Roundup of Top Announcements from the 2019 NAIAS

This week all eyes were on Detroit as the 2019 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) kicked into full gear. Below is a recap of the most newsworthy stories and announcements coming out of NAIAS and Automobili-D, as well as what to look forward as you visit the show.

Announcements:

  • Congratulations to Genesis Motor America, Ram Trucks and Hyundai Motor Company – recipients of the 2019 North American Car, Truck and Utility of the Year awards. Announced this week at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The awards are among the most prestigious in the industry. Winners are chosen by a panel of 54 jurors from print, online and broadcast media across the United States and Canada.
  • Jim Hackett, CEO of Ford Motor Company and Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen announced today that both company’s have decided to work together to cut the cost of new technology development in a joint alliance.
  • Making waves on Tuesday, Detroit Mobility Lab’s Chris Thomas and Jessica Robinson, who both spoke at MICHauto’s Student Summit this past October, announced the Detroit Mobility Lab is launching the Michigan Mobility Institute in Detroit. The institute will focus on educating and re-educating engineers in AI, robotics and other mobility needs. The Michigan Mobility Institute was created as a way to answer the need for the estimated 100,000 new mobility jobs to come with future mobility.
  • Techstars Mobility announced a new name, Techstars Detroit, along with a new partnership with Lear Corporation and new home at the Lear Innovation Center.
  • Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced four pilot projects funded by the $8 Million Michigan Mobility Challenge that will address core mobility gaps for seniors, persons with disabilities and veterans across the state.
  • Eyes on Design awards were awarded to Axalta for “Innovative Use of Color, Graphics or Materials,” ABC Technologies for “Best Interiors” and Ford Motor Co.’s 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500 for “Best Production Vehicle.”

Reveals:

  • Ford Motor Company: Revealed the new Shelby GT500, the most powerful street legal Mustang ever. With more features and more power, the Shelby GT500 produces more than 700 horsepower sending it from 0 to 60 mph in three seconds.
  • RAM: Making its debut at NAIAS, Ram rolled out their new heavy-duty Ram 2500. Offering advanced safety features including forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking and blind spot warning on all versions. The Ram 1500 also scooped up as the truck of the year award.
  • Toyota Motor Corp.: Aiming to return to Toyota’s signature, performance and excitement, Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda revealed the new Toyota Supra on Monday. As Toyota’s commitment to Michigan to continues to thrive, this announcement was felt throughout Detroit as the excitement around the newly unveiled vehicle increased.
  • Nissan EV: Focused on luxury, Nissan reveled the IMs concept EV. The concept is explained as a “elevated sports sedan” the concepts proportions positions the vehicle as a segment of its own due to its electric vehicle identity and unique features.

View photos and read more coverage from NAIAS.

Flashpoint 1/21/18: Examining Detroit’s lacking Amazon campaign Watch Flashpoint at 10 a.m. on Local 4

January, 21, 2018

WDIV Local 4 – Flashpoint

Devin Scillian – Anchor

On Tuesday, Detroit learned it wouldn’t be the location for Amazon‘s second world headquarters. This week’s Flashpoint examines what can be taken away from the city’s lacking campaign.

Also, this year’s North American International Auto Show is about trucks and SUVs, but why?

Flashpoint is hosted by WDIV Local 4 anchor Devin Scillian. Watch Flashpoint on WDIV at 10 a.m. on Sundays.

Visit clickondetroit.com to view the original post. 

Experts Examine the Formation of the Autonomous Drive Industry

By: Kelly Weatherwax

Throughout the North American International Auto Show Industry Preview Days, conversations around autonomous vehicles flooded the halls. Everyone wants expert insight on when these vehicles will become consumer products, what infrastructure and legislation will be needed to move automated vehicles forward, and most of all – where will all the talent come from?

May Mobility CEO Ed Olson sat down in AutoMobili-D with a panel of experts from companies working on the future of automotive in one way or another, for more insight into how this autonomous drive industry will culminate.

So when will this technology take over the roads like the iPod took over the music industry? Samit Ghosh, President and CEO of P3 said by 2021 he believes most OEMs in the western world will have fully autonomous driving deployment, but there is still a lot more R&D and testing to be done to allow that to happen.

“Germany and the U.S. are leading on autonomous vehicle development. By2021 China will catch up. They’re lagging on key complexity, because of high congestion,” Ghosh explained. “Currently the U.S. is at the forefront with legislation like what Gov. Snyder signed. Other countries like China will be more restrictive and fall behind.”

Talent is top of mind

With innovation happening so rapidly, challenges arise that need to be addressed and the one that is top of mind for everyone is talent.

Udacity, an online education platform that offers AI courses with a focus on autonomous vehicle education, is one way people can get the skills they need for the growing industry demands.

