BMW Group sales achieve best-ever start to the year

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Munich. Following on from a sixth consecutive record-breaking year, sales at the BMW Group achieved their best-ever start to the year with January figures showing increased deliveries in all world regions. With its three premium brands, BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce, the BMW Group delivered a total of 163,288 vehicles worldwide, an increase of 6.8% compared with January last year.

“We’ve started the year well, building on the success of 2016,” said Dr Ian Robertson, Member of the BMW AG Board of Management with responsibility for Sales and Marketing BMW. “We’re confident that the new models we’re bringing to market this year, especially the new generation BMW 5 Series which is about to arrive in dealerships, will ensure further momentum as the year goes on. We continue to focus on profitability and sustainable levels of growth distributed around the world,” he added.

Continue reading “BMW Group sales achieve best-ever start to the year”

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Have you ever wondered what is ‘Drive-by-wire’ or ‘x-by-wire’?

We come across the terms like drive-by-wire, steer-by-wire, throttle-by-wire, 0r x-by-wire, but how many of you have ever wondered what is this x-by-wire technology? Today, let’s see what it actually is.

Drive by wire, Steer-by-wire, or x-by-wire technology in the automotive industry is the use of electrical or electro-mechanical systems for performing vehicle functions traditionally achieved by mechanical linkages. This technology replaces the traditional mechanical control systems with electronic control systems using electro-mechanical actuators and human-machine interfaces such as pedal and steering feel emulators. Components such as the [steering column], intermediate shafts, pumps, hoses, belts, coolers and vacuum servos(components used in cars to assist drivers by decreasing the braking force required) and master cylinders are eliminated from the vehicle. This is similar to the fly-by-wire systems used widely in the aviation industry.

What are the advantages and disadvantages associated with this technology?

Advantages: 

  • Reduces the vehicle’s weight as electromechanical components are much lighter compared to mechanical linkages.

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  • Vehicle design freedom is increased as the electromechanical components occupy less place compared to the mechanical counterparts. And also, the number of options to place x-by-wire components(though not all) inside the vehicle is more than that of mechanical  components. For example, in a traditional steering mechanism the steering column’s position is fixed and it can be cannot be changed where as in steer-by-wire system the control modules can be placed wherever the design permits. This adds to design freedom
  • Safety can be improved by providing computer controlled intervention of vehicle controls with systems such as electronic stability control (ESC), adaptive cruise control and Lane Assist Systems.
  • Improved ergonomics due to flexibility of location of controls.

Disadvantages:

  • Drive by wire systems can be hacked, and their control faulted or shut off, by either wired or wireless connections.
  • Increased complexity.

Uses in automobiles:

Throttle by wire: This system helps accomplish vehicle propulsion by means of an electronic throttle without any cables from the accelerator pedal to the throttle valve of the engine. In electric vehicles, this system controls the electric motors by sensing the accelerator pedal input and sending commands to the power inverter modules.

Brake by wire: A pure brake by wire system eliminates the need for hydraulics completely by using motors to actuate calipers and lock the wheels in comparison to the currently existing technology where the system is designed to provide braking effort by building hydraulic pressure in the brake lines.

Shift by wire: The direction of motion of the vehicle (Forward, Reverse) is set by commanding the actuators inside the transmission through electronic commands based on the current input from the driver (Park, Reverse, Neutral or Drive).

Steer by wire: This kind of system will provide steering control of a car with fewer mechanical components/linkages between the steering wheel and the wheels. The control of the wheels’ direction will be established through electric motor(s) which are actuated by electronic control units monitoring the steering wheel inputs from the driver. Such a system is illegal in most jurisdictions for passenger or commercial vehicles. The first production vehicle to implement this was the Infiniti Q50. This is not to be confused with Electric Power Steering. Electric Power Steering can be considered as a stage of evolution from mechanical steering to steer by wire systems.

Standard Motor Products Releases 242 New Parts for Standard® and Intermotor®

NEW YORK – Standard Motor Products, Inc. (SMP) announces the addition of 242 new part numbers to its Standard® and Intermotor® lines. The release spans 51 product categories and expands coverage through the 2016 model year by more than 123 million additional VIO.

One highlight is the company’s continued expansion to its line of variable valve timing components. With 29 new VVT solenoids added, SMP’s VVT line now totals more than 230 part numbers.

The company also increases coverage for its sensor category with the introduction of 82 SKUs. Notables include 23 TPMS sensors, 18 transmission input sensors, 17 vehicle speed sensors, and 12 transmission output sensors. In addition to sensors, SMP adds 48 switches such as A/C cut-off, cruise control, headlight, ignition, oil pressure gauge, power door lock, power seat, and stoplight switches.

Commenting on the news, Phil Hutchens, Vice President Engine Management Marketing, SMP, stated, “By expanding our aftermarket-leading VVT coverage, our latest release emphasizes our commitment to supplying customers with both quality and coverage.”

All new applications are listed in the eCatalogs found at www.StandardBrand.com and www.IntermotorImport.com and in electronic catalog providers.

