Ericsson Study: How Network Slicing Pays Off

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  • Network slicing has the potential to offer economic benefits in terms of higher revenues and lower operating expenditures, if operational automation and a step change in the number of operator service launches is assumed
  • Study found that network slicing is fastest, most cost-effective way to achieve service scalability
  • Payback of investment to automate networks is rapid

In a new study with operator BT, Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) quantifies the benefits of network slicing for operators. When coupled with operational automation, network slicing is proven to be a smart investment to reduce operating expenditures and increase CAPEX efficiency, while enabling fast implementation and better utilization of devices related to the Internet of Things (IoT).

Mobile data traffic continues to grow at a rapid pace along with adoption of connected devices. In the Ericsson Mobility Report, around 18 billion IoT devices are forecast by 2022. Connected IoT devices include connected cars, machines, meters, sensors, point-of-sales terminals, consumer electronics and wearables.

Network slicing allows operators to segment the network to support particular services and deploy multiple logical networks for different service types over one common infrastructure.  The joint study looked at three ways to introduce new services into a network: via one multi-service network; via individual networks with dedicated resources; or via network slicing including operational automation.

Marielle Lindgren, Head of Ericsson United Kingdom, says: “We found that over a five-year period, introducing new services by using network slicing and operational automation generated 35 percent more revenue than by using one multi-service network. The revenue increased 15 percent when compared to several networks with dedicated resources, demonstrating how the technology enables market stimulation, faster time to market, and opportunities from smaller niche services.”

Maria Cuevas, Head of Mobile Core Networks Research at BT, says: “We’re positioned to bring millions of devices onto our networks as the IoT ecosystem grows. This study gives us guidance as to where our investments will achieve the best results. The more services we deploy with network slicing, the greater economic benefit we will see, enabling us to better serve our customers. In order to achieve this vision, it is important that the industry provides cost-effective solutions to support end-to-end orchestration and adds automation to the operations and management of network slices.”

1-2-3 TO SAVE, GROW AND CONTRIBUTE

Specifically, the study’s base case was a deployment ramping up to 40 annual service launches over five years. Network slicing resulted in the equivalent of 40 percent reduction in OPEX, 35 percent increase in revenue potential and an overall impact of 150 percent increased economic benefit, under the baseline assumptions made. When scaled up, the gains also increased. All benefits were considered in terms of the core network only.

Marielle Lindgren continues: “As applications and use cases for evolving technology become more complex, so will the characteristics of connecting them. Simply put, networks will need to adapt. The findings clearly show that network slicing provides a logical setup that can be tailored to extend into the as-yet undefined services of the future.”

Source: Ericsson

 

Mercedes-Benz combines electricity and hydrogen in EQ Power

Generation EQ, Exterieur, Studio  Generation EQ, exterior, studio

GLC F-CELL goes into preproduction: world’s first electric vehicle with fuel-cell/battery powertrain

At this year’s IAA International Motor Show in Frankfurt, Mercedes-Benz is presenting preproduction models of the new Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL as the next milestone on the road to emission-free driving. Under the technology designation EQ Power, the latest electric model (destined for subsequent series production) is set to combine innovative fuel-cell and battery technology in the form of a plug-in hybrid: in addition to hydrogen, the all-electric variant of the popular SUV will also run on electricity. Intelligent interplay between battery and fuel cell, along with short refueling times, will in future make the GLC F-CELL a vehicle of high everyday practicality and also suitable for long-distance motoring. With 4.4 kg of hydrogen on board, the preproduction model produces enough energy for a range of up to 437* km in the NEDC. F-CELL drivers will also benefit from a range of up to 49 km in the NEDC thanks to the large lithium-ion battery. An output of 147 kW guarantees both dynamic performance and locally zero emissions driving pleasure. In unveiling the preproduction vehicles of the Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL, Daimler is taking another important step as part of its systematic “CASE” strategy.

Ola Källenius, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Group Research & Mercedes-Benz Cars Development, emphasizes: “Our many years of experience with fuel-cell technology pay dividends in the new GLC F-CELL: its long electric range, short refueling times and everyday practicality of an SUV will make it the perfect vehicle. This is made possible by the compact construction of our fuel-cell system. Another genuine world first is the combination with a large additional lithium-ion battery, which can be conveniently charged using plug-in technology.”

Fuel-cell technology is a firm element of Daimler’s powertrain strategy. Under the EQ product brand, the company is pooling its know-how related to intelligent electric mobility while offering a comprehensive e-mobility ecosystem of products, services, technologies and innovations. EQ is therefore a key part of the company’s strategy for the mobility of the future, known at Daimler as “CASE.” The four letters stand for the strategic future pillars of networking (Connected), autonomous driving (Autonomous), flexible use (Shared & Services) and electric drive systems (Electric), which are being systematically further developed and intelligently combined by the company. Between now and 2022, Daimler intends to bring out ten battery-electric vehicles, globally, with the GLC F-CELL representing an important landmark.

