Friday, March 30, 2012

NHRA Legend, Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins dies.

It is with a heavy hear that we announce the passing of former NHRA Pro-Stock driving legend Bill Jenkins otherwise known as Grumpy. Jenkins was one of the leading drivers that helped revolutionize the NHRA Pro-Stock category, and was a 13 time NHRA national event winner, 5 of them in a row. Jenkins earned an engineering degree from Cornell University and used that knowledge to create many racing products still in use today. He earned the nickname Grumpy because of his no nonsense attitude. Jenkins was inducted in to the Don Garlits International Drag Racing Hall of Fame in 1993, the Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1996, and the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2008 and was voted 8th among NHRA Drag Racing's greatest racers in 2001. Jenkins was 81 years old.  Rest in Peace Grumpy.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

CESA 2012 exhibition and sponsorship offers

If you want to exhibit or to be a sponsor at CESA 2012, please connect on SIA website.
You will discover then all the rates : booth price, sponsorship offers (logos, book of conference, extra invitations, gala dinner...), as well as advertising rates and offers.
CESA 2012 is a huge event, with more than 300 high level attendees expected (directors, managers, heads of department, engineers, researchers and technicians). The event takes place in Cap 15, a convention center located in the south of Paris, near Eiffel Tower.
So, this an opportunity to make the buzz with your company.

Pauline Senis from SIA ( will give you all the details 

Link :

Monday, March 26, 2012

Call for papers on line for CESA 2012

If you're interested to participate and to be a speaker for CESA 2012, please download the call for papers.
Here is the link :   

You will find in the brochure all the program with the topics to be adressed :
- New mobility /offers / Usage
- Technology evolution / Driver Assistance / Challenges
- Environment / Energy sources & infrastructure / Connectivity & Services
- Smart infotainment / HMI / Services
- Technical consequences (1) / Mechatronics, 48V / Dev tools and standards
- Technical consequences (2) / Architectures, BMS / Cost of ownership / Ethernet
- New materials & components / (GaN, SiC, rare earth mat.) / Strategies & Dependency).

Experts are requested to submit abstracts written in English before May 29, 2012.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Confirmed: Datsun making a comeback.

Perhaps in an effort to combat Toyota's Scion brand, Nissan has confirmed that the Datsun nameplate will join with Nissan and Infiniti in 2014. Currently, the U.S. has not been named as one of the countries where Datsun will make its comeback. Russia, India, and Indonesia are slated as the three launch countries. I won't count out the U.S. though. There would be a huge market for a Nissan sub brand to go after the youthful market. Can we see a possible Datsun 510 or 610 in the near future? I hope so!

Source: Nissan

Press Release: Nissan CEO expects strong growth in Indonesian auto market
- Carlos Ghosn details Indonesian investment and the launch of Datsun -

Production capacity to grow to 250,000 by 2014
33 billion Japanese yen investment
Nissan strongly supports Indonesia's green car program
Return of the Datsun brand

JAKARTA (20 March 2012) -- Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. today announced measures to strengthen its production base and sales presence in Indonesia. Total capacity will increase to 250,000 annually by 2014, with the workforce expanding to 3,300, and sales outlets are planned to increase to 150 by 2015.

On March 19, CEO Carlos Ghosn met Indonesia president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and reiterated Nissan's commitment to the nation's motorization.

"Nissan is bringing new jobs and new vehicles to Indonesia," said Ghosn. "We are going to expand our production capability and offer a new and exciting product line here."

The new plan announced today will make Nissan's Cikampek site, located 80 kilometers outside of Jakarta, one of the largest production facilities in the ASEAN region for Nissan.

In 2011, 890,000 vehicles were sold in Indonesia, for the first time making the nation ASEAN's largest car market. Nissan is in line to achieve its sales objectives of 60,000 units for fiscal year 2011. Indonesia total industry volume is estimated to increase nearly double by 2017 compared to 2010, largely driven by the introduction of the Green Car program now being drafted by the Indonesian government. Nissan strongly supports the program and looks forward to its speedy ratification.

While talking to the media, Ghosn announced the return of the Datsun brand, Nissan's third global brand, alongside Nissan and Infiniti. Datsun will provide sustainable motoring experience to optimistic up-and-coming customers in high-growth markets. Datsun represents 80 years of accumulated Japanese carmaking expertise and is a important part of Nissan's DNA. Datsun vehicles will start sales in India, Indonesia, and Russia from 2014.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

SASHA reduces cost of development of safety critical systems

Last week, an important research project on functional safety just ended. Called SASHA (for Safety check of Automotive Software & Hardware Architecture), this two-year project driven by 6 partners was established to better understand the new standard for functional safety, ISO26262.
This standard was applied to a real case of the development of an E-Gas system in order to create a tool for an optimized development process. It also included the modeling of a novel 32bit-microcontroller (ASIL C/D compatible) in TLM (Transaction Level Model). Such modeling allows to make software for a new microcontroller before its final hardware is available and to check details of the interior behavior of the device without opening it.

