Jason JonMichael a senior strategist at the United States Department of Transport (USDOT) discussed how AI and automated systems are impacting the way Americans get around.
As a member of the Highly Automated Safety Systems Centre of Excellence (HASS COE) JonMichael explained how his team have a duty to help USDOT by reviewing, assessing, and validating the safety of autonomous systems and AI in transportation. JonMichael stressed that this applies not only in ground autonomy and advanced air mobility but also across national rail systems and ports.
HASS COE was established by congress to focus on automation systems and investigate their intermodal and multimodal implications, to help augment each USDOT Operating Administration’s own expertise and enable success in assessing, predicting, and verifying the safety of relevant emerging technology.
JonMichael also commented on the amount of funding that the Biden-Harris administration has recently provided to US transport systems and stated that it is “the shotgun start” US transport infrastructure needs.
Watch the full interview to hear more about how US transport is adopting and adapting to ever-developing technology and if we should be happy with this.
Watch the first keynote panel that kicked off in the keynote theatre on the morning of day one at the MOVE America 2023 conference in Austin, Texas. The panel is joined by the stop speakers and disruptors that attended the event who came together to discuss how the tech-mobility space is revolutionising and what its future looks like, or could look like. Watch the full session below.
Watch this keynote panel discussion from day one of MOVE America 2023 joined by the top players in the EV charing space. This conversation surrounds the main barriers in EV adoption for the American population and how the lack of charging infrastructure might be affecting this. Watch the full video below to hear what these experts have to say about the issue and how it will effect America’s clean energy transition.
How long do you think it will be until the cars on the roads will have no drivers? Will autonomous vehicles become the norm in the next few years? Or longer? Watch this keynote discussion from day one of MOVE America 2023 on the growth of autonomous vehicles in the tech-mobility space and how companies are embracing this trending mode of transportation.
This day one keynote panel from MOVE America 2023 discusses how we can accelerate change within the mobility ecosystem through collaboration and innovation. Joined by some of the top names in mobility, watch the full keynote discussion below.
This keynote discussion is from day two of the MOVE America 2023 in Austin, Texas, and follows a conversation about the layers of the supply chain in the tech-mobility space. With bold statements from mobility’s most credible sources, this panel also includes a heavily debated estimation of when cars will become fully electrified. Watch the full video to hear the panel’s predictions.
That’s how moderator Paul Campion the CEO of the Transport Research Laboratory started his keynote panel discussion at the Highways UK conference in Birmingham this morning.
“I’m angry because we are in an industry with some non-negotiable deadlines and our budgets are going down because we are losing our arguments, we’re not telling them effectively,”
Campion opened the discussion by referring to lack of change in the transport industry despite the inundated amount of promise and hope for the future by the businesses within it.
“I’m angry because we tell ourselves it’s going to be different in the future but why aren’t we getting any better?”
The panel discussion was joined by a selection of tech and innovation experts from the transport industry, all probed by Campion with the same question, how can we actually adopt change in transport with innovation instead of continually promising it?
Campion provided rationale for his disappointment, highlighting that the transport industry acquires only 2% return, productivity only goes up around 0.4% each year, and yet 1,600 people a year still die on British roads.
“I think we need a change to the whole model of the transportation system,” commented panellist Mark Enzer a strategic advisor from Mott MacDonald. “The planet is burning and we are not going to achieve Net Zero without a more strategic and joined-up solution,
“We need to unlock the performance of existing infrastructure and not just constantly introducing new stuff,” Enzer added.
The moderator of the panel backed up Enzer’s argument that the system needs an urgent re-model, pointing out the empty chair left by Richard Pedley Chief Officer at National Highways who had to miss the conference due to a train cancellation.
Annette Pass, a scientific adviser at the Department for Transport, contributed to the discussion by pointing out “This isn’t about pouring money into innovation, it’s about creating connected ecosystem that is all about driving towards a de-carbonised future.”
The consensus of the panel seemed to be that change is easily achievable with the systems we already have in place, they just need reconfiguring into a connected ecosystem for transport.
If nothing new needs to be made, then that raises the question of whether innovation is really being leveraged?
Peter Baynham, a director at AtkinsRéais, closed the panel’s opinions by stating that change does not always equal ‘new’.