Unique: two electric energy sources

The vehicles unveiled at the IAA represent a world first in which a fuel-cell-operated electric car uses a lithium-ion battery as an additional energy source that can be externally charged by means of plug-in technology. Through intelligent interplay, the two energy sources drive the electric motor while offering locally zero emissions driving pleasure. The long range, short refueling time, an output of 197 hp and the latest generation of assistance systems with powertrain-specific features demonstrate, based on the models on show, that the GLC F-CELL will be a family-friendly electric vehicle of high everyday practicality.

For this world first, the Mercedes-Benz engineers cooperated closely with partners from the Daimler competence network to develop a completely new fuel-cell system. Compared with the B-Class F-CELL, which has been on the market since 2010, the overall drive system offers around 40 percent more output. The fuel-cell system is around 30 percent more compact than before, can for the first time be housed entirely in the engine compartment and is installed on the usual mounting points like a conventional engine. Also, the use of platinum in the fuel cell has been reduced by 90 percent. This conserves resources while lowering the system costs – with no compromises in terms of performance.

The lithium-ion battery in the preproduction vehicles on show has a gross capacity of 13.8 kWh and additionally serves as an energy source for the electric motor. For the first time, it can also be charged externally using plug-in technology. An intelligent operating strategy in combination with the fuel-cell/battery system offers maximum efficiency and comfort. Just like the drive motor, the powerful storage battery is space-savingly installed in the rear of the SUV. By means of the 7.2 kW on-board chargers, it can be conveniently charged from a standard household power socket, a wallbox or a public charging station. The charging time is around 1.5 hours if the full capacity is used.

Two carbon-fiber-encased tanks built into the vehicle floor hold around 4.4 kg of hydrogen. Thanks to globally standardized 700 bar tank technology, the supply of Daimler Communications, 70546 Stuttgart, Germany Mercedes-Benz – A Daimler Brand hydrogen can be replenished within just three minutes, which is about the same amount of time it takes to refuel a car with an internal combustion engine.

The F-CELL vehicles on show at the IAA are powered by an asynchronous machine with an output of 197 hp and a torque of 258 lb-ft. As the electric drive requires no propeller shaft, this makes room for one of the two hydrogen tanks, while the second tank is installed under the rear seat bench.

Coordinated: operating strategy with unique variety of combinations

Like the GLC Plug-in Hybrid, the fuel-cell variant comes with various operating modes and drive programs. The drive programs of the GLC F-CELL will include ECO, COMFORT and SPORT. ECO is optimized for low consumption. COMFORT is geared not only for comfort, but also provides ideal climate control. SPORT optimizes the hybrid powertrain for sporty performance.

While the drive programs change the behavior of the car and therefore the driving experience, the operating modes influence the interplay between fuel cell and high-voltage battery. The combination of drive programs with operating modes is presented for the first time in this form in a fuel-cell vehicle.

Freedom of choice: four operating modes HYBRID – F-CELL – BATTERY – CHARGE The innovative plug-in fuel-cell powertrain combines the advantages of both emission-free technologies and, thanks to its intelligent operating strategy, constantly ensures that the use of both energy sources is optimally adapted to the particular operating situation.

In HYBRID operating mode, the vehicle draws power from both energy sources. Power peaks are handled by the battery, while the fuel cell runs in the optimum efficiency range. The intelligent operating strategy means that the characteristics of both energy sources can be ideally exploited. In F-CELL mode, the state of charge of the high-voltage battery is kept constant by the energy from the fuel cell. Driving almost exclusively on hydrogen is the ideal mode if the intention is to keep the electric range in reserve for certain driving situations. Daimler Communications, 70546 Stuttgart, Germany Mercedes-Benz – A Daimler Brand In BATTERY mode, the GLC F-CELL runs all-electrically and is powered by the high-voltage battery. The fuel-cell system is not in operation. This is the ideal mode for short distances.

In CHARGE mode, charging the high-voltage battery has priority, for example in order to recharge the battery for the maximum overall range prior to refueling with hydrogen. This mode also creates power reserves for uphill or very dynamic driving.

In all operating modes, the system features an energy recovery function, which makes it possible to recover energy during braking or coasting and to store it in the battery.

Safety first: getting there safely Daimler applies extremely high safety standards in all its vehicles. This is true of both vehicles with a conventional internal combustion engine and also those with an alternative drive. This means that the vehicles comply with all legal standards and regulations. However, the internal safety requirements for Mercedes-Benz vehicles go one step further. The battery and all hydrogen-containing components are governed by particularly stringent safety standards typical of Mercedes. Alongside safety in the event of a crash, all Mercedes-Benz vehicles undergo additional component tests at system level that go far beyond the usual tests. The powertrain components and hydrogen tanks of the F-CELL preproduction vehicles are space-savingly and safely housed in the engine compartment as well as under the floor.

Like all Mercedes-Benz vehicles, the fuel-cell vehicles, too, are exemplary in terms of active and passive safety. With Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC, Lane Tracking Package with Blind Spot Assist and Active Lane Keeping Assist, Parking Package with 360° camera or COMAND with traffic sign recognition, the GLC F-CELL will come with safety and comfort built in as standard.

