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Automotive IQ’s Top Five of the Year

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Automotive IQ’s Top Five of the Year

December is well underway, so we’ve taken this opportunity to look back at the top stories from 2019.

With thoughts turning to happy holiday times with friends, family and more, we thought we’d also take this chance to thank you, our 65,000 members and more, for contributing to the growth and success of Automotive IQ over the past 12 months.

From articles to industry reports; infographics to webinars, the site has grown significantly this year. Here’s some of the top content we’ve posted, and we look forward to delivering even more in 2020:


Sometimes it can be tricky to recall the relationships between the world’s biggest carmakers. Exactly how many core brands does the VW Group own? And how about FCA? And do any of the major automakers have shareholdings in one another?

In order to answer these questions and more, we created an infographic that shows the world’s top makers plus key shareholdings that further knit the industry together. If you missed it first time around, click here to download your copy.


Your Top Report: eMobility Trends 2019

eMobility is the future of the automotive industry. But what are the key issues that OEMs and Tier suppliers wrestling with as they battle the realities of delivering on a whole host of battery-powered promises?

Our 2019 eMobility survey asked for your opinion, and our industry report brought this data together with analysis from some specially selected experts to shed light on the real state of eMobility right now. Refresh your memory of the report here.


Your Top Column: Artificial intelligence (AI) is coming to revolutionize the auto industry

In this exclusive column, we explored the increasing impact of artificial intelligence as it is adopted right across the car industry, beginning with the assertion that self-driving cars are often touted as proof of the automotive industry’s advanced state of AI preparedness.

However, as we discovered, the real state of affairs is – as ever – a little more complicated than that. Yet, while the automotive industry may appear to be cautious in implementing AI-powered technologies, the transformation is ramping up.

As companies come to the realization that AI is far more than just a ‘plug-in’ module and begin to see it as a core technology that they have to adopt, we can expect to see the industry embracing AI across not just the product, but also at the service, and the organization levels. Take a read of the column here.


Your Top Article: Automotive Seating Innovation: What’s Next?

The arrival of the partial, then fully, autonomous vehicle is encouraging designers and engineers to evolve automotive seating in new and unexpected ways.

In this article, we took a look at how OEMs and Tier suppliers are seeking to deliver seating with superior comfort and ergonomics, made from lighter and more sustainable materials, and incorporate smart seating technology, too.

At a time when automotive seating is changing dramatically, this look at how seat designs will evolve even further and head in previously unimaginable directions gives a glimpse at a bright future indeed.


Your Top Automotive IQ Guide: Electric Vehicle Platforms

A new content type for the site this year, our Automotive IQ Guides series has tackled a number of topics, from ISO 26262 to Real Driving Emissions; eMotors to EV Platforms. And it’s the latter that was your most-viewed of 2019.

We asked what the latest developments in electric vehicle platforms are right now, and what does the future of mass-market cars look like once the majority are powered by electricity?

These questions are just a couple of items addressed as we looked at the past, present and future of electric vehicle platforms. Read it again here.

Published at Thu, 12 Dec 2019 11:11:04 +0000

Automotive

Ford Power-Up Launches To Give Models Over-The-Air Software Updates

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Ford Power-Up is the brand’s newly announced name for its over-the-air software updates. One major implementation of this tech is the introduction of voice-controlled Amazon Alexa that can even control your smart home devices from the vehicle.

The Ford F-150 and Mustang Mach-E with the Sync 4 infotainment system already support Power-Up. The Bronco is the next to get the tech, and the Escape and Super Duty receive the functionality this fall. Ford will make 33 million vehicles with Power-Up capability by 2028.

Upcoming over-the-air updates for the F-150 and Mach-E will include improvements to the navigation system to add destination suggestions and conversational voice command recognition. Plus, the Apple CarPlay system will be able to show turn-by-turn navigation on the instrument cluster.

external_image

Soon, the Mach-E gets an app called Sketch (example above) for its infotainment system. It lets owners draw pictures with their fingers on the screen. It could be a fun way to spend the time while waiting for the EV to charge.

The improved Amazon Alexa capability lets simply speak commands for controlling both the vehicle and other Alexa-enabled devices. Users get three years of free functionality. Afterward, owners have to purchase a subscription to retain the features. Ford isn’t yet disclosing the cost after the initial period.

Power-Up goes far beyond just improving the infotainment software because the Blue Oval can send upgrades to over 110 vehicle modules. The company says it can tweak any of them as long as the change doesn’t require hardware changes. When there’s an upgrade, the installation is generally seamless. In cases where the installation takes longer, owners can schedule a time, like overnight when they aren’t using the vehicle.

As an example, Ford used connected vehicle data to identify an issue with the F-150’s zone lighting. The engineers are also working on an update to fix a problem with the Android Auto connectivity in the F-150 and Mach-E. 