Standard® offers premium engine management related products, including computerized engine controls, TPMS sensors, and fuel injection components for domestic vehicles. Intermotor® offers a full line of genuine import products that are unrivaled for their superior quality, original match and comprehensive coverage.

Via SMP press release

ANSYSCO ANAND signed a Technical Assistance Agreement with SEIKEN, a Japanese Company

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New Delhi: Ansysco Anand, a Group company of ANAND Automotive, India and Seiken Chemical Industry Company Limited, Japan announced today that they have entered into a Technical Assistance Agreement (TAA) catering primarily to the Indian automotive sector. The signing ceremony was held at ANAND Group Corporate Headquarters in New Delhi.

The objective of this TAA is to manufacture and sell Coolant and Brake Fluids to Japanese OEMs in India. This will enable Ansysco Anand to access latest technology on Coolants and Brake Fluids from Seiken. This collaboration will ease the entry of Ansysco Anand into Japanese OEM’s who contribute nearly 60% SOB in the Indian automotive market.

Mr. Yukio Maekawa, President, Seiken Chemical Industry Company, Limited said “our ‘Seiken‘ brand is famous for reliable products not only in Japan but also all over the world. ‘Quality First‘ is our motto. For better customer satisfaction, we are continuously researching, developing, and supplying good quality products at a reasonable price. In Ansysco Anand, we see a reliable partner with whom we can collaborate to supply good quality coolants and brake fluids in India”.

“ANAND Group is an established leader in the Indian automotive sector with significant presence among major Indian OEMs. For the last two decades, Ansysco Anand has been one of the leading manufacturer and supplier of Radiator Coolants, PVC Adhesives, Brake Fluids and Filter Compounds to important OEMs in India. Ansysco Anand is excited to enter into a Technical Assistance Agreement with Seiken. This collaboration will open new opportunities for us to tap into the Japanese OEMs present in India “, said Mr. Deepak Chopra, CEO, ANAND Group.

About SEIKEN CHEMICAL INDUSTRY CO., LTD.

SEIKEN CHEMICAL INDUSTRY CO., LTD. was founded in April 1959, which was originally Brake & Brake Fluid Laboratory of Meiji Sangyo Company. Since 1933 Meiji Shokai, earlier name of Meiji Sangyo Company, was importing brake parts, and then started manufacturing them. It is headquartered at Akasaka, Tokyo, Japan. It has 2 manufacturing plant in Japan. It is one of the major suppliers of coolants to Suzuki Japan. Besides coolants, it is also into the manufacture and sale of brake fluids, brake parts & other accessories to leading Japanese car makers. The company develops brake cups, piston seals, and brake fluid. It supplies rubber cups and seals to car makers. It also supplies various kinds of aluminum parts, such as cylinders, pistons, compressor parts, etc. Seiken has one JV partner in Indonesia for manufacture and sales of coolants and brake fluids. It had a sales turnover of 3.6 Billion JPY in 2015 with a paid up capital of 90 Million JPY.

About ANAND Group

ANAND Group is India’s leading manufacturer of automotive components. With an annual turnover of 84 Billion INR in 2016, it supplies the widest range of automotive components to most of the OEMs and aftermarket, with a substantial portion exported to world markets. The ANAND Group consists of 19 companies, 23 global alliances and 14000 people spread across 61 locations. Over the last six decades, the Group has forged many successful partnerships with leading global automotive companies and brought the best of the world into India, like CY Myutec, Korea; Dana Holding Corporation, USA; Faurecia Emissions Control Technologies, France; Federal-Mogul, USA; Haldex AB, Sweden; Henkel Teroson GmbH, Germany; MAHLE Behr Holding GmbH, Germany; MAHLE Filtersysteme GmbH, Germany; Mando Corporation, Korea; Takata Corporation, Japan and Valeo, France. The group’s foray into luxury hospitality started with SUJÁN in 2009. The globally acclaimed SUJÁN hotels have created new benchmarks in luxury travel in India, and are among other things, environmentally and socially responsible.

Via: Press release, Anand group

Porsche joins “Startup Autobahn” platform

Next step in the digital campaign: Porsche has become the latest partner of the Startup Autobahn innovation platform in Stuttgart, where newly established companies from around the world are developing ideas for the mobility of the future.

The platform focuses on developing technologies right up to project maturity. Porsche is supporting the company founders by providing an experienced team of mentors. “This gives our culture of innovation an extra boost”, says Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board at Porsche. “Digitalization, electrification and connectivity are revolutionizing the automotive industry. We see this as an opportunity, and we want to make the most of it. These top talents from the international start-up scene give us external inspiration that accelerates the progress we are making. To make this happen, we provide the start-ups with an environment in which they can reach their full potential and focus on their work. As one of the world’s leading automotive and high-tech regions, Stuttgart is an ideal place for this project”.