He said: “No one person or company has the magic solution, innovation and change come from people working together in this industry, not apart.”
On 20 September, the British Prime Minister announced a delay on several of the UK’s Net Zero policies. Rishi Sunak’s recent U-turn on previously promised green policies notably includes a watering down of the ban on all petrol and diesel car sales by 2030. Instead, in line with the UK’s wider goal of reaching Net Zero emissions by 2050, this 2030 ban on fossil fuel-powered vehicles has been pushed back to 2035.
Sunak claimed in the announcement that this delay would save consumers money and would not impact the adoption rate of electric vehicles (EVs), saying that Britain could afford to make slower progress as it was “so far ahead of every other country in the world”.
“By rowing back, the UK Government has not only pushed our Net Zero plan a further five years down the road, but risked fostering procrastination in a burgeoning market.”
There has been a theory circling within the UK automotive industry that the delay of the 2030 ban could pose a major setback for motorists’ willingness to make the electric switch.
With the combination of an extended Ultra Low Emission Zone and impending ban on combustion engine sales, many UK drivers were being strongly encouraged to make the switch. With the introduction of this delay, however, those same drivers now have little motivation to purchase an EV as their next vehicle.
Nathalie Thomas, LEX writer from the Financial Times, claimed to a part of this demographic, saying:
“I have been planning to buy an electric vehicle for several years…Just when it looked as if I could put off a purchase no longer, Rishi Sunak has come to my rescue”.
Clearly, Sunak’s delay may have encouraged already-hesitant drivers to put off EV purchasing for even longer.
So, the question remains, is the U-turn going to slow down the willingness of UK drivers to buy EVs? At face value, it seems like the answer should be “yes”, but some of the stats say otherwise.
MG Motors today announced that their electric car sales in the UK have reached $1 billion, putting the company in a “very strong position to take advantage” of the shift to electric, as reported by the BBC.
So, if there’s a lack of urgency to buy an EV from the ban’s delay, how come EV sales in the UK are still climbing?
Woolley added to his argument that the procrastination trend may not be one of laziness, but one of wealth.
“We need the Government to keep firm on their commitments, and get behind accelerating the transition, everywhere…Focus on providing fair access to those worse off so that EVs don’t just benefit the rich. Let’s make sure everyone can connect to the grid together, not just those who are ready first,” said Woolley.
As of 2023, the average cost of a brand-new EV is around £50,000, whilst a brand-new combustion engine car estimates around £26,000, according to reports by Splend and Nimble Fins. In the current climate of the UK’s cost-of-living crisis, it is likely that the latter price would be more attractive.
Therefore, it makes sense to assume that the willingness to buy an EV is less of an issue in the rate of adoption, but the cost to buy very well could be.
Written by Max Nurse-Bosley, GTM Analyst, Worldpay
Worldpay is the world’s global leading acquirer with 30+ years of experience in payments across 146 countries. As a Platinum Sponsor at MOVE America 2023, their team of vertical experts examines the trends and drivers for growth impacting the world of urban mobility today and identifies how an effective payment strategy can generate more revenue for businesses across the globe.
The highlighted insights below give us a sneak preview from their latest Future of EVC Payments white paper and upcoming Urban Mobility Payments Report. The report is based on their recent study conducted in the US and U.K. to understand the payment habits and preferences of 2000+ regular and frequent transport users across multiple forms of transport.
Electric vehicle (EV) sales are estimated to rise to 20% of total car sales globally by 2025, with a staggering 59% projected by 2035. The rapid growth of the EV market has fuelled an equally rapid expansion of electric vehicle charging (EVC) infrastructure, with its global market value reaching $26 billion in 2022 and further expected to soar to an impressive $222 billion by 2030. This growth has been largely triggered by the escalating global environmental crisis putting an increased focus on sustainability across various industries. This is particularly important in the automotive sector, which despite its historical contribution to pollution is now positioning itself as a leader in driving positive change. EVs and the subsequent development of EVC infrastructure are at the forefront of this transformation.
