Nvidia teams up with Volkswagen and Uber in Self Driving Technology

Graphics chips designer, Nvidia Corp is going to partner with Uber, Volkswagen and Baidu, Chinese web Service Company to develop self-driving cars. This is an attempt by Nvidia’s artificial intelligence unit to expand into the autonomous vehicle trade. The company is already in trusts with carmaker Tesla for creating the technology of driverless cars.

At 2018, Consumer Electronics Show held in Las Vegas, CEO of Nvidia Jensen Huang announced that the instantaneous decisions taken by Uber’s self-driving cars operate on Nvidia technology. Since their first test on Volvo SC90 SUVs in 2016, Uber has been utilizing Nvidia’s GPU (graphics processing unit) computing system. Talking about the progress of Uber’s autonomous driving program, Nvidia claimed that in the past 100 days, one million miles had been covered. Huang also revealed that self –driving start-up Aurora will be using Nvidia’s latest Xavier processor in their vehicle systems. The Xavier processor which is also called as Volta is a highly advanced form of artificial intelligence with a faster and comprehensive structure. In the coming months, Nvidia will distribute powerful processors that will entail 30 trillion operations per millisecond with the usage of only 30 watts of power supply.

Volkswagen is said to incorporate Nvidia’s Drive IX platform, an artificial intelligence technology in their upcoming cars. This mechanism will provide a smart co-navigator facility determined by sensor data inside and outside the car. Drive IX will enhance the car with features like unlocking through facial recognition, gesture controls and voice assistance.

Globally, around 320 companies, including software designers and automakers are working in collaboration with Nvidia towards developing the driverless technology. Charting its growth, this Silicon Valley company will emerge as a leader in chips for driverless vehicles, data houses and artificial intelligence.

 

Sources: CNBC, Reuters

Volkswagen Finance appoints Patrik Riese as the new MD and CEO

On Monday, Volkswagen Finance Private Ltd, the financial branch of the Volkswagen Group in India, announced Patrik Riese as their new Managing Director and CEO. He replaced Andreas Kutzner, who took the position in June 2015 as reported by PTI.

Riese studied International Business and Marketing from the Business school at the University of Gothenburg. Previously, holding the position of the Managing Director of Volkswagen financial services in South Africa and Sweden, his career spans over 26 years in the automotive industry.

Volkswagen Finance Private Ltd is also responsible for catering operations along with other major automotive brands in India. Skoda Financial Services, Audi Financial Services are among the few companies. It also provides financial services to Porsche, Lamborghini, and Sacia in the country.

The company is set to launch their new cars in the upcoming months. Volkswagen Passant will be launched September 2017, with an estimated price of Rs 25.00 Lakhs. Similarly, the company will be launching Up (hatchback) and T-Roc (SUV), both in the month of October.

Sources:

LivemintIndia Today

Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS launches in India

Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS launched in India on Friday. Priced at Rs. 8.69 Lakhs, the RS model’s booking is available at a token amount of Rs. 11,000. The car is exclusively available at Nexa outlets.

The new Baleno RS has strong and sporty appeal and comes with bi-xenon projector headlamps and power-operated ORVMs. Available as single variant, the Baleno RS has a 1.0 litre Booster Jet engine which is mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox.  Its engine has maximum power output of 100HP. Its 998cc engine has a maximum torque of 150NM. The new RS model has a fuel capacity of 37 litres.

The RS model is a lot like the previous Baleno but with updated dashboard including SmartPlay and integrated Apple CarPlay.

The RS model will face completion from Fiat Punto Abarth and Volkswagen Polo GTI and Ford Fiago in the sporty hatchback category. The interior of the car is set up with brushed aluminum center console.

The previous model, Maruti Suzuki Baleno has been a successful one. From April 2016 to January 2017, Maruti sold 1.38 Lakhs of Baleno units alone. The RS model hopes to have a good run in the market post-demonetisation.

Sources: 1] NDTV

2] India Today

Volkswagen set to shell out $4.3 billion in US environmental fines

Volkswagen confirmed on January 12, 2017 that the company has pleaded guilty to charges levied against the company by the United States Government after the emissions scandal of 2015. The automobile mega corporation stated in a financial disclosure that they will shell out close to $4.3 billion in civil and criminal fines.

Volkswagen came under fire in 2015 for programming cars to recognize when they are being tested, thus influencing the estimated emissions of the models. A study by West Virginia University  revealed that these discrepancies began in 2014, when it was noticed that Volkswagen automobiles emitted more pollutions on the road than in emissions tests.