Self-assured: with the DNA of a genuine Mercedes The GLC F-CELL models on show at the IAA demonstrate the high expectations on a Mercedes-Benz and all Mercedes-Benz brand values in terms of comfort, sustainability, safety, quality and design. When it comes to loading capacity and occupant comfort, the electric SUV will offer excellent everyday practicality. The only differences will be a minimal step in the luggage compartment, familiar from the GLC Plug-in-Hybrid, and the slightly raised rear seat bench due to the Daimler Communications, 70546 Stuttgart, Germany Mercedes-Benz – A Daimler Brand positioning of the hydrogen tanks. Climate comfort in the GLC F-CELL will also be totally on a par with that in a conventional vehicle. Automatic air conditioning with pre-entry climate control as well as heated seats and mirrors are included as standard. At cooler temperatures, the vehicle will make energy-efficient use of the waste heat from the fuel cell in order to optimize the energy balance of the vehicle.

The series-production vehicle, like the preproduction models, will be equipped with coil springs on the front axle and with single-chamber air suspension with integral automatic level control on the rear axle. This means that, even when the vehicle is carrying a load, there is no change in spring travel on the rear axle, which guarantees balanced vibration characteristics with a virtually constant natural frequency of the body, including when the vehicle is loaded. Unmistakable: Touches in the style of EQ Power The F-CELL models on display at the IAA embody the current Mercedes-Benz design philosophy of Sensual Purity. The design premises include features that emphasize the special status in general and within the GLC family in particular. These design premises are the formal on-road attributes and the technical modifications to the exterior and interior as well as the control and display concept. Blue touches on the radiator grille and light-alloy wheels, side skirts and rear bumper on the one hand, as well as classy style wraps with F-CELL inscription on the other, provide a clearly visible indication of the fuel-cell drive. Specifically styled bumpers, with an enlarged air inlet at the front, as well as aerodynamically optimized 20-inch wheels are the hallmarks of the vehicles on show at the IAA. The interior impresses with its high-grade look & feel and flowing forms as a reinterpretation of contemporary luxury. The center console features elegant trim with flowing lines exuding unique exclusivity in a piano-lacquer look or versatile modern wood surfaces.

Precision-styled details and the choice of authentic materials by using open-pore wood as trim and a high proportion of wool and linen for the fabric covers, make for an agreeable ambience while contributing to the classy overall impression of the interior.

The cockpit will be further enhanced by the instrument cluster in the form of a full display with 12.3-inch diagonal. Information from the COMAND system is presented on the 10.25-inch central display. The menus and indicators on the Daimler Communications, 70546 Stuttgart, Germany Mercedes-Benz – A Daimler Brand displays are geared to the functionality of the combined fuel-cell/battery powertrain. The new-type design style clearly differentiates the fuel-cell vehicle from the conventional GLC. New in the GLC F-CELL is the multifunction touchpad with handwriting recognition, which celebrates its world debut at the IAA in the unveiled preproduction vehicles. This newly developed feature allows telematics functions to be controlled by single- or multi-finger gestures (so-called Multitouch). The touchpad thus offers a full-function and innovative input option over and above LINGUATRONIC in combination with COMAND. The touchpad also makes it possible to enter letters, numbers and special characters by means of handwriting. Further control options are offered by Touch Control buttons on the left and right of the steering wheel as well as by voice control. Timed to perfection: on the road to series production

Daimler is systematically working to prepare for series production of the Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL. With the current test fleet, the Mercedes-Benz engineers are taking the final key steps on the road to production start-up. Market-specific sales concepts, including a rental model, are being evaluated at present. Like the conventionally powered GLC, this family-friendly SUV of high everyday practicality will be produced in Bremen. During development and production of the innovative fuel-cell drive, Daimler is able to call upon its global competence network. The centerpiece of the technology, the fuel-cell stack, was developed in Vancouver, Canada, together with partner Ford in the Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation (AFCC) joint venture. Production takes place directly nearby at Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell (MBFC). The entire fuel-cell unit and the hydrogen storage system were developed by the Daimler subsidiary NuCellSys in Kirchheim/Nabern in Baden-Württemberg. The Daimler parent plant in Untertürkheim is responsible for fuel-cell system assembly, also in Nabern. The hydrogen tank system, consisting of carbon-fiber-encased tanks, is produced at Daimler’s Mannheim plant, while the lithium-ion battery comes from the wholly owned Daimler subsidiary ACCUMOTIVE in Kamenz, Saxony.

Infrastructure is key A nationwide infrastructure is essential for the success of electric mobility. The spread of both charging stations and hydrogen filling stations is proceeding apace around the world. Whether at home, at work, on the road or when shopping  there are various ways to supply electric vehicles with power. Also when it comes to H2 infrastructure, progress is constantly being made. Together with its partners in the H2 Mobility joint venture, Daimler has already drawn up a concrete action plan. The network of H2 filling stations is scheduled to reach 100 by the end of next year.