In addition to environmental concerns, the growth of the EVC industry is also propelled by legislative measures aiming to promote EV adoption. For instance, several North American states and EU member countries have committed to prohibiting the sale of new fossil fuel vehicles by 2035. Additionally, numerous governments in the EU and US have implemented initiatives to enhance the accessibility of EVCs for customers and improve the overall customer experience provided by EVC suppliers. For example, the US government has promised to implement 500,000 EV chargers before 2030. Another notable initiative involves the implementation of card-present terminals throughout Europe. This initiative seeks to address one of the major barriers to public EVC usage, which is the inconsistency and unreliability of payment methods, by establishing a standardized payment experience across the market for users.
In a highly competitive market with numerous mobility service alternatives, delivering a seamless user experience is paramount for operators looking to drive demand and foster customer loyalty. The payment process holds significant importance in the customer journey and Worldpay’s recent study strongly indicates that ‘convenience’ is the top priority for consumers when it comes to their payment experience. It was also found that 43% of US consumers and 50% of UK consumers have at times chosen not to charge their vehicles due to the lengthiness of the payment process. This highlights the damage that is caused to EVC businesses when their payment experience does not match their customer expectations.
A Lack of Brand Loyalty
The research also examined the preferences of customers regarding their choice of EVC brand. When asked whether they opted for a specific EVC brand, it was revealed that the vast majority, 77% US consumers and 88% UK consumers, leaned towards using whatever brand was available (these findings exclude Tesla drivers). For EVC suppliers, this absence of brand loyalty poses challenges such as unpredictable demand and a higher likelihood of customer churn. However, it also presents an opportunity for EVC suppliers to break this pattern by addressing customer pain points, such as lengthy payment processes, by providing a seamless and consistent payment experience.
To learn more about EVC trends and how your business can seize the opportunities these create, read our latest insights on The Future of EV Charging Paymentshere.
High-speed charging times are now just as crucial to the widespread adoption of electric vehicles, as the deployment of high power charging infrastructure, said StoreDot.
With most drivers still naming charging anxiety as the major decision factor in transitioning from petrol to electric, infrastructure rollout is often seen as the main catalyst to mass EV adoption. However, StoreDot has suggested that extreme-fast charging (XFC) could change this.
With the recent deployment of high-power chargers, the need for XFC battery technology in EVs on the road has increased. These two components – battery technology and high-power charging infrastructure – could help to unlock the mass adoption of EVs.
StoreDot is now shipping samples of its 100in5 silicon batteries capable of delivering 100 miles, or 160 km of charge in just five minutes. With global OEM partners testing and validating its technology, mass production readiness is now on track and the company anticipates widespread uptake of its battery cells starting in 2025.
Dr Doron Myersdorf, StoreDot CEO, said:
“Charging anxiety remains a key barrier to mass adoption of EVs. Nevertheless, the ability of the vehicle to charge fast is just as crucial to prospective EV users as the availability of high-power charge points.
“Deployment of infrastructure must be paired with innovation of XFC technology since most EV battery solutions on the market currently cannot accept high power charging rates. With long lead times required to introduce new vehicles, we are urging global automotive manufacturers to adopt XFC battery technology that can safely accept the much-needed high power charging rates, to enable our industry to achieve the ambitious goal of zero-emission transport for a cleaner world.”
Errol Musk, the father of Tesla CEO Elon Musk, recently shared his concerns that his son’s life could be at risk due to his influence over Ukraine war policy in the US government.
Since the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine war, Elon Musk has supplied Starlink satellites to the Ukrainian military. The satellite internet system, operated by Musk’s rocket company SpaceX, provides mission-critical communications throughout the country.
This support consequentially means that the US government relies on the billionaire for key communications and updates in the momentous war. Without Musk’s satellites, the US’ connections and telecommunications with Ukrainian troops would likely be severely limited.
Due to this unique connection to the Ukrainian army, Musk has reportedly been favoured in US war discussions, despite his lack of governmental position.
During previous deliberations over the war Colin Kahl, then the under-secretary of defence for policy at the Pentagon, told the New Yorker “Even though Musk is not technically a diplomat or statesman, I felt it was important to treat him as such.”
Musk’s Starlink plays such an important role that federal officials are reportedly granting Musk influence in proceedings so as not to upset him and potentially jeopardise US support in Ukraine.