The car manufacturing company will plead guilty to charges that include violating the US Clean Air Act, wire fraud and obstruction of justice, bringing the entire cost of the scandal in the United States alone to $20 billion. The company had previously paid $14 billion in a civil settlement, out of which $10.2 billion were intended to compensate the 500,000 individuals who bought the reprogrammed cars. This announcement is the latest in a number of recent incidents where large corporations have evaded criminal charges by settling on an exorbitant fee. Other companies to have recently made similar payouts include JP Morgan Chase and Deutsche Bank.

The announcement of the deal negotiated by Volkswagen comes just days after the arrest of a senior Volkswagen executive, Oliver Schmidt, in Florida. Oliver Schmidt was a former Emissions Compliance Manager of the company and was instrumental in supplying false information to California Air Resources Board and the Environmental Protection Agency.

 

Sources : The New York Times, The Telegraph

National Green Tribunal Issues Notice to Government and Volkswagen India

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) today directed German automobile major Volkswagen to give in writing that it would sell only those automobiles that fulfil all emission norms. The NGT directed Volkswagen to not sell any diesel vehicle in India which contains “cheat device”.

In this case, a cheat is basically software present in diesel machines to manipulate emissions exams by altering the act of the vehicles to recover results.

A bench headed by Justice U D Salvi directed the company in question to give in writing that it would trade only those automobiles which follow with all emission standards.

“We do see gravity of the matter. You should not sell cars with defeat device and which are not compliant. Let Volkswagen give an undertaking that it would not sell any vehicle in India fitted with ‘cheat device’,” the bench said.

The Tribunal, which stopped short of pointing ban on sale of Volkswagen in India for allegedly breaking emission norms, also directed Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) to place its study report by February 4, the forthcoming date of hearing.

Pinaki Misra, Senior Advocate appearing for Volkswagen, claimed before to the green panel that there were Volkswagen vehicles contained no such devices, and ARAI was already looking into the matter and outcome is awaited. Misra further added that, investigation over “cheat device” was going on even in U.S. and European Union, and Volkswagen has not yet been directed to pay any recompense.

The Tribunal had earlier issued notices to Centre, Volkswagen and ARAI on an appeal by Delhi inhabitants seeking a ban on sale of its vehicles for abusing of emission norms.

Sources:

http://www.thehindu.com/business/ngt-warns-volkswagen-not-to-sell-cars-with-cheat-device-in-india/article8072815.ece

http://auto.ndtv.com/news/national-green-tribunal-issues-notice-to-government-and-volkswagen-india-1249168

India to begin Probe into Volkswagen Cars Emission Scandal

It seems as though the Volkswagen scandal has finally reached Indian shores. The Indian government on Thursday ordered a probe into the controversy asking the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) to investigate if Volkswagen has flouted emission norms in the country. The order came after the German car maker accepted manipulation on emission tests in the United States.

India’s apex vehicle testing agency, Automotive Research Association of India (Arai) in Pune has been summoned to evaluate Volkswagen cars.

“We have written, requested Arai to look into the applicability of the matter. We want to know that what happened in the US could happen in India or not. Arai will also seek a clarification from Volkswagen India on the matter” as said by government officials in their statement.

Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn stepped down after the humiliation he faced due to the emission scandal involving the German auto maker. VW has been accused of systematically manipulating data of exhaust emissions tests in millions of diesel cars sold worldwide.

Volkswagen could be charged with penalties summing up to $18 billion after the US Environmental Protection Agency (or EPA) brought to light the controversy after nearly five years of investigations.

India also wants to find out if Volkswagen models that were recalled in Europe and US were also sold in India, and whether VW used the same software which was manipulated by VW in the US to fudge emissions data in India.

Source- livemint.com

Volkswagen plans $250 million investment in India

Pune: The German car-maker Volkswagen AG plans to spend $250 million in India in the coming five to six years.The company launched an updated version of its premium Hatchback Polo.Picture courtesy - online.wsj.com

The president and managing director of Volkswagen India private limited, Mahesh Kodumudi said that the company could increase its India plant capacity to 2,00,000 cars a year from 1,30,000. He also mentioned that Volkswagen is evaluating manufacturing engines in India.

From the past few years the Indian automobile market has been struggling through one of its worst slowdown. Still, the company is positive that India will eventually become an important growth market again.

To know more- http://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/volkswagen-aims-to-invest-rs-1500-cr-in-india-in-6-years/article6213489.ece?homepage=true