By 2023, there will be a network of up to 400 hydrogen filling stations. Similar infrastructure projects are being promoted in Europe, the USA and Japan. Systematic approach: Daimler opts for electric mobility with fuel cell It all began back in the 1980s, when Daimler researchers turned their attention to cold combustion. In 1994, Mercedes-Benz unveiled the first fuel-cell vehicle to the global public – the NECAR 1. Many further vehicles followed, including the A-Class F-CELL fleet. In 2011, special attention focused on the F-CELL World Drive, the first round-the-world journey in fuel-cell vehicles. In 2015, the F 015 Luxury in Motion concept car presented an F-CELL plug-in hybrid drive system, designed for 1,100 kilometers of zero emissions motoring. To date, fuel-cell vehicles from Mercedes-Benz, including the B-Class F-CELL and the Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid urban bus, have together covered over eighteen million kilometers, thereby demonstrating the maturity of the powertrain concept. The next technological advance is now imminent: the GLC F-CELL.

The Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL will celebrate its World Premiere at the 2017 Frankfurt International Auto Show in September, and will go on sale in the U.S. by the end of 2019.

Technical data of preproduction vehicles (IAA) CO2 emissions: 0 g/km
H2 range in Hybrid mode (NEDC): 437* km
Battery-electric range in Battery mode (NEDC) 49 km
Drive system: Electric motor
Battery: Lithium-ion
Fuel cell: PEM (polymer electrolyte fuel cell)
Rated output: 197 hp
Max. torque: 258 lb-ft
Top speed: 99 mph (electronically limited)
H2 tank capacity: 4.4 kg (usable for SAE J2601, 2014 or new)
Battery capacity (gross/net): 13.8 kWh /9.3 kWh

The Evolution of Cellular Modems for Enterprise Networking

Evolution of Cellular Modems

Embedded Wireless Modems Eliminated the Challenges of External, USB-Based Modems

Wireless modems and connectivity for enterprise networking have come a long way. A variety of factors ranging from technological advancements to innovative customer use cases have transformed cellular modems into a critical component of how a company operates and succeeds — and with 5G on the horizon, that progress is poised to continue.

When modems were first introduced, they were analog, used DSL, and had a simple function: allow computers to connect and pass data to networks. With the advent of cellular technology came the possibility of sending data over wireless connections. This demonstrated the potential of wireless connections for both business and personal use.

The leap to modems that could transfer data wirelessly was significant but difficult. Passing data back and forth through the air was slow, limiting the types and volumes of data that companies could reasonably transfer wirelessly.

The Evolution of USB Modems

In response to the challenges associated with the first wireless modems, manufacturers took another evolutionary step and created USB modems. The first examples were the sleek, stick-like versions that many are familiar with today, but they were not very practical in customer applications.

With the introduction of 3G, individual users could transfer data much easier and faster via a USB modem connected to a laptop. Before Starbucks offered free WiFi to its customers, for example, a professional working remotely from a coffee shop could potentially use a USB modem and his or her laptop to connect to the Internet using cellular technology. Thanks to 3G, this connection was finally reliable and fast enough to truly make remote work — and access — possible.

As 3G developed into a viable data transfer mechanism, Cradlepoint realized the potential it presented and began adding support for USB modems in its routers. If an enterprise bought a router, it could get a USB modem from a provider (such as AT&T or Sprint) and plug it in; the device would then be able to connect. This setup essentially created the first forms of WiFi hot spots, as the Cradlepoint router was able to share a connection to the Internet.

Eliminating the Challenges of USB Modems

Customer creativity complemented, and even advanced, the technological evolution of modems. As wireless routers were able to transfer data more reliably and quickly, customers began using them in new, innovative ways. While in-vehicle deployment wasn’t necessarily part of the initial goal for developing wireless routers, emergency responders saw the potential of deploying wireless access in their vehicles.

However, USB modems presented unique challenges — most notably, form factor and durability. For instance, when police cars or ambulances took sharp turns quickly during emergencies, modems often were damaged or simply broke off. They weren’t designed to work in such conditions.

Further, USB modems stick out from whatever device they’re plugged into to, making them easy to steal by passersby.

When 3G eventually evolved into 4G, the USB stick modems were still in use by customers, but they started to prefer a smaller-footprint, embedded solution. Thus, Cradlepoint began buying the actual modem modules from vendors directly and embedding them into higher-quality, more compact enterprise routers — eliminating the challenges related to USB sticks.

The Benefits of Embedded Modems

The evolution from 3G to 4G ushered in significant improvements for connectivity. With 3G, some companies (such as Verizon and Sprint) were based on CDMA technology, while others (such as AT&T and T-Mobile) were based on GSM technology. The two technologies had disparate 3G speeds, and CDMA-based companies needed a way to increase their speeds. 4G and LTE met the challenge.

4G has ushered in a new chapter of modem evolution. Modern routers provide many more enhancements and solutions than the simple connected/disconnected features offered by the earliest USB devices.

Customer use cases have helped drive enhancements and solutions, too. Modems that used to be damaged in high-speed situations in ambulances and police cars, for instance, are now field-tested and shock-certified specifically for in-vehicle use.

Additional advancements include Auto Carrier Selection. With carrier-switchable embedded modems, Cradlepoint can self-detect the SIM and configure the modem to the given carrier automatically. This significantly boosts flexibility and reduces IT man-hours.

