Snapshot of the OEM technologies for the future
Automakers around the world are competing to grab a strong position in tomorrow's EV dominated auto industry. Just a small picture is enough to see the OEMs commitment to electrification with vast investments and partnerships.
One of GM's EV strategy innovations is the third generation global EV platform powered by Ultium batteries. The cells' pouch design enables them to be installed vertically or horizontally inside the battery pack. Thus, GM will customize the energy storage and layout of the batteries for each car model. Ultium batteries will provide 50 to 200 kWh energy, equaling up to 645 km range with a full charge.
Ultifi is another technology in GM's innovation list, the end-to-end software platform coming to life in 2023. Ultifi will deliver subscription services through Over the Air (OTA) and provide "ultimate" access to a car's functions. All data gathered from sensors and cameras will trigger automatic functions such as locking up the doors when a child is detected inside the vehicle. Ultifi will be built upon GM's vehicle intelligence platform (VIP) to allow faster updates through OTA.
Tesla's self-driving technology is powered by deep neural networks, unique in today's autonomous cars. The visual is formed instantly from the data gathered from eight cameras on Tesla cars, without any additional hardware in the vehicle. Eventually, Tesla has reached such a deep learning system that it works 100 times better than radar.
Building in-house chips, Tesla first outpaced the Nvidia chips used in its models 21 times in 2019. By 2021, the 7 nm D1 chip of Tesla has 362 teraflops of processing power with a total of 50,000 million transistors. D1 chips are the baseline of Tesla's AI-training computer system, the Dojo supercomputer. Tesla says Dojo will process computer vision four times faster than the current systems, helping the EV maker reach full autonomy.
BMW is getting help from Toyota to produce Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV) under its i Hydrogen Next project. The core of the i Hydrogen Next is made up of two carbon fibre tanks full of six kg of Hydrogen.
One of the two fuel cells that sits in the engine compartment and is produced by Toyota produces 125 kW, while the other in the rear 275 kWh. When launched, the Hydrogen-powered BMW cars will significantly contribute to the EU Commission's "Green Deal ", supporting hydrogen technology.
Modular electric drive matrix (MEB) is the platform developed for the ID family of VW and is defined as a technology that will fundamentally change electric cars. VW sees several benefits of MEB. The first is gaining the ability of mass production of EVs and reducing costs through the standard and multiple uses of the MEB while providing an optimum scale for VW cars by getting rid of unnecessary space. Additionally, MEB enables VW to offer various models in e-mobility, which come with a scalable battery system according to their range.
Nissan worked with NASA to develop "Seamless Autonomous Mobility (SAM)", an intelligent mobility technology integrating AI, cloud and human judgement to avoid crashes. The system gathers road data and sends it to the cloud, enabling the mobility manager to decide on the right reaction. SAM enables vehicles to communicate with other cars and learn from the information generated by the mobility manager. SAM belongs to Nissan's Invisible-to-Visible (IV2) system, which combines the real and virtual world to create a 3D augmented reality interface. IV2 is to offer many innovations in the future and is to be launched in 2025.
Embracing a partnership strategy with tech companies for its electrification strategy, Volvo formed a joint venture with Northvolt to produce sustainable batteries in 2022. On the other hand, NVIDIA will power Volvo Cars' next-generation core computing system beginning in 2022, aiming to bring the highest level of security and safety.
Volvo is also partnered with Google to offer Android-powered infotainment systems in its cars, supported with Google apps and services. But that's not all for Volvo. The new SUV to replace XC90 will be equipped with Luminar's new Iris LIDAR technology, improving the cars ability to see its environment much better.
You can test-drive some great new vehicles at Connected Fleet Europe Summit 2021, where Connected Tech and Electrification will be discussed on 10 November. To discover the programme and register, click here.
Images with the courtesy of Volvo, GM, Tesla, BMW, VW and Nissan.