DriveNow now becomes wholly owned subsidiary of BMW Group

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Munich. With the acquisition of Sixt SE’s stake in DriveNow, the BMW Group continues its systematic development as a customer-centric mobility company. Today’s signing is subject to approval by antitrust authorities. With this move, the world’s leading provider of premium mobility is offering customers efficient, sustainable mobility solutions from a single source. The rapidly growing field of mobility services is one of the cornerstones of the BMW Group’s corporate strategy NUMBER ONE > NEXT, as evidenced by the BMW Group expanding its offering in the areas of on-demand mobility (DriveNow and ReachNow), parking (ParkNow) and charging (ChargeNow) in a sustainable way. The acquisition of the Sixt shares is therefore the next logical step in this strategy, following the acquisition of Parkmobile LLC in early January of this year, a move which made the BMW Group the world’s leading provider of digital parking solutions.

“We have achieved extraordinary success with DriveNow over the past seven years – thanks to the efforts of the DriveNow employees and the excellent cooperation with our joint venture partner, Sixt. Sixt will remain a strong partner for us in the future,” said Peter Schwarzenbauer, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, responsible for MINI, Rolls-Royce, BMW Motorrad, Customer Engagement and Digital Business Innovation BMW Group. “Our aim is to win 100 million customers for our premium mobility services by 2025. With DriveNow as a wholly-owned subsidiary, we have all options for continued strategic development of our services in our hands. Our experience with mobility services supports our development of future autonomous, electrified and connected fleets,” Schwarzenbauer continued.

Independently of the acquisition of the Sixt stake in DriveNow, the BMW Group and Sixt will continue their successful long-standing partnership through delivery of BMW and MINI vehicles for the Sixt fleet.

“The joint development of DriveNow impressively demonstrates the innovative strength of Sixt and the BMW Group. We would like to thank the DriveNow employees and the BMW Group for this success and look forward to continuing our strategic partnership with the BMW Group through our contracts for delivery of BMW and MINI brand vehicles”, said Alexander Sixt, member of the Managing Board of Sixt SE, responsible for Group Strategy.

DriveNow was founded in 2011 as a premium car-sharing joint venture between the BMW Group and Sixt SE. The service is already used by more than one million customers in 13 European cities. The fleet comprises more than 6,000 BMW and MINI brand premium vehicles across Europe. The electric BMW i3 is also available to users at all DriveNow locations.

“In 2017 our customers drove over eight million kilometres with the DriveNow electric fleet – that is equivalent to driving round the globe more than 200 times on electric power. DriveNow not only reduces traffic and improves the parking situation in urban areas, but it is also supporting the breakthrough of electromobility,” said DriveNow Managing Director Sebastian Hofelich. “We look forward to working with our franchise and city partners to continue actively shaping urban mobility in a sustainable manner,” he added.

The BMW Group seeks to improve quality of life in urban areas through its mobility offering. The company works with various partners and decision-makers in cities to help shape the sustainable mobility of the future.

  The BMW Group 

With its four brands BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad, the BMW Group is the world’s leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles and also provides premium financial and mobility services. The BMW Group production network comprises 31 production and assembly facilities in 14 countries; the company has a global sales network in more than 140 countries.

In 2017, the BMW Group sold over 2,463,500 passenger vehicles and more than 164,000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax in the financial year 2016 was approximately € 9.67 billion on revenues amounting to € 94.16 billion. As of 31 December 2016, the BMW Group had a workforce of 124,729 employees.

The success of the BMW Group has always been based on long-term thinking and responsible action. The company has therefore established ecological and social sustainability throughout the value chain, comprehensive product responsibility and a clear commitment to conserving resources as an integral part of its strategy.

Source BMW Press Release

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UDELV MAKES WORLD’S FIRST PUBLIC ROAD TEST DELIVERY FROM ITS AUTONOMOUS LAST-MILE DELIVERY VEHICLE

SAN MATEO, CALIF. January 30, 2018 —udelv, a Burlingame, Calif. company, pulled the wraps off its autonomous, last-mile delivery vehicle today and made the world’s first public road test deliveries from Draeger’s Market in San Mateo to two nearby customers. The 2.5-mile loop with traffic lights, lane changes, unsignalized left turns and two delivery stops, was accomplished flawlessly. In compliance with existing California regulations, the vehicle was supervised by a safety driver and in test mode.