The same article from the New Yorker was the smoking gun that Musk’s father needed to voice his concerns for his son. Errol Musk told the U.S. Sun that he feared his son could be at risk of assassination due to the article’s portrayal of key role in the US support of Ukraine.
“It’s a hit job, a shadow government-sponsored opening salvo on Elon,” said the elder Musk, complaining that the New Yorker article has put a target on his son’s back.
As the CEO of one of the world’s most successful automotive companies, boasting a market capital of almost $770 billion, as well as his treatment as an “unelected official” in the US government, Musk has a major influence in both US politics and the nation’s economy.
All of these factors combined are clearly creating a cause for concern over the billionaire’s well-being. Are Errol Musk’s vocalised concerns just a dramatic call for safety, or could Elon’s influence in the Russia-Ukraine war put him at an elevated risk of assassination?
If your company is considering adding electric vehicles (EVs) to service fleets, whether to save some green or be more green, you can now do so confidently with the help of disruptive technology.
As large telco operators with thousands of service trucks and vans look to incorporate electric vehicles into their fleets in the coming years, how can they manage all the intricacies of keeping an EV charged and on schedule?
While the benefits of EVs are great, allowing telecom organizations to reduce fuel costs and fulfill sustainability missions, the challenge of managing EVs in time-sensitive, intricate, and SLA-driven daily schedules have prevented companies from making the shift. As any EV car owner knows, you must plan your driving routes to ensure that you have access to charging stations and account for the battery recharging time. Now, multiply those requirements by thousands or tens of thousands of service vans and trucks, and you see the challenge.
This is why software designed using artificial intelligence and machine learning that optimises the planning and scheduling of field technicians is being updated to include EV fleet optimisation. As they are known in the field service management (FSM) software market, these scheduling optimization engines are popular amongst telco operators with large field workforces and service vehicle fleets. The solutions enable operators to efficiently plan and manage daily field engineer and long-range project schedules, ensuring that all consumer appointments are handled on-time and service level agreements with business customers are met. In essence, they can ensure that the right field technician with the right parts and skills is always sent to the right place at the right time.
Because these software solutions are infused with AI and machine learning, they can use powerful algorithms to process complex mathematical equations in a matter of minutes. For example, some of the most powerful optimisation engines can intelligently schedule 500,000 field service activities in under an hour. In other words, far faster than any human dispatcher can and without any error.
The benefits include reduced technician travel time by as much as 50% and higher first-time fix rates, all of which translates into lower labor costs, lower fuel costs, lower carbon emissions, and improved customer experiences. So, why not extend the intelligence of these workforce optimisation solutions to include fleets of electric service vehicles? That’s exactly what software vendors like IFS are doing.
Now, in addition to data inputs like customer service level agreements, daily appointment schedules, required drive time between locations, and even field engineer work breaks and time off, this planning software can consider everything needed to keep an EV on the road, including location of charge points, type, capacity, speed of charge and range. The software automatically plans EV charging requirements along with daily technician schedules, and it is nuanced enough to only use EVs in urban areas with more charging stations or for certain journeys that are shorter distances. The next wave of innovation will be supporting IoT-connected EVs that will have real-time battery usage tracking.
If your company is considering switching service fleets over to include EVs, you now can do so confidently. You can even prepare for that future with IFS’ embedded predictive planning tool that allows you to test how your business could cope with a wide range of scenarios including adding EVs into your fleet. It lets you easily visualize your simulated impact on resources, KPIs, and work demand.
IFS is proud to be pioneering innovation in electric vehicle fleet optimization, helping telco operators reduce operational costs, meet corporate sustainability goals, simplify ESG compliance and reporting, and drive efficiencies towards net zero carbon emissions.
Written by Benjamin Hindson, Chief Commercial Officer of Digital Economy Practice at AON
At MOVE 2023, Aon’s Global Chief Innovation Officer Jillian Slyfield challenged companies to demand more of their insurance partners. Today, we are speaking with Benjamin Hindson, Aon’s Chief Commercial Officer for Digital Economy and Rebecca Marsden, Oxa’s Vice President of Risk and Insurance, to discuss how insurance can be used to unlock innovation and enable growth.
