Sunday, November 5, 2017

Interesting News in Engineering, IoT, PLM, Industry 4.0, and Telecom - Vol 9

These 39 news stories caught my attention last week. These stories are across automotive, aerospace, Industry 4.0, 3D printing, software, telecom, semiconductor, medical devices, AI,  IoT, and PLM.

EV investments: Ashok Leyland, an Indian truck manufacturer, is looking to pump $61.5 Mn-$77 Mn (INR 400 Cr-INR 500 Cr) into its electric vehicle business over the next three to five years. (Read here). Hong Kong Billionaire Li Ka-Shing agreed to buy shares in O Luxe Holdings Ltd. for the second time in a month, a deal that would make Hong Kong’s richest man the second-largest investor in the owner of an electric-car maker. (Read here). Indian government to procure another 20,000 electric cars for its fleet. (Read here).

EV charging infrastructure investments: BMW Group, Daimler, Ford Motor Company, and the Volkswagen Group will join up to create a high-power charging network for electric vehicles called “Ionity,” which will build and operate around 400 charging stations across Europe by 2020. (Read here). Indian government invites snap bid for electric vehicle chargers. (Read here).

Autonomous driving: Waymo is investing a lot of time and effort on building out the user experience of its self-driving vehicles, which includes both the external and internal user-facing features of its autonomous cars. (Read here). Delphi partners with leading Chinese map and location service supplier, AutoNav. This will enhance Delphi’s support to customers in the Chinese market on connected infotainment and navigation systems and will lay a foundation for Delphi to bring automated driving systems to the Chinese market. (Read here). Germany has developed a set of ethical guidelines for self-driving cars. (Read here).

Startup/ technology investments: Arbe Robotics raises $9M to build high-resolution radars for autonomous cars. (Read here). Continental is buying Israel’s Argus Cyber Security whose technology guards connected cars against hacking. (Read here). Toyota is exploring airless tires to help reduce the weight of battery-electric and fuel cell vehicles and boost performance. (Read here).
Vehicle recalls: Ford Recalls 1.1 Million 2015-2017 F-Series Pickups for Door Fix. (Read here). BMW recalls 1 million vehicles in North America. (Read here).

Geographical expansion: Aston Martin plans US spending boost to hedge Brexit effect. The U.S. accounted for 20% of Aston Martin's auto sales in 2016. (Read here).

Connected cars: Ford is partnering with Qualcomm, AT&T, and Nokia to test cellular modems that can connect vehicles to each other and roadside infrastructure to help navigate in bad weather or construction zones. The technology, known as cellular-V2X, is meant to connect vehicles with traffic lights, roadside beacons, and other vehicles to share real-time information about the driving conditions around them. It's supposed to improve safety and help speed the deployment of self-driving vehicles. (Read here).

Technology investments: China’s hybrid electric tram powered by hydrogen (H2) fuel cells has begun commercial operation. It is the first commercial H2-powered tram in the world and made by CRRC. It can be refilled with H2 in 15 minutes and can run for 40 kilometers at a maximum speed of 70 km per hour. (Read here).
Indian defense: Indian government clears mega project to acquire 111 helicopters worth $3.5 billion for Navy. (Read here).
MRO: Aviation MRO companies want 18% GST scrapped. (Read here). In 2016, Indian airlines spent $950 m on MRO, but only 10% business came to Indian MRO companies. MRO business has an exponential growth potential in India. Global civil aircraft fleet was about 19,000 at the beginning of 2016, and it will be double to 38000+ by 2034. The majority of growth in aircraft will come from Asia.
Testing: Airbus has wrapped up functional, and reliability testing for its A350-1000 and is expecting to achieve certification for the twinjet this month. (Read here).
Technology: Lockheed is making large long-range robotic submarine drone. (Read here).
Airlines consolidation: EasyJet purchases Air Berlin’s Tegel Operations for €40 million. (Read here).
Avionics: USAF awarded Rockwell Collins with a sustainment contract for the 59 aircraft in the KC-59 fleet. (Read here).

Industrial Equipment
M&A/ Consolidation: Schneider emerges as top bidder for L&T’s electrical unit. (Read here).

Software/ High-Tech
Outsourcing: IBM offloads Notes and Domino to India's HCL Technologies. 'Partnership' will see HCL run future development, starting with version 10 in 2018. (Read here).
Startup/ Technology investments: VMware acquires VeloCloud as it moves deeper into networking. (Read here). Amazon adds an AR shopping feature to its iOS app. (Read here).
Business model: Grab, the Uber rival in Southeast Asia, is now officially also a digital payments company. (Read here).

Telecom/ Semiconductor
Business model: Orange launches its own bank in France, aiming to win 2million users (25 percent of France's online banking market) by capitalizing on the rising use of smartphones. (Read here).
Legacy infrastructure: Indian Telecom major Airtel is likely to shut down 3G network faster than 2G network in next 3-4 years. There are still 50 per cent of phone being shipped out in India that are feature phones. (Read here). So 2G will continue for some more time but 3G will be replaced by 4G very soon.
M&A/ consolidation: Broadcom Ltd. is considering a bid of more than $100 billion for Qualcomm in what would be the biggest-ever takeover of a chipmaker. (Read here).
Automotive chips: Renesas to provide chips for Toyota's self-driving cars. (Read here).
5G: Docomo, Sony to trial real time HD video streaming to a moving vehicle via 5G. (Read here).

Medical Devices
AI & Business model innovation: For a dollar, an AI will examine your medical scan. Zebra-Med's tech helps radiologists find heart, liver, bone and other diseases. (Read here).

3D Printing
Medical devices 3D printing: Just-in-time 3-D implants set to transform tumor surgery. (Read here).
Automotive 3D printing: Porsche buys minority stakes in two 3D-printing companies. (Read here).

Contract: Bell and Howell has selected the ThingWorx industrial innovation platform to transform its service organization by enabling remote monitoring and service of its connected industrial mechatronic machines. (Read here).

PLM / Industry 4.0
Startup/ Technology invetsments: Rockwell Automation announced its investment in The Hive, a Silicon Valley innovation fund and co-creation studio, to gain access to an ecosystem of innovators and technology start-ups with a focus on applications of artificial intelligence (AI) to industrial automation. (Read here).

Service provider M&A: QuEST has announced the acquisition of IT Six Global, a Romania based engineering services provider. (Read here).

Service provider M&A: Alten has acquired Premier Logic to strengthen its software produce engineering practice. (Read here).