The distinctive orange customized vehicle is built on a fully electric powertrain and features 18 secure cargo compartments with automatic doors using a cloud-based proprietary technology that is shared between the vehicle, customers and merchants. In its current configuration, the vehicle can drive for up to 60 miles per cycle and can load up to 700 pounds of cargo.

A dedicated application is available on iOS to track and potentially reschedule deliveries, with an Android version to be released soon.

To complement its autonomous driving technology and ensure reliability of the service, udelv also created an ultra-low latency teleoperations system to monitor and control the vehicles remotely and allow for overrides and human-assisted guidance in unique situations.

udelv anticipates that its new vehicle will bring forth a dramatic drop in the cost of local deliveries, add delivery window flexibility and significantly reduce carbon footprint. Clean and affordable deliveries, combined with returns made easy, will meaningfully improve people’s daily lives.

“Deliveries are the perfect first application for autonomous vehicles,” said Daniel Laury, CEO of udelv. “Customers simply open the locker with a press of a button on their mobile device and the vehicle heads on its way to the next delivery or back to the store.”

“This is a historic revolution in transportation. We are reinventing deliveries. McKinsey estimates that 80 percent of all package deliveries will be autonomous in the next decade,” added Laury. “I am very proud that udelv is first and leads this revolution.”

“Our customers are very tech-savvy,” said Richard Draeger, owner, Draeger’s Market. “We look forward to adding the udelv autonomous vehicle and its cost reduction factor to our delivery fleet.”

The company, with several technology patents pending, is planning to test dozens of udelv vehicles on the roads in a few states within a short timeframe.

udelv is planning to use a subscription business model to roll out its vehicle fleet.

Led by Laury and CTO Akshat Patel, former Tesla and Apple special projects engineer manager, udelv is listed on the California DMV Autonomous Vehicle Tester Program under the name of CarOne LLC. The company is funded by a group of investors that includes prominent U.S. and international venture capital funds as well as private investors.

The company can be found online at www.udelv.com.

Ridecell introduces the first complete autonomous new mobility solution with acquisition of Auro and the launch of the Ridecell Autonomous Operations Platform

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San Francisco, Calif – October 9, 2017 – Ridecell,™ Inc., the leading global platform for carsharing and ridesharing operators, today announced the acquisition of Auro, a California based developer of autonomous vehicle technology, in an all-stock transaction. Ridecell also announced the public availability of its autonomous operations platform which has successfully been used in autonomous pilot programs. With these two initiatives, Ridecell now offers the industry’s first complete autonomous new mobility solution that enables on-demand autonomous shuttle mobility service in low-speed, private-road settings.

The Auro acquisition will bring the expertise to accelerate the capabilities of the Ridecell autonomous operations platform. The Auro team will become the Ridecell Autonomous Driving Division. Ridecell will be able to extensively test its autonomous operations platform in real world environments through integration of Auro-enabled driverless shuttles in private road environments. Ridecell will continue to collaborate with autonomous leaders to apply the Ridecell platform to the world’s leading self-driving vehicles for automated management of operational tasks such as cleaning, refueling, and emergency response situations.

“The Auro acquisition and the launch of our autonomous operations platform represent the next phase of our strategy to provide a complete autonomous solution for Ridecell customers,” said Aarjav Trivedi, CEO of Ridecell. “We can now provide even more value for our autonomous customers and help mobility operators launch new carsharing, ridesharing, and on-demand shuttle services today that will accommodate the addition of autonomous vehicles without the need to change the underlying platform. The acquisition makes it possible to launch a proven autonomous shuttle service today in settings such as corporate and college campuses.”

Auro Acquisition 
Auro’s autonomous technology is the leading self-driving platform for low speed deployments. Auro partners with shuttle manufacturers to add self-driving capabilities to leading shuttle and neighborhood electric vehicle platforms. These shuttles can safely drive people around within campuses, theme parks, resorts, business parks, and retirement communities.

Private environments with low-traffic, low-speed roads provide the perfect setting for deploying autonomous vehicles today. Auro-enabled shuttles were among the first driverless shuttles put into daily operation on the Santa Clara University campus in California and have already provided safe transportation to thousands of riders.

