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Brembo Debuts Light-Up LED Brake Calipers

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Brembo is a world leader in braking technology, but its new G Sessanta caliper concept is a very weird idea. These stoppers light up, and owners can control the color of the illumination from a smartphone app.

The company’s video (above) shows the G Sessanta on a motorcycle. However, our pals at Motor1 Italy spoke to Brembo and confirmed this caliper concept applied to automotive applications, too.

Brembo sees the illuminated calipers as having two major applications. First, they could look cool aesthetically. It’s not hard to imagine rolling through a city at night and getting attention by having the brakes going through a rainbow of colors.

Alternatively, the lights could be a way for the brakes to communicate with a driver or rider. As an example, think about how useful it could be to see a red light flashing to advise you to change the brake pads. Another possibility is having them function as additional brake lights to make the vehicle more visible when slowing down.

The exterior design of the G Sessanta concept takes styling inspiration from Brembo’s first brake caliper from 1972. The shape is the company’s vision for calipers of the future.

The illuminated caliper seems like a perfect match with Brembo’s mirror-finish Greentive rotors because the light would bounce off of them. When showing them off last year, Brembo said that the discs lasted longer than traditional ones. A cool touch was that a Brembo logo appeared when the surface was worn down enough as a way to advise people that it was time to swap them out.

Brembo has been working on more stylish calipers for a while. In 2019, the company introduced concepts for patterned stoppers at the Geneva Motor Show. The designs included argyle, orange camouflage, neon letters, cheetah print, leaves, Keith Haring drawings, and a dragon.

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Source: https://www.motor1.com/news/505573/brembo-g-sessanta-brake-caliper/?utm_source=RSS&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=RSS-category-technology

Automotive

Watch The First Flying Race Car Make Its Maiden Flight

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Back in February, Alauda Aeronautics introduced the Mk3 – an unmanned flying race car that aims to take motorsports to the skies, literally. It was announced then that a full-scale electric flying racing series will commence this year.

The Australian company fulfills that promise by kicking off the first flight of the Alauda Mk3 flying car in Southern Australia. You may watch the maiden flight via the video above, immortalized in images through the gallery below.

The flight of the Alauda Mk3 is a precursor to the Airspeeder EXA series of three unmanned flying car races set to happen globally this year. The exact locations of these flying car races aren’t disclosed at this point, though.

Remotely controlled via a simulator that mimics the dynamics and ergonomics of the Mk3 cockpit environment, the Airspeeder EXA will be the proving ground for the world’s first crewed electric flying car races. It will serve as a vital technical test-bed for teams and the perfect space to develop pilot skills.

Alauda aims to launch the Airspeeder manned flying car racing series across the globe by 2022.

Designed by Alauda Aeronautics, the Mk3 is said to draw its design inspiration from the racing cars of the ’50s and ’60s. It’s an electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) craft that weighs only 287 pounds (130 kilograms) unladen and can carry up to 176 lbs (80 kg), which makes it ready for future manned races.

The Alauda Mk3 is fully electric, with its motors producing up to 429 horsepower (320 kilowatts) – comparable to what an Audi SQ7 can produce. It can accelerate from 0-62 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour) in just 2.8 seconds and can climb up to 1,640 feet (500 meters). The Mk3 vehicle has a thrust-to-weight ratio of 3.5.

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Source: https://www.motor1.com/news/515042/flying-race-car-maiden-flight/?utm_source=RSS&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=RSS-category-technology

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Ford acquires Electriphi as it prepares to woo EV fleet customers

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Ford has two electric vehicles in the pipeline —  the E-Transit cargo van and F-150 Lighting Pro —aimed at commercial customers. Now, the automaker is rounding out its future EV commercial business with the acquisition of battery management and fleet monitoring software startup Electriphi.

Terms of the acquisition weren’t disclosed. Ford is betting that the software developed by the three-year-old San Francisco startup will help it capture more than $1 billion in revenue just from charging by 2030. Ford Pro has financial ambitions beyond charging. The business unit said it expects to generate $45 billion in revenue from hardware and adjacent and new services by 2025 — up from $27 billion in 2019.