Oxa is accelerating the transition to self-driving technology with products and solutions that enable businesses to deploy autonomy into their operations safely, efficiently, and reliably. These include Oxa Driver, the software that drives any vehicle; Oxa MetaDriver, a suite of proprietary generative AI tools that accelerate deployment; and Oxa Hub, a set of cloud-based offerings for autonomous fleet management.
Oxa also collaborates with other autonomous vehicle stakeholders including insurance leaders to define, shape and communicate innovations in best practices, standards and regulatory frameworks to accelerate the autonomous vehicle ecosystem. Based in Oxford, UK with offices in Toronto, Canada – Oxa is helping industries including agriculture, logistics, shared passenger transportation and more get the most value from their fleets.
Why do innovative companies sometimes face challenges in getting the right insurance programmes?
There are several contributing factors to the challenges faced by innovative companies when seeking fit-for-purpose insurance solutions. Without being exhaustive, these include lack of historical data with which to assess risk and model premium, new unique risk profiles associated with emerging technology which insurers have previously not had to contemplate, rapidly evolving business models as new technologies respond to customer demand, and finally, often nascent regulatory environments which may not yet provide a clear picture of potential liabilities.
How can businesses better engage their insurance partners to drive better results?
When innovative businesses are looking to place insurance, it’s paramount that they engage in open dialogue with their insurance partners. Often, whilst the insurance industry may not have a full understanding of the business, they will be experts in risk management. Access to key stakeholders, sharing development roadmaps and a collaborative approach will ensure success.
As a provider of autonomous vehicle software solutions, partnership is in Oxa’s DNA and engagement with our insurer partners is no exception. We collaborate with specialist insurers to ensure the mission, opportunities, risks and requirements of our business are fully understood, so that our journey is shared. We focus on building long term relationships with partners who will co-create bespoke, scalable insurance solutions for our business.
What should organisations be looking for when deciding who to work with to build their risk and insurance programmes?
If we were to isolate two key factors that we look for when choosing partners with whom to build or augment our risk and insurance programme, these would be creativity and agility. Creativity is essential as there are often no standardised insurance solutions that will adequately address the unique risks associated with emerging technologies; insurer partners who are willing and able to design new coverage types rather than be wedded to pre-existing silos of risk are mission-critical to bringing new technologies to market. Creativity alone, however, is not enough; as I noted before, innovative companies may pivot or change their business models in response to evolving demand, and successful innovative companies will often find themselves on a very rapid growth trajectory, making insurer agility extremely important.
Oxa recently appointed Aon as their global insurance partner. What are the challenges that Aon is helping Oxa to solve?
For Oxa, Aon is a partner and co-creator, who through an in-depth understanding of our mission, our business, and our autonomous vehicle ecosystem stakeholders – will be a collaborative force in bringing autonomous vehicle technology to market at scale.
How is Oxa using insurance as an enabler to grow?
Insurance and autonomy are inseparable. Firstly, insurance is an enabler for self-driving technology at scale and is mission-critical to unlocking the benefits of autonomy to every person and organisation on the planet. Without fit-for-purpose, scalable insurance solutions, partners in the autonomous vehicle ecosystem will be unable to integrate and deploy. Secondly, insurance is integral to consumer trust, which is fundamentally the route to market for this transformative technology.
Beyond the Autonomous space, where else do you think insurance can be used to unlock innovation and enable growth?
Aon believes that insurance is essential for allowing innovation to happen. It unlocks access to capital and enables businesses to grow. Aon invest heavily in areas where insurance and risk management innovation will be key to helping us solve some of the biggest challenges we face: from climate risk, residual value and performance guarantees of new technology assets, the evolving digital landscape of Web3 and public sector partnerships.
In the context of Oxa’s approach to insurance innovation, insurance is not purely about risk management. The depth of usable data and extent of analytics available through Generative AI powered autonomous vehicle technology is unprecedented; and through autonomous vehicle technology ‘big data’ becomes ‘big knowledge’. This has the potential to be the catalyst for some of the most exciting insurance product innovation that the market has ever seen, the scope of which extends far beyond autonomous vehicles alone.