“The technology behind Auro-enabled driverless shuttles, together with the Ridecell on-demand mobility platform, will help campuses and other private environments prove that autonomy can be an integral part of an urban transportation experience today, rather than just a short, fixed- route showcase,” said Nalin Gupta, CEO of Auro. “We are excited to join forces with Ridecell to make even bigger strides in autonomous new mobility.”

Auro was founded in 2013 by roboticists from Indian Institutes of Technology and Carnegie Mellon University, who have worked together on autonomous vehicles since 2011, and is backed by investors including Y Combinator and Motus ventures.

Ridecell Autonomous Operations Platform
Ridecell also announced the availability of its new autonomous operations platform. The platform is designed to automate vehicle and operations management for autonomous fleets.

The platform gives autonomous vehicle fleets the intelligence to manage their own operational tasks, in both routine and emergency situations. The platform can direct autonomous vehicles to operations depots for maintenance and route support vehicles to the autonomous vehicle for routine operational tasks such as cleaning as well as on-demand assistance in exceptional situations. The platform also automates vehicle access so service personnel are able to enter the vehicle. Additionally, the platform automates reporting for autonomous compliance and risk data.

Today’s announcement cements Ridecell as the leading new mobility company with a platform that scales from driven to driverless new mobility services.

About Ridecell:
Ridecell is on a mission to empower new mobility operators, including OEMs, car rental companies, auto clubs, cities, transit agencies, dealer groups, and private fleets to launch,expand, and maximize the utilization of their own ridesharing and carsharing services. Headquartered in San Francisco, the company provides an intelligent software platform that runs new mobility services, such as carsharing, ridesharing, and autonomous fleet management. End-to-end integration and automation accelerate time to market, enabling Ridecell customers to launch mobility services quickly, operate efficiently, and scale revenues as business grows. Founded in 2009, Ridecell has already processed over 20 million rides and rentals and has a team of more than 100 professionals in the US, Europe, Asia and Australia. The company now powers new mobility offerings, including BMW’s ReachNow, VW’s OMNI and AAA’s GIG Carsharing service. In addition, Ridecell powers dynamic shuttle services for campuses such as Georgia Tech, UC Berkeley, UCSF, 3M, and transit agencies like SouthWest Transit.

Source: Ridecell

LIGHTYEAR a Dutch startup introduces energy positive solar car! Yes Energy Positive

Energy Positive means the car produces more energy than it consumes

The company is founded by alumni of Solar Team Eindhoven which built Stella and Stella Lux to participate in Bridgestone World Solar Challenge.

“The Lightyear One is a statement to show that electric cars are ready for every corner of the planet”, Lex Hoefsloot clarifies. “It is the first step in our mission to make electric cars available for everyone”. Since the car does not require any charging points, it is especially well suited for area’s where the adoption of electric cars is held back by the lack of charging points. The attractively shaped four-wheel drive sedan will even handle rough terrain, so you can take it almost anywhere.

The company’s mission is to help the world in faster adoption of electric vehicles by eliminating the limitations of adoption of electric vehicles. The limitations they are trying to address are

  1. Availability of charging stations
  2. Faster recharging of the car
  3. Range on one complete charge
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Lightyear is trying to address these issues by developing a car that continuously charges itself using solar power and doesn’t require external power source for months to refuel it. The car is designed to be very light, aerodynamic and so efficient that it is energy positive!

The Car

The first vehicle, the Lightyear One, is an electric four-wheel drive car that can handle rough terrain and has a battery range of 800 kilometers, charged by the sun. Production of the car together with industry partners will start from 2019 onwards. Of this first version, a limited number of models will be produced. Pricing starts at 119,000 Euro excluding tax; reservations start today.

“You can think of the Lightyear One as being as an electric car redesigned from the ground up to combine the best of solar cars and electric cars.”, says Lex Hoefsloot, CEO of Lightyear. “It’s a revolutionary step forward in electric mobility because we are able to combine a great look with extreme efficiency. This first model makes science fiction become reality: cars powered using just the sun”. At night or on a cloudy day the Lightyear One can drive up to 800 kilometers on a fully charged battery, depending on your battery configuration.

In sunny climates, Lightyear One is able to drive for months without charging

The integrated solar cells on the roof of the car will generate enough power to recharge the battery during the day and will render charging virtually unnecessary. In sunny climates, like most parts of the US and the south of Europe, the car can drive for months without charging. For very long trips an overnight-charge using an ordinary power socket will suffice – no need for electric car charging infrastructure.

