Beecham's Tech-Talk

Beecham's Tech-Talk

By: Matthew Beecham

Matthew Beecham interviews automotive component industry specialists to learn more about changing technologies and new innovations.

Valeo prepares for 48V growth

20 Mar 2019 | Matthew Beecham

Valeo claims that they invented the 48V mild hybrid system 15 years ago, and are already in production in China and Europe with a "significant production ramp-up" this year. The supplier further claims that advanced orders for 48V machines will make it the number one 48V mild-hybrid supplier in the world by 2020. So is its long shot on 48V mild hybrid tech now paying off? To learn more, we spoke to Michel Forissier, Chief Technology Officer of Valeo’s Powertrain Systems Business Group.up.

Interior design and technology – Infiniti QX30

18 Mar 2019 | Matthew Beecham

Since its European launch in 2016, Nissan's luxury brand Infiniti has used the QX30 to attract a new type of premium car buyer. Yet last week, we learned that Infiniti will abandon western Europe to focus on markets in which it is more successful. Production of the Q30 and QX30 is to cease by July 2019 at Nissan’s factory in Sunderland, UK. The company did not cite Brexit. Continuing QUBE/just-auto's review of interior design and technology trends, we take a closer look inside one of the last few produced.

Ionity charges on with European network for EVs

15 Mar 2019 | Matthew Beecham

BMW, Daimler, Ford and the Volkswagen Group are involved in a joint venture, called Ionity that is installing a high power charging network for electric vehicles across Europe. The venture is based in BMW's home city of Munich and headed by CEO Dr Michael Hajesch. Continuing just-auto/QUBE’s series of interviews, we spoke to Dr Hajesch to find out more.

Digital Proving Grounds - Q&A with simulation software specialist rFpro

7 Mar 2019 | Matthew Beecham

With driving simulators becoming increasingly realistic, allowing more tests to be effectively undertaken in a virtual environment, growing numbers of proving grounds are investing in ‘digital twins’ of themselves. To learn more about what is accelerating this trend, we spoke to asked Chris Hoyle, from simulation software company rFpro.

Testing times for AVs – Q&A with AB Dynamics

6 Mar 2019 | Matthew Beecham

The development of autonomous vehicles (AVs) is still in its infancy. How do OEMs test these vehicles to ensure they are safe on the road in the real world?  AB Dynamics has been developing testing systems for automakers for decades, pushing back the boundaries of advanced driver assistance (ADAS) test systems, the building blocks of an AV. To learn more about how the auto industry is developing testing regimes for AVs, we spoke to Jeremy Ash, Head of Commercial, AB Dynamics.

Q&A with Valeo CTO of Visibility Systems

27 Feb 2019 | Matthew Beecham

Valeo’s Visibility Systems group designs and produces lighting and wiper systems that improve driver comfort and safety in all weather conditions. Continuing just-auto/QUBE’s series of interviews with tier one component suppliers, we caught up with Christophe Le Ligné, Chief Technology Officer of the Visibility Systems Business Group at Valeo to learn more about its wiper systems and innovations.

Interior design and technology – Kia Sportage

27 Feb 2019 | Matthew Beecham

Unveiled at the 2015 IAA and updated in 2018, the fourth-generation Kia Sportage remains a key model for the brand in Europe. The latest refresh included an expanded engine line-up, some aesthetic changes and generous trim levels, all of which helped the model rank as the tenth best-selling car in the UK last year. Continuing just-auto/QUBE’s review of interior design and technology trends, we take a closer look inside this ever-popular mid-size family SUV.

Vulog rides the car-sharing boom

26 Feb 2019 | Matthew Beecham

French shared mobility tech firm Vulog supplies back-end software platforms for car-sharing services. It claims to offer everything needed for an operator to run a car-sharing service, working with the likes of Kia and PSA Groupe in the US, China and Europe. Last year, their platforms powered 15 million journeys. This year, they're forecasting 25 million. They're using Big Data to help clients optimise fleet efficiency and trialling autonomous ride-hailing/mobility sharing. To learn more, we spoke to Grégory Ducongé, CEO of Vulog.

Interior technology and design – Honda Jazz

20 Feb 2019 | Matthew Beecham

Since the Honda Jazz was launched way back in 2001, the automaker has sold more than 7 million models worldwide. Despite its popularity, it is not until you drive one that you begin to notice them everywhere, driven mainly by an older generation. It does not – and must not – set pulses racing. It’s a safe, no-nonsense choice. Continuing just-auto/QUBE’s review of interior design and technology trends, we take a closer look inside this B-segment hatchback.

EV propulsion revolution – Q&A with Equipmake

19 Feb 2019 | Matthew Beecham

UK-based electronics R&D specialist, Equipmake, has developed what it claims to be the world’s most power dense electric motor for automotive, marine and aerospace applications. Using technology first applied to F1, Equipmake’s founder, Ian Foley, was the man behind the F1 KERS hybrids in 2009 that were so successful for Williams. We caught up with him to learn more about the business and its technologies. The company’s current projects include the Ariel Hipercar and an electric bus project.

Interior design and technology – Mazda CX-5

4 Feb 2019 | Matthew Beecham

Launched in June 2017, the current and second-generation Mazda CX-5 was updated last summer with additional standard safety equipment, the introduction of a petrol automatic model and a power increase for the 2.2-litre Skyactiv-D diesel engine. Continuing QUBE/just-auto's review of interior design and technology trends, we take a closer look inside this medium-sized crossover.

Suppliers showcase tomorrow’s mobility tech at CES

30 Jan 2019 | Matthew Beecham

While the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is pure tech, it has become a must-see auto show that is knee-deep in automotive technologies and ambitious concepts designed to make cars safer and drivers more connected, This year was no exception with more than 600 exhibitors displaying a vast array of self-driving technologies, aftermarket enhancements and the latest smart mobility solutions. Continuing just-auto/QUBE’s series of research snapshots, this one turns a spotlight on just a handful of those exhibitors and how this translates for drivers.

Prodrive’s solution to composite recycling

21 Jan 2019 | Matthew Beecham

Prodrive Composites has developed a process for manufacturing recyclable composite components that can satisfy future end-of-life requirements without compromising the performance of the original parts. To learn more, we caught up with John McQuilliam FIMMM, Chief Engineer at Prodrive Composites and board member of the British Composites Society.

Sounds right – Q&A with Harman Car Audio VP

18 Jan 2019 | Matthew Beecham

A number of automotive trends were evident at last week’s CES, notably how Artificial Intelligence, smart audio and voice control systems are shaping the in-car user experience. To learn more, we caught up with Bill Wyman, VP - Global Marketing – Car Audio, Harman.

CES - Shifting gears from RPM to EPM with Harman

18 Jan 2019 | Matthew Beecham

Harman used the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) last week to showcase its expertise and latest innovations in connected car, audio and connected services technologies. The company says it is expanding the traditional measures of MPGs or RPMs to deliver what consumers today demand, namely Experiences Per Mile (EPM). Connected, personalised and adaptable experiences driven by technology, not horsepower, is the main differentiator of new vehicles, says the supplier. It further believes it is "democratising vehicle experiences" through solutions that enable smarter interactions, improve safety and security, and help automakers seamlessly scale offerings across car segments. To find out how, we met with Rashmi Rao, Senior Director Global Engineering, Advanced Product Development, User Experience, Connected Car, Harman.

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