Connected Car News: TrueCar, J.D. Power, Navistar, GeoTab, CerebrumX, Microchip Tech, ParkMobile, CCC, Audi & Lear

In connected car news are TrueCar, J.D. Power, Navistar, GeoTab, CerebrumX, Microchip Tech, ParkMobile, CCC, Audi and Lear.

TrueCar Sells ALG Research to J.D. Power

TrueCar, Inc., the most efficient and transparent online destination to find a car, announced that it has entered into an agreement with J.D. Power to sell its ALG, Inc. subsidiary for $135 million. The total consideration includes an upfront cash payment of $112.5 million at closing and total deferred payments of up to $22.5 million based on certain financial results.

TrueCar also announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a share repurchase program of up to $75 million, with the intent to begin repurchasing shares in the near-term. The company intends to use available cash as well as the proceeds from the ALG divestiture to support this repurchase program, fortify its balance sheet and maintain strategic flexibility.

Navistar Partners with GeoTab

Navistar International Corporation, a producer of International brand commercial trucks, proprietary diesel engines, and IC Bus brand school and commercial buses, announces a strategic partnership with Geotab, a global leader in IoT and connected transportation with over 2 million vehicles connected to its fleet management platform. The partnership allows International customers to add select Geotab fleet management solutions through Navistar’s factory-installed telematics device.

When Navistar first launched OnCommand® Connection (OCC), partnering with telematics service providers (TSPs) enabled the industry’s first and only open-architecture, all-makes remote diagnostics solution. Navistar is amplifying this strategy with select TSPs to streamline fleet management solutions for customers, regardless of provider.

CerebrumX Launches in NJ

CerebrumX, Data AI for the world in motion, announced the formal launch of its operations in Princeton, NJ, USA, focusing on the Automotive Data Management Platform. CerebrumX creates and orchestrates an eco-system of end-users, OEMs and Data Consumers in the verticals like Media, Insurance, Retail, Fleet and Smart Cities/Municipalities. CerebrumX is centered around its API-first approach, tailored to provide focused solutions to data consumers in specific verticals while being keenly focused on the data privacy and consent management aspects from the end-user and OEMs PoV.

Tapping into the almost unexplored USD 100B automotive data market by 2025, CerebrumX utilizes its cutting-edge Augmented Data Learning Platform (ADLP) to provide near real-time and batch processing of car data for solutions that require data-meshing from various sources, including the Automotive OEM cloud. This approach provides an enriched data set and insights specific to verticals like Media, Insurance and Fleet, which enhances the reach and monetization potential for the Data Management Platforms (DMPs) and consumer brands. With connectivity inside the car fast becoming affordable and almost a hygiene, CerebrumX seeks to ride this wave of rich data and connectivity penetration in automobiles. With close to 100M connected vehicles on the road and growing at a CAGR of 28%, coupled with the penetration of after-market connectivity solutions like OBD-II Telematic devices, the connected car business is ripe for disruption provided by CerebrumX.

CerebrumX is headquartered out of Princeton, NJ, USA, with sales and development offices across North Americas, EMEA and APAC. The insights collected through the global OEM and vertical partners is key to enhancing the reach and depth of the use-cases for data monetization. CerebrumX is co-founded by four industry veterans coming from Automotive, IOT, Data analytics and Telecommunications domains. Sandip Ranjhan (Chief Executive Officer) has close to 28 years of industry experience spanning Automotive and Telecommunications Domains. Sumit Chauhan (Chief Operating Officer) comes with 23 years of rich experience in verticals like Automotive, Telecommunications and IOT Applications. Amit Gupta (Chief Product Officer) has worked in the data platform domain across verticals for most of his 22 years career. Kapil Arora (Chief Sales Officer) has been working in the automotive sales for most of his 23-year career and leads the global trials.

Microchip Tech Tech Intros NOR Flash with Wider Voltage

Microchip Technology Inc., a leading provider of microcontroller, mixed-signal, analog and Flash-IP solutions, announced the introduction of automotive-grade NOR Flash products with wider voltage and a larger temperature range. With the SST26VF SQI product family, Microchip becomes the only vendor in the industry to offer an extended-voltage Serial Quad I/O Flash device in automotive temperature grades. The new family of products, available in densities of 16-, 32- and 64- Megabits, operates at Automotive Grade 2 and 3 and extends the operating voltage from 2.7V down to 2.3V and temperature up to 105°C.

The SST26VF offers numerous features and benefits achieved with SST’s proprietary, high-performance SuperFlash® technology, which significantly improves performance and reliability, and reduces power consumption for high-bandwidth, compact designs. The SST26VF family consumes 15 mA in typical high-speed operating conditions, which benefits automotive applications working to meet growing energy saving requirements.

The robustness of the SuperFlash technology memory cell brings high endurance to rewrite cycling and excellent data retention with extremely low failure rate and good performance at high temperatures.  All of these features are critical parameters to meet the vigorous requirements for automotive quality and reliability. The product also supports the long life cycle required by the automotive industry.

“Microchip continues to innovate and invest in new products based on its SuperFlash technology,” said Randy Drwinga, vice president of Microchip’s Memory Products Division. “The addition of the Automotive-grade SST26VF family of devices combines the benefits of robust reliability inherent to our SuperFlash technology with the high performance of Serial Quad I/O operation and the industry’s fastest erase times, providing designers with an ideal Flash memory solution for automotive designs.”