Ever been to MOVE? If you haven’t, it’s quite an eye opener. Autonomous vehicles crawling round the expo floor as investors thrash it out with tech bros to find the next biggest thing. On stage, energy and payments giants implore the audience to step into the future with them. And, as you reach for a business card, another e-scooter whizzes past. Seems an eclectic mix, right? Well, that seems to be the point of MOVE, an event designed to connect the dots on all things mobility.
The brochure of the event and coverage leading up to it detailed what to expect; a vibrant gathering of thousands of attendees, speakers and start-ups from across the mobility spectrum. And that’s what you get!
As soon as you walk through the doors of the event, you’re met with a red lit and wooden floored stand from AON, with an attendee trying out their race driver simulation that is whirring away with excitement. To the right is a huge Level 4 autonomous shuttle bus from ZF in all its glory, boasting a sleek shiny-grey exterior and absolutely no driver seat – which felt a bit weird at first.
Walking down through the conference, every stand exhibited its own respective aesthetic met with an impressive array of the latest mobility products. The floor was saturated with EV charging stations, electric mini car racetracks, test tracks, screen displays and so much more. A HGV, micro-car, electric motorcycle, e-scooter and e-bike are among the many real vehicle displays that were dotted all around the event.
MOVE boasts itself as the premier mobility event to meet all of the industry’s best experts. In light of this, there were some pretty impressive names that stood out in the crowd of booths: WAE, Mastercard, Hogan Lovells, AON and Dassault Systémes.
Photo: Jennifer Moyes
With an impressive 17 stages, the event claimed to host a total of 700 talks, all presented by industry experts who respectively delved into their own unique mobility-related discussions on trending topics like smart cities, battery tech, electric vehicles, fleet management and even mining. The engaging talks and panel discussions allowed speakers to share their insights and expertise on concerns, issues, excitements and anticipations for the mobility world. Angela Strand gave some insightful opinions on the state of the world’s clean energy transition, as well as providing a fascinating conversation on the Inflation Reduction Act.
Other inspiring talks made me question my pre-determined perceptions of urban mobility, including Dott’s discussion on the 15-minute city concept, Rod King’s 20s Plenty Campaign and Ryd’s conversation with Mastercard about the acceleration of frictionless payments in urban mobility.
But it was not all just a parade of mobility companies talking about their products and success, there was a poignant message that rose above all the brightly lit branding and buzzing ambience. The event stayed true to its word on keeping the issue of sustainability key to the heart of the event. There was not a single attendee that I encountered who didn’t demonstrate their love and appreciation for using mobility to keep the planet green. The event provided an invaluable platform for attendees to grasp and elaborate on the evolution of the mobility ecosystem. MOVE provided a space for learning as well as teaching, and helped its attendees to acknowledge all of the collective efforts of the industry in combatting the climate emergency.
Another touching moment occurred on Day Two of the event, when Nicoletta Gennaro, Group Head of Marketing at Ascendal Group, was awarded the Women in Mobility Award 2023. Her heartfelt acceptance speech emphasised her love for the positive impact of her work in the mobility industry. Gennaro secured victory with a narrow 25-vote margin over the runner-up, highlighting her significant contributions and inspiring influence. The award ceremony was a powerful tribute to the hard-working women in mobility and their major contributions to the industry’s acceleration.
In the later hours of Day Two at MOVE, Cormac Cronin Martin, the Project Director of the event, expressed the exhilaration that he experienced from the two-day conference, stating: “MOVE 2023 was the best MOVE yet – more attendees, speakers, start-ups and exhibitors than ever before. And the feedback we’re getting is that this is a unique and valuable community that’s only going to grow.”
MOVE sponsors and speakers were also interviewed at the interview booth, offering additional insights and perspectives on the event’s innovations and advancements. I spoke to John Wall, who kindly explained to me how exactly BlackBerry QNX fit into the space of mobility. Using the analogy of a plumber, he elaborated that their software helps to provide the foundation for software-defined vehicles, which automakers can then build the car on top of. As someone who is not quite yet an expert in mobility terminology, I valued his passionate yet patient nature in explaining his product.
Every interviewee willingly highlighted their MOVE pledges for the upcoming year and gave a personal or company-governed pledge towards creating increased sustainability in the mobility industry through their products, services and daily lifestyle choices. But only time will tell if they can live up to their promises.