Media Contacts:

Company Name: Lightyear
Full Name: Tessie Hartjes
Phone: +31 612 849 937
Email Address: tessie.hartjes@lightyear.one
Website: www.lightyear.one


Source & reference links

  1. Press Release Jet
  2. Lightyear
  3. World Solar Challenge
  4. Solar Team Eindhovan

GM Fleet and MapAnything partnered to improve fleet productivity

MapAnything Live will combine OnStar connectivity and real-time Salesforce data to automate key business processes for GM Fleet customers.

Detroit — General Motors Fleet’s customers can spend more time interfacing with clients thanks to a strategic agreement with MapAnything, Inc., the “Where” Company and leader in geo-productivity and intelligence for business.

MapAnything, a Salesforce Ventures Portfolio company, has launched MapAnything Live to GM Fleet customers – a new connectivity solution that combines telematics fleet management and customer relationship management (CRM) software to streamline routes and automate critical business processes. The solution is available by subscription, and is powered through GM’s OnStar embedded hardware.

“In-vehicle 4G LTE is fueling double-digit annual growth in the multi-billion dollar market for fleet management software, and it’s helping Chevrolet and OnStar win new business. We are expanding our relationships with technology companies because customer interest is so high,” said Ed Peper, U.S. vice president, GM Fleet. “The reasons are simple and compelling. Inside the data streams are the critical insights fleet managers need to help their drivers stay safe and productive, and their operating costs as low as possible.”

Nearly a third of sales managers estimate their representatives spend less than half their time actively selling, due to time lost to scheduling and commuting to customer meetings, according to data from a survey conducted by MapAnything and Selling Power.

MapAnything Live, powered by OnStar, aims to increase active selling and/or service time for sales representatives, field service and delivery drivers by helping fleet managers optimize fleet and field team productivity through:

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

  • Automate key business processes including work order creation, case status changes and invoice creation based on the vehicle’s proximity to a customer.
  • Enable geo-productivity intelligent routing and scheduling based on Salesforce and telematics data.

Telematics

  • Track vehicle use and diagnostics such as vehicle location, idle time, fuel tank capacity, speed, ignition state, hard braking/acceleration and more.
  • Optimize routes based on traffic, time of day, business priorities, etc.

“By coupling our geo-productivity expertise with General Motors’ extensive fleet scale and vehicle connectivity, we’re bringing our solutions to even more businesses,” said MapAnything CEO John Stewart. “Using MapAnything Live, they’ll be able to harness their fleet location within CRM to unlock new levels of efficiency.”

MapAnything Live is another example of how GM Fleet has the most comprehensive offering of fleet connectivity services in the industry. Last month, GM Fleet announced an AT&T connected car data plan for business customers that includes data pooling, unlimited data and corporate billing. For more information on GM Fleet’s full portfolio of vehicle connectivity and telematics offerings, please visit GMFleet.com/ConnectedServices.

This strategy agreement comes on the heels of MapAnything’s $33.1 million dollar funding round in February, as well as a strategic partnership and full integration with ServiceNow, announced in May. MapAnything also recently released a suite of new geo-productivity products, including MapAnything Guide, which allows companies to manage scheduled visits for sales or field service personnel. To learn more about how geo-productivity applications can improve your business, visit www.mapanything.com.

About General Motors

General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world’s largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM, its subsidiaries and joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.

About OnStar

Launched in 1996, OnStar is a wholly owned subsidiary of GM Holdings LLC (“GM”) and offers emergency, security, navigation, connections and vehicle manager services in Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Opel and Vauxhall models. Totaling more than 12 million customers in North America, Europe, China and South America, OnStar offers a range of standard, subscription and a la carte services such as Advanced Diagnostics, Automatic Crash Response, Stolen Vehicle Assistance, OnStar Smart Driver, 4G LTE Wi-Fi and the AtYourService marketplace. For more information about OnStar services and features, visit www.onstar.com.

About MapAnything

Combine today’s global economy with a mobile workforce, and you get a lot of moving parts. CRM alone can’t help you answer the critical business questions: Where is my business? Where do I need to go? Founded in 2009, MapAnything is an innovator and pioneer in Geo-Productivity Software. With more than 1,800 customers globally, ranging from Large Enterprises to Small Business, we believe that “Where Matters.”

