Author: Kristen Hall-Geisler

Autotalks brings motorcycles into the conversation

TECHCRUNCH Autotalks has been developing technologies that allow vehicles to talk to anything — V2X, to the nerds in the know. It’s one of the technologies that will enable fully autonomous vehicles to roam our roads. But where does that leave motorcycles, which will still have riders who rely on interactions with human drivers? That’s where B2V, or bike to vehicle, technology comes in. Autotalks has created a B2X chipset that allows motorcycles to communicate with other vehicles and infrastructure. As of this spring, Bosch is using the company’s B2V tech in particular to study its effects on motorcycle...

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Honda Clarity grows from one-shot to series

TECHCRUNCH For years, the Honda Clarity has been one thing: a hydrogen fuel-cell powered sedan available for lease to a vetted group of early adopters in California. Now in its third generation, the Honda Clarity fuel-cell car is still basically that. But it’s getting a couple of friends. This year, the Honda Clarity adds two new versions: an all-electric car and a plug-in hybrid. Granted, the fuel cell Clarity is technically an electric car, but the electric version charges at any outlet rather than being fueled at a so-far rare hydrogen fueling station. The three were shown together for the first time in the United States since their unveiling at the New York Auto Show at the Drive Revolution event in Portland, Oregon. Journalists had the chance to drive them back to back to evaluate their similarities and differences over short urban routes — and to compare them to their energy efficient competitors. There are of course similarities in the design; these are all Clarity models. There are subtle differences in the grilles, and they have badging specific to their drivetrain type, but otherwise they are identical four-door large sedans. This one-car-many-powertrains strategy is one other manufacturers are using as well, especially when it comes to advanced drivetrain technologies. Hyundai, for example, has the Ioniq series, with hybrid, PHEV, and EV versions. As Natalie Kumaratne, a Clarity specialist for...

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Qualcomm demonstrates driving while charging

TECHCRUNCH Qualcomm Technologies has been working on a wireless charging system for electric vehicles called Halo. Now it’s taken the idea a step further — a Halo on the go, if you will. The dynamic electric vehicle charging (DEVC) system can charge electric vehicles as they drive over the charger. Halo DEVC, as its called, is in very early stages. Qualcomm set up a 100-meter test track at Versailles, France, and equipped two Renault Kangoo EVs with the receiving parts of the charger. The test demonstrated that the cars can be charged at up to 20 kW at highway...

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LISNR and PILOT join Jaguar Land Rover incubator

TECHCRUNCH Jaguar Land Rover has brought two new startups into its Portland Tech Incubator: LISNR and PILOT Automotive Labs. Previous cohorts at the incubator have ranged from parking apps to drones; these two continue to build on JLR’s creative approach to the automotive future. LISNR uses ultrasonic audio to transmit data. That’s right — it transmits and receives sounds we can’t hear. LISNR calls them Smart Tones. Any two devices — two vehicles’ black boxes, say, or a car and a pedestrian with an enabled smartphone in their pocket — can send and receive messages once they’re in range...

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Cognata receives $5 to speed up autonomous testing

TECHCRUNCH Rand Corporation reported in 2016 that autonomous cars would need to be tested over 11 billion miles in order to prove that they’re better drivers than humans. With a fleet of a hundred cars running 24 hours a day, that would take 500 years, according to the report. That seems both improbable and impractical, so companies like Cognata are filling the autonomous vehicle testing void with virtual miles. The need to establish the reliability of autonomous vehicles in short order has prompted Emerge Innovation Capital, Maniv Mobility, and Airbus Ventures to invest $5 million in funding in Cognata....

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US Route 33 to test V2I tech

TECHCRUNCH When you think of central Ohio, you might not think “hotbed of innovation.” But you’re going to want to rethink that. This summer, a 35-mile stretch of US Route 33 outside of Marysville, Ohio, will be wired to test vehicle to infrastructure (V2I) communications. “A year ago, we had zero plan for all this,” said Eric Phillips in a phone interview. He’s the executive director for the Union County Community Improvement Corporation and the CEO of the Union County Chamber of Commerce. “It started as a fiber connectivity project.” Marysville is an exurb of Columbus, which won $50...

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Audi is the first to test autonomous vehicles in New York

TECHCRUNCH In May of this year, the state of New York opened up an application process for companies that wanted to test autonomous vehicles there. Audi snagged the first license and will begin testing near Albany in the coming weeks. The Audi A7 that will do the first demo at the New York state capital is not new to the company’s fleet of autonomous test cars. With licenses to test in Nevada and California, Audi has already put thousands of miles on this test car’s odometer, according to a press release. The A7 is set up to perform SAE...

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Top Ten Automotive Startups competition open for submissions

TECHCRUNCH For the past few years, the Los Angeles Auto Show has hosted the Top Ten Automotive Startups competition. The event is now open for submissions through July 15, so if you’ve got an automotive app, service, or cool bit of tech, now’s your chance. The ten winners will be featured at the LAAS Automobility Technology Pavilion, which is just outside the LA Convention Center. These companies will get booth space in the pavilion, where thousands of industry analysts, media members, manufacturers, and government types will be hanging out and looking for the next big thing–or at least the...

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