A record number of travelers are expected to travel the holidays this year, buoyed by higher wages and additional disposable income. According to AAA, more than 54 million Americans traveled farther than 50 miles from home during the Thanksgiving holiday, with more expected during the Christmas break. Maintaining safety on the roads is a shared responsibility of all drivers. Since 1927, safety has been the guiding principle for all Volvo Trucks innovations, like the three-point safety belt, and standard features like the driver-side airbag, effective LED lighting, full roll stability and collision mitigation technologies.
“Safety is in Volvo Trucks’ DNA and has been a top priority from Day One,” said Magnus Koeck, vice president of marketing and brand management for Volvo Trucks North America. “We are committed to helping keep the nation’s roads safe, which starts by equipping our trucks with comprehensive lineup of passive and active safety features. These features translate to enhanced protection for the professional driver at the wheel and extended to surrounding vehicles, which is particularly important at high-traffic times during the holidays.”
In addition to offering innovative technologies to help improve roadway safety, Volvo Trucks is offering some recommendations to help motorists remain safe during the holiday travel season.
- Consider planning your route ahead of time. Construction and general traffic congestion are inevitable. Take a look at your route before hitting the road to see if an alternate route may be effective to avoid extended delays. Drivers should also research when roads are expected to be especially busy – AAA provides such details for large cities. Late afternoons are typically expected to have an influx of traffic with people leaving work a little early to get a head start for their trip.
- Avoid driving while fatigued. Driving tired is just as dangerous for short trips as it is for extended drive times. Make sure to take breaks every two hours to get up and move around. If needed, pull over to rest and make sure you get a good night’s sleep before hitting the road.
- Carefully manage stress. The holiday season is notorious for causing stress and can negatively impact driving habits. Try to avoid mental distractions while driving, stay calm and do not rush, even in traffic jams.
- Be aware of the presence of deer during the holiday season. Numerous studies have shown October to December sees more than double the amount of accidents caused by deer. Dusk to dawn are the most dangerous times for drivers. With many drivers headed out on trips late in the afternoon, it is crucial to be extra cautious and know how to safely handle a deer encounter. For instance, it is important to avoid swerving – brake as definitively as possible.
While the trucking industry is undergoing numerous transformations, including electronic logging device (ELD) mandates and hours-of-service regulations, Volvo Trucks is a consistent, driving force focused on the safety and well-being of all motorists. That impact is demonstrated by the company’s Zero Accident Vision and new technologies such as Volvo Active Driver Assist.
Now standard on all VNR and VNL models, Volvo Active Driver Assist is always operating while the vehicle is in motion. Delivering warnings up to 3.5 seconds before a potential impact with a vehicle, the technology helps drivers effectively adjust and react to ever-changing traffic conditions. Drivers receive visual and audible alerts for situations like lane departure, as well as a red warning light reflection on the windshield if a forward collision is possible. It specifically disengages cruise if needed, engages the engine brake, downshifts and reduces the throttle. The safety feature couples camera and radar technology, so if an object is not picked up on the radar, the windshield’s mounted camera has a 42 degree viewing angle that detects lane position and crucial characteristics of an object nearby.
Best New Automotive Innovations for 2019 Announced by Automobile Journalists Association of Canada
The Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) announced today the winners of its 2019 Innovation Awards at the Canadian International AutoShow in Toronto. The winners are:
Best Green Innovation – Infiniti, for the VC-Turbo engine.
Best Safety Innovation – Subaru, for DriverFocus.
Best Technical Innovation – Mercedes-Benz, for Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX).
“The Innovation Awards now recognize safety, environmental awareness and technology,” said Mark Richardson, President, Automobile Journalists Association of Canada. “This is an opportunity to recognize the very best and most innovative examples of new automotive products available to Canadian drivers.”
In 2018, AJAC members nominated 30 different automotive innovations for consideration. The awards were judged by a panel of nine journalists who specialize in automotive technology. They independently reviewed briefs on all nominated entries, and from that initial review the jurors established a short list of finalists in each category. In late October, they convened for a day of presentations and questioning with manufacturer representatives on each of the short-listed entries. The jurors then voted a second time by secret ballot.
