Ghosn gone, lidar and a mobile boutique hotel - the week

By Dave Leggett | 3 January 2020



The first week back after the holidays is often a strange one, the world not quite geared up for business as usual, and with the occasional dollop of surreal happenings thrown into the early January not-much-news-about mix (well, to be clear, I am talking auto industry, not the world).

Ah, yes, surreal. The ongoing Carlos Ghosn saga took on a new and pretty unexpected twist when he jumped bail. It's quite a tale and we'll find out more from the man himself next week when he gives a press conference. That is, if he feels safe enough to be in public and avoid the long arm of the law (the latest news is that there is an Interpol warrant for his arrest). Quite incredible. Might make a Hollywood movie one day. 

Ghosn gone and in Lebanon after jumping bail in Japan

CES is next week and there have been a few announcements of products and concepts being showcased. BMW's i3 Urban Suite caught my eye. Just sit back and unwind. There's even a table lamp, so go on, pull out a book.

There was news this week of a significant sounding technical innovation for future AVs. Bosch says it is ready to make lower cost sensors production ready for automated drive vehicles and that a new long-range lidar (light detection and ranging) sensor will be the first solution suitable for automotive use. Velodyne is also getting in on the lidar act.

Full on AVs are still a fair way off though. I enjoyed the analogy of housework employed in this comment piece looking at some of the issues that come with autonomous vehicles. They will never be 'done and dusted' so to speak, in terms of cyber security.

When it comes to EVs, battery charging is always a matter for discussion - innate technology characteristics make it much less straightforward than filling up at a pump. Finding a charge station will get easier, but infrastructure still needs to be rolled out and we have a long way to go. Turning the refuel problem on its head, what if the charger came to the vehicle?

Volkswagen lets its EV charging robots loose 

If you missed it, our review of the second half of last year was published just before we broke up for the holidays. Seems a long time ago now. Well, yes, it was last year.

Have a good weekend.

Dave Leggett

Editor, just-auto