Electriphi, along with its 30-person team, will be folded into the newly minted Ford Pro business unit, which is focused on providing services to commercial customers of its electric Transit van and F-150 Lightning Pro pickup truck. Ford will start shipping E-Transit to customers later this year. The F-150 Lightning Pro, a commercial variant of the all-electric Lightning pickup truck, is expected to come to market in spring 2022.

“As commercial customers add electric vehicles to their fleets, they want depot charging options to make sure they’re powered up and ready to go to work every day,” said Ford Pro CEO Ted Cannis. “With Electriphi’s existing advanced technology IP in the Ford Pro electric vehicles and services portfolio, we will enhance the experience for commercial customers and be a single-source solution for fleet-depot charging.”

Electriphi launched in 2018 when it became obvious that upcoming state and federal mandates would drive heavy duty vehicles and mid-sized commercial fleets towards electrification, co-founder and CEO Muffi Ghadiali told TechCrunch in a recent interview. The company has focused on segments deploying commercial electric vehicles in the U.S. and internationally, a list that includes school buses and transit buses.

“If you just think about what’s going to happen in the next 10 years — it’s a massive transformation in mobility for energy and software,”  Ghadiali said. “The stakes are incredibly high and time is running out.” He noted fleet operators are nervous about that upcoming mandates that will require moving to zero-emissions vehicles by the end of the decade. “To turn over your entire fleet in 10 years, you have to start now; they’re going, ‘I have to make sure that my fleet operations don’t skip a heartbeat, while this transition is happening.’”

Ford first approached Electriphi in early 2021. The startup had raised just $4.2 million at a valuation of about $11 million prior to the deal with autoomaker.

While Ford’s focus is building out the software for its E-Transit and Lightning Pro, it is possible that it will also continue to serve Electriphi’s customer base.

“Interestingly, as it turns out, the underlying Ford platform is used across many different vehicle types as well as school buses,” Ghadiali said. “So it’s hard to say which segments we won’t still be in because they are you know they are very relevant to what we do. Of course, our focus will be the large volume that the Ford is going to ship in the next year.”

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Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/06/17/ford-acquires-electriphi-as-it-prepares-to-woo-ev-fleet-customers/

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Porsche Announces Plethora Of Updates To Its Infotainment Tech

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Software is becoming a vital part of the automotive experience as automakers further digitize the automobile, an essential middleman in how we interact with our cars. Car companies big and small are introducing new infotainment software, voice assistants, and smartphone apps. Porsche is no different, today introducing Porsche Communication Management 6.0 – a suite of software goodies designed to help occupants tailor their driving experience.

PCM 6.0 receives a host of new features, but the experience starts with an improved layout – revised icon designs, a new font, and new colors. Easy-to-read information is crucial in a car, but glancing at the infotainment screen is but one mode of interaction. Porsche also improved its system with larger touch areas so a driver wouldn’t need to take as much of their focus off the road in front of them.

Passengers can forgo touching the screen altogether with improved voice control. “Hey, Porsche,” allows access to a host of functions such as “I need petrol,” instructing the navigation system to start a search for gas stations. Other functions controllable by voice include the massaging seats, the air conditioning, and the ambient lighting.

Another feature of PMC 6.0 is its new intelligent navigation capability that not only ensures that the latest and most accurate map is downloaded, but it can also calculate the drive route in real-time with traffic. It goes so far it includes showing the driver how much traffic is in a particular lane. PCM 6.0 users will also be able to use both wireless Apple CarPlay (previously available) and wired Android Auto (newly available). Drivers will be able to access PCM’s voice assistance and Android and Apple’s respective voice assistants, too.

No infotainment system is complete without a companion smartphone app. The Porsche Connect App gives drivers access to a host of vehicle features when they are away from their car, including remote door lock and unlock. The Porsche Taycan, Cayenne, and Panamera equipped with the hybrid drive can adjust a car’s interior temperature with the ability to schedule precooling/preheating for planned departure times. Customers will also be able to track tire pressure, door lock status, and more from their phones, too.

