Foxconn Invests $10M in Autotalks to Accelerate V2X Rollout

Article By : Anne-Françoise Pelé

Foxconn Interconnect Technology has invested $10 million in Autotalks to accelerate V2X penetration across automotive and micromobility segments.

Vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communications aim to improve road safety, energy savings, and traffic efficiency. Foxconn Interconnect Technology (FIT), a subsidiary of Foxconn, announced it has invested $10 million (about €8.9 million) in Autotalks to accelerate V2X penetration across automotive and micromobility segments.

In addition to efforts to reduce traffic accidents through legislation, infrastructure improvements, and driver education, technological innovations have emerged in the automotive industry to make roads safer for everyone. V2X is a technology designed to allow vehicles to communicate with all road users.

“The joint automotive activity will focus on vehicle safety,” Onn Haran, CTO and founder of Autotalks, told EE Times Europe. “Foxconn is a leader in consumer products with an excellent user experience. Autotalks is a leader of V2X. The combination of capabilities and skills can help to bring a consumer V2X safety device for micromobility.”

Micromobility

From electric scooters to self-service bikes, micromobility is often seen as the future of transportation in congested urban areas around the world. In 2019, consultancy firm McKinsey predicted that the micromobility industry would be a $300 billion to $500 billion market by 2030. Then the pandemic hit, and the use of micromobility solutions dropped dramatically. Lately, cities have been regulating private-car travel while investing in bicycle-infrastructure as a greener and quieter alternative. The micromobility sector is now expected to make a strong post-pandemic recovery, according to McKinsey.

Autotalks ZooZ
Autotalks‘ ZooZ

The micromobility segment is classified as a vulnerable road user (VRU) subsegment. As such, Haran indicated, FIT and Autotalks joint micromobility activity will focus on VRUs by leveraging Autotalks’ automotive V2X technology and its recently launched ZooZ micromoblity platform.

The ZooZ platform comprises a ZooZ device installed on the bike or scooter, alerting when a V2X vehicle is endangering the cyclist, and a ZooZ smart sign, lighting up when a ZooZ device is approaching an intersection. It connects bikes and scooters to the vehicle safety network.

“FIT and Autotalks will collaborate on a production grade V2X solution to accelerate the mass-deployment of V2X in the micromobility segment,” confirmed Haran.

The joint micromobility activity will start this year, and the automotive activity will begin early in 2022.

EV range

The driving range remains the main obstacle to the wider adoption of electric vehicles (EVs). Car manufacturers are constantly improving the range, but a larger battery increases the vehicle’s cost and weight. As described on the Autotalks website, V2X can help increase EV range.

When asked how a V2X safety sensor can increase the range, Haran said, “Safety is indeed a primary use-case of V2X. However, a V2X sensor can also take road mobility to the next step in its evolution by introducing the notion of cooperation and real-time coordination between vehicles on the road.”

He added, “Through cooperation and real-time coordination, enabled by V2X, vehicles can synchronize the way they utilize the road to optimize (1) traffic flow (reduce accelerations and decelerations) and (2) road capacity utilization (maintaining close distance between vehicles). These are the two most critical parameters impacting EV range.”

The collaboration has no predefined terms. “FIT and Autotalks recognize the synergy between the companies and see the collaboration as long term,” said Haran. “The ultimate goal is to increase the joint business in the target segments through close collaboration.”

This article was originally published on EE Times Europe.

Anne-Françoise Pelé is editor-in-chief of eetimes.eu and EE Times Europe.

 

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