Of course, modems will never stop evolving. The combination of consumer creativity and technological innovation will always create new and exciting steps forward. Over its history, Cradlepoint has supported as many as 300 types of modems and continues to learn from its experiences supporting the evolution from USB devices to embedded modems. Overall, Cradlepoint continues to build on current LTE technologies and looks forward to the transition to 5G.

Source: Janice Mainvil-Cradlepoint

Volocopter Flying Taxis to Revolutionise Urban Transport

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The objective of making flying possible for everyone has drawn closer:  In July 2017 the aviation start-up Volocopter agreed a finance deal over 25 million Euros with the automobile firm Daimler from Stuttgart, the technology investor Lukasz Gadowski from Berlin and further investors. Using this fresh capital  Volocopter will further expand upon the leading technology in its purely electrically driven VTOLs, (eVTOL), speed up the introduction process of the Volocopter serial model and conquer the market for flying air taxis. The safe, quiet and environmentally friendly aircraft, suitable for transporting two passengers, will revolutionize mobility in metropolises. In order to realize this vision Volocopter also invests in its team and  plans to continuously develop it further.

volocopter-2x-innercity-preview

Volocopter is up for a soaring start not just because of the successful round of funding: As early as in June the young enterprise already won top place in the international run for the world’s first pilot project involving air taxis in urban spaces. In the fourth quarter of 2017 Volocopter, together with the state transport authority „Roads and Transport Authority“ (RTA) in Dubai, will conduct initial demonstrations of an autonomous air taxi. By 2030 Dubai aims to carry out 25% of its passenger transportation with the help of autonomous means of transport.

“The strong financial commitment of our new investors is a signal as well as proof of the growing confidence in the newly emerging market for electrically driven VTOLs put to use as personal air taxis“  Florian Reuter, managing director of Volocopter, is pleased to point out. “We deliberately sought a mix of investors with strategic and entrepreneurial backgrounds  and were able to implement this perfectly with Daimler und Lukasz Gadowski”.

Automobile companies specifically are intensely interested in the mobility of the future – in autonomous driving or electrical mobility for example. Daimler is therefore a very valuable strategic partner for Volocopter. “We are world leaders in the development of electrical VTOL aircraft” says Reuter, “and for it to stay that way in the future we are very pleased with the participation of the worldwide leader in automobiles”.

The investor Lukasz Gadowski on the other hand, can support the aviation start-up in very different ways: He has already successfully founded and financed numerous enterprises. Gadowski has enormous experience in the fast and global scaling of tech start-ups. This will be of great value to Volocopter in asserting itself on the global market. “I have been interested in flying cars and following their development for a while. When I saw the Volocopter I got it: The “flying car” has no wheels! What is exciting at Volocopter is not just the magnificent vision but also that which has already been tangibly implemented. Huge ambition with both feet on the ground – a unique combination! In the coming years we can expect a revolution in manned aviation. We at Volocopter will significantly contribute to shaping it!”

Together with its partners, Volocopter will be using the new funding to further expand upon technical innovations and its pioneering role within the emerging industry. The plan is to further the development of the Volocopter up to production maturity and commercial licensing through aviation authorities worldwide. Amongst other things, extensive test flight programs are envisaged for this purpose. In order to speed up progress, the employment of additional engineers specialized in the development of flight systems, software and electric propulsion as well as the development of commercial function is envisaged.

To introduce the Volocopter serial model to the market with full impact the company will also apply the investment to developing brand awareness. The prelude to this will be the new website which is launched today. In addition a professional communications team all around marketing and PR will be installed in order to be optimally equipped for planned events and demonstrations of the Volocopter in the coming months. This will create additional interest and customers for the Volocopter – besides RTA in Dubai.


About Volocopter

Volocopter GmbH is the global leader in the development of vertically launching, fully electrical multicopters for the transport of people and of heavy lifting cargo drones. The technical platform is extremely flexible and permits piloted, remote controlled and fully autonomous flight. In addition, the unique design offers a huge degree of safety based on the high redundancy of all critical components. The company’s stated objective is to make every human’s dream of flying come true and to help modern cities resolve their increasing mobility issues. As early as 2011 the company earned its entry into the history of aviation through the manned flight of the world’s first purely electrical multicopter. Since then the young enterprise has set new milestones: In 2016 Volocopter was granted provisional licensing for a two seater Volocopter by the German aviation authority and in 2017 the aviation start-up entered into an agreement with RTA Dubai over the global premiere of an autonomously flying air taxi. The first licensed Volocopter should be on the market next year. In the meantime, the founders Stephan Wolf and Alexander Zosel have gathered an excellentteam of experienced managers like CEO Florian Reuter (formerly of Siemens) and CTO Jan-Hendrik Boelens (formerly of Airbus Helicopters). This paved the way for the further expansion of the company.

25 Million Euros for Volocopter
⋅ Lukasz Gadowski and the Daimler AG are amongst investors
⋅ Increased investment flows into the launch of the Volocopter

Souce: Volocopter

Hytera provide Communications for Galloper Offshore Wind Farm

Supporting the Evolution of Offshore Comms Systems

Scheduled to become operational in 2018, Galloper Offshore Wind Farm is currently under construction 50km off the Suffolk coast. As Galloper will become one of the biggest offshore Wind Farms in British waters, reliable communications are essential not just to organise work, but also to ensure the health and safety of employees.

