Connected Car News: BMW, NASCAR, Ansys, HARMAN and SkyWater Tech

Raymond S. Hughes

In connected car news are BMW,NASCAR, Ansys, HARMAN and SkyWater Tech.

BMW Will Not Sell Subs for Heated Seats in USA

BMW has started selling subscriptions for services that are blocked by software but are activated by paying a fee. The two features that are causing heated debates are heated steering wheels at  $12.00 a month and  front heated seats at $18 a month. The services have been launched in the UK, Australia, South Korea, New Zealand and South Africa.

Other pay as you go features are:

  • BMW safety camera.
  • Driving assistant plus.
  • High beam assistant.
  • Iconic sounds.
  • Map updates.
  • Service.
  • Adaptive Cruise Control.
  • Adaptive suspension.
  • Apple CarPlay.
  • BMW drive recorder.
  • Service agreement.
  • Online entertainment.

BMW Joins Yocto Project

The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, announced that BMW Group is joining the Yocto Project as a member.

BMW Group’s membership restates their commitment to work with, and in, sustainable ecosystems and software and to support open source and key tools they use to build their products. The Yocto Project welcomes this support and looks forward to benefiting from their input and experience. They are joining other members including Intel, Comcast, Arm, Cisco, Facebook (Meta), Xilinx, Microsoft, Wind River, and AWS.

With the rise of devices and sensors being used across every industry, developers today require  a common set of tools that help them manage software stacks, configurations, and best practices tailored for Linux images for embedded and IoT devices. Over the last decade Yocto Project has been tuned for this purpose and today is the de facto set of tools for building and supporting a new generation of devices. In short, it helps developers create custom Linux-based systems regardless of the hardware architecture.

The Yocto Project has grown significantly since it was created, rising to the constantly evolving challenge of building custom operating systems for products in a maintainable and scalable way. The project leads in build system technology with bitwise identical build output every time, advanced software manifests, license handling capabilities, and strong binary artifact reuse among many other developments. Yocto Project 4.0 (aka Kirkstone) was released in April.  Based on Linux kernel 5.15, glibc 2.35, and roughly 300 other recipe upgrades, Yocto 4.0 supports SPDX SBOM generation and is the latest Long Term Support (LTS) release.

NASCAR Uses Ansys Simulation

NASCAR used Ansys’ (NASDAQ: ANSS) simulation solutions to ensure the safety of its Next Gen race car in time for the 2022 season with virtual crash tests that accelerated validation time and reduced material costs for physical testing by $1 million. The crash simulations allowed NASCAR to overcome pandemic-induced physical testing challenges and meet its goal to debut the car in February at the Daytona 500 motor race, the 500-mile season-opener considered the most prestigious and important race in NASCAR.

By integrating Ansys® LS-DYNA®  into crash testing, NASCAR was able to analyze, test, and validate multidirectional influences, including nonlinear and linear contact to the entire vehicle, spanning frontal impacts, roof crashes, lateral side impacts, rear impacts, and oblique impacts. This high-fidelity data, compiled by virtual crash simulations, slashed typical validation timing and material costs by reducing physical crash tests — estimated at $500,000 each — to only two full scale vehicle physical crash tests.

Further, Ansys’ predictive accuracy and results gave NASCAR the engineering confidence and ability to build parts without physical crash test data during early development stages in 2020 when on-site crash facilities were shut down due to COVID-19. When physical crash tests were later performed, Ansys’ robust and comprehensive simulation models were verified. Similarly, the software’s cloud computing capabilities allowed NASCAR to run and manage a large volume of simulations remotely using Ansys® Cloud™.

HARMAN Announces ARD AudioThek App

HARMAN International, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. focused on connected technologies and solutions for automotive, consumer and enterprise markets, announced today that the ARD Audiothek app will be available in the HARMAN Ignite Store, a leading connected vehicle platform that enables automakers to develop, manage, and operate their own in-vehicle app store. Starting in Germany, the collaboration between HARMAN and ARD will enable automotive manufacturers to offer the ARD Audiothek app easily and securely in their vehicles moving forward, offering millions of drivers the opportunity to experience ARD audio content in their cars.

Fans and discoverers of audio offerings can look forward to the extensive content ARD Audiothek offers, including podcasts, audio books, documentaries, reports, and the live radio streams of the public broadcasters. Background information on recent topics from politics, science and society, as well as live and exclusive ARD content are available. Users of the app will be able to easily access their favorite podcasts through their personal playlists when entering the car.

The HARMAN Ignite Store brings users their favorite content in-vehicle, making the vehicle a seamless extension of consumers’ digital lifestyle. It optimizes the driving experience by providing access to a rich ecosystem of cloud-based applications and services. This means that automotive manufacturers, dealers and service providers can easily import and manage new cloud applications and services into a vehicle’s infotainment system and thus serve the comfort, information and entertainment needs of customers all over the world. HARMAN Ignite Store includes an ever-growing range of media content, point-of-interest solutions, and messaging applications.

SkyWater Tech Funded by DOD

SkyWater Technology (NASDAQ: SKYT), the trusted technology realization partner, today announced the Department of Defense (DOD) is funding a $27 million Other Transactional (OT) Agreement Option to further develop intellectual property (IP) for its 90 nm Strategic Rad-Hard by Process (RH90) FDSOI technology platform. This is the latest agreement between SkyWater and the DOD to ensure a reliable and trusted source of U.S.-made chips for use in strategic defense and space applications.

This is another step in SkyWater’s RH90 technology roadmap and is part of the previously announced up to $170M investment in SkyWater by the DOD to broaden onshore production capabilities for strategic rad-hard electronics. The DOD recently determined that SkyWater has successfully completed the base prototype project.

SkyWater’s RH90 platform is based on MIT Lincoln Laboratory’s 90 nm fully depleted silicon-on-insulator (FDSOI) complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) process, which was engineered to produce radiation-hardened (rad-hard) electronics which can withstand harsh radiation environments. Radiation effects can rapidly degrade microelectronics, and unmitigated can cause compromised performance, malfunctions or complete failure. Lincoln Laboratory developed the FDSOI process for making integrated circuits resistant to degradation and malfunction caused by extreme radiation levels.

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