As with the Canadian Car of the Year awards program, these votes were compiled and authenticated by accounting firm KPMG.
Infiniti’s VC-Turbo engine is the world’s first production-ready variable compression ratio engine and one of the most advanced internal combustion engines ever created. More than 20 years in development, it represents a major breakthrough in internal-combustion powertrain technology. It delivers the power of a high-performance 2.0-liter turbo gasoline engine with a high level of efficiency.
Subaru’s DriverFocus utilizes a camera angled at the driver’s face and facial recognition software to monitor fatigue or lack of attention. When the driver begins to lose focus, DriverFocus immediately sends out a helpful alert — it’s like an automated co-driver.
Mercedes-Benz’s MBUX uses artificial intelligence to adapt to suit the user, creating an emotional connection between the vehicle, driver and passengers. It includes the high-resolution widescreen cockpit with touchscreen operation, navigation display with augmented reality technology, plus intelligent voice control with natural speech recognition, which is activated with the keyword “Hey Mercedes.”
Photography is available at http://www.ajac.ca/press-room.asp
SOURCE Automobile Journalists Association of Canada
Karma Automotive Bolsters Growing Leadership Ranks
– NEW VP, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT & STRATEGY HELPS DRIVE BRAND TOWARD PROFITABLE LUXURY, HIGH-TECH FUTURE
– KEY ASSIGNMENTS: DRIVE REVENUE, INCREASE MARKET SHARE, MAXIMIZE PROFITABILITY
Lewis Liu, an accomplished automotive strategist with deep consulting experience for several major international and Chinese brands, has joined Southern California-based Karma Automotive as Vice President, Business Development and Strategy to help lead long-term, forward-thinking business strategies, focused on luxury, high technology, customization and VVIP customer treatment.
“Lewis has the kind of expertise in corporate financial investments, strategy development and implementation, international operational management, and market-entry strategies we need to help grow Karma’s unique luxury electric vehicle nice,” said Karma CEO Dr. Lance Zhou. “Karma attracts top talent because we have a very clear vision of what’s required to achieve our goals and execute a solid product plan that spans the next decade. Our future is strong.”
Liu comes to Karma from Faraday Future where he served as Senior Director of Strategic Partnership & Business Development since 2016. Prior to his time at Faraday, Liu was a Managing Director of KPMG Advisory (China), leading the management consulting practice for the automotive industry. Prior to joining KPMG, Liu was Senior Vice President at Ascension Capital, a private equity firm specializing in mergers and acquisitions for the auto industry. Lewis was also the General Manager and Plant Manager at Philips Lighting Electronics where he managed a business unit in the Asia Pacific region for Philips.
“Karma’s Value-Forward business plan which in part encourages collaboration with the right business partners to help accelerate technology and product development really attracted me to the company,” said Liu. “I’m excited to help create long-term value for a brand that’s defined by exclusive design and craftsmanship, intuitive and integrated high technology, personalized customization that allows every Karma vehicle to be special, and an owner experience with unrivaled treatment.”
Liu, who reports directly to Mikael Elley, Karma’s Co-Chief of Staff, will craft strategies to meet future luxury EV customer demands, leverage technology developments, and remain in front of competitor plans and industry trends to help ensure Karma is well positioned for success. He is expected to play a key role in driving revenue and maximizing profitability.
Liu earned his MBA from the University of Chicago and his master’s degree in Artificial Intelligence from the University of Mississippi. He also earned a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Beijing Polytechnic University.
Meet Karma Automotive and Karma Revero
Karma Automotive designs, engineers, assembles and markets luxury electric vehicles, all from its Southern Californiabase of operations. Founded in 2014 and employing nearly 1,000 people worldwide, Karma Automotive is committed to elevating and growing the luxury mobility experience for its customers and draws on global relationships and technology partners to achieve this. Named Green Car Journal’s 2018 Luxury Green Car of the Year, Karma Revero is a luxury electric vehicle powered by dual electric motors that embodies the company’s goals of offering leading automotive design, technology, customization and an outstanding customer experience.