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Enabling Offshore Communications

Galloper’s Principal Marine Services contractor, James Fisher Marine Services, selected Lowestoft-based Fern Communications, an authorised Hytera dealer, to develop a purpose-built Hytera radio communication solution for the area.

FernCom was initially tasked with enabling communications along the Galloper transit routes and across the Galloper Field, which they achieved by installing a multi-site, multi-channel Hytera system. Soon after however, they were challenged by other subcontractors to develop a similar communications solution, which was when they conceptualised Wavecom.

This digital trunked radio system is powered by a Hytera Tier III solution and provides coverage to all existing and future planned wind farm sites. Designed to deliver multiple operators and subcontractors with reliable communications across a wide area, Hytera’s digital trunked radio solution is intended to manage high radio traffic, maximising available capacity across user groups along the single and multi-site geographies.

Why Digital Trunking is Different

Conventional systems operate dedicated channels, each of which is allocated to a specific user group. If you want to communicate with a particular group you need to manually select the correct channel.

With a trunked system however, radio channels can be pooled by multiple user groups and if one users wants to speak to another in a different group, the system dynamically finds and assigns a free radio channel.

Integrated System

The Wavecom System is integrated with a range of Hytera portable radios with Marine VHF, data messaging and dispatcher workstations.

The chosen radio handset is the Hytera PD755, which was selected due it its digital display and rugged, waterproof design – all fundamental given the working environment.

The inclusion of the Hytera SmartXPT dispatcher console provides a centralised control hub to manage and direct the DMR radio fleet; the Management Team can also benefit from a wide range of features such as text messaging capabilities to single or multiple handsets and voice transmission recording. Another exclusive feature offered by SmartXPT is crosspatch that allows two separate companies working on site to communicate through a private channel for inter-company coms.

A Purpose-Built System that Delivers

Wavecom offers a high level of redundancy and is monitored by a comprehensive diagnostic alarm control system designed and built by FernCom to monitor the environmental conditions in which the communications equipment is kept. Sensors are set-up to identify issues with power, cables or antenna and any problems will trigger an alert to the dedicated support team who can resolve the issue as quickly as possible.

Siemens Games, Wavecom’s first customer, is using the system to integrate their offshore Marine Control Centre with portables and vessel radios working in the ports, the transit routes and the Galloper Field. The users have always had difficulty operating the hand portable radios inside turbine towers at sea, but Wavecom’s unique solution and the Hytera devices ensure they can now communicate with the wider system.

FernCom – Industry Thought leaders

Thanks to the thought leadership and innovation at FernCom, combined with the leading Hytera digital solutions, offshore coverage for radio comms is now supported.

To recognise the outstanding work undertaken in developing Wavecom, FernCom engineer James Cleverly was recently awarded the Hytera Engineering Award – launched to recognise the skill of the top engineers in the radio industry.

Source: Hytera

Virgin Atlantic becomes the first airline in Europe to be fully WiFi connected

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 First airline in Europe to offer WiFi on all services – a year ahead of competitors

  • To celebrate Virgin Atlantic will host a series of #livefromvirgin events streamed from the sky
  • With partner Delta Air Lines, up to 39 flights per day across the transatlantic now offer WiFi

Virgin Atlantic has become the first airline in Europe to offer WiFi across its entire fleet – ensuring customers can remain connected across flights to and from the US, Caribbean, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

From today millions of customers travelling with Virgin Atlantic will be able to email, browse and socialise at 35,000ft from as little as £2.99 as the airline completes its ambitious WiFi programme – at least a year ahead of other European long haul carriers.

To celebrate being the first European airline to boast a fully WiFi connected fleet, Virgin Atlantic will be kicking off a summer long series of fun events from the sky, connecting together with #LiveFromVirgin.

Using a combination of Panasonic and Gogo technology, WiFi is now available across the fleet of 39 aircraft and connectivity is available above 10,000ft so customers will be able to connect shortly after take-off, and remain online until shortly before landing.

Results so far have shown that 42% of customers opt for the WiFi max package which lasts the entire flight, and the most popular routes for WiFi use are London Heathrow to New York (JFK), San Francisco and Atlanta.

Mark Anderson, Executive Vice President, Customer at Virgin Atlantic, said: “From today customers flying around the world with Virgin Atlantic can work and play throughout their flight as we become the first airline in Europe to offer a fully WiFi enabled fleet.”

“Innovation has always been in our blood and we’ve worked closely with WiFi providers to develop the fastest, most reliable connection across the Atlantic, and are the first carrier to offer WiFi between the UK and the Caribbean, China and Africa.”

“And of course we wouldn’t be Virgin Atlantic if we weren’t going to signify this moment with something special, so we’ve planned a summer of spectacular #LiveFromVirgin events for our customers. Keep an eye out on our social channels for your chance to get involved.”