Under the motto “The spirit of Silicon Valley. In the hub of mobility engineering”, Porsche will collaborate will other corporate partners Daimler, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, ZF Friedrichshafen, BASF and Murata in the Startup Autobahn innovation platform. The ultimate goal is to develop Stuttgart as a technology hub. The project was launched in 2016 by the American accelerator Plug and Play, together with Daimler, the University of Stuttgart and Arena2036. Plug and Play is one of the largest tech-focused investors and venture capitals in Silicon Valley, Berlin, Spain, Singapore and Brazil. Since 2006, the accelerator has supported more than 2,000 start-ups and has a global network of around 300 corporate partners. Every year, Plug and Play organizes about 400 events around the world to bring start-ups and investors together. It also acts as an investor itself.

Rigorous selection process culminates in “Expo Day”

Applicants have to go through a rigorous selection process. After an initial pre-selection, the first major hurdle is the “Selection Day”. If an applicant submits an idea that wins over the jury, they will receive special coaching sessions from mentors and partner companies over a period of three months, including focus weeks and monthly network meetings. The start-ups are able to use the co-working space and hardware lab at Arena2036 during this time. They are also given access to Plug and Play’s global network. The name “Arena” stands for “Active Research Environment for the Next Generation of Automobiles”; in 2036, the automobile will be 150 years old. The extensive, high-tech workshop houses technology worth millions, including tools, production machinery, 3D printers, robots and software for prototype construction and small-scale series production.

The service includes contact with the spheres of business, research and politics, as well as with investors, potential customers and mentors. The development process is supported by a range of additional services, from legal and tax advice to professional help in financial planning and project management. The aim of this process is for the applicants to inspire potential investors at the final “Expo Day”. The type of start-up funding provided is based on the company’s degree of maturity. It is possible that funding may involve taking shares in the company or reaching individual agreements. Out of the 300 applicants in the first wave, 13 made it through to the final on February 9 in Stuttgart. Around 1,000 guests were also in attendance.

The Startup Autobahn Expo Day in Stuttgart :

Startup Autobahn Expo Day, Stuttgart, 2017, Porsche AG

Startup Autobahn focuses on finding and supporting “hard tech start-ups” that offer intelligent solutions at the interface between hardware and software. A start-up community from Germany and Canada presented solutions in the field of machine learning. One start-up in Tel Aviv has developed a form of glass projection technology that turns car windscreens into advertising space. The finalists also included the Cologne-based founders of Evopark. This start-up has created an app that shows drivers which car parks have spaces available, and then guides them to the space. The electronic parking ticket removes the need for paper tickets, and drivers receive a bill at the end of the month.

Turning visions into reality

Porsche holds a stake in Evopark through the new Porsche Digital GmbH, which represents the interface between Porsche and innovators worldwide. It identifies and enhances digital customer experiences, products, business areas and processes. The Porsche subsidiary tests and implements new value creation models and innovative product offerings in close cooperation with all company departments.

The Digital Lab in Berlin represents another step that Porsche has made towards digital transformation. Its purpose is to identify and test innovative information technology solutions. Several teams focus on the question of how Porsche can take innovations from the fields of big data and machine learning, micro services and cloud technologies, Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things, and turn them into practical commercial solutions at Porsche.

Startup Autobahn is a continuation of the innovation campaign at Porsche. “It’s the fantastic ideas, the network and the partnerships that are the lifeblood of this competition”, says Oliver Blume. “We bring together forward-thinking technologies and innovative business models. The pilot projects give rise to prototypes for use in specific applications. The goal of our campaign is to develop Porsche into a leading provider of digital mobility solutions in the premium automotive segment”.

Automotive Startups: Accelerator program for startups working on future of mobility

Daimler is establishing STARTUP AUTOBAHN, the new startup ecosystem in Stuttgart. “In contrast to Silicon Valley with its software focus, with STARTUP AUTOBAHN both software and, above all, hardware-oriented projects are to be in the foreground. We are warmly welcoming international as well as local startups”, says Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management at Daimler AG and responsible for Group Research & Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. “Whether it’s the USA, China, India or Germany…read more

About Startup Autbahn

Startup Autobahn is the ultimate innovation platform that unites global startups with the unrivaled tech expertise of Silicon Valley and the best of German engineering. Autobahn means controlled access highway  system in Germany. Autobahns have no mandated speed limit.

About Plug and Play Tech Center

The Plug and Play Tech Center has over 20 locations in Silicon Valley, Germany, Spain, Singapore, China and Brazil, making it one of the biggest and most experienced accelerator operators. Having looked after more than 2000 startups since it was founded ten years ago, Plug and Play has grown with a technical focus and venture capitals to become the world’s largest global accelerator. Plug and Play organizes over 365 events all over the world every year in order to network startups and investors and operates also as an investor.

Link: http://plugandplaytechcenter.com

About ARENA2036

The highly technologised ARENA2036 with its area of 10,000 m2 as a research campus is a new form of cooperation in which renowned partners from science and industry research innovative subject areas related to automotive production of the future under the same roof as the startups. A unique high-tech centre is being created in the heart of the economic region of Baden-Württemberg. The name “ARENA2036” stands for “Active Research Environment for the Next Generation of Automobiles”. By the year 2036, the 150th anniversary of the car, the stated aims are to be implemented at the ARENA2036 research campus, thus paving the way for the automotive engineering of the future.

Link: http://www.arena2036.de/de

Via: The Porsche Newsroom