If you want to know more about Power-Up, listen to Motor1.com’s podcast Rambling About Cars tomorrow where we interview Ford Director of Retail Operations Kate Pearce about the tech.

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Source: https://www.motor1.com/news/507133/ford-power-up-software-updates/?utm_source=RSS&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=RSS-category-technology

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Tesla’s Heavy Trucking executive sells $6M+ in stocks

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Tesla’s President of Heavy Trucking Jerome M. Guillen sold over $6 million worth of TSLA stock earlier this week, according to a SEC Form 4 filing. Based on Guillen’s recent Form 4 submission, transactions occurred under transaction code M and code S.

Code M means to exercise or the conversion of derivative security receives from the company, like an option. Transaction code S means the sale of securities on an exchange or to another person. 

Based on the Form 4 filing, the Tesla executive acquired 10,000 stock for the price of $55.32, exercising his options under transaction code M. Under transaction code S, Tesla’s President of Heavy Trucking also disposed of 10,000 stocks at market value, ranging from $628.46 to $664.77. Guillen recently sold TSLA shares totaling $6,440,627.

Looking at Guillen’s activity throughout 2021 thus far, a trend emerges over the past few months. In April, he also sold 10,000 TSLA shares for an average price of $697.87 for a total amount of $6,978,659. Guillen executed similar transactions between January and March.

Compared to Guillen’s transactions, Tesla’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Zachary Kirkhorn sold less shares this year. In April 2021, Kirkhorn sold 1,250 shares for an average price of $718, totaling $897,500. While in March, the CFO sold 4,068 TSLA shares for an average of $655.81-$595.08 with a total amount of over $2 million. 

Jerome Guillen’s role in Tesla changed from president of Automotive to president of Heavy Trucking, according to a regulatory filing dated March 11, 2021. The shift in his role suggests that Guillen will have fewer overall responsibilities at Tesla in terms of overseeing the company’s entire automotive business. Instead, his new role suggests that Guillen will be concentrating more on the production of the Tesla Semi, the company’s much-anticipated all-electric Class-8 truck. 

The Teslarati team would appreciate hearing from you. If you have any tips, email us at [email protected] or reach out to me at [email protected].

Tesla’s Heavy Trucking executive sells $6M+ in stocks

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Source: https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-jerome-guillen-sells-tsla-stocks/

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SpaceX’s sootiest Falcon 9 booster yet returns to port after record reuse

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Three days after acing record-breaking tenth launch and landing, SpaceX’s sootiest Falcon 9 rocket booster yet has returned to Port Canaveral to begin the processing of preparing for its eleventh flight.

Almost exactly three years ago, speaking in a conference call focused on the debut of SpaceX’s ultimate “Block 5” Falcon booster upgrade, CEO Elon Musk revealed that Block 5 boosters were “designed to do 10 or more flights with no [scheduled] refurbishment” and “at least 100 flights [with moderate scheduled maintenance.]” Relative to the Space Shuttle, the only other operational orbital-class reusable rocket in history, 10 flights with little to no refurbishment would be an extraordinary achievement

Around 36 months later, albeit a year and a half after Musk anticipated SpaceX might reach that milestones, a Falcon 9 booster has successfully completed ten orbital-class launches and lived to tell the tale.

Falcon 9 B1051 is the first liquid rocket booster ever to complete ten launches and the rocket certainly looks the part. (Richard Angle)

26 months after the booster first took flight in support of Crew Dragon’s March 2019 uncrewed orbital launch debut, Falcon 9 B1051 has narrowly beaten several of flight-proven siblings to become the first liquid rocket booster of any kind to complete ten launches. Just four days prior to that historic tenth flight, Falcon 9 booster B1049 became the second SpaceX rocket (after B1051) to ace nine launches and landings.

SpaceX quickly processed booster B1049 after its own port return and Falcon 9 B1051 narrowly missed greeting its still-vertical sibling by just a few days. Together, over the course of the 19 orbital launches those two Falcon 9 boosters have supported in ~30 months, B1049 and B1051 have collectively delivered more than 260 metric tons (~570,000 lb) of satellites and spacecraft to low Earth orbit (LEO), geostationary transfer orbit (GTO), and the International Space Station (ISS).

Falcon 9 B1051 is pictured in January 2019 before its first launch. (SpaceX)
Two and half years and ten launches later, the booster looks decidedly “flight-proven.” (Richard Angle)

That performance is roughly equivalent to two expendable Saturn V Moon rocket launches for a total launch cost to SpaceX likely less than $500 million, while five of those 19 launches also brought in revenue on the order of $400M to $500M. In effect, even the small handful of commercial launches B1049 and B1051 have completed likely generated enough revenue to wholly amortize the cost of a dozen or more additional launches. SpaceX has still had to pay for propellant, maritime recovery assets, any necessary refurbishment, and the hundreds of satellites both boosters have launched, but Falcon booster reusability still offers an extraordinary return on investment even with that multitude of caveats.