Whilst WiFi has been commonplace on domestic carriers there’s been a challenge for the industry to find reliable connections over vast expanses of ocean – such as the Atlantic. Unlike flying over Europe or the US the signal cannot come from the ground, and instead has to be transmitted to aircraft from satellites.

The airline is using a combination of two WiFi providers across the network; customers travelling on the 787 will use WiFi from Panasonic, while the A330s, 747s, A340-600s are powered by Gogo technology.

Wi-Fi prices

Aircraft Pass Price What you get
787 WiFi light £4.99 40MB data
WiFi max £14.99 150MB data
A330, A340, 747 Messaging Pass £2.99 Messaging access throughout flight
WiFi light £4.99 One hour internet access
WiFi max £14.99 Full flight internet access 

As of today, Virgin Atlantic and partner Delta Air Lines will be the only fully connected transatlantic joint venture – keeping business customers and holidaymakers connected on up to 39 transatlantic flights per day.

Source: Virgin Atlantic

UK new car market reports slower August as more buyers await new 67-plate

car manufacturing


  • New car registrations fall -6.4% in August to 76,433.
  • AFV demand surges 58.3% as more motorists switch on to alternative powertrains.
  • Year-to-date market holds steady, down -2.4%, with 1.64 million cars joining British roads in 2017.

SEE CAR REGISTRATIONS BY BRAND

The UK new car market reported its fifth consecutive month of decline in August, according to figures published today by SMMT. Registrations fell -6.4%, after a record August in 2016.

However, with more than 76,000 new cars registered, the performance still represents the third biggest August in 10 years.1 Year to date, the market remained broadly in line with expectations, down -2.4%, with 1,640,241 new cars joining British roads in the first eight months.

Superminis and small family cars remained the most popular types in August, accounting for more than half (58.3%) of registrations. However, SUVs, larger family cars and executives were the only segments to grow, up 7.9%, 2.2% and 1.1% respectively.

Meanwhile, more people chose to get behind the wheel of an alternatively fuelled vehicle (AFV) than ever before in the month, accounting for a 5.2% share of the market.2 Demand for petrol hybrid and pure electric battery powered cars increased substantially, up 74.9% and 62.5%, while plug-in hybrid registrations rose 38.5%. Conventional petrols grew 3.8% and diesels fell -21.3%.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said,

August is typically a quiet month for the new car market as consumers and businesses delay purchases until the arrival of the new number plate in September. With the new 67-plate now available and a range of new models in showrooms, we anticipate the continuation of what are historically high levels of demand.

Notes

  1. August 2016: 81,640; August 2015: 79,060; August 2007: 77,649
  2. The previous AFV record market share for August was 3.1% in 2016

Source: SMMT

 

Adient presents the car interior of the future at Frankfurt Motor Show

With the AI18, Adient will present its new interior concept for autonomous driving

adient-preview-iaa-ai18

Scenario 2030: Urban compact vehicles are automatic, electric and adapt to their users

New forms of mobility such as autonomous driving, car sharing and electromobility are dramatically changing how we get around. Adient, the leading supplier of automotive seating, will showcase what this means for interiors, and especially the vehicle seating system, with its new AI18 demonstrator at this year’s International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt am Main.

With the focus on autonomous driving, alternative usage models such as car sharing and urban mobility, the Adient concept addresses three of the major trends which will drive the automotive industry of the future. Richard Chung, Vice President Innovation at Adient, explains: “The optimal vehicle architecture for future urban living spaces provides compact equipment solutions which can adapt to a wide range of users with differing requirements and preferences in almost every situation. This requirement will play a decisive role, especially for vehicle interiors and their seating systems.”

Adient will use five scenarios to demonstrate in the AI18 just how flexible level-3 and level-4 autonomous vehicles could be in the future. “In addition to a Lounge mode, the AI18 seating system offers Communication, Cargo, Baby Plus and Family modes. These provide users with optimum seating arrangements and space according to the situation, as well as various usage options and technical aids that make travel as efficient, comfortable and safe as possible,” says Chung.

For example, in spite of the vehicle’s compact size, Lounge mode offers the user a high degree of comfort and relaxation by means of the seating position and application features. The front seats play their part in this, with an anthropometric pivot at their core. This ensures the seat can be reclined far back and still provide support when beyond the traditional range. Further components such as the head restraint, integrated armrests and a separate leg rest are synchronized to move with the body. An optional massage function further boosts the comfort factor.

With new component geometries, alternative materials and composites, many of the some 20 innovations in the Adient AI18 demonstrator provide additional options for lightweight construction. “Slimmer, lighter seating systems not only play their part in reducing fuel consumption or increasing the range of electric vehicles,” says Chung. “They also allow automakers to make best use of the vehicle’s compact dimensions and therefore also increase efficiency in automotive construction at many levels.”

Adient will present all of the AI18 demonstrator’s usage scenarios as well as the underlying technical innovations to the public at the IAA during a press conference on Wednesday, September 13, from 10:30 to 10:55 a.m. (Stand B24, Hall 5.1).

