Auto IQ weekly news roundup, including Canoo, Boston Dynamics and Hyundai
On the site this week, we have an exclusive extract from our 2019 Semiconductors in the Autonomous Age report.
We also uploaded Peter Els’ latest industry spotlight column. In it, he runs through the reality of the new WLTP tests, revealing that the results are often still wide of the mark, despite the added pressure post-dieselgate on the industry to clean up its act.
Here's a couple of other stories that caught our eye:
Canoo unveils the Canoo
US-based start-up Canoo has unveiled its first car, confusingly also called the Canoo. The vehicle was created in 19 months and is due to hit the roads of LA in 2021, before rolling out to other cites in the US and possibly China.
The spec sheet reads like a zeitgeist script for start-up venture vehicles right now – the Canoo will be offered as a no-commitment subscription service, with users expected to use their smartphones for most of the car’s functions; the vehicles runs on an EV skateboard chassis capable of 250 miles of range; the car is currently at level 2 driver assistance with more to come, and the body on top is a seven-seater spacious MPV with windows akin to the amazing sightseeing train cars you get in the US.
Although it’s hard to tell without seeing the car first hand, there seems to be some neat details, helped by the fact that a lot of the key figures at Canoo have already done their time at both legacy OEMs and other start-ups. Hopefully this one will be a start-up that stays the course.
Boston Dynamics shows off its skills again
Not one but two bits of news from Boston Dynamics, the internet’s favorite purveyor of freakishly competent robots. The first is the video above of the firm’s Atlas robot doing an extremely impressive gymnastics routine. The robot uses a new algorithm to figure out the routine significantly faster than before, and four out of five times it carries it off without a hitch.
The second news is that US businesses can now apply, via the Boston Dynamics website, to lease one of its dog-sized Spot robots. Spot can carry a payload of up to 14kg, walk at 3.5mph and its swappable battery lasts for 90 minutes. It’s designed to be able to make remote inspections in places too dangerous for a human to venture. Abilities to do the coffee round are as yet unconfirmed…
Hyundai signs big deal with Aptiv, as EV racer hits the track
The big news for autonomous driving fans this week was the announcement of a 50:50 joint venture between Hyundai and Aptiv to get self-driving cars on the road by 2022. Hyundai will add $1.6bn worth of R&D expertise, IP and engineering skills as part of the $4bn deal.
Also, fresh from showing off its EV Veloster N ETCR at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Hyundai Motorsport has been stretching the car’s legs at a two-day test at the Hungaroring. The team is planning to hone the car through the winter, in order to have it ready to race next year.
The video here is interesting as you can hear the car in action for the first time – it’s quite an odd sensation to see a clearly fast-moving touring car making very little noise. However, if you scroll on a little in the video you can hear the car doing some high-speed passes and the motor and transmission whine gives it a certain je ne sais quoi. With 20-odd cars on the grid, it could be quite the spectacle.