A new partnership between ChargePoint and Electrify America will allow users of each electric-vehicle charging network to use the other network with no additional charges, the operators have announced.
 
The “roaming” agreement, which may help users think about the agreement in a similar way as cellular networks, is expected to help accelerate adoption of plug-in vehicles, because it overcomes a proprietary-network hurdle.
 
“This roaming agreement further accelerates the seamless integration of individual EV fueling networks and brings us even closer to the day when the movement of all goods and people will be powered by electricity,” said Pasquale Romano, ChargePoint’s president and CEO. “Partnerships like this make transitioning to electric drive easier than continuing to use fossil fuels.”

There will be more than 30,000 individual charge points connected by the two networks, including Level 2 AC and DC fast charging (CCS or CHAdeMo). ChargePoint claims to be the largest charging network in the world with 66,000 locations. Electrify America has pledged to have 2,000 charging points at 484 locations in the U.S. by July 1.

ChargePoint has also made an agreement with WEX Inc. to provide seamless charging payments for commercial and government fleets.

 

Source: Automotive Fleet

 

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Aurora, the self-driving startup that already has relationships with a number of automakers, has just announced its newest collaboration, working with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) on self-driving commercial vehicle platforms.

Aurora’s partnership with FCA will “further expand the scope” of its Aurora Driver system “to offer a variety of solutions to strategic customers in logistics, transit, and other use cases,” the company said in a blog post.

This is far from the first partnership for Aurora, as the startup announced collaborations with both Volkswagen and Hyundai in January 2018. Aurora also has a partnership with electric car startup BYTON.

In February, Aurora secured a $530 million investment from the likes of Amazon and Sequoia. The startup now claims it has integrated Aurora Driver into six different vehicle platforms, “from sedans, SUVs, and minivans, to a large commercial vehicle and a class 8 truck.”

As for FCA, the carmaker has already sold tens of thousands of its Chrysler Pacificas to Waymo for self-driving tests. On this new deal, FCA CEO Mike Manley said,

“As part of FCA’s autonomous vehicle strategy we will continue to work with strategic partners in this space to address the needs of consumers in a rapidly changing industry. Aurora brings a unique skillset combined with advanced and purposeful technology that complements and enhances our philosophy on self-driving.”

Focusing on commercial vehicles with Aurora would add another dimension to the company’s overarching autonomous strategy.

It’s been a busy month or so for FCA, which pitched a 50-50 merger offer to France’s Renault, only to withdraw it last week. The company also gave Tesla $2 billion for emission credits in Europe.

Renault’s existing partnership with Nissan seemed to play a large role in the withdrawal of FCA’s merger. The deal is not completely dead yet, but Nissan will have its say on whether it can be resuscitated, according to a new Reuters report.

 

Source: electrek

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Kris Bush talks to Fleet Management Weekly about the exciting challenges posed by his new role as vice president, product management, and the development of cutting-edge fleet products.

 

Kristofer Bush serves as vice president, product management for LeasePlan USA and has been with the organization for more than 19 years. He recently took on this new assignment with a focus on product management. His team is responsible for the development of products such as Safety, Connected Vehicles and client portal tools like the MyLeasePlan driver app. While he believes that he is an excellent driver, many of the tools that LeasePlan provides their clients’ drivers have proven to him that he still has a lot of room for improvement.

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  • A corrupted computer module in nearly 300,000 2019 Ram 1500 trucks means airbags and seatbelt pretensioners may not work in a crash.
  • The airbag warning light may or may not illuminate if the problem occurs.
  • Dealers will begin repairs in late July.

Fiat Chrysler is recalling 295,981 Ram pickups in the United States because their airbags and seatbelt pretensioners may be deactivated in a crash, according to the company and filings with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The defect is in every Ram 1500 built through April 29, 2019, the date after which FCA updated software for the start of 2020 production. The problem lies in the occupant restraint controller, which is the main processing unit that decides whether or not to deploy the airbags and pretensioners in an accident. When the driver shuts off the truck, the controller may power off too soon during a “memory cleanup”—not much different than how your home computer clears its memory during shutdown—which can permanently corrupt the controller. When that happens, an airbag light can illuminate, all sorts of fault codes can generate, and at worst, the truck’s airbags and pretensioners won’t work.

 

 

 

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  • One-third of all people are highly susceptible to motion sickness, according to the National Institutes of Health.
  • It tends to get worse when that susceptible person is a passenger instead of a driver, which will be the case more often as self-driving cars and semi-autonomous driving features enter the mainstream.
  • Volkswagen is testing solutions to carsickness in self-driving cars that include features such as red and green LED lights and movable seats.

Forget the technical and safety challenges facing self-driving cars’ march toward the mainstream – good old-fashioned carsickness is coming up as a worthy consideration for automakers designing autonomous vehicles. Volkswagen has announced that it has set scientists in Wolfsburg, Germany, on the task of studying motion sickness in autonomous cars and developing anti-puke solutions (our term, not VW’s).

One set of Volkswagen’s tests uses large strips of LEDs inside a car that glow red or green in concert with the car’s slowing and acceleration to help occupants gain a sense of anticipation for a self-driving car’s moves. (Carsickness often is brought on by passengers’ not knowing or being able to predict the driver’s next moves, hence the proposed feedback loop’s value.) To combat illness relating to a mismatch in an occupant’s perception of a vehicle’s movement and the movement itself, another common source of carsickness, VW is playing around with the idea of movable seats. So far, the science fair going on in Wolfsburg hasn’t produced concrete solutions along the lines of, say, Citroën’s Willy Wonka–style anti-emetic glasses.

To evaluate these ideas, VW is running tests that place subjects in a self-driving car, rigs them up with skin-temperature and heart-rate sensors as shown above (as well as cameras that evaluate skin tone), and makes them ride through 20 minutes of stop-and-go movement behind a lead car. To mimic a future in which autonomous cars are so trustworthy that you could watch a movie while in command of one, the test also involves a tablet display mounted to the dashboard that plays a video of fish swimming (to negate emotional impact on the sensor array from a comedy or drama film). Unsurprisingly, without any countermeasures in place, the occupants often experience illness.

It might not seem newsworthy to announce that Volkswagen is considering ways to keep you from barfing in a self-driving car, rather than a real, production-ready solution to keep you from barfing in a self-driving car, but then again autonomous cars aren’t yet commercially available. When—or if—they do get there in this lifetime, you’ll likely appreciate the work Volkswagen and other automakers are putting into carsickness solutions.

Source: Car and Driver

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