About Adient:

Adient is a global leader in automotive seating. With 75,000 employees operating 230 manufacturing/assembly plants in 33 countries worldwide, we produce and deliver automotive seating for all vehicle classes and all major OEMs. From complete seating systems to individual components, our expertise spans every step of the automotive seat making process. Our integrated, in-house skills allow us to take our products from research and design all the way to engineering and manufacturing – and into more than 25 million vehicles every year. For more information on Adient, please visit adient.com.

Source: Adient

Intelligent Vehicle Door: Continental Continuing to Develop Digital Vehicle Keys

2017-08-29-continental-intelligent-door

  • Vehicle doors can be unlocked digitally in emergencies even when the car’s battery is flat
  • No handle, no key: contactless door opener allows design freedom and improves comfort
  • Continental Smart Access (CoSmA): a complete package providing hands-free and digital vehicle access
  • Virtual, unforgeable key opens vehicle

 

Automated driving and mobility solutions such as car-sharing and fleet services call for innovative vehicle access systems, as conventional vehicle keys will cease to be adequate for the mobility concepts of the future. That is why Continental has expanded its Smart Access solution for convenient vehicle access via smartphone to offer drivers a complete package of services. With the technology company’s new emergency unlocking solution, users can gain access to their vehicle even if the car battery is flat – and can do so completely digitally, without having to resort to the mechanical emergency key. In combination with the Continental Smart Access system, the entire door is intelligent, which means that it opens and closes independently. “The intelligent door is a milestone in access technology, as for the first time, we can offer users an all-round package for hands-free and digital operation, from unlocking the car and opening the door to starting the engine. With it, we are enabling an even more convenient and secure driving experience for drivers and offering more design freedom to manufacturers,” explains Andreas Wolf, head of Continental’s Body & Security business unit.

Access to the vehicle, even when the battery is dead, thanks to a digital key

Until now when a car battery ran out drivers had to fall back on the mechanical emergency key and a manual door lock to get into their vehicles and open the hood. The emergency unlocking technology from Continental will render this unnecessary in the future. It does so by using buffered energy from the door control unit, which is sufficient to allow the door to be unlocked once more.

This automatic emergency unlocking system is activated by means of NFC technology, such as via a smartphone, which transmits the signal following a successful security check and automatically triggers the unlocking process for the door. This means more convenience for users, as they no longer need a mechanical key, even for emergencies. It also opens up more design freedom for carmakers, as they no longer have to develop a conventional key with a blade and can dispense entirely with the emergency lock in the door. In combination with the automatic door opener, even the entire door handle will become obsolete, which offers more options for the exterior design, whilst simultaneously improving the vehicle’s aerodynamic resistance.

Ensuring that not only the emergency lock but also the entire door handle is surplus to requirements, Continental has integrated an assistant function into the intelligent door. “Electronically controlled doors enable convenient, hands-free operation. Our security and control algorithms make sure that you can open and close the vehicle door securely and easily,” explains Wolf.

How Smart Access and the virtual key work

Smart Access enables convenient vehicle access via a smartphone. The system centers on the virtual key, which is saved to a mobile end device. This key, which consists of a tamper-proof data record, gains access only after successful one-time authentication by the back end, which sends it to the smartphone via a wireless interface. Further communication takes place exclusively between the smartphone and the vehicle.

For this purpose, the system uses multiple Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) or NFC transceiver modules, located in the vehicle, to enable the authorized smartphone to be located both from inside and from outside. As soon as an authorized virtual key is detected, the system issues permission to open the vehicle and start the engine. Therefore, there is no longer any need for a mechanical key.

Continental will present the intelligent door at the International Motor Show Germany (IAA) in Frankfurt am Main (Hall 5.1, Stand A07/A08) in September.

Source: Continental

British car manufacturing rebounds in July as new models hit production lines

  • UK car output rises 7.8% in July as manufacturers ramp up production with new models.
  • After seven months of decline in the domestic market, production increases 17.7% ahead of number plate change in September.
  • Year-to-date performance remains strong, with production passing the one million mark and in line with expectations.

British car manufacturing rose 7.8% in July, with 136,397 new units rolling off UK production lines, according to figures released today by SMMT. Major carmakers ramped up production for new and existing models in the month ahead of summer factory shutdowns, which provide an essential period for plant maintenance, upgrades and re-tooling.

Production for the UK bounced back in July, in readiness for the important September market, following seven successive months of decline, rising 17.7% – an increase of 4,490 units – while exports also grew by 5.3%. Cars made for overseas buyers represented nearly 80% of output in the month with 106,525 units shipped abroad, compared with 29,872 which stayed at home.

Year-to-date new car production remains solid and has now passed the one million mark, though showing a slight dip of -1.6% compared with 2016, in line with expectations. Since January, overseas customers have taken delivery of 78.8% of new cars made in Britain, with UK manufacturers now exporting cars to more than 160 different countries around the world.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said,

UK car production lines stepped up a gear in July, as usual bringing forward some production to help manage demand ahead of September and routine summer factory shutdowns. As the timing and length of these manufacturing pauses can shift each year, market performance comparisons for July and August should always be treated with caution, but as long as the economic conditions at home and abroad stay broadly stable we expect new car production to remain in line with expectations for the rest of 2017.

Source; SMMT