MapAnything is a Salesforce Gold App Innovation Partner, and a ServiceNow Technology Partner. They have received Ventana Research’s 2016 Technology Innovation Award for Location Analytics and been named a Customer’s Choice – Highly Reviewed App by users of Salesforce. To learn more, visit www.mapanything.com.

Via: MapAnything

Drive.ai raises $50 million in new funding

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SAN FRANCISCO — Self-driving startup Drive.ai said on Tuesday it raised $50 million in a second round of funding as the Silicon Valley company prepared to deploy its technology in pilot vehicles later this year.

The company, one of a handful of startups building fully autonomous systems for cars, also said it had added to its board Andrew Ng, a prominent figure in the artificial intelligence industry.

Ng formerly led AI projects at Baidu and Alphabet’s Google. Ng is the husband of Drive.ai’s co-founder and president Carol Reiley, a roboticist.

The latest round of funding — led by New Enterprise Associates, Inc., GGV Capital and existing investor China-based Northern Light Venture Capital — came as investor interest in autonomous vehicles continued to intensify.

Drive.ai is aiming to build an after-market software kit powered by artificial intelligence to turn traditional vehicles operated by businesses into self-driving models.

The company said existing business fleets would deploy its kits in pilot tests by year-end.

Drive.ai plans to distinguish itself through the team’s expertise in robotics and deep learning, a subset of AI in which massive amounts of data are fed into systems until they can “think” for themselves.

Drive.ai, which received $12 million in an initial funding round last year, also named to its board the head of Asia for New Enterprise Associates, Carmen Chang.

Reblogged from Automotive News

 

Clutcheal: A Pune based startup working to address the trust issues in bike service sector

Clutcheal is an On Demand Service solution based company which offers online two wheeler servicing at customer’s doorstep. The idea is to eradicate all kinds of hassles when it comes to automobile servicing. Hassles being customer’s dissatisfaction includes: Installation of deceptive parts, questionable charges, theft of original parts, false promises, misleading suggestions, delay in delivery timings and many more.

Genuine, Transparent, Better and Timely two wheeler servicing has become the prominent need of the hour. In today’s fast pace and rapid moving environment, where people do not have sufficient time to get things done, Clutcheal is bringing transformative change in servicing marketplace as bike repairing has become integral necessity of the generations. Revolutionizing the automotive industry, Clutcheal simplifies all your vehicle worries by bringing new solutions at a single online platform. They provide vehicle checkup, bike servicing, proper maintenance and breakdown assistance.

Clutcheal says that their core pillars/principle are Trust, Transparency & Time. And their motto is to maximize customer’s trust and minimize customer’s pains.

 


Nowadays it became a common practice at almost all the bike & car service centers to cheat on the customer. Many service center insiders admitted to me about the cheating that happens at the service centers.

I have seen a person who used to have a Royal Enfield, he befriended with the service center executive and swapped the faulty parts of his bike with properly working parts from other’s bikes at the service center. By the time the owner of the other bike realizes that the parts of his bike were swapped with faulty parts from another bike it’s already late.

Once it happened to me, I got a first generation Honda Activa which I gave for service at Castrol Bike Zone, the service adviser told me that there are many parts that need be replaced and I asked him to replace the necessary parts. He gave an estimate of around five thousand rupees and said that this is the ballpark figure and actual cost of service may vary. I said okay but was shocked to see the final bill to be around ten thousand rupees, the service center manager said that after opening the engine they realized that there were many parts that need to be replaced and so they replaced them. I asked him if the parts were really replaced or not, he assured me by showing to me some old replaced parts.He also assured to me that if I get any issues I can come back at anytime and get them solved. I was skeptic about the service but upon the manager’s assurance paid the bill and left the service center.

Within few weeks the Activa started showing up its issues. So I went to Castrol Bike Zone and to my dismay,  found that the service center was wound up. Then I took the Activa to the neighborhood mechanic and asked him to check what is the problem. Then after proper examination came another shocker, the parts were not replaced with new ones! But it’s already too late, I don’t want trace down the service center manager and all the other persons involved in this and loose time & money  anymore.

There were numerous other cases of cheating that I have seen or came across. The list is endless.

Even the authorized service centers are no exception. Cheating became a norm. A trusty is service is a tough ask & rare find.

Let’s hope Clutcheal addresses all the Trust and Transparency issues successfully