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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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Meet Aston Martin F1’s incredible moving data centre

The Aston Martin Red Bull Racing team faces a great deal more IT challenges than your average enterprise as not many IT teams have to rebuild their data center 21 times each year and get it running it up in a matter of hours. Not many data centers are packed up and transported around the world by air and sea along with 45 tonnes of equipment. Not many IT technicians also have to perform a dual role as pit stop mechanic.

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The trackside garage at an F1 race is a tight working environment and a team of only two IT technicians face pressure from both the factory and trackside staff to get the trackside IT up and running very fast. Yet, despite all these pressures, Aston Martin Red Bull Racing do not have a cloud-led strategy. Instead they have chosen to keep all IT in house.

The reason for this is performance. F1 is arguably the ultimate performance sport. A walk round the team’s factory in Milton Keynes, England, makes it abundantly clear that the whole organization is hell bent on maximizing performance. 700 staff at the factory are all essentially dedicated to the creation of just two cars. The level of detail that is demanded in reaching peak performance is truly mind blowing. For example, one machine with a robotic arm that checks the dimensions of the components built at the factory is able to measure accuracy to a scale 10 times thinner than a human hair.

This quest for maximum performance, however, is hampered at every turn by the stringent rules from the F1 governing body – the FIA. Teams face restrictions on testing and technology usage in order to prevent the sport becoming an arms race. So, for example, pre-season track testing is limited to only 8 days. Furthermore, wind tunnel testing is only allowed with 60% scale models and wind tunnel-usage is balanced with the use of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software, essentially a virtual wind tunnel. Teams that overuse one, lose time with the other.

In order to maximize performance within uniquely difficult logistical and regulatory conditions, the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing team has had to deploy a very powerful and agile IT estate.

According to Neil Bailey, Head of IT Infrastructure, Enterprise Architecture and Innovation, their legacy trackside infrastructure was “creaking”. Before choosing hyperconverged infrastructure, their “traditional IT had reached its limits”, says Bailey. “When things reach their limits they break, just like a car,” adds Bailey.

The team’s biggest emphasis for switching to HPE’s hyperconverged infrastructure, SimpliVity, was performance. Now, with “the extra performance of SimpliVity, it means it doesn’t get to its limits,” says Bailey. HPE SimpliVity has helped reduce space, has optimized processing power and brought more agility.

One of the first and most important use cases they switched to hyperconverged infrastructure was post-processing trackside data. During a race weekend each car is typically fitted with over 100 sensors providing key data on things like tyre temperature and downforce multiple times per second. Processing this data and acting on the insights is key to driving performance improvements. With their legacy infrastructure, Bailey says they were “losing valuable track time during free practice waiting for data processing to take place.” Since switching to HPE SimpliVity, data processing has dropped from being more than 15 minutes to less than 5 minutes. Overall, the team has seen a 79% performance boost compared to the legacy architecture. This has allowed for real time race strategy analysis and has improved race strategy decision making.

Data insights helps the team stay one step ahead, as race strategy decisions are data driven. For example, real time tyre temperature data helps the team judge tyre wear and make pit stop decisions. Real time access to tyre data helped the team to victory at the 2018 Chinese Grand Prix as the Aston Martin Red Bull cars pitted ahead of the rest of the field and Daniel Ricciardo swept to a memorable victory.

Hyperconverged infrastructure is also well suited to the “hostile” trackside environment, according to Bailey. With hyperconverged infrastructure, only two racks are needed at each race of which SimpliVity only takes up about 20% of the space, thus freeing up key space in very restricted trackside garages. Furthermore, with the team limited to 60 staff at each race, only two of Bailey’s team can travel. The reduction in equipment and closer integration of HPE SimpliVity means engineers can get the trackside data center up and running quickly and allow trackside staff to start work as soon as they arrive.

Since seeing the notable performance gains from using hyperconverged infrastructure for trackside data processing, the team has also transitioned some of the factory’s IT estate over to HPE SimpliVity. This includes: Aerodynamic metrics, ERP system, SQL server, exchange server and the team’s software house, the Team Foundation Server.

As well as seeing huge performance benefits, HPE SimpliVity has significantly impacted the work patterns of Bailey’s team of just ten. According to Bailey, the biggest operational win from hyperconverged infrastructure is “freeing up engineers’ time from focusing on ‘business as usual’ to innovation.” Traditional IT took up too much of the engineers’ time monitoring systems and just keeping things running. Now with HPE SimpliVity, Bailey’s team can “give the business more and quicker” and “be more creative with how they use technology.”

Hyperconverged infrastructure has given Aston Martin Red Bull Racing the speed, scalability and agility they require without any need to turn to the cloud. It allows them to deliver more and more resources to trackside staff in an increasingly responsive manner. However, even with all these performance gains, Aston Martin Red Bull Racing has been able to reduce IT costs. So, the users are happy, the finance director is happy and the IT team are happy because their jobs are easier. Hyperconvergence is clearly the right choice for the unique challenges of Formula 1 racing.

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Body-tracking tech moves to assembly line

Technology typically used by the world’s top sport stars to raise their game, or ensure their signature skills are accurately replicated in leading video games, is now being used on an auto assembly line.

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Employees at Ford’s Valencia Engine Assembly Plant, in Spain, are using a special suit equipped with advanced body tracking technology. The pilot system, created by Ford and the Instituto Biomecánica de Valencia, has involved 70 employees in 21 work areas. 

Player motion technology usually records how athletes sprint or turn, enabling sport coaches or game developers to unlock the potential of sport stars in the real world or on screen. Ford is using it to design less physically stressful workstations for enhanced manufacturing quality.

“It’s been proven on the sports field that with motion tracking technology, tiny adjustments to the way you move can have a huge benefit,” said Javier Gisbert, production area manager, Ford Valencia Engine Assembly Plant. “For our employees, changes made to work areas using similar technology can ultimately ensure that, even on a long day, they are able to work comfortably.”

Engineers took inspiration from a suit they saw at a trade fair that demonstrated how robots could replicate human movement and then applied it to their workplace, where production of the  new Ford Transit Connect and 2.0-litre EcoBoost Duratec engines began this month.

The skin-tight suit consists of 15 tiny movement tracking light sensors connected to a wireless detection unit. The system tracks how the person moves at work, highlighting head, neck, shoulder and limb movements. Movement is recorded by four specialised motion-tracking cameras – similar to those usually paired with computer game consoles – placed near the worker and captured as a 3D skeletal character animation of the user.

Specially trained ergonomists then use the data to help employees align their posture correctly. Measurements captured by the system, such as an employee’s height or arm length, are used to design workstations, so they better fit employees. 

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