“More than 10,000 students have enrolled in the ‘Intro to Self-Driving Cars’ course and go off to get jobs in Detroit, Silicon Valley and Germany,” explained David Silver, an engineer for the nanodegree program at Udacity. “At the end of the nine-week course the students take the code they worked on and test it on the road on an autonomous vehicle where they see real-time how the code interacts with lane and path finding, and adhering to traffic laws.”

Recognizing that P3 has a global talent pool, Gosh said the company is always looking for creative ways to recruit because attracting talent is a challenge with everyone fighting for the same finite resource.

“When it comes to project work, we are inclined to look at the U.S. market and look through certain visa regulations set up through NAFTA,” he explained.

Cybersecurity on the frontlines is key to success

Many have questioned if OEMs have learned from past mistakes.

“Are we handling security better with autonomous vehicles today than we did with the connected car where cybersecurity was an afterthought?” asked Geoffrey Wood, director of automotive cybersecurity for Harman. “Investing in security research to do R&D for technology to be implemented on the frontlines of this is going to be key to the success of autonomous vehicles.”

Ride-sharing alone is expected to pose a large vulnerability – when you get into the vehicle the car is going to know you in some way and the rider before or after you may have access to that data.

“Being able to pull data off vehicles and continually monitor the system – we need to get to that point infrastructure-wise,” Wood explained.

Investing in the proper research and engaging legislators early to understand the technology they are legalizing will be checkpoints in the process that will delay autonomous cars for years to come if missed.

Robust, safe infrastructure will be an expensive challenge

The way roads are designed, from signage to parking, will need to be different for autonomous vehicles to dominate the road, but who is going to fund new infrastructure?

“You can start charging a tax for driving, a curbside tax for shared vehicles, or a tax system to charge against vehicle owners that need that infrastructure in place,” said David Ben, chief technology officer for PPG.

Olson added that building maps, understanding traffic flow, building the shortest loop that makes sense, are all things May Mobility is currently working on.

Taiwanese Delegation Gets Up-Close Look at Detroit Region’s Innovation During NAIAS

Continuing to share the message of the automotive industry resurgence and a growing tech boom in the Detroit region, the Detroit Regional Chamber, along with the Michigan-China Innovation Center, hosted a delegation of 21 Taiwanese experts in the field of semiconductors and electronics as part of outreach efforts during the 2018 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).

Delegates heard an overview of the region’s assets from Justin Robinson, vice president of Business Attraction for the Chamber, as well as an overview of Michigan’s strategic leadership in automotive from Courtney Henderson, business development manager of the Michigan-China Innovation Center. Mark Heusel of Dickinson Wright offered insight on common legal questions regarding doing business in the United States. During a Q&A, delegates expressed interest in expanding into the Detroit and Michigan as a key market for growth among the Taiwanese semiconductor industry.

Destination Detroit, a key initiative of the Chamber’s Forward Detroit economic development strategy, is focused on attracting businesses from around the world to the Detroit region. The delegation visit is one of several events the Chamber participates in throughout the auto show to promote Detroit and Michigan’s story to a global audience.

MICHauto Convenes Industry Experts, Educators to Share Insight on State’s Talent Challenges

MICHauto hosted 55 automotive industry experts and regional educators Wednesday to discuss the status of Michigan’s automotive industry and next-generation talent needs. The event kicked off with four presentations focusing on the state’s talent pipeline and the convergence of technology and mobility. Presenters provided startling facts regarding mobility, manufacturing and the growing talent gap:

  • Every job in manufacturing creates another 2.5 new jobs in local goods or services
  • “Software developer” was the top manufacturing job posting from 2010 through 2015
  • Michigan is responsible for 80 percent of the nation’s automotive research and development
  • 65 percent of children entering kindergarten today will work in jobs that are not yet defined

Following the presentations, Square One Education Network Chief Technology Officer Michael Tucker moderated a town hall discussion that explored key issues regarding the growing talent shortage in Michigan’s automotive sector and ways in which local industry leaders can collaborate with educators to promote exciting, well-paying careers in the automotive and mobility field.

Techstars Alumni: Detroit is Built for Entrepreneurs

Detroit is the place to be for aspiring entrepreneurs. That was the message a panel of three Techstars alumni emphasized during a candid discussion about their experience participating in the three-month startup accelerator program. The panel was part of a week of programming at the North American International Auto Show’s new Automobili-D exhibit.

“The media doesn’t do a good job telling Detroit’s story. I fell in love with the city immediately and I know others did, too,” said Rohith Varanasi, co-founder of the cell phone startup, Lunar.

Varanasi was joined on stage by Chris Bailey, CEO and co-founder of Revio; and Greta Cutulenco, CEO and co-founder of Acerta. All three alumni credited their experience with Techstars with invaluable connections to investors, industry mentors and training.

“Learning how to interact with investors and walking us through step-by-step on how to grow our business was very helpful,” Bailey said.

Revio offers cutting-edge safety and security products for the power sports industry, while Acerta focuses on machine-assisted anomaly detection and root cause analysis.

