through its venture capital activities, the sports car manufacturer Porsche invests in new companies that are in the early and growth phases.
Amongst the latest investments there has been the Berlin-based start-up Gapless. Their blockchain-based solution allows customers to digitally manage their vintage vehicles, including the entire history, and to share it with other users in a forgery-proof way. Porsche also holds shares in the fast-growing Swiss technology company WayRay.
This start-up develops and produces holographic augmented reality head-up display technologies and is working on the ability to seamlessly integrate virtual objects into the driving experience. Porsche also has invested in the start-ups Anagog, Miles and homeiX, as well as technology and sports car company Rimac.
Investorideas.com, a global investor news source covering the tech sector, looks at the future of transportation as autonomous vehicles, electric cars, smart cars and advanced tracking technology all become the new norm, thanks to innovation from AI, blockchain and other technologies.
You can’t talk about the future of transportation without naming Tesla Inc. founded in 2003 by visionary Elon Musk, who is also looking at a whole new level of transportation with SpaceX.
Not satisfied with being the leader in electric cars, the company also says, “All Tesla vehicles produced in our factory, including Model 3, have the hardware needed for full self-driving capability at a safety level substantially greater than that of a human driver.”
In the Tesla Fourth Quarter & Full Year 2018 Update in January they reported, ”In the past two years, Tesla vehicles have accounted for all of the electric vehicle (EV) volume growth in the US. Even with the radical EV growth in the second half of 2018, EVs still account for just 2% of the total US market, and there remains a substantial opportunity for EVs to continue to gain marketshare in the US and globally. Consumer purchases have demonstrated that EVs are becoming a preferred option, as EVs in Q4 2018 outsold hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) in the US for the first time in history.”
But there are still some issues to work out for Tesla, including logistics as Forbes reported, “Tesla Confronts 'Logistic Nightmares' For Model 3 Says Musk.” Tesla is to deliver up to 400,000 vehicles world-wide this year, so it’s a problem that needs to be resolved.
Litelink Technologies Inc. a key player in technology and artificial intelligence within the logistics sector, is hoping to bring new technology solutions to the transportation industry. The company uses artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to solve the logistics industry’s fragmented and outdated technology problems. The company recently released an update on its 1SHIFT Logistics platform. The 1SHIFT trials were planned with the objectives of delivering the capability for a shipper to select amongst a preferred set of carriers, and then track the shipment until successfully delivered. A trucker will provide trip status and flag any issues via the 1SHIFT mobile app to minimize the communications with all parties and quickly resolve any obstacles for on-time delivery. “We have received positive market feedback both on our web and mobile solutions to date. By getting our mobile app in the hands of real truckers, we were able to make improvements that will significantly improve user experience, reduce mobile data usage, and at the same time verify our solution scalability and security. This is exactly the type of product feedback we were looking for prior to large-scale commercial launch,” states COO, Kent Churn. “Investing in an early alpha trial only helps us improve what is not working, and validates what is working well.”
Magna International Inc. one of the world's largest automotive suppliers, has industry roots going back to 1957 when it began working with General Motors. Now the company says it’s racing to the future with new technology. AT CES 2019, Magna introduced the company's future vision of how electrification, autonomy and smart mobility intersect: "At CES 2019, ‘Welcome to Mobility' is Magna's vision of the future where electrification, autonomy and smart mobility are all intertwined," said Magna CTO, Swamy Kotagiri. "Leveraging more than 60 years of experience designing and developing new technology, Magna helps customers striving to change the entire vehicle experience, not just a few components. We are excited to demonstrate this holistic advantage at CES." Talking about electrification technology, Magna says, “Global automotive trends serve as our signposts - and we have reached many milestones on our way to powertrain electrification.”
Electrameccanica Vehicles Corp. a designer and manufacturer of electric vehicles with deep attachments in the automotive sector, recently said in an update to shareholders, “Our timing in entering this exciting new market could not have been better. The automotive industry is undergoing transformational changes throughout, with legacy automakers being disrupted by new EV entrants who are uniquely providing aspirational electric vehicles that consumers actually want to purchase.” They also recently reported: ”Vehicle production and delivery from the Zongshen factory will ramp up throughout 2019 and the Company remains on track to commence deliveries of vehicles to customers.”
So what does the future hold? Experts predict that “A person in almost any major city for example, could by 2040 be able to step out their front door to find waiting the autonomous pod they ordered from a nearby multi- storey charging station only minutes earlier.”
The Daimler AG and BMW Group are to join forces on automated driving. Initially, the focus will be on advancing the development of next-generation technologies for driver assistance systems, automated driving on highways and parking features (up to SAE Level 4). The two companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to jointly develop this technology, which is key for future mobility. The Daimler AG and BMW Group view their partnership as a long-term, strategic cooperation and aim to make next-level technologies widely available by the middle of the coming decade.
