News from GM, Rivian, and Mobileye

Your monthly automotive briefing

We hope you enjoyed your Christmas break and had a good start into 2021. As we already approached the end of the first month of this year, let’s look back at the articles and companies that drew our attention.

Enjoy the monthly overview that the atlatec team has prepared for you:

U.S. DOT Test Initiative Gives VOICES To Autonomous Vehicle Ecosystem – Via Forbes

When it comes to autonomous vehicles, everyone loves to debate safety and how to validate it. It is indeed a formidable challenge, and so far, most AV companies have gone their own ways in dealing with this, publishing disengagement reports and similar. This has been controversial, however, since there are no standards and the numbers therefore can’t really be compared – this may now change in the US:

The Department of Transportation has launched the VOICES program (Virtual Open Innovation Collaborative Environment for Safety) which aims to “allow for testing in a representatively complex and connected multi-system environment without having to leave the sanctity or privacy of your development lab.”

Since a lot of our data goes into the domain of virtual validation/verification, we know firsthand that this is a very diverse domain so far – it will be very interesting to see what materializes under the new US administration.

GM redesigns its logo after more than 50 years – Via CNN Business

GM changes their logo – so what, one may ask? This is not a design newsletter, after all. Their reasons for doing so – and the fact that it’s the first time in over 50 years – are highly relevant, however:

The new GM logo is designed to reflect their all-in commitment to electric vehicles (with some elements supposed to liken electric connector plugs), and it comes with a marketing campaign titled “everybody in” to further underline that this indeed where all of GM intends to go. With GM’s recent announcement to spend up to $27 billion on electrification of their portfolio and now the new logo, it seems there’s no more room for debate whether electric vehicles will become mainstream fast.

Rivian raises $A3.4 billion ahead of key electric vehicle launches – Via The Driven

It’s not just GM who are banking on cleaner mobility. With Covid-19 having had a major impact on a lot of automotive companies, investments in many areas have dried up – electrification is not one of them:

Rivian, a Bay Area startup that is aiming for electric trucks and delivery vans (the latter to be supplied to Amazon, for example), have kicked off the new year with a new investment round, bringing in $2.6 billion. This raises the total money raised by the company to about $8 billion and their valuation to over $25 billion, apparently – before having delivered a single vehicle.

Mobileye is bringing its autonomous vehicle test fleets to at least four more cities in 2021 – Via TechCrunch

Over the last 2 years, there’s been a clear trend regarding how OEMs view the use of HD maps in production vehicle ADAS technology: While there used to be a debate whether this is really necessary, it seems that by now virtually every car maker (except Tesla) agrees that HD map data will be a requirement to support L2+ systems and anything above.

One very interesting endeavor in that domain is “crowdsourcing” the data for creation or maintenance of those maps: Using sensor data collected from the entire production fleet while the vehicles are being driven in customers’ daily lives.

Mobileye is one company that is heavily invested in doing just that – and announced at CES that their test vehicles will come to Detroit, Paris, Shanghai, Tokyo and perhaps New York this year (following deployments in Jerusalem and Munich). As a mapping company, we’ll be following the reception closely – as well as which other sensor makes might follow suit.

I hope this short overview helps you to stay on top of automotive news.

Stay tuned for the upcoming industry newsletter at the end of February!

The video talk with atlatec team is already available on YouTube. Feel free to watch it and share your feedback with us. 

By Tom Dahlström

As a business developer, I'm a "matchmaker" between atlatec's HD map/scenario portfolio and the needs of automotive and mobility companies in ADAS and AVs. I try to keep on top of market and technology trends and enjoy sharing with other industry stakeholders.

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