In conclusion, MOVE 2023 proved to be an unparalleled platform for the mobility industry to converge, collaborate and innovate. With its focus on sustainability and specialised platform for businesses to showcase their products, the event served as a catalyst for driving positive change in the world of mobility. As the event continues to grow and evolve, it promises to remain at the forefront of shaping the future of transportation and mobility worldwide.
As the world continues to grapple with environmental challenges and the need for more efficient and eco-friendly transportation solutions, my expectations for MOVE 2024 remain high, as the future event will likely play a big role in showcasing cutting-edge technologies and strategies that address these pressing issues.
MOVE will return in 2024, from 19 June 2024 to 20 June 2024 at ExCel London. To find out more, click here.
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When Henry Ford was asked what his customers would have wanted around the time he was perfecting his Model T automobile, he said “faster horses.” Ford saw something his customers did not. He bet that motor cars would do everything that faster horses would do, and more. When his customers saw the Model T, they proved him right, and it changed the world.
We are at a similar juncture today, more than 100 years later. Autonomous vehicles (AVs) will change the world. AVs, if designed properly, will be many times safer than the average human driver. They will provide more accessibility and independence to people with disabilities, to the elderly, and to children. They’ll dramatically reduce drunk-driving related fatalities. Autonomous vehicles don’t drink, they don’t get tired, and they’re not distracted by cell phones.
Because of recent significant technological advances in artificial intelligence, sensors, and computer processing power, autonomous driving is actually much closer to reality than many have come to believe.
The problem we face in autonomous driving is that the world is diverse. It is impractical to compose specific software code to cope with every possible scenario that might arise on the road. We see this software flow chart method in current ADAS architecture, used by most companies designing autonomous driving software today. It employs a serial, rule-based approach, which is limited in scope and lacking in flexibility. Furthermore, almost every single company developing autonomous driving solutions tries to achieve L3+ autonomous driving by simply adding more and more features to the existing software framework, a method destined for failure.
Most of the industry is trying to make faster horses. Instead, I propose that what they need is an entirely new framework for the 21st century, one that complements the idea of the software-defined vehicle (SDV), which is the result of moving from hardware-based to software-centric design.
Imagry’s software solution for L3/L4 autonomous driving uses deep neural networks and artificial intelligence (AI) to teach the vehicle, using supervised learning techniques, to mimic the behavior of a skilled human driver and address driving decisions on-the-fly. This is where neural networks can play a key role, with their ability to process data in a parallel fashion. As a result, the vehicle can adapt to situations which have neither been seen nor navigated previously (as opposed to the linear fashion of motion planning used by rule-based solutions). The adaptation in the Imagry method is done by producing a motion plan based on a combination of scenarios that the neural network has already learned, just like humans do.
Imagry developed a software stack that uses regular camera feeds to perceive, in real-time, the immediate environment around the vehicle. Several deep neural networks process the video feeds from the cameras, resulting in a perception map that is fed to Imagry’s second software stack which handles the motion planning phase. Photo: Imagry
Imagry developed a software stack that uses regular camera feeds to perceive, in real-time, the immediate environment around the vehicle. Several deep neural networks process the video feeds from the cameras, resulting in a perception map that is fed to Imagry’s second software stack which handles the motion planning phase.
Make no mistake, though, there are no shortcuts with this method! It takes years to train neural networks to drive autonomously, and that is exactly what we have been doing at Imagry for over five years now. During that time, autonomous vehicles using our software solution have been operating in three different countries (the U.S., Europe, and Israel), using supervised learning techniques to hone our technology. Our solution is HD-mapless, thereby avoiding expensive and complex mapping, localization, and communication issues. It is hardware-agnostic, providing a platform for easy integration into various vehicles and settings that make it easily deployable and scalable. Last but not least, because it adapts to new environments and situations on-the-fly, it is location-independent. Roll-out is scalable to new locations, worldwide, based on fast, small-scale localized adaptation optionally performed as an over-the-air software upgrade to the system.
Cars that can think for themselves will bring us to the autonomous-driving future we have all been envisioning.