Partners of the project were:
- STMicroelectronics, Research partner and Coordinator,
- Renault, Delphi, Knowledge Inside, Université de Compiegne and ESG France, Partners.

The project was initiated inside Systematic and Moveo clusters and was funded by the French DGCIS (Direction Générale de la compétitivité. de l’Industrie et de Services). The project ended with a big success. Indeed, the tool developed by Knowledge Inside is able to reduce development efforts and increase re-use especially in safety critical applications such as driver assistance, braking or electric power steering.

Using standard customization feature of its software, Knowledge Inside provided a ready to use environment with the following features :
- implementation of the ISO 26262 standard process according to needs of Delphi and STMicroelectronics
- functional and safety aspects are always kept coherent
- automated production of around 60 ISO 26262 specific reports
- integration with other tools used in the process such Excel, Doors, Simulink, Andorra.

Thus, the results of the work done in SASHA can help to reduce the overall cost impact of applying the new standard in functional safety.

2011 Great Race highlights

The 2011 Great Race may be one of the wildest vintage car events that exist today. It's vintage cars taking part in a cross country endurance rally. Each year over 100 cars participate. Check out this fantastic highlight reel from 2011.

Continental drives the future of the connected car

CESA 2012 partner 

In October 2014, the german automotive supplier Continental will begin series production of an internet-capable multimedia head unit for the entire product range of a European automotive manufacturer. By 2018, Continental expects to reach a high volume of series production.

Conceived in Rambouillet, France, the multimedia head unit is based on the Linux open source operating system and complies with the GENIVI standard. Various versions of the head unit will be produced, with basic versions for compact vehicles and further functions added for mid-range and luxury vehicles. This means that the entire product portfolio, and all brands, of the automotive manufacturer will be covered.
In addition to radio, audio management, 3D navigation and connectivity, the basic functions of the multimedia head unit will also include an Internet browser and access to Internet services such as weather forecasts and traffic information. As with a smart phone, drivers can download new services and updates from a specific package, enjoying the very latest infotainment features throughout the entire lifecycle of their vehicles. A software development kit will enable third-party providers to develop applications for the head unit and, following in-depth quality and safety checks, add them to the products on offer.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

What do yachts, polo, and dancing have to do with Cadillacs?

Everything. If you were around in the 1980s, then you surely must remember seeing these commercials for Cadillac at the time. They used every symbol of the upper class they could find and put them in the commercials. Yachts, shooting, aerobic dancing, polo, and horse back riding. It was all there! Even a Fleetwood Brougham pulling a dual axle horse trailer. It was a great time for car commercials and a great time for automotive jingles. Now all we get are remixed pop songs. The only way to travel, truly was Cadillac Style!

Hubject : a new hub for electro mobility roaming in Germany

A central element for the increasing expansion of electromobility in Germany is taking shape. To enable all future users of electromobility to access a nationwide charging infrastructure comfortably and securely, BMW Group, Bosch, Daimler, EnBW, RWE, and Siemens have formed a joint venture.

Known as “hubject GmbH,” the new company is based in Berlin. It considers itself a pioneer of electromobility. Its purpose is to develop and operate a data platform that will create an integrated charging infrastructure for mobility and vehicle providers. The new enterprise is a deliberately open platform that aims to involve as many partners as possible.

Besides the development of the technical platform, a distinctive compatibility logo will be designed. This charging infrastructure logo will show the customer that a charge spot belongs to the partner network. The aim of the logo is to create a high recognition value. It stands for process and billing security, as well as signifying trustworthiness and comfort for the end customer. All this is ensured by roaming and clearing services that run as a background process and are based on a software platform operated by hubject GmbH. So while being invoiced by just one individual contract partner, electromobility customers will be able to use different operators’ charging infrastructures.

Making utilization of the charging infrastructure user-friendly will, it is hoped, help not only to further expand electromobility but also to make it more widely accepted by the general public. The test run of the new service platform in Germany is planned from the late summer.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

BMW et PSA launch BPCE in Paris

This evening, in Paris, BMW and PSA Peugeot Citroën have made an official presentation of BPCE. This joint venture stands for BMW Peugeot Citroën Electrification.
The development and production spectrum of this new company comprises all relevant components for electric powertrains, such as high-voltage batteries, electric motors, generators, power electronics, loading units and energy management software.
This joint venture will enable both partners to create an open platform on these technologies and support the European industry to structure itself in the field of hybridization. To that end, the joint venture will be a full-fledged company and will both integrate suppliers by outsourcing development work as well as sell hybrid components to third parties.
The new company will be operating out of two locations - the greater Munich area, Germany and Mulhouse, France. 400 employees are already working at BPCE, including 50 french people. The new hybrid components will equip both partners' vehicles from 2015 onwards. The BMW Group and PSA Peugeot Citroën have invested more than 100 million EUR in their joint venture on hybrid technology.

