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Hyundai joins connected car revolution

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Hyundai is joining the connected car revolution with a new Connected Car Service Platform (ccSP) platform and smart, hyper-connectivity innovations that focus on linking cars to customers’ lives.

Hyundai displayed its latest vision for connecting cars to customers’ lives at this month’s 2017 Seoul Motor Show at the Korea International Exhibition Center. The ccSP will allow customers to connect seamlessly to a variety of other IoT services offered by telecommunications providers and global appliance services.

Interconnected services will blur the lines between mobility, living and work spaces, with Home to Car voice controlled operations allowing drivers to start their cars and open or close doors through speech. Meanwhile, Car to Home options will connect customers with smart home services, including home lighting, climate control and audio systems.

“Controlling vehicles via voice assistant is something that could become commonplace in the not too distant future,” said Seung-Ho Hwang, executive vice president and head of the Auto Intelligence Division at Hyundai Motor Company. “We are working with various companies in Korea and around the world to ensure that all of our platforms are compatible and that Hyundai customers will be able to interact with the Internet of Things in ways that have not been possible before.”

The connectivity services demonstrated at the show will be available commercially in the next few years, with Home to Car services expected in 2018 and Car to Hom” operations available in the following year.

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Hyundai provided the following details of its Connected Car roadmap at the show:

Building on its philosophy of caring for customers, Hyundai revealed the four main objectives that will ensure smart connected technology provide greater convenience and efficiency for drivers:

Proactive Caring – Regular monitoring of a car’s diagnostic information, paired with analysis of Big Data, can help to diagnose potential problems before they become an issue, enabling remote proactive maintenance of vehicles.

Smart Convenience – Hyundai plans to offer customers regular updates to vehicle software and features, even when the car is being driven, ensuring the best customer experience and the latest vehicle and data security.

Cost Efficiency – Hyundai aims to bring cost-saving efficiencies to customers by analyzing their driving patterns and fuel economy history. This will provide highly accurate “distance to empty” advice and recommended routes for best fuel economy (and battery life where applicable).

Connected Efficiency – Smart application management will ensure connectivity-reliant actions at optimum times, such as automatically updating software while the car is charging.  Further efficiencies will be gained through monitoring factors that may impact on the driver each day, providing guidance, information or warnings as appropriate. For example, a weather checking service can deliver information to the driver to advise on the optimal time to wash the car.

A virtual trip in an autonomous IONIQ shows how the advanced piloting capabilities of Hyundai’s latest technology enable the car to navigate without driver input through the most challenging situations safely.

With a sleek design resembling the rest of the IONIQ line-up, the autonomous IONIQ is one of the few self-driving cars being developed to have a hidden LiDAR system in its front bumper instead of on the roof. The car’s advanced self-driving systems are kept as simple as possible by integrating existing functions from the production model, including the Smart Cruise Control system’s forward-facing radar and Lane Keeping Assist cameras.

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Smart House concept 

Hyundai presented its Smart House concept at the 2017 Seoul Motor Show, revealing the potential reach of its advanced Future Mobility technologies. The working Smart House exhibit provides a vision of how the car could be integrated with the daily lives of users, converging mobility and customer’s living and working spaces.

The concept suggests how cars could integrate with our living spaces when docked, before becoming a mobile living space when customers need to move around. Hyundai’s vision sees customers living, without interruption, while on the move as the comfort, convenience and connectivity features of the car and the home are combined into ‘one space’.

Asian debut for futuristic FE Fuel Cell Concept, the next generation of fuel cell vehicle

Hyundai has revealed its trailblazing Future Eco (FE) Fuel Cell Concept to Asian audiences for the first time, reaffirming its commitment to hydrogen-powered vehicle development. Hyundai has established itself as a global leader for hydrogen transportation by being the world’s first manufacturer to mass-produce a fuel cell vehicle.

The FE Fuel Cell Concept begins a new chapter for Hyundai by hinting at the form and capabilities of a forthcoming production FCEV due for launch in February of 2018. The new model will feature advanced driver assistance technologies, alongside an extensive hydrogen-powered range that moves Hyundai closer toward realizing its ultimate ambition of creating a zero-emission Hydrogen Energy Society.

The concept car is designed to run for more than 800 km between refuelling, acknowledging the current limited hydrogen infrastructure, and features a host of clever technologies to enhance customer comfort, convenience and safety. One of the most notable characteristics of the new concept is its internal air humidifier, which recycles water emitted by the car’s clean hydrogen energy circulation to create a more comfortable cabin environment.

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Project Bloodhound saved

The British project to break the world landspeed record at a site in the Northern Cape has been saved by a new backer, after it went into bankruptcy proceedings in October.

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Two weeks ago,  and two months after entering voluntary administration, the Bloodhound Programme Limited announced it was shutting down. This week it announced that its assets, including the Bloodhound Supersonic Car (SSC), had been acquired by an enthusiastic – and wealthy – supporter.

“We are absolutely delighted that on Monday 17th December, the business and assets were bought, allowing the Project to continue,” the team said in a statement.