The free Porsche Track Precision App can now be displayed on the car’s screen with Apple CarPlay. It features 300 programmed international circuits, and can track the car’s performance.

 Porsche Communication Management 6.0
 Porsche Communication Management 6.0

One of the more interesting features, which is still in the prototype phase, is Soundtrack My Life. The feature provides a literal soundtrack tailored to the car’s route and the driver’s driving styling. Porsche says it’s not based on classical sound structures and is more akin to a film score, the soundtrack adapting to how the driver accelerates, brakes, and negotiates turns. If Porsche decides to produce it, it will integrate with the Porsche Connect App.

PCM 6.0 arrives this summer in the 911, Panamera, and Cayenne.

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Source: https://www.motor1.com/news/514796/porsche-communication-management-6-revealed/?utm_source=RSS&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=RSS-category-technology

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Canoo wants to connect owners to all of their vehicles — not just Canoo’s

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Electric vehicle startup Canoo detailed some of the features that may be on its app on Thursday, foremost of which is a one-stop shop functionality that customers could use for their Canoo vehicles – and all their other cars, as well.

This unusual approach to its branded vehicle app could potentially pay off big-time for Canoo in terms of user data and revenue via sales on services like tire replacements and insurance. If the average Canoo driver owns two other vehicles, that could mean that 50,000 sold Canoos could yield data on up to 150,000 vehicles total, Canoo’s senior VP of global customer journey and aftersales Christian Treiber said.

“Let’s think about the opportunity overall,” he said. “The Canoo ecosystem, but for the entire customer garage.”

For all vehicles – Canoo or not – that are hooked into the app, the driver will be able to see details on range and battery life for their EVs, as well as the odometer, miles per gallon, and total range for their internal combustion engine vehicles. Treiber said this could be accomplished simply using an ODB connector.

“We know how to translate data in cars, we know how to take that metadata and put in service maintenance, repair and asset information, because that’s what we’ve done, we’ve built a multi billion dollar business doing this,” Canoo CEO Tony Aquila told TechCrunch. “So we can take that data and do that for you. It’s nothing for us on our platform. It’s just an OBD dongle. OEMs spend money on stupid stuff, we’d rather give you a dongle for your second car. If you want to connect it, you can run it all off the same app.”

Aquila took the helm at Canoo in April, after co-founders Stefan Krause and Ulrich Kranz departed in June 2020 and April, respectively. (Kranz was hired by Apple to help with the development of its first car.) Aquila founded Solera Holdings in 2005, a risk management and asset protection software company.

Canoo’s hoping to use its app to drive revenue in other ways as well. For Canoo cars, drivers can access the Maintenance and Upgrades section to instantly upgrade the horsepower of their vehicle, schedule a service appointment or check for software updates. Up to 94% of the electronic control units will have wireless updating capability. The app will also make predictive wear and tear reminders for when you’ll likely need new tires – and it will push special offers for these services in advance.

Drivers will also be able to order other vehicle upgrades for the Canoo, like a roof rack or floor or seat protection.

Much of these features – especially the services for non-Canoo vehicles – will likely come together through partnerships with service providers, insurance companies and vehicle detailers. Trieber hinted at other potential partnerships as well, such as using the Canoo app as a digital wallet to pay for a meal at a restaurant, for example

“The single greatest opportunity for the automotive industry is monetizing data, and we want to be part of it, and we will be part of it,” he said.

The news was announced during the company’s investor day presentation Thursday, where Aquila also revealed Oklahoma as the site for its first factory. That location is expected to open in 2023. Canoo’s debut lifestyle vehicle, which is expected to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2022, will being manufactured by Netherlands-based contract manufacturer VDL Nedcar while the factory is being built.

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Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/06/17/canoo-wants-to-connect-owners-to-all-of-their-vehicles-not-just-canoos/

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