When asked by an audience member whether the startups have become profitable since exiting the Techstars program, all three alumni expressed affirmation for the coming year.

“We’re still growing,” Cutulenco said. “We wouldn’t be where we are without Techstars helping us make connections.”

For more information on Techstars, visit www.techstars.com.

Maven’s Julia Steyn: Technology is ‘Enabler’ for Michigan’s Mobility Future

Closing out programming for this year’s Automobili-D exhibit at the North American International Show, Daniel Howes, columnist for The Detroit News, sat down with Julia Steyn, General Motors’ vice president of urban mobility and Maven, to discuss car-sharing and the future of mobility in Michigan.

“(Mobility) technology keeps moving forward, so you can either look at it as a disruptor or enabler,” said Steyn about the forthcoming challenges facing the automotive industry with the increase of autonomous technology and mobility-sharing platforms. “I prefer to see it as an enabler while continuing to innovate.”

Steyn also spoke on GM’s leadership in car-sharing and mobility as a service during panel discussions earlier in the week. Read the Detroiter’s in-depth interview with Steyn about Detroit and GM’s long-term mobility vision here.

Legal Experts: Liability, Privacy and Cybersecurity Challenges Ahead for Autonomous Technology Adoption

As more automated and driverless technologies are brought to market, questions regarding liability, privacy, data management and cybersecurity could present myriad legal challenges for automakers and suppliers in the not-so-distant future. That was a key message legal experts stressed in a candid conversation on “rights and regulations” on the Automobili-D stage at the North American International Auto Show on Thursday.

Kicking off the discussion, Patrick Seyferth, partner at Bush Seyferth & Paige PLLC, cautioned that the use of loaded language, specifically promoting autonomous vehicles as “saving lives,” should be used sparingly. Citing examples like the death of a Tesla autopilot driver, Seyferth said there is a common misperception that autonomous vehicles will totally eliminate human error and reduce accidents from texting, drunkenness, and other forms of distracted driving. In reality, according to Seyferth, automated vehicles shift human error from the driving to the programming and design.

“I’m not suggesting that autonomous technology is bad, I just think we need to pay a little more attention to what safety advocates are saying,” he said.

Tom Manganello, partner at Warner Norcross & Judd, disagreed with Seyferth’s analysis of safety, stating autonomous tech will be a key catalyst to improving safety on roadways across the world.

“Fatalities have gone up 6,000 per year at a time when cars are the safest they’ve ever been from a passive protection standpoint. So what’s the problem? The problem is people. Will automated vehicle technology prevent all deaths? No. What we will see is a rapid reduction in serious injuries and deaths the more the driver can be taken out of the system,” he said.

Discussion also focused on cybersecurity risk and data protection.

“When you think connectivity, you have to look at your vulnerabilities,” said Jennifer Dukarski, attorney with Butzel Long. “Imagine a nefarious person being able to hack a fleet of police vehicles to learn their exact location.”

Despite the challenges, Dukarski said Michigan is well-positioned to lead in the testing and development of connected and autonomous vehicles with the passage of the Safe Autonomous Vehicles (SAVE) Act.

The panel was moderated by Glenn Stevens, executive director of MICHauto.

Automotive and Startup Leaders: ‘Be Firm and Flexible’ with Partnerships

Listen and truly understand the needs of your corporate partner. Be willing to change and adapt. Accept help, corporate partners must be involved in product development.

These were just a few of the tips provided by the automotive and startup collaboration panel on the Automobili-D stage at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) on Wednesday. Panelists included Motus’ Jim Disanto, Spatial’s Lyden Foust, PolySync’s Josh Hartung, Michelin’s Patrick Kirby, and General Motors’ Alisyn Malek. The panel was moderated by Techstars’ Laura Kennedy.

Together the automotive leaders and startups shared their personal experience, tricks of the trade and advice on achieving success.

“Remember that it’s not only about you trying to sell a product. You have to share ideas, back and forth with each other and truly be open to changing,” Disanto said.

“It’s very important to know the language. With an understanding of the corporate partner’s culture and environment, the process will be that much smoother,” Malek said.

The overall theme of the panel was for future startup founders to stay dedicated and committed to their product.

“There is no guaranteed formula, it’s truly a journey. My best advice is to be like bamboo – stay firm, but flexible,” Foust said.

Magna International Reveals New, Ultralight Door Module

Ian Simmons, vice president of business development, research and development at Magna International, was on hand at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) to announce the company’s new, ultralight door architecture that will help address lightweighting requirements for automakers. Magna’s product offers 42.5 percent mass savings compared to the average industry door.

Simmons presented alongside Reuben Sarkar, deputy assistant secretary of sustainable transportation at the U.S. Department of Energy, who together with FCA US LLC and Grupo Antolin, developed the new technology. The pair also presented a solution to further help global automakers meet emissions standards and reduce fuel consumption through lightweighting. Learn more here.