Falcon 9 B1051’s safe return also means that SpaceX should have no trouble turning the booster around as it prepares to push past the ten-flight target behind Block 5’s upgrade. In recent months, multiple SpaceX executives have stated that SpaceX intends to push well beyond that ten-flight goal as boosters with more and more flight experience continue to come back in excellent condition. CEO Elon Musk even indicated that SpaceX may intentionally fly Falcon 9’s fleet-leader (B1051, in this case) until something on the booster fails during a launch or landing. SpaceX’s own Starlink launches offer the perfect opportunity for that kind of pragmatic risk-taking.

Falcon 9 booster B1051’s titanium grid fins have developed a rainbow patina over ten hypersonic reentries. (Richard Angle)
(Richard Angle)
B1051’s aft engine and landing legs section certainly looks like it’s been through 10 launches and hypersonic reentries. (Richard Angle)

SpaceX’s sootiest Falcon 9 booster yet returns to port after record reuse

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Source: https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-sootiest-falcon-9-booster-port-return/

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Automotive

SpaceX’s sootiest Falcon 9 booster yet returns to port after record reuse

Avatar

Published

on

Three days after acing record-breaking tenth launch and landing, SpaceX’s sootiest Falcon 9 rocket booster yet has returned to Port Canaveral to begin the processing of preparing for its eleventh flight.

Almost exactly three years ago, speaking in a conference call focused on the debut of SpaceX’s ultimate “Block 5” Falcon booster upgrade, CEO Elon Musk revealed that Block 5 boosters were “designed to do 10 or more flights with no [scheduled] refurbishment” and “at least 100 flights [with moderate scheduled maintenance.]” Relative to the Space Shuttle, the only other operational orbital-class reusable rocket in history, 10 flights with little to no refurbishment would be an extraordinary achievement

Around 36 months later, albeit a year and a half after Musk anticipated SpaceX might reach that milestones, a Falcon 9 booster has successfully completed ten orbital-class launches and lived to tell the tale.

Falcon 9 B1051 is the first liquid rocket booster ever to complete ten launches and the rocket certainly looks the part. (Richard Angle)

26 months after the booster first took flight in support of Crew Dragon’s March 2019 uncrewed orbital launch debut, Falcon 9 B1051 has narrowly beaten several of flight-proven siblings to become the first liquid rocket booster of any kind to complete ten launches. Just four days prior to that historic tenth flight, Falcon 9 booster B1049 became the second SpaceX rocket (after B1051) to ace nine launches and landings.

SpaceX quickly processed booster B1049 after its own port return and Falcon 9 B1051 narrowly missed greeting its still-vertical sibling by just a few days. Together, over the course of the 19 orbital launches those two Falcon 9 boosters have supported in ~30 months, B1049 and B1051 have collectively delivered more than 260 metric tons (~570,000 lb) of satellites and spacecraft to low Earth orbit (LEO), geostationary transfer orbit (GTO), and the International Space Station (ISS).

Falcon 9 B1051 is pictured in January 2019 before its first launch. (SpaceX)
Two and half years and ten launches later, the booster looks decidedly “flight-proven.” (Richard Angle)

That performance is roughly equivalent to two expendable Saturn V Moon rocket launches for a total launch cost to SpaceX likely less than $500 million, while five of those 19 launches also brought in revenue on the order of $400M to $500M. In effect, even the small handful of commercial launches B1049 and B1051 have completed likely generated enough revenue to wholly amortize the cost of a dozen or more additional launches. SpaceX has still had to pay for propellant, maritime recovery assets, any necessary refurbishment, and the hundreds of satellites both boosters have launched, but Falcon booster reusability still offers an extraordinary return on investment even with that multitude of caveats.

Falcon 9 B1051’s safe return also means that SpaceX should have no trouble turning the booster around as it prepares to push past the ten-flight target behind Block 5’s upgrade. In recent months, multiple SpaceX executives have stated that SpaceX intends to push well beyond that ten-flight goal as boosters with more and more flight experience continue to come back in excellent condition. CEO Elon Musk even indicated that SpaceX may intentionally fly Falcon 9’s fleet-leader (B1051, in this case) until something on the booster fails during a launch or landing. SpaceX’s own Starlink launches offer the perfect opportunity for that kind of pragmatic risk-taking.

Falcon 9 booster B1051’s titanium grid fins have developed a rainbow patina over ten hypersonic reentries. (Richard Angle)
(Richard Angle)
B1051’s aft engine and landing legs section certainly looks like it’s been through 10 launches and hypersonic reentries. (Richard Angle)

SpaceX’s sootiest Falcon 9 booster yet returns to port after record reuse

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Source: https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-sootiest-falcon-9-booster-port-return/

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