AUTOTECH 2018 – 100 M&A DEALS AND RECORD VENTURE CAPITAL INVESTMENT LAY THE FOUNDATIONS FOR AUTOMOTIVE FUTURE
- Disclosed VC funding to automotive start-ups hits $8 billion
- Electrification, connectivity, autonomy and mobility are driving investments and deals in a race for market leadership
London, UK – 20 February 2019. The latest Automotive Technology M&A Market Report from international technology mergers and acquisitions advisor, Hampleton Partners, reveals that disclosed Venture Capital funding to automotive start-ups totalled $8 billion in 2018.
In parallel, almost 100 M&A deals were inked, including Renault, Ford and Volkswagen’s autotech acquisitions in the second half of 2018; however, total disclosed M&A transaction value reached $3.9 billion in the time period, the lowest in over five years.
The report also shows the growing role of Private Equity (PE) in the autotech M&A market, accounting for almost one quarter of all transactions in 2018. The largest PE acquisition was Gores Group’s buyout of Verra Mobility for $1.3 billion, at an attractive 17x EV/EBITDA multiple.
“Although we are currently seeing more venture capital investment than M&A transaction value in autotech, all players in the sector continue to push to be the market leader within the new world of electrification, connectivity, autonomy and mobility. Start-ups with innovative ideas are pursuing funding, and global giants from all sectors, including financial, are continuing to invest, fund and acquire.”
Key trends in autotech
- Connected car technology is widely hailed as the precursor for autonomous vehicles, providing passengers with features like internet, next-generation infotainment and enhanced safety features.
Examples of deals in this sub-sector included Volkswagen’s purchase of WirelessCar for almost three times its revenue; Aptiv’s acquisition of Chinese advanced interconnect specialist KUM in a landmark $500 million deal; and Zurich Insurance’s acquisition of Bright Box in a move to bring the insurer into the vehicle and closer to the data it generates.
- Vehicle manufacturers are diversifying from pure passenger car production to protect themselves against an uncertain future where personal vehicle ownership is no longer the norm.
Early in 2018 Daimler led a $175 million equity round in Taxify, Estonia’s response to Uber. BMW took over Parkmobile to become the largest provider of mobile parking in the United States and in November Ford bought Spin, an electric scooter sharing platform, in an effort to expand its micro-mobility offering.
- Internet commerce and content is growing in importance, with prospective vehicle owners now spending around 60 per cent of their time searching online.1
KAR Auction Services, which signed five deals over the past 30 months, purchased B2B car auction website, CarsOnTheWeb, for just over $100 million. Meanwhile, in November 2018 Renault bought Carizy, a used vehicle marketplace. Renault hopes to capitalise on the fast-growing used vehicle industry between private individuals, opening another lucrative revenue stream for the French automaker.
- The digital transformation of dealerships: in a two-way street of deal-making, dealerships are incorporating enterprise software and CRM solutions to build better informed relationships with their prospective and current customers and ease the marketing and sale of vehicles, whilst online vehicle marketplaces are getting closer to the dealers.
Two US-listed online vehicle marketplaces made acquisitions in 2018: Cars.com made a $165 million acquisition of DealerInspire, a provider of automotive advertising SaaS and service. TrueCar’s picked-up DealerScience, a dealership retail software provider, for $27 million.
Automotive technology M&A in 2019
Jo Goodson concluded:
“We believe 2019 and 2020 will remain very strong for both acquisitions and funding in the autotech sector, despite the storm clouds on the horizon which may provoke a reduction in vehicle sales’ volume overall.
“Our rationale is that spending in the sector will not be impacted by short-term market turbulence. Autotech is a truly transformational sector and we’re only at the beginning of a very long journey. In summary, we foresee a strong autotech M&A market over the next 24 months, with stable Enterprise Value multiples and a sharply growing capital raise market with increasing valuations.”
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