“The acquisition was made by Yorkshire-based entrepreneur Ian Warhurst. Ian is a mechanical engineer by training, with a strong background in managing a highly successful business in the automotive engineering sector, so he will bring a lot of expertise to the Project.”

Warhurst and his family, says the team, have been enthusiastic Bloodhound supporters for many years, and this inspired his new involvement with the Project.

“I am delighted to have been able to safeguard the business and assets preventing the project breakup,” he said. “I know how important it is to inspire young people about science, technology, engineering and maths, and I want to ensure Bloodhound can continue doing that into the future.

“It’s clear how much this unique British project means to people and I have been overwhelmed by the messages of thanks I have received in the last few days.”

The record attempt was due to be made late next year at Hakskeen Pan in the Kalahari Desert, where retired pilot Andy Green planned to beat the 1228km/h land-speed record he set in the United States in 1997. The target is for Bloodhound to become the first car to reach 1000mph (1610km/h). A track 19km long and 500 metres wide has been prepared, with members of the local community hired to clear 16 000 tons of rock and stone to smooth the surface.

The team said in its announcement this week: “Although it has been a frustrating few months for Bloodhound, we are thrilled that Ian has saved Bloodhound SSC from closure for the country and the many supporters around the world who have been inspired by the Project. We now have a lot of planning to do for 2019 and beyond.”

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Motor Racing meets Machine Learning

The futuristic car technology of tomorrow is being built today in both racing cars and
toys, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK

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The car of tomorrow, most of us imagine, is being built by the great automobile manufacturers of the world. More and more, however, we are seeing information technology companies joining the race to power the autonomous vehicle future.

Last year, chip-maker Intel paid $15.3-billion to acquire Israeli company Mobileye, a leader in computer vision for autonomous driving technology. Google’s autonomous taxi division, Waymo, has been valued at $45-billion.

Now there’s a new name to add to the roster of technology giants driving the future.

DeepRacer on the inside

Amazon Web Services, the world’s biggest cloud computing service and a subsidiary of Amazon.com,  last month unveiled a scale model autonomous racing car for developers to build new artificial intelligence applications. Almost in the same breath, at its annual re:Invent conference in Las Vegas, it showcased the work being done with machine learning in Formula 1 racing.

AWS DeepRacer is a 1/18th scale fully autonomous race car, designed to incorporate the features and behaviour of a full-sized vehicle. It boasts all-wheel drive, monster truck tires, an HD video camera, and on-board computing power. In short, everything a kid would want of a self-driving toy car.

But then, it also adds everything a developer would need to make the car autonomous in ways that, for now, can only be imagined. It uses a new form of machine learning (ML), the technology that allows computer systems to improve their functions progressively as they receive feedback from their activities. ML is at the heart of artificial intelligence (AI), and will be core to autonomous, self-driving vehicles.

AWS has taken ML a step further, with an approach called reinforcement learning. This allows for quicker development of ML models and applications, and DeepRacer is designed to allow developers to experiment with and hone their skill in this area. It is built on top of another AWS platform, called Amazon SageMaker, which enables developers and data scientists to build, train, and deploy machine learning quickly and easily.

Along with DeepRacer, AWS also announced the DeepRacer League, the world’s first global autonomous racing league, open to anyone who orders the scale model from AWS.

DeepRacer on the outside

As if to prove that DeepRacer is not just a quirky entry into the world of motor racing, AWS also showcased the work it is doing with the Formula One Group. Ross Brawn, Formula 1’s managing director of Motor Sports, joined AWS CEO Andy Jassy during the keynote address at the re:Invent conference, to demonstrate how motor racing meets machine learning.

“More than a million data points a second are transmitted between car and team during a Formula 1 race,” he said. “From this data, we can make predictions about what we expect to happen in a wheel-to-wheel situation, overtaking advantage, and pit stop advantage. ML can help us apply a proper analysis of a situation, and also bring it to fans.

“Formula 1 is a complete team contest. If you look at a video of tyre-changing in a pit stop – it takes 1.6 seconds to change four wheels and tyres – blink and you will miss it. Imagine the training that goes into it? It’s also a contest of innovative minds.”

AWS CEO Andy Jassy unveils DeepRacer

Formula 1 racing has more than 500 million global fans and generated $1.8 billion in revenue in 2017. As a result, there are massive demands on performance, analysis and information. 

During a race, up to 120 sensors on each car generate up to 3GB of data and 1 500 data points – every second. It is impossible to analyse this data on the fly without an ML platform like Amazon SageMaker. It has a further advantage: the data scientists are able to incorporate 65 years of historical race data to compare performance, make predictions, and provide insights into the teams’ and drivers’ split-second decisions and strategies.

This means Formula 1 can pinpoint how a driver is performing and whether or not drivers have pushed themselves over the limit.

“By leveraging Amazon SageMaker and AWS’s machine-learning services, we are able to deliver these powerful insights and predictions to fans in real time,” said Pete Samara, director of innovation and digital technology at Formula 1.

  • Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter on @art2gee and on YouTube

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