ParkMobile  Contactless  Smart Parking for Delaware

ParkMobile, the leading provider of smart parking and mobility solutions in the United States, announced today a new “Summer Safely” initiative with the State of Delaware to promote COVID-19 safety measures including wearing a mask, social distancing, and contactless parking payments.  The mobile payment option protects the safety of both the seasonal visitors and residents by reducing physical interactions with meters at approximately 8,000 parking spaces across Delaware. With the recent COVID-19 crisis, many city leaders across the country are encouraging residents to use the app versus the meter or pay station to prevent the spread of the virus. As part of this initiative, ParkMobile will be sending communications to almost 1 million users in the regional area with COVID-19 safety tips.

CCC Partners with Audi

CCC Information Services Inc. (CCC) announces that Audi of America has entered into a multi-year agreement with CCC. Through the agreement, Audi will use CCC® Promote as its sole parts promotion solution, supporting Audi dealers across the United States. CCC Promote enables Audi to offer promotional pricing on parts to collision repairers as estimates are being written within the CCC ONE® platform. CCC ONE is in use by 25,000 repairers and processes more than 24 million repair estimates annually. CCC is a leading Software as a Service provider to the automotive.

Lear Corp’s Intelligent Gentherm Seating

Lear Corporation, a global automotive technology leader in Seating and E-Systems, introduces its newest solution in intelligent seating, INTU™ Thermal Comfort with ClimateSense™ technology, developed in collaboration with Gentherm, a global market leader and developer of innovative thermal management technologies. The system aims to create an ideal personal climate through its intelligent software, using ambient cabin conditions to provide optimized comfort.

“Today’s consumers are looking to personalize their in-vehicle experience with smart, predictive options that are highly efficient, and we see the seat as the next frontier,” said John Absmeier, Lear’s Chief Technology Officer. “We are pleased to partner with Gentherm, pairing our INTU seating system with ClimateSense technology, an integrated, intuitive heating and cooling solution to deliver world-class passenger comfort.”

“Our collaboration with Lear addresses consumer preferences of today and tomorrow by combining Gentherm’s expertise in human thermophysiology and Lear’s strength as a leader of automotive seating and electronic systems,” said Phil Eyler, Gentherm’s President and CEO. “Our joint efforts have resulted in a smart solution that delivers faster passenger comfort and automatically adjusts based on occupant temperature preferences and profiles. Gentherm’s ClimateSense technology delivers significant energy savings and is designed for optimal efficiency and thermal comfort.”

As opposed to the traditional HVAC system, the joint innovation uses intelligent zonal thermal management to create personalized comfort, improving overall vehicle efficiency while drawing on Lear’s intelligent INTU seating system expertise to provide advanced solutions for comfort, wellness, safety and sound.

Depending on the setting, the technology can account for in-vehicle and outside environments and personal preferences and efficiently manages the distribution of heating and cooling toward segments that have a significant impact on body thermal sensation and comfort.

Lear and Gentherm first announced a joint development partnership in January 2019 to drive the future of passenger thermal seating solutions. The INTU Thermal Comfort with ClimateSense technology is the first market-ready solution developed from the collaboration.

Airgain  AT&T Certified

Airgain, Inc. a leading provider of advanced antenna technologies used to enable high performance wireless networking across a broad range of devices and markets, including consumer, enterprise, and automotive, announced that AT&T has certified AirgainConnect for operating on the carrier’s LTE network.

The innovative AirgainConnect platform combines an integrated antenna system and LTE modem inside of a single rooftop enclosure, designed for easy installation while meeting the demanding connectivity needs of fleet and enterprise vehicles. By integrating the modem within an antenna assembly, AirgainConnect is capable of transmitting the maximum allowable radiated power directly to the LTE antenna elements. AirgainConnect’s patented technology provides greater transmit power at the antenna when compared to the router’s conventional modem and antenna.

Accenture Buys PLM

Accenture in Italy has completed the acquisition of Turin-based boutique systems integrator PLM Systems.

Founded in 1996, PLM Systems specializes in designing and building information systems for product lifecycle management. Its clients are Italian and international automotive, industrial equipment, fashion and aerospace and defense companies. PLM Systems’ team is joining Accenture Industry X.0 in Italy, expanding Accenture’s capabilities to help clients improve how they generate, manage and benefit from product data in design, engineering and manufacturing.

Former majority stakeholder of PLM Systems, Altea Federation, welcomed the acquisition.

Octillion Power Demo Program

Octillion Power Systems, a global provider of advanced lithium-ion storage systems for electric mobility, announced a new demonstrator program for battery-leasing that allows for batteries to be leased to fleet customers when they purchase vehicles.

Under the program, participating fleet operators will be allowed to source batteries through a five-year “lease-to-own” program, with no up-front payment. Access to the program will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

The goal of the demonstrator program is to collect data on battery degradation, evaluate fleet-operation-use models and to assess second-life viability of the used batteries. Ultimately, this will allow Octillion to build market cases for traditional financing groups eager to get into battery leasing but concerned by the technology. Leasing is a critical leverage tool to drive the adoption of electric commercial vehicles by allowing fleet operators to immediately tap into the total cost of ownership benefits associated with operating electric vehicles versus those powered by with internal combustion engines (ICE).

In a 2019 survey, customers in the market for a new vehicle were asked why they would be hesitant to purchase an electric vehicle (EV). The top responses included anxiety surrounding range per charge, the higher price point, lack of charging infrastructure, and questions surrounding recycling and disposal. These four supposed drawbacks of EVs have inspired Octillion to roll out their battery leasing program for the convenience of fleet operators.

“Leasing batteries to fleet operators addresses many of the underlying issues associated with the adoption of EVs, including higher upfront vehicle costs, range anxiety, the expense of charging infrastructure and end of life recycling,” Beach said. “With leasing, the upfront cost of the battery is significantly reduced, making the vehicle, in most cases, less expensive than ICE vehicles.”

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