Ethernet on wheels

CESA 2012 Partner 

Ethernet on wheels … is not really groundbreaking news, some may say. No argument here, since 100Mbps Ethernet has been around for a while as an on-board diagnostics (OBD) port and access point to the vehicle for re-programming or flashing modules at the OEM dealership. The news is that the automotive industry is making strong efforts to standardize Ethernet as in-vehicle network for high bandwidth applications such as cameras and multimedia. Up to now, high bandwidth meant proprietary network architectures with cumbersome cabling, expensive physical interface devices, custom tools and limited supplier base.

Recently, Broadcom, BMW, NXP, Freescale, Hyundai Motor Company and Harman announced the formation of the OPEN Alliance SIG* (One-Pair Ether-Net Special Interest Group). The alliance’s goal is to enable wide scale adoption of Ethernet in automotive, establish industry standards for Ethernet connectivity over a single pair unshielded cable and enable migration from closed application to open, scalable Ethernet-based network.

©By Axel Streicher

Read the full story here :

*Link :

Monday, March 12, 2012

Connectivity trends @ Geneva

Cars are more and more connected. At Geneva Motor Show, OEMs unveiled new services, such as Renault with R-Link system in the new Zoé. This embedded tablet PC gives access to a world of connected services. By downloading applications from a R-Link store, users will get car oriented services (navigation, location based services). Fifty applications will be available at the launch of R-Link in october. HMI is a state of the art, with voice recognition, touch screen and remote controls on the steering wheel.

Peugeot is offering connected services too on the 208. Thanks to the customer's smartphone, used a modem, and a touch screen, ten applications are available in the car for traffic, gas prices, parking lots and so on. At Geneva Motor Show, some other OEMs (BMW with BMW Apps and BMW Live, Mercedes with COMAND on line) were offering the same connectivity in 3 G.

4 G, also known as LTE (Long Term Evolution) is arriving in the car. This technology was displayed by Delphi Automotive and Sbarro on the F1 for 3 (an astonishing Formula 1 car with three seats). The connectivity on board is as fast as the car itself, with digital content on personal passengers devices. A special antenna is carrying all the services (GPS, GSM, TV) inside.

To conclude, connectivity means personalized services too. Harman was showing NFC applications in Rinspeed' Dock & Go Concept. With a compliant mobile phone, a driver can be recognized by the car and finds his personal settings (seats, radio, navigation, apps) when he gets on board.
Welcome to the connected car...

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Birth of VeDeCoM in France

Selected by french state R & D program investment for the future, and backed by Paris area based Mov'eo automotive cluster, VeDeCoM Institute is the largest institute in France working on carbon free cars and new mobility trends. The name stands for connected and carbon free vehicle and its mobility.
Located in Versailles-Satory, in the south of Paris (and part of Saclay area, french equivalent of Silicon Valley), VeDeCoM gathers an incredible dream team. The 44 members are OEMs (Renault, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Venturi), OEM suppliers (Continental Automotive, STMicroelectrics, Valeo..), start ups (Induct, Intempora), energy suppliers (EDF), research institutes (CEA, INRIA, IFSTTAR) and local public authorities.
In 3 years, 280 people will begin to work with a 300 M € budget.
Main R&D programs are :
- infrastructure and services for mobility and shared energy
- full driving assistance and connectivity
- electrification of vehicles

Link (in french) :

Friday, March 9, 2012

The range extender gets popular in Geneva

For the second time, an electric vehicle has been elected car of the year in Europe. The Chevrolet Volt and the Opel Ampera have been awarded, one year after the Nissan Leaf.

Is it a coincidence ? Many concepts in Geneva are using a range extender to offer a better autonomy :
- Mercedes B Class E-Cell+
- Infiniti Emerg-e (400 HP with 300 kW electric engine and a 1,2 L gasoline engine from Lotus)
Link :
- Hyundai i.oniq
- Pininfarina Cambiano (range extender with diesel engine)
- Suzuki Swift EV Hybrid
- Rinspeed Dock & Go (with a trailer used as a third on demand axle)

But, it was not the only technology displayed. OEMs showed plug in hybrids (VW Cross Coupé TDI, Volvo D60 D6), gasoline hybrids (Toyota Yaris HSD, BMW Active Hybrid 3), diesel hybrids (new Peugeot 508 Hybrid4, Mercedes E Class 300 Bluetec hybrid) and of course EVs (Renault Zoé, Nissan e-NV 200, Mercedes Vito E Cell).

There is not a single solution for electrification, but a full array of technologies.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Bill Ford Outlines “Blueprint for Mobility” Vision

In a speech at Barcelona Mobile World Congress, Ford Motor Company Executive Chairman, Bill Ford, has outlined vision for smart transportation and need for development of intelligent vehicles and transport systems for 2025.
Ford Motor Company’s “Blueprint for Mobility” calls for partnership with telecommunications industry to create an inter-connected transportation network as part of the solution for alleviating “global gridlock”. The US car maker envisions a radically different transportation landscape where pedestrian, bicycle, private car, commercial and public transportation traffic are woven into a connected network to save time, conserve resources, lower emissions and improve safety.
Ford is already developing new business models and partnerships in anticipation of personal vehicle ownership in cities becoming increasingly impractical.
Read the full story :