It seems that ADAS developers are ignoring the lessons of history. At Imagry, we acknowledge the relevance of Henry Ford’s wisdom. We believe there is a better way to deliver L3/L4 autonomous driving than by adding patches to improve upon the existing solution. Cars that can think for themselves will bring us to the autonomous-driving future we have all been envisioning.
Watch how Imagry’s mapless autonomous driving technology navigates the narrow streets and unexpected traffic situations in downtown Haifa, Israel.
Want to meet the team at Imagry? Come and meet them at MOVE AMERICA 2023 in Austin, TX September 26th-27th. Get your tickets now for just $795 whilst offer lasts.
Written by Aatish Patel, President and Co-Founder of XCharge North America
Electrification and widespread electric vehicle (EV) adoption are growing priorities for consumers, businesses, and the government. However, the current infrastructure and equipment cannot sustain aspirations of building smart cities.
Before becoming a founding member of XCharge North America, I was involved in hospitality, and as a customer, I struggled to install a Level-3 charger at one of my properties. The chargers I considered demanded extensive property upgrades since most solutions are designed with European and Asian grids in mind. The North American grid is older, less robust, and has a lower voltage than the EU/APAC counterparts, meaning it takes more money and effort to retrofit and install EU/APAC-based chargers. Given the lack of native input-based chargers for the U.S., I joined forces with XCharge due to their shared willingness to develop a solution optimized for the country’s infrastructure. We localized one of their EV chargers, the C6AM, in accordance with the U.S. grid and later developed the Net Zero Series (NZS) solution to meet the grid’s unique demands.
Pictured above are renderings of the Net Zero Series (NZS). Photo: XCharge North America.
Charging as a power source
Within the U.S., charging is considered interchangeable with fuelling. However, equipping businesses and drivers with the correct charger promotes charging as a power source and a service. Companies simply focus on increasing the number of EV chargers available to achieve electrification goals. These endeavors provide ineffective solutions, worsening public fears that increased EV charging will further deplete the electric grid’s capabilities. However, deploying the correct charger for the grid will optimize its capabilities for consumers and the nation’s infrastructure.
XCharge North America’s NZS solution is one of the first commercially available bi-directional charging products that sustains the grid’s durability and advances e-mobility. The NZS enables the power grid to support more electric charging as a battery-to-grid solution versus a vehicle-to-grid solution. The bi-directional and energy storage qualities avoid exhausting the grid since it requires low energy use with high output. This is key since many market solutions don’t perform or aren’t reliable during extreme weather periods like heat waves or snowstorms. Additionally, integrated bi-directional chargers act as a Virtual Power Plant (VPP), meaning the NZS can store energy during low usage periods for the future, which reduces any strain on the power grid that stems from increased electricity consumption – as demonstrated in the graphic below.
Economically Sound Charging
Along with being a VPP, the NZS solution is ideal for facilitating charging as a service. Unfortunately, many business operators are hesitant about the high installation and maintenance costs. EV charger companies push operatories to install solutions for the 480v input instead of the existing 208v commonly available in the U.S., which requires complete site renovations. The costly installation doesn’t guarantee quality and reliable charger performance. On the other hand, the NZS’s energy storage system and bi-directional functions allow the unit to sell back energy to the grid, allowing peak-shaving capabilities where operators can profit from DCFC installs.
Charging that serves everyone
The EV industry has increasingly been adopting the Tesla NACS model and network. However, overburdening one system not designed with the North American grid in mind will continue to have businesses and EV drivers suffer with unreliable charging solutions. There is no denying that charging should support the Tesla market, though charging doesn’t need to be monopolized under one system – that negates the open access guidelines of NEVI. A widespread charger network should and can serve a diverse set of electric vehicles. To this end, since the beginning, both the C6AM and NZS solutions have accommodated NACS and CCS1 standards while also energizing the grid infrastructure.
Pictured above is a C6AM deployment in Allen, Texas that accommodates NACS. Photo: XCharge North America.
C6AM and NZS deployments allow charging to remain a universal service.
Want to meet Aatish Patel and the rest of the team at XCharge? Come and meet them at MOVE AMERICA 2023 in Austin, TX September 26th-27th. Get your tickets now for just $795 whilst offer lasts.