Ola Källenius, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Group Research and MercedesBenz Cars Development said: "Autonomous driving is one of the most revolutionary trends for us at the moment, and the entire Daimler Group is working very hard on it.
As always at Daimler, our top priority is safety. Instead of individual, stand-alone solutions, we want to develop a reliable overall system that offers noticeable added-value for customers. Working with the right partners, we want to make significant advances in enhancing the performance of this technology and bring it safely on the road."
"As we continue to pursue our strategy, we are combining the expertise of two technology leaders. At the BMW Group, long-term partnerships within a flexible, scalable, non-exclusive platform are fundamental to advancing the industrialisation of autonomous driving. Combining the key expertise of our two companies will boost our innovative strength and speed up the spread of this technology," said Klaus Fröhlich, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Development.
The planned cooperation offers the Daimler AG and BMW Group a number of obvious advantages: the skills and experience of the individual partners and a scalable architecture will speed up and streamline the development of future technology generations. Besides the synergies, new technologies will be faster to market, with shorter innovation cycles. For both companies, the safety of vehicle occupants and other road users is of the utmost importance and a key reason for making the reliability of systems a key criterion for the collaboration. The two partners continue to pursue their goal of being the pace-setter in development.
Joint development work will be carried out via a scalable architecture covering several stages of automation, with Levels 3 and 4 enabling automated driving on highways. In addition, the two partners plan to discuss the possibility of extending their collaboration to cover higher levels of automation, both on highways and in urban areas. These considerations underline the sustainable, long-term nature of the cooperation, which includes the aim to create a scalable platform for automated driving. The development of current-generation technologies and ongoing collaborations of the two companies will remain unaffected and continue as before. Ongoing development of latest-generation technologies and existing collaborations will remain unaffected by the projected cooperation and go ahead as planned. The Daimler AG and BMW Group will also explore additional partnerships with other technology companies and automotive manufacturers that could contribute to the success of the platform.
Autonomous driving at Daimler AG
Daimler AG has been working on series development projects not only for specific Level 3 vehicles but also for Levels 4 and 5. Long a leader in active safety systems, it programmed its systems largely in-house right from the very beginning. 2019 will see the launch in San José, Silicon Valley, of its first pilot programme, with Bosch, on self-driving vehicles (Levels 4/5) in urban environments. This will be the next milestone within the existing cooperation between both partners and the cooperation will continue as planned. Early next decade, Daimler will bring to the market not only highly automated (Level 3) vehicles but also fully automated (Level 4/5) vehicles. It is the only OEM in the world to be so well-positioned to apply autonomous driving.
Autonomous driving at the BMW Group
The BMW Group has been working on highly automated driving since 2006, and has established a non-exclusive platform with technology specialists, suppliers and OEMs to take it to series maturity. Since 2017, work in this area has been consolidated at the Autonomous Driving Campus in Unterschleissheim, just north of Munich, and the industrialisation and scalability of the technology is being advanced with the support of partners. Brand new agile software development is used at the Campus to speed up development of the platform and set new industry standards. Around the world, more than 70 test vehicles are trialling state-of-the-art technology. They collect data in order to improve machine learning with artificial intelligence through simulations and test new Level 2 - 5 functions out on the road. The generation of technologies that is currently under development will go into series production as Level 3 automation in 2021 in the BMW iNEXT where it will also be Level 4 enabled for pilot projects.
At the Geneva International Motor Show (GIMS) 2019 PAL-V unveiled the distinctive features of the PAL-V Liberty Pioneer, world's first production model flying car. The 90-piece limited edition is based on the PAL-V Liberty which was unveiled last year at the GIMS. It will open the next chapter of mobility.
According to Dingemanse, CEO of PAL-V: "The Pioneer Edition is for those that want to be part of a unique group that writes history with us. They will be at the forefront of a mobility revolution, where we will no longer have cars that can only drive.They will be the first carflyers in their country, FlyDriving to any destination. Last year we already announced that we were going to start with a limited edition of the PAL-V Liberty. This year we show the special elements of this limited edition of which delivery starts in 2020," says Dingemanse.
Amongst other features, the PAL-V Liberty Pioneer Edition is equipped with a dual control cockpit and the Electronic Flight Instrument System. The full carbon package clearly distinguishes the Pioneer from the standard Liberty as well as a tailor-made interior and exclusive characteristic two tone colour scheme.
Developing a flying car takes a long time and a lot of persistence. It's a revolutionary development, especially as PAL-V developed a commercial vehicle that complies with existing regulations, very different from an interesting technical concept.
With the launch of the PAL-V Liberty Pioneer, PAL-V will open the next chapter of personal mobility. The Pioneer edition gives 90 people in the world the possibility to go above and beyond.