Also in the news this week are TU-Automotive Detroit 2018, TomTom, SafeRide, Lyft, Cargo and Grab.

JLR unveils 5D tech that will enable self-driving cars to go anywhere, anytime. Andrew Tolve reports.

Self-driving cars don’t have much freedom. They’re geofenced in and can’t break the speed limit; they’re programmed to travel back and forth between set destinations and to avoid backroads, let alone unpaved terrain, as if they were contagious. Jaguar Land Rover wants to change that. The car brand built on the spirit of enabling drivers to go anywhere now wants to empower self-driving cars to do the same.

Under a project named Cortex, JLR is developing a fleet of self-driving SUVs that can handle any terrain no matter the weather: rain, ice, snow or fog. To do so, it’s engineering a ‘5D’ technique that combines acoustic, video, radar, light detection and distance sensing data live in real-time. JLR engineers are also integrating machine-learning into their self-driving tech to enable the vehicles to behave in an increasingly sophisticated way. It’s working on the project in concert with the University of Birmingham and machine learning experts Myrtle AI.

In other news, more than 3,000 attendees from across the connected car and mobility sector descended on Detroit for the TU-Automotive Detroit 2018 conference, which focused on e-mobility, cybersecurity and connected and autonomous vehicles. For a full break down of the themes and topics from the conference see a recap of Day One and Day Two.

At the conference, on top of Hyundai's industry-first partnership with Xevo allowing consumer payments to be made from the car's on-board infotainment system, TomTom announced that it’s partnering with Xevo to offer a fully integrated navigation solution that includes the auto industry’s first on-demand commerce platform, Xevo Market. Drivers’ preferred merchants and service providers will appear in real time as points of interest on the in-dash navigation map, with the option to touch the POIs on the screen and navigate to them. POIs will include everything from nearby gas to preferred retail stores to coffee shops.

SafeRide and Irdeto announced a strategic partnership to provide carmakers and Tier 1 suppliers with an advanced cybersecurity solution for connected and autonomous vehicles. The solution combines network security with software security on the electronic control unit, allowing carmakers and Tier 1 suppliers to detect tampering and anomalies to protect against and respond to cyber threats.

Meanwhile auto industry and academic experts in the UK partnered up to create the Midlands Future Mobility consortium, which aims to establish the Midlands as a world class UK centre for the development and evaluation of connected and autonomous vehicles. Midlands Future Mobility will use over 50 miles of Coventry and Birmingham networked roads outfitted with new roadside infrastructure including smart vehicle monitoring, data analytics and 5G ready wireless infrastructure. The consortium is being led by WMG and University of Warwick and includes a raft of other academic and transport groups and companies.

Flying cars took a step closer to reality when start-up Kitty Hawk unveiled a major update to its flagship vehicle, the Flyer. The car now sports ten motors and a lithium-polymer battery powerful enough to propel it up to 100mphdozens of feet above the ground. Eventually the goal is to be able to soar high above trees, homes and buildings. The start-up is led by Sebastian Thrun, one of pioneers of Google’s Waymo self-driving car outfit. Anyone who wants to pre-order a Flyer can sign up for an hour-long training session and take the vehicle for a spin over water in Las Vegas.

Lyft redesigned its Rider app interface with the goal of fostering more shared rides. Users can now clearly see the cost difference between a solo ride and shared ride with a stranger, so that cost savings are more readily apparent. Lyft will also notify users who have already selected a solo ride if a shared ride that won’t require any diversions is headed in their direction. Lyft wants to drive up the percentage of shared rides on its app from the current 35% to 50% by 2020.

Finally, ever had a hankering for a snack while riding in an Uber? Or for some aspirin to cure a headache while cruising in a Lyft? In-car commerce start-up Cargo aims to turn ride-hailing vehicles into mobile concession standsand it just inked a deal with Singapore ride-hailing company Grab to get the ball rolling internationally. A new service called Grab&Go will equip Grab rides with a mix of complimentary samples and premium retail products. Passengers order products through Grab&Go’s digital menu on their smartphone, and drivers geta cut of each item taken. Cargo has a similar partnership underway in the US with Uber.

The Weekly Brief is a round-up of the week’s top telematics news, combining TU-Automotive analysis with information from industry sources.

Smart Transport & Mobility

12 Jun 2018 - 14 Jun 2018, London, UK

Innovations in autonomous vehicles, data & AI, electric vehicles and shared mobility are set to revolutionise the transportation sector. However, before sustainable, seamless, intermodal transportation can be realised, a brand new ecosystem of cities, automakers, tech & infrastructure companies and MasS providers needs to develop.